Gabe's View

Wine: Reviews, Thoughts & Culture

Thanksgiving On A Budget With The Robert Mondavi Family of Wines

Posted by Gabe on November 23, 2009

With Thanksgiving a couple of days away it’s time to think about what wines to serve with your holiday meal. This year, as much if not more than any other, many are faced with the need to make the holiday not only joyful but affordable as well. With that in mind I’ve picked out a trio of tasty selections that come in at a budget price. All three come from labels that were started by Robert Mondavi. Over the years in addition to his namesake Napa winery he started a number of other labels in all parts of the world with numerous focuses. Today I’ll look at three from California facilities that hit the spot taste wise and won’t break the budget either.

First up is the Robert Mondavi Private Selection 2008 Sauvignon Blanc. The fruit for this wine comes predominately from Monterey County (92%) with San Benito County (5%) and Paso Robles (3%) making up the rest. In addition to Sauvignon Blanc (94%), Riesling (3%) and Gewürztraminer (3%) are blended in. This selection was aged and fermented in stainless steel. The suggested retail price for this offering is $11.

Lemon Zest notes dominate the fresh nose of this Sauvignon Blanc Throughout the palate stone and citrus fruit characteristics are prominent. Lemon ice in particular is a standout flavor. A hint of grass comes in during the mid-palate and continues through the finish along with mineral notes and a touch of flint. The finish is crisp and clean featuring good length in its category and excellent acidity.

Especially at holiday time it’s nice to have several wines throughout the day. This Sauvignon Blanc will serve equally well as a welcome wine or paired with appetizers. It’s tasty on it’s own but the terrific acidity it showcases will help make it a match with a host of lighter foods.

The second wine is the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi 2007 Zinfandel. Fruit for this wine is sourced mostly in Lodi (94%) with the balance coming from several other California regions. In addition to Zinfandel (91%), Merlot (3%), Petite Sirah (2%), Malbec (2%) Cabernet Sauvignon and other varieties (2%) are blended in. The suggested retail price for this wine is $8.

This 2007 wine leads with a jam-laden nose, so typically associated with Zinfandel. It’s loaded with berry, cherry and hint of cedar. The palate is very juicy with red and black fruit flavors intermingling and fighting your tongue for attention, Black cherry is particularly prominent. The finish features sweet cocoa, sour berry, white pepper and vanilla that echoes persistently. This is a well balanced and food friendly Zinfandel.

Thanksgiving is perhaps the most American of holidays. Zinfandel is the closest we have to a heritage grape in this country. The two go together philosophically as well as they do pairing wise. This wine is a good fit for the abundant cornucopia of foods on the average American Thanksgiving table. For $8 a bottle you can have a lot of it on hand to quench everyone’s thirst.

The final wine for a tasty and budget priced Thanksgiving is the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi 2008 Moscato. Grapes for this wine were sourced from throughout California. This 100% Muscat is a blend of Muscat Canelli (60%), Orange Muscat (30%) and Muscat of Alexandria (10%). Alcohol content is a modest 10% for this selection. The suggested retail price for this wine is $8.

Lychee fruit and honey clove make up the inviting nose of this wine. Orange blossom, tangerine and apricot notes are all prominent throughout the palate of this Moscato. Subtle white pepper notes kick in around mid-palate and continue through the finish along with additional honey and citrus notes. This wine is light, fragrant and sweet but not overly so.

This 2008 Moscato will be a good choice to pair with dessert. Fruit tart or Italian Cheesecake both come to mind as excellent matches. Alternatively this wine could be dessert on its own.

Each of these wines is true to its varietal and is a solid value. Shop around and you’ll find them for less than the suggested retail price. Savvy shoppers will be able to round all three of them up for less than $25 combined. Now that’s some Holiday drinking on a budget. These wines are also widely available so you should easily be able to find them throughout the US and beyond.

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