- 2019 Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Lot #111, Estate Single Vineyard Malbec, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina ($12.99 @Trader Joe’s; California)
Trader Joe’s does a really good job of of masking who makes most of their exclusive label wines such as this one. So imagine my surprise when I pulled the cork on this wine and discovered it had the name of the winery printed on it.
Just in time for Halloween, a wine is unmasked! We now know that this wine was sourced from Belhara Estate in Mendoza, Argentina. Which makes us think that perhaps the Uco Valley Syrah that we review a few weeks ago was from the same winery. It too was a single vineyard bottling that had an off the charts QPR.
Belhara Estate is a family winery nestled in the Uco Valley Mendoza of Argentina, The estate is comprised of 3 estate vineyards with altitude between 1,100 and 1,400 meters, using the metric system.
Belhara Estate focuses on crafting artisanal red blends and single vineyard wines. Stephen Huse, owner and Director of Winemaking received his formal training at the University of Bordeaux obtaining a Diploma of Enology as well as a Master of Science in Winemaking & Viticulture. He assumed winemaking position in top notch wineries such as Chateau Margaux and Mouton Rothschild, followed in Napa Valley at Harlan Estate and Merryvale Vineyards. It’s an impressive CV for sure!
Deep inky red with violet reflections. On the nose, aromas of plum and blueberry with notes of spices. Full bodied and well-balanced in acidity. On the palate, fruit-driven, witih hints of dark chocolate, touch of wood and tobacco, and red fruits. Surprisingly robust tannic structure for the price. Nice, long finish. This wine would pair very well with any savory red meat dish, even robust vegetarian fare with some spiciness.
Extremely popular, Argentinian Malbec is an inky, medium-bodied, dry red wine with strong impressions of dark fruits on the nose and palate. This wine tends to have mellower tannins than its French counterparts.
Originally from France, it is one of the original 5 “Bordeaux” grapes. It is scarcely planted in France anymore.
It has found an amazingly hospitable home in the mountains of Argentina from which some of the world’s best selling Malbecs are grown.
Starkly different from French versions in structure and flavor, this wine is a good investment for collectors, as the wine can age for several years before drinking.
If you are lucky enough to find this label in your local Trader Joe’s, put several in your cart. Trust us on this one. This is a wine that is going to disappear quickly. We are sure of it. Even the wine guy at my local Trader Joe’s told me he bought a case.
If you’re shopping finds you at Trader Joe’s, keep an eye out for our Lucky 13 list of TJ’s wine.
If you’re headed to Costco soon, you can find our most recent reviews of Costco wines here in our Lucky 13 list.