The Trader Joe’s Reserve Chalone Pinot Noir 2020 is a $9.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive. The interesting part of the last sentence was the reference to the Chalone AVA. The Chalone AVA is perched about 1,200 to 2,300 upon a plateau in the Monterey coastal mountains.
There are only 300 acres of vines planted with only three wineries situated inside the AVA. The grapes are used by several high-end Pinot Noir producers from other locals. While this is a coastal AVA it is high enough in the hills to stop the morning fog from the Pacific Ocean from rolling in. The fog allows the heat of the day to gradually heat the vineyards. With the Chalone AVA, there is no morning reprieve from the sun.
The soil is unique to Chalone with ancient decomposed limestone and granite, The soil is closer to Burgundy in France than California. The temperature differential from day to night and back again, along with the rocky well-drained soil make this a special place to grow Pinot Noir.
The Trader Joe’s Reserve Chalone Pinot Noir 2020 does not come with any technical information. But in this case, that does not matter with only 300 acres of vineyards planted and a hand full of wineries, we have an idea a good idea where is Pinot came from.
As an exclusive Pinot Noir growing AVA most retail Chalone Pinots sell for about $25 to $70 and some of these wines are worthy of cellar aging. The Trader Joe’s Reserve Chalone Pinot Noir 2020 figures to be a drink-it-now wine and not a Pinot made to be cellared. Which is fine since it is priced for the drink-it-now category.
The Trader Joe’s Reserve line of wines (Grand, Platinum, Diamond, etc.) sometimes are relabeled high-end wines, but more likely are grapes from elite growing regions produced with more affordable production techniques. This is perfectly fine since tasting high-end grapes at an affordable price is a unique luxury. The alcohol content is a precise 13.92%.
The Trader Joe’s Reserve Chalone Pinot Noir 2020 Tasting Notes
The color is a clean, clear garnet red. The nose is ripe cherries, toasty cinnamon spice, light herbs, mint, and raspberry jam. The Trader Joe’s Reserve Chalone Pinot Noir 2020 is silky smooth, with a touch of sweetness and some funky, cool Pinot Noir flavors.
This Pinot Noir tastes like black cherry, black pepper, sweet strawberry, soft creamy vanilla, and spice. The mid-palate adds tangerine (without the acidity), tart cranberry, a little chocolate powder, and ripe blueberry. The tannins are soft and sweet and the acidity gives this Pinot Noir some proper length.
- The Trader Joe’s Reserve Chalone Pinot Noir 2020 is a delicious, interesting Pinot Noir.
- The touch of sweetness should please the Meiomi crowd and the rest should satisfy regular Pinot Noir drinkers.
- There is no good reason not to tray a bottle of Trader Joe’s Reserve Chalone Pinot Noir 2020, at $9.99 it is a bargain that will not be repeated.