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
Alain Jaume Rasteau Les Valats is made from 90% Grenache, 10% Syrah, planted on clay and stones based soil.
40 Hectoliters / Hectare
Deep red garnet color. Aromas of fresh red berries. On the palate, the richness of the fruit and tannins harmonizes with the roundness of the wine.
The finish is long, with spicy touches and minerals notes. Complete and authentic.
Grapes planted on clay and stones based soil.
"Notes of wet sandstone, crushed earth and olive lend elegant restraint to crisp black cherry and blackberry here. A blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah, this concentrated wine is marked by savory tones of dried mint and sage. Fine but firm tannins and a mineral freshness accent the finish. It's ready now but should improve through 2030. - ANNA LEE C. IIJIMA"
- Wine Enthusiast (March 2019), 91 pts
"Earth, black olive and plummy fruit combine on the nose of the 2016 Rasteau Les Valats. It's a bit rugged, but in a good way, with savory tannins framing the dark flavors and lingering on the finish. Dark and dusty, it calls out for grilled meat. - Joe Czerwinski"
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #238, August 31st 2018), 90 pts
"The 2016 Rasteau Les Valats is another outstanding wine from this team, offering classic Rasteau earthy black fruits, gravelly minerality, and a touch of spice to go with a full-bodied, concentrated, powerful style on the palate. Based on 80% Grenache and 10% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre, it’s a powerful yet balanced 2016 that will keep for 7-8 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2019), 90 pts
Argot Mosaic Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Sourced from both high-elevation and valley floor vineyards, located in the cool-climate AVAs of Sonoma Mountain, Bennett Valley and Petaluma Gap. A drama-free growing season allowed for a leisurely harvest of perfectly ripe, healthy fruit. Low-stress, clean ferments, led to an exceptionally pure Pinot Noir, laden with fruit, earth and spice.
"Medium ruby in color, the 2016 Pinot Noir Mosaic has a pretty nose of pink peppercorn, herbs and dusty earth over a core of savory black fruit and spices. Medium-bodied, it gives good layers of flavors in the mouth with concentrated black fruits and loads of spice, grainy tannins to support and a long, lingering finish. Yum! 600 cases produced.. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown" - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #237, June 2018), 92+ pts
No Syrah terroir in Sonoma County compares with Sonoma Mountain’s northwest crown—cool fog-affected mornings, sun-bathed afternoons, cooled by persistent coastal breezes, and temperate evenings. The soils in Steiner’s Syrah blocks — ashy and moondust-like, littered with decomposing sea bed — further contribute to the unique nature of this site. After a 3-vintage hiatus, I am thrilled to be back working with Steiner Vineyard’s Syrah. By its nature, this slow-to-ripen, cool-climate site produces fabulously deep, intense, structured wines. Now, raising a big, brawny Syrah is no rare act of alchemy. It is the wonder of Steiner’s terroir — a magical elegance and beauty, informing the inherent power, depth and intensity — that makes this bottling so special. 2016 produced a classic wine that deftly balances massive flavors and texture, while retaining vital freshness, and a palpable sense of cool. Production was low, so get it while you can. Simply a “WOW” wine, not to be missed.
VINEYARD: Steiner Vineyard. Located at 1,100 ft, on the northwest crown of Sonoma Mountain. CRUSH: Early morning harvest by hand, October 1st, cluster and berry sorted, destemmed and crushed. FERMENT: 5-day cold soaks, followed by 14 day native fermentation in open-top bins. AGING: 20 months, French oak, 100% new, mixture of 300L hogsheads and barrique shapes. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.
"Refined and stylish, featuring a complex core wrapped in multilayered blackberry and blueberry flavors, laced with bitter chocolate, black licorice and smoky meat notes. Drink now through 2030.- Tim FISH"
- Wine Spectator Insider (January 15th 2020), 93 PTS
Argot Starstruck Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot (15-25 years old)
Sourcing from vineyards scattered throughout Napa Valley’s spectrum of terroirs, this wine arrives in the glass with a great complexity of personality. Remaining true to last vintage’s bottling, 2016’s Starstruck pours a vibrant purple, offering vibrant aromatics, regal structure and great freshness. Where this bottling has evolved, is by way of Sage Ridge’s warmer, up-valley, higher elevation, red-fruited power, which bolsters the dark blue/purple, cool-fruited character of the other three, cooler-climate Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. Further, the addition of Merlot has added a wonderful juiciness in both flavor and structure. A palate’s tour of Napa Valley’s myriad terroir — sunbaked ridgetops; forested hillsides; orange-soils; cooling, maritime winds; dense, fog-shrouded mornings. While 2016 keeps with the theme from previous vintages, new flourishes have been added to the mix — a warmer, up-valley vineyard, along with a dollop of Merlot — to up the ante. This cuvee opens to an alluring approach-ability, vibrance, and kiss of juiciness, by way of baked red pie-fruits. On a beam of blood orange accents, a powerfully precise delineation of intense dark fruits flushes out the palate. A singularly delicious and complex representation of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley, that begs to be devoured.
Sourced from four Napa Valley vineyards — Suscol Ranch’s orange, iron-laden soils; Sugarloaf West’s fiercely steep hillside; Sugarloaf East’s south-facing, ferociously rocky “soils”; Sage Ridge’s geographically dramatic ridgetop vineyard in far-eastern Napa. CRUSH: Hand-harvested at night, to protect fruit integrity — Sage Ridge, 9/12, 9/26; Sugarloafs and Suscol, 10/13. Cluster sorted, destemmed, berry sorted by hand, fully crushed. FERMENT: 7-day cold soaks, an average of 20 days skin contact. Individual vineyards raised separately, blended shortly before bottling. AGING: 20 months in French oak, 80% new. Suscol Ranch barrels racked once at twelve months. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Starstruck is a step up and offers more density and depth, as well as the classic purity of fruit that makes this vintage so compelling. Ripe, powerful notes of blueberries, cassis, green tobacco, and graphite all flow to a full-bodied Cabernet that has loads of fruit, ripe tannins, good acidity, and the class to evolve for upwards of two decades. Bravo!" - Jeb Dunnuck (January 2019), 94 pts
Avennia Justine Red Blend 56% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah
Justine reflects our belief that Washington is capable of producing world class blends of grape varieties traditional to the Southern Rhone region of France. The name is inspired by one of the great heroines of recent literature, who also sprung from the imagination of the Mediterranean. Dark, seductive, complex, with a chasm of depth: The Justine is a great reflection of Avennia's mission of expression, and Washington's generous terroir.
Tasting Note: Big black cherry, blackberry, hints of orange peel, fresh herbs and loam on the nose. Plush and round on the palate. Dark earthy fruits from the Mourvedre, along with citrus high notes, mountain flowers, jasmine, and savory herbs. Balanced and complex without forgetting its hedonistic roots in the Southern Rhone.
A blend of 56% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah brought up all in older oak, the 2016 Justine offers a great core of black fruits as well as lots of peppery herbs, earth, and classic meatiness. It looks to be a great vintage for this cuvée."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 92-94 pts
Trois Moulins Haut-Medoc Cru is amde from 52% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc.
Average age of vines: 19 years.
Aged 8 months in French oak barrels (1 year old barrels)
This wine is ripe and firm on the palate. Flavors of black plum skin and blackberry form a rich wine that is approachable at an early age. This wine is weighted enough to balance the intense tannins, with enough acidic structure to lift the finish.
"This offers some herbal notes with an array of red fruit and bell peppers. The palate has quite a taut build of fine tannins and delivers a sturdy, fine but firm texture at the finish. A blend of 45 per cent merlot, 40 per cent cabernet sauvignon and 15 per cent cabernet franc. Try from 2022."
- James Suckling (February 2019), 92 pts
The Cambon la Pelouse Estate
Cambon la Pelouse is located in Macau, between Chateau Giscours and Chateau Cantemerle, just outside the Margaux appellation. Mr de Cambon founded the estate during the French Revolution. Annick and Jean-Pierre Marie took it over in 1996 and made some great investments to renovate the property.
The Cambon la Pelouse Vineyard
The vineyard spreads over 60 hectares of vines with an average of 30 years. The soil is made of fine and larger gravel from the quaternary period.
The vineyard is farmed under the "culture raisonnee" method (sustainable). Hand-harvesting, pruning, thinning out of the leaves, green harvesting, destemming ensure the perfect quality of the grapes.
Arzuaga Ribera del Duero La Planta is made from 100% Tempranillo.
Deep violet red. Clean and bright with a range of red fruits (raspberry and cherry) that dominate with a high aromatic intensity, joined by balsamic, cacao, coffee, and roasted tones. Fresh, elegant, easy, and balanced in the mouth with a lightly sweet, toasted, and pleasant aftertaste.
Fried fish, sausage, and white meats such as roasted poultry.
"A juicy, fruity red with blackberry, bark and hints of dried fruit. Medium body, linear and fine tannins and a fruity finish. Quite ripe, but a nice feel to this young wine. Better in 2020."
- James Suckling (September 2020), 91 pts
"Inky ruby. Dark berries, roasted coffee and a hint of spiciness on the nose. In a plush, open-knit style, showing good energy to the sweet black and blue fruit and vanilla flavors. The spicy note recurs on a long, smooth finish that shows just a hint of tannins. Aged for six months in new and used French and American oak. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (February 2021), 90 pts
Grace Town Petite Sirah is made from 100 percent Petite Sirah.
The Lodi Appellation has a classic Mediterranean climate, featuring warm days and cool evenings. Situated 100 miles directly east of the San Francisco Bay, at the edge of the San Joaquin/Sacramento River Delta, cool delta breezes provide the region with reliable, natural air conditioning throughout the growing season. This perfect climate allows one to consistently craft a diverse set of delicious, full-flavored wines that display a refreshing natural acidity.
Petite Sirah, aka Durif, is French in origin and originally a seeding cross of Syrah and Peloursin, which yields wines that are dark, rich and bold. Grace Town Petite Sirah is dark in color with prunes, cherries, vanilla, long flavors. A complex red wine that complements a variety of dishes.
Livia Fontana Barbera d'Alba Superiore is made from 100 percent Barbera.
Organoleptic characteristics: intense ruby red color. Fresh and intense aromas with currants and berries notes. Warm, full, rich and persistent taste, full body. Suitable for long aging.
Excellent accompaniment to warm appetizers, rich first courses, red meat and the medium-seasoned cheeses.
James Goddard was an ancestor of the Clarke family. Born in West Sussex, England in 1823, James spent his 74 years as a sailor, a whaler, a bullock driver, farmer, prospector, miner and hotel keeper. From an illiterate runaway living rough on the streets of London, he became a rich, successful and admired pillar of South Australian society.
James arrived in Adelaide in 1839 as a 16-year-old sailor. Twelve years later, his life changed forever with the news of gold findings. For the next 20 years, James roamed the country learning the geology that improved his chances of prospecting.
James Goddard Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz.
In 1870, he tried his luck near his farm in the Barossa Valley and discovered the region’s first gold deposits, creating the prosperous Lady Alice Mine. The Lady Alice Mine, though it is no longer operational, was & still is the most successful gold mine in South Australia. From these roots, the Thorn-Clarke family has been connected to the region for the last 150 years.
James Goddard Shiraz is a blend Shiraz sourced from the Milton Park vineyard in the north of Eden Valley, and the St Kitts vineyard in the far northern area of the Barossa. Fruit is harvested in the cool of the night to maintain maximum flavour and freshness and it is fermented for 8 days. The ferment is pumped over twice daily to extract the colour and flavour from the fruit. Once finished fermentation the wine was then matured in a blend of French and American oak for a period of 10 to 12 months depending on the vintage.
Deep vibrant red with purple hues to the rim. The nose shows lifted plums, vibrant purple berries and a delicate spice note. The palate has concentrated satsuma plum, blackberry with lovely charry oak in the background. Long, juicy and even with plush fruit on the finish.
“Blended from two estate vineyards, St. Kitts and Milton Park, this shiraz offers its richness without any aggression or overt perfume. It’s just lush and delicious, a friendly embrace of firm tannins and purple-red fruit. The texture and flavor combine in a saturated meatiness, for Korean barbecue.”
- Wine & Spirits Magazine, 92 points
Babylons Peak Paardeberg Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz.
Babylon's Peak winery, situated on the highest weathered granite slopes of the Paardeberg Mountain, is privately owned by the Basson family who has passed down the tradition, passion and art of winemaking over four generations. Predominantly low-yield dryland bushvines are selected to produce these excellent wines with distinctive character.
A classic Shiraz with dark fruit, violets and white pepper. An elegant wine with ripe tannins and a lingering aftertaste.
The grapes were harvested by hand. The grapes were destalked only, no crushing was done. Cold maceration was done before fermentation started in open fermenters. The grapes fermented between 24-26°C for 5-7 days, after which the wine was taken to barrels where it went through malolactic fermentation. After malolactic fermentation was completed, the wine spent 14 months in 225 litre French oak barrels until bottling.
Pairs with rich and creamy meat dishes eg. oxtail and venison.
"The Shiraz is our favorite of the Babylon Peak portfolio. It offers nice purity of black fruit with a licorice note on the nose and flavors of blackberry, mocha, and a touch of dried fruit. It’s softly textured with good supporting acidity and has an attractive cracked pepper spice note. Fermented with some viognier skins and matured 12-14 months in oak barrels. - Don Winkler" - i-winereview.com (The Wines of Babylon’s Peak in South Africa’s Swartland, September 30th 2019), 91 pts
Segries Secret Grange Lirac Rouge is made from 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah.
This is a new wine for Chateau de Segries. 2013 is the first vintage.
The wine is dark and inky.
The aromas are intense and complex. It has fruit flavors of course, Strawberry and Blackberry, but it also have some interesting spice components, garrigue, pepper and licorice.
The finish is long and very pleasant as the tannins are round and well integrated.
La Grange is the name of the parcel where the grapes are grown. The soil is Clay and Limestone.
The average age of the vines is 80 years old.
Classic vinification in temperature controlled tanks. The skin contact maceration lasted 30 days and was completed in cement tanks.
The wine went through MaloLactic fermentation and was bottled without filtration.La Grange is the name of the parcel where the grapes are grown. The soil is Clay and Limestone.
The average age of the vines is 80 years old.
Classic vinification in temperature controlled tanks. The skin contact maceration lasted 30 days and was completed in cement tanks.
The wine went through MaloLactic fermentation and was bottled without filtration.
"The estate’s top wine is the 2016 Lirac Secret de la Grange, a 90-10 blend of Grenache and Syrah that never sees oak. This full-bodied blend is fabulously concentrated and lush, with ripe fruit flavors of raspberries and stone fruits, an intriguing hint of almond paste and a rich, long finish tinged with licorice. It should drink well for up to a decade. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #233, October 2017), 93 pts
Crisp, spice-inflected blackberry and black cherry flavors are anchored by a cooling mineral undertone in this stand-out Grenache-Syrah blend. It's ripe and glossy on the palate but pertly balanced with bristling aciditywine enthusiast 93 pts and a lingering stony finish. At peak now but should improve through 2028 and hold further. - ANNA LEE C. IIJIMA" - --
-Wine Enthusiast (December 2020), 93 pts
Sojourn Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
One of the best values in the Sojourn portfolio, the Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir brings together eight unique lots from sites that comprise several of our single- vineyard designate bottlings. Sangiacomo, Rodgers Creek, Walala and Gap’s Crown Vineyards are the key components, creating a polished blend that offers robust flavors and exceptional texture. This wine offers balance and depth, with multiple layers of dark cherry, nutmeg and earth, leading to a long finish. It is drinking exceptionally well now with a fresh, complex bouquet that draws you into the glass. This wine is the real deal.
This wine is a blend of eight unique lots produced from Sonoma Coast vineyards ranging from Occidental to the Petaluma Gap. Gap’s Crown, Sangiacomo, Rodgers Creek and Walala Vineyards represent key components used to produce this blend. Pinot noir clones 115, 828, 667, Pommard, and Wädenswil 2A add unique elements creating a complex Pinot noir with a myriad of textures and flavors. Each vintage, this wine is balanced and vibrant with lush textures that are characteristic of the Gap’s Crown and Sangiacomo vineyard components.
Pairs with grilled red meat, grilled vegetables, Pizza and pasta.
"The same could be said for the 2018 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast, which has a slightly fresher, more floral, raspberry-laced perfume as well as lots of pine and foresty nuances, medium to full body, a tight, vibrant texture, and a great finish. It's another beautiful wine that should evolve for 5-7 years or so."
- Jeb Dunnuck (May 5th 2020), 93 pts