The Napa Red Blend is back, 2019 vintage now, and there are a few changes with this new vintage that readers started pointing out to me last week.
Thankfully, the price is not one of them. This wine is once again priced at $10.99, which is pretty fair for a Napa Valley red blend. Albeit, this wine hasn’t always been my favorite, often landing in Tuesday night pizza wine territory for me. But it has been good, just not living up to its full potential, at least in my opinion.
Let’s review our scores over the years.
2018 – 86 points
2016 – 86 points
2015 – 86 points
2014 – 86 points (the wine was labeled as a Meritage with this vintage, instead of red blend)
I just now realized the consistent 86 point scores for this one over the years. Thankfully that’s going to change.
The blend has always skewed right bank (in Bordeaux speak), more dominant with Merlot. For example, the prior 2018 vintage consisted of 47% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec.
With the new 2019 vintage, the blend went left bank and is Cab driven: 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc. Interesting….And note it’s still winemaker Glenn Hugo behind the helm.
Getting into this 2019 vintage, it really is the classic Napa red blend I hoped this wine would be. A serious step up from prior vintages.
There’s a nice contrast of red and dark fruit which I love. This wine has cherry, raspberry, blueberry flavors with black licorice and leather; a strong and lasting finish that is dusty with a little spice. The wine is youthful and ready to drink right now.
The second glass was better than the first. Really the more I dig in here the more I find to like. This isn’t a knock your socks off Napa red blend. It’s exactly what you want in something around that $10 price range, and it’s hard to find many other Napa blends to compare it to.
I’m planning on trying a few more of these to see if my thoughts stay consistent. But I think we have a Kirkland bottle that turned a bit of a corner toward the upside, and that’s pretty awesome.
CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 89 points
Costco item number: 333110
Purchased at Costco in: Atlanta, GA (Kennesaw)
Wednesday 10th of November 2021
Unfortunately, and not to be a contrarian, but I found these boring. It's not bad and entirely quaffable - but boring. Acidity is there - but not enough fruit. Not going back for more.
Perhaps just not to my palate. :)
Tuesday 16th of November 2021
@Zaos, I’m with you, this 2019 blend sucks
Saturday 9th of October 2021
I have not been a fan in the past but bought 2 bottles after reading your review. I’m impressed! Big improvement!
Friday 8th of October 2021
I broke my rule of laying these down for 2 weeks before tasting. Sorry, OMG this is really good stuff. I normally drink $25+ Red Blends, but this blew me away. Lots of dark fruit, very smooth, and just lingers on your palate. We drank back to back bottles which is unheard in our house. Wifey loves it also. QPR is outstanding. Going back to Costco and getting more. If you likw Red Blends, you have to try this. Awesome juice. Can't say anything else but buy some. Hooked.
Wednesday 6th of October 2021
Bought a bottle before this critique was read. Went back the next day and bought 12 more. It's not possible to buy Napa juice at $10.99, especially this quality. There aren't any flaws in this wine. I like the comments that you make about deserving Costco wines, whether they be branded Kirkland or otherwise. Your ratings are usually spot on but for this wine your rating should be at least 90+ Nose, soft tannins and it's evident complexity dictate so.
Wednesday 6th of October 2021
I'm going back for more of these...bought two over the past weekend and was VERY pleasantly surprised!! Way better than the Kirkland CDR that we purchased...that falls into the 'you get what you pay for' category. This review is SPOT ON!!