- 2018 Trader Joe’s Reserve Shiraz, Lot 214, Barossa, Australia ($9.99 @Trader Joe’s, California)
- 2018 Trader Joe’s Reserve Syrah, , Lot 209, Paso Robles, California ($9.99 @Trader Joe’s, California)
A Little Preamble:
The Syrah grape is responsible for some of the most sought after bottlings in the world. In the Rhone Valley of France, it is the grape behind famous bottlings by E. Guigal and M. Chapoutier. In the new world, it underpins Penfold’s Grange, widely acknowledged as Australia’s greatest and most famous wine. Although the latter is bottled as Shiraz. In both cases, these wines can fetch hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per bottle.
Shiraz is genetically identical to Syrah, and Australia can be credited with putting the Shiraz name squarely upon the world wine stage. Though genetically identical, the stylistic differences between Shiraz and Syrah are usually pronounced. Shiraz is the most widely planted red wine grape variety “down under” and plays a starring role in some of its most coveted bottlings. So I was pleasantly surprised to see an Australian Shiraz from the Barossa Valley in the Trader Joe’s Reserve line up, to say the least.
Both featured bottlings this week come highly recommended. And they make for an informative and delicious study in contrasts. It is interesting to taste them side by side, should you be so lucky to find both on the shelves of your local Trader Joe’s. That is, if your TJ’s is even allowed to sell wine.
The QPR on these two is very, very high.
About the Aussie Shiraz:
Pours a dark ruby. Violets and light red fruit on the nose. Medium bodied with flavors of ripe blackberry, blackberry and baking spices. Nice long finish. Would pair exceptionally well with anything grilled, especially fattier cuts of meat and soft cheeses.
About the Paso Syrah:
Stylistically, this Paso Robles Syrah has more in common with the wines emanating from France’s Rhone Valley.
The first dark purple pour suggests that this Syrah is not for the meek. This is a massive wine with aromas of black fruits, baking spices, toasted oak and plum. Flavors of blueberry, spice and dark fruits. Dense, full bodied and juicy. It would pair well with leaner cuts of grilled meats and hard cheeses.
If your weekend finds 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.