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The Kirkland Signature Series Columbia Valley Red Wine 2021 is a $16.99 Costco exclusive. The grapes are sourced from high-end vineyards in the Walla Walla AVA, the Waluke Slope AVA, and the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. The blend is Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah.
The Kirkland Signature Series wines are unique. The concept is simple, have exceptional winemakers make wine using top-notch grapes and sell the wine at a bargain price. It is a concept that I can get behind.
The winemaker for the Kirkland Signature Series Columbia Valley Red Wine 2021 is Gilles Nicault, he is one of the stable of celebrated winemakers/owners of Long Shadows Winery which started as a project by the long-time head of Chateau Ste Michele. Where Chareau Ste Michele often produces very affordable wine, Long Shadows is a “spare no expense” winery.
Gilles’s current offering from LongShadows is the 2018 Chester-Kidder Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah blend which is currently $65 a bottle and is rated as a 94-point wine. The Kirkland offering is a 2021 vintage.
There is a reason these wines have a $50 price difference (aside from Costco’s pricing model), a wine that is a current 2018 vintage has more grape extraction and a more details oak barrel program. It took five years for the Chester-Kidder to come together due to more tannins and oak, among other things. Expensive wines are made in a different style than more affordable wines.
The Kirkland Signature Series Columbia Valley Red Wine 2021 is made to be a drink-it-now wine, but that does not mean that you can’t cellar it for a few years. It will probably still be excellent in 5 to 7 years, the winemaker designed the wine to be at its peak now. It is not a matter that one style is good and the other less than good. Both can be amazing, it is just a matter of style.
The back label mentions that Dolan and Weiss Cellars from Walla Walla “vinted and bottled” this wine. That indicates that they didn’t make the wine but may have aged and bottled the wine. I guess that they were more affordable to use than Long Shadow, which is important for Costco. The alcohol content is a ripe 14.9%.
The Kirkland Signature Series Columbia Valley Red Wine 2021 Tasting Notes
The color is inky black cherry almost more black than red. The nose is expensive, there is a quality oak spice scent that you do not often see in this price range, along with blackberry, roasted cashews, coffee brewing, exotic spice, tomato, strawberry, a savory note, and cherry. The nose is complex, I could find more but it is time to taste.
The Kirkland Signature Series Columbia Valley Red Wine 2021 is soft, but firm and fully engages your palate.
This Red Blend tastes like blackberry, licorice, and a shot of rough-edged spice, there are dusty tannins that are a welcome part of the flavor profile. The mid-palate offers ripe blueberry, orange zest, dark chocolate (not sweet), plum, tart cranberry, a salty/nutty sensation, and pomegranate. The acidity is balanced, the winemaker is French, and top French wines are always perfectly balanced.
- The Kirkland Signature Series Columbia Valley Red Wine 2021 is a wine you should try, most $16.99 wines do not taste like this.
- This is not a $65 wine selling for $17, but it is made with aplomb and style not typically found under $25.