Thursday, October 30, 2014

2013 Kirkland Signature Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

If you are Pinot Noir fan because you like a lighter, softer red wine, you will be disappointed in the 2013 Kirkland Signature Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.  This is a wine that grabs your attention immediately with a spicy, oak flavor with unexpected tannins.  This is not wine for the poolside to accompany fruit and cheese but is a wine to drink while enjoying a hearty beef dish.  The flavors of cherry and raspberry shine through to the long finish.  The wine has 14.2% alcohol.

Costco is selling this wine at $12.99.  This is a fair price, as long as you are not expecting a different style of Pinot Noir.

SC Wine Joe rating = 88 points

Monday, October 27, 2014

2012 Kirkland Signature Napa County Cabernet Sauvignon

Costco has recently introduced their 2012 Kirkland Signature Napa County Cabernet Sauvignon.  The 2011 vintage of this wine was generally disappointing, so I only purchased one bottle to give it a try.  Wow, was I surprised!  I have been writing about the superior 2012 vintage of red wines in Washington and California, and this 2012 is another that is far better than the 2011 last year. 

I only opened this bottle a few minutes ahead of the first sip.  It was already terrific.  The rich blackberry fruit is accompanied by a hint of chocolate.  There is some oak but it is not overpowering like last year.  The finish is long and pleasant.  30 minutes later, the wine was even better.  I will buy more on my next trip to Costco.  The $12.99 price is very reasonable for a Napa County Cabernet.

SC Wine Joe rating = 90 points

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Kirkland Signature Napa Valley Meritage 2011

Last December, I posted positive comments on the 2010 Kirkland Signature Napa Valley Meritage.  I liked the wine so much, that I saved a bottle in the wine fridge.  A few weeks ago, Costco began selling the 2011 version and I wanted to compare 2010 vintage to 2011 vintage.  We had a wine tasting with friends where we drank both wines.  Although the wines were a little different, half preferred the 2010 and half liked the 2011 better.  I had a slight preference for the 2010. 

The 2011 Napa Valley Meritage has less Merlot than 2010 and has added Petit Verdot.  The dominant flavor is black cherry with hints of oak.  The tannins are present but soft.  The $10.99 wine is very good and I will rate it the same as last year.

SC Wine Joe rating = 89

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2013 Rosa dell Olmo Barbera D' Asti

Barbera D' Asti is wine made from the Barbera grape in the provinces of Asti and Alexandria in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy.  To achieve the DOCG designation, the wine must contain at least 85% Barbera and be made by March 1 following the harvest.  It must have a minimum alcohol content of 11.5%.

Trader Joe's is now featuring Rosa Dell Olmo Barbera D' Asti which is made from 100% Barbera grapes and has an alcohol content of 13%.  The wine begins with flavors of cherry, strawberry and some hints of darker fruit.  It begins as an easy to drink, fruit forward wine but then it surprises with a long, dry finish.  You can pair this with roasts or red pasta and it is well worth trying at $5.99.  I think it will appeal to a wide range of wine drinkers.

SC Wine Joe rating = 88

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Earthstone 2013 Savignon Blanc Sonoma County

In June, I raved about the VINTJS Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc.  Now Trader Joe's has the 2013 Earthstone Savignon Blanc Sonoma County, which is very similar in style.  You will not find the grassy flavor of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc but you do get a dry citrusy, melon flavored wine with just a hint of lemon.  While, the current Fearless Flyer touts this as a match to roast chicken, I think you should keep at least one bottle to go with your Thanksgiving turkey.  The wine is said to come from sustainably farmed vineyards and has an alcohol content of 13.5%.  I liked the wine a lot and cannot believe it is only $4.99 at Trader Joes. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

VINTJS Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2012

It is always an adventure when I buy wine at Trader Joe's.  I have found incredible values and I have found wine that has no value except as part of my growing supply of wines to be added to the next pasta sauce.  VINTJS Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2012 falls somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.

VINTJS Old Vine Zinfandel apparently is produced for Trader Joe's by Delicato Family Vineyards.  This is the same company that produces Gnarly Head, Twisted, and several other brands of wine.  Trader Joe's defines "old vines" as being over 30 years old, although other zinfandel vineyards in Lodi have older vines.

I found the wine to have less fruit flavors than some other Lodi Zinfandels, and more oak and tannins than I prefer.  Paired with food, the wine can be enjoyable, but not outstanding.  The wine has 14.5% alcohol and costs $7.99.

I recommend that you instead try Trader Joe's Growers Reserve Zinfandel Paso Robles for $5.49.

SC Wine Joe rating = 87 points

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

2012 Joel Gott 815 California Cabernet Sauvignon

Joel Gott 815 Cabernet Sauvignon has been one of our favorites.  In December 2013, I wrote a post praising the 2011 vintage.  Since 2012 was a great wine growing year in California, with low rainfall, cool temperatures and a long harvest, I was anxious to try the 2012 vintage.  The new version certainly does not disappoint.  The wine contains grapes from Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Lodi, Lake County and Paso Robles.  The individual lots from each viticulture area are aged in oak for 12 months and then blended to achieve the desired flavor.  25% of the grapes are aged in new American oak and the resulting wine has an alcohol content of 13.9%.  The wine has flavors of blueberry, blackberry and cola with a long flavorful finish.  I think the 2012 wine is even better than 2011.  I purchased the wine at Costco for $12.99.

SC Wine Joe rating = 90 points.

Friday, October 3, 2014

CA' MOMI Rosso Di Napa 2013

Three Italian winemakers established the Ca' Momi winery in Napa.  The Rosso Di Napa is a red blend made in an Italian style utilizing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel and Petit Sirah.  The winery does not disclose the percentages of each grape. 

Since this is a 2013 vintage wine, it is young but quite flavorful.  I found it to be medium bodied with black cherry and blackberry flavors.  Oak is present but subdued.  The finish is long with soft tannins and the alcohol content is 13.5%.  I enjoyed the wine and have since bought some more.  Wine Enthusiast rated the wine at 88 points but I think it is a little better than that.  I found it at Costco for $8.79.

SC Wine Joe rating = 89 points.