1998 Robert Mondavi Winery Fume Blanc
In Napa Valley, as throughout California, 1998 was an unusual year for weather. El Niño gave us agrowing 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. Then, as harvest approached, the weather became increasingly better, and we had near-perfect, mild, sunny days for ripening. The small, loose clusters had sufficient hang time on the vines for vibrant flavours and natural balance in the wines. Overall, the 1998 harvest, one of the latest of the decade, turned out to be of excellent quality.
Tasting Note: The wine consists of 84% Sauvignon Blanc, 11% Semillon, 3% Sauvignon Musque and 2% Viognier. Bright notes of citrus, pear and melon. The vibrant expression of Sauvignon Blanc varietal character has delicate nuances of spices and lemon grass. Barrel fermentation and sur lie aging in French oak barrel refined the wine’s elegant, round texture and lingering, spicy finish.
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