TN: cheap wines

2017 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Noir: Fruity and jammy and on the sweeter side. Good structure that doesn’t fall off, decent mouthfeel. For $6.99 at Albertssons, it’s a steal. I’ve had $30+ PN’s that were much worse.

2016 Provenance Vineyards Carneros Chardonnay: Can’t remember where I got this, but it’s a cheap-ish supermarket wine. Seem to recall it was around $10-12. Surprisingly pleasant for someone who’s a little weird with Chardonnay. Well rounded, didn’t feel too oaked. Drank and cooked with half of it, then left opened in fridge for about 3 days. It didn’t hold up so well for that - those medicinal berry qualities started coming out. But still drinkable in a pinch.

2017 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon: Solid outing. Nothing earth shattering. Spices and berries, basically. But again, for $6.99 - great value.

Here’s a self-flagulating one. Like asking for trouble:

No Vintage Duplin Coastal Shag (I bet they don’t sell too many of those in the UK with that name?): In any case, my fascination with the native Muscadine grape continues to be shattered. I’m hopeful there is a way to vinify it in a nice dry way, but have yet to encounter one. So I keep buying them just in the odd case it might happen one day. This one was advertised as being bone dry. And it is, but… What to say? Rubber pool toys with a dash of tart cranberry juice and that muscadine taste at the end. Really undrinkable stuff, but I kind of knew that going in. Still, hope springs eternal. I have a dry white in the fridge staring back at me every time I open it. Not sure I’ll ever get to it. [wow.gif]


Can’t remember having many $30+ Pinot Noirs that have been worse than that Mondavi Pinot. But then again, a) I haven’t tasted that 2017, only many previous vintages; b) we don’t get many Cali Pinots here, so that keep most of the overpriced, overripe monster Pinots out from the market.

I’ve certainly had some poor expensive Pinots that have been lousy value, but that Mondavi Pinot is so disappointing that it needs quite a lot lf effort to be worse than that.

According to Vivino the 2017’s are the highest rated of all the vintages, so maybe they’ve improved a little bit? It lacks higher end finesse for sure, but for that price it’s good value.

Best inexpensive CA Pinot I have tasted is Seaglass Santa Barbara. We sell it so beware, but I have to taste thru a lot of sub-$10 wines, so have a pretty good reference point.

It can be hard to separate the price of a wine from your impression of a wine unless you’re tasting blind. “Not actually that bad!” becomes much more meaningful for a $6.99 wine than a $35 wine.

That Mondavi Pinot might be a smart buy to use for coq au vin…for which I rarely ever use Pinot because of its pricepoint. Very little value out there.

FWIW, the Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Noir is only ~75% Pinot. The rest is Syrah and Grenache.

Can’t remember ever having a coastal shag.

something to aspire to. Made me laugh. I have a friend who goes to New Zealand and Australia often and says everyone smirks and outright laughs when he tells them his name is Randy.

Opened another Mondavi Pinot Noir today as a chaser after the Chardonnay and it was a lot worse than last time. Probably zero bottle variation in this, so must have been my palate.