Robert Mondavi Winery Chardonnay Napa Valley 1993
The Reserve candidates receive the finest, most labor-intensive winemaking techniques and highest percentage of new oak barrels of any of our wines. We gently crushed the grapes and fermented the must with a combination of cultured and native yeasts for greater complexity. Extended skin contact, totaling 32 days, naturally softened the grape tannins and enhanced varietal intensity. The wine underwent a long malo-lactic fermentation in barrels to soften acidity and give roundness on the palate, followed by more than 19 months of aging in small French oak chateau barrels. Because of the richness of this Reserve wine, we selected 90% new French oak barrels. Six barrel-to-barrel rackings and a light egg white fining gently developed and clarified the wine during aging. We bottled the wine unfiltered to retain the rich texture and complex flavors. Fermentation temperature: 85° F.; fermentation length: 5 to 7 days; skin contact: 32 days; Time in French oak chateau barrels: 19.5 months.
Unbelievable. This is a hidden and forgotten gem of the old line Mondavi way. This is a statement of the strength and character that Robert Mondavi believed and proved existed in Napa. I purchased another case to continue to enjoy the aging of this vintage. I last had it in the late 90's and then again a week ago. Buy it and drink it up now!
External Reviews for Robert Mondavi Winery Chardonnay Napa Valley
Good saturated ruby-red. Perfumed aromas of currant, black cherry, espresso, milk chocolate and flowers; a real essence of Napa Valley cabernet. Enters the palate like silk, then builds slowly toward the back, offering a lovely light touch and plenty of inner-mouth aromatic character. Finishes with substantial but very fine tannins that reach the incisors, and lingering perfume.
The stylish, elegant 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve (8,300 cases of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec) is not as dense as either the M-Bar or Vine Hill Ranch cuvee, but it offers a beautiful marriage of power and elegance. Cedar wood, creme de cassis, spice box, and dried herb aromas soar from the glass of this medium-bodied, beautifully balanced, elegant Private Reserve, which is somewhat reminiscent of Mondavi's 1978. It's all about harmony, balance, and finesse in 2002. Drink it over the next 15+ years.
A superrich, polished, multifaceted wine, with layers of ripe currant, blackberry, herb, cedar and sage and a touch of pencil lead. Deep and concentrated, the flavors pour through on the finish, and while the tannins are chewy, the texture is supple. Best from 2005 through 2012.
The rich and intense 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve has a saturated ruby/purple color and is sweet and dark, with a complex nose of creme de cassis, blackberry, subtle oak, and smoke. It is medium to full-bodied and seems richer, fuller, and more intense than the 2004, but again reminds me of a St.-Julien made in Napa.
The finest Private Reserve since the 1991, 1990, and 1987, the 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve is extraordinary. There are 8,000 cases of the blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, and small dollops of Merlot as well as Petit Verdot. A perfume of smoke, camphor, creme de cassis, cedar, and fruitcake is accompanied by a gentle giant of a wine. Powerful and impeccably balanced, with outstanding concentration, well-integrated wood, acidity, and tannin, and a long, nearly 60-second finish, this saturated ruby-purple-hued effort is a prodigious example of Cabernet Sauvignon. Anticipated maturity: now-2020+.
Genevieve Jannsens has been working with To Kalon fruit, on and off, since 1978. Her blend for Mondavi Reserve includes several of the oldest dry-farmed blocks in this historic vineyard, some dating to 1945. She sets out to make a wine of elegant power and intensity, and this 2005 is a triumph. It presents cabernet sauvignon as an aristocratic wine, with just enough supple richness to fill out the austere tannins. A hint of green herb and a gloss of cocoa integrated from the new oak add complexity as the profound, earthy flavors open and expand with air. A classic Napa Valley wine to age for ten years or more.
Good saturated ruby-red. Sexy aromas of cassis, raspberry, tobacco leaf, cigar box and nutty oak (100% new). A step up in concentration and flesh from the appellation wines but not at all a blockbuster in the context of Oakville wine (this is 81% from To-Kalon fruit). Fat, mouthfilling and deep but quite closed today, with its serious tannic structure apparent. I picked up a very ripe note of almost honeyed tobacco as well as a floral high tone, a medicinal element and a leafy hint. This long and classy wine needs time to harmonize in the bottle and may ultimately merit a higher rating. These 2005s are carrying alcohol in the high 14s, noted winemaker Janssens, but the To-Kalon Vineyard generally produces fruit with pHs in the 3.6 range, which is on the low side for ripe cabernet from Napa Valley.
Food Pairings for Robert Mondavi Winery Chardonnay Napa Valley
The wine is powerful and concentrated, yet elegant and supple. Beautifully articulated flavors of cassis, ripe berry and spice lead to a long, velvety finish. This is a wine to lay down for aging -- it has the structure and depth of flavor to reward cellaring. Yet, even in its youth, our 1993 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is balanced and delicious.