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2014 Kirkland Signature Chateauneuf du Pape

2014 Kirkland Signature Chateauneuf du Pape

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. Rating: 88 Points

Costco item number: 777662

Purchased at Costco in: Reno, NV (great wine selection if you’re ever there)

Alc 14.5%

Bob C

Wednesday 7th of September 2016

They have it (2014) in the Vacaville, CA Costco store, just over the Blue Ridge Mountain Range from Napa.

I also picked up a bottle of the 2014 Stags Leap District Cab for $19.99, but have not yet opened it.


Wednesday 7th of September 2016

Hope this is not a trend but 2014 vintages have not fared as well as previous vintages. Thanks for your insight


Friday 2nd of September 2016

Hi there

I've been waiting for this review as I wanted to corroborate what I thought, especially since I wasn't able to get any of the 2013.

Initially, I thought that you under rated it as I really liked it BUT, as I checked my tasting notes, I agreed with all of your points including "something being missing or off." I mentioned in my notes that it might do with a little decanting time. I don't think there is enough tannin backbone to support much aging.

Looks like I agree with you after all though I don't think its a bad value for $20.

Keep doing what you're doing! I very much appreciate the reviews.

Andrew Jacobs

Friday 2nd of September 2016

I haven't been fortunate enough to try previous bottlings of this, but I think you hit the nail on the head for 2014. From what I've read, 2014 was a solid vintage for CDP, but the wines overall lack the concentration and elegance of previous years. That would explain why Kirland's CDP comes across as a bit disjointed. As you wrote, for $20 you're not going to find anything at this level of quality. This may not drink too far above its pay-grade, but it does offer a decently strong QPR. Not sure I want to buy more of this wine, but it's good enough that CDP fans should give it a try. Thanks for your great review, not to mention all the others on your blog!

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