Overview of the Wine
In 1879, Finnish explorer and adventurer Gustave Niebaum searched the Napa Valley with the goal of establishing a wine estate to rival the finest chateau of France. For decades his wines won acclaim and remain some of the most admired in American wine history's classic period. By the mid-1960's, his property was divided, and estate-wine production ceased.
A decade later, Francis Ford Coppola purchased 1,500 acres of this historic property and revived Captain Niebaum's fine winemaking tradition. In 1995, Niebaum-Coppola acquired the remainder of the property and restored the Inglenook Estate to its original dimensions.
Grape / Blend
86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc
Napa Valley, California
Winemaker Tasting Notes
The 2017 Rubicon is expansive, with intriguing depth. The wine has exciting complexity below the surface, which enhances its expressiveness. There is a defined aromatic core of ripe red and black fruits, especially raspberry, black cherry, and cassis. It is seamless on the palate, with finely-polished tannins. The lingering finish is refreshing, with notes of crème de cassis and cocoa powder.
From Ian Blackburn: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! This is a legendary estate that Francis Ford Coppola "reunited" - as the large 1960-70's wine company sold this place off like a scrapyard... Francis first bought the property and then bought the name back that had been dragged through the proverbial wine gutter. This estate was compared to Chateau Margaux back in the 1950's and 1960's... and some of the greatest wines of California I have ever tried are the 1962, 1964, and 1966 ... and I'm sure the other wines from this era (I think it ended in 1970 for this brand) are still as alive and fresh as the bottles I have purchased throughout time. In 2016, to compliment this estate, Coppola went a step further and hired legendary winemaker Philippe Bascaules, Inglenook's Director of Winemaking - literally taking Chateau Margaux's winemaker and moving him to Napa. Then the final move was to return the style of this wine back in time... and wait for "the washed" to rediscover... the investment is painful, slow, and yet steady she goes ... this 2017 is an amazing rediscovery. I will not score this wine because others have done the work ... but I recommend you put yourself in the right mindset to reengage this classic and help get the word out. By the way - its neighbors are OPUS ONE and SCARECROW... how this wine isn't $400 already is another conversation for another time.
98 Points - Decanter
This is absolutely delicious. Powerful, intense and concentrated with seductive black cherry and raspberry leaf aromatics. It slowly and steadily pulls you in and compares to the very greatest Cabernets in its excitement, structure and grip. As the liquorice, chocolate and cassis notes stretch out, it comes to a mouthwateringly slow conclusion. This keeps the savoury edge of Cabernet and the tannins give focus and poise. Opulent and concentrated, and very good. 100% new oak.
95 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A barrel sample blend made up of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, the deep purple-black colored 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicon displays a simply gorgeous nose of red roses, cherry pie, black raspberries and blackberry compote with touches of black tea, incense, cinnamon stick and tilled soil. Medium-bodied with a firm frame of grainy tannins, the palate delivers compelling layers of floral and earth-inspired flavors with a long, perfumed finish. 4,070 cases are estimated to be produced.
95 Points - James Suckling
This shows a wonderful core of ripe fruit with berry and currant character. Hints of spices and tobacco. Some cedar. Full-bodied, creamy and rich. Fresh. Beautiful length. Drink after 2022, but already so delicious.
92 Points - Wine Spectator
This is slightly taut in feel at first, offering red and black currant and cherry fruit spliced with singed cedar and grilled savory notes, ending with a slightly firm edge. But with some coaxing and air, the fruit shows more generosity, while the finish allows floral and mineral hints to show themselves. A restrained style worth cellaring, and a solid effort for the vintage. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2021 through 2031. 4,200 cases made.
Product size: 750ml