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K&L Staff Recommendations
93 points James Suckling: "Very clean and bright aromas of crushed berries, chocolate and spices, yet this is subtle and pretty. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a long, long, polished and tannic finish. Drink or hold." (11/2016) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This is a wine I highly recommend especially for those who can't resist the beautiful taste of Nebbiolo in a more informal dining scenario (like around the kitchen table with family and friends). The 2012 Barolo Lecinquevigne sees fruit sourced from five vineyard sites, and all that mixing and matching gives the winemakers more flexibility for achievin ...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) 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
93 points James Suckling: "A silky and pretty red with dried cherry and lemon peel aromas and flavors. Full to medium body, firm tannins and a fruity finish. Silky and racy. Tangy finish. Always a classic." (8/2015) 93 points Vinous: "Monsanto's 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva 50 Vendemmie is one of the most pedigreed wines of the year. Deep and resonant in the glass, but not at all heavy, the 2012 possesses magnificent complexity to match what I can only describe as a regal expression of Sangiovese. There is a level of purity and nuance to the 2012 that is hard to describe with words but that is very m ...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 Vinous: "The 2012 Barolo Vendemmia is a very pretty entry-level offering from Barale. Sweet floral and spice notes meld into red cherry, tobacco, licorice and leather. Lifted and aromatically expressive, with good depth, the 2012 impresses for its balance and overall harmony. Best of all, the 2012 will drink well with minimal cellaring. The Barolo Vendemmia is a blend of fruit from the Preda, Monrobiolo and Coste di Rose vineyards." (11/2016)
95 points James Suckling: "This is a young Barolo that builds on the palate with super silky tannins and fantastic pure and delicious fruit. Hints of hazelnut, plum and dark berry character. Full and polished tannins. Better in 2019 but so delicious now." (3/2016) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Pio Cesare has produced a small miracle with the 2012 Barolo. In a vintage that saw many nondescript wines, this Nebbiolo is bursting with energy and personality. The bouquet opens to an exciting sense of freshness with bright cherry and wild berry at the forefront. You also get balsam herb and mint, with cola and licorice ...Read More »
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 »
Inventory: San Francisco
91 points James Suckling: "This is very aromatic with dried-berry, mineral and floral character. Full body with firm tannins and a juicy finish. Lots of tannins but polished and chewy." (3/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "Blue flower, ripe black fruit, black pepper and cedar are just some of the aromas offered by this blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Sagrantino. The palate features ripe black cherry, coffee, espresso, vanilla and grilled sage alongside bracing tannins. Drink after 2016." (2/2015) Wine Spectator: "A fresh red, offering fragrant herb and smoke notes, with flavors of tangy raspberry, wild strawberry, salumi and spi ...Read More »
92 points Vinous: "Bright copper-tinged pink. Knockout aromas and flavors of red berries, nectarine, minerals, herbs and orange peel. Creamy but with juicy verve and lovely floral lift extending the stone and citrus fruit flavors on the long back end. Outstanding; this is the best Rosato bubbly from Murgo I have memory of. (ID)" (4/2016) 90 points Wine & Spirits: "Nerello Mascalese grapes harvested for this wine underwent twenty-four hours of skin contact, imparting a pale salmon color and delicate flavors of red berries underlined by a fine minerality. Polished and elegant, it has the concentration t ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Ramitello has enjoyed its own cult following over the years. The 2012 Molise Rosso Ramitello (a blend of Montepulciano and Aglianico) is a delicious expression with a balanced approach that puts just as much emphasis on intensity as it does elegance. The bouquet reveals dark fruit tones with spice and lingering leather at the back. The mouthfeel is reinforced by firm tannic structure and bright acidity. Of all the wineries in Molise, none stands taller than Di Majo Norante in terms of international visibility. Celebrated enologist Riccardo Cotarella help ...Read More »
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)
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of scorched earth, underbrush, chopped herb and dark spice lead the way on this full-boded wine. The firm, hearty palate offers dried dark cherry, raisin, clove, anise and tobacco framed in solid, fine-grained tannins. (KO)" (12/2016) 90 points Wine Spectator: "This harmonious red features ripe and juicy black cherry fruit and tarry mineral character, accented by delicate spice and grilled herb notes. Fresh and appealing, with a lightly chewy finish. Drink now through 2021. (AN)" (10/2016)
91 points Wine Spectator: "Shows a fine equilibrium between the silky texture, pure cherry fruit and vibrant profile. Firms up on the finish, where a characteristic tobacco element reigns. Drink now through 2020. (BS)" (9/2015)
91 points Wine & Spirits: "Nero d’Avola and Frappato grown in red, sandy soils coexist harmoniously in this smooth and polished wine, with notes of spice and licorice accenting its red cherry fruit. The flavors are rich and concentrated, lifted by light floral scents. This would make a delicious companion for roasted leg of lamb." (6/2016) 90 points Vinous: "Deep ruby-red. Spicy and leafy nuances complicate aromas and flavors of ripe red and black cherry, coffee and cocoa. Polished on the palate, with bright, harmonious acidity and smooth tannins providing solid supporting backbone. The long finish sh ...Read More »
94 points Wine Spectator: "Textbook aromas and flavors of rose, cherry and tar, along with shadings of tobacco and mineral, combine with a firm, vibrant structure in this elegant, intense red. The long aftertaste echoes the flavors, while the juicy texture enhances them. Best from 2018 through 2032. (BS)" (9/2016) 92 points Vinous: "The 2012 Barbaresco Ronchi is a bit more immediate than the Ovello, but with larger-grained tannins and more power, both of which give it that slight burliness that Barbarescos from Ronchi can sometimes show. Dark cherry, plum, smoke, licorice and game hit the palate in a ...Read More »
The Barbera grapes for this wine were grown on vines dating back to the beginning of the 19th century. It's a vibrant ruby red in the glass with a dry, full body. Thanks to the long growing season in this northern part of Italy, the wine develops gorgeous acid that makes it a perfect accompaniment to roasted and braised meats.
Pasetti's vineyards lie in the heart of Italy's Abruzzo, between the Tirino and Pescara valleys at the foot of Gran Sasso and Maiella. The location's favorable climate, varied terrain and clay chalk and skeleton-rich rocky subsoils result in some of the best wines coming out of Italy today. Made by husband and wife team Franco and Mimma from vineyards at 550 meters above sea level, their Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is aromatic, balanced and elegant. The perfect weeknight red.
97 points James Suckling: "Full body, ultra-fine and silky tannins and a soft and fruity finish. Ripe and balanced with beautiful fruit and freshness. A wine with style and beauty. A tiny-production, single-vineyard red made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot." (8/2015) 94 points Vinous: "Grattamacco's 2012 Bolgheri Superiore Alberello is finely-spun in the glass, with striking finesse and nuance. Sweet cherry, plum, smoke, licorice and spice notes open up effortlessly with air. The 2012 is ripe and juicy, but also quite classic in its mid-weight structure. The 2012 finishes with ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore is a simple wine that remains within safe, or not particularly aspirational, thresholds of intensity and complexity. "Fresh and easy", sum up the wine and its pretty bouquet of dried rose petals, spice and candied cherry. (ML)" (12/2014) K&L Notes: From the winemaker: "This wine is the product of the fermentation of Valpolicella Classico on the pressed grapes of Recioto and Amarone that are still full of sweet wine. The result is a high quality long lasting wine with strong and decisive characteristics and an intense b... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
97 points James Suckling: "Pure roses on the nose. Raspberry and lemon rind. So pure. Full body, ultra-fine tannins, powerful yet so ethereal and soul-touching. A fabulously crafted Cannubi. Better in 2020." (3/2016) 95 points Vinous: "A great example of site, the 2012 Barolo Cannubi is deep, sensual and beautifully perfumed. The aromatics and pure, creamy texture of Cannubi comes through loud and clear. The Cannubi is a wine of pure texture and voluptuousness, qualities that it shows as layers of fruit blossom in all directions. A host of dark red cherry, plum, mint and spice accompany the generous, ...Read More »
Vinous: "Medium red. Musky red fruits and herbs on the fresh but simple nose. Bright and energetic flavors of red fruits and minerals have good texture. Finishes herbal, offering big but polished tannins and very good length. A blend of Sangiovese (60%), Merlot (25%), Sagrantino (15% ). (ID)" (6/2016) Wine Spectator: "A pure note of dried black cherry is underscored by rich smoke and graphite in this fresh red, framed by chalky tannins. Medium- to full-bodied and balanced, with a firm finish of spice and dried thyme. Drink now through 2021. (AN)" (10/2016)
92 points James Suckling: "A beautiful and silky Vino Nobile with depth of fruit, lemon peel and mineral character. Full body, firm tannins and a fresh finish." (11/2015) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "La Braccesca's 2012 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a very pretty wine that is endowed with sweet cherry fruit and simple spice. Montepulciano saw less rain in this vintage compared to other years and the wine reveals sweet, plush tannins as a result. This is a soft and velvety expression that would pair with grilled steaks or sausage. (ML)" (10/2015) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Sangiovese and 10% Merlot are behind this vibrant, medium-bodied r ...Read More »
This traditionally-made Vino Nobile is harvested from the Rovisci, Maramai, and Toraia crus of the appellation, which were planted in 1970, 1993, and 1997-1999, respectively. The final blend is 90% Prugnolo Gentile (one of the many synonyms for Sangiovese) and 10% Merlot. After hand harvest, the grapes are fermented and macerated on the skins in temperature controlled stainless steel vats for about 25 days with daily pumping over. The wine is then aged for 18 months in first, second and third year French oak and in 25hl French and Slovenian oak casks.
94 points Vinous: "Terlano's 2012 Lagrein Riserva Porphyr is darker and inkier than the Riserva. It also captures more of the blue/purplish notes that are so typical of Lagrein. Cloves, licorice, graphite and menthol add the final shades of nuance. As always, Terlano presents a distinctly tamed style of Lagrein, but at the same time, all of the elements are very nicely balanced. What a gorgeous wine this is. (AG)" (5/2015) 90 points Wine Spectator: "An inky red, with mineral and graphite notes lacing flavors of black currant and plum pie, licorice and fig cake, this is well-knit and mouthwatering, an ...Read More »
99 points James Suckling: "The clarity and beauty to this wine are breathtaking. The aromas of peaches, orange peel, blueberries and blackberries are truly amazing. Full body, phenomenal depth of fruit and silky tannins. There is polish and finesse, yet the strength is monumental. Better in 2018 but why wait? Demeter certified as biodynamic." (8/2015) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The lovely 2012 Duemani is a wine that will show its potential further down the road. This warm vintage expression is muscular and compact at this initial stage in its evolution. It needs more years of bottle aging to unwind and soften ...Read More »
This is white wine for a red wine drinker. There is so much concentration and depth of flavor, intensity, complexity, and downright deliciousness here, you'll have a hard time ever sipping on a light quaffing white wine ever again. Made from 100% Timorasso, a rare Piedmontese varietal grown in the Tortonesi hills near the Lombardy border, this wine's richness comes from extended skin and lees aging. Though not quite an orange wine, this can stand up to more substantial fare than your typical white.
Meaning "middle son", Moliss is a Piedmontese word, not Italian. This is one of two single vineyard Barberas produced by Agostino Pavia and his sons Giuseppe ("Pino") and Mauro, of which total production is less than five thousand cases. It is made from old vines and aged in large Slavonian oak ovals, which impart subtle oak aromas and can add texture when new, Moliss is stylistically similar to a traditional Asti but cleaner and much more concentrated. Importer Oliver McCrum writes: "Barbera d'Asti used to have a reputation for having acidity like that ... Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Aromas of cherry, dried apple and hints of cedar. Full body, firm tannins and a fresh finish. Hints of walnut skin and wet earth. Solid and attractive. Drink or hold." (10/2015) 90 points Vinous: "Ca' del Baio's 2012 Barbaresco Asili is sweet, open-knit and seductive; in other words classic Asili. Tobacco, crushed flowers, mint and red-fleshed fruits all blossom in the glass. Medium in body and lithe on the palate, the 2012 gives the impression of being a wine to drink sooner rather than later, as it appears to lack a measure of depth and complexity. Given the prime quality ...Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "Aromas of ripe fruit and lemon tree follow through to a full body, velvety tannins and a ripe and delicious finish. Hints of cream, too. Drink or age." (11/2016)
Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of dark cooking spice, menthol, dark-skinned berry and a balsamic note open. The firmly structured palate is less expressive, showing unripe cherry, licorice and a note of white pepper alongside brooding tannins. (KO)" (10/2016)
Terre del Palio is located in Siena and exclusively produces wines from their 160 hectares of estate vineyards. Their Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is comprised of 90% Sangiovese with 5% of each Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. A long, controlled fermentation precedes the wine's 18 months in Slavonian oak barrels before bottling. Ruby red color hints at the plum and blueberry fragrance with rich tobacco and minerality. These characteristics carry through to the palate with brightness, elegance, and a satisfying finish.
93 points Vinous: "Einaudi's 2012 Barolo Cannubi is another huge, intense wine. Big, rich and explosive in style, the 2012 possesses notable depth and concentration in a style that is shockingly rich for Cannubi. There isn't a whole lot of subtlety here, but there is plenty of power. Here, too, readers will have to be patient. Still, I don't expect the 2012 will ever be particularly polished. (AG)" (3/2016) 93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Leather, underbrush, earth, iris and woodland berry are some of the scents you’ll discover on this structured wine. The concentrated palate delivers ...Read More »
This is a 100% Barbera wine from the town of Donnici, just south of Cosenza in Calabria (The toe of Italy's boot) at over 1600 feet. The winery is just 16 acres of vineyards and produces 6 different wines, this Barbera is made in all stainless steel, and is aged for 21 months before bottling.
This is 100% Nebbiolo from the vineyards of Teglio. It is fermented in stainless steel tanks for two weeks before spending 12 months in a large cask for ageing.
Inventory: San Francisco
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "The nose is initially subdued but eventually reveals inviting aromas of spiced plum, leather, vanilla and a whiff of blue flower. The structured but elegant palate conveys blackberry, dried cherry, mint, savory herb and clove alongside bracing but fine-grained tannins and bright acidity. The lingering finish ends on a licorice note. Drink 2016–2023. (KO)" (3/2015) 90 points James Suckling: "A soft, fruity red with a plum, milk-chocolate and almond aftertaste. Full and delicious." (11/2015) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Here's a wine that gives ample room to varietal expression. The 2012 Negroamaro Masseria Maìme d ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "Fresh and aromatic with orange peel, watermelon and strawberry aromas. Medium to full body, tight and fine tannins and a delicious finish. A beautiful Barolo to drink now and in the future." (3/2016)
Made from Corvina Veronese, Corvinone, and Rondinella. After harvest, the grapes are dried for at least 4 months resulting in at least 40% must weight loss. The grapes are then macerated for 30 days, then aged in oak 24 months with maturation in bottles for a further six months.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Alto Adige Valle Isarco Sylvaner (with a glass cork) delivers musky aromas of lavender soap, white flower and jasmine potpourri. There’s a distant note of petroleum at the back. In line with the grape’s natural characteristics, the mouthfeel is fatty, soft and thick. (ML)" (9/2014) K&L Notes: Christian Kerschbaumer is a young winemaker and proprietor Weingut Garlider in Alto Adige's Eisack Valley. English wine writer and critic Stuart Pigott writes: "His white wines are of a very special class. The Sylvaner has a creaminess, saltiness and freshness, which gi... Read More »
The somewhat undiscovered DOC of Valtellina in Northern Italy's Lombardy region produces red wines from the Nebbiolo grape. From their cool, sub-alpine river valley with steep slopes of crushed granite, the terroir naturally expresses the grape in a racier style than the more familliar Nebbiolo expressions of Piedmont. Sandro Fay is one of just a handful of prominent producers in the region. This bottling is sourced from the 3-hectare Carteria vineyard in the Valgella sub-zone of Valtellina Superiore.
94 points Vinous: "Fèlsina's 2012 Maestro Raro (Cabernet Sauvignon) is a real head-turner, although it is also an infant and in need of considerable cellaring. A bold, dark wine, the 2012 is vivid in the glass, with remarkable detail for such a big wine and exceptional overall balance. The 2012 is sweeping and dramatic in style, with plenty of that year's exotic fruit and opulence, along with plenty of sweet tobacco, rosemary, sage and cedar notes that add nuance. The 2012 needs time to fully meld together, but it is fabulous, even today. (AG)" (9/2015) 93 points James Suckling: "A traditional Super ...Read More »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of licorice, dark berry, dried herb, leather and a balsamic note lead the way. The firm palate offers ripe Marasca cherry, raspberry compote, pipe tobacco and licorice while firm, velvety tannins lend finesse. This won’t need years to come around but it also shows staying power. Drink 2019-2027" (2/2017) 90 points Vinous: "A dense, powerful wine, the 2012 Barolo Prapò shows plenty of Serralunga muscle. Iron, smoke, licorice, herbs and a host of savory notes underpin a core of intense dark red stone fruit. The 2012 exudes virile intensity from start to finish. (AG) ...Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "Lots of sweet strawberry character on the nose and palate. Very pure. Full body, soft, silky tannins and a long, intense finish. Loads of flavor but lively and tangy. Drink or hold." (10/2014) 93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of wild berry, crushed violet, leather, menthol and a whiff of lightly toasted oak waft from the glass. The savory but refined palate delivers juicy wild cherry, black raspberry, ground white pepper, licorice, sage and a mocha note alongside chewy tannins. It's structured but elegant, with a mineral-driven finish. (KO)" (4/2015) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "There is no mistaking the 2012 Et ...Read More »
90 points Decanter: "Silver medal Decanter World Wine Awards, June 2016" (6/2016) K&L Notes: This lovely Barolo shows a beautiful red with orange highlights as it continues to age. Spicy aromas along with notes of vanilla and licorice lead into pure red fruit and polished tannins. Will age well for 20+ years.
Owner Coralia Pignatelli della Leonessa is steadfast in her commitment to making traditional Chianti Classico in the town of Castelnuovo Berardenga. She uses 100% Sangiovese grown in alluvial soil with sand and pebbles, fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged in large oval barrels ("botti"). The result is soulful wines that stand the test of time.
Inventory: San Francisco
92 points Wine & Spirits: "Rovittello’s 80-year-old nerello mascalese and cappuccio vines sit at 2,460 feet on Etna’s northern slope. Black minerals wash through the wine’s cool flavors of raspberry and red plum, with a sanguine note of game. The robust tannins feel finer on the second day, unleashing the fruit flavors and guiding the wine to a long and spicy finish. Cellar this for a few years to tame the tannins, or decant and pour with seared ribeye." (6/2016) 91 points Vinous: "Moderately saturated red. Cherry, cinnamon and savory earthy aromas are lifted by a very intense floral topnote. Graceful ...Read More »
2012 Vignalta Manzoni Bianco ‘Agno Casto’ Riserva Vignalta The indigenous Veneto variety Manzoni Bianco was created in the 1930s by Professor Luigi Manzoni of the enology school in Conegliano by crossing Pinot Bianco with Riesling. Fermentation for stainless steel; Aged 10 months in steel tanks and 6 months in bottle
92 points James Suckling: "Aromas of strawberry and cherry with hints of flowers. Full body with a solid core of fruit and a silky tannin texture. Bright and pretty. Drink or hold." (10/2015) 92 points Vinous: "The 2012 Barbaresco Vallegrande is a forward, supple wine to drink now and over the next few years. Spice, sweet tobacco, black cherry, menthol, pine and a host of balsamic-inflected nuances give the fruit much of its aromatic lift, while firm tannins add energy and a sense of drive. The overall profile is very typical of Vallegrande and Treiso more broadly. I would prefer to drink the 2012 soo ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
Vinous: "The 2012 Barolo tasty, entry-level offering from Rinaldi. The mid-weight personality of the year comes through in this deceptively understated wine that offers good depth but plenty of supporting tannin. I would give the 2012 a year or two in bottle to fully come together, but this is a solid wine with potential. Dried flowers, sweet tobacco and dried cherries meld into the expressive finish. (AG)" (11/2016)
Inventory: San Francisco