Appellation AmericaAPPELLATION AMERICA has been fairly critical of high alcohol wines made from grapes with unnecessarily long hang times. So a brief glance on the label of Robert Mondavi Winery’s 2005 Fumé Blanc Reserve with its 15 percent alcohol would ordinarily send us running. But that’s nary the case for this extraordinary wine. First off, 2005 was a particularly cooler growing season from a late spring to an unusually cooler Napa Valley summer. That, by nature, demanded longer hang time which let the grapes ripen slowly and develop rich aromas and flavors. This classic Fumé Blanc (Sauvignon Blanc) read more...from the prized To Kalon Vineyard (where most of the vines are some 30 years old or more) was blended with 15 percent Semillon. This is the vineyard where Robert Mondavi pioneered growing Sauvignon Blanc in the early years of his winery. Other vintners said he was wasting his time. Wrong. Mondavi pioneered fermenting his Sauvignon Blanc in French oak barrels which imparted a smoky character, hence “Fumé”. But smoke is only one of the Reserve’s complex characteristics. A marmalade-like orange zest and delicate white peach flavor grab you first. Although there is only a hint of residual sugar, an underlying sweetness combined with the natural acidity of the grapes adds a lip-smacking finish. The touch of Semillon provides a velvety mouthfeel. We know about comfort food. If there is such a thing as comfort wine, this is it. (hide)
Food & WineRating: EXCELLENT Top-notch of its type - As reviewed by Food & Wine - 2009 Wine Guide on 2009. Mondavi invented the moniker Fumé Blanc back in the sixties, and his version is still defined by lots of winery work -barrel aging and lees stirring. This is a nicely balanced wine with a distinctly herbal edge to its grapefruit and pear aromas.
Wine.comJasmine-tinged aromas lead to fresh melon and pear flavors enlivened with a hint of orange and complex floral and mineral notes. Beautiful balance of crisp acidity and creamy texture from sur lie aging.
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