Woman on Wine with Amy Reiley
On May 26, the wine world suffered an immeasurable loss when Robert Mondavi passed away at the age of 94.
Dubbed the “Godfather of the American Wine Industry,” Mondavi was a great visionary who helped in shaping not only the Napa Valley but interest in wine all across America. In honor of Mr. Mondavi, I’ve dedicated my June column to just a few of the many fine wines that are his legacy.
2006 Fume Blanc, Napa Valley
This is the wine that started it all (the Fume Blanc trend, that is). Mondavi coined the phrase Fume Blanc when he began fermenting his Sauvignon Blanc in oak. With 60% of the grapes fermented in French oak, this Fume delivers body and flavor as big as a Chardonnay. Bright with acidity but creamy on the tongue – fruity yet reasonably restrained – the RM Fume offers great complexity for a wine of its price.
2004 I Block Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley
This is one of my absolute favorite American wines. Made from some of the ugliest, gnarled old vine Sauvignon Blanc I’ve ever seen, this is a fascinating bottling unlike anything made from young SB vines. Its tropical fruit flavors are intense, the finish lingering and the mouthfeel is like silk.
2004 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
I don’t know if you can write about Mondavi wines without mentioning the Reserve Cab. An iconic wine, this Napa Cab sets a regional standard for what Napa Cab can be and, as such, it is noted as one of the best wines in the world.
2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
Like its rich cousin, the Reserve Cab, Mondavi’s Oakville Cab tastes opulent, with great weight on the tongue and a broad array of flavors. While it by no means could stand up to a Reserve, it is an elegant wine for the price.
2006 Moscato D’Oro, Napa Valley
Every winery needs something fun in its portfolio and for Mondavi, this sweet little Muscat Canelli fits the bill. Originally created as a nod to the Mondavi family’s Italian heritage, the Moscato is lively, simple and fresh.
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