|Rivera's John Sedlar and Margrit Mondavi|
Robert Mondavi died in 2008, but what would have been his 100th birthday was a fine occasion for a dinner remembering his legacy at Rivera, where his widow Margrit Mondavi told stories of how the winery has been involved in every step of the American food revolution.
|Mondrian-esque caviar appetizer|
A salmon mousse tamal a good foil for Mondavi's 2011 Fume Blanc Oakville -- and a chance to hear how Robert invented Fume Blanc, a uniquely Californian interpretation of Sauvignon Blanc.
|scallops with spicy broccoli puree|
This was a modern Rivera menu, but Sedlar paid hommage to the St. Estephe days at Margrit's request with a Neon Tumbleweed dessert -- recalling a southwest sunset with fruit sauces painted on a plate holding a cream bun and a cactus-shaped cookie. Mondavi's 2001 Sauvignon Blanc Late Harvest Botrytis was a terrific and rare dessert wine selection.
Margrit acknowledged that some of Mondavi's cheaper labels like Woodbridge may have tarnished the family name a bit, but though it was sold in 2004, she remains the VP of Cultural Affairs at Mondavi, which has been instrumental in funding Napa institutions such as the restored Opera House.