Kirkland Signature 2008 Columbia Valley merlot

Another WAwineman classic, 1st posted on December 31, 2009:

A 37-year old tattooed Florida urchin was arrested after calling 911 for falsely claiming he’d been battered when all he was looking for was a free ride to a bar. (speechless). A 61-year old North Dakota man was arrested for allegedly breaking into another man’s apartment that used empty beer cans in front of the door to trigger an intrusion. (stunned). A southwestern PA man (why are these all men again??) bought a home in Canonsburg from a State tax auction only to later learn the house was torn down by the county’s redevelopment authority. (forehead scrunch). And, a female Indian NYC diner was attacked by a 150lb. “stuffed” moose head with 3-foot wide antlers that fell off a wall at the White Slab Palace. That’ll teach her to worship cows! (scrunched eyes).

Well, what the heck, we’ve made it to the end of another pain-filled year! Survivors of odd news and bad wines, we all are. Thankfully, I made it onto Quilceda Creek’s list and procured a mythical bottle of Cayuse syrah while my mutual funds rebounded with a vengeance (thank you, Latin America!) and my Starbucks stock more than doubled. 2009 was a great year for my cheapo wine cellar that now tips in at 200 bottles. I can only hope your year was as rewarding as mine, despite all the challenges of the economy and the influx of new wineries/tasting rooms that make buying a wine ever more difficult (and fun)!

Still to come for 2010 are these issues:
1. What the heck is a “wine whisk” and, will I be able to take seriously anyone who has one in their glass?
2. Infrared “uninvasive” thermometers. Now really, shouldn’t one be able to estimate the temperature of a wine on mouthfeel alone? Heck, it’s still a cool gadget I can shoot at other winos just to check their “core” temperature after they just lauded a Charles Shaw wine in a NON-blinded tasting.
3. Tasting groups. Really, leave this to the pro-sumers. There’s too many flakes out there to sustain a true wine-tasting group throughout the year. Think about it, spend $20 once-a-month on a wine and you will have spent more in a year on average premium wines when you could have achieved bliss with a few super-premiums like from Andrew Will, Woodward Canyon, Rotie, and Gramercy Cellars. Climb Mt. Everest, not Beacon Hill.
4. Aerators. When they start coming with the wine bottle, I’ll start using them.
5. Wine ratings. Someday, there will be a universally accepted system. Yeah, and someday, monkeys will fly out of my butt, too. I’m still working on advancing John Bigelow’s “balance, power, dimension, and finesse” descriptors. Someday, some way.
6. Why does the WAwineman waste valuable print space on issues that have absolutely nothing to do with the wine?? Hey, I yam what I yam.

Kirkland Signature…that fancy-pants name for Costco’s private label of goodies is on the spot tonight. Does this deliver value above its price like with other staples? Will this turn out like a Trader Joe’s-Charles Shaw deal? Well, it’s always nice to be able to buy a perceived “good” wine for under 10 bucks, especially one with a decent 2006-vintage review. Costco is the world’s number one retailer of wine and their buying power teamed with the current US economy is bearing fruit, so-to-say, for the local consumer, especially for those in the Puget Sound area, which is Costco’s home base. Sure, most of the wines they sell range in the $12-21 range and the mix is a majority of Washington State and California wines. But, let’s not forget that I witnessed the following this year at a Puget Sound Costco: Leonetti Cellar merlot and sangiovese, Chateau d’Yquem, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Opus One, Chateau Rollat, Louis Roederer Cristal, Reininger, Matthews Estate, Ardenvoir, and Clos du Val. Quite a heady lineup for any wine department. I’m betting on finding more top-tier names in 2010, so c’mon Costco!, show me the wines!

This wine was cellared and bottled in Paterson, WA by DC Flynt MW Selections. There is such a person as DC Flynt and he does have a Master of Wine certification, one of the first ten in the US. His company is involved with the WSET certification program, import/export business and producing private labels such as Kirkland Signature. The company’s home base is in Lake Charles, LA.

Tonight’s food pairings include some holiday specials such as: herring roe, burdock root, boiled shrimp, rotisserie chicken, grilled smelt and pickled vegetables. Some of you will understand what a treat this really is. The merlot did ok with the chicken and was particularly fine with the charred smelt, but otherwise, was unbalanced with the weak bouquet compared to the almost “burnt” flavors coating my puckered palate.

Color: dark purple down the middle, purple-red on the edges. Nose: toasted cedar, blackberries, dark plum. Mouthfeel: tarty. Tail trail: 4 seconds (burst at 2 seconds). Flavors: black cherry, wild tannins, grilled blackberries. Balance: un-. Power: astringent, black fruit. Dimension: one. Finesse: zero.

Rated: 85. Value: $8. Paid: $10. Alcohol: 14%. Wahluke Slope AVA. Think I need a Mexican Coke (available at Costco Lynnwood!) to salvage my tastebuds. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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One Response to Kirkland Signature 2008 Columbia Valley merlot

  1. wawineman says:

    Retasted on January 3, 2012.
    58-65 degrees.Color: murky purple. Nose: burnt vanilla, blackberry. Mouthfeel: mediu-bodied, bitter. Tail: 4 seconds. Flavors: charred driftwood, varmint shat, Hush Puppies undersole, mint, bald tire on a Les Schwab rack. Rated: 40. Sucks. Horrid. Like reading a Paul Gregutt article. Paired with pan-fried tuna and honeyed ham. No x 3.

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