Recently, Jane and I found ourselves walking through the aisles of a local Trader Joe’s Market on our way to a dinner party. It started us thinking that perhaps we should explore some more affordable bottles for everyday wine consumption. We had a vague memory of a TJ’s bottle we bought years ago that was reasonably priced and pretty well made. We picked a 2008 Trader Joe’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley in Sonoma off the shelf and figured we’d give it a try.
The nose is really subtle, I caught just the slightest hint of cherry. It’s a light bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with a bit of dryness and astringent on the finish. On the whole unfortunately its uninspiring with very little character. It’s just not a real pleasure to drink, I don’t find it awful, just very one dimensional. Maybe it would taste better with a meal, but I won’t ever know because I don’t plan to buy it again. I’ve had much better bottles for the price. I give it 2 stars. Tasting this bottle makes me wonder if I have outgrown the wine at Trader Joe’s. Next time I may just try a more pricey bottle and see if its more to my liking.
2 out of 5 stars.
Hmmm. I really wanted this wine to be great. I do remember enjoying the Trader Joe’s Reserve in the past. I guess you can surmise from what I’ve written that I’m not in love with this wine. It was okay. It was astringent and puckery, with lots of pepper – mainly green but a little black too. This wine was palatable. So I wouldn’t describe it as bad but I also wouldn’t say it’s worth buying again. It’s one of those wines that you buy and then realize, great, I have to drink this not-so-great bottle. Sure, we don’t have to drink it but we feel bad dumping a bottle – unless its undrinkable. I would be curious to keep drinking Trader Joe’s Reserve as I think their label has some gems. This just isn’t one of them. And that saddens me because this wine is from one of our favorite regions: Alexander Valley. What a tease.
2 out of 5 stars.
Just the Facts Ma’am
2008 Trader’s Joe Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley (love this region)
Available at Trader Joe’s
Trader Joe’s Reserve (from the TJ Web site): Trader Joe’s Reserve label is “reserved” for small lot, mostly Estate, opportunities from specific growing regions. While the high quality sources and producers may be really well known, by maintaining the privacy of their profiles, we are able to procure preposterous prices for you. Some might fine this perplexing, others enticing, but any which way you look at it, these bottles are BIG values. And they’re always embossed with the signature lighthouse spiral staircase cross section (yep, that’s what that sunburst really is!).