Posts Tagged ‘wine’

Mindiarte Reserva Rioja – Tempranillo – 2012 – Wine Review – Trader Joe’s

12/02/2017

Trader Joe's, red wine, review, price, mindiarte, rioja, 2012December 2, 2017

Well this is another experiment in spending an extra couple of dollars for an older red wine.  The general principle being tested here is that red wines improve with age.  With most of the inexpensive red wines on the shelves being sold at around the two to three year mark, does another couple of years aging make an inexpensive wine better?

At five years this wine is decidedly better than most of those other two to three year olds.  The wine has had time to blend itself together into more of a whole.  The wine is generally smoother than a younger wine, with less rough edges.  What does that mean?  Consider a new t-shirt, put it on straight out of the package and it feels stiff and rough.  Wear it for a while and put that t-shirt through a couple of washes and it gets softer and cozier.

This wine is relatively cozy.  There are less of those little sharp edges.  There are still a few, so maybe another two or so years in the bottle will make the wine cozier still.

Just because age tends to make the wine cozier, doesn’t mean the basic characteristics of the wine have changed.  After all, a blue t-shirt is still going to be blue after a few cycles.  This is a strong wine, very much like a strong Cab, even though the grapes are 100% Tempranillo.  In fact rather than a nice mellow blue, this is more of an in-your-face red, a red that doesn’t fade in the wash.  So buyer beware, there’s lots of character in this wine.  If you’d like to see how the various styles of Rioja wine compare, check out this.  If you like a strong California Cab this may well be the best $10 “California Cab” you’ll ever buy.   In general, the wine gets a little above average reviews on the web, 3.5 out of 5, with a few nods to the relative value of the wine (quality/price).  Price of $9.99

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Adventure Series Chianti – 2016 – DOCG – Wine Review – ALDI

11/17/2017

ALDI, wine, review, price, Chianti, DOCG, 2016November 17, 2017

This is perhaps the best $5 wine you’ll ever have.  For about the last year or two the very good Tuscan wines ALDI used to stock have been missing from the shelves.  I was pretty happy to see this one on my last visit, even if it has the unlikely sounding generic name of Chianti with a further Adventure Series qualifier.  What gives, where are the nice Italian names on the bottle that I usually can’t pronounce?

The wine is: a medium-dark red color, mildly dry in the mouth with gentle tannins, medium bodied, has no bad tastes, and has little aroma in the glass. There’s nothing outstanding about this wine except that there’s also absolutely nothing bad about this wine. Because it’s a mild inoffensive wine, it should make a good sipping wine for anyone liking a red wine with these characteristics. It also makes a nice table wine, which should go well with just about any food red wines are generally associated with.  Paired on different occasions with some homemade pizza and lasagna, the wine was a perfect fit.

While most DOCG Chianti wines don’t appear on the shelves for around two years, this wine is a 2016 vintage making it a little young.  However  the wine is perfectly ready for drinking now.  I suppose that’s why it’s on the shelf.

For $4.99 a bottle this is a true bargain. It’s not a WOW! wine, but it’s also not a wine where you’ll find people leaving 3/4 full glasses on the table. Having a party? This should be a safe red wine where your investment in several bottles will not go to waste.

Landshut Riesling 2016 – Wine Review – ALDI

11/07/2017

aldi, landshut riesling, 2016. white wine, sweet, review, price. moselNovember 7, 2017

This wine is a very clear pale yellow color with a few happy bubbles once the screw cap is taken off and the wine meets the glass.  There are slight notes of sweet fruit on the front of the tongue.  There is no burn on the tongue, roof of mouth or back of the throat.  I liked the 2013 version and have no complaints with this one either, other than it’s a touch too sweet for me.

Paired with a Trader Joe’s Balti Curry pie, it went well.  The sweetness helping to balance out the curry.  While an unusual pairing, the wine is probably better by itself as a sipping or party wine.  The wine is fine at room temperature, but a slight chill makes it a bit better.  This is advertised as an 88 point wine.  While some might argue rating points, no one can argue the price and the value that represents.  Price $4.99.

I had this at the same time as a 2016 Crystal Creek Riesling also from ALDI.  As neither was my cup of tea, what I did was “blend” them in the glass.  The sweetness of this wine helped balance the negative burn from the Crystal Creek.  The sum was better than the parts.  Forced with making a selection, I’d pick this over the Crystal Creek.

Crystal Creek Riesling 2016 – Wine Review – ALDI

11/07/2017

aldi, review, wine, white wine, crystal creek, 2016, rieslingNovember 7, 2017

A fruit fly, probably making its way into the house via a bunch of bananas, immediately found the bottle once opened.  A good sign.  And he/she made repeated return trips to the glass. I don’t like sharing that much. The wine is very clear with a pale yellow, almost white, color. There’s a nice fruity aroma, reminding me of apples and apple cider.  The wine produced a warm feeling in the mouth and a slight burn in the throat, otherwise there wasn’t much flavor. By the end of the glass, I had a very tipsy fruit fly.

Paired with some tasty cheddar cheese, the fat from the cheese helped balance the wine, reducing some of that harshness at the back of the throat.  The wine also picks up some sweetness and fruit flavors when cooled.  The cooling also helped with the throat burn. Price $5.99.

I had this at the same time as a 2016 Landshut Riesling also from ALDI.  As neither was my cup of tea, what I did was “blend” them in the glass.  The sweetness of the Landshut helped balance the negative burn from the Crystal Creek.  The sum was better than the parts.  Forced with making a selection, I’d pick the Landshut over this.

David Frost – Shiraz Blend – 2015 – Wine Review – Trader Joe’s

10/03/2017

Trader Joes, wine, review, price, David Frost, Shiraz blend, South Africa. 2015October 03, 2017

There’s no doubt about it this is on the strong side of the wine continuum.  It’s also a little harsh on the mouth and throat.  The wine is mildly fruity with a bold taste. The harshness mellows out some as it sits in the glass allowing some decent earthy tannins to peek through.

The combination of this and a tomatoey lasagna did not work well.  Paired with a second pasta dish, this did not work equally well. Finally, paired with a spicy bean curry, this balanced and stood up to the curry nicely.

For the price this is a decent wine if you like strong wines, don’t have a sensitive throat and are on a budget.  In fact, it generally gets good reviews in other places on the web, with a few people even stocking up when it’s available.  Price $6.99.

And, for the curious,  David Frost is a South African professional golfer who as a kid used to pick grapes in the family vineyards to buy golf balls.

Trader Joe’s – Incanto – Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano – 2012 – DOCG – Wine Review

09/06/2017

trader joe, wine, vino nobile di montepulciano, docg, italy, sangiovese, review, price, 2012, incantoSeptember 6, 2017
The last time I reviewed this wine was 2011.  The wine hasn’t changed much since then, including the price!  The 2012 vintage is still a very nice wine as was the 2007 vintage back then.

The mild tannins on the roof of mouth and back of throat are still speaking after all these years giving the wine a mild earthy feel in the mouth.  As it was before, the wine is smooth but still with a slight edge to the taste.  There’s just a hint of grape if caught at the right temperature.  In my opinion, still no forest floor taste as one reviewer noted of the 2007 vintage. For most of us, that’s a good thing.  And sticking with my original comment, this is probably a better food wine than a sipper.  However when sipped among a group, it’s likely to lead to some interesting conversations.

 Although the primary grape in this is Sangiovese, the taste is bolder than a typical Tuscan Sangiovese.  It’s not as bold as a Cabernet Sauvignon, but still up there one notch on the scale. And this is likely more enjoyable than a Cabernet Sauvignon in the same price range. The bottle states 13.5% alcohol.  Incanto may want to recheck their instruments.  This wine has a substantially greater kick to it than most wines labeled 13.5%.  Price $10.99

Casone Toscana IGT – 2010 – Wine Review – Trader Joe’s

08/11/2017

trader joe, casone, toscana, 2010, review, wine, price, IGTAugust 11, 2017
I was especially excited to see this on the TJ selves. It’s a 2010 IGT wine from Tuscany.  It’s not normal to see a 7-year-old wine at TJ, especially at this price.  Just the added storage costs alone is reason to charge more for a wine that’s been around an extra few years.

While the Italian wine classification is not supposed to be a reflection of the quality of the wines, in my experience the better the classification, the better the wine. The IGT classification is a lower classification, more specifically one that is usually broader in scope as to the grapes and methods used to produce the wine.

Now in my limited and personal experience with Tuscan wines, the IGT wines are edgier and less refined than the higher classified (more restrictive) DOC and DOCG wines.  I’m sure there are some exceptions to that experience.  And those exceptions likely command a higher price than the wines I usually review.

My question in picking up this wine is, how does aging affect an IGT red wine?  In theory a red wine improves with age up until a point where too much age negatively affects the wine. Most of us personally know how that too much age thing works with people.  The rest of us will find out.

While I didn’t review this particular wine back when it was 2 or 3 years old, compared to similar IGT wines from the era that I have tried, this is a big step up.  This wine has smoothed over the IGT rough edges leaving a very nice, really smooth, mellow, nothing bad, or even close to bad, fine Tuscan red wine. And an absolute bargain. I hope there’s still some left on the shelf.  Price:  $10.99

Bogle Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 – Wine Review – Trader Joe’s

07/26/2017

trader joe, review, price, Bogle cabernet sauvignon, 2014, CaloforniaJuly 26, 2017

The wine has a mild earthy and mildly strong aroma in the glass.  The wine feels slightly dry in the mouth and is not fruity to the taste.  It’s a little different flavor profile than experienced in the past from a California Cab, but still of the same genre.  The second glass and thereafter has more of a California Cab experience.  There’s nothing odd or off tasting. While mildly strong as a wine, the wine is also smooth to drink.   This is a fairly good California Cab for people who might want to expand their tastes in that direction or for people who just want to chill after a hard day’s work without challenging themselves too much.  The wine works well as a sipper.  It didn’t pair well with some cheddar cheese.  It paired much better with some mildly spicy Indian food, and some not so spicy Chinese garlic chicken.  It was a matter of having enough food in the mouth to stand up to the wine.

The wine seems to be generally available at other outlets for a similar price, sometimes even a little less and sometimes a little more.  The wine receives average to slightly above average reviews by others.  Price $8.99.

Chateau Poyanne – Bordeaux 2015 – Wine Review – Trader Joe’s

05/12/2017

trader joe, review, price, wine, bordeaux, chateau poyanne, 2015May 12, 2017

There’s a very nice, strong aroma coming from the glass on first​ pour which portends a full-bodied wine.  The wine is fruity and dry at the same time in the mouth.  There are no real negatives.  Although for the very critical among us, there are hints of things to complain about.  This is a blend of mostly Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, according to the internet.

Generally this wine is a love or hate affair when reviewed on the web.  About 2/3 of reviewers like this and think it’s a great value wine.  The 1/3 of reviews which hate this may be due to some “bad” bottles. Although my guess is those bad reviews are prompted by personal preferences. Most of the reviews were for earlier vintages.  There were very few 2015 vintage reviews.

While this is not a great wine, and would anyone really expect a great wine at this price, if you’re not afraid to challenge yourself by adding some complexity to a wine, this is an inexpensive way to do that.  And you just might like it.  I did.  Price $5.99.

Sayanca Malbec 2016 – Argentina – Wine Review – ALDI

04/23/2017

sayanca, malbec, wine, Argentina, ALDI, 2016, review, priceApril 23, 2017

A fruity aroma escaped the bottle on first opening which quickly disappeared for good. This is a mildly dry and earthy Malbec from Argentina similar to the other two Malbecs (Gestos, Amancay)  recently reviewed.  Red wines generally need a few years to reach their peaks.  As a 2016 vintage, this is a red wine which has most likely not peaked.  But as a $5 wine, does anyone much care?

For me, this is an everyday table wine meant to be consumed with food.  The wine has a fairly strong flavor profile making paring with; red meats, strong cheeses, hearty sauces and of course pizza, obvious choices.  A burrito Jalisco and Jimmy John’s #5 worked well for me on separate days.

Alone, this is still a drinkable wine with sometimes a bit of a bad aftertaste that may make one wish they had spent another dollar or two for a better wine.  But still, this is not bad for the price and I’ve easily had worse.  Price $4.99

 

 


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