Trader Joe’s Cotillion Pinot Noir 2016

CheapWineFinder Podcast
CheapWineFinder Podcast
Trader Joe's Cotillion Pinot Noir 2016

The Trader Joe’s Cotillion Pinot Noir 2016 is a $9.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive sourced from vineyards in 56% Monterey County, 33% Sonoma County, and 11% Santa Barbara County. These 3 counties are very solid Pinot Noir growing region and the bottle could have indicated California as the grape origin, since 2 of the AVA’s are in the Central Coast AVA and 1 in the North Coast AVA, but they wanted to “show-off” it’s semi-fancy pedigree (especially for the price). This is a TJ’s wine that comes back every year, we reviewed the 2013 vintage and as I recall, liked it. The back label indicates some sort of oak aging or conditioning and a 2016 vintage is a fair bit of bottle aging for a ten buck wine. Certain wines take longer to come together and be drinkable for release, they tend to produce $10 wines to find their balance quickly. So a current vintage of 2016 shows the producer didn’t rush this bottle to market and that is a good thing for any wine, but especially for Pinot Noir which tends to be delicate and shouldn’t be rushed. The alcohol content is 13.8%.

The color is a legit, see-thru garnet red, with so many Pinot Noir’s having Petite Sirah and other grapes blended in nowadays I am used to seeing deep, dark Pinots, I prefer the real thing. The nose is impressive, smoke, herbs, mushroom, black pepper, cherry, grilled meat, it’s the aromas found on the expensive stuff. This is a medium bodied, nicely balanced, old-school Pinot Noir. It tastes of cherry, a little Dr. Pepper (not sweet), a rough contrast of herbs, and creamy vanilla. The mid-palate offers exotic spice, raspberry, black pepper, and a late slap of Altoids spice. The tannins are soft and sweet and the acidity stays in the background, this can be a food wine as well as an excellent sipper. The finish is vibrant and lengthy.

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The Trader Joe’s Cotillion Pinot Noir 2016 is an unexpectedly satisfying California Pinot Noir. It constantly reminded me of Pinots from the expensive, highly touted growing regions, not a best of California TJ’s $9.99 Pinot. It is not as delicate and etherial as the best Pinot Noir, but it does drinks very well and in a blind tasting you would never guess the price. Plus it has a label with Victorian-style animals dancing at a party where they are wearing masks of other animals. Wonderful label and a wonderful wine.




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