FrontRunners: Cellar Notes: Peak Flavor

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The Mondavi family’s winemaking legacy began in 1943, when Rosa and Cesare Mondavi purchased the Charles Krug winery. There, three generations of their descendants, under the leadership of the patriarch Peter Mondavi Sr., now combine their talents to produce superbly delineated Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc, among other varietals. The family’s most recent endeavor, Aloft, is a single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon crafted to express the inimitable character of Howell Mountain. Sourced from Cold Springs Vineyard, Aloft 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon ($450 per three-bottle case; www.aloftwine.com) is redolent of blackberry and rose petals, and on the palate, its complex layers of chocolate, espresso, mint, and mineral mount to a bright and lengthy finish.

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Photograph courtesy of hotel Matlali
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