Showing posts with label Mondavi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mondavi. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Charles Krug Family Reserve Generations 2011

Peter Mondavi, Jr. tasted and tweeted about his family’s stake in the Napa Valley recently in a virtual tasting event held on Twitter.  The Charles Krug winery and vineyards have been around since 1861, but the Mondavi family bought the property in the 1940s and have run it since.  The Mondavi name is now a Napa Valley synonym.  Charles Krug is the oldest winery in California and Peter Mondavi, Sr. is perhaps the state's oldest vintner as he nears the century mark.

2011 was the 150th vintage for the Charles Krug label, and the Charles Krug Family Reserve Generations blend is from that vintage.  The very first vintage of Generations was produced in 1991 by Marc Mondavi.  The elder Peter Mondavi was partial to wines of a single variety, so his son had to show him that a blend was a viable option at a time when Cabernet Sauvignon was really taking off in the Napa Valley.  His argument was persuasive, and Generations was born.

This beautiful blend is composed of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec and 3% Merlot.  The winery says 2011 wasn't an easy vintage.  A cool growing season made harvest a few weeks later than usual, the yield was down by 30% and the sugar content of the grapes was 6% lower than they like.  They are, however, thrilled that so much flavor was captured in the bottle despite the obstacles.  This wine spent 20 months in new French oak barrels, hits a very reasonable 13.9% abv in alcohol and sells for $50.

It's a very dark ruby color, almost inky, and deep, dark notes appear on the nose to match.  Plum and blackberry aromas are dusted with a light mocha scent.  White pepper peeks through a bit.  Generation's flavors are equally impressive as plum leads the way for the spice and tobacco to follow.  A minty essence comes in late and stays on the finish.  The acidity makes my mouth water - that's what it's supposed to do - and the tannins are silky.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Virtual Wine Tasting: Charles Krug

A May virtual tasting event under the BrandLive banner featured Charles Krug Wine proprietor Peter Mondavi, Jr. tasting and tweeting about his family’s stake in the Napa Valley.  The Charles Krug winery and vineyards have been around since 1861.  The Mondavi family bought it in the 1940s and have run it since.  Within a decade they cemented the Mondavi name as a Napa Valley synonym.  Charles Krug is the oldest winery in California and Peter Mondavi, Sr. is perhaps the state's oldest vintner.  He is within swirling, sipping and spitting distance of the century mark.

2011 was the 150th vintage for the Charles Krug label, and three of the wines on the tasting list for the event are from that vintage, their Napa Valley Merlot, Family Reserve "Generations" blend and Family Reserve "Howell Mountain" Cabernet Sauvignon.  See the video of the tasting here.

Twitter came alive for the event.  I heard that the Twitterverse was trending with the hashtag #CharlesKrugLive, at least for a bit. During the virtual tasting, @WineJulia commented on the wine’s drinkability, messaging that "the lower alcohol keeps these elegant, while the complexity & tannins bring them to life!"  @WineFashionista tweeted, "Interesting that of these four wines Merlot is Charles Krug's best seller!"  While on topic, @WineHarlots mentioned of the Merlot, "Miles has left the building."  @JamestheWineGuy found the Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon to show "rose petal, violet, bay leaf, blackberry; profound nose"  while @martindredmond discovered that wine to be "killer with grilled lamb!"

Today we cover the Charles Krug 2013 Limited Release Estate Sauvignon Blanc.

This is the third vintage of the wine, which is crafted by winemaker Stacy Clark entirely from Sauvignon Blanc grapes.  The fruit is grown on a 45-acre plot of estate vineyard which was planted in 2005.  On the Charles Krug website, the '13 vintage was proclaimed to have been nearly perfect, much like 2012.  The quality of the fruit certainly shows in the wine.

This wine is fermented in stainless steel and aged in contact with the spent yeast cells - sur lie, it's called - for seven months.  This imparts a rich, creamy texture to the wine while maintaining the snappy acidity that defines good Sauvignon Blanc.  The wine sports a moderate 13.6% abv alcohol level and retails for $35.

The light, straw color is just a notch above pale in the glass.  The wine's nose is grassy and full of peaches and tropical fruit - it really grabs me.  On the palate, peach flavors come on a bit stronger than those aromas did, and the citrus takes a prominent role, too.  Acidity is quite fresh and food-friendly, while the finish leaves a lemon-lime-grapefruit taste behind.

Follow Randy Fuller on Twitter

Friday, October 1, 2010


Morton's and Mondavi

Morton's The Steakhouse restaurants will close out thePrime Events at Morton's campaign with an innovative wine dinner which will bring the Mondavi family into the restaurant by video.

Thursday October 7, 2010, from 5:00 - 7:30 p.m., Morton's steakhouses will stage a wine dinner to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This dinner, broadcast live to participating Morton's restaurants, will feature members of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th generations of the legendary California wine family, Mondavi.

The event will originate from the Carriage House at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena, CA. It will be in the form of a wine dinner broadcast live into the Morton's dining room, where you will taste along with the Mondavi family. New menu items from Morton's will be paired with various wines from the Mondavi wine empire.

Included in the broadcast will be Michael Mondavi of Folio Fine Wine Partners, Tim Mondavi and Marcia Mondavi Borger of Continuum Estate and from Charles Krug Winery, Peter Mondavi, Sr., Peter Mondavi, Jr. and Marc Mondavi.

Proceeds from the evening's live and silent auctions will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  Among the items to be auctioned are a 27-liter bottle of an exclusive blend made by the 2nd and 3rd generations solely for the event.

Tickets for this special wine event are $175 each, which includes tax and tip.  Click on theMortons link to make a reservation online or by phone.

Celebrating the Legendary Blend Dinner Menu:


Smoked Salmon Pizza
Tenderloin Crostinis
Miniature Crabcakes

Paired with:
Charles Krug - Peter Mondavi Family, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc, 2009


Harvest Green Salad, topped with Sea Bass and Roasted Caper Vinaigrette

Paired with:
Isabel Mondavi, Sonoma Carneros, Chardonnay 2008


New York Strip Sirloin
Baked Sweet Onions with Gruyère
Roasted Tomato stuffed with Leaf Spinach
Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes

Paired with:
Continuum, Napa Valley, 2007
M by Michael Mondavi, Animo Vineyard, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Charles Krug - Peter Mondavi Family, Napa Valley, VS Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006


Cappuccino Cream

Paired with:
Charles Krug - Peter Mondavi Family, Napa Valley, Zinfandel Port, Lot XIII

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tasting Room Notes: Robert Mondavi Winery

I visited Northern California's wine country for a trip that began on Monday. I had plans to stay in Geyserville I could not resist the temptation of hitting Napa Valley on the way in. It's not really on the way, of course. The drive up Highway 29, onto Highway 128, through Calistoga and on to Geyserville took at least an hour longer than a direct approach up the 101 would have taken. But how could I pass up the opportunity to visit again California's Prime Wine Country?

The drive along Highway 29 took me past winery after winery, vineyard after vineyard. It's quite a spectacle to see just how much land is devoted to the growing of grapes there. The vineyards go on for acres, miles. As I drove, it came as a surprise whenever I passed a plot of land which, for some strange reason, had no grapes planted on it.

I had planned a visit to a number of wineries in Napa Valley which held some sort of fascination to me, but the place I seemed drawn to was a winery which produces wine that I rarely think about buying or even ordering in a restaurant. Robert Mondavi Winery.

Why do I rarely purchase Mondavi wines? Because there always seems to be something a little more desirable, a little sexier, a little hipper right next to it on the grocer's shelf. There's no doubt Mondavi makes good wines. But there isn't a lot of "insider cachet" to them. Mondavi wines are what your parents bought. How hip is that?

I was drawn to the Mondavi Winery not to try the wines but to pay homage to one of the men who helped build what is now the world-renowned California wine industry. Whether you like Robert Mondavi's wines or not, you have to admit that your favorite California wine might not exist today if not for him.

I was saddened that in the Mondavi tasting room in Oakville didn't seem to be a pioneering spirit at work. The pourers were barely interested enough to lift the next bottle. They were certainly not interested enough to offer any type of explanation of what they were pouring. My pourer was more interested in his computer screen than in me. Was that due to an attitude decrying, "This is Mondavi - what more do you need to know?" or was it, "This is Mondavi - who cares?" I can't tell you.

I can tell you what I tasted. Three wines for $15 is the regular tasting fee. It's $20 for their reserve wines. The complimentary logo glass is included. I actually got four wines by standing at the bar for a bit after I had finished my third taste and taking advantage of an inattentive pourer's lapse in memory.

Mondavi Napa Valley Fume Blanc, 2007 - There was a slightly floral, very grassy nose on this wine. Tastes like white peaches. Good minerality, although in a creamy fashion. Quite unexpected.

Mondavi Napa Valley Chardonnay - The nose was somewhat floral and a bit oaky. It tasted rather like an apple candy without the sweetness.

Mondavi Carneros Pinot Noir 2007 - A very peppery nose with big berry aromas and lots of spices make for a very inviting introduction. The taste was a bit overoaked for me, but there were plenty of cherry and black pepper flavors to make me forget.

Mondavi Napa Valley Merlot 2005 - A big, bright nose jumped right out of the glass while the explosive palate featured plum notes in a very spicy setting. Very smooth tannins.