Best of Trader Joe’s Wine – Top 10 Wines of January 2008

If you arrived here and are interested in the latest top 10 list, click here. Otherwise please read on.

Following the success of my Top 10 TJ’s Wines of 2007 post I have decided to make it a monthly staple. With that, here are the ground rules, actually just one which makes it simple. The wines listed all have to have been either purchased or available during the month to which the post refers. Without further adieu here they are with some quick notes for a recap:

1. 2005 Epicuro Aglianico ($5) – Aglianico’ at TJ’s, I couldn’t believe it. Like my mom always told me if it seems to good to be true it must be. I grabbed two bottles on initial sight and went back two days later and it was gone. I’ve since tried 5 more locations some multiple times to no avail…Hope the next shipment is on the way.

2. 2006 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carmenere ($7) – Not the ’05 but still a winner. The combination of fruit, smoke and spice can’t be beat.

3. 2006 Geyser Peak California Sauvignon Blanc ($8) – Wow! This is likely the best Sauvignon Blanc I’ve had that isn’t from New Zealand. Get yourself a bottle.

4. 2006 Abrazo Del Toro Carinena Tinto ($5) – This blend of Grenache/Tempranillo (80/20) delivers tastes of strawberries on a dry backbone that led to a earthy, spicy finish. I grabbed another half case of this one.

5. 2003 Epicuro Salice Salentino Riserva ($5) – A big month for Italian wines, perhaps I have found my niche in Southern Italy.

6. 2005 Marcel Hugg Gewurztraminer ($8) – A great introduction to the Alsace for those unfamiliar and an opportunity for me to stock up before it disappears!

7. 2005 Kono Sauvignon Blanc ($8) – Anyone that hasn’t had a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand start here, get it while it last.

8. 2005 Chalk Creek Mendocino County Petite Sirah ($5) – Rich & robust with hints of varietal character. A lot of bang for your buck but for some from a fruit perspective this may be too far over the top.

9. 2005 Archero Nero d’ Avola Ruggero di Tasso ($4) – This one just reappeared in the stores, guessing the first batch was a success and they went back to get more. Hopefully the quality hasn’t slipped. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

10. 2004 Chasing Clouds Central Ranges Shiraz ($3) – A bit of barnyard and earthiness in the nose with dark fruits and chocolate lingering within. The palate holds itself together quite well for the $3 investment.

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