As I have become more and more in semi-retirement mode, I guess the concept of dialing down on expenses is becoming apparent. I seem to be going to wine shops with less frequency and that is not fun, but then there is a cellar full of wine, that must be addressed as well. I had mentioned some very popular priced wines that I saw mentioned in the Wine Spectator and since we needed some groceries and supplies, we went off to Costco. As an independent retailer almost my entire life, it is rather difficult to adjust to the big box stores and especially the concept of shopping online, as I enjoy the interaction of salespeople and the knowledge that I hope that I may glean from them. Then you might ask, why go to Costco? The two wines that I read about carried the Kirkland Signature label, and they can only mean Costco, and they have now become the largest wine seller in the United States of America.
I had to tag behind my Bride as she has the membership card and she knows her way around the store and would get aimlessly lost in the aisles. There were two wines that just caught my attention immediately and they were not the two wines that I had intended to get. The first bottle was Kirkland Signature Series Pauillac 2014. I did not expect to see the word Pauillac, like I would see Rioja or Chardonnay. When one goes down from the Bordeaux listing to a commune or village like Pauillac, you wonder if there are actually enough grapes to quench a behemoth order from Costco. I can appreciate a generic Chardonnay from California, but I was just baffled that such a small finite area could fulfill the demands, so I had to try it, just out of curiosity. Here was a nine-month aged French Oak blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Merlot, for the price of a popular priced wine.
The other wine that caught my attention was also from the same “Series.” I had to try a bottle of Kirkland Signature Series Brunello di Montalcino 2011 and it was priced in the low twenties and it has been years that I saw this type of wine priced like that. A Sangiovese wine that has to have a minimum of two years in oak, and at least three years in the bottle before being released, and this wine was aged for three years in oak, so yes, I was willing to try it. When I got home I had to do some research on these wines and they both had mixed reviews and I am wondering if it was based more on it being from Costco, which may have a built-in bias. After all, I can remember the same type of bias directed to California wines prior to 1976, so I will have to decide for myself. The funny thing is, that the two wines that we originally went in looking for, we didn’t get, but it gives me another reason to go back.