I believe I’ve mentioned this before. I love a good mystery. And that is exactly what I found in this bottle of Trader Joe’s rosé. Actually, the mystery isn’t so much what’s in the bottle – although I don’t know that precisely either. What intrigues me most is the question of who made this bottle of dry blush wine for the folks at Trader Joe’s to sell. And the folks at TJ ain’t talkin’!
OK. What do we know? First, the label says it was vinted and bottled by JBA Cellars of Rutherford, CA. Next, according to a report in the TJ rag Fearless Flyer, this wine “comes to us from a very famous Napa Valley winery – they make super wines that tend to be quite expensive.” Following that clue, I was reminded that there are a number of well-known wineries headquartered in Rutherford – BV, Rutherford Hill, Frog’s Leap, Caymus, Inglenook, and Cakebread, among others. That narrows the field, but not nearly enough. Then I noted that Rutherford Hill Winery is one of a few that makes a rosé. In addition, the owners are the Terlato family – father Anthony with sons Bill and John. Hmmm. Anthony, Bill and John. John, Bill and Anthony. JBA! JBA Cellars? We might have a winner here. I don’t know, of course. It’s only a guess at best.
Winemaker: JBA Cellars for Trader Joe’s
Wine: Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Rosé
Varietal: Not Available
Appellation: Napa Valley, CA
Price: $6.99 at Trader Joe’s
Notes: The color of this Napa Valley blush teeters right on the edge of dark pink and light red. On the nose I found mostly strawberry and a touch of loam with sweet floral hints. Acidity was bright and the body was light. At 13.7% alcohol, I’d call this a dry rosé. Tannins were gently present. On the palate I tasted a core of red berries (primarily strawberry) with tea leaf, a dash of pepper, some bitter herbs, and a zingy medicinal note on the finish.
By the way, I saw an online review of a prior vintage of the Rutherford Hill rosé. Evidently, their 2009 was blended from Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Zinfandel grapes. Is that true of this bottle as well? I have no idea whatsoever. If you know, do tell!