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K&L Staff Recommendations
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)
93 points James Suckling: "A fresh, clean red with balsamic and chocolate character, plus fresh cherry. Full body, firm tannins and a juicy finish. Ripe, generous fruit. Always outstanding from here. A polished Super Tuscan. Drink or hold." (10/2014) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Giampaolo Motta’s 2012 La Massa wraps clean around the palate, imparting sassy tones of Mexican spice, tobacco and dark berry fruit. The blend is 60% Sangiovese with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Alicante. The wine shows luscious dark concentration with equal billing to both the dark fruity component of the wine and its spicy, oak-driv ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* This bright blend of 75% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot and 10% Ciliegiolo discloses aromas of ripe berry and cooking spice. The soft, easy-drinking palate offers black cherry, white pepper and grilled sage alongside round tannins." (7/2015) K&L Notes: This Carato is a blend of 75% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot, and 10% Ciliegiolo and is just delicious: full, fleshy, voluptuous, sumptuous, truly hedonistic. We think at this price you too will be saying wow!
96 points James Suckling: "Fabulous aromas of oranges, peaches and mahogany follow through to a full body with rich, chewy tannins and a long, flavorful finish. This is dense, tight, powerful, compressed and incredibly structured. Needs four to five years of bottle age to come out of its dormancy." (1/2015) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is a ripe and fruit-forward expression that bursts with energy and red fruit intensity even at this young stage in the wine's life. Thick layers of cherry, blackberry, cassis, vanilla and cinnamon give the wine a bold, opulent personality. The tann ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This straightforward, inviting Barolo boasts classic Nebbiolo aromas of rose, leather, berry spice and tilled earth. It’s not loaded with complexity, but the sour cherry, black pepper and clove flavors are delicious. It closes on a note of subtle oak alongside a drying, tannic finish. (KO)" (10/2014)
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This opens with attractive floral aromas of Spanish broom, acacia and chamomile while the bright palate offers white peach, green apple and citrus. Brisk acidity gives it a crisp, clean finish while a note of white almond signals the close. Small persistent bubbles add finesse.-K.O. abv:11.5%" (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, peaches, tropical fruits and pear blossom. It’s wonderfully balanced and ele... 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 »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From the 6.25-hectare Rancia vineyard, the 2011 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia shows a more elaborate and stylized personality with ripe fruit tones, bursting cherry, perfumed violets and rose petal. Those floral notes add a feminine touch to what is in fact a wine of power and determination. It shows a beautiful evolution in the glass as well, with dusty mineral notes that add to the overall elegance of the dry, polished finish. This is one of the best Riservas of 2011. (ML)" (10/2014) 94 points Vinous: "94+: A wine of incredible density, the 2011 Chianti Classico Riserva ...Read More »
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)
On a high plateau in the heart of Chianti Classico, the team at Villa Trasqua lives by the "wine is made in the vineyard" ethos. They harvest grapes at their peak, and practice minimal interferance so the aromas of the terroir can shine through. Their "Traluna"—mostly Sangiovese with a touch of Alicante Buchet—is ample and generous, with deep cherry and baking spice notes.
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 »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Underbrush, woodland berry, cake-spice aromas and a whiff of eucalyptus come together in the glass. The firm palate offers layers of juicy dark cherry-berry, licorice, tobacco and a hint of vanilla. It’s balanced and intense, with chewy tannins." (5/2015) 93 points Wine Spectator: "Cherry, raspberry, tobacco and earth notes ride a supple texture in this red, framed by a firm base of tannins and acidity. Shows a sense of elegance and a long, fresh finish. Best from 2018 through 2032. 3,750 cases made." (6/2015) 91 points James Suckling: "A balanced and lightly chewy red with a cherry, cream and cedar character. ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Chianti Classico Riserva is host to a beautiful mix of black mineral, fruit, dried mint and eucalyptus. The wine shows elegant evolution in the glass and backs it up with dry, polished tannins. This is a stunning effort available at a reasonable price. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2028. This is one of the nicest collections of new releases by Giuseppe Mazzocolin’s Felsina. At the edge of the Chianti Classico and Chianti Colli Senesi denominations, the estate counts 475 hectares, of which 61 are planted with vineyard. (ML)" (8/2013) 93 points Wine Enthusiast: "This gorgeous Ch ...Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "An exotic dry white wine with cherry blossom, olive oil, dried herbs, sea salt, wet stones and dried apricots. Bone-dry with persistent acidity. One of the best Sauvignons in Friuli. Drink now." (9/2014)
98 points James Suckling: "What a tightly knit wine this is with so much fabulous character of dried meat, orange peel, berry and spice. Dried and dusty earth too. Full body, sweet fruit character and ripe tannins but loads of structure and intensity. Structurally intense and dry at the finish. It goes on for minutes. Best ever. Better in 2018." (12/2014) 97 points Vinous: "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is gorgeous. Vibrant and alive in the glass, the 2010 is impeccable in its balance. Sweet red cherry, plum, smoke, tobacco and Mediterranean herbs are some of the notes that are laced together in a B ...Read More »
The Bava winery is in the Province of Alba where Barbera is King! So what do you do when you want to make Nebbiolo? Hmmmm, you can't put it on the label…Damn. The Bava Brothers, a creative bunch, decided to go American and name this wine after a real American tradition, Band-Aids, (evidently at a winery you go through a lot of them). So 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, drinkable now, and you're going to love it! 10... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "A balanced white, with modest poached apple, stone, preserved lemon and graphite notes. Juicy. (Web Only—2015)" K&L Notes: Well almost Umbria, actually in Lazio but you can see Umbria from this vineyard!
K&L Italian Wine Buyer Greg St. Clair knew that Albatreti was a real find the moment he put his nose in a glass of the 2010 Brunello: "We’ve been traveling to Montalcino for more than 20 years and have tasted a veritable ocean of Brunello. We’d never even heard of this producer, the first vintage was the 2009, and we hadn’t seen it in the market at all. We re-tasted another bottle just to make sure we didn’t get mispoured, and the second time we had a 'Double Wow'! So we went out to meet the producer, Gaetano Salvioni and found a self proclaimed 'hobbyis... 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 »
90 points Vinous: "(a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo Nero): Bright pink with an orange tinge. Complex aromas of strawberry, violet, botanical herbs and blood orange. Fresh and juicy, with tactile flavors of strawberry, fresh citrus fruit and pepper. Finishes with a hint of residual sweetness and outstanding lift. This is always one of Tuscany’s best rosato wines, and it’s no different this year. (ID)" (6/2015)
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Fresh scents of just-picked rose, bright red berry, baking spice, leather and an earthy hint of game unfold on this stunning wine. The full-bodied palate offers juicy mature cherry, crushed raspberry, licorice, carob, chopped wild mint and clove alongside firm, velvety tannins and bright acidity. Gorgeous!" (11/2015) 91-93 points Vinous: "Striking aromatics and bright, finely sculpted fruit inform the 2011 Barolo Vigna Lazzairasco, an utterly beguiling wine that constantly changes in the glass. There is an element of mystery that is both compelling and that al ...Read More »
94 points Wine Spectator: "Loaded with dark fruit, texture and a dense structure, this is complex, beautifully proportioned and long. Black cherry, blackberry, plum, tobacco and spice notes get a lift from the bright acidity, while the tannins are fine and well-integrated. Best from 2016 through 2030." (8/2014)
92 points James Suckling: "A refined, complex red with blackberry, blueberry and light chocolate character. Medium body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Lots of black licorice. Delicious now but better in 2015. Excellent value. 50% Sangiovese and the rest Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon." (10/2014) 91 points Vinous: "Sweet tobacco, bright red fruit, underbrush and cedar are some of the many notes that come together in the 2013 Rosso di Notri. Precise, delineated and beautifully layered in the glass, the 2013 is striking in its purity and juiciness. The late harvest produced a gorgeous wine loade ...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.
93 points James Suckling: "There are mushrooms on the nose of this Chianti Classico, but these soon give way to subtle, deep aromas of blackberry crumble with hints of mint and ivy. It soon fills up the mouth with beautifully dense fruit and fine tannins, nutty, woody undertones and long finish. Gorgeous now, but better in 2016." (10/2014) Vinous: "The 2012 Chianti Classico is a great introduction to the wines of Felsina. Deeply varietal and expressive to the core, the 2012 graces the palate with the essence of Sangiovese from the southern part of the Chianti Classico zone. Sweet tobacco, un ...Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "#74 Wine Spectator's Top 100 2014: The up-front mulberry and plum fruit is ripe and fleshy in this balanced red, with polished tannins. Notes of licorice string, graphite, tarry smoke and grilled mushroom push through midpalate and on the finish. Drink now through 2021. 8,500 cases made. (AN)" (4/2014)
96 points James Suckling: "Intense aromas of iron, rust, earth and dark, dried fruits. It's full-bodied, with incredible depth of fruit, berries and lemon peel. Drink or hold. A beautiful Brunello. So much going on here. Gorgeous." (12/2014) 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Caparzo's 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Vigna la Casa opens to dark intensity with blackish-garnet undertones. The wine exhibits muscle and power with a large array of aromatic qualities that include dried cherry, spice, leather, tobacco, licorice and tar. It aspires to high complexity and intensity and it delivers on that promise. In the mouth, i ...Read More »
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.
On the border of Tuscany, Lazio, and Umbria--the area that also happens to be the birthplace of the ancient Etruscan civilization--Paolo and Noemia d'Amico have built a winery deeply embedded in tradition. The landscape is a result of a long period of volcanic erosion, and is full of deep valleys of cliffs and rock walls. Their cellar is modeled after the Etruscans, and was built underneath the vines, ensuring that temps are always ideal. This Merlot-Sangiovese blend is full-bodied and bright-toned, with notes of violets and fresh cherries.
94 points James Suckling: "This is very floral with blackberries on the nose. It's full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a ripe fruit, caramel and berry aftertaste. Delicious for the vintage. One of the wines of the vintage. Better in 2015." (2/2013) 94 points Wine Spectator: "The sawdust and graphite aromas turn to cherry and raspberry flavors in this vibrant, complex red. A beam of sweet fruit imparts energy and resonance, carrying this to a long, expansive aftertaste. The finish shows potential. Best from 2016 through 2035." (5/2013) 93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Brunello Tenuta Nuova opens with inky dark consistency and immediate aromas ...Read More »
From a one-acre plot of vines in Monforte d'Alba, a hand-harvested blend of Arneis, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
93 points James Suckling: "Focused white with pure, clean stone, flint and minerals. Nose of focused green-pear, exotic ripeness and juicy character. Great balance and finesse with an extended finish. One of the best-value in Pinot Grigios." (9/2014) Wine Spectator: "A sleek, zesty white, with lots of ground spice and stony mineral notes underscoring the clean-cut flavors of glazed apricot, kiwifruit, sliced almond and preserved lemon. Subtle finish. Drink now through 2018. (Web-2015)" K&L Notes: From one of Northern Italy's finest producers, the aroma on this Pinot Grigio is typically intense, full and fruity, ... Read More »
Vinous: "La Fortuna's 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is already quite forward. Dried cherries, crushed flowers, mint, tobacco and licorice meld together in a forward, mature Brunello ... (AG)" (5/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "Fragrances of mature black fruit, violet, espresso and baking spices take the lead. The palate delivers ripe red berries, black cherry, vanilla and mocha backed up by assertive but somewhat drying tannins." (5/2014) K&L Notes: La Fortuna celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2007, and Angelo Zannoni is the fifth generation of winemakers at the estate. He has been working with his fa... Read More »
94 points James Suckling: "Very perfumed with flower, truffle, light wet earth and cherry character. Full body and full integrated ripe tannins and caresses your palate. Very fine and pretty. Slight soya undertone. Succulent and enticing. You want to drink this. Better in 2016." (12/2014) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino represents a return to the traditional values of Montalcino. The bouquet is buoyant and bright with lingering tones of smoke, ash, balsam herb, licorice and soy sauce. Those kinds of aromas make Brunello such a wonderful wine and thankfully you get them in abundance ...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 »
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 »
97 points James Suckling: "I love the savory character and silky texture to this wine. Full body, chewy tannins and a juicy and delicious finish. A baby still. Needs three to four years to soften. Better in 2017." (12/2014) 96 points Vinous: "Iron, smoke, savory herbs, graphite and tobacco lift from the 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Vigna Loreto. Dense and compact through the mid-palate and finish, the Loreto is distinctly brooding in the glass. Here the flavors are dark, bold and intense to the core. Readers will have to be patient with the Loreto, as is a big, hulking Brunello endowed with significant ...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!
96 points James Suckling: "I love the subtle aromas of rose petal, dark fruit and perfume that follow through to a full body, with fine tannins and a beautiful finish. It's very fine and pretty. Savory and delicate. Such finesse here. Drink or hold." (12/2014)
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."
Ah, Piedmont! Home to Italy's most long-lived reds, Barolo and Barbaresco. Piedmont also lays claim to this frothy number, a semi-sweet sparkling wine that shares as much in common with Barolo as a turnip does with a root beer float. To begin with, there's the preponderance of wild strawberry fruit, and the effervescent goodness that is not totally dissimilar to Moscato, only this one is pink. Deep pink. Gulpable pink. After a certain age it is unseemly to drink cherry soda pop in public--go for Brachetto instead! It's low in alcohol, with a touch of sw... Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "There's a purity of fruit here with intense blackberries, blueberries and citrus rind on the nose. Full body, delicate tannins and a long and delicious finish. So savory and beautiful. Made from biodynamically farmed grapes. Drink now." (9/2013) 91 points Vinous: "The 2011 Chianti Classico Querciabella has that extra bit of depth, creaminess and mid-palate pliancy missing in the 2010, all while maintaining plenty of brightness, freshness and Sangiovese character. Freshly cut roses, sweet red berries and a hint of spices are woven into the exceptionally elegant, refined finis ...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 »
Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* Real Lambrusco is a rarity in this country, but here it is, purple hued, with just enough fizz to help cut through the fattiness of fine salume. It’s grapy and dry, with hints of anise and herbs that prevent it from being too simple." (12/2003) K&L Notes: Lambrusco is not part of the upper echelon of Italian wine. To begin with, it is not expensive. Also, it doesn't come from Tuscany or Piedmont or any of the well know wine-producing regions of Italy. It comes from Emilia-Romagna. And then there's the fact that it's red and sparking. Actually, foaming is c... Read More »