Rutherford for $15! Can such a cheap taxi from such a famous region really taste good? We find out in our review of Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Rutherford Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 97.
Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California.
There is no information on how this wine was made, but the first iteration of this wine, in 2017, spent 6 months in oak barrels (50% French and 50% American). Since this is the new 2019 version, which is already on the market in a similar form. Also note that the naming convention for this vintage is slightly different, designating Napa Valley instead of Napa County and Lot 97 instead of Lot 88 in 2017.
Rutherford Napa Valley Platinum Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is available exclusively at Trader Joe’s and costs just $14.99.
It is one of many Cabernet Sauvignons in the Platinum Reserve. He goes with Atlas Peak and Oakville Cab (review coming soon), as well as Knights of the Valley Cab, among others.
And as we’ve seen recently, Rutherford Cabernet appears under $20 everywhere, including a Member’s Badge version at Sam’s Club and a Kirkland signature at Costco. However, these two wines raise our price ceiling by $18 and $20, respectively. Can the $15 version of Trader Joe’s compete with the latter, let alone the actual retail price of $20 and up? Well, let’s see.
There is no information on the label except that, like many Trader Joe’s wines, it is made and bottled by Behind The Scene Wine. It contains 14.5% alcohol.
That’s how the Fearless Flyer describes it:
Specifically, the label indicates Rutherford, or more precisely some of the best vineyards from Napa to Rutherford, just west of Highway 29, which runs from the highway to the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains. Connoisseurs call this area the Rutherford Bank.
Well, that certainly sounds promising and gives the feeling at first glance. Lot 97 Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Rutherford Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 begins with truly beautiful aromas of black cherry, licorice, cola, spice, cocoa and more.
The sip shows lots of sweet, ripe and black fruit on the spicy palate, but also some really well-integrated spice. Big notes of vanilla and spice lead to a dry, acidic, very long, dusty and slightly chewy finish. Because the wine is so young, it really needs a lot of time to show its best side. If you drink it now, give it time to breathe or let it mature in the bottle a little longer.
While we don’t rate it higher than Sam’s or Costco versions, it scores a solid 9 on our taste scale, meaning it gets a passing grade in the overall ranking due to its lower price. Buy it when you see it!
2019 Platinum Reserve Lot 97 for Trader Joe’s Reserve Lot 97 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
TASTA: 9 COSTS : 5
GENERAL COMMENT : 8
As always, you’ll find an updated list of wines recommended by Trader Joe’s, as well as more information on their pricing model and some tips and tricks for shopping at the store.
You can also find more of our favorite Cabernet Sauvignon here!
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