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SOUTHBEACH
WINE
& FOOD
F E S T I V A L  2003

february 28 - march 3, 2003


StarChefs at the 2003 South Beach Festival!
StarChefs will be hosting a wine tasting featuring some incredible Miami-based chefs. Don't miss the opportunity to taste exceptional wines and
meet exceptional chefs!

Saturday, March 1  
1:00pm Marcus Samuelsson
Aquavit
Question and answer
3:30pm Angel Palacios
La Broche
Foam demonstration
Sunday, March 2
 
3:00pm Michael Reidt
Wish, The Hotel
Brazilian drink tasting
3:30pm Michele Bernstein
Azul, The Mandarin Oriental
Chat with the host of FoodTV's Melting Pot
4:00pm Norman VanAken
Norman's
Talks about his new cookbook New World Kitchen
5:00pm Willis Loughhead
Bizcaya Grill, The Ritz-Carlton
Vinegar aperitif & food pairing

Featured Wines:
Robert Mondavi 1999 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Robert Mondavi 1998 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Mondavi 2000 Napa Valley Chardonnay
Robert Mondavi 2001 Napa Valley Fume Blanc



1999 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Winemaker's Notes
Our 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is selected from our finest Napa Valley vineyards, sites that yield complex, long-lived wines. Each of these exceptional vineyards has a distinct personality - a combination of specific site, mesoclimate, soils, clonal selections and cultivation techniques -- that contributes layers upon layers of flavors to the wine. Opulent dark fruit notes of cassis, black cherry and berry reflect grapes grown on the deep soils of the Oakville bench. Nuances of spice, minerals, licorice and violet weave through the highly extracted, velvety flavors. We handcrafted the wine with a long maceration, 17 months of aging in new French chateau barrels, gentle barrel-to-barrel racking, and bottling without filtration.
Varietal blend: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec
Vintage
The 1999 La Niña weather pattern gave Napa Valley one of the coolest vintages on record; then the weather took a sharp turn in late September with a weeklong, hot, low-humidity spell. We harvested 45% of our total grape harvest between September 27 and October 6. The grapes for our Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon were among the last vineyards to ripen. Compared to the El Niño phenomenon in 1998, marked by dramatic changes in weather, this year experienced a milder growing season with average (33.6") rainfall in Oakville. The cool temperatures caused a later-than-average budbreak and bloom, (April 13 and June 5, respectively) in our To Kalon Block Z Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard. July and August temperatures were below normal. Harvest began slowly in mid-September; then the low humidity heat spell advanced sugar maturity by two degrees in just a few days. We harvested grapes for our Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon throughout October, with an approximate bloom-to-harvest length of 129 days. Perfect ripening weather wrapped up the harvest on November 4.
Grapes: (Average) 24.2º Brix with 0.74% initial acid and 3.61 pH
Vineyards
We selected 82% of the blend from the Oakville AVA (American Viticultural Area), with 68% harvested from the historic To Kalon Vineyard. This vineyard has been continually planted to grapes for over 130 years, and for more than 50 years it has been the backbone of Robert Mondavi's finest Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The Oakville AVA grapes are planted on an alluvial bench where low-fertility, well-drained soils allow deep rooting and the development of complex flavors in the grapes. To enhance the ripe berry character of the wine, and complement the Oakville AVA fruit, we harvested 11% from the Stags Leap District AVA and 7% from the Carneros AVA.
Grape Sourcing: Napa Valley
Fermentation and Aging
The vineyard lots of grapes selected as reserve candidates receive special attention throughout winemaking and aging. We hand-harvested the grapes into small bins and brought them to the winery for destemming and light crushing. After an average of 40 days extended skin contact to naturally soften tannins and enhance varietal character, the wine was gently pressed and transferred to 60 gallon, chateau-style French oak barrels (80% new oak). All the wine completed an extended, native malolactic fermentation in barrels for softness and depth. To achieve natural clarity, we gently racked the wine barrel-to-barrel six times during 17 months of aging. The wine was bottled without filtration to fully retain the rich, powerful aromas and flavors.
Wine analysis: 0.61% total acid, 3.67pH, 0.07% residual sugar, and 14.0% alcohol, by volume.


1998 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker's Notes
Our 1998 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon expresses velvety tiers of back cherry, plums, violets and cocoa, reflecting the diversity of the valley's soils and microclimates. Sweet spice, vanilla and toasty oak notes linger on the long finish. We captured the complexity of Napa Valley terroir by selecting grapes from several different regions, each renowned for distinctive Cabernet Sauvignon. Midway through barrel aging, we blended the vineyard lots to create a choir of complementary flavors. Our Spotlight wines that showcase a single vineyard are similar to a tenor solo, pure and focused. Our Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon demonstrates the traditional artistry of blending vineyards to achieve multidimensional flavors and beautiful balance.
Vintage
In Napa Valley, as throughout California, 1998 was an unusual year for weather. El Niño gave us a growing season punctuated with extremes ? twice the normal rainfall, 18 days of frost, cold weather at bloom and record heat spells. Yields for some varieties were down because of the wet weather during bloom and berry set. A period of excessive summer heat caused sunburn in some vineyards, necessitating thinning to maintain high quality. But then, as harvest approached, the weather improved, and we had near perfect mild, sunny days for ripening. The small, loose clusters had sufficient "hang time" on the vines to create vibrant flavors and natural balance in the wines. Overall, the 1998 harvest, one of the latest of the decade, turned out to be of excellent quality.
Vineyards
Our Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon displays the diversity of flavors achieved by blending grapes from the richly varied regions of Napa Valley. Every vineyard has a distinct personality from the complex interaction of micro-climate, soils and terrain. The French use the term terroir to encompass these natural elements that influence grape flavors. For this wine we selected vineyards from the Carneros District, at the southern tip of the valley, to Calistoga at the north. The majority of the grapes were harvested from the middle of the valley, with more than half of the blend harvested from the Oakville District, including our historic To Kalon Vineyard, and the Rutherford District. We harvested the grapes at an average sugar of 24.2°Brix, .68% acid and 3.75 pH.
Fermentation and Aging
After grapes were gently destemmed and crushed, we fermented the must with a combination of native (and cultured yeast for layers of flavor complexity. To naturally soften the grape tannins and heighten varietal intensity, we left the skins in contact with the wine (maceration) for an average of 30 days. A long malolactic fermentation (primarily native) conducted in barrels enhanced the wine's depth and body. During 13½ months in small French oak barrels (18% new oak), the wine was racked barrel-to-barrel four times and lightly fined with fresh egg whites. Between rackings, the wine was left undisturbed for optimal clarity. To fully retain the beautifully integrated layers of fruit, spice, floral and oak expression and long aging potential of our Cabernet Sauvignon, we bottled it without filtration.

2000 Napa Valley Chardonnay
Winemaker's Notes
Our 2000 Napa Valley Chardonnay unfolds in rich layers of pear, tangerine, tropical fruit, spices and minerals. To achieve this array of natural flavors in the Chardonnay grapes, we selected vineyards in the coolest regions of Napa Valley, primarily the Carneros AVA (American Viticultural Area) and surrounding foothills. For complexity, we barrel fermented the wine with both native and cultured yeast. We then hand-stirred the wine during sur lie aging in toasted Burgundian barrels to harmonize flavors. These techniques added nuances of hazelnut and vanilla to the lush fruit flavors. We captured the full flavor profile of the wine by bottling without filtration. The wine will continue to develop richness and complexity with five or more years of bottle aging. Visit our web site at www.robertmondavi.com for some of our favorite recipes to enjoy with this versatile wine.
Varietal blend: 100% Chardonnay
Vintage
Napa Valley's outstanding 2000 vintage started with early budbreak and ended with a prolonged harvest that lingered into November. Yields were abundant throughout the state, following the sparse 1998 "El Niño" and 1999 "La Niña" vintages, necessitating thinning in some vineyards to achieve highest quality. We began harvesting Chardonnay on August 15 and had the majority of the crop in by September 30. Cooler temperatures began in late September and slowed ripening, so there was a lull in maturation; the last Chardonnay vineyard was picked on October 17. Overall, the nearly ideal growing season provided the Chardonnay grapes with ripe, lush flavors and an excellent acid balance for vibrancy in the wines.
Grapes: (Average) 22.3º Brix with 0.81% initial acid and 3.4 pH
Vineyards
We selected the majority of the grapes from the Carneros AVA (American Viticultural Area) in the southern end of Napa Valley, closest to the Pacific winds and fog of San Francisco Bay. Most of these Carneros AVA grapes come from our Robert Mondavi Huichica Hills Vineyard. We selected the balance from vineyards in the west Napa foothills adjacent to Carneros, and surrounding the township of Napa. The marine-influenced climate of these regions develops bright fruit flavors in Chardonnay grapes. Cold fog blankets the vineyards at night, and cool winds temper the summer sun, extending the ripening period of the grapes.
Grape Sourcing: Napa Valley
Fermentation and Aging
After hand harvesting the Chardonnay grapes in the early morning, we immediately brought them in small bins to the field-pressing station in our Huichica Vineyards. We gently pressed the grapes as whole clusters to retain the intense fruit character. To achieve a complex, multi-layered Chardonnay, we fermented the wine in 60-gallon French oak barrels, with the balance fermented in stainless steel tanks. We used both cultured and native (wild) yeast for layers of complex nuances. All of the wine underwent partial malolactic fermentation in barrels to convert part of the malic acid into lactic acid, thus achieving a balance of roundness and vibrancy. We aged the wine sur lie (on the yeast) in French oak barrels (15% new oak) for eight months, periodically stirring the wine to enhance the rich texture and marry flavors. The wine was bottled without filtration for full flavor and opulent mouthfeel.
Wine analysis: 0.67% total acid, 3.48 pH, 0.1% residual sugar, and 13.5% alcohol, by volume.

2001 Napa Valley Fume Blanc
Winemaker's Notes
Our 2001 Napa Valley Fumé Blanc unfolds in bright, fresh floral, fruit and mineral character. Our recent tasting revealed very expressive aromas and flavors of white flowers, Meyer lemon, white peach, fresh anise and mineral. The wine has a nice middle palate with rich, lengthy flavors. Barrel fermentation and aging contribute to the rich, creamy texture and hint of oak vanilla in the finish. We selected about 90% of the blend from three regions of Napa Valley that are renowned for Sauvignon Blanc grapes - Stags Leap District, Oakville and Rutherford, with the balance from other exceptional vineyards.
Varietal blend: 99% Sauvignon Blanc, 1% Semillon
Vintage
The 2001 harvest was unique, with one of the longest bloom-to-harvest periods in recent history. This long "hang time" on the vine resulted in exceptional flavors and balance in the grapes. Harvest began as one of the earliest in the last 20 years, with the first grapes crushed on August 8. Then the weather changed and the harvest became one of the longest, with the last grapes picked at the end of October. We had predicted an early harvest because of early budbreak, bloom and veraison. We feared that all the grapes would ripen simultaneously, but then the weather cooled and slowed ripening. The flavor maturity in the grapes lagged behind the sugar accumulation (Brix) so we played a waiting game, delaying harvest until the flavor maturity caught up. Sauvignon Blanc is the first grape to ripen in Napa Valley; we harvested the grapes for our Napa Valley Fumé Blanc during August and September.
Grapes: (Average) 22.4º Brix with 0.69% initial acid and 3.31pH
Vineyards
For complexity of flavors, we selected 34% of the grapes from the Stags Leap District American Viticultural Area (AVA), 34% from the Rutherford AVA, and 20% from the Oakville AVA. More than half of these grapes was grown in Robert Mondavi's Wappo Hill Vineyard, in the Stags Leap District AVA, and his To Kalon Vineyard, in the Oakville AVA. The fruit from the Stags Leap District contributes Sauvignon Blanc flavors typical of cooler climates, such as citrus and fresh anise. The Oakville and Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc grapes add tropical and floral notes to the flavor profile, while imparting richness. In addition to terroir (climate, site and soil) influence, Sauvignon Blanc is very sensitive to cultivation techniques. We are able to influence its myriad of flavors in the vineyard with clonal selection, state-of-the-art vertical trellising and canopy management. In our vineyards, we pull leaves to open the vine canopy for better sunlight exposure on the clusters, to enhance the fruity, rather than herbal, flavors in the grapes.
Grape Sourcing: Napa Valley, primarily Stags Leap District, Rutherford and Oakville AVAs
Fermentation and Aging
We gently pressed the grapes as whole clusters and immediately began fermentation to capture the fresh, vibrant fruit character of the Sauvignon Blanc grapes. For increased complexity, we fermented two-thirds of the juice in 60-gallon French oak barrels and the balance in stainless steel tanks. A special yeast strain (VL3), developed at the University of Bordeaux, was selected for its ability to accentuate fruit flavor in the wine. We gently stirred the wine (batonage) during five months of sur lie aging (on the yeast lees) in French oak barrels. This classic technique enhances creaminess and integrates the flavors of the wine. A small amount of Semillon adds a hint of mineral. We bottled the wine without filtration to retain its full flavor intensity and complexity.
Wine analysis: 0.70% total acid, 3.24 pH, 0.12% residual sugar, and 13.5% alcohol, by volume.


Robert Mondavi Winery, Oakville, Napa Valley, CA

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