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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).

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 88 Points

Costco item number: 908097

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2011 King Estate Pinot Gris

It’s been a while since I reviewed one of these King Estate Pinot Gris even though they are always in stock it seems. The last one was the 2007 vintage.  I think these are excellent whites at a very good price ($13.89 at my Costco).

The 2011 is another winner.  The wine is very light, almost see through but it really packs in a lot of flavor.  Nose has fresh citrus and honeysuckle aromas, and then strong apricot, citrus, lemon, maybe a little grapefruit flavors.  The finish is perfect.

Nice one all around, and a summertime favorite at our household.  Oregon Pinot Gris is almost always a solid pick.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 90 Points

Costco item number: 232249

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2010 Chateau Clauzet Saint Estephe 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.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 89 Points

Costco item number: 664666

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2010 Rodney Strong Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon

Not bad at all for a Sonoma Cab that was only $11.99 at my Costco.

Nose kicks off some cherry and vanilla scents, maybe a little mint even; then on the palate, flavors of plum, ripe cherry and red berry. The wine does a nice job of hanging around on the finish, which got even better as the wine had some time to breathe. 

All around a solid buy.  I was a little surprised since you just don’t find a lot of these inexpensive California Cabs to be quite this good.  I recommend giving this one a shot.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 88 Points

Costco item number: 42944

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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.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 88 Points

Costco item number: 721314

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2011 Ponzi Pinot Gris

A lovely white, as are most of these Willamette Valley Pinot Gris. These grapes just grow so nicely in the valley and the wines are reflection of this great cool climate. Having lived in the northwest for several years, I’m of course a little biased toward these wines (particularly the sustainable ones like this), but for $12.99, I think most white wine fans will find this to be a nice wine for the money.

Lots of citrus on the nose, leads into pineapple, apple, lemon and apricot flavors, all coming together perfectly.  Really a joy to drink and a good summer sipper.  Occasionally I find a good Costco bargain that I will stock up on. For the summer months, this one will be one of those.  Try it on your Sauvignon Blanc fans (I know I have a bunch who would love this bottle).

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 88 Points

Costco item number: 216898

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2011 Kirkland Signature Mendoza Malbec

Crazy value for only $6.99, which is $2 cheaper than it was at my store last year. Even at $8.99 I thought last year’s was a bargain. At $6.99 for the 2011, this is a no brainer.

It’s fruity and young, with ripe flavor as in years past.  But I’m picking up a lot more of a floral and spice component on the finish, especially after a little air, that really brings more to the wine.  Nice job on this one Costco.  I’ve had several readers write in with praise the minute this one hit their stores, and they couldn’t have been right.

Is it the greatest Malbec of all time?  No.  But it just might be the best one for $7.  A definite member of the Value Picks.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 87 Points

*Value Pick*
*KirklandWine*

Costco item number: 777761

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2010 Domaine du Grand Coulet Chateauneuf-du-Pape

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 …

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2009 Chateau Le Pey Medoc Bordeaux

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.

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2011 Santa Julia Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza

I can’t think of the last time I truly enjoyed a bottle for under $7, so this one at Costco for $6.59 may be the bargain of the year. This is a nice wine for the money.

Signature Argentina in its makeup, the wine instantly reminded me of some Patagonia Cabs I’ve tried recently.  Fresh and ripe, this wine feels surprisingly good in the mouth; more on the medium body side; flavors of dark berry, blackberry, black cherry and tobacco. Really enjoyable on the palatte.  Finish is pretty quick and dry.

As I said already, this could be the bargain wine of the year.  Kind of like the Etim from 2006, one of the best bargains I’ve found at Costco.  So scoop a few of these up and enjoy.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 87 Points
*ValuePick*

Costco item number: 690794

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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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2011 Bibi Graetz Casamatta Toscana

This bottle is a terrific value for only $9.99 at Costco. It’s a perfect everyday Italian red, ideal for complementing meals, but can stand just fine on its own.

Comprised of what I’m guessing is mostly Sangiovese, the wine is young and juicy; it just jumps out of the glass.  Nice dark fruit flavor covers the palatte and is rounded out by a spicy and dry finish.  This is one that’s great to enjoy young. 

An easy addition to the Value Picks, it doesn’t get much better under $10.  Drop one of these in the cart if you see it.  I’m a fan.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 89 Points
*ValuePick*

Costco item number: 702148

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2011 Chateau Ste. Michelle Horse Heaven Hills Sauvignon Blanc

A Costco staple, the Horse Heaven Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc from Chateau Ste. Michelle is always a solid white for under $15, and the 2011 is another good offering especially considering its $11.99 price tag.

The nose has light floral scents, a little earth and a hint of its citrus flavor.  On the palatte, the grapefruit, pear and apple flavors come together nicely; medium in body, a little dry on the finish, but the acidity helps stick it out.  This would be a great summer bottle so I might buy a few more to save for when I want a crisp, clean white for sunny days.

I reviewed the 2008 vintage of this wine, and gave it 89 Points, which is perhaps a little on the high side for the 2011, which I’ll bring in just a point below that at 88.  Recommended.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 88 Points

Costco item number: 229303

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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.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 92 Points
*Silver Rated*

Costco item number: 704997

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2009 Kirkland Signature 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). 

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 86 Points
*KirklandWine*

Costco item number: 666695

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