Immidiate florals and fruit jump out of the glass. Mouthfeel was velvety soft with a bright berry dominant taste. Dark cherries lead to blueberry with a mocha background. For the first hour the wine seemed astringent which improved with some air time. I recommend decanting this wine and letting it sit before consuming.
After one hour of aeration it really did not change much. Long finish with noticibly spice and cedar box. Distinct licorice flavors persist.
This is a fairly big effort for a wine of this price point.
Blackfruit, earth and leather on the nose. Full bodied and nearly identical notes to my prior bottle of 8 months ago (Nov 2015). Again opened two hours ahead of time and showed the bright yet smooth blackfruit and currant through the middle with earth, chocolate, leather and integrated spices on the finish. Very nice, fine grained tannins that provide plenty of backbone for the fruit but are fully integrated with the wine. This wine remains in a really nice drinking window. I'll echo Bam Man's final comment in his note from below: "Elegant, polished and seamless".
Brought with us to Vintage on Fifth, Crystal River ($15 corkage). Halfway through eight bottles purchased in 2011. This now seems fully mature. Much more elegant on the palate than before. Still displays ample black cherry and dark currant fruit - just not as much as previous bottles - while secondary notes of chocolate and spice have crept in from the background. Balanced, harmonious and not nearly as tannic and chewy as earlier bottles. Finishes very long - with just a touch of oak. Actually seemed to gain length and depth throughout the evening. Elegant, polished and seamless. 50+5+12+17+8=92
Well made with plenty of life left. Pretty well balanced. Lush but not sweet/juicy dark fruit. Finish and nose were not noteworthy but nothing wrong. Silky yet somewhat viscous. Some tobacco and earthy notes.
PNP - no need to decant this. Aromas of dark berries and a hint of cocoa. Taste follows suit. Berry, black currant, cocoa and ending with tobacco. Little air time did not seem to do much for a wine that's singing a perfect tune at the moment. Paired with Spanish rub strip with an aged sherry vinegar sauce (courtesy Bobby Flay). Nice ending.
Double decanted, two hours, moderate sediment. Garnet color. Blackberry and vanilla nose. Rich, dark fruit, quite dry on the palate, and not fully integrated with the acids and heavy tannins. Moderate length finish. May improve with more aging.
Blackfruit and leather on the nose. Nearly full bodied with exceptional balance. This wine has improved nicely since my last bottle (Nov 2014). Still displays the blackfruit and currant notes, but after being open for two hours ahead of time, the wine seemed to have a bit better balance and the fruit seemed a little bit brighter than last year. I don't get the sense that this wine is fading, but rather that it's opening up and showing its full range of complexity, while retaining the structure and depth. The finish continued to show good length along with very nice earth, leather, minerals and mint. Given where the fruit and structure are today, I would say this wine is at peak and I don't see it's balance or integration being helped by further time. Should continue to show well for 2-3 years at this level.
This is past its prime. We let it breathe for hours, decanted it. Alas, it was on the light side and had lost much of its glory. It still complimented our meal nicely, but tasted like a lighter, nice Merlot. Damn.
Day 1 PnP: Polished and warm, big but elegant for any size. Put a cork on remaining half of bottle. Day 2: About the same, honestly. 24 hours of air did not really make a dent; may have lost a tad of fruit. Keep drinking window through 2020.
A really wonderful Oakville Cab, and even better considering the price. Full tannins have aged well and are starting to soften up, but still offer a strong backbone. Juicy fruit, but not overripened or cloying. Perfect with grilled ribeye steak. Drinking well now, an hour decanting helps but isn't a must-do. Should last for 4-5 more years.
Dark brick red edge into a dark core. Nose not super expressive but I smell some red fruit and hint of florals. Initial taste was astringent. Decant and one hour aeration in cellar opens up the wine and softened the tannins a bit. I would say this wine is more in line with dark cherry and raspberry than blue berries and blackberries. There's some spice/licorice. There's some violet in there. There's a bit too much oak for my taste. There's good density but not a plush/velvety texture. I would call it medium mouthfeel. The acidity sticks out too much for me on its own, but I think it's the acidity that allows the wine to work better with food. Not bad for the $30 price of admission (esp one that can keep aging for 5-10 more years) but it's not something I'm going to reach for if I'm celebrating a special occasion.
This was a reminder of how fun it can be to enjoy well-made Napa Cabernet. Rich aromas and flavors of blackberry jam, currant and charcoal were supremely enjoyable. It's all about fruit, and the alcohol does peek through on the nose some of the time. However, it's well-structured and the tannins and ample fruit could still use a year or three to soften just a bit more.
First day tight as nails not giving up much of that beautiful nose and fruit that this typically shows for me. Rebottled 1/2 bottle into a split and consumed 3 days later; Much better.. ahhh theres that beautiful nose. Decant these for the time being.
Full bodied wine with strong blackfruit and mint on the nose. Needs about 90 minutes to fully open up. Beautiful mix of dense blackfruit and currant that's just starting to display its complexity. Very smooth through the middle and well integrated with the lengthy finish where it adds earth, minerals and mint. Very good tannins, but they fine grained and add structure and richness without being unpleasantly drying. Just a really exceptional bottle to drink between the fruit, the complexity, the depth and the balance. I believe this wine has a good amount of upside remaining and will look forward to following its development.
First one of these since December, 2012. Consistent with my note from back then. Still a very youthful-looking dark opaque magenta in color. Classic Napa Cab nose of cassis, sous bois and crushed black cherries. Full-bodied, rich and velvety in texture. Comes across as a big wine, but not at all heavy or over-extracted. Positively bursting with luscious black cherry and blackberry fruit, with hints of spice, chocolate and mineral. Shows fabulous depth and intensity on the mid-palate along with fine length. Big and powerful - but wonderfully balanced, with a sense of elegance and finesse. A gorgeous Napa Cabernet that is drinking beautifully right now. 50+5+12+18+8=93
Solid cab that outdoes itself - easily stands with bottles that are twice the price. I usually like these as they are normally heavily sourced (sometimes even moreso than the Reserve) from To Kalon, although one should always check since it changes from year to year.
Similar notes as before. Nice fruit but not overly deep/complex, smooth mid palate, and nice finish. Easy drinking. Popped and poured. Took about one hour to open up. Very solid bottle for under $50. 88% cab, 8% cab franc, 2% merlot, 1% malbec, and 1% petit verdot.
Decanted over 2-4 hours and had with rib eye steak. This wine is still awesome. Great fruit on the nose and tannins that say plenty of life left. Can't tell a difference from bottle 2 years ago. Has normal Napa flavors but also one unique smell or taste I can quite describe but man is it GOOD! I feel like I stole this at $40 price paid.
Purple color, with no signs of age. Creamy entry. Rippling mid-riff of black fruit. Round, polished tannins. Middle weight. Balanced. Plus finish. Years to go. This exceeded expectations. Well done. I'm looking forward to the next bottle. Paired well with grilled steak kebabs. 93
Third tasting with consistent notes. Pop and pour, then consumed over the next 24 hours. No sediment. Perfumed aroma on initial pour. Nice fruit flavors, good balance. No real depth or intensity, but a nice cab at this price point. I'm disappointed to see the price go way up to around $64, not worth that IMO.
Mondavi Oakville Cabernet Vertical Tasting (2006-2009). Tasted these 4 vintages with our wine tasting group. The group consensus was that 2007 and 2008 were the best of the 4 wines, with roughly half of the group preferring 07 and the other half 08. I thought the 08 was initially the deepest and richest, but after a couple of hours in the glass the 07 was showing some more complexity and might have eclipsed the 08 slightly. But the 07 and 08 were overall very similar, and both are still quite young. I will give my remaining bottles of the 07 and 08 a few years of time before drinking them. The 06 was similar overall in flavor profile to 07 and 08, but it lacked the depth of those two vintages and the finish was a bit bitter and awkward. The 09 had a very different flavor profile than the others, showing red fruits (whereas the 07 and 08 were more black fruits) and more spice and tartness. Toward the end, the 09 was coming into some degree of balance, but it lacked the richness of 07 and 08. Overall, all of the wines were good and very reasonable QPRs.
Second tasting with consistent notes. Pop and pour, then consumed over the next 24 hours. No sediment. Wonderful perfumed aroma on initial pour. Nice fruit flavors, good tannic balance. No real depth or intensity, but a nice cab at $36.
Nose of toast and red fruit, but somewhat muted. Big wine. Red dense fruits, toast, and nice drying tannins lifted by nice acidity. Can't help but think it needs more time to fully come together and show more. Will give others more time.
This bottle was much more expressive on both the nose and palate. Maybe some bottle varioation or it's starting to come out of it's dumb phase. This was velvety smooth, well balanced, creamy and delicious.
I must say, I still don't think this is a 94 point wine (Maybe Parker tasted a few too many wines that day). No doubt, my style and preferences are different from his. This is a good wine, but not that special to me.
This bottle was somewhat muted in aromas and flavor profile. It seemed shut down, and this was after 45 min. decant. Maybe a dumb phase? Still delicious and smooth, but previous bottles i had a year ago had muchmore going on. I'll hold off tasting another bottle for another 6 months and see what happens then.
Delightful Cabernet. 45 minute decant. Nice nose of berries, vanilla and menthol with some heat. Nice fruit on the palate with an above average finish. Nice mouthfeel, typical Mondavi Oakville. Perhaps not the best QPR but always nice to drink a Mondavi. Solid and reliable. Enjoy the 2008 now but will be even better in 2-5 years.
Splash decant ... Big up front fruit, vanilla, chocolate and hints of nutmeg. Quite smooth, but not as complex as expected, based on other notes. Overall nice and very easy to drink. Didn't really improve as the night wore on (didn't fall apart either), so I'm guessing it's peaking, or close to. Very good; not great.
Had with short ribs n polenta. Decanted for 45 min. No sed. Dark n opaque. Nose somewhat muted for first hour plus, eventually nice cassis n red fruits showed up. Big soft round napa cab on profile. Tannins appreciated, but not too grippy. No heat noticeable. Will let my other bottle sit for a few years.
A classic Napa Cabernet. Dark and opaque in the glass, offering earthy, spicy aromas of dried herbs and mint. Full-bodied, silky and mouth-coating but not heavy. Plenty of ripe, dark fruit and chocolate character here. The complex, spicy finish goes on for minutes with lingering notes of black licorice and mineral. Despite the 15.5% ABV, there is a surprising amount of finesse to this. As good or better than some recent Mondavi Reserve bottlings - at less than half the price. 50+5+12+17+9=93
Aerated for 3hrs in a decanter and drunk with Oxtail Ragu
Beautiful dark ruby in color and very prominent oak/vanilla aromas. Unfortunately the oak dominated the fruit, with velvet smooth tannins and no acid. I don't consider this style of wine to be balanced when one component dominates.
Wife and I tasted blind with 2008 Mondavi Oakville. Decanted both and drank over 2-5 hours. Both were excellent wines and we both blindly picked Honig as the best. Maybe b/c it's a year older or 07 a better year than 08, but just more going on with Honig. Still I'd give Mondavi a 92 or so. Honig just had a sweetness (almost zin like) along with solid tannins that made it incredible. Have more of both in cellar and will look forward to future taste tests. hold until 1-2014, 1-2016 and then decide on 2018 or beyond
Modern, Fruit forward with intense dark fruits some blackberry and licorice notes. Soft and oaky vanilla but then a profound bitter edge on the long finish. Heat damage or high alcohol? Soft tannins make for a supple mouthfeel. I wouldn't call it elegant but it has some finesse to balance the onslaught of fruit. A Chevy corvette of a wine.
90 - Love it, much better than the <80 Bartan, sticking with what I know and love. Just had taco with some spice, may be confusing spice factor from food to wine. Letting rest of bottle breathe for later consumption.
Popped and poured. Medium-plus youthful purple/garnet hue. The fruit really shows on the nose, with notes of crushed dark berries, ripe currant & cassis complimented by subtle herbaceous notes and vanilla spice from toasted oak. Medium-plus body. On the palate, flavors of mixed dark fruits are fresh and somewhat jammy. As on the nose, the fruit is again paired with rich flavors from the oak. The tannins are actually quite soft on the moderate-plus close. A Cabernet made more in the modern style, this wine is meant for enjoying near term before the fruit fades away.
Very smooth. Big fruit on the nose and palette. Medium - soft tannins. A bit heavy on the alcohol heat straight from opening. Let this sit. I aerated this which gave a nice improvement...smoother with a more pronounced bouquet (+2-3 on my score).
94" rating on this wine (Overrated, I think so)? Nice rich, deep reddish purple raspberry color, lite on the nose, an elegant wine that will evolve just as past vintages. I will check this one out in a few months.
Very nice dark fruit forward cab with very soft tannins after decanting for only an hour. Surprisingly more of a drinking wine than a food wine (couldn't really stand up to a steak - a bit unusual for a young Oakville cab). I will likely pair my remaining bottles with only a glass. Drinking well now and can easily last a few more years, but I don't anticipate much improvement or benefit to aging past 2015.
I had rated my previous bottle 92, so quite a big difference. I can't point to anything being wrong with the wine, just that flavor was muted, and never really opened up after two days ;into anything special. I'll hold off on remaining bottles for awhile.
Classic Napa Cab. Fruity, prominent but medium-soft tannins. Big wine, but not so big it will seem out of place with a nice steak. Started opening up after 90 minutes and continued to improve thereafter; still peaking after 4.5 hours.
Nose of oak, plumbs, blackberry and vanilla. Dark and concentrated. Full bodied but very hot on the finish. A little high on the alcohol. Not my style. You could leave this for a few years though i don't know how much it will gain.
This wine is delicious. The oak is very prominent in the nose but balances well with the fruit. Delicious and should only get better as the oak mellows out. Long finish and full bodied. Bought half a case after trying.
Very strong oak on open in taste and nose. After 2 hour decant wine really settled down and became very enjoyable. Great flavors of vanilla, dark chocolate and earth 2-3 hours after opening. Tried on the recommendation of a friend and the other notes on CT, and I'll be buying more to put away for a few years.
sip and spit because of my stupid diet. not as generous on the nose as previous bottles, but still deeply flavored. spitting left a harsh, bitter, acrid, tannic, and unpleasant feeling on the tip of my tongue. i think that's more a function of me than a flaw in the wine, though.
Dinner with friends at Wildfish San Antonio. While this wine was WAY over oaked for me. It was savory and buttery with vanilla and cream and delightful for everyone else at the table. Well made good cabernet deserving of the community marks of 91-92. Just not my current style. Everyone else thought it was absolutely outstanding.
Vinturi/decant, drank over 3 hours - one of the best values I've had in Napa cap. A little tight at first; opened to dark fruit, vanilla, jam, oak. Fruit is bright and crisp. No noticeable heat. Lacked the depth and richness of some recently consumed but more expensive wines (caymus, barbour) but at the price is an absolute win. Purchased at Costco for $28 - unfortunately that deal is long gone.
Popped and poured. Medium-plus purple/garnet hue. Aromatically forward upon first pour, this shows Cabernet aromas of plummy, dark fruits, currant & cassis, pipe tobacco, cedar, mocha, and smoke from oak. Medium-plus body. Much like the nose, but even richer, this shows lush flavors of blackberry, cherry cordial, ripe currant, dark chocolate, and perhaps just a touch of the herbaceous. Moderate-plus close is tinged with oak and shows well-rounded tannins. Seems like it should drink nicely over the short to mid-term, hard to tell if enough structure is present for more. No matter what, this is made in a more modern style, even for Mondavi, and thoroughly Oakville. Fans of the style will love it.
24 hour decant. Half on day one and half on day two.
Nose: red cherries, wild berry and bright oakville fruit character. Nice leather, vanilla and cedar as well. Palate: Mid weight and classic with red fruit attack, plum and blackberry as well some heat showing, but settles down after a while. Nice all spice and clove notes as well. Finish: bold black cherry, bright berry and cedar tones turn to leather and oak. Tokalon spice shows late in the finish too.
One of two bottles consumed. No specific notes other than all liked this one a lot. I thought this wine was better when first opened than later in the evening. I think the Spectator is more right than wrong this time for this highly rated, value priced bottle.
Aerated and funnel decanted, left to air for 3 hrs. Consumed with a friend while watching the President's Cup Golf over 3 hrs. This wine is superb! A great effort and at a fantastic price point for a wine of this caliber!
A sexy cuvee, to be sure. The kind of cab that would do well for a first date if one wants the evening to go, say, in a certain direction! You get the drift. Aromas of new oak, like cinnamon stick. Dark fruit, almost inky, that while is not all that complex, the flavors are true and it finishes with some chocolate. I liked the wine and I think for about 30 bucks and change at Costco, it works. Funny enough I think, kind of like the red version of Rombauer chardonnay!
Great value, will improve even further with age. Vanilla, cherry, some oak with typical tannins. A little tight on opening but evened out with some time, will decant next time. Drank over 3 hours (with wife) and improved throughout. Quite a mouthful and very nice. Very happy with this purchase.
Decanted for two hours. See previous notes. Even creamier than I remember, with menthol and eucalyptous shining. Balanced and evolving. This, along with the Hall Napa, are my favorite '08 Napa Cabernet wines under $50. Drink 2013 - 2026.
Young wine that will get better. A bit harsh on open but settles down after hour or so plus decanting. Vanilla and fresh fruit are very evident. Also fairly strong oak - more than I'd like, made me think of smelling inside of a new oak barrel. Long finish and a beautiful wine at this price. More time will be a virtue here.
Fantastic fruit. Flavors of tobacco, oak and vanilla. Nice mouthfeel,long finish. Best bottle of this to date. Went suprisingly well with chicken dinner. Had after 2005 Rocca cab. I know which I'd rather drink again.
Baby Caymus...So to speak. Extracted, syrup, astrigent, vanilla. Fits into the 08 Hall Cab catagory. If this does settle down, and can show some layers...Could be 94+ on its own merit. QPR value I would give it a 97. I can't find many $35 Napa Cabs that can offer this. Throw in a possible WS Top10 possible finish. However after having 7 bottles of this vintage thus far. Several are better than the others, all good. Some are very good....This style needs some refinement, 2-3 glasses can make you a jittery sugar high buzz. Not awesome with most food
At first the tannins were a bit harsh and both the nose and palate were "glassy"- that is they were restrained as if separated by a glass pane. But with air over dinner, the palate intensified and the primary fruit shone through and the tannins settled down and the wine was beautiful with pan-fried ribeye. It is incredible that Mondavi offers such exquisite To Kalon cabernet fruit at this pricepoint.
15.5% ABV. More or less opaque in the glass. Similar to the 2007 vintage but a bit more primary and fruit forward at this point. Aromas of cedar and mocha on the nose. Medium full bodied with ripe black currant and fairly large-scaled Cab flavors. Some tannin midpalate on. Pretty good.
Wow this is a big brooding monster of a napa cab. If poured blind you'd probably guess this was a $100 cali cult cab of some sort. The nose had that gorgeous To Kalon nose of dark blue/black fruit, spice, vanilla that all flowed into a bruising mouthful of those flavors. The down fall for me is this wine really showed it's alcohol and it was almost too rich and extracted for me to drink even though I did and regreted it with the headache the next day.
If your looking for a lesser expensive option to fool some friends at a high end california tasting this is your wine. I think my palate is moving away from these type of brooding monsters. Rated 93 for the style but for my tastes this would barely crack a 90
Dark fruit. Very smooth palate, finish lasted for a good 30 seconds. We decanted and, overall this performed a bit better on its own than it did with food (grilled rack of lamb). Absolutely no complaints for a Napa Cab at this price point, though. Really good stuff!
See previous notes. Decanted for three hours. All the same nuances with black cherry, eucalyptus, loamy currant and some dark chocolate as well. An exquisite palate and a fair amount of muscle. Drink now till 2026 with a serious decant, if not, drink 2013 - 2026.
Picked up a few of these and wanted to try one. Upon PnP, the nose was beautiful and pretty effusive, smelled like berries and cherries covered in vanilla cream sauce, very seductive. On the palate the initial attack was bombastic fruit (mostly red, cherries and raspberries), but the finish was very rough (astringent and tannic). Subsequently, decanted for ~45 minutes and drank over 2 hours. Toward the end (approaching 3 hours after opening), the finish was starting to smooth out, but still didn't get totally there. This wine has plenty of acidic and tannic structure to go along with plentiful fruit, and I suspect that it will substantially better in a few years. Will it get to a 94 (a la WS)? I doubt, but I think it might get close. Right now, I'm not seeing much in the way of interesting secondary characteristics, but if these emerge it will be great. As always, my score is based on how the wine drinks now, not how it is projected to be in the future. Bottom line: at ~$30, this is a very good QPR now for a Napa cab, and it has the potential to end up being a great QPR. Might pick up a few more to sit on. If you drink it now, give it at least a few hours of decanting.
A bold Napa Cab of great concentration and density that enters the room with a confident swagger. Complex aromas and flavors of rich blackberries, sweet spice, plums, and vanilla beans. A little overpowering at points (15.5% alcohol) but with adequate aeration this comes together nicely. Would like to check in again in a year but for now I'd be in for 1-3 bottles of this at a target price of $30-$33.
Open, poured and allowed to sit in the glass for 45 minutes before tasting. Drank over the course of 3 hours. Lots of good stuff going on here. Black fruit, cassis, tobacco and vanilla on the nose. Balanced black fruit, spice, mineral and tobacco on the palate with a very smooth and silky mouth feel. Initially, a bit of heat on the finish, but as time wore on that dissipated. Finish is long and satisfying with hints of chocolate and coffee. Gripping tannins indicate this will cellar well. I'm holding remaining bottles as well as looking for more!
Wonderful wine. This stood up to the 2009 Caymus Cab, 2008 Stags Leap Artemis, 2008 Regusci Cab and 2008 Buccella Cab at a friend's dinner party last night. Despite the 15.5 % heat, this wine was surprisingly ultra smooth and silky in the mouth! Nice deep, dark, dense garnet color with glass hugging viscosity,. Tons of dark fruit on the nose with a little heat.vanilla and spice. Black raspberry, cassis, currant flavors nicely unfold with grace, supported by velvet tannins, mild acidity and subdued heat on the palate. The finish lasts a mile... and here is where you notice the 15.5 % heat.... or is that spice? I was pleased to see that this young wine is ready to drink right now. Best after a couple hours of decanting, but very approachable upon opening.
Decanted for two hours. Violet, garnet and black, with a ruby rim. Black cherry, eucalyptus, spice, currant and loam. Dense and agile at the same time, with round and fleshy tannins, showing a long and caressing finish, ending with minerally touches. No heat at all and a true Napa hybrid: old in structure, with elegance and longevity - along with being new: voluptuous, ultra-rich and showy. The best Mondavi Oakville since '04. You must decant or wait a couple of years. Drink 2013 - 2026.
This wine was tasted in double-blind fashion at Vintage Wines, Ltd. The bottle was kindly provided by Don Shapiro. It showed beautifully, with structure and flavors (independently recorded) comparable to those described 7/7/11. The aromatics were even more impressive, leading me to give it an even higher score. Bravo to Mondavi for taking up their game a notch or two on this bottling! Drink now-12/20.
This wine was decanted, aerated for two hours, then serially tasted over the ensuing two hours. The robe is opaque ruby and the nose shows a very intense bouquet of dried cranberries, currants, tobacco and clove. Full-bodied on the palate, with medium acidity, big ripe tannins and well-integrated alcohol (listed as 15.5%). The flavors mirror the nose and the middle palate is full. Medium-to-long, smooth finish. This is a luscious, fruit-forward Napa Cab with good structure. Drink now-12/20.
This wine goes through a totally disjointed stage, probably due to the high 15.5% alcohol. If you got the patience to decant this Cab for 4+ hours then it is pretty good but we still liked the Hall 2008 and Honig 2008 Cab better which we had both along side of the Mondavi. There is a window of 30 minutes to about 3 hours after opening where the 15.5% alcohol is very evident where food pairing would be very difficult because the alcohol lights up to any spice on a Rib eye Steak. It is pretty good right after opening. The only thing I liked was the 08 was less tannic than previous vintages of the Mondavi Oakville.
Blackberry, cassis, smoke, chocolate on palate and nose, med-long finish.
I am quit surprised no one has criticized this wine for being so much higher in Alcohol than most other Cabs. If this wine makes top 10 in Spectator WOTY, Mondavi must of paid them off. The Hall 2008 is way better for $10 more...
90 right after opening 84 Decanted 1-3 hours 88 Decanted 4 hours
Much better after two days in the decanter. Dark rich color, nose of tobacco band aid, and black cherry. Viscous mouthfeel, beautiful fruit, moderate length finish. Nice qpr. Suspect this will improve with some time as well.