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2012 Ferrari Carano Sonoma Chardonnay

This is a Sonoma County Chardonnay staple that was $19.99 at my Costco, and from what I’ve seen that price is $2-$4 less than almost anywhere else.  This wine is not my favorite style of Chardonnay, just a tad too oaky and buttery for my tastes, but it delivers exactly what many Chardonnay fans love and it does it …

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2012 Cave de Lugny Macon-Lugny Les Charmes White Burgundy

You don’t find many white burgundies under $12 and most of them are not as good as this one. Priced at $11.99 at Costco, this is a thoroughly enjoyable expression of Chardonnay that I imagine most white wine fans will enjoy. Bright and vibrant on the nose, this wine really lets the fruit shine through …

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2010 Columbia Crest H3 Chardonnay

Reviewed by Michael S Combine a very good value wine at Costco with a $2.00 discount and you’ve got one tasty treat. First, my bias disclaimer: I’ve been very impressed with Columbia Crest’s H3 line of wines over the years. They’ve offered one of my favorite Merlots and their Cabernet Sauvs have been quite nice. …

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2012 Simi Sonoma Chardonnay

  I think Simi did a pretty good job with this Chardonnay, especially for only $8.99 at Costco.  Inexpensive Chardonnays like this can really go sideways pretty quickly, but this one hangs in just fine.  It met my expectations for a good value, but didn’t offer much more than that.

This is a good Chardonnay for people (like me) who don’t prefer the huge oak and butter.  This wine is more fruit forward, nice and citrusy on the nose and you can really taste the apple, pear and mango flavor before the subtle oak slides in at the finish. 

All around a very “safe” Chardonnay and a good buy at this price point.  This bottle won’t drive you to buy it by the case, but it will satisfy your palate for a good mid-week dinner of chicken and vegetables, which is how I did it. Rating: 86 Points
Costco item number: 91443
Purchased at Costco in: Atlanta, GA

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2010 Lincourt Chardonnay Courtney’s Vineyard

This is a lovely Chardonnay at the great price of $14.99 at Costco – a real bargain for a California Chardonnay of this caliber.  This is an extremely food friendly wine, with just the right amount of fruit, spice and oak to complement just about any meal.

Nose is bright, lots of lemon and citrus scents, smelling more like a Sauvignon Blanc.  But then the nice body and Chard characteristics take over, and you get some vanilla and stone on top of the citrus fruit.  Really well balanced between these elements.  The finish brings just a touch of oak, which works great.

This is a winner all around.  Great price, Great wine.  This is what buying wine at Costco is all about. Rating: 90 Points

Costco item number: 35512

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A Couple Thanksgiving Wine Picks from Costco

I’m a believer that many different types of wine can complement the Thanksgiving holiday. The variety of food with such varying characteristics means there’s not really any single home run wine that matches all the flavors.  I like to serve one white and one red bottle with the meal (at the same time, one glass of each per person), usually preceeded by a bubbly, Champagne or Presecco, while the meal is prepared.

With listing Costco wines, it’s always a moving target since the inventory moves so quickly.  But I found two wines we reviewed recently that I really enjoyed and that I think would be a good complement to the Thanksgiving celebration.  These were purchased at a Costco store in Atlanta, GA so I can’t say if you’ll be able to find them near you.  But keep an eye out.
– Andrew, Editor

  I really enjoyed the Baileyana Chardonnay so was thrilled to see the Pinot hits store shelves.  This is an $18 Pinot that drinks like it cost two to three times that.  It’s an easy crowd pleaser, with great mouthfeel and has enough vanilla, pepper and spice going on to jazz up almost any meal.  My review here.
  I’m a fan of most Carneros wines and this Chardonnay hit me right on all accords.  Rich, layered with touches of butter, cream and oak, but not too much.  In my experience Neyers has never produced a bad wine.  They are dependable, and for $25, this is a solid Chardonnay.  My full review here.
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2011 Neyers Chardonnay Carneros

Neyers is a super dependable winery. I can’t think of a bottle I’ve had from them that disappointed so I was excited to see the Chardonnay at my Costco; especially during the summertime when I’m looking for good white wines.  Price was $24.99, so my expectations were high (plus I love Carneros wines), and this wine delivered.

It is signature Carneros from the start.  The nose is a good mix of floral aromas surrounded by a little citrus and oak that carry through to the palate.  In the mouth, this is rich and layered, starting with a touch of citrus flavor and moving to a buttery (but not too much) and creamy finish with subtle oak notes.  I get turned off by Chardonnays that overdo any one of these elements, but this bottle hits them all just perfect.  A real treat, and a solid addition to our Bronze Rated list.. Rating: 91 Points
*Bronze Rated*

Costco item number: 681700

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French Wine Book Volume 2 Now Available

I’ve been working diligently on the latest version of my French Wine Book, “Decoding French Wine: A Beginner’s Guide to Enjoying the Fruits of the French Terroir,” and I’m happy to say that this new second edition is live today on

The Kindle version is only $3.99 and it includes information on major French wine regions including Bordeaux, Loire, Burgundy, Alsace, Rhone, Languedoc-Roussillon and Champagne.  This book is short and conscise, written to help the beginner wine drinker become more familiar with French wines that may seem overly complicated and complex.

I wanted to really make this simple to digest, and to help turn more people on to these amazing wines.  If you’ve followed this site for a while, you know I have a tendency to review many of the French wines, particularly the 2010 Bordeaux because they are an amazing vintage. But I also look at many other French wines and regions, because the value is typically so great, especially at Costco. So here’s a chance to boost your knowledge and ultimately, your enjoyment, of these awesome wines.

Download a free sample chapter here.

Thanks for supporting this site.

Andrew, Editor

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2009 Baileyana Firepeak Chardonnay Edna Valley

A delicious Chardonnay at a great price at Costco ($17.99) for a bottle of this caliber, especially considering it’s all over the Internet for $25+.  Citrus fruit hits vanilla and a touch of oak and stone on the finish to deliver a great summer white.

Nose was a little closed but opened up with some good swirling.  Tropical fruit, pineapple, apricot and grapefruit flavors with fresh acidity, bright and thirst quenching (I drank it in 89 degree heat while grilling).  Finish brings a little earthy stone element rounded by a hint of oak, nothing overbearing.

All around a solid buy at this price.  I’m surprised to see ’09s floating around of a wine like this.  See if your Costco carries it and scoop up at least one. Rating: 90 Points

Costco item number: 333780

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2011 Joseph Carr Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

This is really a lovely expression of Chardonnay especially for only $15.59 at my Costco.  The winemakers did an excellent job of managing the oak to let the vibrant fruit flavors come through.  It’s a perfect summer food wine; definitely my style of Chardonnay.

Tropical and floral on the nose, matches its lighter color, and then on the palate you get nice young fruit with flavors of apple, pear, lemon, maybe even a little watermelon as the acidity takes hold.  The finish brings in a touch of the oakiness and rounds out a very enjoyable summer wine.

At this price I’ll scoop a couple up for drinking later in the summer.  A good wine to enjoy with friends, as indicated on the back of the label which simply says “Share.”  I’m a fan, and will put this one on our Bronze Rated wine list. Rating: 90 Points
*Bronze Rated*

Costco item number: 690875

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2011 Kirkland Signature Sonoma Chardonnay

A pretty middle of the road wine, but not a bad value at only $6.99, especially if you’re looking for an everyday white to accompany dinner. It’s been a while since we’ve reviewed one of these Kirkland Chardonnay (last vintage was 2008) and I was hoping for maybe a bit more.  But then again…$6.99…

This is more of a fruity Chardonnay, which I typically prefer, but it seemed a little caught in the middle of what it wanted to be.  The nose kicks off tropical fruit and glides you in with some pear, grapefruit and lemon, but towards the finish the fruit collides with a bit of vanilla, butter and oak and it didn’t pull through for me. 

With the right meal, I can drink this no problem.  On its own, its flaws become more noticeable.  I’d pay a dollar or two more for a different bottle. Rating: 85 Points

Costco item number: 514007

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Once a year we assemble the Costco wines we rated the highest over the past 12 months. From glancing through the list, I think it’s safe to say that we found a lot of great wines at some fantastic prices. Our series in September on high end Costco wines provides quite a few placements on this list, but that’s not to say there weren’t some big bargains as well. 

As always, it’s going to be hard to find many of these wines since Costco moves their inventory so quickly (but I’ve seen at least 3-4 of these still available at Costco stores near me).  So keep an eye out.  These are all winners.  Click on the label to read our review of each wine. 

Thanks for another fun year. 
— Editor

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