It's not often that I get wine that was named after a psychological disorder. I think the closest thing is probably the Delirium Tremens beer that I occasionally indulge in. I recently received samples of three different wines produced by Folie à Deux, the famed subsidiary winery of Trinchero Family Estates. Folie à Deux is perhaps best known for their Menage à Trois wines (the red Menage à Trois blend has been reported to be the best selling red wine in America.) The wines that I received are part of their slightly higher price-point offerings, but still retail for $24, and can often be found between $15-20.
The winery was originally started by two psychologists who chose the name Folie à Deux, which means "a madness shared by two", or more flatteringly translated as "shared fantasies" in the literature. I will admit that I spent a little time on Wikipedia to learn this, but the condition is really quite in interesting, so you might want to give the post a little gander, but I'm getting off track. When it comes to the wines, I think that these wines are crowd pleasers. They aren't overly complex, but they are eminently drinkable, and represent good value for Napa wines.
This Chardonnay was aged in a mix of stainless steel and oak (less than half fermented in steel), and I think that this was a good choice. This Chard definitely has what you expect from a Napa Chardonnay, complete with butter and oak, but not in overwhelming amounts. There is still plenty of room for the tropical fruit and apple to shine through. Well balanced acidity, fruit, and oak make this one an enjoyable quaff, and I think that it is a good value if you find it for under $20. If you are a fan of California Chardonnay, you could do a lot worse than this one.
2008 Napa Valley Merlot
The Merlot is an easy drinking wine, with some red fruit, berries, and spice coming into play in the glass. A little hot (14.5% ABV), but still pleasant to drink. Despite only being in oak for seven months, the oak notes are definitely evident in the wine. The addition of a bit of Cabernet to the wine also seems to have had the desired effect, contributing a little backbone. Overall, a decent but unexceptional Merlot. Still a good value in the price-point.
Very pleasant Cab offering, with nice dark fruit, cherry, and raspberry, coming together with some strong oak notes. This was Mrs. Vinotology's favorite of the three wines that we tasted. Nice big fruit on this wine, bold enough to stand up to a lot of foods. This would probably be a great wine for someone who is just starting to venture into bolder reds. Not the most complex of Cabernet experiences, but will go over well at most dinner parties.
I wouldn't be embarrassed to serve any of these wines to guests with dinner. They are all very drinkable, and are available pretty much anywhere in America. None of the wines had much in the way of complexity, but for a grocery store wine, they were all enjoyable to drink. If you are looking for a wine for your wine snob (and I say that in the nicest way possible) friends, you will probably want to go a different direction, but for a Tuesday night wine with friends, any of these three wines should do the trick.