2019 Kirkland Signature Barolo | The King of Kirkland Wine?
I've been waiting for this one for a while! Barolo is a wine I love (I think everyone does right?), but I've never tried the Kirkland Signature version.
At just $19, it's the cheapest Barolo I've ever seen. This is an exceptionally expensive wine varietal that usually commands 3 or 4 figure fees.
Why is Barolo so expensive?
Well, the Nebbiolo grapes are notoriously difficult to grow, the Barolo DOCG area is only 2,000 hectares in size, and the wine must be aged for at least 3 years.
There's also the fact that it's beautiful wine that's great for aging and accumulating value in the cellar.
So, how did I get on with the 2019 Kirkland Signature Barolo? Let's get into this!
Barolo DOCG wine hails from the northern Italian region of Piemonte. The Barolo DOCG area is small, accounting for just 2,000 hectares or 4,940 acres. Today, winemaking in the region is restricted to just 14 million bottles each year.
Barolo is made exclusively from Nebbiolo grapes which are known for their thick skins and high tannin content.
For this reason, Barolo DOCG wine is required to age for a minimum aging of 36 months before release, including at least 18 months in wood. If aged for at least five years, it earns the "Reserva" label.
This aging process is necessary to soften those harsh grape tannins.
Being a DOCG wine (the highest quality level of wine in Italy) this Kirkland Signature Barolo is fully traceable using the code on the neck label.
Simply plug in the particular details (series, number, the DOC or DOCG, volume) into the the official website and you can verify whether it is an official bottle or not.
Verifiable information includes the winemaker and the effective ABV.
It's not a huge amount of information but it helps to protect wine buyers from counterfeiters.
Looking up this information for my bottle revealed that the winemaker is Fontanafredda, winemakers of some distinction that make some incredible (and expensive) Barolo.
This was music to my ears! A renowned Barolo winemaker is making budget Barolo for Costco! Could this actually be a seriously good and seriously underpriced wine?
Upon examination, the wine presents a dark garnet color with considerable opacity. It looks reasonably light in body.
The wine exudes a deeply earthy and herbaceous aroma, intertwined with notes of strawberry, cherry, leather, and a hint of balsamic vinegar.
These scents combine to form a rich, aged bouquet that is both inviting and complex, characteristic of a well-aged wine.
There's an elegant balance between acidity and tannins, both prominent in this wine.
Initially, the palate is greeted with a tingling acidity, followed by finely grained, smooth tannins that gently coat the mouth, and introduce a wonderful full flavor
Notes include strawberry, raspberry, plum, balsamic vinegar and herbs, all beautifully encapsulated within the wine's oak aging.
Then that lovely acidity becomes prominent again, leading to a persistent, deep finish.
There's a delicate interplay at work here between the acidity and tannins that makes each sip a memorable experience. It's a wine that's elegantly balanced and incredibly enjoyable. How is this only $19?! It's wonderful, it really is.
I think you'll have noticed that this Costco Barolo didn't disappoint.
I'm thrilled to score this wine a 9 out of 10, the highest rating on the Wine Turtle YouTube channel so far.
Priced at an incredibly accessible (and undervalued) $19, this stands out as possibly the best of the Kirkland Signature Series wines (I'll confirm once I've tried them all!).
And while this is still very much an entry level Barolo, it is a wine of real quality that stands out at this price point.
Its balance, depth of flavor, and delicate structure showcase the exceptional value it offers.
Barolo is often referred to as the "King of Wines", in my opinion this Costco version is the "King of Kirkland Wines" (so far anyway!).
If you're lucky enough to see this in your local Costco, you should buy as many as you can afford. It's already great to drink now, but it will get even better over the next few years.