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Robert Mondavi Maestro 2015

Shiny, inky ruby with a narrow pink rim. Lots of freshness, pointing to quite some ageing potential.

As rightly put in the winemaker notes, 2015 is a free-spirited Cabernet more than a set style. On the nose, it does reflect the classic tones of fresh, juicy plum and cassis, with hints of cinnamon and cocoa. The palate echoes the same, adding dimensions of lush Cabernet note(green olives, mint, liquorice, leaves), warm spices, fine tannins and lead pencil. 'Mondavi' in style for immediate enjoyment now, this Maestro 2015 is, albeit, a serious one, since Maestro marketers say that the final blend assembles through repeated tasting trials over the 21 months of barrel ageing(90% new French oak)! 14.5% ABV.

The packing is nice. Classy bottle, beautiful cork and a label that recalls the glamourise of Croix de Ducru Beaucaillou(the Second Wine of Ducru) by the British jewellery designer Jade Jagger.

A Bordeaux blend of 65 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 16 % Merlot, 9 % Cabernet Franc, 6% Malbec, 4 % Petit Verdot, this is a sophisticated blockbuster for those who love big Left-bank Bordeaux that has enough acidity and finesse to pair with food.

To our surprise, it is a little silkier than we thought and with an even softer mouthfeel than the 73% Cab-based, 2014 Maestro.

Why? We offer our reasoning as follows.

  1. Hand-picked grapes transported to the vats with small crates and carefully sorted at the winery's gravity-flow cellar, hence a juicy and ripe 2014 Maestro with Cabernet majority.

  2. Destemmed grapes go directly into traditional French oak casks for a refreshing soak, fermentation and extended maceration, hence the silkiness.

  3. Prolonged skins contact for 24 days, bring maximum extraction of varietal characteristics, hence the structure and specific complexities.

  4. Gentle, light press drain into 28 per cent new French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation, hence the wood with sweet spice profile.

  5. 2015 is a better vintage in Napa than 2014, and 2015 vintage in Napa, in general, gets 97 points from Wine Advocate.

This 2015 Maestro is worth keeping, partly because the vintage is as good as 2014 vintages and its composition(14.5% ABV and 5.9 g/L Acid). With a 92 Points from WS, JS and TP, Maestro is intended as the wine to follow in the style dedicated to a special occasion for the winery–their 50th anniversary. It will improve with bottle age as well though it can be for now.

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