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January 25, 2017

Inglenook Rubicon & Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

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The virtues of the 2013 vintage in Napa do not really need to be extolled, after all it has more 100 point scores than any other vintage, even at this tender age: the vintage is exceptional! Today we are delighted to be able to release another leading Napa Cult wine, one whose current and historical renown make it special. The Estate is Inglenook, formerly known as Rubicon Estate Winery and Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery. In 2013, the Estate’s leading wine, Rubicon has been awarded 97 points from Antonio Galloni and James Suckling. The former describes it as ‘dense, powerful and structured…Layers of dark fruit built into a crescendo of aromas, flavors and textures laced with mocha, espresso, gravel and dark spice overtones… This is a tremendous showing for the 2013 Rubicon’. The latter follows suit ‘The clarity and precision to this wine are phenomenal with blackcurrants, floral notes, blueberries, and orange peel.’ This is a mighty effort which for a leading Napa wine offers real value; today’s pre-release price of £680 per case of six is extremely compelling. This will be adjusted to above £800 once it officially becomes available in Europe later in the year. Furthermore, Rubicon offers an attractive vintage premium as demonstrated in the table below.

Rubicon AG JS Price
2013 95 97 £680
2012 94 95 £725
2011 92 93 £750
2010 90 n/a £1,100
2009 92 n/a £750
2008 89 n/a £840
2007 n/a n/a £960
2006 n/a n/a £960
2005 90 n/a £1,000

The Estate is the legacy of a Finnish Sea Captain, entrepreneur and wine Connoisseur, Gustave Niebaum, who founded Inglenook in 1879. His vision was to build an Estate, which would rival the great Estates of Europe, in particular the Grand Crus of Bordeaux. He purchased the Estate which is sited in Rutherford, on the finest vineyards in the Napa Valley. Niebaum’s grandnephew, John Daniel Jr, inherited the Estate in the 1930s, by which time it had already achieved international praise. However, it was in 1975 when Francis and Eleanor Coppola purchased the Inglenook property that its electric modern history began. In 1995 Coppola reunited the two original Inglenook parcels by purchasing the grand Inglenook Chateau, which neighbours other great vineyards such as Heitz Wine Cellars Matha’s Vineyard. It is a romantic notion that allegedly this acquisition was made from the proceeds of The Godfather Part II. He renamed the winery Rubicon Estate in 2006, which he then reverted to Inglenook in 2011. The bottle design has been through as many incarnations, the current design is a replica of the post prohibition era label, the fabled 1941 vintage which took Europe by storm.

Rubicon, as it is known now, has been the Estate’s flagship wine since 1978. It is constructed from the best fruit grown on the Estate, including Cabernet Sauvignon selections planted by Niebaum in the 1880s. All grapes are harvested from organically grown plots on the Estate. Rubicon spends 18 months in French oak, 75% new oak. The long serving winemaker, Scott McLeod left in 2009 when the winemaking guru Stephane Derenoncourt came on as a consultant. In 2011, Chateau Margaux’s Philippe Bascaules became the Estate manager and winemaker. Stylistically Rubicon continues to be an old-world style Napa, with much more balance, minerality and savoury tones than many Napa bombs. In fact, for this reason Robert Parker has not historically awarded it one of his uber scores. This is good news, it has meant the price remains sensible. That said, the strictly scoring Antonio Galloni has given the 2013 one of its greatest ever marks.

In addition, we are pleased to offer their second wine, the Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon, formerly known as Inglenook Cask. This has received 96 points from Antonio Galloni, yet costs £320 per case of six, a rare gem in Napa just over £50 per bottle. This is a true Bordeaux blend, which is aged in 90% French oak and 10% American. Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon is a very fine wine which competes with many leading flagship wines from other Napa Estates.

It is a good idea to take advantage of the pre-release prices, Rubicon is a stunning wine that bridges the nuance of Bordeaux, with the torque of Napa. 2013 will be a memorable vintage for this veteran Napa legend. Perhaps it may even reach the heights of the great 1941!

Inglenook Rubicon 2013, 6×75 £680 IB

97 Points, Antonio Galloni
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicon emerges from the back part of the property, which lies on the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains. Here the wines are dense, powerful and structured. That is exactly what comes through in the 2013. Layers of dark fruit built into a crescendo of aromas, flavors and textures laced with mocha, espresso, gravel and dark spice overtones. The new oak that was so prominent at the outset has begun to integrate and in so doing is allowing the fruit to come through to a greater degree than in the past. This is a tremendous showing for the 2013 Rubicon.

97 Points, James Suckling
The clarity and precision to this wine are phenomenal with blackcurrants, floral notes, blueberries, and orange peel. Complex and subtle with grace and stature. Full body, ultra-polished and refined tannins and bright acidity. The wine needs three to four years to open on the palate, but already it has a caressing quality to it. 

Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, 6×75, £320 IB

96 Points, Antonio Galloni
A powerful, vibrant wine, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon shows the pedigree of this historic Rutherford vineyard. Remarkably light on its feet for such a big wine, the 2013 offers exceptional depth and pedigree from the very first taste. Even with all of its obvious intensity, the 2013 manages to remain polished and vibrant.

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