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The Trader Joe’s Grower’s Reserve Paso Robles Organic Zinfandel 2020 is a $5.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive. This is a wine that seems to be available every year, most Trader Joe’s Reserve wines are one-off wines.
TJ’s does not offer information concerning the vineyard selection or the production techniques but there are details that we can figure out. Sometimes under $10 wines are considered bulk wines which can mean that the grapes came from sellers with an excess of grapes.
If you Google “buy California grapes” you can find pages of grape brokers selling grapes for X amount per ton. Since the Trader Joe’s Grower’s Reserve Paso Robles Organic Zinfandel 2020 comes around with a new vintage each year, it has a stable source.
This Zinfandel is sourced from Paso Robles, a high-end sub-AVA from the Central Coast AVA, and it is an organic wine. Only a fraction of the vineyards in Paso Robles is certified organic, which makes the vineyard selection fairly exclusive.
The knock-on very inexpensive wine is they do not come from quality vineyards, but nobody goes through all the work and costs of becoming certifiably organic if they do not consider their vineyard to be elite. Most wines come from good quality grapes, but with the Trader Joe’s Grower’s Reserve Paso Robles Organic Zinfandel 2020 there is no doubt.
Why, does this wine sell for only $5.99 if it has quality grapes from a top AVA? Trader Joe’s along with other shops that sell custom brand wines has a price advantage since they cut out the middleman as well as all marketing and sales costs.
Plus this wine is made in a young, drink-it-now style which has simpler production techniques and allows the wine to come together quickly. Most organic Paso Robles Zinfandels will be produced in a more complicated style which can command a higher price.
Will you like this six-buck Zin? It depends on personal preference, but it wouldn’t be because of inferior grapes. The alcohol content is low for a California Zinfandel, 12.5%.
The Trader Joe’s Grower’s Reserve Paso Robles Organic Zinfandel 2020 Tasting Notes
The color is a see-thru cherry red, it is a little light for a California Zinfandel. The nose is blackberry, strawberry jam, spearmint gum, vanilla, and soft baking spice. The Trader Joe’s Grower’s Reserve Paso Robles Organic Zinfandel 2020 is soft and slightly sweet with darker flavors on the mid-palate.
This Zinfandel tastes like rich blackberry followed by sweet cherry, a hint of black pepper, and plum. The mid-palate is where the action is, there is blueberry, orange zest, faint herbs, sweet spice, and pomegranate. The tannins are soft and the acidity does not interfere with the flavor.
- The Trader Joe’s Grower’s Reserve Paso Robles Organic Zinfandel 2020 has a lighter body than the typical California ZInfandel, so it more or may not be your style.
- I prefer a bolder ZInfandel, but this Zin has good flavor and solid structure.
- This would be more of a change of pace Zinfandel than my go-to ZIn.