The Columbia River Landing Red 2014 is a $6.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive, produced for them by Bronco Wines (of 2 Buck Chuck fame) from grapes grown in the Columbia Valley AVA of Washington. The grapes used in this Red blend are not specified, but Columbia Valley is well-known for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah, but they also grow a wide variety of Red grapes. This label did not show up on Bronco Wines website, they have scores of wine brands, and the 2014 vintage seems to be the only release of this blend. Current releases of typical $10 Red wine is 2016 and maybe a few 2015s, so this maybe a one-off wine made specially for Trader Joe’s or made only when the price is right. But, a little bottle age on a Red wine is never a bad thing (if it was stored correctly). The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is a deep, dark, barely see-thru raspberry red with black highlights. The nose is a mix of dark berries and cherry, fudge chocolate, vanilla, spice, and lightly herbal. This is a medium to full-bodied Red with plenty of soft fruit flavors followed by a solid tug from the tannins, not exactly what you expect for $6.99. It starts with ripe plum, blackberry, black pepper and light spice. The mid-palate adds chocolate powder, tart cranberry, and orange zest. It has proper tannins and the acidity is balanced, if anything it is a little on the light side. The finish is full and lasts a respectable amount of time.
For an unassuming bottle of Red wine the Columbia River Landing Red 2014 does just fine. It has more body than most Red blends selling for twice the price and if it isn’t the tastiest Red blend on the market, it does sip well. As a 2014 vintage it has a bit more oak influence than the usual value priced Red wine so you get some flavors not always associated with seven buck wine. This is a food wine, steal, pot roast, burgers, fajitas, pizza, you know the usual suspects. If you are not into tannins or barrel flavors the Columbus River Landing may not be your style, but otherwise it is a decent, affordable Red blend.