2009Trader Joe’s Coastal Syrah is made by Castoro Cellars, a winery out of Paso Robles that owns 7 vineyards, but also sources their grapes from 40 other vineyards in the Central Coast AVA in California. The label says the wine was “vinted and bottled by” Castoro Cellars, which by law means they fermented a minimum of 10% of the wine and it infers the wine is of lesser quality than their Estate wines. That’s about right, since this is one of those Trader Joe’s $4.99 wonder wines. The back label indicates the wine was at least partially aged in oak and the alcohol content is 13.8%.
The color is a dark black cherry red with a salmon pink halo. The nose is little on the candied fruit side, red Twizzlers, those red jelly candy coins, spiced apple cider and strawberry shortcake, including the whipped cream. It is medium to light bodied and not particularly complex, a mix of blueberry and strawberry upfront and then it transitions to vanilla and watermelon Jolly Rancher. The flavors are on the thin side, but mingle together nicely. The tannins and the oak are kept in check and while the finish is the exact same flavor as the body of the wine, it does linger for quite some time.
While not a text book example of what a Syrah should be, it does make for a light and breezy summertime red wine. This is a red wine that would go down easy on a 90 degree day. It would pair well with burgers on the outdoor grill, but it is really more at home as a tuesday night back porch wine.