Hailing from another benchmark vintage, the 1974 Mondavi Reserve offers up aromas of cassis, cherries, mocha and cigar ash, followed by a deep, full-bodied palate. Whereas the 1975 is more elegant and ageworthy, the 1974 is more pliant and voluptuous. (WK)
A consistent star of the vintage, this fully mature wine exhibits no sign of losing its fruit. The color is saturated dark plum/garnet with slight amber at the edge. The bouquet has always been ostentatious, with pungent aromas of cassis, pepper, herbs, licorice, cedar, and Asian spices. Full-bodied and superbly balanced, with that layered, expansive richness found in top, highly extracted wines, the acidity is low but sound, and the tannin has nearly melted away. This stunning, opulent, complex California Cabernet Sauvignon should continue to drink well for another decade or more. (RP)
Medium red. Sexy ripe aromas of plum, prune and dates are accented by cedar, eucalyptus and caraway seed. At once penetrating and suave on the palate, conveying a fine-grained texture and terrific energy for a 42-year-old Cabernet. Finishes with perfectly integrated, ripe tannins and lovely length and verve. Very sexy juice with considerable class. It strikes me that a bottle of this wine could not possibly cause a hangover. (ST)
The 1974 Cabernet Reserve from Robert Mondavi has always been one of the winery’s most famous bottlings and this most recent example was excellent. Interestingly, this vintage of the wine was aged in seventy-five percent French oak and twenty-five percent American wood and tipped the scales (in this very ripe vintage!) at a very civilized 12.6 percent alcohol. The deep and beautifully complex nose offers up scents of cassis, cherries, a touch of mint, “weedy” cabernet overtones, tobacco leaf, a lovely base of Rutherford soil tones and still just a whisper of stemminess in the upper register. There is also a faint whiff of horsiness, which I assume is from a bit of brettanomyces here, but it is far from off-putting (at least to me). On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and very refined in style, with lovely focus and balance, impressive complexity and fine length and grip on the modestly tannic finish. This still has decades of life in it. The 1974 vintage is not my favorite from the Mondavis in this decade, as it is not quite as elegant as years such as ’75 or ’78 here, but the wine is certainly very, very well-made and will continue to drink well for many years to come. (Drink between 2008-2035)
Beautiful, only-slightly-bricked colour. Immediate, very aromatic nose: blackberries and sesame crisps. An extraordinary simultaneous fresh-savoury aspect. Staggering energy, symmetry and beauty. A lesson in intensity with grace. A lot of grip, again; drives across the palate. Gives no sense of 'age' whatsoever. Even after an hour in the glass, the aroma sings. Remarkable. 19.5/20 points (AH)
Aging gracefully, this is still complex, with a theme of currant, plum and anise. Mature tannins. (JL Web Only-2016)
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