2010 Michael Mondavi Family Wines Cabernet Sauvignon "M"

Year: 2010
Appellation: Napa Valley
Country: USA - California
Vinous Media: 93+
Connoisseurs' Guide: 95
James Suckling: 90
Wine Enthusiast: 91
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.3%
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"An exotic melange of sweet tobacco, menthol, licorice, grilled herbs, smoke and plums emerge from the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon M by Michael Mondavi. Layered and expressive, the 2010 is another highly attractive Cabernet Sauvignon from Michael Mondavi's Atlas Peak property. Readers will need to give the 2010 a few years to soften, but it is quite pretty." (VM)

"Tight yet outgoing, deep and rich and somewhat broad-beamed in first impression, this solidly constructed wine comes absolutely loaded with juicy black cherry fruit supported by layers of dried currants, twigs and herbs and all nicely complemented by plenty of carefully measured. Full in body and fairly mouthfilling with generous tannins for grip and a fleshy underbelly, it is the kind of hedonistic wine that seems to invite early drinking but really deserves a fair measure of cellaring in order to reach its high potential. It may not be the darling of the "less-is-more" crowd, but it is guaranteed to please everyone else now and well into the next decade. Reviewed: December 2014" (CG)

"A red that shows lots of ripe-fruit character on the nose and palate, from prunes to dried strawberries. Full body with velvety tannins and a long finish. A little hot but it should come together in the bottle: better in 2016." (JS)

"Sourced from the family’s Animo Vineyard atop Atlas Peak, this Cab comes from the highest-elevation blocks on the vineyard, some 1,350 feet up. Ripe plum fruit flavors surround savory elements of black tea, the structure well-honed and age-worthy through 2020–2025. -V.B. (2/1/2015)" (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."