Robert Mondavi was one of the most important pioneers of Californian wine, if not the most important. He is know for his tremendous contributions to technological advancements and marketing of California wine. And it’s a shame that this the first time we’ve reviewed a wine bearing his name, although we have reviewed other wines from the Mondavi family.
Although started as a family company, the winery was acquired by Constellation Brands in 2004, where it resides today. There are a few different brands that bear the Robert Mondavi name and the Robert Mondavi Private Selection brand is a mid-level brand — despite the fact that “private selection” might imply that it’s the best stuff, selected for a private few, lucky consumers. That’s good marketing! While it’s not the cheapest wine you can find with the Robert Mondavi name on it, it’s far from the most expensive.
Now while I’m being a little bit snarky about the name, I’m not going to complain about the wine in this bottle. It smells and tastes like what I expect from an inexpensive, Californian pinot noir — in a good way, I know some folks would say they expect an inexpensive, Californian pinot noir to suck. But it’s not bad, and for the price it’s a steal!
The nose on this wine is pleasant, with aromas like nutmeg, vanilla, cherry and a subtle frankincense. At least that’s what comes to mind. I honestly haven’t smelled actual frankincense in some time, but the wine has a perfume / incense fragrance that made me think of frankincense.
In the mouth it offers tart cherry flavors up front, with some strawberry flavors and spice coming into play on the mid-palate. The finish is a touch bitter, but not offensively so. The acidity is good and the tannins are subtle, but sufficient. All told, this is a decent, although somewhat predictible, pinot noir.
Wine: Robert Mondavi Private Selection
Variety: Pinot Noir
Find Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Noir with Snooth
Disclosure: This wine was received as a sample.