The 30 Miles Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 ALDI is a $14.99 store exclusive. That is about all I know about this wine. I can usually do some sleuthing and figure out who made Trader Joe’s wine. But ALDI does things a little differently.
With Trader Joe’s wines, I can do a trademark search and find out which producer holds the trademark. That does not completely tell me who made the wine, but it is a start, a solid clue. ALDI owns the trademark for its wines. They can change wineries if conditions and costs change and still keep the wine brand they have promoted for years.
I was hesitant to pay 15 bucks for an ALDI wine, but their $19.99 Champagne was one of my favorite wines from 2019. Typically an $8 dollar store brand is equivalent to a $10 to $12 retail wine. The difference between $8 to $12 can be significant. Taking a chance on a store brand that you know nothing about is a good, safe bet at that price point.
The difference between a $15 wine and a $20 is not always noticeable. Sometimes it is a higher-status AVA or a more established winery, but the wines themselves do not have that many changes. So a $15 store brand, with zero available production information needs to be significantly better than the competition to take the leap of faith.
I have had pretty good luck with ALDI wine so that means something. But what can we figure out about this Napa Cab? It is a 2017 vintage which is a decent amount of aging for this price range. The front label only says “Napa” and not a sub-AVA so it seems to be sourced from more than one Napa AVA
If a wine is sourced from Napa grapes you could show California as the place of origin. A winery wouldn’t do that it makes no marketing sense, but they could. They can use a more broad location if they wish, but not a more narrow one if it is not warranted.
There is a Cabernet Sauvignon grape glut in Napa and Sonoma that is further aggravated by the COVID-19 crisis shutting down restaurants and large gatherings. The major outlets for expensive Cabs are closed off for 2020. You can keep most of these Cabernet Sauvignons aging for another year, but then you start stacking up next year’s release.
The economic troubles of 2008 caused pressures on the wine industry that helped Trader Joe’s make their reputation with wines sold off for a quick cash infusion. Is the 30 Miles Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 ALDI a product of the Napa Cabernet glut? It seems to have been released sometime in 2019 (my ALDI only recently stocked this wine), but since ALDI owns the Trademark is this a different newer version? Do not know, just hope it is worth the higher price. The alcohol content is 14.3%.
30 Miles Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 ALDI Tasting Notes
The color is a pretty, shimmering black cherry red. The nose is ripe dark berries, spice, dark chocolate, plum, black pepper, and oaky vanilla. This is a silky, smooth Cabernet, sleek and fruit-forward, with interesting spice accents.
It tastes of blackberry, vanilla, creamy chocolate, exotic spice, licorice, and juicy plum. The mid-palate offers blueberry, tea, and orange zest. This is a very balanced wine, all the transitions are smooth and the flavors flow seamlessly into each other. The tannins are sweet and the acidity does its job well.
- The 30 Miles Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 ALDI is a very solid, tasty Cabernet. It is well worth its $14.99 price tag.
- I expect a 15-dollar Cab to be good. There is enough of a budget for a legit oak aging program and you would expect the wine to have the full production techniques.
- With that said, the 30 Mile Napa Cabernet drinks very well, has good flavor, and wonderful balance.