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2020 Kirkland Signature Carneros Pinot Noir

2020 Kirkland Signature Carneros Pinot Noir

We almost didn’t recognize this one. The Kirkland Carneros Pinot gets an all new lablel that’s super simple and clean. We kind of like it; here’s the old one for comparison.

There’s no back label, just additional information on the sides of the main label, so we took a few additional photos.

Costco Carneros Pinot Noir

The Kirkland Carneros has always been a favorite of ours. Here’s our historical ratings, which you can see are pretty high.

2016 89 points

2017 90 points

2018 89 points

2019 89 points

Costco Carneros Pinot Noir

The price once again stayed the same at an ultra low $9.99, and winemaker (Alison Crowe) is consistent with year’s past. But that’s about it; this vintage really dropped in quality in our opinion.

It pours a super pale ruby; really light; spicy nose, with pepper and dark fruit.  The nose turned out to be the best part; the wine is medium in body with light flavors of blackberry, black cherry and cola; bitter in the finish that just didn’t come together like we hoped.

Costco Carneros Pinot Noir

After a glass we corked it and set it aside. It was marginally better the next day, but just not where this wine has been in year’s past. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to recommend passing on this bottle this year.

We’ve reviewed quite a few great Pinots lately so peruse here if you want some recommendations.

We bought three bottles based on the favorable history and will update if our opinion changes on the others but we’ll likely wait to crack those for occasions where the bottles go later into the night. Rating: 85 points

Costco item number: 505074

Purchased at Costco in: Atlanta, GA (Dallas, GA)

Alc. 14.5%

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Tuesday 25th of October 2022

My experience echos that of Lars. The 2020 Carneros came and went from my Western WA store several months ago. This has long been one of my Costco favorites, but the latest release was a disappointment.

Visited the store today, and the only Pinot Noir in stock was the 2021 Kirkland Russian River Valley @ $11.99. Winemaker is listed as Nancy Walker. At first taste, I'm not too impressed with this one, either. It's pretty heavy on the tannins for this varietal. I'm hoping it proves to be more drinkable with food.

Michael Smith

Wednesday 31st of August 2022

I just read your review and think it's spot on less "bitter on the finish". I purchased 3 bottles yesterday based on price and history. I opened a bottle about 7 hours ago and while I will likely not purchase more, I won't return the remaining 2 bottles. My wife and I classify wines like this "balcony wine" where you're not really expecting anything serious, just a simple drinker over conversations.


Wednesday 31st of August 2022

I'm curious: we had this in our stores in the PNW months ago, and it sold through quickly and is long gone -- is this just a "late" review (totally fine if it is :) ), or is the distribution of the Kirkland label wines just so regionally different?

Joe Roberts

Thursday 1st of September 2022

@Lars, Its possible you were confused by the photo which shows a 2019 Carneros Pinot that was in the market at least six months or so ago. The 2020 new label is not shown in the review (at least the front label), and I know that it has not appeared in the two Montana Costco's that I frequent. It's the 2020 that is the subject of the review (and I'm disappointed if the review is accurate---- it's always been a decent pinot and a real steal at that price.)


Wednesday 31st of August 2022

It’s regional. This just showed up in the Atlanta area, at least among the handful of stores we frequent.

Kevin Knox

Wednesday 31st of August 2022

I agree with your assessment and point score for this wine. And I'd give the Kirkland 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva the same 85-86 points. We're seeing enough inconsistency in the Kirkland private label wines of late that I hesitate to automatically buy multiple bottles of past favorites. Fortunately they have a good return policy.

Wanted to say I also really appreciate your fair and careful scoring of the wines you review. I automatically deduct 3-5 points from the ubiquitous James Suckling ratings plastered on bottles and shelf talkers but your scoring is right up there with the best of the old-school reviewers (e.g. Wine Advocate, Decanter). It's invaluable and much-appreciated.


Wednesday 31st of August 2022

Hey Kevin. Thanks for the feedback. Glad you enjoy the site and find it valuable.


Wednesday 31st of August 2022

Why does Costco offer no non alcoholic wines or beers?

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