Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Russian River Pinot Noir 2018

The StoryThe Trader Joe's Petit Reserve Russian River Pinot Noir 2018 is a $7.99 Trader Joe's exclusive. There have been other Trader Joe's Reserve Pinot Noirs over the years, the regular Reserve and Grand Reserve wines tend to have Lot #'s to differentiate them, I believe the Petit designation indicates that there is a limited supply of this Pinot Noir. The Russian River Valley is located in western Sonoma County along the coast and runs parallel with the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Ocean along the shore has cold water and winds and fog off the ocean are trapped in the valley allowing much of the Russian River Valley to be an ideal growing region for Pinot and Chardonnay. Brand wines from the Russian River tend to sell for over $15 and Winery Pinot Noir sells for $20 plus. So, $7.99 is an unusual price, the producers of this Pinot are negociants, make custom wines, and according to their website can produce clone wines. Tell the wine you want to imitate and they will reverse engineer it to come up wine at an agreed-upon price. There isn't any information available concerning the production of the Petit Reserve, but I figure anyone that can reverse engineer wine knows what they are doing. The back label mentions toaty oak and vanilla so this Pinot had some sort of oak treatment and the alcohol content is a rather stiff, for Pinot Noir, 14.58%. And as a 2018 vintage, this is a young wine with only a short period of aging.The Tasting NotesThe color is pale garnet red. The nose is legit, the alcohol content had me concerned but the color and the nose are classic Pinot, there are notes of cherry, herbs, crushed autumn leaves, black pepper, exotic spice, and toasty oak. This Pinot is on the light side of medium-bodied, with delicate, but complicated flavors. This wine starts with tart cherry, followed by herbs, unsweetened cola, dark chocolate, and black pepper. The mid-palate offers bright fresh raspberry, a slap of sharp spice, a little creamy vanilla, and orange zest. The acidity is excellent, it does not bite but stays around to let all the flavors unfold. The finish is subtle but lingers.The Summary * There is nothing about this Pinot that suggests it sells for $7.99, it looks, smells, and tastes like California Pinot Noir. * If you got into Pinot Noir thru Meiomi Pinot Noir this will be different, the TJs is Old School Pinot Noir, Meiomi is New School. * This is a Pinot Noir that will pair well with the Thanksgiving feast, the light-body, and the cherry flavors will complement the turkey and the acidity will cut through the accompanying dishes…The Tjs Petit Reserve is a Thanksgiving all-rounder.

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Don’t tell anyone, but there is absolutely no correlation between the cost of wine and the quality of wine.