April 28th—Fearlessly Archived—Still a fun read; price & availability may have changed.
Poor Merlot. Hundreds of years of good, solid work both in Bordeaux blends as well as on its own, seemingly poured down the drain with one little movie. It's become known as the "Sideways effect" in the wine world; and frankly, we don't think it's fair. Merlot is an important grape; and despite the opinions of one character in one movie, we like Merlot -and we're not ashamed to admit it. In fact, when we tasted the wine that would become Trader Joe's Petit Reserve Napa Valley Merlot 2011, we were so impressed that we collectively exclaimed, "We're bringing back Merlot!" Or, at the very least, we're bringing in this Merlot, and we're darn excited about it.
We got Trader Joe's Petit Reserve Napa Valley Merlot 2011 at a terrific price, because the winery had new harvests coming in that needed attention, so the wine that was ready for bottling needed to go. We were in a position to take it all, and quickly. This ruby red wine is smooth & dry, with luscious blueberry, plum, and cherry notes leading to hints of spice and vanilla oak. With moderate tannins and a supple finish, it leaves you wanting more. Enjoy it with freshly grilled meats, or a cheese plate featuring our New Zealand Organic Cheddar. Our price of $7.99* for a 750ml bottle is an extraordinary value for a Napa Merlot of this quality - you might even call it a "Sideways value". Like all of the Trader Joe's Petit Reserve wines in our stores, though, we have this one in limited quantities, and when it's gone, it's gone.
*TJ's Petite Reserve Napa Valley Merlot is currently available in Trader Joe's stores where wine is sold. It is $7.99 (plus tax) unless otherwise noted here: CA $6.99. Alcohol availability & price may vary due to state laws, taxes, shipment fees & other such stuff. (If we could, we would.)