When one thinks of Costco, bulk items like 25 rolls of paper towels, 10 lbs of cheese and a bag of rice that will last you a lifetime come to mind. Costco sells other non-bulk items, such as wine. However, it is pretty easy to leave with 8 bottles or more -- that counts as bulk!
The wine behind the Kirkland label (which has gotten some grief for being a boring label, but if the wine rocks, who cares about the label?) is pretty awesome. Kirkland itself does not have their own winery. They have private winemakers, sometimes BIG name winemakers, who make wine for Kirkland. Sometimes the wine comes from big name vineyards that have extra wine! Waste not want not...
Two phenomenal red wines under the Kirkland name are the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Napa Valley is where the Cabernet comes from. The grapes are sourced from numerous vineyards in the Valley. Kirkland Merlot is from the Columbia Valley in Washington State. Though lacking a fancy schmancy name, these two wines taste much more expensive than their price tag.
Napa Valley Kirkland Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 is a full bodied dark as ink wine. There is nothing weak about this vino. It is full of blackberry, plum and spice. Not leathery (frankly, most folks don't like the idea of drinking a leathery wine...) which means it doesn't leave you smacking your lips together. You're actually left with quite a long finish with a touch of oak. It's a BIG cab.
Washington State is known for their mouthwatering merlots. They are rich in flavor and never disappoint. Unlike those trashed in the movie "Sideways", this merlot is not mediocre. It is full of complex flavors of black cherry, ripe plum and cassis. This is not a fruit forward merlot and it is certainly no lame wine. It stands up to heavier meals and is just fine on its own.
Costco is known for bulk items at a great price. Most members of warehouse stores know you sometimes have to search for truly good buys. Kirkland wines are the best deals you will find. Don't let the label fool you. The fermented grape juice in these bottles is money. Don't be shy, try all of them. If you've been dying to try a Chateaneuf de pape, but didn't want to spend "Chateauneuf de pape money", then this is your chance. The Kirkland brand is a winner and this wine Examiner has yet to be let down by their wines. So buy a bottle or buy six (after all, it IS Costco!). Warning: it is very hard to get out of the warehouse without numerous bottles. And at these prices, who could blame you?
The Pentagon City Costco carries both of these wines.
Kirkland Napa Cabernet Sauvignon $12
Kirkland Columbia Valley Merlot $9