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
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.
Inglenook Estate, Rubicon 2011
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.
Inglenook Estate, Cask 2012
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.
Inglenook Estate, Cask 2011
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.
The wines are not yet released. Contact UK importer New Generation Wines