The bottle: Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve To Kalon Vineyard 2015, $175
The back story: If you’re looking for an American wine to pair with the most American of meals — the Thanksgiving feast — you can hardly go wrong with an offering from Robert Mondavi. This is the California brand, created and led by its namesake vintner (1913-2008), that helped establish American wine as worthy of competing with its European counterpart.
But as with many brands, Mondavi, now owned by Constellation Brands, a wine and spirits conglomerate, makes a distinction between its everyday wines and those that are truly special — or “reserve.” In Mondavi’s case, that often means wines sourced from its To Kalon vineyard (the name comes from the Greek, meaning “the beautiful”). This piece of Napa Valley land is special, say Mondavi officials, because of the optimum sun exposure and rain it receives and its well-drained soil. Mondavi himself called it a vineyard with “a magical nature.”
So, in select years, the winery makes a Cabernet Sauvignon, the ever-popular red varietal, sourced from To Kalon. The 2015 is the latest example, having been released in the last few weeks. It’s a bottle with a limited supply — just 7,995 cases have been produced.
What we think about it: This is a Cab for those who like their wines big and bold. The Mondavi team rightly describes it as a sip of “dark-fruited, dried herb complexity.” But there’s finesse there as well and just a hint of nuttiness and sweetness. In all, quite a statement.
How to enjoy it: This could indeed be a great splurge wine for Thanksgiving. And while it might seemingly not be the ideal pairing for the bland turkey, it will work well with the rich side dishes that are the meal’s true culinary statement. Gobble, gobble, everyone.
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