I always get excited when new Italian wines appear in Costco. I love All Things Italian (what’s not to love!?) but the wines hold a special place in my heart because they remind me of my first restaurant job where I began learning about and becoming interested in wine.
Italian wine can get pretty confusing, and most wine professionals will tell you that it is the area where they struggle most in their studies. For starters, there are over 2000 grape varietals grown in Italy. Many wines are a blend of a few different grapes, and even the familiar All-Stars like Chianti include Sangiovese and Some-Grape-You’ve-Never-Heard-Of. To add to this, Italians often name their wines after regions, or instead by the varietal, or sometimes after the DOC which isn’t either one of these two. Montepulciano, which you’ve probably heard of, is a grape varietal but also a town. I think you understand what I’m getting at.
It comes as no surprise to me that the newest addition to the “Italian Whites” category at Costco is a Chardonnay. I have mentioned this before, but Costco members must love their Chardonnay because every club I’ve been to carries more of this varietal than any other. However, “Le Bruniche” from Tuscany stood out to me when the SKU description mentioned an “absence of oak” as well as a 91 point rating from Vinous.