The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Napa Valley Pinot Noir 2020 is a $12.99 Trader Joe’s limited-time exclusive. It is produced for Trader Joe’s by an independent wine company that has produced other wines for TJ’s. They do not have their name associated with this wine, just the winemakers’/owners name. So I won’t name the company, but they produce North Coast wines in all price ranges.
Napa Valley is typically too warm for Pinot Noir and is better suited for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay. But the southern sections near San Pablo Bay have the proper conditions for Pinot Noir. Carneros is the closest AVA to the Bay and is located in both Sonoma and Napa.
The Fearless Flyer does offer too much info about the Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Napa Valley Pinot Noir 2020, so exactly where the vineyards are located is not mentioned. There are some top-notch Pinot producers in Napa Valley and their wines are seldom sold for $12.99.
Napa Valley Pinot Noir starts in the $35 range and goes up, but there are a few brands around $15. TJ’s Grand Reserve label is said to offer wine that would typically sell for twice the price. Since we have so little information we have to take their word for it.
The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Napa Valley Pinot Noir 2020 is a bit stiff for a Pinot Noir at 14.5% alcohol and also Syrah and Petit Verdot are added in. Those are grapes that you would expect in a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Zinfandel. If the winemaker thinks the wine needs a little reinforcement in certain areas then a few grapes blended in are perfectly fine.
The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Napa Valley Pinot Noir 2020 Tasting Notes
The color is a see-thru garnet red. The nose is slightly smokey, with herbs, ripe cherry, spice, toasted vanilla, raspberry, and tobacco infused with cognac. The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Napa Valley Pinot Noir 2020 is smooth and rounded on the palate, this is not classic California Pinot Noir, but it has good length and pleasing flavor.
This Pinot Noir tastes like black cherry, creamy vanilla, back pepper, spice, and ripe plum. The mid-palate shows orange zest, cranberry, rough-edged herbs, blueberry, and a late splash of exotic spice. The tannins do not bite and the acidity is well-balanced giving this Pint Noir some good length.
- The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Napa Valley Pinot Noir 2020 is one of the wines in the new style of Pinot Noir and I like this Pinot much better than the last Meiomi Pinot Noir I tried. (Meiomi is the originator of the new style).
- This is a very friendly, easy-to-drink Pinot Noir.
- This Napa Valley wine is a bargain at $12.99.