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 Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Zinfandel will produce the tastiest blend.
Our 2007 Rubáiyat is a blend of 33% Merlot, 31% Syrah, 22% Pinot Noir and 14% Zinfandel. The Merlot and Pinot Noir came from vineyards in the Carneros region of Napa Valley and Mendocino’s Anderson Valley; the Zinfandel from the Red Hills District of Lake County; and the Syrah from Carneros (thus the North Coast appellation). The fruit was 100% hand-harvested at night between August 22nd and October 6th, 2007.
After the long, cool growing seasons of 2005 and 2006, 2007 brought a change of pace. Winter and spring were unusually dry with above-average temperatures, which accelerated budbreak and bloom. Summer was mild, with few heat spikes, which led to an early, fast-paced harvest of fruit with perfectly ripened flavors balanced by supple tannins and vibrant acidity.
Rubáiyat is a blend of numerous small lots of grapes harvested at different times from multiple vineyard sites. The blend changes every year, providing winemaker Julianne Laks with the opportunity to be creative. In general, Julianne selects lighter-bodied, fruitier lots 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 2007 Rubáiyat aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 38% new, before blending.
Our 2007 Rubáiyat leaps from the glass with fresh blueberry, blackberry, black cherry, ripe plum and framboise aromas, with light pepper, sage and briar scents adding complexity. On the supple palate, the wine is a mouthful of juicy, grapey, blackberry, plum skin and dark cherry flavors with briary spice notes adding zest to the lengthy, fruitful finish. This unique, fruit-forward red is meant to be savored in its youth. Enjoy it slightly chilled on a warm afternoon or evening with good picnic or barbecue fare (burgers, barbecued chicken, grilled lamb and other Mediterranean-style dishes) and you may find yourself reciting extravagant poetry to friends and strangers alike