Dark ruby garnet–nearly impenetrable with intensely colored edges. It smells like every other Anniversary Bottling I’ve had. Granted, this is only the third one I can remember: J. Lohr’s 40th, Caymus 40, an now Mondavi’s 50th. Fat, round, fleshy dullness surrounding forward fruit. A conundrum you say? No. This is crowd-pleasing wine. This is the body people want in a good-looking, easy-bling-factor wine you give more consideration to before the capsule is cut than once it is in the glass. I mean… syrah, zinfandel, barbera, merlot… who knows what’s in this thing. I would be shocked if it is BDX-5 or fewer. And if it IS mostly cab? It’s… um… made in a style I am not comfortable even mentioning in the same breath as Mondavi Cabernet. Gobs of chocolate, tobacco, blackberry and 32 other wine-blogger yum-words, a teensy layer of ambivalent chalky gripe clouding the somewhat alcoholic buttermilk girth. I’m going to guess a nice safe 14-5 on the label. I’m really dying to know what’s in this.
In the mouth, everything runs as planned along the safe Anniversary Route until a wallop of peppery burn kicks in. And it kicks in early and earnestly. Opulent spice–none of which was apparent in the nose–plunge sweet, jammy berry into a suitor’s death-march at the arm of those ridiculous–albeit somewhat shallow–tannins. This is a perfunctory–almost mechanical–Music for the Masses bottling that could be made in Graton. Or Modesto.
2013 ROBERT MONDAVI WINERY ‘Maestro’ 50th Anniv. Napa Valley 14.5