Bottle and glass of 2022 Lucien  Raimbault Pineau Exception, Sancerre - as good as it looks!

Costco’s Substitute Sancerre is a Nice Surprise

Fast Facts:

  • 2022 Lucien  Raimbault Pineau Exception, Sancerre, France ($16.99 @Costco in California – Item #1749206)


I’m feeling a bit like the forlorn Jack in a Box on the Island of Misfit Toys as it wails: “we might as well go to bed” when it believes that Santa isn’t coming for them. But then Rudolf saves the day with his nose so bright. Like Jack IB, I have been keeping a vigil for the Kirkland Signature Sancerre for months now.  It usually hits Costco stores in the Spring, but I have lost hope that we are going to see any this year.  Which is not entirely a surprise. After all, Sancerre has never been more popular.  And it wouldn’t surprise me if growers are hanging onto what wine they have vs. selling it to Costco.  It is interesting to note that this particular bottling is from the 2022 vintage (harvested less than a year ago) whereas the KS Sancerre that was in Costco stores last year was a 2020.  The time to market has gained some velocity, no doubt to satisfy demand.

The upper Loire Valley in France is known for two iconic wine growing sub-regions – Pouilly Fume, and Sancerre. Nearly all wine cultivated in these areas are from the Sauvignon Blanc variety. Crisp, appropriately acidic, and aromatic, these wines are an amazing experience on both the nose and palate. They also tend to be somewhat more expensive compared to Sauvignon Blancs from other regions in the world.


Front label of 2022 Lucien  Raimbault Pineau Exception, Sancerre
Front label of 2022 Lucien Raimbault Pineau Exception, Sancerre. Twice as expensive elsewhere.


Here is what the winemaker has to say about this wine: “… from vines planted on two types of soils: white soils and clots. We harvest when the maturity of the grapes is optimum. The harvest is then rapidly conducted to the press, where the extraction of the must is done with slowness and softness (pneumatic press). The juice is then placed in a thermo-regulated tank to constantly monitor and control a fermentation at low temperature. Very long and very sweet, this type of fermentation preserves maximum aromas. After aging on fine lees, each cuvée is assembled with meticulousness to obtain an excellent quality and a homogeneity of the whole production. Mouth feel is rich and round.”

Tasting Notes:

Pours a light straw color. Fine aromas of golden grasses, honey suckle and yellow apple. The palate reflects these notes and adds minerality, salinity and citrusy acid that zips across the tongue. Ideal as an aperitif. Pairs well seafood, salads, vegetarian dishes and goat cheese. Grilled goat cheese is transcendent, trust us. Just 12.5% ABV, it’s a good poolside sipper that won’t make you a poolside napper.


Need More Wine Picks from Costco – or Trader Joe’s Even?

If your wine shopping excursions land you in Costco, prepare by grazing our most recent reviews of Costco wines here in our Lucky 13 list.

And if your shopping finds you at Trader Joe’s, you can find our Lucky 13 list of TJ’s wine here.

Happy hunting.




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