The Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Santa Barbara County Chardonnay 2020 is a $7.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive made for TJ’s by ABJ Wines from Geyserville, California. According to the California Wine COLA, ABJ Wines is August Briggs, Jr. There is an August Briggs WInery in Napa that August no longer owns, it looks like this is a separate custom wine producer.
The Santa Barbara County AVA is about an hour north of Los Angeles (depending on traffic). While Southern California can get very warm during the summer months, the vineyards in Santa Barbara are located in a triangle shape section that juts out into the Pacific Ocean. With cool water to the north, south, and west Santa Barbara is one of the coolest growing regions in California.
The movie Sideways was set in Santa Barbara, that is the movie where the main character said he hated Merlot and loved Pinot Noir. And almost immediately Merlot sales fell and Pinot Noir sales started to climb and that growth has lasted to this day.
The coastal mountains in Santa Barbara run east/west, whereas the other coastal mountain ranges in California run north/south. So Santa Barbara mountains are sideways.
The Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Santa Barbara County Chardonnay 2020 does not have any technical production notes aside from a few tasting notes on the back label. Chardonnay is the #1 grape grown in Santa Barbara, but they are probably better known for their Pinot Noir. A typical Santa Barbara single AVA Chardonnay sells for $15 and up.
The Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Santa Barbara County Chardonnay 2020 won’t reveal itself until we get to the tasting portion. The alcohol content is a moderate 13.5%. As a side note, this wine has a real cork which is rare in this price range.
The Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Santa Barbara County Chardonnay 2020 Tasting Notes
The color is a pale wheat yellow, the color suggests some sort of oak program. The nose is apple, lemon, and honey, followed by peach, melon, tangerine, and tropical fruit, all in all, an interesting nose. The Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Santa Barbara County Chardonnay 2020 has a soft mouthfeel and rounded fresh flavors.
This Chardonnay tastes like lemon chiffon, tart green apple, Anjou pear, orange blossom honey, and Anju pear. The mid-palate adds that salty/nutty “on lees” thing, a slap of spice, a bit of vanilla cream, and a late hit of butterscotch.
The acidity is very well controlled.
- The Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Santa Barbara County Chardonnay 2020 is an excellent $7.99 Chardonnay.
- This is a Chardonnay with a pleasing nose and diverse and tasty flavors, it is Bang For The Buck wine