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The Decanter interview: Philippe Bascaules

The former Château Margaux winemaker was persuaded by Francis Ford Coppola to join his historic Californian winery to help 'honour its heritage and restore its legacy'. Midway through his contract, Jane Anson catches up with him...

Philippe Bascaules: first Californian vintages

Inglenook Estate, Rubicon 2012
18.5/20pts (95/100pts)
Lovely nose, complex and smoky, with huge intensity of flavour, showing grilled plums, touches of dark pepper, violet notes and some liquorice root. Has a real sweetness that makes it stand out as Napa. Good grip and lift on the finish. Great wine.
Drink 2020-2045
Alc 14.5%

Inglenook Estate, Rubicon 2011
17.75/20pts (92/100pts)
This has more structure than the Cask of the same vintage, and is made from a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot. Wonderful spice, depth of flavour and complexity, with intensity, soft tannins and subtlety. A difficult vintage across Napa, but a useful one for Bascaules to start with. Going forward, he says the difficulty will be to ‘keep this elegance in better vintages’. Just 3,500 cases made.
Drink 2018-2038
Alc 13.8%

Inglenook Estate, Cask 2012
17/20pts (90/100pts)
Lovely grip, this really feels like a young wine. It shows cigar box, toasty oak and lovely deep fruit but not going too far. There is real grip and freshness here.
Drink 2017-2025
Alc 14%

Inglenook Estate, Cask 2011
16.75/20pts (89/100pts)
Lovely bright fruit and fresh violet hints. The fruit is pure, with hints of coffee and soft spice. The blend is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and the remainder Merlot. Only 6,500 cases are made – about 20% less than usual.
Drink 2017-2025
Alc 14.2%

The wines are not yet released. Contact UK importer New Generation Wines

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