WTN: Etude, Mondavi, Cuvaison 1986-1994

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WTN: Etude, Mondavi, Cuvaison 1986-1994

Postby Bill Spohn » Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:35 pm

After the terrine event, a couple of participants stayed over, and although none of use felt like any food, we did fancy a sip or two of wine, so I headed for the cellar to pull out some older Californian cabernets.

1994 Etude Cabernet – still dark colour on this one, and a dark fruit and cocoa powder nose, smoothly crosses the palate with soft tannins and some spice, and finished well.

1990 Mondavi Cabernet – this was one of the vintages where the increment between the regular and reserve was small in terms of quality but quite large financially. I bought a half case of the regular and worked through it over the years with enjoyment, and this was my last bottle. Unfortunately, unlike the previous bottle, drunk in 2011, this w=one did not show the classic Napa cab nose, but rather a Rhone-ized nose and although the fruit was still present the acidity on this bottle was not in balance. Too bad.

Which meant I had to go back to the cellar. I mentioned that I had the next wine but wasn’t sure how it was doing, and the group agreed that we should find out.

1986 Mondavi Cabernet - again, the regular (although my list shows also one bottle of the reserve – somewhere…..) An earthy red fruit berry nose was promising, and when tasted the wine still had pretty good balance and medium length. Not bad at all.

I wanted to end the 1986 tasting (it was my friend’s wedding year) with one I was pretty sure would be quite good, so….

1986 Cuvaison Cabernet - more earth and currant with underlying plumy fruit, lots of acidity at first, mellowing with air. Still a weighty but elegant cab. This winery seems to be always under the notice of most but the older wines were well made and enjoyable. FWIW, the other ‘rarely noticed’ wine I bought and continue to enjoy from this vintage was the Monticello Jefferson Cuvee cab.
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Bill Spohn
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