“Robert Mondavi grew up in Lodi, in California’s Central Valley. A few years after he achieved success with his Oakville winery in the Napa Valley, Bob returned to the Lodi area to establish a quality-minded, but value-priced, winery at Woodbridge, located at the north end of the city of Lodi. We bought this 1.5 liter bottle Cabernet Merlot from the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi winery for $9.99 in a grocery store. You can usually find it closer to $10 than the suggested full-retail price of $15.75*. It wouldn’t be bad at 15 or 16 bucks, but this January 20, 2017 Wine Pick of the Week is particularly appealing at $10.
”There’s much to be said for pulling the cork on a bottle this size, the equivalent of two 750ml bottles. (A standard 750ml bottle is 75% of a liter, which is just a shade more than a quart.) Of course, there is no standard size glass of wine. However, 6-ounces would be a decent pour. Figure four of those and you’d have only a little more than one ounce left in the standard bottle—hardly enough to serve with a dinner for two couples. If you opt for a big bottle (1.5L) and don’t consume all of it in one night, you can recork it—your wine should still be very drinkable for at least another two or three days.
“Whatever the practicality of larger bottles, the size of the container has no consistent relationship to the quality of the juice inside it. You could pay dearly for a California Cabernet or French Bordeaux in this size bottle, generally called a ‘magnum’ on restaurant lists. You could also buy red wines in these 1.5L bottles at $6-$10 dollars while grocery shopping. They’d all be cheap enough, but some of them would be unpleasant tasting. Not so with this week’s ‘Pick.’ The 2014 Cabernet Merlot from Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi is not terribly complex, but is a very appealing red wine that shows off traditional attributes of both its components (it is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot). We liked the aromas of plums and cherries and the subsequent recurrence of these fruits as supporting flavors to a lot of blackberry. In the mouth, there is a full, almost plush feeling. This blended red wine shows some real personality. It’s something we’d be pleased to drink even if it weren’t such a bargain.”
Food Affinity: “Try it with a classic pot roast served with mashed potatoes or with very thick patties of ground sirloin, wrapped with strips of bacon in circular fashion and then grilled to medium-rare over charcoal.”