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CostcoWineBlog.com’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


93 Points


94 Points


94 Points

 
95 Points 

 

 


 92 Points


91 Points


92 Points


 92 Points


92 Points


91 Points


91 Points


92 Points


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.

CostcoWineBlog.com 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.

CostcoWineBlog.com 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.

CostcoWineBlog.com 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.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 88 Points

*ValuePick*
*KirklandWine*

Costco item number: 595394

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2010 The Chook McLaren Vale Shiraz Viognier

Lovely Shiraz from Australia and the awesome McLaren Vale region. I’m a big fan of these red blends that include a dash of white grapes, which I covered extensively in my latest wine book.  This bottle is an excellent example of the quality you can get under $15 ($14.59 at my Costco).

This wine is 95% Shiraz and 5% Viognier.  The result is a smooth drinking, nicely layered wine with more complexity that you get from a typical Shiraz.  It has that signature spiciness but adds more floral aromas, and a remarkable finish.  Each drink keeps you guessing a bit and the wine performs best with a little air.  Nice medium body with rich red fruit flavor and a lingering spicy accent to the finish.  I love these wines with all types of food too.   This one is a winner and a good addition to our Bronze Rated wine list.  Nice pick Costco.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 91 Points
*Bronze Rated*

Costco item number: 550239

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NV Biltmore Century Red Wine

The Century Red Wine from Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC is an easy drinking, everyday table red. I don’t know a lot about the grapes and where they were sourced exactly but the wine includes some Sangiovese and Merlot (maybe something else?). 

It’s a simple drinking wine that’s fruity on the palate with a quick dry finish.  But the flavor is much better than other sub $10 table wines like this.  It’s easy going, not a lot of complexity but would be a nice complement with almost any meal which is what I think it was aimed at. 

Price at Costco was $8.99.  And I bought their white wine too that I will likely drink this week.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 84 Points

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2010 Apothic Red Blend

A hodgepodge of different grapes come together to create this rather nice and super inexpensive red blend from California. This wine was recommended by a reader who mentioned it was his go-to everyday red.  And at $8.49 at Costco, I can see why he would say that.

Comprised of Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (not sure on the blend percentages), the wine starts with a thick pour in the glass, and opens up into big red fruit flavor, with chocolate and vanilla, and then gets almost sweet on the finish from the ripe fruit.

Nice one for the money.  I can’t think of another California red quite like this one.  A good party wine too.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 87 Points

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2007 Vina Eguia Rioja Reserva

This is a real stunner for only $10 at Costco. I casually threw this in my cart as I do with a lot of $10 Riojas because I know they will be good, but this one really caught me off guard. This tastes like a $25 Rioja. What a bargain.

Dark, but not too dark in the glass, the nose has a little earth and spice (distinctly Spanish); medium in body, this wine hits with intense red fruit and cherry flavors balanced perfectly with the oak aging.  This leads to a nice dry finish, very clean and elegant throughout.

It’s hard to believe this is only $10.  I plan on putting a few of these away.  Definitely try this wine.  I’m going to place it on our Value Picks and our Bronze Rated wines lists.  When a wine makes two lists, it’s almost always worthy seeking out.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 90 Points

*ValuePick*
*BronzeRated*

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2009 Chateau Lagrange Saint Julien

This is a nice mid-range Grand Cru from St. Julien (3rd growth Bordeaux). A very much go-to bordeaux in the under $100 range, and one you will see a lot of restaurant menus. I have a had a few other vintages and all have delivered that great smooth and refined Bordeaux taste.


I was pleased to see my local Costco with several cases of the 2009 vintage, and at $75 a great price point here in Tokyo, Japan.  Chateau Lagrange consists primarily of cabernet sauvignon, as well as merlot, and petit verdot.

This 2009 Lagrange was what I hoped for from this renowned vintage.  After some decanting, this really opened up into a nice smooth drinking wine.  Great nose followed by a little vanillla, some blueberry flavors, and plum finish.  Not too over the top, very subtle and refined wine.  I have had some other 2009 Bordeaux in this price point that I prefer over this one, for example the Calon Segur, but this is a very nice wine overall.

I would score this 91-92 points, and feel it is one worth cellaring for a few more years.

Their second wine called Les Fiefs de Lagrange is also quite nice, and priced at a good value.
— Jun Chiba

This is a guest post from a reader.  During Sept we are reviewing higher end wines from Costco and if you want to help out, here’s how to do it

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New Wine Book – Just Published: Around the Wine World in 40 Pages

I’m happy to announce the publication of my latest wine book titled Around the Wine World in 40 Pages: An Exploration Guide for the Beginning Wine Enthusiast.

It’s $3.99 for the Kindle with a physical version coming down the line. The book takes readers on a journey throughout the most popular and notable wine growing regions in the world, providing an inside perspective on what wine drinkers at all experience levels need to know about the grapes and styles from each region, along with the price points and suggestions on specific wines to try.  I even include references to a lot of wines that can be found at Costco.  I hope you enjoy.
— Editor

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