Robert Mondavi Winery
2015 Reserve Carneros Napa Valley Chardonnay
California: Napa Valley: Carneros
The first time we showcased a Mondavi Reserve Chardonnay, we were captivated. At the time, we sat down with winemaker Geneviève Janssens (who spent nearly a decade directing wine production at Opus One) to ask her about Mondavi’s Reserve Chardonnay program. Here’s what she told us:
” The 2006 Robert Mondavi Chardonnay Reserve is sourced from three vineyards in Carneros. Instead of clones, the vineyards were planted using mass selection as the growers sought concentration over yield. When it was felt that the various elements were at an optimum, the vineyards were harvested and pressed as whole clusters. The resulting juice, after separating out the higher pressings, was barreled for fermentation using 45% new French oak in barrels that promote the fruit concentration. After partial malo-lactic fermentation, the wine was aged on the lees, Sur Lie, for nine months prior to bottling. Our wine style continues the fashion set by Robert Mondavi to accompany food as part of a fine dining experience.”
This Chardonnay from the famed Robert Mondavi Winery has perfect clarity with a golden straw complexion and the faintest tinge of lime green. The nose is pleasantly aromatic with sur lees notes of freshly baked baguette, subtle floral character of fresh-cut roses, deep sandalwood, and vanilla from the oak influence and satisfying apricot stonefruit aromas. On the palate, the barrel spice really comes out with graham cracker brown sugar and cinnamon. The fruit takes on qualities of quince caramelized pear. There’s also a surprising herbal element of sage. The mouthfeel is round and lush, hugging the bottom of the palate while a surprising bright acidity hits a counterpoint around the finish, lifting the fruit upwards toward the roof of your mouth and soft palate. This would do well with a creamy seafood classic such as shrimp Scampi Alla Livornese.
Chardonnay is arguably the greatest of all white grape varietals, showing its influence in the legendary sparkling wines of Champagne, the great whites of Burgundy and of course its expression as ‘the’ white wine of California. Chardonnay represents over 50% of the planted white grapes in California with nearly 100,000 acres planted. With such a great number of wines made from this grape, it stands to reason that finding wines of immense quality would be hard, but look no further. In this wine, we have found perhaps the ideal expression of the California Chardonnay.
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 States. His dream of crafting the best wines in the world has been realized and today the winery is recognized as a global leader in fine wine. Mondavi’s exclusive wines, which are usually only available at the winery itself, are extraordinary.
Enjoy…. Just be quick. This wine is very limited.
Here’s what the wine press has to say.
93 Points - Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast - “This is a well-made, powerful wine. Elegant, integrated and effusive in oak, it has pretty apple blossom aromas and boldly layered flavors of green apple, crème brûlée and lemon meringue. The finish is lush in a honeycomb tone. This will do well in the cellar; enjoy 2020-2025.”
93 Points - James Laube, Wine Spectator - “This taut expression of Chardonnay defines understated elegance, wearing a light oak cloak and wowing on the finish, where the flavors fan out and gain. Drink now through 2024”
92 Points - Antonio Galloni, Vinous - “Mondavi’s 2015 Chardonnay Reserve is beautiful. Soft, textured and nuanced, the 2015 shows the polished, refined side of the vintage. Gentle orchard fruit, yellow flowers and a subtle dash of oak add to the wine’s understated, gracious personality. This is an unusually brisk, bright wine for the year.”
91 Points - Jeb Dunnuck - “I loved the 2015 Chardonnay Reserve Carneros from Mondavi. This classically styled, yet ripe, concentrated effort has loads of orchard fruits, caramelized peach, and brioche aromas and flavors. With good richness as well as vibrant acidity, it’s capable of lasting for 5-7 years, if not longer.”
Perfect clarity with a golden straw complexion and the faintest tinge of lime green.
Sur lees, fresh baked baguette, fresh-cut roses, sandalwood, vanilla, apricot, and stonefruit.
Barrel spice, graham cracker brown sugar and cinnamon, quince, caramelized pear, and sage.
Round and lush mouthfeel, hugging the bottom of the palate while a surprising bright acidity hits a counterpoint around the finish, lifting the fruit upwards.
A creamy seafood classic such as shrimp scampi alla livornese.
What the Winery Says
- Geneviève Janssens
- 100% Chardonnay
- Carneros, Napa Valley
- 6.5 g/L
- 1.53 g/L