1997 Robert Mondavi "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #301490 93 points 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. (ST)  (5/2000)

92 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. (RP)  (12/2000)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 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.  (11/2000)

Decanter

 Confected black fruit, minty and sweet. Plenty of creamy oak characteristics. Some tannins on the mid palate with hints of tobacco and pencil shavings. Good concentrated wine with length and mouth-washing acidity.  (4/2001)

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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.