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It’s a real treat every year when these Kirkland Chateauneufs hit the shelves.  You just can’t get into this region for the price that Costco offers ($20) and the wine this year is superb as always.

This is a Rhone blend consisting of 58% Grenache, 23% Syrah, 13% Counoise-Vaccarese, 4% Cinsault and 2% Muscardin-Mourvedre.  Don’t let a few of the less familiar grapes deter you.  This is a solid Rhone red at an unbeatable price.  Here’s my review of the 2010 (which was a great year), and this year stacks up about the same.  An easy Silver Rated wine for the site.

Perfect dark fruit and berry flavor, spice that hits your nose as you take each drink, young juicy mouthfeel that would only get better with a little more age, and a finish that’s near perfection.  This one could run for a while in the bottle and it might be kind of a fun experiment to drink it again in 2-3 years.  If it’s still around I might try to snag some for the cellar. 

Great wine.  A red wine lover’s dream at this price.  Must buy. Rating: 92 Points (a point up from last year)
*Silver Rated*

Costco item number: 777662

Read More about 2011 Kirkland Signature Chateauneuf-du-pape

I just realized this Rhone bottle from Kirkland was a Villages, which is even better.  At $6.99 this is the steal of all steals for readers who enjoy their Rhone reds.

It’s signature Rhone all around, with the depth and richness I would expect from a bottle that cost at least twice as much.  As regular readers know, I love these wines, and truly believe they offer some of the best bang for the buck in the entire world of wine.  Here’s a perfect entry point for any doubters.

This wine is comprised of the classic Rhone varietals, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, and they come together beautifully.   Nose is spicy, earthy, and then just massive fruit on the palate.  Jammy dark fruit, blackberry, blueberry, a touch of chocolate, maybe some red licorice; which leads into the clean, slightly spicy finish.  Here’s your everyday red wine.  Stock up.  It’s a bargain at this price.  And a good BBQ wine for the summer. Rating: 89 Points
*Value Pick*
*Kirkland Wine*

Costco item number: 887774

Read More about 2011 Kirkland Signature Cotes du Rhone Villages

I really enjoyed this one.  The minute you smell this wine you can tell it’s a winner.  At $23.99 it’s a good buy for right bank Bordeaux (Merlot based blend) fans, of which I seem to be becoming more and more of myself.  And 2010 was a blockbuster year in Bordeaux.

Again, the nose is what gets me.  It immediately reminds you of a high end Cab or Merlot, even one from CA.  Floral, graphite, finesse and on the palate you get some excellent dark fruit, black cherry, black licorice and pepper; tannins are still a tad tight leaning me to think this one would get better in the years to come.  Strong, lingering finish.  I had intended to grill a steak with this wine but didn’t get properly prepped and I missed out.

Fun food wine, nice execution all around and a good price from Costco on a big Bordeaux year.  Highly recommend. Rating: 91 Points

Costco item number: 695716

Read More about 2010 Chateau Boutisse Saint-Emilion Bordeaux

The lowest end wine from a world class estate, I played with this one a while before determining that it was ok for its $26.99 price tag at Costco. This wine is a huge tease toward their higher end wines.  You can taste something great in the wine, but it’s a little held back.  Still a decent buy though.

Nose smells like a top notch Bordeaux, a little spice, cedar and earth.  On the palate the wine is perfect; young and juicy.  Tannins are softer than I expected for something so young.  The flavor could have been a bit stronger and the finish as well.  It’s smooth and clean, but doesn’t leave enough lingering to have the type of impact you typcially get from Pauillacs.

Still a fair price tag on a good wine.  You don’t find many Pauillac Bordeaux for this low of price, so here’s an easy way in. Rating: 87 Points

Costco item number: 564623

Read More about 2010 La Fleur de Haut-Bages Liberal Pauillac Bordeaux

You could do a lot worst for $9. I thought this one was just fine for what it is, a low priced Bordeaux Superieur, with a few years in the bottle.  It’s a decent everyday drinker with a meal.  Nothing more.

Ripe fruit on the nose; flavors are pretty mellow, a bit of cherry, red fruit; finished up with a little leather, perfume, dry and quick.  This is a decent wine if you want to mindlessly sip and eat a hamburger off the grill.  If you start to think about it too much, you might not like it.  But still we’re only talking $9. Rating: 85 Points

Costco item number: 722031

Read More about 2009 Chateau La Croix de Roche Bordeaux Superieur

Another good Bordeaux option from Costco at $11.79. A Cru Bourgeois priced this low is a rarity. The wine is very nice after a little air. I could tell after the pour that there was something nice hiding in the bottle. But it took a good 20-30 minutes with occasional swirling to bring this one to life.

Nose was interesting, almost had a little cinnamon to it; in the mouth the wine felt a little dry and tight at first.  After some time with it, the flavors mid-palate really began to open up.  This wine accelerates and decelerates rather quickly.  But it’s a fun ride.

Mostly Cabernet in the blend, the flavors are really nice.  Juicy red fruit, leather undertones, lots of spice and a little of that cinnamon on the close.  This was a fun wine to review, and a solid pick for under $12. Rating: 89 Points

Costco item number: 718340

Read More about 2009 Chateau Clement Saint-Jean Medoc Bordeaux

Really a delicious Bordeaux from a great vintage and at a great price. You don’t often see Saint Estephe bottles dip in that low $20 range (this one was $23.49 at Costco), so I was a little skeptical. But right after the cork came out, I coud tell this was a winner.

It’s just what you want from a low priced Saint Estephe: ripe fruit on the nose, a little subdued at first, but then it opens up into a mouth-coating wine, good balance with full red fruit, strawberry, and spicy cherry flavors.  A little leather on the close brings the flavors together and the finish goes on and on. 

A great buy for Bordeaux fans, especially at this price.  I really enjoyed it. Rating: 89 Points

Costco item number: 664666

Read More about 2010 Chateau Clauzet Saint Estephe Bordeaux

It seems like a bunch of these under $15 Bordeaux have hit Costcos lately. And that’s great for those of us who love these wines. 2009 and 2010 were both very good years, and these rather inexpensive Bordeaux drink far better than their low price tags might lead on.  This one was $11.59, and it’s very nice at that price.

This wine is a simple, straightforward Bordeaux.
Since it’s a Bordeaux Superior the makeup will be more Cabernet Sauvignon based with smaller parts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc likely.  It’s a full wine, ripe fruit and a chalky finish.  A good choice for with a meal. 

Definitely a solid buy for the money.  I’m excited to try more of these Bordeaux hitting stores. And will of course keep you posted. Rating: 88 Points

Costco item number: 721314

Read More about 2010 Chateau De La Cour D’Argent Bordeaux Superior

This wine was a big disappointment for me.  I’m a huge Chateauneuf fan and always look forward to cracking these open, but this wine was not up to par.  I would advise readers to steer clear of this bottle. I reviewed the 2009 vintage of the same wine and did not particularly enjoy it at that …

Read More about 2010 Domaine du Grand Coulet Chateauneuf-du-Pape

This is a guest post from Marshall, a reader in Atlanta. (There are a lot of these Bordeaux under $15 hitting Costco stores. 2009 and 2010 were good years, and these wines are fantastic bargains. I have a few reviews on them coming soon):

This was a great experience after getting off to a negative start. This was my first time with Chateau Le Pey and my only piece of advice is LET IT AIR for at least 30 minutes! I initially opened the bottle and let it air for about 15 minutes while eating dinner.

The taste was bitter and not up to par with my standards at first. I walked away again after about half a glass and came back in another 20 minutes hoping for a better experience. This time I was pleasantly greeted with a sweet fruit flavor that was not previously present. This was a great value for $11.99 and I would definitely purchase again on a night when I have time to let it air for a good 30-45 minutes before drinking.

Read More about 2009 Chateau Le Pey Medoc Bordeaux

A simple, palatable but not incredibly interesting Kirkland Bordeaux. Since it is only $8.99 at Costco, there’s not too much to complain about. I found it to be more enjoyable than many other $8.99 bottles, but also a little one dimension.

The wine offers some good earthy and spice scents on the nose; then opens into nice dark cherry flavors, a little black licorice, some tobacco and pepper.  Finish is simple, a little dry but not overly dry.  

This is a good wine priced just right.  You certainly won’t feel as though you overpaid (and may not feel you underpaid either). Rating: 86 Points

Costco item number: 666695

Read More about 2009 Kirkland Signature Medoc Bordeaux

Just a lovely wine all the way around, and a must buy for Sauvignon Blanc fans, especially for $14.79 at Costco. Sancerre is in France’s acclaimed Loire Valley and almost every wine I’ve tasted from here has been excellent.

Big citrusy nose, almost like you’d expect from a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc but in the mouth it takes on a life of its own.  Flavors of lemon, lime, grapefruit, maybe some apricot, all very palatable.  A good dose of acidity as you expect from these wines.  Lovely on the finish.  Super food friendly, probably moreso than the New Zealands. 

I really enjoyed this one.  Nothing I would change, and it’ll join our Silver Rated wine list.  Don’t let the label and lack of description turn you away (shameless plug: if you’d like to learn more about the wines of France, check out my pocketbook primer on the subject: Decoding French Wine). Rating: 91 Points
*Silver Rated*

Costco item number: 685573

Read More about 2011 Cuvee A’Dair Sancerre

If you like Malbecs from Mendoza, you really need to explore those from the other side of the world too, notably Cahors France. This is a beautiful Malbec that is awesome on its own and could pair with almost anything. For $14.99 at Costco it is also a very fair priced wine.

Fruity nose, a little floral and it gets peppery if you inhale enough.  Great medium body feels perfect in the mouth.  Has perfumy scents before it opens up into spicy cherry and red fruit flavors.  Highly acidic and tight, this one attacks the lower jaw muscles as it leads into the spicy finish.

A really nice wine at this price.  Very different from its cousins in Mendoza.  This is how the French do Malbec and I really enjoyed it.  Spring this one on your wine snob friend; then tell him what it is and how much it cost. Adding to our Bronze Rated List. Rating: 89 Points
*Bronze Rated*

Costco item number: 685676

Read More about 2009 Chateau Saint-Didier-Parnac Prieure De Cenac Cahors Malbec

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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