Wines with dinner.


2008 Mondavi Fume Blanc

This offers up plenty of green fruits and grapefruit on the nose with a hint of mineral smoke but is a bit simple. On the palate it’s snappy and fresh with nice acid, but--like the nose--is a bit on the simple side. It’s got nice balance and a decent finish; while serviceable, isn’t very exciting. 86pts

2007 Mondavi Pinot Noir Reserve

This really offers up some nice, complex aromatics that start off rather pine foresty with really sweet wood tones that recall coffee cream and marshmallows but gains some depth with a meaty note and accents of sweet pipe tobacco and some dried tomato. On entry, this is sweet, but it quickly turns hard and angular with tough little tannins fighting the small red fruits for your attention. The tannins win on the moderately short finish, which is also a tad hot.This just may need time but is a little disappointing.  86pts

1981 Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

From 6 liter

This is quite obviously old with notes of carrots and parsnips on the nose that slowly fade into the background, adding a dusty vegetal character to the emergent black currant fruit. On the palate this is fully resolved with a silky feel and complex, layered flavors of sweet fruit, cedar, cigarbox tones and hints of freshly cut grass and roasted coffee beans on the long finish. There is no doubt that this is past prime, even in this large format, but the wine still is captivating, with excellent balance. 90pts

2006 Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Young notes on the nose recall coffee cream with a buttery edge over jammy red fruits with hints of herb, leather and a touch of medicinal, cola syrup. On the palate this is balanced with prominent acidity and emerging floral inner mouth perfume. It’s a bit tight on the mid-palate with good extract and a chewy feel, yet this is not particularly rich feeling. There’s a bit of vanilla that peaks out on the moderate finish which is balanced by notes of chocolate, tobacco and cassis fruit. This may very well improve with age as almost every Mondavi Reserve has, but I have some doubts about where this is headed. 88pts

2000 Sauvignon Blanc Botrytis

This smells decadent with rich notes of candied almonds, dried apricots, dried citrus fruits, candied grapefruit peel and an herbal top note all jumping from the glass. In the mouth it’s medium rich with a nice sugar/acid balance that keeps it lively. The fruit is supported by the generous acidity and complemented by an almond brittle edge. Real length with apricot fruit and nuanced caramel emerging on the finale. 92pts

Two of Mondavi's Best Wines

2000 Robert Mondavi Sauvignon Blanc Botrytis
This smells decadent, with rich notes of candied almonds, dried apricots, dried citrus fruits, candied grapefruit peel and an herbal top note all jumping from the glass. In the mouth the sumptuous fruit is supported by generous acidity and complemented by an almond brittle edge.

1995 Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
This is classic California Cabernet; quite ripe but retaining the herbal element that gives it such a complex bouquet. Already there is a lot of fine detail on the palate with a subtle, savory complexity of herbs, roast meat, and boysenberries that emerges on the long finish. This is delicious.