- 2018 Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Meritage, Rutherford, Napa Valley, California ($14.99 @Trader Joe’s, California)
Readers that have been following us for a while have seen prior reviews of Meritage bottlings here before. Frankly, it is rare to find a Meritage that disappoints. I think it has something to do with the flexibility afforded winemakers that is removed if they are forced into crafting a wine from a single grape.
For newer readers, a Meritage is a blend of two or more Bordeaux varieties, which are primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Although the exact composition of this wine seems to be a carefully guarded secret (we give our best guessses late in this post) this one from Trader Joe’s is a well put together wine that is substantial, but easy drinking. In other words, built to enjoy now. Carpe diem!
2018 Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Rutherford Napa Valley Meritage Lot 100 pours a bright violet color with a clear rim, which suggests that is is still young in its profile. It has nice aromas of blackberry, RC cola (hehe) oak, baking spice, and cocoa powder. In the mouth the wine is supple and juicy. Light on tannins and easy drinking. Lots of dark and red fruit flavors. TJ’s isn’t disclosing the mix, but I don’t get much Cabernet from the blend. Rather, I am thinking it is anchored by Merlot with an assist from Petit Verdot given the color. Ready for drinking now.
If you are not familiar with the Rutherford Valley, you may be interested to learn that it encompasses many of California’s premiere vineyards of Cabernet Sauvignon (for example, Martha’s, Mondavi’s To Kalon, Bella Oaks and more) but as we pointed out in our tasting notes, we aren’t detecting big dollops of Cab in this blend. That’s okay with us. It keeps this wine immediately accessible and enjoyable, and a bit more summer friendly
If your local Trader Joe’s carries this bottling, give it a try and let us know what you think by dropping a note here in the comments section or on our Facebook or Instagram posts.
And if your weekend does find you shopping at your local TJ’s, also keep an eye out for our Lucky 13 list of TJ’s wine. It’s a shopping list comprised of our most recent reviews.
Or if you’re headed to Costco, you can find our most recent reviews of Costco wines here in our Lucky 13 list of Costco wine finds.