The best red yet reviewed. I’m about 90% sure this one also came from Trader Joe’s. So look there first.
Because the receipt is long gone we can only approximate (but approximate very closely) that this one also came from Trader Joe’s. A look at the wine merchant on the bottle confirms this is the same importer as on TJ’s French Market Reserve. Wherever you find this, and I’d look on TJ’s shelves first, pick up a bottle.
Per the bottle, this is a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. And a nice blend it is. This bottle also claims the words “Appellation Bordeaux Controlee” on the label. After about 30 minutes of web research I sort of assured myself that this is the official AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controlee) designation of a wine that is grown and bottled in the Bordeaux region. It shouldn’t be this hard, but if it weren’t, what would a wine salesman talk about? Although having an AOC designation tells us where the wine came from, it doesn’t mean the wine is any good. However, in general, wines with the AOC designation, and especially the more specific AOC designations, tend to cost more and taste better. The AOC designation on this bottle is the most general and should generally assure you that you won’t find a $100 bottle of wine for under $10, as this wine is.
This wine is smooth with most of the tannins mellowed out. Another year in the basement might make it a better wine. This wine had none of the slight astringent taste TJ’s house brand French Market Reserve had. It’s a good wine to have with food. I’m still waiting to find a wine that is equally enjoyable alone. This one comes close.
Of the three TJ wines reviewed so far, this one is a step up from the French Market Reserve which is a step up from the Coastal Zinfandel. And for $6 or $7 a bottle, even if your palate doesn’t taste wines the same as mine, you won’t be out a lot of money.