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1999 Robert Mondavi "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #998239 95 points Wine Enthusiast

 68% To Kalon. Young. Cigar ash nose, blackberries, oak. A big, firm, assertive wine, fairly tannic. Scads of juicy cherries and blackberries. Very fine, lots of character and elegance. Drinks well now with rich fare through 2020. *Cellar Selection*  (6/2005)

95 points Wine Spectator

 A superstar, amazingly pure, rich and explosive, with dense currant, blackberry and mocha flavors, revealing a persistent aftertaste.—Robert Mondavi vertical (December 2015). Drink now through 2022. (JL, Web Only-2016)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good bright ruby. Complex nose combines currant, black raspberry, tobacco, bitter chocolate and violet, all lifted by enticing sweet oak tones. Dense and sweet but fresh. This has a creamy texture I miss in most of this winery's other '99 reds, without any loss of precision. (ST) 91+  (6/2002)

90 points Vinous

 (14.1%; 68% To Kalon; this and previous vintages were made in stainless steel tanks--and without the benefit of a sorting table): Dark ruby-red. Old World scents of black cherry, licorice, pepper and herbs convey the cool aspect of this vintage. Vinous and energetic, displaying strong peppery intensity to the dark berry, licorice and herb flavors. More spine than flesh here--and distinctly old school. Finishes firmly tannic and persistent. There's no rush to drink this brisk Cabernet. (ST)  (5/2016)

Jancis Robinson

 Herbal and floral aromatics with accents of gun metal and lots of pleasing freshness. The palate carries a stunning balance of dried herbs, gun metal, black olive and nicely integrated spice through mixed fruit on a backbone of dry, fine tannins and mouth-watering acidity. There is nice density throughout the full length of the palate, all the way to an extended finish. While the 1998 echoes with a sense of Médoc, the 1999 is distinctly Napa Valley. 18.5/20 points. (ECB)  (4/2016)

K&L Notes

94 points Wine Spectator: "An enormously complex and sophisticated wine that combines great flavors with uncommon finesse. Dark, sleek, rich and polished, with a delicious core of concentrated cola, currant, plum and blackberry. Tremendous finish. *Top 100 Wines of 2002* (JL)" (06/2002) 96 points Wine Enthusiast: "This flagship wine shows impeccable balance and finesse. It's well put together, as the couture people say, and drips with lavish, minty French oak. Soft tannins add interest as well as ageability. The wine is not lavishly fruity; instead, the flavors are consciously restrained and subtle. Very high quality, and worth holding through 2010." *Editor's Choice* (11/2002)

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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.

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.


- 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.
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.