The 2009 Three Knights Los Carneros Pinot Noir is a Trader Joe’s exclusive ($8.99), produced by Bronco Wine Company, the makers of 2 Buck Chuck and many other Trader Joe’s labels.There is no actual Three Knights Winery and Bronco Wines makes their wines as inexpensively as possible, so they don’t spend money on information on how the wine was made. The grapes were purchased from vineyards in the Carneros AVA of California, which is located inside both Sonoma County and Napa Valley. Carneros has cool temperatures and is one of the best areas to grow Pinot Noir grapes and Pinot’s sourced from Carneros grapes routinely sell for well over $20. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is a pale and slight rusty cherry red. The nose is dominated by a barnyard scent, then sprigs of mint, strawberry jam and plum. A light, slightly watery mouthfeel, tart cherry and bitter chocolate upfront long with creme de mint. The mid-palate brings fresh strawberries in cream, the tannins are very light, but the acidity manages to give a watery wine some much needed length. The finish is light and dissipates quickly.
The Three Knights Pinot Noir is not an exceptional Pinot Noir, it is too thin and not complex enough to compete with good Pinots. Even so, I found myself continually reaching for the glass to take another sip, if you want a good inexpensive Pinot Noir look elsewhere, but if you want an inexpensive, light bodied Red wine with decent flavor the Three Knights might just do the trick.