We put two Costco Chiantis – both from the 2015 vintage – to the test to see which one is the better wine.
- 2015 Kirkland Signature Chianti Classico Riserva ($8.49 @Costco; California)
- 2015 Castello di Albola Chianti Classico ($10.99@Costco; California)
On a recent excursion to my local Costco, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Costco had a Kirkland Signature bottling of a Chianti Classico Riserva for just $8.49, a decent price for a wine so designated. With this new vintage came a really nice updated label. We call this in the wine trade a “brand refresh.”
Then, while perusing the rest of the wine set there for new and interesting items, I noticed another Chianti, this one “just” a Chianti Classico from the same vintage. It was more expensive at $10.99, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to compare and contrast the two wines.
I was curious to see if the Chianti classification system proved to be useful and a predictor of value. The system would suggest that the Riserva would be the better wine. If that proved to be the case, it would be a bonus, because the Riserva is actually a couple of bucks less expensive that the Albola Chianti Classico. I was also eager to put the Kirkland Signature “house wine” up against a more traditionally branded “twin.”
This comparative tasting reminded me of the two Malbecs (one a Kirkland Signature and the other a branded one from Trader Joe’s) we reviewed a few weeks ago. You can find those here: https://wordpress.com/post/vinopointer.com/1019
Despite being one rung up the ladder on the Chianti classification system, the Kirkland Signature is a bit more “rustic” than the Albola Chianti Classico. I was expecting the opposite to be true. Where the Kirkland version was more tannic, more dry and more acidic, the Albola had more polished tannins, more soft fruit flavors and a delicate finish. Then there is the matter of the price difference: $8.49 per bottle vs. $10.99 per bottle.
And the winner is…