1986 Robert Mondavi "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1029447 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Gorgeously fresh bouquet. Blackcurrants, oak, cocoa, buttery caramel and char. Drinking really young, firm, fresh. Very dry, balanced, not a powerful wine but elegant, harmonious. Light and pretty.  (6/2005)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A strong showing for this offering from Mondavi, 1986 was a transitional year for the Mondavi philosophy of Cabernet Sauvignon winemaking. The unfiltered school of winemaking, which ended in 1974, resumed in 1987, yet had not taken full hold in 1986. Nevertheless, Mondavi had already moved away from the excessive manipulation and acidification practiced during the 1975-1985 era. The 1986 reveals a deep, ruby/garnet color with an opaque middle and vague lightening at the edge. The expressive bouquet offers up scents of jammy cassis, tobacco, and damp earth. Sweet and ripe, this full-bodied, soft, seamless, velvety-textured wine was tasting exceptionally well... A very delicious, complex, elegant Cabernet. (RP)  (8/1996)

Wine Spectator

 Has a fine structure, with firm, ripe red currant and dried berry flavors that are focused. The tannins provide a nice firm aftertaste. (Web-2007) (JL)

K&L Notes

Reviewer Richard Jennings took a palate peek at this classic Napa Valley vintage, just a few years back: "From magnum - nearly opaque red violet color; blackberry, ripe black fruit nose; rich, ripe black fruit, cedar, blackberry, soy sauce nose; plush mouth feel (plusher than prior vintages), tart black fruit, tart berry, soy sauce, hickory palate with walnut note on finish; medium-plus finish (94.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.8% Cabernet Franc, .7% Merlot; 17.5 mos. in new French oak barrels; 12.9% alcohol; alcohol shows more than in prior vintages, even though the alcohol percentage is no higher)." (RJonWine.com, 7/2011)

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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 M├ędoc 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.
Alcohol Content (%): 12.9