Trader Joe’s Wines: Fast and Furious Reviews

I wanted to quickly cover some of the Trader Joe’s wines I’ve had in the last few weeks. Given I am not so excited about these offerings the chances of them making it into a standalone post are somewhere between slim and non. Some of these are worth trying should the fancy strike you but I can’t recommend any of them at this point. With that, let’s get to it…

2007 Chateau des Cleons Muscadet Sevre et Maine 2007 Chateau des Cleons Muscadet Sevre et Maine “Sur Lie” ($6) – This one is a wine I’ve had before and quite enjoyed. Have an early lunch and an early summer day I was expecting a repeat of the last go round when I found this one to be “light, surprisingly crisp and refreshing. A nice dry, tart beginning gives way to a nice long lemon, citrusy finish.” This time it was overly tart throughout and left you with a slight pucker face on the finish. I still have another bottle left but for the time being I am downgrading this one.

2007 La Ferme Julien Rose 2007 La Ferme Julien Rose ($5) – On the nose you get a typical, crisp refreshing nose. This one is 50% Cinsault, 40% Grenache and 10% Syrah. Full bodied but lacks acidity and/or crispness that I am looking for a rose to deliver. Perhaps this needs a meal to compliment it but it is not rose as I intended to be. Will I give it another go? Maybe…

2003 Roza Ridge Yakima Valley Merlot 2003 Roza Ridge Yakima Valley Merlot ($6) – This is a prodcut, based on their site guessing a very young one, of Hyatt Vineyards in Washington. Once in the glass you find an herbal spicy nose. On the palate it is surprisingly dry in nature despite a healthy dose of red fruit. Nice with with pasta bolognese. Still have the Rattlesnake Hills version at home so until then I’ll reserve judgement. That said for now I prefer the Columbia Crest Two Vines Merlot

2008 Vin-Koru Sauvignon Blanc 2008 Vin-Koru Sauvignon Blanc ($6) – Dip dug this ones while Danny begged to differ. Given it was from the same importers as the similiarly named Kono and I was sure to cast the deciding vote. In the glass the color is typical, golden and promising. The nose delivers stainless steel notes and a hint of crisp lemon. On the palate it is overly lemon a component even showing a hint of sweetness at the top of the palate. The balance seems off throughout and the the end is overly tart and acidic. It lacks the backbone of minerality that I like to see. It declines even further with food. Perhaps best solo or with appetizers as fuller flavors shut down the tasting profile. This review is certainly over harsh as the quality if likewise priced New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc at Trader Joe’s is excellent, this bottle is not robbing you for your six bones. That said, having to cast a vote between two of my long time readers I’ll opt once again for the King Shag which ranked #3 in my latest Top 10.

NV Espiral Vinho Verde NV Espiral Vinho Verde ($4) – On the nose, well nothing… Same on the front of the palate, a bit of fizz but otherwise cool, balanced liquid. This one is not typical, I’ve had others that are truer to the region; braching and refreshing. This one is neither, it is effervescent with lemon at the back of the palate with a tart, citrusy bubbly finish. The only people I would recommend this to is those that like white but have yet to appreciate sparkling wines,; it seems to straddle the middle ground. If that is you, for $4 give it a try and you’ll know if you like it or hate it on the first sip. Somehow I’m stuck in the middle, perhaps fortuitous given I have another bottle in the rack.

2007 Clay Station Viognier 2007 Clay Station Viognier ($4) – Another repeat bottle, this one has the body and structure one might expect from viognier but the tartness leaves you wanting more. At the same price point the Honeymoon Viognier is a much more pleasing option.

2005 Black Mountain Malbec 2005 Black Mountain Malbec ($4) – Yet another Bronco Wine Co. offering, this one was a back channel recommendation led me to this one and while fruity and juicy it was no where near varietally correct. The spice and dark fruit were there on the nose but it turned overly sour on the palate and could not correct itself. Drinkable yes, but there are much better options available.

That’s a wrap, hope you found the format helpful. Let me know if you have any particular thoughts. If not, cheers until next time!

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8 thoughts on “Trader Joe’s Wines: Fast and Furious Reviews

  1. love how much posting you’re doing lately – keep it up…and i haven’t tried any of these but one, so looks like i have my work cut out for me.

    i have had the black mountain cab, but it was 5 years ago, so sounds like it may not be as good as i thought it was at the time.

  2. The 2004 Rattlesnake Hills Roza Ridge is MUCH better than the 2003 Yakima Valley which is very “loud” for a Merlot.
    Working with the Wine Team to swap out the ’03 on the shelf and replace it with the ’04 until we’re out.
    Thanks for the other reviews and the new app for the IPhone users. Now I can get even for people aboard your Wine Blog train. : )

  3. @rjh My brother-in-law loves the Black Mountain Cab. When visiting a few weeks ago we had a bottle and I thought it was very drinkable. Simple, straight-forward juice.

    @Angela We’re having pizza tonight, thinking I’ll open the Rattlesnake Hills to go with it. Is it still in stock? And glad the iPhone tips helped… Any luck on your wine info board?

  4. I’m drinking Vinho Verde tonight. This is probably the fourth bottle I’ve had over the last six months.

    The first three were really great, some of the best $4 wine I’ve ever had.

    Tonight’s bottle is pretty terrible though. It seems way too acidic.

    I’m pretty sure I just have a bad bottle tonight, I imagine it’s hard to be consistent with a $4 wine. I’d encourage you to try it again, maybe you’ll get a better bottle.

  5. I actually liked the Espiral Vinho Verde. It was pretty boring at first, but as it warmed up, it became much more enjoyable. I could’ve finished the bottle before dinner was ready if it wasn’t such a quick meal. It was great with my seafood pasta in light tomato sauce. For $5 (in AZ), I would keep some around.

  6. My Trader Joe’s had the Vin Koru as a promotional offer at 4.99. I bought two bottles to try it, went back and it was all gone. They said they would not be getting it in again. It sounds like you have it at yours regularly. Please let me know.

  7. @Bobbie: Where are you located? Vin Koru is currently available in the Order Guide in the SF Bay Area as far as I know. (It did go away for a while in between vintages)

    Unfortunately I have little access to availability information outside of my immediate area. Also, each store chooses what they want to stock out of the Order Guide according to what seems to sell in that particular store.

    Hope that helps.

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