Robert Mondavi 50th Anniversary 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, To Kalon Vyd., Napa Valley
This is the third vintage of the To Kalon Vineyard-designated Reserve. When Robert Mondavi chose the To Kalon Vineyard in west Oakville as the home for his new winery in 1966 he remarked that, "It was a vineyard with a distinguished history and a magical nature. Ideal soils, sunlight, and rain- to my eye, the vineyard was a treasure." Those sentiments were re-confirmed when the To Kalon Vineyard was named the Vineyard of the Year by the California State Farm Bureau in 2011. Mondaviís Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is blended from the finest blocks within To Kalon. Another record harvest, 2013 saw consistently beautiful weather leading to optimal ripeness in what is being called an 'epic' year. The grapes were hand-harvested with three stages of strict sorting: first, on the vine, then by individual clusters, and then again by single berry following de-stemming. The selected grapes went directly into traditional French oak tanks for cold soak, fermentation and extended maceration - a total of 34 days of wine to skin contact - maximizing the extraction of varietal character and complexity while keeping the tannins round and supple. The new wine was drained and gently pressed into 100% new French-oak barrels for malolactic fermentation, assuring seamless integration of fruit and oak. 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petite Verdot, the final blend was assembled through repeated tasting trials over 21 months of barrel aging and finally bottled in August of 2015. With rave reviews across the board, Robert Parker scored this 95+ saying "A beautifully polished wine, with a dense ruby/purple color, it is still tightly knit and showing high-quality oak. The wine is full-bodied and rich, with outstanding depth, ripeness and purity. There is plenty of backbone and tannin for 25-30 years of cellaring. The wine shows notes of chocolate and plenty of blackcurrant fruit and blackberry. This is a beauty and certainly a great reserve and worthy homage to the legendary Robert Mondavi."