Picked this up on a recommendation from Matt's site, TJswinenotes.com. The main problem with Trader Joes is that they have a surfeit of shitty wines and very few good ones. If you're like me, you quickly get bored drinking the same bottle of wine. It is quite rare indeed when I drink more than three bottles of any one particular wine, even when the wine is awesome. More often than not, I drink one bottle of something unless I am absurdly enthused. In other words, if I ever talk about a wine more than one time--it means that I am really a fan. What this means is that I also quickly run out of things that look interesting to me at Trader Joes--I sort of know by now what might be good and what is going to be awful. The last couple of Trader Joes branded wines that I have had aren't that great. Think about why that might be too: if you have good shit, aren't you going to sell it somewhere besides into a private label? I know that I would. Shit, there are a lot of places where you can get a pretty good price for your surplus stuff. I'm thinking Castle Rock, Cameron Hughes, your own second label, second labels of your friends...Trader Joes has to be one of the last places that you would want your wine to go in a private label.
Normally, I would throw this wine into the awful camp, but I took a chance on it at $9.99 due to the recommendation. I have to say that I am not a fan of this wine. Currants, black cherries, a little raisined, and full of vanilla notes. Juicy and chocolate-y with more vanilla and raisin character on the somewhat lackluster finish. Sarah thought that it smelled like bananas, and I think she's not that far off. (Commercial yeast anyone? Georges Dubouef?? Could Trader Joes really be churning out the California equivalent of Beaujolais Nuveau?) You could do way worse than this wine though; that's what's fucking scary about it. C-