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The Trader Joe’s Reserve Santa Ynez Valley GSM 2022 is a Trader Joe’s $9.99 exclusive. The blend is 47% Mourvedre, 34% Syrah, and 19% Grenache, so it is an MSG blend. The Santa Ynez Valley is located in southern Santa Barbara County, between 2 mountain ranges. The western part of the valley gets cool Pacific Ocean influence and produces excellent Pinot Noir, it still has cool breezes as you go east, but the temps are a bit warmer and you see more Rhone grapes being farmed.
The back label says this wine was “vinted and bottled” by Bozzano & Company, operating out the Central Coast AVA making custom wines. Vinted and bottles by means the company only bottled the wine, but with LLC and dummy companies it is difficult to figure out which vineyards and wineries were involved in the production, Bozzano & Company has made wine for Trader Joe’s in the past.
The Trader Joe’s Reserve Santa Ynez Valley GSM 2022 is a classic southern Rhone Valley (France) blend. The Bordeaux blend is the most popular and famous Red Blend in the world. The GSM blend is #2. It was made popular by the Châteauneuf-du-Pape blends. These wines date back to the 1300s when the Pope lived in France and not Rome. Châteauneuf-du-Pape translates to the Pope’s new Castle.
The Grenache is a sleek, dark berry wine, Syrah can be plump, juicy red berries, and Mourvedre adds structure, and blueberry, and can be spicy and savory. Each grape has something the other does not have, which is why it is such an enduring Red Blend. The alcohol content is 13.9%.
Bozzano and Company deal in bulk wines which are grape juice sold as excess by various vineyards in wineries. Most famous vineyards have their crop contracted by other wineries and do not hit the bulk market. There are plenty of grapes available from other vineyards if you choose properly.
There is a group of vineyards and winemakers in the Central Coast AVA called the Rhone Rangers who specialize in producing Rhone Valley-inspired wines.
The Trader Joe’s Reserve Santa Ynez Valley GSM 2022 Tasting Notes
The color is garnet red with medium black highlights and a clear halo. The nose is savory, with black pepper, raspberry, blackberry, spice, a little whiff of smoke, and herbs. The Trader Joe’s Reserve Santa Ynez Valley GSM 2022 has good body and length.
This GSM (MSG) blend tastes like raspberry, licorice, a hint of herbs, soft black pepper, and soothing plum. The mid-palate shows blueberry, and a hint of chocolate powder (GSM blends often do not use oak, so maybe the Syrah saw little barrel time), along with ripe blackberry, and a late hit of exotic spice.
The tannins are smooth and the acidity allows all the flavors to unfold while providing structure and length.
- The Trader Joe’s Reserve Santa Ynez Valley GSM 2022 is an interesting and tasty ten-buck wine.
- It seems like every other California value-priced red blend features Petite Sirah and Zinfandel in the blend The TJ’s GSM is a nice change of pace.