2002 Rubicon Estate "Rubicon" Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
*Cellar Selection* Fragrant, showing cascades of violets, caramelized new oak, sweet cherry pie, cocoa and cassis aromas. In the mouth, it’s unctuous, and floods the palate with sweet, savory flavors. Has a youthful jamminess right now, which will melt off and refine as time goes by. Such is the elegance and balance that cellaring it for 20 years will be no problem. This is the best Rubicon ever.
Wine & Spirits
Perhaps the best vintage of Rubicon to date, this wine grows at one of the best cabernet sauvignon sites in Napa Valley, on the Rutherford benchlands first planted by William C. Watson in 1871, before 19th-century shipping magnate Gustav Neibaum selected the land for his own ambitious estate. Now it belongs to Francis Ford Coppola, who spent the last 30 years reassembling what is now a 1,700-acre property. Winemaker Scott McLeod uses heavily toasted French oak the way he would if he were making a first growth in Bordeaux, and here the fruit lives up to the barrels. The wine has an internal energy; it feels bursting with life, in bloom. The dark fruit is at once luscious and beautifully formed, the flavor lasting for minutes. A genuine expression of place.
*Two Stars* Rubicon has never been noted for wines of immediacy or early charm and so again does this latest fit expectation. It is a solid, serious, some-what backward wine at this point of its life, but it conveys great richness, strength and fruity depth from beginning to end. Its involving themes of black currants, loamy soil, minerals and oak are blunted by ample tannins, yet fruit fights its way through with the message that those who are willing to wait for six to ten years will find real rewards.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Dark ruby-red. Aroma of roasted plum, chocolate, mocha, fennel and mustard seed. Juicy and intense, with a restrained sweetness to the rather suave flavors of black cherry and black cherry. Finishes with firm, chalky tannins and very good length.
Takes the middle--ie balanced--road through Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon land. Rutherford red cherry, dust and spice, plus cocoa and boysenberry. A beam of natural acidity tempers the tannins. Full yet crisp, ripe yet balanced, and sensually supple. It may not stand out in a lineup of heavyweights, but that’s its greatest charm. 18/20 points. (LM)
The 2002 Rubicon Estate Rutherford Rubicon is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest a small amount of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Rubicon Estate has always had a commitment to responsible farming, and their vineyards are now certified organic by the CCOF. The wine is very much in a Bordeaux style but still remains true to its classic Napa Valley heritage. 2002 is a powerful wine with complex fruit characters and a firm structure that will be sure to develop well in a cellar over the next 15 years.