From time to time I comment on wines that Trader Joe’s carries in their stores, especially anything that is labelled “Trader Joe’s”. Wines that really pique my interest are these black label Grand Reserve wines. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m in the wine business by trade and sometimes I feel sheepish talking about wines on this blog, but sometimes I just feel the need to speak out!
Just like with my recommendation on the 2009 Napa Valley Meritage this is another Grand Reserve that doesn’t disappoint, especially at the $13.99 price point (Which varies from state to state depending on the liquor tax structure in your state).
First, what do we have in the bottle? It’s a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir from 2010. Russian River Valley is well known for making excellent Burgundy styled wines, but with a California flair to them. Which means that these Pinot Noirs are usually a bit weightier in color and flavor then their Burgundy or Oregon counterparts.
So what does the wine taste like? First the color is a garnet like color. A bit lighter than most Syrahs out there. The nose smells of violets and red currants and red cherries. I detected a bit of vanilla, which just means they oaked it a bit. I would bet that it was in the barrel for about a year to 14 months. In the mouth, you get the California Pinot Noir palate, more structure and weight than an Oregon Pinot Noir. A bit more depth. There is a bit of acidity, but in line with expectations of a wine of this type. I really like the 13.5% alcohol! Keeping it under 14% is a good thing, especially for Pinot Noir. It has flavors like the nose, red cherries and red currants and a good dose of oak. It lingers on the palate for a few seconds.
On the back label, it says cellared and bottled by Truett Hurst, Hopland, CA. Truett Hurst is not a winery I am familiar with, but there are 4500 of them in California now so hard to keep up with all of them! I looked them up on the web and they are right in the heart of wine country in Sonoma County. They seem to be a fairly small producer. Either Trader Joe’s contracted with them to make this wine for them or they bought up some excess wine that they produced. Either way, it’s priced right!
All in all it was a really good Pinot Noir that I would highly recommend to my friends and here on the blog and for $13.99 this wine easily tastes like a wine double that price. Get it while you can, I suspect that there isn’t much to go around.
I’m going to rate this Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Russian River Valley 2010 Pinot Noir a solid 9 Bells, especially at this price!