- 2020 Kirkland Signature Cabernet Sauvignon, Suscol Vineyard, Napa Valley, California ($17.99 @Costco in California – Item #1491800)
This is one of our favorites and we were delighted to see this just show up in our local Costco.
We have reviewed the 2018 and 2019 vintages and found this 2020 may be the best of the three. It is delightfully fragrant, balanced and restrained. In a word: elegant.
The packaging alone – and the information on the front of the bottle – sets the bar pretty high in terms of our expectations for this wine. It has a lot of the attributes that you would see on a bottle in a Napa Valley tasting room priced over $75. Sometimes well over.
For starters, the glass. It is an elegant silk-screened bottle. That is pretty rare at this price point and, if memory serves, it is the only one in the Kirkland Signature lineup. It is Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, after all. That is not exceptionally rare, but the fact that this is crafted entirely from a single vineyard (the esteemed Suscol Vineyard no less) gives it a lot of additional “street cred”. At least on my street…
Pours a deep red/violet in the glass and, in this case, in the decanter shown below. I found the nose more expressive than in past years, with notes of forest floor, dark red fruit and savory spice. In the mouth it is full and rich, with flavors of dark fruit, black and blue berries and notes of mocha. Nice acidity and spice on the lingering finish. This is a relatively young CabSauv, and while it is not required, I found it benefitted from decanting. It is more food friendly that many heavier Napa Cabs. It would pair well with red meats, hard cheeses and vegetarian fare if not too spicy.
In some respects, this is an atypical Napa Cabernet Sauvigon. But what is missing (or at least inconspicuous) we consider positive attributes. Absent are the high tannins and flavors imparted by lots of aging in new oak barrels. As we often state in these posts, a lot of the flavors that wine drinkers enjoy in their wines (especially in red wines) are flavors that actually come from oak. Think flavors of toast, vanilla, baking spices and not surprisingly: wood. In some respects, the fact that this wine is not a high tannin, over oaked palate-crusher makes it a better food wine. It lets more fruit expression shine through. One other thing that is missing in this wine? The ultra-high alcohol levels usually associated with high-end Napa Cabs. This one clocks in at “just” 14.5%. which balances nicely.
All things considered, this wine reminds me of Cabernet-based left bank wines from Bordeaux. That’s not a bad thing…
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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