Trader Joe’s Kosher 2014 Terrenal Seleccionado wine
Well last week I posted about the new kosher Terrenal wines available at Trader Joe’s and that there is a newer wine; the 2014 Terrenal Seleccionado. Well until a week ago – the wine was not order-able on the west coast. But magically, this week the wine is not only order-able – the wine was in all the shops that I called.
I must be honest when I heard about this wine I had my doubts. First the name may be Spanish in ways (meaning Selected), but it is not a name that makes sense to any American wine buyer, and it is an absolute bear to spell or tell the Trader Joe’s person as he/she attempts to help you find it on the computer or shelf. The only saving grace there, is that if the wine is available at your shop, it will almost always be right to the left or right of the existing Spanish Terrenal wines. Second, whenever I hear about reserve wines I always have doubts. Reserve means something different to people, does it have more oak, better fruit, different varietals, more care – why charge more? This wine is a blend, it comes in a nicer and more expensive bottle, and it has a very nice cork, OH and it costs three more dollars (almost double the existing Terrenal Cabernet Sauvignon).
Finally, why add in this Monastrell grape? Well, it turns out that Monastrell is just Spain’s name for a very beloved grape in the Rhone region – Mourvedre. A grape that the Rhone Rangers have taken upon themselves to make a reality here in California. Well, when I finally got a chance to taste the wine I can say that the wine is worth the extra three dollars, but from a purely subjective point of view, it is not almost 2x better than the basic Terrenal Cabernet. That said, the Cabernet at 3.99 is an absolute STEAL, so charging 6.99 for a slightly better wine, is still a great deal for the wine being sold.
This wine is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Monastrell (AKA Mourvedre). It turns out that Monastrell is quite a successful grape in Spain, actually Monastrell is the 5th most popular varietal in Spain in terms of acreage planted. As we have stated in other places here on the blog, Monastrell is a grape that shows a VERY weird blend of feminine and masculine characteristics. It has very lovely floral notes and it also can show very meaty, dark, and earthy notes that are more masculine in nature.
The wine is higher in alcohol by 1.5% and it shows in the wine. The entry level 13.5% Cabernet is well-balanced and enjoyable. The 15% alcohol Seleccionado – is higher in alcohol because they used Monastrell grapes that they were picked later to maximize their potential, but it also has to do with the fact that Monastrell is a higher alcohol grape in the first place, as it needs to be riper to really shine. Put those two facts together and you get a wine that packs a significant punch in the heat factor and turns the wine into a more fruit forward wine that I did not think I would like. With that said, the wine is well-tempered and controlled and shows more like a controlled Cali wine than an out of control Israeli wine.
The wine shows no signs of date or raisin, instead it shows as a more supple, plush, and rich wine that is a bit more complex than the plain Cabernet and one that also has a bit of a feminine side to it from the added Monastrell, with hints of more roasted notes than its more entry-level brother.
Overall, I can say that while the name and the bottle were overkill from the Marketing department – the part that matters was a solid double and continues to show that impressive wines can be made at the 10 dollar and under wine segment!
The wine note follows below:
2014 Terrenal Seleccionado – Score: B++ to A- (MAD QPR) (NOT mevushal)
This wine is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Monastrell (AKA Mourvedre). It turns out that Monastrell is quite a successful grape in Spain, actually Monastrell is the 5th most popular varietal in Spain in terms of acreage planted.
The nose on this lovely wine shows a bit hot to start but with time that balances out to show lovely floral notes, rich and dense earth, along with loam, followed by blackcurrant, roasted herb, and red forest berry. The mouth on this medium plus bodied wine is plush and rich, with nice mouth coating tannin, toasty notes, lovely acid, blackberry, more rich earth, lovely graphite, mineral, and green notes. The finish is long and dark, with nice rich chocolate, dark cherry, cassis, meaty notes, and black plum. BRAVO!!