New kosher Terrenal Wines at Trader Joe’s for 2013
So in case you have walked into your local Trader Joe’s recently, you will notice that there is a new pair of kosher red wines and a lack of a new Chardonnay. The Chardonnay is on the way, so no worries there. As soon as I get one, I will hopefully post notes here, as usual.
So let us concentrate on the subject at hand – the new two 2012 Spanish kosher Terrenal wines; Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo. As always, the Spanish wines are NOT mevushal, and I have noted that in the notes. On top of that the price has stayed consistent – they cost 4.99 here in Northern California. Both wines are a NO BRAINIER for five dollars, a classic QPR wine. Many will turn their nose and say – that they will not drink Terrenal. I am fine with that, I have no issue with people not liking a wine. To me what Terrenal brings to the table, when they are good, is slight complexity and attempting to raise the bar above the basic line options that are presented for 10 dollars or less at many kosher wine purveyors.
For the most part, I do not drink many of the sub 10 dollar kosher wines at wine stores, because they just taste poor and standard, at best. To be fair, ten dollars is a hard nut to crack. The cost is wrapped up in the production of the wine, the grapes, the bottling, and the kosher supervision. How, Terrenal can make a wine for 5 bucks (used to be four), is impressive and quite a coup. That said, the average wine producer – has far too much overhead and costs to be able to pay for good grapes on top of the a fore mentioned costs. That is why 10 dollar kosher wines are normally an abomination to me. There are a few exceptions, like Terrenal, but even they do not get it right.
The 2010 Terrenal Tempranillo was not very good, but it was still better than many of the sub 10 dollar wines. The 2012 Malbec has turned and it tastes like lilacs and the beautiful old blue fruit has gone the way of the dodo birds :-(
The good news is that the two new Terrenal wines from Spain are spot on! They need time to open, but once they do, they are lovely and rich and flavorful – way to go!
So, my advice, stick to the new Spanish Terrenal wines and please post here what you all think of them! I do not have the image for the Terrenal Cabernet, but they are normally side by side and look the same, excepting for the varietal name of course.
The wine notes follow below:
2012 Terrenal Tempranillo (QPR) – Score: B++ (NOT mevushal)
This wine is a real surprise! The last Tempranillo from Terrenal did not impress me that much. This wine has the attention grabbing notes and enough layering to make me take notice. Still, the clear winning aspect of this wine is the rich mouth coating tannins and bright searing acidity that makes this a great pairing for things like Tomato pasta and meatballs.
The nose on this wine opens to lovely blackberry, rose hip, floral notes, dark cherry, along with good earthy notes and cola aromas. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is a wake-up call, with nice bright acid, crazy blue and red fruit, all wrapped in a cloak of mouth coating tannins that linger long. The finish is long with dark cherry, tobacco, currants, crazy and zany cloves, black pepper, spice, along with forest floor notes that linger long!
2012 Terrenal Cabernet Sauvignon (QPR) – Score: B+ (NOT mevushal)
This wine is nice with blueberry, raspberry, dark cherry, rich earthy elements, mineral, graphite, and almost hints of peach or apricot. The mouth is medium bodied with good mouth coating tannin, nice cranberry, eucalyptus, blackcurrant, spice, and more roasted herb. The finish is long and spicy, with searing cloves, black pepper, kirsch cherry, more green notes, and spice.