The wine has an intense, opaque deep ruby colour, very slight gradation to the rim. Bright and vivacious in the glass, very youthful. The nose is brooding and restrained at this stage, yet beginning to emerge with deep, dark fruit, cassis, plum and black cherry. There is a pronounced minerality on the nose with graphite, cedar smoke and cigar box bouquet. The palate is beautifully structured, fuller bodied than some earlier vintages of Rubicon due to the intensity of the fruit and intricate tannin structure. The wine exhibits rich juiciness and savour already, but the compactness and sinewy taughtness of this young wine suggest a long maturation potential. The perfectly formed, ripe tannins are densely packed and tightly woven but remain lithe and almost powdery, giving the wine a generous opulence even at this early phase of its development.
15 - 20 years, provided wine is stored in ideal cellar conditions.
69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc
Venison, game, pot roast and noble cheeseIdeally served at 18°C - 20°C.
In The Vineyard
The Cabernet Sauvignon is grown on low yielding, predominantly biotite partially decomposed granite gravel topsoil rich in quartz and feldspar to a depth of approximately 600mm with a loamy clay subsoil. The Merlot vineyards are planted on more clay rich, yet well drained soils to ensure moisture retention and availability to the vine roots right through the summer. The Cabernet Franc Vineyard is situated on a very well drained, stony Vilafontes soil with approximately 20% clay which is ideal for this variety.
The 2005 vintage was almost ideal for Cabernet based blends, but particular care had to be taken not to over extract and to preserve fruit freshness. The crop was very healthy as a result of the warm, dry weather but the clay rich soils and moisture-laden south easterly winds ensured a longer maturation period and therefore greater fruit expression and complete tannin ripeness.
The fruit from each vineyard was harvested in small lots and fermented separately to monitor vineyard expression.
About The Harvest
All the vineyards were green harvested during veraison to reduce yield, increase concentration and fruit definition.
In The Cellar
The Cabernet's were given a relatively short cuvaison time to prevent over-extraction, but the Merlot was give long post fermentation maceration to encourage complete polymerization of complex tannins and add a broad, juicy and ultra-silky texture to the blend as a whole.
Malolactic fermentation was completed in barrel for 6 months before assessment and assemblage. The 2005 Rubicon is 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Franc. The wine spent a total of 24 months in 75% new French Nevers oak with 25% 2nd Nevers and Alliers barrels.