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2009 Chateau Saint-Didier-Parnac Prieure De Cenac Cahors Malbec

If you like Malbecs from Mendoza, you really need to explore those from the other side of the world too, notably Cahors France. This is a beautiful Malbec that is awesome on its own and could pair with almost anything. For $14.99 at Costco it is also a very fair priced wine.

Fruity nose, a little floral and it gets peppery if you inhale enough.  Great medium body feels perfect in the mouth.  Has perfumy scents before it opens up into spicy cherry and red fruit flavors.  Highly acidic and tight, this one attacks the lower jaw muscles as it leads into the spicy finish.

A really nice wine at this price.  Very different from its cousins in Mendoza.  This is how the French do Malbec and I really enjoyed it.  Spring this one on your wine snob friend; then tell him what it is and how much it cost. Adding to our Bronze Rated List. Rating: 89 Points
*Bronze Rated*

Costco item number: 685676

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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

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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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 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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2008 Chateau La Nerthe Cheateauneuf-du-pape

This is a nice Chateauneuf at a pretty good price ($39.89 at my Costco). It’s not a knock-your-socks off wine like I recently found in the (much more expensive) Beaucastel, which if price is no object you should definitely buy.  But if you’re looking for a Chateauneuf on the lower end (and $40 is the lower end), the Chateau La Nerthe is a good pick.

This wine is purply dark ink color in the glass, nose is lively with earthy, spicy nutmeg scents.  On the palate the wine feels great, it’s light and fluffy with softer tannins.  Flavors of red fruit, a bit of strawberry into a spicy ending.  Good food wine.

All around solid wine. Not a bad buy at $40, but you could probably find other Rhone wines in the $20-$25 that would taste similar.  But I’m still giving it 90 Points. Rating: 90 Points

Costco item number: 482702

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2011 Brancott Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

This is a regular addition to Costco’s wine roster each year, and this time it showed up right as the wonderful sub-$10 Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc ran out at my Costco.  At $8.99, here’s another Marlborough favorite that’s a great replacement for the Nobilo.

reviewed the 2010 vintage of this wine and found the 2011 to carry many of the same qualities.  It’s characteristic Marlborough with a nose that just leaps out of the glass.  Citrus like Starburst with grapefruit, apricot and a lemony acidic finish.  Slightly sweeter on the finish than the Nobilo and as I remember prior vintages being. 

But it rounds out an awesome wine at a great price at Costco.  Pick up enough to save a few for the summer when these really shine. Rating: 87 Points (same as 2010 and the Nobilo)

Costco item number: 335929

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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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Rating: 88 Points


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. 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. Rating: 84 Points

Costco item number 969817

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