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WTN: Cab Fare

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Jenise

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WTN: Cab Fare

by Jenise » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:46 pm

So for this month's neighborhood tasting, I followed up on a participant's suggestion that we test Kirkland (Costco) cabernet sauvignons against other name brands currently in stock. And though I've tasted a few good Kirkland wines, (no surprise) our tasting proved that you have to kiss a lot of frogs. We found no princes in this tasting. All wines were served blind.

First, a pair of chardonnays:

2015 Kestrel Chardonnay Old Vine Kestrel View Estate Vineyard Yakima Valley
Rich, apple-y, lemony chardonnay fruit without going tropical, good structure. Classy. The easy winner over:

2015 Kirkland Signature Chardonnay Signature Series Russian River Valley
Thin fruit, screechy acidity. No RR complexity/typicity. PASS.


Then came the reds, in which participants were asked to not only select their top three wines but also try to decide which wine tasted the cheapest (the $12 Kirkland North County):

2015 Kirkland Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Signature Series Oakville, $19
Thin fruit with accents of charred barrel and melted plastic. YUCK. Last place for most (though it did get 4 first place votes), and the one I was sure would turn out to be the cheapest wine. Wrong!

2015 Raymond Vineyard & Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Selection Napa Valley
Aromatic black cherry fruit with tobacco and graphite. Great mouthfeel, it just glides on the palate. Friendly enough for a PnP, but more complex and generous on Day Two. Excellent value for $30 at Costco. Took first place, and it was my favorite too.

2013 Sineann Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley
Big and bold, consistent with Sineann's fearless style and delivering the blackberry, tobacco and coffee of Columbia Valley fruit.

2014 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley
Major disagreement with the CT reviewer who called this Bordeaux-like. In fact, it's ultra-Californian, and though a good wine back in the 80's and early 90's, it's no longer Napa fruit and built in a lab these days to appeal to very specific preferences for ripe fruit, concentration and big oak. Popular with the group.

2013 Antica (Antinori) Cabernet Sauvignon Premiere Napa Valley
Savory style with lots of drying tannins. Tasted over three days and didn't find any interesting evolution, compelling Napa-esque qualities, or anything even remotely sexy.

2015 Kirkland North County Cabernet Sauvignon, $12
Reasonable on every level, and attractive. Took second place!!!!
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: WTN: Cab Fare

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:35 am

Thanks for the post but not much there for my palate. Pity...but Raymond sounds good.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: Cab Fare

by David M. Bueker » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:54 am

The Kirkland wines, by their very nature, generally need to appeal to the lowest common wine denominator. It's a rare bottling that is worth the time/money for an actual geek. Interesting tasting though.
Democracy dies in the darkness
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Re: WTN: Cab Fare

by Jenise » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:20 pm

Bob, nothing there for me either except the Raymond. But it served a purpose: first of all, it was suggested by a regular and it's good to indulge such suggestions. Secondly, I could buy ALL the wine three weeks in advance from one source, come home at midnight the night before from a two week trip away, and return any unopened bottles to the source should I have a lot of cancellations (I did). In terms of organizing, couldn't have been easier. There are also a lot of Costco fans among the regulars--good to dispel their notions that the Kirkland brand is a consistent value.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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