Just for fun, I decided to throw in a bottle that is completely out of our $10 price target and see how it compares to the value Zinfandels we’ve been drinking all month. I picked the Mike & Molly because it was already sitting in my cellar and, based on the cellar tracker reviews, it seemed like it was in a good place for drinking right now. (I didn’t want to crack open one of the Carlisles because I just don’t think they’re ready to go yet.) This one is obviously NOT from Total Wine & More.
Price: $25 at LastBottle (www.lastbottlewines.com)
Style: The “Bates” (A fuller bodied wine with depth and complexity of flavor.)
Rating: “Really Good”
Recommendation: “Grab a few bottles”
Really nice. The nose on this was awesome when the bottle was first popped. Strawberry, blackberry, cherry, cedar, vanilla, earth, and baking spices. The power of the nose faded a bit by Day 2, but was still very consistent and pleasant. Everything was in balanced and delivered with a medium-full body. (There was just a slight bit of heat when the bottle was first opened, but it burned off in short order.) Flavors match the aromas with the addition of some black pepper notes. Wonderfully long finish…. it just kept going and going. A really nice deal in the $20-$30 range.
So, how does it compare to the value bottles? It’d definitely better. Like, a lot better. Is this bottle worth twice as much as the Oak Grove or Ravenswood? You bet. It’s richer, more full bodied, has more complex aromas and flavors, and a dramatically longer finish. Is it worth the $38 listed on the Mike & Molly website? Not for me. I’d be comfortable in that $20-$30 range, but not beyond that.
For a weeknight bottle, I’d stick with the Ravenswood Lodi or the Gnarled Vine. But if you’re looking for something a little more special, you’ll definitely get a lot more bang for your buck if you seek out a good $25 bottle like the Mike & Molly Hendry.
Mike & Molly Hendry label does one thing and one thing only… One offering of Zinfandel from the R.W. Moore Vineyard in Napa. The vineyard is located near the southern end of the Napa Valley, in the Coombsville AVA. It was planted in 1905 and is maintained in the traditional, dry farmed, head trained, and field blended style. (Zinfandel 95%, Petite Sirah 1%, Carignane 1%, Mourvedre 1%, Napa Gamay 2%) Each year, they make one batch from this vineyard and call it done.
Both Mike and Molly (real people) have other jobs in Napa and pursue this label as a side project. The wines are obviously not highly available and are primarily distributed via the couple’s wine club.