...you've probably seen those labels that say, "...from the cellar of...." well, here's a twist on that theme. I attended a Mondavi Food & Wine Center seminar several years back where we actually got to blend our own Cab!

They had set 5 vnyd-specific bottlings of Cab Sauv (West Napa, To-Kalon, East Napa), Merlot (To-Kalon), and Cab Franc (To-Kalon) out on each table, along with the '90 Mondavi Reserve Cab. Participants were asked to taste these individually bottled varietals, and devise a blend that was pleasing. Our objective was to re-create the '90 Mondavi Reserve Cab without knowing the precise blend of the benchmark. Finally, based on our individual notes, each person's final blend was incorporated into a full scale 750ml bottle, and labeled as "...blended by...." Thus, each attendee got their very own bottle of faux '90 Mondavi Cab Reserve, as blended by themselves, to take home. Pretty darn cool.

(The "For Analysis Only" labels are used extensively on in-house bottlings, such as the To-Kalon's above. The signature on my label is that of Peter Ventura, who was the seminar presenter and the one who did the final blending and bottling. He is a VP with Mondavi as well as nephew of Robert Mondavi.)

the final blend on my own bottle was 76% CS, 16% Merlot, 8% CF.

repeating the program some years later, I came away with my own rendition of a '99 Reserve Cab.


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