Robert Mondavi 2010 Chardonnay, Napa Valley
Like the vintage in neighboring Carneros, the 2010 Napa Valley vintage was below average in temperature. The cool season allowed the fruit more time to ripen on the vine and according to Mondavi literature this intensified the flavors nicely.
The first thing to note with this wine is a nicely vibrant nose. The nose is crisp with a slightly searing citric acidity. There is a hint of ripe fruit lurking ever so slightly in the background.
The second thing to note is that the palate is quite different than the powerful nose would suggest. The palate is wonderfully smooth and restrained, and balanced. The oak is not over done, which I find to be the case with so many Napa Chardonnays. The oak was more anecdotal, the main characteristic being a smooth creamy texture and a tropical fruit bouquet.
The fruit for this vintage actually came from Napa (41%), Carneros (39%) and 12% Sonoma. The juice or 77% of it was fermented in 15% new French oak. Thats where we get just a hint of the oak, or less than many producers integrate.
Suggested retail price on this wine is $20 with some retailers charging around $15. This wine is a decent value at $20. Like most of the Mondavi product line, you are buying name recognition and consistency, and this wine has both.
Weekly Wine Journal Rating: 90 points
*wine was provided as sample*