Spinner Red 2002 Merlot

Price: $10
Maker: Spinner Winery, Napa, California
Varietal: Merlot
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Alcohol: 14.2%
Our Rating: 8 out of 10

Spinner Red 2002 Merlot was the most costly (if you can use that word for a $10 bottle of wine) from our Trader Joe’s visit, and as such it was a bit of a disappointment. Not that it was entirely bad… particularly after overnight storage mellowed it a bit. It had a bold nose with cherries, smoke, and a bit of clove and vanilla. The flavors were more cherries and oak, with a fairly astringent, acidic finish. Served this wine at a party, I wouldn’t complain. But after such a great run of luck with $4 – $7 wines from Trader Joe’s, this Merlot came up a bit of a disappointment.

Quaffability had worse things to say about the 2001 Spinner Red Merlot, finding it “waaaay too ripe and too waaaay woody” and ultimately deciding that, “the piss-poor quality of this wine is outrageous.” The 2002 didn’t provoke quite the same sentiment in us, but we suspect that Quaffability, like us, was disappointed by comparing this wine to other cheaper and better TJ offerings.

Spinner Red 2002 Merlot is another Trader Joe’s mystery wine – there’s no trace of the supposed “Spinner Winery” on the Web. We presume this is some kind of private label deal worked between TJ and some third party, and that you won’t find this wine elsewhere. Not a great loss, perhaps.

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