Francis Ford Coppola is close to completing the restoration of California's Inglenook, after using the name to rebrand his Rubicon wine for the release of the 2009 vintage.
‘Fabled’: the original 1941 Inglenook. The new label will be almost identical
Rubicon has re-assumed the Inglenook name and an ‘almost exact’ replica of its post-Prohibition era label.
The move represents Coppola’s long-standing ambition to restore the historic Inglenook estate in Rutherford, Napa, founded by Finnish sea captain Gustave Niebaum in 1879 but broken up in the 1960s.
Coppola has been buying up different parts of the estate since 1975, culminating in successful negotiations with the Wine Group for the last piece of the jigsaw – the Inglenook trademark – in April 2011. Although he owned the entire Inglenook estate, the wines could not carry the name.
At the time Coppola told Decanter.com, ‘I paid more for the trademark than I did for the entire estate’ – which would put the price at more than US$14m.
The newly-renamed Inglenook 2009, priced at US$200, is a classic Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
‘The 2009 Rubicon/Inglenook is a very elegant wine; floral and complex nose, persistent flavours, with a highly concentrated texture,’ said Philippe Bascaules, technical director and estate manager.
It remains to be seen whether Inglenook 2009 can match the fabled 1941 vintage, which even turned heads in Bordeaux. Bascaules believes the ’09 ageing potential is strong. ‘We will be able to celebrate the rebirth of Inglenook with this vintage in 50 years,’ he said.
Written by Chris Mercer