I suppose it's fitting that the final selection for Cabernet Sauvignon Week is from Robert Mondavi Winery. The story of the Mondavi impact on the California Wine Industry is retold often enough that it doesn't bear repeating here. As with many of the larger wineries, that are now owned by corporations, the Mondavi brand has a wide reach at numerous price and quality levels. Today's Cabernet is from the Napa Valley series. For me, it's at this level up that one can seriously consider the Mondavi wines. The Mondavi 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet is in fact 85% Cabernet Sauvignon. The other 15% is made up of parts of all four of the other Bordeaux varietals.
The nose of this wine reveals oak, vanilla and a lot of spice. What becomes immediately apparent when taking the first sip is that this wine is young. There is an upfront tartness that dissipates as the wine breathes, but is still apparent. Blueberry, mocha and white pepper come out and resonate through the mid-palate. There are present, slightly rough, tannins in this wine. A sign that it needs some time in the bottle. The finish is slightly above average in length with more spice and a very subtle earthiness. The 2005 Mondavi Cabernet shows good acidity and is well balanced. The alcohol is a somewhat surprising 15%, but it doesn't come across that way when drinking it.
It's clear to me that this wine needs more time in the bottle to resolve itself. Six months to a year should make a huge difference. My bet is that it'll be enjoyable to drink for 7 or 8 years after that. Suggested retail is $28. Check Wine-Searcher though as it can easily be found for $20 or under. This is a well made Cabernet that needs some time to be fully enjoyed.
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