The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is a big wine loaded with black fruit, cedar, licorice, grilled herbs and tar. Layers of flavor build effortlessly to the muscular, virile finish. Despite its size, the 2008 Reserve maintains elements of classicism that serve to balance some of the wine’s more extroverted leanings. The wine impresses for its depth, expressive inner perfume and beautifully integrated tannins. It is a showstopper from Mondavi. The 2008 Reserve is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2028. (AG)
(15.5% alcohol; 82% To Kalon): Bright, dark ruby. Very sexy, cool aromas of fresh black cherry, black olive and pepper. Suave and energetic, offering excellent energy and clarity of flavor, not to mention superb retention of dark berry fruit, along with pepper and balsamic nuances. Just a touch of torrefaction here to add another dimension. Finishes with firm but ripe tannins and excellent length. Hold this. (ST)
Rich, supple and graceful, with firm tannins supporting ripe plum, currant, blackberry and spice. Full-bodied, but not heavy or dense. Pleasantly complex and engaging. Drink now through 2022. (JL)
A very fine Cabernet, fancy and elegant in the mouth, although the tannins are tough and the wine wants some time. Your first impression is of astringency, a combination both of grape skin and oak tannins. Next, the blockbuster core of blackberries and black currants hits, leading to a long, spicy finish. Despite high alcohol, this seems like a wine that should develop over the next ten years. *Cellar Selection*
With lots of sweet oak surrounding its very ripe fruit, the latest Mondavi Reserve is an especially outgoing wine and holds little back. It is supple and full and wonderfully rich on the palate, and it stays in balance despite its very evident ripeness. A scant bit of heat comes up in the finish and ultimately costs it higher marks, but this a crowd- pleasing Cabernet by any standard, and it has room to grow for another five-plus years.
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