The Chateau Amour Red (Medoc) 2009 , a $7.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive (this bottling was produced specifically for Trader Joe’s) is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot grown in estate vineyards in the Medoc region of Bordeaux, France. Chateau Amour is one of Chateau Panigon labels, Chateau Panigon’s usual Bordeaux blend has the percentages of the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon reversed. The Medoc growing region is located on the Left Bank and north of the town of Bordeaux and all Medoc wines are Red wines. This blend has been aged in oak barrels for 12 months and the alcohol content is 13.5%. 88 points Wine Enthusiasts.
Here are a few notes on Bordeaux wine: 1) The quality of Bordeaux wines are very dependent on the growing conditions of each vintage. When the growing conditions are very, very good, like in 2009, the vast majority of Bordeaux wines (700 million bottles, on average, produced each vintage) are very drinkable and enjoyable. In off vintages, you need to know what you are doing to find the good stuff, in fine vintages, just grab a bottle, the chances are good that it is a quality wine. 2) Most imported wines and Bordeaux wines are thoroughly vetted before they make it on to your local wine shops shelves. First, an importer has to decide that this is a bottle he can sell. Then the importer has to have a distributor agree that, yes indeed, this bottle of wine will do well in his area and finally a wine shop has to taste the wine and agree that they can sell the wine to their customers. Now that does not insure that the wine is made in a style that you enjoy, but it is probably a wine worth experiencing. This model does not actually work for Trader Joe’s, since they are the importer and the exclusive seller, if you tend to enjoy Trader Joe’s wines, you will probably enjoy their imported wines, plus the price is right.
The color is cherry red with black highlights. The nose is raspberry, cherry, cassis, a light whiff of Port, a hint of grilled meat and cold coffee. It tastes of ripe black cherries mixed with a few black cherries picked a little too soon, bitter dark chocolate, herbal tea and a little vanilla. The mid palate shows a bit of rough texture from the tannins, tart cranberry and the sensation of licking a band aid (not as bad as it sounds). The acidity is very well balanced, you do not notice it until the finish, it is then you realize just how well integrated the acidity is. The finish stays with you for quite some time.
A real French Bordeaux wine from the haut Medoc selling for $7.99 is a wonderful wine drinking experience. It does not matter if this is a great Bordeaux Red or that Bordeaux Reds selling for 2 or 3 times the price might be “better” (marginally) wines. It is inexpensive, it drinks well and it tastes like Bordeaux. After all, THE best wine, is one that you enjoy and is currently in your glass.