Costco Champagne

Costco Champagne

Costco Champagne

If this is you’re very first visit to The Fermented Fruit then welcome and thanks for visiting! I hope you come back and visit often. If you’re one of my totally incredible regular readers though, then you probably know just how much I love both the Costco Wine Section as well as sparkling wine, especially Champagne!

Despite my profound love of Champagne, I can’t bring myself to regularly spend upwards of $40 on a bottle of bubbly; hence why I drink wines like the La Marca Prosecco, Lunetta Prosecco and Roederer Estate Brut more often. But sometimes you just want to drink real Champagne so today we’re tasting an affordable option that blends both my love of Costco and Champagne: Costco Champagne!

Costco Champagne

Appearance: Straw yellow with a persistent medium bead

Nose: Perfumed and focused and bright with apple, citrus and toasted baked bread.

On the palate: Medium to full bodied, a honeyed richness makes way to notes of toasted brioche, hazelnut and ginger. It finishes lively yet creamy with a hint of orange zest and spice.

Varietal Composition: 50 % Pinot Noir, 35% Pinot Meunier and 15% Chardonnay

Vintage: Non-Vintage

Origin: Vineyards located in Verzenay and Sezanne in Champagne, France

Value Rating:  5 / 5     

Where I got it: Costco in Arlington, Virginia

Price: $19.99

Score: 92

Should you buy? Yes! Costco Champagne is unbelievably good for the money!

Costco Champagne

Value Proposition - Costco Champagne

I must admit that I had tried the Costco Champagne a while back and it was not quite this good. It was still a pretty decent bottle for the money, but this lot of Costco Champagne is simply incredible for being under $20! With the holidays quickly approaching, I have been hunting for great sparklers that can be drunk with wreckless abandon that won’t also wreck your entire holiday budget and this definitely fits the bill.

If you’re wondering how Costco Champagne, at under $20, can really be this good then allow me to let you in on the wonders of buying wine at Costco. Costco has struck a deal directly with Manuel Janisson of Janisson & Fils, a well respected Champagne house producing distinctive wines in the Grand Cru villages of Verzenay and Sezanne. He leverages his experience and contacts to source grapes from top vineyards in Champagne at incredible prices.

Costco Champagne is also produced in the traditional and more expensive ‘Champagne Method’ whereby it undergoes it’s secondary fermentation in the bottle. In addition and surely adding to the Costco Champagne’s depth and complexity, it is aged on the less for three years before disgorgement. The result is Costco Champagne for less than half the price of the ubiquitous Veuve Clicquot.

So go ahead and try a bottle of Costco Champagne! If you’re concerned that your guests will be put off by the label, either cover the label (as is tradition anyway) with a cloth or napkin or pour the wine before serving them. Think of how much fun it could be challenging your guests to guess which great Champagne producer they are sampling today?

Costco Champagne

 


Grifone Primitivo

Grifone Primitivo

Grifone Primitivo

While checking out the incredible wine selections at Trader Joe’s I asked the knowledgeable wine specialist on staff what he thought were the absolute top values and the Grifone Primitivo was at the very top of the list. Out of hundreds of wines, the Grifone Primitivo topped the list you say? And so I had to try it myself…

Despite being called “A California Original, grown nowhere else” by wine writers in the late 1970’s , Primitivo, also known as Zinfandel, existed long before Zinfandel ever did in California. In fact, it’s origins can be traced to a single vine in the garden of an elderly lady’s Croatian Garden as early as the 15th century.

This particular example produced from old vines hails from Puglia in the ‘heel’ of southern Italy. But before you walk all over the Grifone Primitivo because of it’s modest under $5 price, let’s give it a shot…

Grifone Primitivo

Appearance: Medium garnet red

Nose: Sweet brambly red fruit, licorice, toasty oak and spice.

On the palate: Medium bodied and quite quaffable. There are notes of briary strawberries, raspberries and black cherries supported by toasty oak. While the fruit has a slight sweetness to it this finishes dry and spicy with lively acidity and just a touch of grittiness on the finish.

Varietal Composition: 100% Zinfandel

Vintage: 2012

Origin: Puglia, Italy

Value Rating:  4.75 / 5     

Where I got it: Trader Joes (Clarendon, Virginia)

Price: $4.99

Score: 85

Should you buy? Yes! While not perfect, at under $5 the Grifone Primitivo is pretty tasty and has real Zinfandel character.

Grifone Primitivo

Value Proposition - Grifone Primitivo

As is often widely accepted amongst wine lovers, having a fondness for good wine is not an inexpensive hobby. It is exceedingly rare to be able to find those bottles that are easy to find and won’t break the bank. It’s even less common to have the added convenience of being able to buy them at your local grocery and when they still manage to drink above their price point at full retail!

The Grifone Primitivo does just that. At $5 per bottle this Italian gem could easily stand up to several wines that cost $9 to $10. If it weren’t for the slightly gritty finish, this would have scored even higher. And while I don’t expect this to be an age-worthy wine, the finish could certainly mellow out with a bit more time in the bottle. Having said that, this still makes a great weeknight sipper or would serve you very well with a meal.

It’s easy to see why the Grifone Primitivo is one of the very top value wines in the Trader Joe’s Wine Section and it’s refreshing to know that if you know where to look, good wines can still be had on the cheap!


Guide to Trader Joes Wine Prices With Top Selections

An Informal Guide to Trader Joes Wine Prices

Top Picks – and- Current Selections

Trader Joes Wine Prices

Does Trader Joes come to mind when you think of places to shop for wine? Or do you instantly associate it with cheap bulk wine like the Charles Shaw ‘Two Buck Chuck’ which Trader Joes sells exclusively?

While Trader Joe’s may have forged their reputation in the wine marketplace with the success of ‘Two Buck Chuck’, things have certainly evolved from there. And while the ‘Two Buck Chuck’ is actually $3.29 now, there are lots of positive changes too. Trader Joes has become a compelling source for wine values sourced from prominent wine regions around the world. The breadth of their selection and the sheer number of wines priced in the $5 to $10 range is unmatched.

I have been Shopping for Wine at Costco for years and enjoying the excellent wine deals they have, but Trader Joes is still somewhat new to me and I look forward to exploring their portfolio more. Based on what I have seen, it seems that Costco is a better place for buying mid-level to high end commercial wines. These are great for gifts or celebrating.

Trader Joes seems to be a better place to shop for your weeknight wines or daily drinkers, when you want a nice bottle but the label needn’t impress and it shouldn’t be expensive. Trader’s is also a good place to shop when you’re not sure what you’re looking for or might need some assistance selecting a bottle. While I was checking out the Trader Joes Wine Section an enthusiastic and knowledgeable associate, Colin, gladly helped me navigate the copious selections. This is not something you’re going to find at Costco, and you don’t need a membership at Trader Joes!

So while it seems that Trader Joes is still primarily a source for value-oriented wines, their portfolio and quality has improved markedly. And they also offer a decent selection of mid-level wines and a few splurge wines as well, varying by location. They do not publish these selections so I hope you find the following Guide to Trader Joes Wine Prices With Top Selections helpful!

Traders

Champagne and Sparkling Wines – Trader Joes Wine Prices

  • Albero Brut Cava, $7.99
  • Bouvet Signature Brut, $12.99
  • Canella Bellini, $10.99
  • Charles de Fere Cuvee Jean Louis, $7.99
  • Charles de Marques Champagne, $19.99 - Recommended
  • Ernest Rapeneau Champagne 375ml, $10.99
  • Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava, Spain, $8.99
  • Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava, $8.99 - Recommended (Wine Spectator BEST VALUE)
  • Jaume Serra Cristalino Rose Cava, $8.99
  • Korbel Brut California Sparkling Wine, $8.99 – Recommended
  • La Granja 360 Brut Cava, $6.95
  • Louise d’ Estree Brut, $7.95
  • Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne, $49.99
  • Piper-Heidsieck Brut Cuvee, $45.99
  • R.S.V.P. Brut, $5.95
  • Schloss Biebrich Sekt, $5.49
  • Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc, $29.99 - Recommended
  • Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs, $29.99 - Recommended
  • Secco Cranberry, $4.99
  • Secco Frizzante, $4.99
  • Trader Joe’s Blanc de Blanc Brut, $5.99
  • Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne, $49.99
  • Vueve Clicquot Rose Champagne, $59.99

Domestic White Wine – Trader Joes Wine Prices

  • Blue Fin Riesling, $4.49
  • Bogle Sauvignon Blanc, $9.49
  • Charles Shaw Sauvignon Blanc, $3.29
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Pinot Gris, $9.99
  • Estancia Pinot Grigio, $10.99
  • Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc, $12.99
  • Francis Ford Coppola Sauvignon Blanc, $10.99
  • Green Fin Pinot Grigio, $4.99
  • Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc / Viognier, $14.99 - Recommended
  • Trader Joes Coastal Sauvignon Blanc, $4.99
  • Trader Joes Petite Reserve Viognier, $7.99
  • Venetian Moon Pinot Grigio, $5.99

Domestic Chardonnay – Trader Joes Wine Prices

  • Baron Herzog Kosher Chardonnay, $11.99
  • Black Mountain Vineyards Chardonnay, $6.99
  • Blue Fin Chardonnay, $4.49
  • BV Coastal Chardonnay, $8.99
  • Charles Shaw Chardonnay, $3.29
  • Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay, $12.99
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay, $8.99 - Recommended
  • Clos du Bois Chardonnay, $11.99
  • Dark Horse Chardonnay, $7.95
  • Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Chardonnay, $10.99
  • Green Fin Chardonnay, $4.99
  • Kendall Jackson Vintners Reserve Chardonnay, $12,99
  • Kunde Sonoma Chardonnay, $12.99 - Recommended
  • La Crema Chardonnay, $18.99
  • La Femme Liberte Chardonnay, $9.95
  • Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay, $15.99 - Recommended
  • Spiral Cellars Napa Valley Chardonnay, $7.99
  • Toasted Head Chardonnay, $10.99
  • Trader Joes Grand Reserve Chardonnay, $12.99

Sauvignon Blanc – Trader Joes Wine Prices

  • Charles Shaw Sauvignon Blanc, $3.29
  • Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, $9.99 - Recommended
  • Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, $13.99
  • Picton Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, $7.99
  • Sauvignon Republic Sauvignon Blanc Stellenbosch, $7.99
  • The Pass Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, $8.99 - Recommended

Trader Joes Wine Prices

 

 

 

 

 

French White Wine – Trader Joes Wine Prices

  • Attitude Sauvignon Blanc, $14.99
  • Blason de Bourgogne Macon Villages Chardonnay, $7.99
  • Caves des Perriers Pouilly Fume Sauvignon Blanc, $11.99
  • Chateau des Cleons Muscadet, $6.99
  • Famille Perrin Reserve Cotes du Rhone Reserve Blanc, $9.99
  • G. Chevalier Sauternes, $12.99
  • Jacques Bourguignon Chablis, $12.99
  • Laurent Reverdy Sancerre, $12.99
  • La Croix de Maunay Vouvray, $7.99
  • La Ferme Julien Blanc, $5.99
  • La Ferme Julien Rouge Rose, $5.99
  • Lacheteau Vouvray, $6.99
  • Les Portes de Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc, $6.99
  • Louis Jadot Macon Villages Chardonnay, $12.99 - Recommended
  • Louis Jadot Pouilly Fuisse Chardonnay, $21.99
  • Michel Leon Gewurztraminer, $9.99
  • Mouton Cadet Bordeaux Blanc, $8.99
  • Revelation Chardonnay, $5.99
  • Sauvignon de Seguin White Bordeaux, $6.99

Italian White Wine – Trader Joes Wine Prices

  • Banero Prosecco, $8.99
  • Cecilia Beretta Lugana, $9.99
  • Contadino Pinot Grigio, $5.99
  • Contadino Vivace Pinot Grigio, $5.99
  • Gavi Rosa dell’Olma Cortese, $7.99
  • Grifone Blance, $4.99
  • Grigio Luna Pinot Grigio, $5.99
  • Lambrusco Dell’Emilia Bianco, $4.99
  • Martellozzo Prosecco, $6.99
  • Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio, $7.99
  • Sara Bee Moscato, $5.99
  • Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, $20.99
  • Stella Pinot Grigio, $7.99
  • Villa Cerrina Chardonnay / Pinot Grigio, $4.99
  • Villa Sonia Pinot Grigio 1.5L, $5.99

French Red Wine – Trader Joes Wine Prices

  • Blason de Bourgogne Pinot Noir, $7.99
  • Caves du Fournalet Cotes du Rhone, $5.99
  • Chateau Citran Haut Medoc, $24.99
  • Chateau Haut Sorillon Bordeaux Superieur, $8.99
  • Chateau de la Riviere Fronsac, $15.99
  • Chateau Greysac Medoc, $19.99 - Recommended
  • Chateau Labrousse Blay Cotes de Bordeaux, $8.99
  • Chateau Langlade Medoc, $8.99
  • Chateau Poyanne Bordeaux Cotes de Bourg, $5.99
  • Chateau Roudier Saint Emilion, $12.99
  • Chateau de Seguin Prestige, $10.99
  • Clos La Gaffeliere Saint Emilion Grand Cru, $24.99 - Recommended
  • Domaine Sainte Croix Syrah / Merlot, $4.99
  • Laurent Dublanc Cotes du Rhone, $6.99
  • Le Dauphin d’ Olivier Grand Vin de Graves, $19.99
  • Le Fiarre du Pape Chateuneuf du Pape, $19.99
  • Les Portes de Bordeaux Fronsac, $9.99
  • Les Portes de Bordeaux Haut Medoc, $6.99
  • Les Portes de Bordeaux Montagne Saint Emilion, $9.99
  • Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages, $10.99
  • Louis Latour Marsannay, $18.99
  • Mouton Cadet Rouge, $8.49 - Recommended
  • Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve, $9.99
  • Revelation Cabernet / Merlot, $5.99
  • Valreas Cotes du Rhone, $6.49

Trader Joes Wine

Italian Red Wine – Trader Joes Wine Prices

  • Banfi Chianti Classico, $14.99
  • Barren & Rovati Barbaresco Riserva, $20.99
  • Barren & Rovati Barolo, $19.99
  • Casa Rossa Rosso, $7.99
  • D’Aquino Brunello di Montalcino, $19.99
  • D’Aquino Chianti DOCG, $4.99
  • D’Aquino Chianti, $9.99
  • Davinci Chianti, $10.99
  • Epicuro Nero D’Avola, $5.99
  • Epicuro Salice Sentino, $5.99
  • Grifone 1967 Toscana Rossa, $5.99
  • Grifone Chianti Riserva, $5.99
  • Grifone Primitivo Puglia, $4.99 - Recommended
  • Grifone Sangiovese, $4.99
  • Il Tarocco Chianti Classico, $9.99
  • Incanto Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, $10.99
  • Incanto Chianti Classico Riserva, $10.99
  • Piccini Chianti, $8.99
  • Reggiano Lambrusco Rosso Dulce, $4.99
  • Rocca dell’Olmo Barolo, $14.99
  • Ruggero di Tasso, $4.99
  • Tommolo Montepulciano Organic, $5.99
  • Trentatre Rosso, $6.99 - Recommended
  • Villa Cerrina Montepulciano, $4.99

Cabernet Sauvignon (Domestic) – Trader Joes Wine Prices

  • Badger Mountain Organic Cabernet, $13.99
  • Baron Herzog Paso Robles Cabernet, $11.99
  • Beringer Cabernet, $7.99
  • Blackstone Cabernet, $8.99
  • Bogle Cabernet, $9.99
  • Bonterra Organic Cabernet, $11.99
  • Caretaker Cabernet, $9.99
  • Caymus 2012 40th Anniversary Cabernet, $59.99 -Recommended
  • Chateau St. Jean Cabernet, $12.99
  • Columbia Crest Two Vines Cabernet, $7.99
  • Dark Horse Cabernet, $7.99
  • Green Fin Cabernet, $4.99
  • Liberte Cabernet Paso Robles, $9.99
  • Louis Martini Sonoma Cabernet, $13.99 - Recommended
  • Overlake Cabernet, $8.99
  • Raymond Hill Cabernet 1.5L, $7.99
  • Ravenswood Cabernet, $9.99
  • Rex Goliath Cabernet, $5.49
  • Robert Hall Cabernet Paso Robles, $17.99
  • Spiral Cellars Cabernet Napa Valley, $9.99
  • Trader Joes Grand Reserve Yountville Cabernet, $12.99
  • Velvet Moon Cabernet, $5.99

Red Blends (Domestic) – Trader Joes Wine Prices

  • Apothic Red, $9.99
  • Cocobon Red Blend, $6.99 – Recommended
  • Dark Horse Red Blend, $7.99
  • Dearly Beloved I Thee Red Blend, $7.99
  • Estancia Meritage Paso Robles, $21.99
  • Green Fin, $3.99
  • Francis Ford Coppola Claret, $14.99
  • Menage a Trois, $8.99 - Recommended
  • Toasted Head Untamed Red, $10.99
  • Trader Joes Alexander Valley Reserve Red Blend, $10.99
  • Trader Joes Grand Reserve Napa Valley Meritage, $12.99
  • Trader Joes Dry Creek Valley GSM Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre, $9.99
  • Trader Joes Mendocino County Barbera, $10.99
  • Trader Joes Reserve Meritage Paso Robles, $9.99
  • Tres Pinos Cuvee, $5.99
  • Tribunal Red Blend, $9.99

Trader Joes Wine Prices

Pinot Noir (Domestic)Trader Joes Wine Prices

  • A to Z Pinot Noir, $18.99
  • Beringer Pinot Noir, $7.99
  • Black Mountain Vineyard Pinot Noir, $6.99
  • Blackstone Pinot Noir, $8.99
  • Blue Fin Pinot Noir, $4.99
  • Bogle Pinot Noir, $10.99
  • Caretaker Central Coast Pinot Noir, $9.99
  • Chateau St. Jean Pinot Noir, $11.99
  • Coppola Diamond Collection Pinot Noir, $15.99
  • Deloach Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, $20.99 - Recommended
  • Echelon Pinot Noir, $7.99
  • Erath Pinot Noir, $18.99
  • Estancia Pinot Noir, $12.99
  • Kings Ridge Pinot Noir, $14.99
  • La Crema Pinot Noir, $21.99
  • Pepperwood Grove Pinot Noir, $5.99
  • Raymond Hill Pinot Noir 1.5L, $7.99
  • Rex Goliath Pinot Noir, $5.49
  • Trader Joes Growers Reserve Pinot Noir, $6.99
  • Trader Joes Reserve Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir, $9.99
  • Vintjs Wilamette Valley Pinot Noir, $8.99
  • Wild Horse Pinot Noir, $15.99

Merlot (Domestic)Trader Joes Wine Prices

  • Alexander & Fitch Merlot, $6.99
  • Blackstone Merlot, $8.99
  • Black Mountain Vineyard Merlot, $6.99
  • Blue Fin Merlot, $4.99
  • Bogle Merlot, $8.99
  • BV Coastal Merlot, $8.99
  • Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Merlot, $12.99
  • Napa River Merlot, $5.99
  • Purple Moon Merlot, $5.99
  • Red Diamond Merlot, $8.99
  • Trader Joes Coastal Merlot, $4.99
  • Trader Joes Growers Reserve Merlot, $4.99

Zinfandel (Domestic)Trader Joes Wine Prices

  • Baron Herzog Zinfandel, $11.99
  • Bogle Zinfandel, $9.99
  • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel, $16.99
  • Cline Zinfandel, $10.99
  • Francis Ford Coppola Red Label Zinfandel, $10.99
  • Old Moon Zinfandel, $5.99
  • Peachy Canyon Zinfandel, $12.99
  • Rosenblum Vintners Cuvee Zinfandel, $9.99
  • Stonehedge Zinfandel, $9.99
  • Trader Joes Russian River Zinfandel, $9.99
  • Truant Old Vine Zinfandel, $10.99
  • Vintjs Zinfandel, $7.99

Argentinian Wines – Trader Joes Wine Prices

  • Alamos Malbec, $8.99
  • Gascon Malbec, $12.99
  • La Finca Cabernet
  • La Finca Malbec, $4.49 - Recommended
  • La Finca Tempranillo, $4.49
  • Los Vascos Cabernet, $9.49
  • Norton Malbec, $8.99
  • Romance Red, $7.99
  • Smoking Loon Cabernet, $7.99
  • Smoking Loon Pinot Noir, $7.99

Chilean Wines – Trader Joes Wine Prices

  • Panilonco Chardonnay / Viognier Blend, $4.99
  • Panilonco Merlot / Malbec Blend, $4.99
  • Santa Rita Cabernet, $10.99
  • Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc, $8.99
  • Vinas Chilenas Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot, & Sauvignon Blanc, $4.49

Spanish Wines – Trader Joes Wine Prices

  • Albero Organic Bobal Rose, $5.99
  • Albero Organic Monastrell, $6.99
  • Albero Organic Tempranillo, $5.99
  • Encuentro Bobal, $6.99
  • La Granja 360 Tempranillo, $3.99
  • La Granja 360 Garnacha / Tempranillo Blend, $4.99
  • La Mano Mencia Roble, $5.99
  • Marques de Caceres Rioja, $8.99
  • Marques de Caceres Rioja Crianza, $13.99
  • Marques de Riscal Reserva Rioja, $19.99
  • Monte Ducay Reserva Red Blend, $6.99
  • Terrenal Chardonnay, $4.99
  • Terrenal Tempranillo, $4.99

Other Wines – Trader Joes Wine Prices

  • Espiral Vinho Verde, $4.99 - Recommended
  • Espiral Vinho Rose, $4.99
  • Lazy Bones Cabernet Franc, $6.99
  • Nurnberger Gluhwein ‘Glow Wine’, $5.99 - Recommended
  • Trader Joes Grand Reserve Petite Sirah, $5.49

Guide to Wine Tasting Room Tips and Etiquette

Ridge Tasting Room Lytton Springs

So you’re thinking of doing some wine tasting? There aren’t many more enjoyable ways to discover new wines to enjoy. So whether it’s your first wine tasting experience, or you’re a veritable connoisseur I hope that you find these tips to be helpful, whether you’re wine tasting in Napa Valley, CA or Charlottesville, VA.

Before you go - Guide to Wine Tasting Room Tips and Etiquette

  • Have a game plan. Some wineries require appointments, while others are perfectly happy with walk-in visits. It helps to have an idea of where you might want to visit and to have mapped out locations. Some wineries in Napa are nearly an hour apart, for example.
  • Dress the part: No, I’m not talking about wearing a suit, but casual sophistication goes a long way.
  • If you just want to get drunk, shots are probably a better bet.
  • Transportation: If you’re planning to visit more than a few tasting rooms and not utilizing the dump bucket, consider a designated driver or hiring a town car/tour guide.
  • Think about lunch ahead of time. It can be really fun to find a bottle you love, purchase it at the winery and then enjoy it there with a pre-packed picnic. Some wineries offer small bites for purchase while some serve 5 course lunches with wine pairings…
  • Tasting fees range from complimentary to very expensive. I recently heard of a winery that charges $500 for its wine tasting. In my opinion a tasting serves the purpose of introducing a customer to a winery’s offerings, and thus if a purchase is made it should be waived however this is not always the case. It’s best to visit the winery’s website to see what their policy is.
  • In my experience when a winery advertises “Complimentary Tastings” the wines either sell themselves, or they are accompanied by a hard sell.

Ramey Wine Tasting

While Tasting - Guide to Wine Tasting Room Tips and Etiquette

  • Don’t be afraid to try strange sounding wines/wine varietals. You might be pleasantly surprised!
  • Tasting room staff can be a wealth of knowledge regarding not just the wine they are pouring, but about other wineries and restaurants in the area. If you’re polite and friendly, you might just get some great insider tips.
  • Speaking of the tasting room staff… try to avoid treating them like bartenders! This happens more often than you might think…
  • There should be a ‘Spittoon’, or dump-bucket on the tasting bar. It is perfectly acceptable to taste and then spit the wine out into the spittoon. If you don’t like the wine, don’t hesitate to pour the rest into the spittoon. The staff won’t be offended!
  • If you don’t like the wine, it’s best not to bash it, especially in front of those pouring it. It’s likely that a lot of hard work went into producing it, not to mention how many innocent grapes were sacrificed.
  • Often a winery will allow you to share a tasting. Just ask, especially if you would like to taste but are concerned about the cost of the tasting.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for another pour of a wine, especially if you’re considering making a purchase.

Jamieson Ranch Tasting Menu

As you leave - Guide to Wine Tasting Room Tips and Etiquette

  • If you like a wine, by all means buy it! You will likely regret it later if you don’t, especially if that wine is a winery only release or is not distributed. It doesn’t hurt to as if this is the case. Having said that – if the wine is well distributed, there is a good chance that you will be able to find it less expensively at a retailer. It might seem counter-intuitive, but wine is always more expensive right at the source!
  • You will likely be asked if you would like to join The Wine Club. The costs as well as the details of each wine club vary greatly from winery to winery. My recommendation is to read the fine print and only join a wine club if you really enjoyed the wines; don’t sign up because you felt obligated or pressured to do so. Selling wine club memberships is very important to many wineries and they often reward members with great perks such as free tastings, discounts on additional wine purchases and even great parties.
  • It never hurts to tip the tasting room employee who helped you, especially if he or she was especially informative or helpful.
  • Last but not least, don’t take the wine tasting experience too seriously! If you’re not enjoying yourself, you’re either doing something wrong or you might not like wine!

 


A Taste of Ramey Wine Cellars

Ramey Wine Cellars

How does the saying go? When in Rome, do as the Roman’s do? Well if I may suggest than when you find yourself in the fantastic town of Healdsburg, California that you do make a visit to Ramey Wine Cellars. Located in Sonoma County, Ramey Wine Cellars was founded in 1996 by David and Carla Ramey.

Before founding Ramey Wine Cellars, David forged his wine-making talents and experience first at Petrus after earning his Master of Science in Enology from UC Davis in 1979. From there, he took his first job stateside under Zelma Long at Simi and then took over for Mary Edwards at Matanzas Creek. While at Matanzas Creek David pioneering the now industry-wide practice of whole cluster pressing for Chardonnay. From there he went on to work at Dominus Estate.

While at Dominus, David took on a bit of a side project when he contracted with Larry Hyde, whom he had known for years, for a parcel of Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay that was part of the Mumm Vineyard block that hadn’t been harvested that year.

Ever since then, David Ramey has been known for producing both Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon of great distinction. In addition to producing an extensive, well-crafted portfolio under his own label he now consults with many brands, including several Bill Foley properties.

Ramey Wine Tasting I had the pleasure of tasting with Alexandra O’Gorman, Director of Communications for Ramey Wine Cellars. Her knowledge was as extensive as it was passionate and she was quite an impressive brand ambassador, without even a touch of salesmanship showing through.

The current tasting room is located in a well appointed room in the winery’s downtown processing center and the wines poured are well worth the modest tasting tariff of $25 – appointments are kindly requested.

For those that might find this location somewhat less desirable than other idyllic wineries locations alas: Ramey has just recently purchased 74 acres in the Russian River Valley in a beautiful riverside setting. Not only will it yield excellent Russian River fruit, but there will be a tasting room befitting the quality of the wines. Speaking of the wine…

Our QuickNotes on what we tasted:

Ramey Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2012

Ramey Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2012 ($40): Bright and clean with apple and pear notes. This is flinty and mineral rich with great acidity. Very much like a French Chablis, this would pair incredibly well with shellfish. It’s nice to see this style coming out of California and it might surprise some regular California Chardonnay drinkers. This could easily become my go-to white for a lunch/dinner white option.

Ramey Russian River Chardonnay 2012

Ramey Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2012 ($40): Just a bit richer than the Sonoma Coast Chardonnay this reveals a creamier texture and notes of lemon curd, lychee and nutmeg spice. Very balanced with great acid profile. Alexandra suggested that this would pair well with a sugar-free apple tart and it simply sounded like an amazing pairing.

Ramey Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard Russian River Valley 2011

Ramey Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard Russian River Valley 2011 ($60): Sourced from a well-respected vineyard in the heart of Russian River valley rich in volcanic soil. This was the most round and tropical yet with sweet guava, orange zest and spice notes. This was interesting and complex and I could have easily enjoyed this to sip alone or with a rich meal.

Ramey Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard Carneros Napa Valley 2011

Ramey Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard Carneros Napa Valley 2011 ($60): The darkest in color appearing a medium honey-gold, David Ramey believes this is the most floral example of Chardonnay he produces. The nose reveals notes of honeysuckle and lemon curd. This is the richest and creamiest Chardonnay, yet it maintains excellent balance with a good mineral component. Think of this as your well crafted fireside winter white.

Ramey Syrah Sonoma Coast 2012Ramey Syrah Sonoma Coast 2012 ($40): The fruit for the Syrah is sourced from vineyards that get a lot of cooling fog and and is fermented in tank with 75% destemmed fruit and 25% whole Syrah clusters, which contributes to the color and flavor of the final wine. This was quite dark in the glass and revealed cool blueberries, blackberries, and a great roasted meat quality. This was quite balanced and not ‘hot’ as I find some overripe Syrah’s to be. It finished with some grippy tannin. An interesting wine that I’d like to taste in a few years to see how it has evolved.

Ramey Claret Napa Valley 2012

Ramey Claret Napa Valley 2012 ($40): Softer and more approachable, the 2012 Claret is a Bordeaux blend consisting of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 2% Malbec, 2% Syrah, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. This has a nicely floral nose and the palate reveals plums, blueberry, blackberry, and a bit of black pepper. The mouthfeel is plush and velvety.

Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2012

Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2012 ($60): Produced from fruit sourced from 45% St. Helena, 16% Napa Valley, 15% Oakville, 10% Mt. Veeder, 6% Diamond Mountain, 4% Rutherford and 4% Oak Knoll. This is 85% Cabernet and finished with small amounts of Merlot (7%), Malbec (%5) and Petite Verdot (%3). This is a good dark ruby in the glass and reveals notes of dried cherry, black currant, blackberry, underbrush, a bit of smoke and tobacco. The fruit is sweet, ripe and juicy yet it finishes pleasantly dry. A very nice Cabernet Sauvignon.

Ramey Annum Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Ramey Annum Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 ($100): This excellent Cabernet finished with 25% Cabernet Franc is produced from hillside fruit and proves that great wines were produced from the cooler 2011 vintage. This reveals pretty beautiful high-toned red fruit on the nose, perhaps from the Cab Franc. The palate evolves with burnt cherry, cassis, blackberries, and toasted spices including cardamon. This has terrific length, texture, concentration, structure and balance. In my experience Cab’s produced from hillside fruit aren’t this drinkable in their youth but in this case this is drinking beautifully, and also has many years of life ahead of it. This is a 94 pointer for me.

Ramey Larkmead Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Ramey Larkmead Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2006: Generously pulled from Ramey’s extensive wine library, the Larkmead Vineyard is located in Calistoga. This Cabernet was surprisingly youthful in both appearance and flavor profile for it’s 8 years of age. A beautiful, classic expression of Cabernet, it revealed notes of juicy ripe blueberry, black currant, wild blackberry, tobacco, and bakers chocolate. The finish was spicy and quite lengthy with deliciously dusty tannin. A 95 pointer for me.

Ramey Wine Cellars Tasting Room

Ramey Wine Cellars – A Must Visit Winery in Healdsburg, California

With each taste it was easy to see how David Ramey has forged such an impeccable reputation within his industry. As a whole, the wines were polished and complex while exuding both impeccable balance and structure.

Far too often, Chardonnay and Cabernet can either be over-ripe, over-extracted or too lean, acidic or uninteresting. This was not the case at Ramey Wine Cellars and I sincerely look forward to tasting new vintages in the new tasting room when it is ready. To schedule a visit, Click Here.

Fortunately though, if you are unable to make it to Healdsburg to taste then you’re in luck: 80% of Ramey’s impressive 40,000 case production is distributed. That means that you can likely find his wines at your favorite, restaurant or local wine shop, and I recommend that you give them a try. I think you’ll be impressed with the fruit of this entirely family owned operation.


Jamieson Ranch Vineyards Review

Jamieson Ranch Vineyards

Wine lovers making their way to Napa Valley owe it to to themselves to make Jamieson Ranch Vineyards their first stop as they make their way north into wine country from San Francisco International Airport.

As the southernmost winery in Napa Valley, this impressive 300 acre estate has 100 organically farmed acres planted to vine which benefit from the cooling effects of the nearby San Pablo Bay. Varietals grown on their estate include: Viognier, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The fruit for their Cabernet Sauvignon offerings is sourced from other sites in Napa Valley.
Jamieson Ranch Vineyards

As you make your way up the majestic tree lined driveway you’ll see the estate’s Viognier plantings along with this quirky sign pointing out that Jamieson Ranch Vineyards has a population of 63,471 vines. This fun fact sets the mood for the no nonsense laid back western setting which you’re about to encounter.

Formerly known as Kirkland Ranch Winery, Valley Gate Vineyards and most recently Reata Winery (Reata translates to Lariat in Spanish, hence the Spanish/Western aesthetic), the winery had undergone some cash-flow and wine quality challenges in the past. But big changes have taken place and its far more than just a simple re-branding of the winery.

Jamieson Ranch Vineyards is excelling under the leadership of it’s new president Bill Leigon who was the visionary behind the Hahn Family Estates mega-brand. The new winemaker Juan Jose Verdina actually served as assistant winemaker under Bill Leigon at Hahn Family Estates and Mr. Leigon believes that his talent and experience will be a tremendous asset to Jamieson Ranch. Combine this with a new executive culinary team and it’s easy to see why Jamieson Ranch Vineyards is finally hitting it’s stride.Jamieson Vineyards Entrance

Conveniently located off of Highway 12 and not far from where it intersects with Highway 29, there is ample parking and likely to be less of a crowd than you might find at other Napa Valley Wineries. Surprisingly there was no road noise as the serene setting is set high up and just far enough back from HWY 12. Some fun facts about the winery:

  • There are actually 60,000 honey bees on the estate which provide honey for the spacious 3,000 square foot tasting room.
  • The vineyards are farmed entirely organic!
  • Spacious terraces afford sweeping views of Napa Valley where you can enjoy a seated tasting in an alfresco setting. They even have cozy heat lamps for those crisp Northern California days.
  • Three of their wines are available on tap: The Carneros Chardonnay, Three County Pinot Noir and the Double Lariat Cabernet.
  • The winery decided to keep the Reata name for it’s cooler climate varietals.

Jamieson Ranch Tasting Menu

Once seated on the patio we had the choice of the JRV Signature Tasting ($15) or the JRV Reserve Tasting. We opted to taste from a combination of both and were certainly tempted by the gourmet bites offered to pair with their wines… Anyone for a grilled pear stack with buffalo mozzarella or a grilled Saint Agur blue cheese sandwich with Cabernet jam? These sounded seriously good and if we had had more time I would have definitely tasted those as well.

Jamieson Ranch Patio

Our QuickNotes on what we tasted:

Reata Napa Valley Viognier

Reata Napa Valley Viognier 2012 ($40): From entirely estate grown fruit this 100% viognier appears pale golden yellow and reveals enticing notes of honeysuckle, caramel apple and pineapple. It’s light to medium bodied but full flavored and quite aromatic. It finishes rich yet cleanly with the 2.5% residual sugar barely noticeable. My tasting partner unequivocally decided that this was his new favorite white wine

Jamieson Ranch Silver Spur Sauvignon Blanc

Jamieson Ranch Silver Spur Sauvignon Blanc 2013 ($28): Sourced from a small 3 acre block of Ashe Vineyard in Oakville this 100% Sauvignon Blanc is a very light straw yellow in the glass. The nose is bright, clean and tropical with grapefruit and other citrus. On the palate this expands and seems slightly fuller than the appearance/nose suggest. Note of peach, grapefruit and honey are supported by good crisp acidity.

Reata Carneros Chardonnay

Reata Carneros Chardonnay 2012 ($25): Medium bodied, well-balanced and with elegant oak essence. The sweet tropical fruit is complemented by floral honeysuckle. Very smooth and quite drinkable.

Reata Rose Sonoma Coast

Reata Rose of Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2013 ($24): In contact with the skins for 24 hours it showcases a beautiful salmon color. This is nicely aromatic with rich strawberry and rose petal notes. On the palate it further reveals notes of cherry liquor with a nice crisp and clean finish -quite good.

Reata “Three County” Pinot Noir 2012 ($35): Tasted from tap – With 13,000 cases produced this 100% Pinot Noir is sourced from Sonoma, Monterey and San Benito Counties. As their entry level Pinot my expectations were low however I was really impressed with this wine and I wish I had this on tap at home! Showcasing a nice medium-garnet color it revealed bright, high-toned red fruit including raspberry, bing cherry and then lavender and nutmeg notes. It has a nicely structured medium-body with good extract and a spicy finish.

Jamieson Ranch Double Lariat Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Jamieson Ranch “Double Lariat” Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 ($60): Produced from 100% Cabernet and with 18 months spent in French Oak this appears dark ruby red in the glass with good medium to full concentration. Notes of sage, dried cherry, cassis, and blackberry develop. The fruit is sweet and the finish long, dry and spicy. This is an excellent, classic Napa Valley Cabernet.

Jamieson Ranch Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Jamieson Ranch Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 ($65): This limited production 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from Napa Valley’s newest AVA. It’s even darker in color than the “Double Lariat” Cabernet and is an earthier, more rustic wine. It displays notes of dried herbs, cassis, bell pepper, mineral, dried cherry and clove on the well balanced finish. It’s a solid Cab that distinguishes itself well from their other more popular offering.

Jamieson Ranch Tasting Bar

Jamieson Ranch Tasting Bar

Jamieson Ranch Private Room

The spacious and inviting private dining room off of the tasting room

With knowledgeable, friendly staff serving great wines in a beautiful setting we can’t think of how anyone could go wrong at Jamieson Ranch Vineyards. It would be a great way to start of end any trip to wine country.

John helped us explore the wine portfolio and I could have spend another few hours there with him if we hadn’t had another appointment to make. On our way out, he made sure we had time to see the ‘Fresh Coat’ of urban graffiti the winery received by a prominent collection of urban artists to support the Aldea Family Services’ Art Therapy program. Now if you still weren’t convinced, how about supporting a winery that is as open minded as it is civic minded?

Jamieson Ranch Graffiti Fresh Coat

Jamieson Ranch kindly requests that visitors make reservations and they are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 707.254.8673 ext. 119 or email info@jamiesonranch.com to make reservations

 


Best Costco Wines for Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving already right around the corner you’ve probably already gotten your dinner menu figured out, I mean you have to have turkey and stuffing right? But you might be wondering about which wines will be best to serve with traditional Thanksgiving cuisine.

In addition to serving wines that pair well, its also important to find wines that taste great yet don’t cost a fortune, especially since you probably have to buy more wine than usual for this special occasion.

So don’t stress… I’ve navigated the numerous and often daunting selections for you and here you’ll find The Best Costco Wines for Thanksgiving - as well as - some of our top picks from outside of Costco – and all but one cost under $15. If you’re interested in my full review of one of the wines, just click on it! 

- Number One – Best Costco Wines for Thanksgiving -

La Marca Prosecco Review

La Marca Prosecco – At under $11 the elegant La Marca Prosecco is easy to open and even easier to enjoy! It’s elegant and understated in it’s approach and would make an excellent aperitif or could be enjoyed throughout the entire Thanksgiving meal.

  – Number Two – Best Costco Wines for Thanksgiving -

J Vineyards Pinot Gris 2013 Review

J Vineyards Pinot Gris – California’s take on this French varietal results in a lush, juicy and refreshing white.

  – Number Three – Best Costco Wines for Thanksgiving -

Dr. Wagner Riesling Review

Dr. Wagner Riesling Kabinett – At under $14 this well made German Kabinett Riesling is just what the Doctor ordered!

   – Number Four – Best Costco Wines for Thanksgiving -

Kirkland Signature 2011 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Review

Kirkland Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley – At under $9 this Costco Cabernet drinks well above it’s modest price point!

  – Number Five – Best Costco Wines for Thanksgiving -

Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Front Label

Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon – At under $12 the approachable Hess Select Cabernet might become your ‘house wine’ well after the Thanksgiving festivities come to an end!

 - Number Six – Best Costco Wines for Thanksgiving -

Tarima Hill Old Vine Monastrell 2011 Label 2

Tarima Hill Old Vine Monastrell – For those looking for bolder, somewhat meatier wine with their turkey dinner look no further. At under $13 this Spanish gem might be one of the best bargains in the Costco wine section!

~ The following selections are not yet available at Costco but are well worth seeking out to pair with your Thanksgiving Meal! ~

 - Number Seven – Best Wines for Thanksgiving -

Bodegas Alta Pavina Citius Pinot Noir 2009

Bodegas Alta Pavina ‘Citius’ Pinot Noir – You cannot go wrong with Spain’s first 100% Pinot Noir produced with assistance from the legendary wine consultant Claude Bourguignon!

- Number Eight – Best Wines for Thanksgiving -

Domaine Lafage Cuvee Nicolas Review

Domaine Lafage Cuvee Nicolas – The Cuvee ‘Nicolas’ is a stunning value proving that French wine doesn’t have to be expensive!

 - Number Nine – Best Wines for Thanksgiving -

Espent Grenache Review

Espelt Garnacha – This ‘old vine’ Grenache from Spain is balanced yet complex and represents tremendous value at under $10.

- Number Ten – Best Wines for Thanksgiving -

Grifone Primitivo

Grifone Primitivo – Can less than $5 really buy you old-vine Zinfandel character? This Italian gem available at Trader Joe’s makes a compelling argument!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Kirkland Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley Review

Kirkland Signature 2011 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Review

I’m perennially tempted and intrigued by Costco’s Kirkland Signature wines so I thought I might give the Kirkland Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2011 a try. Alexander Valley is the northernmost part of Sonoma County and is known for producing Cabernet’s that are slightly softer and more elegant in style.

It’s generally cooler temperatures produce a different Cabernet than you get in Napa, where wines are often riper, fruitier and more tannic. Often I find myself more inclined to drink Cabernet that is less fruity with good balance and acidity and Alexander Valley fits the bill at a better price point. Several notable wineries you might recognize produce sought after Cabernet’s from Alexander Valley including Silver Oak,  Jordan and Lancaster Estate.

Kirkland Signature 2011 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Review

Appearance: A light medium brownish red

Nose: A bit oaky but once you get past that there’s quite a bit to like. There are notes of dried red fruit and herbs along with an interesting medicinal/menthol quality that’s really enjoyable.

On the palate: Despite being on the lighter side even for an Alexander Valley Cabernet the oak and alcohol are more perceptible than I’d like, although with time in the glass it did smooth out. There are notes of raspberry, cherry, dried herbs with just a touch of cassis, cocoa and green bell pepper.

Varietal Composition: Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage: 2011

Origin: Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California

Value Rating:  4.75 / 5     

Price: $8.99

Score:  87

Should you buy? Yes. It’s not without its flaws but makes a compelling value argument.

Kirkland Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2011 Review

Value Proposition - Kirkland Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2011

I served the Kirkland Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley to some friends of mine blindly and asked what their opinions on price would be. They guessed that it cost between $18 and $30 and I would agree that if you were tasting this without seeing the label you might think it was a $20 Cabernet.

This wine left me somewhat conflicted to be honest. It was lighter in body and could have used just a bit more polish, extract and overall balance. Having said that, this has some really redeeming qualities to it and it absolutely drank well above it’s modest $9 price point. I would stock up on the Kirkland Signature 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley for holiday parties or for an interesting yet inexpensive weeknight Cabernet.


Domaine Lafage Cuvee Nicolas Review

Domaine Lafage Nicolas

Domaine Lafage Cuvee Nicolas

The Domaine Lafage Cuvee Nicolas 2012 really caught my attention when I received an e-mail offering from The Wine Library. Not only was it fashioned by the same talented winemaker who produces the Novellum Chardonnay, but at only $13 it had scored a whopping 93 point score by Jeb Dunnuck of the Wine Advocate.

The Novellum Chardonnay is an excellent value, consistently over delivering for it’s modest price point at the hands of winemaker Jean Marc Lafage. He is also responsible for producing the wildly popular Las Rocas Garnacha for power-importer Eric Solomon.

Considering his track record and over 15 years of experience for a man only in his 30’s, I had to try this highly acclaimed wine. Then I learned that the Domaine Lafage Cuvee Nicolas is actually named after Jean Marc and Eliane Lafage’s son, ‘Nicolas’. If you put your son’s name on the bottle, you’ve gotta put a little extra heart into it, right? Time to pop the cork!

Domaine Lafage Cuvee Nicolas Review

Appearance: A vivid garnet hue

Nose: This is floral and aromatic with intense raspberry liquor and sandalwood.

On the palate: Medium to full bodied, this is full of juicy sweet fruit: strawberry, raspberry, kirsch liquor then leading to exotic spices and hints of smoke on the dry, polished finish. The acidity keeps this lively and balanced.

Varietal Composition: 100% Grenache

Vintage: 2012

Origin: Cotes du Roussilon, France

Value Rating:  5 / 5     

Price: $12.98 ($14 Retail)

Score:  91

Should you buy? Yes, by the case!

Domaine Lafage Cuvee Nicolas Review

Value Proposition - Domaine Lafage Cuvee Nicolas

The Domaine Lafage Cuvee Nicolas is an exceptional value and a great example demonstrating that French wine mustn’t always be expensive! This has a good amount of complexity with a very fine delivery for it’s modest price point. Apparently great things can happen when great winemakers put their son’s name on the label!


Dr. Wagner Riesling Review

Dr. Wagner Riesling Review

I don’t drink many Rieslings, mostly because I’m not a huge fan of sweetness in my wines. Rieslings are however considered to be amongst the greatest age-worthy white wines, and they aren’t always very sweet, if at all. I very much enjoyed a Riesling recently while visiting Long Island Wine Country at Paumanok Vineyards so when I spotted the Dr. Wagner Riesling Kabinett at my local Costco I decided to give it a try.

The German wine classification system can be a confusing one. While they describe it as Dr. Wagner Riesling Kabinetta quality scale, this is misleading as it actually refers to the ripeness of the grapes when they are picked. The level of ripeness has a great deal to do with the body of the wine and the sugar content of the grapes. The finished wine may be produced in a dryer style however, even if the grapes are quite ripe and high in sugar content.

The Dr. Wagner Riesling is a ‘Kabinett’ level wine, meaning that the grapes are picked at the lowest level of ripeness on the German scale. This typically translates to a finished wine that has a lighter body, less residual sugar, lower alcohol and high acidity. These attributes are what make Kabinett Riesling so great to pair with food, especially seafood and shellfish.

Appearance: Very pale yellow

Nose: The flinty nose reveals subtle citrus; predominantly lemon along with wet rock.

On the palate: Light bodied, the crisp acidity keeps the off-dry to medium level of sweetness in good balance. Notes of lemon peel and grapefruit are complemented by a nice mineral component.

Varietal Composition: Riesling

Vintage: 2013

Origin: Mosel, Germany

Value Rating:  4.5 / 5     

Price: $13.79 ($23 Retail)

Score: 89

Should you buy? This well made Riesling is tough to beat at this price. Its a terrific upgrade over the ubiquitous Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling.

Dr. Riesling Kabinett Review

Value Proposition - Dr. Wagner Riesling Kabinett

After tasting the Dr. Wagner Riesling Kabinett I’ve vowed to try more Rieslings. This particular specimen is produced from 30 year old vines in the Mosel and I really like it’s mineral driven character.

It’s also a pretty solid value at Costco’s price considering that it sells for closer to $20 at most merchants. But it is still a touch too sweet for me personally, although I think most people would find this pretty appealing as the acidity really does a great job of keeping the sweetness in check.

With that being said, I look forward to tasting more Rieslings and hopefully exploring those that are truly bone dry. If you don’t mind a touch of residual sugar, then give the Dr. Wagner Riesling Kabinett a shot. If even I can enjoy it considering my major aversion to sweetness then Dr. Wagner’s Riesling is a winner in my book!

 


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