1997 Robert Mondavi "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Very good deep ruby-red. Superripe aromas of crystallized red berries, cassis, graphite and grilled nuts. Lush, sweet and minerally; already displays compelling inner-mouth complexity and superb delineation. Youthful fruit flavors show less of the meaty quality that characterized some recent vintages of this wine. Very strong underlying backbone. The wine's lovely sweetness carries through to the very long finish, which features dusty, even tannins. 93(+?) points
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
As for the 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, this wine seems more subdued than it did last year and might be going through a relatively closed stage. As it sat in the glass, it took on an almost Ducru-Beaucaillou or Leoville-Las Cases St.-Julien-like character, with notes of minerals, cedar wood, black currants, tobacco, and spice. This is a rich, dark ruby/purple-colored wine with very complex aromatics, medium to full body, tight structure and plenty of tannin in the finish.
Very tight nose, with blackberry, coffee and cocoa notes, this is a big wine that shows great intensity and depth. Quite closed now, the dark profile keeps its cards close to the vest. One thing for sure: this is definitely one for the cellar. The finish is lengthy, with brisk tannins as well as espresso and bitter-chocolate notes. Hold for eight to ten years; this wine should keep til 2020.