Robert Mondavi Winery
2005 Los Carneros Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Carneros - Los Carneros (Napa)
What we say
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Today only, The Wine Spies is the only wine merchant to make this wine available. Please note that we have procured the final – very limited – allocation of this wine. Once this wine sells out, it will be gone forever.
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Today’s selection from Robert Mondavi Winery is an exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon. Be sure to stock up as our allocation is extremely limited.
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Mission Codename: A man with a mission
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Infiltrate Robert Mondai Winery and secure a wine that is only available at the winery. Make an allocation available to our well-deserving Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Robert Mondavi Winery
Wine Subject: 2005 Carneros Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Valley
Winemaker: Genevieve Janssens
in 1966, Robert Mondavi was a man with a mission. Mondavi had the vision to create the first major post-prohibition winery in the United Stated. His dream of crafting the best wines in the world has been realized and today the winery isrecognized as a global leader in fine wine. Mondavi’s exclusive wines, which are usually only available at the winery itself, are extraordinary. Today only, The Wine Spies are proud to be the only wine merchant in the world to bring you, our national audience of Wine Spies Operatives, this rare opportunity to taste this extraordinary wine.
The Carneros region, established in 1983 was the first AVA to be designated by climate as opposed to political boundaries. Straddling both Napa and Sonoma counties, the Carneros region is heavily influenced by the cool waters of the Pacific Ocean and San Pablo Bay. Moderately cool temperatures and summer time fog coupled with dense clay soils that inhibit root development make this region ideal for Burgundian varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – A stunning dark purple, inky at its core with deep concentration of color out to the edges of the wine. When swirled, the surface of the wine has a softly bouncy look to it. When it settles, it leaves behind medium-width legs that march steadily down the glass
Smell – Lush and intense with deep and earthy aromas of dark cherry, raspberry, blackberry and dark chocolate. These are gently layered atop sweet aromas of toffee, sweetwoods, oak and flinty minerals – with undertones of fresh bay leaf and subtle thyme
Feel – light weight and slightly dry on the initial attack. Then, this wine digs gently grips in, revealing a supple, medium-to-big body with fine and well-structured tannins. A balanced acidity rounds out the great overall feel of the wine
Taste – Bold and very delicious, this wine is finely balanced with integrated flavors of its fruit and its more earthy characteristics. The wine leads off with bright flavors of ripe red cherry, ripe strawberry, ripe blackberry, and then goes darker with black plum, smoke, herbs and mocha with oak, minerals and subtle black pepper
Finish – Rich and dark, lingering ripe plum, blackberry, black cherry, soft minerals and a hint of smoky plum. The wine is mouth-coating and as flavors gently tail off, the mouth waters – telling you it is time for another delicious gulp
Conclusion – I had the highest expectations for this wine and was not disappointed. This is a complex and bold wine that is loaded with character. Classic Napa Cabernet, this wine also delivers the uniqueness of its terroir. Our Operatives have come to associate the Carneros region with stellar Pinot Noir. What a thrill it is to taste a fine Cabernet from the region! With beautifully integrated flavors, deep aromatics and an opulent feel, this wine is a big, chewy and delicious delight. We give this exclusive wine our heartiest recommendation.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER_
SUBJECT: Genevieve Janssens
DATE OF BIRTH: October 1950
PLACE OF BIRTH: Oujda, Morocco
WINE EDUCATION: Diploma in Enology – Bordeaux, France
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: 1978 – 1979 Robert Mondavi Winery Lab Enologist, 1989 – 1997 Director of Production Opus One, 1997 – current Director of Winemaking Robert Mondavi Winery
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Making wine in a more natural way; respecting the sense of origin. Thriving for the best.
SIGNATURE VARIETAL: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Being mentored by Mr. Mondavi and following his philosophy.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: Be passionate about making wine.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Genevieve. We are thrilled to be showing your 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Carneros today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
GENEVIEVE: Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to discuss this special wine.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
WINEMAKER: Following my father’s footsteps. He was a grape grower and a winemaker – making wine with passion.
RED: And where did you learn the most about winemaking?
GENEVIEVE: I have learned through my whole career – I’m still learning.
RED: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?
GENEVIEVE: I am laisser-faire by nature. I believe in the least amount of interference in winemaking and always letting the terroir sing.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
GENEVIEVE: Cabernet sauvignon and Mr. Mondavi influenced me the most. I find them both inspiring.
RED: How long have you been making wine?
GENEVIEVE: 40 years
RED: Who do you make wine for?
GENEVIEVE: I am inspired by Mother Nature and Mr. Mondavi always pairing food with wine. Wine must be a companion of every meal.
RED: Tell me, what makes the Napa Valley so special?
GENEVIEVE: The Napa Valley is in a Mediterranean climate zone and has the influence of the ocean which offers cool, foggy nights and warm days; with a long growing season these are ideal conditions for perfect ripening of wine grapes. We also have 100 soil variations which is half the world soil orders.
RED: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career as a winemaker?
GENEVIEVE: Follow your passion. Mr. Mondavi said if you find a job you love you never work a day in your life.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
GENEVIEVE: Tasting, blending, and finalizing harvest 2009 with the team.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today
GENEVIEVE: 100% Los Carneros appellation. 95% CS and 5% ME. The grapes were selected from a sunny, southwest-facing slope located in the northernmost Carneros. The Vineyard was planted in the 1970’s. Those locations make the wine bright and vibrant with red fruit aromas and flavors of cherry, raspberry and cranberry mingled with subtle herbal notes. The tannins are silky and fine-grained. An elegant expression of a cool-climate Cabernet Sauvignon.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
GENEVIEVE: A braised beef short rib with creamy gnocchi and mushroom sauce with carrots and peas.
RED: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know
GENEVIEVE: My son, Georges, is starting a World Wine charity tour in January that will last 9 months.
RED: What is your favorite ‘everyday’ or table wine?
GENEVIEVE: Any wine which matches the meal.
RED: How would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?
GENEVIEVE: With a very natural way. Our wines are made to be enjoyed with friends and good food. Wine is part of a meal and should not be seen as a mysterious beverage. Simplicity is the essence when approaching wines.
RED: If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?
GENEVIEVE: Cabernet Sauvignon and Fume Blanc
RED: What is the one question that I should have asked you, and what is your answer to that question?
GENEVIEVE: I think you have done a pretty good job to understand the wine you are going to promote.
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and about your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
GENEVIEVE: Thank you.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa Valley can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
About This Wine:
Bright and vibrant. Red-fruit aromas and flavors of cherry, raspberry and cranberry mingle with a faint breeze of sea salt and subtle herbal notes. Tannins are silky and fine-grained. An elegant expression of cool-climate Cabernet.
The Vintage: Overall, 2005 was significantly cooler than usual. A wet spring and heavy May rains delivered more than twice the normal amount of rainfall in Napa Valley. Late storms delayed budbreak and bloom for all varieties, and once they got started, the vines grew quickly. Vineyard crews carefully thinned foliage, removing more leaves than ever before to bring the vines into balance and ensure ripening. May and June were cooler than usual, followed by a hot July and a return to the cooler pattern for the remainder of the growing season and through harvest, which started up to a full month later than average in most Napa Valley vineyards. We picked Cabernet in Carneros over a three-day period, from October 27 through October 30. The long hang time allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly, fostering excellent development of aromatics and flavors and setting a relatively easy pace for the vineyard and winemaking teams.
Winemaking: Hand-harvested into small bins in the cool morning hours Fermented in oak tanks 30 days of maceration (skin contact) to soften tannins Long malolactic fermentation period to foster roundness and depth 19 months aging in French oak château barrels—68% new.
About The Winery:
In 1966, emboldened by boundless enthusiasm, and a conviction that California could produce wines that would belong in the company of the world’s finest, Robert Mondavi set out on his own to found the first major winery built in the valley since prohibition: Robert Mondavi Winery. Since then the open arch of the Robert Mondavi Winery has welcomed thousands of guests who have come to share in Robert’s love of wine, food, and art.
With the release of the Robert Mondavi Winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon in the late 60’s the world’s eyes were opened to the potential of the Napa Valley. The historic Paris tasting in 1976, where two former winemakers of the Robert Mondavi Winery won first prize, further supported this revelation.
Robert Mondavi’s commitment to the industry and to promoting wine as part of a gracious lifestyle led to his “mission tour” in the late 1980s. He crossed the country, educating restaurateurs, media and most of all consumers on wine’s integral role in culture and civilization.
After 41 years, Robert Mondavi Winery still embodies its founder’s commitment to excellence, innovation and creative spirit while continuing to produce wines that stand in the company of the world’s finest.
About The Winemaker:
Genevieve Janssens, Director of Winemaking – Genevieve Janssens learned early that the secret to winemaking success is to focus on quality. In her father’s vineyards, she followed him closely, listening and absorbing his philosophy. “My father believed that no matter what the conditions, you will survive by having the best quality, nothing else,” she declares. Seeing her father’s business succeed in difficult times, when others failed, convinced her that he was right.
Born in Morocco and raised in France, Genevieve’s formal wine education began under the tutelage of the legendary “three fathers” of modern enology—Jean Ribereau-Gayon; his son, Pascal Ribereau-Gayon; and Emile Peynaud—with whom she studied at the University of Bordeaux, France. After receiving her National Diploma of Enology 1974, she returned to her family’s vineyards in Corsica and France, which she managed from 1974 to 1977. Concurrently, she also owned and operated her own enology laboratory in Provence and served as consulting enologist to many French chateaux in the mid-seventies.
Drawn to the Robert Mondavi Winery’s philosophy in winemaking and winegrowing, Genevieve moved to the Napa Valley in 1978. She recognized in Robert Mondavi her father’s holistic approach to quality. “It starts with the earth, the legacy of what we have received from our ancestors and what we are going to leave for the future generation,” she says. “We must work to maintain the land, to grow so that we all live in symbiosis: the earth, the vines, the people—care creates quality.” From 1978–1979, she fully absorbed this philosophy, working at the Robert Mondavi Winery as a lab enologist and an assistant enologist. Deeply interested in the winemaking revolution taking hold in the state, Genevieve continued exploring California for the next decade, holding several consulting positions.
Genevieve’s connection to Robert Mondavi returned in 1989, when she became Director of Production at Opus One Winery. Then, in 1997, she came full circle as the Director of Winemaking at the Robert Mondavi Winery. Recently, she helped implement the To Kalon Project, the winery’s first major renovation since it was founded in 1966. The new To Kalon Fermentation Cellar allows Robert Mondavi Winery to make Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and Oakville District Cabernet Sauvignon in a winemaking facility equal to its surrounding historic To Kalon Vineyard. “I wanted to be there for the construction, creativity and challenge,” says Genevieve. “We have created a new winery for our To Kalon estate, one of the most extraordinary vineyards on earth.”
With her unique background, Genevieve brings a different sensibility and culture to the Robert Mondavi Winery’s winemaking team, with whom she meets regularly to taste wines, discussing style and vision. They also collaborate with the winegrowing team. “The winemaking and winegrowing teams are really one team,” she explains. “We have the same mission—to produce wines of great density and rich fruit character, wines of elegance and finesse that complement food. In this way, we combine the structure of the finest French wines with powerful fruit, California-style.”
Genevieve considers herself lucky to have a job she loves and sees little need of hobbies. But when not engrossed in her work at the winery, she does enjoy cooking. “But I can never make the same thing twice,” she warns. “I have a spontaneous imagination—if you liked the dish, I’m glad, but you’ll never taste it again!”
For Genevieve, carrying on the legacy of Robert Mondavi is both a joy and an honor. “With our To Kalon Cellar finished and the new vineyard projects underway, this is an exciting time for the winery, and for me,” she says. “I am proud to be the torchbearer of Mr. Mondavi’s vision.”
Genevieve lives in Napa Valley with her husband Luc and her two children, Gabrielle and Georges. She became a US citizen in 1985.
Varietal composition: 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot
Appellation: Los Carneros, Napa Valley
Grape Sourcing: 100% Los Carneros AVA (Napa Valley)
Selected from a sunny, southwest-facing slope located in northernmost Carneros. Planted 1970s
Total acid: 0.69%
Final pH: 3.57
Residual sugar: 2.1
Alcohol: 16.2% by volume