Trader Joe’s Diamond Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Trader Joe's Diamond Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
$19.99 for the Diamond Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

I got a wine tip from a friend of ours who knows someone who works at a winery. The staff at the winery is recommending Trader Joe’s Diamond Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017. It is at the TJ stores now. The Millbrae Trader Joe’s has a small supply. The word at the winery is that the wine’s quality is equal to a $40 bottle of Cabernet. The price at TJ is $19.99.

As you may know, Trader Joe’s is very secretive about their wines and who really is responsible for producing the wines. The back labels give barely a hint. We will likely never know where the juice for this wine came from. We do know that the fruit is at least 85% from the Napa Valley. That’s the law when you put an AVA designation on the label.

diamond cab TJ

The other interesting fact about this Trader Joe’s Cabernet Sauvignon is the Diamond Reserve designation. For me, this is the first time I have seen that term used for TJ wines. Prior to this, I understood the Platinum Reserve to be the highest quality of the TJ wines. Could this be the start of another and higher level of Reserve wine for Trader Joe’s?

I asked the wine guy stocking the shelves what he thought of the wine. “We just got it in and, as far as I know, no one in our store has tasted the wine.” I purchased one bottle but I will be back for more, if indeed, the wine tastes like a $40 bottle of wine.

Review of the Trader Joe’s Diamond Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

First off, the wine needs breathing time. The aroma was definitely lacking when I took my first whiff from the glass. One hour later, cassis and other dark fruit popped from the glass.

2017 is the year of the devastating fires in Sonoma and Napa Counties. Most of the Cabernet was harvested before the fires and safely in tanks or barrels. There are no smokey notes to the TJ Cabernet. It is a rich wine with a lot of substance and excellent flavors. It tastes like a quality Cabernet Sauvignon.

One thing for sure, this is a wine that requires a meaty meal. Something on the grill with fatty juices will add to the wine. It is young and probably should be aged for one year or more. Who wants to wait that long for a Trader Joe’s labeled wine?

I think it is a good wine but not a $40 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. I have nothing to compare it to at the moment, just past memories. The wine is, for sure, excellent at the $20 price. I am giving it 90 Points. If you can find a Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet for the same price, buy it. Year after year, the Robert Mondavi Cab is a Best Buy Wine.

Puerta de Plata -$7.99

Puerta Plata 2013 at Trader Joe’s is alive and well at a measly $8 a bottle. Vintage Wine Taster Mike raved about this wine months ago. It has suddenly re-emerged at TJ in a prominent display.

Check out our complete review of this wine in March of this year. I just re-sampled this wine and I think the wine is very good, worth at least 88 points this time around. Janelle and I cooked up some lemon-dill chicken and the Puerta Plata was just the right character for our meal. Thanks to TJ for stocking this wine again.

Puerta Plata back at Trader Joes
For $8, a delicious and tasty wine from Catalunya, Spain

Wine Reviews


  1. The Puerta is a great value in Tempranillo. A true Reserva with credentials on the label shows the quality in the bottle. How can you go wrong @ $8.00 …… this is a case buy.

    • Joe Becerra says

      Good tip. Stock up for the festivities over the next couple of weeks. A perfect wine for watching the Bowl Games and the NFL Playoffs.

  2. So who is Russian River Winery in Santa Rosa ?

    • Joe Becerra says

      The Russian River Winery in Santa Rosa is probably a custom crush house. A wine negoicant brings in the grape juice and has it bottled. Where the juice for this wine came from in the Napa Valley, is anybodies guess.

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