Trader Joe’s Fearless Part Two

More Fearless Wines


How are the wines in Trader Joe’s Holiday 2017 Fearless Flyer? Good question, they sound great if slightly on the pricier side of TJ’s wine offerings. Our last visit to the Trader’s cellar found a real gem.

All reds this time: Two from the Napa Valley and one from the Carneros, which could mean Napa or Sonoma County or from both. If you missed our previous round of “Fearless Wines,” check them out here.

We put them to our tests: Plus, we did extra tastings with a Cabernet glass on the two Napa wines.

Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Pinot Noir Lot 23 – $12.99

The Flyer implies a single vineyard source for the grapes, but who knows?

Overall, very smooth and has some nice berry flavors with a modest amount of oak. We’ve got a strong suggestion about how best to enjoy this one based on our multiple method tasting strategy. Be sure you check out our full review.

Full Review of Trader Joe’s Carneros Pinot here.

Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Meritage Lot #82 – $14.99

A red Meritage these days only requires two of the Bordeaux grapes down from three, some years ago, as I recall. This one (the Flyer states) has both Cabernet Franc and Merlot, all from the Yountville area of Napa Valley. A pretty swank place and this is at the top end of TJ’s Pricing.

This one might have been a lot better a year or so ago. It’s very smooth with modest fruit showing. No real tannins or burn at all. We broke out the big Cabernet glass and parallel tasted it and found a surprising result.

Read our detailed Review of Trader Joe’s Napa Meritage Red right here.

Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – $14.99

This another “top end” Trader Joe’s wine. Usually, we would not recommend drinking a Napa Cab this soon (vintage date 2016 which means it was bottled, like yesterday if it was aged in two kinds oak for a year as the Flyer puts out….again, who knows? Harvest September 2016. In the barrels in November. 12 Months later? Bottled and shipped out? The timeline doesn’t quite work out. No bottle shock detected but…

Some decent berry fruit, pretty low tannins and smooth. We also tasted it with two kinds of glasses, decanter and an aerator. The whole kit and caboodle. The results were all over the place and the final recommendation for your best enjoyment is worth checking out.

The Review of Trader Joe’s Platinum Napa Cabernet is here.

As always, we encourage discussion and dissent with our opinions and findings.

More Trader Joe’s latest featured wine reviews, coming soon.

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