The 2011 Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a Trader Joe’s $7.99 exclusive sourced from grapes grown somewhere in Napa Valley, California. Trader Joe’s says one of their long time wine partners needed to sell some of their Cabernet Sauvignon, the price was right, so here it is. Back in 2008, when the economy went south, Trader Joe’s was able to make deals on wines from wineries that had gone bankrupt, had stock they could not sell or needed fast cash. Every couple of months TJ’s came out with a new exclusive label featuring wines that under better circumstances would never sell at Trader Joe’s prices. The last 3 vintages for California grapes have provided quality grapes, but low yields. Couple the lack of excess grapes with the improving economy and we have not seen a slew of $7.99 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon lately. The Petit Reserve label indicates that TJ’s has a limited supply of this wine and once it is gone it is gone for good. Napa Valley is a premium growing area for the Cabernet Sauvignon, but just because a wine is produced from Napa Valley grapes does not mean that it automatically will be superior to Cabs sourced from grapes grown elsewhere. But is probably safe to say that whomever originally produced this Cab never intended it to sell for $7.99. The alcohol content is 13.7%.
The color is a dark, rich ruby red. The nose is dark fruit, oak vanilla, a touch of spearmint spice and a little sawdust. This is a fruit forward, but still reasonably balanced, dry, medium body Cabernet. It tastes of black and blueberry, a light touch of chocolate syrup, red plum and soft vanilla. The mid palate brings a slight tug from the tannins and some juicy red berries. The acidity is buried in the mix and the finish is subdued and of decent length.
The TJ’s Petit Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a wonderful $7.99 Cab. Smooth and tasty, with just enough rough edge to let you know it is a real Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. The greatest Cabernet of all time, nope, but a Cabernet Sauvignon that you can enjoy knowing that you got good value for your money, yup.