Posts Tagged ‘Oberon’

A couple of weeks ago, Peter and I recruited two friends to help us with the difficult work of tasting three premium Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons. Due to a way-too-strong fondness for alliteration in my old budget-wine column, these friends appeared in that space as ‘the Tuscan Tipplers’ — a honeymoon reference. Here we’ll just call them the TTs.

The wines we tasted with the TTs were, in order of price, a 2007 Cab from Mount Veeder Winery ($40), a 2005 Stag’s Leaps District Cab from Clos Du Val ($70), and a 2006 Reserve Cab from Robert Mondavi Winery ($135).

I really liked the Mount Veeder and noted its strong tannins, which indicated to Peter that the wine could benefit from a few more years of aging. Mr. TT was neutral on this one, but it was Mrs. TT’s favorite of the bunch: “smooth and yummy.”

I loved the Clos du Val 2005, especially that pencil-shaving aroma I always associate with great Napa Cabs. Mr. TT found it open and pleasant, with berries on the palate. Mrs. TT really liked it too and found it pungent—”fumey,” she said, but not in a bad way, as well as strong and rich. Finally, Peter praised its super-dark fruit; nice, not-overpowering oak; and good balance.

None of us were big fans of the 2006 Mondavi Reserve: the TTs complained of its “puckery” quality, and Peter simply said it was “going downhill.”

Mondavi redeemed itself to me a few days later, however, when I thoroughly enjoyed a glass of the 2007 Cab from its Oberon label, which I found online for as little as $14.99. Another lesson that with Napa wines, you don’t always get when you pay for — except when you do.

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