Inglenook Rubicon is made from 93% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% Cabernet Franc.
Since its inaugural vintage in 1978, Rubicon has been the Estate's premier red wine, reflecting the soul of the property and expressing Francis Coppola's wish to create a Bordeaux-styled grand wine, that is, "a wine that can please contemporary taste, but with a historical aspect [that defines] our vineyards at their zenith."
Rubicon was named after the small river crossed by Julius Caesar in 49 B.C., declaring his intention to gain control of Rome, thereby launching a civil war among opposing factions. Over time the phrase "crossing the Rubicon" has come to signify any irreversible action with revolutionary intent or the outcome of which holds great risk. True to its uncommon depth, Inglenook's Rubicon continues to be a testament to the finely tuned rendering of a risk well-taken.
After four years of drought, a winter with average rainfall was welcome, as it provided ample soil moisture for a strong start to the 2016 growing season. Average late-spring temperatures and limited precipitation minimized the risk of frost during mid-May bloom, ensuring average yields. June closed with a heat spell, slowing vine canopy growth at the ideal time. Harvest of the blocks contributing to the 2016 Inglenook Rubicon blend occurred under optimum conditions from September 6th through September 27th.
Ideal harvest conditions endowed the 2016 Rubicon with the three elements associated with a truly great wine from the Rutherford appellation: complexity, balance, and elegance. The aromas are intense and focused with top notes of creamy, sweet vanilla, and black licorice wound around a core of exquisitely ripe black cherry and crème de cassis. This refinement extends directly to the palate, where the wine is both broad and deep with sensuous, silky tannins. Supremely balanced in terms of both opulence and complexity, ripe black fruits and an ultra-smooth texture provide an impressive crescendo to a very long finish.
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicon is a wine of total precision and class. Translucent and energetic, with distinctly mid-weight structure, the 2016 is a wine of reserve, tension and breeding. Shy at first, the 2016 has a lot to offer, but it needs a number of years in bottle to be at its most expressive. Cedar, tobacco, licorice and wild cherry add the closing nuances.
- Antonio Galloni 97 Points
The original thought was to be a one wine brand, with a single minded vision to produce the best value-priced Cabernet Sauvignon in America. How do you go about this? Traditional winemaking. Natural fermentations. Barrel-aging. Plus, bottling unfiltered and unfined. In essence, making the wines in small batch winemaking integrity, but doing so on a larger scale. The wine is black. The label definitively says, "This is Cabernet Sauvignon." With the CS, you know who made this wine: Charles Smith. There is also the single vineyard, single expression, Bordeaux varietals (ex: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) produced in very limited quantities. Let's not to forget, the single vineyard Loire-style Substance Sauvignon Blanc. This is the newest chapter in the history books of Charles Smith and his wines.
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Powerline Vineyard (which is all from Clone 2) is a brilliant, brilliant wine that’s loaded with ripe red, black, and blue fruit as well as notions of green herbs, tobacco, chocolate, and even hints of spiced meat. Complex and medium to full-bodied, with good acidity and a balanced, seamless mouthfeel, it’s already hard to resist yet is going to cruise of 15+ years in cold cellars. -Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
Morlet Family Vineyards Coeur De Vallee Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon & 25% Cabernet Franc.
Propietary Name Cœur de Vallée
Name Meaning Heart of the Valley
Type of wine Vineyard designated
Appellation Oakville, Napa Valley
Vineyard singularity Morlet Family ‘Cœur de Vallée’ Vineyard Bale soils, loamy topsoil on loamy & clay-loamy subsoils
Typical harvest date October Picking Manual, small lugs, refer truck
Sorting Cluster by cluster, berry per berry Fermentation Through native yeast. Punch downs Tank and Puncheons
Upbringing 16 months French oak from artisan coopers Bottling Unfiltered
Cellaring time 10+ years Serving Room temperature Decanting recommended
Located in the world-renowned Oakville appellation, in the heart of the Napa Valley, our Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc vines benefit from the gravelly and loamy Bale soil derived from an alluvial fan in this warm yet temperate climate. Handcrafted using classical winemaking techniques, this wine is dedicated to Dr. Richard Johnson and Dr. Nancy Hampel who have always demonstrated their kindness of heart. It is ‘Heart of the Valley’ or ‘Cœur de Vallée.’
Deep garnet-purple in color, the ‘Cœur de Vallée’ is characterized by a striking bouquet of lavender and violets over a core of sweet red berries, crème de cassis, Chambord liqueur, blackcurrants and licorice, and compelling notes of mocha, espresso, chocolate and forest floor. Medium to full-bodied with an impressive fine-grained texture, this powerful yet refined Cabernet Sauvignon is expressive from start to finish, boasting a background freshness that supports the intense black fruit layers. The wine displays an extraordinary concentration, richness, finesse and purity while possessing silky and polished tannins leading to an elegant lift on the long, lush finish. Featuring the interaction of the clayish yet well-draining gravelly volcanic soil, the site’s microclimates and the low-interventionistic Morlet winemaking approach, the stunning ‘Cœur de Vallée’ ages gracefully for decades.
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Coeur de Vallée comes all from Beckstoffer’s portion of the To Kalon Vineyard and it’s a thrill a minute, offering awesome notes of blue fruits, chocolate, incense, candied violets, and high-class cigar tobacco. As seamless and elegant as they come, yet also opulent and sexy, this remarkable Cabernet Sauvignon could come from nowhere else in the world. Drink it over the coming 2-3 decades.
-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
This is the last vintage when this wine will come exclusively from Beckstoffer’s To Kalon vineyard. In the future it will come (more and more) from Morlet’s own new vineyard in Oakville—just across from To Kalon. A blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Cabernet Franc, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Coeur de Vallee has a very deep purple-black color and reveals compelling notes of minted blackcurrants, black cherries and wild blueberries with touches of sage, cigar box, tilled black soil and Indian spices with a suggestion of cardamom. Full-bodied and laden with densely packed, muscular fruit, it has a rock-solid frame of ripe, grainy tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long with those To Kalon spices lingering with fantastic persistence. 250 cases produced, to be released in the fall of 2019.
-Wine Advocate 97 Points
Bellevue Cotes de Castillon Cuvee Vieilles Vignes is made from 65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc. Aged in mostly new oak barrels (90% French oak and 10% American oak), and some Château Haut Brion 2nd Barrels.
The wine offers a rich and intense bouquet of blackcurrant, blackberry and strawberry. It is smooth and full in the mouth with a velvety texture. Acidity combined with firm but well-integrated tannins are a fine supporting cast to the black fruit flavors at the end.
Hertelendy Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot, 7% Malbec, 6% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc.
2016 was an extraordinarily epic vintage. It was the fifth consecutive outstanding vintage, and at the time of harvest, we thought it was the best of the decade. All of our fruit slowly matured and ripened, containing the proper phenolics that we strive to have every vintage. We had a decent winter, which meant that we had more irrigation water and more control of hang-time on the vines. With more hang time came more complexity and character, creating more balance in the vineyards. With a total production of 562 cases of the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, this elegant powerhouse all hails from highly-esteemed, volcanic Napa areas such as the Pritchard Hill area, Howell Mountain, Atlas Peak, and our very own Rockwell Ridge estate vineyard (35 feet below Howell Mountain). We’re honored that this wine recently won GOLD at Texsom (back-to-back years!), arguably the most prestigious wine competition in the country featuring 19 Master Sommeliers and 16 Masters of Wine on their judging panel.
“The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot, 7% Malbec, 6% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc. It has a deep garnet-purple color and delivers intense, vivacious black cherries, warm blackcurrants and blackberries scents with touches of garrigue, cigar box, underbrush and lavender. Full-bodied and packed with generous flavors of crushed black berries with oodles of earthy sparks, it has a rock-solid line of grainy tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long and savory.”
— Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Robert Parker Wine Advocate, 96 Points
Avennia Valery Red Blend is made from 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc
Valery is named for the patron saint of wine in the St. Emilion region that inspired it.
We started with old vine Merlot from a stony block in the heart of the Yakima Valley and added complex, aromatic Cabernet Franc from the Horse Heaven Hills. The result is a balanced, complex wine with the elegance and ethereal perfume that this blend of two of Washington’s best varietals are known for.
The nose on this wine is very perfumed, almost exotic with notes of fresh violets, red plum, winter mint, fresh herbs and crushed limestone qualities. The palate is poised and balanced, with red fruits and mocha powder encapsulated in limestone. The finish lingers delicately, with the Cabernet Franc asserting a light tobacco and herb note, giving depth. A compelling wine that will continue to unwind for 7-10 years in the cellar.
"Brought up in 30% new French oak, the 2016 Valery (70/30 Merlot and Cabernet Franc) offers more black cherry and earthy, herbal notes as well as a medium-bodied, seamless, beautifully balanced style. It too shows a vibrant, fresh, yet concentrated style that has a Bordeaux feel in its weight and texture."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 93 pts
"Good medium-dark red. Aromas of blueberry, mocha, licorice and violet are a bit darker than those of the 2015 version. Dense and penetrating, with wild flavors of dark berries, licorice and game given lift by rocky minerality and a minty nuance. Chris Peterson slightly acidified his Cabernet Franc from Champoux Vineyard, which he added to the wine for richness. This beauty may yet tighten up in the bottle.- Stephen Tanzer"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2018), 92+ pts
If you ever find yourself in the heart of the Swartland, you're likely to see a familiar face. Boet Le Roux, farmer extraordinaire, is our own living legend. Tirelessly he battles the fierce South African sun to deliver only the finest the Swartland has to offer.
With crisp citrus fruit and a zesty, refreshing finish, Boet Le Roux's Old Vine Colombard has a lively larger-than-life character that's refreshingly good company all year round.
The Riebeek Cellars Estate
Riebeek Cellars was established in 1941 and is situated in Riebeek Kasteel at the foot of Bothma's Kloof Pass. This medium-sized winery on the western coast of the Cape Province of South Africa sources its grapes from the fertile Riebeek Valley and the slopes of the mountain where the climate is very similar to the Mediterranean. Through the years as vineyard practices developed, cultivars were planted in soil and at slopes best suited to them. These well-tended vineyards enable the production of high quality wines which makes Riebeek Cellars the choice of wine buyers internationally. Well-known both in South Africa and abroad, Riebeek Cellars manages a variety of brands for various countries.
Corporal Pieter Cruythoff, a scout of Jan van Riebeeck, founded the Riebeek Valley in 1661. Impressed by the single standing mountain, he called it Kasteelberg (“Castle Mountain”) commemorating the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town, the fortress of Commander Jan van Riebeeck. The twin towns, Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West, established at the foot of Kasteelberg, are therefore also suitably named after Van Riebeeck.
The Riebeek Valley is a mecca of wonderful wines, exceptional food and exquisite art where tourists and locals alike are forever tempted into spending more time than allowed. The serene valley falls in the bigger Swartland region which is called the 'bread basket' of South Africa for its grain production, while it is further internationally acclaimed for its high quality olive products. With various hotels and fine-dining restaurants as well as true country hospitality, the Riebeek Valley has become a very popular tourist destination. The ultimate charm of Riebeek is however in its people and their commitment and passion for wine.
"Located in the Western Cape region of South Africa, this winery was established in 1941, which makes it relatively old compared to all the new wineries that have sprung up in this area. Among the first Pinotages I can recommend, it’s also a good value. Pinotage, which is, of course, ubiquitous in South Africa, was first made in 1941, when the Cinsault grape (primarily grown in southern France and the Rhone Valley) was crossed with Pinot Noir." - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue 201, June 2012).
If you look closely, you will notice the devil is in the details. The skull label is inspired by the ever-mysterious goat eyes, which are capable of seeing and sensing two things at once. The art conveys the double meaning behind the devil inside. The hieroglyphs tell their own detailed story within the goat’s skull. What do you see?
The 2019 DETAILS Cabernet Sauvignon is crafted from the finest appellations in Sonoma County. The majority of the Cabernet Sauvignon for the blend comes from Sonoma Valley. Both Knights Valley and Alexander Valley are cooler climates for Cabernet Sauvignon, which bring elegance, nuance, and acid structure to the blend.
2019 DETAILS Cabernet Sauvignon is comprised of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec 5% Merlot, 5% Petite Syrah, 4% Petit Verdot. 14.8% alcohol. The passion to create an exceptional California wine at an affordable price point was factored into every step of the process. The magic truly comes together when the best lots are tested and selected for the final blend.
The 2019 DETAILS aromatics are meant to be savored, shared, and appreciated. The nose is immediately greeted with sensual aromas of ripe raspberry, plum, and blueberry, with more subtle oak aromas of cedar and allspice.
The 2019 DETAILS Cabernet Sauvignon delivers elegance, depth, and power in one stunning wine. Enticing aromas of violets and ripe raspberries are followed by notes of sage, allspice, and a touch of balsamic reduction.
The 2019 growing season in Sonoma started off with record-breaking rainfall in the winter, followed by a cool spring, causing bud break to be delayed into late March and early April. Unseasonably heavy rainfall in May, had very little effect on flowering, due to the cool and later start to the vintage. Average and consistent temperatures throughout the summer, led to even ripening and flavor development in the vineyard. The heat picked up in late September and helped facilitate the final stages of the vine prior to harvest. With a slow, cool start to the vintage and long hang time, the fruit held its natural acidity well, while allowing the sugar, color, and tannin to develop in harmony. Together, these factors created optimal conditions for Bordeaux varieties throughout Sonoma County, especially the warmer hillside sites.
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Details is stunning. Vibrant and explosive in the glass, the Details Cabernet shows just how compelling Cabernet can be beyond Napa Valley. Gravel, crushed rocks, menthol, licorice, plum and incense saturate the palate. This inky, structured Cabernet is one of the very finest Cabernets readers will find in its price point, or virtually any price point, for that matter. The 2019 is a blend from sites in Sonoma Valley, Alexander Valley and Knights Valley.
-- Antonio Galloni 96 Points
Copain Edmeades Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
This wine embodies everything you love about Anderson Valley Pinot; flavors of strawberry, Rainier cherries with hints of spice.
The 2017 vintage began with significant rainfall prior to bloom, refilling the state’s reservoirs and ending California’s five-year drought. We saw a sudden spike in temperatures just prior to harvest, leading fruit to ripen quicker than anticipated. This sped up our harvest schedule, but due to our team’s vigilance, the fruit was still able to be picked at optimal ripeness. Temperatures then cooled back down by mid-September, allowing the remaining vineyards to complete ripening at an ideal pace. The rest of harvest was finished as planned, with yields coming in at their typical levels.
The historical Edmeades Vineyard sits along the western side of the small town of Philo in what’s known as the “deep-end” of Anderson Valley. Flanked by the Navarro River, there is a diversity of sandstone soils throughout the vineyard. The Edmeades vineyard is planted with vines facing southwest, allowing this vineyard to receive warmer afternoon weather. This helps to balance the prolonged cool fog influence this vineyard sees throughout the growing season.
Aromas: Raspberry, dried cherries, pennyroyal, orange zest.
Palate: Medium weight palate with soft tannins. Notes of cherry, pomegranate, and clove with light delicate cola notes on the finish.
The first vintage for this cuvée from Ryan, the 2017 Pinot Noir Edmeades Vineyard comes from mid-valley and was brought up in 27% new French oak. It's a beautiful wine with blueberry and wild strawberry fruits as well as complex spice, dried flowers, and some loamy soil notes. Medium-bodied, seamless, and silky on the palate, it's a lovely, layered wine that shines for its texture and balanced.