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2017 Trader Joe's Platinum Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain $15
Wines sourced from the bulk market run the gamut. They can be (and often are) plonk, but they can also be overlooked gems, as the Cameron Hughes empire was built on. Trader Joe’s private label wines also run the gamut. Recently, however, I’ve had a couple of their platinum reserve tier wines, which have been surprisingly good. This latest one, a cabernet made from Howell Mountain fruit in Napa, is not the same caliber as many estate wines from the appellation, but it’s also not $100+, which is the norm there.  Still, when you start with quality grapes, you can only go so wrong. Look for black fruit, good grip, and Napa tannins all leading towards a strong (and hot) finish. Hard to complain about a thing here, particularly at this price. Oh, and if prior experience is any indication, this won't be around for long and only 1,250 cases made.