Trader Joe’s version of Pine Ridge

Trader Joe’s has its own version of the popular Best Buy Wine, Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Voignier. Like the Pine Ridge, the Trader Joe’s version is 80% Chenin Blanc and 20% Voignier. The Pine Ridge sells for $10 to $12 at the Safeway and elsewhere, and TJ sells this wine for $7.99. How is the Trader Joe’s take-off on the Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier?

80% Chenin Blanc, 20% Viognier – same blend at the Pine Ridge

Trader Joe’s Chenin Blanc Viognier 2018

I have not tried the most recent vintage of the Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier, but past vintages exhibit a refreshing and crisp wine with tropical notes and floral characteristics. The TJ Chenin Blanc Voignier is a nice wine, crisp and refreshing, but lacks the tropical flavors that are found in the past vintages of the Pine Ridge. If you shop at TJ, this wine is worth a try, particularly if you are in the mood for a change-of-pace white wine. If you’re tired of the old Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs, give this one a try. I rate the Trader Joe’s Chenin Blanc Viognier at 87 points. Great for picnic fare and light foods.

Parker Station Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Last week I received a sample each of the Parker Station Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, both 2018 vintages. Both of these wines sell for $15 to $18. So, let’s see how these two wines fared in our taste test.

2018 Parker Station Chardonnay
2018 Parker Station Chardonnay

Parker Station Chardonnay 2018

As you can see from the label, the Chardonnay comes from three distinct vineyards in the Central Coast wine region. All three areas are excellent growing areas for Chardonnay. According to the tech sheet, the Chardonnay juice was aged for six months in Burgundian French Oak.

The Parker Station Chardonnay is a gentle Chardonnay, no big oaky or buttery flavors. The Chardonnay lacks depth and layers that you would find in a more expensive Chardonnay but, despite that, the wine is quite enjoyable. There are enough fresh fruit, tropical notes, and acidity to delight in the wine at this price. Draeger’s in San Mateo carries Parker Station wines and has it on their online wine shop. The Parker Station Chardonnay is an excellent choice for an aperitif. Excellent with cheese. 88 Points.

Parker Station Pinot Noir 2018

Parker Station Pinot Noir
Parker Station Pinot Noir 2018

The Parker Station Pinot Noir 2018 is also a blend of three vineyards, all from the central coast. The prominent vineyard is in Monterey County, where Pinot Noir grapes flourish. Like the Chardonnay, the Pinot Noir was aged in Burgundian barrels for six months.

There is certainly a good amount of red fruit flavors in this Pinot Noir, along with a nice dose of spice. I like the Chardonnay a little better than the Pinot Noir, but it makes for a delicious everyday Pinot Noir. If you are grilling a Salmon and don’t want to spend $30 or more on a Pinot, the Parker Station Pinot Noir will suffice. It is in the 87-Point range for me.

More information on the Parker Station wines can be found at the Guarachi Wine Partners. They have a store locator that you can use to find the wine near you.

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