The Robert Mondavi brand has suffered some setbacks in recent years. In memory serves, the Napa Valley winery was hurt by bitter family dispute followed by major financial problems.
Not surprisingly, some of the Mondavi wines declined and the winery's reputation took a beating.
We haven't been following the winery's finances, but we are happy to report that some of the old Mondavi magic is back. This Meritage—a Bordeaux-style blend—is a big red wine. The wine is a beautiful deep purple and the plummy flavors are rich and jammy.
The blend, the label says, is 72 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, rounded out with 10 percent Merlot, 10 percent Petit Verdot, 7 percent Malbec, and mere 1 percent Cabernet Franc.
The subtleties of blending are beyond our expertise, but the result here is altogether pleasing. And for the money ($11.50 a bottle at Tulsa's Ranch Acres), it's a great value.
Try Mondavi's California Meritage "Private Selection" with spaghetti and red sauce, liberally dotted with chunks of spicy sausage.