Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Russian River Chardonnay

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CheapWineFinder Podcast
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Russian River Chardonnay
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The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Russian River Chardonnay is a $12.99 Trader exclusive produced with grapes from the Russian River Valley AVA in Sonoma County.

The back label says this wine was “vinted and bottled by”Aril WInes of Oakville, Napa. They are a small boutique high-end winery with winemakers from Turley and Silver Oak.

Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Russian River Chardonnay

Vinted and bottled by only indicates that they bottled the wine, but they are a curious choice for a $12.99 Trader Joe’s wine.

There are no production notes for this Chardonnay, but the back label mentions lemon and brioche along with vanilla and spice.

The vanilla and brioche and maybe the spice indicate oak barrel aging, while the lemon would suggest an unoaked Chardonnay.

So I guess that Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Russian River Chardonnay is a blend of oaked and unoaked grapes, with part of the wine receiving malolactic fermentation and the other portion not.

The Russian River Valley AVA runs north-south near the California coast. The Sonoma Coast AVA which is a coastal mountain valley AVA is to the west of the Russian River. Both AVAs are well-known for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The alcohol content is 14.1%.

The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Russian River Chardonnay Tasting Notes

The color is a very pale golden yellow. The nose is lemon, apple, dried pineapple, honey, vanilla, and a light floral edge. The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Russian River Chardonnay is a subtle, yet tasty Chardonnay. This a darker style than the usual value-priced Chardonnay.

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This Chardonnay tastes like a stew of apple, lemon, a splash of orange blossom honey, and vanilla, along with pear and spice. The mid-palate offers a salty/nutty flavor, with nectarine, and a little tropical fruit.

The acidity is well-controlled and allows the flavors to unfold.

The Summary

  • The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Russian River Chardonnay is more dark and brooding than the typical bright and juicy value Chardonnay.
  • That is not a criticism, it is an extremely satisfying sip.
  • This Chardonnay tastes more expensive than it is!
About the Author
Don’t tell anyone, but there is absolutely no correlation between the cost of wine and the quality of wine.