The interesting thing about the Spellbound website is not what it says, but what it doesn't say. It doesn't say that one of the partners is Rob Mondavi, grandson of Robert Mondavi, easily the most iconic name in California wine history.
The reason for the omission was probably that Rob, son of Michael, former president of Mondavi Winery, wanted to make a name for himself in spite of his name, not because of it. The fact that his background and experience is in the rarified world of winemaking in the Napa Valley didn't hurt his chances either.
Merlot got an undeservedly bad wrap in the movie Sideways. There is no argument that Bordeaux is the most famous wine region in the world. And it's no secret that Merlot has twice the acreage of Cabernet Sauvignon in Bordeaux and accounts for most of its greatest wines. Merlot has been used in some of the best wines from California as well. And while Merlot blends perfectly with Cabernet because it adds softness to the mix, the grape obviously can stand on its own.
This Spellbound Merlot can attest to Rob's winemaking talent. The California appellation allows him the freedom to cross boundaries, but not ideologies. He is able to pull from his vast resources of the finest grapes to craft exceptional wines that are also exceptional values.
Here is an amazing Merlot with all the outstanding pedigree of Napa, but without the price.
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