Shocking finds at a Miami Costco today

I was grabbing some everyday stuff, but shocked to find bottles of Kosta Browne RRV for $80 at the North Miami location today. Also 2016 97pt Beaucastel 97pt for $74, and a 100pt port - can’t remember which one or exact price, but under $80 I think - I lost track because my mind at that point was boggled by the KB - how could they have enough production to supply Costco?!

The Beaucastel price isn’t fantastic.

Just a WAG but I wonder if the distributor of KB in FL had to move x number of cases some wine and the buyer for Costco say “Hey I can help you out if you give me something good for my top stores.” I bet it went to only a couple of stores.

Didn’t make it to Boca (I’m pretty sure).
I see the Beaucastel pretty frequently, both in FL and in SC.

What is the KB mailing list price for the Russian River Valley these days? When it hit $70, I got off the list, and I’d like to know how the $80 Costco price compares.

And I bet the KB people aren’t happy with the distributor when they find out.

I don’t think KB should mind much - it’s not like it’s a ‘fire sale’ price, and anyone who buys it may decide they like it sufficiently to get on the KB mail list (making them a recurring client for KB), so when you think about it, they should actually actively promote placing it in the high-end section of Costco, who would otherwise never consider it given the small volume they’d be able to offer. I’m headed back to the store later today, so I’ll see if it moved, see if I can find out how it got there, and collect notes for the separate thread specific to Costco I found here on the forum: Official Costco Thread - WINE TALK - WineBerserkers.

You might not think, but many wineries get very unhappy when their wines show up at retail - Rafanelli and Navarro both come to mind, and I’m pretty sure KB is basically restaurant only outside of the mailing list. I know locally one distributor nearly lost a cult brand when the national sales manager found out a few bottles hit Costco’s shelves.

Costco isn’t retail! Costco is…Costco!

I thought I saw KB was going to pursue traditional distribution on a small scale to diversify market avenues.

In Texas, KB is readily available at retail on the shelves of Central Market and HEB. The Fort Worth Central Market even has a big supply of half bottle appellation pinots.

KB are Dusty on the shelf now in Ohio believe it or not.

KB was sold to a private investment group in 2009 for $40million when it was producing a little over 10,000 cases. Last year it was sold to Duckhorn for an ‘undisclosed sum’. KB has never had vineyards or a winery and all of the wine was produced with purchased fruit. That makes the brand incredibly scalable (which it would need to be in order to make money for someone shelling out $40+million).

They did a phenomenal job marketing the brand and now it has great name recognition. Last I heard, they were producing 30,000+ cases, so of course they are going to need sufficient outlets to move the volume. I can’t imagine an $80 bottle of RRV Pinot moving very quickly at a Costco in Miami. But an $80 bottle of KB? That works much better. Of course, sitting on a random liquor store shelf in Ohio, yeah, probably not going to move very quickly but at least that’s one more case out the door for Duckhorn. Multiplied by 100 retail stores in 50 states, you’ve just produced and sold another 5,000 cases, $2.4million gross. Throw a couple pallets at a few Costcos around the country and …

KB isn’t a small, boutique handcrafted wine anymore (arguable whether it ever really was). They did a great job selling the story and their marketing effort$ really paid off. Now, like most labels that have been gobbled up, you’re buying the label, not the wine, more than ever.