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This is a decent value Sauvignon Blanc for only $7.99.  It’s a little bland on the finish, but the bright fruit and citrus flavor packs a pretty good punch early on for a super inexpensive summer white like this.

Floral nose, citrusy too; the flavor is fresh and vibrant with apricot, peach, lime and grapefruit flavors.  It’s a wine that starts better than it finishes (drops off quick), but for something in this price range, it can easily be looked past. 

As is usually the case with Chilean wines, this one offers a good bang for the buck.  A fun summer wine at a great Costco price. Rating: 86 Points

Costco item number: 753880

Read More about 2012 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc

This Rioja is just perfect all around and a joy to drink.  The timing couldn’t be better as the tannins have really softened and the wine just cushions in the mouth. 

Great balance of every component.  The nose is fresh, floral and a little spicy. Big cherry and rich red fruit flavors on the palate surrounded by those soft tannins. Drink after drink you want to go in for more. This leads into a stunning finish with hints of oak and spice that lingers for a long time.

I misplaced my purchase notes on this wine so I don’t have a Costco item number or the price I paid.  I believe it was around $15-$20 which makes this an incredible buy.  Definitely grab this one if you see it, especially if you like big, juicy and finely executed worldly reds.  A Silver Rated wine for me. Rating: 92 Points
*Silver Rated*

Read More about 2010 Bodegas Lar De Paula Rioja Tempranillo

Really enjoyed this one and a beautiful execution of Carmenere at a Costco price of only $13.99. 

Fresh and vibrant nose, then blueberry and dark fruit combine with chocolate flavors on the palate.  Finish retains that fresh fruit, dry, chalky and lasting.  Getting a little stone/slate on the finish too as a little time passes. 

A fun one for a change from the usual varietals. Give it a shot with some hamburgers off the grill this summer. Rating: 89 Points

Costco item number: 736192

Read More about 2010 Concha Y Toro Gran Reserva Carmenere Serie Riberas

A nice mountain Cabernet that I found for $33.99 at my Costco.  This wine took a while to open up.  It was super closed up at first and I was a little worried.  But as an hour or so past, it started to show its true colors and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It’s blended with a few other varietals so the final make up is 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, & 2% Petite Verdot. Quality Napa nose, dark as could be in the glass, the wine definitely ramps up to a great finish.  Flavor is dark fruit, blueberry, black currant, black licorice and black berry.  Definitely a little stickiness to the finish which is great.  Dusty and dry on the close too, which demands a red meat dish.

A good wine at a fair price.  I’m a fan of the mountain wines so will gravitate toward them a bit more.  If you’re looking for more of the juicy Napa Cabs you might want to stick closer in the valley. Rating: 90 Points

Costco item number: 123399

Read More about 2010 Terra Valentine Spring Mountain Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

This is really a lovely expression of Chardonnay especially for only $15.59 at my Costco.  The winemakers did an excellent job of managing the oak to let the vibrant fruit flavors come through.  It’s a perfect summer food wine; definitely my style of Chardonnay.

Tropical and floral on the nose, matches its lighter color, and then on the palate you get nice young fruit with flavors of apple, pear, lemon, maybe even a little watermelon as the acidity takes hold.  The finish brings in a touch of the oakiness and rounds out a very enjoyable summer wine.

At this price I’ll scoop a couple up for drinking later in the summer.  A good wine to enjoy with friends, as indicated on the back of the label which simply says “Share.”  I’m a fan, and will put this one on our Bronze Rated wine list. Rating: 90 Points
*Bronze Rated*

Costco item number: 690875

Read More about 2011 Joseph Carr Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

“Had to try this one to see what they can do with Oakville cab at this price…and the result is pretty good. One of the better Kirkland wines I have tasted (Their Chtf. Du pape is good as well).

Nose hits you right away with dark cabernet fruit, what I expect from Oakville. Surprisingly maintains some distinct characteristics of leather, black currant, raisin, blackberry, and vanilla oaky finish – much of what you can find in more expense big name wines from Oakville…Some dusty mild tannins suggest this has some potential for smoothing out a little bit with time. Relatively thick coat finish feels good, but a little bitterness and heat. Falls a tad short overall in terms of complexity (somewhat one-dimensional), but it is a big dark fruit driven wine that could fool many in a blind tasting. Better than expected, and overall I would recommend this one – especially for under $20.

*Give it some time to breath….big improvements”
— Rating: 90 Points

— TJ Cohen



Read More about 2010 Kirkland Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville

I just realized this Rhone bottle from Kirkland was a Villages, which is even better.  At $6.99 this is the steal of all steals for readers who enjoy their Rhone reds.

It’s signature Rhone all around, with the depth and richness I would expect from a bottle that cost at least twice as much.  As regular readers know, I love these wines, and truly believe they offer some of the best bang for the buck in the entire world of wine.  Here’s a perfect entry point for any doubters.

This wine is comprised of the classic Rhone varietals, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, and they come together beautifully.   Nose is spicy, earthy, and then just massive fruit on the palate.  Jammy dark fruit, blackberry, blueberry, a touch of chocolate, maybe some red licorice; which leads into the clean, slightly spicy finish.  Here’s your everyday red wine.  Stock up.  It’s a bargain at this price.  And a good BBQ wine for the summer. Rating: 89 Points
*Value Pick*
*Kirkland Wine*

Costco item number: 887774

Read More about 2011 Kirkland Signature Cotes du Rhone Villages

A solid red blend from a consistent producer.  This is a nice big rich wine that’s fruity, meaty and accessible.  Great food wine and a good buy all around for $13.99 at Costco.

The blend consists of 60% Merlot, 28% Syrah, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Grenache, 2% Malbec, 0.5% Cinsault, 0.5% Mourvedre.  I’m a fan of the Indian Wells Merlot, so having the Merlot dominate is fine with me.  I actually completed a recent Napa trip where I saw more and more Merlot based red blends from many of the big and small guys.  The Merlot really helps give it the richness for the other grapes to round out around. 

Nose smells young, fresh, floral.  Big red fruit flavor, cherry, strawberry, raspberry; forest floor aromas and turns a little spicy toward the finish.  Finish is dry and lasting.  This wine tasted almost exactly like I thought (and hoped) it would.  A good buy at this price. Rating: 90 Points

Costco item number: 708779

Read More about 2010 Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Red Blend

I really enjoyed this one.  The minute you smell this wine you can tell it’s a winner.  At $23.99 it’s a good buy for right bank Bordeaux (Merlot based blend) fans, of which I seem to be becoming more and more of myself.  And 2010 was a blockbuster year in Bordeaux.

Again, the nose is what gets me.  It immediately reminds you of a high end Cab or Merlot, even one from CA.  Floral, graphite, finesse and on the palate you get some excellent dark fruit, black cherry, black licorice and pepper; tannins are still a tad tight leaning me to think this one would get better in the years to come.  Strong, lingering finish.  I had intended to grill a steak with this wine but didn’t get properly prepped and I missed out.

Fun food wine, nice execution all around and a good price from Costco on a big Bordeaux year.  Highly recommend. Rating: 91 Points

Costco item number: 695716

Read More about 2010 Chateau Boutisse Saint-Emilion Bordeaux

This is a hodge podge of different varietals, most of which I believe come from the Geyser Peak Sonoma estate, but I’m not certain.  It definitely has Merlot, Cab and Syrah in the mix.  It almost has so much going on that everyone will find the taste appealing.  And it’s not a bad buy at $11.99 at Costco.

Kind of mushroomy on the nose, fruit forward on the palate.  Flavors of cherry, dark fruit, black licorice and a little vegetal on the finish.  A bit of spice thrown in the mix as well toward the close.

This is the perfect wine for novice wine drinkers who visit your house.  They will love it.  Now as I get a little snobby, I will try to admit that if I went to someone’s house and they served this, I would enjoy it too.  It’s that kind of wine.  Easy to please, almost everyone. Rating: 87 Points

Costco item number: 753741

Read More about 2011 Geyser Peak Uncensored Red Blend

Here’s an interesting white blend you don’t see everyday: 65% Grenache Blanc, 15% Muscat, 10% Chardonnay and 10% Riesling.  Hailing from Paso Robles, blends like these from the region seem to work more often than not.  In this case, I think Costco’s $16.99 price tag is a good bargain on what is a thoroughly fun and different style of white wine, just in time for the warming weather.

Kind of that fresh, new earth, floral nose, with citrus flavors on the palate. I’m a huge fan of Grenache Blanc, and was happy to see it as the dominating varietal.  The other grapes help build some complexity and add a little more body and depth to the wine.  The Muscat definitely comes through, and the finish has a small touch of that Riesling sweetness.  Put together, the wine is well executed. 

Jettlynn sells this wine on their website for $50, so Costco’s $16.99 price is a fraction of their full retail.  I’d recommend this one for white wine fans looking for something a little different to break up the monotony of Sauvignon Blancs and Chardonnays this summer. Rating: 89 Points

Costco item number: 690864

Read More about Jettlynn Gout de Miel White Blend

This bottle is a reader favorite and it seems to swing in and out of my Costco without any regular schedule.  But if you see it buy it.  This is a heck of a good bargain for only $11.79.  Seldomly do you see Barossa wines this inexpensive.

And what a perfect time to drink this one.  It’s just right, with a little time in the bottle to mellow out.  The heavy pepper you get in many Australian wines can sometimes turn me off, but this wine is soft, with hints of pepper on the close, and overall is packed with vibrant red fruit flavor. 

I enjoyed it through and through, particularly after a bit of air, as the wine opened up.  This doesn’t at all taste like a $12 bottle.  I’d highly recommend scooping some up if you see them. Rating: 90 Points

Costco item number: 650452

Read More about 2010 Small Gully Mr Blacks Little Book Shiraz

Nothing special with this one, but it’s only $8.99 so I can’t ding it too hard.  I just didn’t find a lot of flavor here.  It’s really a light bodied red, lighter than I expected, and turns into a very basic, singular Chianti.  For every day spaghetti night, bring it on.  For much else, look elsewhere.

Searching for flavor as it hits the palate.  You get a bit of cherry.  After some air (because this wine is so young), you start to get a bit more red fruit, and the wine softens up a tad.  It’s 90% Sangiovese with the rest Canaiolo.  A little earth and a pretty dry finish. 

Nothing too memorable for me, and a bottle I would probably pass on. Rating: 85 Points

Costco item number: 742244

Read More about 2011 Badia a Coltibuono Cetamura Chianti

It’s been a little while since we’ve reviewed a Costco Riesling, and this is a good one to jump back in with.  It is a very nice wine for $12.99.  I prefer drier Rieslings like this that are not too sweet but packed with fruit flavor.

This bottle hails from Australia’s Eden Valley, and I should note that it was also #56 on Wine Spectator’s list of their top 100 wines of 2012.  The wine is full of tropical fruit flavor, lots of pineapple and a burst of lemon-lime on the finish. Although the weather has been pretty cold across much of the country, this is a perfect summer sipper.  It’s also the kind I like to pair with spicy food. 

This is a great white and it’s dry approach makes it much more accessible than many sweeter Rieslings. Rating: 91 Points

Costco item number: 199648

Read More about 2011 Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Dry Riesling

This is a lovely one for only $13.49.  It’s big on flavor and lasting on the finish, making it a perfect food wine, or just an enjoyable experience on its own.  A solid buy at this price.

It’s an ’09 so it benefits from a little time, which really makes right now a good time to drink it.  I think it’s perfect timing but that won’t change in the next few years to come.  Nothing special about the nose, and it leads on to the quality to come.  In the mouth, this one is packed with red fruit, strawberry, hints of leather and then almost black licorice, which seems a little odd around the other red fruit.  But really really nice.  Perfect, through to the finish. Even better with some air time. 

Red wine fans looking for a great wine at a great price don’t need to look further.   This is going on the Value Picks list, and I plan on grabbing a few more if I see them. Rating: 91 Points

*Value Pick*

Costco item number: 369408

Read More about 2009 Palacios Remondo La Montesa Rioja