A true Diamond Reserve or just a big name? We review the new Trader Joe's Diamond Reserve Pauillac Lot #04.
Today we're checking out the fourth wine in Trader Joe's top of the line Diamond Reserves series.
Our last experience with a Diamond Reserve wine (the Trader Joe's Diamond Reserve Oakville Cabernet) was quite a disappointment. We did like the Trader Joe's Diamond Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon a bit better (and we never saw the Stag's Leap Diamond Reserve in our area) so our experience definitely hasn't been the greatest so far.
Perhaps this new Pauillac can turn things around although we have our doubts about that, as we've found many of the wines from this exclusive area of Bordceaux, France to be vastly overpriced. ($300 for a 91-point wine? No thank you.)
The Pauillac region is only 9 square miles large but is home to some of the most famous Bordeaux wineries including Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild and Château Latour and their extremely expensive bottles.
We rarely find anything in our price point here. Costco used to sell a Kirkland Signature Pauillac bottling for around $23, but we haven't seen that since the 2015 vintage. The only close to $20 wine we've seen recently from this area is the North Forty-Five.2 Pauillac also from Costco that sold for $19.99.
This red blend is most likely a good portion of Cabernet Sauvignon as most wines in this area are driven by that variety but Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Carmenère, Petit Verdot and/or Malbec could also play supporting roles. It is most certainly aged in oak for at least some period.
The label says the wine is bottled by Maison Ginestet who is a negociant with 350 partner Chateaux in Bordeaux so there's really no way to know specifically who made this wine or which vineyards it is from.
It is available exclusively at Trader Joe's and sells for $19.99. It is imported by Plume Ridge and has 13% Alcohol.
Let's check it out!
The 2019 Trader Joe's Diamond Reserve Pauillac Lot #04 opens with aromas of dark fruit, cigar box, cedar and other woodsy, barrel room-like aromas plus a touch of spice. It really needs some time to open up but it gets better as it does.
Taking a sip reveals dark juicy fruit that is rather tart in the mouth. It's smooth with good structure and seems to be at least somewhat true to the region but I was expecting more depth. Again, it gets better as it breathes.
It ends dry, quite long and grippy with lingering oaky spice. We found it to be similar on day 2. It tastes really young at this point, but it seems to have all the components to age into something that might be worth more than its price point.
The bottom line is that this one just squeaks by with a Recommended Buy rating. (I'd put it at the low end of our 91-93 point range for a 9 Taste Rating.) In other words, it's worth the $19.99 to try a single bottle if you're intrigued by the region as it's a nice chance to sample Pauillac at a discount, at least versus the normal highly inflated prices. And if you do, we heard that each store only has 13 cases allotted so grab it if you see it.
If you're willing to cellar it for a few years, I could see buying a handful to see what happens, but this certainly isn't anywhere near a Bulk Buy (or even a Highly Recommended) rating.
2019 Trader Joe's Diamond Reserve Pauillac
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.