M by Michael Mondavi

Napa Valley, California

Tasting Notes

Aromas of dark fruits and fresh French plums, with notes of roasted hazelnuts, are at the core of the bouquet. The attack on the palate is soft, and delicate flavors of refined vine fruits and orchard blossoms mingle together providing a seamless wine with a lingering finish. This is an elegant medium body wine, flush with restrained opulence.

The 2015 was a warm vintage, and in order to stress the importance of balanced vines and soils, our viticulturalist Danny Schuster provided guidance to establish balanced canopies to shield the grapes from the intense heat and sun. The vineyard is located high on the hillside of the valley. The vintage required attention in the vineyards and cellar, yet it demonstrated the beauty of harnessing the warmth of Napa Valley

The grapes came into the winery early in the morning and were gently transferred into our Pellenc destemmer, known as the most precise and gentle tool available. The berries were then placed into small wood tanks and settled for a day prior to commencing fermentation to capture the freshness of the grapes. Pressing occurred and we opted for a short maceration time as the small berries of mountain fruit provide a naturally ample intensity of color, tannins, and mouthfeel. The wine is aged in 65% new French oak puncheons for 21 months as they impart a more delicate influence of oak and preserve the fruit and nuances of the vineyard. The wines are unfiltered prior to bottling.

89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot, 1% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot

The grapes harvested to make M by Michael Mondavi come from a special section at the crest of our hillside vineyard on Atlas Peak. Here, in the crown of the vineyard, the vines produce smaller clusters and berries resulting in a richer and plusher wine.

Tasting Notes

Bold, rich dark cherry and loganberry with dark chocolate mocha play center stage for the aromatics.  As the wine washes across the palate, the flavors compliment the aromatics, and the acidity balances the wine. The tannin profile is akin to a dark chocolate truffle, fully coating the palate and providing graceful form and structure. This is a wine that shows harmony between power and softness, with accenting notes of blackcurrant, boysenberries and subtle licorice. The dark fruit and balanced body suggest that this wine is the finest M by Michael Mondavi to date.

The winter of 2014 was one of the driest on record in California and total rainfall in the Napa Valley was half of the average amount. However, heavy rains in late February and early March gave a much-needed drink of water to the vines as they were emerging from dormancy and about to begin bud break. The spring was warm and heat spikes were nearly non-existent during the growing cycle, which contributed to the overall quality of the 2014 vintage.

Working diligently in the vines to maximize phenolic maturity, the winemaking and vineyard teams met each critical timing requirement with precision. The vineyard responded and yielded opulent fruit with acidity, tannins, and complex aromatics that demonstrate a wine with strength and finesse. The 2014 is the hallmark of unlocking vineyards secrets and unleashing the wine’s potential in the fermentations and cellar. The wine was aged in 85% new French oak barrels for 18 months and 15% in neutral French oak barrels prior to blending.

Tasting Notes

Aromatics of freshly muddled boysenberries, toasted vanilla and cardamom grace the opening volley. The welcoming notes of this wine offer an integrated structure of approachable and full tannins with interlocked fruits that define the beauty of this vintage. The 2013 M by Michael Mondavi wine has a complete mouthfeel, which is complimented by elegant aromatics and superbly lengthy finish.

A long and warm growing season provided dark fruits while the sustained heat further softened the classically bold tannins of Cabernet Sauvignon. The warm season was balanced by the night time fog of the Napa Valley calming the ripening giving this wine a unique equilibrium between tannin and dark fruit with a full, rich background. The natural farming practices coupled with the new vinicultural techniques where the vines are thinned and tipped at specific times to accentuate higher and earlier phenolic development created yet another exceptional vintage for our family vineyard.

The fruit’s rich flavors, fine tannins and balanced acidity enabled Rob Mondavi Jr. to craft Cabernet Sauvignon with unmatched richness, elegance and harmony. After the grapes were hand-harvested and clusters selected, they were de-stemmed and crushed into small 800 gallons wood tanks for fermentation. The wine was aged in French oak barrels (68% new) for 20 months before being blended with 5% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. The final blend shows harmony and flushness accenting notes of blackcurrant, boysenberries and subtle licorice notes. The texture and concentration are distinctly mountain Cabernet Sauvignon yet the balanced tannins and rich fruit demonstrate a deeper relationship with the vineyard that has unlocked flavors and depth beyond expectation.

“When I first planted the vines for M over a decade ago, my goal was to make a wine that personifies the soil and climate of the vineyard and my vision as a vintner.” MICHAEL MONDAVI

Tasting Notes

M is an elegant, dynamic Cabernet Sauvignon inspired by both the timeless reds of Bordeaux and the legendary Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernets of the 1960s and early ‘70s that Michael made himself.

A classic Napa Valley growing season and harvest provided an abundance of quality grapes from which winemakers had to choose in 2012. From spring bud break, through flowering, fruit set, and ripening, conditions were ideal. A consistent stretch of warm summer weather, without large heat spikes and with plenty of cool and foggy nights, ripened grapes to perfection before late rains appeared at the end of October.

The fruit’s rich flavors, ripe tannins and balanced acidity enabled Michael to craft M Cabernet Sauvignon with unmatched richness, elegance and harmony. After the grapes were gently hand-harvested and the individual clusters selected, they were de-stemmed and lightly crushed into small punch down tanks. After a five day cold soak period, the juice was fermented at 27-30°C. Extended post-fermentation maceration brings the total skin contact time to 28-32 days fully marrying the wine’s rich black fruit flavors and supple, sculpted tannins. The young wine was then moved to barrel for malolactic fermentation and 22 months of aging in French oak barrels (87% new). It was clarified with a light egg-white fining in barrel, using organic eggs, and spent 20 months in bottle prior to release.

Michael Mondavi’s grandfather taught him as a boy that all great winemakers, first and foremost, have respect for their soil.Making wine from the roots up, he said, is the only way to create a truly unique wine instilled with a sense of time and place. Years later, when Michael chose the vineyard site for , those words were not far from his mind. His daughter Dina named the vineyard Animo (“spirit” in Italian) because of the feeling of energy that permeated the site and clearly expressed its sense of place. This vineyard, high atop Atlas Peak on 15 acres of rocky, volcanic soil at an elevation of up to 1,350 feet, would carry on its terroir through the vines into the grapes and, ultimately, finish in the glass.

Tasting Notes

Stylistically reminiscent of the legendary Mondavi cabernets of the late 1960s and early 1970s, crafted by Michael. M is a prestigious wine reflecting the animo, or “spirit,” of the vineyard: compelling, dynamic, and elegant.

The 2010 growing season in Napa Valley was dramatic, but resulted in excellent quality fruit with great flavor concentration.

The fruit’s rich flavors, ripe tannins and balanced acidity enabled Michael to craft M Cabernet Sauvignon with unmatched richness, elegance and harmony. After the grapes were gently hand-harvested and the individual clusters selected, they were de-stemmed and lightly crushed into small punch down tanks. After a five day cold soak period, the juice was fermented at 27-30°C. Extended post-fermentation maceration brings the total skin contact time to 28-32 days fully marrying the wine’s rich black fruit flavors and supple, sculpted tannins. The young wine was then moved to barrel for malolactic fermentation. Due to the vintage conditions that resulted in ripe, massive tannins, it was determined to extend the wine’s time in French oak barrels (87% new) to 28 months in order to soften and mature the tannins for a perfect balance. Determined by taste, the 2010 M received seven rack and return movements. It was clarified with a light egg-white fining in barrel, using organic eggs, and spent 15 months in bottle prior to release.

3.95ph 5.05 TA 14.84% alc. by volume

Michael Mondavi’s grandfather taught him as a boy that all great winemakers, first and foremost, have respect for their soil. Making wine from the roots up, he said, is the only way to create a truly unique wine instilled with a sense of time and place. Years later, when Michael chose the vineyard site for M, those words were not far from his mind. His daughter Dina named the vineyard “Animo” (“spirit” in Italian) because of the feeling of energy that permeated the site and clearly expressed its sense of place. This vineyard, high atop Atlas Peak on 15 acres of rocky, volcanic soil, would carry on its terroir through the vines into the grapes and, ultimately, finish in the glass.

The 2009 growing season in Napa Valley was very mild early on, with cool temperatures slowly maturing the grapes up until dramatic rains in October forced winegrowers to decide between picking early or waiting out the rains. By carefully monitoring our Animo vineyard, we stayed patient and waited for the rains to subside and pick at optimum maturity. Whatever the vineyard block configuration, the most important aspect is to harvest these grapes at the height of ripeness and ideal flavor. Michael, with the assistance of his son Rob and Tony Coltrin, spent countless hours walking, tasting, and flagging small areas to be harvested - the end of a few rows, a circular plot in the middle of a vineyard block, even just one side of the vines in an area – in order to achieve the absolute peak of balance, ripeness, and flavor, resulting in as many as nine different picks.

The prized Crown Block, utilized for one exclusive barrel of M, is located on a small knoll in the corner of the vineyard. It takes several harvest days to provide the perfectly ripe and balanced fruit from this block.

The fruit’s rich flavors, ripe tannins and balanced acidity enabled Michael to craft an M Cabernet Sauvignon of unmatched richness, elegance and harmony. After the grapes were gently hand-harvested and the individual clusters selected, they were de-stemmed and lightly crushed into small punch down tanks. After a five day cold soak period, the juice was fermented at 27-30°C. Extended post-fermentation maceration brings the total skin contact time to 28-32 days fully marrying the wine’s rich black fruit flavors and supple, sculpted tannins. The young wine was then moved to barrel for malolactic fermentation. During its 22 months in French oak barrels (87% new) the wine was racked several times. Determined by taste, the M 2009 received seven rack and return movements. It was clarified with a light egg-white fining in barrel, using organic eggs, and spent 15 months in bottle prior to release. Stylistically reminiscent of the legendary Mondavi cabernets of the late 1960s and early 1970s, crafted by Michael, M is a prestigious wine reflecting the animo, or “soul,” of its maker: compelling, dynamic, and elegant.

Michael Mondavi’s grandfather taught him as a boy that all great winemakers, first and foremost, have respect for their soil. Making wine from the roots up, he said, is the only way to create a truly unique wine instilled with a sense of time and place. Years later, when Michael chose the vineyard site for M, those words were not far from his mind. He named the vineyard “Animo” (“soul” in Italian) because of his belief that it clearly expressed terroir (or sense of place). This vineyard, high atop Atlas Peak at an elevation of 1,350 feet on 15 acres of rocky, volcanic soil, would carry on its terroir through the vines into the grapes and, ultimately, finish in the glass.

After an early spring frost which significantly reduced yields, the 2008 vintage was known for its long cool growing season which produced flavorful grapes with rich concentration. Whatever the vineyard block configuration, the most important aspect is to harvest these grapes at the height of ripeness and ideal flavor. Michael, with the assistance of his son Rob and Tony Coltrin, spent countless hours walking, tasting, and flagging small areas to be harvested - the end of a few rows, a circular plot in the middle of a vineyard block, even just one side of the vines in an area – in order to achieve the absolute peak of balance, ripeness, and flavor, resulting in as many as fourteen different picks.

The prized Crown Block, utilized for one exclusive barrel of M, is located on a small knoll in the corner of the vineyard. It takes several harvest days to provide the perfectly ripe and balanced fruit from this block.

The fruit’s rich flavors, ripe tannins and balanced acidity enabled Michael to craft an M Cabernet Sauvignon of unmatched richness, elegance and harmony. After the grapes were gently hand-harvested and the individual clusters selected, they were de-stemmed and lightly crushed into small punch down tanks. After a five day cold soak period, the juice was fermented at 27-30°C. Extended post-fermentation maceration brings the total skin contact time to 28-32 days fully marrying the wine’s rich black fruit flavors and supple, sculpted tannins. The young wine was then moved to barrel for malolactic fermentation. During its 22 months in French oak barrels (87% new) the wine was racked several times. Determined by taste, the 2008 M received seven rack and return movements. It was clarified with a light egg-white fining in barrel, using organic eggs, and spent 15 months in bottle prior to release. Stylistically reminiscent of the legendary Mondavi cabernets of the late 1960s and early 1970s, crafted by Michael, M is a prestigious wine reflecting the animo, or “soul,” of its maker: compelling, dynamic, and elegant.

Michael Mondavi’s grandfather taught him as a boy that all great winemakers, first and foremost, have respect for their soil. Making wine from the roots up, he said, is the only way to create a truly unique wine instilled with a sense of time and place. Years later, when Michael chose the vineyard site for M, those words were not far from his mind. He named the vineyard “Animo” (“soul” in Italian) because of his belief that it clearly expressed terroir (or sense of place). This vineyard, high atop Atlas Peak at an elevation of 1,350 feet on 15 acres of rocky, volcanic soil, would carry on its terroir through the vines into the grapes and, ultimately, finish in the glass.

  • 94

    Points

    M by Michael Mondavi
    Wine Enthusiast, February 2019

    "This is a powerfully built, age-worthy wine, robustly concentrated and dense in elements of tobacco, gunpowder, turned earth and leather. Sizable tannins give it additional weight and breadth, as well as structure: a sign of the vintage as well as site. Best 2025–2030."

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  • 95

    Points

    M by Michael Mondavi
    Wine Advocate, October 2018

    "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon is redolent of plum preserves, blackberry pie and cassis with touches of cedar chest, unsmoked cigars, menthol and tilled soil plus a waft of lilacs. The palate is medium to full-bodied with a solid backbone of firm, grainy tannins, tons of expressive fruit and seamless acid with a long earthy finish."

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  • 90-92

    points

    M by Michael Mondavi
    Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, December 2015

    "A barrel sample of the 2014 M by Michael Mondavi was 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and offered up notes of wood smoke, baking spices, red and black currants, and hints of plum and licorice. It is medium to full-bodied, front-end loaded and very seductive. Drink it over the next 10-15 years."

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  • 93

    points

    M by Michael Mondavi
    Lisa Perotti-Brown, Wine Advocate, October 2018

    "Deep garnet with a hint of purple, the 2014 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon has pronounced plum preserves, blueberry coulis and blackcurrant cordial with hints of chocolate box, licorice, baking spices and fragrant earth. The medium to full-bodied palate is firm, fine grained and lively with great intensity of black fruits and earthy layers, finishing long with a mineral kick."

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  • 97

    points

    M by Michael Mondavi
    James Suckling, James Suckling, June 2016

    "Aromas of tar, blackberry, stone, mineral, and spice. Lead pencil. Full body, firm and silky tannins. The depth and finesse to this is superb. Goes on for minutes. Great wine. Drink or hold."

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  • 94

    points

    M by Michael Mondavi
    Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, June 2017

    "Editors Choice: From the producer's beloved Atlas Peak planting, M is a powerhouse of brawny flavor and earthy minerality, a mix of chocolate, coffee and blackberry jam that's burly in size and scope. Spicy, it layers on savory elements of tar, leather and tobacco, complementing with ease the forceful fruit and supportive oak."

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  • 95

    points

    M by Michael Mondavi
    Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, December 2015

    "The brilliant 2013 M by Michael Mondavi ratchets up the level of concentration. It displays blackcurrant, black raspberries, licorice and truffle notes, a stunning opaque purple color, full-bodied mouthfeel, and beautiful density, purity and texture. Unfortunately, there are only 263 cases of this wine, but it should age beautifully for 20-25 years."

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  • 96

    points

    M by Michael Mondavi
    James Suckling, May 2016

    "The purity and brilliance to this wine is fantastic with blueberry, bkack currant, and boysenberry. Full body, very fine tannins and a bright finish. The tannin texture is sublime. Give it two or three years to develop. A wonderful example of a new Napa"

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  • 16.5

    M by Michael Mondavi
    Elaine Chukah Brown, JancisRobinson.com, September 2016

    "Aromatics of dark fruit sprinkled with earth and cocoa. Flavours of black plum, integrated baking spice with accents of tobacco and cocoa and a crack of pepper on the finish. Good concentration at the front of the palate gets a bit light in the finish. Dusty tannins and balancing acidity. (ECB) 14.3% Drink 2017-2025"

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  • 90

    points

    2012 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
    Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, December 2015

    "The flagship wine, the 2012 M by Michael Mondavi, is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot. In this vintage, the wine seems lush, opulent and soft, with lots of creamy blackcurrant fruit interwoven with some cedar wood, licorice and forest floor. It is juicy, but doesn't seem to have the density and concentration of the two vintages of Animo. Nevertheless, it is elegant and made in a Bordeaux style. Drink it over the next 12-15 years."

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  • 93

    points

    2012 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
    Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, February 2017

    "Among the producer's most luxurious offerings, this nearly 100% varietal wine (with 2% Petit Verdot) is grippy in tobacco and big, pillowy tannin. The leaner side of its personality is defined by classic notions of cedar, currant and graphite, while its other aspect reveals riper elements of mountain blackberry and chocolate mocha. They all work well together in sync."

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  • 94

    points

    2012 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
    James Suckling, May 2016

    "The purity and focus to this is really wonderful with blueberry, black currant, and lavender flower character. Full to medium body, ultra-fine tannins and winderful length. Needs a few years to come together still. Try in 2019."

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  • 90

    points

    2010 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
    James Suckling, May 2014

    "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."

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  • 91

    points

    2010 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
    Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, February 2015

    "Cellar Selection.  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."

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  • 93+

    points

    2010 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
    Antonio Galloni, Vinous, November 2013

    "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. Drinking window: 2018 - 2030"

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  • 95

    points

    2010 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
    Charles Olken, Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, December 2014

    "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 oak.  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."

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  • 95

    points

    2010 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
    Joe D'Angelo, International Wine Report, October 2014

    "The 2010 ‘M by Michael Mondavi’ is a fantastic single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from a high atop Atlas Peak. It immediately opens with seductive aromas of ripe cassis, dark cherries, graphite, milk chocolate, dried herbs, sweet spices and a touch of fresh cut violets, which all come together in the glass. This full-bodied, voluptuous red is round, polished and shows remarkable concentration and depth. It continues to impress all the way through the supple finish, which is layered with even more delicious ripe fruits, chocolate and sweet spices. This already has so much to offer and there is no harm in approaching this today, however it will also evolve gracefully for those that can wait. (Best 2015-2029)"

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  • 90

    points

    2009 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
    Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits, October 2013

    "Dark in tone, focused on the firmness of its tannins, this wine has the flavor of wild blueberry skins, yielding a juiciness that’s equally dark and dense.  Its complexities are hidden for now within the structure, needing time to emerge as the tannins open with age."

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  • 91

    points

    2009 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
    Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate, December 2012

    "The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon M by Michael Mondavi is a pretty wine laced with tobacco, dried flowers, raspberries and gentle spices. Today, the tannins appear to be a bit firm considering the wine’s otherwise mid-weight structure. There is good balance in the glass, but not the personality, pedigree or excitement I expect in this price range."

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  • 94

    points

    2009 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
    Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast, September 2013

    "Cellar Selection. Expensive, yes, but defines the soft, luxurious modern style of ex¬treme deliciousness. Made with a drop of Petit Verdot that seems to add depth, the wine is fantastically rich in blackberry, blueberry and cherry jam, chocolate and sweet oak. The tannins are a wonder, and there’s just enough acidity to give a balanced tang. Will it age? Yes, but for how long is the question. Beautiful now and through 2019."

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  • 16.5

    M by Michael Mondavi
    Jancis Robinson, JancisRobinson.com, July 2013

    "Quite ridiculously heavy bottle! But apparently they are working on finding lighter bottles for future bottlings. Dark crimson. Attractively supple and reasonably subtle on the nose. Dry but not dryiing (not hot) finish. Not dramatic but admirably well mannered. Tastes as though it will be a fine food partner. Great balance. Not sure it has a long life ahead though."

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  • 87

    points

    M by Michael Mondavi
    James Laube, Wine Spectator, April 2012

    "Rustic and chewy, with dried dark berry notes, grainy tannins and a drying finish. The berry and black licorice flavors are intriguing, but the texture is rugged. Best from 2013 through 2023. 521 cases made."

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TRADE & MEDIA ASSETS /////////////////

2008 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon – Shelftalker

2008 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon – Tasting Notes

2009 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon – Shelftalker

2009 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon – Tasting Notes

2010 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon – Sales Sheet

2010 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon – Shelftalker

2010 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon – Tasting Notes

2012 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon – Shelftalker

2012 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon – Tasting Notes

2014 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage Notes

2015 M by Michael Mondavi Vintage Notes

M by Michael Mondavi 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Bottle Shot

M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon – Beauty

M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon – Beauty

M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon – Beauty

M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon – Beauty

M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon – Non Vintage – Bottle

M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon – Non Vintage – Label