1992 Niebaum-Coppola "Rubicon" Napa Valley Proprietary Red

SKU #300371 93 points Wine Spectator

 Beautifully crafted, dark, rich, dense and chewy, with a concentrated core of currant, earth, pencil lead, anise and black cherry. Tight and youthful, with excellent depth and structure, this is a remarkably thick, intense and vibrant wine that appears to have a long life ahead.  (5/2003)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 In comparison to the 1991, the 1992 Rubicon (2,956 cases) possesses a dark, opaque ruby/purple color, followed by a cleaner, riper, sweeter nose of black fruits, licorice, oak, and earth. Concentrated, spicy, and medium to full-bodied, this is a complete, more harmonious style of Rubicon that can be drunk now or cellared for 20 years. There have been numerous changes and refinements to the style of Niebaum-Coppola's proprietary red wine, Rubicon. Over a decade ago I wrote that this was a wine that acted as if it wanted to be an old-fashioned Barolo, with its rustic tannin and abrasive flavor profile. That has all changed in the nineties, as the wine has begun to take on a more supple texture, with less aggressive tannin, and a flavorful but more complete and elegant personality. The blend has gradually increased to over 90% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is aged in small French oak casks for two years, of which approximately 50% is new. There is no fining, but the wine is sterile filtered at bottling. Looking at vintages 1991 through 1994, each subsequent vintage seems to possess more intensity and character, with increasingly softer tannin. (RP)  (12/1996)

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Price: $99.99
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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.
Specific Appellation:

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.