2008 Spiral Wines Cabernet Sauvignon

2008 Spiral Wines Cabernet SauvignonPrice: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Not a word, some mumbo jumbo that had nothing to do with the wine on the bottle. A google search turned up a phone number, a call to the number led to Fior di Sole which is a premium bulk wine supplier in Napa Valley who “separates itself from the competition by creating quality, not just quantity-based lots purposed for the bulk wine market.” To wrap up the story the custom/private label winemaking unit goes by the moniker Spiral Wines. Anyhow I sent them a message, I’ll let you know should I hear anything back on the wine itself…

What I Think:

A Napa Cab for five bones? First thought, must be a Bronco Wine Co. offering in the same vain as Napa Creek or Napa Landing. If DP hadn’t tipped me off to this one in his comment I might have glossed right past it. As you can tell from the research above my initial perception was not correct. Which leads me to my next thought…is the economy really at the point where we can get a bottle of Napa Valley Cab for $4.99? It seems so, next thought. Who sold this wine off in bulk? We will likely never know. But there is one questions we can answer: Is it any good?

The nose is muted but displays some faint cherry and oak aromas. In the mouth this medium bodied efforts starts juicy before a firm acidity quickly shows itself. Towards the mid-palate cherry and plum notes emerge. These give way to a dry, herbal finish that shows a hint of creaminess on a finish that lingers nicely. As I mentioned on twitter this one grew on me with each sip. Though it shows some good pieces; fruit, creaminess, herbs and acidity, they don’t quite all come together here. That said, I see a glimpse of potential here. It is worth another bottle to see if perhaps some more time to integrate these components will treat this bottle kindly. Stay tuned…

Rating: 12th Bottle (for now…)

Anyone else out there had this one? Love to hear your thoughts.

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38 thoughts on “2008 Spiral Wines Cabernet Sauvignon

  1. I just had the ’08 Chardonnay by Spiral Wines – found it at a Safeway in Saratoga on Thanksgiving day for 3.99 or something of that order… could have also been their half case discount included.

    I really enjoyed this chardonnay – had some great minerals and body to it with a slightly citrus fruit dimension – so, seems like it didn’t see any oak like the usual California Chardonnays.
    Stopped by at my local Safeway in Marin to buy a case but didn’t find it there.

    Will have to look out for the Cab at Trader Joe’s … sounds like this could be a relatively small production run.

  2. TJ’s has the Chardonnay ($5) too and from what El Cerrito’s Captain had to say about, it should be pretty good. Heck, hard to beat the price for something that isn’t our private label or some Bronco product.
    Hoping to slide a tasting into the schedule at work this week and try some of the new stuff that came through. I’ll keep you posted.
    Psst, 2006 TJ’s Grand Reserve Napa Valley Petit Verdot ($13) just came in.
    I’ve got my 2 bottles, so y’all can have the rest ; )

    • As mentioned I was shocked that this wasn’t a Trader Joe’s exclusive. Perhaps I’ll get the Chard out tonight! Let me know on the new stuff and on the Petite Verdot as well.

      On a side note have you checked out Urbano Cellars? They are over in your neck of the woods in Emeryville and have a real nice Petite Verdot for $16. In fact they have a huge moving sale tomorrow (the move is to Alameda so even closer) and are promising substantial discounts…I am going to do my best to swing by!

    • My friend also brought over the Petite Verdot which I found to be a pretty decent wine. A little oaky but over all a good wine for $13.

  3. I am drinking the Chardonnay from Spiral Wines tonight and though it is nice I find it lacking any crispness or acidity to balance out the rich nectarine flavors. Perhaps it will grow on me but that was my initial reaction…

  4. @Jason: Hadn’t heard about them and too bad I didn’t catch the sale. Maybe next time. Do you know where they’re headed in Alameda? The old Navy base perhaps?
    Had a Weinriesling (?) B.A. from Austria at the wine bar on Monday that was delicious and only $19 for a 375 or 500 ml (I’m not remembering which) A nice gift idea for those who like unusual stickies.

  5. @Angela They are moving to the “Rock Wall” facility which is an old aircraft hangar apparently. Know where that is? Thanks for the note on the Austrian offering as well, perhaps I’ll see it on a wine list soon…

  6. The Trader Joe’s Holiday Wines email had this to say about this bottle:

    It’s a Napa Cab. Need we say more? Oh, you know we will. Big fruit, rich complexity, full body and a rounded finish – this Cabernet displays commanding aromas of blackberries, strawberries and cherries with hints of vanilla and chocolate. Yummy. Aged in French Oak for 10 months, a touch of creaminess lingers on the finish. It’s so good, you almost wish you could swim in it.

  7. Had a friend bring this wine over a few weeks ago. He work for Trader Joe’s in the wine department. The question is: Can you get a good Napa Cab for $4.99? Not here. This is light-weight crap. Don’t waste your money.

  8. Jason, any word back from Spiral?? We tried and enjoyed a bottle last night, and from the link you have to their website, it appears that there are 5 different lots of the Napa Cab? Its definitely not a bottle I would ‘lay down’ in the cellar, but was a very nice bottle for everyday drinking (without the guilt of wasting)and I was thinking of picking up a case or two, but wanted to make sure there is some consistancy.

    I love a Big Cab.. this is not that type of bottle, but if you’re looking for a very smooth drinking Napa Cab, for 4.99 – you can’t go wrong. 9we had a blind tasting with 6 different sub-$20 cabs, and this one won hands down.. and was by far the least expensive of the tasting)

  9. A friend brought me a bottle of the Spiral Cab; it was so good that it drove me to look them up, which is how I found you. I’m definitely buying more.

  10. @Michael Sorry this one didn’t work for you. Thanks for the compliment.

    @Howie I have not heard back from them. As for the five batches I didn’t read it that way. Think those are grapes that they are looking for people to buy so they can bottle them under a different private label. That said, if you find be sure to grab a bottle before stocking up. Want to make sure you are getting a wine you like. That’s why I keep a corkscrew in the car :-) Thanks for the report on the blind tasting. Any other favorite value wines to share?

    @Annis Hope you can track it down! Thanks for the comment.

    @Carolina Glad to hear you enjoyed it. Are you planning on buying more?

  11. here is the “Spiral Story”

    The Spiral Wines are produced at our Napa Facility.

    The 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet was produced form grape purchased from Rutherford and Oak Knoll. The wine spent 8 months in 75% French oak, medium toast and 25% American oak also with a medium toast.RS.02 and 13.9% alcohol.

    The 2008 Napa Valley Chardonnay was produced from grapes purchased from the Los Carneros and Oak Knoll.50/50 French & American oak with heavy toast for 3 months.RS .6 and 13.9% alcohol.

    We produce Spiral Wines exclusively for Trader Joe’s.

    We also produce another new brand called Ca’ Momi Wines – Napa. Which is available broad market.

    Our goal is to produce well balanced, accessible wines from Napa without the Napa tendencies to over complicate and overprice the wines.

    We are not looking to become the next “Cult” winery. We prefer the idea “from our house to your house wine”

    We hope you enjoy our efforts.
    cheers, jimmy

  12. I picked up the 08 Chard at Trader Joe’s over the weekend….figured it was worth a try. At $4.00 a bottle, why not? I opened it up without any expectations…or at least low expectations…I was quite surprised. What a lovely wine for $4.00. I too tried to locate a website or FB page or even find them on Twitter. Nothing.
    I am certainly going back for more and also will pick up a bottle (or five) of the Cab! Glad to see I am not the only fan!

  13. Spiral Wines is a new winery located in a “Business Park” in Napa. The location carries quite a bit less overhead than the “valley properties and they pass the savings to Trader Joe’s customers.

    Tasting Notes:

    Floral with powerful aromas of blackberries, strawberries and cherry, with Vanilla, Cocoa and chocolate gives the wine a very complex structure. Very well balanced and smooth, good acidity, with a round finish.

    This is what Trader Joe’s calls a Hustle Buy

  14. I absolutly LOVED this wine!! I just went back to TJ’s & the guy told me he just sold the last bottle. He said they’ve been selling like crazy. He recommended to buy the case if it ever come back in. He couldn’t tell me if they were going to get anymore. I will definitely take him up on his suggestion.

    • Yes it is still available, but it is what Trader Joe’s calls a hustle buy. So get as much as you can. I know this because I order the wine for Trader Joe’s at store #210 and have inside info.

  15. Was in TJ’s a few days ago, and saw this on the end of an isle. A Napa Cab for $5? Gotta have it. Popped the cork tonite. What a great red. Great oak finish. I love oak finishes in a Cab. 3 weeks ago had a $25 bottle of a local Cab from Witch Creek in Carlsbad. I liked its oak finish. Then I went in search of low priced reds under $10, and just couldn’t find a cab or anything for $10 or less that was any good and had an oak finish. The Witch Creek cab was a lark, as I just fell into their tasting room in Carlsbad and couldn’t leave without their cab. This Spiral Wine 2008 Calif Napa Cab is the closest thing I have found to a good oaky $40 cab. Yum. I will buy a few cases. Thanks for the info from Jimmy, above, about this cab. Cheers to you to Jimmy and all — Auggee.

  16. thanks to all for the great feedback on Spiral Napa Cabernet & Spiral Napa Chardonnay. We’re thrilled that you guys enjoy the wines and we will strive to keep you drinking great wines at great prices.

    (keep your eyes peeled for our Spiral Napa Sauvignon Blanc coming soon)

  17. Jimmy, A low priced Saugnon Blanc from Napa Valley–that sounds like it could have some really good potential. I’ll be on the lookout for it. Do you know when and where it will appear at Trader Joe’s?

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