Robert Mondavi Private Selection Rum Barrel Aged Merlot 2019
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.
A geographic and climatic paradise for grape vines, Monterey is a part of the greater Central Coast AVA and contains within it five smaller sub-appellations, including Arroyo Seco, San Lucas, San Bernabe, Hames Valley and the famous Santa Lucia Highlands. The climate is relatively warm but tempered by cool, coastal winds, allowing the regions in Monterey County an exceptionally long growing season. Bud break often happens two weeks sooner and harvest tends to be two weeks later compared to other surrounding regions.
Monterey’s coastal side, where the cooling ocean fog allows grapes to develop a perfect sugar-acid balance, excels in the production of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling. Warmer, inland subzones are home to fleshy, concentrated and full-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel.
Chardonnay, covering about 40% of vineyard acreage, is the most widely planted grape in all of Monterey County.
With generous fruit and supple tannins, Merlot is made in a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol, where it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to spectacular result. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly in California’s Napa Valley. Somm Secret—As much as Miles derided the variety in the 2004 film, Sideways, his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.