Robert Mondavi Solaire Cabernet Sauvignon shows all the hallmarks of great Paso Robles fruit. This
full-bodied wine displays aromas of blackberry, cassis, and sweet dark fruits, with flavors of blackberries
and plum supported by ripe tannins and integrated, sweet vanilla oak.
This wine has beautiful elegance.
It is soft and approachable now, and will further improve with careful cellaring for eight to ten years.
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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The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Grape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
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.
This cab is nothing to write home about, standing on its own. It came across as a little dull and with an unexciting flavor profile. That said, it's bold and solid enough to pair well with a juicy prime rib, medium rare. ;-)
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 & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.