Monday, January 14, 2013

Another Wine Surprise From Trader Joe's Bargain Rack


I keep tasting Trader Joe’s wines that are made in Santa Maria, and I keep finding them to be excellent wines for the price point.  Comique Révolution 2010 is another that exceeded my expectations.

Produced by Santa Maria’s Central Coast Wine Warehouse - an outfit now known as Central Coast Wine Services which produces other wines available at Trader Joe’s - I gave it a try based solely on the attraction of the name “Santa Maria.”  It’s one of my favorite wine locales in California’s Central Coast.  I don’t know that the grapes are sourced there, but it does bear the mark of the Central Coast AVA.

There is very little of value on the label - just some prose and tasting notes.  The wine carries an alcohol content of 14.2% and sells at Trader Joe’s for five dollars.

The label has no information on the grape varieties used, but the Trader Joe website tells me this is a southern Rhône blend of Roussanne, Viognier, Grenache Blanc and Marsanne - grapes I don’t expect in a wine that sells at this price.  the website also mentions in a roundabout way that the Central Coast Wine Warehouse is a collective of grape growers turned winemakers.  Steve, Nicholas and Marshall Miller are the owners, while Chris Brown is the director of winemaking.

The wine’s color is a pale yellow, and the bouquet is quite inviting.  Aromas of white flowers, peaches and tropical fruit are pleasant, if not terribly forceful.  On the palate, the wine shows medium weight and bright, fresh acidity.  There are flavors of stone fruit, but the taste is centered around a vibrant minerality.  Earthy, nutty tones are at the forefront, while spices and citrus peel dart in and out during the sip.  I guess the spice is a result of oak treatment, although I could not find any technical sheet to confirm that.

As I have said before about wines of this type, it’s not knocking anybody off their feet.  But spending half a sawbuck for wine that delivers what this one does is what I call a good deal.


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