Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Pinot Noir Carneros 2014: Dark garnet color with slight translucence; dark fruits, plum on the nose; fruit-forward cherry, plum, strawberry, raspberry, hints of spice on the palate;
silky tannin, good acidity (3.6 pH), touch of earthiness, complexity and substance, clean, indulgent delight. Fruitiness signals this is Carneros (96% of the pinot grapes come from Napa Carneros), more intense flavor and heavier body than a delicate Washington State or Oregon offering. Mondavi’s pinot maker, Megan Schofield, says she ascribes to gentle and non-invasive winemaking: “Don’t mess up what the vineyard gives you.” A superb strategy, and why this effort proclaims Napa. As one of the principal players on the Mondavi team, Schofield says she joins in their effort to continue to realize Robert Mondavi’s vision of creating “sit down wines.” She explains: “wine is all about sitting down, lingering with friends or family over a meal and enjoying a great bottle of wine together.” This effort achieves that goal. Well crafted, widely available, deliciously drinkable Carneros pinot noir. $27
Robert Mondavi website
Second photo: Robert Mondavi at his Napa winery.