The 2010 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from vineyards in the Central Coast AVA, primarily Monterey County. The front label says California which indicates the grapes can be sourced from more than one AVA, but only Central Coast grapes were used and the 2011 label has been redesigned and now shows Central Coast as the growing area. Back in the 1960s, before Sauvignon Blanc was a popular and well known grape, Robert Mondavi was having trouble getting folks to buy his Sauvignon Blanc wine. So, he change the name from Sauvignon Blanc to Fumé Blanc, a name he made up and the wine started to sell. Today the Sauvignon Blanc grape is well established, so there is no need to disguise the grape, but the Fumé Blanc name is still used on the Mondavi Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. This wine was aged in stainless steel tanks and the alcohol content is 12.5%.
The color is an extremely pale lemon yellow with a slight lime green tint. The nose is citrus, grapefruit, lime, fresh lemon, with a little fleshy papaya coming in at the end. This wine has a slightly oily mouthfeel that conveys a bit of depth. It starts out with soft mellow lemon and then there is a wallop of sour, tart grapefruit juice mixed with pineapple. The mid palate adds a taste of dusty minerality along with just picked peach. There is a strong dose of acidity running thru the body of the wine, this wine would pair well with bold dishes like Firecracker Shrimp. The finish is strong and lasts an lengthy amount of time.
The Robert Mondavi Private Selection Sauvignon Blanc is a fairly impressive summer wine. Upon first sip, I thought that this was strictly a food wine, the flavors were too bold. too tart, too acidic to be enjoyable without the counterbalance of a meal, but the second sip revealed that the bold tart flavors were actually intriguing and slightly addicting. I found myself emptying the glass rather quickly, my brain was saying “I’m not so sure about this,” but my tastebuds were saying “give me more”. This is a wine that should be widely available and during the summer can be found on sale for ten bucks and under.