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I have only tasted two other Kirkland branded wines.  They were both just okay.  This is a shot at redemption.  I have purchased this bottle and a Cabernet that I will get to next week.  Here’s hoping for the best!

In the glass it is of medium opacity, with a lighter shade of purple.  The nose offers up plums, star anise and vanilla bean.  On the palate, I am surprised and happy.  Smooth, balanced and very tasty.  The plums give way to blue fruits, juicy acidity and tannins that are present but not impeding.  The anise flavor really hits me on the mid palate.  Earthy Tempranillo hints peek out every so often and the tar component that I like in Rioja finally emerges.  Decent length finish of black cherry and oak.  The wine has backbone and good balance.  It offers immediate pleasure with some cellaring potential.  Drink with hard cheeses, a lamb stew or even some kebabs and rice.  88 points and 5 stars for this relative bargain at $7, yup, $7.  Salut….