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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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2010 Tranco Monastrell Cabernet Sauvignon

A fair price for only $8.49 but as far as these low priced Spanish reds go, I think this one is pretty middle of the road. In fact, I found the 2010 Hecula Monastrell from a week or so ago, to be a more enjoyable wine and it’s even less expensive.

The story with the Tranco is this.  A good wine.  Ripe, fresh.  A bit quiet from the get go, but on the palate, begins to show it’s true colors.  The Monastrell brings a little spice, some nice dark fruit and it’s balanced nicely with the Cab’s boldness.  Finish is on the weak side.  The wine comes on and disappears pretty quickly.

For the price, it’s a decent buy.  If you want to experiment with these reds a bit, give this one a shot.  It’s from Yecla which is almost always a good sign but I’d keep my eye out for other wines from this region.  They might cost a few dollars more but I think the jump in quality would be worth it.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 85 Points

Costco item number: 721763

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2010 Bodegas Castano Hecula Monastrell

I bought this one among 5 or so other bottles and just figured at $6.89 why not? I’ve had some nice Monastrells before and figured this would be fine. But it turned out to be quite the bargain for under $7, a price point where you rarely find good drinkable reds. The more and more I dug into this one, I was really looking forward to every new drink.  This is a solid buy.

Monastrell is a Spanish red grape that has a fair amount of fruit and (particularly in this incarnation) has a dry tannic firmness to it. Some people may not love that, but I did. It’s food friendly without being overbearing.  Young, ripe with a dusty red fruit flavor that’s peaks rather quickly.  Fast on the finish too, but what can you really expect in this price range.

This is a Value Pick all the way, and a good one to check out.  Not for everybody but at $7 it’s hard for me not to like it.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 87 Points
*Value Pick*

Costco item number: 600967

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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.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 91 Points
*Bronze Rated*

Costco item number: 600976

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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.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 90 Points
*Bronze Rated*

Costco item number: 181390

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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
 


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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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2009 Creta Roble Ribera Del Duero

This has ‘ridiculous value’ written all over it. Anytime I see a Ribera Del Duero bottle under $15 I have to scoop it up. This one was $11.49 at my Costco and I swear I’ve had this before and paid more than that for it (and still thought it was a good value).

This bottle is 100% Tempranillo from a 70 year old vineyard.  It has a fantastic feel to it immediately noticeable on the nose, but on the palate, the tannins are gentle and soft.  Flavor band starts with more dark fruit but ends on cherry, red licorice notes.  Finish is perhaps a little brisk.  But this wine remains stellar at this price, and is super food friendly.

I’ll add it to our Value Picks, and highly recommend you give this one a try if you see it.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 90 Points
*ValuePick*

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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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2011 Burgans Albarino Rias Baixas

I’m a huge fan of Albarinos, particularly anything that says Rias Baixas on the label because the grape just thrives there. I don’t think I’ve ever had one that I didn’t think was a good value for the money. This bottle is a staple, I’ve had it multiple times, and in every case it delivers. At Costco for $11.59, it might be the best white wine value you find on the shelf.

Don’t shy away if you aren’t familiar with Albarino.  This is a super friendly drink, fruity and crisp, clean and pure.  It has a touch of sweetness to the finish but nothing that would throw you off.  Very food friendly.  I’ve enjoyed Albarino with a variety of meals and love it with anything spicy, or white fish.  It stands strong on its own as well. 

This is an excellent alternative if you are tired of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay (it’s more in the Sauvignon Blanc range of character).  Do try, the price is great at Costco, and as we enter the cooler months, we’ll see fewer and fewer of these bottles on the shelf.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 88 Points

Here’s another great Albarino we reviewed.

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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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