The Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Refosco (an ancient grape indigenous to Northern Italy, the wine is mentioned in 1st century Roman texts) $7.99 exclusive sourced from vineyards in Paso Robles, California. Trade Joe’s “Petit Reserve” designation indicates that this is a one-off bottling, a one time only deal that was too good to pass up. There isn’t a great deal of Refosco grown in Paso Robles, it is usually used in blends and the single varietal bottles sell in the $20 to $30 range. The wine was produced and bottled by Familia Nueva, a label owned by Ancient Peaks Winery. Produced and bottled legally indicates that they crushed and fermented and aged the grapes and put the wine into bottles, but did not grow the grapes. The alcohol content is 13.3%.
The color is black cherry jelly red. The nose is plum, Girl’s Scout Chocolate Mint cookie, a hint of menthol and creamy vanilla. A very smooth and creamy upfront, with a late hit of spice and tannins. Dark berries lead things off, followed by licorice and smooth red plums. The wine transitions to curry spice, marmalade and herbal tea on the mid palate. The tannins are firm and give the wine an appealing rough edge. The acidity is balanced in the body of the wine, but shows at the end and helps the finish hang on for a while.
This is the best Refosco that I have had all day, ok, I never had one before, but where has this been all my life. TJ’s Paso Robles Refosco is a solid bottle of wine, it fits somewhere between Zinfandel and Shiraz/Syrah with a touch of Merlot. Bring on a grilled steak, BBQ ribs, even Mexican food or Tapas and pop the top of TJ’s Refosco and you will have a pretty good evening.