Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Platinum Pinot Noir Lot 33

Trader Joe's Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Trader Joe’s Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Just in the stores for your Thanksgiving menu is Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Platinum Pinot Noir Lot 33 for $14.99. Pinot Noir is a wine made to go with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. I picked up a bottle of the Pinot Noir at my local TJ’s and gave it a try. How does this compare to other Pinot Noir wines under the $20 range? According to TJ’s Fearless Flyer, the wine comes from a well-known winery that is bottling the same juice for “$30 or more under a different label.” Because the 2012 harvest was so great, the winery sold the excess Pinot Noir to Trader Joe’s. The TJ label says that the Pinot Noir was from the Russian River Valley AVA. That’s great because Russian River Valley is great Pinot Noir wine country. Case production was 2500.

Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Platinum Pinot Noir Lot 33 – TJ’s $14.99

Overall, I found the Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Platinum Pinot Noir a very enjoyable wine with a medium body and a very healthy finish. The TJ Platinum Pinot lacked the spice that I find in most Russian River Valley Pinot Noir wines. I definitely give this Pinot Noir the nod over the Meiomi Pinot Noir, the most popular Pinot around for under $20. It is more balanced and not nearly as heavy as the Meiomi.  I just tasted the Meiomi at a recent dinner party.  It is listed in the Wine Spectator Top 100 wines of 2015 at the #20 spot (see below). I rate the TJ Pinot at 88 Points and worth a try. For other Pinot Noir wines we like under $20, we recommended four in this article “Quest for Good Pinot Noir under $20.”

Wine Spectator Top 100 and wines under $20

The Wine Spectator just released its Top 100 Wines for 2015. The wines were chosen “based on quality, value, availability and excitement.” I counted 17 wines on the list that were priced at $20 or less. From that 17, I found 7 wines at various stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. Have you tried any of these? I have tried the Meiomi and Viña Montes Syrah, but none of the others.

  • 20. Meiomi Pinot Noir Monterey-Sonoma-Santa Barbara Counties 2013 – widely sold for $18, TJ’s, Safeway, etc.
  • 29. Tenshen White Santa Barbara County 2014 – K&L Wines $18
  • 37. Viña Montes Syrah Colchagua Valley Alpha 2012*
  • 40. Pomelo Sauvignon Blanc California 2014 – Blackwell’s Wines & Spirits $10
  • 46. Castello d’Albola Chianti Classico 2011 – $19
  • 48. Calera Chardonnay Central Coast 2013 – KL Wines, Beltramo’s $18
  • 83. Torre Rosazza Pinot Grigio Friuli Colli Orientali – Beltramo’s $18

*Perhaps not on the wine shelves as of this date. It is usually found at wine shops and sometimes Costco.

Wine News

Vintage Wine Taster Bruce reports that the Foster City Costco has a new wine steward, Ted,  who is very wine knowledgable and helpful. He knows all the Costco wines. Bruce also highly recommends the Talbott Sleepy Hollow Santa Lucia Highlands EstatePinot Noir, which sells for just a tad over our $20 limit at $23. “It drinks like a $35 to $40 of Pinot Noir.”

I recently attend a seminar and tasting of Livermore Valley wines. I was quite impressed and posted on Wine Country Getaways this article. “Livermore Wine Country on the Move.”

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