Friday, April 08, 2005

Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 (NW)

Or should it be called Constellation Cab...

Big blackberry and currant nose, followed by some cocoa
Smooth on the palate and a little earthy
Moderate tannins on the finish

This is a fairly well-made Cab and comes from a great tradition. Although it is the lowest rung of the premium Napa Valley bottlings from Mondavi, it is substantially better than the Private Selection label that usually shows up at parties and casual affairs.

I made the mistake of drinking the wine on its own, without food. It isn't an exciting wine to nurse own because it's not an ultra-ripe, fragrant wine. Rather, it's a subtle wine that is versatile and excellent with a wide variety of food. I've read a lot about Robert Mondavi over the past few years and believe he always desired to create "food" wines. This is surely in part due to his Italian heritage, but also his obsession with unlocking the secrets of Bordeaux in a California bottle.

The Napa Valley sells for about $25/bottle in stores. When you need a "classic" Cab and a good food wine, put this on the top of your list. Raise a glass...and a fork!

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