Value Alert: 2007 Picket Fence Pinot Noir

Monday, September 27, 2010

This past weekend we did our grocery shopping at Trader Joe's for the first time in a long time. I don't know why exactly but lately we've been going to Whole Foods more. Maybe it's because Trader Joe's feels more suited to young metropolitan singles and young couples than Whole Foods which feels like it's more targeted at families. They don't sell diapers at Trader Joe's and that says a lot about their target demographic. 

I'd forgotten how fun it is to shop for wine at Trader Joe's. As much as I've been trying to curb wine spending lately I couldn't resist tossing in a couple of lower-priced bottles. Over the years they've really bolstered their selection of wines just above their rock-bottom-priced/famous Charles Shaw wines. They've got other wines between $3 and $10 that are fun to try because they've got such cool personalities: Interesting labels, interesting grape varieties, and interesting regions. Their buyers really know what they're doing and it's evident in the smiles you see on customer's faces and in the average amount of wine in a shopping cart in the store.

I picked up a few really inexpensive wines and then this one caught my eye: the 2007 Picket Fence Pinot Noir. I've seen the wine around before and the attractive label caught my eye. Something about it feels well suited to sharing with friends - especially neighbors.

I was anxious to crack open a bottle of it because I don't think it's going to last long. Why? Because it's a $30 wine they're selling for $8.99. It wasn't mind-blowingly amazing but I thought it was an elegant representation of Pinot Noir from Sonoma's highly regarded Russian River Valley appelation. It's also from a highly regarded vintage (Wine Spectator called 2007 the best vintage ever for California Pinot Noir).

Here are my notes:

2007 Picket Fence Pinot Noir
14.5% Alcohol
500 Barrels produced (around 12,500 cases)
Retail Price: $30

Visually, this wine is quite thin. But then again maybe it's varietally correct and the rest of the overblown California Pinot Noir I've been drinking is overly dark. Typical Pinot Noir aromas of strawberries and tart cherries but I get some slightly-green/twangy/stemmy aromas as well that I could have done without. I get these notes quite frequently in Russian River Valley Pinot Noir so depending on whether these bother you, you may want to proceed with caution. Quite nice on the palate with satisfying weight and creamy light vanilla notes. Seemed like lowish acidity. Nice aftertaste. Medium length of finish. I would have gone 90 points on this wine if not for the ever-so-slightly-off aromas. Your mileage may vary - I'd encourage you to check it out if you can find it under $15.

88/100 WWP: Very Good

Where to Buy: $8.99 at Trader Joe's in Framingham, MA

Further Reading:
Update: After publishing this blog post my pal DW pointed me to this *awesome* unauthorized Trader Joes video. I think it's spot on!

Have you had this wine? If so, what did you think?


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