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Mondavi surmounts supply problems

Published:  23 July, 2008

By Christian Davis

Problems of supply from its European base in Frankfurt will be surmounted, according to Robert Mondavi Winery's vice president and general manager, Clay Gregory. Gregory, who was in London last week, admitted to Harpers that there had been problems as a result of changes, but said that they would be sorted by the turn of the year. "I have not been happy with the results in the UK," he said. He denied that any retailers had de-listed Mondavi wines because of stock-outs. On the recently announced Mondavi-Rosemount joint venture, he said the company, along with Rosemount's winemaker, Philip Shaw, had identified Syrah in vineyards in Oakville in central Napa, Carneros in southern Napa and Santa Maria in Mendocino County's north coast, which will go into the yet-to-be-named ultra-premium and luxury blends from Mondavi. The latest wine to come from the Robert Mondavi Winery will be the 1997 Carneros Merlot, which Gregory described as "lush and more concentrated and complex" than Merlots from warmer areas. On the attempts to establish a "Coastal" appellation in California, he said that while he understood the Napa Valley Vintners' Association's opposition to the idea, on the grounds that it would be "too big and too broad" (see news, Harpers Weekly, print edition, 10 November), Mondavi and Kendall-Jackson believed that "at least it will give some meaning to the word Coastal'". A member of the NVVA, Gregory described the situation as "very political".