Earlier this week, I came home with three red wines featured in the current Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer. I did not like the the TJ's Petit Reserve Merlot and was not excited about the Overlake Red Blend. However, I really like the TJ's Reserve Russian River Valley 2012 Pinot Noir Lot #85.
The Russian River Valley AVA is the portion of Sonoma County between Santa Rosa and Healdsburg. This area is a short distance from the Pacific Coast. It regularly receives a nightly blanket of fog that cools the temperature making ideal conditions for growing pinot noir and chardonnay grapes. I recommend visiting the wineries in this area because the wines are great but the area is less commercialized than the Sonoma Valley and much less commercialized than Napa County.
The TJ's Reserve Pinot Noir is a medium red color with an initial taste of cherry and cranberry. There is just a hint of oak and an easy, long lasting dry finish. The wine has 13.5% A.C. and has been aged 5 months in french oak barrels. The wine is a good value at $9.99.
SC Wine Joe Rating = 88