This is a series of weekly bargain wine picks by the members of the Vintage Wine Tasting Club. We meet every other month for a formal tasting session but in between we communicate with each other whenever we discover a great wine bargain. We love the sport of bargain wine hunting. Here are our bargain wine picks from the past week.
These first two wines are one of the Trader Joe’s one-time buys. C. Donatiello is a winery located in the Russian River Valley along Westside Road near Healdsburg, CA. Janelle and I have visited there and love the beautiful gardens surrounding the tasting room. The wines are high end, and it is somewhat surprising to find these two wines available at the price of $10. Please note that the wines will go fast. My Millbrae store has a good supply and so does Stonestown TJ’s. Use the TJ Store Locator and plug in your ZIP and start calling to find out if they have the wine at the store nearest you.
C. Donatiello 2009 Russian River Valley Chardonnay $9.99 – TJ’s (Ray’s Pick)
This Chardonnay has the right balance of oak and acidity. I am generally not a fan of oaky Chardonnays, but this one delighted and surprised me. The aromas are intriguing and the aftertaste delightful. This is an excellent choice for the Turkey. The Website shows this wine sells for $24. I’ll go with 90 Points for this wine.
C. Donatiello 2009 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir $9.99 – TJ’s (Joe’s Pick)
This is a lighter-style Pinot Noir and maybe that is why they dumped it on TJ’s. More folks seem to like the bigger-bodied Pinot Noirs these days. The list price on the C. Donitiello Website is $38. This is a great match for your Turkey dinner with lovely spice and a nice finish. Savor this one in your mouth and enjoy the finish. I would decant this wine or run it through an aerator to get the full flavors of this wine. 88 Points
Gruet Brut NV Sparkling Wine $12.99 Weimax, $13.99 K&L Wines (Joe’s Pick)
This is fun wine, very dry, with the refreshing taste of apple and some yeast. I think the fun part about this wine is the fact that the wine is made in New Mexico. It stands up to my favorite sparklers made in California. It makes for a good conversation piece when your guest tells you it is delicious and then asks where it is from.
Save the Date
The 21st Annual Zinfandel Festival is January 26 to the 28, 2012. This is your chance to savor Zinfandel from 400 wineries and producers. Next post we will give more details and give away two sets of tickets for the festival. Next post we will give more details and give away two sets of tickets for the festival. Stay Tuned.