The Trader Joe’s Reserve Paso Robles Meritage 2021 is a $9.99 TJ’s exclusive. The back label says this Red was “vinted and bottled by Healdsburg Wine Cellars.” That is a division of Delicato Family Wines, they make Gnarlyhead wines, along with many other brands. They recently purchased Coppola WInes and also have holdings in Napa. They are very experienced and successful at producing quality value-priced wine.
A Meritage wine is a California Red that uses some or all of the 5 Red grapes approved for use in Bordeaux. It is an active organization that promotes research and education and wineries have to pay a fee to show Meritage on the label.
The Trader Joe’s Reserve Paso Robles Meritage 2021 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verot, Merlot, and Malbec. Cabernet Franc is the 5th approved grape but is missing from this blend.
Paso Roble AVA is located inside the Central Coast AVA is about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Paso has an excellent reputation for growing top-quality Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The Fearless Flyer mentions dark berries and modern oak influence as well as chocolate chips on the finish. The alcohol content is a moderate 13.5%, so that is the basics let’s go to the tasting section.
The Trader Joe’s Reserve Paso Robles Meritage 2021 Tasting Notes
The color is a barely see-thru black cherry red with black highlights. The nose is ripe blackberry, jammy raspberry, oak spice, licorice, and toasted vanilla. The Trader Joe’s Reserve Paso Robles Meritage 2021 is a fruit-forward easy to drink Red with ripe flavors and interesting spices.
This Bordeaux Blend tastes like blackberry, black pepper, rough-edged spice, and ripe plum. The mid-palate offers chocolate powder, cherry, vanilla, blueberry, and tart cranberry. The tannins are lurking in the background but do not interfere with the flavor and the acidity gives this wine good length.
- The Trader Joe’s Reserve Paso Robles Meritage 2021 is a solid $10 Red blend.
- It tastes California rather than Bordeaux, but that is a good thing for a valued-priced wine.