The Lorca Winery is out of business and sold what remained of their wine inventory, 600 cases of 2003 Gary’s Vineyard Pinot Noir, to Trader Joe’s. This wine is currently being sold at Trader Joe’s for $14.95 about half the suggested retail price. Get it while you can because this wine is delicious and will fly off the shelves. 600 cases does not go far when there are over 150 Trader Joe’s stores in California.
The Lorca winery was the endeavor of Caymus winemaker Jon Bolta and his brother Chris Bolta. They began the operation in 2000 but never seemed to hit full steam and recognition. The two brothers sourced their grapes and used a custom-crush facility to make their wines.
Earlier in the year when financial problems loomed, the brothers sold large inventories of Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc, and Petite Sirah to Trader Joe’s. These wines were heavily discounted. The wines appeared on the shelves as a “Hustle Buy” which means that it is a one-time deal and when the wine is gone, that is it. The Pinot Blanc was a stellar wine and sold at Trader Joe’s for an astonishing $5.99. When savvy wine buyers caught wind of this deal, the Pinot Blanc was quickly sold out. Interestingly, Chris Bolta told me, that having the wines in Trader Joe’s brought much interest and attention to the Lorca wines. He received many phones calls and emails inquiring about them.
Trader Joe’s deals in cash when buying wines from wineries that are cash strapped or want to clear inventory. It must be tough to negotiate with a corporate giant that holds all the cards when dealing with wineries that need cash to pay creditors. With the recession continuing and with inexpensive and quality imports from countries like Argentina and Chile, I would imagine we will see more “Hustle Buys” at Trader Joe’s in the coming months.