The Divine Carneros Chardonnay 2018 is a $7.99 Trader Joe’s wine. This seems to be a wine that was produced by an actual winery and not another store brand. The back label shows the producer as Kallan Cellars and gives a Kallancellars.com web address. The cork is even personalized with “The Divine” printed on the side.
All this information is not something typical to a TJ’s store brand. Except for a quick Google search finds nothing on Kallan Cellars, the .com search shows server not found. This is a 2018 vintage, you would figure some mention the Divine Chardonnay and Kallan Cellars would show up somewhere. There is a Kallan Vintners, but they have a one-page website showing their expensive ($65 to $100) Napa red wines.
Carneros is half in Sonoma and half in Napa, the vineyards for the Divine Chardonnay are located in the Napa side. Carneros is a Pinot Noir and a Chardonnay growing region and they are far enough inland wouldn’t be cooperative except their southern border is the San Pablo Bay. San Pablo is the Bay north of the San Francisco Bay. So, the Pacific Ocean is at their doorstep by a freak of geography.
Los Carneros is a high-end growing district, wine from there, both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are from some of the best producers and can be expensive. They never sell for $7.99, well, except for Trader Joe’s, check out this one. And this labels cloudy back story has me confused, is this a store brand made to sell at its price or this an “orphan” wine made to sell at a higher price, but something went wrong?
With a personalized cork and gold foil accents on the front label, I would guess the second scenario. Google and Trader Joe’s aren’t giving up any secrets, so I guess I will take a sip or two and try to figure it out. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The Divine Carneros Chardonnay 2018 Tasting Notes
The color is a wheat yellow with a slight olive tint. the nose is a little bit of weight behind it, this does not seem to be a bright and juicy, young wine. there aromas of lemon, lime, green apple, spice, Anjou pear, a little tropical fruit, coconut water, and dried banana slices.
It tastes of slightly sour apple, peach, French vanilla, spice with a kick, and a little cream. The mid-palate offers melon, honey, a little butter, and pear. the acidity is well-balanced. If this is a Chardonnay made to be sold for $7.99 then the winemaker has supernatural skills.
- The Divine Carneros Chardonnay 2018 is a solid Los Carneros Chardonnay that just happens to sell for under 8 bucks.
- It has that Napa-style oak influence, but not over the top, there is a balance to the flavors.
- I don’t know this wines back story and I don’t care. As long as I can get a classic California Chardonnay this good for $7.99 I am happy.