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The Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir 2020 is a $14.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive. To confuse things, there is also a Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir 2020 that sells for $12.99. Trader Joe’s seldom issued much information concerning their Reserve line of wines, so the differences between and Grand Reserve and a Platinum Reserve are not apparent. The Diamond Reserve is the top-level category.
We get very few clues as to the origin of Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir 2020, simply that the is “made especially for us by expert winemakers in the Carneros AVA”. That tells us that a Carneros winery had a hand in producing this wine.
Often with Trader Joe’s Reserve wines, the grapes come from one AVA, and the producer of record on the back label is located in a separate AVA. While the grapes from let’s say the Dry Creek AVA in Sonoma, allow the bottle to show Dry Creek as the place of origin on the label, the wine can be made almost anywhere in California by any winery facility.
The Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir 2020 seems to be produced by a Carneros winery that knows Carneros Pinot Noir, not a small point. Carneros Pinot Noir sells from $15 to $70 and up. I would expect this Pinot Noir to be the equivalent o a $25 to $30 wine when you do not know the details of a particular wine you have to trust the shop selling the wine.
Over the years I have found all the Trader Joe’s Reserve wines from the Petit Reserve and Chilean Reserve up to the Diamond Reserve to be well worth the price with some Reserve wines being amazing values.
Carneros is just north of San Pablo Bay (east of Oakland) and its boundaries are within both Sonoma and Napa. The San Pablo Bay brings the Ocean climate that Pinot Noir loves. The soil in Carneros is shallow and poor, mostly clay. One of the odd things about grapevines is that the worse the soil and the harder the vines have to struggle the better the grapes.
The Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir 2020 promises to be a classic California Pinot Noir that drinks above its price point. The alcohol content is stiff for a Pinot Noir 14.5%. The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir 2020 was also 14.5%, maybe the wines are related or maybe it was a warm year.
The Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir 2020 Tasting Notes
The color is a see-thru garnet red, this is a pretty wine. The nose is cherry, herbs, crushed autumn leaves, spice, tea, vanilla, and strawberry. The Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir 2020 is a complex wine with interesting flavors and textures.
This Pinot Noir tastes like cherry, vanilla, exotic spice, black pepper, rough edges herbs, black licorice (not sweet), and plum. The mid-palate shows black cherry, mocha, more spice, tart cranberry, orange zest, and sweet raspberry. the tannins are sweet and the acidity allows the flavors to unfold and gives the wine length.
- The Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir 2020 drinks above its price tag.
- This wine has complexity and personality.
- Even though this Pinot had a 14.5% alcohol content it carried it well and the alcohol did not influence the flavor profile.