Thursday, December 31, 2015

Terrenal Seleccionado 2014

I was in Trader Joe's and decided to look at their selection of Spanish wines.  Recently, I have not found any new wines from Spain at Costco and I wanted a medium bodied red wine to pair with a meal.  The Terrenal Selectionado caught my eye with its blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Monastrell and an alcohol content of 15%.

Terrenal is a brand of Kosher wines at Trader Joe's.  Seleccionado is from high altitude plots in the Yecla region in southeastern Spain, where Monastrell is 85% of the grape crop.

Seleccionado is a medium bodied wine with flavors of tart cherries and blueberries.  There is some minerality and balanced tanins on the finish.  This is a terrific buy at $6.99.

SC Wine Joe rating = 88 points

Monday, December 28, 2015

Kirkland Signature Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2014

My wine for our Christmas dinner this year was the Kirkland Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2014.  Readers of this blog may remember that I reviewed the 2013 vintage in October 2014.

The Russian River Valley is in northern Sonoma County from Santa Rosa to Healdsburg and is noted for cool climate varietals such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  This region is in close proximity to the Pacific Ocean and is affected by cool fog at night and plentiful sunshine during the day.  Daytime temperatures cool 20 to 30 degrees at night.

DC Flynt provides this wine to Costco under the Kirkland Signature label.  DC Flynt's website says that Anthony Austin is the winemaker.  Austin is the winemaker for Sonoma Coast Vineyards where he produces award winning Pinot Noir that sells for $50 and up.

I found the wine to have a darker, deeper color than some Pinot Noir.  It has flavors of dark cherry, raspberry and some spicy oak.  From my description of the 2013 version, I think this wine is a little softer but still quite flavorful.  The oak may be more subdued and that is better, in my opinion.  This is a very good Pinot Noir for the $12.99 price.

SC Wine Joe rating = 88 points

Friday, December 18, 2015

Chateau Larteau Bordeaux Superior 2009

A French wine recently found at Costco is Chateau Larteau from Bordeaux.  This wine is 100% Merlot aged in oak for 18 months (30% new oak) with 13.5% alc.  The 2009 vintage is currently being sold at Costco for $9.99, making it a very low priced French wine.

I found this to be a very soft, fruity, easy drinking Merlot which can be enjoyed by a wide range of wine drinkers.  Flavors remind me of blueberries and cherries.  While this is not the most complex wine around, it is a very good all purpose, weekday wine and a good value.  I have already gone back and purchased more.

SC Wine Joe rating = 88 points

Monday, December 14, 2015

Primus The Blend 2013 Colchagua Valley Chile

At my local Costco, I recently found Primus "The Blend" 2013 from Chile.  It is highly rated by Wine Enthusiast and Costco was featuring the wine for a reduced price of $12.99.   Online, this wine sells for $16 to $20.

Primus Blend is composed of 35% Carmenere, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah, 8% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc.  The wine cannot be classified as a Bordeaux style wine since Syrah is not a Bordeaux varietal but it drinks a lot like a California Meritage blend.  The blend is aged 12 months in French oak and has an alcohol content of 14.5%.  In the glass, the wine is a deep dark red color and has an aroma that promises good things to come.  This medium bodied wine has blackberry, blueberry and dark cherry tones and the sweetness is in the mid range for a red blend.  The tannins are not overpowering and the finish lingers quite well.

This is an excellent red blend which would pair well with roast or even burgers.

SC Wine Joe rating = 89 points.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Chateau de Belcier Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux 2011

My local Costco currently has several French wines in their selection and I found the Chateau de Belcier Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux 2011 for $10.99.

The Castillon district of the Cotes de Bordeaux is in the eastern edge of the Bordeaux region.  The district primarily grows Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc with lesser amounts of Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carmenere.

The Chateau de Belcier is crafted from Merlot (69%), Cabernet Franc (25%) and Malbec (6%) and was aged in French oak for 8 months.  The wine has 14% alcohol.

The wine is a dry wine with flavors of dried plums, earth and cedar.  The flavor is influenced by the amount of Cabernet Franc in the blend.  This is a different style wine than most California blends that I am more accustomed to drinking although it reminded me of some Virginia and North Carolina Cabernet Franc based red blends.  It took me a while to warm up to this wine but on the second day I began to really like it and was very sorry when it was gone.  This is a great wine to pair with any beef dish or barbeque.  I will buy more if it is still available on my next trip to Costco.

SC Wine Joe rating = 89 points

Friday, December 4, 2015

Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Pinot Noir Carneros 2014 Lot #23

Readers of this blog know that I am a fan of Pinot Noir from Carneros.  Trader Joe's is featuring their Grand Reserve Pinot Noir Carneros 2014 Lot #23 in the Christmas Fearless Flyer that I just received.  I reviewed the 2013 version of this wine and I was anxious to see if I liked the 2014 as much as I enjoyed the 2013.

Just as I wrote last January, this Pinot Noir is a little less cherry and more blackberry flavored than some Pinots.  There is soft oak into the finish.  The wine has 13.9% alcohol and is priced at $12.99.  I think this wine must be very much like last year's version and I will keep my rating the same as last year.  I like this wine and recommend it for holiday enjoyment.

SC Wine Joe rating = 89 points.