I find Trader Joe’s branded wine is usually hit or miss and rarely in-between. This one is an exception to our normal findings. The bottle, label, and closure scream high quality. Did that equate to the juice inside?
Trader Joe’s Reserve 2012 Pinot Blanc comes in at 13.1% alcohol. The wine was chilled to about 45 degrees. We used a stemless white wine glass for tasting. The wine let out a honeyed aroma right after opening and while pouring. The wine was bright straw in color.
The nose on the Trader Joe’s Reserve 2012 Pinot Blanc was fairly perfumed. The notes were apples, pears, light citrus and mango, and a deep honey scent. There was also a backbone of minerals to the smell helping to keep the scent crisp. The taste of the wine was exactly the same on the front end of the palate but the apple was much more tart than suggested by the nose. There was a bit of a mid palate oddity like grapefruit peel; bitter and astringent. The acidity was very lively and mouthwatering. The finish was quite long and had a rosewater note to accompany the minerals and what seemed like very light oak. I paired it with shrimp scampi and it went fairly well with the dish.
While the initial taste of the wine was exceptional and the nose was more than inviting, the jarring mid palate note was off-putting. If that note wasn’t there this wine would certainly rate in the high 80’s or low 90’s. I will purchase another bottle to see if there was just an issue with this particular bottle. As of now I would rate this wine an 86 on the standard Wine Spectator scale. I do find the rosewater in the finish fascinating which is why the rating is so high. This is one I’d encourage you to seek out and share your experience with wine community at large because it’s certainly a conversation piece!
Have you tried the Trader Joe’s Reserve 2012 Pinot Blanc? Let us know what you think in the comments below!