2003 Rubicon Estate "Rubicon" Rutherford Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1028321 93 points Wine & Spirits

 Rubicon 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.  (10/2007)

91 points Connoisseurs Guide

 This very rich and well-extracted Cabernet takes a different path than the winery's "Cask" bottling whereas it is a tighter, more tannic, altogether sturdier wine built with an eye to long-term development. Even now, however, it offers up lots of keenly defined cassis and black cherry fruit, and that fruit is still around after its finishing toughness has subsided. It needs a quiet place in the cellar and should rest for seven or eight years, but given the ability of its predecessors to improve, it should be in fine shape for a decade or two.  (8/2007)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby-red. Aromas of plum, currant, spice box, mocha and tobacco leaf are distinctly Old World. Ripe, creamy and rich, with a pliant texture and expressive flavors of currant, sweet plum and tobacco. Finishes ripely tannic, spicy and long, with hints of fresh herbs and chocolate. A lovely 2003, and a great success for this winery. (ST)  (6/2007)

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Price: $89.99

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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 M├ędoc 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.

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.


- 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.
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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.