A trip to Napa would not be complete without a trip to the Robert Mondavi Winery Reserve Tasting Room. One of the great places to taste these beautiful aged wines, I have been fortunate enough to sample some incredible aged reserve wines there, including the absolutely epic 1996 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon as well as a 1979 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. The Reserve tasting room is unique in Napa as few places afford one to have this special opportunity. For those less familiar with this iconic winery, Robert Mondavi Winery was founded in 1966 and the To Kalon Vineyard, planted at that time, has been renowned for producing some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon in the world.
It is hard to describe the beauty of this winery with its gorgeous vineyards in the background. I had the great opportunity to partake in a Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Vertical tasting upon my last visit. I was very impressed with the 2011 Robert Mondavi Winery ‘Reserve’ Cabernet (WWB, 93) which showed remarkably well, coming from a challenging vintage in Napa Valley. A total show stopper was the 2012 Robert Mondavi Winery ‘Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 96) which came from a near perfect growing season and shows an insanely good range and tension. I was amazed that the 2014 Robert Mondavi Winery ‘Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 97) was showing even better. It had an extra layer of density and weight, with a serious core and gobs of minerality. Needless to say, this was a sensational tasting at one of the United State’s great historic wineries. Learn more about Robert Mondavi Winery at http://www.robertmondaviwinery.com/ Here are the fantastic new release wines that I recently sampled at Robert Mondavi Winery.
2011 Robert Mondavi ‘Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon- The 2011 ‘Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon by Robert Mondai Winery begins with intense aromas of mocha, sandalwood, milk chocolate, and green bell pepper showing a slightly herbal edge. The weight of this wine is simply amazing considering the obvious heat issues during the vintage. Creme de cassis, mocha, green bell pepper and blueberry compote flavors all nicely combine in the glass. This is drinking marvelously right now and can cellar for another decade or more. Drink 2018-2030- 93
2012 Robert Mondavi ‘Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon- The 2012 ‘Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon shows intense and hedonistic aromas of graphite, rose petals, creme de cassis, black tea and Asian spice. The heady aromas bring you back to the glass for more decadence. The palate shows remarkable balance and poise with ripe blackberry pie, mocha, anise and sandalwood flavors that marvelously come together. The combination of fruit weight and tension is simply marvelous here. This decadent wine will cellar incredibly well for the next two plus decades. While the cellaring potential is obviously there, why wait? Drink 2018-2040- 96
2013 Robert Mondavi ‘Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon- The 2013 Robert Mondavi Winery ‘Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon is a stunning example of the varietal. Somewhat tightly wound aromatically right now, there is a very dark and dense core of fruits on the nose followed by woody accents and milk chocolate coming through. The palate shows wonderful weight and intensity with medium tannins lining the mouth. There are rich dark fruit flavors that mingle with sage and dark chocolate shavings. While this can be enjoyed following a long decant, this really needs another year or two of bottle age before enjoying. Drink 2019-2040- 95
2014 Robert Mondavi ‘Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon- The 2014 ‘Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon by Robert Mondavi Winery is a stunning wine that has a ton of cellaring potential. The wine shows incredible range of aromatics on the nose from ripe plum to spice cake to blackberry cobbler and mocha. The palate dazzles with the incredible combustion of weight, minerality and texture as the wine reveals a silky mouthfeel. The feeling of balance is amazing here as this glides through the mid-palate. Mildly tannic, this is surprisingly approachable right now. Enjoy this stunning wine one the next two plus decades. Drink 2018-2040- 97