The first vintage for Robert Mondavi Winery was 1966: 50 years later, and the wine is still singing. For 50 years the wines at Robert Mondavi have followed Mr. Mondavi’s vision of producing wine among the great wines of the world defined by their elegance concentration and terroir and the evening was a tribute to the singular vision of the man who put the New World on the map. Read more about the 50th anniversary gala dinner that brought together some of the Napa Valley greats who worked with Mondavi over the years in my most recent piece for The Tasting Panel.
I love older wines, those savory notes of earth, stewed fruits, honey, spice. But space is limited in my home, and I’ve yet to get into the good collector’s habit of buying wines by the case and slowly working my way through the bottles as they evolve. Instead, I hold on for dear life to the one or two bottles I have of a wine in a vintage, never quite sure of what occasion deserves them, and I count my lucky stars when I have the opportunity to taste wines others graciously open for me, as the experience is always memorable, however large or small the occasion: a 1934 Simi Cabernet to celebrate 150 years of uninterrupted production, a 40-year-old Kopke white port alongside the Douro on a trip to Portugal, a 1986 Latour popped the first time I tasted grass-fed beef from my aunt’s farm. Continue reading →