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Both of these wines were just amazing, not even taking into account the price bargain. I urge you to try both and compare them to the pricier wines.

First, a little bit about Pinot Noir. It is a dry, red wine that typically exhibits fruit-forward character with strawberry, cherry, raspberry and blackberry fruit taking the cake for palate presence. Notable earth-driven layers are also quite common in a glass of Pinot, with herbal, mushroom, leather, and game-like qualities being fairly familiar. Warm spice notes also make their way into the Pinot Noir palate profile, often in the form of cinnamon, clove and smoky, tobacco nuances.

TJ Reserve 2009 Pinot Noir Lot #77We were delighted and surprised by the TJ Reserve Pinot Noir Lot #77. It is silky deliciousness. The ripe strawberry and juicy berries flavors are intoxicating along with spice notes and a whiff of leather. Lovely finish with structured but not overwhelming tannins. $9.99

Next Cabernet Sauvignon, often referred to as the “King of Red Wine Grapes,” originally from Bordeaux, with a substantial foothold in California’s wine races, has the privilege of being the world’s most sought after red wine. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes tend to favor warmer climates and are often an ideal wine for aging, with 5-10 years being optimal for the maturation process to peak. Because Cabs take a bit longer to reach maturation, allowing their flavors to mellow, they are ideal candidates for blending with other grapes, primarily Merlot. This blending softens the Cabernet, adding appealing fruit tones, without sacrificing its innate character.

Flavor Profile

Cabs range from medium-bodied to full-bodied and are characterized by their high tannin content which serves to provide structure and intrigue while supporting the rich fruit characteristics. The flavor profile includes plum, cherry, blackberry, blueberry, warm spice, vanilla, tobacco and sometimes leather aromas and or flavors.

We loved the TJ Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Lot #72 Dry Creek ValleyTJ Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Dry Creek. Another winner, it has all the characteristics of a classic Cabernet Sauvignon without the painful price tag. Medium bodied, it was well structured and fruit forward with all of those incredible plum, dark cherry, spice and light tobacco aromas. Aged for 15 months in French Oak also adds to the delicious complexity. $9.99

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