2006 M By Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

Year: 2006
Appellation: Napa Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Advocate: 93
Wine Enthusiast: 90
Red Wine
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"More primary is the 2006 M (900 cases, again made from100% Cabernet Sauvignon). It avoids the rustic, somewhat astringent tannins that some Cabernets from Napa have in this vintage. This is a stronger effort in 2006 than was 2005. Dark, slightly more saturated, youthful plum/ruby/purple, with notes of licorice, scorched earth, and burning embers, the wine is structured, but displays terrific fruit intensity, medium to full body, and lots of upside potential. This is a young wine that I would cellar for 2-3 years and drink over the following 25 years.

Former Mondavi CEO Michael Mondavi has his own boutique operation on Atlas Peak. It includes 17 acres planted on a hillside elevation of approximately 1,600 feet in volcanic white tufa. This site was once used as part of the blend for Opus One, but it is owned by Mondavi, who produces between 700 and 1,000 cases. This is, for the most part, a European, Bordeaux-styled wine, with more structure and firmness than many Napa Cabernets display in their youth." (WA)

"Made from the winery’s little vineyard on Atlas Peak, this 100% Cabernet needs time to come around. It doesn’t show the voluptuous approachability of the 2005 or the 2007, which will be released next year. It’s fairly acidic and tannic. But there’s a luscious core of blackberries and black currants. Try after 2012; it might be a very long-lived wine." (WE)

Winery Notes:
M is the ultimate expression of Michael Mondavi's lifelong passion for the art of fine winemaking. Michael describes his inspiration for M simply. "Wine has always been my passion," he says. "My winemaking philosophy evolved from a maxim of my grandmother's: 'Make good wine.' By that, she meant wine that invites a second glass and can be enjoyed on its own or with a meal. M provides me with the opportunity to do what I've always loved: make sumptuous, beautifully balanced wines form the finest Napa Valley grapes."

Michael, with his son Rob and winemaker Tony Coltrin, craft the prestigious, limited-production M Cabernet Sauvignon from grapes grown in Michael's Animo Vineyard in the Foss Valley of Atlas Peak, a classic mountain site whose Italian name means "spirit" or "soul." With ideal northwestern and southeastern exposures, Animo's closely spaced, high-elevation vines yield grapes with intensely concentrated, beautifully balanced flavors.

Michael, Rob and Tony carefully ferment this prime fruit and age the wine 22 months in French oak barrels and another year in bottle to fully marry the wine's wonderfully rich, seamless flavors and supple, sculpted tannins. Stylistically reminiscent of the legendary Mondavi cabernets of the late 1960s and early'70s, the luxurious M embodies the spirit of its maker, displaying compelling depth, dynamism, elegance and nobility.

Michael's daughter Dina played an integral role in the visual design of M, working with luxury and fashion designer, Karen Joyce of London and Milan. The beautifully designed label is a graphic representation of vine roots underground, which symbolizes the essence of M - an exceptional wine where its core lies in the foundation, the "terroir."