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K&L Staff Recommendations
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This straightforward, inviting Barolo boasts classic Nebbiolo aromas of rose, leather, berry spice and tilled earth. It’s not loaded with complexity, but the sour cherry, black pepper and clove flavors are delicious. It closes on a note of subtle oak alongside a drying, tannic finish. (KO)" (10/2014)
97 points James Suckling: "This is fabulous Barolo with burnt orange, blackberry, meat, earth, and fresh herb. Full-bodied, round and velvety. So flavorful and crazy. Drink now. Why wait? But it will age wonderfully." (9/2015) 92 points Wine Spectator: "A fluid, spicy version, with cherry, strawberry, licorice, black pepper and cumin flavors. This glides to a lingering finish that displays fruit and tobacco notes. Best from 2018 through 2028.—B.S." (11/2015)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
91 points James Suckling: "Bright, dense and intense with chocolate dust, blackberry and fresh mushroom. Full-bodied, round and delicious. Drink now." (10/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "This medium-bodied, easygoing red offers aromas of blue flowers, dark berry, underbrush and a whiff of cake spice. The palate delivers blackberry, red currant, ground pepper and a note of star anise alongside firm, refined tannins. An almond note backs up the finish." (11/2015) Wine Spectator: "This has heft for the vintage, with ample muscle and structure providing support for blackberry and blueberry fruit. Still a bit tight on the finish, b ...Read More »
The Bava winery is in the Province of Alba where Barbera is King! So what do you do when you want to make Nebbiolo? Hmmmm, you can't put it on the label…Damn. The Bava Brothers, a creative bunch, decided to go American and name this wine after a real American tradition, Band-Aids, (evidently at a winery you go through a lot of them). So Johnson & Johnson was too long, they switched to Johnson but that's unpronounceable for an Italian so …..Gionson! That's how you say Johnson in Italian! Delicious Nebbiolo, drinkable now, and you're going to love it! 10... Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Fresh scents of just-picked rose, bright red berry, baking spice, leather and an earthy hint of game unfold on this stunning wine. The full-bodied palate offers juicy mature cherry, crushed raspberry, licorice, carob, chopped wild mint and clove alongside firm, velvety tannins and bright acidity. Gorgeous!" (11/2015) 91-93 points Vinous: "Striking aromatics and bright, finely sculpted fruit inform the 2011 Barolo Vigna Lazzairasco, an utterly beguiling wine that constantly changes in the glass. There is an element of mystery that is both compelling and that al ...Read More »
A pretty green-gold color, this refreshing white combines crisp acidity with a full, rich floral nose. A lovely Gavi di Gavi perfect for sipping with scallops.
From a one-acre plot of vines in Monforte d'Alba, a hand-harvested blend of Arneis, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
Ah, Piedmont! Home to Italy's most long-lived reds, Barolo and Barbaresco. Piedmont also lays claim to this frothy number, a semi-sweet sparkling wine that shares as much in common with Barolo as a turnip does with a root beer float. To begin with, there's the preponderance of wild strawberry fruit, and the effervescent goodness that is not totally dissimilar to Moscato, only this one is pink. Deep pink. Gulpable pink. After a certain age it is unseemly to drink cherry soda pop in public--go for Brachetto instead! It's low in alcohol, with a touch of sw... Read More »
Owner/Winemaker of Cascina La Ghersa, Max Pastura, passionately directs the winery his family has run since 1928. The Piagè, or 'toll' in the Piemontese dialect, represents a killer value in 100 percent Barbera. Fruity, bright, and exuberant on the nose, with aromas of dark red fruits and underbrush, the palate is full of cherries and plums with a persistent and always fresh mouthfeel.
Inventory: San Francisco
Grown on part of the Prevostura hill, from a typical northern Piedmont blend of varieties Nebbiolo (70%), Vespolina (20%) and Croatina (10%). The soils here are 35% old marine sand, 25% clay and 40% silt, and they are acidic; the grapes are picked typically in early October, and the wine is fermented in stainless steel with a fairly long maceration (18 days after the end of fermentation). The wine is aged in small barrels (not new) for 21 months before bottling. In effect this is declassified Lessona with a little Croatina added, so the flavors tend towa... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
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.
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Fragrant and balanced, this structured wine opens with an alluring fragrance of red rose petal, black raspberry, leather and spice. The ripe, savory palate delivers mature black cherry, balsamic notes, subtle oak and a touch of vanilla, all supported by a firm, tannic backbone and fresh acidity. It’s already fabulous but hold for complexity. Drink 2016–2026." (12/2014) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Barbaresco Gallina is perfumed and layered with bright red fruit at the core. You can feel the heat of the 2011 vintage, but not in a distracting or diminishing w ...Read More »
91 points Vinous: "The 2009 Colline Novaresei Agamium is floral, bright and deeply expressive, with plenty of lift and red stone fruit character. Feminine and gracious throughout, the 2009 offers considerable grace and plenty of near to medium-term appeal. A final burst of Chambolle-like fruit rounds out the finish. (AG)" (7/2015) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This polished Nebbiolo opens with aromas of perfumed berry, violet, tilled soil and grilled herb. The bright, elegant palate doles out sour cherry, star anise and cinnamon framed in sleek tannins and bright acidity. A mineral note energizes the fin ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
This is the original Americano, a low-alcohol, wine-based aperitif from the Asti region of Piedmont intended to be consumed before eating to enliven the palate while whetting the appetite. It has been produced in Asti since 1891 and is still made according to the original recipe, which is essentially white wine aromatized with many herbs and spices. All the ingredients are natural, with no artificial additives or coloring of any kind. It is produced in limited quantities and matured for a year before being released for sale. Traditionally, it is served c... Read More »
According to Parker's Wine Advocate: "Cascina Morassino is located in Barbaresco, and the wines reflect the somewhat ethereal, elegant and graceful qualities that are the hallmarks of the wines from this part of the region." (10/09)
93 points Wine Spectator: "A supple, expressive style, this features strawberry and cherry fruit, accented by licorice, leather and white pepper. Firm yet balanced, with a lingering finish. Best from 2018 through 2030.—B.S." (11/2015) K&L Notes: From the importer: "In Serralunga d’Alba, in the heart of the Langhe, the Azienda Agricola Schiavenza has been working since 1956. The estate was founded by brothers Ugo and Vittorio Alessandria and is now managed by the second generation of the family: daughter Maura along with her husband Luciano Pira, agronomist responsible for overseeing the produc... Read More »
Vietti's Roero Arneis is one of the most delicious and consistent versions of this varietal we carry every vintage. The grapes for this wine come from 25-year-old vines in Santo Stefano Roero. Fermented in stainless, they suppress malo to preserve the crisp acidity and freshness. And it is fresh, with mineral accents that complement its floral, citrus and melon aromas and flavors. Delightful with food.
Matteo Ascheri is in charge of a vibrant wine cellar and is producing really complex and interesting wines for excellent price points. The winery has been in his family and making wine since 1880 but really blossomed upon Matteo taking the reins. This 2010 Barolo is a blend of three different Barolo communes 50% comes from Serralunga d'Alba where the most powerful wines are made and blended with 40% from La Morra and 10% from Verduno where high tone aromatics add a top end to the wine. This Barolo is made with 100% Nebbiolo, was harvested in mid October... Read More »
From the winery: "Bright straw yellow, with fine persistent bubbles; intensely aromatic nose, with fruity hints of apricot and linden blossom; tastes sweet, light, with good acidity and a long, fresh finish. The sweet Italian wine par excellence, it is traditionally served with sweet breads (brioche and panettone), cream and Chantilly-based sweets, and fruit desserts. It can also make a fine match though for savoury snacks with preserved fish (anchovies, herring, mackerel), soft cheeses and cold meats."
Inventory: Main Warehouse
One of the lesser known grape varietals from Piemonte - home, of course, to Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera and Dolcetto - it's unfortunate that this traditional indigenous grape so often gets overlooked. But leave it to importer Oliver McCrum to find one, and to find a great one at that. Made by Pino Pavia from Agostino Pavia, a 50-year-old, small, family-run estate. McCrum describes it like this: "Misleadingly pale color, but a very distinctive and flavorful wine; wild strawberries, rhubarb, a touch of herbs, the perfect wine with salumi or pizza. I put it... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
From importer Olivier McCrum: "'Blina' is the name of the vineyard. This wine is a direct, straightforward rendition of the Barbera grape. Fresh acidity and berry flavors are the hallmarks of Barbera, but low yields and old vines give this wine very good depth and concentration, too. Fermentation and aging are completed in stainless steel, and the wine is bottled before the following harvest. (There are two things I like about wines that aren't aged in oak; one of them is that they taste of fruit, rather than oak, and the other is that they are better va... Read More »
Anna Maria Abbona is a Dolcetto specialist in Dolgiani, a sub-region of Piedmont where Dolcetto is the star, not content to play backup to Nebbiolo or Barbera. All of the best sites in the area are planted to Dolcetto, producing wines that are deep, concentrated and complex. Abbona uses micro-oxygenation, oak and picking for phenolic ripeness to keep Dolcetto's aggressive tannins in check. According to importer Oliver McCrum: "This is classic Dogliani Dolcetto, fermented and aged in stainless steel. It shows great color, reddish purple and violet-tinged,... Read More »
93 points Wine Spectator: "Marked by ripe cherry, strawberry, floral and tar flavors, this red is graceful and detailed, with the fruit intensity persisting on the finish. This is well-integrated, and just needs time for the tannins to soften. Excellent length." (5/2015) 92 points James Suckling: "Aromas of dried berry, lemon peel and plum follow through to a medium to full body, fine tannins and a bright finish. Bright and delicious. I like both the 2010 and 2011 at the same level but for different reasons. Better in 2015." (12/2014) 90 points Vinous: "The Produttori del Barbaresco's 2011 Barbaresco presents an intriguing combin ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Jancis Robinson: "Pale ruby. Wonderful precise spicy strawberry-fruit nose of great focus. Supple, lively, fragrant red fruit with crunchy tannins. Fresh and lithe. (WS)" (8/2015) K&L Notes: A unique varietal wine, grown only in Piedmont. The Castello di Verduno, owned by Gabriella Burlotto and Franco Bianco, is a beautiful old building at the top of the village of Verduno, on the edge of the Barolo zone. The Castello di Verduno wine label unites two cellars, one under the castle in the Barolo zone and the other near the famous 'cru' Rabajà, in the Barbaresco area. Wines are produced ... Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "Young and wild red fruits with the trademark peppery edge, some brambly blue fruits and an assertive, spicy thread. This has a supple, fleshy and brambly palate with glossy ripe blue fruit flavors, fine-sheeted tannins and a tangy, saffron-tinged finish." (5/2015)
The Zanetta family has a long history of producing wine in Alto Piemonte, and they craft utterly traditional wines that pay homage to the region. From the importer (Rosenthal): "Here, the grand Nebbiolo takes center stage, a wine made exclusively from this noble grape and harvested from vineyards outside of the Gattinara and Ghemme delimited zones but still in hillside sites on the slopes above and around the towns on the eastern shore of the Sesia river. Manual harvest occurs normally during the second half of October. The Zanetta family gives this wine... Read More »
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.
Located in the picture-perfect village of Casilglione Tinella, in the heart of the Langhe (Piedmont), the Saracco family has been growing Moscato d'Asti for four generations. The soils here are comprised of limestone mixed with sandy veins and the vineyard's elevation provides the right temperature and humidity balance. This wine has lots of fresh peach, pear and jasmine on the nose and a gentle sparkle on the palate that brightens the fruit. Try as an apertivo or as a refreshing finish to a meal.
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. 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 of... Read More »
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 »
This small selection of Barbaresco comes from a single vineyard, according to the producer: "Ageing in wood, this wine develops harmonious sensations with floral and spicy notes and an intense colour. Solid structure leading to great elegance which is typical of Nebbiolo for Barbaresco. We wanted a soft and enveloping wine, surely complex, but also able to combine the austere tones of the great Nebbiolo with more tenuous and elegant scents."
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2008 Barolo Le Brunate is quite a bit richer, deeper and more powerful than the Cannubbio, as one might reasonably expect. Here the fruit boasts tons of pure resonance and stuffing while never losing its essential classicism. Plums, black cherries, leather, tar and licorice meld together, supported by firm yet beautifully integrated tannins. The 2008 Brunate is an explosive wine just waiting to emerge. When it does, it should be striking. Actually, it already is. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2038. (AG)" (10/2012) Jancis Robinson: "Barolo - La Morra. Mid ruby with broad or ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Delicious pink wine, some of the first Nebbiolo rosé of the season. Pink like a perfect spring sunset. Pink like...an earthworm. Indeed, Proprietà Sperino, located in the historic district of Ori in northern Piedmont, also produces worm cast humus in its own production facility, Utilizing millions of Californian red earthworms. Serve cold.
Jancis Robinson: "Mid ruby with orange tinges. Quite subdued on the nose and pretty closed on the palate. Aeration shows just a hint of oak. Tannic finish with considerable power behind it and very long and youthful." (5/2014) James Suckling: "A lightly chewy wine with blueberry and milk-chocolate character. Light body, fresh finish. Screw cap." (3/2015) Wine Spectator: "Round and smooth, with light-grained tannins underneath sweet cherry and berry notes. Anise and tobacco accents chime in as this ends with refinement and moderate length. Drink now through 2018. (Web Only - 2014)"
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Barolo Liste is utterly seductive and charming from start to long finish. This wine awards a high pleasure quota with the proverbial opulence and hedonistic plumpness that is not easy to achieve with the austere Nebbiolo grape. The Liste vineyard delivers the natural characteristics that are appropriate for dark and shapely wines. Thick extraction is followed by dark fruit, pressed blackberry, exotic spice, cola and balsam herb. It ages for two years in oak and two years in bottle, but it needs more time to lose its baby fat. (ML)" (6/2015) 93 points James Suckling: "This i ...Read More »
From the importer: "The sole white wine of the estate is produced in the Roero district from an 0.80 hectare plot in Vezza d’Alba. The soil is essentially sandy in composition and sits at 340 meters altitude on south-facing slopes. The vineyard was planted in 1980. Harvest (manual) normally occurs in mid-September. The grapes are briefly macerated and the fermentation occurs at controlled temperatures (around 15 degrees Celsius) for two to three weeks. The wine rests in stainless steel until the early spring months of the following year and is usual... Read More »
From the people who brought you Cocchi Americano and Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, comes the brand new rose colored, quinine-flavored, aperitif wine you've been anxiously waiting for. The Cocchi Americano Rosa has the lush mouthfeel and weight of a sweet vermouth, the fruit of a sangria, and the spice of a mulled wine, finishing with a tingle of bitterness on the tongue. It's absolutely delicious. Time to make a rose-colored gin martini!
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The delicious Barolo Chinato is made with a secret blend of herbs, spices and essential oils that are steeped in Barolo wine. This is a delicious product that tastes simply divine with a bite of bitter chocolate. This wine is so alive and vibrant in the mouth and it shows exotic spice, cedar, spice box, dried rosemary, ginger, tar, cinnamon, dried roses and so much more. This digestivo will last decades. (ML)" (7/2013) K&L Notes: The originator of this fabulous bitter aperitif wine, Cappellano is truly top dog when it comes to Chinato. This is absolutely the most ove... Read More »
97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Still tight, young and nervous, the 2010 Barolo Bussia Sergio Barale is aged in large oak casks like Barale’s other top Barolo expression. That slow oxidative process, combined with the extraordinary quality of the 2010 vintage has produced a classic Barolo that will endure in time and promises a long evolution ahead. In general, fruit from the Bussia cru tends to be more robust and structured as evidenced here. The wine’s garnet appearance is vibrant and bright and the finish boasts energy and verve. You can still feel the wine’s silky imprint minutes a ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Forest floor, crushed violets, sage, truffle, mint and menthol aromas jump from the glass. It shows its Serralunga pedigree, delivering juicy red cherry, black raspberry, anisette, thyme, herb and spice flavors supported by solid but ripe tannins. Drink 2018–2040." (10/2014) 90 points Vinous: "The 2010 Barolo Serralunga is a gorgeous entry-level wine. Crushed flowers, red berries, tobacco and anise are all laced together nicely. The aromatics are quite lifted, but the firm Serralunga tannins come through, especially on the finish. The Barolo Serralunga is a blend of young vi ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Vinous: "Brovia's 2013 Dolcetto d'Alba Vigna Villej is dark, juicy and deeply expressive. Black cherry, plum, mocha, menthol and licorice are all pushed forward. Drink this rustic, old-school Dolcetto over the next few years." (12/2015)