More wine reviews and recommendations for Wine Values and Bargains and the Vintage Wine Tasters.
Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Chardonnay 2010
I purchased a few bottles of this delightful Chardonnay for $9 a bottle at the Safeway 30% off wine sale that ended on New Year’s. I am sorry I did not purchase more because this is very much my style of Chardonnay, and the Safeway price was as low as I have seen this wine offered. The retail price on the Robert Mondavi website is $20 for this same wine. I also found it at Beltramo’s for $16.99. The wine is 97% Chardonnay and 3% Sauvignon Blanc. 77% of the wine was barrel fermented in French oak, the rest in stainless steel. There was also partial malolactic fermentation, but in my opinion just the right amount. This is not a big oaky or buttery Chardonnay. It is so balanced and refreshing with a lot of depth to it.I realize that the big Constellation wine conglomerate owns Robert Mondavi, but nonetheless have done a very good job with their quality line of wines. I have been to two Mondavi events in which winemaker Genevieve Jannsens has spoken about winemaking at Robert Mondavi. She is a veteran winemaker and very passionate about producing the best wines possible. The winery does have some of the finest vineyards in the Napa Valley. Next Safeway 30% sale, watch for this wine or for the next vintage 2011. 89 Points
Hazana “Tradicion” Roja 2011 – K&L Wines $10.99
I’m on the K&L Wines Alert email list and whenever they have a stupendous offering, I get an email raving about the wine. For the Hazana “Tradicion” Roja 2011, the subject heading of the email was “An Absolutely mind-blowing value.” With my next visit to the K&L Wine shop I purchased three bottles of the Hazana. In October we spent a week in the Rioja wine region and, of course, we are now keen on drinking wines from the Rioja. I usually like the imports I have tried from Eric Solomon, but this one disappoints. The wine is good and decent enough, but I felt that is was lacking in overall flavors and excitement compared to other Rioja reds in the $10 to $15 category. It was flat in both aroma and flavors. I gave it a second chance by running it through an aerator and letting the open bottle sit for a day. I am rating the wine at 87 points, far below Robert Parker’s rating of 90 Points. If you have tried the Hazana “Tradicion” Roja 2011, let us know what you think.
Trader Joe’s Alert – Henry’s Drive and Parsons Flat
Vintage Wine Taster Mike spotted these two wines, and apparently these vintages are recent additions to the Trader Joe’s wine department. Mike has previously tasted both of these wines. They retail for about $35 average price on Wine-Searcher.com. The wine price at TJ’s is $14.95 for both wines. Mike’s comments: “I have had the Parson’s Flat which is Shiraz/Cabernet blend. It is dark and extracted without over ripe flavors and moderate oak on the nose and palate. This is a wine for people who like full flavors and a polished finish. Drink this with foods that accept a rich wine. Henry’s Drive is a Shiraz at the top of its game from Australia. The wine has many aromas of fruit and earth and a bit of pepper. The wine is delightful and an absolute steal at $14.99. Both wines rate 90 points based on style and finish.