Trader Joe’s – Roccalta Sangiovese IGT Puglia – 2010 – Wine Review


Back to basics on this one.  What’s basic is a good under $5 wine.

The back label says this is 100% Sangiovese grapes.  The IGT says this wine is from the Puglia (Apulia) region.  “Apulian master winemaker Sabino Russo …” is given credit for crafting the wine.  The wine is bottled by Roccadoro, with an address (at least a home office) of Pontedera, Italy.  Pontedera is in the Tuscany region.  So it seems, there’s a mini civil war going on within this wine.  A traditionally northern grape, grown and made into a wine in the south, by a southern winemaker, but bottled in the north? All in Italy of course.  This probably makes sense in the new world economy, but can’t it be easier?

Regardless of its geo-political origins, this is a pretty decent wine.  This is especially true since Trader Joe’s sells it for only $3.99 a bottle.  Let’s describe it as the dignified smooth northern Sangiovese grape with a bit of southern soul thrown in.  You might be a little disappointed when the wine first touches the lips.  But that will only be at first.  This wine has a little more “character” to it.  An extra bit of taste that differentiates it from its other northern brothers reviewed here previously.  Whether the difference is due to the grapes growing in the south, a slightly different method of  producing the wine, the confusion within the bottle between north and south, or whatever, the result is still a decent inexpensive wine.  The bit of extra character does not equate to a bad taste.  In fact there’s not a hint of bad taste in the bottle, as might be true of some other wines at this price point.

Once again, if you’re ever stuck with a last-minute wine purchasing decision on the way to a dinner or a party, look for the bottles from Italy, then the bottles from Tuscany, then the bottles with the Sangiovese grapes.  This bottle proves that even two out of three ain’t bad.

Try this link for other wines and reviews.

Price $3.99


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6 Responses to “Trader Joe’s – Roccalta Sangiovese IGT Puglia – 2010 – Wine Review”

  1. John G. Says:

    Just yesterday I purchased a bottle of Grifone Sangiovese at TJ’s; I was very pleasantly surprised: it was excellent with pasta fagolli & warm ciabatta bread.

    My hat’s off to TJ’s for offering this tasty wine at the ‘princely sum’ of only $3.99 a bottle!!!!


  2. carmelo Cantore Says:

    iI was visiting my family just three days ago at the Province of Taranto Manduria Italy , and we did have the oportunity to taste El Primitivo de Manduria ,for two euros 750 mml . Today I went to Traders Joe and found out another Primitivo Grifone ,the taste is not so sweet but a very good wine . My question is the price is a same and the quality too,, .very interesting


    • steveo Says:

      Last week I found a Grifone Chianti Riserva 2008 DOCG at TJ for $6. I haven’t opened it yet, but hope the experience is as good as yours.


  3. Jesse Says:

    Wow. One hour later, I retract my skepticism. This really came into itself nicely. Still a bit of an atypical Sangiovese, but that edge is completely gone.


  4. Jesse Says:

    I definitely agree with “northern Sangiovese grape with a bit of southern soul thrown in,” but I find myself unable to find the “dignified” and “smooth.” A little chalky and tart for me — might just be too young. As you said, perfectly decent for $4.00, but with the three big Epicuro wines available at TJ’s for a dollar more (the Salice Salentino, the Nero D’Avola, and my favorite, the Aglianico), I feel southern Italy is better represented elsewhere.


    • steveo Says:

      Agreed. For even as little as $1 or $2 more there are better wines on the shelf. I eventually rated this in a tie for 4th on my top 10 list (currently with 22 wines in it – I might need to rethink what 10 means). I was attempting to relate smooth and dignified to the grape, not especially the wine. As you say, this wine is atypical for a Sangiovese based wine. Of course the great thing is that floating around the $6 price point are so many wines to try, with very few really bad ones. At least that’s true at TJ’s. I’ll have to pick up an Epicuro next.


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