1. 2007 Castle Rock Mendocino County Pinot Noir ($10) – Worries were this one was on its way out but a fresh supply arrived. Delicate floral nose, soft strawberries on the palate and a silky finish. Get it while you can, at $10 this Pinot is worth every cent.
2. 2007 Chariot Gypsy ($5) – Those that are following along know I have been tracking the Gypsy from coast to coast. While stock in the west is limited or sold out this one seems to still be available across the rest of the country. A perfect fruit forward, juicy quaffer that pairs perfectly with burgers. I grabbed two cases
3. 2007 King Shag Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc($7) – The mercury is spiking and so is my consumption of Sauvignon Blanc. Lot’s of nice ones available at Trader Joe’s. This one strikes the perfect balance between grassy and citrus flavors and delivers a crisp, minerally finish. This one is my top Sauvignon Blanc pick, perfect for a warm summer evening on the patio.
4. 2007 Epicuro Aglianico ($5) – This bottle previously lived atop the Top 10 list and made a strong impression recently. The nose showed cherries while the palate and fruity leading to a lingering spicy finish. A nice light red for the summer. Don’t be afraid to try any of the other Epicuro offerings either. I’ve yet to post a review for this vintage but here is the review for the ‘05.
5. 2008 Honey Moon Viognier ($5) – There are times during the summer when you really want to drink a nice red but need something more refreshing. This is when I turn to Viognier. On the nose this one delivers fully pollinated flowers and red/orange fruit. On the peach and honey are prevalent on a full bodied frame of white stony, fruits with a hint of sweetness of the finish. Perfect with salmon.
6. 2005 Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve ($7) – With more cooking on the grill there has been more of this on the table. A typical Rhone GSM blend here (60/20/20) with a nose loaded of fruit and pepper. The palate brings cherry and blackberry before merging with spicy, barrel flavors on the finish. Could have just as easily picked the J. Vidal-Fleury or San Greal Red Supper Wine here as I drink them interchangably. Pick one next time your barbecuing chicken.
7. 2008 Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc ($8) – Another one that previously held the top spot, this one starts with citrus aromas. Light, crisp and tart in the mouth the finish is full of lemon and lime flavors interlaced on a crisp, acidic backbone. Another perfect summer wine, pair it with salad or on its own. I’ve yet to review this vintage but here is my post on the ‘06.
8. 2006 Chiusa Grande Tommolo Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo ($5) – Despite the reappearance of the Aglianico this one is still a regular in my house. Tart cherries on the nose that make it to the palate with a light tannic, tingly finish. Should be on your table whenever pasta is and then some.
9. 2008 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carmenere ($8) – It’s summer and this is a bit heavy given the weather but sometimes I just need a bigger red.. Here you get smoky, leather tobacco notes on top of nice, rich fruit. Give it a try next time you are grilling fajitas or pork chops for that matter. Again yet to review the current vintage but here are my notes on the ‘06
10. 2006 The California Wine Party Franc Merlot ($5) – This one is still on the shelf but guessing its days are numbered. Fruit and a bit of green pepper on the nose. Soft tannins stay in the background and the chewy, cherry flavors linger on leading to a long dry finish. I’m looking forward to my next bottle.
Just Missed– these were those that were close to making the list but couldn’t squeeze into the Top 10… Bogle Petite Sirah($9), Callabriga Dao Red ($9), Archero Nero d’ Avola Ruggero di Tasso ($4), Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Riesling ($6), VINTJS Sauvignon Blanc ($6), Kono Sauvignon Blanc ($8), Chateau des Cleons Muscadet ($6)
Special Selections– for those looking for bubbly or dessert…
Bubbly: NV Zonin Prosecco Brut ($6) or if you prefer sweeter NV Schloss Biebrich Sekt
White Dessert: 2008 Flore de Moscato ($5)
Red Dessert: NV Porto Morgado Ruby Port ($7)
Others of Interest– those I’ve bought but yet to drink or those that I am looking forward to trying again… Picton Bay Pinot Noir ($8), Caretaker Pinot Noir ($10), Dr. Jebediah Drinkwell’s Meritage ($9), Hunter Ashby Cabernet Sauvignon ($10), Howell Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon ($15), Gaetano D’Aquino Orvieto Classico ($5), Epicuro Vermentino ($5), Pancake Cellars Big Day White ($5)
Trader Joe's List TOP 10 WINES
TOP 10 WINES thanks to: Jason's Wine BlogYou've asked and asked...so here it is. Depending on when you read this you have 2 days to carefully select a wine before the weekend. Don't be afraid to grab a couple bottles, this Jason guy knows what he's talking about....