2014 Robert Mondavi "To Kalon Vineyard - Reserve" Oakville Fumé Blanc (Elsewhere $50)

SKU #1414504 95 points Wine Enthusiast

 From the beautiful, historic site planted to some of the oldest vines of the variety in Northern California, this delicious white explodes in juicy green apple and an intensity of fresh-squeezed lemon. That succulence lingers atop a lengthy, salty texture wrapped in subtle, supportive oak. *Editors' Choice* (VB)  (2/2017)

93 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The 2016 Fume Blanc Reserve comes all from the To Kalon vineyard and includes 7% Semillon. It’s another impressive white that has a Loire-like vibe in its lemon grass, crushed lime, citrus pit, and subtly mineral-laced aromas and flavors. It has terrific cut and focus on the palate and is an outstanding, serious Sauvignon Blanc.  (1/2019)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Mondavi’s Fumé Blanc Reserve was one of the first high-quality Sauvignon Blancs - or as Mondavi called it, Fumé Blanc - in Napa, serving as a pioneering catalyst in the movement with this variety. The 2014 version is a beauty, with the texture of a Chardonnay, luscious honeysuckle, lemon blossom and tangerine oil notes, medium body, beautiful concentration and purity, and a long, dry, authoritative finish. This is a winner to drink over the next 4-5 years. Drink through 2021. (RP)  (12/2016)

K&L Notes

Winery Notes: "This wine is a true expression of our To Kalon Vineyard’s historic Robert’s Block, our renamed T Block planted in 1960. When Robert Mondavi chose the To Kalon Vineyard as the home for his new winery in 1966 he remarked: "It was a vineyard with a distinguished history and a magical nature. Ideal soils, sunlight, and rain to my eye, the vineyard was a treasure." Situated on prime benchland in west Oakville, the low fertility, well-drained soils combine with optimal sun exposure to yield rich, complex flavors and peak fruit maturity. The dry farmed, head-trained, cane-pruned vines on Robert’s Block offer purity of varietal expression, great concentration and depth of flavor. A small amount of fruit was selected from our equally historic I Block, for its key contribution of minerality, length and elegance."

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Price: $29.95
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By: Trey Beffa | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/23/2019 | Send Email
Lots of history with this wine and vineyard. First planted in 1960, the vines are currently are dry farmed, head-trained and cane-pruned. The resulting wine is concentrated, rich and deep. Wonderful acidity holds the wine together. Tasted blind it would not be surprising to guess an expensive White Bordeaux like Domaine de Chevalier Blanc or Smith Haut-Lafitte Blanc. Serious but delicious Sauvignon Blanc!

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/23/2019 | Send Email
Hailing from the most prestigious vineyard site in Napa Valley (and thus the country by most measures,) Mondavi's To Kalon Fume Blanc Reserve is one of the most intensely concentrated and flavorful white wines that graces our shelves. Sourced from 50-60 year old vines in the heart of To Kalon Vineyard on the Oakville Bench, these are some of the oldest Sauvignon Blanc vines in the country, planted in some of the most special wine growing soils anywhere. The wine is barrel fermented to enhance texture, length on the palate and ageability. It's just packed with ripe yellow stone fruit, feijoa, preserved lemon, kumquat and kaffir lime leaf. Rich and powerful on the mid-palate but with beautiful drive and length on the palate. Super fresh and vibrant despite having almost 4 years in bottle. This will continue to age just as the top white Bordeaux wines do from properties like Haut-Brion, Smith Haut Lafitte and Carbonnieux. Don't miss our extra special price...this is in it's prime and will drink great for at least another 3-5 years and probably beyond. What a chance to drink some vinous royalty for a song...old vine To Kalon fruit at this price!

By: Ryan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/10/2019 | Send Email
A classic in any vintage, Mondavi's To Kalon Fume Blanc is gorgeous in 2014. The nose feels like it's straight out of Bordeaux instead of Napa, with charming notes of stonefruit and lime. A laser-like focus carries the palate which has a bit of richness but never comes off heavy and hits notes of kiwi, pear, and meyer lemon. Refreshing, deep, and refined, this is a terrific example of world-class Sauvignon Blanc.

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Sauvignon Blanc

- One of the best known "international" varieties originally cultivated in France and considered the parent of, with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon. Sauvignon's wonderfully distinctive aromatics generate some of wine's most colorful descriptors, among them "cat pee," herbaceous, grassy, citrusy the world over. In France, the apex of Sauvignon Blanc production is the Loire Valley, in the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where the terroir expresses itself most beautifully through the grape. Sauvignon Blanc is also the leading white grape varietal in Bordeaux, where it is paired with the fatter, richer Sémillon to varying degrees. Relatively easy to cultivate, though more suited to cool climates, Sauvignon Blanc has made inroads in Europe outside of France, especially in Northeastern Italy's Friuli and Alto Adige, but also on the Slovenian border. These lovely wines are often overshadowed by Sauvignon Blanc's achievements in the New World, namely New Zealand, South Africa and California. New Zealand's Sauvignon Blancs, more conspicuously fruity than most French examples, landed the small island nation on the world wine map in the late-1980s and 1990s. South African Sauvignons are one of the most successful international varieties produced in that country and are often quite elegant and affordable. In California, Robert Mondavi managed to, almost single-handedly, created a market for Sauvignon Blanc by renaming his oak-fermented version Fumé Blanc. While some wineries still use the name, California Sauvignon Blanc has secured its place in the California wine pantheon, particularly those from the Napa Valley. Washington State, Chile and Argentina also have considerable plantings of the grape.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
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Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5