Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino – True To Form

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After the big changes last year, Costco keeps the (very good) status quo for the latest vintage of the Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino DOCG. Check out our full review below.

Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino – True To Form

100% Sangiovese from Montalcino, Italy. The wine was aged for at least 2 years in oak barrels.

Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino In Store

Just like last year (more on that below), Costco has maintained the $19.99 price and has continued with the same importer, Ethica Wines.

Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino Neck Tag

A quick check of the neck tag using the traceability tool at the Consorzio del vino Brunello di Montalcino website shows that the producer traces back to the same company as last year:

2017 Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino Traceability Results

It’s also interesting to note that number of bottles produced has increased dramatically again. In 2015 (when the wine was made by Fattoria dei Barbi) only 14,638 bottles were produced. In 2016 under the current producer (Gianni Maccari) the production went up to 72,000 bottles. And now for the 2017 it is all the way up to 120,133. This is no doubt good for availability, but will the quality suffer? Let’s check it out.

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From the bottle:

Light ruby red in color this wine delivers notes of ripe raspberries and blackberries on the nose. On the palate, those same flavors are balanced by smooth tannins, and a lingering mineral finish.

14.5% Alcohol

The 2017 Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino DOCG opens with aromas of black cherry, blackberry and licorice plus some earthy herbal notes and a little leather, cedar and tobacco. It’s a multi-faceted and attractive bouquet very similar to the last vintage.

The wine tastes smooth, balanced and delicious. It features juicy fruit with all the secondary notes from the nose combining harmoniously in the mouth. This is super savory.

Once again, this tastes very true to form — this is no bargain basement Brunello! It does definitely benefit from some air though so be sure to give it plenty of time to breathe.

It ends with a very long and dry on the savory, dusty finish. Highly Recommended!

2017 Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino

Taste: 10 (94+ points)       Cost: 1

OVERALL RATING: 7.8

And here’s last year’s review chronicling the big changes to this wine:


Costco reveals a new price for their Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino DOCG and Reverse Wine Snob reveals the new producer!

Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino – True To Form

100% Sangiovese from Montalcino, Italy. The wine was aged for at least 2 years in oak barrels.

Big changes this year for the Kirkland Signature Brunello from Costco! The first thing you’ll notice is that the price has dropped significantly, from $26.99 for the 2015 all the way down to $19.99.

It is also quickly apparent that the importer has changed going from Misa Imports to Ethica Wines. We were immediately curious if that meant the producer had changed as well – past vintages were made by the by the highly respected Fattoria dei Barbi. Luckily with Brunello, there’s an easy way to find out.

Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino neck seal

Plugging the government seal from the top of the bottle into the traceability tool (near the bottom of the page) at the Consorzio del vino Brunello di Montalcino website shows that the producer has indeed changed:

Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino Traceability Results

The producer is now listed as “Stel-Fin SRL”. A web search doesn’t turn up much. Dunn & Bradstreet lists a Stelfin in Montalcino as a real estate office. Luckily we don’t have to go to far in our usual sleuthing to find out more about this wine as there is a name right on the front label, “Gianni Maccari”.

And it turns out it’s a name getting a lot of buzz these days. Gianni, the winemaker for Ridolfi winery, is referred to as a “rising star of Montalcino” by Decanter and the “The once and future king of Brunello” by Jeremy Parzen of DoBianchi.

While I was initially disappointed to see that Fattoria dei Barbi was no longer the producer, this is sounding rather exciting.

It’s also interesting to note that number of bottles produced has increased dramatically from 14,638 bottles for the 2015 all the way up to 72,000 for the 2016. This is no doubt good for availability, but will the quality suffer? Let’s check it out.

Want to get an email reminder of the Kirkland Signature wines to watch for each month?

SIGN UP HERE

From the bottle:

Light ruby red in color this wine delivers notes of ripe raspberries and blackberries on the nose. On the palate, those same flavors are balanced by smooth tannins, and a lingering mineral finish.

14.5% Alcohol

The 2016 Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino DOCG opens with aromas of black cherry, blackberry and licorice plus some earthy herbal notes and a little leather, cedar and tobacco. It’s a multi-faceted and attractive bouquet.

The wine tastes smooth, balanced and delicious. It features similar flavors to the nose that combine quite seamlessly in the mouth. It may be a different producer but once again this tastes very true to form — this is no bargain basement Brunello! It does definitely benefit from some air though so be sure to give it plenty of time to breathe.

It ends with a very long, dry and dusty finish. Highly Recommended!

2016 Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino

Taste: 10 (94+ points)    Cost: 1

OVERALL RATING: 7.8

Looking for more of our favorite picks from Costco? Click the pic below to browse our multi-page listing of recommended wines along with more information on how to best shop the store!

The Best WInes at Costco - The Reverse Wine Snob Picks!

You can also find more of our favorite Sangiovese here!


And finally here’s our review of the previous (2015) vintage made by Fattoria Barbi:

Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino – True To Form

100% Sangiovese from Montalcino, Italy. The wine was aged in oak barrels for 3 years.

The Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino is available exclusively at Costco for $26.99 (Saturday Splurge). It is imported by Misa Imports. 14,638 bottles produced.

From the bottle:

Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino DOCG is made with 100% Sangiovese grapes from vineyards located in the Southeastern part of Montalcino. The 2015 vintage was harvested in late September at the perfect level of maturation. The wine aged in oak barrels for three years and was bottled four months before the release. The result is an outstanding wine with aromas of red berries, wild herbs and sour cherry. The taste is well-balanced and fresh, with soft tannins and hints of candied fruits. The finish is very long, warm and slightly spicy.

14% Alcohol

We’ve long recommended this budget Brunello as a Saturday Splurge selection although when we first started reviewing it we noted that there was no indication of the producer on the bottle. (Not unusual with the Kirkland Signature wines although they do seem to be becoming a bit more transparent).

When we reviewed the 2014 vintage last year; however, it dawned on us that since this is an Italian wine, there’s a simple way to find out just who makes it – the government seal on the top of the bottle.

The government seal on the 2015 Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino

Once again plugging the code from the seal into the traceability tool (near the bottom of the page) at the Consorzio del vino Brunello di Montalcino website gives the following result:

2015 Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino Traceability Results

Just like last year the Kirkland Signature Brunello is made by the highly respected Fattoria dei Barbi, whose own base level Brunello sells for closer to $50. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that this Kirkland wine is the same as any of Fattoria dei Barbi’s other wines, but it is a very good sign that it is made by such a high quality winery.

The 2015 Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino DOCG opens with a very pleasing, savory aroma of black cherry, licorice and spice plus a little graphite and cedar. The wine tastes smooth and balanced with more spice and lovely candied cherry notes. It might be just a bit lighter bodied than typical but it works quite well and tastes very true to form. This one is really delicious after it has some time to open up with similar flavors to the nose along with touches of balsamic and anise. It ends with a very long, dry, spicy and dusty finish.

This isn’t necessarily a bottle that I would plan on cellaring for a large number of years as I might with other more expensive Brunello — ironically, a few years ago we tucked away some Brunello from Fattoria dei Barbi as birth year wines for our kids to open in 20-30 years. Nevertheless, this Costco version is a very good representation of Brunello that is drinking great right now (and probably for at least the next 5-10 years) so feel free to go ahead and enjoy!

2015 Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino

Saturday Splurge