In a nutshell: A full, rich and fruity Napa Valley Pinot Noir made by one of the best wineries in North America.
The lowdown: Robert Mondavi started his winery in 1966 with an aim to make the best Napa Valley wine possible, and since then he has made some of the best wine in America. This Reserve Pinot comes from the cooler, foggy Carneros area in the south of Napa Valley, well suited to Pinot and Chardonnay grapes. Hand harvested in the cool early morning , to help retain those fruity, delicate flavours, and then sorted prior to fermentation before being left to mature in French oak barrels for 9 months.
When to drink: This wine will happily keep and evolve over the rest of the decade.
The Robert Mondavi Winery is, without doubt, one of the most important producers in the Napa Valley and one that's widely seen as the builders of California's reputation as a quality wine region. Robert Mondavi himself founded the business in 1966 and in the early years Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc from his To Kalon vineyard provided the core of their wines. It was Robert Mondavi who coined the term Fumé Blanc for his Sauvignon Blancs modelled on the whites of the France's upper Loire. In the late 70s Mondavi joined forces with Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Château Mouton Rothschild to create Opus One which has become one of the iconic wines of Caifornia.
Robert Mondavi gradually stepped back from front line involvement during the 1990's (passing away in 2008 at the ripe old age of 95) and in 1997 Geneviève Janssens became director of winemaking, a post she holds to this day. Geneviève, who is French, first joined Mondavi in 1978 and later worked for Opus One before returning in 1989 so, while being steeped in the Mondavi approach, has also brought her influence to bear on the wines they produce. She is very much a driving force behind the ongoing development of the Robert Mondavi Winery.