2004 Chateau De La Riviere Fronsac

A 2004 Bordeaux blend from Fronsac for $14.99? Trader Joe’s rocks! This bottle is 7 years old, so I knew it would need to breathe before trying it. Still though, I couldn’t resist smelling it right away. And it smelled dirty! After an hour open, it opened up like a flower. Raspberry, black cherry and coffee. The midpalate is dark and bitter-like taking an expresso shot and keeping it in your mouth for a while. The finish is gripping and dry. This is definitely a food wine, but not a summer food wine. Think beef stew, French onion soup or fondue made with gruyere cheese. Maybe I’ll try it with chocolate later…

$14.99/bottle at Trader Joe’s

Fess Parker Frontier Red Lot 102

Lets try this again!   I picked up the original bottle at Fess Parker’s tasting room in Los Olivos (Santa Barbara wine country)…  if you’re ever in the area stop by because it is gorgeous.  Sadly, the original bottle was knocked to the ground and shattered on an expensive rug.   The rug was fine (after an emergency seltzer and salt treatment!), but the bottle wasn’t.   Luckily, my local Bevmo carried the same bottle!  The Frontier Red was being advertised as their “BBQ wine” so of course I had to try it, ’tis the season.   It is made with a blend of 7 grapes, the Syrah and Grenache definitely dominate.   Big blackberry on the nose, with notes of toasty oak and spices.   The midpalate has notes of both cocoa and tart berries.    The finish is big and bold – alcohol is 15.5%.  I wanted to try this with ribs (even the label of the bottle screams RIBS!) but had to settle for BBQ pulled pork and let me tell you… amazing combination!   Wow.   The fruit in this wine + BBQ sauce = magic.    


Double on it’s own.   HOME RUN with the pulled pork…  yum!