The Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Edna Valley Pinot Reserve is 100% Pinot Noir, cellared and bottled by DNA Vineyards. DNA Vineyards is a project by winemaker Dennis Patton and they are responsible for some of Trader Joe’s best exclusive wines. The term “cellared and bottled” legally indicates that the listed winery aged the wine before bottling, the grapes were grown by an unnamed vineyard and fermented by an unnamed winery. The Edna Valley AVA is located in the southern half of the Central Valley AVA and is about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Trader Joe’s say their Petit Reserve label comes when they are offered quality grapes or finish wine, but in too small a quantity for a full run bottling. This Pinot Noir was aged in French oak barrels for 12 months and is priced at $6.99. The alcohol content is 13.9%.
The color is cherry red with black highlights. The nose is a quality Pinot Noir nose, crumpled autumn leaves, raspberry, mushroom, spring flowers and a touch of cedar. My, my, my, a complicated $6.99 Pinot Noir, every time I take a sip and try to figure out what I am tasting, I get a completely different set of flavors. It starts out with raspberry mixed with non-sweet peppermint, next comes some chocolate covered blueberry with a cigar tobacco edge. The mid-palate brings sweet strawberries and vanilla and a little oak spice. The tannins are there, they give the wine good structure, but you can’t taste them. The acidity is really well balanced throughout the length of the wine and helps the finish buzz around in your mouth for long time.
Well, three cheers to Trader Joe’s and DNA Vineyards for providing us with a quality Pinot Noir at a crazy good price. At 7 bucks this Pinot will vastly upgrade your usual tuesday night wine, or even better bring over to your wine snob friend who only drinks expensive wine, because it costs more so it has to be better. You and Trader Joe’s will blow his mind.