October 29, 2008

Mondavi Woodbridge Shiraz, 2006, California

By Andrew Barrow In Wine Notes

Mondavi Woodbridge Shiraz 2006

As I write I’m sipping a glass of Californian red – a Robert Mondavi Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 to be precise.

It’s fairly typical of the type of Californian wine readily available in the UK. Following the WineDudes request for some foreign thoughts on Californian wine the Woodbridge is ‘research’. Not sure if the Wine Dude is going to utilise my barely coherant scribbles in a post or (update – he has) not but the crux of the article was that, while we can get hold of American wines in the UK most are the large brands (such as Gallo and this Mondavi) and the small quantities of boutique wines that many American wine bloggers rave about are never seen over here.
I hesitate to mention the ubiquitous Gallo in the same paragraph as Mondavi for both the Cabernet and this similar but slightly spicier Shiraz are very drinkable examples which offer more than a modicum of interest, something those massed Gallo brands never will.

Red Wine Review/Tasting NoteWine Tasting Note: Robert Mondavi Woodbridge Shiraz, 2006, California
Stockists: Threshers and most supermarkets Price: £7.20 [More on Adegga / Snooth]
Very similar in style to the Cabernet – sweetish full fruit, soft but evident tannins combine to make a highly drinkable fruity style of red. Broad flavours enveloping the blueberry/blackberry spectrum, not complicated but enhanced by some varietal spice. Not sure where Jancis Robinson gets the “very pinched and ungenerous” idea from as the wine appears fleshy, broad, lightly spiced and very drinkable. Alcohol 135%.
Aiming for a modicum of seasonal eating a dish of acorn squash with a tomato and cream minced lamb stuffing was paired with this red, the sweetness of the fruit playing nicely with the inherant sweetness of the squash and the stuffing. The softness held enough in the acidity and tannin stakes to counter the creamy richness.

Scribblings Rating – 88/100 [3.5 out of 5]

  1. Peter May October 30, 2008

    Hi Andy
    Don’t dismiss Gallo wines out of hand. They have some excellent single vineyard wines.
    And I think Mondavi has been pissing in the soup. What used to be a premium label has been diluted with mass market wines (including, would you believe, juice imported from France).
    Is there really any difference between Mondavi’s Woodbridge range and standard Gallos? Bulk wines both.

  2. Andrew October 31, 2008

    Hi Peter, I wasnt really just referring tothe cheap end of the gallo range rather than their single vineyard wines. Have you tried the Woodbridge recently? A little better I think than a ‘simple bulk wine’, not as great as you would espect from the Mondavi label but.. well you have read my review!

  3. Dylan October 31, 2008

    Wow, this is fairly striking to me. Is it just that there isn’t much of a market for California wine in the UK? It would have to be some reason dealing with demand or the shipping costs.

  4. Andrew October 31, 2008

    I think it is more a combination of issues – the wines, when they make it over here, tend to be expensive (for various reasons that I wont go into here) and it is a very tough market. If a producer can sell his wines at home why go to all that trouble?
    “The Americans keep all the good stuff for themselves” someone once told me; a little simplistic but true.

  5. 1WineDude October 31, 2008

    I did indeed use your musings as a guest post – thanks for that!
    Interestingly, Jancis Robinson recently noted during her appearance on WineLibrary TV that she was rather impressed by the Woodbridge Chard. these days…

  6. jack August 31, 2009

    I will never buy Gallo again. A few years ago they promoted a flight deal if you bought a case. Bought the case, but they weasled out of it when I tried to claim the flight. The wine wasn’t very good either.


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