2011 Robert Mondavi Winery Semillon Oakville Napa Valley
96% Semillon & 4% Sauvignon Blanc
Fresh fig, white flower blossom and toasted almond aromas entice us to explore this broad wine with its layers and layers of richness. The mineral, stone fruit palate finishes fresh and long.
When Robert Mondavi chose the To Kalon Vineyard as the home for his new winery in 1966 he remarked that “It was a vineyard with a distinguished history and a magical nature. Ideal soils, sunlight, and rain—to my eye, the vineyard was a treasure.” Those sentiments were re-confirmed when the To Kalon Vineyard was named the Vineyard of the Year by the California State Farm Bureau in 2011. Situated on prime benchland in west Oakville, the low fertility, well-drained soils combined with optimal sun exposure yield rich, complex flavors and peak fruit maturity.
Appellation: Oakville, Napa Valley
Grape Sourcing: 100% Napa Valley (98% To Kalon Vineyard)
The 2011 growing season brought tenacious morning fog, unseasonably cool weather and crop loss due to rainfall at flowering time. The good news is that the cool conditions gave the grapes a generous amount of hangtime, which translated to optimum flavor maturity at relatively low brix (sugar). In one of the latest vintages on record, these Semillon grapes were harvested on September 23. Genevieve noted that although yields were quite low, flavor development was exceptional and sugar to acid balance, impeccable.
The grapes were hand harvested in the cool of the morning and gently pressed as whole clusters, allowing the delicate free-run juice to be kept separate from the press cuts. All of the juice went to French oak barrels, 86% of them new, for a slow, cool fermentation. Throughout fifteen months in barrels the wine was aged on the yeast lees (sûr lie aging) and hand-stirred (bâtonnage) twice weekly, for a creamy texture and to enhance the volume and length. The wine did not undergo malolactic fermentation maintaining its fresh, natural acidity. It was bottled in February 2013.