Wente Vineyards Riva Ranch Chardonnay 2013

Happy Holidays to all our readers! We have some exciting news. Wine Values and Bargains now has its own Facebook Page. If you are a  Facebook member, please post your suggestions for any wine you think is a wine value or wine bargain on this Facebook Page. We would love to learn what other wine folks recommend under the $20 range. Please take a moment to visit the page, “Like” us, and recommend a bargain wine.  Here is the link to the WineValuesandBargains Facebook Page.

Wente Vineyards Riva Ranch Chardonnay 2013

Wente Rivas Ranch Chardonnay

Wente Riva Ranch

The Wente Vineyards Riva Ranch Chardonnay 2013 comes from their vineyards in the Arroyo Seco region of Monterey County. It was barrel fermented in French and American oak. Janelle likes the apple fruit character and the amount of oak in the wine. What makes this a recommended wine is the price. The Burlingame Safeway is selling the wine for $9.90 when you buy six, mix or match. Get this: I checked the Wente Vineyards online wine shop and the Rivas Ranch Chardonnay is selling for $22 a bottle. If you are a Wente Wine Club member, you can purchase it for $17.60. Go figure! Janelle likes this wine, but for three dollars more she likes the Robert Mondavi Napa Valley 2012 Chardonnay even more so. That’s also on sale at the Safeway. 88 Points for the Rivas Ranch and 89 Points for the Robert Mondavi Chardonnay, according to wine guru Janelle.

Sparkling Wine Tip

This is the most popular time of the year to open some bubbly and give a cheer to the old and the new. Right now the Domaine Chandon series, Brut, Rosé, and Riche, are a measly $11.70 at the Safeway for a six pack. These wines are made well and are very tasty sparkling wines from California. Also at the Safeway, Roederer Estate from the Anderson Valley in Mendocino is selling for $17.10 a six pack. Good Champagne is absolutely the most delicious sparkling wine, but usually well above the $30 mark. If you do not mind pouring a Kirkland labeled wine for your guests, try their Champagne. It is the real deal.

A Visit to the Louis Martini Winery

michael martini

Michael Martini. Looking over his shoulder is Louis M. Martini

We had quite an interesting tour and tasting at the Louis Martini winery this past Friday.  We tasted wines ranging in price at the tasting room from $20 to $149. One wine that we have liked very much is the Louis Martini Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon. The list price is somewhere around $20 but we have seen it at Costco, Safeway, and Trader Joe’s for around $12 to $14. This latest vintage is the 2012. We asked Kori Butler, the assistant winemaker at Martini, about this wine. She stated that the grapes come from several different vineyards throughout Sonoma County, and some are sourced from long-time associates of Michael Martini, the current head winemaker at Louis Martini.  Michael is the grandson of the original founder, Louis M. Martini. The winery has been in the Napa Valley since 1933 and was sold to Gallo in 2002. The Louis Martini Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon is produced at a huge Gallo winemaking plant in the Dry Creek Valley near Healdsburg. I rate this wine 88 Points.

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  1. I agree that Wente’s Riva Ranch chard is a great value but are your certain on that price, i.e., $9.90 is closer to what is usually seen for Wente’s Morning Fog chard? While have never been to the Burlingame Safeway, plenty of other Safeway locations have never had it below $13.99 ( single bottle)/$12.60 (6-pack).

    • Ron, You are right about the pricing. I usually take photos when at the store and I did verify on my iPhone that the Morning Fog was $9.90. The Rivas was $13.99 minus the 10%. Thanks for catching this. Nonetheless a very good price for the Rivas. Thanks for bringing this to our readers. By the way, since this post, the Safeway is now selling the Morning Fog for $10.80 six pack price.

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