1994 Robert Mondavi "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I had the 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve a half-dozen times this year, and it may be the finest Cabernet ever from Mondavi." From RP's 1996 tasting notes: "...The deep opaque purple color, and tightly wound nose and flavors still reveal enough profound aromas and flavors to mark this as one of Mondavi's most sensational efforts. The nose possesses a Margaux/Mouton-like cassis, lead pencil, floral aroma, backed-up by copious quantities of blackcurrant fruit. In the mouth, my notes said, 'great stuff.' The wine is full-bodied, layered, multi-dimensional, and astonishingly well-balanced, with an inner-depth and core of exceptional richness and intensity. All of this has been accomplished without any notion of obtrusive weight, tannin, or alcohol. The finish lasts for 35+ seconds. Because of its luxurious quantity of fruit, this wine will be accessible young, thus much of it will be drunk long before it ever reaches full maturity. However, for those able to buy more than a bottle or two, and who possess the discipline to wait 10-15 years, this wine should prove to be a formidable California Cabernet with a rare complexity, elegance, and richness. It should be at its best between 2002-2025. (RP)
Strikingly complex and very complete, with a mix of richness and vibrancy. Tight in structure, purity and density, centered around blackberry, currant, anise, cedar and cigar box flavors. (JL, Web-2015)
(13.4% alcohol; 51% from To Kalon): Medium red. Aromatic nose combines plum, redcurrant and cedary spices. Very suave, fine-grained, plummy wine with captivating saline minerality. Lovely balance and subtle sweetness of fruit here, not to mention suave, ripe tannins. Finishes firm and clean, with terrific subtle length. À point but will hold for a while. (ST)
92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc. At the time, the longest and coolest growing season in the decade prior. Ample winter rain supported healthy vines through the vintage. An early budbreak followed by cooler weather led to an extended growing season allowing plenty of concentration in the fruit. 63% of the fruit from Oakville, 51% To Kalon. The remainder of the fruit comes from throughout Napa Valley. Fermented in stainless steel with 30 days' extended skin contact. Aged in new French oak for 19 months. A nose of flowers and spice mixed with red fruit and cedar accents. Vibrant and persistent acidity couples with fine-grained tannins and carry into a long smooth finish. The palate opens with red fruit then moves into dried blossom and spice with hints of cedar. The vintage shows more developed character for its age than its surrounding vintages. Not as chiselled and focused as others, though still pleasurable to drink now. 17/20 points. (ECB)
95 points Neil Martin's Wine Journal: "Tasted at the Robert Mondavi Cabernet Reserve vertical. This has a very different bouquet to the 1996: lighter and minty, more red fruit than black fruit profile, raspberry, bergamot, a touch of leather coming through. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, almost filigree tannins, harmonious, light and more Bordeaux like than other vintages with a little dryness coming through on the ferrous, honey-textured finish. This exudes style and panache. One of the greats of the decade, no doubt. Tasted June 2009."