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Saturday, July 28, 2012

2009 Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Merlot

Sometimes when people hear the term "daily drinker" it instantly turns them off, often believing that a particular wine might be perceived as run-of-the-mill or that there is nothing particularly special about the juice.  I, however, use the term "daily drinker" to describe a wine that is great tasting, memorable, affordable and comfortable to you, both in drink and in how it makes you feel.  And that is what we have with the 2009 Napa Valley Merlot from Robert Mondavi.  This wine features an explosion of sweet black fruit, tobacco, dried herbs and espresso bean.  The color is a gorgeous dark red and very fine grained tannins round out a very good drinking experience that is coated in plum, blueberry and herbs.  The wine is composed of 93% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Malbec and it is a sexy feeling, full bodied pleaser!

ABV:  14.9%
AVA:  Napa Valley
Retail Price:  $23.00
Score:  88

Stay in touch with the Robert Mondavi Winery on their Facebook page!

2009 Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc Reserve

Most people have tasted Robert Mondavi's Fume Blanc over the years, but to be able to sample the Fume Blanc Reserve from the famed To Kalon Vineyard is something quite special.  Mondavi put Fume Blanc on the map and the To Kalon Vineyard produces some of the best grapes in Napa Valley.  The 2009 vintage is absolutely delicious with incredibly fragrant floral notes that blend with lemon and mint.  Reserved flavors of pink grapefruit, lemon candy and dried herbs are present and blend beautifully.  The wine is bright with a definitive acid, but the finish is very creamy and smooth.  This wine is a stunning blend of 98% Sauvignon Blanc and 2% Semillon.

ABV:  14.2%
AVA:  Napa Valley
Cases Produced:  1,867

Retail Price:  $40.00
Score:  93

The Robert Mondavi Winery is the July 2012 Winery of the Month at Midwest Wine Guy!  Please check out the story on this site.

2011 Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Chardonnay

Ok, let me say this again.  Wine does not have to cost a lot to be enjoyable.  Many times people will ask my opinion on a wine and apologetically say, "It only costs X amount of dollars".  Great!  You found a wine that you enjoy and it isn't causing you to take out a second mortgage?  You've done well.  And that's what you're going to find in the 2011 Chardonnay from Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi.  This wine has great Charonnay aromas that include apple, pear and flower petals.  The wine is very smooth in the mouth and has a light to medium weight feel with a flavor that is primarily reminiscent of apple cobbler.  Believe it or not, this wine pairs excellent with bacon of all things!  This wine's varietal composition is 76% Chardonnay, 18% French Colombard, 3% Viognier and 3% proprietary blend of aromatic varietals.  It is a very good choice and an incredible value.

ABV:  13.2%
Appellation:  California
Retail Price:  $7.99
Score:  87

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2011 Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Pinot Grigio

What is there to say about this wine?  You can find the Woodbridge collection of wines by Robert Mondavi at most retail outlets, including some big box stores and wholesale clubs.  What I like about this wine is that it appeals to a wide variety of tastes, and even people who don't normally consider themselves to be wine drinkers per se will grab a glass of this wine.  It's a great summer party wine when served well chilled and it adds to your enjoyment of salads, fish and chicken.  The wine is crisp and refreshing and presents mild flavors of lime and pear.  Lime was the dominant aroma upon swirling as well.  Woodbridge lists the varietal composition of this wine as 76% Pinot Grigio and 24% aromatic white varieties.

ABV:  12.2%
Appellation:  California
Retail Price:  $7.99
Score:  85

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2010 Hess Collection Napa Valley Chardonnay

If you're a wine drinker or like to entertain for those who enjoy wine, there are 2 wines that need to be in your portfolio - Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.  And I would highly recommend for taste and value that you consider the 2010 Hess Collection Napa Valley Chardonnay for your white selection, which is 100% Chardonnay.  This wine is perfectly suited to pair with a wide variety of foods - spicy Thai foods, chicken dishes, seafood, steamed and grilled vegetables, chips and salsa - just about any lighter fare!  There is a nice crisp mouthfeel to this wine that, when added to the citrus and vanilla extract aromas, makes your mouth water in anticipation.  In the mouth the wine feels bright with flavors of pear, lemon zest, vanilla and cooked apples.  When the wine reached room temperature a slight nuance of cinammon appeared, but it was very faint.  This wine finished beautifully in the mouth and the finish is well balanced and memorable.  Very solid and desirable wine. 

ABV:  14.4%
AVA:  Napa Valley
Cases Produced:  17,053
Retail Price:  $22.00
Score:  91

2009 Hess Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2009 Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon from The Hess Collection is a full bodied wine that you can sink your teeth into.  Wildly popular with their loyal fans, this vintage is a earthy and rich wine that features balanced aromas of dark fruits, vanilla and baking spices.  This wine spent nearly a year and a half in American Oak and there is just the perfect amount of toast on the nose that doesn't overpower the other aromas.  The blend is 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Petite Sirah.  Each sip gives you a mouth coating experience that bursts with blackberry jam, vanilla and a drop of damp earth.  The tannins are very fine and help bring a nice solid structure to this wine.  This wine is readily available and a fantastic deal for a Napa Valley Cabernet!

ABV:  14.4%
AVA:  Napa Valley
Cases Produced:  29,661
Retail Price:  $28.00
Score:  93

Monday, July 23, 2012

2009 Hunnicutt CUTT Fearless Red

Wine is to be sipped and enjoyed, not chugged like a cold brew.  But when you taste this 2009 CUTT Fearless Red from Hunnicutt Wines, I'm going to warn you that it will be hard - very hard - not to take some large, inviting gulps!  The 09 varietal is a well thought out blend of 64% Petite Sirah, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Zinfandel and it sits like the dark of night in your glass.  Black cherries, floral arrangement, warm toasty nuts, oak and black currant blend effortlessly with mouth watering aromas.  Warm and welcoming flavors of black cherry, cherry tobacco, vanilla and dark chocolate blend with a mild peppery spice to provide you with a tasting experience that will knock you right back in your chair!  I loved the previous varietal, but this wine is just damn good!

ABV:  14.5%
AVA:  Napa Valley
Cases Produced:  225
Retail Price:  $38.00
Score:  95

2007 Abacela Reserve Tempranillo

Two of my favorite Tempranillo are relative neighbors, one from Washington and this stunning beauty from Umpqua Valley in Southern Oregon.  The 2007 Reserve is only the third year Abacela has produced this wine and it is already reaching cult status with those who have been lucky enough to taste it.  Incredibly delicious aromas fill the glass like blackberry preserves, fine leather, perfume and damp soil.  The aromas blend with the bold but well integrated flavors of blackberry, plum, spices and red currant.  Medium tannins and great legs add to the long lasting and memorable finish.  Amazing!

ABV:  14.6%
AVA:  Umpqua Valley
Cases Produced:  281
Retail Price:  $45.00
Score:  94

2011 Abacela Albarino

Now here's a wine that you can call an everyday drinker.  White wine fans will love the loads of citrus flavors and aromas like green apple, pear and a hint of lime in this light bodied favorite.  If you are not familiar with Albarino, this is what you need to try!  The aromas are very sweet with hints of flowers and a minerality that helps tie this up in one desirable package.  Well balanced and tasty finish!

ABV:  12.9%
AVA:  Umpqua Valley
Cases Produced:  1,829
Retail Price:  $18.00
Score:  88

2009 Abacela Port

The 2009 estate grown Port from Abacela continues to be one of my favorite modern day Port wines.  The 2007 was very good, and I think the 2009 is just exceptional.  It is hard to find a young Port with so much flavor and texture, but this one is right on the money.  The composition of this wine is 46% Tempranillo, 19% Tinta Amarela, 18% Bastardo, 11% Tinta Cao and 6% Touriga Nacional.  Copious amounts fig, cocoa, plum and blackberry flavor leap from the glass.  The flavors are much of the same but there is a moderate amount of sugary spice in the mouth that leaves you wanting more.  This wine will be a pleaser at your party or you can cellar it for many years of enjoyment.

ABV:  19.5%
AVA:  Umpqua Valley
Cases Produced:  417 (375ml), 48 (750ml)
Retail Price:  $25.00 (375ml), $50.00 (750ml)
Score:  94