The best deal of the week? Kirkland Signature Chianti Classico Riserva 2014, which is now on sale for $8.47 at Costco in Nashua.
This is a steal, and I thank the Wine Goddess, my wife Mary Lee, for her sharp-eyed shopping on a recent trip across the border.
I've been drinking a lot of Chianti lately to complement my Italian Wine Scholar studies. In my opinion, Kirkland's version falls squarely in the middle of the best of the best on quality -- yet it's the price that just bowls me over.
This wine is 100 percent Sangiovese, Tuscany's primary varietal and the essence of Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
While Chianti is the name of both a wine and a town in Tuscany, it is the Chianti Classico zone that matters. It is the small, historic growing region of unique, sloping hillside vineyards where Sangiovese excels.
Kirkland, which is Costco's wine brand, purchases grapes from this restricted DOCG region (DOCG is the highest quality classification for Italian wines) and has the winemaking team at Villa Cafaggio Estate craft it into wine. Chianti Classico Riserva is aged in barrel for 17 months, including three months in bottle, as opposed to Chianti wine made out of the zone, which has no aging requirements.
Right out of the bottle, the Kirkland's Chianti Classico hit the mark. It's got a nice dark color and deep red and black-cherry flavors that trail off into soft, sour notes on the earthy finish. Sour traits are emblematic of true Sangiovese.
Kirkland's Chianti Classico Riserva is easy drinking and well worth sharing with friends. Enjoy it with a tomato pizza, pasta and meatballs, or a grilled sausage-and-pepper sandwich. But hurry if you want it. At $8.47 a bottle, it's gone once it's gone at Costco.