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K&L Staff Recommendations
95 points James Suckling: "A classy cabernet with mint, walnut, spearmint and black currant character. Full body, solid core of fruit and lots of polished tannins that gives the wine form. A red made by the great Italian winemaking family of Antinori. Better in 2017." (7/2015)
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "***Editors' Choice*** This is such a good offering at this price, or many other prices, that it would be a worthy house wine to stock for regular consumption. Richly luxurious and softly layered, its texture stands out among well-integrated jolts of earth, black tea and strawberry-rhubarb." (6/2016)
94 points Wine Spectator: "Licorice, cherry and tar notes mark this intense, chewy red, packed with sweet fruit midpalate that offsets the dense, dusty tannins. Shows fine integration and length, with the aftertaste echoing licorice, cherry, tar and mineral details. Best from 2019 through 2035." (7/2016) 92 points James Suckling: "A red with lots of ripe fruit such as plum, strawberry and leather both on the nose and palate. Full body, velvety tannins and a fresh finish. Drink or hold." (3/2016)
92 points Wine Spectator: "The texture is plush, with lots of complex flavors, ranging from plum to anise to dusty, cedary oak. Satisfying from start to finish, ending with dusty, nutmeg-scented tannins. (JL)" (6/2016) 90 points Decanter: "Complex dark fruit aromas with toasted oak and mineral notes and nuances of tobacco. Zesty, intense palate of raspberry coulis, a touch of oak, soft tannins, and acidity that is refreshingly clean and long." (7/2016) K&L Notes: $20 Pinot Noir is a competitive category, but not always tops with the critics: if the wines are praised, more often than not it's in the "great for weekni... Read More »
90 points James Halliday: "Light, clear colour; there aren't many pinots from the Yarra and King Valleys buzzing around with this degree of varietal fruit, its varietal purity suggesting little or no oak. It's a drink tonight bargain of some magnitude." (10/2015) 90 points Vinous: "Bright red. Lively and focused on the perfumed nose, displaying fresh red berry, potpourri and five-spice powder scents along with a hint of smokiness. Lithe and subtly sweet, offering vibrant raspberry and bitter cherry flavors that become sweeter and spicier with aeration. In an elegant, fat-free style, with silky tannins ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "So much fruit and richness for this appellation. Medium to full body, round and velvety tannins and a dried fruit, spice and light oak aftertaste. Drink now. Extremely well done." (10/2015) 91 points Wine Spectator: "Dusty tannins keep a tight grip on the cherry, tobacco and earth notes in this rich red. Offers flashes of ripe fruit early before turning lean and firm. Be patient or match with food for now. Shows a more rustic side of Rancia. Best from 2018 through 2030. (BS)" (6/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Chianti Colli Senesi delivers an easy approach and a very clean style. Some 200,000 bottles ...Read More »
94 points James Halliday: "**Top 100 Reds Under $20** Full crimson-purple hue; a fine web of earth and spice is wound through the dark cherry and damson plum fruit of both the bouquet and palate alike, providing an extra measure of texture and structure. Still in its infancy, but promises much for the future - and an enticing price. (Halliday on Winemaker Tim Knappstein) - With 50+ years of winemaking and more than 500 wine show awards under his belt...the prices for almost all of the wines are astonishingly low." (9/2015) K&L Notes: A pure, aromatic, rich, juicy, fruit-driven Pinot from highl... Read More »
93 points Wine & Spirits: "This blend is focused on Cristom’s four Eola-Amity Hills vineyards. It’s a dense mélange of stem spice, smoke, graham flour and tobacco, with plummy fruit that absorbs the savory elements, and a sturdy oak component that cradles the lot of it in a warm embrace. Tasted over several days it gains polish and elegance, the oak integrating into something more burnished and structural, lending direction without weight." (4/2013) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Kept for 18 months rather than the Jefferson Cuvee’s 12 months in barrels, a higher percentage of which are new, Cristom’s 2009 Pinot N ...Read More »
94 points Wine & Spirits: "Jay Heminway got his start in Bordeaux as a college student in the 1960s, working a summer with Alexis Lichine. He founded Green & Red in the eastern hills of Napa Valley in the 1970s, focused on zinfandel. This wine grows at the highest vineyard on the estate, topping out at 1,800 feet, where he planted a northeast-facing slope in the late 1990s. It’s a fruit-driven zin, the freshness and sunny aspects pointed up by his team’s work at the new sorting table installed in 2013. All that fruit seems to glow from within, surrounded by scents of bay and wild ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A terrific value that’s close to an even split of Grenache and Syrah (there’s 10% Carignan), from a mix of terroirs in the Agly Valley, the 2014 Haut Cotes du Roussillon Villages les Vignes de Bila Haut was completely destemmed and spent eight months in a mix of concrete tanks and stainless steel prior to bottling. A fabulous value that will be hard to beat as a mid-week drinker, it offers lots of juicy berry fruit, violets, peppery herbs and damp earth characteristics in a medium-bodied, bright, fresh and elegant package. (JD)" (4/2016) 90 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* This ...Read More »
91 points Vinous: "Healthy full red. Deep aromas of blackberry, black cherry and mocha are complemented by balsamic nuances. Concentrated, sappy and savory, displaying saline nuances to the black cherry and plum flavors. Finishes with serious depth and the broad, polished tannins to support aging. (ID)" (1/2016) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Cannonau di Sardegna Costera hits all the right buttons. This is a steady and well presented red wine from the heart of the Mediterranean. It shows a high level of confidence and boldness with big, black cherry aromas followed by more subtle nuances of spice ...Read More »
After the last few years I think just about everyone has heard us pontificating about just how good, and how insanely inexpensive, the York Creek wines are. Luckily for us and our thirsty customers Fritz Maytag kept deep cellars over the years and still has plenty of wine for us to sell. After the rousing success of past vintages we just keep reloading because the wines are that good and you keep asking us for more. Our latest find is a horizontal of sorts with all three wines coming from the great 2005 vintage. We have two single block Cabernets and a r... Read More »
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)
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "An absolutely fabulous value is the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa. This comes from multiple sources and there are 46,000+ cases of it. A stunning Cabernet Sauvignon and a classic example of Napa viticulture, this blend of 75.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, was aged just over two years in oak. Loads of sweet blackcurrant fruit, cocoa, a touch of toast, earth, and baking spice are all present in this wine that has terrific fruit on the attack and mid-palate, a full-bodied mouthfeel, no hard edges and a lus ...Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "Cherry and vanilla flavors mingle with leafy and spicy details in this round red. Orange peel acidity, cedar and tobacco notes give this a traditional accent." (5/2016) 88-90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A wine that is extremely popular in Spain is the 2012 Cune Crianza, the usual Tempranillo-based blend with 15% Garnacha Tinta and Mazuelo matured in oak barrels for one year. The nose starts with notes of creamy oak that soon give way to aromas of ripe berries, blackcurrants and plums that are quite spicy and showy (revealing hints from both American and French oak) with a fresh, herbal, ra ...Read More »
In the region of Cariñena, the Garnacha grape variety finds a lovely expression, one which is less high octane and lighter on its feet than in some of the neighboring regions. This easy drinker is a terrific bargain for anyone looking for a house red or a wine for a celebration.
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A new kid on the block, the pure Garnacha 2013 El Molar carries the name of the vineyards where the vines were planted in 2006 on sand and chalk soils covered with gravel. It was foot trodden and fermented in cement vats and aged for nine months in used 500-liter oak barrels. In 2013 the vines worked until the very end as it was a year where there was more rain than average and a relatively cool summer (sometimes ripening occurs because of dehydration rather than true ripening) resulting in a perfect ripeness but quite contained. It is light ruby color, ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "A tangy and rich red with dried plum and berry character. Full body. Flavorful finish. Drink now. (JS)" (2/2016) 92 points Wine Spectator: "Robust and concentrated, with vanilla and sarsaparilla accents to the blackberry and cherry flavors. Dried herb notes linger on the velvety finish. Drink now through 2030. Web Only-2016 (MW)" K&L Notes: This is a serious mouth full of Cabernet for a ludicrously low price! The latest in a run of dynamite value Cabs from Margaret River - the "Ringbolt" is made by 30 year veteran winemaker Peter Gambetta. Pete has made wine all over the world including some top... 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 »
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 »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A sleeper of the vintage, Lanessan's 1996 boasts an impressively saturated dark ruby/purple color, and knock-out aromatics of melted chocolate, asphalt, and cassis. Deep, rich, and medium-bodied, with excellent concentration and purity, this impressively-endowed, flavorful, well-structured wine should be at its finest between 2004-2016. (RP)" (4/1999) Wine Spectator: "A pretty nose of currants and blackberries. Medium-bodied, with firm tannins and plenty of fruit, but a slightly short finish. A very good wine from Lanessan." (1/1999) K&L Notes: Lanessan has produced some of our favorit... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
94 points James Suckling: "Unctuous red with blueberry, blackberry and hints of vanilla on the nose and palate. Full body, very fine tannins and a fresh, clean and beautiful finish. Better in 2018 but already a joy to taste." (1/2016) 90-92 points Vinous: "Clos du Val's 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is a pretty wine with lovely balance and an understated personality to match. Plums, black cherries, tobacco, cedar, flowers and mint are laced into the silky, expressive finish. Overall this is an attractive, mid-weight Cabernet built on a classic sense of structure. It should drink well for the next decade or mor ...Read More »
Does Jean-Louis Denois ever fail to impress us? So far, this talented winemaker has an exceptional track record with K&L customers and staff alike. Denois' latest offering is this nifty little red that seriously over-delivers in the price-quality ratio department. The 2013 "Les Garrigues" is composed of Syrah, Grenache, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. It exhibits a gorgeous pomegranate color, with fresh aromas of small red berry fruit and delicate hints of spice box. Subtle notes of tobacco leaf and licorice provide extra dimension that be... Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Attractive youthful complexity here that ranges through floral aromas, meaty nuances, spice and dark cherry-plum fruit. The palate has grainy tannin texture, plenty of dark cherry-plum flavor and finishes with succulent resolve." (4/2014) 90 points Vinous: "Bright medium red. Complex perfume of dark cherry, raspberry, earth, herbs, lavender, sandalwood and woodsmoke. Supple but juicy and tangy, with terrific spicy, peppery, herbal lift from a percentage of whole-cluster vinification. Lovely subtle sweetness and definition to the sappy raspberry and red cherry fruit flavors. ...Read More »
This is part of the higher-end Center of Effort brand. From the winery: "When we say Fossil Point rocks - we mean it! Calcareous shale and coarse sand were uplifted from the floor of an ancient ocean and then weathered into place over millennia. It became a place of deep beauty and vast potential. Fossil Point is a rugged headland with sweeping views of the coastline stretching from Port San Luis to the Guadalupe Dunes. The Point is just five miles due west of the vineyards that are its namesake. Sunny afternoons are cooled by marine breezes sweeping off... Read More »
An award winner at many French wine competitions, the Dame Victoria is an impressive Rhône red raised not far from the fabled vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Warmly fruited and full of robust, rustic character, the nose offers minerality and blue fruit notes, which are echoed on the palate and joined with berries, berries, and more berries. Elegant on the supple finish, this is just the red to pair with chicken, burgers, roasts, and cheesy vegetarian dishes.
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "95+ points. Felipe García and Connie Schwaderer started purchasing grapes from Jorge Ollé on Melozal in 2007, and in 2008 they bottled their first pure Carignan. Their first Vigno is from 2009. Their 2013 Vigno is from this same old vine, dry and organically farmed Carignan vineyard that was planted in 1958 on granite soils. The field has been worked by the same family since it was planted. As per their philosophy, they went for minimal intervention, without additions or corrections, and the wine matured in third\ use French barriques for two years. The ...Read More »
As is the case with so many other great spots in Spain, Bodega Casa Juan is located opposite the village church, in the beautiful walled pueblo of Laguardia. The winery is a converted flour mill, featuring concrete tanks for fermenting and blending the wine, and for ageing, barrels that are used for up to seven years. These are traditional Riojas in elaboration and spirit, though the site specificity of their Laguardia and Villabuena vineyards confers a fruit character all its own to these wines. And what fruit!This crianza is a potpouri of mixed berries... Read More »
91 points Vinous: "Deep ruby. Spice- and smoke-accented cherry and dark berry aromas are complemented by suggestions of candied violet and cracked pepper. Spicy, energetic and sharply focused on the palate, offering concentrated bitter cherry and floral pastille flavors that open up slowly with air. Distinctly northern Rhône in personality and texture, featuring a peppery, floral-dominated finish, smooth tannins and excellent closing thrust and persistence. The quality of this bottling consistently outpaces its price and appellation, and that's especially true in this vint ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "On another level, and worth the uptick in price, the 250-case 2014 Barbera Cervo (from vines planted in 1997 and tiny, tiny yields) was brought up all in barrique and is easily the finest example of this variety I’ve tasted from Washington. Elegant, layered and concentrated, with a serious feel in its black cherry, lavender, underbrush and peppery herbs bouquet, this terrific effort is a real head-turner that readers should seek out! The Casa Smith brand is reserved for the Italian themed wines from Charles Smith. (JD)" (6/2016)
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "***Editors' Choice*** There’s a rugged earthiness and delicious meaty character to this fantastic bottling, which shows dried cranberries, dried olallieberry, smoked pork and hummingbird sage on the brawny nose. A similar power infects the palate, where red and black cherry meet with plum, mulberry, cola, shaved chocolate and a deepening sage character, finishing on crushed mint. (VB)" (8/2016)
92 points James Suckling: "This has a beautiful depth of fruit with spice and dark fruits. Hints of parsley and cilantro. Full and super silky with a long and beautiful finish." (5/2013) K&L Notes: Composed of the same grapes in the same percentages as the Crianza, the Reserva is a barrel selection of wines that Angel feels can undergo longer aging in barrel and then in bottle. Aged a total of 27 months in barrels, then into concrete for more than a year, the Reserva also sees bottle aging until Angel deems it ready for release. This wine ramps up the intensity of the Crianza, with more pungen... Read More »
This rich South African red blend is the perfect party wine. Gaining depth and spice from Syrah, verve from Mourvèdre, and perfume from Viognier, it is easy to love--and easy to drink by the gallon! Fortunately, its price tag is friendly, too. From the winery: "Ripe blackberries and spicy pepper flavours from the Syrah driving this blend are met with a soft and supple palate. Good density with lingering flavours and a hint of oak. Soft, supple tannins makes for early, easy drinking."
The 2014 Rickshaw Pinot Noir is the sixth vintage from the team at Banshee Wines, known for elegant, food-friendly coastal Pinot and Chardonnay. Via the Rickshaw bottling, Banshee can offer a phenomenal value, thanks to relationships they've built with growers over the years from the finest AVAs in California. The largest share of fruit is sourced from the Sonoma Coast, followed by Anderson Valley and the Central Coast. The appeal of the wine is driven by its balance of fruit and earth tones, so just 10% of the juice sees new oak (the remainder being onc... Read More »
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." (10/2014) 92 points Wine Spectator: "***Smart Buy*** 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. (BS)" (10/2014) 91 points Vinous: "Monsanto's 2011 Chianti Classico Riserva fleshes out beautifully in the glass. The flavors are bright, lifted and beautifully focused thr ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
You need look no further than Graves for a screamingly good example of ready-to-drink, Merlot-based red. Tobacco, oak and black currant aromas exude from this value-driven Bordeaux, which drinks like a bottle three times the price.
Jancis Robinson: "*Good Value* Light nose. Racy and transparent and early maturing but clean and focused. Very Cabernet. Not fleshy." (9/2011) James Suckling: "Soft and drinkable now with plums and berries. Full body, velvety tannins and a delicious finish." (7/2014) Wine Spectator: "A smoldering tobacco leaf edge runs from start to finish, lending a nice foil to the core of mulled plum and blackberry fruit. Shows a flash of pepper on the finish. (JM)" (5/2012) K&L Notes: A property very close to Pauillac that is one to watch in the future. Well-made, value-driven wines with good depth and length.
97-98 points James Suckling: "The beauty in the fruit here is so impressive. Full body, super fine tannins. It’s very racy and incredibly long. Sexy and rich finish. Better than the legendary 2009?" (4/2016) 93-96 points Wine Spectator: "Very lush and warm, with delicious plum and boysenberry fruit flowing easily over the well-integrated structure. Generous in feel, offering a lingering black tea note. Very suave. (JM, Web-2016)" 93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Malescot-St-Exupery has an intriguing and complex bouquet with oyster shells and seaweed infusing the intense black fruit. It is certainly well defined with nicely integrated new oa ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
90-92 points Wine Enthusiast: "This wine is made from property owned by the Bernard family of Domaine de Chevalier in Pessac-Léognan. It's a finely-made wine with great acidity and swathes of blackberry fruits. Well balanced and likely to age. (RV)" (4/2013) Wine Spectator: "Light loam and charcoal shadings line a core of plum skin and macerated blackberry fruit. A loamy edge lends a slightly chewy twinge to the finish. This has put on a bit of weight since the barrel tasting. (JM, Web-2015)"
93 points James Suckling: "A super bright wine in the glass, this has a pristine bright red and dark cherry nose, really neatly expressed, there's an undercurrent of dark toasted spice here too. The palate delivers tangy acid freshness that drives bright cherry flavour, tannins roll in with delicious grainy texture, builds nicely to the finish. Great wine." (4/2014) 92 points Wine & Spirits: "Blended from the varied blocks at this Bannockburn estate, this 2012 shows a spark of mineral power that cuts through the kind of oaky scent a young grand cru Burgundy might offer. It’s peppery black, with rooty tannins ...Read More »
James Suckling: "A bright and fresh pinot noir with sliced lemon, strawberry and flower character. Medium body, crisp and clean. Light tannins and clean and fresh finish. Drink now." (6/2016) K&L Notes: Olema is produced by the folks at Amici Cellars. Fruit for their 2014 Pinot Noir is 50% Russian River Valley, 25% Sonoma Coast, and 25% Sonoma County. The wine was aged in 35% new French oak barrels before bottling. From the winery: " A burst of fresh black cherry, ripe strawberry and cola spice on the nose lead to deep flavors of red fruits with hints of earth, warm spice and vio... Read More »
91 points Wine & Spirits: "For all its plumpness, this feels sophisticated, its sense of fatness coming from abundant, perfectly ripe tannins rather than jammy, overripe fruit. Its clean, dark berry flavors are harmonious and lasting, the structure seeming at one moment supple and easy, at the next more deep and stony. Give it another five years in the bottle before pouring it with a standing rib roast." (2/2016) 90 points Vinous: "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley is terrific... Sweet red cherry, pomegranate, spices, mint and gravel meld into the voluptuous, racy finish. There are plenty of ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A new cuvee, the 2012 Baron Louis Lirac is a gorgeous Lirac that has pretty black raspberry, spice and floral aromatics, medium-bodied richness and an overall elegant, polished and layered style. It's a serious wine that will have 8-10 years of longevity. (JD)" (1/2015) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Offers a lush, flattering feel, with velvety raspberry and plum sauce flavors gliding along, carried by twinges of anise, fruitcake and singed cinnamon stick. Fresh acidity lets everything meld on the finish. Drink now through 2017. (JM)" (11/2015) K&L Notes: An 88-acre estate, Château de Montfaucon sit... Read More »
From a 4.5 hectare plot of vines which average 30 years of age and planted in flint and clay soils. All hand harvested, vinified in 100% stainless steel tanks along with about a week of carbonic maceration. Bright fruits with spice and fresh palate feel. This is a fantastic wine for those mixed meat grill outs, a dream with salmon and a perfect pairing with an array of Asian foods.
92 points James Suckling: "Blackberry and blueberry character. Currants too. Full body, lots of velvety tannins and a long and intense finish. Solid here. Better in 2016." (7/2014) 91 points Wine Spectator: "Rock solid, with a gutsy frame of roasted apple wood and a full-bodied core of plum, boysenberry and black currant fruit. Dense and chewy, displaying spice-studded grip on the finish that courses along vivaciously. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2020. (Web Only - 2013) (JM)" 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "From a property owned by Patrick Bernard of négociant Millésima, this shows the result ...Read More »
As difficult as it is to produce excellent Pinot Noir, it is even more difficult to do so at a fine value. In their development of the Banshee label, the winemakers gained a stable of quality sources for Pinot fruit from the finest AVAs in California. The 2014 Sonoma County Pinot Noir is the sixth vintage from the enterprising team at Banshee Wines. A large percentage of it is still sourced from the Sonoma Coast, often declassified barrels from vineyards that close followers of top-tier West Coast Pinot may recognize. From the producer: "As with past vin... Read More »
91 points Vinous: "Ruby-red. Fresh red berries and candied flowers on the assertively perfumed nose. Silky, seamless and appealingly sweet, offering intense raspberry and lavender flavors and building spiciness. Sweet and penetrating on the subtly tannic, clinging finish, which leaves behind notes of red berries and spicecake. (JR)" (5/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Tasted out of bottle, the 2013 Gigondas Tradition is a blend of 50% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 25% Mourvedre that fermented with 100% whole clusters and aged all in ancient foudre and old barrels. Medium-bodied, firm, tight and a touch lea ...Read More »
Decanter: "Fine deep colour, rather earthy, vegetal fruit, definite Cabernet dominance, quite good length, just shows an edge of leanness, but quite good Médoc style. Drink 2006-12 (SS)" (4/2003) K&L Notes: From gravel-rich vineyards of the Médoc, this Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend is soften by the addition of Merlot and Petit Verdot, and aged for 12 months in oak barrels. Solid and structured, young but ready to drink now, this wine is an excellent value as an "everyday Bordeaux." One of the few delicious 2002s in Clyde's view.
90 points Vinous: "Bright red. Ripe strawberry, violet, cinnamon and almond paste on the sexy, inviting nose. Then juicy and fresh on the palate, with ripe red fruit and spice flavors nicely supported by silky tannins and vibrant acidity. Finishes with a whiplash of red berries, cherry syrup and minerals. With its early accessibility and considerable uncomplicated appeal, this is hard to put down. I especially like the fact that it's unmistakably from Castelnuovo dell'Abate in its opulent red fruit and spice aromatic and flavor profile." (7/2013)