- 2018 Santa Rita Secret Reserve Pinot Noir, Leyda Valley, Chile $5.99* (@Costco, California, Item# 1154159)
- 2019 Kirkland Signature Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina $6.99 (@Costco, California, Item# 1239144)
- 2019 Kirkland Signature Côtes du Rhône Villages, Rhône Valley, France $6.99 (@Costco; California – Item #: 887774)
*net price after $5 in store discount
If you’re like us, you need a bit of a breather from the wine and food orgy that is Thanksgiving. Even if it was, as it was for many of us, a smaller and quieter affair than in typical years.
While we catch our collective breaths in advance of the next round of December holidays, it’s a good time to return to wines (and since winter looms, red wines) that give our wallets a break. These three have an off the hook quality to price ratio (aka QPR) Heck, you can get all three for around $20.
- Santa Rita Secret Reserve Pinot Noir: Cherry cola with hint of tobacco on the nose. Tart and light at first sip. Flavour deepens nicely, with a tart berry finish. More Burgundian than American, in that the terroir is allowed to express itself and – at 13.5% ABV – it’s not overripe. (It improves after opening, be patient with it.)
- Kirkland Signature Malbec: Pours a nice dark purple. Dry, concentrated, fruity, and full bodied with firm tannins, and nice acidity. Ripe notes of blueberry, boysenberry, black cherry, and vanilla. Also 13.5%. A slight notch above prior vintages.
- Kirkland Signature Côtes du Rhône – Nice nose of plum and blackberry. Dry with medium tannins and acidity. Integrated flavors of plum, blackberry, oak and mocha. Possibly the best value of all the Kirkland Signature Wines, with the Malbec being a close second.
Living in the past…
If you have been faithfully following our posts for the past several years, you may recognize these three wines as prior vintages have been reviewed here before.
We reviewed the 2017 vintage of the Secret Reserve Pinot Noir.
We also reviewed the 2017 vintage of the Kirkland Signature Malbec – somehow we missed 2018.
And we also reviewed the prior vintage of the 2018 vintage of the Kirkland Signature Côtes du Rhône.
All three have been remarkable consistent from year to year, and all three are some of the best red wine values you will find at Costco right now. At least, we hope you can find some or all of them.
Score inflation is real IMHO…
As proof of their consistency, you will note from the photo below that critic James Suckling has ranked the three vintages between 2016-2018 as all over 90 points. We think that is a tad on the generous side, and we have noted before that Mr. Suckling’s scores always seem to be 2-3 points higher than our own. Nonetheless, whether you go with his 90 points or our 88 points, this is still a phenomenally good price for good Pinot Noir juice. Snap some up before Costco removes its $5 discount.
Suckling also bumped his score on the Malbec up to 92 points. Directionally I think he is right, and I would add the Malbec is more deserving of scores in and around 90 than the Pinot Noir, but what really matters is: what do you think? Sound off here in the comments section or on our Facebook page. Ditto if you have a wine you think we should consider.
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.
Stay safe and healthy everyone, we need you here in 2021.