Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Special Reserve To Kalon Vinyard 2016
Flavors of rich black berries and black plum, dried herb complexity, sweet oak spices, vanilla bean, and toasted almonds unfold in mesmerizing layers, sending a wave of deliciously intense complexity across the palate in a tasty expression of power and elegance.
92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot
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. Our Reserve is blended from the finest blocks within To Kalon.
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 35 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. The final blend was assembled through repeated tasting trials over twenty (20) months of barrel aging.
Generous winter rains helped alleviate the drought conditions of the past four years, and the 2016 growing season started early. Throughout the summer months, we enjoyed cooler than average daytime highs and cool evenings, providing balancing acidity to our sun-ripened grapes. The near-perfect growing season continued through harvest and our grapes were safely in the cellar as the valley’s first significant rainstorm arrived late October. We are grateful for a fifth consecutive vintage of stellar quality Napa Valley wines. Our specially selected grapes for The Reserve cabernet sauvignon were picked between September 9th and October 11th.
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Acid: 5.9 g/L
Residual Sugar: 0.05 g/L
The flagship 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is a more long-term effort yet is loaded with potential. Comming all from Mondavi’s To Kalon holdings and seeing an extended maceration and 18 months in new oak, its deep purple color is followed by rocking notes of blackberries, black cherries, smoke tobacco, black licorice, and crushed rocks. With a terrific sense of minerality, subtle background oak, full body, and impecable balance, hide bottle for 4-5 years and this beauty will cruise for 3 decades or so.
Jeb Dunnuck – JebDunnuck.com, January 31, 2019
A blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon To Kalon Reserve opens wiht beautifully fragrant kirsch, wilted roses, candied violets and dried Provence herbs notes over a core of wild blueberries, red and black currants and mulberries plus wafts of tobacco leaf and cardamom. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the palate with perfumed, crunchy black fruits framed by firm, ripe, grainy tannins and finishes long and earthy.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown – Wine Advocate, October 29, 2018
James Suckling – JamesSuckling.com, February 14, 2020