Several readers alerted us last week that this new Kirkland offering was hitting Costco store shelves, and I was able to find it this weekend.
The price for this Barolo is $19.99, which falls right in the ballpark where we see many higher end Kirkland wines (Pauillac Bordeaux, Chateauneuf, Brunello, Champagne). In each case the Kirkland price is a fraction what you would normally pay for wines from these premier regions.
I couldn’t wait to taste it, and I’m happy to report that it hit me right on all fronts. This is a delicious wine for the money and a nice new addition to the Kirkland family of wines. Barolo wines start at $30 (and sometimes aren’t that great), and go up from there into the several hundred dollars a bottle. So for $20, we have found a winner here.
The wine pours a medium garnet color and it is light enough that you can slightly see through it in the glass. On the nose is dried red fruit and a little spice; medium plus in body with flavors of spicy black cherry, a little blackberry, some anise and pepper towards the finish that is ultra dry.
The back of the label doesn’t offer up too much information on the producer, but I did see a little hint around the top of the bottle. There’s a band around the top with the name Simone Tablino written in cursive. (Pretty sure that’s what it says, but if anyone sees that differently, let us know).
I tried Googling the name (and some other variations) along with “Barolo” and other related search terms but didn’t come up with a lot. The main link I found was to a collection of wine reviews written by someone with that name. So I’m not sure what that represents, and remain kind of curious about it.
Overall, I’m really happy to see this new Kirkland offering and it’s offered at a very fair price. Italian wine fans will find a lot to like here, and this bottle makes makes it easy to enjoy a really nice wine more often than just a special occasion when you might be paying two or three times as much for a wine like this.
CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 92 points (a Costco Wine Top Pick)
Costco item number: 1355183
Purchased at Costco in: Atlanta, GA
Tuesday 12th of May 2020
This is Fontanafredda's base Barolo which is a blend of sourced grapes from it's 11 communes (Fontanafredda is a large producer) and sells for $5 more at other stores but kudos for Costco for bringing out for everyone to try. Welcome many more Italian grapes. cing cing
Tuesday 5th of May 2020
Here's what I've found. Ethica Wines is the importer of the Kirkland Barolo, and several other wines found at Costco. They import Mirafiore wines from Piemonte, including their Barolo. Mirafiore is part of the Fontanafredda group, located in Serraunga, in fact share the same address: Via Alba 15. The Villa Reale, owned by Fontanafredda is pictured on the Mirafiore label as well as the Kirkland label. As noted, Tablino works for Fontanafredda. So my guess is that the Barolo is from the Mirafiore division of Fontanafredda. BTW: The glass bottle has "Albeisa" in raised letters. This is the bottle manufacturer from that area.
Scott L Erickson
Wednesday 8th of April 2020
Received all of this info from the distributor. They wouldn't share the actual producer...
"The producer is a very well-known and established estate in the heart of the Barolo growing area, in Serralunga d’Alba."
Region: Piedmont, Italy Appelation: Barolo DOCG Grapes: Nebbiolo Vineyard area: Nebbiolo grapes are grown exclusively in Serralunga d’Alba, at the heart of Barolo DOCG area.
Harvest: All grapes are handpicked and carefully selected in first- second ten-days of October.
Vinification: the fermentation is traditional, carried out for an average of 8-10 days in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature (30-31 °C) with a floating cap and frequent pumping over of the must. The must is then left on the skins for several days to optimize the extraction of the polyphenolic substances and to help the malolactic fermentation get underway.
Aging: 30 months in 140hl Slavonian oak barrels, followed by bottling and a further refinement of 8 months, prior being released on the market.
Characteristics of the vintage 2015: It’s a 5-star vintage for Barolo. 2015 is the best vintage since 2010, maybe better. The wine are exuberantly fragrant and show fresh clear fruit on the nose with abundant aromatic complexity. Structurally they are rich in ripe, fine and powerful tannins. They are toned, muscular and athletic, coupled with freshness, a keen sense of focus, great length, and an astute balance.
Tasting notes: The results of lengthy ageing, above-all on account of their qualities, these robust, well-bodied wines are packed with structure and are well capable of withstanding the test of time. Barolo has an attractive ruby-red colour with garnet highlights which become orange with the passing of time.
Food pairing: Its bouquet is clean, full and intense, with the wine's typical traces of withered flowers and underbrush.
Technical Notes: pH: 3,5 TA: 5,7 g/L RS: 0.5 g/L Alc %: 14%
Wednesday 11th of March 2020
Per Facebook, Simone Tablino has worked at the Fontanafredda Srl winery since 2004. He also writes a column on the Lorenzo Tablino website. Not sure what the relationship is between the two Tablinos but Lorenzo Tablino also worked for Fontanafredda, from 1969 to 2004.
Wednesday 11th of March 2020
I Googled the name and found this info, which makes sense:
Simone Tablino was born in Turin in 1980 and lives in Alba. He graduated from the University of Turin in 2007 with a Bachelor's degree in Viticulture and Enology. He's been working since 2004 as laboratory technician for the wine company Fontanafredda Srl in Serralunga d'Alba, where he conducts chemical, microbiological, enzymatic and sensorial analysis on musts and wines. He is member of the professional Italian association Assoenologi.