The 2005 Black Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. $4.99! Why not?
The 2005 Black Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. $4.99! Why not?
The 2005 Black Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. $4.99! Why not?

Trader Joe’s is one of the 4 regular wine shopping destinations on my list. The rest include: Safeway, Bevmo and Cost Plus World Market. Of the group, TJ’s, in keeping with its tradition, has the smaller selection, but also often the quirkiest. You’re sure to discover unusual labels, unknown brands, and comfortable pricing.

I realize a lot of web sites too offer plenty of selection and decent pricing, but Loni and I have discovered it can be a crap shoot when it comes to delivery. In the summer this of course can be bad for the wine. If you miss a drop, it can sit in a hot warehouse somewhere.

So with all that, here is the Black Mountain Vineyard wines. Discount wines no doubt. But I like to mix it up.  I’m a traditional monthly, weekly and daily wine menu planner. Some in our cellar are probably classified as decade wines, or maybe even once-in-a-lifetime wine. If I ever write about one, there will be a flashing red light, and a big smile on my face. Because something really really good must have happened or the occasion must be very special indeed.

Black Mountain wines are $4.99 for any of the following varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.

So far I have tasted the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (Fat Cat) and the 2005 Malbec (Watson’s Grove).

Of the two, I prefer the Cab. Not that the Malbec is bad, it’s just a little too bland for me. The cab is surprisingly decent for the price. I don’t expect to move mountains here, but to find a nice tasting wine at a good price is another one of life’s little happy moments.

The Cab exhibits my favorite qualities in a red: some vanilla, spice, and slight overtones of dark berries, but not too much. You’re not going to match this against a Peju, Etude, Ridge or even a basic Mondavi. But you would feel fine popping it open for a single glass, and enjoying it through the week. Something I’d be reluctant to do with a nicer wine.

So the verdict is recommended. With a caveat of proper expectation that comes along with a super-value wine like this.

This is likely another one of TJ’s private label distribution agreements, where a larger known winery dumps overstock. I’m not sure. Hard to find much out there on the Web about this wine or vineyard. Feel free to let me know!


2005 Black Mountain Vineyard (Fat Cat)
2005 Black Mountain Vineyard Malbec (Watson’s Grove)

Black Mountain Vineyard
Alc. 12.5%
$4.99 (Trader Joe’s)

Clint says: Think of it as a beer wine. Just drink it, and don’t expect too much

Rating: 84 out of 100

Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear