[Check out the review of the current vintage of this wine here: Kirkland Signature Rutherford Napa Valley Meritage 2011 - A Sure Thing!]
Costco delivers another knockout Kirkland Signature wine.
$13.99 at Costco.
The first question that comes to my mind is what exactly is a "Meritage" anyway? Meritage is basically a Bordeaux blend that's not from France. As I understand it, since the non-French growers (primarily California) couldn't use the Bordeaux label for their blends they made up their own label following similar standards. To get the Meritage (pronounced like "heritage") label, a winemaker must belong to the association and adhere to their standards which include only using the traditional Bordeaux varieties. For red Meritage those include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Carménère. How much of this is just marketing I'm not sure, but it certainly works for this wine.
From the bottle:
The Napa Valley, Rutherford AVA is known for its unique terroir of volcanic-influenced soil laced with gravel, sand, and loam. This classic Cabernet-dominated Meritage is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 12% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc from select Rutherford AVA vineyards. Drink now through 2014. 13.9% alcohol
"The rich, ripe, black fruit notes of black cherry jam and cassis are layered with integrated oak spice notes. A ripe acidity follows a seamless thread through this multidimensional wine as it displays the inviting notes of classic 'Rutherford Dust.'" Winemakers Marco DiGiulio & Zach Long
What's this? A wine that actually tastes exactly as the bottle describes? This may be a first, but it's true! We liked this wine a whole lot, with the cherry notes on the nose followed by a dry acidity and a great finish. Only 8,169 cases were made of this one so don't expect it to last long. Not quite a bulk buy due to the value rating, but if it lasts until our budget resets in April we'll be grabbing a couple more bottles for special occasions.
[Edit June 2012: After another year in the bottle, this wine is even better so I'm changing my original Taste Rating of 8 to a 9, which makes this a Bulk Buy!]
Overall Rating: 8.3
All ratings use a simple 10 point scale with 10 being the best. Find out more about my rating systemhere and check out the Interactive Wine Ranking to find all my reviews! You can sort by type of wine, cost, rating, etc. in the interactive spreadsheet.