Sunday, April 19, 2015

Trader Joe's Platinum Reserve Pinot Noir Carneros 2013 Lot #66

This is the third Trader Joe's Platinum Reserve wine that I have tried and the other 2 were excellent.  I recently found the Trader Joe's Platinum Reserve Pinot Noir Carneros and expected it to be similar to the Kirkland Signature and Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Pinot Noirs from Carneros that I enjoyed recently.  I wondered if this Platinum Reserve Pinot would be worth the extra cost.

The Trader Joe's Platinum Reserve Pinot Noir has a beautiful color in the glass, a bit darker than the other Pinots mentioned above.  The aroma from the glass exceeds the others with cherry and a little spice.  The taste is elegant cherry accented with a little licorice and subdued tannins.  You want to savor it rather than swallow.  The finish reflects the fruit rather than the oak and lasts forever.  The 14.2% alcohol s in balance with the fruit.  Yes, this wine is worth the $14.99 cost and much more!!  Trader Joe's has hit a home run with this wine!

SC Wine Joe rating = 92 points

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Argiolas Costera Cannonau de Sardegna 2012

Blue zones are demographic and/or geographic areas of the world where people live measurably longer lives.  The island of Sardinia, in the Mediterranean Sea, off the west coast of Italy, is a blue zone noted for having the highest proportion of men living past the age of 100.  There are many factors that lead to this longevity including lifestyle, diet and genetics.  One factor that has been cited is the drinking of red wine.  The inhabitants of Sardinia drink wine made from the Cannonau grape which is said to have the highest levels of polyphenols of any wine.  Polyphenols are full of antioxidants which are good for your arteries.  In 2013, this wine and its health benefit was brought to the attention of the American public by the Dr. Oz show.  I suspect that the Mediterranean diet, exercise and a low stress lifestyle far outweigh the wine, but I want to believe that wine drinking is good for my health, so this is good news!

The Cannonau grape from Sardinia is the same grape that is called Grenacha in Spain or Granache in France.  Cannonau wine was brought to my attention by a friend of ours from Nashville so I searched Total Wines and More, armed with a 15% off coupon, and found the Argiolas Costera Cannonau de Sardegna.  The regular price was $15.99, but with my coupon I bought it for $13.59.  The Argiolas Costera is primarily Cannonau with 2 other grapes blended in.   It is aged in oak casks for 8 to 10 months with some additional bottle aging.  The alcohol content is 14%.

The wine is a dark ruby red to violet color.  The dark cherry, blackberry taste is intense and it reminded me of a recent bottle of Petit Sirah that we enjoyed.  There was a slight bitterness on the long finish but it did not detract from our enjoyment.  All in all, this was a pleasant surprise.  And, who knows, maybe it is good for your health.  I would buy it again.

SC Wine Joe rating = 89 points

Friday, April 10, 2015

Kirkland Signature Carneros Pinot Noir 2013

Costco has begun selling the latest version of the Kirkland Signature Carneros Pinot Noir.  The winemaker is identified as Alison Crowe who is the winemaker and part owner of Garnet Vineyards,  Garnet Vineyards produces cool climate Pinot and Chardonnay from vineyards in Carneros, Monterrey and the Sonoma Coast.  Alison Crowe is also an award winning wine blogger and writer and her blog "Girl and the Grape" was selected as the best new wine blog for 2014.

Last year, I reviewed a previous vintage of this wine and was not generous with praise.  I think I was wrong.  My taste in Pinot Noir has evolved in the past year and I now appreciate Pinot with some oak and tannins that can stand up to food heartier than seafood or poultry.  This Carneros Pinot Noir is such a wine.  There is the ripe cherry flavor I talked about before but the finish is bigger and more complex than most Pinot Noirs.  Pair this with a roast and you will be surprised.

SC Wine Joe rating = 89 points.

Wine Glass From Laurel Gray Vineyards
Yadkin Valley, NC