"Medium ruby. Cassis, violet and fresh herbs on the nose. Then fat and sweet in the mouth, with complex flavors of blackberry, espresso and graphite. Finishes with ripe tannins and lovely chocolatey persistence. Very promising." -International Wine Cellar 90-92 Barrel Sample
"The finest regular Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon in many years, the beautiful 2002 Napa (a 44,000-case blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest small quantities of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot) exhibits a dark ruby/purple color as well as a sweet nose of red and black currants, earth, truffles, herbs, and tobacco. A silky texture, medium to full body, and excellent concentration result in a tasty Cabernet to drink now and over the next 10-12 years." -Wine Advocate
Our Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon has deep, expressive aromas and flavors of berry and black currant with nuances of mocha, violets and spice. The fruit envelops an elegant structure with firm, velvety tannins and excellent length. The wine's personality comes from the soils and climates of vineyards located in the geographic center of Napa Valley. Fermentation with both native and cultured yeast strains gives layers of nuance to the wine, and extended skin contact intensifies varietal complexity and softens tannins. We aged the wine in French oak château barrels and bottled it without filtration to capture the full flavor profile and lush texture.
We selected the majority of the grapes from the center of Napa Valley, a region well known for producing intensely flavored Cabernet family grape varieties. The balance of sunny days and cool, foggy nights here is perfect for developing rich, complex flavors and velvety tannins in Cabernet Sauvignon. A range of deep, alluvial soils to lean volcanic ones contributes to the diverse flavors in this wine,. We chose 40% of the grapes from the Oakville American Viticultural Area (AVA) including 24% from Robert Mondavi's historic To Kalon Vineyard. We sourced the balance of the grapes primarily from vineyards in Rutherford and Stags Leap District AVAs.
Robert Mondavi Winery
For more than 40 years, Robert Mondavi Winery has been the symbol of Napa Valley. Founded in 1966, it was the first major winery built in Napa Valley in the three decades following the repeal of Prohibition (1933), and went on to establish the foundation for modern California winemaking. Robert Mondavi Winery's mission-styled architecture, with the expansive archway and bell tower designed by Cliff May, has become an enduring landmark that honors California's history. With the philosophy that great wines reflect their origins, Robert Mondavi Winery pursues the fullest expression of the terroir of its Napa Valley vineyards: the historic To Kalon Vineyard in the Oakville American Viticultural Area (AVA), and the Wappo Hill Vineyard in the Stags Leap Vineyard AVA.
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It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Within the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just granted an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.