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2011 Kirkland Signature Rutherford Meritage

Great offering here; probably one of the better Kirkland values I’ve come across in a while. I scooped this up for $13.99 but swear I’ve seen it in stores for closer to $20.

I’m a big Rutherford fan so am naturally attracted to this one, but it’s a very nice blend from one of Napa’s premier areas at a bargain price. Still a bit young and closed on the nose, but after a little time it opened up nicely. Vibrant blackberry and dark fruit flavors, maybe a little black licorice, brown sugar and tobacco mid-palate.  Finish is superb and lasting.

The blend is 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec and 1% Cabernet Franc (I actually guessed a bit more Cab Franc, tastes like it to me).  Really blended perfectly.  They did a nice job on this one for only $14.00. Rating: 90 Points


Costco item number: 999309

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2008 Villa Antinori Toscana

This is an amazing wine especially for $16.99 at my Costco. I would drink this one all day long. It easily tastes like a $30-$40 bottle with its elegance and notable Italian character.

Comprised of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, the wine has a little of that old world, earthy Italian aroma on the nose, then opens up with inviting flavors of cherry, red fruit, spice and tobacco.  Finishes up dry and lingering.

This is my third or fourth experience with this wine, and I’m always amazed at what they pack in here for the price.  A Bronze Rated and Value Pick.  Scoop these up. Rating: 91 Points

Costco item number: 799299

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2010 The Sum California Red Blend

A unique red blend of California-sourced grapes made by Tuck Beckstoffer who continues to impress with these reasonably priced big reds that he distributes to Costco. This one was $19.79 and follows a chain of winners including the Amulet and the Melee Red

This wine is comprised of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petite Syrah and 10% Syrah, so it’s fruit forward on the nose and on the initial taste, then mid-palate becomes a little more spicy and dry.  Flavors of blueberry and dark fruits combine nicely; feels great in the mouth. 

I can’t remember the last time I had this blend, but it works in this package.  Give it a shot, as well as his Amulet and Melee (both of which I think are still at my Costcos in the $25 range). Rating: 89 Points

Costco item number: 505449

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2010 Kirkland Signature Sonoma Old Vine Zinfandel

This might be my favorite among the Kirkland Zinfandels and at $9.99 it’s a real bargain. The other Kirkland Zins are typically from Amador County which is a great area (you can find the Amador reviews in this list). But this one really suprised me, and it could be because of it’s intense spice and great dark fruit flavor.

Super floral on the nose, just smells like you’re sticking your face in a flower arrangement.  The spicy notes hit you immediately on the nose and as the wine hits your palate.  Lots of dark fruit flavor, blackberry, blueberry and then a little leather on the finish with more spice.  The wine has a nice ripe texture, being still pretty young, but it’s drinking really nice right now. 

I’m going to go a point higher than the Amador bottles I’ve reviewed in the past.  This one really hit me right.

Side note: one of my kids gave me two yellow gummi bears in the middle of this tasting, and it made the wine even more interesting (in case you want to try). Rating: 88 Points

Costco item number: 908097

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2010 Chateau De La Cour D’Argent Bordeaux Superior

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

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2008 Celler Malondro Besllum Montsant

This is a lovely wine, and I hate to say I was surprised (since it’s from Montsant), but it certainly met my already somewhat high expectations. I just haven’t had many wines from Montsant that I didn’t think were great for the price. It’s a killer region, and this wine is a fantastic bargain for only $12.99 at Costco.

The wine really does leap out of the bottle.  Big aromas, red fruit, juicy, lots of ripe red cherry, red licorice, then a little cedar and spice on the finish. 

(15 minutes later) Now the wine has had a little air, and it’s getting even better.  The red fruit flavor keeps magnifying.  This is a fun one.  Grapes are Grenache, Carignane, and Syrah, which frequent readers of this site will know are some of my favorite grapes especially in European blends such as this.  So maybe I’m a little biased.  Try it for yourself, and let us know.  I’m going with a low 90’s rating and placing this one on our Bronze Rated wine list. Rating: 91 Points
*Bronze Rated*

Costco item number: 600976

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2006 JC Cellars Stagecoach Vineyard Syrah

A delicious Napa Syrah, drinking really well right now. And it kept getting better with more air, opening up into a luscious, fruit packed and spicy wine that has a nice velvety feel in the mouth.

Flavors are dark fruit, blueberry, blackberry, balanced with earthy undertones and a touch of leather and black licorice.  I originally had this marked as a Bronze Rated wine, but I am going to up it to Silver

The price at Costco was only $19.79, and for a wine of this caliber, this is a good deal.  I’m going to see if I can get another one or two to hold on to for a while.  This is one that Syrah lovers of all types will enjoy. Rating: 92 Points
*Silver Rated*

Costco item number: 704997

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2008 Embuix de Vall Llach Priorat

A balanced red blend from Spain’s famed Priorat region which is just a huge bargain for only $18.99 at Costco. This was a fun wine given its varietal makeup: 30% Garnacha, 25% Carinyena, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah and 10% Merlot.  Anytime you find a Priorat wine for under $20, it’s typically a safe bet.

The wine is super dark on the pour with a nose of spice, earth and pepper; softer on the palate than I was expecting (great mouthfeel) and as the wine got some air it really started to open up.  Dark fruit flavors, leather notes, dusty and a little chalky toward the finish but the flavor holds through.

Definitely a little different but the blend is masterful.  This is a great Costco buy. Rating: 90 Points
*Bronze Rated*

Costco item number: 181390

Read More about 2008 Embuix de Vall Llach Priorat’s Highest Rated Wines of 2012

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

91 Points

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 92 Points

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91 Points

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2011 Francis Coppola Sofia Rose Monterey County

I thought this was a lovely Rose for $12.79. There’s not much to not like. It’s a clean drinking wine, perfect for any occassion; just an easy sipper that’s nice to have on hand, especially with the holidays around the corner.  You can feed this one to novice and expert wine drinkers alike. 

The wine has a little sweetness and acidity to it that reminded me of pink lemonade.  We enjoyed this one before a big meal and saved half for afterwards.  Perfect. Rating: 87 Points

Costco item number: 194685

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2010 Kirkland Signature Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

A decent Napa Cab for the $12.99 price point at Costco. Since I’ve always gone kind of middle of the road on these Kirkland Napa Cabs, I had a few other people try it, and they all agreed it was a nice wine for the money, but nothing special.

I gave the 2009 vintage of this wine 86 points and will do the same this year.  What you have is a nice Cab (although I’d guess there’s a touch of something else in here, likely Merlot), that starts fresh and ripe on the nose, it’s medium to full in body with tight tannins, a little cocoa on top of the dark fruit flavors, and some spice on the rather quick finish.

Not a bad wine by any stretch, and ok at this price point.  See what you think and let me know on our Facebook page. Rating: 86 Points

Costco item number: 929290

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Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2012 at Costco

Wine Spectator just released their top 100 wines for 2012.  Here’s a PDF of the list.

A reader of our website suggested we try to list which of the wines from the list were available at Costco. I thought it was a fantastic idea.  But given the different selection of wines in Costco stores around the country, I thought it would be best to ask for help from all of our readers.

If you see any of the wines on the list, please tell everyone what you found and where on the Costco Wine Blog Facebook page.  Also, please list price, and of course any tasting notes if you’ve already opened the wine.

I’ll start by listing a few of the wines from the list that I’ve seen at Costco stores in Atlanta in the last few months (in some cases different vintages).

#51 Bodega Norton Malbec Mendoza Reserva 2010 (my review of the 2008 vintage)

#58 Perrin & Fils Vinsobres Les Cornuds 2010 (my review of the 2007 vintage)

#92 Altamura Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2009 (my review of this wine.  Scored it a point ahead of WS)



So keep an eye out next time you hit your local Costco, and please report back anything you find.  I plan on hitting a few more stores to see what I can find. 

— Editor

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2010 Chateau Liversan Haut-Medoc Bordeaux

You don’t find a lot of Cru Bourgeois in this price range ($13.89) so I was looking forward to seeing what this wine was all about.  Plus the mix of 50% Merlot, 49% Cabernet Sauvignon with only 1% Petit Verdot was interesting.  But this one came together very nicely.  A solid Bordeaux for the money, and at $14, a great overall offering among sub $15 bottles.

Nose is fresh and lively, especially it being only a 2010, more of a medium body, but full on flavor.  Loads of red fruit, strawberry, cherry and red licorice.  Finishes up dry and spicy. 

This is an excellent Bordeaux buy at Costco.  It seems like we’ve seen quite a few of these lately, so let’s hope it’s a trend that continues. Rating: 90 Points

Costco item number: 235122

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2010 Kirkland Signature Bordeaux Superieur

A stunning value for only $6.99, this is a ripe and juicy, Merlot dominated Bordeaux that’s a must buy if you see it on your next trip to Costco. 

The grapes are sourced from Chateau Le Gardera and are 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in French oak for 12 months.  The wine is fresh on the nose, showing a little hint of spice, medium in body with cherry and plum flavors.  Tight tannins lead into a dry finish. 

I would never guess this wine could be scored for $7.  It’s nice all the way through and probably one of the best value Kirkland wines in recent memory.  A good addition to our Value Picks list. Rating: 88 Points


Costco item number: 595394

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