Crafting the Rubicon
The Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot vineyards are hand harvested from February through to March and each individual vineyard block is kept separate throughout the fermentation process and monitored until the moment of blending. The alcoholic fermentation takes place in stainless steel after which the wine is run off into 300 litre French Oak barrels.
In wintertime, after malolactic fermentation has allowed the personality of each vineyard to assert itself in barrel, the wines are carefully assessed to produce the most expressive, harmonious and complex wine. The blend is assembled and then allowed another year in barrel for the components to harmonise. The wine is finally bottled and left for a further 2 years before release. Rubicon is always released at four years of age and will immediately offer the distinctive character and quality of the Estate. However, further bottle maturation is advised for the intriguing complexity of this classic wine to unfold and reveal itself.
The first vintage, the 1980, remains vivacious and very much alive, even 30+ years after vintage. Subsequent vintages all express the personality and characteristics of their specific year. All vintages of Rubicon, however, share the hallmarks of wines grown at this special place: intensity, harmony, vibrancy, complexity and individuality.
We are committed to ensuring that Rubicon becomes even more distinguished and continues to occupy its rightful place amongst the finest wines in the world.
The 2013 Rubicon
Classic expression of this iconic Cape wine. Very deep, youthful colour, and intense almost purple hue. Very classic Rubicon nose with violets, ripe plum, cedar wood and
intense spiciness. A typical liquorice note and stony minerality also evident on the nose. Still youthful and intense, promising further maturation potential. The palate is full bodied, structured by beautifully sleek, ripe tannins which restrain the vibrant dark fruit typical of this vintage, giving the wine an opulent texture which is kept focused by the linear acidity. The wine lingers on the palate with creamy fruit mouthfiilling tannins.
ageing potential: 15 - 20 years, provided wine is stored in ideal cellar conditions.
blend information: 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot
food suggestions: Ideally 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 vines roots right through the summer. There are considerable deposits of iron-rich Laterite in the Merlot vineyards which accentuates the fruit definition and mineral profile of the wine. The Cabernet Franc Vineyard is situated on very well drained, stony Vilafontes soil with approximately 20% clay which is ideal for this variety. The Petit Verdot is on Oakleaf 3 soils
about the harvest:
All the vineyards were green harvested during veraison to reduce yield, increase concentration and fruit definition. The cold winter and mild spring were ideal to promote very even canopy development and good fruit set. Good winter rains in 2012 ensured sufficient soil moisture in our clay-rich soils, particularly important for Merlot. The crop was healthy due to the ever- present prevailing South Easterly sea breezes. The fruit from each vineyard was harvested in small lots and fermented separately to monitor vineyard expression.
in the cellar
The Cabernets were given quite lengthy macerations to ensure complete extraction of the perfectly ripe fruit, but the Merlot was given even longer post fermentation maceration to encourage complete polymerization of complex tannins and add a broad, juicy and silky texture to the blend as a whole. Malolactic fermentation was completed in barrel for 7 months before assessment and assemblage. The 2013 Rubicon is 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot, this variety now really starting to assert itself as an important component of Rubicon The wine spent a total of 19 months in 65 % new French Nevers oak with 35 % 2nd fill Nevers and Alliers barrels.