The VINTJS Mendocino County Carignane 2013 is a Trader Joe’s exclusive (I found it for $4.99, but it seems to have sold for $8.99 a few months ago). Carignane (sometimes spelled with an “e” sometimes without) is a grape widely planted in Spain and in the Languedoc region of France. It was only a few years ago that Carignane was the most planted grape in France. While Carignane is plentiful in Europe, you see it in blends in the US, but not that often in single varietal wines, especially in the value price range.
The color is plum red with black highlights and a clear halo. The nose is blackberry, baking spice, brown sugar and blueberry pie, crust included. This is a ripe, rich Red, smooth upfront with a bit of structure following. It tastes of blackberry, bitter dark chocolate and vanilla. The mid-palate adds exotic spice and sweet blueberry. The tannins are there, but this is mainly a soft, smooth wine. The acidity is well covered by the body of the wine. This is more of a sipping wine than a food wine, but it will do well with burgers and pizza.
The VINTJS Mendocino County Carignane 2013 rocks as a 5 buck wine, it is a tasty, “no issues” Red. A $5 wine that drinks well and tastes like a Carignane should is a solid buy. If you are getting tired of the usual Cabs, Zins and Merlot, give this VINTJS a try.