Wine Advocate 92 points - This iconic winery in Oakville has meant so much to not only me, but wine lovers throughout the United States. However, Robert Mondavi’s 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is somewhat of a disappointment. Made from a final blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, it is a somewhat restrained, mid-weight effort that finishes narrowly and abruptly on the palate. I even asked the Napa Valley Vintners’ Association (where my tastings were being held) to open a second bottle, and it was identical to the first. Red fruits, earth, incense, black currants and a hint of mint were all present, and while this cuvee is very good, it is not at the level of achievement one expects of this great brand and winery. Fully mature, yet capable of lasting another 10-15 years, this wine would benefit from more stuffing, complexity and gravitas.
Cool temperatures through spring and summer, coupled with wet weather during bloom, led to a light Cabernet Sauvignon crop with small berries and great flavor concentration. Although rainfall was average (36”), 40% fell in December, and spring was relatively dry. August was cooler than normal, followed by wide diurnal swings (hot days and cold nights), and very low humidity in September. Flavor maturity in the grapes lagged behind sugar accumulation (Brix), so we judiciously delayed until the flavors matured. Although harvest was a nail-biter, the Cabernet Sauvignon wines blossomed in the winery.
|Robert Mondavi established his namesake winery in 1966 with a vision to create Napa Valley wines that would stand in the company of the world’s finest. He chose To Kalon Vineyard in the heart of the Napa Valley as the home for Robert Mondavi Winery. This first-growth vineyard, located in Oakville, California, is renowned for producing some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon wines in the world, as well as for its Sauvignon Blanc grapes, from which Mr. Mondavi crafted his signature wine, Fume Blanc.
Along with To Kalon Vineyard, Robert Mondavi Winery sources grapes from some of Napa Valley’s finest vineyards, including Stag’s Leap (Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc) and Carneros (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay).
Mr. Mondavi believed that wines should reflect their origins, that they are the product of the soil, the climate, and the careful stewardship of those precious resources. He also believed in combining the newest techniques and technology with time-honored winemaking traditions.
Our winemaking and vineyard teams are proud to carry on our founder’s mandate to always strive higher, to pursue Robert Mondavi’s goal of excellence with the same passion and innovative spirit, moving forward with programs that break barriers and open new frontiers.