Owned by Stefano Grilli, who brought in the well-known oenologist, Riccardo Cotarella five years ago, this estate is poised to explode onto the world-wide arena given the quality of the wines. The 1995 Rubino, a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon (from 12-year old vines) and 20% Merlot from (60-year old vines?) fermented in tank, aged in 100% new French oak, and bottled unfined and unfiltered, is a sensational wine with a degree of richness and explosiveness that is matched by few wines made anywhere in the world. It has more in common with a great vintage of Sassicaia (the 1985 for example) than other Italian wines. The saturated black/purple color suggests a wine of extraordinary intensity, ripeness, and quality. The nose offers up striking aromas of lead pencil, vanillin, blueberries, cassis, roasted peanuts, and licorice. Every time I returned to my glass more nuances had emerged. Intense on the palate, with a cascade of lavishly ripe fruit nicely buttressed by toasty oak and sweet tannin, this wine is extraordinarily long, still unevolved and backward, but remarkably well-balanced. This is an exquisite, potentially profound Cabernet-based wine from Umbria that should be at its best between 2000-2020. Approximately 1,500 cases of the 1995 Rubino were produced.
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