Friday, May 16, 2008

Robert Mondavi Passes Away

Iconic Napa wine producer, pioneer of modern California wineries, unrivaled promoter of California wines, and staunch champion of European-style Napa winemaking, Robert Mondavi, passed away today at age 94.

I regard Mr. Mondavi as one of my wine heroes early on. He made wines with constent quality and class. For a novice drinker of California wines back in the early 1980s, I found his wines to be always reliable, particularly the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Fume Blanc.

Mondavi's absence in the California wine scene for many years now has left a void that has never been filled as he was the one powerful figure to openly defend the classic California wine style of the 1970s and 1980s against heavy criticism by wine critics Robert Parker and James Laube who favored overripe wines with gobs of fruit and alcohol.

I will be posting obituaries as they pour in. Jancis Robinson of Purple Pages. The San Francisco Chronicle. The Los Angeles Times. Eric Asimov's The Pour. The New York Times obituary by Frank J. Prial. Decanter news. Decanter obituary by Linda Murphy. Eric Asimov of The New York Times on Mondavi's Legacy. Eric Asimov on Remi Krug on Mondavi.