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

 Best of Trader Joe’s Wine - Top 10 Wines of November 2008

Many months have come and gone and with the holiday season upon us now seems an optimal time to revisit my Top 10 Trader Joe’s Wines. Perhaps you can use it to pick out some economically sensible gifts for the winos on your shopping list. Let’s get to it…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 Top 10 will be provided in parenthesis and those that have fallen out of the rankings will also be noted. Now for the main event!

1. 2006 Dynamic Red Table Wine – $9 (Previous Rank: 4) – Wow this is good, somehow missed the depth here initially. Fantastic bottle for the price. Grabbed a case, you should too while you can, that is if you can make your mortgage payment…

2. 2006 The California Wine Party Franc Merlot – $5 (Previous Rank: 1) – Debate season is over but I am still enjoying this one like it is October… My most purchased Christmas gift…

3. 2003 Alderbrook Old Vine Zinfandel – $8 (Previous Rank: NR) – This one had fallen out of the ranking as it was unavailable. I lamented I should have grabbed more. Well it reappeared and I grabbed a case! (review not yet posted, stay tuned…)

4. 2006 Chiusa Grande Tommolo Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo – Thanks to @oenanist for putting this one of my radar. I have been enjoying it regularly and it is my new favorite in the Italian section.

5. 2007 King Shag Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – $7 (Previous Rank: 5) It’s winter, but this is still good with salmon…

6. 2004 Santino Sierra Foothills Zinfandel – A nice, easy drinking Zin. For $4, sign me up! Better yet this one is from the Sierra Foothills which @Megan recommends and I need to explore more.

7. 2007 Novella Synergy Blanc – $6 (Previous Rank: 7) –This has a little more pairing versatility than Sauvignon Blanc and is still the “other” white wine of choice.

8. 2006 Geyser Peak California Sauvignon Blanc – $8 (Previous Rank: 3) – This one is suffering a bit as it is best had on its own, in shorts, watching the sunset. Did I mention it snowed in San Francisco this morning? (link is for 2006)

9. 2006 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carmenere – $8 (Previous Rank: 8) – The weather is getting colder and this is getting better. At least from a pairing perspective. Goes great with chili!

10. 2005 Epicuro Aglianico – $5 (Previous Rank: 6) All the Epicuro offerings are well worth the money. You won’t be disappointed if you chose this, the Salice Salentino or the Nero d’ Avola. Get’em all!

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

2005 Santa Ynez Valley Winery Cabernet Franc – $9 (Previous Rank: 9) – My latest bottle was nice, but hey this is Trader Joe’s wine we are talking about. For $9, nice doesn’t cut it. (link is for 2005)

2007 Chateau des Cleons Muscadet Sevre et Maine “Sur Lie” – $6 (Previous Rank: 10) – A nice, light refreshing wine has a hard time getting opened during the winter. This one needs frequent flyer tickets to the southern hemisphere.

Gone – sadly these appear to no longer be available…
2005 Chariot Gypsy – $5 (Previous Rank: 2) – Rumors of the ’06 abound with sighting in SoCal and Fresno, nothing in the Bay Area yet…

Let me know what you think. Did I miss any? Feel something is overrated? Would love to hear your thoughts!


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27 thoughts on “Best of Trader Joe’s Wine – Top 10 Wines of November 2008

  1. I don’t know if anyone else has already posted about this, but I was very excited to see lots of cases of 2007 Chariot Gypsy at my SoCal TJ’s tonite! Bought six bottles right off the bat. I’m finishing a bottle of 2005 Gypsy from my stash, so I’ll try the 2007 over the weekend and report back.

    On another note, I love Vin-Koru 2008 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc which is on the “new items” shelf. It’s bright, tart, citrus-y with a definite apricot aftertaste that is absolutely lovely. At $5.99 for a NZ SB, I’ve found a “bulk buy” for me that’s much more affordable than Kim Crawford.

  2. The TJ’s in Irvine @ Walnut & Culver has 120 cases of the 2007 Chariot Gypsy ($4.99) in stock. My tasting notes follow: serves up spicy raspberry, tarragon and meaty aromas with flavors of ripe, simple plum, orange peel and pepper. Ends on a long finish of mild lemon-tinged tannins and persistent dark chocolate. My recommendation, in accordance with Jason Wine Blog ratings, is that I’m on the fence between Buy It and Bulk Buy.

  3. DIP, Regarding the Vin-Koru sauvignon blanc, I am amazed you liked it so much. However, I am not a fan and was disappointed by it. I rate it a “Skip It”. This looks like we just have a different palette on this one. I am with Jason, though, on the King Shag SB. It’s the best SB I’ve tasted at TJ’s….a real winner.

  4. @dip Thanks for the tip, the news has been trickling in that the Chariot Gypsy is now available. Unfortunately we aren’t seeing it here in NorCal. We have confirmed reports in SoCal and on the Central Coast/Valley. Let us know what you think when you get to try it. As for the Vin-Koru I have a bottle in the wine rack. I’ll get it in the fridge and see if I can get to it over the weekend.

    @Danny Thanks for providing the locale and even more so for the tasting notes. Especially dig you use the rating scale! Thanks! Hope this makes it to the Bay Area soon so I can get a taste… As for the Vin-Koru, I’m going to give it a try but dethroning the King Shag from the #3 spot of the Top 10 is going to be a tough road to hoe.

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