A solid wine at a great price, the Trader Joe's Reserve Napa Valley Meritage Lot 181.
46% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc, 22% Petit Verdot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California. The wine is aged for 6 months in American oak barrels. (A meritage is a Bordeaux-style red blend.)
This wine is available exclusively at Trader Joe's and sells for just $9.99. This is a rather crazy price for Napa Valley but I would imagine that using only 10% Cabernet Sauvignon helps to keep the cost down.
Complex blend of zesty aromas including black cherries and plums.
The 2017 Trader Joe's Reserve Meritage Napa Valley Lot 181 begins with pleasing aromas of black cherry, spice, figs and licorice plus a little vanilla and chocolate. Taking a sip reveals a smooth, soft and tasty wine full of good dark fruit and lots of oaky spice. The licorice, chocolate and vanilla from the nose also continue with just a little bit of an earthy edge in the mouth. It gets better as it has more time to breathe so plan appropriately. It ends with a dry, medium length finish.
While it's not as impressive as the $13 Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Sonoma Meritage we recently reviewed, it's still a solid, all around wine for just $10.