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K&L Staff Recommendations
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 Grechetto-Sauvignon Blanc blend is, according to the winery, "well-balanced, fresh, with a good persistence. Sce... Read More »
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.
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!
93 points Decanter: "Bright ruby and transparent, yet you find yourself searching the glass for a skeleton, skate-wing bones of neatly structured and delicate tannins fanning out through the fruit. Fine, focused and extremely drinkable. Drink 2015-2022" (6/2015) 92 points James Suckling: "A beautiful red with delicate but rich flavors, bright acidity and an orange-peel undertone. Medium body with fine tannins and a fresh, clean, savory, salty finish. Very Burgundian. Pure Sangiovese. Drink now or hold." (10/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "Here’s a vibrant wine that opens with pretty aromas of blue flower, rose and berry. The savor ...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)
94 points James Suckling: "This is a phenomenal white with sliced pear, apple and cream. Wonderful richness. It's full bodied, very layered and stylish. A petrol, candle-wax and dried-apricot character. Savory finish. Drink now." (12/2014) 3 points Gambero Rosso: "With its extraordinary interpretation of the Matelica DOC, Aldo Cifola's winery is the perfect exponent of the concept of terroir. He reads the potential of Verdicchio, which finds a powerful, flavorsome expression here without losing its acidic, tangy edge endowed by the area and its cool microclimate. Another magnificent verison of the Mirum, th ...Read More »
90 points James Suckling: "A clean, fresh red with dried-strawberry and lemon-rind character. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a chewy finish. Always excellent. Drink or hold." (2/2014) 90 points Vinous: "The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is a pretty wine, with good freshness and solid overall balance for the year. Sweet tobacco, dried herbs, smoke and spice meld together nicely in the glass. Although a bit compact and forward, the 2009 offers lovely drinking today and should develop nicely for the next decade or so. In 2009, Mastrojanni did not produce their flagship Brunello Schiena d'Asino; that ...Read More »
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." (10/2014) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva displays a dark, brooding color with evolved aromas of dried spice, autumnal underbrush, cassis, figs and candied prune. As the wine evolves in the glass, it imparts increasingly seductive layers of licorice and dried ginger that build in complexity and momentum in quintessential Brunello fashion. There’s a tightness and firmness to the palate ...Read More »
Paolo Calì is a pharmacist who began making wine in 2003. In the hot climate of southerneastern Sicily, Calì's grows Nero D'Avola and Frappato in the island's only DOCG, Cerasuola di Vittoria. His Frappato is fresh and aromatic, with notes of strawberries, lavender, and orange zest. He ferments in stainless steel to preserve the brightness of the grape. This wine is a boon companion to any summer picnic--put a slight chill on it and serve it with prosciutto, fried chicken, or pizza.
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 »
90 points Vinous: "The 2013 Rosso di Montalcino is fresh, floral and lifted, which is to say very much in the style of this late-ripening vintage. Sweet tobacco, mint, leather, smoke and dark red stone fruits open up nicely in the glass. Although not quite as voluptuous as most editions, the 2013 has lovely energy and enough acidity to drink well for a number of years. This is a very pretty Rosso from Giancarlo Pacenti." (2/2015)
Decanter World Wine Awards 2014 Commended this red, describing it as having "fleshy jammy red fruit on the nose. The palate of red fruit is rich supple and prolonged."
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 "Fanatico" is a Chianti Classico Riserva, with ripe black cherry flavors underlined by baking spice and chocolate. It's well structured, and will age well.
Delicious pink wine, some of the first Nebbiolo rosé of the season. Pink like a perfect spring sunset. Pink like...an earthworm. Indeed, Proprietà Sperino, located in the historic district of Ori in northern Piedmont, also produces worm cast humus in its own production facility, Utilizing millions of Californian red earthworms. Serve cold.
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)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A pure expression of Chardonnay, the oak-aged 2011 Falesia is a creamy, buttery wine with roasted pineapple, vanilla, canned peach and flinty mineral. The structure is not too big and that’s ultimately what helps this wine feel balanced in the mouth. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2015. (ML)" (8/2013)
97 points James Suckling: "A tight and silky red with compacted fruit and tannin texture featuring blackcurrant, mushroom and bark undertones. Full body, firm tannins and a minerally finish. Excellent structure and mouthfeel. A cooler style of Ornellaia, bringing it back to the classicism of this celebrated region. Bordeaux blend. Better in 2018." (8/2015) K&L Notes: This is a hallmark Super Tuscan, that's been produced to great acclaim since 1985. A blend of estate-grown Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot, it has a reputation for concentrated elegance. From the winem... Read More »
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)"
96 points James Suckling: "A big, rich wine but there's lots of brightness and beauty at the same time. Shows licorice and asphalt. Full body with chewy tannins and a long finish. Terracotta, Tuscan dust and spice; balsamic too. This needs three to five years to soften. Intense finish." (9/2014) 96 points Vinous: "Blackberry jam, cassis, grilled herbs and melted road tar meld together in the 2011 Solaia. Another super-exotic, racy 2011 from Antinori, Solaia is supremely beautiful. Mocha, espresso and sage are some of the many notes that add complexity. Hints of white truffle, lavender, smoke and licor ...Read More »
95 points Vinous: "Another gorgeous wine, the 2011 La Ricolma wraps around the palate with fabulous depth and richness. Dark red and black-toned fruit, cloves, menthol, spices and licorice meld together in a supple, radiant wine endowed with notable depth and nuance. Lavender, jasmine and a host of floral notes add gorgeous perfume on the finish. Of all the San Giusto wines, Ricolma seems to get the least attention, but it can be superb, as it is again in 2011." (9/2014) 94 points Wine Spectator: "A cool reserve lends a fresh feel to the pure cherry and blackberry flavors in this dense red. Taut, focu ...Read More »
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."
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Dark red-ruby. Aromas of black cherry, ripe red berries, licorice, dried flowers and spices are a bit aromatically compressed owing to the vintage's hot weather. Sweet and rather soft on entry (again due to 2000's warm weather), then nicely stuffed with surprisingly energetic red fruit in the middle. The broad finish features repeating, lingering flavors of ripe red cherry and licorice. A very successful 2000 Brunello. (ID)" (5/2014) Wine Spectator: "Aromas of strawberry and cream, with hints of mahogany. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a ripe fruit character. Slight ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 "Trasgaia" is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. It is aromatic and savory, with notes of coffee, cocoa, clove and plum.
Vinous: "Crushed flowers, mint, pine, spices and crushed raspberries lift from the glass in the 2013 Anthos, Correggia's still, dry Brachetto. In this vintage, the Anthos is especially light-bodied and ethereal. I would drink it slightly chilled as an aperitif. - (AG)" (5/2015)
98 points James Suckling: "Very complex aromas of tanned leather, dried fruits and flowers. So beautiful to smell. This is so full and velvety-textured with amazing richness and complexity. Such a gorgeous, exciting wine. Long and caressing. Turns savory and succulent. Fantastic. Greatest wine ever from here. Drink or hold." (1/2015) 94 points Wine Spectator: "This red exhibits harmony from the outset, with sweet plum and cherry jam flavors, accented by licorice and leather aromas. The focus intensifies as this evolves on the palate, leaving a firm, tightly wound finish. Hangs together nicely, so give this so ...Read More »
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