The Granite Coast Vineyards Red Blend 2013 is a $4.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive, estate grown and produced in Monterey, California. Granite Coast Vineyards seems to be a brand name and not an actual vineyard and winery, so if you want to know which estate grew the grapes and made the wine, look up wineries in Greenfield, California. If that does not answer your question then Google who owns the trademark for Granite Coast Vineyards. Trader Joe’s does not reveal the grapes used in the blend, but they do show a rather exact run-down of the oak used to flavor this blend, 90% American, 5% French and 5% Hungarian oak (for 12 months). And that may be more important the knowing the grape blend, since estate grown and produced, single AVA wines, that are aged on oak for 12 months, never ever sell for $4.99, until now. The 2013 vintage in California was an excellent bumper crop and that tends to lend itself to bargains for wine consumers. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is dark, but still see-thru plum red. The nose is reflects the 12 months on oak, with molasses, vanilla, black cherry, plum and herbs. This is a dry wine with dark concentrated flavors and decent structure. It tastes of blackberry, black pepper, soft black cherry and oak spice. The mid-palate adds strawberry in cream and curry spice. The acidity is balanced and the tannins make themselves known, but do not overpower. This is a $4.99 food wine, the tannins and the spice better would better find their balance when paired with a hunters stew or a chicken pot pie.
The Granite Coast Vineyards Red Blend 2013 is an interesting 5 buck wine, it does not have its edges rounded off and it does not seem to be a mistake that the winery is selling off cheap. It is a wine that would be right at home with a wood fired pizza or a blue cheese burger. It is also one of the rare $4.99 wines that you can not just pull the cork and drink, this one needs about an hour to open up properly. There was a time when drinking sub $10 wines was an iffy proposition, now ten buck and under wines are routinely solid, very drinkable wines. And drinking sub $5 wine was once only for the brave or foolhardy. Today, in the Golden Age of Wine, five buck wines are expected to get the job done and more often than not give way more than expected.