Pinot Noir for Thanksgiving at Trader Joe’s

A couple of weeks ago I posted an article about the Castle Rock Pinot Noir 2008 as a great Pinot Noir wine for under $10. Well, we found two Pinots at Trader Joe’s that easily top this wine. The two Pinot Noir wines are the 2007 Picket Fence Russian River Valley ($8.99) and the 2009 Sebastopol Hills Sonoma Pinot Noir ($9.99). Both are delicious Pinot Noir wines that your guests will very much enjoy with your turkey fixings.

There has been a lot of buzz about these two wines and therefore the wines are going fast at Bay Area Trader Joe’s stores. As of Monday, my Millbrae store had 5 cases left of the Picket Fence and the San Mateo store had none. There is plenty of the Sebastopol Hills available for now at both of these stores and I assume throughout the Bay Area. We purchased one bottle of each and had a taste test with a few of our neighbors. The Sebastopol Hills got the nod but not by much. The Sebastopol Hills Pinot has a little more aroma and is fruitier than the Picket Fence. I’m surprised that the vintage is 2009. That means only about six months in the barrel and a very young wine. The Picket Fence is more polished with a long finish.

We heard a rumor that the Sebastopol Hills Pinot Noir was the same wine as the Willowbrook Pinot Noir that sells for $24. We called the Willowbrook winery and they told me it is not the same blend. However, the wine was made by the same winemaker, Willowbrook’s Joe Otos. I recommend you buy one bottle to evaluate it and if you like the wine hustle back to buy it before the wine is sold out.


  1. Definitly would not buy the 2009 Sebastopol Hills Sonoma Pinot Noir/$9.99. At first taste it was not good. Poured into a big glass so that it could air better and even after poured for a half and hour it was somewhat better but still is not very good. The Castle Rock for the money is a much better buy. We have the 2007 Picket Fence Russian River Valley ($8.99), but have not tried that one yet. Hope that it is better than the Sebastopol!!!

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