M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Elegant, balanced and approachable with bright floral notes, hints of currant, spice, dried berries and a touch of oak to smooth, bind and elevate the flavors. Complex and subtle, revealing itself over time.
Wine Spectator - "Tight and cedary, with mineral, sage and oak flavors that overshadow the dried currant, spice and black cherry fruit. Well-structured and focused. Best from 2010 through 2016. 700 cases made."
Wine Enthusiast - "Made from the winery's little vineyard on Atlas Peak, this 100% Cabernet needs time to come around. It doesn't show the voluptuous approachabiltiy of the 2005 or the 2007, which will be released next year. It's fairly acidic and tannic. But there's a luscious core of blackberries and black currants. Try after 2012, and might be a very long-lived wine. "
M by Michael Mondavi Winery
Four generations of passion and experience have come together to create the winery and the wines. It started in 1919 when Michael Mondavi's grandfather, Cesare, was elected to find grapes and winemaking supplies for families to make wine legally during Prohibition. Thus, the Mondavi family began their foray into California winemaking. Michael Mondavi Family Estate embodies Michael's vision of a great, single vineyard, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, crafted from 100% estate grown fruit from high atop Atlas Peak on 15 acres of rocky, volcanic soil. It is stylistically reminiscent of the legendary Mondavi Cabernets that Michael made in the late 1960s and early 1970s - complex and subtle. View all M by Michael Mondavi Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
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.
Notable FactsWithin 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 grated 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.
About CaliforniaIt'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.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost 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.