I recently received three new releases from a winery I’d not heard of. Interesting factoid: Ron Rubin Brands includes The Republic of Tea. According to the company website, Rubin—who was already a veteran in the beverage industry—”The Republic of Tea, a book about the story and philosophy behind the groundbreaking tea company. Rubin was so inspired, and made an offer to the Ziegler’s and Bill Rosenzweig to purchase The Republic of Tea. Since then, Rubin has been on a mission to seek and procure the most exquisite teas from world premier tea gardens, making them accessible to everyone.” You can read more of Rubin’s story here.
When it comes to winegrowing and winemaking, the estate vineyards are located in Green Valley—a sub-AVA of California’s Russian River Valley. So, no surprise, then, that the wines I received were two styles of Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir.
About the Wine: Ron Rubin 2018 Pam’s Unoaked Chardonnay
This will be the exception to the RRV rule, as grapes sourced for this wine come from family-owned vineyards in Clarksburg, Lodi, and Mendocino County, according to the winery.
Grapes were pressed into stainless steel fermentation tanks, cold-fermented between 58 and 60°F.
Appearance: pale lemon
Aroma: Medium aromatic intensity of lemon, yellow apple, lemon curd/custard, blossom, pear, peach, and mango.
Palate: The palate, for all intents and purposes is dry. Although I did detect a hint of R.S., it wasn’t so much that I would categorize this as an off-dry wine. There’s a medium level of acidity, medium alcohol, light overall body, and a medium length finish. The flavor intensity was medium (+) and spoke more of the tropical fruit notes (passionfruit, pineapple, grapefruit) than those citrus or stone fruits sensed on the nose. There was also an increase in the floral sensations, which came through as hibiscus flower and nectar.
Conclusion: Based on the WSET criteria, I concluded that this is an acceptable wine that many folks will enjoy. It has a simplistic flavor profile that’s not overwhelmingly intense. The finish is not lingering in any respect, but the lightness of the wine will surely engage another sip. Regarding balance, I found the hint of sweetness a tad off-putting for me. However, I know plenty of wine drinkers who would find that a point of intrigue or, at the very least, a form of deliciousness.
About the Wine: Ron Rubin 2018 Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Grapes were hand-picked and whole-cluster pressed. The juice was barrel fermented in combination French and American oak, (20% new). Partial malolactic fermentation took place in barrels.
Appearance: pale lemon
Aroma: A medium (+) level of aromatic intensity. Aromas include: bread dough, butter, apple, lemon, grass, pineapple, lime, life leaf, blossom, grapefruit, and gooseberry
Palate: The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity, medium alcohol, medium (-) body, and a medium (+) finish that left a little bit of a floral perfume on the back breath before fading away. The flavor intensity was medium (+) intensifying the tropical fruit flavors as well as the florals and introducing a bit of baking spices as well. I also found that there was just a touch of texture (perhaps there was some lees aging?) on the tongue.
Conclusion: Based on the WSET criteria, I determined that this was a good wine. I experienced a diversity of flavors from both the integrity of the fruit maintained by the winemaking as well as that combination of American and French oak that provided a bit of depth to both the mouthfeel as well as those spice-notes in the flavor profile. There was a good aromatic and flavor intensity. Where the wine fell flat—just ever so slightly—was in the overall mouthfeel and body. Based on the the aromas and flavors—and even after reading the winemaking notes—I had expected a bit more fullness, roundness, and smoothness on the palate. However, the body came to a medium (-).
About the Wine: Ron Rubin 2017 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Clones: 115, 667, 777, 828, 113, and Pommard.
Grapes were hand-picked, sorted, de-stemmed and put into open top fermenters to cold-soak for five days. It was then fermented, pressed, and aged in 100% French oak barrels (15% new) for 8 months.
Appearance: pale ruby
Aroma: A youthful, medium (+) aromatic intensity. Aromas include: wild strawberry, oak wood, cranberry, pomegranate, raspberry, nutmeg, and red currant.
Palate: The palate is dry with medium (+) acid, medium alcohol, medium tannin, medium body, and a medium (+) finish. The overall flavor intensity was medium (+) and the actual flavors perfectly mimicked the aromas mentioned above. However, on the palate, I was able to pick up a bit more of that charred oak wood component, as well as a few extra “baking” flavors such as vanilla.
Conclusion: Based on the WSET criteria, I determined that this is a good wine. The solid dose of acidity keeps those fruit notes fresh and vivacious, which balances perfectly with the toast level of the barrel used and the notes that come across from the dual barrel fermentation and aging process.
As I described it to the man, a “Tuesday wine.” It’s pretty much a medium ride from start to finish, not lending any serious depth or complexity. And the finish doesn’t leave any kind of long lingering sensations.
That being said, the lightness and brightness of fruit flavors is one that can be easily enjoyed by many.
More Info: I received Ron Rubin’s new releases as a sample. (Cheers!) Individual prices listed above. For more information about Ron Rubin, their wine, and to purchase wine directly, please visit the Ron Rubin Winery website.
BriscoeBites officially accepts samples as well as conducts on-site and online interviews. Want to have your wine, winery or tasting room featured? Please visit the Sample Policy page where you can contact me directly. Cheers!