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The Definitive Guide To Costco’s Kirkland Signature Wines

The Definitive Guide To Costco’s Kirkland Signature Wines

[originally published 5/9/20; updated 3/8/21]

One thing about shopping at Costco, which is on one hand the greatest thing ever, but simultaneously one of the most frustrating, is the idea of the “Costco find.”

The term can apply to a couple different types of “finds” too. First, you have the item you’ve never seen before but it’s priced low and it’s something you instantly must have. How did you live so long without it? Love those.

Next is the surprise item; that one thing you found a year or so ago but it disappeared after a week so you only had one chance to buy it. But wait, now it’s back, it includes 20% more than last time and you’re pumped.

I always picture someone inside corporate Costco with Mr. Burns’ fingers (not sure why) sitting around pushing buttons on what’s available and whats not, rejoicing in controlling our obessions with the “Costco find.” And Costco wine falls right into this same game, especially Costco’s Kirkland wines.

Here’s how we’re going to do this. I’m going to look at all of our past reviews and ratings over more than ten years to determine the average score across all vintages we have tasted, calculate the average price and try to ballpark a target month when the wines seem to have appeared based on my historical data. And then we’ll put them in order, based on highest rating.

Note: I am only including wines where we have reviewed multiple vintages. My chart at the end of this post contains notes on wines that were single vintages. I am also not including the Kirkland Prosecco or Champagne, as those are non vintage, widely available, and pretty consistent in taste and price year to year. Also note, many of the wines scored similar average ratings, so there is no particular order to the ones with the same rating. I’m only listing wines that average 88 points and above. Again, full chart below for all of you who want to do a deep dive. Ready?

1. Kirkland Signature Pauillac Bordeaux

It’s a bummer that we haven’t seen a new vintage of this amazing wine appear in stores for more than two years. I hope it’s not gone for good. Please Costco, give us a surprise here. The Kirkland Pauillac Bordeaux is top notch for only $23 and it takes the cake at the top of our ratings with scores of 91 and 92. In the past it has appeared in stores in December-January. [our review]

2. Kirkland Signature Oakville Cabernet

We love this wine and its $20 price tag is hard to beat compared to other wines from this premier region of Napa Valley. Average score over the years is 90 points and you can expect this wine to hit in the March time frame. [2018 Oakville review]

2. Kirkland Signature Carneros Pinot Noir

Kirkland Carneros Pinot

We’ve reviewed three vintages so far of the Carneros Pinot and it is always impressive, resulting in 89, 90 and 89 point ratings. The price is just too good at $9.99 which is relatively unheard of for Carneros juice. Look for this one in May. [2018 Carneros]

2. Kirkland Signature Cotes de Provence Rose

This is one of the fastest selling Kirkland wines year in and year out. If you see it, stock up right away. This is not one of those “Costco surprises” that makes a reappearance later. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for the year. And it is an amazing rose for the price ($8.99); our average score is 90 points and look for this one in April. [2019 Kirkland Rose]

2. Kirkland Signature Ribera del Duero

There have been three vintages of this Kirkland wine and it’s a delicious one at a great price, currently $14. We’ve rated it 90 points each time, and timing is tough as it’s been released as early as September and as late as December. So keep an eye out in the fall/winter for it. [2014 Ribera Del Duero]

2. Kirkland Signature Chateauneuf-du-Pape

This is another Kirkland favorite that we’ve been tasting and tracking back to the 2011 vintage. For those interested in this wine, check out the chart below for our full breakdown of each vintage. We’ve rated it as high as 93 points with the 2013 vintage and as low as 88 points with the 2014 vintage. Once you average them out, this one comes in at a respectable 90 points. Look for it in July. [2018 Kirkland Chateauneuf]

3. Kirkland Signature Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon

This one is always a gem, from another prominent area of Napa that produces wines I really gravitate to. The price over the years has crept up from $20 to $24, average rating from us is 89 points and we expect this wine to reach stores in September. [2018 Kirkland Stags Leap]

4. Kirkland Signature Chianti Classico

This wine is always a classic at a very good price that stays consistent every year at $8.49. Average rating of 88 points and target release month is April. [2017 Kirkland Chianti]

4. Kirkland Signature Ti Point Sauvignon Blanc

Kirkland Ti Point Sauvignon Blanc

Price dropped this year to only $6.99 (from $7.99); this remains a nice, fun summer pick, perfect for pools, beaches and hot days. Average score 88 points, target release month: April. [our review]

4. Kirkland Signature Sonoma Old Vine Zinfandel

Kirkland Sonoma Zinfandel

A solid pick every year with a consistent $9.99 price tag, this is a fun versatile Zin we’ve always enjoyed. Average rating is 88 points and target release month is March. [our review]

4. Kirkland Signature Brunello

Wide range of scores for the Kirkland Brunello over the years, ranging from 92 points for the amazing 2010 vintage to a low of 86 the following vintage (2011). The price has been creeping up too from $25 to its current $27. Expect to see it in warehouses in November. [2015 Kirkland Brunello]

4. Kirkland Signature Cotes du Rhone Villages

We’ve tasted five vintages of this Kirkland wine and it consistently over delivers for only $6.99. Stock up when you can, likely around the October time frame. Our average rating is 88 points. [our review]

4. Kirkland Signature Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Kirkland Columbia Valley Cabernet

We’ve only tasted two vintages of the Kirkland Columbia Valley Cab but rated both 88 points and this remains a strong buy for only $9. Look for this one to reach stores in August. [our review]

4. Kirkland Signature Rioja Reserva

Similar to the Kirkland Cotes du Rhone Villages, this Kirkland Rioja has remained at the ridiculously low price of $6.99 every year since we started tracking it in 2010. Average score of 88 points during that time. Look for it in April. [2015 Kirkland Rioja]

4. Kirkland Signature Premier Cru Chablis

We’ve reviewed three vintages of this wine and scored them 87 (2014), 88 (2016) points and (2018) 89 points. Price jumped over the years to from $15 to $20, so this one is a little bit of a moving target and we are curious where future vintages will fall. This is still a great price for Premier Cru Chablis so fingers crossed. Look for it in February. [2018 Kirkland Chablis]

Here is the full historical data I pulled to base these calculations on. This will also show the price increase/decrease year to year as well as the Kirkland wines we rated below 88 points, many of which are still very good buys. I did my best to approximate the target month, erring on the side of early rather later when it wasn’t clear with the data.​

Here’s a PDF download of the chart that some readers requested so they can save it to their phones.

WineVintageRatingPriceMonthAv RatingAv Release
Chianti Classico2017868.49Oct88April?
2016878.49April
 2015888.49June
 2014888.49April
 2013888.49March
Ti Point Sauv Blanc2019876.99April88April
 2014887.99May
Sonoma Old Vine Zin2017889.99April88March
 2015909.99January
 2013879.99March
Oakville Cabernet20189119.99Feb90Feb
20179019.99March
 20169018.99Feb
 20159118.99April
Barolo20159219.99March92March
Mendoza Malbec2019876.99Oct86Aug
2018876.99Feb
 2017856.99Sept
 2015866.99Aug
Willamette Pinot20178914.99Feb
Gigondas20188814.99Dec87Oct
20178614.99Feb
 20168814.99Oct
 20158714.99Sept
Brunello20158926.99Nov88Nov
20148826.99Nov
 20138826.99Nov
 20128724.99Oct
 20118624.99Sept
 20109224.99Jan
Stags Leap Cabernet20189123.99Sept90Sept
20178923.99Oct
 20168921.99Sept
 20148819.99Aug
 20139019.99Sept
Cotes du Rhone Villages2019896.99Nov88Oct
2018896.99Oct
 2017886.99Oct
 2016876.99Sept
 2015876.99Sept
 2013886.99Aug
Napa Red Blend20188610.99Oct86Oct
20168610.99Sept
 20158610.99Nov
 20148610.99April
 20128710.99Dec
Pinot Grigio Friuli2018885.99Sept86Aug
 2017855.99Aug
Columbia Valley Cabernet2018888.99Dec88Aug?
2017888.99Aug
 2016888.99Aug
Sancerre20199015.99Mar90March
Russian River Chardonnay20188712.99June87June
20178712.99July
 20168612.99June
 20158712.99Dec
 20148812.99May
 20138712.99June
Kirkland Boxed Cabernet20178412.99June
Carneros Pinot Noir2018899.99July89May
2017909.99May
 2016899.99August
Cotes de Provence Rose2019899.99May90April
2018898.99May
 2017909.49April
 2016908.99April
Rioja Reserva2015887.99July88April
2014886.99April
 2013886.99May
 2012876.99Feb
 2010886.99Jan
Premier Cru Chablis20188919.99Jan88Feb
20168817.99Feb
 20148714.99May
Bordeaux Superior2018857.99Jan86Jan
2016877.99Jan
 2015877.99Dec
Rutherford Cabernet20189218.99Dec91Dec
20168917.99Jan
Ribera del Duero20149013.99Dec90Dec
20129013.99Dec
 20119012.99Sept
Chateauneuf-Du-Pape20189020.99June90June
20169017.99July
 20158919.99May
 20148819.99Sept
 20139319.99May
 20129119.99July
 20119219.99July
Alexander Valley Cabernet2015879.99July86Oct
 2014879.99Aug
 2013869.99Oct
 2012838.99Oct
Toscana20148813.99April
Pauillac Bordeaux20159222.99Jan92Dec
 20149122.99Dec

​​If you’re interested in even more Kirkland wine reviews, view our full archive.

And don’t forget to sign up for our emails (2X/week) so you can be the first in the know on new Costco wine reviews. We value you as a subscriber and won’t share or spam ever.

Colleen

Tuesday 25th of May 2021

I’m new to Costcowines. Whose wine rating do they use for their wine ratings? I couldn’t find a citation. Thanks for your help!

Editor

Tuesday 25th of May 2021

Hi, Costco uses quite a few different critics on their placard signs that accompany the wines in store. That includes James Suckling, Decanter, wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast

John Jannis

Monday 19th of April 2021

Your Kirkland wines historic roundup is very useful and appreciated. However, it reflects a Costco wines imbalance (IMO), a much lesser emphasis on white wines. Here in SC the imbalance is not only in terms of whites vs. reds but that about three quarters of their white wine stock is west coast chardonnay, not a favorite in our house. This is a pretty extreme tilt and not one that I would have thought was conducive to max overall sales. Anyway, we are strong fans of their red wine selections and also the French chardonnays. I guess we will have to buy most of our whites elsewhere. Would like to have your thoughts on this.

Editor

Monday 19th of April 2021

Hi John, totally agree. The intro of the Kirkland Sancerre was a step in the right direction. I'd love to see some more Kirkland whites appear from Spain and Italy. Also a Kirkland Gruner Veltliner and Riesling would make really nice additions.

Richard Smit

Monday 19th of April 2021

What about Costco’s 10 year old Tawny Port??

David

Saturday 20th of March 2021

Hi Folks. I frequently look at the ratings of the wines and believe the gold standard is Wine Spectator. The others, i.e.. Wine Enthusiast, and others just don't seem credible/accurate to me. I'd love to hear my fellow wine drinkers opinions. Thank you David

Brian

Saturday 6th of June 2020

I have been looking how to chart these without creating my own spreadsheet to have available on my phone, and now have copied and paste into the spreadsheet, saved a tremendous amount of time and effort. Can you do this for your other reviews??

Comments are closed.