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Mondavi 1991 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

From the moment I opened the bottle, this wine was one surprise after another. The color didn’t imply that the juice was 16 years old, and the nose, though redolent of the subtle aromas of leather and tobacco, developed a cinnamon-rolled blackberry character after a few minutes of air. And while the palate started off slowly, it blossomed into a stately mouthful of dried violets and apricots, with still-velvety tannins and a solid acid balance keeping it all alive. It certainly would have been better a year or two ago–or longer–but it was still hanging in there and giving plenty of pleasure.

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