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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 »
94 points James Suckling: "Love the decadent, sweet-tobacco, stem and ripe-fruit aromas to this one. Full-bodied, layered and soft with ripe tannins and so much subtle fruit. Sexy is the only word to describe it. Drink in 2020." (1/2017)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 »
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)
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)
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
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 »
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)
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.
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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)
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)
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 »
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.
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)
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.
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."
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 »
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)
Brezza produced their first estate wine in 1910, and the fourth generation now oversees their 22 hectares of estate vineyards. Their wines are made in a traditional style.
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 »
About the producer: "The heart of the estate’s guiding philosophy is the search for the highest quality obtainable in full respect of the tradition of the place. The human passion of the wine grower translates into long-term projects and investments, into patience waiting for the land to be ready, for the vines to grow, for the grapes to ripen – just once a year – and the wine to mature. In 1999, Paolo De Marchi ad his son Luca dusted off the long Piedmontese family tradition with the goal of bring the legendary wines of North Piedmont back into the li... Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Aromas of cherry, dried apple and hints of cedar. Full body, firm tannins and a fresh finish. Hints of walnut skin and wet earth. Solid and attractive. Drink or hold." (10/2015) 90 points Vinous: "Ca' del Baio's 2012 Barbaresco Asili is sweet, open-knit and seductive; in other words classic Asili. Tobacco, crushed flowers, mint and red-fleshed fruits all blossom in the glass. Medium in body and lithe on the palate, the 2012 gives the impression of being a wine to drink sooner rather than later, as it appears to lack a measure of depth and complexity. Given the prime quality ...Read More »
92 points Wine Spectator: "Aeration coaxes out the enticing cherry, raspberry and floral aromas and flavors of in this elegant red, which is balanced, vibrant and firm, with a long finish of mineral and spice. Best from 2016 through 2029. (BS)" (12/2013) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This offers aromas of red rose, wild berry, dark cooking spice and a whiff of sun baked earth. The ripe palate offers black cherry marinated in spirits, licorice, game and a hint of chocolate alongside velvety tannins. The warmth of alcohol closes the finish. Drink 2018-2029." (12/2015) K&L Notes: The Riserva Bussia is a selection of the Bussia ... Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Crushed violet, herb, wild berry, leather, exotic incense, eucalyptus and balsamic aromas carry over to the elegantly structured palate underscored by a mineral vein. It's bright and fresh, with young, tightly wound tannins that need time to unfurl. Drink 2018-2031. (KO)" (2/2016) 92 points James Suckling: "Very solid and rich center palate here with dried berry and chocolate character and hints of hazelnuts. Full and velvety. Give this two or three years to soften." (4/2015) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Barolo Tortoniano shows savory characteristics of cured meat and spice with some b ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of dark cooking spice, menthol, dark-skinned berry and a balsamic note open. The firmly structured palate is less expressive, showing unripe cherry, licorice and a note of white pepper alongside brooding tannins. (KO)" (10/2016)
Sandro Fay has been producing wines in Valtellina for the past 40 years, and is dedicated to single-vineyard expressions of this unique and historic terroir. Upriver from Lake Como, near the Swiss border, the Valtellina DOCG sits in a narrow valley that runs east/west at the base of the alps, which protect its sunny climate. The signature grape is Nebbiolo, known locally as Chiavennasca. Fay's Costa Bassa vineyard is located in the village of Teglio and is designated as "Valtellina Superiore," one of the finest terroirs in the appellation. In this cooler... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
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)
About the producer: "The heart of the estate’s guiding philosophy is the search for the highest quality obtainable in full respect of the tradition of the place. The human passion of the wine grower translates into long-term projects and investments, into patience waiting for the land to be ready, for the vines to grow, for the grapes to ripen – just once a year and the wine to mature. In 1999, Paolo De Marchi ad his son Luca dusted off the long Piedmontese family tradition with the goal of bring the legendary wines of North Piedmont back into the limeli... Read More »
94 points Vinous: "A total knockout, the 2010 Lessona is laced with freshly cut flowers, sweet red berries, mint, anise and new leather, all supported by fine, silky tannins that convey an impression of weightless elegance. The flavors are bright, precise and very nicely sculpted in this mid-weight Lessona from Sperino, yet there is plenty of depth in the fruit to balance out the tannins. The 2010 is already quite pretty and should continue to drink well for another 10-15 years, if not longer. The 2010 is 100% Nebbiolo that spent 3 years in a combination of 5 and 15HL cask ...Read More »
This is 100% Nebbiolo from the vineyards of Teglio. It is fermented in stainless steel tanks for two weeks before spending 12 months in a large cask for ageing.
Inventory: San Francisco
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of licorice, dark berry, dried herb, leather and a balsamic note lead the way. The firm palate offers ripe Marasca cherry, raspberry compote, pipe tobacco and licorice while firm, velvety tannins lend finesse. This won’t need years to come around but it also shows staying power. Drink 2019-2027" (2/2017) 90 points Vinous: "A dense, powerful wine, the 2012 Barolo Prapò shows plenty of Serralunga muscle. Iron, smoke, licorice, herbs and a host of savory notes underpin a core of intense dark red stone fruit. The 2012 exudes virile intensity from start to finish. (AG) ...Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "There's pretty balance and minerality to this spicy, finely textured and ripe wine. Full to medium body, fine tannins and a bright finish. This small producer continues to rock it." (4/2015) 92 points Vinous: "Agostino Bosco's 2011 Barolo La Serra is a terrific example of this high-altitude La Morra site. Specifically, the piercing veins of tannin that are such a signature of La Serra are very much in evidence. Red cherry, white pepper and chalk add to the wine's sculpted personality. The 2011 is a bit classically austere - as La Serra Barolos usually are - but it is also fu ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Beautiful purity of fruit to this with dried-strawberry, flower and cherry character. Full to medium body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Lightly chewy, which gives tension to the wine. Better in 2016." (12/2014) 91 points Vinous: "Bright red cherries, pine, spice and mint are some of the notes that jump from the glass in the 2011 Barbaresco Vallegrande. Floral and lifted in the glass, the 2011 stands out for its nuance and delineation. In this vintage, the Vallegrande retains its essentially perfumed, mid-weight personality. (AG)" (10/2014) K&L Notes: This vineyard was previously labe... Read More »
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 Morei is a small 2.5 hectare vineyard with perfect southern exposore and sandy soil. In this cool, sub-alpine climate, the grapes are allowed to hang until the second half of October.
Inventory: San Francisco
95 points James Suckling: "Ripe fruit with orange-peel, walnut and ripe-strawberry aromas. Full body, ultra-fine and long tannins and a finish that lasts for minutes. Wow. Gorgeous. Better in 2021 but who can wait?" (1/2017)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Vinous: "The 2013 Rosso di Valtellina is a delicious, entry level offering. Sweet dried cherries, mint, alpine herbs, flowers and cinnamon abound in a delicate, mid-weight wine that hits all the right notes. Drink this super-expressive Rosso over the next handful of years. The 2013 is 100% Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo), given a short maceration of 8 days and a year of aging in cement and cask. Readers who want to explore the wines of Valtellina without investing in some of the region's top wines should start here. The 2013 Rosso is absolutely delicious. It's as simple ...Read More »
Vinous: "The 2014 Maggiorina is a fabulous choice for readers on a budget. Floral, mid-weight and bright, the Maggiorina captures the essence of Alto Piedmonte. Sweet red cherry, tobacco, mint, pine and crushed flowers are some of the signatures in this delicate, lithe, high acid red. (AG)" (4/2016)
91 points Vinous: "The 2010 Valtellina Superiore Grumello Riserva Rocca del Piro is an excellent choice for drinking in the near and medium-term, as it has a little more mid-palate fleshiness than some of the other wines in the range. At the same time, the 2010 is also less aromatically expressive, while the acidity feels softer and more integrated with the fruit. Sweet red cherry, cherry pit, smoke, dried herbs, tobacco and anise are some of the many notes that meld into the pliant finish. Within the context of traditionally made Valtellina Nebbiolo, the 2010 Rocca del Pi ...Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "A vibrant, elegant '11, this exhibits cherry, currant and spice flavors, with hints of tea and tobacco. Stays fresh and persistent, if not that intense or complex overall. Best from 2018 through 2030." (4/2016) Vinous: "The 2011 Barolo is dark and powerful, but also shows some of the roasted qualities of the year. Hints of leather, smoke, tobacco and herbs add shades of nuance as the wine opens up gently in the glass. There is good immediacy here... (AG)" (12/2015)
92 points James Suckling: "Aromas of strawberry and cherry with hints of flowers. Full body with a solid core of fruit and a silky tannin texture. Bright and pretty. Drink or hold." (10/2015) 92 points Vinous: "The 2012 Barbaresco Vallegrande is a forward, supple wine to drink now and over the next few years. Spice, sweet tobacco, black cherry, menthol, pine and a host of balsamic-inflected nuances give the fruit much of its aromatic lift, while firm tannins add energy and a sense of drive. The overall profile is very typical of Vallegrande and Treiso more broadly. I would prefer to drink the 2012 soo ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
93 points Vinous: "Einaudi's 2012 Barolo Cannubi is another huge, intense wine. Big, rich and explosive in style, the 2012 possesses notable depth and concentration in a style that is shockingly rich for Cannubi. There isn't a whole lot of subtlety here, but there is plenty of power. Here, too, readers will have to be patient. Still, I don't expect the 2012 will ever be particularly polished. (AG)" (3/2016) 93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Leather, underbrush, earth, iris and woodland berry are some of the scents you’ll discover on this structured wine. The concentrated palate delivers ...Read More »
90 points Decanter: "Silver medal Decanter World Wine Awards, June 2016" (6/2016) K&L Notes: This lovely Barolo shows a beautiful red with orange highlights as it continues to age. Spicy aromas along with notes of vanilla and licorice lead into pure red fruit and polished tannins. Will age well for 20+ years.
96 points Wine Enthusiast: "Tilled earth, underbrush, rose petal, perfumed berry, aromatic herb and a balsamic note are some of the many alluring scents you'll find on this gorgeous red. The juicy palate is both earthy and loaded with finesse, doling out ripe dark cherry, raspberry, pipe tobacco, licorice and energizing mineral. Firm, polished tannins provide structure. It's already almost accessible but will continue to evolve and age beautifully. Drink from 2019 through 2029. (KO)" (2/2017) K&L Notes: Praise for the producer's 2011 vintage from Antonio Galloni: "This is another superb set of ... Read More »
Vinous: "The 2012 Barolo tasty, entry-level offering from Rinaldi. The mid-weight personality of the year comes through in this deceptively understated wine that offers good depth but plenty of supporting tannin. I would give the 2012 a year or two in bottle to fully come together, but this is a solid wine with potential. Dried flowers, sweet tobacco and dried cherries meld into the expressive finish. (AG)" (11/2016)
Inventory: San Francisco
This 100% Nebbiolo is from the Valgella area of Valtellina Superiore. Ca Morei is a small 2.5 hectare vineyard with perfect southern exposore and sandy soil. In this cool, sub-alpine climate, the grapes are allowed to hang until the second half of October.
Inventory: San Francisco
91 points James Suckling: "A little advanced in color with ripe and rich fruit character. Full body, silky tannins and a juicy finish. Long and intense. Needs a year or two to soften. Savory wine. (JS)" (4/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "This opens with aromas of forest floor, grilled porcini, scorched earth and espresso. The lean palate offers raw red berry, sage and aniseed alongside bracing tannins and nervous acidity. (KO)" (2/2016)
Inventory: Redwood City
The somewhat undiscovered DOC of Valtellina in Northern Italy's Lombardy region produces red wines from the Nebbiolo grape. From their cool, sub-alpine river valley with steep slopes of crushed granite, the terroir naturally expresses the grape in a racier style than the more familliar Nebbiolo expressions of Piedmont. Sandro Fay is one of just a handful of prominent producers in the region. This bottling is sourced from the 3-hectare Carteria vineyard in the Valgella sub-zone of Valtellina Superiore.