Wine Review | Robert Mondavi, 2010 Pinot Noir, Carneros
According to the literature supplied with this review sample, 2010 was “an exceptionally chilly, wet spring followed by a cool summer of no summer”. The season was characterized by below average temperatures, a small heat wave in August and heavy rains in October. Again, according to the literature, the yields were “significantly lower than average.”
One of the things I noticed on a trip to Howell mountain in June of 2011 was how far behind the mountain fruit was compared to the fruit of the valley floor. I would imagine the same effect with the 2010 Carneros vintage. The result would be low yield, high intensity berries.
This 100% Pinot Noir has a restrained nose of blackberry and spice. The palate is rich with raspberry and an almost pine like forestyness to it. There is enough acidity and backbone to make this a solid wine, a wine that a Cabernet drinker might get into. There is a hint of toasty oak owing to 7 months aging in 34% new French oak. Alcohol weighs in at 14.5% which was a little surprising, not too much heat on the palate although the nose was hot yet vibrant. For those wine drinkers who have not yet experienced “heat” try adding vodka to Capri Sun in quantities that it begins to sterilize your nostrils and mouth. Thats heat. This wine doesnt have that, don’t worry
The suggested retail price on this wine is $27, although most retailers will probably have it at around $20. As far as California Pinot Noir goes, this is a decent value, and if you can pick it up for $15 or less it would be a good deal. I’m not a huge fan of the varietal in general, although some of the best wines I have ever tasted have been Pinots. This wine is a decent effort. If you’re looking for something better than average, without breaking the bank this is it.
Weekly Wine Journal Rating: 88 points