2006 Emblem Cabernet Sauvignon Oso Vineyard Howell Mountain

Emblem Cabernet Sauvignon Oso Vineyard Howell Mountain Lots of winemakers want to do something 'original.' But, original takes on a whole new meaning when your last name is Mondavi.

Rob Mondavi was sitting with his dad, Michael, and sister, Dina, at his Dad's place. Rob had an idea. Now he had to sell it to the powers that be. He wanted to make a Cabernet with his father -- but it had to be Rob's Cabernet. The Cabernet he wanted to make would be unlike anything the Mondavis had ever made before (no small feat).

This was Rob's conundrum. He didn't want to make a wine from Oakville. Every new venture on the block was set in Oakville, and anyway, with Opus One, the Mondavis had already been there, done that. The only natural place to look for that "something different" was up in the hills of Napa. Something from the hills where they would find richer deeper flavors unlike any of the wines of the Mondavi past.

On one of many exploratory missions, Rob went to the eastern hills of Napa Valley to visit a ranch near the famous Ink Grade and Aetna Springs, located on a mountainside along Schwartz Canyon he found grapevine nirvana. What Rob saw was the best kept secret in Napa Valley, a small ridiculously steep terraced hillside vineyard with mature vines of 25 plus years of age. For you Napa history buffs you will recall that due to phylloxera that there are not many vineyards of the age and age does matter if you want the most intense wines with body and balance. So Rob convinced the family to take a drive up to the vineyard and it was love at first sight for all.

They bought the ranch specifically to create this very rare wine now called Oso Vineyard. When asking Rob why go through this trouble the answer was simple, "location is everything and when you have 'the' location and mature vines you have magic. This small production is so special and so reflective of our spirit that it puts a grin on our face knowing that when someone pulls a cork on this wine that they too will taste the magic of the Oso mountain side vineyard."

Although Rob found the ranch and manages the fermentation the family determines the style and profile of the wine. The family determines the barrel program and blending, the decades of experience pays off. "Having the family involved like this is amazing, we have the sage wisdom from Michael, the modern winemaking style from myself and my sister Dina reflects her thoughts on style and consumer desires at the blending trials. It really is a family gathering and creation of a remarkable wine together." Say Rob Mondavi.

Michael and Rob Mondavi
Michael and Rob Mondavi
The 2006 Emblem Oso Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is a tour de force, and Rob Mondavi's coming out party. Bright Ruby red in color. Fantastic mountain aromas of raspeberry, rich plums with hints of tobacco and herbs. A velvet glove like mouth feel with fine tannins to compliment the well balanced acidity. A nice long finish that offers up hints of pepper in the aftertaste like a great Bordeaux.

Tasting Notes from the WineAccess Travel Log
"The 2006 Pinot Noir Reserve is a barrel selection of the best in the cellar. It was aged for 11 months in 50% new French oak. Toast, earth notes, raspberry preserves and cherry pie compose a formidable bouquet leading to a rich, layered, nearly opulent wine with excellent balance and a long, fruit-filled finish."