2005 Robert Mondavi "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine & Spirits
Genevieve Janssens has been working with To Kalon fruit, on and off, since 1978. Her blend for Mondavi Reserve includes several of the oldest dry-farmed blocks in this historic vineyard, some dating to 1945. She sets out to make a wine of elegant power and intensity, and this 2005 is a triumph. It presents Cabernet Sauvignon as an aristocratic wine, with just enough supple richness to fill out the austere tannins. A hint of green herb and a gloss of cocoa integrated from the new oak add complexity as the profound, earthy flavors open and expand with air. A classic Napa Valley wine to age for ten years or more.
*Cellar Selection* This is a very fine, high level Cabernet that shows the impeccable nature of Mondavi Reserve. Yet it’s also very tannic and far from being drinkable. Shows a vast repository of black currant, blackberry, black cherry and new oak flavors wrapped into a smooth, velvety mouthfeel whose finish goes on forever. Masculine and authoritative, it should continue to improve for many years. Drink now, with decanting, and through 2017, at least.
Sleek, elegant and polished. A refined yet rich and complex effort, with a mix of mint, currant, bay leaf, sage and dusty berry flavors. Firms up on the finish, where the tannins are firm yet supple and integrated.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good saturated ruby-red. Sexy aromas of cassis, raspberry, tobacco leaf, cigar box and nutty oak (100% new). A step up in concentration and flesh from the appellation wines but not at all a blockbuster in the context of Oakville wine (this is 81% from To-Kalon fruit). Fat, mouthfilling and deep but quite closed today, with its serious tannic structure apparent. I picked up a very ripe note of almost honeyed tobacco as well as a floral high tone, a medicinal element and a leafy hint. This long and classy wine needs time to harmonize in the bottle and may ultimately merit a higher rating. These 2005s are carrying alcohol in the high 14s, noted winemaker Janssens, but the To-Kalon Vineyard generally produces fruit with pHs in the 3.6 range, which is on the low side for ripe Cabernet from Napa Valley.
The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is in a beautiful place right now. Mocha, espresso, worn-in leather, menthol, game, sage, tobacco, black plums and licorice are some of the many notes that inform this supple, juicy Cabernet Sauvignon. At nearly ten years of age, the 2005 is just beginning to enter its early tertiary stage, but it also has more than enough depth and structure to support at least another decade in the cellar. (AG)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The dense ruby/purple-hued 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve’s big, sweet nose reveals aromas of creme de cassis, licorice, cedar, and spice box. Medium to full-bodied, elegant, restrained, and made in a distinctively Bordeaux style, it possesses admirable purity, texture, and length. It is delicate and poised as opposed to flamboyant...(RP)