The Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Maule Valley Carmenere 2021 is a $7.99 exclusive sourced from vineyards in the Maule Valley in the south-central portion of the Central Valley in Chile. The back label says this wine was vinted and bottled by TerrAral Wines and here is a link to their website, they seem to own vineyards in the Curico Valley of Chile.
The Maule Valley is one of the oldest and largest wine regions in Chile, there are records of Spanish missionaries planting grapes in the 1500s. It is best known for Bordeaux Red grapes.
Carmenere grapes in Chie have an interesting origin story. In the 1800s, insects and plant diseases devastated Bordeaux and other French wine regions. Someone took some Merlot vine planting (maybe not legally) and took them to Chile. They could not figure out why this Chilean Merlot tasted so much like vegetables and green peppers for a long time until a grape expert came along and found that the Merlot was Carmenere. The two grapes look similar but have different growing periods, they were picking the Carmenere before it was fully ripe.
When they did further testing they found this Carmenere was from Bordeaux. In Bordeaux, Carmenere was almost extinct they had so many difficult vintages with the grapes they quit planting it, so Chilean Carmenere is the lost grape of Bordeaux.
Now that they have the proper growing season figured out, Carmrnere is doing very well. As a Bordeaux blending grape, it will work well with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. So if you have not tried a Carmenere wine before it should be recognizable. The Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Maule Valley Carmenere 2021 has an alcohol content of 14%.
Petit Reserve means there is a limited supply of this wine and wine it is gone this exact wine is gone for good.
The Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Maule Valley Carmenere 2021 Tasting Notes
The color is dark, opaque black cherry red. The nose is red berries, spice, a savory note, mocha coffee, spearmint, and violtes. The Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Maule Valley Carmenere 2021 is full and round with rich, ripe berries and spice.
This Carmenere tastes like extracted raspberry, a solid hit of spice, dark chocolate, and cherry. The mid-palate offers licorice, a hint of green pepper, a salty sensation, orange zest, and tart cranberry.
The tannins are smooth and the acidity is nicely balanced.
- The Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Maule Valley Carmenere 2021 is a very tasty $7.99 wine.
- Familiar, yet different, this wine offers interesting flavors.