This is based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.



2011 Robert Mondavi Winery Chardonnay

2012 Robert Mondavi Winery Pinot Noir

2011 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley





The Robert Mondavi Winery history is full of triumphs and disappointments.  The winery that Robert Mondavi founded and poured his heart into, eventually caused him his biggest heart breaks.  The downfall for the family began when they took the company public.  This money making venture, years down the road, lead to the family being pushed out of the picture.


Robert Mondavi Winery (from the winery)

Robert Mondavi established his namesake winery in 1966 with a vision to create Napa Valley wines that would stand in the company of the world’s finest.  He chose To Kalon Vineyard in the heart of the Napa Valley as the home for Robert Mondavi Winery. This first-growth vineyard, located in Oakville, California, is renowned for producing some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon wines in the world, as well as for its Sauvignon Blanc grapes, from which Mr. Mondavi crafted his signature wine, Fumé Blanc.


Along with To Kalon Vineyard, Robert Mondavi Winery sources grapes from some of Napa Valley’s finest vineyards, including Stag’s Leap (Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc) and Carneros (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay).


Mr. Mondavi believed that wines should reflect their origins, that they are the product of the soil, the climate, and the careful stewardship of those precious resources. He also believed in combining the newest techniques and technology with time-honored winemaking traditions.


Our winemaking and vineyard teams are proud to carry on our founder’s mandate to always strive higher, to pursue Robert Mondavi’s goal of excellence with the same passion and innovative spirit, moving forward with programs that break barriers and open new frontiers.


Leading this initiative is Genevieve Janssens, Director of Winemaking. Genevieve, whose relationship with the winery began in 1978, was selected Winemaker of the Year by Wine Enthusiast in 2010.



Mondavi Logo



The wines

The wines for this tasting:

Robert Mondavi line up




2011 Robert Mondavi Winery Chardonnay – SRP $19

This 100% Chardonnay is made from grapes sourced from:

56% Carneros (Napa Valley), 24% Napa Valley, 14% Stag’s Leap District and 6% Russian River Valley.  The grapes were whole cluster pressed.  75% of the juice was fermented in French oak with 15% being new.  The remaining 25% was cold fermented in stainless steel tanks.  Some of the wine went through malolactic fermentation.


The wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a light yellow to straw color.  The fresh and fruity nose has apples, melon, pears, vanilla, baking spices, minerals, orange blossoms and lemon zest.  This has medium body, fairly creamy mouth feel with crisp acidity and just a slight trace of lingering sweetness.  On the palate the white orchard fruit and spices grab the palate initially before minerals and mouthwatering citrus kick in and take over.  The finish has decent length with minerals, citrus, and a bit of oak carrying the load.  A touch of residual sugar adds nice richness without making the wine off dry.  This is a food friendly Chardonnay that would also make for a nice glass with friends and conversation.  (88 pts)

2011 Robert Mondavi Winery Chardonnay

2011 Robert Mondavi Winery Chardonnay



2012 Robert Mondavi Winery Pinot Noir – SRP $26

This wine is made of 100% Napa Carneros Pinot Noir.  Select vineyard blocks were whole cluster fermented, most were destemmed and crushed prior to fermentation.  The wine was fermented in French oak and had 21 days of skin contact.  After fermentation, the wine was gently pressed into French oak (26% new) for malolactic fermentation and five months of aging before being bottled in April 2013.


The wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume and the bottles are sealed with a natural cork.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright cherry red color.  The earthy nose has plums, earthy underbrush, baking spices, cherries and a touch of cola.  This has medium body, soft tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate plums, cherries and spice hit first then the earthy elements take over.  The finish has decent length with the earthy elements in control and the fruit providing some needed sweetness in the background.  A middle of the road style of Pinot Noir, some upfront fruit but not overly ripe and rich like some of the California Pinots.  (86 pts)

2012 Robert Mondavi Winery Pinot Noir

2012 Robert Mondavi Winery Pinot Noir



2011 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – SRP $28

The 2011 vintage was a difficult one in the Napa Valley.  There was tenacious morning fog, unseasonably cool weather and rainfall at flowering time and during the October harvest.


This wine is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot.  The grapes were sourced from 100% Napa Valley vineyards including To Kalon Vineyard (35%) and Wappo Hill Vineyard (13%).


The grapes were gently destemmed into stainless steel tanks and oak tanks.  There was a 26 day maceration to maximize the extraction of color and flavor.  This also helped polish the tannins for a rich, supple mouthfeel.  The finished wine was transferred to 60 gallon French oak barrels (13% new) for malolactic fermentation.  The wine received 16 months of barrel aging before being bottled in May 2013.


The wine has 14.0% alcohol by volume and the bottles are sealed with a natural cork.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a light to medium ruby red color.  The expressive nose has cassis, tomato leaf, minerals, mocha, cedar, fresh sage and thyme, and violets.  The wine has medium body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the wine shows the cool vintage with a fair amount of tomato leaf and fresh herbs to go with the fruit.  The finish has fair length again showing the herbal side of the Cabernet grape.  This is a wine that will go well with food but is not a wine to sip on its own.  This isn’t a Cabernet to lock away in the cellar, serve it with a burger or roast beef over the next couple of years.  This wine does have a distinct green streak that will not agree with a lot of wine enthusiasts.  (84 pts)

2011 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

2011 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley



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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.



Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.



All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.