1998 Robert Mondavi "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Soft and succulent blackberry and cassis fruit upfront, framed by squeaky clean tannins and solid oak elements. This is most notable for its voluptuous, velvety texture, which coats the palate with sweet flavors. It’s not a big wine but a balanced, harmonious one, and a success for the vintage.
Nice energy and drive, though not as much as the 1999. A bit softer on the finish than the 1999. Notes of gun metal, blackberry and truffle with a spiced nose and a fresh crack of dark chocolate on the palate. Right in the balance point currently of still carrying fresh fruit elements mixed with aged qualities. Impressive aromatic complexity with beautiful mid palate weight and nice length. This wine is elegant and still has lots to give. It will likely continue to evolve well for a long time. (ECB)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is evolved. A plum/ruby color is followed by aromas of toasty oak, tobacco, black currants, smoke, and spice box. In the mouth, it is medium-bodied, with excellent fruit on the attack, some real charm and roundness, but the finish is filled with astringent tannin. If this wine continues to hold its fruit, it is going to be a Bordeaux-styled, medium-weight Cabernet Sauvignon to drink over the next 12-14 years. However, the tannin will need to be monitored because this particular wine could possibly dry out. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Ruby-red. Redcurrant, lead pencil, nuts and fresh herbs on the nose. Supple, ripe and sweet, with lovely texture and suave tannins for the vintage. Still, the licorice and herbal flavors are not as expressive as usual for this cuvee. (ST)
Dense, pure, rich and persistent, surprising given the challenge of this wet, offbeat year. Robert Mondavi vertical (December 2015). (JL, Web-2016)
At a blind tasting of 1993 through 1998 Robert Mondavi Reserve, which was hosted by Michael Mondavi, the 1998 showed great! We picked it as the second best wine of the tasting after the 1996. The 1998 vintage is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. Mondavi Reserve Cabernet captures the personality of Napa Valley's Oakville District with 40% of the grapes harvested from the historic To Kalon Estate Vineyard. The wine is aged in 85% new French oak barrels and bottled unfiltered. The wine shows black cherry, spice, cedar and minerals, this is a wine to drink and age mid-term.