Mondavi’s entry level Cab is 86 percent Cabernet Sauvignon blended with Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Syrah. The wine matured for 17 months in French oak, 17 percent new.
It’s a dense inky purple swirled by a red-velvet rim. The aromas are ripe and concentrated, opaque with black bramble berries, dried cranberries, juniper berries, cedar, and cocoa. Black and blue fruits dominate the flavor profile, too: plums, cherries, raspberries and blackberries, all dusted with cocoa-y tannins. The wine is dense enough to wear its heat (it’s 15% ABV), a chewy mouthful of fruit with an extra hit of bitter chocolate.
While it has enough stuffing to age, right now it needs foods packed with savoriness: seared red meat, smoked pork shoulder, earthy mushrooms, cheesy gratins.
15.0% abv | $29