ATLAS PEAK VINEYARD
Michael Mondavi’s grandfather taught him as a boy that all great winemakers, first and foremost, have respect for their soil. Making wine from the roots up, he said, is the only way to create a truly unique wine instilled with a sense of time and place. Years later, when Michael chose the vineyard site for M, those words were not far from his mind. This vineyard, high atop Atlas Peak on 15 acres of rocky, volcanic soil at an elevation of up to 1,350 feet, would carry on its terroir through the vines into the grapes and, ultimately, finish in the glass.
A classic Napa Valley growing season and harvest provided an abundance of quality grapes from which winemakers had to choose in 2012. From spring bud break, through flowering, fruit set, and ripening, conditions were ideal. A consistent stretch of warm summer weather, without large heat spikes and with plenty of cool and foggy nights, ripened grapes to perfection before late rains appeared at the end of October.
The fruit’s rich flavors, ripe tannins and balanced acidity enabled his son Rob Mondavi Jr. to craft M Cabernet Sauvignon with unmatched richness, elegance and harmony. After the grapes were gently hand-harvested and the individual clusters selected, they were de-stemmed and lightly crushed into small punch down tanks. After a five day cold soak period, the juice was fermented at 27-30°C. Extended post-fermentation maceration brings the total skin contact time to 28-32 days fully marrying the wine’s rich black fruit flavors and supple, sculpted tannins. The young wine was then moved to barrel for malolactic fermentation and 22 months of aging in French oak barrels (87% new). It was clarified with a light egg-white fining in barrel, using organic eggs, and spent 20 months in bottle prior to release.
Blend: 98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot
Production: 290 cases
A warm greeting of stunning black fruit, fresh hyssop anise and toasted oak caress the initial aromatics of the glass. Diving deeper into the aromatic profile of the wine the small percentage of Petit Verdot demonstrates its beautiful bouquet of wild violets and muddled blueberries. From this point forth the aromatic quality is driven by the bold Cabernet Sauvignon. The classic elements of Cabernet provide rich and alluring cassis aromatics with a kiss of bruised raspberries while the mountain fruit calls attention by expressing minerality, stoniness and subtle woodsy spices. Upon tasting, the wine begins with an offering of blueberries and violets mirroring the aromatics. As the wine washes over the palate a beautiful dance begins between the darker, richer fruit characters and the supple acidity which showcases a lovely magnetism and tension drawing one back to the glass. The elegance of M Cabernet Sauvignon, is inspired by both the reds of Bordeaux and the legendary Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernets of the 1960’s and early 19070’s that Michael made himself. With inspiration of balance and elegance from the past combined with modern hand shows through via the ripe dark fruits and approachable generosity of the wine.