I am told that Robert Mondavi was the first person to build a new winery in America after prohibition. His first Cabernet Sauvignon was released in the late 60’s and Mondavi wines consistently receive excellent global ratings. After 41 years, the Robert Mondavi innovative approach has had a notable impact on how Californian’s produce their wines. Some of his methods, like the natural farming techniques introduced back in the 1970’s, cold fermentation, stainless steel tanks and the use of French oak barrels, still continue today. In addition Robert Mondavi was responsible for the creation of the Fumé Blanc varietal.
I tasted a selection of Robert Mondavi wines recently, the 2008 Woodbridge Shiraz is a deep red wine. As you lift it to your nose you get big berry fruit aromas rising from the glass. On the palate those berry fruits come through, notably blackberry and blackcurrant and there is some acidity to it. The wine has a medium body and there are medium tannins that you feel on the edge of your tongue. It is a wine with good length and would go well with food, like roast lamb, or even barbecued foods, which would marry together, giving the wine a softer feel but would leave those great fruity flavours.
You can find the Robert Mondavi 2008 Woodbridge Shiraz at branches of Sainsburys where it normally retails for £7.99, but it’s on offer at £5.99 until the end of December.
The Robert Mondavi 2008 Private Selection Fumé Blanc ia s a crisp, barrel-aged wine that has a warm buttery apricot smell to it. This belies the wine’s character, as you take it into your mouth it’s a citrusy wine and there are significant grapefruit notes, it has an acidity and a sharpness to it, with a slight zestiness on the edges of your tongue. This is a white with some body, yet leaves you with a long dry grapefruit finish. This complex wine would undoubtedly work well with more full flavoured fish and white meats and would cope well with dishes served with, or in, rich sauces.
You can find the Robert Mondavi Private Selection Fumé Blanc at www.slurp.co.uk at £9.99
Finally the Robert Mondavi 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a rich, dark, ruby red. It has big berry fruits on the nose, notably blackberry and raspberry, there is also a hint of vanilla, a very inviting aroma. As you drink it you get jammy dark berry fruits, it’s rich and warm, blackberry, plum, blackcurrant and strawberry come through on the palate as does a hint of vanilla. This is a soft voluptuous wine medium bodied with medium tannins, it has great length, lovely to drink on its own. However, I also tried it with some roast beef and the berry fruit flavours seemed to become even more vibrant, it became softer and sweeter in the mouth, it suited the dish really well. This wine would undoubtedly be a great accompaniment to any red meat dishes or game.