Kirkland Signature Carneros Pinot Noir 2021 | Wine Review
Pinot Noir is one of those grapes that you just don’t seem to get on the cheap anymore.
This specific bottle comes from the prestigious vineyards of Carneros, Napa Valley. A quick search on wine.com reveals that just one other Carneros Pinot is available sub twenty bucks at $16.
So, you can imagine how surprised (and excited) to find this for just $10 at Costco.
But, it's all for nothing if the wine isn't enjoyable. So let's find out!
Carneros is an AVA that spans part of Napa Valley and Sonoma County. It was created in 1983 and contains 9,000 acres of planted vineyards.
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the most popular grapes grown here, and they benefit from cool and windy weather and dense clay soil.
Carneros is well known for its sparkling wines made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
It's a pale to medium ruby in color. It looks typically light in body and is noticeably translucent.
A swirl and a sniff reveals notes of strawberry, black cherry, and cola. The cola note is more like a cola candy.
It's a pleasant smell but I'm reminded of the last time I reviewed a Pinot with a candy-type note and how it didn't end well! Check out my review of Meiomi Pinot Noir if you're curious to learn more.
There's also noticeable alcohol vapor. I've had this decanting in a large glass for well over an hour but it's still hot, indicating some possible balance issues.
The fruit comes through on the palate but it's subdued slightly by quite a lot of oak influence. Strawberry, black cherry and plum fight for attention with spice and vanilla.
That cola candy note makes and appearance but fades pretty quickly. Thankfully, this isn't a sweet wine like I feared. So many wines at this price point are overly sweet but I'm pleased to say this isn't one of them! It is however, a little hot on the palate.
The acidity is surprisingly soft for Pinot Noir. In my opinion, it lacks a little brightness in this regard and the fruit suffers a bit for this. It's also slightly more tannic than your usual Pinot.
It's all a bit rough around the edges and it might benefit from a bit more time in the bottle.
I feel like I've criticized this wine a lot and while it is a bit disjointed, I should say that I still enjoyed drinking it.
I like just a bit more acidity in my Pinot Noir and I think the fruit would benefit from it.
Getting Pinot Noir for just ten dollars is amazing these days, let alone Pinot from Carneros, so credit must be given for that. It's amazing value for money that only really happens with Kirkland wines these days.
However, if you are shopping for budget Pinot at Costco, I'd go for the Kirkland Signature Russian River Valley which costs just a few bucks more at $13 (read my review here). It's the better rounded wine.
I know I scored this 7.5/10 in my YouTube tasting but I sometimes get a little carried away in the heat of the moment. That score was also on the basis that the wine "came together" more over the next 24 hours. I did taste it again the next day and it hadn't settled into a more balanced wine.
Therefore, I think a score of 7/10 is more accurate with a possible extra half point on its potential in 6 months to a years time.
What would you score this wine? I'd love to hear your opinion in the comments section below!