Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Santa Barbara GSM 2022

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Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Santa Barbara GSM 2022
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The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Santa Barbara GSM 2022 is a Trader Joe’s $12.99 exclusive. A GSM wine is the main blend from the Southern Rhone Valley in France. This blend is 42% Grenache, 395 Syrah, and 19% Mourvedre.

Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Santa Barbara GSM 2022

The back label says this wine was produced and bottled, which means they made it, by ACE 1542. With a little digging, I found that ACE 1542 is a project by Curt Schalchlin of San Liege and Groundwork Wines and Sommelier Emmanuel Kemiji.

San Liege and Groundworks feature wines that sell for $30 plus and routinely receive high 90+ wine scores.

Top-notch wineries often produce Trader Joe’s Reserve wines, but most of them have lines of affordable wine. The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Santa Barbara GSM 2022 is made by premium winemakers.

Trader Joe’s offered a GSM from Santa Ynez Valley a few months ago. Santa Ynez is an AVA inside of the Santa Barbara AVA. Who produced that wine is not clear, but it seems to be made by one of Trader Joe’s usual suspects.

There are no production notes for this GSM, San Liege makes a GSM in the $30 range and I suspect the TJ’s version is dome similar but simpler. The alcohol content is 14.9%.

The Rhone Rangers are a group of winemakers from the Central Valley AVA that produce wines in the style of the Rhone Valley. San Liege is not a member winery, they deal in Rhone varietals but are not tied to the French style of winemaking.

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The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Santa Barbara GSM 2022 Tasting Notes

The color is raspberry jam with serious black highlights. The nose is tight, focused blackberry, herbs, oak spice, plum, spice, and blueberry. The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Santa Barbara GSM 2022 is sleek, lean, and flavorful.

This Red Blend tastes like blackberry, raspberry, mocha, spice, and ripe plum. The mid-palate adds dusty tannins, blueberry, cranberry, a slap of herbs, and exotic spice.

The tannins do not bite and the acidity gives the wine excellent length, the flavors linger.

The Summary

  • The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Santa Barbara GSM 2022 is an excellent $12.99 wine.
  • This wine drinks like twice its price.
  • This wine is a wine you should try if you are interested in Rhone GSM wines.

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