2012 Inglenook "Rubicon" Rutherford Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1259807 95 points James Suckling

 The aromas of tar, spice, black currant, blueberry and cedar follow through to a full body with ultra-polished tannins and pointed flavors. Exceptional balance and finesse. Better in 2019 but already gorgeous.  (5/2016)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicon, which used to be a proprietary blend and had a somewhat rustic, Italian personality, has now been put under the Inglenook Vineyard designation. Where the Cabernet Sauvignon was a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Cabernet Franc and 3% Merlot, the Rubicon has abandoned any Italian varietals in favor of a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Merlot. I think it’s safe to say this is potentially the best Rubicon made to date. It’s not to denigrate other vintages, but there is a finesse and elegance combined with great richness and an avoidance of any rusticity that plagued some of the other vintages -- which is to be admired. At three times the price, it’s not three times the wine of the Cask Cabernet Sauvignon. It possesses a dense purple color, beautiful, sweet crème de cassis notes with a floral underpinning. I don’t see any of the Rutherford dust, per se, but there is an undertone of earthiness. The wine is full-bodied, rich, potentially complex and certainly capable of lasting 20 to 30 or more years. This is a great young Rubicon that will have its peak in 5-7 years and last 25-30. (RP)  (10/2014)

95 points Wine & Spirits

 Philippe Bascuales worked for two decades with Paul Pontallier at Château Margaux before coming to Inglenook in 2011 (since Pontallier passed away this past spring, Bascuales has returned to Château Margaux, and is now directing both the Bordeaux property and this Rutherford estate). The pace at which he has transformed the wines is nothing less than astonishing, as if the force of this great Napa Valley site had been waiting to be unleashed. It’s not that the wines were troubled in recent vintages; more that they followed the contemporary Napa Valley story of quality being the pinnacle achievement. The 2008, for example, was 'sweet, firm and juicy,' with tannins that cushioned the fruit, earning 93 points when I tasted it for the magazine. Bascaules has begun to bring back the voice of the property, a collection of vineyards in the western benchlands of Rutherford, reassembled by Francis Ford Coppola in the pattern of Gustave Niebaum’s original estate. This is the kind of land that made Napa Valley famous. And this is the kind of wine I want to drink. It has the freshness of ripe cabernet sauvignon, with none of the darker, dimpled tones of hyperripe fruit, presenting a delicate red berry scent and the gracious refinement of Rutherford tannins. Some of our tasters reacted to the new oak on the wine, the touch of creaminess French oak brings to the texture, even as they admitted that it was handled with restraint and that the wine showed some tension. The oak is not an issue  (4/2017)

93 points Vinous

 The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicon is deeper, inkier and sweeter than the Cask, with quite a bit more new French oak influence. Espresso, mocha, licorice, cloves and new leather are fused together in an unctuous, resonant Cabernet loaded with mid-palate sweetness and intensity. Radiant and generous, the 2012 will provide readers with a long window of pure drinking pleasure once the tannins soften a bit. Today, the 2012 comes across as a bit less expressive than on other occasions. (AG)  (10/2015)

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
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California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
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Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.