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K&L Staff Recommendations
93 points James Suckling: "Lots of blackcurrants, grapes and lemon zest character. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a long and flavorful finish. It's firm and very tight. Compact structure. Delicious blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah and sangiovese. Better in 2018." (8/2015) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Pure and fresh, boasting black currant and black cherry flavors, with tar and earth details. Lean, almost racy, with vivid acidity driving the long, mineral-tinged finish. Sangiovese, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2017 through 2023. (BS)" (10/2015)
93 points James Suckling: "A solid and chewy young red with dried blackberries, licorice and hints of toasted oak and walnuts. A full-bodied, energetic red from the Chianti Classico region of Panzano. Needs two to three years of bottle age. A blend of Sangivoese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Alicante." (8/2015) 93 points Vinous: "A dark, sumptuous beauty, the 2013 La Massa opens with superb depth and textural richness. Inky blue/purplish fruit, smoke, white pepper and violets are all super-expressive. Pliant, concentrated and deep, the 2013 is shaping up to be a real beauty. I especially like the de ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Aromas of plums and berry with hints of chalk and stone. Medium to full body, chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Structured. Serious Chianti Classico. Drink or age." (8/2016) K&L Notes: The production potential of Lamole, now a hamlet of Greve in Chianti, was first discovered by the Romans, who established vineyards and olive groves on the high hills they’d recognized as ideal farming country. Indeed, the well-aspected site overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea is characterized by a natural amphitheatre that is protected by Monte San Michele to the north and exposed to l... Read More »
Ettore Spina and his wife, Enrica Bandirola, owners of Sesta di Sopra, planted a new vineyard to Sangiovese in 2005. It has the same Galestro soils as the Brunello vineryard, perfect for taming Sangiovese's natural vigor. Unfortunately, in Montalcino all of the Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino vineyards are all registered and controlled, and they aren't allowing any more to be added right now, so the wine that comes from this new vineyard has to be designated an IGT (Indicates Geographic Tipicity). The wine is just bursting with ripe fruit.... Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "A super refined wine with sliced berry plus hints of cedar and vanilla. Full-bodied, bright and crisp; lovely finish. Drink now." (10/2015) 92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Dark berry, underbrush and tobacco aromas lead the nose of this vibrant, structured wine while the palate doles out black cherry, fresh raspberry, licorice and clove. Fresh acidity and supple tannins balance the juicy flavors. Drink through 2018. (KO)" (9/2015) 92 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buy* This is rich and sumptuous, boasting pure flavors of cherry and raspberry, matched to a juicy texture. There are plenty of tannins neatly folded into ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Delicately scented, this alluring sparkler opens with aromas of white flowers and freshly picked orchard fruit. The vibrant, linear palate delivers crisp apple, pear and a citrus note accompanied by racy acidity and an elegant perlage. (KO)" (12/2015) James Suckling: "This is round and delicious with candied-apple and lemon aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, fresh and clean. Drink now." (10/2015) K&L Notes: San Venanzio has won many awards over the years. At K&L they get the coveted "Guido" award two thumbs up and three stars for value. On the nose, there are generous notes of apples, pe... Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "A silky and pretty red with dried cherry and lemon peel aromas and flavors. Full to medium body, firm tannins and a fruity finish. Silky and racy. Tangy finish. Always a classic." (8/2015) 93 points Vinous: "Monsanto's 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva 50 Vendemmie is one of the most pedigreed wines of the year. Deep and resonant in the glass, but not at all heavy, the 2012 possesses magnificent complexity to match what I can only describe as a regal expression of Sangiovese. There is a level of purity and nuance to the 2012 that is hard to describe with words but that is very m ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I'm not sure how you could possibly beat a deal this good. A 90/10 blend of Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera di Lecce, the 2013 Salice Salentino Riserva 50 Vendemmia is given Riserva status because the wine is released two years after the harvest. The wine presents a bold and shapely body of fruit with ripe berry and black cherry on prime view. There are thicker accents of dried prune and plum at the back. The wine reveals a bold and determined style that is in line with the wine style of Puglia. 90+ (ML)" (8/2016) Wine Spectator: "Savory accents of forest floor and game meet ...Read More »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "***Editors' Choice*** Made with 85% Nerello Mascalese and 15% Nerello Cappuccio, this radiant red boasts a beautiful fragrance of blue and red flower, ripe berry, cake spice and aromatic herb. The radiant, delicious palate doles out layers of juicy black cherry, raspberry compote, cinnamon, white pepper and clove while a mineral note backs up the lingering finish. It's young but balanced, with bright acidity and tightly wound but refined tannins. (KO)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: #3 Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 Wines for 2016: Nerello Cappuccio – Nerello Mascalese is a blend ... Read More »
Erik Banti's Morellino di Scansano is primarily Sangiovese with a little Merlot to flesh it out. There's so much to love about this red: its lush and inviting aromas, full and round mouthfeel, and food-friendly structure are just the beginning. Factor in the price and you've got one of the tastiest and versatile red wine values in the store! Ready to drink tonight, this juicy, mouthwatering red is an satisfying on its own, and makes a worthy complement to simple pasta dishes, poultry and soft cheeses. A must try!
92 points Vinous: "Pale straw. Very pure and precise aromas of white stone fruit complicated by hints of ripe apricot and minerals and perked up by hints of white flowers. Clean fresh and juicy, with almost saline flavors of stone fruit and yellow apple. Long fresh and creamy on the extremely refined finish. Super Prosecco from Follador, whom I consider one of the true masters of the Glera grape variety and wine. 92+ (ID) Silvano Follador is in my opinion the single best producer of Prosecco today...made in a relatively drier style than most of his colleagues, are much s ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Fragrant blue flower, tilled soil and wild berry aromas lead the nose. The light-bodied, accessible palate offers tart cherry and a hint of chopped herb. It's fresh and easy drinking, with loose-knit tannins. (KO)" (12/2016) K&L Notes: The Baccinetti family has worked their family farm south of Montalcino since 1935, but 2004 was their first vintage of estate-grown wine. Planted with 100% Sangiovese, the vineyard comprises 3 hectares of young vines that go into their rosso bottling. The wine is fermented in stainless steel and then spends 12 months in barrel before b... Read More »
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."
33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 17% Montepulciano, 17% Alicante.
You pay attention to every detail when making your Manhattan, down to the ice, so why would you garnish your libation with one of those cellulose monstrosities marketed as a maraschino cherry? Instead, try the original Maraschino cherry from Luxardo, which uses real pitted Marasca cherries and Marasca syrup for these delicious little orbs. Extremely high quality--these cherries will enhance your cocktail significantly. These Maraschino cherries were given the Gold Award in June 2012 at the 51st World "Monde Selection," the oldest quality competition of i... Read More »
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 »
Rosso di Montalcino too often sits in the shadow of its much bigger brother, Brunello. But some estates put nearly the care and expense into their Rosso as their big guns, and La Fortuna is clearly an example of this sort of winemaking. Intense in terms of fruit, but showing off admirable acidity, this is spicy, full bodied, dry and rich with a softness hiding amid all that tannic structure. A wine to drink while your Brunello ages, yes, but a quality wine nonetheless. From vines 15-25 years of age, aged for one year in barrique, 6 months of this in Fren... Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Rich, fruity and enticing, this sweet vermouth is warmed with notes of fig and dried cherries, and just faint hints of spiced gingerbread and bitter orange peel. Drinkable solo as an apéritif, or use it as a cocktail-mixing favorite. (KN)" (4/2014) K&L Notes: The world's most beloved sweet vermouth, now in a size that won't oxidize before you can finish the bottle! Hooray!
Vinous: "Bright red. Red cherry aromas are complicated by leather and game. Then more game in the mouth and slightly drying tannins, but with enough rich red fruit to keep this dancing on the palate. Finishes medium-long, fruity and chewy. Needs food. (ID)" (10/2016) K&L Notes: Sella & Mosca is a beautiful and historic winegrowing estate in Sardinia. They place great emphasis on their traditional winemaking values enabled by modern cellars. In the most outstanding vintages, Sella & Mosca produces this Cannonau Riserva bottling from grapes picked in select vineyard parcels of ... Read More »
Claudia Ferrero’s small property is situated between Argiano and Banfi’s Poggio all’Oro vineyard in Montalcino’s southwestern corner. This gorgeous Sangiovese is full-bodied and ripe with layers of lush black cherry fruit. On the palate it is lively, balanced and fresh and has a long finish. The perfect match for grilled meats drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.
90 points Wine & Spirits: "There's a hint of complexity in the interplay between this wine's gentle sweetness and crisp acidity, like biting into a freshly picked ripe pear. It's lean and focused, a match for warm goat cheese on crostini." (12/2009) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The non-vintage Prosecco del Valdobiaddene Extra Dry is a featherweight Prosecco displaying light, crisp, grapefruit and citrus notes, pure flavors, good acidity and a zesty, but not overly aggressive effervescence. Enjoy it over the next year. (RP)" (6/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "This offers aromas of wisteria, jasmine, white stone fruit and a whiff of almond. ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Some dried fruit with strawberry and lemon rind on the nose and palate. Medium to full body. Tangy tannins. Pèppoli is always excellent." (11/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "You'll find aromas of violet, iris, red berry and baking spice on this savory blend of 90% Sangiovese, Merlot and Syrah. The vibrant palate doles out wild cherry, crushed raspberry, cinnamon and a hint of tobacco alongside polished tannins and bright acidity. (KO)" (9/2015) Wine Spectator: "A firm yet juicy red, displaying black cherry and blackberry flavors. The tannins are assertive, so give this air or short-term cellaring. (B ...Read More »
90 points James Suckling: "A fresh and tangy red with dried berry, lemon rind and hints of lemon grass. Medium body, light tannins and a fruity finish." (10/2015)
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)
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Cantele 2013 Salice Salentino Riserva shows a greater level of depth and finesse compared to many of its peers. The wine is packed tight with blackberry fruit, with Maraschino cherry, plum and prune in abundance. The wine is chewy and rich for sure, but it also provides an authentic and generous portrait of a red wine from Puglia. A spicy beef or lamb dish would make the perfect pairing partner. (ML)" (8/2016)
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)
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)
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Among the canon of Italian spirits, Aperol and the Aperol Spritz cocktail are classics, available at a growing range of America's best bars. The lurid red hue is recognizable from across the room. It's light on every count—in terms of alcohol content, sweetness level and texture. The gentle sweet-bitter profile goes down easy—especially when lightened with bubbles. (KO)" (4/2014) K&L Notes: Aperol's unique flavor and color is achieved through a subtle blend of bitter orange, gentian, rhubarb and an array of herbs and roots--using a secret recipe that has been unchang... Read More »
Montalcino's most famous single vineyard is the Montosoli hill, Altesino made this name famous when they designated their best Brunello with their northeastern-facing vineyard's name, Montosoli. Nello Baricci and his family have lived and farmed Sangiovese on their southeastern-facing slope of the Montosoli hill since the 1930s. Their wines are pure, supple, lithe and complex; they are full of tobacco, sweet earth, licorice, violets, rosemary and have long and persistent finishes, as evidenced in this fantastic Rosso, meant to drink now and over the next... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
Giovanni Blason and his wife Valentina are young producers who continuously surprise us with the price-to-quality ratio of their wines, earning them tons of kudos in Gambero Rosso and beyond. They come from the Isonzo region of Northern Italy, right up against the Slovenian border.
Wine Spectator: "Ripe cherry and raspberry flavors exude from this rich red, accented by leafy tobacco notes. This is firm too, with a moderately long finish. Drink now through 2019. (BS, Web-2016)"
90 points James Suckling: "A creamy and delicious Prosecco with sliced-pear and lemon character. Medium body, a creamy texture and fine bubbles. Drink now." (11/2016) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This luminous sparkler opens with aromas of jasmine, orange blossom and white peach. The crisp, refreshing palate doles out green apple, Bartlett pear and white almond alongside vibrant acidity and a silky mousse. (KO)" (12/2015) Wine Spectator: "A balanced sparkler, fresh and stony, with a subtle mix of crunchy white peach, Thai basil, sliced almond and lemon pith, set on the refined mousse. (AN)" (4/2016) K&L Notes: From medium-elevation hillside v... 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 James Suckling: "A red with plum, chocolate and hints of cedar. Nutty too. Medium to full body. Hazelnut undertones. Savory finish. Excellent value here. Drink now." (10/2014) K&L Notes: Antonio Galloni writes: "Consulting oenologist Riccardo Cotarella is now the man in charge at Fattoria del Cerro and all of the SAI Agricola properties, which includes La Poderina in Montalcino. Although the wines could use a little more polish, these seem like assignments that require a gentle guide rather than a total revolution. If anything these wines need less, not more. The quality of the fruit... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Although many amari boast a secret formula comprising a multitude of ingredients-Fernet-Branca ($30) contains a total of 27, giving it a licorice, menthol and raisin character - certain flavors are well-trodden. Among them are anise, angelica, marjoram, cinnamon, cinchona, gentian, rosemary, saffron, fennel and cardamom, as well as mint and orange. (JB)" (2/2016) K&L Notes: Fernet Branca is an Italian amaro developed in 1845. The family's secret recipe still has never been disclosed, but what they can tell you is that it is a combination of 27 different herbs picked ... Read More »
92 points Vinous: "The 2014 Frappato Vittoria opens up with an irresistible fresh red fruit cocktail quality on the nose, followed by very spicy and floral notes, with juicy red berry and cherry. Finishes long and clean with a bright floral echo. A stellar Frappato that makes it impossible to put the glass down. (ID)" (11/2015) 91 points James Suckling: "This shows aromas of blueberry, forest fruit and salt. Medium to full body, bright acidity and a mineral finish. Goes on for minutes. Tangy and savory." (10/2014) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Fragrant and fresh, this luminous wine opens with aromas of red berry, blueberry, violet, ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A wine with plenty of dried cherry and citrus fruit aromas and flavors. Medium body, slightly chewy tannins and a fresh finish. How Chianti Classico should be. Drink or hold." (10/2015) 91 points Vinous: "The 2013 Chianti Classico is dark, sensual and beautifully layered in the glass. Freshly cut flowers, sweet red berries, mint and cinnamon are some of the many notes that flesh out in a textured, inviting Chianti Classico endowed with notable depth and personality. In 2013, Rocca di Montegrossi's Chianti Classico is especially dark and powerful. (AG)" (9/2015) 90 points Wine & Spirits: "The stony soils ...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 »
I met Dino and Patrizia Torti, a dynamic father-daughter team who are passionately committed to championing their region Lombardia, at their winery in the hills of Oltrepo Pavese about 45 miles south of Milano. Pinot Noir or Pinot Nero in Italian has been used in Lombardia in the making of methode champenoise sparkling wines since the 19th century, but only recently has there been a movement for the production of red wines. Tasting notes from the winery: "Ruby red with a smooth velvety aroma, ethereal; full distinct taste in the mouth, reminiscent of nob... Read More »
Monica Larner of eRobertParker.com writes: "The Sportoletti family founded their estate in the late 1970s and farm 26 hectares of vines in the Spello and Assisi area of Umbria. They work with consulting enologist Riccardo Cotarella."
Wine Enthusiast: "Fresh and fruity, this straightforward red offers aromas of ripe dark-skinned berry, licorice and leather. The soft, juicy palate doles out dried blackberry and spiced blueberry alongside round, smooth tannins. (KO)" (3/2016)
Two-thirds of wine production in Alto Adige is controlled by cooperatives, and Erste e Neue is an old cooperative dating back to the year 1900 in the Caldara area. Hundreds of growers' grapes find their way to Erste e Neue to produce quality wines from their sub-alpine terroir near the Mediterranean's Adriatic Sea. From Erste e Neue: "The Pinot Grigio is graced with lovely purity in its clean, focused fruit. There is a wonderful warmth that radiates through the wine even if this remains a fresh, mineral-driven style of Pinot Grigio."
A light straw yellow with greenish highlights in color, the wine shows a fruity nose with notes of citrus fruit, peaches, and pineapples. The structure and the acidity balance one another and the finish and aftertaste are lively and persistent. This Orvieto is a blend of 50% Grechetto, 25% Procanico, 25% Pinot Blanc and Viognier.
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Ramitello has enjoyed its own cult following over the years. The 2012 Molise Rosso Ramitello (a blend of Montepulciano and Aglianico) is a delicious expression with a balanced approach that puts just as much emphasis on intensity as it does elegance. The bouquet reveals dark fruit tones with spice and lingering leather at the back. The mouthfeel is reinforced by firm tannic structure and bright acidity. Of all the wineries in Molise, none stands taller than Di Majo Norante in terms of international visibility. Celebrated enologist Riccardo Cotarella help ...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 »