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Professional Ratings: 96 Wine Spectator, 94 The Wine Advocate, 93 International Wine Cellar, 92 Connoisseurs' Guide
Region: Napa Valley, California
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Other Info: Collectible Wines
Style: Big & Bold
Alcohol By Volume: 15.5%
Item no. 97408
Intensely fragrant with aromas of crème de cassis, graphite and notes of lavender and bay. Rich flavors of blackberry and huckleberry merge with earthiness and minerality. Tannins are generous and well-developed, firm yet sweet. A powerful wine with elegance and grace.
Napa Valley's 2006 vintage began with a wet winter that extended into spring, delivering more than twice the average rainfall for March and nearly four times the April average. The precipitation delayed bloom, but once the skies cleared, the vines had good fruit set and progressed slowly and steadily through slightly warmer than usual June weather. In July, a brief hot spell of four consecutive days over 100-degrees had the effect of putting the vines "on hold" before ripening continued when mild weather returned in August. Lower temperatures extended through September and October, with some fog and cloudy days. Overall, the 2006 growing season was significantly cooler than average, and harvest began generally later. Grapes for this wine were picked October 12-27. All the fruit was in the winery before light rains fell in early November. Crop levels for 2006 were average and thanks to the long hang time, which allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly, quality was excellent.
Pure, rich and concentrated, this bold, graceful wine offers a deep core of earthy currant, blackberry and plum, with hints of herb, mocha and black licorice, giving it uncommon complexity and depth. Ends with firm tannins and a long, persistent finish.
The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve offers a beautiful perfume of violets, black currants, and subtle oak, lead pencil shavings, and spice characteristics. This full-bodied, creamy textured Cabernet possesses superb concentration, lovely purity, and a multilayered mouthfeel. It should drink well for two decades or more.
Good deep ruby-red. Currant, chocolate and tobacco on the nose. Silky, layered and lush, with a seamless texture to the full-bodied flavors of plum, currant and lead-pencil minerality. Has plenty of plump mid-palate fruit to support the big but thoroughly ripe tannins, which reach the front teeth. Mostly from To-Kalon fruit, the rest from nearby vines also in Oakville. Winemaker Janssens compared this wine to the 1995. This is sweet and approachable, whereas the 2005 version was young and aggressive at the same stage.
In this tricky vintage, the Mondavi winery has been able to move beyond the potential angularity that pops up so often and instead has delivered a polished, focused wine that shows far more fruit and far better balance than its stated alcohol of 15.5% would seem to suggest. Ripe and mouthfilling but also amazingly silky in texture and deep in curranty fruit, this one has plenty of depth upon which to grow while its evident tannins age out over the next half decade and more.