I couldn’t wait to try this wine. It had so many things going for it. 2006 vintage so it had some age. A perfect blend of 34% Sangiovese, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Merlot. And I’m hot for Super Tuscans at the moment, particularly those that fall into that $20-$30 range where you can find some real gems. And I thought this was a major score for $23.99.
How can you tell a good wine from an excellent wine? One of our tests is to take them on a marathon and see how they perform. In this case, we ran with two Kirkland Signature wines: the 2012 Signature Merlot and Columbia Valley Red (which is pretty close to Bordeaux blend, with cabernet, merlot and syrah anchoring the blend). The course was four days long. We had reviewed the Merlot in 2014 and we knew it was a decent competitor to the slightly higher priced Columbia Valley Red.
I first came across this wine in the 2011 vintage about 10 months ago, so was happy to see the 2013 appear at my Costco. After I reviewed the 2011 back in May of 2014 I had several readers write in that they really enjoyed this wine, and agreed with my take that this was a pretty good White Burgundy at a fair price ($14.89 this year vs $13.99 last year).
I knew this would be a fun buy – Organic Prosecco at Costco for $8.99; it’s hard to go wrong. And this bottle is exactly what you’d expect. I don’t see much of a reason to go further upstream from here for an every day bubbly.
Nice fruit; citrus flavors, apple, pear. Dry finish as expected, very crisp and refreshing. Awesome before, during or after a meal. Prosecco is made from the Glera grape, one that we covered in our new book on Italian wine. (Yes, a plug, but if you want to dive deeper into this and other Italian wine/culture topics, give the book a shot).
Doug Pike is a member of the National Cartoonists Society and the author of Gone With The Wine and Dining Out — Way Out!
I’m happy to see Cambria wines back at Costco. They seemed to have disappeared from the stores near me for a while. My first spotting was back in November when I found and reviewed the excellent 2012 Julia’s Vineyard Pinot, which offers big time value for under $20. This Chardonnay, priced at $16.99, carries that same theme of nicely structured wines at really good prices.
Here’s another great value Spanish bottle that is only $11.99 at Costco. This one is a bit different of a blend than many of the other high value Spanish wines I’ve been writing about lately.
This wine is 85% Syrah and 15% Monastrell. If you like Syrah with some character, this is the wine for you. The Monastrell brings a little tannic bite to the finish, kind of like the difference between mild and sharp cheddar. In small doses like this the grape can really take a good wine to the next level, and that’s exactly what I think happens here.
Tagged with: Top Pick
Posted in Spanish
It’s hard to believe this bottle was only $7.99 at Costco. This is an excellent Spanish Tempranillo at an unbeatable price.
Dark, earthy fruit and spice on the nose; loads of dark fruit, blackberry, black cherry, anise, tar, with an extra dry, herbal noted finish. This wine pours dark into the glass and certainly has plenty of heft about it.
Tagged with: Top Pick
Posted in Spanish
The 2014 vintage of this wine was exactly as expected – signature New Zealand citrus and grassiness with loads of acidity at a good price ($8.99, consistent with last year). My review of the 2013 vintage of this wine sums up my feelings this year too.
These are nice wines, perfect for summer weather, but they typically possess too much bite to enjoy with most meals. This is one of those rare wines that I prefer to drink without food. For fans of this style of wine, this is a good buy along with the similarly priced Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc.
Merlot varietals have not fared well in the U.S. wine drinking circles over the past few decades, so more American winemakers are moving towards merlot-based blends…..just like the French have been doing for hundreds of years. (As with French Fries/frites and Napoleon pastries, sometimes the French come up with darn good gastronomical ideas.) Merlot is an excellent blending wine and the winemakers at Chateau Ste. Michelle have emulated their French cousin (Michel?) and used it to great advantage in their 2011 Red Blend.