2013 Albero Monastrell

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I bet you’ve had a Monastrell varietal wine but didn’t know it. You may recognize it by it’s French name, Mourvedre. A delicious and complex flavor profile gives this grape it’s idiosyncratic taste and body which contributes to it being a vital balancing component of GSM wine blends. By itself it is rich with dark cherry fruit and berry flavors and earthy deep violet and herbal aromas, but it also has a medium body and silky mouth feel.

This Albero Monastrell from Spain, fits the bill and delivers all those flavors, making 2013 Albero Monastrellan ideal wine to drink with traditional Spanish tapas grilled meats and poultry with meaty dark carmelized flavors. $5.99

Cellar No.8 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon

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2011 Cellar No.8 Cabernet SauvignonYou know when you find something that is just the best and then you see that it’s also a great deal? That moment the heavens open up and on cue the angels start singing. Well, this wine produced by the legendary Asti Winery is just that. The nose is amazing and fragrant with dark, rich fruit. Juicy dark cherries and especially black currant stands out. There is some jam but it doesn’t overwhelm. The wine has good tannic structure and balance and finishes really nicely with rich chocolate and violet and vanilla notes. We bought a case. Yes, we did. $3.99

Yes, you read that correctly.

Go buy some, you can thank me later.

Perrin Cotes du Rhone 2011

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Famille Perrin Crest

Famille Perrin Crest

Famille Perrin Réserve Côtes du Rhône Rouge 2011

AOC Côtes du Rhône (France)wine (a blend of 50% Grenache from their estate  Grand Prébois, adjacent to Beaucastel, and the rest Syrah and Mourvedre) shows a deep ruby color, a slightly narrow structure, and some leanness, but very good berry fruit, crushed rock minerality and licorice. You know that wine you’ve been looking for to make Coq au Vin and drink with your delicious dinner, without spending a lot of money? This is it! An amazing wine for the price, get it before it’s gone.$7.99

2012 Central Coast RGMV

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This wine is a steal and the unique blend of2012 R.G.M.V.Rousanne, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne and Viognier blend is intriguing. At first you are faced with pronounced oak and light citrus and tropical notes, with a very round and smooth mouth feel, due to the oak and probably MLF (malolactic fermentation). It is tasty but on the finish there is a subtle bitterness that some super tasters may be averse to. I used it when making a sauce that had a squeeze of lemon juice and it made the sauce very bitter. Sad face. So I did not use any more for cooking. Nevertheless, this is a good wine and goes really well with Indian and Thai dishes. $2.99

TJ’s Grower’s Reserve Organic Wines

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All of these Trader Joe’s Grower’s Reserve wines are a big, happy surprise. Not only TJ-Growers-Reserve-Merlot-2is the price delightful but they are made from Organically Grown Grapes! The discovery of these wines has been so pleasurable and they are so unbelievably good, that you must run out and get one or all three!

Let’s start with the Merlot as it would be before the more intense wines in a tasting. Lovely and soft with rich cherry and dark skinned berry flavors, deepen to smooth tannic structure with a caramel chocolate finish. Great alone or with pork tenderloin, chicken dark meat and roasted portobella mushrooms. $4.99

If you like Petite Sirah this is going to make you TJ-Growers-Reserve-Petite-Ssmile and shake your head with wonder. It’s so good and the price is so ridiculously affordable that there is no reason not to have it on a daily basis. The color is a beautiful rich garnet and immediately on the nose is a fragrant dark beyy mix of blueberries, boysenberries and blackberries, with cacao, spices and flowers. Zesty tannins bounce off the sides of the tongue like pop rocks. Really nice long finish. Great with game meats, stews, and big cheeses. $4.99

Finally, the 2013 Zinfandel is a hit as well. It TJ Grower's Reserve 2013 Zinfandelcomes on strong with dark fruit and herbal fragrances. Then the full mouth is filled with the lushness of dried plums, and currents, the tannins are very nicely balanced, the wine stays structured and complex to the end. Wonderful with Italian food, pork chops, steaks and robust flavors. $4.99

TJ’s Reserve 2013 Petite Sirah

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This was a real find. It was sitting there on the shelf sort of unassuming and quiet. TJ-Reserve-Petite-Sirah-201Then I looked at the price; $4.99. WHAT?!! Folks this is a big, bold and fruit forward in your face kind of wine, in a good way. Not complaining here. We loved it. It is a delicious and well structured, finishing nicely. Definitely will buy this again!

Cocobon 2013 Red Blend and Tuella 2011 Douro

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Cocobon 2013 Red Blend Have to be honest here; did not like this wine. Tasted like it was concocted in a lab. There are notes of chocolate, dark fruit, but overall any of the natural flavors are masked be a decidedly chemical aftertaste. We returned it. $6.99

Tuella , Douro, a Portuguese import, was also not a winner. Just falls flat Tuella-2011-Douroafter a seemingly robust beginning. Fruit forward but then, meh. $5.99

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