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K&L Staff Recommendations
93 points James Suckling: "Very clean and bright aromas of crushed berries, chocolate and spices, yet this is subtle and pretty. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a long, long, polished and tannic finish. Drink or hold." (11/2016) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This is a wine I highly recommend especially for those who can't resist the beautiful taste of Nebbiolo in a more informal dining scenario (like around the kitchen table with family and friends). The 2012 Barolo Lecinquevigne sees fruit sourced from five vineyard sites, and all that mixing and matching gives the winemakers more flexibility for achievin ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "I like the lively and zesty character to this white with green apple and lemon undertones. Full body, loads of fruit, yet firm and focused. Go-to Gavi." (10/2015) Wine & Spirits: "Tart lemon and yellow apple flavors mingle with lightly bitter notes in a round, oily texture. Serve this with a seafood stew." (12/2015) Wine Spectator: "A mix of pear, apple, lemon and earth notes, backed by touches of earth and mineral. Offers a clean, chalky finish." (11/2015)
Monica Larner writes: "One of the oldest estates in the Langhe, Fratelli Barale was founded in 1870, shortly after the Barolo denomination was created with the help of Marchesi Falletti and founding father of modern Italy, Count of Cavour, Camillo Benso. Sergio Barale and his daughters manage the estate today."
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Sour berry, rose, and chopped herb aromas follow through to the full-bodied palate along with black raspberry, licorice and a hint of mocha. Firm, ripe tannins provide the framework while a balsamic closes the finish. Drink 2018-2031. (KO)" (2/2016)
Winemaker notes: "The pre-eminent growing area for the arneis grape is the Roero, the area of magnificent hills on the left bank of the Tanaro river. Here, the calcareo-siliceous soils encourage the development of perfumed, elegant wines. After a gentle pressing, the must is given a cultured-yeast fermentation for some 10 days at 16-18°C. A final crucial step is a brief maturation in the bottle to further improve the structure of the wine and the complexity of its bouquet. Colour: Deep straw yellow with greenish highlights. Bouquet: Generous, crisp, and... Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Extremely perfumed with rose, dark-fruit and strawberry aromas and flavors. Full body, firm tannins and a clean, crisp finish. So delicious to taste." (11/2015) 90 points Vinous: "The 2010 Gattinara is a firm, classically austere wine with persistent tannins and a slightly compact personality. It will be interesting to see if the 2010 puts on weight in bottle, or if the tannins soften...Sweet dried cherries, tobacco, crushed herbs and dried flowers add shades of nuance through the middle and finish...Travaglini is one of the historic names in Gattinara. Quality has been up a ...Read More »
91 points Vinous: "The 2012 Barolo Vendemmia is a very pretty entry-level offering from Barale. Sweet floral and spice notes meld into red cherry, tobacco, licorice and leather. Lifted and aromatically expressive, with good depth, the 2012 impresses for its balance and overall harmony. Best of all, the 2012 will drink well with minimal cellaring. The Barolo Vendemmia is a blend of fruit from the Preda, Monrobiolo and Coste di Rose vineyards." (11/2016)
What do you do when you want to make Nebbiolo in a province where Barbera is king (namely, Alba in northern Piedmont)? You get creative! The Bava Brothers, a fun-loving bunch, decided to find a catchy fantasy name for their 100% Nebbiolo wine. They went American and named it after a real American tradition, Band-Aids, (evidently at a winery you go through a lot of them). "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, drink... 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.
90 points Wine Spectator: "Black cherry, boysenberry and violet candy flavors mark this pretty, juicy red. Shows excellent purity and intensity, with the emphasis on the fruit. (BS)" (9/2016)
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 »
95 points James Suckling: "This is a young Barolo that builds on the palate with super silky tannins and fantastic pure and delicious fruit. Hints of hazelnut, plum and dark berry character. Full and polished tannins. Better in 2019 but so delicious now." (3/2016) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Pio Cesare has produced a small miracle with the 2012 Barolo. In a vintage that saw many nondescript wines, this Nebbiolo is bursting with energy and personality. The bouquet opens to an exciting sense of freshness with bright cherry and wild berry at the forefront. You also get balsam herb and mint, with cola and licorice ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Alluring aromas of jasmine and wild flower lead the nose. The fresh palate offers mature apple, white peach and a citrusy note alongside bright acidity. A touch of white almond note fills in the finish. (KO)" (7/2016) K&L Notes: This full bodied white made from 100% Cortese is fresh and fruity with scents of white flowers and a pleasantly though quite dry palate. Rich and balanced, this elegant white is soft and round, but somehow structured; it is well-matched to fish and fowl dishes. The 25 hectare Carmelitani estate was planted in the fourteenth century by the Car... Read More »
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 »
Ca' del Baio is the labor of love of four generations of family producers. Today, Giulio Grasso, along with his wife Luciana and their three daughters manage the winery in Treiso and 25 hectares of estate vineyards. The Grasso family follows a hands-on winemaking philosophy, and vines young and old are tended to with passion and care by hand. They've been able to successfully integrate new technology into their traditional methods to produce wines today that showcase the unique terroir of their Langhe vineyards. The Moscato is a delightful straw-colored ... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of berry, mocha, menthol and a whiff of baking spice lead the nose. The firm palate offers red cherry, white pepper, orange peel and grilled herb alongside a backbone of assertive tannins. (KO)" (10/2016)
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Showing power and determination, the 2009 Nebbiolo d'Alba sees a two-week maceration period and aging in traditional oak casks. The wine is full and generous with tones of dark fruit, spice, balsam herb, licorice and dried mint. The best Nebbiolo fruit goes toward Roddolo's Barolo, but the 2009 vintage saw a good crop for both the production of the higher- and lower-tier wines. (ML)" (6/2015)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Moscato 100% Intense grape, floral and honey aromas. Spicy. Sweet with crisp acid to balance. Moderately fine bubbles. Light body and alcohol (7%). Long finish, straightforward, some minerality. (LPB)" (3/2010) K&L Notes: Muscat grapes, being particularly aromatic, require a special winemaking technique in order to preserve the fruit's potent fragrance and to create a wine that is light on its feet and a fine accompaniment to fruit and nut-based desserts. The gently pressed grape juice is kept in refrigerated tanks until it is processed into the autoclave to obtain a... Read More »
Pelaverga (often known as Pelaverga Piccolo) is a rare red grape from the hills of Piedmont in northwestern Italy. It is also known by many other names, including Carola, Cari, Fra Germano and Taddone. The village of Verduno, just west of Alba on the banks of the Tanaro River, is right at the northern edge of the Barolo DOCG catchment area. Verduno's growers have resisted the temptation to eradicate Pelaverga entirely from their vineyards, even though the Nebbiolo vines that produce the grapes for Barolo's prestigious cuvées are much more valuable. But e... Read More »
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From one of the most celebrated vineyards in Monforte d'Alba, the 2009 Barolo Bussia shows a tad more color and concentration upon first inspection. As expected, it also follows through with bigger aromas of dried cherry, spice and dark licorice, but nothing is out of place. It never abandons its promise of understated elegance. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2028. (ML)" (6/2013) 94 points James Suckling: "This smells like top Burgundy with light earth, flowers and berries. Full body, with ultra-fine tannins and a beautiful palate of subtle yet intense fruits and a long, long finish. Wo ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Terre da Vino's La Lune e I Falò Barbera d'Asti comes from a variety of vineyards with varying soils and aspects located between the towns of Nizza Monferrato and Agliano Terme. Aged in one-third new oak barrels for a year. A purple-fruited Barbera with lots of fruit and integrated spice, finishing long.
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 »
Wine Spectator: "Well-spiced and fruit-forward, with candied black cherry and crème de cassis notes, backed by lively acidity. Graphite, spice and orange zest details show on the finish." (12/2015)
This estate has been making Dolcetto in Dogliani (where this grape, not Nebbiolo, is king) longer than anyone.
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Rose, violet and red berry aromas waft out of the glass. The vibrant palate offers juicy wild cherry and crushed strawberry while white pepper and anise provide the backup. It's elegantly structured but still young and tight so give this time to unwind. Drink 2019–2027. (KO)" (10/2015)
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.
94 points Wine Spectator: "Textbook aromas and flavors of rose, cherry and tar, along with shadings of tobacco and mineral, combine with a firm, vibrant structure in this elegant, intense red. The long aftertaste echoes the flavors, while the juicy texture enhances them. Best from 2018 through 2032. (BS)" (9/2016) 92 points Vinous: "The 2012 Barbaresco Ronchi is a bit more immediate than the Ovello, but with larger-grained tannins and more power, both of which give it that slight burliness that Barbarescos from Ronchi can sometimes show. Dark cherry, plum, smoke, licorice and game hit the palate in a ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Showing a hearty dose of all-Nebbiolo personality, the 2013 Barbaresco opens to well-balanced notes of dried berry, licorice, tar and blue flower. The ensemble is delicate and fresh. What makes this wine so appealing is the fact it offers such a clear and pristine view of the grape that is especially well-executed in this vintage. The finish is elegant and silky." (9/2016)
92 points James Suckling: "Soft and velvety texture to this wine with chocolate, meat and berry character. Full body, round tannins and a chewy finish. Needs two or three years to soften. Better in 2018." (4/2015)
A sauvignon and Timorasso blend, this wine is fermented in stainless steel for a few months before bottling. A classic expression of Monferrato.
A rising star producer from the Roero in Piedmont, Marco Porello produces wines of depth and richness. Look for hints of wild strawberries and violets in this young Nebbiolo, which was aged 12 months in large Slavonian oak barrels.
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 »
Antonio Galloni writes: "Year after year, Almondo is one of the very finest producers in Roero, a part of Piedmont where consistency is hard to come by."
Though the 2014 has yet to be professionally reviewed, the 2013 earned 91 points and praise from Antonio Galloni: "Cascina Ca' Rossa's 2013 Birbèt (Brachetto) is beautifully perfumed and aromatic, with plenty of spice, crushed rose petal and stone fruit overtones. A dash of mint and white flowers add freshness on the finish. I especially admire the purity of the flavors here." (05/2015)
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.
Made from 100% Nebbiolo, this Chinato is aromatized with cinchona bark, gentian, and other aromatic herbs, then fortified with neutral alcohol. According to the winery: "Spicy and intense with cinnamon and rhubarb notes... Dry finish and slightly tannic, similar to an aged Barolo. Perfect as an after dinner drink. Excellent paired with bitter dark chocolate and biscuits."
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, this is 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 months in 1,500-liter oak barrels. The results are... Read More »
97 points James Suckling: "Pure roses on the nose. Raspberry and lemon rind. So pure. Full body, ultra-fine tannins, powerful yet so ethereal and soul-touching. A fabulously crafted Cannubi. Better in 2020." (3/2016) 95 points Vinous: "A great example of site, the 2012 Barolo Cannubi is deep, sensual and beautifully perfumed. The aromatics and pure, creamy texture of Cannubi comes through loud and clear. The Cannubi is a wine of pure texture and voluptuousness, qualities that it shows as layers of fruit blossom in all directions. A host of dark red cherry, plum, mint and spice accompany the generous, ...Read More »
The Langhe Nebbiolo is 100% Nebbiolo, harvested in the beginning of October. It spends a brief 6-7 day fermentation on the skins and then is aged in barrique for 10 months on the lees. The result is a fresher, lower alcohol (12.5%) Nebbiolo that is drinkable yet still complex and flavorful. The perfect accompaniment to lighter pasta dishes or chicken.
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 »
This wine is naturally "frizzante," or half-sparkling, because of the carbon dioxide created during the autoclave fermentation. You know this delightfully sweet, low-alcohol Moscato d'Asti has to be good--it was brought in by one of our favorite Italian importers, Oliver McCrum. La Caudrina owner Romano Dogliotto was one of the first of the region's small producers to start bottling his own wine. With just 5.5% alcohol by volume, this fresh Moscato tastes like biting into a ripe peach with a refreshing burst of bubbles in the mouth. A fantastic dessert w... Read More »
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.
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 »
Jancis Robinson: "Fine and firm on the nose. Hugely ambitious. For the moment it’s all structure. Real polish and mineral density. Bone-dry finish. This all comes from the grape!" (1/2016)
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 »
92 points Vinous: "The 2011 Barbaresco is round, sensual and inviting, with tons of near and medium-term appeal. This is an especially large-scaled, ample entry-level Barbaresco that shows just how compelling this vintage is here in the Barbaresco zone. Ripe, silky tannins wrap around the voluptuous, engaging finish. The Barbaresco emerges from a parcel just outside Montestefano with a more northerly exposure that in this vintage helped preserve nuance and precision. This is a striking wine from the Rivella family. (AG)" (11/2015) K&L Notes: The Barbaresco comes from 1.5 acres of viney... Read More »