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2008 Robert Mondavi Winery Pinot Noir Carneros Napa Valley

The 2008 Robert Mondavi Winery Pinot Noir Carneros Napa Valley is bright ruby in color with aromas of cherry, cranberry, strawberry, raspberry and vanilla that reach your nose well before the rim of the glass does. In the mouth, the wine is smooth and rich with flavors of cherry, vanilla and milk chocolate. Juicy acidity balances the body, but the tannins are a bit light. The finish is moderately long and all about juicy fruit.

This 2008 vintage of Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir from Carneros comes in at 15.5% alcohol, clearly on the high side for Pinot Noir. However, while one can assume the alcohol to be somewhat high because of the wine’s weight in the mouth, it is not at all hot or unbalanced. During my blind tastings, the wine’s ample acidity actually led me to think the alcohol to be under 15%.

Robert Mondavi Winery Pinot Noir Carneros Napa Valley wines are made predominantly with grapes hand-picked from vineyards in Carneros, however small amounts of fruit from elsewhere, such as the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County, are sometimes included to add interest and enhance balance. The grapes are fermented in neutral tanks (stainless and wood) and undergo 100% malolactic fermentation as well as aging in Burgundy barrels. The amount of new oak is minimal however, so the wine is not dominated by oak-derived aromas or flavors.

At just $27, the 2008 Robert Mondavi Winery Pinot Noir Carneros Napa Valley offers good value. While it doesn’t have the complexity or delicacy of some more expensive examples of Carneros Pinot Noir, this wine is pleasingly fruit forward, well-balanced, and an appropriate expression of Carneros AVA Pinot Noir. This wine is bold enough to hold up to a rare filet of beef but I would prefer it with grilled salmon. Drink now through 2014. Recommended.


Rating: Recommended
Retail Price: $27.00
Closure: Cork
Alcohol: 15.5%
Closure: Cork

This wine was received as a review sample from the winery.

This article is original to Copyright 2010 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

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