I was very excited to see this wine on sale for $6 at Trader Joe’s because most Chardonnays coming out of Sonoma are beautiful wines. The RVTZ Cellars 2013 Chardonnay Sonoma Cuvée is no exception but the wine had one major problem: The cork had a flaw which allowed a large cavity of mold to develop. Both my husband and I are allergic to mold. I didn’t notice this until after I’d put the wine into our dinner (a pan sauce) and poured the wine into glasses for tasting.
On the nose and first taste I notice something was wrong. I could taste the wine underneath in all it’s perfection but on the nose and tongue there was an odor/feeling that indicated the wine had been tainted with the mold beyond the cork. I had my husband double check and he agreed. Down the sink it went. We ate the food and that was a mistake. We both got sick sick sick.
So here is a question for you guys: When a wine is bad do you take it back?
I understand that a wine can be “corked” or spoiled from improper handling. I usually don’t consider taking those back because it’s a risk you run in the wine industry. But mold of this magnitude is a whole level. In the end, it’s only $6 but the two days of downtime is another story.
Beautiful buttery color
As for the RVTZ Cellars 2013 Chardonnay Sonoma Cuvée the wine beneath the mold was fantastic. You could smell apple, pear, vanilla, and hints of banana, melon, and tropical fruits. The apple and pear were prominent in the flavor profile with vanilla, oak, and a decent dose of minerals in the finish. The body was creamy with an excellent mouth feel. The acid level was perfect. The finish was in stages, moderate with the flavors of oak and vanilla with the minerals hanging out a little longer. Without the cork flaw this would be a 90 to 92 point perfectly balanced Chardonnay for $6.
I can’t begin to wonder if the other bottles have cork flaws or if this was a one time thing. I’m tempted to buy it again because it’s a stunning wine for the price drinking at a substantially higher price point.
Have you tried the RVTZ Cellars 2013 Chardonnay Sonoma Cuvée ? Did you have a problem with the cork? Please let me know in the comments below!