Welcome to episode IV of my not so regular Trader Joe’s Thursday series. The good news is that while I may not have been writing that doesn’t mean I wasn’t drinking. So I say we jump right in but first a quick hat tip to Ben Simons over at Vintology (and Clint Eastwood) for inspiring the theme for our article today…
The Good: (these are future Top 10 candidates…)
- 2008 Buena Vista Pinot Noir ($10) – This one has received far ranging praise (mine included). Nice fruit but with some earthiness for balance and a screwtop to boot!
- 2010 Grifone Primitivo ($4) – Delivers nice fruit with some rustic edges all in a food (and budget) friendly package. Thanks to Under the Influence for pointing me in this direction.
- 2006 Thornwood Estates Cabernet Sauvignon ($10) – Had a taste of this at a work event and came away impressed. Certainly a big wine but nice dusty tannins too. On my shopping list…
The Bad: (or not so bad if you’re a glass half full kind of person…)
- 2010 Comique Revolution Blanc ($5) – From our friends over at the Central California Wine Warehouse who have been on a bit of a cold streak as of late. Grew on me with time but not sure enough so to buy another bottle.
- 2010 Wild Horse Pinot Noir ($15) – Not bad and from a well known producer. That said given this one runs $15 I’ll be sticking to the Buena Vista mentioned above.
- 2010 Found Object Viognier ($7) – Hmmm. My tasting note here sounds a lot better than I remember this wine. Perhaps I ought to give it another shot.
- 2010 Spiral Wines Cabernet Sauvignon ($5) – This is a favorite of many and I can see why. Not what I personally want from a Napa Cab but then again I’m never going to find that at this price point.
- 2009 Patianna Pinot Noir ($12) – Like the Thornwood I tasted this one at a work event. However unlike that one I did not come away impressed. I’ll still be sticking to the Buena Vista mentioned above.
- NV Long Arm Lot 81 ($6) – More big, overripe fruit here. Nothing offensive here but nothing redeeming either.
- 2008 Epicuro Primitivo ($5) – Now I know Jesse really liked this one and I’m certainly in the minority here as the average CellarTracker rating is 85+ but I tried it again to make sure and my opinion didn’t change much. I prefer the Grifone as this is missing (IMHO) the rusticity I seek in Italian offerings.
- 2008 Grifone Toscana ($5) – A (not so) Super Tuscan comes across a bit dense. Not bad but it comes across as rather generic.
- 2010 Big House Red ($7) – A pleasant blend of 20+ grapes with big forward fruit this lacks the acidity or tannins to balance it out.
- 2010 Sugar Pie Red ($6) – Not bad (some might say similar to the Gypsy) but too sweet for my taste.
The Ugly: (enough said…)
- 2006 Chiusa Grande Tommolo Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo ($5) – A long time fan of this one it has now fallen off the cliff like so many other former Trader Joe’s favorites. Grab the Trentatre instead.
- NV Espiral Vinho Verde Rosé ($5) – I so wanted to like this one but it was a disaster out of the gate. Ended up dumping this one down the drain which is rarer than rare (1 in every 100+ bottles) for me…
So there you have it. Which of your favorite wines am I missing out on? In addition to the Thornwood Cabernet mentioned above I have the Refosco on my shopping list but am certainly open to adding more…