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TN: 1992 Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet


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1992 Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – this was one of the first years to be bottled in those stupid bottles with a flat glass rim at the top. This apparently accomplished two things – made the winery stand out from all the others (except, of course, the ones that also used this bottle) and also made it impossible to use various types of common corkscrew on this bottle.

The wine is a blend of 81% cab sauv, 10% cab franc and 9% merlot. The 24 months in French oak imparted the usual heavy handed Mondavi telltale trademark to this wine when it was young, but now, at 15 years of age, all that has come into balance. As for the 90% of this wine that has been drunk much earlier, well tough, I guess, at least the impatient ones got what they were expecting – big vanilla oak and tannin.

In fact the tannins are still present, only partially muted or softened, and the nose has added some plum to the ubiquitous vanilla, and the mid-palate is a juicy tasty melange with good fruit in the mouth. It finishes well, in a medium length organised fashion, and I’m not sure it will improve much from here, although it will certainly hold, probably for quite awhile. Quite pleasant now, and for those with the self control to have cellared this, go pop a cork and pat yourself on the back for having restrained yourselves – you have a very nice mature California Cabernet on the plateau of development.

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