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2010 Chateau d’Aurilhac Haut Medoc Bordeaux

I enjoyed this one with a little skirt steak on the grill and it was a superb combo.  I love these Cru Bourgeois Bordeaux and particularly the ones from the awesome 2010 vintage.  This bottle at Costco was $16.99 (which I think it a very competitive price after a quick online search), and I felt it was about mid-pack given the aforementioned specs.

It’s predominantly Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with small parts of Petit Verdot and Cabernet France.  On the first pour the nose just jumped out of the glass with loads of peppery spice, but after a few hours the wine settled a bit.  In the mouth this one is medium in body and stuffed with fruit flavor; lots of dark fruit, plum, sticky and dry which made it awesome with steak.  This is definitely a food wine.

I’m a fan at this price point.  It’s a solid wine for the money; just not anything too over the top.  About what I expected.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 89 Points

Costco item number: 724744

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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 Amazon.com.

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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2010 Luca Syrah Laborde Double Select

  (This is a guest post from Adam L from Southern CA.  He sent me a note about this wine and I thought everyone would benefit from reading his notes.  I have yet to see this bottle at my Costcos but I am keeping an eye out)

The wine was impressive from opening.  Dark fruit aromas immediately greet you almost daring you to let it breathe more.  I tasted flavored of dark berries and spicy cherries.  The finish was smooth, supple and spicy finish.  Tannins were minimal as was the acidity (which were coincidentally the drawbacks in my opinion).  

I wondered why the wine was priced the way it was ($18.99) considering the varietal, winery and country of origin, but after tasting, it was well worth what I paid for it.  

Normally I’m a fan of big California cabs and spicy Spanish Tempranillo’s.  For those who want a dark fruit and full bodied wine, without firm tannins and acidity, (along with a good amount of fruity and peppery spicy, this one should be considered.

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2011 Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel

Reviewed by Redneck Wine Guy

Here’s the setting – the last night of vacation on the South Carolina coast.  My family decided for a night-in watching a movie, and I decided to do the farthest from it.  Why sit inside on a perfect beautiful night at the beach when you can enjoy the last moments of mindless existence before returning to the real world of endless e-mails and voicemails.  I popped the bottle of aforementioned vino, and after doing the sniff, pour, swirl, swish, taste regime I proceeded to pour a big glass and head out for the shore.    As you may have guessed, I was engaged in some self-questioning and doubt….should I really have proceeded with this plan, on a hot and muggy night, with a glass of Zinfandel?  The other imbibers on the beach were toting beers, frozen cocktails of various incantations, and a few bottles of far-too-chilled whites.  I was the lone guy on the beach with not only a red, but a zinfandel with the hue of octopus ink.  

Upon first steps I thought I should have done the same – a cool Cuba Libré with a lime wheel would have been a spectacular choice.  But nay, instead, a glass of full-bodied red.  Well, I can attest that the evening decision was an amazing experience – solitude in nature with a glass of wine that improved and proved itself as I meandered along the sandy beach, collecting shells, and taking some pictures so I could share with my family what they were missing. 

 

A word of caution – the boutique and tasting notes of this wine are very much closed upon first opening.  While no wine should be solely judged upon first corking, this one especially falls into that category.  Give it some time – wine, along with life, should be enjoyed slowly and given time to expose all it has to offer.

 

After some walking, swirling, and sipping what was first a mediocre bottle I began to see why this family has been in the wine business since 1895.  Zinfandels usually fall into one of two categories – good/great or really bad.  Drinkable vs. non-drinkable.  This is a perfectly drinkable wine – the nose and taste of black cherry are well pronounced, a hint of ripe blackberry in the middle, with a spicy yet rounded finish of toned-down peppercorn.  I’d also throw in that there is a subtle taste of fresh chewing tobacco, but only a certain segment of the reading population would appreciate that side note!   The mouth feel is jammy and coats your tongue, but not enough so to turn away the average wine drinker.     

Overall, a good value Zin that you can be proud to serve to your family and friends.  Scouring the internet I found pricing between $17 – $26.  Personally, I think anything over $20 is a little steep for this one, but give it a while in the cellar and a breathing period once opened and I imagine you’ll get your value for the price.  After my evening experience, no matter the price it’s a hell of a better value than a cheap can of beer would have been! 

 

-Redneck Wine Guy rating – 90
Costco item number:
57059
Price at Costco: $18.99

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2010 Bodegas Volver Tarima Hill Monastrell

It’s Saturday, which means a lot of you are probably heading to your local Costco, and for $12.69, this is a label you’ll want to keep an eye out for.

This is Monastrell from the Alicante region of Spain, and it’s some of the best Monastrell I’ve tried for this price.  Nose is spicy, with hints of tobacco and on the palate the wine is luscious with dark fruit, blackberry, plum, a little earth and leather.  The finish is why I like Monstrell; it’s spicy and complete. 

The all around balance and execution of this wine is top notch and you’d be hard pressed to find many bottles of this caliber in this price range.  For that reason, I’m naming it to the Bronze Rated and Value Pick lists.  This is a real winner (and it scored 93 points from Wine Advocate if you’re a points person).

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 90 Points
*Value Pick*
*Bronze Rated*

Costco item number: 750941

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2011 Kirkland Signature Chateauneuf-du-pape

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.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 92 Points (a point up from last year)
*Silver Rated*

Costco item number: 777662

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2010 Concha Y Toro Gran Reserva Carmenere Serie Riberas

Really enjoyed this one and a beautiful execution of Carmenere at a Costco price of only $13.99. 

Fresh and vibrant nose, then blueberry and dark fruit combine with chocolate flavors on the palate.  Finish retains that fresh fruit, dry, chalky and lasting.  Getting a little stone/slate on the finish too as a little time passes. 

A fun one for a change from the usual varietals. Give it a shot with some hamburgers off the grill this summer.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 89 Points

Costco item number: 736192

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2010 Terra Valentine Spring Mountain Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

A nice mountain Cabernet that I found for $33.99 at my Costco.  This wine took a while to open up.  It was super closed up at first and I was a little worried.  But as an hour or so past, it started to show its true colors and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It’s blended with a few other varietals so the final make up is 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, & 2% Petite Verdot. Quality Napa nose, dark as could be in the glass, the wine definitely ramps up to a great finish.  Flavor is dark fruit, blueberry, black currant, black licorice and black berry.  Definitely a little stickiness to the finish which is great.  Dusty and dry on the close too, which demands a red meat dish.

A good wine at a fair price.  I’m a fan of the mountain wines so will gravitate toward them a bit more.  If you’re looking for more of the juicy Napa Cabs you might want to stick closer in the valley. 

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 90 Points

Costco item number: 123399

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2011 Kirkland Signature Cotes du Rhone Villages

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.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 89 Points
*Value Pick*
*Kirkland Wine*

Costco item number: 887774

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2010 Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Red Blend

A solid red blend from a consistent producer.  This is a nice big rich wine that’s fruity, meaty and accessible.  Great food wine and a good buy all around for $13.99 at Costco.

The blend consists of 60% Merlot, 28% Syrah, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Grenache, 2% Malbec, 0.5% Cinsault, 0.5% Mourvedre.  I’m a fan of the Indian Wells Merlot, so having the Merlot dominate is fine with me.  I actually completed a recent Napa trip where I saw more and more Merlot based red blends from many of the big and small guys.  The Merlot really helps give it the richness for the other grapes to round out around. 

Nose smells young, fresh, floral.  Big red fruit flavor, cherry, strawberry, raspberry; forest floor aromas and turns a little spicy toward the finish.  Finish is dry and lasting.  This wine tasted almost exactly like I thought (and hoped) it would.  A good buy at this price.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 90 Points

Costco item number: 708779

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2010 Chateau Boutisse Saint-Emilion Bordeaux

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. 

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 91 Points

Costco item number: 695716

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2011 Geyser Peak Uncensored Red Blend

This is a hodge podge of different varietals, most of which I believe come from the Geyser Peak Sonoma estate, but I’m not certain.  It definitely has Merlot, Cab and Syrah in the mix.  It almost has so much going on that everyone will find the taste appealing.  And it’s not a bad buy at $11.99 at Costco.

Kind of mushroomy on the nose, fruit forward on the palate.  Flavors of cherry, dark fruit, black licorice and a little vegetal on the finish.  A bit of spice thrown in the mix as well toward the close.

This is the perfect wine for novice wine drinkers who visit your house.  They will love it.  Now as I get a little snobby, I will try to admit that if I went to someone’s house and they served this, I would enjoy it too.  It’s that kind of wine.  Easy to please, almost everyone.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 87 Points

Costco item number: 753741

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2010 Small Gully Mr Blacks Little Book Shiraz

This bottle is a reader favorite and it seems to swing in and out of my Costco without any regular schedule.  But if you see it buy it.  This is a heck of a good bargain for only $11.79.  Seldomly do you see Barossa wines this inexpensive.

And what a perfect time to drink this one.  It’s just right, with a little time in the bottle to mellow out.  The heavy pepper you get in many Australian wines can sometimes turn me off, but this wine is soft, with hints of pepper on the close, and overall is packed with vibrant red fruit flavor. 

I enjoyed it through and through, particularly after a bit of air, as the wine opened up.  This doesn’t at all taste like a $12 bottle.  I’d highly recommend scooping some up if you see them.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 90 Points

Costco item number: 650452

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2011 Bula Montsant

An enjoyable big red blend from Spain’s Montsant region that is a fairly good bargain for only $11.59.  This is still pretty young but drinks nice right now, fresh and clean.

The Bula is a blend of three varietals – 40% Mazuelo, 40% Grenache and 20% Syrah – so it’s my kind of blend and the wine comes together quite nicely.  Floral nose, not as earthy as I was expecting.  Very fresh again. Flavors of red fruit, spicy cherry, red licorice with a little mineral.  Quick burst of spice on the finish.

A very good buy for under $12, food friendly and a good crowd pleaser if you have a group. 

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 87 Points

Costco item number: 734143

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2009 Flora Springs Trilogy

 Great price on this one at Costco. I found it at a Reno, NV Costco for $39.99. Online it looks like $50+. And it’s a very nice wine for the money.

Comprised of Cabernet, Merlot and Malbec the wine is very elegant and soft while possessing layers of flavor and spice. Nose is a little Malbecy, some spice and earth; in the mouth the wine is just luscious; soft tannins, gentle. Flavors of dark fruit, blueberry, a little cherry; coats the mouth nicely into a dry lasting finish. Amazing balance of all these elements. This is a very nice wine.

I’m going to go Silver on this one. For $40 it is just what you want. Glad I picked this one up and know about it now. A good one to impress your boss if they like wine.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 94 Points
*SilverRated*

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