Kirkland Signature Wines – The ones you should buy today

The Kirkland Signature wine label is gaining prestige among the wine critics. It is time for regular wine drinkers like the Vintage Wine Tasters to pass judgment on the Kirkland Signature wine label. Over the years, I am sure you have tried some of the Kirkland Signature wines. Some are amazingly excellent, and at an incredible price point. Others leave much to be desired. For a long period, Costco carried just a few wines with their Kirkland Signature label. Now there are many more. On my last trip to Costco, I counted 12 different wines with the Kirkland label. 

Costco has tremendous buying power. You can imagine the leverage they have when they approach growers and wineries. Costco’s profit margin is slim on each bottle. Costco wants to impress with their Kirkland brand.

Which Kirkland Signature wines you should be buying

The last time the Vintage Wine Tasters met for a regular luncheon wine tasting was in February of 2020. Zoom has been a great alternate, but there is nothing like meeting in person. So, it was this week that we met for lunch and to taste wines. We are still cautionary, holding our meeting outdoors. What a treat to be together again, still healthy and enjoying each other’s company even more than ever. There is much to appreciate.

We decided on a different tack from blind tasting for this meeting. We tasted nine different Kirkland wines, one at a time. We discussed each wine as we nibbled on breadsticks and other delights. The discussion was lively, but in the end, it came down to three rating levels. If we’re never to buy this wine again, Not Recommended. Will we buy this wine again, Recommended. Finally, this wine is worthy of a purchase of several bottles, Highly Recommended.

Highly Recommended Kirkland Signature Wines

Refreshing sparkling wine

Perhaps it was the day, the afternoon sunshine, or the camaraderie of the group meeting for the first time since the Pandemic. We toasted with the Kirkland Prosseco to begin our afternoon of wine and fun. What a treat to have a refreshing sparkling wine to toast our reunion. The price is $6.99. Delicious!

Delicious Sauvignon Blanc wine

The 2019 Kirkland Signature Sancerre (France) is a delicious and tasty 100% Sauvignon Blanc wine. It is aromatic and lively, with great balance of acidity and fresh taste. The wine is a great choice for light dinner meals. It will match with shrimp salads, pan-fried fish, and baked chicken. Keep the heavy sauces out, and this is a dream wine with food. The price is $15.79

Carneros Pinot Noir

The Kirkland Carneros Pinot Noir 2019 Vintage was the overall scoring leader among the nine of us. This Pinot Noir has true Pinot Noir characteristics: light and fruity, with spice and delicate flavors. This a Pinot Noir with traditional Pinot flavors, much like Burgundian Pinot Noir. Past vintages have not been this tasty. $9.99. Perfect with the Costco Salmon Milano with Pesto Butter.

Old Vine Zinfandel

The 2018 Kirkland Old Vine Sonoma Zinfandel is an excellent choice for those who love the spicy and jammy flavors of a well-made Zinfandel. Often Zins are too robust to enjoy those characteristics, but this one is medium bodied. The price is $9.99. Tim Fish, Wine Spectator Critic, gave this wine 88 Points. Good call!

Recommended Kirkland Signature Wines

Mendoza Malbec

$6.99 for an enjoyable, medium-bodied and tasty wine; how can you go wrong? The 2016 Kirkland Signature Reserva Malbec is a great wine for sipping or nibbling on appetizers. It is not for those who love the robust style in red wines. A 92-Pt. sticker from wine critic James Suckling embraces the neck of the bottle. Yes, it is good, but 92 Points?

Reserva Tempranillo

The 2016 Krikland Rioja Reserva is also a medium-bodied wine like the Malbec. Here we have solid aging (2016) to bring the wine more complexity to its cherry and spicy flavors. Drinks light, but carries delicious flavors. A Spanish Tempranillo with a beautiful Paella, and life cannot get much better.

Rhone blend from Gigondas

Although the 2018 Gigondas is on our recommended list, we do have some reservations with the wine. This Kirkland vintage is lighter in style than previous vintages. The wine is a blend of 85% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 5% Mourvedre. We like this wine, but not nearly as much as previous vintages. It barely makes our Recommend list. $14.99

Not Recommend Kirkland Signature Wines

A zesty New Zealand-style Sauvignon Blanc

We must qualify the ranking of this popular Costco Sauvignon Blanc from Ti Point Vineyard in Marlborough. The wine has a distinctive New Zealand character of Sauvignon Blanc – lots of gooseberry, grapefruit, and other citrus. Our group of tasters prefers a more traditional Sauvignon Blanc, as in the Kirkland Sancerre above. We know plenty of folks who enjoy Ti Point wine and believe it is as good as many of the expensive New Zealand S.B. wines at $20 plus. The Costco price is$6.99.

Disappointing – Not Recommended

The Oakville Cabernet was a big disappointment. We expected much more depth and complexity, with lots of dark fruit. Instead, we found the wine to be harsh and rather average tasting. We had some boxed Kirkland Signature California Cabernet Sauvignon (3 liters for $12.99) hanging around, and so we were able to compare the Oakville to the boxed wine. Not much difference in likeability. The price for the Oakville Cab is $19.99.

What is your favorite Kirkland Signature?

Please tell us your favorite Kirkland Signature wine is and why. We would love your suggestions.


  1. Ted Moorman says

    Joe, thanks for taking this on and happy for you guys to get together after all this pandemic time. I’ve had all of these in previous vintages except the Sancerre. My previous experiences track closely to yours with a couple of exceptions. I’ve never liked the Prosecco, as I find it too simple and syrupy. I did just buy a few bottles of the Ti Point, admittedly for mindless quaffing on a hot afternoon with non-oenophile friends. We will have to agree to disagree on that one. The Zin has always been an excellent value but the ABV is just too hot for me.

    Recently I opened several 2016 Kirkland Stags Leap Cabs. OMG, what a return on my $24 investment!

    • Joe Becerra says

      Thanks for your comment and the suggestion for the Stags Leap Cab. I will search for that wine, next Costco trip. Thanks, Joe

  2. Steve Popolizio says

    Concur on the Sancerre (should have bought more while available). The Prosecco is good for the price but sweet. Found the Rioja to be a bargain but just average wine. The Zinfandel was jammy and lacked acidity, plus the ABV was too high to enjoy. Liked the Carneros but not the Malbec (sink worthy). Agree completely on the Oakville Cab. Big disappointment. The Rutherford and Stags Leap much better.

    These Costco wines come and go. One of the best was the Barolo for $20, now gone. The Ribera del Duero usually appears in January, then disappears. Many like the Brut Champagne, but to me it was bland.

    Costco of course carries many wines besides its house brand. A great place to hunt for bargains and value.

    • Joe Becerra says

      Thanks for your critique. Your comment is very helpful in your tasting notes and recommendations. Thanks, Joe

  3. My personal favorites were the Pinot, Sancerre, Malbec and Prosecco. While not a fan of Prosecco it hit the spot yesterday.🍷🍷👍

  4. Kevin Knox says

    While your top recommended wines are all good in my opinion the best value, year in and year out, in the Kirkland private label wines is their Cotes du Rhone Villages for $6.99 a bottle. It’s easily as good as wines like the Guigal or Chapoutier CDR’s selling for more than double that price. The savins on a few cases of that wine plus Kirkland Toscano Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Reggiano Parmegiano more than pay for my Costco membership.

    I also think you missed the boat on the 2018 Gigondas, which is a spectacular young wine. “Lighter in style than previous vintages”? The wine is a massive 15% in alcohol and is very full-bodied. Like all Gigondas and Chateauneuf du Papes from great vintages it will need 5-6 years of cellaring to settle down and show its full potential. Having spent a fair amount of time tasting wines in the Rhone valley I consider this wine to easily be equal in quality to the standard cuvees from producers like Santa Duc and St. Cosme which go for $35-40 a bottle in the U.S.

    The new vintages (2015 and 2016) of Kirkland Barolo are also outstanding value at $19.99 but will need a decade of cellaring to shed their tannins (again, normal for such wines).

  5. Thanks for the write-up the Kirkland wines. I have been drinking the Sancerre, the Zin and the Malbec. The Malbec is simply a great value for an easy drinking red that goes with a range of foods. The Sancerre is a very good choice to accompany the seafood recipes I like. I’d like Kirkland to come out with a Chablis. A red blend would also be a nice addition.

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