Price: $13.99 @ Trader Joe’s
What They Said:
90 points Wine Enthusiast: Currently hard and tart in acids and tannins, but loaded with sweet, ripe fruit, this Pinot is silky enough to drink now, which most consumers probably will. But if you give it until sometime in 2010, the cherries, cola, sandalwood and spices will mesh and improve.” (12/09)
89 points Wine Spectator Review: Ripe, floral, perfumed aromas of black cherry and raspberry are pure and zesty. Full-bodied, balanced and delicate, showing just the right touch of acidity and tannins, with pleasant mineral and earth notes. Drink now through 2012.
What I Think:
As you know Trader Joe’s has been flush in reasonably priced, well made Pinot. It started with the Castle Rock, then the Caretaker to the Davis Bynum followed by the Sebastopol Hills…you get the idea. And I haven’t even tried the Lane Tanner offerings yet! Next on that list is this MacMurray Ranch which is part of the Gallo brand portfolio. Suggested retail price on this bottle is $24 and it primarily sourced from the Olson Ranch in the Santa Lucia Highlands. What about the juice inside you say…
This one is like sticking your nose in a berry patch, complete with leaf and brambly accents. Very inviting begs you to dive in and delivers loads of juiciness when you do. Nice acidity emerges towards the mid-palate and is balanced by a nice cranberry component that is present throughout. The finish is tart but pleasant (reminded me exactly of Ocean Spray Cranberry juice) and has a spicy (clove) kick that lingers on long after you have put the glass down. A nice wine that delivers on the price point. That said I would go lower than the 90 from Wine Enthusiast and maybe even the 89 from Wine Spectator on this one. My ultimate gauge, would I buy it again? For $10 I would. At $14 I’m on the fence, we will see next time I hit the store!