Robert Mondavi 2014 Maestro, Red Blend, Napa Valley
For the Robert Mondavi Winery's 50th anniversary the winery created the Maestro Red Blend to honor the man who was the guiding inspiration for so many years. Robert Mondavi truly was The Maestro of Napa Valley. For this latest release they've let the outstanding 2014 vintage be the their guiding force, sourcing superb Napa Valley fruit from The Wappo Hill Vineyard in Stags' Leap and the rest from the To Kalon Vineyard in Oakville. The Wappo Hill was a favorite vineyard of Robert Mondavi, who chose it as the site of his own home. And of course To Kalon has a long, distinguished history with Mondavi. The 2014 blend is a change from the prior vintage and is a majority Cabernet Sauvignon; 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. The grapes were hand-harvested into small bins and carefully sorted in the gravity-flow cellar. The clusters were gently destemmed directly into traditional French oak tanks for cold soak, fermentation and extended maceration – a total of 24 days of wine to skin contact – maximizing the extraction of varietal character and complexity while keeping the tannins fleshy and supple. The new wine was drained and gently pressed into 28% new French-oak barrels for malolactic fermentation, assuring seamless integration of fruit and oak. The final blend was assembled through repeated tasting trials over the 21 months of barrel aging. It shows dark, juicy plum and cassis fruit, violet, cinnamon, and unsweetened cocoa linger on sumptuous sips full of vibrant flavor and plush tannins. A worthy tribute to The Maestro.