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K&L Staff Recommendations
93 points James Suckling: "A ripe and decadent nose with licorice, sliced mushrooms and blackberries too. The palate is really savory with a tantalizing salty note that really lifts it up. Precise and linear. Beautiful austerity on the finish. Drink now." (7/2016) K&L Notes: 70% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot
93 points James Suckling: "Aromas of plums and fresh thyme follow through to a medium to full body, chewy tannins and a lightly austere finish. Needs time to soften. Drink in 2020." (11/2016) 93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Cellar Selection: Underbrush, leather, sun-baked soil and chopped herb aromas emerge from this structured red. Loaded with personality, the palate delivers juicy layers of ripe Morello cherry, crushed raspberry, baking spice and pipe tobacco flavors, framed by firm, chewy tannins. It’s a full-bodied wine that will reward several more years of cellaring. Drink 2019-2032." (1/2017)
Inventory: Special Order
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." (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 delineation and focus here. This a gorgeous La Massa. (AG) ...Read More »
97 points James Suckling: "This is amazing on the nose with blackberry, black truffle, dried cherry and hints of tobacco. So complex on the nose. Almost no need to taste it. Full body, soft and velvety tannins, and a persistent, fabulous finish. The mouthfeel is magic." (3/2016) 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Tignanello represents the beginning of a new chapter for Italy's ultimate game-changer wine. The blend remains 80% Sangiovese with 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc but Renzo Cotarella tells me "stylistically-speaking, this is what we wanted to achieve." The winemaking formula remains the ...Read More »
Erik Banti’s Carato is back! This mini Super Tuscan has a great following at K&L and the new vintage is even better than the last! It’s a Sangiovese-based blend from the Tuscan coast that tastes like it should cost much more because of its full, smooth, flavorful palate presence and excellent balance. A K&L Direct Import that offers you extraordinary value, and at this price you will be saying, "I should buy two!"
Giovanni Blason and his wife Valentina are young producers who continuously surprise us with the price-to-quality ratio of their wines, earning them tons of kudos in Gambero Rosso and beyond. They come from the Isonzo region of Northern Italy, right up against the Slovenian border. Their Pinot Grigio is really sensational, full in the mouth, rich on the palate and extraordinarily drinkable at this price! Very aromatic, with good complexity, length and that subtle elegance that shows muscle and a long and flowing finish.
91 points James Suckling: "What a pretty young Chianti giving you all the cherry and strawberry character you could hope for. Medium body, light tannins and a fresh and bright finish. Drink now" (11/2016)
96 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Enticing perfumed berry, violet, new leather and a truffle scents emerge in this textbook Brunello. On the savory, full-bodied palate, licorice, clove and chopped herb flavors accent a juicy core of ripe black cherry fruit. Firm, refined tannins provide structure. It’s already tempting but hold for even more complexity. Drink 2020-2032. (KO)" (2/2017) 91 points James Suckling: "You can smell the effects of a warm growing season in this one with very ripe cherry and strawberry aromas that follow through to a full body, round and soft tannins and a tangy finish. Alm ...Read More »
Inventory: Special Order
Montalcino's most famous single vineyard is the Montosoli hill, Altesino made this name famous when they designated their best Brunello with their northeastern-facing vineyard's name, Montosoli. Nello Baricci and his family have lived and farmed Sangiovese on their southeastern-facing slope of the Montosoli hill since the 1930s. Their wines are pure, supple, lithe and complex; they are full of tobacco, sweet earth, licorice, violets, rosemary and have long and persistent finishes, as evidenced in this fantastic Rosso, meant to drink now and over the next... Read More »
96 points Wine Spectator: "Cherry, leather and iron notes mark this suave, elegant red. A bit reticent now, but the fruit is fresh and long on the finish. The dense tannins leave a mouthcoating impression, but this opens up beautifully over a few hours. Best from 2021 through 2035. (BS, Web-2016)" 94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Marking the winery's 40th harvest, this vintage offers classic Sangiovese fragrance: wild berry, blue flower, baking spice and a whiff of new leather. The palate is sleek and elegant, doling out juicy red cherry, crushed raspberry, cinnamon and star anise, framed by lithe, polished tannin ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Fragrant blue flower, tilled soil and wild berry aromas lead the nose. The light-bodied, accessible palate offers tart cherry and a hint of chopped herb. It's fresh and easy drinking, with loose-knit tannins. (KO)" (12/2016) K&L Notes: Affectionately named "Catzilla" by our staff because of the seemingly oversized orange cat adorning the label, the Baccinetti hails from south slope Montalcino vineyards adjacent to Lisini. The Baccinetti family has worked their family farm south of Montalcino since 1935, but 2004 was their first vintage of estate-grown wine. Planted ... Read More »
90 points James Suckling: "A compacted red with dried-cherry, toasted-oak and coffee-bean aroma and flavors. Full body with firm, silky tannins. Drink now." (2/2016)
33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 17% Montepulciano, 17% Alicante.
This exceptionally small estate sits above Tenuta di Sesta (sopra means "above" in Italian) on Montalcino’s south slope, but with this small bit of elevation you reach an outcrop of galestro, a marine-based exfoliating shale that gives the most profound Sangiovese.
95 points James Suckling: "Traditional style Chianti Classico with cedar, dried meat, dark chocolate and tobacco aromas. Full body, silky and polished tannins and a fantastic finish. A wine that shows depth and lots of flavor. Lively acidity too." (8/2015) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 vintage was less problematic in the Castelnuovo Berardenga sub zone compared to other parts of the Chianti Classico appellation. Fèlsina's 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva Berardenga is full, generous and reflects the house style of this celebrated estate. Fruit is sourced from 35-year-old vines and the harvest takes place a ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of dried tobacco leaf, toast, oak and underbrush lead the nose. The bright, approachable palate offers black cherry, espresso and star anise alongside fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity. (KO)" (11/2016) Wine Spectator: "Black cherry fruit is framed by toasty oak in this firm, dense red. Modern in style, with energy and balance, finishing with dusty tannins. Drink now through 2019. (BS)" (8/2016)
Dario Ermacora was one of our first Italian Direct Imports. His wines have always been textbook, classic, and archetypal for Friulian whites: understated, balanced, with a long finish. His winery is in the Colli Orientali del Friuli or the Eastern Hills of Friuli, a few scant kilometers from the Slovenian border. Most of Friuli is a flat, glaciated plain running from the Julian Alps down to the top of the Adriatic Sea, but on the eastern border the topography changes. In the Colli Orientali a series of horseshoe-shaped glacial moraines dot the landscape ... Read More »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Aromas suggesting underbrush, scorched earth, mature black-skinned fruit and a whiff of dried mint jump out of the glass. The big, chewy palate doles out mature Marasca cherry, graphite, chopped herb and dark cooking spice alongside firm, refined tannins. It’s delicious. (KO)" (5/2016) 92 points James Suckling: "This shows lots of mushroom, dried fruit, spice and walnut aromas and flavors. Full-bodied but agile and refined. Pure and balanced. Drink or hold." (10/2015) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I was absolutely impressed with the 2010 Riserva released by Baricci at the same time as this wine. ...Read More »
Dario Ermacora was one of our first Italian Direct Imports. His wines have always been textbook, classic, and archetypal for Friulian whites: understated, balanced, with a long finish. His winery is in the Colli Orientali del Friuli, or the Eastern Hills of Friuli, a few scant kilometers from the Slovenian border. Most of Friuli is a flat, glaciated plain running from the Julian Alps down to the top of the Adriatic Sea, but on the eastern border the topography changes. In the Colli Orientali a series of horseshoe-shaped glacial moraines dot the landscape... Read More »
90 points James Suckling: "A dense and flavorful white with sliced apples, melon and hints of apples. Medium- to full-bodied, lightly dry and fruity." (11/2016)
97 points James Suckling: "This is a very sleek and racy wine with lots of stone, white pepper and fresh rosemary character. Then takes off with dried ripe fruits such as currants and blueberries. Dark chocolate too. This a real mouthful yet remains agile and powerful. Linear and long finish. Great precision. Best ever from Guado al Tasso?" (7/2016) 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This is a fantastic wine. The 2013 Bolgheri Superiore Guado Al Tasso reveals soaring aromas of dark fruit, plum, blackberry, savory spice, tobacco and leather. The results are seamless, harmonious and generous in intensity. This is the q ...Read More »
96 points James Suckling: "Fantastically complex aromas of spices, dried flowers and plums follow through to a full body, integrated and polished tannins and a superb finish. This is a 2012 Brunello with it all." (11/2016) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Argiano 2012 Brunello di Montalcino does a great job of interpreting the vintage and of showcasing its special microclimate on the southern flank of the Montalcino appellation. Both these elements point to warm-climate Sangiovese. and Argiano accepts that challenge with creativity and expertise. This is a proud expression of the grape with thick texture, deter ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "***Editors' Choice*** Made with 85% Nerello Mascalese and 15% Nerello Cappuccio, this radiant red boasts a beautiful fragrance of blue and red flower, ripe berry, cake spice and aromatic herb. The radiant, delicious palate doles out layers of juicy black cherry, raspberry compote, cinnamon, white pepper and clove while a mineral note backs up the lingering finish. It's young but balanced, with bright acidity and tightly wound but refined tannins. (KO)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: #3 Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 Wines for 2016: Nerello Cappuccio – Nerello Mascalese is a blend ... Read More »
What makes this DOC of Matelica so special is its geographical position and geological character. This is an inland north-south valley, the only one in the Apennines that blocks the flow of warm coastal air, giving the region more of a continental climate. La Monacesca’s vineyards sit at about 1,800 feet above sea level in what was an ancient salt lake. The marine soil is full of fossils and rich in minerals that add to the wines’ vibrancy and aging ability. The nights are cool and the days are warm all summer long, allowing the grapes to remain on the v... Read More »
The estate was founded in 1897 when the 23-year-old Luigi Einaudi bought the San Giacomo farm in Dogliani with 16 hectares (40 acres) of vineyards. Over the years, Einaudi rose to prominence as an economist and politician, eventually becoming President of the first Republic of Italy in 1948. Despite this, Einaudi was known for never missing a harvest. Einaudi's core release is the Dogliani DOCG Dolcetto, aged in stainless steel tanks, which accounts for around half of the estate's annual 320,000 bottles. Einaudi also makes a more premium Dolcetto wine, ... Read More »
80% Nebbiolo and 20% Vespolina and Uva Rara. Pebbly, sandy and kaolinic clay soils with shells. Grapes are hand harvested. Maturation takes place over six months in cement tanks and followed by six more months in bottle.
92 points James Suckling: "A Brunello with chocolate, walnut and berry aromas and flavors. Full body with round tannins and a long finish. Citrus undertones. Lively and fun. Drink now." (10/2016) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino shows aromas of candied fruit and cassis that are tight and precious. This wine does not share the wide and expansive personality of many of the other Brunellos produced in this warm vintage. Instead, this expression is more introspective and timid. Those delicate berry notes are followed by cola, balsam herb and licorice root. The wine is streamlined and sim ...Read More »
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I am always such a big fan of Andrea Cortonesi's work. Like his previous releases, the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino shows an uncanny sense of continuity and consistency with past releases. This steady stylistic focus is one of the best reasons to buy Uccelliera Brunello. The wine is dark and rich in appearance. Fruit from this vintage was smaller than usual and Andrea jokes that during the 2012 growing season you could hardly call it "Sangiovese Grosso," the name of the Sangiovese clone used in Montalcino. It is normally characterized by larger berry size ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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: "This is all about finesse and beauty with such great length and polish. It literally melts in your mouth. Full-bodied yet agile and vivid. So many undertones of cedar, berries, cream and light toffee. Fabulous. Contender for the wine of the vintage." (12/2016) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona is one of the headline estates of Montalcino and the Pianrosso single vineyard is known for its consistency and the steady grace of its performance. The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Vigna di Pianrosso does not quite reach the heights of the outstanding 2010 vintage. This r ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
91 points James Suckling: "A very ripe, rich wine with cherry-liqueur and salt character. Full body and lots of fruit. A crowd-pleaser – very yummy. Drink now." (2/2016) Wine Enthusiast: "This opens with aromas of toast, prune, scorched earth and chopped mint. The juicy palate offers dried black cherry, star anise and a hint of sweet baking spice alongside supple tannins. Straightforward and already approachable, it will offer enjoyable sipping in the near term. Drink through 2020. (KO)" (3/2017) K&L Notes: The Baccinetti family has worked their family farm south of Montalcino since 1935, but 2004 was their first... Read More »
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.
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 »
91 points James Suckling: "A very juicy, savory 2011 with lots of ripe-fruit, leather and plum aromas and flavors. Lots of chocolate and cherry. Full body, silky tannins and a delicious finish." (10/2015)
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Dark spice, ripe berry, forest floor, Mediterranean brush and new leather aromas lead the nose on this powerfully structured wine. On the full-bodied palate, baking spice, licorice and pipe tobacco notes accent a juicy black cherry core while firm, velvety tannins provide the framework. Drink 2020–2030. (KO)" (4/2017) 94 points James Suckling: "Wow. I love the texture and beauty of this young Brunello. Medium to full body with a dense and tightly compacted palate. Dried cherry light cedar and chocolate. It goes on for minutes. Gorgeous now. Excellent acid fruit ba ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Cabernet Franc from Italy? Why, yes! The Blason Cabernet Franc comes from pebbly limestone which is rich in iron oxides. This helps to create the intriguing and elegant fragrance of freshly cut grass, bell pepper, ripe raspberry, green pepper spice and liquorice. This wine is delightful and delicious.
95 points James Suckling: "Aromas of dark chocolate, berries, toasted nuts and vanilla bean follow through to a full body, firm tannins and a juicy finish. Lots of intense, beautiful fruit. Tight, layered red. All there. Better in 2017." (11/2014) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Fontalloro is a pure expression of Sangiovese with fruit sourced from the Chianti Classico area and the Colli Senesi area. It ages in new and once-used barrique for up to 22 months. Aromas flow with authority, spanning a large swath of fruit and oak-related attributes. The best part, however, is the aromatic layering: Slices of br ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
90 points James Suckling: "A soft, velvety red with plummy, juicy flavors. Full body, lovely tannins and a flavorful finish. Drink now." (2/2016) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The La Fortuna 2011 Brunello di Montalcino reminds us of the elegant and nuanced side of Sangiovese that can be harnessed even in a challenging vintage like this. Despite the warm growing season, this wine shows depth and precision with wild berry tones that are followed by lingering aromas of balsam herb and licorice." (8/2016) Wine Spectator: "Cherry and raspberry flavors are accented by tobacco and earth notes, all wrapped up in dusty tannins. This is bal ...Read More »
100 points James Suckling: "A wine with superb finesse and depth. So subtle and understated yet powerful and long. The tannin intensity is amazing. It just builds like a massive wave. Superb. Give this time in the bottle. The length is endless. Better in 2018." (11/2016) 96 points Wine Spectator: "*** Collectibles *** A pure, focused style, with a beam of black cherry anchoring the leather, mineral, hibiscus tea and earth flavors. Well-structured, young and fresh, with a lingering aftertaste of fruit, mineral and woodsy details. Best from 2019 through 2035. 3,900 cases made. (BS)" (6/2016) 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Here is a big wine wit ...Read More »
91 points Vinous: "The 2014 Chianti Classico is a surprisingly powerful, potent wine. Black cherry, smoke, licorice and dark spices fill out the wine's ample frame effortlessly. The sheer depth and intensity are impressive and show why this is such a great site. Sweet rose petal, spice and mint are some of the many nuances that blossom as the wine sits in the glass. Put simply, this is one of the wines of the vintage. (AG)" (10/2016) 90 points James Suckling: "A warm red for the vintage with chocolate, spice and berry character. Medium body, soft tannins and a decadent finish. Drink now." (8/2016) 90 points Wine & Spirits: "A coo ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Love the complex aromas of raspberries, strawberries and minerals. Full body with fine, refined tannins with currant, blueberry and cherry flavors wrapped up in the tannic structure. A wine that that will deliver much more in a year or two: Drink in 2017." (10/2015) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Castello Banfi has maintained an excellent reputation for consistency over the years. The performance of its base Brunello offers solid evidence of this. If you look back at the scores over the years, you will see less fluctuation between the good vintages and the bad ones. That consistency is ...Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Here's a delicious red that opens with appealing ripe plum, blue flower, tobacco and baking spice aromas. Velvety tannins and fresh acidity provide structure and balance, while while juicy black cherry, raspberry compote and licorice flavors envelope the palate. Drink 2019-2032. (KO)" (4/2017) 93 points James Suckling: "I like the dried fruit to this red with blueberry and cherry undertones. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Polished and pretty. Very well done. Drink or hold." (2/2017)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of sunbaked soil, ripe plum, dark spice, chopped herb and a whiff of new leather lead the nose. The smooth full-bodied palate delivers juicy black cherry, mint, licorice and a hint of coffee alongside big, chewy tannins. Drink through 2021. (KO)" (3/2017) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Leans toward the firm side, offering raspberry, strawberry, leather, earth and tobacco flavors. Elegant overall, with fine length. Best from 2018 through 2028. (BS)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: There were many highlights during our recent spring travels in Italy, and our visit to Poggio Salvi remains among the fondest.... Read More »
90 points James Suckling: "A wine with lots of berry, vanilla and cream aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, round and savory. Intense new wood but delicious all the same. Needs time to come together in the bottle: Drink in 2017." (2/2016)
97 points James Suckling: "A wine with terrific texture and balance. Very polished tannins that are etheral and harmonious. Full-bodied, yet fresh, this is about combining elegance with power. It's so Latour in style. Excellent depth. Better in 2017, but so fine now. Blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and petit verdot." (8/2015) K&L Notes: From the winery: Oreno, which takes its name from the river that crosses the Ponti estate and the hamlet where the farmhouse is found, is the estate's flagship wine. With ample fruit from the Merlot, structure from the Cabernet Sauvignon, brought together w... Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Very aromatic with dark fruits, dried meats and flowers that follow through to a full body, round tannins and a fresh finish. Tangy and delectable. This is always a delicious Chianti Classico Riserva." (8/2015) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Made with Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, this opens with aromas of red berry, plum, violet and whiff of cedar. The elegantly structured, savory palate delivers juicy black cherry, clove, ground pepper and grilled herb alongside fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity. It's well balanced and already accessible. (KO)" (9/2015) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Chianti Cl ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A wine with plenty of dried cherry and citrus fruit aromas and flavors. Medium body, slightly chewy tannins and a fresh finish. How Chianti Classico should be. Drink or hold." (10/2015) 91 points Vinous: "The 2013 Chianti Classico is dark, sensual and beautifully layered in the glass. Freshly cut flowers, sweet red berries, mint and cinnamon are some of the many notes that flesh out in a textured, inviting Chianti Classico endowed with notable depth and personality. In 2013, Rocca di Montegrossi's Chianti Classico is especially dark and powerful. (AG)" (9/2015) 90 points Wine & Spirits: "The stony soils ...Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "Lots of blue fruits with fresh mushroom and floral undertones. Full to medium body, integrated tannins and a fantastic polish and balance. Very fine and pretty. A beautifully crafted riserva from one of the great names of Tuscany. Drink now." (8/2016) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A relatively new addition to the Marchesi Antinori portfolio, this wine really begins to show its potential in this classic vintage. The 2013 Chianti Classico Riserva Tenuta Tignanello is mostly Sangiovese with 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The addition of this French grape (harvested from the outstanding Tignanell ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
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." (7/2016) 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 »
Guido Rivella had a multi-decade career as the winemaker for Angelo Gaja. Now retired, he and his daughter have a tiny estate in Barbaresco. This Barbera comes from a vineyard next to the Barbaresco vineyard "Cole." It is an eastern-facing, 1.4-acre piece. The wine is fermented in stainless steel for 12-14 days and then aged in used barrique for six months. Barbera has naturally high acid, but this wine shows exceptional balance and is supple and layered, with complex earthy aromatics.