Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Sonoma County Brut Rosé

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Trader Joe's Platinum Reserve Sonoma County Brut Rosé
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The Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Sonoma County Brut Rosé is a $14.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive produced for them by Rack and Riddle from Sonoma, California. Rack and Riddle is a custom Sparkling wine producer making Bubbly in the Traditional Method (Champagne-style).

The Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Sonoma County Brut Rosé is mostly Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, with a little splash of Chardonnay. We recently reviewed the Trader Joe’s Reserve North Coast Brut which sells for $9.99. We were wondering what the extra 5 bucks get you.

Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve wines are, according to the Fearless Flyer, “represents top wines from top winemakers in some of the most prestigious wine-growing regions in the country, sold at a fraction of the price they’d normally command elsewhere.” But with no technical notes or wine details, how do we know if that is accurate?

The answer is if it tastes like a $30 Bubbly then maybe it is. You should not need to know the winery or brand name to know if you like a particular wine or not. 

Most expensive American Sparkling wines have extended triage (second fermentation), the average is 18 months any time beyond that tends to make the Bubbly more expensive. Top estate vineyards can add to the price, here we only know Sonoma County which is a huge growing region.

In Champagne, the top Bubbly only uses first-run juice. That is the juice the grapes release on the initial pressing (grapes are pressed several times to get all the juice) the first run is seen as the best of the best. Does the Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Sonoma County Brut Rosé use first-run juice? Nobody is saying.

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Rack and Riddle make under ten dollars for Sparkling wine and makes $50 plus Bubbly, so we get no clues there. All the marketing and advertising Champagne Houses and the top Sparkling wine producers use to associate their wines with top quality don’t work here. Trader Joe’s is not a winery it is a grocery store that sells bargain wine.

We are going to have to taste Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Sonoma County Brut Rosé to see if it competes with the top California Sparkling wines. The alcohol content is 13.08% which is a little high for a Traditional Method Bubbly.

The Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Sonoma County Brut Rosé Tasting Notes

The color is on the salmon side of pink with plenty of bubbles. The nose is strawberry hard candy (not sweet), lemon/lime, stone fruit, a little brioche bread, a hint of vanilla, and spice. The Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Sonoma County Brut Rosé is Bubbly with a firm mouthfeel and subtle flavors.

This Sparkling wine tastes like tart cherry, sharp-edged spice, lemon, and faint yeasty bread. The mid-palate brings cranberry, a salty/nutty sensation, and Anjou pear. The acidity is well-balanced and the flavors hit your palate and quickly dissipate.

The Summary

  • The Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Sonoma County Brut Rosé is a story of expectations.
  • When I tried the TJ’s Reserve North Coast Brut for $9.99 I was not expecting much and got a perfectly good Bubbly. I was happy.
  • With the Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Sonoma County Brut Rosé that is so easy to understand, the more I sip it, the more I like it.
  • Is it the $30 Sparkling wine selling for half price I was hoping for? Probably not. Is it well worth $14.99? Yes, it is.
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About the Author
Don’t tell anyone, but there is absolutely no correlation between the cost of wine and the quality of wine.