I got home today and low and behold who wanted to recommend my Thanksgiving Wines (and my meal too!) but Trader Joe’s. Their Food Pilgrimager was loaded with everything you needed to make a feast and the wines to go along with it. So what did they have in mind?
A series of reds from Fife Vineyards to start. Information on these seems sparse, unless the vintage on these is ’05 or ’06, which I am guessing it is not, it looks as if this winery has been laying low for a few years. The latest vintage shown on their trade site is 2005. Perhaps they are once again emerging. These are followed by two offerings from the Novella Synergy label which is made by Eos Estates. I’ve previously enjoyed the white but been a bit indifferent to the red. I do have a few friends that dig it though so perhaps I’ll give it another try. And last up, one more blend from Robert Hall, this one is the ’06 Rhone de Robles which retails on the winery site for $12. Early comments here on the site are positive. For 33% percent I’ll give this one a shot.
Have any of you had these wines? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Now let’s get to what Trader Joe’s had to say about these wines…
Let liquid inventory leftover from a winery sale linger? We think not. Tap those barrels and tanks! And that’s what we did when we collaborated with the Fife team, including consulting winemaker Alison Crowe, to create bottles of unique Fife Wine blends. Leveraging the wealth of pedigree varietals and the skill of blending visionaries, we developed a line of reds, each with a distinct character and layers of subtle complexities. They are all exceptional and the essence of great value – $6.99 for each 750 ml bottle.
Fife Cabernet: Alluring and rich. Ripe blackberry flavors with hints of cassis and subtle rose petal aromas. Classically big with well-integrated tannins. Ovation worthy (standing) finish.
Fife Petite Sirah: Petite? Only in name. This PS boasts generous fruit – cherry, plum & dark berries burst in the mouth. Smooth and sprightly – a well-structured blend with medium tannins and a long, balanced finish.
Fife Zinfandel: Inviting – like a warm hug with the right amount of squeeze. Juicy cherries and warm, sweet cloves harmonize with soft French oak. The finish holds on just long enough.
Fife Max Cuvée: Layered. Lovely. Dynamic. This quintessential cuvée fills the mouth with jammy red raspberry and blackberry fruit flavors that unveil splendid earthly accents – chocolate, pepper, tea…? What do you taste? Pure poetry.
The winemaker’s chef-d’oeuvre, cuvées combine the flavor and structural properties of various varietals to create a deliberate profile that supercedes the sum of its parts. That’s why we think a great cuvée captures (in a glass) the spirit of this American holiday. Crafted from fruit grown in the distinguished Paso Robles region, these wine blends reverberate with energy.
Novella Synergy Red 2007: Jazz in a bottle ala Armstrong, “play the good kind.” Oak-aged 37% Petite Sirah, 25% Zinfandel, 20% Merlot, 18% Sangiovese harmonize into a smooth, juicy voice. Spicy blackberry aromas lead to cherry & raspberry flavors with subtle earthy hints (chocolate?). Finishes long, leaving notes of berry and spice lingering. Playful, complementary, razzmatazz-lu-lu-bazz in a $6.99 bottle.
Novella Synergy Blanc 2008: 70% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Pinot Grigio, 8% Muscat Canelli &7% Chardonnay, it exudes “excited conversation” character. Aromas of fresh grass and flavors of green apple lead to a light sweetness and a clean, citrus-y finish. Pleasantly persistent effervescence permeates, perpetuating the charisma. As does the price of $4.99 for a bottle.
Robert Hall 2006 Rhone de Robles: Pours from the bottle or the decanter gracefully; plays well with eclectic palates; wears a big bow beautifully – a sociable red. Hand-harvested, oak aged grapes – 46% Grenache, 45% Syrah, 6% Cinsaut and 3% Counoise – fragrant with fresh berries & clove, it fills the mouth with cherry and cranberry flavors, delicately offset by silky tannins and hints of black pepper and spice. A bottle is $11.99 – begging for a party.