Chef Tyler Florence and the Michael Mondavi family, long-time Napa Valley vintners, share a passion for pairing food and wine. Now Tyler has teamed up with Rob Mondavi, fourth generation winemaker, to craft a Cabernet Sauvignon from the finest spots throughout Napa Valley. They looked to the region's dramatic volcanic hillsides and rich, alluvial valley floor for the range of expression this grape achieves in this classic Cab region. Extended blending sessions allowed them to land on the perfect balance of rich, dark berry flavors and soft tannins in Blend #5.
The 2009 vintage in Napa was mild throughout the growing season with minimal frost in the spring and relatively few hot days in the summer and fall, allowing for long, slow ripening. Late October showers presented challenges, but patience and careful monitoring of the vineyards enabled us to work around the rains and harvest at optimum maturity.
Grapes for this wine were sourced from throughout Napa Valley's finest winegrowing regions, including Rutherford, Atlas Peak, Wooden Valley, and the Oso Vineyard in Pope Valley. Tyler and Rob have found that blending fruit from volcanic hillside soils and deeper alluvial soils of the valley floor gives the wine a beautifully rounded mouthfeel and layers of rich, complex flavors.
After gentle hand-harvest, the grapes were de-stemmed, crushed and fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. Malolactic fermentation took place in barrel, combined with 18 months aging in French oak.