2008 Blue Fin Pinot Noir

2008 Blue Fin Pinot NoirPrice: $3.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer “Blue Fin Pinot Noir, a new addition to the Blue Fin family, is a vibrant, ruby-colored wine with rich, fresh berry and currant flavors and a velvety smooth finish. This wine is priced at the ridiculously low $3.99 a bottle – a perfect example of our favorite equation: quality + price = value.”

What I Think:

The counterpart to the Chardonnay this is a $4 Pinot Noir which violates my sensibilities given the struggles I have finding good Pinots under $10. But given the story line here includes Fred Franzia and Bronco Wine Co. I am intrigued to see if this could be the Two Buck Chuck of the Pinot world. In short, it might be.

My initial impression was not good. My first notes were thin, hot with a hint of fruit notes. Over the next few days the nose revealed some faint strawberry aromas and even showed the slightest hint of varietal characteristics but the heat and tannins remained. Guessing this one includes a lot of stems. That thought got me wondering; what is the minimum percentage required by law to label something as Pinot? Would including the stems make it easier to get to that number? Guessing it can’t get better than this at $4 otherwise Fred would know how. Not worth it to me, I’ll still be dropping a ten spot on the Castle Rock.

And that is how my review would have ended had it not been for so many people defending the Blue Fin both on twitter and in the comments here on the blog. Did I miss something that everyone else is getting? Was my bottle bad? This is only the 2nd time I’ve felt this way. For Exhibit 1a see: Sparkling ,Albero. Next shopping trip I’ll grab another bottle of each and give both a do over. I know Bob Dwyer is working on a review for this wine over on The Wellesley Wine Press but in the mean time here is what he had to say on Cellar Tracker:

“A very simple, straightforward and drinkable wine. Mild strawberry and cherry aromas on the nose. Perhaps limited aromatically. Really tasty on the initial attack (with a surprising amount of flavor), but fades extremely quickly and is gone in a flash (both the finish and the bottle). An intriguing play at $3.99.”

UPDATE: Bob has now posted his full review. For those interested check it our over on The Wellesley Wine Press.

Stay tuned for more on this one…

Rating: Skip It (for now)

Editor’s Note (07-Jul-2009):Updated the post to include a link to The Wellesley Wine Press review.

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36 thoughts on “2008 Blue Fin Pinot Noir

  1. @Erin: I’ll check the shelves and Order Guide tomorrow about availability. It was replaced by the Petite Sirah for a while and I think the Pinot may have been back for a second.
    I’ll let you know.

  2. I just had a glass, and my views are mixed. I’m no experience wine-o, but I’ve had my share of good pinot noirs, and I wouldn’t have guessed this one to be a pinot if I hadn’t read the label. It’s far from undrinkable for and a decent $4 summer wine, but not one I’ll go out of my way to drink in the future.

  3. on Blue Fin Pinot Noir (#8105484444 4) its “SUCKS” the bottle I bought is not good for drinking. Maybe even cooking is in question
    - richard

  4. Yeah the new 2009 Blue Fin PN is pretty good even though it’s only $3.99. I sold 3 Cases the other day after I put it on a end cap in the Wine section. We tasted it at work and everyone thought it was good for the price especially because a good PN usually goes for 10 dollars and up. I give it the 7 out of 10.

  5. I just tasted the Blue Fin Pinot Noir wine for the first time tonight and I loved it! I found the wine to be on point, and lacking in the usual bitter flavor you encounter with most inexpensive brands. Thank you Trader Joe’s, I am a friend for life!

  6. Skip it? For 4 bucks? It’s fine. It’s about a 5 buck wine, I’d say. Pinots are difficult grapes. Looking for a good cheap pinot is like looking for lips on a fish. Ain’t gonna happen.

  7. I have never not been able to finish a glass of wine, until now. This is the worst wine I have ever tasted.

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