2011 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
A classic example of intensity tempered by elegance and finesse. A lush, fruity core of ripe blackberry, juicy red and black currant and sweet crème de cassis fleshes out steadily on the palate, interwoven with black currant leaf, mocha and a savory hint of black pepper. There’s a refreshing brightness to the fruit from the beginning all the way through to the lingering, velvety finish.
The 2011 growing season brought tenacious morning fog, unseasonably cool weather and rainfall at flowering time and during harvest, in October. The good news is that the cool conditions prolonged the ripening season, which translates to optimum flavor maturity at relatively low brix (sugar). In one of the latest harvests on record, we began our Cabernet harvest on September 27th. Just before a brief October storm, our vineyard crew took steps to improve air flow in the fruit zone. Genevieve noted that “With its thick skin and loose cluster formation Cabernet is quite resilient in wet weather. Overall, the rains trimmed our yields by about 20% but the long growing season brought beautiful flavor development at lower brix.” We completed our Cabernet harvest on October 29th.
84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot
fruit expression) and oak tanks (added complexity and depth of flavor) for a warm fermentation. A 26-day maceration maximized the extraction of color and flavor and polished the tannins for a rich, supple mouthfeel. The new wine was transferred to sixty-gallon French oak barrels (13% new) for malolactic fermentation, seamlessly integrating fruit and oak flavors. The wine was blended with complementary varieties though repeated tasting trials over 16 months barrel aging and bottled in May of 2013.