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Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1999

Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
  • WE95
  • WS94
  • ST91
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Winemaker Notes

Number 12 on Wine Spectators Top 100 Wines of 2002! The 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is selected from their finest Napa Valley vineyards, sites that yield complex, long-lived wines. Each of these exceptional vineyards has a distinct personality – a combination of specific site, mesoclimate, soils, clonal selections and cultivation techniques -- that contributes layers upon layers of flavors to the wine. Opulent dark fruit notes of cassis, black cherry and berry reflect grapes grown on the deep soils of the Oakville bench. Nuances of spice, minerals, licorice and violet weave through the highly extracted, velvety flavors. We handcrafted the wine with a long maceration, 17 months of aging in new French chateau barrels, gentle barrel-to-barrel racking, and bottling without filtration.

We selected 82% of the blend from the Oakville AVA (American Viticultural Area), with 68% harvested from the historic To Kalon Vineyard. This vineyard has been continually planted to grapes for over 130 years, and for more than 50 years it has been the backbone of Robert Mondavi's finest Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The Oakville AVA grapes are planted on an alluvial bench where low-fertility, well-drained soils allow deep rooting and the development of complex flavors in the grapes. To enhance the ripe berry character of the wine, and complement the Oakville AVA fruit, we harvested 11% from the Stags Leap District AVA and 7% from the Carneros AVA. Grape Sourcing: Napa Valley

85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec

Critical Acclaim

WE 95
Wine Enthusiast

68% To Kalon. Young. Cigar ash nose, blackberries, oak. A big, firm, assertive wine, fairly tannic. Scads of juicy cherries and blackberries. Very fine, lots of character and elegance. Drinks well now with rich fare through 2020.

WS 94
Wine Spectator

An enormously complex and sophisticated wine that combines great flavors with uncommon finesse. Dark, sleek, rich and polished, with a delicious core of concentrated cola, currant, plum and blackberry. Tremendous finish. Best from 2004 through 2014. 20,000 cases made.

ST 91
International Wine Cellar

Good bright ruby. Complex nose combines currant, black raspberry, tobacco, bitter chocolate and violet, all lifted by enticing sweet oak tones. Dense and sweet but fresh. This has a creamy texture I miss in most of this winery's other '99 reds, without any loss of precision.
Rating: 92+

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Robert Mondavi

Robert Mondavi

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Robert Mondavi, , California
Robert Mondavi
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.

Bordeaux

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One of the most important wine regions of the world both qualitatively and quantitatively...

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One of the most important wine regions of the world both qualitatively and quantitatively, Bordeaux is a powerhouse producer of wines of all colors, sweetness levels, and price points. Separated from the Atlantic ocean by a coastal pine forest, the mostly flat region has a mild maritime climate marked by cool wet winters and a warm, damp growing season, though annual differences vary enough to make vintage variation quite significant. Unpredictable weather at harvest time may negatively impact the ability of cornerstone variety Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen fully, while humid conditions can encourage the spread of rot and disease (although in the case of the region’s sweet white wines, “noble” rot known as botrytis is highly desirable). The Gironde estuary is a defining feature of Bordeaux, splitting the region into the Left Bank and the Right Bank. The vast Entre-Deux-Mers appellation lies in between.

The Left Bank, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, contains the Médoc, Graves, and Sauternes, as well as most of the region’s most famous chateaux. Here, Merlot is commonly planted as an insurance policy in case Cabernet fails to fully ripen in difficult years. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec may also be used in blends. This tends to be the more structured and age-worthy side of Bordeaux. Merlot is the principal variety of the Right Bank, with Cabernet Franc as its primary sidekick, with the other three varieties available for blending. The key appellations here include St. Emilion and Pomerol, whose wines are often plush, supple, and more imminently ready for drinking. Dry and sweet white wines are produced throughout the region from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and sometimes Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris. Some of the finest dry whites can be found in the the Graves sub-appellation of Pessac-Léognan, while Sauternes is undisputedly the gold standard for sweet wines. Small amounts of rosé and sparkling wine are made in Bordeaux as well.

Sauvignon Blanc

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A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character...

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A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character, Sauvignon Blanc is responsible for a vast array of wine styles. A couple of commonalities always exist, however—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. The variety is of French provenance, and is important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. It also shines in New Zealand and California, while Chile and South Africa are excellent sources of high-quality, value-priced Sauvignon Blanc. High-quality Sauvignon Blanc is also produced in Washington State, Australia, and parts of northern Italy.

In the Glass

From its homeland in the Loire Valley, where citrus, flinty, and smoky flavors shine through in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume, to Marlborough, New Zealand, where it is pungent, racy, and “green” (think grass, leaves, gooseberries, and bell peppers) and tastes of grapefruit and passionfruit, Sauvignon Blanc has something to offer every wine drinker. In Bordeaux, it is typically blended with Sémillon and Muscadelle to produce a softer, richer style. In California, any of the aforementioned styles can be emulated.

Perfect Pairings

The freshness of Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor—from bell pepper and cut grass to passionfruit, gooseberry, and ripe kiwi lend it to a range of light, summery dishes including salad, seafood, and mild Asian dishes. Sauvignon Blanc settles in comfortably at the table with notoriously difficult foods like goat cheese and asparagus. When combined with Sémillon (and perhaps some oak), it can be paired with more complex seafood and chicken dishes.

Sommelier Secret

Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (an herbaceous aromatic compound) inherent to each member of the family.

MRERMRES_1999 Item# 51918

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