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  • W&S: 93

    Wine & Spirits Magazine Score

    93

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  • WS: 80

    Wine Spectator Score

    92-94

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  • ST: 91

    Stephen Tanzer Score

    91

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Rubicon Estate Rubicon 2003

Winemaker's Notes:

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%

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Rubicon Estate:
Situated in Rutherford, one of the premier Cabernet Sauvignon growing regions in California, the Estate strives to preserve the traditions of its predecessor by crafting world-class wines. It took more than twenty years to reunite all of the original vineyards and restore winemaking to the Chateau. Now that this is complete, we have progressed into a new era of innovation, choosing to rename ... Read more
Situated in Rutherford, one of the premier Cabernet Sauvignon growing regions in California, the Estate strives to preserve the traditions of its predecessor by crafting world-class wines. It took more than twenty years to reunite all of the original vineyards and restore winemaking to the Chateau. Now that this is complete, we have progressed into a new era of innovation, choosing to rename the property - Rubicon Estate - after our critically-acclaimed flagship wine. When Gustave Niebaum began his enterprise, there were approximately forty-five wineries in California. Today, there are more than two hundred fifty in Napa Valley alone. None have as rich a history, as remarkable a story, or as innovative a family as Rubicon Estate. Those driven to succeed seldom find satisfaction in mere prosperity, for the struggle to accomplish the remarkable is infinite in scope and measure. During the years when the American wine industry was still in its infancy, a tenacious young sea captain named Gustave Niebaum amassed a small fortune in the Alaskan fur trade. Having achieved financial independence at an early age, Niebaum could have simply retired and still commanded respect from his peers. Instead, a longing for missed European traditions compelled him to launch a winery. Well-read and enthusiastic, Niebaum pursued this goal not as that of a hobbyist, but with a zeal that verged on obsession. In 1880, he founded Inglenook “…to make a Californian wine, if it can be made, that will be sought by connoisseurs and will command as high a price as the famous French, German and Spanish wines.” Niebaum spared no expense. Relentless, fanatical, and intent on perfection, he procured the very best vineyards, planted noble varietals, and designed a winery that was an engineering marvel of its day. Within ten years of founding Inglenook, Niebaum’s wines were lauded by the press, both at home and internationally. In the wake of Prohibition, Susan Niebaum’s grand-nephew John Daniel, Jr. assumed leadership of the winery. Dedicated to continuing the family's tradition of producing world-class wines, Daniel created legendary Cabernet Sauvignon’s which critics have since judged to be among the greatest in the world. Like Niebaum, John Daniel led without compromise. “Pride, not profits,” was his motto and wines were not even bottled unless they met his strict standards of quality. It was a daring way to conduct business but history has proved him right. In 1975, Francis Coppola came upon the historic Inglenook property in his quest for a summer cottage where he could make a little ‘home’ wine like his grandparents once did. Though far more grand than what he and his family initially sought, Coppola was impressed by the Estate’s natural beauty and intrigued by the story of Gustave Niebaum. Feeling somehow connected to the man who shared a similar immigrant success story, Coppola purchased the Estate on his second try and once he learned more about its storied past, vowed to reconstruct the great Estate. Read less

Member Reviews for Rubicon Estate Rubicon

Add your review
Snooth User: eclipse
17126761
3.00 5
05/09/2009

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.


Snooth User: michlnyc
3522640
5.00 5
11/24/2007

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.


Snooth User: Big Reds
4294529
3.50 5
02/10/2008

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.


Snooth User: jakecb25
51685127
5.00 5
06/27/2010

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.


5.00 5
11/30/2007

Beautiful and powerful Cabernet with dark cherry flavors and amazing complexity and structure. I believe this wine could age for 20+ years.


Snooth User: Clavelin13
313070
5.00 5
09/08/2007

...estaria dentro de mi bodega! si la tuviera..jaja


Snooth User: zagazuga20
9124417
4.50 5
10/06/2008

Four and a half glasses


External Reviews for Rubicon Estate Rubicon

External Review
01/17/2009

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.


External Review
03/16/2010

Rubicon Estate Rubicon 2003 and all other wine from Rubicon Estate are readily available to ship at discount prices. We carry many premium wine from across the world.



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%

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