As the newest addition to the Mondavi Sisters’ Collection, the Chenin Blanc is a throwback to original expressions developed by our Grandfather, Peter Mondavi Sr., who was the first to introduce a 100% Chenin Blanc into California in 1954. However, over the years Chenin Blanc has been slowly ripped out and replanted to Cabernet Sauvignon, leaving less than ten acres planted in the entire Napa Valley. For our second vintage, we continued to source fruit from the famous Henry’s Ranch Located in Pope Valley, just two miles east of our Howell Mountain properties. Now 77 years old, these old vines continue to provide us with depth and a vast profile of characteristics for our winemaker, Angelina, to work with.
For the 2020 Chenin Blanc, we were fortunate to have picked our fruit prior to the fires allowing us to produce another vintage we all love. As sisters, we returned to our roots to produce a Chenin Blanc that is cold fermented (a process developed by our grandfather Peter Sr.) in stainless-steel drums and one new French Oak barrel. Making up for 10% of the blend, this single French Oak barrel contributes an additional layer of complexity and dimension to the mouthfeel, while the stainless-steel fermentation retains the delicate aromas of Meyer lemon and lime zest, white peach, nectarine, and a hint of freshly picked apricot. The aromas, also prevalent on the palate, are carried with bright, mouthwatering acidity that is softened with the creaminess of lemon curd and lemon meringue pie, both family favorites. This year’s star of the show are vibrant notes of white peach and orange blossom. As the wine coats the mouth additional floral notes of jasmine and hints of vanilla contribute to this beautiful, yet delicate, Napa Valley Chenin Blanc.
Our goal each year is to continue to produce a Chenin Blanc that is refreshing to enjoy on its own or alongside a beautiful salad or even a spicy dish.