The 2012 Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Monterey County Riesling is a $6.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive produced for them by ASV Wines an independent contract winemaking facility. The Petit Reserve labeled wines are one-off, small production, when they are gone, there is no more sort of wines. The Monterey County AVA is located inside the Central Coast AVA, just north of the Paso Robles AVA. The northern part of Monterey has a cooler climate than the southern half and cooler weather grapes such as Pinot Noir and Riesling do well there, though the label does not indicate where in Monterey County these grapes were grown. The 2012 vintage in California was one of the best in years with excellent grapes and very good yields, so we should start seeing more of these kind of wines from Trader Joe’s. The alcohol content is 12.6%.
The color a golden yellow with a slight green tint. The nose is not shy, the aromas hit you when you are over a foot a way from the glass, there is ripe apple, lemon chiffon, lime, peach and a pretty floral edge. This is a silky and a little on the sweet side Riesling. It tastes of peach, dried apricot, a soft slap of minerality, orange SweeTarts (but not that sugary) and tart pick grapefruit. The acidity is well balanced with the body of the wine and the finish starts off full and strong and slowly faded away.
The 2012 Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Monterey County Riesling is a very solid effort, on the sweet side, but with enough tasty, tart flavors and minerality to keep it from going over board, there is not much more you can ask for in a $6.99 wine. Be sure to drink this one well chilled and pair it with Spicy Thai or Firecracker Shrimp and as for sipping on the deck or balcony, bring 2 bottles because the TJ’s Petit Reserve Riesling goes down real easy.