Three must have red wines at Trader Joe’s

For you frugal wine shoppers who are always on the prowl for excellent wines under $10, here are three reds at Trader Joe’s that are a “must” on your wine-shopping list.

image of Chateau Mayne Guyon

Chateau Mayne Guyon 2011

Chateau Mayne Guyon Cotes de Blaye 2011 – $6.99

WE-wineI found both the Chateau Mayne Guyon 2010 and 2011 at the Millbrae TJ’s. The 2010 must be nearing the end of the inventory. TJ’s placed the 2010 in front of the shelf and behind those bottles I found the 2011 vintage. I purchased and tasted both. I think there is just a subtle difference between the two wines. The 2011 is a bit bolder and a little more complex. The 2011 vintage was selected as the Number One wine on the Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Best Buy wines for 2013. The wine has a good nose of red and black fruit character and is very elegant on the palate. It is a medium-bodied wine so it can be enjoyed with chicken, pork, and the like. For me, the wine really opened up as it sat in the wine glass. That means, give it some breathing time. 89 Points for the 2011, 88 Points for the 2010.

Koehler 2011 Quartette – $9.99

I have been a fan of the Koehler wines since our first trip to the Santa Barbara wine country in 2005. I was surprised to see this wine and the 2010 Koehler Syrah at TJ’s. It must be an inventory clearance thing, because I don’t see either wine available at the Koehler online wine store. This wine is a red blend of 41% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 12% Mourvedre, and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon. It has a nice spicy aroma that is very pleasant. In the mouth, it has a lot more of the spice including a tad of cinnamon, and also has layers to ponder. It is one to savor in the mouth. The wine is quite different from your typical Rhone blend, possibly due to the 12% Cab that is in this blend. The wine is at least worth $20. 88 Points

Koehler Quartette Red Blend

Koehler Quartette Red Blend

Koehler 2010 Syrah $9.99 – Review by Vintage Wine Taster Mike

Mike says: “What a nice wine – very pretty varietal nose with noticeable toasty oak that does not impose itself on the wine. I really like the balance of fruit and acidity. Not over blown but easy to sip and has a long finish. At $10 a bottle this is very good Syrah. I like this wine enough to head back to TJ’s in Millbrae and buy up several bottles. You are not going to find a Syrah of this quality unless you pay upwards of $20. 88/89 Points

Koehler Syrah

Koehler Syrah

Other value wine news

The Koehler 2011 Riesling is also at Trader Joe’s for $7.99, and I will review that wine next week. I called the winery and they said the Riesling is dry but does have a slight sweetness in the finish.

Black Slate Priorat is back! I reviewed the 2010 vintage last year with the title “Priorat wine that rocks!” K&L Wines is stocking this vintage but the price went up $4 from last year to $22.99. Fortunately, the Spanish Table in Berkeley and Mill Valley are selling it for $19.99 plus a 10% discount on a case price. Robert Parker has rated this wine at 94 pts. Wow!


  1. There’s a Black Slate white wine that’s really excellent, too.

    • I wonder if the the same winery, Bodegas Mas Alta, makes this white. When we were in the Priorat and Monstant we tasted a few Granache Blanc wines and they were all outstanding. I will inquiry about the Black Slate White at the Spanish Table in Berkeley. Thanks, Joe

  2. The Syrah needs at least 30/60 minutes to open up. Bought six bottles and love the wine.

  3. The Mayne-Guyon was actually better after two days in the bottle !! I had some left over and it showed no signs of oxidation and still had berry flavors and a round finish. Amazing that a $7 bottle of wine can do that. Makes you think about what it took to grow, produce and ship that bottle and still make money on the deal?????

    • Good that you shared this with us. There are some wines that need good aeration before opening up but those are usually older wines. I will experiment with this.

  4. David Haley says:

    Thanks so much for the tip on the Koehler syrah. Your notes about the balance between fruit and acidity is spot on. For my palate this wine is a steal at $10/bottle. Thanks again!

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