Monday, April 23, 2007

2003 Rubicon Cask Cabernet

Using only fruit grown on their Rutherford estate, the Neibaum-Coppola folks have thrown together a great wine. Quite tannic at first, but once open it mellowed nicely without a long decanting period. The wine was New World but classy. No ridiculous amount of fruit. It is aged in American oak, but the oak in the wine is not overdone--indeed it was hardly noticeable.

((I feel a digression coming on, so new paragraph.)

Personally I love oaky wines. I like it when you can really taste it. I like American oak over French oak. I like Missouri oak the best. I understand this is a controversial view point. Some people think wine should taste like grapes and not furniture. Others point out over-oaking is a signal that something else is wrong and oak is being used to cover it up. I am okay with that... I like what I like.)

The point is, this wine isn't over-oaked. It was a bit ashy, and had just a hint of vanilla. Just a tiny little hidden drop. You can taste it if you work hard enough. And that was my real problem with this wine. It just wasn't enough going on. Smooth, easy drinking wines can be had for much less than the $62 this bottle cost. I was promised this wine would blow everyone away, but for the price I'd rather be drinking the PlumpJack merlot.


Anonymous said...

Interesting comparison of the variety of oak used in aging. I am rather fascinated by the winemaking process than the aging process. I don't know if I could compare Coppola to Plumpjack in the price range because I was at Plumpjack enjoying an expensive Merlot and Cabernet by the glass for dinner and it would have been cheaper for me to pay the corkage fee for me to bring in a bottle of Coppola.
I wonder what the pricing is at the Coppola resturant in Palo Alto to give an honest vis a vis between the two starlet winemakers

jeffdav said...

Well, the PlumpJack Merlot was $58 from the Winery when I was there, and this was %62, so I'm lumping them into about the same price range.