This is a delicious wine from Robert Mondavi in the Napa Valley. There are a few versions of this label available, but 2013 “Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon” has a very attractive fleshy texture, is ably supplemented by ripe (and not overripe) blackcurrant fruit and is a wine very much worth tracking down. It provides a contrast to some of the harder/drier (in a mouthfeel rather than residual sugar sense) Australian cabernet styles. (Region: Napa Valley, California, Rating: Very Good, Drink: now to 2025, Tasted: Jan, 2017)
Other vintages reviewed:
Napa cabernets are not that common in Australia, but they are a benchmark not to be overlooked. This wine, from Clos du Val, makes its first impression through bottle weight. Is there a bottle heavier than this for sale in the Australian market? Liberated from all that glass, the wine inside is really quite delicious. It is deep, rich and saturated in colour, with integrated cedar characters. The palate reminds of smoke and summer barbeques. Full bodied, it has velvety and softly textured tannins that will relax further with time in the cellar. (Region: Napa Valley, California, Rating: Very Good, Drink: now to 2026)
This is the second vintage I have tasted of this producer’s zinfandel. The 2011 is reviewed here. As is zinfandel’s inclination, the alcohol has drifted up another 0.4% this year to a hefty 15.6%abv, but remarkably does so without incident. The 2012 vintage has aromatics of fresh and ripe boysenberry and blackberry, and is quite pronounced in its clarity of expression. The palate is full bodied, has just short of long length on the finish, and proves a further excursion in boysenberry and blackberry characters. This is another good zinfandel release from Caymus, and although I expect it will be hard to find locally, it is a high quality example of a variety that sees little attention in these parts.
Rating: Very Good, Abv: 15.6%, Price: mid C$40s, Vendors: http://www.wine-searcher.com/, Website: http://www.caymus.com, Tasted: 2015
Clos du Val is a well known estate in the Napa Valley. Their 2010 merlot reminded me of a lighter style of Pomerol, with aromatics of plums, spice and red currants. The palate is quite elegant with medium length, fine grained tannins and flavours of spicy red currants and plum skins. This is a very balanced wine that will reward drinking now.
Rating: Good, Abv: 13.5%, Price: C$30s, Vendors: http://www.wine-searcher.com/, Website: http://www.closduval.com, Tasted: 2014
Sterling Vineyards’ 2011 cabernet sauvignon from the Napa Valley has aromatics that remind of plum and dark cherries, and is opulent in impression. The palate is balanced with flavours of plum, cloves and sweet black cherry. An easy to recommend wine.
Rating: Good, Abv: 13.9%, Price: C$30, Vendors: http://www.wine-searcher.com/, Website: http://www.sterlingvineyards.com/, Tasted: 2014
Zinfandel is a grape variety that is very popular in California, but it isn’t seen much locally. This is certainly the highest quality zinfandel that I have tasted and you can safely take away that this variety can show very well in the right hands. Dark in colour, Caymus Vineyards’ 2011 zinfandel from the Napa Valley has aromatics of raisins and overripe boysenberries, and some spirit notes. The palate is rather like a dry port, with notes of raisins, prunes and currants. The length on the palate is very long indeed, and provides the framework that ties the big and bold flavours together harmoniously.
Rating: Very Good, Abv: 15.2%, Price: C$45, Vendors: http://www.wine-searcher.com/, Website: http://www.caymus.com, Tasted: 2014
This is a well proportioned cabernet from Avalon in the Napa Valley. It has expressions of black cherry, bay leaf, ribena, dried herbs and cloves on the nose and palate. It is balanced and has medium length with some extract on the finish. A good classic cabernet.
Rating: Good, Abv: 13.8%, Price: C$28.99, Vendors: http://www.wine-searcher.com/, Website: http://www.avalonwinery.com, Tasted: 2014
This cabernet sauvignon from Plume in the Napa Valley has largely everything I want in a $30 wine, although this price is admittedly in Canadian dollars and so won’t benefit from Australia’s panoply of wine taxes. It has aromatics of black cherry and plums, but it is the palate that sings. Here, there is a textured structure with velvety tannins, fleshy extract, balance, medium to long length and flavours reminding of blackcurrant and blackberry. This is a very good wine that I have no hesitation in recommending. Very Good
Caymus Vineyards have produced a very good cabernet sauvignon here from the Napa Valley. It has aromatics reminding of brooding pencil lead, blackcurrant and blackberry. The palate has flavours of blackcurrant, blackberry and restrained cedar wood. It has delicious tannins that are round and ripe, and these are accompanied by long length. This outstanding wine is ready to drink now and over the next decade. Outstanding
There’s an appealing fleshy textural character that I find in some of the Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon wines that I find rarely in local cabernet sauvignon or Bordeaux wines. This cabernet sauvignon release from the Robert Mondavi winery has this character in spades. The aromatics remind of ribena, clove and vanilla. On the palate, there is medium to high acidity and flavours of blackcurrant and dark cherry. A medium to long length finish rounds out an attractive wine. Good to Very Good