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Informal Get-Together: Trader Joe’s “Petit Reserve” Pinot Noir

Posted on: October 10th, 2011 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

At the extreme end of the low cost trend in Pinot Noir wine, is the under $10 market. Most of the time, these are not all that memorable, so when a good one shows up, it’s something to talk about. And there are more out there now than ever.

Specifically, Trader Joe’s was somehow able to get their hands on an exclusive bottling of Pinot from the Edna Valley region, in California. This is no small feat when you consider that this is the haunt of much more costly wines like those produced by Chamisal Vineyards or Tolosa Winery. And when these are compared to what Trader Joe’s is offering at a price of $6.99, which are you going to buy-and-try first?

The 2009 Petit Reserve has the typical Pinot bouquet of subdued earthiness, dried cherries, and raspberries. But the real surprise comes in the mouth. While most inexpensive Pinots come off like bad grape soda, this one has a nice balance of white pepper and acidity similar to that found in bottles costing three times as much.

Not bad for a 2009 “youngin’”. Its overall flavor range is pretty basic, but who’s going to quibble at these prices. So it goes with this very eligible stock-up for a big party.

Note:  This could be an accurate indication of what Edna Valley has to offer for 2009. When the big names come out with theirs, it might be worth a closer look.

After you pick up a case of these, you may want to find a couple more expensive Edna Valley Pinots just to compare.  It would make an interesting brown-bag tasting session, just to see who gets stumped!

This versatile Pinot will go with just about any food. You can serve it with cheese appetizers and follow up right through the cold cuts and casseroles. Having this one out for the entire evening is a good choice; it’s sure to be popular.

You also may want to see how it changes with aeration. This young wine is potent enough that many of the flavors should stay intact and even be enhanced by the process.

Serve slightly chilled from the fridge after 20 minutes (about 65 degrees).

Article by Tom Peiffer, Phoenix Wine Shopping Examiner at Examiner.com

View more of Tom’s articles on Examiner.com by visiting his writer’s page.

About the Author - Tom Peiffer

Tom has been an avid wine consumer and collector for over 20 years. This pastime has taken he and his family on many visits to wine growing regions, including Arizona. During these excursions, with the accompanying tastings and lectures, it became clear that there is no "magic bullet" wine. For each wine contains its own character, strong points, and weaknesses. Sharing these experiences to help anyone purchase locally available wines is his goal.

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