The Kirkland Carneros Pinot Noir 2021 is a $9.99 Costco exclusive by winemaker Alison Crowe. Alison is the Director of Winemaking at Plata Wine Partners, which own 60 vineyards and farm 18,000 acres of grapes. They supply grapes for 34 of the top 30 wine companies and make their own wine brands. This seems to be the same wine company behind the Trader Joe’s Reserve Santa Barbara Chardonnay.
The Kirkland Carneros Pinot Noir 2021 is not mentioned on their website though I did notice several wines available at Trader Joe’s and Aldi featured on the brand page. Alison Crowe offers some tasting notes on the label’s side and says the wine was aged in French oak barrels.
Carneros is east of Oakland and just north of the San Pablo Bay and it is situated in both Sonoma and Napa, though most of the vineyards are on the Napa side. It is the cool Bay waters that allow Carneros to be known for growing both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Both of those grapes need cool temperatures to insure long, complete growing seasons.
The Kirkland Carneros Pinot Noir 2021 has 14.5% alcohol content which is a bit heavy for a Pinot Noir, 15 years ago 12.5% was common for Pinot Noir. Today a more ripe style is popular.
The Kirkland Carneros Pinot Noir 2021 Tasting Notes
The color is a clean, see-thru garnet red. The nose is ripe cherry, herbs, spices, mushroom, dries leaves, plum, and a savory note. The Kirkland Carneros Pinot Noir 2021 is silky smooth upfront with rich flavors and a little rustic on the mid-palate.
This Pinot Noir tastes like black cherry, a slap of spice, vanilla, herbs, and ripe plum. The mid-palate adds cigar tobacco, cranberry, orange zest, blueberry, and a rough-edged exotic spice.
The tannins stay out of the way and the acidity allows the flavors to fully unfold.
- The Kirkland Carneros Pinot Noir 2021 is an excellent ten-buck Pinot Noir.
- The 14.5% alcohol gives this Pinot a little heft to the body but does not overpower the wine.
- A real bargain at $9.99.