2006 Chateau Chevalier Pinot Noir

Price: $9.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

2006 Chateau Chevalier Pinot NoirBarely a whisper of this one on their site. Being a fan of their Cab offering and initially giving this bottle the once over I become suspect. But the facts check out. I had just never noticed that Chateau Chevalier is made by Spring Mountain Vineyard (perhaps a 2nd label? The ’06 Spring Mountain Pinot went for $55) and comes in a bottle unbefiiting of the projected quality. All indications are that the same team and same effort is involved here and, as mentioned, given I am a fan of the Cab that is a good thing. Despite that the only mention from the winery is a “coming soon” designation on their awards page.

What I Think:

So what’s in the bottle? In a word “disappointment”. The brownish, amber color on this one makes it look beyond its years. The nose starts super promising with dried cherry and black tea aromas. In the mouth this one starts flat with thin cherry flavors (and an accompanying acidity for balance) and sadly never changes before eventually drying out to a moderate tannic finish. It almost tasted as if its best days were behind it. Given the color I wonder if that wasn’t the case. Either way, quite a letdown!

Rating: Skip It

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7 thoughts on “2006 Chateau Chevalier Pinot Noir

  1. What a bummer! I love the Cab too.
    Guess I won’t waste good Tasting time on this one. I’ll see if the Blocks SB from NZ is in and try it instead. Can’t wait to try the Rutherford Meritage as it’s back in for a minute. : )

    New Stuff Alert!: Several new VINTJS bottlings coming y’all’s way in the next few weeks according to the NCA Order Guide:
    Rutherford Cabernet: $9
    Red Rhone Blend: $8
    Central Coast Syrah: $7(?)

  2. Thanks for the heads-up. I was going to buy a bottle of this wine but not I wont.

    Yeah we are getting the TJ Reserve Meritage and I can’t wait. This was one of my favorites when we had it the last time. I saw that we we’re getting Red Rhone Blend but I didn’t see the Rutherford Cab. I will have to look up to see if we (So Ca) will get it. I saw the we will be getting a VINTJS Pinot Noir and also a Pinot Grigio. I didn’t see the Coast Syrah either so I will hae to take a look for that as well.

    If you haven’t tried it yet Jason and if you have it in the Trader’s near you, try the Trader Joe’s Reserve Syrah. I have had many customers tell me that this is one of the best wine we have right now. It’s a wine that has good heat with and a wine that has a great lingering taste.

  3. Couldn’t agree more with you Jason. We had a wine tasting at my TJs and universally this wine came out the lowest (Hamilton & Stevens Pinot Noir was most popular). It lacked any sort of umph that made it distinguishable or to be frank, enjoyable. For nearly 10 bucks, I could have gotten 5 bottles of Two Buck Chuck which would have made better cooking wine for the price.

    When our 4 cases arrived, we had a small tower display, quickly bottles disappeared, now we have approx one case left which is just sitting on the shelf, not moving…

  4. @JB: Try the Meritage with the Mahon cheese: Awesome!

    I agree about the Reserve Syrah. One of the best private label red wines we’ve carried so far this year. Big black cherry/plum flavors then clean & delicious. No over-extracted friut bomb here.
    It’s like America meets France and they decide to be friends in your mouth. : )

  5. @Angela Glad I could help you skip this one… Quite disappointing. Thanks for the heads up on the new stuff headed our way! Hope all is well.

    @JB The Meritage huh? Looks like there is a ton of new TJ’s branded stuff on the horizon. I’ll look to the three of you here to help me navigate it as I’ll have a hard time trying ‘em all. Especially those north of six bones. That said sounds like I can start with the Reserve Syrah. I’ll keep my eyes our for that one.

    @MattRyan Thanks for the comment here and glad we connected on twitter. As mentioned, glad to know I can look forward to opening the Hamilton & Stevens Pinot Noir. I think I was able to track the H&S to Grove Street Winery who are affiliated with Windsor Vineyards where their Russian River Pinot goes for $28

  6. Dear Jason,

    I have to strongly disagree with you. Those who are looking for (and enjoy), or for that matter ‘expecting’ a California style Pinot will not appreciate this wine. However, The Ch. Chevalier Pinot will remind some of a sensibly made bourguignon by a frenchman, for a fraction of the price.

    You have to get off the candy one day to appreciate dessert! By the way,I agree; The Cab is quite A VALUE!

    Look forward to your reply.


  7. I bought the 06 pinot yesterday. I needed a few drink now pinot’s and I saw an 06 and thought 10 dollars wasn’t too much of a risk. I just poured a glass. Let it sit. It is drinking nicely. Dried fruit, not fruit forward or bright like you would expect a pinot. Drinking beautifully. Well worth $10.00!

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