2009 Tribunal Cellars Red

2009 Tribunal Cellars RedPrice: $16.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per the “top secret” Trader Joe’s spec sheet “Aromas of raspberry and sage combine with a mouthful of chocolate richness to uniquely express our part of California. Prime rib or a juicy T-bone with garlicy rabe are the first things we think of when we sip this wine.”

What I Think:

Tribunal Cellars Red Shelf Talker(15.6%) 26% Zinfandel, 22% Petite Sirah, 30% Syrah, and 22% other Rhone and Bordeaux varietals – Starts on the downside of up as it is only available via 1.5L bottles (this is the 2nd batch of 2009 and the first to appear as only magnums) which makes me feel like I am being hustled at this price point. That said this wine is big from the get go but integrated. Juicy and focused with spiced fruit turning a bit sweet on the backbone. From there it turns dry on a leathery spiced finish with tangy tannins. Big for me but I know many prefer this style and you could do far worse. For those lucky enough to be spending some time in the mountains this seems like a perfect wine to have by the fire after a day on the slopes…

Wine Geek Notes: ABV per bottle is 15.1%; 7 Months in oak, 25% New French & American; 17 cases to a store, 6 bottles to case

Rating: Buy It

2005 Kunde Estate Chardonnay

Price: $9.99 @ Friend/Gift

What They Said:

Per wine.com “Soft and round with a vibrant mix of fruit flavors, this elegantly styled Chardonnay lets its green apple and melon nuances play out on a gentle frame of toast and vanilla. The ripe fruit is highlighted by a subtle herb component that gives added complexity to its lengthy finish.”

What I Think:

We had some friends over for dinner last night and this bottle arrived with them. Was in TJ’s a few days ago and looking for white wines in particular. I picked this one up but passed. I am not a huge California Chardonnay fan so the price point was a bit much for me. If you are a fan though, certainly give this one a try. On a side note, how much Chardonnay do they have at TJ’s, wow? There has to be some good cheap ones, any suggestions?

Rating: Skip It