Tuesday, 11 October 2011

A Legend Lives On

Earlier in the year I was invited to join in on a world wide toast to celebrate the birthday of the late, great Robert Mondavi, to help me celebrate I’d been sent a bottle of their 2006 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, lucky me.

One of the great American wine making pioneers, Robert Mondavi built his first winery in 1966, which was the first major winery in the Napa valley since prohibition had ended. He was a pioneer of putting the Varietal on the label, not naming them generically, he also turned the around the fortunes of the unpopular varietal, Sauvignon Blanc in the US by naming it Fume Blanc. Another one of his many accolades is that of creating one of America’s greatest wines, Opus One, a joint collaboration with Baron Phillipe de Rothschild which had begun as a chat, on Mondavi’s visit to his vineyards in Bordeaux during 1978.

Although it says it’s a Cabernet Sauvignon on the label, it is actually a blend consisting of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, according to the tasting notes, the website says it is a much more eclectic mix of varietals. The wine is fermented in a combination of oak and stainless steel tanks, spending a maturation period of 14 months in oak, of which 20% are new oak.

In the glass you got an opaque inky purple colour, with very pronounced aromas of dark fruits, blackcurrant, plums and cherries with a tiny bit of sweet spice coming through from the background. On the palate you got all the aromas coming through in waves at you, combine this with a good amount of acidity and masses of fine silky tannins, and you got a pretty amazing wine, but that’s what you’d expect when you pay these sorts of prices.

This is a full bodied wine, that at this young stage drinks nicely now but can age for a good few years yet, but really, to get the best from it now, you should really drink it with food. This is a wine that’s definitely worth giving a go if you’re looking to spend a bit a more on nice bottle, but remember it will benefit greatly by being opened a good couple of hours before drinking, and if possible even decanting.

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