A savory find for $8 from Trader Joe's, the La Garenne Red Blend.
A red blend from Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux, France just across the river from the Medoc. It's a nice spot to find Bordeaux style wines without the Bordeaux price tag. The wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel.
The La Garenne Red Blend is available exclusively at Trader Joe's (in the USA) for just $7.99. It is imported by Latitude Wines.
The wine is made by Vignerons de Tutiac and seems to be a label just for Trader Joe's. It received 87 points from Wine Enthusiast which is interesting as you don't normally see these Trader Joe's private labels submitted for review.
It also seems to be a bit of a polarizing wine with other reviewers either liking it quite a bit or hating it. It definitely is very French as it has a bit of a funky aroma (we affectionately call it the French funk).
Tasting it blind we would have guessed it has some Syrah in it as it has a good bit of meatiness on the nose but based on the region it should include one or more of the following varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carménère, Malbec, Petit Verdot and/or Merlot. We enjoy this style but your mileage may vary.
La Garenne refers to openings and tunnels at the foot of trees surrounding our vineyards, where animals and especially rabbits like to graze and dig warrens.
This wine has a ruby color with an expressive bouquet of ripe red fruits as well as vanilla and roasted notes. It is full-bodied with a lovely sucrosity and velvety tannins. It will pair well with grilled meat and soft cheese.
Bottled by Les Vignerons de Tutiac
The 2016 La Garenne Red Blend begins with a little French funk especially when first opened, a good bit of meatiness and some licorice, leather and dark fruit. It's quite good after it has some air.
Tasting this reveals it be pretty savory, not blow your socks off stuff, but definitely worth the price tag. I honestly wasn't sure about it after the first sip but it opened up nicely with sometime in the glass. This smooth and a bit tannic wine features blackberry fruit and more licorice. It actually might have a bit of aging potential to it.
It ends dry, long and savory. This is a solid buy if you enjoy this style of wine.