2005 Robert Mondavi Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon
The Wine News
Violet hue. Pretty nose with tobacco, leather and plum scents. Nice blend of black fruit and graphite have the great backing of cedar-laced tannins. Tart, drying notes on the finish with hints of maple and focused tannins.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Medium ruby-red. Currant, tobacco and menthol on the nose: classic Oakville cabernet. Then broad, lush and sweet, with very ripe flavors of plum, currant, chocolate and tobacco nicely lifted by minerality. Finishes broad, with huge but ripe tannins and noteworthy length. I find this fresher and less extreme than the Stag's Leap bottling.
Let us start by saying that this slightly fat and lavishly oaked offering is far riper than the name on its label predicts, but its bearings are set on convincing Cabernet fruit, and it succeeds in spite of its ripeness. Although its finishing mix of tannin and heat make for a bit of last-minute harshness, it shows fine continuity, extract and depth and will find more refinement as it develops in bottle over the next five to eight years.
Since 2002 the Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville District has been one of the best Cabernets in Napa Valley dollar-for-dollar. 79% its grapes are sourced from the famed To Kalon vineyard, while the remaining fruit comes from nearby vineyards on the Oakville Bench. It's a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% each Malbec and Merlot, aged in French oak barrels for 18 months. Seductive nose of juicy berries, violets, earth and black truffles. On the palate the wine displays the tell-tale Oakville flavors of blackberry, plum, black olive and chocolate nuances. There is excellent balance, structure and harmony here with enough oak to give it a rich, subtle flavor without overwhelming the layers of complexity.