The Mondavi name means quality, so the release of their first new product in fifty years is something of an event. Divining Rod Wines consist of a Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon and both are priced at $17 retail. The 2010 Chardonnay comes from the Santa Lucia Highlands and the 2010 Cabernet from Alexander Valley, both considered sacred locations by the 56 year-old winemaker.
Marc Mondavi is a “water witch,” or a water diviner, and he has used these talents to find underground sources of water to establish vineyards for his family and friends. He uses L-shaped divining rods crafted from copper that are also known as “angle rods.” These rods rotate inwards and cross to for an “X” and that indicates positive response in the search for water.
The Chardonnay is quite sweet with hints of pineapple, lemon curd, mango and brioche. A nice citrus taste with bright acidity and a lingering taste is the result is using stainless steel in the aging process.. This un-oaked wine allows the fruit to naturally express itself. The wine contains 99% Chardonnay and 1% Viognier, also known as white magic.
The Cabernet Sauvignon has an aroma of ripe black fruits with flavors of blackberry, cherry, cured meats and spiced tea. New French oak barrels are used in the winemaking to envelop the wine in a tannic structure, while at the same time preserving the integrity of the fruit.
As with any wine growing region of importance, temperatures in the daytime in Alexander Valley can be very hot, but drop harshly at night. This swing really stimulates the grape or what is known as “vine stress,” so water becomes very important. The blend for this wine is 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% magic mixture, containing Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
Lets be honest, the Mondavi clan know exactly what they are doing, so a purchase of either of these excellent wines is definitely a smart move, and we love them.