I have to admit that the first time I saw a Rex-Goliath wine, I was curious about the reason for naming a wine label after a big rooster. After reading at the winery’s website that HRM Rex-Goliath was billed as the “World’s Largest Rooster” in a Texas circus at the turn of the 20th century, I was confused. Texas? A giant chicken? Circus? What do they have to do with a winery in California?
But their website goes on to say, “Our wines are a tribute to Rex’s larger-than-life personality, with bold, fruit-forward flavors that are sure to please. In essence, Rex is all about letting BOLD fruit flavors express themselves in an easy-to-drink, worry-free fashion. Bold Wines. Fun Times.” Oh … I suppose I see now.
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Price: $5.49 at Trader Joe’s
Notes: The color of this non-vintage Pinot Noir was a medium garnet. On the nose I caught whiffs of oak, earth, red plum, and pepper. It was medium-bodied with bright but not racy acidity and medium tannins. The tannins were pretty aggressive in attack and long in duration, but they did settle some with time to breathe. Alcohol was at 12.5%. Flavors I tasted were cola, sweet plum, lots of pepper and oak, and a green herbal note on the finish. This was an unusually feisty selection for a Pinot Noir and a surprisingly interesting bottle of wine for the price. Yes, I would call this a good value.
Having recently tasted and posted about a Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw white, I thought I’d grab a bottle from the Three Wishes line of wines at Whole Foods – priced suspiciously toe-to-toe with the TJ wines. This is a Chardonnay and the Chuck was a Pinot Grigio. Not the same thing at all. So this can’t be considered a comparison.
Winemaker: Three Wishes (by Concannon for Whole Foods)
Price: $3.29 at Whole Foods
Notes: The color of this inexpensive Chardonnay was – big surprise – yellow. The hue did seem to have more “color value” than most Chardonnays I’ve seen. Well, on second thought, maybe I shouldn’t be throwing around terms like that. I’m certainly no graphic artist, but I’ve heard them talking about Pantone color, hue, color value, etc. at work. I can’t give you an exact PMS (Pantone Matching System) number for it. Let’s just say it was colorful and cheery to look at. On the nose I caught scents of citrus, honey, white pepper and hints of wildflowers. The body was in the medium range with a bit of a coat-the-tongue feel to it. I thought the acidity was a little low, and the alcohol was at 12.5%. I usually prefer Chardonnays a little drier. On the tongue, I tasted some citrus, oak, honey, white pepper, and green herbs with floral notes. Overall, this wasn’t a terrible cheap white. It wasn’t offensive. Even so, I think it could definitely use some tweaking to get the balance of flavors, acidity and sweetness in sync. But again, it’s $3.29 a bottle. While I wouldn’t personally serve this at a dinner party, you may like it well enough to use it as your house white.