Sunday, September 5, 2010

Kirkland Stag's Leap Cabernet

DC Flynt MW Selections
Kirkland Signature
Cabernet Sauvignon
Stag's Leap

Napa, California, USA
$17.99 -- Costco, Austin, TX

Color: Deep garnet
Nose: Plums, sour cherry, coconut, chocolate, nutmeg
Body: Medium to full
Front: Plum, vanilla
Middle: Cherry, coconut
Back: Black tea, soft tannins
Burns clean?: Yes
Cap: Recycled cork

This is good stuff. It's not huge or hugely complex--a little hollow in the mid-palate--but it's Stag's Leap for sure, and it's cheap as heck. The nose alone is worth it, actually, though the palate doesn't quite live up to it. There I could go for a little more sourness...but here's the thing: if you want a Cabernet that both has interesting flavors and is approachable now, this is hard to beat.

This wine is from a negociant: grapes bought from one or more vineyards that had some to spare and blended by a third party for Kirkland (Costco). I note that the negociant is based in Lake Charles, Louisiana, which oddly makes this a much more local wine than I had thought! Earlier this year, I tried their Mountain Cuvee, which, given that I first saw it in the Girard tasting room a week before it appeared at Costco, I suspect to be largely Girard fruit. It's also a good wine, much like this one in quality and complexity, though interestingly a little more pricey. It is less approachable, though, needing an hour or so to open up.