Let’s be honest. Finding a good, value priced Pinot Noir is like good sex after you’re married. It doesn’t happen very often.
So it is with great thanks we find another offering from Dennis Patton at Trader Joe’s in the form of Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Pinot Noir 2009 from Edna Valley.
Patton, the Merlin of Mendocino, has ventured out from his usual domain to flush out an extremely affordable Pinot Noir that, at least to this palate, drinks incredibly well for $6.99.
Light in color, yet the wine manages the Pinot Noir miracle of shocking complexity.
Prevalent floral aromas greet the nose, almost the sensation of walking through a garden commingling violets and raspberries.
Smooth, yet full of depth, this wine is like Walt Frazier.
Raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, cherry-cola, and hints of mushroom truffle and baking spice unravel on the tongue. Surprisingly, the wine held up just as well the second day.
Patton has managed to prevent the muddling of the flavors and to draw out the finish without heavy tannins, which would otherwise overwhelm the fruit. To me, a pleasant acidity carries the wine through, leading to thoughts of Thanksgiving and rosemary and turkey and the real-deal cranberry sauce.
The mix of fruit and earthiness reminds me of Edna Valley Vineyards and the Islay Peak control label TJ’s used about a year ago, although the sources for the grapes in this wine are anonymous.
100% Pinot Noir aged for 12 months in French Oak. 13.8% ABV (although the label states 13.9%).