The actual name of this wine is, Marc Mondavi’s The Divining Rod Chardonnay, like a Hollywood stars name above the title of the film. This wine is sourced from vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA which is located inside the Monterey AVA in Northern California, it has a cool temperatures and fog off the Monterey Bay in the mornings. The Diving Rod is 99% Chardonnay and 1% Viognier, Viognier is usually added to a wine to boost the wines bouquet and to put a little “shine” on the fruit. The bottling statement on the back says this wine was vinted and bottled by C. Mondavi and Sons, vinted and bottled does not tell you who grew the grapes or who fermented the wine, it only really tells you who bottled the wine. There are many different reasons for vinted and bottled to be on the label, rather than produced and bottled by (meaning they grew the grapes, fermented, aged and bottled the wine) and most of the time it involves marketing reasons, cost concerns and winery capacity optimization. This is an unoaked Chardonnay and the alcohol content is 13.9%.
The color is clear glistening wheat yellow. The nose is apricot, peach and pear with a background of fresh cut flowers. It starts out with a mix of fresh juicy peach and tart grapefruit, followed by a touch of honey and a squirt of lime. The mid palate shows some green apple and tangerine. This is a wine where tart and sour flavors beat the fresh and juicy flavors by 60/40. The acidity is well balanced, this Chardonnay would pair well with fish and seafood cooked on the grill. The finish is light, it is mostly the tart, sour flavors but it does linger awhile.
The Diving Rod Chardonnay is a solid bottle of wine, I found it selling for $13, it lists for $19. It has substantial weight and mouthfeel and an interesting mix of citrus and fruit. Many unoaked Chards are bright, juicy, happy wines, but the Diving Rod seems more substantial, more serious.