- 2018 Kirkland Signature Toscana IGT, Italy ($14.99 @ Costco, California – Item #1181768)
Wine runs deep in Tuscany, aka, Toscana. Like the art of the Renaissance, it is tightly woven into the cultural identity of this central Italian region.
Agriculture forms the roots of the Tuscan lifestyle, and “the big three” – grapevines, olive trees and wheat – were historically all planted together in the same fields.
While wine has been cultivated in this part of Italy for centuries, this style of wine – known as the Super Tuscan – is positively modern. Inspired several decades ago by a desire to create blends that didn’t need to fall within strict regulations, the Toscana IGT label gives winemakers the latitude to be creative, and emulate the blends of Bordeaux. While many of these wines are still dominated by Sangiovese (like today’s example) the ability to add in other varieties as the winemaker sees fit creates some truly classic and unique wines.
Alas, the exact blend of this particular wine remains a secret. But in past years is has been comprised of Sangiovese with (non-indigenous varieties) Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Begins with a wonderful, enticing aroma of black fruit, cherry, baking spices, vanilla, oak and dusty, dried herbs reminiscent of the Tuscan countryside. In the mouth the wine full of red and black berries, with a touch of sweetness and more baking spice along with touches of mocha and black licorice. It finishes smooth and with light tannins. This wine improves after some time to breathe. It is a lovely brick red, a bit lighter than typical Super Tuscans and not as substantial as my notes on the 2016 suggested. Would pair well with pizza, pasta with red sauce, cured meats and grilled chicken.
From the bottle:
“The vineyards of this elegant cuvée overlook the Tyrrhenian Sea from the Tuscan coast. The harmony between soils and vines makes wine one with nature. A fresh and delicate red wine, showing flavors of wild herb, ripe cherry and raspberry. An elegant wine supported by firm tannins and a velvety smooth finish.” (Authors note: I am not fluent in Italian, but I am 95% certain the first two sentence here are translated into Italian of the front label of this wine. Use this to impress your friends. You’re welcome!)
In addition to being the birthplace of the Renaissance, Tuscany is central Italy’s most important wine region – and the country’s sixth largest wine-producing region. More than half of Tuscany’s hillside vineyards are planted with Sangiovese grapes. Historically the region is known for its production of Chianti. In fact, the Chianti zone is the oldest appellation in the region.
We reviewed the 2016 vintage of this wine. I don’t know how we missed the 2017 vintage, or if said vintage missed my local Costco, or Costco in general. This one has been priced a buck higher, but it is still a good value and a perfect wine for easy, casual dining with friends. This is not a wine to steal the show, but rather one that is quaffable and enjoyable.
Need More Wine Picks from Costco – or Trader Joe’s Even?
If your wine shopping excursions land you in Costco, prepare by grazing our most recent reviews of Costco wines here in our Lucky 13 list.
And if your shopping finds you at Trader Joe’s, you can find our Lucky 13 list of TJ’s wine here.