Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
-International Wine Cellar 90-92 Barrel Sample
"The finest regular Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon in many years, the beautiful 2002 Napa (a 44,000-case blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest small quantities of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot) exhibits a dark ruby/purple color as well as a sweet nose of red and black currants, earth, truffles, herbs, and tobacco. A silky texture, medium to full body, and excellent concentration result in a tasty Cabernet to drink now and over the next 10-12 years."
Our Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon has deep, expressive aromas and flavors of berry and black currant with nuances of mocha, violets and spice. The fruit envelops an elegant structure with firm, velvety tannins and excellent length. The wine's personality comes from the soils and climates of vineyards located in the geographic center of Napa Valley. Fermentation with both native and cultured yeast strains gives layers of nuance to the wine, and extended skin contact intensifies varietal complexity and softens tannins. We aged the wine in French oak château barrels and bottled it without filtration to capture the full flavor profile and lush texture.
We selected the majority of the grapes from the center of Napa Valley, a region well known for producing intensely flavored Cabernet family grape varieties. The balance of sunny days and cool, foggy nights here is perfect for developing rich, complex flavors and velvety tannins in Cabernet Sauvignon. A range of deep, alluvial soils to lean volcanic ones contributes to the diverse flavors in this wine,. We chose 40% of the grapes from the Oakville American Viticultural Area (AVA) including 24% from Robert Mondavi's historic To Kalon Vineyard. We sourced the balance of the grapes primarily from vineyards in Rutherford and Stags Leap District AVAs.
Born to a French family in Morocco and raised in France, Genevieve’s formal wine education began under the tutelage of the legendary “three fathers” of modern enology—Jean Ribereau-Gayon; his son, Pascal Ribereau-Gayon; and Emile Peynaud—with whom she studied at the University of Bordeaux, France. After receiving her National Diploma of Enology 1974, she returned to her family’s vineyards in Corsica and France, which she managed from 1974 to 1977. Concurrently, she also owned and operated her own enology laboratory in Provence and served as consulting enologist to many French chateaux in the mid-seventies. Drawn to Robert Mondavi Winery’s philosophy in winemaking and winegrowing, Genevieve moved to the Napa Valley in 1978. She recognized in Robert Mondavi her father’s holistic approach to quality. “It starts with the earth, the legacy of what she had received from her ancestors and what she was going to leave for the future generation,” she says. “We must work to maintain the land, to grow so that we all live in symbiosis: the earth, the vines, the people—care creates quality.” From 1978–1979, she fully absorbed this philosophy, working at Robert Mondavi Winery as a lab enologist and an assistant enologist. Deeply interested in the winemaking revolution taking hold in the state, Genevieve continued exploring California for the next decade, holding several consulting positions. Genevieve’s connection to Robert Mondavi returned in 1989, when she became Director of Production at Opus One Winery. Then, in 1997, she came full circle as the Director of Winemaking at Robert Mondavi Winery.
One of the most prestigious wines of the world capable of great power and grace, Napa Valley Cabernet is a leading force in the world of fine, famous, collectible red wines. Today the Napa Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon are so intrinsically linked that it is difficult to discuss one without the other. But it wasn’t until the 1970s that this marriage came to light; sudden international recognition rained upon Napa with the victory of the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon in the 1976 Judgement of Paris.
Cabernet Sauvignon undoubtedly dominates Napa Valley today, covering half of the land under vine, commanding the highest prices per ton and earning the most critical acclaim. Cabernet Sauvignon’s structure, acidity, capacity to thrive in multiple environs and ability to express nuances of vintage make it perfect for Napa Valley where incredible soil and geographical diversity are found and the climate is perfect for grape growing. Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that express specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil—as a perfect example, Rutherford’s famous dust or Stags Leap District's tart cherry flavors.