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K&L Staff Recommendations
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 »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Delicately scented, this alluring sparkler opens with aromas of white flowers and freshly picked orchard fruit. The vibrant, linear palate delivers crisp apple, pear and a citrus note accompanied by racy acidity and an elegant perlage. (KO)" (12/2015) James Suckling: "This is round and delicious with candied-apple and lemon aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, fresh and clean. Drink now." (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, pe... Read More »
33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 17% Montepulciano, 17% Alicante.
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 »
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.
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.
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!
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)
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) K&L Notes: "[The 2012s] have more in common with the legendary 2010 vintage and are most like the 2004s, a harmonious and gorgeous year for Brunellos (James Suckling)." ---- Standing at the top of their portfolio, Argiano’s Brunello di Montalcino is the flagship wine for an estate that has a history tracing back all the way to the 1500s. The wine itself is steeped in traditi... 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 »
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 »
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 »
Wine Enthusiast: "This opens with pretty, dark concentration and balanced aromas of black cherry and red currant set against leather, cedar and drying mineral notes. That extra density helps soften the sharp acidity." (5/2013)
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 »
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.
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 »
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
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 »
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 »
95 points James Suckling: "Aromas of walnuts and ripe fruit such as mature plums in combination with undertones of cedar. Full body, chewy tannins and spicy finish. Intense dried lemons. Burning spices. So much going on here. Such a complete and complex wine." (11/2016)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
What do you do when you want to make Nebbiolo in a province where Barbera is king (namely, Alba in northern Piedmont)? You get creative! The Bava Brothers, a fun-loving bunch, decided to find a catchy fantasy name for their 100% Nebbiolo wine. They went American and named it after a real American tradition, Band-Aids, (evidently at a winery you go through a lot of them). "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, drink... 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." (10/2015)
Claudia Ferrero’s small property is situated between Argiano and Banfi’s Poggio all’Oro vineyard in Montalcino’s southwestern corner. This gorgeous Sangiovese is full-bodied and ripe with layers of lush black cherry fruit. On the palate it is lively, balanced and fresh and has a long finish. The perfect match for grilled meats drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.
92 points Vinous: "Pale straw. Very pure and precise aromas of white stone fruit complicated by hints of ripe apricot and minerals and perked up by hints of white flowers. Clean fresh and juicy, with almost saline flavors of stone fruit and yellow apple. Long fresh and creamy on the extremely refined finish. Super Prosecco from Follador, whom I consider one of the true masters of the Glera grape variety and wine. 92+ (ID) Silvano Follador is in my opinion the single best producer of Prosecco today...made in a relatively drier style than most of his colleagues, are much s ...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 »
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." (3/2016) 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 »
Vinous: "Crushed flowers, tobacco, worn-in leather and dried flowers are all nicely delineated in the 2014 Rosso di Montalcino. This is an unusually soft, forward Rosso from Uccelliera. (AG)" (2/2016)
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 »
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)
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Red berry, fragrant blue flower, dark spice and a whiff of eucalyptus come together on this one. The taut, structured palate offers dried black cherry, licorice, clove and a hint of grilled sage. Firm, fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity provide balance and support. (KO)" (5/2016) 94 points Wine Spectator: "Aromas of wild herbs and cherry are the hallmarks of this cherryand currant-laced red, backed by a lively structure. This remains balanced in the end. Best from 2019 through 2035. (BS)" (4/2016) 91 points James Suckling: "Some dark berry and cherry with a slightly subdued character. Hints of cooked fruit. ...Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Sporting a new label design, the 2011 Brunello di Montalcino represents a philosophical divide from previous vintages. In the past, Castiglion del Bosco was focused on soft and immediate Brunellos for near-term consumption. Despite the warm conditions of the 2011 growing season, this wine shows far more elegance, nuance and grace than I expected. This massive property is comprised of various vineyard sites for more blending possibilities. The bouquet is redolent of wild berry, cola and grilled herb. The tannins are silky but long in terms of persistence. ...Read More »
95 points James Suckling: "Captivating aromas of blueberries, raspberries, violets and orange peel. Full body with crazy tannins." (9/2013) 94 points Vinous: "The 2011 Giorgio Primo is just as beautiful today as it was last year, even if it has barely budged since then. Blackberry jam, spices, licorice, smoke and new leather meld together in a seamless voluptuous wine endowed with superb depth and pure textural richness. The oak still needs time to integrate, but there is a lot to look forward to here. (AG)" (9/2014) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Giorgio Primo is the latest edition of one of my favorite Tuscan blends. Caber ...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.
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2006 Taurasi Radici hits the palate with masses of blueberries, black berries, flowers and spices. The 2006 is a big, explosive wine in need of considerable cellaring. That said, it is remarkably accessible for a young Taurasi from this historic property. Layers of fruit continue to build towards the exotic, concentrated finish. This is a marvelous wine in the making. The 2006 spent two years in a combination of casks and smaller French oak barrels. (AG)" (5/2011) 95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* This is a gorgeous, compelling wine of power and finesse. It has a capt ...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 Wine Spectator: "Fruit-driven, boasting black cherry and blackberry flavors, shaded by spice and tar. Firm and dry, with fine balance and a long finish. Best from 2018 through 2024. 2,450 cases imported. BS" (10/2016)
95 points James Suckling: "This is dense and tight with beautiful mushrooms, bark, dark fruit and spices. Full body, velvety tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Wonderful. Lovely now but better in 2017." (9/2015) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Pian di Conte impresses for the seamless presentation it offers. Blackberry and dark cherry nuances segue to spice, leather and tobacco. The bouquet makes these jumps with effortless transitions and it builds important momentum that adds to the wine's length and persistence. Compared to the 2010 Annata, this 2010 Riserva is slightly ...Read More »
Brezza produced their first estate wine in 1910, and the fourth generation now oversees their 22 hectares of estate vineyards. Their wines are made in a traditional style.
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.
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Heady scents of forest floor, ripe berry, fragrant blue flower, grilled herb and a whiff of eucalyptus emerge on this superb wine. The elegantly structured palate offers juicy wild cherry, black raspberry, star anise, mint and baking spice while well-integrated tannins provide the framework. Balanced and already approachable, it also shows good mid-term aging potential. Drink through 2026. (KO)" (5/2016) 94 points Vinous: "The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino is one of the classiest wines of the vintage. Macerated cherry, cinnamon, orange peel and spice notes are all fused togeth ...Read More »
98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Flaccianello della Pieve is a commanding wine and a strong protagonist of both the vintage and its territory. Connoisseurs of Sangiovese will be hard pressed to find a wine more authentic, elegant, complex and pristine than this. I am a huge fan of the 2013 vintage in Chianti Classico and the Flaccianello della Pieva is one big reason for this love affair. The bouquet is gorgeous and delineated with wild berry, tangy spice, crushed mineral and forest flower. Yet, the wine's color is dark, brooding and austere. The wine offers exuberance and ener ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Rose, violet and red berry aromas waft out of the glass. The vibrant palate offers juicy wild cherry and crushed strawberry while white pepper and anise provide the backup. It's elegantly structured but still young and tight so give this time to unwind. Drink 2019–2027. (KO)" (10/2015)
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Sesta di Sopra is another winery in Montalcino that delivers a powerful and well balanced wine in this important vintage. The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is an impressive effort and a wine that sports a masculine and muscular personality. The nose is redolent of dark fruit, wild berry, died cherry, leather and tobacco. All those components come together in seamless fashion. The wine shows medium density in terms of mouthfeel but very long persistence. This is a wine of immense inner class and elegance. (ML)" (8/2016) 95 points Wine Spectator: "A tightly wound, austere style, ...Read More »
92 points Wine & Spirits: "Fruit for Mirum hangs on 30-year-old vines into the latter half of October, imparting a golden color and densely concentrated flavors of yellow apple, Asian pear and dried thyme. Notes of blanched almonds and spearmint emerge with air, the rich flavors and creamy texture balanced by notes of lemon zest and prickly sea-salt that vibrate on the palate. Match its intensity of flavor to linguini with clams in a rich garlic broth." (8/2016) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "With a little time in the glass, this eventually reveals subtle aromas of toasted almond, pressed yellow flower, beeswax a ...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 »
92 points Vinous: "The 2011 Barbaresco is round, sensual and inviting, with tons of near and medium-term appeal. This is an especially large-scaled, ample entry-level Barbaresco that shows just how compelling this vintage is here in the Barbaresco zone. Ripe, silky tannins wrap around the voluptuous, engaging finish. The Barbaresco emerges from a parcel just outside Montestefano with a more northerly exposure that in this vintage helped preserve nuance and precision. This is a striking wine from the Rivella family. (AG)" (11/2015) K&L Notes: The Barbaresco comes from 1.5 acres of viney... Read More »
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)
Inventory: San Francisco