Gabe's View

Wine: Reviews, Thoughts & Culture

Robert Mondavi – 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Posted by Gabe on February 20, 2008

I suppose it’s fitting that the final selection for Cabernet Sauvignon Week is from Robert Mondavi CabMondavi Winery. The story of the Mondavi impact on the California Wine Industry is retold often enough that it doesn’t bear repeating here.

As with many of the larger wineries, that are now owned by corporations, the Mondavi brand has a wide reach at numerous price and quality levels. Today’s Cabernet is from the Napa Valley series. For me, it’s at this level up that one can seriously consider the Mondavi wines. The Mondavi 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet is in fact 85% Cabernet Sauvignon. The other 15% is made up of parts of all four of the other Bordeaux varietals.

The nose of this wine reveals oak, vanilla and a lot of spice. What becomes immediately apparent when taking the first sip is that this wine is young. There is an upfront tartness that dissipates as the wine breathes, but is still apparent. Blueberry, mocha and white pepper come out and resonate through the mid-palate. There are present, slightly rough, tannins in this wine. A sign that it needs some time in the bottle. The finish is slightly above average in length with more spice and a very subtle earthiness. The 2005 Mondavi Cabernet shows good acidity and is well balanced. The alcohol is a somewhat surprising 15%, but it doesn’t come across that way when drinking it.

It’s clear to me that this wine needs more time in the bottle to resolve itself. Six months to a year should make a huge difference. My bet is that it’ll be enjoyable to drink for 7 or 8 years after that. Suggested retail is $28. Check Wine-Searcher though as it can easily be found for $20 or under. This is a well made Cabernet that needs some time to be fully enjoyed.

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2 Responses to “Robert Mondavi – 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon”

  1. cparente said

    Nice review, thanks. Recently started a blog, Found you through the tag surfer feature — very cool.

    Here’s a question — a friend received an offer from Mondavi recently, pasted below. Discount on a six bottle vertical from the 1990’s. Good deal?

    I received the attached memo from Robert Mondavi Cellars in Napa.
    Mid-way down the page, you’ll see they have a six-bottle vertical of the Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from 1994-1999. Normally $150/bottle, the deal is six bottles for $678 (will probably be about $750 after shipping and taxes).

  2. Hello Gabe!

    I like your T-shirt I Love Boxed wine, a real fashion risk….

    I just wanted to say that many of these big corporate take overs have been very negative for the upper end of the wine quality, the finest wines. At the same time some of these have resulted in better lower end wines, in the $10-20 range Cabernet especially. It used to be that almost all big corporate take overs meant the wine would suffer but this is not the case any longer.

    It is good for the consumer!

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