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.
We 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.
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 Valley. 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
Smooth, velvety. Lush berries, balanced tannins. Good acid and lasting finish on palate. Earthy and delicious, does not disappoint for the price. A great wine for $9.99. Pork tenderloin with Calvados was the dinner tonight. In a large skillet braise the tenderloin in 2 T. butter and 2 thinly sliced shallots, then transfer to baking dish and place into pre-heated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Meanwhile make Calvados and GS apple cream sauce. Saute 2 thinly sliced shallots with a peeled, cored and thinly sliced Granny Smith apple in 3 T. butter (just relax and do it, this is how you get and stay thin). Add 1/2 cup Calvados and reduce. Then add 1 cup organic cream(relax!) and reduce sauce over medium low heat until sauce is fragrant, delicious and you cannot wait to spoon it over your pork tenderloin. Serves 4 to 6. 🙂
This is what I believe a true Pinot should taste like, but it’s only my opinion. It is deliciously fragrant with plummy and berry, vanilla flavors, just enough tannins for balance and that astringent minerality to hold it all together. The grapes are sourced from Russian River Valley, Lodi, Monterey and Clarksburg. Aged 10 months in French and American Oak. A smooth a eminently drinkable wine on its’ own and wonderful paired with a chicken sausage, fennel, red onion, olive ragout. Great deal at $9.99.
The old saying, “don’t judge a book by its’ cover” is truly appropriate here. This is a really juicy, tasty, berry filled wine. The more you taste it, the more you appreciate the winemakers mission statement to not take wine making too seriously. However, all said and done, this wine is delicious, well made, balanced and you cannot argue with that. There is enough acidity for the balance part and enough tannins to make it stick, yet it is not a seductive or rich Pinot Noir. Let it breathe. It just wants to have fun. No commitment, without the tears.
We say buy it, Baby. At $9.99; you have nothing to lose.
We were very pleasantly surprised, but then we did like this brand’s Cabernet Sauvignon too. A really good deal.
Terrific with roast chicken. Would go well with spanakopita, paella, a hearty bean soup, cheese and bread.