Trader Joe’s Wines – Top 10 Wine List

2008 Buena Vista Pinot NoirJust joining in? Thanks for stopping by. Please consider adding me to your RSS feed, following along via Facebook or twitter to stay up to date. In the mean time I hope you find something you enjoy…

1. 2008 Buena Vista Pinot Noir ($10) – Angela turned me on to this one via commenting on my previous Top 10 list. Now it is on top. A $10 varietally correct Pinot is a very hard thing to come by in the wine world. I’m about 8 bottles into this one now and still enjoying it…

2. 2006 Lance & Windmill Petite Syrah ($15) – Yes pricey (and perhaps even illegal!) for the top 10 list at $15 but such legit juice (and a confirmed $60 bottle from Quixote Winery). This one is juicy, rich and velvety and ready to pair with your next steak or cigar.

3. 2010 Seismic Sauvignon Blanc ($8) – The list of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc values coming out of Trader Joe’s is legendary. Well add another to the list with the Seismic. Bright, round, juicy and refreshing. Spring is already here which means summer is just around the corner. Time to stock up now!

4. 2009 Linen Red ($9) – Hailing from the Columbia Valley and made by Bergevin Lane this red blend was appealing with rich fruit and nicely grained tannins. It had that little something extra (and avoided being sweet) that made it more enjoyable then similar offerings like the Ménage à Trois. That said I’ve yet to try a full bottle; given that a risky pick in the four slot. I better get on that…

5. 2009 Trentatre Rosso ($6) – A long-time favorite this offering has previously graced the #1 spot in my Top 10 list multiple times. I was nearly flabbergasted when it did so again with its easy drinking, rustic, food friendly style. I think most stores are now on to the 2010 which I’ve yet to try but fingers crossed the drop off is not significant…

6. 2009 Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve ($7) – Another long-time friend this one is from the stellar 2009 vintage in the Rhone. Bright, fruity, spicy and delicious. Should only get better with age to boot. I stashed a case of this one but like the Trentatre I think most stores are now on to the 2010 vintage which given this one’s track record I am sure is still worth the money.

7. 2008 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carmenere ($8) – It has been a few years since I’ve had this but a recent taste let me know this one is still delivering QPR. I’ve enjoyed many vintages of this wine (often referring to it as “old dependable”) and I remember it for its dark fruit, smoky meat, spice and herbal notes; always on top of a nice structure. Hard to go wrong at $8…

8. 2010 Dr. Beckermann Piesporter Michelsberg Riesling Spatlese ($5) – Another long-time favorite this is the go to wine in my house with Asian food. Light (9%abv), easy, and off dry. Just a touch sweet, with a slight mineral acidity to keep the finish fresh and pleasing. Could work well as an aperitif (and for many a non wine drinker) too…

9. 2010 Rabbit Ridge Allure de Robles ($5) – I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again; I think Erich Russell, the founder at Rabbit Ridge, makes the most honest $5 bottle of wine you are likely to find. Lucky for us this 2010 is still out on the shelves. Juicy with lush, peppery cherry fruit this one is big and spicy. As mentioned previously get it while you can as the 2011 vintage was nearly wiped out by hail. I grabbed a few more yesterday.

10. 2010 Trader Joes Petit Reserve Refosco ($7) – Yip Refosco. It was new to me and I’m guessing it is new to you. Well this is a bit of a cheat (with 25% Merlot) but… Ripe, smooth and balanced by a nice earth and spice leading to rustic finish. A food friendly offering that makes me want to explore this grape further…

And a few wild cards (it seems stock is already limited on these…)
2010 Grifone Primitivo ($4) – A great little cooking wine and maybe even more…if you can find it.
2006 Thornwood Cabernet Sauvignon ($10) – Another I’ve yet to try a bottle of but nice fruit with dusty tannins. Worth checking out if you can…

And for the special selections if looking for bubbly or dessert…
Bubbly: NV Zonin Prosecco Brut ($6)
Dessert: NV Porto Morgado Ruby Port ($7)

I do realize selection is varied from store to store and being in Northern California I see a fair share of wines that don’t make it much further. If you aren’t finding these take a look at my list of the Top 10 “Classic” wines which should (hopefully) be available at your local Trader Joe’s. Otherwise I look forward to hearing your thoughts on these or any that I may be missing via the comments below…

This list was last updated on March 28, 2012. To check out the Trader Joe’s Top 10 archives click here.

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228 thoughts on “Trader Joe’s Wines – Top 10 Wine List

  1. @Mary: Which Lane Tanner did you have?
    There are 3 different “blocks” (vineyards) that have little fun notes on them. I’d like to do a side-by-side against the Cambria and see who wins. Updates at the end of the month after Inventory. ; )

  2. OK – Time to know that there are a few bottles left of ROBERT STEMMLER Pinot Noir; (Nugent Vinyard) $40 at winery $20 at Trader Joe’s and one of the very best Pinot’s – PERIOD!

  3. Bit behind on replying but here to catch up now! Apologies all…

    @RJ sounds like the Trentatre was a mixed bag for you. Here you on Montepulciano. Big fan of Tommolo…

    @Carmen I haven’t had the Salice Salentino in a while. Just added it to my shopping list to check in on the latest vintage!

    @Lara Glad to help!

    @Angela Didn’t notice that on the Sekt, I’ll have to pay attention to my next bottle, hopefully the New Year is off to a great start and you are getting the opportunity to try more wines… Let me know if you have any new faves to share!

    @Mary Guessing I missed the boat on the Lane Tanner but will keep my eye out when I visit this week. I’ve heard from many that enjoy. Many, including Jerry here, are also fans of the Robert Stemmler, have you had that one?

    @Natalia Though there is a lightening rods worth of opinions on the Honeymoon I am still a fan! Thanks for the comment.

    @Jerry Thanks for the tip! On my shopping list and hoping to find it…

    @Sarah Looks like we have tried some of the same wines. I made note of the Domaine Ste. Michelle: Brut which I added to my shopping list. Thanks for the comment!

  4. Pingback: FOOD LEAGUE » Blog Archive » A Guide to Buying Wine at Trader Joe’s

  5. You’ve really missed one that is one of my just under $10 finds – The 2006 Trader Joe’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon for $9.99 – is amazing!

    I serve this when having a small dinner party – a jammy cab that has a finish of fresh coconut – an amazing experience needless to say. Served with earthy dishes like my mushroom & caramelized onion crostini, and a Belletolle Triple Cream Brie – heaven in a bottle :)

  6. I second Cliff’s recommendation. If anything the reserve zinfandel is even better than the cab- much more jammy and massive with well over 15% ABV, but the alcohol is amazingly well integrated. Then there’s the reserve syrah, which unlike the other two is organically grown. While very pleasant, I didn’t taste anything to quite justify the $9.99 price.

  7. If u can find the “Reserve Cab” 07 Dry Creek Valley” Get it! Now out of stock and will no longer be available. 2005 VINTJS Napa Cabernet still available and very excellent at $9.99.

    OK HERE we GO! :-) The CHARIOT will be back before the end of February!

    Another Great Wine for $3 is the 100% Sangiovese – Il Volore Yikes amazing for $3!!

  8. @Cliff Thanks for the tip, does it have a designation for Napa or something of the sort? I know there are a few of these out there and want to make sure I grab the right one.

    @Don Thanks for seconding Cliff’s recommendation. Do you know if it has a AVA designated? How about the Zin? Is it made by Atlas Peak?

    @Jerry Lot’s of love here for the Trader Joe’s Reserve Cab and Zin! Thanks for recommending. As for the ’08 Gypsy, my sources say it will appear in the TJ’s Fearless Flyer on Feb. 16th so stay tuned. And lastly, I’m a big fan of the Il Valore Sangiovese as well, perfect for cooking and sipping at the same time!

  9. Come to think of it I can’t even be sure Cliff and I were talking about the same reserve cab, so to say there are a few of these out there is an understatement! I will have to get back to you with more information on that one.

    The reserve zin I’m referring to is 2007 and says Sonoma County on the front. CellarTracker has a picture: http://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=722996

    There is also a 2008 reserve zin that instead specifies Dry Creek Valley in the same spot on the front, pictured here: http://tj25wine.blogspot.com/2009/12/tjs-reserve-dry-creek-zinfandel.html
    My store does not yet carry this 2008.

  10. No problem. The 2006 reserve cab has a label with a completely different design, as can be seen here http://traderjoeswine.blogspot.com/2009/08/2006-trader-joes-reserve-cabernet.html
    The front just says CA. The back specifies Rutherford, Napa and that it was produced by Stonehedge.

    Then there is the Dry Creek reserve cab mentioned by Jerry. That’s another one I haven’t seen in person, but its label is apparently in the same style as the reserve zins I linked to in my previous post.

    At least with their “Grand Reserve” line, which is $12.99 here, TJs seems to stick with a single design: http://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=746299

  11. HERE IT IS!!! Gypsy 2008 is now available! My opinion is that this is the best of the last three releases. Still a bit new in the bottle (about 3 weeks) BUT outstanding at $5. This is mostly (72%) Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. The balance is Sanjo, Cabernet and tiny amounts of Merlot and Syrah. Pretty big for so young a wine (medium-full body) Great deep color and excellent nose. My guess—put this away for six or mor months and it will be even greater. BUT eaisly drinkable now. Congrats to Jime Neal and TJ’s!!!

  12. NOTE! The Robert Stemmler Pinot is almost completely gone! There will ber some available in only a few locations. This was a ‘special’ buy and in a small quantity. If u like Pinots this is among the best. Roseville, CA should have some very soon for sale.
    :-)

  13. La Ferme Julien Rose – very tasty Cotes du Rhone, at a bargain price of $4.99. Also their red and white rhone blends. Made by the Perrin family in France also.

  14. @Armond: I found the ’08 Castle Rock didn’t have the finesse of the ’07. It was more earthier with big black cherry note right in the middle that was kinda distracting. Not bad, it’s just not the yumminess of the ’07.

    New Stuff Alert!
    TJ’s Reserve Rutherford Meritage: $9.99:
    85% Cab Franc, 15% Merlot (in my store now)

    TJ’s Grand Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir: $12.99
    Jepson Syrah (Got sold again): $5.99
    These should be available very soon if not now

    I’ll try to organize a Tasting sometime next week or so and let you know the results.

  15. COUPLE OF GREAT VALUES AND ALWAYS AVAILABLE! (1) Callabriga Douro-$9 (2) Abrazo (spain) Syrah $6 (100% Syrah) New wines coming very soon. Stemmler Pinot-Gone! Gypsy-Almost Gone; Grand Reserve ($13) Pinot-Excellent & Almost Gone.

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