Kirkland Signature 2010 Columbia Valley merlot

So you ask, “Who the heck is DC Flynt?” Glad you did.

David Clint Flynt will turn 60 this year. This silvery Grizzly Adams character was born in San Francisco (or “Frisco” just to irritate the natives there) and graduated from Stephen F. Austin (Nacogdoches, TX) in 1974. He is married to Jane Singletary Flynt and they have four children. Somewhere along the way (probably in the restaurant trade), he picked up a preference to Burgundian wines and became obsessed with all things wine while building up his import/export/national distribution/private label development wine business, DC Flynt Selections, and leading to the ultimate distinction from The Institute of The Masters of Wine in 1998. He won that year’s Robert Oatley Bursary award for his essay in answering the question, “Wine: Who Needs It?” I can answer that with one word: everyone. Duh. I’m beginning to wonder about this “MW” thing.

Like any smart businessman, he changed his company’s name to DC Flynt MW Selections, added Mach Flynt Inc. in 2002 as a training site for Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET), and is the executive chef/owner of Café Margaux in Lake Charles, Louisiana. When he’s not making a million bucks in the wine industry, he can be found immersed in his favorite pastimes: fly fishing, oil painting, and ice climbing.

So why does a man who appears to be down-to-earth and controls a growing portion of the national wine business make such shitty wines? Ok, not shitty, but nowhere near something I would be proud to possess in a cellar portfolio. I mean, c’mon!, his “private label” wines are not found in any respectable restaurant around this region. The only exposure to DC Flynt MW Selections wines occurs at the local Costco warehouse. Strangely, though, this is where Mr. Flynt’s business acumen reveals itself.  Costco moves A LOT of wine and is arguably the number one retailer of wines in America. Costco is known for “value” so margins on the sale of the wines there range around 10-15%, a ridiculously low profit level where everyone else does a minimum 30% markup. The key to profitability then is not in the markup price, but more so in QUANTITY, which is the basis of why Costco is in existence in the first place. And, to move that quantity, that product has to be in demand with the largest class of consumers: the middle-class. So, instead of imitating a wine shop and trying to hit a “home run” by selling a ten-dollar wine for fifteen bucks, Costco will sell that same ten-dollar wine for $11.50. And they will sell a whole shitload of it. It’s the equivalent of hitting a “single” in every at-bat. And they know everyone buys an $11.50 bottle of wine, eventually. Wine. Who needs it? Everyone.

Food pairing was a savory flank steak and equally soy-infused hot dogs. Mmm, not quite.

Tasted at 62-67 degrees on the IR temp gun. Color: deep magenta. Nose: raspberries, cherry, red flowers. Mouthfeel: soft, dilute, weak. Tail trail: 5 funky seconds. Flavors: black cherry, vanillin, menthol, cheap cigar. Firm upfront then a hasty exit. Flimsy. Compartmentalized. Consistent, sadly.

Alcohol: 14.5%. Wahluke Slope AVA. “Drink now through 2015. Cellared and bottled by DC Flynt MW Selections, Paterson, WA.” I can only think of one large winery in Paterson who is responsible for this. At least 10,000 cases (Costco-sized!). Power: 2/5. Balance: 1/5. Depth: 1/5. Finesse: 1/5. Rated: 85. Value: $6. Paid: $8.69. Music pairing: “Bangarang” by Skrillex. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

Here’s a current, real example: this wine originally retailed for $55 at the winery, before the winery closed. Retailers “discounted” this labor-intensive wine down to $48. The Costco in my city has it on sale for $27.79. The wine in question? Olsen Estates 2008 Golden Berry Select riesling. Yeah, it’s made in a similar manner to Chateau Ste. Michelle’s $200 Single Berry Select. Now you know.

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7 Responses to Kirkland Signature 2010 Columbia Valley merlot

  1. csabernethy says:

    Thanks. You just saved me $8.69! Never tried it, never been tempted, and probably never will. But you’re right – there are thousands of folks out there that will scoop it up, along with similar cheap CA swill sold at Costco.

  2. csabernethy says:

    What can you tell me about J & A Winery in Woodinville? They just had their release party last night. Some friends of mine did their label design, etc.

  3. wawineman says:

    Always luvin it when I can save you money… at my expense!
    I swear, that winery’s “Two Vines” merlot better not taste like that. Yikes. I’m just not into ‘trailer park’ or high school wines.
    What’s odd is the Kirkland Signature wines from the California appellations are a better (but more expensive) option.

  4. wawineman says:

    J&A Winery? Must be a home-brew. Do you know if they are a bonded winery? Anything more you can tell me about them?
    My list of “obscure” Woodinville wineries so far include: Alleromb Winery, Cashmere, DeArmond Family Winery, Desmodus Vena Winery, DFG Winery, Hand of God Wines, Lauren Ashton Cellars, Vortex Cellars, and WT Vintners. And, in neighboring Bothell–Open Road Wine Company.
    Those wineries end up on my Friday night “Ghost Adventures” tv show.

  5. csabernethy says:

    I’ll see what I can find out about J&A on this end. All I know is their release party was last night.

  6. wawineman says:

    Damm. A release party in Woodinville and I didn’t crash it. I’m slippin’.

  7. Julianne says:

    Great post! We are linking to this great content on our website.
    Keep up the great writing.

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