The Wine Idiot Reviews: R.G.M.V. White Blend 2013 ($2.99)
I'm super into blends these days. I understand that when you find cheap blends at Trader Joe's, they are probably the leftovers of various vineyards thrown together into some disgusting barrel somewhere. I don't care. Beggars can't be choosers.
Normally, cheap exotic blends are the province of reds at Trader Joe's. This is why I was kind of excited to find this weird white blend for only $2.99. I mean, that's how much I pay to park at a meter for an audition. How disappointed could I possibly be with a bottle of wine at the same price point??
Well, maybe I'm not the most discerning wino you know, but I did not mind this bottle. Was it the best white I've ever had? Nope. Not by a long shot. But for $3? Who's complaining??
When I first sniffed it, it was slightly pear-y but not as alcoholic as I expected (it's got a whopping 14% ABV). And then--no joke--in my wine notes, after my very first sip, I wrote: "Ten things just happened."
It's mineral-y or grass-y right away--you taste a little fruit but not a lot, maybe like grapefruit? Then it mellows out to JUST A HINT of that creme brûlée you sometimes get with chardonnays. THEN...it's briefly sour, with kind of a bitter aftertaste. There's like...maybe...guava?? Something weird in there.
No joke, I wrote, "just keep drinking and you'll be fine!" Which, I feel, is always good advice.
The high alcohol level definitely warmed up my tummy. Am I disappointed I purchased this bottle? No, it was $3, I don't think I've ever been disappointed with a $3 purchase. Would I buy this again? Probably not. I'd spend a few extra bucks to try something new. So...there ya go.
UPDATE: Definitely spend $4 more and get this Pontificis Viognier-Roussanne-Marsanne blend instead. WORTH. IT.
What the bottle says: "32% Roussanne, 21% Grenache Blanc, 27% Marsanne, & 20% Viognier. This exceptional wine is truly unique. Made from French white wine varietals grown in the Central Coast of California and specially blended, it will treat you to an unexpected experience. R.G.M.V. displays notes of lychee, fiji apple, and white nectarine, with mineral undertones and a smooth, yet complex finish."
What the Wine Idiot says: GOT-DAMN WINE LABLE. Those are some specific breakdowns, are you sure it's ONLY 32% Roussanne?? OK look I have never heard of Roussanne or Marsanne. I also am unsure that I can disagree with "unexpected experience" as I wasn't sure what to expect in the first place. I would say "complex" is definitely one way to describe this wine. As with many cheap wines, the label is not inaccurate, it's just maybe a little hyperbolic.
ABV: 14%, which is quite high for a cheap white blend in my experience.
Who's responsible for this? Bottled by Central Coast Wine Warehouse, Santa Maria, CA (and this is what always makes me slightly skeptical. How exactly does this "Wine Warehouse" get their grapes??? NO ONE KNOWS.)
Do I need a corkscrew? Yes.
What do smarter people say about it? User Elliot Mercer at Vivino sums up the not-quite-disappointing experience of this wine this way: "The wines available only at Trader Joe's are really hit or miss. Some winners for the price point, some clear losers at any price point. This is on the loser side, but not as bad as some. 32% Roussanne, 21% Grenache Blanc, 27% Marsanne, 20% Viognier. Flavors of lychee, apple, white flower, cantaloupe and peach. A hint of acidity, some minerality. A lingering creamy, clothy feeling in the mouth. Not a terrible choice, but I will be moving on from this."
Should I bring it to a friend's house? Probably not. You can do better.