Robert Mondavi Private Selection Merlot

Region California, United States
Grape Merlot, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc
Style Red
Brand Robert Mondavi Winery

2013 Harvest
2013 was another high-quality and generous vintage. Following a warm, dry spring with near ideal conditions for bringing grapes to maturity, harvest was remarkably smooth, and was one of the earliest in memory. The region saw very few night frosts, few significant heat spikes, and almost no high-wine events. All of this, combined with uniform growing days, is exactly what winemakers hope for. Across the board, the fruit showed great balance of acidity and sugar, had good color and flavor, and was fully ripe.

Viticulture
100% of the grapes for our 2013 Chardonnay came from vineyards in the Central Coast American Viticulture Area (AVA), with 65% from Monterey County. The cool, dry growing season in this acclaimed region ensures that Chardonnay grapes ripen slowly and evenly, developing luscious fruit flavors that are balanced by crisp acidity and refreshing minerality.

Winemaking
The grapes were pressed as whole clusters to fully capture the purity and freshness of the juice, 30% of which we barrel fermented and aged for 10 months in French/American oak to enhance texture and complexity. The balance was tank fermented to accentuate the wine’s fruitiness. 30% of the blend also underwent malolactic fermentation to foster a rich, creamy mouthfeel, while 100% aged on the yeast lees for 10 months, with periodic stirring, to promote even greater richness.

Technical Information
81% Merlot, 9% Syrah, 6% Petite Sirah,
2% Cabernet Sauvignon,
2% Cabernet Franc
Appellation: 69% Monterey County,
12% San Benito County
11% Paso Robles,
6% Santa Barbara County
2% Valley South
Oak ageing: 12 months
TA: 6.1g/L
RS: 4.0g/L
pH: 3.63
Alcohol: 13.5%

Tasting Notes
This 2012 Merlot has a nice dark color. It opens with aromas of fully ripe black cherry, plum jam, dark chocolate, and raspberry. The flavor is dominated by plum, black cherry, and smoky oak from extended oak aging. The wine is ripe and round with lots of oak layered over the top. A good dose of ripe tannin makes for a long satisfying finish. In crafting this wine, we chose exceptional Central Coast grapes, primarily from Monterey County, a region that provides the temperate climate and moist alluvial soils that Merlot loves.

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.

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