Tres Pinos Tierra Blanca is a San Luis Obispo County wine, but that's just where the grapes come from. The winery which makes it, San Antonio Winery, is actually in downtown Los Angeles. It's something of a historical landmark. This wine was bottled specifically to be marketed at Trader Joe's as a bottom-shelf $5 wine. That's the history lesson, now let's see how good this recession-busting tastes today.
The Bottle: Tres Pinos is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Viognier and Chardonnay. The alcohol level is relatively low at 13.5% abv. The label promises "bright and crisp with aromas of citrus and wildflowers."
The Nose: If they say it's citrus and wildflowers I'm smelling, so be it. I detect a floral presence along with a tropical note - perhaps guava. But there is something else in there that I cannot quite pin down. Not an unpleasant nose, but nothing to go out of your way for.
The Taste: At $5, you may ask, "what did you expect?" Well, not much, to be truthful. Frankly I think I got my money's worth. That, considering the price, is both good and bad. I detect the Sauvignon Blanc and the Viognier, but the Gewurz and the Chard are pretty much lost on me. It's actually not terrible, and I might sit on the porch and down a couple of glasses without realizing it. There's not much acidity, so we'll skip the food pairing portion of the program. There's also a medium-length finish that you may wish wasn't so lengthy. If I haven't mentioned it already, serve this wine chilled. No, refrigerated. You really don't want it warming up as you drink it.
I don't write too many unfavorable tasting notes, and it doesn't sit well with me when I do. I like wine, and I enjoy liking it. This one simply does not hit me in the right place. If all you have is $5, and you need to spend it on white wine, I suppose it would be considered a value play for you, if it weren't for the fact that Clay Station's Viognier is about the same price at TJ's and it's actually good. I wish I had opened that wine today. Maybe I will in the coming weeks.
Disclaimer: I paid for the wine I wrote about.