Los Carneros, California
At the southern end of California's Sonoma and Napa valleys lies the Carneros. Grapes and wines from the region are defined by the area's geography and climate, including cold maritime influences from the Pacific Ocean and summer fog. The cooler climate encourages the cultivation of varietals such as pinot noir and chardonnay. Grapes for this Carneros pinot noir from Costco's Kirkland Signature Series comes from Pommard clones 114, 115, 667 and 777 sourced from the historic Stanly Ranch on Carneros' Napa side and Huichica Hills vineyard. With their clay-loam soils, the vineyards allow pinot grapes to develop an ideal acid structure and dark berry flavors. Following harvest, the grapes were gently destemmed, fermented warm to extract color and tannins and pressed. The wine was transferred to French oak barrels and aged for 15 months. In the glass, the wine offers aromas of ripened black cherry, blackberry and cedar. On the palate, taste dark fruit, cranberry, strawberry, rhubarb, some spice, earth notes and minerality. Decant 30 minutes before serving. Drink it with steak, barbecued pork ribs, rosemary chicken, rack of lamb, grilled tuna and salmon, Peking duck, tamales, burgers and roast beef po-boys. Buy it at: Costco.