2008 Santa Barbara Landing Pinot Noir

2008 Santa Barbara Landing Pinot NoirPrice: $3.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer (pdf) “Oh, how we love a good wine. But what we love even more is a good wine at a great value. That’s why we like Santa Barbara Landing Pinot Noir so much. You would, in ordinary circumstances, expect to pay considerably more for a wine of this quality from the Santa Barbara region. These, however, are extraordinary times in which we live, and it seems that extraordinary times produce both extraordinary wines and extraordinary values. Santa Barbara Landing Pinot Noir is a silky red wine crafted from grapes grown throughout the coastal vineyards of the Santa Barbara growing region. At first blush, you’ll notice aromas of strawberry, cherry and cedar. At first sip, the berries burst on your tongue and mingle with a bit of oaky-ness that leads to soft tannins and a smooth finish. This is an excellent wine to serve with our Vintage Reserve Cheddar (p. 7) and makes a cheery companion to our Stuffed Pork Chops (p. 21) at dinnertime. At $3.99 a bottle, this wine is a really terrific value that won’t be around forever. Get yours while it lasts, because when it’s gone we can’t guarantee we can get more.”

What I Think:

2008 Santa Barbara Landing Pinot Noir (color in bottle)(13.5%) On the lighter side (see picture) but the right color. Garnet at the core with light reddish, orange edges. Right nose as it shows some strawberry notes with cloves. On the palate it is smooth and goes down easy. Rich but decent acidity with fake oak creaminess and manageable heat on the finish. It is clear this is nowhere near 100% Pinot and I’m guessing Syrah is its partner in crime. Far better than the Blue Fin offering Bronco put out last year. I’d have to say it is drinkable in a lighter, generic red kind of way. That said for $4 it could be far worse. I’d like to be harsher but while I won’t be buying this wine I have a hard time telling you not to if you were initially inclined to do so…

Rating: Skip It

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10 thoughts on “2008 Santa Barbara Landing Pinot Noir

  1. I was only slightly more positive on this one than you:

    “Visually, it looks like a really nice Pinot Noir. Lacks fruit on the nose – a little musty. Muddled on the palate. Slightly bitter aftertaste. That said, it could be a lot worse for $3.99.” 83/100 points

  2. I’ve tried this one and couldn’t make it through two glasses… Some times you just strike out when you are only willing to spend four dollars on a bottle… Such is life!

  3. I haven’t run across any American Pinots under$9 that I liked so far. I’d rather spend my $3.99 on the Villa Cerinna, Autumnus or the TJ’s Coastal Syrah.
    Some day things will settle back down at work and we can get down to some Tastings.

  4. According to Wikipedia, this is also a Bronco wine.

    I agree with Angela – there are no bargain Pinot Noir under $10 to be found.

  5. I have to agree, this isn’t the best wine you could get. Trader Joe’s wine and other asortment of liquor tends to be disappointing. Cheap but it will give you one killer hang out. It’s surprising because Santa Barbara has some great wineries, why can’t they invest in getting some of these!? I love shopping ant TJ’s when I’m in the area but I tend to skip over their liquor. If you want to experience real wine, try wine tasting in the area! Award winning and well worth the time and money. Great place to stay if you are planning on doing it is the South Coast Inn (www.santa-barbara-hotel.com). Elegant and readily close to the vineyards!

  6. Trader Joes isn’t really the best place to buy any kind of liquor. I’ve had a few bad run ins with their knocks off that left me never wanting to drink again the next day. Especially in wine country-you would expect more from the wine! It’s cheap and I can see it being OKAY if it isn’t for a special event. Regardless -skip it. I wine taste in SB all the time and I would never want to ruin the experience with cheap wine. Love staying at the Sandman Inn (www.thesandmaninn.com) whenever I am there as well-always a good time and a cheap place too!

  7. This wine is no longer available at TJ’s. Stuart wants to paint all TJ’s wine with the same stripe, but $4 Pinot Noir is never going to be good. TJ’s has some amazing bargains, but you mostly won’t find those in under $10 wines. If you want a table wine, this “Santa Barbara” wouldn’t do it, either. Bronco probably provides the great majority of TJ wine under $6, and they’re interested in dumping large quantities of juice. Let’s all be realistic – it is the very lucky person, indeed, who discovers a fantastic wine for less than $10. But drinkable values exist – just don’t expect them to shine.

    TJ’s is the king of good wine in the $7 to $15 range, and no other retail grocer can make that claim. And they also stake out the bottom end – Charles Shaw varietals are among their most purchased products every day in every store. You can find good wines at TJ’s, but you can also find a lot of cheap wine. Convince yourself that it’s good, and save beaucoup. Or keep to the good stuff.

  8. Howdy,

    Yeah, our truly best deals are the close outs we receive from established wineries looking to reduce their inventory as well as our private label offerings.
    Current example: 2006 Buena Vista Merlot: Winner of a Silver Medal in the 2010 SF Chronicle Wine Competition $20-24.99 category. Our price: $8.99. Tasting notes from the winery looked good enough for me to put a side stack in my store but I haven’t tasted it yet since it just came in last night.

    IMO, there is a big difference in quality between cheap wine and moderately inexpensive/value offerings. Good Pinot is grown in cool places and do not come cheap. The cheap ones are grown all over the place and have other grapes like Syrah in them to help with body, etc.
    Santa Barbara is a fabulous place for wine, but this label is not.

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