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

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

Hard to believe it has been so long since we have last done this. With my laundry list of quick Trader Joe’s Wine reviews published I am finally ready to tackle this after a long absence. Many of those posted below have yet to be reviewed individually, look for these soon. As always, the rankings from the last post are provided in parenthesis and I will provide some details on those that have fallen out of the rankings. Let’s get to it…

1. 2007 Geyser Peak California Sauvignon Blanc – $8 (Previous Rank: 1) – link is for 2006 but the ’07 is not missing a beat. The best white at TJ’s, hands down!

2. 2006 The California Wine Party Franc Merlot – $5 (Previous Rank: NR) – A perfect wine for the election season. A blend of Cab Franc and Merlot, grab it fast it seems to be disappearing already. I’ll grab a case if I can find it.

3. 2003 Alderbrook Old Vine Zinfandel – $8 (Previous Rank: NR) – $20 on and you can taste complexity. I’m looking for more

4. 2006 Santa Ynez Valley Winery Cabernet Franc – $9 (Previous Rank: NR) – link is for 2005 (which was #2 on my Top 10 list for 2007) but not sensing much fall off with the ’06. High quality as well.

5. 2007 Kono Sauvignon Blanc – $8 (Previous Rank: 5) – If my notes serve me correctly we just went from the ’05 to the 2007. This isn’t the Geyser Peak but it is sure a nice change of pace. Especially if you prefer Citrus on the palate.

6. 2006 Dynamic Red Table Wine- $9 (Previous Rank: NR) – An excellent wine, a Cab Franc, Cabernet, Merlot blend and from Mendocino to boot. Just not sure I can justify an additional four dollars beyond the “Franc Merlot”

7. NV Novella Chardonnay- $6 (Previous Rank: NR) –This one replaced the Callaway as the house Chardonnay.

8. 2007 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carmenere – $8 (Previous Rank: 6) – Now the ’07 which also added a $1 to the price tag. That said, it seems as dependable as always.

9. 2005 Epicuro Aglianico – $5 (Previous Rank: 2) Still drinking nice with easy fruit up front. Time to get another case as the first two have more or less disappeared…

10. 2007 King Shag Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc- $7 (Previous Rank: NR) A buck cheaper than the Kono and just as good. A little more zing and a little less citrus.

2006 Michel Leon Gewurztraminer – $7 (Previous Rank: 9) – Still good, just haven’t been preferring the sweeter wines lately.

2006 Callaway California Chardonnay – $5 (Previous Rank: 10) – Taken out of the equation by the Novella Synergy

2005 Columbia Crest Two Vines Cabernet Sauvignon – $6 (Previous Rank: 7) – now the ’05 rather than the 2004. Vintage shift also saw appellation switch to Washington from Columbia Valley. Seems a bit greener but settled it with time. Worth revisiting in a few months.

2005 Gravity Hills Base Camp Syrah – $5 (Previous Rank: 8) – Still better than most, just a plethora of options.

2005 XS Red California Cabernet Sauvignon – $4 (Previous Rank: 3) – Disappeared all too fast. Had a case, would like a few more…

2003 Red Flyer California Red – $3 (Previous Rank: 4) – A nice blend of many grapes. Many imitators at Trader Joe’s today. Just few that can do it this well.

Let me know if you have any others that I may be missing. or if you have any thoughts let me know as well.



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19 thoughts on “Best of Trader Joe’s Wine – Top 10 Wines of August 2008

  1. Great to see you back up and blogging. Aside from the franc merlot, you have turned me on to some incredible wines and bargains at TJ’s. Keep it up!

  2. I paid $12.99 for the Alderbrook Old Vines Zin (I don’t remember the vintage) at my local market and thought it was a steal. Definite Dry Creek Zin quality similar to the Ridge Geyserville. My kind of Zinfandel, and I would buy a bunch at $7.99.

  3. Thanks all. Fred, I’m with you. Going to grab a case next time I see it (if I do see it again…). oenanist, I have not. It is on my list now though…

  4. Darn, just missed me as I hit the Trader Joe’s Wine section last night. I did grab the Incanto Raboso Rose Frizzante, the 2006 Chiusa Grande Tommolo Montepulciano will have to wait until next time….Pretty sure we can have it, I have a label dancing in my head that I believe belongs to this wine.

  5. Great list, Jason! Thanks for leaving a little comment on the Zeer Blog — hope you’ll also review some wines and share your wisdom on we need more wise vino-lovers like you!

  6. Does anyone know who produced the previous Blue Fin wine for Trader Joe’s? And who is producing the current Blue Fin wine for Trader Joe’s?

  7. @Joshua Lowe Blue fin is a product of one Bronco Wine Co. who you may very well know if the same company behind Two Buck Chuck. Here is a list of some of their other labels…

  8. Just tried the 2008 Roustabout from Paso Robles. a merge blend o 50% merlot, 35% cab franc, and 15% cab Sauvignon. surprisingly delightful as my stock of rendition is out. not the best wine ever, but great value.

    • Haven’t seen that one appear in my neck of the woods yet. How much did it go for? The blend sounds close to that of one of my old faves, the Franc Merlot, and I noticed it is made by the same outfit. Hopefully I can track this one down soon!

  9. Can you tell me if Trader Joe’s or anyother liquor store/wineshop has Blue fin Wine? I have stopped at a few stores and can’t find Blue Fin Wine. A friend brought a bottle for a dinner party and I loved the taste and would like to buy more but I can’t find Blue Fin anywhere. THANKS

  10. @Tom: Where are you located?
    Blue Fin Chardonnay and Petite Sirah are shelf staples at our Trader Joe’s in Alameda.

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