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"There's a lot of pretentiousness around wine, but we just want to make something really beautiful and we're trying to be excellent about it."
PR: Why have I given these best years of my life to this project, and why have I, with Ariel, given now an even greater commitment to it? Wine is such a curious thing, compared to other things… I'm constantly fascinated and intrigued by the adventure of this business. I think to a lot of people the wine business looks incredibly romantic and sexy, and it is — but that's just the tip of it. Behind the scenes it's got to be one of the most brain-racking, financially-roller-coastering businesses that you could possibly ever want to get into… But for us, for me, this is important: the family name on the bottle… There's a lot of pretentiousness around wine, but we just want to make something really beautiful and we're trying to be excellent about it. It brings me an enormous amount of satisfaction that, I feel, we've really achieved it. That keeps me going; it's a constant pursuit. And then there's the next vintage… there's always the next vintage.
Among the Rubissows and their team is a synergy of talent, insight, passion, and intensity that left an indelible impression on me, still unfolding in my heart and mind. It comes across clearly and resonantly not only in speaking with them, but in experiencing their wines. That to which they've devoted so much of their time and energy comes through in the bottle with such precision, power, poise, and panache — a testament to the transcendence of their collective vision. Therein lies the true allure in the evolution from grape to glass, the natural result of an unwavering dedication to raising vines and coaxing from them the mellifluous message of their mother earth beneath. To learn more about these wines and how to get them, visit Rubissow online. To learn more about the talent behind the label design and vineyard photography, visit Afsoon Razavi online.
Tasting Notes of the Rubissow Portfolio
If I were to make a broad statement about the wines of Rubissow (based on my having tasted though them during this interview and then more carefully on my own in the days following), I feel it's safe to say that, overall, they are unmistakably Napa in their culture. More specifically, their collective personalities demonstrate a great deal of subtlety and elegance along with weight and verve, making them sumptuous in their youth — though clearly crafted to age quite gracefully for some years to come.
- 2005 Merlot: Aromas of ripe, juicy plum, and vanilla come through intensely on the palate, lush and soft, with fresh acidity and ripe, thick, grippy tannins.
- 2005 Trompettes: Aromas of ripe, red currant, plum, bramble, subtle tobacco, dry leaf, and vanilla coming through intensely on the palate, with fresh acidity and ripe, dense, chalky tannins.
- 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon: Pronounced, alluring aromas of black currant, white pepper, bramble, forest floor, and herbaceousness, coming through intensely on the palate, lush, full, and soft but with beautifully balancing acidity and ripe, velvety, talc-like tannins.
These three wines are all imminently drinkable now. However, with time, their rich fruit profile and tannin structure will fully integrate to produce wines of extraordinary elegance, astonishing power, and beautiful harmony.
2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon: The most sensational wine in the Rubissow portfolio. Pronounced, alluring aromas of black currant, bramble, and ripe plum over damp leaf, all come through intensely on the palate, lush, full, and soft but with beautifully balancing acidity and ripe, smooth, and supple tannins, all culminating in a luxuriously long finish. This wine, though seductively approachable in its youth, is crafted to weather the test of time and will more than likely age gorgeously and gracefully (for at least ten, perhaps fifteen, years) as the fruit components integrate further to produce even greater nuance and complexity.