Trader Joe's Dishes up Amazing $14.99 California Pinot Noir Value

Sunday, November 2, 2014

When we were down in Orlando visiting Disney World last month we had dinner one night at Il Mulino in the Swan hotel. A group of six of us started off the night with a sparkling brut rosé, then enjoyed a bottle of Crognolo. We were right on the edge of whether we should order a third bottle.

We were on vacation, the kids were at Camp Dolphin [great deal - 2 hours of childcare for 2 entrees!] and nobody was driving so I felt confident we could collectively polish off a third bottle. I had a look a the list and, wanting to go with something that would readily enjoyable by all I ordered a 2012 Laetetia Estate Pinot Noir.

See also: Four Seasons Orlando Review

Especially since the wine was featured as part of a resort-wide Food & Wine Festival selection I was fairly certain it would be a solid play. However, unfortunately, the wine took forever to show up. Evidently they didn't have any in-house and they needed to fetch it from another restaurant.

By the time it arrived at the table we were almost entirely done with our meal. In restaurant wine service gaffes this ranks pretty high on the list of no-nos. No wine with the entire entree course? For shame!

Oh well. When the bottle arrived I declined it since we were done eating and avoided the typical resort restaurant mark-up on the bottle. I think they offer it for around $75.

I'd mostly forgotten about the wine (heck I can't even pronounce the producer) until I saw it today at Trader Joe's in Framingham for $14.99. $15 vs. $75 in-restaurant certainly seemed like favorable terms. And I figured if the sommeliers at the Dolphin/Swan felt it good enough to feature it would be a solid bottle of wine. And it is.

Here are my thoughts...

2012 Laetitia Estate Pinot Noir Arroyo Grande
$25 Release Price
$14.99 at Trader Joe's
13.9% Alcohol

Brilliant translucent ruby red. Medium bodied. Nose of sweet cherries and an appealing hint of dusty briar patch. Satisfying plush fruit flavors on the palate with a round disposition and silky tannic structure. Totally legit California Pinot Noir. Very very good.

89/100 WWP: Very Good

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Find it on Wine-Searcher

We can all use some enjoyable daily drinkers at a more affordable price point. And this one, for me, fits the bill. Compared to nationwide averages this one is being offered at a terrific price point at Massachusetts Trader Joe's. Consider tossing a couple of these [at least!] in your cart next time you're at TJ's.

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