Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands
Vineyard Sourcing: Bianchi Ranch, Boekenoogen, Vigna Monte Nero
Cases Produced: 37,000
Alcohol Label: 13.5%
Growing Region: SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS
The vineyards of Santa Lucia Highlands are planted on the southeast-facing terraces of the Santa Lucia mountain range, overlooking the Salinas River Valley. At their elevated location, the vines receive full morning sunshine, followed by the cooling effect of maritime breezes from Monterey Bay. This climatic combination results in an especially long growing season, which allows the grapes to fully develop maximum varietal character. Cool weather-loving Chardonnay flourishes in our Bianchi Bench vineyard.
The 2006 growing season opened with wet late winter rains which accelerated initial vine growth. The vines had almost full canopies by the end of May and bloom was prolonged. The weather remained cool into early summer, leading into a very hot end of July. Cool temperatures in August and September delayed the onset of harvest, giving grapes time to develop ripe, full flavors and excellent balance.
Solaire by Robert Mondavi Chardonnay grapes were selected at the peak of ripeness from top vineyards within Santa Lucia Highlands, including Bianchi and Boekenoogen. A percentage of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation, and 100% of the juice was barrel fermented for a full, complex mouthfeel. The wine aged in a mixture of new and used French oak barrels from various esteemed coopers such as François Fre`res, Billion, Rousseau, Dargaud et Jaeglé, and Mercier.
Varietal Content: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot
Appellation: 85% Paso Robles, 15% San Lucas (Monterey County)
Vineyard Sourcing: Denner, Wild Rose, Pine Creek
Cases Produced: 23,000
Alcohol Label: 13.5%
Growing Region: PASO ROBLES
Paso Robles has an extremely dry climate, with less than half the yearly rainfall of California’s Napa Valley. Unlike the Santa Lucia Highlands, Paso Robles receives very little marine influence during the day, and temperatures during the growing season are often near 100°F. In the early evenings, Templeton Gap allows cool air from the Pacific Ocean to flood the area, reducing temperatures as much as 50°F. This results in Cabernet Sauvignon of optimum ripeness, with generous fruit and balanced acidity.
The 2005 harvest opened with a rainy spring that accelerated vine growth. Summer was mild, except for a short heat spike in July when temperatures rose to 100°F. Late summer and fall were mild too, delaying harvest for optimum hangtime and resulting in grapes of exceptional flavor and texture.
Solaire by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were selected from top vineyards within Paso Robles and Monterey County, including Denner, Wild Rose, and Pine Creek. After the grapes were harvested at the peak of ripeness, the wine was fermented in stainless tanks with pulse air for softer extraction and mouthfeel. All of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation to enhance roundness and depth. The wine was aged in a mixture of new and used French and American oak barrels from various esteemed coopers such as Vicard, Demptos, Nadalie, and Boswell.
Taste Profile: Vibrant
Solaire by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon shows all the hallmarks of great Paso Robles fruit. This full-bodied wine displays aromas of blackberry, cassis, and sweet dark fruits, with flavors of blackberries and plum supported by ripe tannins and integrated, sweet vanilla oak. This wine has beautiful elegance. It’s soft and approachable now, and will further improve with careful cellaring for eight to ten years.
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