The Wine Idiot Reviews: Trader Joe's Grower's Reserve Organic Zinfandel, 2014 ($4.99)
I've never reviewed an organic wine before, so I thought this might be a nice one to try. I always see these bottles at the TJ's, too, so they'll always be around if organic wine is your thing!
How did it taste, though? It's not bad! I'm not gonna rave about it, but that may be in part because I'm just not the biggest zinfandel fan. Also, I eventually drank the whole bottle, so how bad could it be, right? We all know when a wine is REALLY bad, I WILL dump out the rest.
It smells sweet and bready and is a dark ruby color. It's definitely tannin-y, but not too astringent. It's earthy and maybe a little dirty, like dark chocolate, and the tiniest but spicy but ultimately smooth. I'm sure there's some "berry" flavors in there, but it's not crazy sweet. Again--not remarkable? But not bad. Just a middle-of-the-road, unsweet red.
The finish isn't aggressive, but the aftertaste is a bit penny-flavored. Meh. I probably wouldn't buy it again, but if you've been having a hard time finding a budget organic wine, this isn't undrinkable.
What the bottle says: "Cultivate simplicity. A simple enough directive; yet, some 'simple' pursuits come about through tremendous hard work--organic farming, for example. The wine in this bottle was made with organically grown grapes. Our 2014 Zinfandel is jammy and complex with blackberry, cherry, and cassis flavors accompanied by peppery spice notes leading to a long, pleasing finish."
What the Wine Idiot says: First of all, they seem to also agree that the most important thing about this wine is its organic-ness. Second? I think they used every wine term in my vocabulary in that description, and I BARELY discerned most of that. Agree to disagree, I guess.
Who's responsible for this? Produced and bottled by ASV Wines, San Martin, California"
Do I need a corkscrew? Yes.
What do smarter people say about it? On Vivino, Mark Gudgel was WAY more enthusiastic, but that may be in part because it sounds like the drinking circumstances were way more fun than my own: "Sometimes, low expectations lead to very pleasant surprises! I'll give this wine considerable credit for costing under $5/bottle and for showing well in spite of being imbibed from a plastic cup in my hotel room. A textbook Zinfandel, it's spicy yet smooth, jammy with big bright fruits, full body, and notes of pepper, all with a super dry finish. I was skeptical about the organic part, as well as the crazy low price, but there's just no denying that this is a solid Zinfandel! Cheers!"
Should I bring it to a friend's house? If that friend is ALL ABOUT ORGANIC, but not so picky about wine.