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Mondavi: 50 Years and Counting

Posted on: January 14th, 2017 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

As last year’s 50th Anniversary celebration fades into the rear-view mirror, the many accomplishments of the Robert Mondavi Winery are remembered simply as “excellence”.  Mondavi’s early realization that Napa Valley California’s special terroir is fully capable of producing world-class wines, allowed the wine industry there to truly become one of America’s jewels.

Mondavi PinotEven though the winery is no longer owned by the Mondavi family, the tradition of yummy expressions continues.  Winemaker Genevieve Janssens has crafted a lineup that is totally worth the experience to anyone who appreciates the many nuances of Napa.  These creations are simply done with the best the region has to offer as it has been since the beginning of Mondavi’s dream.

One of these anniversary release gems is their 2014 Napa Valley Pinot Noir.  A wonderful combination of cranberry, dried red cherry, nutmeg, and earthy forest make for a captivating bouquet that keeps the glass interesting right from the start.  With more red cherry in the body with traces of vanilla, its body’s character is quite fulfilling, followed by a finish that is both buttery and spicy.  Napa’s Carneros region is still going strong in this wine selection and vintage.

This Pinot is a perfect pair for butter-basted Cornish Game hens accompanied with giblet gravy and wild rice.  Considering the natural character that comes out in this wine, it is custom made for poultry.

Find it at Phoenix area Total Wine at $24.  Because of its wide distribution, Mondavi’s Carneros Pinot is really easy to find.  This, along with the price, makes it an excellent value.

Other notable releases from last year’s anniversary celebration include the 2013 Merlot and 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon.  Both of these are excellent and capable of aging quite nicely for wines in their price range.  Mondavi also offers quite a few premium wine selections to explore that are very interesting to compare with their lower cost alternatives.

Be sure to make a point of enjoying Napa’s 2013 and 2014 vintages.  They are among the best.  Cheers to Mondavi’s 50th, perfectly timed.

About the Author - Tom Peiffer

Tom has been an avid wine consumer and collector for over 20 years. This pastime has taken he and his family on many visits to wine growing regions, including Arizona. During these excursions, with the accompanying tastings and lectures, it became clear that there is no "magic bullet" wine. For each wine contains its own character, strong points, and weaknesses. Sharing these experiences to help anyone purchase locally available wines is his goal.

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