Skip to Content

A pretty middle of the road wine, but not a bad value at only $6.99, especially if you’re looking for an everyday white to accompany dinner. It’s been a while since we’ve reviewed one of these Kirkland Chardonnay (last vintage was 2008) and I was hoping for maybe a bit more.  But then again…$6.99…

This is more of a fruity Chardonnay, which I typically prefer, but it seemed a little caught in the middle of what it wanted to be.  The nose kicks off tropical fruit and glides you in with some pear, grapefruit and lemon, but towards the finish the fruit collides with a bit of vanilla, butter and oak and it didn’t pull through for me. 

With the right meal, I can drink this no problem.  On its own, its flaws become more noticeable.  I’d pay a dollar or two more for a different bottle. Rating: 85 Points

Costco item number: 514007

Read More about 2011 Kirkland Signature Sonoma Chardonnay

An excellent New Zealand offering for only $11.99. If you typically like New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, this is a must buy.

It’s bright and vibrant, starts with pleasant floral scents on the nose which leads to big tropical fruit – grapefruit, pineapple, lemon.  Nice acidity.  This one hit me right from almost every angle.  A very solid buy.  Pair it up with some summer fare that can hang, and you’re in for a real treat.

I’m going to put this one on our Value Picks list.  It’s hard to beat for a summer white at this price point. Rating: 90 Points
*Value Pick*

Costco item number: 222230

Read More about 2011 Vavasour Sauvignon Blanc

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. Rating: 85 Points

Costco item number: 721763

Read More about 2010 Tranco Monastrell Cabernet Sauvignon

You could do a lot worst for $9. I thought this one was just fine for what it is, a low priced Bordeaux Superieur, with a few years in the bottle.  It’s a decent everyday drinker with a meal.  Nothing more.

Ripe fruit on the nose; flavors are pretty mellow, a bit of cherry, red fruit; finished up with a little leather, perfume, dry and quick.  This is a decent wine if you want to mindlessly sip and eat a hamburger off the grill.  If you start to think about it too much, you might not like it.  But still we’re only talking $9. Rating: 85 Points

Costco item number: 722031

Read More about 2009 Chateau La Croix de Roche Bordeaux Superieur

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. Rating: 87 Points
*Value Pick*

Costco item number: 600967

Read More about 2010 Bodegas Castano Hecula Monastrell

Great offering here; probably one of the better Kirkland values I’ve come across in a while. I scooped this up for $13.99 but swear I’ve seen it in stores for closer to $20.

I’m a big Rutherford fan so am naturally attracted to this one, but it’s a very nice blend from one of Napa’s premier areas at a bargain price. Still a bit young and closed on the nose, but after a little time it opened up nicely. Vibrant blackberry and dark fruit flavors, maybe a little black licorice, brown sugar and tobacco mid-palate.  Finish is superb and lasting.

The blend is 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec and 1% Cabernet Franc (I actually guessed a bit more Cab Franc, tastes like it to me).  Really blended perfectly.  They did a nice job on this one for only $14.00. Rating: 90 Points


Costco item number: 999309

Read More about 2011 Kirkland Signature Rutherford Meritage

A very enjoyable expression of Cabernet from Washington’s Columbia Valley, and really a great wine for Costco’s $19.99 price tag.

This is a big red, full bodied and just causes you think “wow” instantly.  Predominantly dark fruit, some cherry flavor with a little leather, tobacco and herb.  The finish adds spicy notes, and it’s elegant mouthfeel just makes it a joy to drink, even without food which it would complement to no end.

Got even better with some air.  A nice all around Cab from the Northwest (and I love my Northwest wines). Rating: 90 Points

Costco item number: 241279

Read More about 2009 Novelty Hill Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Another good Bordeaux option from Costco at $11.79. A Cru Bourgeois priced this low is a rarity. The wine is very nice after a little air. I could tell after the pour that there was something nice hiding in the bottle. But it took a good 20-30 minutes with occasional swirling to bring this one to life.

Nose was interesting, almost had a little cinnamon to it; in the mouth the wine felt a little dry and tight at first.  After some time with it, the flavors mid-palate really began to open up.  This wine accelerates and decelerates rather quickly.  But it’s a fun ride.

Mostly Cabernet in the blend, the flavors are really nice.  Juicy red fruit, leather undertones, lots of spice and a little of that cinnamon on the close.  This was a fun wine to review, and a solid pick for under $12. Rating: 89 Points

Costco item number: 718340

Read More about 2009 Chateau Clement Saint-Jean Medoc Bordeaux

This is an amazing wine especially for $16.99 at my Costco. I would drink this one all day long. It easily tastes like a $30-$40 bottle with its elegance and notable Italian character.

Comprised of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, the wine has a little of that old world, earthy Italian aroma on the nose, then opens up with inviting flavors of cherry, red fruit, spice and tobacco.  Finishes up dry and lingering.

This is my third or fourth experience with this wine, and I’m always amazed at what they pack in here for the price.  A Bronze Rated and Value Pick.  Scoop these up. Rating: 91 Points

Costco item number: 799299

Read More about 2008 Villa Antinori Toscana

A unique red blend of California-sourced grapes made by Tuck Beckstoffer who continues to impress with these reasonably priced big reds that he distributes to Costco. This one was $19.79 and follows a chain of winners including the Amulet and the Melee Red

This wine is comprised of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petite Syrah and 10% Syrah, so it’s fruit forward on the nose and on the initial taste, then mid-palate becomes a little more spicy and dry.  Flavors of blueberry and dark fruits combine nicely; feels great in the mouth. 

I can’t remember the last time I had this blend, but it works in this package.  Give it a shot, as well as his Amulet and Melee (both of which I think are still at my Costcos in the $25 range). Rating: 89 Points

Costco item number: 505449

Read More about 2010 The Sum California Red Blend

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). Rating: 88 Points

Costco item number: 908097

Read More about 2010 Kirkland Signature Sonoma Old Vine Zinfandel

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. Rating: 90 Points

Costco item number: 232249

Read More about 2011 King Estate Pinot Gris

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. Rating: 89 Points

Costco item number: 664666

Read More about 2010 Chateau Clauzet Saint Estephe Bordeaux

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. Rating: 88 Points

Costco item number: 42944

Read More about 2010 Rodney Strong Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon