December 10Vinas Chilenas Trader Joe’s – Merlot – 2006
3 buck Chilean Chuck here. When I first opened this bottle I thought it smelled almost as bad as the Cab. It tasted a little bit better, but not a lot. I let it sit for a while and tried it again and much to my surprise, the nose improved a little (although I’m not sure I can describe it accurately), and the taste was much improved. I’ve had much worse wines. I think TJ’s wised up to the high cost of good California grapes/wine and took their business to Chile, where cheap doesn’t necessarily mean bad.
Color is fairly purple and medium in darkness. The nose is kind of cherry-cranberry-cassis and oak… maybe a very light hint of tobacco. Mouth-feel is OK… not big, but not terribly thin either. Rather enjoyable. The finish is mostly cassis and cherry then lingering light tannin and oak.
This wine is certainly worth the $3 bucks I paid, and maybe even worth the extra $3 I wasted on the Cab. I’m not sure it is quite good enough to be my “daily drinker”, especially since we had that Argentine Malbec for $7 that scored 90 points. To us that is a better value… but this comes pretty close in the QPR department. I would probably recommend you try a bottle to see what you think. What have you got to lose? Come back and write about it in the comments, I’d love to hear what you think of it.
Price: $3 (TJ’s)