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I can’t remember where exactly, but I’ve heard this Black Tears Malbec from Tapiz discussed before and was always curious about it. I believe it might have be featured on some older podcasts I listened to, but can’t remember for sure.

This is probably the most expensive bottle of Malbec I’ve bought, maybe ever. Costco’s price was $38.99, which is well below the retail of around $50 which is what I saw this bottle going for most everywhere else I looked.

I knew I was getting a good price on it, but what I wanted to find out is whether the step up in price yielded the type of high quality wine you would expect. And this bottle turned out to be exactly what I hoped it would be – it’s a delicious wine deserving of its price tag, and it surprised me for what a Malbec could deliver.

Super dark, vampire-looking juice on the pour; spicy and peppery on the nose with dried dark fruit. Big, rich mouthfeel, lots going on, multi-layered; Dark juicy fruit, blackberry, blueberry, pomegranate, with spicy black cherry.

The finish is amazing; it’s dry and lasts forever. This is a pleasant wine all around, and it’s drinking really nice right now. It is clearly a step up from your average Malbec, and I was surprised and delighted the whole time we enjoyed this one. Nice wine, and a fantastic Costco price.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 93 points (a CostcoWineBlog Top Pick)

Costco item number: 689593

Purchased at Costco in: Atlanta, GA

Alc. 14.5%

The post 2013 Tapiz Black Tears Malbec appeared first on CostcoWineBlog.com.

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Until I opened this bottle, I hadn’t tasted The Stump Jump Shiraz in a few years. I remember always having enjoyed it in the past, and was thrilled to see Costco bring it in at only $7.99 which is not only a great price (retail almost double that), but it’s a heck of a good wine too.

d’Arenberg is a dependable producer that consistently kicks out great wines from the McLaren Vale region. Keep an eye out for some of their other bottlings, including a GSM blend (Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre), and they also make an interesting Riesling dominated white blend that I enjoyed.

For an $8 bottle there’s a lot going on here. A bit of perfume, and dried fruit on the nose; in the mouth, it’s tarty with dark fruit flavor, spicy cherry, plum, and hints of dark chocolate; finishes spicy and peppery as you expect from an Aussie Shiraz; a bit of lingering mint too.

Bargain hunters look no further. This is a very drinkable, and enjoyable bottle at a fantastic price. A perfect everyday drinker that will keep you interested on every taste. Plus 90 points from Wine Spectator. 89 from me.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 89 points

Costco item number: 475612

Purchased at Costco in: Atlanta, GA

Alc. 14.2%

The post 2016 d’Arenberg The Stump Jump Shiraz appeared first on CostcoWineBlog.com.

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So happy to see this bottle back in stock at Costco in the new ’17 vintage.  The ’15 vintage was really amazing for only $12.99 and I gave it 89 points last year.

The ’16 vintage scored huge among the critics so I’m bummed that one didn’t appear at my Costcos (Dunnuck 93; Wine Advocate 90-93; Suckling 92; Wine Spectator 90 points). 

The bottle just seems to pull down 90 points ratings like no other $13 bottle I’ve ever seen. It’s no wonder that this bottle makes frequent appearances on a number of “Best of” and “Best Value” lists.

And the wine really is that good, especially for those who like the big, dark Cabernets of Washington State.  The winemaker here is Charles Smith, who makes a number of popular WA State wines.  His K Syrah is absolutely spectacular, and on the budget side, his Ku Fu Girl Riesling is dynamite for $10.

Dark on the pour, thick and intimidating in the glass; nose brings fresh juicy berries, herbs and earth, leading into more dark fruit, blackberries, blueberries and chocolate notes; firm tannins with a lasting finish.  This is a wine you wouldn’t balk at paying twice as much for.

If you look elsewhere including online, this bottle is consistently in the $16-$18 range so Costco’s $13 price point is hard to beat.  If you already like Washington State reds, this is a no brainer. Stock up.  If you’re still feeling your way around the region (and you should because there’s a lot of value to be found like this), you can’t pass this bottle up. 

I liked it a touch more than I remember the ’15 so am going to pump it up a point to a well deserved 90 points.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 90 points

Costco item number: 1001782

Purchased at Costco in: Atlanta, GA

Alc. 14.5%

The post 2017 Wines of Substance Columbia Valley CS Cabernet Sauvignon appeared first on CostcoWineBlog.com.

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Here’s a really interesting bottle that showed up in my Costco and caught my eye.  It’s a wine from Spain’s premier Priorat region that is only $12.99 (most bottles from here are $30+).  So I was a bit skeptical but wanted to test it so I could report back to you what I found.

In short, this is an amazing buy.  Online the bottle ranges from $15-$22, so Costco’s price is pretty good.  And the wine inside is equally tasty, drinking really good right now with five-ish years of age on it.

This is not the big sexy Priorat bottle that you often find from this region (and pay for it too).  Instead this is a quality red blend at a great price.  It’s comprised of Garnatxa Negra (another name for Grenache), Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, aged for 10 months in French oak.  There are various percentage breakdowns of the varietal makeup online, but I couldn’t find a clear consensus among them.  I’m guessing very heavy on the Grenache and Carignan.

The wine needed a little air to come together so keep the swirling going.  The wine is light, almost see through on the pour, showing early signs of a little age around the edges.  The nose is an interesting combination of spices and wet rock.

The wine is medium plus in body with dried red and dark fruit flavors; spicy cherry, plum and blueberry, a dry finish that is super lasting.

Quite a remarkable value here for under $15; it’s kind of an outlier in a league of its own.  Wine Spectator went 90 points on this wine, and I’m pretty close, but think I’m going to come in just below at 89 points. For the money, this is probably one of the better Costco wine values of the past six to nine months.  It’s just not easy to find good quality juice priced this low.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 89 points

Costco item number: 1270833

Purchased at Costco in: Atlanta, GA

Alc. 14%

Also, if you haven’t already please consider checking out our new book about Spanish wine, Decoding Spanish Wine. We cover Priorat in detail as well as all the other major Spanish wine regions you need to know about. There’s so much value to find there, and we’ve tried our best to unlock it for you in this book. It would mean a lot for you to support me and this site. Thank you.

The post 2014 Grifoll Declara Predicat Priorat appeared first on CostcoWineBlog.com.

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What a steal for an excellent and perfectly balanced Russian River Chardonnay.  I loved this bottle.   It’s no surprise that Duckhorn is the brand behind it.

Costco’s price is $17.99.  Google it and it’s around $30 just about everywhere else (retail is $32).

Combined with solid 90 point ratings from all the critics, this is shaping up to be one of the better under $20 white wine buys I’ve come across from Costco this year.

The wine pours a golden bronze in the glass and offers citrus and stone fruit aromas on the nose along with hints of butterscotch and vanilla.

It’s medium in body, with apricot, peach and green apple flavor; very clean delivery of the fruit; not too much oak or butter; more Burgundian in style which I really like compared to the huge butter and oaky Chardonnays that seemed impossible to get away from for a while.

The finish brings subtle oak and vanilla notes, excellent mouthfeel.  This is a delicious wine, a versatile white, and one that I wish I always had on hand. Might have to pick a few more of these up for the summer months.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 90 points

Costco item number: 706605

Purchased at Costco in: Atlanta, GA

Alc. 14.1%

The post 2015 Migration Russian River Chardonnay appeared first on CostcoWineBlog.com.

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It’s been a little while since we’ve reviewed a Pinot Noir.  I guess it’s the chillier winter months making us gravitate towards the bigger reds, but this one stood out to me on my last trip to Costco for a few different reasons.

First, the price, which was $15.99.  I was pretty certain that I had seen it elsewhere for a lot more, and a quick online search indicated I was correct.  The wine is $22 at Wine.com and $25 at Total Wine.

I also noticed the 94 James Suckling score, which seemed a little high (as his scores tend to be in my opinion), so I was intrigued enough to want to give this bottle a shot and report back to you what I found.

In short, this is a nice little bottle of Sonoma Pinot.  It’s very light and subtle throughout, rather simple but remained interesting enough, particularly in the finish to win me over.

It’s medium in body, pretty unassuming in the glass and on the nose, but packs some good flavor in the mouth, a little of that cola/Dr Pepper with spicy cherry and raspberry; highlight is definitely the finish for me, which really sticks around.

You can drink this bottle with about anything; it’s super versatile.  Nothing super memorable for me here, but it’s a safe buy for most Pinot fans looking for something elegant and food friendly for under $20.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 88 points

Costco item number: 803486

Purchased at Costco in: Atlanta, GA

Alc. 13.8%

The post 2016 Martin Ray Pinot Noir Sonoma County appeared first on CostcoWineBlog.com.

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I noticed quite a few bottles of Zinfandel at my Costco on my last visit. Among those that were in stock are the fabulous Seghesio and the super budget friendly Artezin, which we need to review the current vintage of. But I ended up with the Cline Ancient Vines Zin to see what it was all about.

The price was $11.99 which is the same as the Artezin, and less than Seghesio which is around $20 at most Costcos. What attracted me to the Cline was the 91 point Wine Spectator score, and the fact that this bottle was #40 on Wine Spectator’s list of the Top 100 wines of 2018.

The wine was really fresh and juicy right on the pour, with aromatics of baking spice, clove and espresso. I picked up more dark fruit flavor than the notes I found from other reviewers; blueberry, blackberry, backed with vanilla. There’s a lot going on with this wine.

It’s huge in the mouth, youthful, and just coats the mouth and hangs on. I’d say it’s a big winner for hard core CA Zinfandel fans. I enjoyed the wine, and can see it’s appeal, but it was a bit big overall for my tastes; I prefer the subtleness and finesse that a wine like the Seghesio brings.

The wine has high alcohol at 15%, and it did seem to linger in the mouth after each drink. This is a wine to pair with BBQ, pork ribs or as we did, beef short ribs; spicy pasta or lamb would be a good choice too. The wine does good with a hearty meal to stand up to its size.

I’d like to see a little better price on this bottle from Costco. It’s available right around Costco’s $12 price tag from virtually everywhere else I looked. Still a nice wine for the money, but it’d be even better for under $10.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 88 points

Costco item number: 199145

Purchased at Costco in: Atlanta, GA

Alc. 15%

The post 2016 Cline Ancient Vines Contra Costa County Zinfandel appeared first on CostcoWineBlog.com.

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It’s finally here. We’ve been working on this one for a while now and I’m super pumped to finally put it out in the world and be able to share it with you.

Our new book “Decoding Spanish Wine: A Beginner’s Guide to the High Value, World Class Wines of Spain” is now available in print on Amazon. This is the follow up to our previous book, “Decoding Italian Wine.”

The goal with our wine books is to deliver tons of relevant info in the most easily digestible and fun to read way possible. I think we did it again with “Decoding Spanish Wine” and it would mean the world to me if you gave it a read and shared your feedback with me.

The book covers all the main grape varietals and wine regions in Spain along with information on vintages, classifications, top value picks (specific bottles to buy, some from Costco), how to read a Spanish wine label and wine and food pairing recommendations.

Spanish wine deliver some of the best values in the world right now in my opinion and we put all of our effort into creating a book that will help you take your Spanish wine drinking to the next level and find new awesome wines for great prices.

Clink the book cover below to check it out on Amazon. Thanks for your consideration, and thank you for following this site.

Andrew, Editor

The post Special Announcement: Decoding Spanish Wine Is Now Available appeared first on CostcoWineBlog.com.

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The Kirkland Oakville Cabernet is always a bottle we look forward to trying every year.  We’re coming right off the heels of reviewing the latest vintage of the Kirkland Rutherford Cabernet which is produced just up the road, and Erin went 89 points on that wine.

Last year, I went 91 points for the Oakville Cab and noted that it was probably one of the best vintages of the wine that I had tasted.

And this 2016 vintage is right there and another example of why it is so much fun buying wine at Costco.

Most Oakville Cabernet will run you $30-$40 and way up from there.  This one comes in under $20 and could easily pass for a wine that cost twice as much.

Note: our friends over at ILikeThisGrape just published a beautiful book called DRIVE THROUGH NAPA all about the appellations within Napa including Rutherford, Oakville, Stags, etc.  It’s a fun read and you can learn a ton for only $10.

Alright, let’s get into the wine.  On the nose is pomegranate, clove and spice; super juicy in the mouth, medium to full in body; flavors of dark fruit, blackberry, boysenberry, plum, notes of anise, a touch of mocha towards the finish which is super dry.

This is a very nice package throughout, true to its appellation and an excellent buy for the price. As we’ve noted in year’s past, the back of the label lists Glenn Hugo as the winemaker, who also produces Napa Cabernet for Girard. 

Napa Cab fans will find a lot to like here, especially at this price ($18.99).  I’m going 90 points, one point less than last year but one higher than we went on the Rutherford.  I think it’s a good place for this bottle.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 90 points

Costco item number: 866663, $18.99

Purchased at Costco in: Atlanta, GA

Alc. 14.9%

The post 2016 Kirkland Signature Oakville Napa Cabernet Sauvignon appeared first on CostcoWineBlog.com.

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This is one of those Costco wines you might want to stock up on if you see it.  Finding good quality reds from California in this price range gets harder and harder every year.  Yet, the Est 75 bottle from famed winemaker Tuck Beckstoffer lands at Costco for only $13.99.

It’s a $20 bottle almost everywhere else.  Last year, we saw the ’15 vintage on sale at Costco for $14.79 which was a great buy.  Now it’s back in the new ’17 vintage (I don’t believe I saw the ’16 at Costco) for even a bit less.

I instantly bought a few to hold on to as historically this wine has proven to be a winner.  We’ve reviewed two prior vintages, the 2015, and the 2011, both of which we scored 90 points.  I think this one is right there too, although maybe just a slight notch below in terms of quality; I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

The wine is produced from vineyards in Lake and Mendocino counties, similar to year’s past.  It’s big and bold, and super fresh right now; loads of red fruit, cherry, wild strawberry along with some black fruit and plum flavor; soft in the mouth with a little spice; a bit of mocha in the finish.

This a nice, young and juicy wine, certainly deserving of the 89 points I’m going on this vintage, and priced at only $14, it’s a real deal too.  I’d be surprised if these bottles don’t disappear from Costco shelves pretty fast.

CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 89 points

Costco item number: 241276

Purchased at Costco in: Atlanta, GA

Alc. 13.8%

The post 2017 Tuck Beckstoffer The Seventy Five Wine Company Est 75 Cabernet Sauvignon appeared first on CostcoWineBlog.com.

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