When Trader Joe's began selling this wine many years ago, it was promoted as a Super Piedmontese. And I feel sure it was produced from mostly Nebbiolo grapes. It was a fantastic wine for only $5.99 a bottle. I still have bottle of the 1999 vintage, and it is drinking very well. By the 2008 vintage, the price had gone up to $7.99, and this wine, I believe, is a blend of Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Montepulciano. Although not as deep and serious as the 1999, it is still a very good wine.
Very deep and dark. More like Montepulciano and Cabernet than Nebbiolo, which typically has more rusty red or orange tones. Very bright aromas: cherries, flowers, spice, black fruits. On the palate, the Nebbiolo is unmistakable. Substance, concentration and clinging tannins. Even at 12 years of age, this $8 wine could use three or more years in the cellar to soften the tannins.
I haven't seen Nerelo del Bastardo in Trader Joe's recently, but it was available in World Market a year or two ago for a slightly higher price.