Robert Mondavi Winery
$26.00 -- Rum Runner, Tucson, AZ
Color: Deep ruby
Nose: Panko-crusted shrimp with a side of spinach in a creamy balsamic vinaigrette
Front: Cherry cream, mint
Middle: Cedar vanilla, pepper
Back: Smoke, pencils, chocolate, gravel
Burns clean?: Yes
Maybe it's because it's Christmas Eve, maybe it's because there's a roast in the oven smelling like heaven at 375 degrees, maybe it's because the Kingston Trio are singing "Children Go Where I Send Thee" in big, fat, analog sound. But this wine is astounding, right out of the bottle. It's all that I imagine in a Napa wine. Many, many things are going on in it, and it evolves beautifully as it opens.
This may be in part because a lot of players are involved in making this taste like it does. I have to say that, though I can't say how it'll age, this is a bargain. It's up there with bottles I've reviewed here at $50 or more. If I survive Christmas dinner and leftovers, I'll be getting more of this.