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

If you arrived here and are interested in the latest top 10 list, follow this link now!

Is it already June! Time for another list…The ground rules; wines listed all have to have been either purchased or available during the month to which the post refers. The rankings from the previous month will be provided in parenthesis and I will provide some details on those that have fallen out of the rankings. With a new #1 this month let’s get to it. Without further adieu…

1. 2006 Geyser Peak California Sauvignon Blanc – $8 (Apr Rank: 5) – This is the best Sauvignon Blanc I have ever had including that stuff from the Kiwi’s…

2. 2005 Epicuro Aglianico – $5 (Apr Rank: 1) Off the pedestal, half itching to make a change, half getting used to it. It didn’t stop me from buying another case this month…

3. 2005 XS Red California Cabernet Sauvignon – $4 – From the Hess Family at this price hard to go wrong. Varietal characteristics included. A perfect quaffer. Just don’t buy it at Cost Plus where it cost 50% more.

4. 2003 Red Flyer California Red – $3 – Another low budget winner from Trader Joe’s. With the unique blend here thought about rating this higher than the XS based on uniqueness alone. Do yourself a favor and grab three bottles of each for a case ($60), sit back and enjoy!

5. 2005 Kono Sauvignon Blanc – $8 (Apr Rank: 7) – With the move to a warmer client look for the whites to climb the ranking. This isn’t the Geyser Peak but it is sure a nice change of pace.

6. 2006 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carmenere – $7 (Apr Rank: 3) – I feel guilty seeing this one all the way down here. Still loving it and sure it will climb back up soon enough.

7. 2004 Columbia Crest Two Vines Cabernet Sauvignon – $6 (Apr Rank: 6) – I had the Grand Estates and still prefer this one.

8. 2005 Gravity Hills Base Camp Syrah – $5 – A winner amongst the Syrah. Most of the offerings here leave me wanting for more. This one has me buying more.

9. 2006 Michel Leon Gewurztraminer – $7 (Apr Rank: 2) – Sweet wines don’t work well with warm weather. That said this is again widely available and great with spicy food.

10. 2006 Callaway California Chardonnay – $5 (Apr Rank: 9) – Still the only California Chard I have enjoyed from Trader Joe’s

Falling – these have seen their stock fall over the last month…

2004 Evans & Tate Cabernet Sauvignon Underground Series – $4 (Apr Rank: 10) – With the XS in town this one has fallen to the wayside. Though will likely give it a try again someday.

2005 Les Moirets Cotes du Rhone – 6 (Apr Rank: 8T)/ 2005 Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve – $7 (Apr Rank: 8T) – These two were tied for 8th in April and I have a bottle of each awaiting the tiebreaker. They have been waiting all month thus the fall from glory. One will likely rejoin in June. Stay tuned…

2003 Columbia Crest Two Vines Merlot – $6 – This one wasn’t ranked in April but since I am still buying more it is on the fringe and worthy of note.

Gone – these appear to no longer be available…let me know if you have seen them!

2006 Castle Rock Monterrey County Pinot Noir – $10 (Apr Rank: 4) – Looks like the Mendocino and the California labels are the only ones remaining.

And that’s 10 for May…Let me know what you think via the comments and ratings. Appreciate all those to date and do realize I owe some responses.  I will catch up soon! Look for a lot of new white reviews in June and perhaps even some bubbly….



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16 thoughts on “Best of Trader Joe’s Wine – Top 10 Wines of May 2008

  1. Pingback: Five Debt Reduction Tips You Can Implement Right Now - MoneyRemix

  2. Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll be printing your list to take shopping. Can’t wait to see your bubbly picks, thats always my first choice.

  3. Ted, I saw this as well when I went shopping last weekend. Good news! I’ve had the ’07 and it is still darn good. I’ll post a review soon!

    I just bought a bottle of the ’06 at a local wine store and plan on trying them side by side at some point as well.

  4. What no three buck chuck? LOL Trader Joes is a great source for wine- aI don’t drink, but I give it our at christmas to relatives/friends who do, and we actually had a nice array of 3 buck chuck at my birthday party. Everyone seems to like it!

  5. I’m trying the 06 Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc right now. Pretty good! It’s been a long time since I’ve tasted a gooseberry, but I think that may be the dominant flavor for me. Though that may be the wine bottle label talking . . . Unfortunately in New York City, this wine is $10. Still a good QPR though.

  6. Thanks for keeping us up to date.
    I really like 2003 Red Flyer California Red, I bought a box and it’s gone, I went to most of Trader Joe’s stores in Santa Clara county(San Jose, CA) they’re all gone. I wish they could order more.

  7. who’s the idiot that made up 3 buck chuck? It’s barley worth the 2 bucks they charge. Many other fine choices , however.

  8. I was very doubtful about the infamous Chuck. I am very leery of CA reds, and assumed the red would be awful. I was surprised at how bad the white was, and how passable the red was, to be honest. This was a few years ago, and as I understand it these types of bottles could vary greatly as they are just buying up excess lots of grapes from around the valley, no?

  9. The ’06 Mendocino Co. Castle Rock is fabulous. Haven’t tried the ’07 yet, the label-change threw me off. I was also pleasantly surprised with the $4.99 Syrah, but the California Cuvee Pinot isn’t even worth trying.

    Oh, and to settle the rumor I keep reading about…Charles Shaw is NOT made of all the left-over wines from different vinyards. The company paid a certain amount to basically buy out the wine to be sold exclusively by them.

    I think it tastes like shit, but so does alot of the more expensive wines for over $10. Some good wines between $4 and $15 are: ~Trader Joe’s Coastal (Castoro Cellars privately labels) for $3.99 (6 or 7 varietals), ~TBD Zinfandel and Red Table Wine for $4.99, ~Rendition Petit Sirah for $8.99, ~Inheritance Petit Syrah for $11.99, TJ’s Grand Reserve Cabernet ($9.99) and Pinot Noir ($12.99). So many more to list…

  10. im looking for the name of the wine that its $3.99 or 5.99 that won the wine contest last year..

    if anyone know the name or were i can get it (site) please email me ASAP



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