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.
The 2009 vintage of Rubáiyat is a blend of 82% Pinot Noir and 18% Syrah. The Pinot Noir came from our Anderson Valley (Mendocino) estate and vineyards in the Carneros region of Napa Valley, while the Syrah came entirely from Carneros. The fruit was 100% hand-harvested at night between September 9th and October 10th.
The 2009 growing season was “cool” in all respects. Spring rains replenished the water table, deferring the need for irrigation, which kept berry sizes small. Summer saw consistently below-average temperatures, resulting in the slow, parallel development of grape sugars and flavors. This allowed the fruit to reach peak maturity at lower sugar levels, fostering rich, balanced wines.
Our goal with Rubáiyat is to produce a lighter-style red wine with moderate body and fresh, ripe fruit flavors. By separately harvesting, fermenting and aging multiple small lots of wine, winemaker Julianne Laks creates a blend showcasing delicate aromas, fruit-rich flavors, soft tannins and a supple texture. We ferment each component of Rubáiyat in small, open-top tanks with manual punchdowns of the cap to gently macerate the juice and skins and extract optimal color and flavor. In 2009, the Rubáiyat lots aged seven months in French oak barrels, 36% new, before blending. The finished wine spent another seven months in barrel prior to bottling.
Our 2009 Rubáiyat is a bit bigger and richer than previous vintages. In the nose, it offers plentiful black cherry and dark fruit aromas with earthy spice box and chocolate tones. The palate is full and weighty with concentrated dark cherry, ripe berry and blackcurrant flavors, firm, but supple tannins and a long, zesty finish. Rubáiyat’s abundant fruit makes it the perfect companion to hearty foods. Enjoy this summer with barbecued ribs and chicken, grilled burgers and steaks, and spicy sausages.