Robert Mondavi Carneros Chardonnay 1997
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Robert Mondavi Winery was founded in 1966 by winemaking pioneer Robert Mondavi, whose vision was to create Napa Valley wines that could stand in the company of the world’s finest. It was the first major winery built in Napa Valley in the three decades following the repeal of Prohibition, Robert Mondavi Winery created the foundation for the modern-day California wine industry. Today, Robert Mondavi Winery continues to pursue the fullest expression of Napa Valley terroir in wines that are also varietally authentic. Mondavi chose to situate his estate next to To Kalon Vineyard, one of the most coveted wine growing parcels in the world, known for producing award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon and for its Sauvignon Blanc.One of the first goals Robert Mondavi set for himself was recreating Sauvignon Blanc, which was, at the time a sweet, unnuanced wine. He sought inspiration in Loire Valley Pouilly Fumé, enlivening it with a uniquely California profile. He named the delightfully rich and refined yet bright, fresh wine he created Fumé Blanc. It’s Sauvignon Blanc, plus so much more. Released in 1968, Fumé Blanc remains Mr. Mondavi’s signature and one of Robert Mondavi Winery’s most popular wines.
The first vintage (1966) of Robert Mondavi Winery's Cabernet Sauvignon is released. A shot heard throughout the Valley, it would inspire the waves of pioneers to follow. In time, the path Robert Mondavi cleared would lead to the creation of some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignons, Chardonnays, Merlots and Sauvignon Blancs in the world.
“Our mission at Robert Mondavi Winery is to produce wines of elegance and complexity that are recognized globally for their exceptional quality,” says Geneviève Janssens, chief winemaker at Robert Mondavi Winery.
Known for elegant wines that combine power and finesse, Carneros is set in the rolling hills that straddle the southernmost parts of both Sonoma and Napa counties. The cooling winds from the abutting San Pablo Bay, combined with lots of midday California sunshine, create an ideal environment for producing wines with a perfect balance of crisp acidity and well-ripened fruit.
This cooler pocket of California lends itself to growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. Carneros is an important source of sparkling wines made in the style of Champagne as well.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.