I must admit something at the start here. I really like wine from Francis Ford Coppola’s Rubicon Estate. There’s a reason I have both the flagship, traditional Bordeaux-style Rubicon as well as the new world-y Cask Cabernet on my recommendations page. The power and finesse that winemaker Scott McLeod (who left the operation last year) packed into the bottle for 18 years at one of the most photogenic properties in Napa Valley can leave one speechless. Heck, when I started this blog, I was hoping to find a suitable photo of mine from the estate to make my standard banner (as it turns out, the banner above is made from the photo below, taken by Kate).
Well, it seems as though things are taking an exciting turn at the historic estate. Rubicon Estate, known from 1871 to 1975 as Inglenook (and from 1975 to 2006 as Niebaum-Coppola), is being rechristened as Inglenook. Coppola announced today that he had acquired the rights to the name, and this move is another step toward capturing the history and aura created by Gustave Niebaum when he bought the original property in 1880.
But beyond the name change, Coppola also announced McLeod’s replacement – the esteemed winemaker Philippe Bascaules of Chateau Margaux in Bordeaux. Chateau Margaux stands among the greatest of important Bordeaux properties – the 1771 vintage was the first Bordeaux vintage to appear in a Christie’s catalog – and Bascaules crafted some of the greatest wine to come from France over the last two decades. He will arrive in Rutherford, Napa Valley in time for the 2011 harvest.
So while we continue enjoying the opulent, complex wine carefully crafted during McLeod’s tenure, we look with eager anticipation at what lies down the road as Coppola turns the page on a new chapter at Inglenook.