2008 Rabbit Ridge Allure de Robles

2008 Rabbit Ridge Allure de RoblesPrice: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

As many of you know I’ve long been a fan of the Allure de Robles so I was excited to hear from the winemaker, Erich Russell, that the 2008 vintage would be hitting Trader Joe’s shelves soon. He also had this to say: “The good news is that there is way less alcohol 14.8 instead of 15.3 on the 2007. There are less harsh tannins making the wine even more balanced. This vintage has been the fastest selling vintage around the United States of any Allure de Robles. There is very little Petite Sirah in this vintage and much more Grenache. The very bad news is that since this wine was selling so fast around the country Trader Joes will be getting about 25% less than the 2007.” With Erich’s warning I grabbed a bunch as soon as I saw it.

What I Think:

The nose is big and full of, well I want to say jamberry bramble. Given that is from one of the many children’s books I have memorized why don’t I say brambly red and blackberry aromas so it is more comprehensible. With the wine in my glass I readied myself for the fruit explosion but it never materialized. The front of the palate is loaded with earthy, red fruits on a vanilla bean backbone. These fruits are balanced by a black pepper acidity which not only keeps them in check but dominates the back end of the palate and lingers on through the finish. This wine is much truer to it Rhone style than the previous vintage. I wonder how much lower (’07 was ~28%) on the Syrah/Petite Sirah, I’ll shoot Erich an email and see if I can’t get the final blend percentage. This one is smooth and easy to drink, my favorite yet! Stock up while you can and grab this one next time you are headed out to fire up the grill…

Rating: Bulk Buy

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20 thoughts on “2008 Rabbit Ridge Allure de Robles

  1. I have to say even though that this wine is a Rhone style, I think it is very similar to the Chariot with very jammy and fruit forward flavor. I liked last years Rabbit Ridge more then this years even with the high alcohol percentage. I though last years had more body and was very well balanced for being such high in alcohol content. Trader Joe’s will be getting a Melbec under the VINTJS label that I have been told is very good, so keep a look out. Also the word is that next years (2011) wines that are under Trader Joe’s private labels are going to be from some big well know wineries that are having a hard time selling there 25 to 50 dollar wines. Knowing that, most of them should be a bargain from 9.99 to 12.99.

  2. @Danny I almost included your shift from “Avoid It” on the ’07 to “Bulk Buy” on this one to emphasize the quality!

    @Eric I know you are familiar with the book, make sure you get familiar with the wine too!

    @JB I see some similarities, to me the immediate difference that pops into mind is the sweetness of the Gypsy. Interesting you liked last years version better. Perhaps I’ll do a side by side of the two. Thanks for the tip on he Malbec! As for the VINTJS insight guessing the next 18 months are going to be a great time, across the board, for us wine shoppers from a value perspective…

  3. @JB Thanks for the Heads-up. I hadn’t heard about the VINTJS Malbec yet. Do you know if it will it be domestic or imported?
    I’ve actually liked every release of the VINTJS wines we’ve had in the store.
    Really good wines at a great price.

    The TJ’s Reserve wines ($10) are also wonderful and for the price point many of them are hard to beat. If I remember correctly, I think we have (in my store in NCA) a Sonoma Coast Zin, a Dry Creek Cab and an excellent Paso Robles Syrah under this label at the moment. (I’ll check when I get to work today)

    Looking forward to doing a Tasting next week in preparation for the May Flyer. TN to follow.
    Planning on doing the Albarino & Viognier($7)as well as a couple of the new Spanish wines ($6-7)we just got in and the Flyer wines.

    So bummed that my store missed out on the second shipment of the Rabbit. We tried to order 60 cases and we didn’t a single one. : (

  4. The Trader Joe’s in Orange is now sold out of this beauty. And the wine manager for the TJ’s @Walnut and Culver in Irvine says the end cap display for Rabbit Ridge came down last week because most of his supply for the Rabbit has been sold. I noticed there were only about 18 bottles left on that store’s shelf.

  5. Initially I found this to be big and jammy up front, almost like an Aussie Shiraz but a strain of pepper in the middle kept it from being overly fruity. Like you said, this will be nice to have around as the grill is coming out of hibernation.

  6. We bought 4 cases of this wine at local TJ’s, everyone that has tried it, has been very impressed with its balance, even more when we told them the price, STOCK UP!

  7. Once again, almost all the stock at my local TJ’s was bought up by one person around 4-21. You’d think one case would be enough.

  8. I regret not having purchased more of this lovely and jammy wine. This is a real find that is now sold out in Chula Vista and, as I understand, the rest of San Diego County. I hope this little gem returns one day in the future.

  9. To date, this has been TJ’s #1, wine of the year, IMHO, and it’s disappearing from the TJ’s in my area. Grab some while you can for a sure winner.

  10. I don’t know when we bought ours & I didn’t even know for sure we bought it at TJ’s until I saw this blog, but I sure wish we bought more…but only to sell to you guys. I was very disappointed. It tasted very much like grape juice to me. It is just too smooth. I don’t taste any of the black pepper nor the vanilla bean.

    While I do think many of the cheaper wines are drinkable & dare I say somewhat good nowadays, there is still a reason the higher priced wines tend to get the higher points. IMHO, this wine is aptly priced at $5.

    • Nice set up! You got me. I’m guessing you could have made a pretty penny selling this one. I, like you, believe that a minority of wines that are higher priced deliver more. The problem is I am twice as disappointed when they don’t! I think the $12-$20 price range is one of the hardest to buy a wine in. As a personal example I’ll offer that I like this wine as much as every 1 out of 2 bottles I buy in that price range. Have any faves you want to share? Always happy to try something new that comes recommended!

  11. I just found your blog and it is good to know there are others out there looking for great deals on awesome wines. The Rabbit Ridge has become one of my favorites. My only regret is that I didn’t buy several cases when I had the chance. I will be checking back to see what other great finds you come across.

  12. Pingback: Wine Wednesday: Rabbit Ridge Allure de Robles 2009 « Petite Chablis

  13. Jason,
    Is there really a 2009 vintage of Rabbit Ridge Allure out there already? I called 2 TJ’s locations (both in Concord) and they have no idea.

  14. I got word that the 2009 Rabbit Ridge is going to be in the February Flyer that is mailed out the 2nd week of Feb. I have tried the 2009 Rabbit Ridge that I found at Total Wines and More and I was a little disappointed. I hope that this is a different bottling because if not it going to be a downer.

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