Trader Joe’s Thursday Vol. V

2008 Buena Vista Pinot NoirAs you’ll likely see I shared my thoughts on the Bonterra Rose ($3) but definitely have a multitude of other Trader Joe’s wines on my radar. First and foremost is the Buena Vista Pinot Noir which I have been drinking and enjoying on a regular basis. I am now a case+ into this one and headed out to do yet another bulk buy over the weekend. Folks if you’ve yet to try this one please do. Definitely justifying its position as the #1 rated wine on my Trader Joe’s Top 10 Wine List. In my minds eye it is the best of the best for what you will find in a $10 Pinot.

Outside of that there are a number of other wines I am looking to pick up starting with the Floriana Gruner from Hungary ($6 via Viva la Wino), the Vin Koru New Zealand Sauv Blanc ($6 via Brian who is a wine guy at the La Jolla Trader Joe’s), the latest vintage of the Tribunal ($10 via many; my thoughts on the ’09 here) and finally the Yountville Meritage ($13 via Angela and JB) version of the Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve label. I’ll let you know what I track down but in the meantime please let me know if I am missing any of your new (or old) favorites…

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12 thoughts on “Trader Joe’s Thursday Vol. V

  1. Yes, I completely agree with you on the Buena Vista – a great deal for a $10 pinot. Other <$10 TJ wines I like now are the Hillgate zinfandel from Lake County ($7) and Sauvignon Republic sauvignon blanc from New Zealand ($6 or $7). Thanks for your reviews – enjoy reading them!

  2. Small correction, the current offered Vin-Kuru is a Pinot Gris, not a Sav Blanc (though it shares many characteristics with NZ Sav Blanc from the volcanic soil, yet is a bit fuller bodied0. It is temporarily out at the So Cal ware house, not sure about Nor Cal or elsewhere.

    @ Randal… The Sauvignon Republic from NZ is one of my favorite wines this past year or two. This was a failed project of a few (big) winemakers that was made in Russian River Valley (CA), South Africa, as well as plans to expand to all growing areas that cater to Sauvignon Blanc… I’m still blown away that TJ’s was able to take over the Marlborough juice with the wines quality (at 1/3 the initial price!).

    One you missed that I can’t wait to taste now in stores is the Knight’s Valley Meritage $9.99 (Eastern Most AVA of Sonoma, directly south of Napa).

  3. Just wondering if any of you tried the 2009 “C” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (label with a big C, made by Obsessed Vintner)? I have heard good things about it but hesitant to pay $20 for a mystery wine.

    Also spotted the 2010 Linen Red blend at a TJ store today.

    • The “C” Cab is great! It is still a little young but once it opens up it is very drinkable. In that price range I always recommend either it or the Franciscan Napa Cab.

      • Also, I found the Linen to be fantastic for the price. It is mainly Cab Sav and Syrah, with 10% merlot and 10% malbec. It is not as complex and full bodied as the Tribunal, but is a great smooth easy drinking blend.

    • I thought the C cab from Napa was awesome! I almost drove 8 miles to buy more. Full bodied slight berry aftertaste, no oak taste. Really great for the price. It may be young but this is why I use a wine diffuser.

  4. Just a heads up the Southern California warehouse is depleted of the Bonterra Rose, If you see it on the shelf or a display and wanted to stock up, pick it up now. I’m not sure about other areas but we blew through our allotment in a few days.

    • I forgot to mention both the Vin-Kuru as Tribunal are depleted as well, but most stores should have a decent supply of Tribunal if they ordered for displays.

  5. I recently relocated to the Southern California area and frequent the Trader Joe’s in West LA. The wine selection doesn’t seem as interesting and unique as it did several years ago at the Crystal Cove location. I’m looking for insider tips on hidden gems. Right now I’m sipping their La Loggia Barbaresco. Thanks so much, I appreciate your thoughts.

  6. Jason,

    Thanks for the link to my blog post about the Hungarian Gruner. Next to a Hunter Valley Semillon from Australia I picked up a few years ago, one of the most unique offerings from Trader Joe’s I’ve come acrosss. Six bucks is a pretty crazy good price, too. Look forward to your thoughts.



  7. Hey everybody,

    OK, the Gruner is back on the shelves, I sold the last of my Tribunal last weekend and there are several private label offerings that look interesting:
    2009 TJ’s Reserve GSM Paso Robles: $9.99
    (forgot the year) TJ’s Reserve Meritage Knights Valley
    (80% Merlot/20% Petit Verdot): $9.99
    TJ’s Petit Reserve Semillion Napa Valley: $5.99
    (Made by the same winemaker as the VINTJS Sauvignon Blanc)
    Just waiting for Management to make time for Tastings again…..

  8. Rumor has it that the “C” Napa Valley cabernet is made by Caymus Vineyards. If that is true then the $20 bucks a bottle is a steal compared to what some of they’re other wines are selling for. Cheers!

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