Monday, November 14, 2011

Cellarmistress Does The Napa Valley Film Festival: Part Two--The Robert Mondavi Gala

Opening night of the Inaugural Napa Valley Film Festival, I was all abuzz getting ready for the first of many tastings of the weekend. 17 wines in 48 hours! Whew, that's a lot when you're doing it all on your own! As a participant in these events, sponsored by TasteLive, CellarPass and Mutineer Magazine, I couldn't wait to get started. Living in the midwest, the first of these events, The Robert Mondavi Gala, started at 8 PM Pacific Time--in other words 10 PM Central Time in my world. But no matter, I was ready to rock this party!! The two wines for this event, the 2009 Robert Mondavi To Kalon Vineyard Reserve Fume Blanc and the 2008 Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon were shipped to me as samples from the winery. I popped them open way ahead of time knowing they would be huge!

The Fume Blanc was a surprise. I had tasted the two previous vintages before and was expecting some sort of "pineapple-bomb". What I got instead was a grassy, herbaceous nose, followed by huge fruit--still tropical (no pineapple this time), lots of citrus notes and a creamy finish. At $45 it is pricey for a Fume Blanc but guess what? I'd pay this because it sets a wonderful standard and you won't find another wine out there like this. I promise!

The Reserve Cabernet is made up of fruit mostly from the prized To Kalon Vineyard in Oakville. The vineyard is situated behind the winery. Made up of primarily Cabernet Sauvignon with a bit of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot blended with it, this lush, dense powerhouse is luxury at its finest. If you love your Cabs big and bold with finesse, this one is definitely for you! Dark fruit, blackberries and a ribbon of velvety spice--it's hot. 15.5% A.B.V. But it stands up to the alcohol level. I wish I had another one so I could open it up in a few years and see how it evolves. It's definitely a nice investment at $135.

These wines are available in limited distribution or at If you're visiting the Napa Valley, a stop at this winery in Oakville (situated on the left hand side as you travel up Highway 29--you can't miss it!) is a MUST! It's a big piece of Napa Valley history. I visited in 2008 and took a lot of photos. Enjoy!

"You Saw It Here First"...This post was created solely for "Cellarmistress' Cellar Talk" by Grace Hoffman. Grace is an Italian-born, American-bred wine blogger/educator with an all-consuming passion for wine and all it encompasses.

1 comment:

  1. Whenever there are multiple bottles open, it just seems like a good time is inevitable :-) Sounds like it was a fun event!

    I have not had Mondavi in a while, but had an opportunity to drink some of their library reserve Cabs a few years ago.

    I had the luxury of picking the vintages. I know what you mean about wanting to see that evolution. I started with '90, and I went right down the line of all the fantastic vintages up to '05. I recall the Kalon being one of their prizes of the reserve Cabs. Hope you had a great thanksgiving!