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Albero 2013 Monastrell $6.99
Albero 2013 Tempranillo $5.99

The other day, I stopped at our local Trader Joe’s and talked with their wine guy. It was an interesting talk. He pointed me to a few wines that he thought might be within my taste preferences. To be honest, two of them were more expensive than I like to pay at Trader Joe’s because sometimes I like the wine and sometimes I really don’t. So I said so. His reply was very enlightening and has caused me to re-think my wine purchasing there…and I thought it might be useful to you as well. “We stand behind our wines. If you don’t like it, dump the rest out, bring the bottle back with your receipt and we’ll refund your money.” With that endorsement, I went ahead and purchased two French wines, near or at the $20 price point, and we’ll be seeing them on the blog soon.

IMG_0927However this blog post is about the two Albero wines listed above. I saw the Monastrell via the Reverse Wine Snob blog and thought I’d pick one up. We taste-tested the two at the same time (not something I’d recommend…they did not complement one another). It is fruit forward, spicy…a bit rhubarb-ish. Decent quaff for $6.99.IMG_0928

The Tempranillo is more my style in one way, it’s drier, but doesn’t show much in the way of dimensions. I’m thinking that it might have fared better in this test, if we hadn’t tried it next to the more flamboyant Monastrell. Still, quite a decent, very dry red, for $5.99.

Overall if you like dry, red wines, go with the Tempranillo. It’s not complex but it is in the old world style.

If you like a bit of jammy, fruity, spiciness…go with the Monastrell. Both wines are tasting better than the average wine at this price point but are not what I’d personally call “bulk buys” due to the lack of complexity.