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K&L Staff Recommendations
2014 Villa Sparina Gavi $13.99
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." (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. Wonderf ...Read More »
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These grapes come from a vineyard planted in 1975 in the commune of Monforte d'Alba, fermented in 50hl wooden casks for 10 days and then aged in 15-30hl French oak barrels for one year. The wine is a classic Old World style Nebbiolo, very light in color but exceptionally well adapted for meals — foods with a more woodsy (mushroom or truffle) character, or poultry.
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)
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."
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.
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 »
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." (10/2015) 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)
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 »
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)
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)
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)
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 »
From the producer: "Monferrato proved to be an excellent area for white grapes that here ripen well and, if harvested early, give a top quality product maintaining a balanced sugar and acidity ratio. This Chardonnay shows all of the character of the terroir in terms of “muscatés” scents; on the other hand, it is also recognaizable for its bouquet of orange blossoms, acacia, linden, banana and honey. The palate is dry, fine and ample not having aged in the barriques: when this is the case, the wine expresses its best character after two to five years of a... Read More »
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 »
Made from the Malvasia of Schierano, a black skinned Malvasia that is cold macerated on the skins for 2 days and then gently pressed to preserve its aromatics. The result is nothing short of marvelous, extraordinary aromatics likened to Dog Rose and because it has a bit of tannin from the skins the wine feels remarkably dry. I really think this is an exceptional accompaniment to spicy Asian beef dishes, the sweetness absorbs a bit of the shock from the spiciness and the tannic grip and aromatics go exceptionally well together.
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.
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 »
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 »
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)
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)
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 »
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.
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 »
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)
This estate has been making Dolcetto in Dogliani (where this grape, not Nebbiolo, is king) longer than anyone.
92 points James Suckling: "Walnut, berry and milk chocolate character on the nose and palate. Full and chewy with round and soft tannins and a savory finish. Better in 2017." (4/2015) 92 points Wine Spectator: "Aromatic, offering rose, peony, strawberry and cherry notes, picking up tobacco and licorice accents on the palate. Elegant and long, with licorice and spice details trailing on the finish. Best from 2018 through 2032." (8/2015)
91 points James Suckling: "A delicate and perfumed red with plum pie and floral aromas. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a clean finish. Lovely to drink now." (11/2015) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Nebbiolo d'Alba Marghe shows tight lines and pristine flavors of small berry fruit, forest bramble, blanched almond and blue flower. The wine is simple and tight, but very nicely executed. Pungent tones of crushed white peppercorn appear on the close. Pair this simple Nebbiolo with entrecôte in cream sauce and a side of crispy fries. (ML)" (6/2015) Wine & Spirits: "Volatile aromas dissipate after some time in th ...Read More »
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 »
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.
95 points James Suckling: "Wow. This is superb with a rich and powerful palate yet polished, velvety textured, and long and rich. Needs time to come together. This is better than 2010. Try in 2018." (4/2015) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Barolo Brunate is layered and thick with that high caliber of red fruit intensity you should expect from this celebrated single vineyard. Brunate is known for wines that are powerful and well structured. You get both those qualities here. But you also get enduring aromas of red fruit, blue flower, spice, anise seed and toasted nut that give the wine a sense of gravitas ...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 »
A sauvignon and Timorasso blend, this wine is fermented in stainless steel for a few months before bottling. A classic expression of Monferrato.
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 »
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.
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)
91 points James Suckling: "Fresh and aromatic with orange peel, watermelon and strawberry aromas. Medium to full body, tight and fine tannins and a delicious finish. A beautiful Barolo to drink now and in the future." (3/2016)
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 »
The Val del Prete vineyard is situated on three acres of south-facing hillside in Piemonte's Roero DOCG. The 30+ year old Nebbiolo vines are biodynamically farmed in the calcareous soil and produce a ripe, yet delicate and perfumed wine. The grapes are macerated and slowly fermented before being racked into French oak barrels where the wine spends 16 months before bottling. A spicy and floral perfume with crushed raspberry and cherry reverberate on a medium-bodied frame with an open and alluring finish.
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. 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 »
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."
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)
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."
This is white wine for a red wine drinker. There is so much concentration and depth of flavor, intensity, complexity, and downright deliciousness here, you'll have a hard time ever sipping on a light quaffing white wine ever again. Made from 100% Timorasso, a rare Piedmontese varietal grown in the Tortonesi hills near the Lombardy border, this wine's richness comes from extended skin and lees aging. Though not quite an orange wine, this can stand up to more substantial fare than your typical white.