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la grande coteHmmm. This looks like an oversupply picked up by TJ’s for pennies. There is too much intensity for a $3 wine. It’s a blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cab Franc from a premium wine producing area and vinted by a respected winery—Russell Family Wines. I saw ads on the Internet where it sold for $12 when it was available.

If you like big, jammy wines get thee to Trader Joe’s and pick some up before it’s gone.

There is nothing subtle about this wine. Intense, ripe-Zin-nose, berry, sweet vanilla, and baking spices. The fruit stays in the background covered in an alcoholic haze.

The palate is round and mouth-coating with good acidity. Despite the high alcohol, it doesn’t feel heavy although the hot finish falls off a cliff, with the tannins providing bit of dryness without adding structure. As to the flavors, well, there is a prominent seam of sweet fruit on the candy side of jam which conspires with the chocolate and vanilla to satisfy your craving for a snickers bar. It’s over the top, falls apart on the finish, but you can’t beat the price.

Brazen to the point of cartoonish, indulgent and trashy, a Bad Romance says Lady Gaga.

Score: 84

Price: $3 at Trader Joe’s

Alc: 15%