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K&L Staff Recommendations
94 points Wine Spectator: "Licorice, cherry and tar notes mark this intense, chewy red, packed with sweet fruit midpalate that offsets the dense, dusty tannins. Shows fine integration and length, with the aftertaste echoing licorice, cherry, tar and mineral details. Best from 2019 through 2035." (7/2016) 92 points James Suckling: "A red with lots of ripe fruit such as plum, strawberry and leather both on the nose and palate. Full body, velvety tannins and a fresh finish. Drink or hold." (3/2016)
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) 17 points Jancis Robinson: "17++, Mid ruby with orange tinges. Exotically spiced nose with black tea leaves and sweet red ...Read More »
Amicone is made from predominantly Corvina grapes (same grapes that go into Amarone) but are dried for a shorter period and on the vine not on mats like Amarone. The wine is fermented in stainless steel and then aged in French oak tonneaux for 8 months. The result is an easy drinking full-bodied red that has lots of rich soft, smooth texture.
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "An IGT Terre Siciliane wine, the 2012 Passopisciaro is 100% Nerello Mascalese aged in botte grande for 18 months. The wine opens to a light garnet hue that is characteristic of the grape and the hot vintage. This Etna grape can easily bleach out its color. The wine's bouquet reveals volcanic tones of brimstone and ash with pretty contours of wild berry, cassis and blue flower. There's a pretty sense of lift and buoyancy in the mouth thanks to the pure energy and intensity of its fruit. Despite the wine's light color, this is a firecracker red in terms of ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "Aromas of fresh mushrooms, dried fruits and cedar follow through to a full body, round and silky tannins and a chewy finish. A wine with lots of ripe fruit and structure for a Chianti Classico. Drink now." (10/2015) 90 points Vinous: "The 2012 Chianti Classico hits the palate with serious intensity and power. Juicy red-fleshed fruit, tobacco, mint and spice open up in a large-scaled, wine built on resonance and depth. The 2012 is a bit on the flamboyant side, but nicely balanced just the same. (AG)" (9/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "This pure expression of Sangiovese offers alluring aromas of ripe pl ...Read More »
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 »
According to Parker's Wine Advocate: "Cascina Morassino is located in Barbaresco, and the wines reflect the somewhat ethereal, elegant and graceful qualities that are the hallmarks of the wines from this part of the region." (10/09)
Terre da Vino's La Lune e I Falò Barbera d'Asti comes from a variety of vineyards with varying soils and microclimates located between the towns of Nizza Monferrato and Agliano Terme. Aged in one-third new oak barrels for a year, this is an intense, purple-fruited Barbera with anise and vanilla spice that carries from the bouquet to the palate. Soft on the palate, with lots of fruit and integrated spice, finishing long.
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 »
90 points James Suckling: "A balanced, attractive Fiano with sliced limes, minerals and almonds. Full-bodied, fruity and delicious. A new producer for me. Try it. Drink now." (3/2015) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The pretty 2012 Fiano di Avellino represents the single wine made by Tenuta Sarno 1860. This is a fresh and clean expression of the grape with bright notes of citrus, peach, pear, white flower and honey. Sur lie aging gives the wine good tension and density in the mouth. It wraps smoothly over the palate with layers of yellow fruit and crushed mineral. Mauro and Adele Sarno run the boutique Tenuta Sarn ...Read More »
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.
The Nardalici is a blend of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio, grown at an elevation of 2300 in Sicily's famed Etna region. Earthy and red fruited, with hints of cinnamon and black pepper, this is excellent alongside grilled rib eye, pot roast, or aged cheeses.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright red. Tightly wound but not dry or edgy, showing a distinctly medicinal cast to the red cherry and flint aromas and flavors. Showing limited complexity today but has the juicy acidity and spine, along with firm supporting tannins, to gain in nuance with a couple years of cellaring." (12/2014) Vinous: "Generous black stone fruits, smoke, tobacco and menthol are some of the notes that emerge from the estate's 2012 Rosso di Montalcino. The style is rich, ample and intense to the core." (5/2014)
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 »
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 »
99 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* One of Italy’s most iconic bottlings, the 2012 Sassicaia is drop-dead gorgeous. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc, it boasts sensations of blue flowers, cedar, juicy red currants, ripe raspberries, white pepper and a balsamic note. Structured, radiant and loaded with finesse, it delivers everything you’d expect from a world-class wine and more. Drink 2018–2032. (KO)" (8/2015) 95 points James Suckling: "Lots of lavender, minerals and black currants on the nose. Turns to black berries. Full body, ultra-refined tannins and an exquisite finish. ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Intensely perfumed, this offers enticing scents of wild red berry, rose, violet and exotic spice. The polished, linear palate delivers ripe black cherry, spiced blackberry, cinnamon and star anise alongside silky tannins and refreshing acidity. (KO)" (3/2016) 91 points Vinous: "Dark ruby-red. Pure aromas of red cherry and rose petal, plus a whiff of alcohol on the enticing, aromatic nose. Big, dense and juicy, but with lively acidity providing lift and nicely extending the bright, sweet red cherry and peppery raspberry flavors on the long, suave finish. Thi ...Read More »
95 points Vinous: "Freshly cut flowers, mint, raspberry and red stone fruits all lift from the glass in the Maria-Theresa Mascarello's 2012 Barolo. Silky, open-knit and gracious, the 2012 is surprisingly delicious today. This is a decidedly mid-weight, approachable Barolo that is already quite open and delicious. Best of all, the 2012 won't need years to come together. Mascarello fans should buy the 2012 to drink over the near and medium-term, while some of the more structured vintages age in the cellar. A model of grace and finesse, the 2012 is striking in its beauty, eve ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Elena Fucci's latest release is the 2012 Aglianico del Vulture Titolo. The wine shines bright with primary aromas of dark fruit, herb, oak spice and dark volcanic tones of crushed granite and smoke. Given the proven track record of this wine, I'd expect this vintage to age for 15 to 20 years without a hitch. The 2012 vintage was only slightly warmer than average and those ripe fruit flavors do a lot to round out and soften the firm tannic backbone of the wine. There's a notable point of acidity that helps the wine to achieve an impressive sense of balanc ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
About the producer: "The heart of the estate’s guiding philosophy is the search for the highest quality obtainable in full respect of the tradition of the place. The human passion of the wine grower translates into long-term projects and investments, into patience waiting for the land to be ready, for the vines to grow, for the grapes to ripen – just once a year – and the wine to mature. In 1999, Paolo De Marchi ad his son Luca dusted off the long Piedmontese family tradition with the goal of bring the legendary wines of North Piedmont back into the lime... Read More »
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 »
Wine Enthusiast: "Subdued aromas of red berry and rhubarb take shape in the glass. The reserved palate offers up crushed cherry, green tea and a hint of vanilla alongside fresh acidity and slightly astringent tannins. (KO)" (6/2015) K&L Notes: A fine and filigreed Pinot Noir from the mid-hill slopes of Montagno and Gleno in the Alto Adige. The region's cooler climate and loamy, chalky, prophyry soils produce gorgeous wines with clean fruit, spice and a hint of smoke. A touch of grip and refreshing acidity make for a tight package.
Inventory: San Francisco
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
94 points James Suckling: "So perfumed with black cherry, strawberry and flowers. Tar undertones. Brick, too. Some minerals. Stone fruit. Full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Barbaresco with clarity and finesse. This has some wine from the top crus of Gaja such as Sori Tildin and Sori San Lorenzo in the blend because they were not bottled. Drink or hold." (10/2015) 94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* In 2012, Gaja didn’t bottle his single-vineyard crus because they didn’t reach his high quality standards, and many of the grapes from these celebrated vineyards finished in this elegant, firmly s ...Read More »
Salento is a stones throw away from the Adriatic Sea. You get a hint of that salinity in this Primitivo and a lot of sunshine. The dark brooding fruit and milk chocolate will lure you in and coat your mouth with brandied cherries, mulberry jam, ginger and tobacco. An intense wine likes intense food. Pasta with wild boar ragu, pork stew, tripe, fire roasted beef, rich tomato sauce. This wine received award at Gambero Rosso, one of the highest regarded Italian wine festivals in the world.
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 »
Wine Spectator: "Wild rosemary, sage, eucalyptus and licorice flavors add to the cherry core in this distinctive, intense red. Has some hefty tannins, with enough fruit to match." (10/2014)
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.
Inventory: San Francisco
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 »
92 points James Suckling: "A red with dried-strawberry, earth and meat aromas that follow through to a full body, chewy tannins and a cedar, sandalwood and dried-berry aftertaste. Lovely length to this." (10/2015) 92 points Vinous: "The 2012 Barbaresco Marcarini shows a much darker expression of Treiso, along with greater depth, ripeness and textural richness than the Vallegrande. Black cherry, plum, cloves, leather and smoke all open up in a Barbaresco endowed with considerable mid-palate sweetness and distinctly baritone-inflected nuances. Here the expression of Nebbiolo is broad and ample. (AG) ...Read More »
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.
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.
Wine Enthusiast: "Here’s a unique blend of two of Campania’s little known grapes, Casavecchia and Pallagrello Nero. It opens with a pretty fragrance of blue flower, ripe berries and spice. The soft, round palate offers red berry and fleshy blackberry accented by cinnamon-toast notes. Drink soon." (9/2014)
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 »
Producer notes: "Joy, in flavour form. Light, easy-drinking and full of energy. A white wine as light as a refreshing, juicy fruit salad. Intense and fragrant on the nose, with a bouquet redolent of white peaches, mint, melon and rue. The flavour is full and well structured, revealing the refreshing acidity of Sauvignon Blanc. Each sip a gentle breeze, wafting over the palate, much like the gentle winds that caress the fruit in the vineyards themselves. The name, Arioso, captures the perfection of this white wine: a warm, refreshing memory of summer and ... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Luigi Giusti's Visciola is made in a centuries-old Marche tradition of making dessert wine with cherries. The production is actually quite complicated, as two varieties of cherries are processed separately with half of them being dried in the sun for 40 days. Grape wine from the current vintage is used as a base wine, but the fermented cherries are not pressed. Rather, a ripasso process is employed with some wine from the previous vintage. Sour cherries are then also utilized with residual sweetness retained. The resulting dessert wine has a potent sour ... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
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.
96 points Vinous: "Dark, rich, and enveloping, the 2012 Barolo Ginestra Casa Matè wraps around the palate with serious intensity. The flavors are deep and boldly sketched throughout. Plum, black cherries, menthol, licorice and cloves build to the voluptuous, explosive finish. The Barolo Ginestra Vigna Casa Matè is another wine that is going to require considerable time in bottle, but it is fabulous, even at this very early stage. The Casa Matè is one of the most vivid, dramatic Barolos of the vintage. (AG)" (3/2016) 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Barolo Ginestra Casa Maté is a thickly layered and ...Read More »
91 points Vinous: "The 2012 Barbaresco is a terrific example of the vintage at its best. Freshly cut roses, sweet red berries, mint and cinnamon all lift from the glass. Mid-weight and refreshing, with lively acidity to balance the radiant fruit, the 2012 is everything Barbaresco can be; open-knit, seductive and just plain delicious. Drink it over the next handful of years. I hadn't tasted the Castello di Verduno wines in a number of years, so I was very pleased to get reacquainted with this historic producer. The wines have improved dramatically over the last few years, b ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
96 points Vinous: "The 2012 Barolo Gavarini Chiniera is one of the most beautiful, precise wines of the vintage. Finely cut and chiseled, the Gavarini exudes energy and tension, both signatures of this high-altitude, Monforte site. Crushed flowers, dark red berries, mint, and crushed rocks are some of the signatures. So many 2012s are open-knit, but Grasso's Gavarini is going to need at least several years in barrel. If anything, the 2012 is a bit austere, but I say that in the best sense of the word. Exotic, alluring and totally stunning, the 2012 is a real knock-out. (AG ...Read More »
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 »
"Nerello Cappuccio" and "Nerello Mascalese" ... a blend of two very Sicilian grape varietals. Together they are the mainstay of quality red wines from Sicily's east coast and have long been a popular choice for wines made under the Sicilia IGT title (now promoted to DOC status). The pair are in fact two mutations of a single variety, although the original archetypal Nerello is rarely referred to in ampelographic literature (or any other kind of literature for that matter). The two varieties often grow side-by-side (they are BFFs after all...), most commo... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
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 »
96 points Vinous: "The 2012 Barolo Lazzarito impresses for its precision and class, two qualities that aren't easy to find in wines from this Serralunga site. Iron, smoke and white pepper lift from the glass in a vertical, structured Barolo endowed with real pedigree. A rush of pomegranate, red cherry jam, wild flowers and blood orange meld into the huge, bright finish. In 2012, the Lazzarito reconciles power and finesse like few vintages in the past. For the last few years, the Lazzarito has been knocking on the door of the big boys in this lineup, the Rocche and Ravera. ...Read More »
97 points James Suckling: "The aromas of licorice, violets and bramble berries impress. Full body, incredible length and texture. Lasts for minutes on the palate. Give it at least five years to soften." (3/2016) 94 points Vinous: "A dark, powerful wine, the 2012 Barolo Brunate is the most brooding and inward of these wines. With time and a good bit of air, the Brunate becomes a bit more precise and nuanced, yet it remains a bit monolithic next to the other wines in the range. A host of savory herbs, licorice, tobacco and dark fruits meld into the huge, explosive finish. There is no shortage of depth o ...Read More »