Total Acid: 0.54 % Alcohol: 13.4% by volume Final pH: 3.67 Blend: 100% Pinot Noir Winemaker's Notes Our 1998 Napa Va...Read more...
Food Pairings for Robert Mondavi Winery Pinot Noir California Coastal
Total Acid: 0.54 % Alcohol: 13.4% by volume Final pH: 3.67 Blend: 100% Pinot Noir Winemaker's Notes Our 1998 Napa Valley Pinot Noir unfolds with complex layers of black cherries, ripe berries, sweet spices, roses and woodsy nuances. Rich, highly extracted fruit flavors linger in a finish laced with vanilla and toasty oak. The vibrant, lively flavors have added dimension from fermentation with native yeasts, followed by a long malolactic fermentation and aging in French oak barrels. The 1998 vintage, influenced by the El Niсo weather patterns, produced very low yields with exceptional concentration and balance. Vintage In Napa Valley, as throughout California, 1998 was an unusual year for weather. El Niсo gave us a growing season punctuated with extremes --twice the normal rainfall, 18 days of frost, cold weather at bloom and record heat spells. Yields for some varieties were down because of the wet weather during bloom and berry set. But then, as harvest approached, the weather became increasingly better, and we had near-perfect, mild, sunny days for ripening. The small, loose clusters had sufficient hang time on the vines for vibrant flavors and natural balance in the wines. Overall, the 1998 harvest, one of the latest of the decade, turned out to be of excellent quality. Vineyard We hand-selected 97% of the grapes from the Carneros District at the southern-most reaches of Napa Valley, with more than half from our own vineyards. The recipient of numerous environmental awards, our Carneros District vineyards employ earth-friendly, state-of-the-art viticultural practices, including intensive clonal research, vertical trellising, close spacing and integrated pest management. The balance of the grapes was chosen from an outstanding vineyard that, like the Carneros, has cool Pacific Ocean winds and night fog that develop vibrancy and rich flavors in Pinot Noir. The grapes were hand-harvested at an average initial sugar of 23.5° Brix, 0.72 acid and 3.56 pH. Fermentation & Aging To fully capture the vivid fruit flavors and exquisite balance, we hand-harvested the Pinot Noir grapes in the cool morning hours. Fermentation with native (wild) yeasts occurring naturally on the grape skins added layers of complexity and heightened vineyard expression. An average of 18 days maceration (skin contact) naturally softened tannins. The wine was then transferred to small French oak barrels (25% new oak) for a long, native malo-lactic fermentation and more than nine months of aging. During aging, the wine was kept on a thin layer of its natural lees for more complexity. Extremely gentle handling during all phases of the winemaking was instrumental in achieving natural clarity, allowing us to bottle the wine without filtration. Chef's Suggestions The 1998 Napa Valley Pinot Noir is an extremely versatile accompaniment to entrees and cheeses, pairing equally well with many red meats, full flavored fish and vegetable dishes. Our chef, Annie Roberts, especially likes the vibrant flavors of this wine with grilled tuna with white beans or marinated, grilled flank steak.
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