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K&L Staff Recommendations
2014 Villa Sparina Gavi $13.99
96 points James Suckling: "This is the full treatment white from Italy and it always delivers. Aromas of cooked apple, cream, hints of toasted oak and peach. Full body, bright acidity, with tangy fresh fruit. Hints of yogurt and wood. Complex and truly great. Love the backbone of acidity that gives lovely form." (3/2016) 91 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* There's density to this minerally white, with flavors of kumquat, white cherry, graphite, chamomile and ground anise framed by rapierlike acidity that creates a sleek, almost lean impression on the zesty finish. Like a young Chablis, this should develop ...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.
91 points Vinous: "A wine of precision and nuance, the 2015 Terlaner Classico once again shows why this is one of Alto Adige's most compelling and delicious wines. The Pinot Blanc/Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc blend that has worked so well here for decades yields a white endowed with striking focus. White flowers, lemon peel, ripe orchard fruit, apricot pit, almond, mint and chamomile form a super-appealing fabric of aromas, flavors and textures. There is a lot to like here. The Terlano has a level of precision that none of these varieties show on their own. Then again, that ...Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "What a wonderful white with white pepper, sliced apple, lemon, and mineral character. Full to medium body, bright acidity, and a flavorful finish. Love the spice to this. This is an exciting new wine for me. Drink now." (10/2016) K&L Notes: This is an amazing wine, the first vintage ever from the Treves family who's been growing grapes for generations in Val d'Aosta who have decided to make wine from their own grapes, a whopping 280 cases. Petite Arvine is one of the local many indigenous grape varieties in Val d'Aosta, which is nestled in a tiny valley in the Alps c... 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 »
We started importing the wines of this small family-owned winery in Colli Orientali de Friuli (not far from the Slovenian border) with the 2001 vintage. Back then they were far better known in Italy, where they have continuously garnered accolades from Gambero Rosso, but these days they have quite a following here at K&L, too. Vintage after vintage the wines from the brothers Ermacora (Dario and Luciano) sell out very quickly. And they still adhere to the motto: Do little, in order to do better.
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 & Spirits: "Full reviews to follow on their Aug 2016 issue:" (8/2016) K&L Notes: Though the 2014 has yet to be professionally reviewed, the 2013 bottling earned 91 points and accolades from Antonio Galloni's Vinous: "Medium-deep gold-tinged yellow. Enticing aromas of apricot, savory herbs and minerals. Rich, ripe stone fruit and balsamic herb flavors are nicely buoyed by lively acidity. The long finish features resonating mineral lift. This outstanding, archetypal Verdicchio wine speaks clearly of the cooler Matelica terroir." (06/2015)
Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* Fresh and savory, this offers aromas and flavors of fresh apple, green Anjou pear and almond. Bright acidity gives it a crisp, clean finish while a hint of saline signals the close. (KO)" (7/2016) K&L Notes: This very special white is made exclusively with Verdicchio grapes cultivated from the east slopes of the Alta Valle Esina, on the foot of the Mount San Vicino. As is typical for Matelica, this is elegant, fresh and very mineral, and just the thing for your most elaborate fish dishes.
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.
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 »
92 points Wine & Spirits: "Full reviews to follow on their Aug 2016 issue:" (8/2016) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "With a little time in the glass, this eventually reveals subtle aromas of toasted almond, pressed yellow flower, beeswax and a whiff of honey. The honeyed note follows over to the enveloping palate, along with candied citrus peel, marzipan and mineral. Fresh acidity brightens the rich flavors and provides balance. It's already enjoyable but hold for more complexity. Drink through 2023." (7/2016) K&L Notes: Praise from Antonio Galloni's Vinous: "La Monacesca, one of the best producers of Verdicchio wines, takes i... Read More »
Erste e Neue is a highly revered co-op located high up in the Mediterranean Alps in the Alto Adige region of Northeast Italy, where it is famous for producing racy, refreshing, and mineral-driven white wines from the varietals that thrive there. A cross of Riesling and Madeleine Royale, Muller-Thurgau is one of the more widely planted cross-bred varieties in Germany, possessing Riesling's hardiness and intense fruit but with the genes for earlier ripening. This is a fragrant, fruity wine, with soft floral and citrus aromas and flavors, accented by hints ... Read More »
Impressive for its purity and refreshing mineral qualities, Valle dell'Acate takes the Insolia varietal to a whole new level of quality. As a second label, the Case Ibidini range (pronounced 'bidini) consists of varietally labeled wines from the estate intended for more casual consumption. The local name of the area where the estate is situated, Bidini, is drawn from the ancient root Bidis. This in turn referred to the name of a group of early Hellenic settlers who populated the area nearly 20 centuries ago. These wines provide a purity and authenticity ... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
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 »
Gallura is a peninsula on the northeast corner of the island of Sardinia that specializes in Vermentino (the grape is also grown on the coast of mainland Italy, on Corsica and in the south of France under the name Rolle). Mancini's version of the grape is very fresh and forward, with no oak or malolactic fermentation aromas, just grape juice fermented at low temperature in stainless steel. Enjoy this delicious, lively and aromatic white as an aperitif or with seafood (prawns with pasta?). A hint of citrus peel on the finish adds food-friendly complexity.
93 points Wine & Spirits: "Troisi’s basic fiano is less intense than his single-vineyard Aipierti (reviewed above), yet it’s also terrifically impressive. Delicate scents of orange blossom and bee pollen give way to flavors of fresh apple, pear and lemon that take on a honeyed richness with air, developing notes of salted almonds and nori that add a savory character. A stream of salinity runs through the dense, waxy texture and gives direction to the rich fruit flavors, bringing them to an energetic and refreshing finish." (10/2016) 92 points Vinous: "Deep gold-tinged yellow. Knockout Fiano aromas of ...Read More »
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."
Frascati doesn't have the best reputation--it's often the innocuous white wine served as "house wine" across Rome--but this one from Casale Marchese transcends any preconceived notions. Made from Malvasia del Lazio, Trebbiano Toscano, Malvasia di Candia, Bonvino and Bellone grown on family farms in the Tusculo hills and brought to us by one of our favorite Italian importers, Oliver McCrum (it's how you KNOW it's going to be good), this is fresh and delightful. Notes of basil complement peach and nectarine with a slight almond underpinning. It's fresh, ea... Read More »
Ravello, carved into the hillsides overlooking the Mediterranean on Italy's Amalfi Coast, is one of my favorite places on earth. Maybe it's because it is where my husband and I honeymooned, but honestly I was in love with Ravello before I ever set foot there, and that goes back to this wine. Made from 60% Falanghina and 40% Biancolella grown in the rocky, calcareous soils of both Ravello and Scala, this slightly floral, wonderfully mineral, fresh white wine tastes like the crystalline blue sea and sunshine captured in a bottle. It is particularly delicio... Read More »
One of the best deals going in Pinot Grigio, this wine is from the Grave del Friuli DOC, an area perfectly suited to the varietal. The 2013 is crisp, fruity and fresh, exhibiting that classic subtle bitter hint on the palate that makes it such an ideal match with dishes like spaghetti with clams, or sauteed freshwater trout. It also makes a fine pairing with sushi. Enjoy while young and fresh.
91 points Vinous: "Bright gold-tinged yellow. Intense notes of anise and sweet botanical herbs complicate mineral, citrus and orchard fruit aromas. Rich and dense but juicy too, with licorice, sage and white peach flavors lingering nicely through a pure, juicy, very bright finish. One of the better versions of Canayli in years. (JR)" (1/2016)
Praise from Ian D'Agata: "The third and fourth generations of the Di Meo family are propelling this estate into the stratosphere of Italian wine production. Along with wines from Mustilli and Contrada Salandra, there are no better Falanghina bottlings made anywhere than these. Following a stint with world-famous consulting enologist Roberto Cipresso, Vincenzo Di Meo is the winemaker here. The estate vineyards are situated in the particularly sandy Campi Flegrei production zone, which seems especially well suited to Falanghina, of which there are at least... Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A chardonnay with lots of buttery and cooked apple aromas and flavors. Full body and a flavorful finish. Drink or hold." (8/2015) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I have always been a huge fan of this wine. The 2013 I Sistri is a Chardonnay-based white that opens to aromas of stone fruit, orange peel, white almond and honey. Only 10% of the wine sees oak aging in new barrique. In the mouth, I Sistri shows soft lines and bright fruit richness. (ML)" (10/2015) Jancis Robinson: "Fermented and aged in barrel (none new). Lovely nose: a biscuity sweetness from the lees and barrel and still has fresh melon and citr ...Read More »
In case you are like most folks out there, and you have no idea what Kerner is, here's a little background: Kerner is a relatively new grape (developed in the 1960s) and is a cross between Riesling and the local red grape Schiava. Though something of a mongrel in terms of ancestry, in the right hands, such as those of the very capable people at Cantina Valle Isarco, it produces a full-bodied, un-oaked wine full of vibrant fruits, ethereal floral highlights and aging potential. A strong, spicy wine to enjoy with charcuterie and sausages or sashimi!
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Gold with copper highlights, this elegantly structured wine offers heady scents of white spring flower and orchard fruit. On the juicy, savory palate, nutmeg and mineral notes back up ripe apple, mature pear and apricot that lead to a fresh finish. (KO)" (7/2016)
A sauvignon and Timorasso blend, this wine is fermented in stainless steel for a few months before bottling. A classic expression of Monferrato.
Italy known for good large, co-operative wineries. (A few good co-ops exist in other regions, but not lots of them in one region.) This top-notch wine comes from the co-op Erste + Neue, which is right in the center of Caldaro, one of the small towns on the "Wine Road" south of Bolzano. They make the range of white wines that you would expect, Sauvignon, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris (and an excellent Müller Thurgau). Gerhard Sanin, the enologist for E+N, favors a bright, restrained winemaking style that really allows this place and these varieties to shine.
Tre Campane means 'three bells,' signifying the three communes of Lugana where the grapes for this cuvee are grown. The estate vineyards are all in the historic part of the Lugana appellation, in the communes of Pozzolengo, Sirmione e Peschiera, no more than half a mile from Lake Garda. The vines used here are older, an average of around 30-35 years of age. Alessandro harvests the grapes in two parts, 50% in mid-September and the remainder in mid-October at full ripening, allowing him to make a wine with excellent fresh acidity and added body and complex... Read More »
Producer Note: "A classic wine for the entire meal, a wonderful accompainment to hams and young cold cuts, eggplant, fish dishes and white meats. The "Grigio" holds the second place in our production. The grapes, balanced and mature, offer a wine with Mediterranean hints of pear, peach and dried flowers. The taste of Pinot Grigio is fat and complex due to notes of melon, baked apple and tropical fruit, with hints of apricot. When young, it is a pleasant wine for its fresh and acid note."
This family-run estate is farmed with no pesticides and harvested by hand in the heart of Tuscany. This white is complex and refreshing, with bright fruit and herbal notes. A great wine for scallops.
This Tuscan Vermentino comes from the Colli di Luni which is right at the Ligurian border. The wine was fermented on the skins for 48 hours and has a simply stunning character. Loads of nascent fruit are wrapped around a core of mineral salts, spice and producing a palate feel that is absolutrely scintillating. A long finish that is so expressive, I really think this wine is fantastic.
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Aged in cement vats, Edi Keber's 2014 Collio is a pristine blend of 70% Friulano, 15% Ribolla Gialla and 15% Malvasia Istriana. The wine follows a local winemaking philosophy that sees structure thanks to Friulano, acidity thanks to Ribolla Gialla and fragrance from the Malvasia. Edi Keber dedicates most of his effort to this one wine. Beautiful tones of yellow rose and honey segue to creamy persistence. (ML)" (5/2016) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "A blend of 70% Friulano, 15% Ribolla Gialla and 15% Malvasia, this is perfumed with scents suggesting yellow flower, apple, citrus fruit an ...Read More »
94 points Vinous: "Bright dark yellow-gold. Enticing aromas of ripe peach, lime, ginger, custard cream, spring flowers and minerals. Dense, smooth and rich, offering precise, strong flavors of ripe stone fruit, raisin, caramelized fig and crème brûlée. Quite perfumed in the mouth, and nicely balanced; the long finish displays a seamless quality and remarkable freshness for such a big, concentrated wine." (11/2014) K&L Notes: About the producer: "Among vines and rocks rising vertically over the sea of Furore, we find Cantine Marisa Cuomo. The grapes that grow here, clinging to the rocks... 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)
Wine Enthusiast: "Muted scents of orchard fruit and a touch of almond lead the nose. The vibrant palate offers pear, citrus zest and mineral accompanied by bracing acidity." (4/2016)
Monica Larner writes: "Four generations of the Gangemi family boast 100 years of collective winemaking experience on Mt. Etna."
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.
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Best of 2016* Made with 70% Carricante and 30% Catarratto, this elegantly structured wine has enticing aromas of Mediterranean herb, fragrant yellow flower, citrus and a whiff of acacia. The fresh, savory palate shows juicy lime, ripe pear, chopped herb and mineral alongside tangy acidity. The lingering finish closes crisp and clean. (KO)" (8/2016)
The "Zuani" blends Friulano, the Colliio's indigenous varietal, with Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Pinot Grigio from marl and sandstone soils. Fermented in new French oak barrels with daily (then weekly) battonage. This is a spicy, citrusy wine with layers of fruit and a creamy minerality.
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Alluring aromas of white flower, orchard fruit and Mediterranean herb mingle in the glass. The delicious, linear palate offers a nice depth of flavors including juicy yellow peach, tart green apple, nectarine and a hint of ginger alongside tangy acidity. The lingering finish closes on a mineral note." (6/2015) K&L Notes: Tre Campane means 'three bells,' signifying the three communes of Lugana where the grapes for this cuvee are grown. The estate vineyards are all in the historic part of the Lugana appellation, in the communes of Pozzolengo, Sirmione e Peschiera, no m... Read More »
I met Dino and Patrizia Torti, a dynamic Father-Daughter winemaking team, 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 dating back into the 19th century, but only recently has there been a movement for the production of red wines. That might seem an odd introduction for a white wine but this one is made from red grapes! Pinot Noir vinified white (no skin contact), but wow what flavor! Bold, penetrating Pino... Read More »
Christian Kerschbaumer is a young winemaker and proprietor of Weingut Garlider in Alto Adige's Eisack Valley. English wine writer and critic Stuart Pigott writes: "His white wines are of a very special class... The Grüner Veltliner is also dynamic, yet more athletic and stress-laden, the aromas come from the glass: with wonderfully ripe, yellow fruits, but also cool, slightly iodine spice, which unfolds with every sip. Almost as if a primordial sea were breeding against the alpine pastures! When the vines grow older and this wine gets a bit more deep, a ... Read More »
91 points Vinous: "Bright, pale straw-yellow. Complex, mineral-driven aromas of orchard fruit, chamomile and anise. Bright, fresh and juicy, showing sneaky concentration and noteworthy floral lift to the orchard fruit and mineral flavors. Finishes long and delicately savory, with a strong mineral overlay. One of the best young Frassitellis I can recall. Incidentally, the name Frassitelli refers to one of the world’s most beautiful vineyards, located at roughly 600 meters above sea level and offering a spectacular view of Capri and Procida. The top portion of the vineyard i ...Read More »
2012 Vignalta Manzoni Bianco ‘Agno Casto’ Riserva Vignalta The indigenous Veneto variety Manzoni Bianco was created in the 1930s by Professor Luigi Manzoni of the enology school in Conegliano by crossing Pinot Bianco with Riesling. Fermentation for stainless steel; Aged 10 months in steel tanks and 6 months in bottle