Rubáiyat is named for the famous verse in a collection of poems by the 12th-century Persian philosopher Omar Khayyám: “. . . a loaf of bread . . . a flask of wine, a book of verse – and thou singing beside me in the wilderness . . . .” The components of this delightful red change annually based on vintage conditions and our winemaker Julianne Laks’ assessment of which lots of Cakebread Cellars’ red wines will produce the tastiest blend.
This vintage of Rubáiyat is a blend of 76% Pinot Noir, 16% Syrah, 7% Zinfandel and 1% Petite Sirah. The Pinot Noir came from our Carneros Napa Valley vineyards and our Anderson Valley vineyard in Mendocino County, while the Syrah is also from Carneros and the Zinfandel from the Red Hills appellation of Lake County. The fruit was 100% hand-harvested at night between August 29th and October 10th, 2008.
California’s North Coast. Fortunately, June ushered in an extended period of clear, mild summer weather, which enabled us to harvest our Rubàiyat grapes at full maturity. Despite the season’s tribulations, 2008 yielded a trove of vibrant wines boasting concentrated fruit flavors balanced by crisp acidity.
Rubáiyat is a blend of numerous small lots of grapes harvested at different times from multiple vineyard sites. The blend changes each year, providing winemaker Julianne Laks with the flexibility to be creative. In general, Julianne selects lighter-bodied, fruitier lots of wine for Rubáiyat. These are kept separate and fermented primarily in small, open-top tanks with manual punchdowns of the cap, a method that gently macerates the juice and skins to extract optimal color and flavor. The lots for our 2008 Rubáiyat aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 38% new, prior to blending.
With Pinot Noir comprising three-quarters of the blend, our 2008 Rubáiyat displays distinctive Pinot Noir aromas of fresh cherry, strawberry and raspberry fruit coupled with scents of rose hips tea, menthol and leather. Soft, supple and juicy on the palate, its fleshy black cherry and strawberry flavors are accented by zesty tea-leaf spice tones in the wine’s long, smooth and flavorful finish. Made to be savored in its youth, this poetic red is a delicious accompaniment to juicy burgers, barbecued chicken, grilled lamb and other Mediterranean-style dishes. We recommend drinking while young and serving it slightly chilled, especially on warm summer days.