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The Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir 2021 is a $14.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive. There was a 2020 Vintage TJ’s Platinum Reserve Carneros Pinot which also sold for $14.99. This seems to be a reoccurring Thanksgiving wine.
The Carneros AVA is located on the San Pablo Bay, east of Oakland, and about half of the AVA is in Sonoma and the other half in Napa. This is a high-end Pinot Noir and Chardonnay-growing region they do not produce value-priced wines. A Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve wine is supposedly the equal of wines selling for over twice the price, sometimes well over.
Since we do not know which path this Pinot took to make it onto Trader Joe’s shelves that is hard to quantify, Carneros Pinot Noir sells from around $20 to over $100, depending on whether it is an estate-grown wine, the production methods used, and the aging program. It is reasonable to think that this Pinot Noir came from a vineyard that routinely sells $30 wines.
The Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir 2021 has a couple of paragraphs in the current Fearless Flyer, so we have some information. They indicate that this is a classic example of Carneros Pinot Noir and balanced and refined. They offer some general tasting notes, but I prefer to come up with my own. Always use your own descriptions when tasting wines and don’t let other folks’ experience with the wine influence you. One of the key steps in tasting wine is trusting your own instincts.
This Pinot Noir has 14.5% alcohol which is the same as the 2020 vintage. 14.5% seems high for a Pinot, but the last vintage carried its alcohol well. A Pinot Noir in my opinion is best when the body of the wine is light enough to let all the flavors and texture shine through. Higher alcohol content can give the wine more body than ideal.
The Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir 2021 Tasting Notes
The color is a see-through burgundy. The nose is cherry, herbs, soft spice, tea, crushed fall leaves, vanilla, and a savory note. The Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir 2021 has a soft, smooth mouthfeel, but the flavors are both ripe and exotic.
This Pinot Noir tastes like black cherry, vanilla, slightly sharp spice, tea, and faint, not sweet, Dr. Pepper. The midpalate brings orange zest, raspberry, herbs, and blueberry. The tannins are sweet and stay out of the flavor profile, the acidity gives this Pinot Noir excellent length.
- The Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir 2021 is a solid food wine, there is plenty of structure and enough delicious flavor to be the highlight of a meal.
- It is well worth the $14.99 price tag, does it run and gun with $30 Pinots? Well, you would need a side-by-side comparison for that. I don’t buy $15 wines because I want to spend $30, so I will take their word for it.