Today's entry in the casual red category comes from the venerable Mondavi label from Constellation Brands. Much ink has been spilled about the Mondavi family wine business and the legacy of Robert, but I've never really focused too much on the behind-the-scenes business aspect of the wine world. It's an important subject, not only to those who buy and sell wine properties and brands, but I don't follow the industry news closely and it doesn't stir a desire for writing. If I wrote about oil painting, I probably wouldn't spend a lot of time talking about fluctuations in the price of alizarin crimson, but more about what I thought of the final work.
This is a red blend that comes from the world's largest wine company and bears an easily recognizable name, but it doesn't mean that it's a boring "macrowine" on the order of Budweiser or Coors. Indeed, I found it to be a tasty California red blend that is affordable, easily available, and yet well enough constructed that you shouldn't ever be ashamed of the $11 price tag. I certainly enjoyed it with an all-American dinner of steak with a baked potato and simple salad.
This wine was provided to me as part of an online Twitter tasting, but due to traffic conflicts on the way home from work, I was unable to attend. But you can go back and read some of the tasting notes and commentary @RobertMondaviPS.
2011 Robert Mondavi Coastal Crush Red
57% Monterey County, 20% San Benito County, 13% Paso Robles, 10% Valley South
67% Syrah, 24% Merlot, 9% Malbec
$11, 13.5% abv.
The wine opens up early with notes of cassis and a touch of chocolate. On the palate it has rich chocolate-covered cherry flavors with very low tannins, a mild body, and a short finish. This is a very mild and easily drinkable red that is definitely ready now. Highly recommended for just a fun and enjoyable wine to open up when you have surprise visitors over the holidays.
Note: This wine was received as a sample.