Robert Mondavi Stags Leap District Sauvignon Blanc 2015
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.
Legend has it that quick and nimble stags would escape the indigenous hunters of southern Napa Valley through the landmark palisades that sit just northeast of the current city of Napa. As a result, the area was given the name, Stags Leap. While its grape-growing history dates back to the mid-1800s, winemaking didn’t really take off until the mid-1970s after a small but pivotal blind tasting called the Judgement of Paris.
When a 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon won first place against its high-profile Bordeaux contenders, like Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Haut-Brion, international attention to the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley escalated rapidly.
The vineyards in this one-of-a-kind wine growing region receive hot afternoon air reflecting off of its eastern palisade formation. In combination with the cool evening breezes from the San Pablo Bay just south, this becomes an optimal environment for grape growing. While many varieties could thrive here, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot dominate with virtually no others, save for a spot or two of Syrah.
Stags Leap soils—eroded volcanic and old river sediments—encourage well established root systems and result in complex, terroir-driven wines. Stags Leap District reds have a distinct sour cherry and black berry character with baking spice and dried earth aromas, and supple tannins.
Capable of a vast array of styles, Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character. Though it can vary depending on where it is grown, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. This variety is of French provenance. Somm Secret—Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (herbaceous aromatic compounds) inherent to each member of the family.