Saturday, February 25, 2017

SC WineJoe at OLLI@Furman University

On February 24, SC Wine Joe presented a Friday Bonus Class at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Furman University.  The class discussed the marketing strategies of the largest wine retailers in the Greenville SC market as well as how to select a bottle of wine using information
included on the front and back of the bottle.  Finally, four red wines were tasted.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Trader Joe's Grand Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley Chile 2014

Trader Joe's Grand Reserve wines are typically domestic US wines.  I was very surprised to find a Grand Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon from the Colchagua Valley of Chile and I hope there will be more imported Grand Reserve wines in the future.

The Colchagua Valley and the Maipo Valley are the two important wine regions in Chile.  The Colchagua Valley is the southwestern half of the Rapel Valley and it is the source of some of Chile's finest red wines.  The dry Mediterranean climate here has warm days cooled by ocean breezes, especially suited to growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere and Syrah.

This Trader Joe's Cabernet Sauvignon has rich flavors of dark fruit with some cocoa and cedar.  I suspect the cedar may come from some carmenere blended into the wine.  The wine has a long finish with pleasant tannins.  I thought the wine was better when I opened the bottle on the second day.  The wine has 14.5% alcohol and sells for 12.99.

SC Wine Joe rating = 89 points

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Merlot Napa Valley Oakville 2014 lot #78

When I am in Trader Joe's, I always check for their Grand Reserve wines.  This week, I found a Merlot from Oakville in Napa Valley.  This choice was promising since it was from a narrowly defined area (Oakville), in a superior AVA for Merlot (Napa Valley), from an outstanding vintage (2014) and has a higher listed alcohol content (15%).  I am happy to report that this wine lived up to my expectations.

The obvious first thing to notice about this wine is the deep purple color in the glass.  When you swirl the wine, it clings to the glass and slowly forms legs verifying the higher alcohol content.  The nose promises darker fruit and I noted flavors of blackberry, plum, licorice and cocoa. The tannins are in balance and the finish is long lasting. This is an outstanding wine and I would pair it with a steak.  Trader Joe's sells all of the Grand Reserve wines for $12.99 and the quality of this wine exceeds that price.

SC Wine Joe rating = 91 points