Without the name Mondavi Napa Valley would still be a world class wine producing region, but it certainly wouldn’t be the same as it is today. In 1966, after the much publicized split with his brother, Robert Mondavi and his son Michael started the Robert Mondavi Winery. The rest, as they say, is history. And what a history it is. After the family took the company public in 1994, then selling the winery to Constellation Brands in 2004, Michael Mondavi left the boardroom and returned to the vineyard when he purchased property on Atlas Peak. Today, Michael, along with his wife and children, continue the family tradition of making wine in Napa Valley. I sat down with Michael to talk about his family’s colorful history and what that legacy brings to the wines he makes today.
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Michael Mondavi and John Lenart (Photo Credit Ann Cooper)
2015 Animo, Heritage Sauvignon Blanc
Made from vines grown from cuttings from the historic I-Block of the Robert Mondavi To Kalon Vineyard.
The rich nose shows restrained notes of tropical fruit, flowers and honey with a hot rock minerality. The mouth feel shows good weight and elegant structure with mouthwatering citrus acidity, flavors of lime, herbs, and complex minerality make for a long intriguing finish.
2015 Emblem Chardonnay, Carneros
Lush and expressive aromas of melon and toast, but not in an over the top way. Flavors of baked apple, pear, honeysuckle intermingle with good minerality and a balanced oak backbone. Great acidity and limestone like minerality.
2013 Animo, Cabernet Sauvignon
A pronounced nose of dark blue and black fruit yet with nicely balanced earthiness, graphite and a touch of anise. A silky mouth feel leads the way to flavors of blackberry and cassis, cola, green olives, backing spice, and cedar. Bright acidity and grippy tannin make this young wine age-able for 10 to 15 years.
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