Finally, I found it, and not at any of my Atlanta area Costcos. Nope, instead I found it during a trip to Reno, NV at a Costco with a surprisingly strong selection of wine. I was impressed, and out of everything they had, this was the bottle I was looking for. But, as I’ll explain here, I’m not super in love with the ’14 vintage of this wine, especially coming off what I thought was an absolutely delicious ’13 vintage that I scored 93 points last year.
So, for new readers, I need to start by saying Chateauneuf-du-pape, and pretty much most Rhone wines, North and South, are among my favorites. So I’m a bit picky, and generally have high expectations that they will deliver a strong price to value ratio. Wines from nearby Gigondas, Rasteau, or Cotes du Rhone Villages, just blow away most others in the same price range. And Chateauneuf-du-pape is often regarded among the best of the best. I’ve been reviewing the Kirkland Chateauneufs for a while now on this site and it’s one I always look forward to every year. Here’s a brief history of my scores:
2013 93 Points
2012 91 points
2011 92 points
2010 91 points
2009 91 points
2008 90 points
I’m afraid the 2014 is going to drop down to 88 points for me. It’s a good wine, a fair value at $19.99 because you can’t buy any other Chateauneuf for under $20, but I found this year’s vintage to lack the depth of fruit and clean elegance that I found in the prior year vintage. This one tasted a little disjointed to me, just structurally not put together as I was expecting. The varietal makeup is Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Vaccarese, Counoise and Mourvedre, but I couldn’t find the percentage breakdown of each one.
The wine pours a light purple in the glass, the nose is awesome, jumping out of the glass, perfume, earth, spice and pepper; it’s medium to full in body and the fruit comes in nice to start, good dark fruit, strong and rich, just a little rough towards the finish; as the wine dries out in your mouth in the finish, something is just a little off with the fruit. It’s a small issue, but noticeable, and I was hoping it would work itself out as the wine got a little air, but it really didn’t improve much. Maybe with a little more time in the bottle? I’m not sure. This is one to drink young, drink now.
Curious to hear others’ opinions, and I’m still planning on buying at least one more if I can to cellar. I’d like to drink and review these alongside the prior year’s vintage (which I’m going to do very soon with the Kirkland Brunello). In the end, I think this wine is totally put together for the first 3/4 and falls apart in the last 1/4, and the last 1/4 matters a lot. I’m still going 88 points on this one. It is what it is, just not as strong as many of the prior vintages in my opinion.
CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 88 Points
Costco item number: 777662
Purchased at Costco in: Reno, NV (great wine selection if you’re ever there)