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K&L Staff Recommendations
96 points James Suckling: "Wonderful aromas of ripe fruit such as plums and grilled meat. Then it shows a fresh soil and sliced mushroom. It's full body, with super silky tannins and beautiful fruit. Balanced and spicy on the finish. A beauty. Drink or hold." (12/2014)94 points Wine Spectator: "Aromas and flavors of underbrush augment the cherry and strawberry flavors in this supple, delicate red. Balanced in a linear, tensile way, picking up mineral accents on the lingering, mouthwatering finish. Best from 2019 through 2035." (6/2015)92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Mario Bollag's 2010 Brunello di Montalcino does a great job of presenting b ...Read More »
40% Refosco, 40% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.
90 points Wine & Spirits: "This aged for 12 months, half in cement and half in tonneaux, sustaining an inky violet hue and dense flavors of black plum and sour cherry. Firm fruit-skin tannins frame the juicy fruit, leaving a fresh impression. A few years in the cellar may unpack more layers." (8/2015)
95 points James Suckling: "Lots currants, blueberries, vanilla and floral character on the nose and palate. Full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Edgy contrast of acidity, ripe fruit and wood. Stylish, savory and delicious. A blend of Sangiovese and Merlot. One of the best values amongst Super Tuscan reds. Drink in 2016." (8/2015) Antonio Galloni: "The 2013 Crognolo offers notable intensity, with searing tannins that are a bit overpowering at this stage. Dark red cherry, raspberry and white pepper are some of the signatures. Today, the Crognolo is a bit linear and compact. It will be interestin ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
A Premier Cru Classé Pomerol from the Veneto? It may sound strange, but that is exactly what the folks from Vignalta had in mind when they set out to make their top wine, the Gemola. A blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, aged in French and American barriques (a mix of oldish and new), this wine is anything but typical. The Gemola is madewith plenty of grip and complexity to make it practically irresistible even for staunch traditionalists. In truth, both Merlot and Cabernet Franc have been grown in the Colli Euganei for decades. In the Gemola, they combi... Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "Black cherry, sweet spice, toast, cedar and bell pepper aromas and flavors highlight this smooth red, showing fine intensity and a long, new oak—infused finish. Drink now through 2018." (2/2014)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Bolgheri Rosso Adeo is a 60-40 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The bouquet definitely underlines the Cabernet component with distant layers of rosemary oil and wild herb. Spicy oak tones of cinnamon and clove add density and heft to the palate. The tannins are long and tight. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2019. (ML)" (8/2013) James Suckling: "This is a Bordeaux blend w ...Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "A modern style, with black cherry, black currant and tobacco notes enhanced by oak spice. Vibrant and balanced, featuring fine tannins that still need to be absorbed. The spice elements echo on the finish. Best from 2016 through 2024." (8/2014) Jancis Robinson: "Cask sample. Very dark ruby. Focused oak and fruit nose. Supple dense fruit with a firm tannic frame. Only a tiny bit astringent on the finish, but will mellow out with more bottle age." (2/2014)
92 points James Suckling: "A stylish Syrah with spices, dried meats and ripe fruits that follow to a full body, with silky tannins and a fruity finish. Drink or hold." (7/2013) Wine Spectator: "An elegant yet well-toned red, offering a core of blackberry fruit, tinged with iron, sanguine and pepper accents. Balanced and moderately long. Drink now through 2018. (Web only 2014)"
92 points James Suckling: "Beautiful aromas of bark, berry and dark chocolate character follow through to a full body, chewy tannins and a smoky, meaty and peppery aftertaste. Drink now or hold." (1/2015)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is a lush and layered expression that shows a dark and rich side of Sangiovese. Sweet fruit and Morello cherry lift first from the glass with impressive intensity. After a few brief moments, the wine begins to show delicate nuances of cinnamon, nutmeg, grilled herb, ash and smoke. Ultimately, the wine delivers more bang to the nose and follows with a ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva feels like a wine made from a whole other producer and a different environment when compared to the estate’s 2009 Brunello Campo Marzo. While that wine is thin and fraught, this Riserva on the other hand, is bountiful and generous especially where the use of oak is concerned. Some 48 months in barrel adds cinnamon and vanilla over dark cherry and blackberry. It is meant for near-term consumption. Drink: 2014-2021. (ML)" (2/2014) Jancis Robinson: "Deep ruby with orange tinges. Balsamic fruit with a hint of incense on the nose, Concentr ...Read More »
Claudia Ferrero and her husband/winemaker Pablo Härri's estate is called the Podere Pascena and it sits in the southwesterly corner of Montalcino (they are bordered by Argiano and Banfi's Riserva vineyard "Poggio all'Oro"). The wines from this zone are really rich and you can feel the sun shining on these grapes, ripening, and filling them with a dense richness, while their wines show lots of black cherry, plum, chocolate with a satiny texture, round, full and broad on the palate. When we were first introduced to this winery, we thought it was so soft, f... Read More »
93 points Antonio Galloni: "A dark, powerful wine, the 2010 Brunello di Montalcino possesses gorgeous depth and nuance. Intensely savory and mineral, the 2010 packs a serious punch. Readers will have to give the 2010 a few years to settle down, but there is plenty of intrigue. Mediterranean herbs, game, smoke, lavender and dried flowers add nuance on the finish. This is a highly distinctive wine from the southern reaches of Montalcino, with more in the way of ferrous/mineral notes than overt fruit. (AG)" (2/2015)93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is one of the best value wines of this ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Madonna del Piano is an expressive and articulate wine that speaks highly of Sangiovese and the Montalcino territory. The wine offers a pristine narrative of both grape and place with crystalline aromas of cherry, blackberry, spice, leather, smoke and Mediterranean herb. The bouquet peels back one delicious layer at a time. The mouthfeel is similarly successful with deep concentration and complexity. It imparts soft layers of dried fruit and velvety tannins. Endnotes of espresso bean and toasted almond add length a ...Read More »
91 points Antonio Galloni: "A dark, brooding wine, the 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva boasts terrific depth and intensity in its black cherries, mocha, scorched earth, game and black olives. The flavors are intense and pungent, while slight hints of oxidation suggest the 2008 is on its way to being fully mature. For now, though, the 2008 offers solid overall balance and plenty of personality. (AG)" (5/2014)91 points James Suckling: "A firm, silky wine with hazelnut and berry character. Medium to full body with firm tannins and a fresh, clean finish. Chewy. Give it time to soften. Better in 2016. ...Read More »
According to importer Jan D'Amore: "In 1928 Dario Raccaro’s grandfather, bought the farm at the foothills of Monte Quarin, just outside of Cormons, near the small church of S.Maria ... in the eighties Dario decides to abandon his career in professional basketball and to take the reins of the winery. Dario’s charismatic and gregarious personality eschews trends and avoids the compromises dictated by the market. He is adamant about vinification in steel for his whites in order to retain the purest expression of the fruit and the terroir. Dario produces 27.... Read More »
The Santoleri vineyards date back to 1968, though the same family has been farming the property since 600! Located at the base of the 2,000 foot Maiella Mountain in the Apennines. Its altitude and proximity to the Adriatic Sea are ideally suited for growing grapes. The vineyards are farmed without the use of pesticides, mineral fertilizers and other invasive products. From the importer: "Ruby red robe with violet hues. Intense aromas with notes of black cherry, balsamic and licorice. Fresh and vigorous on the palate, typical of a young Montepulciano, wit... Read More »
This comes from a small suburb of Bolzano called Gries, where the alluvial soils are perfectly suited to Lagrein--a native grape that has been grown in the region since at least 1379. The fruit is manually harvested, slowly fermented in stainless and finished in mostly large wooden barrels (70%) and barriques (one-third new). Always a favorite, this cool climate red is ink-dark and packed with lifted dark berry fruit, fine tannins and exotic spice. It's particularly delicious with game, offal and aged cheeses.
92 points James Suckling: "This is a wine with dried meats, berries and earth. Full body, velvety tannins and a beautiful fruit intensity. Energetic red. Always an excellent Chianti Classico. Made from organically grown grapes. Drink now." (9/2013) Wine Enthusiast: "This has aromas of ripe berry and toast. The palate isn’t very expressive but reveals new wood, vanilla and chocolate. Give this a few more years to fully develop. Drink 2015–2020." (10/2013) Wine Spectator: "Dense yet medium-weight, with tobacco, briar and leather flavors. More savory than fruity, offering a dry finish. Best from 2015 through 2021. (Web-20 ...Read More »
Known for small berries and "spontaneous abortion" of the flower, Picolit fashions one of the rarest Italian passito wines. Golden hued with sumptuous honey, tropical and citrus notes, this complex white successsfully rivals Vin Santo for its ability to stand up to hearty cheeses or in a glass all by itself.
Inventory: San Francisco
93 points Wine Spectator: "Clever winemaking delivers subtle, deftly oaked barrique notes--toasty, smoky, grilled aromas--while letting the ripe fruit character unfold in a smooth package that shows complexity and class. Long, satisfying finish." (11/1999)92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Very good full red. Sappy, spicy, perfumed aromas of raspberry, smoke, chocolate and vanilla. Full and backward on the palate, with oak tones adding complexity to the fruit flavors. Sound acidity gives the flavors delineation and finesse. The tannins build on the strong aftertaste. Classy Barolo, with very good density for the vin ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Here's a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend from cntral Italy's Lazio. It's self-described by the winery as "a red wine with an intense ruby color and bold and persistent aromas that recall black fruits like blackberry and blueberry, accompanied by scents of spice and an elegant vanilla note, along with an austere one from bottle aging. The mouthfeel is balanced, persistent and quite elegant."
A blend of Grechetto and Voignier, this wine ages 'sur lies' in 10-hectoliter oak and chestnut barrels. The color is a clear, golden-yellow, the result of sitting on the lees. The aromas are surprisingly complex, mineral, intense yet elegant, with a pleasing fruit component that is not too ripe. There is white peach, medlar and perhaps some fresh almond, along with flint and gentian flower. The flavor is balanced, soft, piquant and perfectly upheld by a brackish, Mediterranean acidity.
Inventory: Redwood City
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of my favorite white wines from Northern Italy, the 2011 Alto Adige Pinot Bianco Riserva Vorberg is dazzling and impressive on both the nose and in the mouth. It offers a full package of varietal purity with aromas of pear, quince, Golden Delicious apple and honeysuckle. Aged 12 months in large oak casks, it imparts a seductively rich and creamy texture on the long finish. This beauty promises to age ten years or more and will develop more mineral nuances as it continues its bottle evolution. (ML)" (10/2014) K&L Notes: From Alto Adige, here is a Pinot Bianco that... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
94 points James Suckling: "Beautiful nose of ripe plums and sweet tobacco, follow through to a full body, with velvety tannins and a ripe finish. Extremely balanced and complex. Best after 2012." (8/2011)94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* This inky wine opens with black concentration and rich aromas of mature cherry, almond paste, spice, blackberry and plum. Integrated wood tones of leather and toasted coffee complete the picture and help render soft but structured tannins. Drink after 2015." (2/2012)92 points Wine Spectator: "Thick and concentrated, this extracted red exudes blackberry, plum, oak spice and tobacco flavors, ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
93 points James Suckling: "There's plenty of mineral, currant and dried-flower character. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a clean finish. Always a serious Bordeaux blend here. Better in 2016." (10/2014)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Bolgheri Superiore Sapaio is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot and 10% Cabernet Franc, aged for 18 months (in 80% new oak). This is a unique wine, aromatically speaking, with tangy notes of exotic spice and Asian barbecue. Savory dried meat and teriyaki are backed by a high degree of black fruit, blackberry and plum cake. The wine shows broad shoulders, unyieldi ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse