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K&L Staff Recommendations
This has become a go-to favorite for customers and staff at K&L. Priced at a level that allows for corks to pop any old time it suits you, the Montechiara phenomenon continues to gain followers by the hour. See for yourself why this value sparkler is getting so much attention.
93 points James Suckling: "Aromas of flowers, lemon rind and dried cherries follow through to a full body, soft tannins and a savory finish. Really delicious. Drink or hold." (9/2015)
Wine Spectator: "This creamy red takes a modern tack, with mocha and spice accents to the pureed boysenberry fruit. Bright and balanced, with a lightly chewy finish of moderate length. Negroamaro, Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2018. 1,400 cases imported." (6/2015)
90 points James Suckling: "A very elegant, refined style of rosso with dried-cherry, lemon and citrus undertones. Medium to full body, bright acidity and a fruity finish. Delicate and bright." (10/2015)
100 points James Suckling: "Crazy aromas of dried lemon, sea salt and cherry and delicate rose petal. Full body, ripe fruit with amazing acid tannin structure. It works from the inside out with your palate showing an amazing center palate and bright acidity and tannin structure. Goes on for minute. Redefines Brunello. Drink now but better in five years. The greatest wine ever from here." (12/2014) 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I am absolutely enthusiastic about Sassetti Livio Pertimali's 2010 Brunello di Montalcino. Breathe deep into the glass and this wine awards you a beautiful sensorial experience that brings ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
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 Wine Enthusiast: "Editors' Choice: Terre di San Venanzio Fortunato 2014 Demi Long (Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore). Heady scents of jasmine, wisteria, chopped herbs and fresh orchard fruit lead the way on this delicious sparkler. The creamy palate doles out Bartlett pear, yellow apple and a hint of white peach alongside bright acidity and a soft perlage. One bottle might not be enough of this.. (KO)" (12/2015) 90 points James Suckling: "A frothy, fresh prosecco with sliced-grapefruit and mineral aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, fruity and delicious. Remains dry on the finish. Vivid and fun. Drin ...Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Sicilia Nero d'Avola Lamùri Tenuta Regaleali represents an impressive achievement. Grapes are sourced from vineyards between 450 and 750 meters above sea level and the wine is aged in mostly neutral oak (with 20% new oak) for one year. The high altitude vineyards have shaped the focused and linear aromas of wild berry and dried cherry. The wood regime has added delicate layers of carob seed and powdered chocolate. This is a very exciting vintage of Lamùri, thanks to its overall balance and intensity. (ML)" (12/2015) 91 points James Suckling: "A fruity, juicy red with dried- ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Lots of vivid spice, meat and dark berry fruit. Full body, fine tannins and bright acidity. Better than the 2012." (8/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Tre is an informal blend of 80% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. This happy threesome offers bright fruit nuances with loads of cherry and dark fruit at the front. This is an easy-drinking red with a lean and crisp character that makes it an excellent pairing partner to pizza or cheesy pasta dishes. (ML)" (10/2015) Vinous: "Crushed flowers, sweet red berries, and gently spiced notes take shape in the 2013 Tre, a blend ...Read More »
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)
92 points James Suckling: "A rich and earthy red with orange peel and plum character. Full body and tangy with lots of jammy flavors. It becomes bright and fresh with air. Thoroughly delicious. Drink or hold." (1/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Campo di Marzo opens to smoky notes of ash and pencil shaving that segue slowly to dried cherry, savory spice and used leather. Give it a few minutes and the wine opens nicely to show blue flower, pressed violet and dark rose. The complexity on display is a pleasant surprise especially compared to the lackluster 2009 vintage. Il Valenti ...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: "*Cellar Selection* Fragrant and balanced, this structured wine opens with an alluring fragrance of red rose petal, black raspberry, leather and spice. The ripe, savory palate delivers mature black cherry, balsamic notes, subtle oak and a touch of vanilla, all supported by a firm, tannic backbone and fresh acidity. It’s already fabulous but hold for complexity. Drink 2016–2026." (12/2014) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Barbaresco Gallina is perfumed and layered with bright red fruit at the core. You can feel the heat of the 2011 vintage, but not in a distracting or diminishing w ...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. Drink now." (10/2014) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Fragrant and fresh, this luminous wine opens with aromas of red berry, blueberr ...Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "This dark, mysterious vermouth is rich, complex and layered, boasting aromas of mint and other herbs, plums and figs, reminscent of Madeira. The rich flavors are hard to pin down: cocoa, red wine, almonds, bitter marmelade, hints of spice and toffee all play across the palate, finishing with a bracing bitter edge. This delectable sweet vermouth would shine in a Manhattan." (2/2011) K&L Notes: Carpano's Antica Formula, from the original recipe developed by Antonio Benedetto Carpano in 1786, is a sweet vermouth of the highest quality. This distinctive and powerful arom... Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A wine with blackberry, mineral and dried flower aromas and flavors. Full body, round and silky tannins and a fruity finish. Spices, smoked meat and berries. Plenty of syrah character." (12/2013) 90 points Wine Spectator: "A bright, black currant-, blueberry- and pomegranate-flavored red, with hints of spice and smoke. Dense and concentrated, with fine-grained tannins and a long finish. Needs time to absorb the oak. (BS)" (10/2013)
Inventory: San Francisco
92 points James Suckling: "Fascinating aromas of dried fruits, orange peel, earth, pomace and meat. Full body with soft and tangy fruit plus a long, flavorful finish. It's decadent and citrusy on the finish besides the opulent and delicious red fruits." (3/2015) Wine Spectator: "Blackberry, loamy earth, spice and tea leaf notes mix in this balanced red, with light tannins on the aromatic finish. Drink now through 2018." (3/2015)
Sella & Mosca is a beautiful and historic winegrowing estate in Sardinia which places 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 this most traditional red Sardinian varietal. Aged for two years in oak casks prior to release, this aristocratic red will sustain a decade or more of aging.
From one of Asti's most prestigious Barbera vineyards, "Crena," the Bava brothers make "Libera" from the young vines planted at the top of Crena. The wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel, keeping it fresh and crunchy. An ideal wine for richly sauced pasta or roasted chicken.
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Top 50 Spirits of 2011* This dark, mysterious vermouth is rich, complex and layered, boasting aromas of mint and other herbs, plums and figs, reminiscent of Madeira. The rich flavors are hard to pin down: cocoa, red wine, almonds, bitter marmalade, hints of spice and toffee all play across the palate, finishing with a bracing bitter edge. This delectable sweet vermouth would shine in a Manhattan." (2/2011) 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!
93 points James Suckling: "A fruity, delicious red with sliced-plum and lemon-rind character. Full body with light tannins and a flavorful finish. I like the traditional, honest character here. Drink now." (10/2014) 92 points Wine Spectator: "Aromas and flavors of eucalyptus, wild sage and pine mingle with cherry, tobacco and earth notes in this complex, structured red. Balanced, long and built for the long haul. Drink now through 2024. 26,000 cases made." (10/2014) 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(90% sangiovese, the rest canaiolo nero and colorino): Medium red with a palish rim. Wonderfully floral on the nose, with captivating nuances of ra ...Read More »
95 points James Suckling: "So much dried-lemon and orange-peel character here. Wet leaf, wet earth, stone and lightly smoked meat. Full body, integrated tannins and a savory, tangy finish. Fleshy and yummy. Fabulous deal." (12/2014) 93 points Vinous: "Bright red cherries, plums, smoke, tobacco, flowers, cedar and spices are all beautifully delineated in the 2010 Brunello di Montalcino. Vibrant and lifted throughout, the 2010 captures the freshness of the vintage in spades. (AG)" (2/2015) 93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Lovely fragrances of pressed powder, black berries, rose and tilled soil waft from the glass. The firm palate offers ...Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "This is is rich and dense with a fabulous silky tannin mouthfeel. Full body, with loads of fruit and a long, flavorful finish. Lively acidity keeps the wine agile and fresh. Better in 2016 but so delicious now. A blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese, and 5% Cabernet Franc." (7/2013) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Valdisanti (Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc) is staked tall with bold fruit nuances of dark cherry, blackberry, spice, tobacco and Spanish cedar. Crushed white pepper and grilled herbs also play into the mix. This is a large, extracted wine ...Read More »
93 points Wine Spectator: "Menthol and eucalyptus notes shade the core of black cherry and plum in this broad, densely textured red. Balanced, in a powerful style, with dusty, mouthcoating tannins on the lingering finish. Needs grilled beef. Best from 2019 through 2032." (5/2015) 92 points James Suckling: "Lots of dried citrus, meat and earthy aromas follow through to a full body, round tannins and a tangy fruit and juicy finish. A slightly dusty and austere texture but a generous and decadent Brunello. Better in 2015." (12/2014) 92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of ripe berry, cooking spice, tilled soil, truffle, leather and a balsamic ...Read More »
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 »
90-95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Superb/Highly Recommended* Sophisticated and delightful aromas of tangerine and rhubarb. The palate entry is delightfully citrusy and sweet; the midpalate phase offers just enough herbal bitterness to balance. Ends up refreshing, orangey sweet and delectably herbal. This deserves to become a popular pre-dinner quaff." (8/2007) 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 unchanged since its first creation in 1919. Try the classic ... Read More »
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 »
92 points Wine Spectator: "Cherry, plum, licorice and spice flavors play off the lush texture in this opulent red. The tannins offer support, but are well-integrated, leading to a long, balanced finish. (Web-2015) (BS)" 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From Podere Pietranera, the 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is a soft and perfumed expression that excels in consistency as it glides so smoothly over the senses. It shows dried cherry and cassis with good balance, finesse and class. The palate shows more firmness and grit with a pinch of sharp Sangiovese acidity on the close. (ML)" (2/2014) 90 points James Suckling: "A balanced wine with plums and ...Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "Aromas of dried tangerines and plums with hints of flowers. Full body with ultra-fine tannins and a delicious balsamic, dark-fruit and plum character. Savory and delicious. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold." (10/2014) 92 points Wine Spectator: "Reinforced by beefy tannins, this black cherry- and plum-filled version offers floral and spice accents. In a modern, fruity style, yet not oaky, this stays lively and persistent through the long aftertaste. Best from 2016 through 2027. 15,000 cases made. (BS)" (10/2014) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I am always impressed by the wines of Fontodi. The 2011 Chiant ...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!
97 points James Suckling: "A beautifully balanced and subtle Brunello with plum, berry, spice and fresh mahogany character. Full to medium body, fine tannins and a long finish. Very intense and harmonious. This is always a beauty." (1/2015) 94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Underbrush, red berry, tilled soil, pressed flower and a balsamic note are some of the aromas offered by this radiant red. The bright palate delivers crunchy wild cherry, baking spice and savory herb alongside assertive but refined tannins. It’s well balanced with fresh acidity. (KO)" (5/2015) 93 points Wine Spectator: "Shows purity to the cherry, raspberry, spice and earth ...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 »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Fermented in stainless steel and then moved to oak for brief four-month period, the 2013 Rosso di Montalcino shows easy fruit appeal. Aromas include small tones of forest berry and white cherry backed by more evident aromas of balsam herb, cola and licorice. You get the aromas that are characteristic of Brunello, only in a less formal and less nuanced ensemble. Bright berry fruit and tangy acidity appear on the thin close. (ML)" (2/2015) Vinous: "The 2013 Rosso di Montalcino is pleasantly rustic and bold, with plenty of Sangiovese character. Sweet red cherry, tobac ...Read More »
From the producer: "Rosso di Montalcino comes from the same Sangiovese Grosso grapes as the Brunello di Montalcino. This younger wine brings the consumer closer to the taste of Montalcino's wines and accompanies a large range of different foods. Its name is established during harvest and is already perfect after a 12 months maturation period in oak wood barrels."
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."
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.
96 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Top 50 Spirits of 2011* There’s no mistaking this classic apéritif, from the vibrant melted lipstick-red color to the distinctive signature bitter finish, clean, clear and strong. It’s high, bitter and faintly floral-fruity in scent. Americanos and Negronis wouldn’t be the same without this jewel-like spirit." K&L Notes: From the producer: "A unique and unmistakable recipe has characterized Campari, the aperitif par excellence, for over 150 years. The inimitable Campari recipe, used as the basis of many cocktails served worldwide, has been kept the same since its i... Read More »
Vinous: "The 2012 Chianti Classico is superb. Bright red-toned fruit, spices, anise and leather grace the palate in an absolutely exquisite, vibrant wine endowed with superb texture, finesse and personality...It is super-refined and a real standout for the year. Dollops of Canaiolo and Colorino round out the blend." (9/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "Made with organic grapes, this fruity blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo/Colorino begins with aromas of ripe red berries, spice and espresso. The dense palate delivers fleshy black cherry, black pepper and balsamic herbs supported by yout ...Read More »
About the producer: "Cantina Tollo wines are rooted in a territory, with an ancient wine-producing tradition—the rolling Abruzzo hills, which slope down from the Apennines toward the Adriatic Sea—and in an ideal microclimate unique in the world characterised by mild sea breezes and cool currents coming in from the Maiella."
94 points James Suckling: "A dense and layered white with cooked apple, pineapple and vanilla cream character. Full body, bright acidity and a long, tangy finish. Always a great white from Italy. One of the best. A blend of Chardonnay and Grechetto given the full Burgundy method in fermenting and aging." (10/2015) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I never get enough of this beautiful wine. The 2013 Cervaro della Sala is mostly Chardonnay (80%) blended with an Umbrian native grape, Grechetto. The results are glorious, and this vintage represents slight tweaks to the winemaking style in favor of more finesse and elega ...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.
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.
Always a bargain from one of K&L's favorite direct imports. The 37-acre Blason property in Gradisca d'Inzonzo, owned by Giovanni and Valentina Blason, is just a few miles from the Slovenian border. Their Friulano is always rich and complex, but balanced, with round frut, minerality and hints of savory herbs.
A pretty green-gold color, this refreshing white combines crisp acidity with a full, rich floral nose. A lovely Gavi di Gavi perfect for sipping with scallops.
From a one-acre plot of vines in Monforte d'Alba, a hand-harvested blend of Arneis, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
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.