Monday, April 13, 2009

Wineries Day 2: Rubicon and more

Day 2 at the Wineries was SO COOOOOOOOL. We got up and had a really excellent breakfast at our Hotel, and then took off up the main highway in Napa. We stopped at a bunch of wineries to take photos, and then go to V. Sattui winery where we got a free tasting. We then made our way to Francis Ford Coppolla's winery (formerly Niebaum-Coppola), now called Rubicon Estate. It was a really beautiful area and we loved the winery tour. The tasting was amazing, and we got to try a $72 Cabernet and a $145 Rubicon Estate flagship wine!! Insane!! They were both pretty darn good, but my favourite was the cheaper Captain's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from 2005. I bought one of those (for a VERY special occassion)!! It was just glorious, and definitely the best red wine I've ever had.

At breakfast

This was SO GOOD!!

We also shared a french toast with strawberries

At the Robert Mondavi winery

Recognizable building at the Robert Mondavi winery

Cool magnification of a rooftop ornament

Another great winery

Lots of flowers

We had great weather all weekend!!

Testing out the SLR to try to "freeze" the water

Great pic of Norm at the V. Sattui winery

About to sample wines at the V. Sattui winery

Cool barrel

Loved these little lights

Picnic area at V. Sattui

Arriving at Rubicon Estate

Yes, there was a red carpet :)

Front entrance

Fountains and hills in the background

Inside the winery

Good times

Zoetrope exhibit

The musuem part of the tour was AWESOME, lots of old filmmaking tools

The Oscar for The Godfather 2!!!!!!

Photo of Francis Ford Coppolla

Stained glass at the top of the stairs

Cool "magic lantern" exhibit

Italian art

Amazing setting

Orange/Lemon tree

Tons of vines

Car in the exhibit area

Now, time for tasting!

These are 3 of the 5 wines we tasted: the Captain's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, the Cask Cabernet 2005, and the Rubicon 2005.

Awesome times!!

I ended up buying a bottle of the Captain's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2005. Here's a description from Rubicon's website:

Captain’s Reserve wines are produced in extremely limited quantities each year, exclusively for wine club members and guests of the Estate. They are named in honor of Captain Gustave Niebaum, the visionary who, in the 1880s, founded Inglenook and brought Napa Valley worldwide recognition. Made from grapes grown in the finest Napa Valley vineyards—including Rubicon Estate—these wines are created to illustrate the intensity and depth of flavors that have made this region famous. Because most of our Estate wines are designed to mature and develop complexity with cellaring, it was our goal to craft a wine that would not need aging and be immediately accessible upon release. To that end, the Captain’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon undergoes different winemaking techniques so that it has round, supple tannins and expressive flavors up front, making it easy to drink when young and compatible with most foods.

The 2005 vintage gave way to a late harvest as a result of cool summer temperatures and high crop yields, which required more maturation time to achieve optimal ripeness. Because of the large crop, many of the vineyards were thinned several times throughout the season to reduce the amount of fruit. This practice ultimately created more concentrated flavors in the remaining clusters. Our autumn weather was ideal, with October experiencing beautiful warm and sunny conditions. Together these factors resulted in perfectly ripened grapes, which immediately displayed the physiological integrity needed to create a wellbalanced, intensely flavorful wine with a rich, enduring finish. Prior to fermentation, the grapes underwent a 48-hour cold soak to maximizecolor extraction and enhance the aromatic compounds of the must. Utilizing French oak casks and stainless steel, the different blocks of Cabernet were
fermented separately before being placed in barrels and selected for the final blend.

Our 2005 Captain’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon has a dark magenta hue and intense aromas of crushed berries and exotic spices. Bright flavors of juicy plums and sweet cherries are layered with notes of currants, licorice and vanilla. Fragrant oak and moderate tannins lend a rich, spicy finish to this elegantly styled wine.

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