Saturday, February 4, 2017

Robert Mondavi Oakville Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Robert Mondavi Oakville Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

With dinner of grilled filet of beef, boiled potatoes and peas, I opened this twelve year old Robert Mondavi Napa Cab. Robert Mondavi Winery has a dozen labels and it is easy for the neophyte or uninitiated to get confused among them. Setting aside the Opus ultra-premium brand, their joint venture with Chateau Mouton Rothschild, and the top of the line Reserve Napa Cab, next in line is this Oakville appellation specific Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

Oakville is not only the small town on Hwy 29 in Napa Valley, it is also an appellation, an American AVA, and it is the site of the Robert Mondavi estate winery. In this case, Oakville refers to the appellation designated wine in which all the fruit is sourced from vineyards within the AVA - American Viticulture Area that specifies the growing region with its distinctive terroir - climate, soil and growing conditions.

In 2004, the Oakville designated Mondavi Cabernet was especially good and I acquired a fair amount of it for cellaring for enjoyment over a period of years. My records indicate I have two bottles left after consuming this one. My Journal of tasting notes for this wine has a half dozen earlier entries dating back to 2007 with the last one being in 2012. My blogpost of that tasting talks more about the Mondavi Oakville label. The label pictured is from that tasting. That evening we dined at Metisse Restaurant on the shore in Belmar, NJ, a melancholy memory as Metisse was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy. Such is how wine makes memories that touch our lives.

I was pleasantly surprised in how well this wine is showing after thirteen years as it was as good as I remember. It is showing signs of aging but is developing character, complexity and depth as some of the fruits give way to a tone of earthiness and leather, but taking on a full floral layer on the finish. It was a perfect accompaniment to the grilled steak.

Like the previous tasting, the 2004 presented dark garnet ruby red color, medium to full firm body with intense concentrated but smooth and polished flavors of sweet ripe currant and blackberry, dusty herb, and cedary oak with hints of anise and dark mocha on the sharp moderate tannin lingering finish.

RM 91 points, reduced one from earlier tastings. Wine Spectator gave this wine 93 points.