Dominik Mueller

Wine is my hobby. Fine wine tasting notes and experiences.

Robert Mondavi Winery Masterclass Tasting

Posted on Thursday, 7 March 2024

On Saturday, 2 March 2024, my wife and I were at the Rheingau Gourmet & Wein Festival at the Hotel Kronenschlösschen in Hattenheim, Germany. The Rheingau festival is one of the biggest gourmet festivals in the world with changing top international chefs presenting their menues alongside great wines. In between the lunch and dinner events, there are different tasting events and masterclasses. My wonderful family had gotten me a ticket to the Robert Mondavi Winery Masterclass Tasting for my birthday.

Hotel Kronenschlösschen in Hattemheim, Eltville

The tasting

The event was held at the Weingut Georg Müller Stiftung in Hattenheim (Eltville). There were eight wines to be tasted in two flights, one for the whites and one for the reds.

Robert Mondavi Winery Masterclass Tasting


2018 Robert Mondavi Winery Chardonnay Napa Valley
Ripe lemon and lemon zest on the nose, also slightly buttery with caramel. The malolactic fermentation was halfway through, then stopped. Vanilla and subtle smoke hint at the barrel maturation. About 50% new French oak barrels. Fresh in the mouth with a pronounced acidity and a lean body. Quite elegant, but not too expressive. On the palate, citrus fruits dominate the flavour, especially lemon and grapefruit. The finish is of medium length. Solid, but nothing special - you pay for the name. DM89.

2020 Robert Mondavi Winery The Estates Chardonnay Carneros
Straw yellow colour, somewhat stronger than the previous Napa Valley Chardonnay. The fruit on the nose is less expressive, far less citrusy. Instead nutty, a little bread, smoky. Spontaneously fermented. Matured on the lees for ten months in 57% new French oak barrels. Soft in the mouth, a flattering body. More elegant and finesse than the first wine. Gentle acidity, creamy, medium body. The flavour is primarily fruity with lemon and mandarin. Slightly longer on the finish. Quite nice, offers more complexity and is a step up from the winery's "basic" Napa Chardonnay. DM91.

2019 Robert Mondavi Winery Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley
Pale lemon yellow. Very fruity: passion fruit, passion fruit, and yes, passion fruit. Very tropical overall, with a hint of peach. Hardly any green notes in this Sauvignon Blanc. A slender body in the mouth, high acidity with medium flavour intensity. Passion fruit, lemon, pineapple. It all remains refreshing and fruity. Not at all multidimensional, but that was certainly not the aim. For lovers of fresh and fruity white wines. Very nice for the summer. For early consumption. DM87.

2019 Robert Mondavi Winery To Kalon Reserve Fumé Blanc
Pale lemon yellow. The bouquet is very different to the previous Sauvignon Blanc: butter, honey, slightly green aroma of cut grass; restrained but fresh fruit, green apple. Slightly smoky, indicating the ageing in 41% first-use French oak barrels. Matured on the lees. The body is precise and lean. High acidity, very fresh. Apple, passion fruit, lemon. Long lasting. Impressive. A discovery for me! DM93.


2019 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Deep purple red. Medium intensity on the nose: blackcurrant, blueberry, black plum, cherry, green pepper. No surprise here, this is very typical of the variety. Also on the palate, here it is mainly cherry and plum. Medium length. Solid, but for me no clear profile and not affordable relative to many wines in its Bordeaux-style peer group. DM89.

2019 Robert Mondavi Winery The Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville
A dense purple colour. The bouquet is denser and more intense compared to the estate's basic Cabernet. Vanilla, black cherry, raspberry, some mint. A charming blend of primary and secondary aromas. A pronounced but ripe tannin in the mouth. Astringent. Lots of extraction. Dark fruit, dark chocolate. Initially left on the skins for 32 days. Then matured in 90% new French oak barrels for 20 months. Compared to the first wine in this flight, better, deeper, more hedonistic, but here it's clearly about power rather than elegance. Should improve with age. DM90.

2018 Robert Mondavi Winery To Kalon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Deep, dark purple colour. Intense nose of pencil, plum, cherry, vanilla, wood spice and mint. Appealing mix of cool mineral and spicy to fruity flavours. Matured for 21 months in 100% new French oak. Lots of grip on the tongue. Cassis, sour cherry, orange peel. The acidity is animating. Also a very slight sweetness. The tannins are firm, still a little impetuous. A lot of power in this wine. Finally, yes, this Cabernet Sauvignon says something about itself. There is profile here. Recognisable as the estate's flagship red wine, even if it is undoubtedly still too young today and could do with some more years of ageing. DM92.

2012 Robert Mondavi Winery To Kalon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
From magnum. Deep purple, still a vital colour. A rather sparse fruit. Rather, I find vanilla, earthy notes, leather, sultanas, dried plum, tobacco. Very soft in the mouth, yet an intense flavour with a full body. Cool blueberry, lots of dried fruit. Long lasting finish. Presents itself beautifully today, but certainly has many more years ahead of it! A silky yet powerful Cabernet. Great wine, although not quite with the finesse of a classic Bordeaux. Rather Californian joie de vivre. DM95.

Robert Mondavi Winery Masterclass Tasting Bottles