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2008 Leone d’Oro Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Figli d’Italia

This wine is huge on the dark fruit, just begging to be enjoyed with a hearty Italian or red meat dish. It took me a while to figure this wine out (which is a good sign); its nuances hit you a little different on each drink (mostly Sangiovese grapes with a little Canaiolo).  For $17.79 at my Costco, I think this is a real bargain for the quality.

Surrounding the dark fruit are hints of leather and tobacco that hold on throughout the finish.  This wine really coats your mouth which is again why I think it would be awesome with the right dish, maybe something a little spicy; I’m thinking sausage and peppers.  It’s a big one, full in body and it hangs strong all the way through.

I’m down to my last glass now and wish I had more.  This is a nice one and it will make a good addition to our Bronze Rated wine list.  Low 90’s.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 90 Points
*Bronze Rated*

Costco item number:  695794

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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 Foris Pinot Noir

It’s always fun to find a $11.59 Oregon Pinot Noir at Costco. And this one was even more interesting given that it’s from the Rogue Valley. This wine would have been nice for the Thanksgiving Picks we posted earlier this week.

This is a dark Pinot, in the glass and on the palate; it felt a little heavier on the palate than other Pinots.  Flavors of black fruit, plum, and blackberry come through first, then it’s more spicy cherry toward the finish. Finish is nice and got better and longer with a little air.

Overall a nice package for under $12.  Definitely recommend for almost any meal.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 88 Points

Costco item number: 526760

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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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2011 Kirkland Signature Russian River Pinot Noir

The Kirkland Signature Russian River Pinot Noir is a staple at Costco during the fall months. I’ve reviewed quite a few of the past vintages of this wine and have found them to be nice for the money ($12.99).

I think the 2011 vintage is one of the better ones of the last few years.  It’s really young, ripe and fresh which sometimes can mask anything interesting about the wine, but the winemakers have really balanced in some nice spicy notes, and created a nice, light Pinot Noir that I could drink all day long. 

It’s a good bargain at this price point, and one that I would certainly pick up again.  Plus, you can drink this with almost any meal.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 87 Points 

Costco item number: 555512

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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 White Wine

This is a sweet white blend, consisting of Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and a couple other grapes I can’t be certain of, some of which I think were grown on the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC (others sourced from the west coast).  I reviewed the Biltmore Century Red blend last week and found it to be nice for Costco’s $8.99 price tag.  This white follows suit so long as you know what you’re getting into (I grabbed it quickly off the shelf and wasn’t sure what to expect).

This wine is fresh out of the bottle, crisp flavors of peach, pear and grapefruit.  Healthy dose of sweetness on the finish, although the blend mellows it out a tad; a nice wine for before or after dinner, or a hot summer day.  Could be paired with the usual Reisling favorite dishes of something spicy or thai, or both.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 84 Points

Costco item number 969817

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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 Buehler Russian River Chardonnay

Very pleasant Chardonnay, kind of a combination of new school (citrus fruit) and old school (butter, oak) and the flavor really worked for me. Price at Costco was $11.99 which I think is very good for this wine.

More of the citrus comes off on the nose, smells like a Sauvignon Blanc a bit; in the mouth though you get that creamy texture you expect from a good Chardonnay with apple, lemon and pear flavors.  Finish starts to bring in a bit of the oak element, in a nice dose though that’s not overbearing.

A solid Chardonnay for the money.  Give this one a look.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 86 Points

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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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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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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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2005 Chateau Pontet-Canet Pauillac

Reader review. I would love to try this one…

Fantastic wine one of my favorite Bordeaux at this level ($100 in Florida). A great
representative of the landmark 2005 vintage and of course still
evolving.

Nice deep and  dark Cabernet fruit that flows perfectly to
long finish with a bit of cherry flavor. Smooth as can be, I could never
get tired of drinking this and would be great with many food pairings
or as I drank it on its own.  Great one to sit on for many years to
come.
96pts
— Raul Garza

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