Cocobon Red Wine 2010

Trader Joes: $6.99

Aaron:  Wow … I was so impressed with this blend from start to finish!  A lot of people may criticize blends – and honestly I’m not normally a fan – but this was fantastic.  The nose was sharp but sublte with only the faintest hint of berries.  As I’ve come to find, my nose generally has nothing to do with my palate and it was never more true than at the first sip of this Cocobon.  The soft, mild tannins were completely overpowered by the luscious flavors of vanilla and chocolate.  This powerful combination then melted into a blueberry finish with just a hint of bite to help the flavor linger on in the mouth.  If I had to put one word to this blend: drinkable.   94 points

Teri: This is an amazing buy from Trader Joes. This red wine carries a complexity to please most wine drinkers with a price that will fit almost any budget. The smell carries dark raspberries with vanilla and the flavor is even better. At first you taste a rich full flavor of red fruits then it moves to rich vanilla and smooth coco flavors with a smooth finish. Share it with friends of enjoy it yourself. This bottle should please a majority of wine drinkers.  92 points

Oak Grove Viognier 2010 Reserve

Total Wine and More: $5.99

Teri: This is a very nice crisp but full bodied white. It carries a pleasant nose of pear, apple and honey with a taste that is long and flavorful containing apple, peach, citrus and a small amount of oak. The abundance of flavor from this Viognier will stand up and pair well with a variety of dishes. Because of its great flavor it is also quite enjoyable alone. 89 points

Aaron: I sensed a lot of the white grape flavor on the nose of this viognier, however I also got a sense of green apple and oak.  The smooth velvet on the palate was very appealing and there was just the right amount of sweetness.  I definitely tasted citrusry, write fruit and what I interpret to be apricot.  89 points

Valley of the Moon Pinot Noir 2009

Introduced to this bottle by good friends. Can be found at most wine retailers. Price range $13-19

Aaron:  This is one of my new favorite pinot noirs … and I’m not a pinot guy.  The nose was very light and gentle however as soon as I took a sip I experienced a nice, medium bodied, relatively complex wine with mild tannins.  I enjoyed the red fruits and a unique flavor that I felt mirrored a pear or green apple.  The finish was slightly acidic but it complemented the flavor due to the mild sweetness. 85 points

Teri: Beautiful pinot noir from the carneros valley. Medium bodied with smooth tannins. The flavor is light then bursts with strawberry, raspberry and a light vanilla and oak finish. This wine pairs well with pork and sweet or savory dishes. 92 points

Grgich Hills Zinfandel 2007

Can find this bottle at most expansive wine retailers, priced around $30.

Aaron:  I admit tht I’m biased because I love Napa Zins, so this full bodied, fruit forward wine is right up my alley.  I should note, when we were in Napa, we tried a Zin at the Grgich Hills tasting room and were not impressed.  It must have been a different vintage because this bottle was awesome!  I sensed full, jammy notes of dark fruit on the nose which bled into the bold flavor.  Comprised of red and black berries, notably strawberry, this wine is very palatable.  The hint of cocoa on the taste buds is a nice predecessor to the brief tang on the aftertaste.  Overall, the finish is smooth with a slight burning sensation.  This is a perfect complement for the wine and in no way detracts from the flavor. 94 points

Teri: This is a very nice bottle if you don’t mind splurging a little on the price. It has a nice smell of jammy red raspberries and a fill fruit forward taste containing more dark berries and hints of coco. The wine is full bodied with strong tannins and add is great to enjoy by itself or with a meal. Give as a gift or bring to a dinner party to impress anyone who is a Napa Valley wine lover. 90 points