Is this Costco wine the Best $10 Pinot Noir in America?

Fast facts:

  • 2019 Kirkland Signature Pinot Noir, Carneros, Napa Valley, California ($9.99 @ Costco, California – Item #505074)

 

The back label of this bottle provides a pretty good introduction to this wine and the Carneros wine growing region as well:

The Carneros AVA is the first wine region in California to be defined by climate. The cool winds and almost-daily, cool fog combine to make this a top region for the production of Pinot Noir.

“Kirkland Signature” Carneros Pinot Noir is a classic blend of richness and elegance. The aromas of ripe cherry and rhubarb are counterbalanced by darker, black fruit and forest floor notes woven together with a hint of spice from French oak barrels.
-Alison Crowe, Winemaker

 

While agriculture in this region dates back to the 1800s, its history as a significant part of the California wine business is relatively modern.  The 1960s heralded a new wave of vineyard development begun by Beaulieu Vineyards and growers Rene diRosa of Winery Lake Vineyard, Ira Lee, and the Sangiacomo family.

 

Find it on a map:

Map of the "land bridge" spanning Sonoma and Napa Valley that is the Carneros AVA
Map of the “land bridge” spanning Sonoma and Napa Valleys that is the Carneros AVA

 

About the Carneros AVA:

The ground breaking for Carneros Creek Winery in 1972 signaled a new era of winery development in Carneros that continues today. The ’80s were marked by skyrocketing development as hundreds of acres of land were planted to vineyard. Today there are some 10,000 acres planted to wine grapes, with twice as many being on the Sonoma side of Carneros. As you can tell from the label, the 2019 Kirkland Signature Carneros Pinot Noir is from the Napa Valley side of the Carneros AVA.

One of the more interesting things about “Carneros” is that it actually is in both Napa and Sonoma counties. It received its AVA status in 1985.  Thanks to it’s cool to moderate climate variations, the Carneros AVA offers some of the most versatile wines in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys.  Beyond world class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the region is also known for crisp sparkling wines and in its warmer pockets, bold reds including Syrah and Merlot.

 

 

Front label of Kirkland Signature 2019 Carneros Pinot Noir from Costco.
Front label of Kirkland Signature 2019 Carneros Pinot Noir. You’d be hard pressed to find a Pinot this good for under $10 anywhere else.

 

Tasting Notes:

Pours a clear light ruby color.  Opens with pleasant classic Pinot Noir aromas of cherry, strawberry, cola and cinnamon. Restrained tannins and bright acidity. In the mouth the wine is medium bodied and follows through on the flavors promised at first whiff.  Lots of cherry cola, cherry and more cherry, strawberry, oak, spice and a hint of vanilla.  Finishes dry and long. The wine evolves really nicely after opening and pouring, so be patient and enjoy the ride.  This wine would pair well with the classic salmon pairing, but would also work with a wide range of foods including white meats, hard cheeses and simple pastas finished with olive oil, lemon and garlic.  It would also be a good match with all things roasted on the grill this 4th of July.

 

We have reviewed this wine twice before, and are grateful that the price remains locked in at $9.99.  You can find our review of the 2016 vintage here and the 2018 vintage here.  But I have to say that this is my favorite vintage ever.  This is a really solid example of the variety from a region known for expensive Pinot Noir. It is often difficult to find good bottlings for under $20, let alone $10. This wine pretty much knocks it out of the park. Stock up while it is still in stores.

 

Bottle and glass of Kirkland Signature 2019 Carneros Pinot Noir from Costco.
When the heat is on, but you’re Jonesing for a red wine, Pinot Noir is a great choice.

 

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.

 

Cheers!

 

 

 

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