RAEN Royal St. Robert Cuvee Pinot Noir 2015
As winemakers and farmers, Carlo and Dante attribute a great deal of what they have learned to their grandfather Robert and father Tim, both whom influenced them from a young age.
Carlo and Dante’s father Tim was a pioneer for California Pinot Noir in the early 1970s and has always had a tremendous regard for the great wines of Burgundy. To this day his Pinot Noirs from the 1970s are showing incredibly well. Carlo and Dante credit their father’s passion for Pinot Noir as the early inspiration that got them excited at a young age.
Dante studied abroad in Switzerland at the Webster University in Genève as well at UC Davis in California. Carlo studied in France at the University of Aix-en-Provence and in Italy at the University of Milan. After their formal studies were complete Carlo and Dante continued their educational work with the winemaking team lead by their father Tim Mondavi at Robert Mondavi Winery and Opus One.
When Robert Mondavi Winery was sold in 2004, the brothers joined their father Tim, Aunt-Marcia and grandfather Robert as they founded Continuum in 2005.
In 2013 Carlo and Dante founded RAEN winery with the goal to produce world class Pinot Noir on the western hills of the Sonoma Coast. RAEN currently focuses on making three Pinot Noirs, from three unique sites on the Sonoma Coast.
A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs all the way from the Mendocino County border, south to the San Pablo Bay. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the actual coastal vineyards, marked by marine soils, cool temperatures and saline ocean breezes—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, which are still heavily influenced by the Pacific but not quite with same intensity.
Contained within the appellation are the much smaller Fort Ross-Seaview and Petaluma Gap AVAs.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”