‘G4,’ the fourth generation of winemakers from the Mondavi family (specifically: consulting winemaker Angelina Mondavi), returns along with head winemaker Randy Herron for another collection of wines meant to be equally approachable and affordable. We were fortunate enough to try three of the five new releases for fall 2021. Let’s try them out.
2020 Flat Top Hills Chardonnay – Gentle and aromatic notes of lemon zest and pear on the nose give way for a finish of green apple and vanilla that fails to wear out its welcome. Delightfully consistent with the high degree of quality Christopher explored in his 2020 assessment, and still a great buy. A- / $14
2018 Flat Top Hills Red Blend – Autumnal notes of cinnamon and ginger on the nose make way for a generous helping of black cherry and raspberry on the palate. Letting the glass sit for a bit of time mutes some of the cherry influence and brings things to a satisfying but slightly lengthy finish. B / $16
2018 Flat Top Hills Cabernet Sauvignon – Quite bold with notes of blackberry, currant, and a touch of leather on the nose all fighting for attention. Things get a bit more interesting on the palate with tart cranberry and plum alternating back and forth, making for a dry and slightly acidic finish. Not for the faint of heart and probably best served alongside a hefty portion of meat. B / $16
The marketing tagline for Flat Top Hills implores me to “live inspired.” I am not sure how to do that anymore, but I’m hoping by 2022 I’ll have figured it out. Until then, I am fairly content to have these affordable selections along for the ride.