Search Results for terrenal

The sad removal of Terrenal wines from Trader Joe’s

trader-joes-front

As many of you know, I had been touting Terrenal wines for some time, at least until last year. My last post on the state of Terrenal wines was from May of 2016, more than a year ago. Sadly, by that time, we had long not seen the wonderful Chardonnay from Chile in more than two years.

We never saw the 2016 wines and even the few 2015 wines they did sell for the past half a year, was running out of the channel, again at least here in Northern Califonia. The wonderful Banero Prosecco was also long gone from the Northern California supply channel.

The east coast supply channel was far fuller and the wines were available there, sadly I never got to see that. The wines on the west coast sold in a heartbeat. If there was a lack of sales on the west coast, from what I saw, that would totally be because of lack of supply. Whenever there was supply in my local stores, they sold out with a month. I am a very frequent visitor to TJ, I go there at least twice a week for my normal food shopping, and when I am there I always check the Terrenal supply. I have always chatted with the managers and the local buyers and they have consistently told me there was no wine in the channel, or there was very little supply to be found.

So, I was shocked when I heard this week that Trader Joe’s would no longer carry Terrenal wines. There are is a group on Facebook, along with others, where people are posting thoughts, anger, frustration, and maybe some ideas as to why this happened.

The interesting fact is that while Terrenal wine will no longer be carried by Trader Joe’s Sara Bee, a very good Moscato wine will still be carried. Now I point this out because Trader Joe’s sells the famous blue bottle, AKA The Bartenua Moscato that comes in the lovely blue bottle (sadly for me the only redeeming factor that exists for that wine). Now, the interesting fact here is that while Moscato is still selling very well in this country, and around the world, I wonder why Trader Joe’s stopped selling Terrenal but keeps selling Sara Bee, which is made by the Terrenal wine makers?

A person on the Kosher Trader Joe’s Facebook group posted a reply that was more informative than the canned responses that I saw from many other posters. This is the text from the reply that she received – for why they had removed Terrenal wines from their stores:

The Terrenal Wines were discontinued based on lack of sales, nationwide. The fact is, because our stores have such limited shelf space, if an item does not meet a minimum sales volume, we will discontinue it in order to bring in something new in that we hope our customers will love (we would like to carry every item; it is just, sadly, not a possibility).

Please know that we greatly appreciate this feedback – we are customers, too, and there are items I miss as well. We will share your comments with our buyers and also keep an eye out for requests like yours. From time to time, with future review, if there is enough customer demand to bring back a discontinued item and we are able to do so, we will certainly consider giving it another run.

At present, we carry these kosher wines:

BARON HERZOG KOSHER CABERNET
BARON HERZOG KOSHER CHARDONNAY.
BARON HERZOG KOSHER MERLOT.
BARTENURA KOSHER MOSCATO
SARA BEE MOSCATO – KOSHER

Best regards,
XXXXXXX

Customer Relations
Trader Joe’s

After reading this, I contacted the makers of Terrenal wines, and their reply was that the wines were selling perfectly well, much like I had seen from my perspective on the west coast.

The worse fact of this is that we have now gone from wine selling for 3.99 or 4.99 a bottle to wine selling for 9.99 and up (for reds options) at Trader Joes. I am surprised that Trader Joe’s, a company that prides itself on the customer first, and price point battles, would just exit the segment and leave us back where we were four to five years ago, with wines double or more of what we had before. I get it that kosher wine, is a tiny segment of their business, but it is an item that pulls buyers into the store for other kosher food that Trader Joe’s has been more and more vocal about for some time now.

That said, there was a clear lack of wines in the channel for a year, either it was a lack of interest here on the west coast, or a lack of supply to meet the demand. However, from what I saw here, there was no lack of interest, the store managers tell me that people keep complaining about the lack of Terrenal, even when it was being stocked by Trader Joe’s. So, I have a real problem understanding this reply from Trader Joe’s Customer Relationship team. I have personally also emailed the company and I hope to hear more on that soon.

For now, the sad fact is that the wines are not going to be carried any longer by Trader Joe’s. The hope is that the wines will find a USA distributor and once again we will have very reasonably priced kosher wines in the USA.

 

2015 Terrenal Reds – kosher Trader Joe’s Wines

Well – the wines keep coming and as you saw on my Passover wine post – there were many 2015 and 2014 options from Terrenal on the list. I have been posting about Terrenal wines for a long time now. Mostly because they are solid wines at a reasonable price (AKA QPR) and they prove that you can make solid kosher wines under 10 dollars.

Sure, they come from countries where labor and land are far more reasonably priced, but who cares?? Herzog has proven that you can create really impressive wines in CALIFORNIA for less than 10 bucks!

In the end, the more options we have for less than 10 or 15 dollars the more hope we have of really creating wines that the world loves – that happen to be kosher!

Well, the new Terrenal wines are in, at your local area Trader Joe stores. They are the 2015 Terrenal Malbec from Argentina, the 2015 Terrenal Tempranillo from Yecla Spain, and the 2015 Terrenal Seleccionado. Sadly, the name has not changed to reserve – which we would all understand and find easier. Though, KUDOS to the TJ folks, they have already learnt the names and know their products, so even if you cannot spell it or pronounce it – they will find it for you and happily sell it – if it is in stock!

Talking about in stock – the 2014 Terrenal Chardonnay from Chile is sold out and the 2015 has yet to reach the stores. The wine is on the boats, but there is no clear ETA yet. The hope is that it comes soon! The 2014 was on my QPR list and I hope the 2015 will be there as well!

The Banero also seems to be out of stock here on the west coast – though I am not sure what the stock is like elsewhere.

So, without further ado – here are the new wines and the notes!

2015 Terrenal Seleccionado – Score: A- (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.

This is the second vintage of this highly successful and wonderful QPR wine. The previous vintage was starting to show its heat, but this vintage has yet to show any heat – so far. The nose on this lovely wine shows rich and dense earth, along with loam, followed by black fruit, 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, plum, mineral, and green notes, all wrapped in a cocoon of searing but plush tannin. The finish is long and dark, with nice espresso beans, dark cherry, intensely roasted herb, menthol, and great black pepper. BRAVO!!

2015 Terrenal Tempranillo Yecla – Score: B+ to A-
The 2015 Cab from Yecla is a great PQR and the Tempranillo is not far behind with a lovely QPR non mevushal wine. It improves on the 2014 vintage.

While this wine does hail from Spain, it is not a Rioja by place or style. It is far more blue and earthy than black/red and dusty. The nose on this wine is vibrant with black cherry, strawberry, blue fruit, and earthy aromas. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is a nice wine indeed, with great acid and tannin, showing spicy fruit, blackberry, ripe boysenberry, nice round and appealing and capable of handling many a food. The finish is spicy and long with nice spice, along with a dollop of vanilla, great root beer, and more spiced blue fruit. Nice!!

2015 Terrenal Malbec I.P. Mendoza – Score: B
Sadly, this wine returns to its far too floral roots and while the wine is nice, the rose hips that dominate the nose and body are not for me.

The nose is a flower bed, with nice red fruit, earth, and spice. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is nice with soft mouth coating tannin, with hints of cooked fruit, but overall the floral and cherry and cranberry dominate. The finish is long and spicy, with great cloves and black pepper

Trader Joe’s Kosher 2014 Terrenal Seleccionado wine

2014 Terrenal SeleccionadoWell 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!!

The new 2014 Trader Joe’s Kosher Terrenal Wines

Well it has been a few months and it is time to post about the new wines from Terrenal – which can be found at Trader Joe’s markets. I have been writing about these wines for sometime now, and some are hits and some are misses, but for the most part they are solid wines at a very reasonable price.

I wrote about the very impressive 2014 Terrenal Cabernet Sauvignon already earlier this year, and now the Banero Prosecco is back on the shelves again along with a new 2014 Terrenal Chardonnay, that may well be their best ever. Sadly, the 2014 Terrenal Tempranillo is not as good as past vintages, like the 2012. But with the very impressive Chard, Cab, and Banero, the Tempranillo is not such a loss. The Malbec is better than in past vintages but not the homerun that the 2012 was at initial release.

My previous post about the 2014 Cabernet was a side rant about the prices of kosher wines and why they continue to go up instead of coming down. I am happy to say that the prices of the Terrenal wines have stayed the same – even as the value goes up in this past vintage.

Sadly, there is a new wine – a reserve wine that is only available in the NY and NJ area called: Terrenal Seleccionado it goes for 6.99 (the same price as the Banero Prosecco). Can you guys please try it out and post here – I would really love to hear what people are saying about it. Also, is it mevushal? Thanks!

So, here are my notes about the new Trader Joe Kosher Terrenal wines and enjoy!

2014 Terrenal Chardonnay, Curico Valley – Score: A- (QPR WINNER) (mevushal)
Another crazy hit for Terrenal and yes, it is the 5 buck kosher Chard from Trader Joe’s and it is mevushal. The nose on this lovely Chilian Chard is crazy tropical, with screaming pineapple, goose berry, grapefruit, and fresh tart summer fruit and herb. The mouth in this medium bodied wine is very ripe and round with an almost plush feeling to it, followed by tart white cherry, peach, dried apple, and almond. The finish is long and sweet with nutty notes, a nice ribbon of pith, and green tea. Bravo!

2014 Terrenal Malbec, I.P. Mendoza – Score: B+ (mevushal)
For the past two years this wine has let me down, it had turned far too floral for my tastes and lacked the blue and black punch it had early on in 12 and 11. Well, so far it is back! The nose is redolent with dark fruit, fresh black and blue berries, with hints of roasted meat and cherry. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is nice with soft mouth coating tannin, but it shows it is showing it mevushal process , with hints of cooked fruit, but overall the core blackberry, blueberry, and cranberry carry the day. Still, the floral notes are starting to show, which is great, I just hope it stays there, rather than taking over the entire mouth like it did in past vintages. Very nice.

2014 Terrenal Tempranillo Yecla – Score: B to B+ (NOT mevushal)
After the very good 2014 Terrenal Cabernet Sauvignon, a crazy QPR winner, I had high hopes for the 2014 Terrenal Tempranillo, sadly it is nice – but not the Cab.

The nose on this wine is vibrant with black cherry, strawberry, raspberry, earthy aromas, herb, and spice. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is a nice quaffer, but lacks any attention grabbing notes, with spicy fruit, blackberry, nice round and searing tannin, earth, and an overall mouth feel that spicy and enjoyable. The finish is round with nice spice, great balancing acid, along with a dollop of herb and vanilla on the long finish. This is a fine wine, but I wish it had more to show.

2014 Terrenal Cabernet Sauvignon Yecla – Score: B+ to A-  (QPR) (NOT mevushal)
Bravo!! Very impressive wine. Insane QPR and very lovely mouth feel, plush and tannic with good structure and fruit. Again BRAVO!

The nose on this purple robed wine is redolent with crazy blackcurrant, followed by lovely roasted herb, licorice, red fruit, and bramble. The mouth on this medium plus bodied wine is impressive with good concentration of blackberry, ripe and juicy raspberry, followed by cocoa, searing tannin, mouth coating plush fruit, and lovely tobacco. The finish is long with chocolate, vanilla, spice, and green notes, all wrapped in blue and black fruit, with garrigue, menthol, and graphite lingering long – IMPRESSIVE for 5 bucks to say the least.

NV Banero Prosecco, Veneto IGT – Score: B++ (mevushal) (QPR)
Well, I am happy to say I am wrong! The wine I had in the past must have been a poor bottle, as this wine is now really enjoyable. Sadly, I cannot track vintages or bottlings, that I can see, but this bottle and the other one I opened recently were both much better.
The nose on this wine is ripping with sweet kiwi, honey, along with a orange blossom perfume, orange rind, toast, rose water, and guava. The mouth on this rich medium bodied wine starts off with a hit of bitterness, but is then dominated by the sweet notes of candied fig, honeysuckle, sweet melon, dried apple, prolonged medium mousse bubbles, and toast. The finish is long with more bubbles, acidity that balance the wine very nicely, along with orange peel, tangerine, and dried pear. I would love it to be even more dry, but this is a lovely wine, and even better knowing that the wine is mevushal and only 8 dollars. Very Nice!!

Another Trader Joes Terrenal winner – 2014 Five Buck kosher Cabernet Sauvignon from Yecla Spain

2014 Terrenal Cabernet Sauvignon, Spain, YeclaWhat can I say, Terrenal has been doing exceptionally well with their Spanish wines. In case you have been sleeping under a rock, we have been posting here whenever a new Terrenal makes it to our neck of the woods, here in Cali. Well, the new 2014 Terrenal Cab and Tempranillo are here. Sadly, the Tempranillo is not in my immediate area, and I will keep searching! Till then, PLEASE run to your local Trader Joe’s and get a bottle of the wonderful 2014 Terrenal Cabernet Sauvignon, Yecla, Spain. It is almost at a level of complexity, but for 5 bucks a B+ to A- wine is seriously impossible to find in the kosher world – IMPOSSIBLE!

Now, I know I have spoken about QPR over and over again, but seriously, why is it so hard to get this right? The kosher answer needs to stop, kosher is NOT the reason, the entire kosher budget for a normal sized winery or wine production run, is not more than 10 to 20 cents to a bottle. I have heard this so many times – from folks in the game that I am getting sick of it. Why is kosher expensive? Kosher costs – BS! Sorry to be so crude, but I have asked the folks who make it – and not sell it – and the answer is what I have stated above, 10 to 20 cents to the bottle.

Look at Wine Spectator, look at Wine Enthusiast, they routinely have 89 to 90 scored wines fro under 10 dollars, trust me, that is close to unheard of in the kosher world. We are talking the same vines, overhead, winery costs, u name it. So why are the costs of kosher wines so high? The simple answer is cash flow. In my humble opinion, and I have heard this over and over again, the reason why baseline wines are expensive is cash flow. Now, we are not even talking about good baseline wines, forget those! Seriously! Except for the Herzog 2012 Cab, there is no wine under 10 bucks that makes my top wines of the year – NADA!

Cash flow, solid business plans, you name it, basic cash flow will cripple a company and jack up prices – even when they do not need to be high. I was recently asked by a leading member of the wine community, “should we raise our prices because low-cost kosher wine looks cheap”? My answer is NO! The very definition of QPR is just that, great wines for a great price. Kosher or not!

Now, I have heard lots of other answers to why kosher wine must be priced so high, land, rabbis, cost of living, etc. Those are all reasonable answers, but none of them, other than Rabbis – apply to the kosher world. Furthermore, Rabbis are not that expensive, as I stated above. The rest of those costs, exist in every zipcode of this world, and yet the non-kosher world is pumping those wines out just fine!

Anyway, my point is – if we could have more wines like this star – the kosher wine world would be in a far better place! Far be it from me to begrudge a man his day’s wage! What I am discussing here is not base wage, but rather lack of focus to how one will get the wine to market and under what economic pressures will it work?

I am not a business man, but when I hear how many are getting wines to the market – at low cost and high quality, I wonder – why can the kosher wine world not emulate those ideas more?

The wine note for this lovely new wine follows below – BRAVO my man!

2014 Terrenal Cabernet Sauvignon, Yecla Spain – Score: B+ to A- (crazy QPR) (NOT mevushal)
Bravo!! Very impressive wine. Insane QPR and very lovely mouth feel, plush and tannic with good structure and fruit. Again BRAVO!
The nose on this purple robed wine is redolent with crazy blackcurrant, followed by lovely roasted herb, licorice, red fruit, and bramble. The mouth on this medium plus bodied wine is impressive with good concentration of blackberry, ripe and juicy raspberry, followed by cocoa, searing tannin, mouth coating plush fruit, and lovely tobacco. The finish is long with chocolate, vanilla, spice, and green notes, all wrapped in blue and black fruit, with garrigue, menthol, and graphite lingering long – IMPRESSIVE for 5 bucks to say the least.

NV Banero Prosecco Veneto IGT – Score: B+ (mevushal)
In the past I have been a big fan, but now the Banero has taken a sweet toothed turn. It is far more Asti than Prosecco for me. With that said, it is fine for the sweet toothed crowd, looking for a fun and reasonably priced summer spritz.

The nose on this ripping with sweet kiwi, honey, along with a classic muscat nose, perfume, orange rind, toast, rose water, and guava. The mouth on this rich medium bodied wine starts off with a hit of bitterness, but is then dominated by the sweet notes of candied fig, honeysuckle, sweet melon, dried apple, prolonged medium mousse bubbles, and toast.
The finish is long with more bubbles, acidity that does balance the wine, along with orange peel, tangerine, and dried pear. There are no flaws with this wine, but too much residual sugar makes we wish for a true Brut. That said, with time the wine lost a bit of the sweet notes and showed deeper mineral, a nice quaffer indeed.

Assorted wines from Purim and previous weekends and a new Terrenal Malbec

It has been a few weeks since I posted my wine notes. I have been posting other ideas, but this was a long time coming. The biggest take away for me was that the 2013 Terrenal Malbec was out, a new Terrenal kosher wine that can be bought at Trader Joe’s and it is mevushal. Sadly, I was not a fan. It is OK, but for me, I will look elsewhere. It is a shame as the non mevushal Terrenal wines from Spain continue to impress!

The other take away from these wines was that the new NV Freixenet Cava Excelencia Kosher Brut was no fun either. The final notes revolve around the return of Lewis Pasco and his wines! Mr. Pasco was the head wine maker at Recanati until 2006. After that he did wine in the US and other places and in 2012 he returned to Israel to work with Hillel Manne of Beit El Winery, and to make his own wines as well! The wines we tasted in early 2012 were nice, but the Pasco wine has really come around with oak and time. The insane Carignan wine of 2012, is not as good as we remembered it from the barrel in the winery, but it is still very nice a clear QPR.

Finally, as I stated when I was at the Tzora Winery, the 2012 Judean Hills is lovely and is a crazy QPR wine. That said, the notes have not changed but the wine needs serious time to open and when it does it shows its blue and black madness. The wine has really just arrived to the US and it seems to be in bottle shock, so either wait a month or two to enjoy, or open it now and decant for at least 2 to 3 hours ahead of time. If it is not black and blue, wait!!!!

So, I hope you enjoy the notes and have a great Shabbos! The notes follow below:

 

2012 Shirah Rosé – Score: A- (and then some)
WOW What a rose! This wine is 100% rose of Grenache. The nose is bright and tart with crunchy roasted herb, forest floor, garrigue, red fruit, and spice. The mouth is insane on this medium bodied wine, it starts with an attack of red currant, followed by blue fruit, herb, and crazy acid. The finish is long and attacking with mad acidic tart summer fruit, kiwi, candied strawberry, intense slate, mineral, and crazy tart zinberry that lingers forever, long after the wine is gone. The acid is so intense it is awesome and the fruit is ripe and expressive – BRAVO!!!

2012 Tzora Judean Hills – Score: A- (and more) (crazy good QPR)
When I was at the Tzora Winery, the 2012 Judean Hills was showing lovely and was a crazy QPR wine. That said, the notes have not changed but the wine needs serious time to open and when it does it shows its blue and black madness. The wine has really just arrived to the US and it seems to be in bottle shock, so either wait a month or two to enjoy, or open it now and decant for at least 2 to 3 hours ahead of time. If it is not black and blue, wait!!!!

This is a wine that is made of a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petite Verdot, Syrah that was fermented and aged in oak, and named for the terroir and vineyard that the wine was sourced from. This was a barrel/tank sample but such a wonderful wine and one very close to bottling that I had to write about it. The nose on this deeply black colored wine is rich with crazy black fruit, along with ripe blueberry, blackberry, along with deep mineral notes, roasted animal, and nice floral notes with slate. The mouth on this lovely full bodied and elegant wine shows far more control than the 2011 vintage, with great control and style, with layers of concentrated black and blue fruit, rich graphite, bracing acid, coming together with mouth coating tannin, and spicy oak. The finish is long and mineral with lovely chocolate, bright fruit, and lovely sweet spices. BRAVO!

2013 Terrenal Malbec Kosher – Score: B
The 2012 vintage of this wine was a favorite of mine last year, till it turned into a flower bomb. This vintage is starting that way out of the chute. The noise on this purple colored wine starts off with nice blue and black notes, followed by floral notes that feels disjointed, along with plum, and spice. The mouth on this medium bodied wine shows blackberry fruit, blackcurrant that spikes, along with nice tannin and blueberry/green notes. The finish is long and all over the place with green blue notes that cover over the nice root beer notes. Read the rest of this entry

2013 Terrenal Chardonnay (and all Trader Joe Terrenal Wines)

As I described a few weeks ago, Trader Joe has recently released the new red Spanish wines from Terrenal. I also said that I would post the final new wine, the 2013 Terrenal Chardonnay when I get around to tasting it. I got the chance to do just that over the last weekend, and so here is the note for that. I have also posted the previous notes as well, for clarity sakes.

The Chardonnay is one of those wines that does fly off the shelves. So, buy one or two and if you like them buy a case and enjoy them for a year or so.

The wine notes follow below:

2013 Terrenal Chardonnay, Chile (QPR) – Score: B++ (Mevushal)
The nose on this straw-colored wine is ripe with fresh tropical and stone fruit, peach, apricot, straw, and pineapple. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is round and ripe with good bracing acidity, quince, guava, and classic pink grapefruit. The finish is long with more good acid, citrus, mineral, orange pith, and slate. Quite a lovely wine, though with less complexity than previous years, but with better acid and ripe fruit. This is a wine that will pair well with fish and fowl, along with maybe even white pasta sauces, given its very good acidity.

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.

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.

The 2007 Yarden Pinot Noir and a revisied note for Terrenal Malbec

Having finally come home from my four week trip to France and Israel, I have tons to write, but more of that soon. For now, I wanted to get my notes in for this weekend’s wines. The dinner was simple and great – all at the same time. The wine was nice, but I also opened a bottle of the 2012 Terrenal Malbec, and it has taken a large step backwards. Gone is the blue and black notes, and now all that is left

2007 Yarden Pinot Noir – Score: B+ to A- (QPR)
This wine is one that is sure to create controversy wherever it is poured. Why? Because the wine does not taste like a Pinot Noir! The wine is rich and lovely and more akin to a Tempranillo or Barbera than it is to a Pinot Noir.
The nose starts off hot but then cools with lovely and expressive black cherry, smoky aromas, cloves, spice, licorice, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and herb. The mouth is medium in weight with a nice and full mouth that coats the mouth with integrated tannin, sweet cedar, along with dark fruit, that is now coming together quite nicely with raspberry, blackberry, and black plum. Over time the wine’s nose shows apricot and peach along with ripe fruit. The finish is long and spicy with black pepper, caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, and a hint of date on the finish.
The wine is not a typical Pinot Noir, but please do not take that as an affront – it is a lovely and enjoyable wine. If you are looking for a Pinot Noir styled wine – look elsewhere. If you are looking for a lovely wine that works with hard cheese, chicken soup, and roast beef alike, that will please newbies and wine veterans alike, than this is the wine for you!

2012 Terrenal Malbec – Score: B+ when not a bad bottle
Friends and acquaintances have been having mixed feelings about this wine. Wine that I had stored in my house – tasted more like a blend of lilac, marzipan, black fruit, and dirt. Gone was the root beer, the deep floral notes, and overall nice edges of this wine. However, I then went to the store and picked up a bottle from the shelf and it was exactly like I have it below. I believe the issue was that I stored the bottle in a not so happy place, but I am not sure why the bottle changed into that! The place I stored it was not a hot room! I stored it in the bottom of my pantry and it was cool for this entire month. Not sure – but a new bottle from the store tastes fine – so if it tastes off, return the bottle and get a new one.
This is what the newly bought bottle tastes like, exactly what I tasted the last few times – I really do love that tea, blue, hops, and vanilla flavor that lingers.
WOW! This wine starts off with a crazy attack of floral notes and about nothing else – really it starts of smelling like a lilac, rose, and Jasmine bouquet. However, with a bit of air and time, lovely ribbons of blueberry, black cherry, black pepper, and spice appear. The mouth is smooth and round with nice ripe fruit, almost layered and definitely attention grabbing, with blackcurrant, tea, and spice. The finish is long and almost rich with more blue and black fruit, root beer, vanilla, and nice tannin that coats the mouth along with bitter hops and herb. BRAVO!!

2012 Terrenal Kosher Wines – new Vintages at Trader Joe’s

It has been only six months since we last posted about the kosher wines at Trader Joe’s. Which by the way, is very deja vu from what I said in that previous posting as well. Terrenal, has been very good at keeping up production, releasing solid QPR wines, and essentially making us all happy – until Trader Joe’s runs out of the wine and then we have to wait for 6 or so months until the next vintage arrives!

By the time I released the last posting, the 2011 Terrenal Chardonnay had essentially run dry, in all of the Trader Joe’s in my area. The good and bad about store specific wines is that, for the most part they are reasonably priced – but they have the downside of always being in high demand and in relatively low supply.

The Banero continues to not be available here in the west coast. The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo are both available in the area, but the clear winners are the new 2012 Chardonnay and Malbec.

There is ZERO comparison between the last Terrenal Malbec and this new one. All I can say is that if you blind folded me and asked me to guess the varietal of the 2012 Malbec, I would have guessed Australian Shiraz, given the crazy blueberry and floral notes. Nothing comes close to this wine, in terms of price – I mean that seriously! I have never tasted a $4.99 bottle of wine that tastes this good – period! So for a QPR brain-dead winner, get some bottles of the 2012 Terrenal Malbec, and it is mevushal to boot!

The new 2012 Chardonnay continues to impress, a wine that shows what a talented winemaker can do with unoaked chardonnay. This wine may not be a home run, but it is clearly a very solid single that could have been legged out into a double, if not for the few issues listed below. The Malbec, on the other hand was a solid single that was easily legged out into a double. Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: