Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon Yountville - Napa Valley 2006

Just about everybody who knows even a little bit about wine is familiar with the Mondavi name. Robert Mondavi played a huge part in putting California on the world's wine map and built quite an empire before selling the business. What many people don't know, though, is that Robert got his start in his family's winery business before leaving rather suddenly, and his brother Peter and his family still own that winery.

Robert's father Cesare got his start in the winemaking business in Lodi, before eventually buying the Charles Krug Winery in Napa Valley. Eventually, Cesare's two sons, Robert and Peter, took over the business with Peter heading up winemaking operations and Robert in charge of sales and marketing. Business boomed and everyone got along on the surface until Cesare passed away. After this, the infighting built and built until the now infamous fist fight between Peter and Robert, which resulted in Robert's ouster from the family business and a lengthy lawsuit between the Robert and Peter Mondavi families.

Today, the Robert Mondavi Winery is owned by Constellation Brands and Robert's sons Tim and Michael are involved in their own winery projects. Peter's family still owns the Charles Krug Winery, and in recent years they have been making some really nice wines. This 2006 Yountville Cab is no exception.

Deep purple in color and almost opaque in your glass, it brings aromas of blackberry and cassis with a little cedar and subtle notes of vanilla. In your mouth the wine has a wonderful feel. It is full bodied without being too weighty. The blackberry and cassis fruit shine along with hints of cherry. Very smooth tannins provide some nice balance. The finish is not particularly long, but it is truly mouthwatering and quite enjoyable.

Overall this wine provides a very nice value in the mid to high $20's. In fact it provides a lot more bang for your buck than the better known Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet. With 50,000 cases made, it should be pretty easy to find.

From a pairing standpoint it would go very nicely with a nice steak or grilled game, or it would go quite well with aged or blue cheeses.


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