Sipping With Smoth: Unlocking the Case for Rubicon’s ‘Cask Cabernet’


SI Cask

As much as I’d like to pretend otherwise, I’m essentially a budget wine shopper. Mostly I peruse the Vintage section for interesting bottles in the $20-$30 range, and I’ve even been known to stoop so low as to mingle with non-vintage wines in the $10-$15 range. It’s an unfortunately rare occasion for me to walk to the glass case, behind which the most prestigious wines are kept, and politely request it to be unlocked so I might access my choice. This Sublime Imbibing is about one of the few times I did just that.


A couple of summers ago my job was participating in the capacity of “youth member” on a local chamber of commerce. This involved tedious meetings, and dressing unseasonably warm for the summer weather. One day, after a particularly intolerable meeting I snapped. I thought “Aw hell. I’m going to the liquor store, I’m gonna have someone open that goddamned case, and I’m going to buy a wine that costs me way too much.” 

I drove the nearby store, wearing a tweed jacket, and only looking slightly foolish. Upon arriving, I did my best to look independently wealthy, and made a beeline for the wine case. Frankly, for the most part, I had no idea what I was looking at. But one label, circular and made of wood caught my eye, and that was the 2008 Rubicon Estate’s (now Inglenook) Cask Cabernet. Being a Cali. Cab. I expected a powerful, intense, heavy wine, as ill matched to the hot weather as my tweed. Perfect for a stupid purchase. I ended up spending about $80 on it, and have (almost) no regrets.

The wine itself was excellent (as both my parents can attest to, adamant as they were that I shared). My tasting notes were “Deep ruby, mostly clear, slightest bit murky. Smells of Vanilla, dark plums, blackberry jam and cloves. Velvety texture, sweet and fairly round, cantelope, vanilla, lots of wood (cedar) and smokiness. Long, tannic finish, fruit persists endlessly.” It was a bit young, and would have come along lovely after a good cellaring. But I’ve never had much patience for my extravagant purchases.
I will never forget Cask Cabernet. Yes, I paid too much. Absolutely, it was a tad fiscally irresponsible. Yet, sometimes you just have to treat yourself and open that glass case. I did, and I sipped my prize slowly without any reservations.

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