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.
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.
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)
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