Trader Joe's delivers quite a capable Pinot for just $9, the Petiole Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.
The Petiole Pinot Noir is available exclusively at Trader Joe's and sells for just $8.99.
A delectably charming profile of ripe red berries, vanilla, and spice, leading into a thoroughly balanced and dry finish. In other words: A perfect expression of Willamette Pinot Noir.
Produced & Bottled by Petiole
Now, let's be clear right from the get-go - despite the claim on the back label this wine is not going to stand up to most Willamette Valley Pinots, it's simply not that good. It is; however, quite capable at just $9, especially for Pinot Noir, so we applaud Trader Joe's for the effort. It greatly benefits from some air too so be sure to give it plenty of time to breathe before imbibing.
The 2018 Petiole Willamette Valley Pinot Noir begins with a pleasing although muted aroma of red fruit, cola, licorice and a touch of mint.
The wine tastes smooth and dry (not sweet at all) but doesn't have a lot of depth on the fruit. It does feature some nicely integrated spice and licorice notes. It seems to be authentic Pinot Noir (not loaded up with a bunch of Syrah or something) so it's probably just from lower quality grapes - although "lower quality" in the Willamette Valley can still be pretty good.
It ends with a dry, surprisingly long and a bit lip puckering finish. Overall this is a decent wine, which is pretty impressive for Pinot at this price!