Glasses and bottles of this week's two featured wines

A Pair Packing 90+ Scores from Trader Joe’s and Costco

Fast Facts on this Week’s Featured Wines:

  • 2018 Charles & Charles Rosé, Columbia Valley, Washington State($6.99* @Costco in California – Item #579806) *net price after $2 .00 discount
  • 2017 Trapiche Broquel Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina ($10.99 @Trader Joe’s in California)


As one of my favorite radio hosts said recently: “last week was quite a year!”  I am sure your head is spinning too.

We contemplated whether we should suspend these weekly posts given all the gravitas surrounding the pandemic that has disrupted everything in its path. But if your household is anything like mine, we are relying more on enjoying wine at home, not less.  So as long as we have wines to champion, we’ll keep steering you to our favorites.

Here goes…


This week’s featured wine from Costco:

Glass and bottle of Charles and Charles 2018 Rose from Costco
Toasting the arrival of a storm front in parched SoCal.


The blend of on this wine is a who’s who of Rhone varietals and a slug of Cabernet to keeps things interesting.  Specifically, it’s 71% Syrah, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Mourvèdre, 4% Grenache, 2% Counoise, 1% Cinsault. Wine Enthusiast magazine proclaimed it a “Best Buy” and awarded it 90 points.


Tasting Notes:

The color is pale salmon with flashes of a coppery pink. The aromatics include notes of wild raspberry and cherry, yielding to bright watermelon, strawberry, kiwi and cherry candy aromas and finishing with a tart pink-grapefruit flavor and mouthwatering tanginess.


Soon, you’ll be seeing the 2019 rosés arriving on your store shelves and you’ll want to make the “pivot” to the newer vintages.  There is no inherent virtue in drinking older of vintages of rosés.  But for now, enjoy the best of the 2018’s, like this one and this other Costco selection from several weeks ago.

About the winemakers:

Charles & Charles is inspired by two guys turning Washington’s agricultural heritage and new world fruit into true original expressions.

About Charles Smith:
Charles Smith, based in Walla Walla, Washington, is the owner and head of winemaking for K Vintners, Charles Smith Wines and Secco Italian Bubbles. Smith has earned global acclaim including “Best New Wineries of the Last Ten Years” in Wine & Spirits Magazine and “Winery of the Year” in their annual buying guide. Smith was also named “Winemaker of the Year” by Food & Wine magazine.

If his name sounds familiar, it may be because we reviewed a Syrah from Charles Smith in 2019.  My Costco still has it in stock.

About Charles Bieler:
Charles Bieler, based in New York City, is known for being one of the top wine innovators in the industry.  He began championing rosé in the US market back when it was woefully unpopular. As one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Top 40 Big Thinkers under 40,” Charles continues to be a strong force in the wine world.


This week’s featured wine from Trader Joe’s:

It’s always a good idea to get to know the resident wine expert at your local Trader Joe’s.  At my nearest store (although we are within 15 miles of something like 5 stores) his name is Tom. Whenever I see Tom I ask him what’s new, and what gems are lurking in the store’s wine set. Sometimes he also asks for my opinion, and I reciprocate. Tom rarely steers me wrong, although I always validate his suggestions by tasting. This wine is one of his more recent suggestions.  It’s a good one.

Front label of Trapiche Broquel 2017 from Trader Joe's
Front label of Trapiche Broquel 2017 Malbec from Trader Joe’s


Wine critic James Suckling awarded this 100% Malbec wine 92 points.  My own scores are pretty consistently a couple of points below his. But whether you accept his 92 points or my 90, this is still a really solid wine for the price, especially if you’re a fan of Argentinian Malbecs.

Tasting Notes:

Intense purple red color with ruby hues. Aromas of fresh red and black fruits, floral notes, and earthy minerals, with an elegant touch of smoke. Rich and spicy on the palate providing a long and pleasant finish. Ideal to serve with grilled red meats, stews, pasta with mushroom sauce, and cheeses.

Some of the best Malbecs in Argentina are grown at altitude.  This one from Trapiche hail from twenty-five year old vineyards that are between 2,952 and 3,937 feet above sea level.  If the wine takes your breath away, it could just be that the grapes were grown in thinner air.

Since we are big, big fans of Malbec from Argentina, there have been other recent reviews covering this grape.  You can find one from September 2019 here, and another from May of 2019 here.

Perhaps now more than ever, all of us here will be raising a glass to your health.  Stay well,




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