- 2021 Kirkland Signature Chateauneuf-du-Pape ($19.69 @ Costco, California – Item #777662)
Among the “old world” offerings bottled under the Kirkland Signature name, this CdP is one of our perennial favorites. It has been around for over a decade, and is consistently good. It is a rare thing to find CdP wines for under $20, and this one delivers the goods nicely for this price point. It is not a massive, extracted version with intensely concentrated flavors. Those tend to come with stratospheric scores from the top critics, and prices to match. (Although the 93 points given the 2019 by Wine Enthusiast gives you some idea how good a value this wine tends to be. That said, I think this 2021 should be scored more in the 90-91 point range.) Think of this wine as your “everyday” Chateauneuf.
It hits it right down the middle, to use a baseball metaphor. Medium body, medium tannins, medium acidity and medium finish. But that doesn’t mean this is a simple wine. On the contrary, it is a very elegant wine that would pair well with a wide variety of foods. And we think this is one that would benefit from a year or two of cellar aging, if you can be that patient.
Snap some of this up next time you visit your local Costco.
Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the most famous wine region of the southern Rhone Valley. The wines come from the commune of the same name, which means “the new castle of the Pope.” That’s because in a time of great strife in the church, the Pope was sort of hiding out in France – and drinking lots of wine we think. The papal residence remains a popular tourist attraction there even today.
The wines grow on a soil that is a mixture of large quartz stones and sandy red clay. The quartz stones are known as “galet roules” and are the most recognizable feature of the Châteauneuf vineyards. The softball sized galets roules reflect sunlight upon the vines, having a warming effect. A wind, known as the Mistral, whips up through the valley from the Mediterranean Sea and has a cooling effect, but the region is nonetheless quite warm and very dry, which helps explain why these wines from the old world, have much in common – stylistically – to wines from the new world. They are often compared favorably to wines from California.
The Châteauneuf du-Pape appellation known for its bold Grenache-based red blends. Like past vintages, the mix of this one leads with 70% Grenache, rounded out by 10% of Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault. We have reviewed GSM wines here on these pages before, with the bonus of Cinsault, this one is a GSM+C!
A great bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape rouge bursts not only with rich raspberry and plummy fruit flavors. As it evolves, you’ll taste notes of dusted leather, game, and herbs. Wine geeks – and the actual French – call this herbal melange “garrigue,” after the region’s scrubland of sage, rosemary, and lavender. They are all here in this bottling. Again, not entirely dissimilar from the hillsides of California.
The 2021 vintage pours a medium ruby in the glass. It shows lovely red and dark fruit aromas with characteristic earthiness woven in. The wine is medium plus in body with good structure and flavors of dark cocoa, black pepper, bright berries, plum and anise. Nice balanced finish of baking spices, lavender and and black berry. One of our favorite reviews stated in a tasting “everyone preferred this to the other CdP we had…would have been rated higher if it didn’t have a Kirkland label.” Sad, but true.
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.
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