Rubicon Estate Rubicon 2003
Vintage 2003 was a classic late harvest in Rutherford. Following a cool spring, the summer was very mild except for two heat spikes that produced temperatures over 100 degrees. As summer faded into fall, temperatures remained average to cool, pushing the Cabernet harvest into October. And October did not disappoint with a staggering 18 days of mid-80 degree weather under sunny, beautiful skies. The estate harvested nearly all of the Rubicon grapes during this idyllic period. Winemaking Notes All Rubicon Estate vineyards are harvested by hand in the early morning. The grapes arrive at the winery in small bins and the fruit is hand-sorted before crushing. A second sorting of the must removes any remaining leaves or pieces of broken stems. The must is allowed to ‘cold soak’ for three to five days prior to the onset of natural fermentation. Depending on the age of the vineyard and quality of the tannins, macerations may vary from one to three weeks. Rubicon is fermented in wooden Taransaud open-top tanks which hold the natural warmth of the fermentation longer into the maceration. This allows the new wine to stabilize color and increase the mouthfeel of the new wine. Both traditional punch-downs (early stages of fermentation) and pump-overs are used, resulting in ultra-dense, coating and supple tannins. Tasting Notes Rubicon is characterized by aromas of black sour cherries and violets. These flavors are confirmed on the palate with the addition of black currant, wild berries and sweet vanilla from aging in 100% new French oak barrels. There is an immediate sense of concentration on the mid palate with a luxurious and dense texture. While this wine is approachable now, it will develop further complexity with cellaring, easily fifteen to twenty-five years or more. This is one for the cellar. 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot 5,244 cases alcohol: 14.4%
I would classify this as a wine that smells better than it tastes. The nose on this wine is quite phenomenal: spice box & cedar coming on strong with a light berries wafting in after. On the mouth it is simple: cassis and almost a dried roses/violets. The finnish feels quite tannic and unspectacular.
I had the pleasure of tasting this beautiful wine at the Coppola estate and I will always remember it. I recommend everyone try this wine and share with friends.
This is a very approachable wine. Notes of cherry, chocolate and a hint of brown sugar propel the wine forward. The taste lasts and lasts. Open 35 to 45 minutes ahead of drinking.
Berkshire scale rating on opening 95+ Berkshire scale rating after decanting 99 For me, this is the wine that began it all. It is the alpha and the omega of perfection. It is the wine by which all others are defined. My parents took a trip to Napa (Rutherford County) in 2002 and I tried my first bottle of 2001 Rubicon and until that moment, I didn't like wine. I would take this over a Lafite Rothschild any day, hands down. A paradigm of American character: the aromas of this wine explode with unmistakeable clarity: Cherry Pie...right off the bat, then subtle creme de cassis, sweet black tea, woody oak, a faint whiff of cigar smoke, and (believe it or not) Mom's perfume. On the palate, the flavors reflect the aromas with added textural elements of soft satin, surprisingly low viscosity bright berry juice, all integrated with vanilla/oak tones. If you want to understand the "winese" definition for hang time, this wine lingers and grows on the palate for a solid 25-30 seconds with impressions of sweet black cherries, day-over-ripe raspberries, warm spice and sweet earth notes. If stuck on a desert island, this is what I'd take.
Beautiful and powerful Cabernet with dark cherry flavors and amazing complexity and structure. I believe this wine could age for 20+ years.
...estaria dentro de mi bodega! si la tuviera..jaja
Four and a half glasses
External Reviews for Rubicon Estate Rubicon
Wine & Spirits ReviewRated 93Rubicon is the top wine from Gustave Niebaum's classic Inglenook Vineyard in the benchlands of the Mayacamas at Rutherford, managed for decades by his nephew, John Daniel, and ultimately reassembled in its current form by Francis Ford Coppola. The 2003 is rich in luscious tannins, with a deep cherry essence, a dynamic flavor with the herbal edge of a great Rutherford cabernet. It's plush and delicious, a fine performance in the uneven weather conditions of 2003.Wine Tasting NotesRubicon is characterized by aromas of black sour cherries and violets. These flavors are confirmed on the palate with the addition of black currant, wild berries and sweet vanilla from aging in 100% new French oak barrels. There is an immediate sense of concentration on the mid palate with a luxurious and dense texture. While this wine is approachable now, it will develop further complexity with cellaring, easily fifteen to twenty-five years or more. This is one for the cellar.