A pretty good knock-off of the extremely popular Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier, the Trader Joe's Petit Reserve Chenin Blanc Viognier.
The Trader Joe's Petit Reserve Chenin Blanc Viognier is available exclusively at Trader Joe's and sells for just $7.99. It is cellared and bottled by Appellation Trading Company who even boast on their website of their ability to profile a wine and recreate it: "Our winemakers can disassemble a wine you believe is a winner in order to recreate it systematically."
Exciting bouquet of intense citrus and tropical notes.
Well this was a surprise on our latest trip to Trader Joe's, it looks like TJ's has come up with their own private label imitation of the extremely popular (and extremely good) Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier. I'm guessing that after watching just how much of the Pine Ridge they've sold over the years they decided to see if they could take some of that profit themselves with their own private label version priced several dollars less. (It's a universal danger for mass market brands selling through retailers that specialize in private label.) Let's check it out.
The 2017 Trader Joe's Petit Reserve Chenin Blanc Viognier begins with a pleasing and very aromatic bouquet of grapefruit, lots of white floral notes like honeysuckle, a little melon, green apple and citrus fruit. Tasting the wine reveals lots of slightly sweet, juicy, tart fruit with good depth of flavor and a smooth, thick and lively mouthfeel. Peach, melon, tropical fruits and plenty of acidity lead into the tart, medium-long, crisp and tasty finish of lingering lime, orange zest and pineapple.
I'd say this is a pretty good knock-off of the Bulk-Buy rated Pine Ridge although I wish I would have had a 2017 vintage of that wine to taste them together. This one will also a Bulk Buy rating although that's due to the lower cost -- we gave it a slightly lower taste rating as the tartness could have been dialed back a bit. Overall; however, this is pretty good representation for several dollars less.