We had a small get together with some wine friends and I decided to put two popular Napa Cabs from Costco blindly against each other. Both wines were from 2013, and reasonably close in price. I have tried both before from different vintages but have never tasted them side by side so was excited to see how they stacked up.
First up is the Peju Cabernet, which was $39.99 at my Costco. The wine starts with nice aromatics, floral, some fresh cherry, very Napa on the nose; nice mouthfeel with tight tannins that everyone agreed would help this wine mature into an even more pleasant drink after being laid down for a few years. Bright cherry, strawberry and plum flavors with tobacco and leather towards the finish; finishes dusty and dry. Overall, we agreed this is a nice wine, although slightly one dimensional throughout the mid palate.
Next was the Duckhorn, which was $54.99, and this wine started much more expressive and aromatic on the nose; one taster claimed it smelled “more alive,” which I would agree with. In the mouth the flavor punch is much more pronounced than the Peju; this wine hits a lot deeper and multi dimensional with anise, cherry, juicy red fruit, some campfire notes on the finish.
We all preferred the Duckhorn, but felt the Peju was a close contender, and a solid buy at $40. More than anything it was fun to experiment with these ’13 Napa Cabs, which is such a great vintage, and one that’s becoming more preferable to me than the almost equally good, but different, ’12 vintage in Napa that I feel really requires some time to mature. These ’13s will definitely benefit with some time, but we gave them a nice three hour decant, which helped them open up and become very drinkable right now.
It’s worth noting that both wines included smaller parts of other varietals, predominately Merlot.
2013 Peju Cabernet Sauvignon
CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 89 points
Costco item number: 133257
2013 Duckhorn Cabernet Sauvignon
CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 91 Points
Costco item number: 942416
Both wines purchased at Costco in Atlanta, GA.