The 2012 Cosmia Sonoma County Pinot Noir is an $8.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive. This Pinot Noir was produced by Our Cellars (not a real winery, but a front name for the actual winery) who also produced Trader Joe’s Lost Sonnet and several other quality TJ’s wines. Sonoma County includes the Russian River Valley AVA and the western half of the Carneros AVA, which are top notch Pinot Noir growing areas, but there is no information available as to where exactly these grapes were grown. The 2012 vintage in California, especially Northern California was one of the best in years. Sonoma Pinot Noir rarely sells for $8.99. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is a crystal clear, see-thru cherry red. The nose is encouraging, cherry and strawberry, tea, herbs, a soft hit of mushroom and mint. This is a fruit forward Pinot Noir upfront with a good deal of real deal Pinot Noir complexity and funk kicking in on the mid palate. It starts off with tart cherry, strawberry, vanilla creme and sweet blueberry. The mid palate transitions to a brush of dusty tannins, dried herbs, mushroom, a jolt of cranberry and a sharp bite from tar. The acidity is slightly subdued and the finish is subtle, but lingers.
The 2012 Cosmia Sonoma Pinot Noir isn’t the most balanced Pinot in the world, but at $8.99, that can be forgiven. A $50 off kilter Pinot Noir is a crime, at less than 9 bucks it is a minor inconvenience. This is a Real $8.99 Pinot Noir, not a great Pinot Noir, but one that is definitely an enjoyable glass of wine. The Cosmia is inexpensive, has a beautiful label and would pair well with Thanksgiving turkey dinner.