Another consistently good Trader Joe's pick, the Pontificis GSM.
45% Grenache, 35% Syrah and 20% Mourvedre from several different areas in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France.
This includes Tautavel (Grenache and Syrah), the Herault Plain (Syrah), Puicheric which is south of Minervois (Grenache), Gruissan in the La Clape appellation (Mourvedre), and very old vines from the Maury plateau (Grenache). A portion of the wine undergoes carbonic maceration and then the wine is aged in a combination of barrels and stainless steel tanks for 6 months. It has around 7 g/L of residual sugar.
The Pontificis GSM is available exclusively at Trader Joe's and like previous vintages it still retails for just $6.99. It is imported by Latitude Wines.
From the bottle:
Produced in the Languedoc-Roussillon, between sea and mountain, from the three local grape varieties Grenache (40%), Syrah (35%) and Mourvedre (25%), Pontificis is deep purple in colour, with aromas of spice, black fruits and herbs and a palate of supple, yet rich spicy fruit. It is a beautiful representation of the best of the South of France.
Enjoy at 64F with meats in sauce, mediterranean dishes, marinated game and cheeses.
Bottled for Badet Clement
We're big fans of both wines from the Languedoc and GSM blends so we were quite happy many years ago to find this wine at such a low price at Trader Joe's. We first recommended the 2011 vintage and while the quality can vary vintage to vintage, it's always been rated as at least a Recommended Buy since then. Read on to find out how this latest vintage measures up.
The 2020 Badet Clement Pontificis GSM Blend begins with pleasant aromas of dark red fruit, a few oaky notes, menthol and some light herbal notes.
Tasting the wine reveals juicy, sweet, berry fruit wrapped up in a smooth texture. It turns a bit oaky on mid-palate with some cola notes leading into the finish.
It ends dry, a bit grippy and much longer than it should for just $7 with cola and sweet berry fruit notes lasting for quite a while with a touch of spice and black tea underneath. We found it to be even a bit better on day 2.
This is always a solid recommendation and at only $6.99 you might as well keep a few bottles on hand! And for those curious, while it's similar in many respects to the Tenebres GSM (which is also a Trader Joe's exclusive), we found the Pontificis to be both a bit drier in style and a step up in quality overall which is well worth it in our opinion for just $1 more.
2020 Pontificis GSM
As always you can find an updated list of our recommended wines from Trader Joe's as well as more info on their pricing model and some tips and tricks for shopping the store in our giant guide.
You can also find more of our favorite Red Blends here.