Varietal: 98% Chardonnay; 1% Muscat Canelli; 1% Malvasia Bianca
Region: California, USA
Cost: $11 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: The nose reveals lemon blossom, pineapple, and peach aromas with smoky oak nuances along with enticing vanilla spice and toasty brown sugar flavors. The creamy, mouthfilling palate creates a lush impression and is balanced by a rich, lingering finish. Enjoy this delicious wine with rich seafood, poultry, pork dishes, white-sauce pastas – like fettuccini Alfredo, or flavorful, softripening cheeses.
My Review: I’m always wary when a Chardonnay sample shows up at my house as my wife has a distaste for oaked chardonnay, whereas I enjoy them – it makes buying Chardonnay tricky in the house. While she’s willing to try pretty much anything I pour into a glass for her, I prefer to give her things I know she’ll enjoy, so with her out of town, I took the opportunity to open the bottle of 2010 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay since I knew it had spent time in oak and didn’t want to trouble my wife with it.
The wine was a nice deep golden color in the glass, and I got primarily pineapple aromas from the wine, which I expected given the varietal. In the mouth I got some tropical flavors, but it was the soft creaminess of the wine that I found enjoyable.
There was no denying that this wine had spent time in oak, but it wasn’t this overwhelming sensation of oak, and I for one found it very appealing and approachable. I paired the wine with a dinner of grilled pork chops that I brushed with a lemon-mustard concoction and the acid in the wine did a nice job of pairing with what I think were the most perfectly cooked pork chops in the history of pork chops.
This is a great value wine, and definitely one to check out if you’re looking for a Chardonnay that’s spent time in oak but won’t beat you over the head with it. It will go with a wide range of meals and could easily turn up as a table wine in just about any home.