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K&L Staff Recommendations
2013 Rivella Barbera d'Alba $24.99
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "On another level, and worth the uptick in price, the 250-case 2014 Barbera Cervo (from vines planted in 1997 and tiny, tiny yields) was brought up all in barrique and is easily the finest example of this variety I’ve tasted from Washington. Elegant, layered and concentrated, with a serious feel in its black cherry, lavender, underbrush and peppery herbs bouquet, this terrific effort is a real head-turner that readers should seek out! The Casa Smith brand is reserved for the Italian themed wines from Charles Smith. (JD)" (6/2016)
91 points James Suckling: "Lots of dried berry, apple and lemon aromas and flavors. Medium to full body, outstanding acid tension and a long and flavorful finish." (10/2015) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Barbera d'Alba Bricco dei Merli is a dark and generous wine that is loaded tight with bright fruit flavors. The Cogno family describes it as having the exuberance of the 2011 vintage and the elegance of 2012. It's true that 2013 marches to the beat of its own drum with pretty fruit contours surrounded by a fringe of spice and light leather. It ages in large oak casks for 12 months and rests on the lees ...Read More »
Meaning "middle son", Moliss is a Piedmontese word, not Italian. This is one of two single vineyard Barberas produced by Agostino Pavia and his sons Giuseppe ("Pino") and Mauro, of which total production is less than five thousand cases. It is made from old vines and aged in large Slavonian oak ovals, which impart subtle oak aromas and can add texture when new, Moliss is stylistically similar to a traditional Asti but cleaner and much more concentrated. Importer Oliver McCrum writes: "Barbera d'Asti used to have a reputation for having acidity like that ... Read More »
Guido Rivella had a multi-decade career as the winemaker for Angelo Gaja. Now retired, he and his daughter have a tiny estate in Barbaresco. This Barbera comes from a vineyard next to the Barbaresco vineyard "Cole." It is an eastern-facing, 1.4 acre piece. The wine is fermented in stainless steel for 12-14 days and then aged in used barrique for six months. Barbera has naturally high acid, but this wine shows exceptional balance and is supple and layered, with complex earthy aromatics.
Terre da Vino's La Lune e I Falò Barbera d'Asti comes from a variety of vineyards with varying soils and microclimates located between the towns of Nizza Monferrato and Agliano Terme. Aged in one-third new oak barrels for a year, this is an intense, purple-fruited Barbera with anise and vanilla spice that carries from the bouquet to the palate. Soft on the palate, with lots of fruit and integrated spice, finishing long.
Vinous: "A fresh, attractive Barbera d'Alba, the 2013 Serra de' Gatti offers lovely pliancy and pure appeal in its perfumed, plummy fruit, all in a supple style well suited to drinking over the next few years. (AG)" (5/2015) K&L Notes: This Barbera comes from the biodynamically farmed Serra Gatti Vineyard, which is perched at 820 feet above sea level in the Priocca zone of the Alba DOC. Typical vintages of this bright and intense red are flavorful, fresh and forward, and it's naturally quite food-friendly. Try it with braciole or sauteed chicken livers smeared on crostini.
Ca' del Baio is the labor of love of four generations of family producers. The Grasso family manages the 22 hectare vineyard and winery based in Treiso. They follow a hands-on winemaking philosophy founded in the belief that great wine is made in the vineyards; these hand-tended Barbera vines were planted in 1995. The Grassos have been able to successfully integrate new technology into their traditional methods to produce wines today that showcase the unique terroir characteristics of the Langhe. This Barbera bottling undergoes a controlled fermentation ... Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A tangy, delicious red with a soft texture and plenty of ripe fruit such as blueberries and blackberries. Hints of citric acidity. Full and savory." (10/2015) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Fragrant and fresh, this offers scents of blue flowers, wild berry, moist earth, chopped herbs and a hint of baking spice. The vibrant, supple palate doles out juicy black cherry, crushed raspberry, white pepper and star anise alongside fresh acidity. (KO)" (11/2015) 90 points Wine & Spirits: "No tasting note given." (12/2015) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Lush and juicy, boasting blackberry, black currant and sweet spice flavors. Shows tannins from oak, and r ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
92 points Vinous: "Once again, Palmina's 2012 Barbera is absolutely delicious as well as one of the most distinctive wines in the range. Pungent red berries, orange peel, spice and mint open up in a super-classic, old-school Barbera endowed with tons of complexity and nuance, with a distinct nod to the great old-school Piedmont Barberas. The 2012 spent six months in neutral barrels then two years in cask. From top to bottom, this is a compelling set of new releases from Steve and Chrystal Clifton at Palmina. Although all of these wines are delicious, if there is one wine t ...Read More »
90 points Decanter: "Clean, fresh and long, this is still closed and unyielding at present, but it does hint at considerable depth and purity of fruit. Even more so than other Nizza wines, Bava, Piano Alto, Barbera d’Asti Superiore Nizza 2011This one for the cellar and ought to turn into something special." (5/2016) K&L Notes: The Bava family's oldest vineyard sits atop the south-facing, all limestone "Crena" vineyard near the village of Agliano, thought to be the premier site for Barbera in Asti. The wine is fermented on the skins in stainless steel tanks for 10 days and then spends 18 ... Read More »
This is a 100% Barbera wine from the town of Donnici, just south of Cosenza in Calabria (The toe of Italy's boot) at over 1600 feet. The winery is just 16 acres of vineyards and produces 6 different wines, this Barbera is made in all stainless steel, and is aged for 21 months before bottling.
91 points James Suckling: "A full-bodied red with lots of dried-fruit, spice and berry character. Shows some tannins that give it tension and energy. Drink now." (10/2015)
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Ground pepper, tilled earth and black-skinned berry aromas all come together on this generous, full-bodied red. The fresh, delicious palate doles out ripe black cherry, black currant, licorice and clove alongside vibrant acidity and polished, fine-grained tannins." (11/2015) 91 points James Suckling: "I like the mineral, dark berry and lime aromas and flavors here. Real Barbera. Medium body, fresh acidity and a clean finish. Drink now." (10/2015) 91 points Wine Spectator: "Sweet blackberry and plum fruit gets a lift from vanilla and other spices in this polished red. Fresh and long, echoing the fruit and spice ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
92 points James Suckling: "Aromas of blackberry, blueberry and lemon peel. Full body, tangy fruit and a long and flavorful finish. Tart and exciting." (10/2015)