Bottle and glass of 2020 Kirkland Signature Red Blend, Napa Valley, CA

Is This the Best $11 Red Wine in America?

Fast facts:

  • 2020 Kirkland Signature Red Blend, Napa Valley, CA ($10.99 @ Costco, California – Item #333110)


Ever heard of a “brand refresh?”

It’s a term I heard regularly in my three decades – and counting – in the wine trade.

It basically refers to a “facelift” when an existing wine brand gets a new look.  This makeover almost always includes the labels and foil.  It sometimes extends to the closure (cork or screw top?) and the style of the glass bottle.

It it meant to “refresh” the image of a tired brand.  It is also meant to suggest that the actual wine in said bottle may have been upgraded as well.  Sadly, that is often not the case.

However, in the case of this wine – one of our perennial favorites in the Kirkland Signature lineup – the new label seems to coincide with what is perhaps the best vintage of this wine we have ever tasted.


Front label of 2020 Kirkland Signature Red Blend, Napa Valley, CA
The new front label of 2020 Kirkland Signature Napa Red Blend portends good things, but does it deliver?


If this wine sounds familiar, it might be  because we also reviewed the 2016,  2018 and 2020 vintages as well.  We think this one is a point or two higher than those past vintages.  Critics agree and have awarded scores north of 90 points. Best of all, the wine is still just $10.99 at Costco. Get busy!

Tasting Notes:

Pours a nice deep reddish purple and opens with aromas of cherry, spice, vanilla, cola, savory herbs and a hint of sandalwood.  Smooth and silky in the mouth with full bodied flavors of black cherry, red berries, vanilla, and eucalyptus.  Nicely balanced and with good acidity. Elegant dry finish with fading notes of mocha.

From the back label: “a traditional bland of classical varietals which combine to create a finely nuanced wine from the well-drained gravelly looms and silt soils of Napa Valley. This blend has the concentrated notes of black cherry and cassis supported by silky tannins and the spice rack notes of oak and cedar finishing with the velvety notes of rich plum.” 


Bottle and glass of 2020 Kirkland Signature Red Blend, Napa Valley, CA
Bottle and glass of 2020 Kirkland Signature Red Blend, Napa Valley, CA – a whole lot of QPR @ $10.99


This wine is what is often referred to as a “Bordeaux Blend”.  Not because the juice comes from Bordeaux but because of the grapes that contribute to this blend.  Costco made it easy by listing them prominently on the back label: 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Sirah.  Hence if this wine were actually from Bordeaux, it would likely be from the “left bank” since the predominant variety is Cabernet Sauvignon.  (Wines from the right bank are Merlot- driven and yes, this will be on the test.)


If you’re headed to Costco soon yourself, you can find 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.

Have a good weekend.


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