Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir 1996 Front Label
Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir 1996 Front Label

Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir 1996

  • WE88
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • WE91
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Wild yeast and malo-lactic fermentations created rich layers of complexity in our 1996 Napa Valley Pinot Noir. The vintage's small crop resulted in wines with intense flavors and opulent texture. Delicious bramble berry and ripe, red plum flavors intermingle with spicy nuances of clove and cardamom. To weave spicy oak complexity with hints of vanilla and roasted coffee into the Pinot Noir fruit character, we aged the wine in small French oak barrels (23% new oak) for 9 1/2 months. Gentle handling during barrel aging was instrumental in achieving natural clarity; the wine was bottled unfiltered.

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Robert Mondavi

Robert Mondavi

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Robert Mondavi, California
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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. 

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Napa Valley

Red Wine

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Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.

Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.

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SOU74252_1997 Item# 428

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