The Elevation 1250 Paso Robles Red 2018 is a $7.99 Trader Joe’s wine made for them by Riboli Family Wines, who have been producing wine since 1917 and have been in Paso Robles since the early 2000s. The typical Trader Joe’s wine conceals the producer, but the winery name and the winemakers’ name are on the label.
Riboli Family Wines has a pretty good webpage, but the Elevation 1250 Paso Robles Red 2018 is not among the wines listed. This is the 2018 vintage, and this wine has been available at TJ’s since the 2013 vintage. There are no current technical details, but past Red blends have been a mix of Syrah and Petite Sirah.
Petite Sirah was created in the mid-1800s by a man named Durif. At the time, France was undergoing all sorts of serious problems in its vineyards. Durif crossed the Syrah grapevine with a grape called Peloursin to create a hardy version of Syrah. The problem was that by the time the new grape was perfected, the issue plaguing Syrah grapes subsided and Petite Sirah was no longer needed. It somehow made its way to Australia, called Durif, and to California, where it thrives with the warmer temps and is the secret ingredient in countless Red blends.
The back label of the Elevation 1250 Paso Robles Red 2018 suggests that the grapes came from Riboli Estate vineyards, and the name says the vineyards are located in the foothills of the Coastal Mountains. At 1250 feet, the Pacific Ocean’s breezes should be less intense, providing for a warmer growing season that suits the grapes.
One of the things I try to stress about Trader Joe’s wines is that even though a major winery may have produced the wine, that does not mean that it is a wine that the winery would put their own name on. Often, store brands will contract a winery to make wine in popular wine and for a certain price point. The winery is creating a wine to its customers’ wishes. But the Elevation 1250 Paso Robles Red 2018 looks to be a Riboli Family Wine using Riboli grapes.
A Red blend from a well-regarded AVA, with estate vineyards from a Family owned winery that sells for $7.99, is a bargain. So let’s head to the tasting portion and see just how big of a bargain. The alcohol content is 14.9%.
Elevation 1250 Paso Robles Red 2018 Tasting Notes
The color is clean, barely see-thru raspberry jelly red. The nose is jammy red berries, oak spice, mocha, black pepper, light herbs, and a good dose of spice. The Elevation 1250 Paso Robles Red 2018 smooth, rich wine upfront, with loads of spice on the mid-palate.
It tastes of black cherry, ripe raspberry, a light chocolate, black pepper, and juicy plum. The mid-palate adds a sharp slap of spice, there is enough fruit to balance the spice, but it does stand out. Then there is some chewy tannins, along with blueberry and vanilla.
With all the ripe fruit and spice, this wine will pair well with BBQ and grilled meats. It has strong, bold flavors that can compete and enhance these comfort foods.
- The Elevation 1250 Paso Robles Red 2018 is an excellent $7.99 Red blend. It can compete with wines at twice the price.
- This is a spicy red wine; the spice is one of the main flavor components. It reminds me of the Australian Shiraz from ten years ago. I like Australian Shiraz.
- A $7.99 wine that has a personality and makes a flavor statement is an excellent thing.