2011 Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Riesling California

2011 Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Merlot California



This review is based on samples supplied by the winery or an organization acting on their behalf.





Now that most of the country, even those of us in the upper Midwest, is finally enjoying some warmer weather it’s time to start looking for wines to enjoy at outdoors gatherings and parties.


I was sent these two wines to sample and I think they would be perfect for sharing with friends or providing something fun and tasty when you just want something to sip on the deck or patio in the evening.




“To succeed and have a happy life, you need common sense, a commitment to hard work and the courage to go your own way.” – Robert Mondavi



The Beginning

In the early 1900’s, Cesare and Rosa Mondavi, newlyweds from Sassoferrato in northern Italy, settled in Minnesota.  In 1919, the National Prohibition Act was passed, banning the sale of alcohol.  This seemed incomprehensible to Italian families, to whom wine was a staple of daily life.  Luckily, a loophole in the law allowed people to make 200 gallons of wine each year for family consumption.


Cesare became involved in shipping wine grapes from California for home winemaking, and noticed that the majority of the grapes were coming from a place called “Lodi” in California.  Sensing an opportunity, he moved his family, which now included a young Robert Mondavi and started his own business shipping grapes back east to Italian-American families.  Robert’s first job was nailing crates together to hold the grapes.


Robert’s parents instilled in him the virtues of hard work and encouraged him to explore the growing wine industry.  After studying business and chemistry at Stanford University and taking a crash course in viticulture and enology at the University of California at Berkeley, Robert Mondavi immersed himself in all aspects of the wine industry.


Creating A Legacy

Robert Mondavi felt confident that the Napa Valley and California could ultimately create wines that would stand shoulder to shoulder with the great wines of the world.  He founded the iconic Robert Mondavi Winery in 1966 near Oakville, California; the first major winery to be built in the Napa Valley since Prohibition.


After the outstanding success of his Napa Valley winery, Robert Mondavi pursued his second vision of creating delicious wines for everyday enjoyment.  Having grown up in Lodi, Robert knew the region was ideal for growing wine grapes from which he could produce quality wines at affordable prices.  In 1979, he acquired a local cooperative of grape growers, naming the winery after a nearby town – the Woodbridge Winery was born.




Today’s lineup:

Woodbridge Lineup


2011 Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Riesling California – SRP $7.99


My comments

Who doesn’t love an off dry, crisp, white wine to sip on a warm evening over some conversation with friends?  The nice sweetness provided by the Riesling grape with just enough acidity to keep the wine from getting too syrupy makes it a perfect, easy, sipper.  With a suggested price of $8, it also won’t break the bank.  The low 11.5% alcohol helps keep the wine light and refreshing and won’t make you feel guilty about a second glass.  After all, who can stop at only one glass of Riesling?


This wine is a blend of 76% Riesling and 24% other dry white wine varietals.  Fermentation was stopped with about 2% residual sugar which provides nice sweetness without it being too sugary sweet.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a light, golden yellow color.  The fresh smelling nose has crisp apples, lime, lemon zest, honey, pear, orange blossoms, and just a hint of petrol.  This has medium body, nice sweetness, and enough acidity to provide balance.  On the palate this tastes like apples dipped in honey with some spice and lime.  The finish is crisp with decent length and a lingering sweetness.  This is a wine to sip and enjoy, not one to over think and analyze.


This would be nice by itself or with a crisp apple tart.

2011 Woodbridge Riesling




2011 Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Merlot California – SRP $7.99


My comments

Sideways may have struck a blow against Merlot, but its fans know it can be an easy drinking, smooth red wine to pair with food or to sip with friends over a platter of cured meats and cheese.


This wine is a blend of 76% Merlot, 13% Petite Sirah, 5% Syrah, and 6% other complementary varieties.  Most of the grapes are from the Lodi region and the final alcohol is a relatively light 13.6%


My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The smooth and inviting nose has blackberries, cherries, baking spices, dark chocolate, vanilla, and some toasty oak.  This has medium body with soft tannins and acidity with just a hint of sweetness.  The palate has berries, cherries, and enough spicy oak to add some depth.  The wine has decent length on the finish with nice fruit and spicy oak.  This leaves a sweet closing impression making you want to grab another sip.


This would be nice on its own, with a party platter, or something hot off the grill.

2011 Woodbridge Merlot





***** Shameless Self Promotion *****


Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.






Breaking news from Klout:






Remember to support your local wine store!




* * * * * * * * * * * * *


Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.



Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.



All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.