Two Cabernet Sauvignons from Napa Valley. One, a 2008. The other, a 2009. One comes from Costco while the challenger hails from Trader Joe's. Both are under $15, but which do we prefer? Read on...
First up is the 2008 Kirkland Signature Cabernet Sauvignon from Costco for $12.99.
This wine is actually a blend of 82.3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10.1% Merlot, and 7.6% Petit Verdot. From Costco:
The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes provide deep colors, as well as black currant-cassis notes with impeccable balance and grace, and layered aromas of blackberry with plum, all followed by complex flavors of dark fruit, cherry and cocoa. The Merlot introduces supple tannins and red fruit notes, which are highlighted by the deeper, brooding fruit of Petit Verdot. Careful maturation in French oak barrels add sweet, toasty notes.
The challenger is the 2009 Spiral Wines Cabernet Sauvignon from Trader Joe's for just $4.99.
From the bottle (which says absolutely nothing about the wine itself):
As humanity's oldest symbol the spiral represents eternal change, reminding us that life is not a straight line. It symbolizes new beginnings, renewal and hope for the future. Our wines are the celebration of our quest for growth and love for life.
Ummm...OK. A $5 bottle of wine with a cutesy label doesn't sound promising.
So how do they compare? Both wines were good, solid Cabernets especially for the price. The Kirkland Signature was a tad bit smoother, but I thought the Spiral Wines Cab actually offered a bit more depth, which is amazing considering it's only $4.99! The people at Trader Joe's told me this has been an incredibly popular wine and they have trouble keeping it in stock. I can see why, but I don't think this wine is quite worthy of Bulk Buy status.
The bottom line? Both wines are good, but not great. Our winner is the 2009 Spiral Wines Cabernet Sauvignon from Trader Joe's. The 2008 Kirkland Signature isn't inferior, it just doesn't offer anything over the Spiral Wines Cab that is only $4.99. That's almost three bottles for the price of one! Or one bottle plus a Papa Murphy's pizza because (to quote Gru from Despicable Me): "That's how I roll."