While taking the physical inventory of the cellar this week and then correlating it with the computer, I happened upon a “missing child” in the cellar. It was a 2010 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. For over 50 years, this has been the hallmark signature of the winery, as well as Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and I was ecstatic to find this bottle. Robert Parker rates this at 95 points and the Tasting Panel gives it 99 points.
This wine is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. On the eyes is a deep royal purple color and medium heavy viscosity. On the nose, blackberries and violets spring forth with a trumpet reception knowing something special is about to take place. On the palate, dark berries coupled with dark chocolate lava cake are the most prominent descriptors. Secondary tastes range from vanilla and Rutherford dust or minerality. The structure and tannins are strong and bold but at the same time tame enough to be considered round and not overly intrusive. The finish was long and so enjoyable. The current release is the 2017 and it sells for $173.
As a footnote, Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve has always been a “go to wine” for me. It was the first case of wine I purchased in 1978 (it was a 1974 Reserve). The reason this wine is so special and a memorable “ah-ha moment” was that Robert Mondavi sold me the wine. I still have one bottle of the 1974 Reserve in the cellar to remember that day. It figures into one of my “special wines” not to be opened but cherished for meeting one of the icons and pioneers of Napa Valley.