2009 Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine Review: 2009 Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Walk into any wine store and you'll find a glut of California Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet blends. From less than $10 to hundreds of dollars a bottle, there is a lot of Cabernet being made in sunny California. The quality is all over the place, and spending more money does not guarantee you a better bottle. It's why I have such affection for Robert Mondavi Wines.

When I started drinking wine, I assumed Robert Mondavi wines wouldn't be very good. It's such a big name and Woodbridge had really tainted my opinion of the wine. I apologize in advance if you are a fan of Woodbridge wines. I understand that they are very popular, easy drinkers that many people enjoy, I just find them too bland for my taste. Thinking that all Robert Mondavi wines had gone the super-generic, mass-produced route, I was ready to dismiss the winery and its respective wine as a whole.

And then I tried a glass of Mondavi wine at a wine class, and my perspective changed. It was well made, balanced and tasty. When I went to Napa, Mondavi was the first winery I went to. I took the tour, and wanted to see the wines from their perspective. I was pleased as punch when in the beginning of the tour they pulled out a selection of bottles, from humble Woodbridge and Private Selection wines, to the expensive and elite Reserve wines, and explained the difference in process and vision between them. Robert Mondavi Winery treads the line of mass produced commercial offerings and lovely, sophisticated, artful winemaking.

But I digress, back to tonight's wine. This is a rock solid Napa Cab. The Napa Valley wines are Mondavi's entry into more serious wine, and I seem to love them for how reliably well-made they are. Black currant, cassis, licorice and baking spice on the nose and in the taste, the tannins are there but soft, seems like it is just starting to come into it's own. Don't get me wrong, this bottle will not blow you away with its power or complexity, if you are looking for "greatness" in your wine, check out the Mondavi Reserves, but if you are looking for a solid bottle when you are craving Cab, this is a great go to, easy drinking and priced not to break the bank.

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