We reviewed the 2010 vintage of the Trader Joe’s Vinas Chilenas Sauvignon Blanc Reserva and thought it was a steal at $3.99. At that price, the winemaker can’t spend too much money on the wine making process, so these Trader Joe’s 4 buck specials are only as good as the grapes that are used and as you know the grapes can vary widely with each year. The Sauvignon Blanc grapes are source from the Central Valley, which is located between the Andes Mountains and the Chilean Coastal Range, in Chile. There are 4 grape growing AVA’s in the Central Valley, Maipo Valley, Rapel, Curico and the Maule Valley. The alcohol content is 12%.
The color is pale butter yellow, clear and shiny. The nose is pretty encouraging for a $3.99 wine, vibrant peach, pear and pineapple, with a late floral note. This Sauvignon Blanc is light bodied, but surprisingly full flavored. Tangerine and peach jump out of the glass, the mid-palate adds lemon/lime and a nice slap of minerality. There is a bit too much acidity, but not enough to stop you from reaching for your glass for another sip. The acidity is strong enough to overpower the finish, but it does make the peach and lime finish vibrate in your mouth for a while.
A great Sauvignon Blanc? No. But at $3.99, it puts quit a few ten dollar Sauvignon Blanc’s to shame. If the excess acidity (and it has far less acidity than most Pinot Grigio’s) makes this a less than ideal sipping wine, it does make the Vinas Chilenas a value choice to bring to your favorite BYOB spicy Thai joint.