The Wine Idiot Reviews: Château Roudier Montagne-Saint-Emilio Bordeaux, 2010 ($12.99)
I was checking out at my local Trader Joe's the other day with only wine in my basket. This happens sometimes, and usually it elicits a joke of some kind from the cashier. Today was no exception.
"Thirsty??" the Hawaiian-shirted gentleman laughed. Ho-ho, I chortled, digging out my ID and credit card.
But then, the plot twisted.
He leaned conspiratorially onto the counter and looked me straight in the eyes. "Do you like Bordeaux?" When I responded that I, in fact, like pretty much anything that comes in a wine bottle, he whipped out his phone. "My buddy is a real wine snob...." he said as he started scrolling through a text conversation.
We landed on a photo of a wine bottle. "He says this is a $50-75 bottle of Bordeaux. We sell it here for THIRTEEN BUCKS."
"WHAT?!" I hissed, trying to contain myself.
"You want me to grab you a bottle?"
THIS. THIS IS WHY I STARTED THIS BLOG. BECAUSE I SWEAR TO GOD THERE IS SOMETHING MAGICAL ABOUT TRADER JOE'S AND TRADER JOE'S WINE.
So, first of all, I did do some Googling when I got home to discover if this REALLY is a $50-75 bottle of wine. Results? Ehhhh... Like, maybe if you encounter it at a restaurant. Wine-Searcher.com says it averages at $18/bottle, though they've got the "range" as anywhere from $9 to $85.
What makes this a magical Trader Joe's deal is that you're not gonna find that many wines at Trader Joe's that have been aged longer than two, MAYBE three years. This is a 2010, so as of this writing, it's a SIX-YEAR-OLD WINE. For $13! That's pretty sweet.
Honestly, it's worth grabbing just for the experience of trying an older wine from Trader Joe's at a great price point. The bonus is that it's ACTUALLY QUITE GOOD!
I found it to be big and complex, quite a lot of flavor to wrestle with for someone who's been drinking a LOT of rosé and sauvignon blanc recently. It's quite dry and tannin-y I think. I felt like I should be drinking it in a musty old British castle, in a library surrounded by worn leather armchairs and dusty old-book smell.
The spicy-ness of it really complements food well--it held up to a hastily-assembled tapas plate of salami, garlicky dipping sauce, crusty French bread, and Parmesan and Jarlsberg cheeses. In fact, it's REALLY good with salami.
I'm not gonna say it's the greatest wine I've ever had--I bet if you like Bordeaux and you're looking for something fun that's ALSO one of those crazy-good values you can only score at Trader Joe's, you're probably really gonna like this wine!
A note on the multiple photos: it's one of the darkest red wines I've ever tried to photograph. I tried to capture the color but it was really hard!
What the bottle says: Nothing.
What the Wine Idiot says: It's one of those super-French labels that makes zero effort at marketing. "It's wine--you'll drink it, and you'll like it." ~ the French
ABV: 15%!!! GODDAMN, FRENCH PEOPLE! That's the highest ABV I think I've reviewed.
Who's responsible for this? "Bottled and Produced by: SCEA CAPDEMOURLIN, 33570 Montagne, France." But also: "Imported by: Latitude Wines, Inc. Danville, CA" LATITUDE WINES AGAIN!!! I feel like a detective who is on to something...
Do I need a corkscrew? Of course. It's fancy French wine.
What do smarter people say about it? Gilbert & Gaillard had really smart and really European things to say: "Appealing garnet. Endearing nose of ripe fruits with delicate vanilla undercurrents. On the palate, a dense, compact and rustic style marked by tannins that are ripe yet impinge slightly on the fruit. Drink as a food wine with red meats."
Can I just aside here for a quick sec? "Endearing nose"????? Just wanna point out, there's no way it's more endearing than my dog's nose. Also, I super-nailed it with the "pairs with salami" point. (Salami counts as red meat, yeah?)
Should I bring it to a friend's house? Absolutely, especially if they're a fan of "big reds" and "fancy French wine that doesn't cost an arm and a leg."