Deep ruby-garnet color; plum, blackberry, fig, black cherry, blackcurrant on the nose; blackberry, blueberry, black plum, black cherry, blackcurrant, licorice, cocoa, oak on the palate.
Dry; grippy but approachable tannins, I decided not to decant because it would be paired with filet mignon. Really tasty fruit. Smooth, easy drinker. Excellent exemplar of dark fruit wine. The meal was long and the wine improved in glass, so contemplate decanting, especially if yours is not a leisurely repast. This wine is not overly complex, but—whatever—it is a smooth, easy drinker with a hint of mint on the finish. Depth and complexity. It would be super value at lower price, but certainly works in its niche. 15.5% ABV
German-born (Prussia) Charles Krug established the winery in 1861. He came to the U.S. in 1847 and became a citizen in 1852. He served apprenticeships at two wineries before starting his own. Marriage helped. In 1860, he married Carolina Bale, daughter of Napa Valley pioneer Edward Turner Bale, a miller. She also was the granddaughter of Maria Isidora Vallejo of the prominent Vallejo family.
Part of Bale’s dowry to the couple included 540 acres of land north of St. Helena. Krug planted a vineyard there and started what is now California’s oldest winery. James Moffitt purchased the winery in 1894 from the Krug estate. In 1943, Robert Mondavi convinced his parents, Cesare and Rosa Mondavi, to purchase the inactive winery from Moffitt. Robert began his career there, along with his younger brother, Peter. Robert eventually left to create his famous brand in 1966, while Peter’s descendants—his sons Peter Jr. and Marc continue to own and operate Charles Krug.
Today, Charles Krug Winery owns 850 prime Napa Valley acres from Carneros to Howell Mountain. Five hundred of those acres are sustainably farmed vineyards. Acclaimed winemaker Stacy Clark joined Charles Krug in 2011. She is noted for seeking balanced, restrained wines. This offering reflects that style, with a veer to approachability rather than insistence.
The winery, with its 150-year-old iconic buildings, is a prime attraction in Napa. In 2013, they opened the restored, renovated Redwood Cedar Tasting Room and Hospitality Center, originally built in 1872. The center added a trattoria in 2014; it serves grilled panini and other Italian specialties. At this writing, it has reopened under COVID-19 rules, with much of the activity outdoors.
Charles Krug Peter Mondavi Family Reserve Generations 2016 is Bordeaux-style blend, the website notes “created to honor our family’s past, present and future.” Big red wine just moving into its best drinking years at five years old. Pair with hearty beef—grilled sirloin/porterhouse, T-bone, tenderloin, ribeye; lamb—Spanish ragout, lamb steaks with Greek-inspired tomato sauce; veal; poultry, but not fried. $60-70