2011 Rubicon Paper Label

2011 Rubicon Paper Label 750ML

Over the last few years, we’ve continued to refine the methods we use in crafting Rubicon, in order to create the most elegant wine possible. We’re more discerning about the selections that go into Rubicon, even though we had less fruit to work with this vintage. We also purchased a new de-stemmer, which treats the fruit more gently and causes less oxidation. This results in better aromatic expression, allowing the fruit to show off its pure character. Likewise, we’ve improved our fermentation techniques to prevent over-extraction. Now, rather than using pump overs at scheduled intervals, we evaluate each individual block and consider which ones would benefit from development to optimize the proper balance and structure of the wine. This vintage was aged in 80% new oak barrels for 18 months before it was bottled 

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In 1975, Francis Ford Coppola purchased the historic Inglenook property, intent on restoring the estate’s legacy of creating world-class wines equal to those that founder Gustave Niebaum and his grandnephew John Daniel Jr. made for decades. Rubicon, the estate’s flagship wine since 1978, is produced from the best estate grown fruit, including the historic Gustave Niebaum Cabernet Sauvignon selection, which was first planted on the property in the 1880s. 


By all accounts, 2011 was a difficult vintage. Chilly spring temperatures and heavy rains delayed bud break, and crops were reduced significantly on account of the weather. The rains were also responsible for the lower alcohol-level this vintage. But, there was a silver lining: having less fruit intensified flavor concentration and phenolics in the grape clusters that remained. This year’s Rubicon is showing very complex aromas and a well-balanced flavor profile, which speaks to the estate’s ability to produce a quality wine despite what others would normally consider a bad vintage. 

Tasting Notes

Our most recent tasting of the 2011 Rubicon revealed a complex nose that includes notes of graphite, dark red currants, and a floral potpourri of dried rose petals with hints of allspice. This wine demonstrates a refined richness, yet its intensity does not weigh down the palate. The flavors exude a freshness, complemented by nice acidity. Impressions of juicy dark cherries, tobacco, and currants are most prevalent, while notes of spices, tea leaves, and an intriguing earthy quality create a more rugged wine that is very expressive of its unique terroir. The wine’s essence is further enhanced by fine-grained tannins, which support an elegant structure and refined finish that boasts deep aromatic notes of espresso. 

Appellation: Rutherford, Napa Valley
Ensemble: Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot
Alcohol: 13.9%
Vineyard: Cask, Walnut 94/96, Gio, Upper Garden, Creek, Gate