For a weeknight grilled steak dinner, I pulled from the cellar this aged Napa Cabernet to accompany Sean's grilled steak and potato wedges with garden herbs and garlic.
Robert Mondavi have an extensive portfolio of wine labels and its easy to get lost in the numerous offerings. The Oakville label is a single appellation designated label that has proven to be a premium offering to their California and Napa labels which may source grapes from a far broader geography, but below the ultra-premium 'Reserve' label.
The Mondavi Oakville may represent one of the best QPR - Quality to Price Ratio in the Mondavi line as it often equals or beats the Reserve flagship label for a fraction of the price. While almost double the price of the Estate Napa Cab, the Oakville consistently is distinctive and represents the best that the appellation has to offer in this price range and is generally available based on production of over 10,000 bottles. In good years, Mondavi does a great job obtaining this quality in such a quantity production.
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 this was the last bottle from that collection. 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.
My last tasting note for this wine was in 2017. I wrote then how I was pleasantly surprised in how well this wine is showing after thirteen years as it was as good as I remember. Tonight I had the same observation now at fifteen years. As I wrote in that last blogpost, this 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.
Like the previous earlier tasting, I reduced my rating by a point to RM 90 points, reduced one from earlier tasting when I reduced it from 92 to 91. Wine Spectator gave this wine 93 points.