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The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2021 is a $12.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive. The Dry Creek Valley first planted Zinfandel vines in the 1870s, phylloxera hit the California vineyards in the 1890s and destroyed most of the vines. The vineyards were replanted and several of those ancient (by grapevine standards) are still producing grapes and wine. Dry Creek is home to the highest concentration of old-vine Zinfandel in the world.
Zinfandel is closely related to the Primativo of grapes of Puglia in Italy. They seem to be different clones of the same grape. One main difference with Zinfandel is the grapes on a bunch do not ripen at the same time. A grape bunch can have grapes that are past their peak, ripe grapes, unripened grapes, and the entire spectrum. This varying selection of grapes gives the Zinfandel grapes and big, jammy, spicy character.
The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2021 seems to have been produced in some way by the largest independently owned wine company in Washington. They have produced several wines for Trader Joe’s and even had a hand in TJ’s Diamond Reserve Petite Verdot.
Trader Joe’s Fearless fler mentions this Zin was aged in American oak barrels and that the alcohol content is a stiff 15%.
Dry Creek Valley is 16 miles long and 2 miles wide and is located north of the Russian River AVA, west of the Alexander Valley AVA, and east of the Sonoma Coast AVA in Sonoma County, California.
TJ’s Grand Reserve wines can often be compared to retail wines selling for roughly twice the price, the $25 range looks to be the sweet spot for Dry Creek Zinfandel wines.
The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2021 Tasting Notes
The color is cherry red with serious black highlights. The nose is black cherry, molasses, and spice, some from a BBQ grill, plum, black pepper, and jammy raspberry. The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2021 is big, jammy, spicey, and silky smooth.
The Zinfandel tastes like blackberry, dark chocolate, spice, tart cranberry, and very ripe plum. The mid-palate adds blueberry, dusty chocolate powder, another type of spice, and black cherry.
The tannins are sweet and stay out of the way, the acidity is well balanced by the body of the wine and gives this Zinfandel good length.
- The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2021 is the best Zinfandel I have tried this year.
- It has a nice balance of sleek, elegant Zin and rough and ready farmhouse Zinfandel.
- $12.99 for a quality, single AVA Zinfandel is a bargain.