This impressive project of Tim Mondavi, from high on Pritchard Hill, has produced a wine that represents an innovative blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc and 19% Petit Verdot with 14.5% alcohol. Mondavi’s Midas Touch and his vast experience have turned out a gorgeous 2005 Proprietary Red that is still youthful and tastes more like a two- or three-year-old wine than one that’s already a decade old. The dense ruby/purple color offers up notes of incense, floral notes, graphite and subtle background earth and flowers. There is ripe fruit, and when the wine hits the palate, it builds incrementally to a medium to full-bodied, pure, delicious and complex beverage. It has a distinctive persistence and holding power, with a sense of elegance and lightness. This is a beautiful example of what Napa continues to do, which is to turn out wines that have great ripeness, intensity and power, but are light on their feet. This beauty should continue to drink well for another 20-25 years, if not longer. (RP)
Tim Mondavi sourced the grapes for this first vintage of his new project from old vines on the Oakville bench that now belong to the Robert Mondavi Winery. (His family had farmed them for decades before selling the firm.) It's mostly Cabernet Sauvignon (60 percent) with equal parts Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, a blend that quietly fills all the taste receptors with a subtle message of dried herbs and wild mushrooms. The savory elements balance dark chocolate tannins and higher notes of fruit, leaving a complex impression. Tim Mondavi has long been a proponent of an elegant style of Napa Valley Cabernet, achieved here with dimension and grace.
Complex and savory, graceful and elegant, this unfolds to reveal spicy herb, dried currant, mineral, anise, mint, sage and tarry notes, then firms up nicely on the finish, giving this structure and traction.
Tim Mondavi is back with this interesting Cabernet blend. It’s very much in the modern Napa style, soft, rich and sophisticated, with cherry, red currant, Asian spice and new oak flavors. It’s an elegant wine, but a fairly tannic one, with a dusty astringency that suggests mid-term aging. An auspicious, if expensive, new beginning.
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