2010 Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Grenache

Price: $6.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

2010 Trader Joes Petit Reserve GrenacheAs usual little to be heard here given the Trader Joe’s designation. The only thing we learn from turning the bottle around is that this one is made by the Hahn Family Wines. Checking their site shows a GSM but no varietal bottling of Grenache so it looks like we are on our own here…

What I Think:

(14.2%) Made by the Hahn Family this Grenache hails from Lodi. It starts rich, ripe and juicy with loads of black cherry flavor. A bit over the top and a touch sweet (can almost feel tomorrow’s headache…) before toning down a bit on the backend to deliver some spice on a short finish. This one could have used some acidity for balance. That said if you like your wines fruit forward (and don’t mind a touch of sweetness) this one might be for you.

Rating: Serviceable <- to absentmindedly drink but not recommended to “taste”…

2003 Red Flyer California Red

Price: $2.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per the winery “This secret blend of Syrah, Mouvedre, Grenache, Carignan, and Clone X is blended in the tradition of the French Rhone wines. Clone X, the secret ingredient, was smuggled from outer space in the hyperbolic chamber of one of the forward thinking grays.”

Also from TJ’s Fearless Flyer, “It’s a Rhone Style Red that’s made for us by Hahn Winery. It features vibrant pepper and spice with bright red fruit and well balanced acidity.”

What I Think:

A ton of intrigue here starting with one of the most curious web sites I have ever seen for a wine. Take a look for yourself! The Rhone blend is certainly interesting, never seen anything like it, it even includes some Durif which I had to look up to determine was equal to Petite Sirah. Certain this was a Trader Joe’s exclusive given the Fearless Flyer selection (why isn’t this on the web so I can link to it!) I was surprised to learn this was not a TJ’s only bottling. A quick web search showed this pricing out in the $8-$9 range here and here. How can TJ’s possibly sell this at $3…and how could anyone pay triple that… Mysteries upon mysteries!

With the wine open would they continue? They certainly would as this wine was concocted in the lab. Not an ounce of vineyard or terroir here, this wine tastes manufactured. That said, as much as I want to hold that against it, I can’t bring myself to do so. This is a big, overtop the wine. Guessing that even those that don’t care for wine might like something like this. It showed loads of fruit up front with pepper and spice intermingling towards the mid-palate leading to a pleasant finish. While not great, this is a magnificent one to have around the house to open after everyone has had a glass or two! At $3 it is hard to go wrong…

Also some more coverage in the blogsphere from justagrape.com, Wine Tastings and World Wine Weblog.

Rating: Buy It