1994 Robert Mondavi "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #901631 97 points 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)  (12/1997)

95 points Wine Spectator

 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)

92 points Vinous

 (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)  (5/2016)

Jancis Robinson

 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)  (9/2009)

K&L Notes

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."

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.