Cabernet Sauvignon is called the "King of Wine Grapes," and with good reason. You know its classic, luxurious taste, but how much do you know about its vines and history? Here’s a few things every Cab lover should know!
Cabernet Sauvignon is the most widely planted grape varietal in the world.
According to Forbes, there are at least 840,000 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes planted worldwide. Though Cab has been increasing in popularity in its centuries of existence, it has experienced several surges in popularity. Between 1990 and 2010 alone, the worldwide acreage of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes doubled. Now, these grapes can be found growing on every continent except Antarctica.
Cabernet Sauvignon is like true love
Because it just gets better with age! Cabernet is known to increase in quality overtime in the cellar, and can even maintain quality over decades. This reliability is due to its tanninc nature. Not only are the tannins a delight to the palate, they ensure the enduring quality of the bottle if properly cellared. Cabernet Sauvignon earns this pleasant tannin character because the individual grapes are quite small and the skins are thick.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the star child of a famous family
The origins of this varietal were quite mysterious until a group of researchers at UC Davis discovered that it was the result of a (likely accidental) marriage of Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc vines. This romance was a surprise to many sommeliers who would not have correlated a delicate white wine like Sauvignon Blanc with such rich red offspring. Cabernet Sauvignon also shares a father with Merlot grapes, which are also offspring of Cabernet Franc.
Cabernet Sauvignon loves California
Just like us, Cabernet Sauvignon loves warm days as long as it gets some shade along the way. Cab ripens late and requires warmth to reach full ripeness. When Cabernet grapes are grown in cooler places, they generally exhibit notes of green pepper or eucalyptus, while warmer climate Cab is more fruit-forward. Both flavor profiles are sought after and are merely a matter of personal preference.
Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes worth its weight in gold
Wine collectors and investors may regularly spend hundreds of dollars on rare or exclusive wines, and aged Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent catch for a collector. The highest sale for any bottle of wine ever recorded was in 1992, when a 6 liter bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon sold at a charity auction for $500,000.
Cabernet Sauvignon is food's best friend
There's nothing quite like a marbeled ribeye, served perfectly medium rare with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. Many sommeliers agree that one of the best meats for this wine is actually lamb, best served roasted to medium wellness. Younger Cabs are specially suited to all kinds of richer meats due to the tannins that actually act as tastebud "scrapers," refreshing the palate between bites. As Cab ages, its tannins mellow out and integrate, broadening the pairing potential even further.
Cabernet Sauvignon helped a winemaking revolution
A delicious California Cabernet Sauvignon took center stage for one of the biggest upheavals in the modern history of wine. During the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, a panel of French judges ranked California-grown Cabernet Sauvignon above French Cabernet Sauvignon in a blind tasting. Before that moment, wines grown in the native soil of the Bordeaux region were generally assumed to be the best in the world. Form then on, California's Cabernet Sauvignon could not be ignored. In the wine world, this historic tasting has become known as the “Judgment of Paris.”
Cabernet Sauvignon is a solo performer and a team player
In addition to tasting excellent as a standalone varietal, Cabernet provides an excellent backbone for a multitude of red blends. Most bordeaux-style blends owe some of their structure and flavor profile to the presence of this reliable grape. Many bottles of Cabernet also have a touch of another varietal; each winemaker adds their own personality and flair to the blend. As a Cal-Ital winery, we infuse a bit of Italian flair with just a touch of Barbera.
Here at Rubino Estates, we are proud to offer a California-Italian spin on this Bordeaux classic, recently awaraded a Double-Gold medal in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Come by to give it a taste today, or place an order now!
In honor of Earth Week, we’re taking some time to honor and appreciate owls, some of the most majestic and beautiful creatures in our area. Here at Rubino Estates, we provide owl boxes for these incredible birds who patrol our vineyards from dusk until dawn, providing ambience, wonder, and natural pest control. Our Night Owl Barbera is named in honor of these mysterious nighttime visitors.
In folklore, owls have long been associated with wisdom and have been set apart from other birds for their many exceptional qualities. Most famously, their heads can swivel an astonishing 270 degrees, but that is not the only exceptional feature of this creature. Owls are “zygodactyl” meaning that they have three toes, one of which acts similar to a thumb. A group of owls is called a Parliament, inspired by a description of a meeting of owls in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. Our region boasts many members of these parliaments, all with fascinating characteristics.
The Great Horned Owl is one of the most adaptable owls, an can be found living all across North America. They’re a talkative bunch, with the males’ call audible from a few miles away on a clear night. They are named for the distinctive tufts of feathers which stick upwards from their head, resembling horns. They’re fierce, intimidating, and have few natural predators—allowing them to live upwards of 28 years.
The Northern Pygmy Owl earns its name from its small size, but don’t trifle with one! They are talented hunters and are known to take on prey up to three times their own size. They are less nocturnal than most owls, hunting mostly during the day. They also dress up to protect from possible predators; with a unique feather pattern on the back of their heads resembling eyes, they are always watching!
The Short-Eared Owls are like the Wright brothers of this family of birds, as they are especially talented at flying. Their smaller bodies are well suited to taking wing, with a migration length of up to 1,200miles. To avert predators, they will lift their ear tufts or excrete on their own eggs. Short-Eared owls are elusive and happy in forests as well as marshes, fields, and even tundra.
The Western Screech Owl has another unique strategy for pest control in the nest; they are known to bring blind snakes into their nests as “pets” when their eggs have not yet hatched in order to keep pests like ants and flies away. These little owls are comfortable in more urban areas like city parks, but have excellent camouflage and thus often go undetected.
The Great Grey Owl is one of the most awe-inspiring owls in the world. Even in flight, these birds are often completely silent as they hunt for mice, small mammals, and other birds. These huge, rarely spotted birds can grow up to 5 feet in wingspan. Rather than building their own nests, they exert their dominance and simply steal from other birds. Great Grey owls are sometimes called bearded owls, but have also been known as “The Phantom of the North.”
The Barn Owl, named for their tendency to prefer caves and barns over nests, are talented nocturnal hunters. Their feathers are designed to make them exceptionally quiet, making them the perfect fit for nighttime pest control in our vineyards. Their hearing is so keen that they can pinpoint prey even in blackout conditions. These owls mate for life, which is fitting as these lovebirds are known for their heart-shaped faces. Other names for the Barn Owl are the Church Owl or a Ghost Owl.
Our Night Owl Barbera features a label embossed with the winsome visage of a barn owl in flight. All of the grapes grown for this classic Italian red are grown in our estate vineyards, all of which are guarded by the faithful watch of these creatures. We have installed a number of owl boxes throughout the estate, some of which are pictured below, to welcome their presence. Here at Rubino Estates Winery, we are committed to sustainability and caring for nature because we want to say thank you to all of the ecosystems that enrich our lives everyday.
In an unassuming nook of the Rubino Estates tasting room, there is a hidden door leading to the coveted Library room. This vault-like chamber is nestled between our main tasting room and the production cellar, where our wines come to life. This room is used for one purpose: to showcase and enjoy the highest-quality, most luxurious wines during our Portfolio Tastings. There, you will experience the finest wines we have to offer from Rubino Estates, as well as the topmost wines from our sister winery, Ruby Hill. Along the way, you will be guided by one of our knowledgeable Wine Ambassadors and treated to delicious food offerings. Nothing compares to this experience, showcasing the best of the best: our Portfolio.
More than a year has passed since we were last able to host this experience, so we are pleased to announce that we will offer the Portfolio Tasting experience once more! To give a taste of what this experience entails, we have provided information below about the luxurious offerings in this tasting. Though the wines featured in our Portfolio change from time to time, we are proud to resume this experience featuring the following wines.
From Rubino Estates Winery's Landmark Collection:
2018 Landmark Chardonnay
This critically-acclaimed and expertly crafted Chardonnay is creamy through-and-through with a touch of butterscotch sweetness. Experience the aroma of honeyed fruit, vanilla, and a touch of oak, with a full-bodied mouthfeel followed by a long finish with flavors of stone fruit. This wine was awarded 92 points from Wine Enthusiast, emphasizing "aromas of toasted oak and roasted walnuts, rich and deep Bosc pear flavors and a deliciously thick texture that helps carry it all through a lingering finish."
2017 Landmark Sangiovese
Crafted from carefully selected hand-harvested clusters of our Estate-grown Sangiovese, this classic Italian red is a delight to the eye and to the palate. This wine is elegant and pleasantly balanced, with a friendly level of acidity allowing it to pair perfectly with most dishes. Vibrant notes of ripe strawberry and black cherry mingle with notes of vanilla and baking spices in the aroma, while flavors of kiwi and black pepper emerge on the palate. Soft tannins and a full mouthfeel ensure ultimate satisfaction with this wine.
2017 Landmark Proprietary Red
Our Proprietary Red earned its name through its exclusivity: the exact components of this luxurious red blend are known only to the winemaker. The secret is closely guarded, though many have proposed theories regarding the makeup of the blend. As for us, we appreciate the air of mystery, and find the wine undeniably stupendous. After a layered fruit aroma with a touch of floral and vanilla character, this wine continues to delight with a full, silky mouthfeel and a luxuriously long finish. We invite all of our Portfolio Tasting guests to be intrigued by the unique and inviting complexity of our Proprietary Red.
From Ruby Hill Winery's Jewel Collection:
2018 Jewel Petit Verdot
Borrowed from our sister winery, Ruby Hill, the Jewel Petit Verdot continues the legacy of carefully grown and vinified wines. Proudly bearing the historic Ruby Hill likeness, this bottle is right at home open on the table or aging in the cellar. A nuanced aroma of violets, lilacs, berries, and plums greets the nose, and the palate enhances the fruit and floral notes with hints of toasted oak. Integrated tannins structure the mouthfeel, ensuring a deliciously pleasing sip. The Jewel Petit Verdot undergoes a limited production, so it's always worth enjoying before it's gone!
2017 Jewel Cabernet Sauvignon
Representing the epitome of Ruby Hill's winemaking, the wines created for the Jewel Collection are designed to showcase the best of what the Estate has to offer. This elegant, handcrafted Cabernet Sauvignon tastes like pure luxury, earning 92 points from Wine Enthusiast. Blueberry and marionberry aromas mingle together on the nose of this wine. On the palate, the wine continues with mixed berry flavors, with a hint of vanilla peeking through in the mid palate. Graceful tannins and a full mouthfeel lead to a very long, pleasant finish.
In addition to these stellar bottles, guests will also have the exclusive opportunity to taste a future wine, pulled from a barrel in our cellar. If you are interested in experiencing our Portfolio for yourself, reservations are now available for groups of 4-6. Click here to reserve now!
The Portfolio Tasting is $40 per person or $35 for members of Rubino Estates or Ruby Hill Winery.
It's no secret that cheese and wine are good friends, so we're not surprised that cheese fondue is a perfectly decadent and delicious indulgence. If you are looking to make the ultimate spread of dippers for cheese fondue, look no further! We've rounded up the most delectable fruits, vegetables, meats, and breads for the ultimate fondue night, so we can put together the best kind of charcuterie: a fondue board.
Almost every fully cooked meat can make itself at home in a cocoon of cheese. Classics for cheese include grilled shrimp, poached chicken, or a juicy filet (cut into cubes, or course). Sausage and meatballs are less conventional but delicious nonetheless. For a touch of salty sharpness, play around with cured meats like prosciutto or peppered salami. For a vegetarian option, baked tofu or quick stir-fried tempeh are perfect savory options.
The rule of thumb for vegetables: If you like it raw, you'll like it dipped in cheese. Fondue makes getting your daily serving of veggies as easy as can be! Fresh veggies like broccoli, snap peas, and carrots add a satisfying crunch, and blanching these ahead of time is perfect. You can play with flavors by roasting other veggies like cauliflower or brussels sprouts. For a unique sharpness, try baby pickles or sliced barrel pickles. Roasted baby potatoes are also a mouthwatering addition to the spread.
Don't be afraid to bring a little sweetness to a cheese fondue party! Fruit finds a home on gourmet cheese boards, so why not make it at home enveloped with gourmet cheese? Our favorite fresh fruits for dipping include seedless grapes, green apples, and pears. For the more adventerous palate, try pineapple or even seasonal melons. Dried fruits like smyrna figs or apricots are also a delicious pick.
Fondue was originally enjoyed as a solution for reviving stale bread, so make sure to carve up a good loaf to honor the tradition! When it comes to the best bread to choose, the crustier the better. Choose a bread with some structural integrity as well as good nooks and crannies for capturing the cheesy goodness. Don't shy away from bolder flavors like sourdough, rye, or even pumpernickel.
Though the only rule of fondue that we ascribe to is "enjoy!" we also appreciate the supersitious ettiquette of fondue. For example, there are only a few beverages that traditionally pair with this dish, or else the diners may become ill! Fortunately, white wine is on the list so we're opening a bottle of Fumé Blanc to be safe. As you make your fondue, keep your stirring in mind: only clockwise or figure-eight patterns are proper. Lastly, make sure to twirl your skewer so the luscious strings of cheese envelop each tasty morsel while keeping the table clean.
With our love for Italian flair here at Rubino Estates, we're drawn to recipes that bring a touch of Italy to this classic French-Swiss dish. We love this recipe for cheese fondue with Taleggio and Fontina! Grab your fondue pot and your skewers, and let's get dipping.
How do you fondue? Let us know @rubinoestates.
The Rubino Estates 2017 Riserva Cabernet Sauvignon was just awarded Double Gold in the San Francisco Wine Competition, just in time to become our Wine of the Month for April! This beautifully balanced wine is complex while still being approachable. As is our specialty here at Rubino Estates, we've put an Italian spin on this traditional Bordeaux classic, composing it of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Barbera, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Petite Sirah, and 2% Syrah. We love it on its own, but it's also absolutely stellar for pairing. This week, we're starting off with an appetizer of Portabella and Goat Cheese Tarts to compliment the light grip of the tannins and the food-friendly acidity of our Cabernet Sauvignon.
A classy step up from chips and dip, these tiny tarts are the perfect savory appetizer pairing for our Riserva Cabernet Sauvignon. This recipe is easy, delicious, and a great springboard for experimenting with your own flavor combinations! Feel free to switch up the cheese, play with herbs and spices, or garnish with other savory toppings. A hard cheese like aged gouda, a dash of fresh rosemary, or sweet caramelized shallots would all be heavenly additions to this recipe.
Portabella and Goat Cheese Tarts
- 1/2 sheet puff pastry
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 pound baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 4 teaspoons finely chopped parsley
- Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking tray.
- Lay puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface and cut into 8 squares. Prick the squares in several places with a fork and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake the puff pastry squares for 7 minutes, then remove the tray from the oven and flatten the squares using the backside of a spatula. Return the puff pastry to the oven to bake until golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over high heat. Sautée the mushrooms and garlic in the butter until mushrooms are tender, 5 to 7 minutes, then remove from heat.
- Top the baked puff pastry squares evenly with the mushroom mixture, then crumble goat cheese over mushrooms. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
These mouthwatering little tarts are just one of countless pairing options. If you have another favorite, we'd love to hear about it! We love new ideas, so let us know @rubinoestates. For your pairing pleasure, our Riserva Cabernet Sauvignon is available for only $27 for the month of April.