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Wine Advocate 89 points - The 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is evolved. A plum/ruby color is followed by aromas of toasty oak, tobacco, black currants, smoke, and spice box. In the mouth, it is medium-bodied, with excellent fruit on the attack, some real charm and roundness, but the finish is filled with astringent tannin. If this wine continues to hold its fruit, it is going to be a Bordeaux-styled, medium-weight Cabernet Sauvignon to drink over the next 12-14 years. However, the tannin will need to be monitored because this particular wine could possibly dry out. (Dec 2000)
In Napa Valley, as throughout California, 1998 was an unusual year for weather. El Niño gave us a growing season punctuated with extremes ? twice the normal rainfall, 18 days of frost, cold weather at bloom and record heat spells. Yields for some varieties were down because of the wet weather during bloom and berry set. A period of excessive summer heat caused sunburn in some vineyards, necessitating thinning to maintain high quality. But then, as harvest approached, the weather improved, and we had near perfect mild, sunny days for ripening. The small, loose clusters had sufficient "hang time” on the vines to create vibrant flavors and natural balance in the wines. Overall, the 1998 harvest, one of the latest of the decade, turned out to be of excellent quality.
|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.|
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