There’s a lot to be said for the great Napa Valley cabernets of the 1970s, including the wines Mondavi was making at the time. Those classical wines were structured to last, and they have aged significantly better than Napa Valley’s next generation. Perhaps this wine represents the grandchild of a 1970s cabernet, with the lean, direct personality of its ancestors melding into the contemporary precision and clarity of its ripeness: a pure red-currant fruit character that earlier generations may have struggled to attain. There’s an electric charge in its rooted connection to the Oakville benchlands—97 percent of the fruit for this wine comes from Mondavi’s To Kalon Vineyard—that charge quieting to a plum-rich caress in the end. Buy this and cellar it; you’ll be glad you did.
Robert Mondavi 2018 Oakville Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Every week, our editors highlight a wine that intrigued them in our blind panel tastings, expanding on their tasting note in this space. These are entirely editorial choices; there are no paid placements. Subscribers can also access the original tasting note by searching here.
This story appears in the print issue of December 2021.
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