A Trader Joe's pick with a tiny price tag but plenty of flavor, the $5 Mbali Chenin Blanc Viognier.
The Mbali Chenin Blanc Viognier is available exclusively at Trader Joe's and sells for just $4.99. It is imported by Amphora Imports.
Bright aromas of passion fruit, guava, melon, sweet lychee and honeyed tangerine. A weighty mid palate that extends into a lingering aftertaste of yellow plum.
Mbali is the Zulu word for flower. The Protea is South Africa's national flower and is resilient to harsh conditions. The Protea inspires us to be resilient in our pursuit to craft fine wines.
Chenin Blanc and Viognier make for a wonderful blend, and it's one that has been a staple at Trader Joe's for years first with the Pine Ridge and more recently with their own Petit Reserve version. Both of those; however, come from California. At the same time we've long touted the excellent Chenin Blanc coming from South Africa so it makes perfect sense that they should have an entry in this category. Let's check out how it compares.
The 2019 Mbali Chenin Blanc Viognier begins with a pleasing aroma of full of melon, lemon, lime, tangerine and a little honeysuckle. Taking a sip reveals a fresh, light, tasty wine with similar flavors to the nose but with the tangerine cranked up in the mouth. Simple but refreshing and good, this is the type of wine we affectionately refer to as a porch pounder.
It finishes dry and fresh and with good length. And while it's not as good as the Pine Ridge which pretty much sets the standard for this blend, it is well worth the tiny price tag.