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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)
97 points Vinous: "The 2012 Flaccianello della Pieve, a selection of the estate's best fruit, presents a darker, more virile expression of Sangiovese. Here, too, the purity of the flavors is truly striking. Cinnamon, cloves, new leather, licorice and plums are some of the notes that soar from the glass. The 2012 is full-bodied and voluptuous, in classic Flaccianello style, but the new French oak is much better integrated than it often is at this stage, the result of a move to lower toast levels over the last few years. This is one of the finest young Flaccianellos I can re ...Read More »
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.
About the producer: "Cantina Tollo wines are rooted in a territory, with an ancient wine-producing tradition—the rolling Abruzzo hills, which slope down from the Apennines toward the Adriatic Sea—and in an ideal microclimate unique in the world characterised by mild sea breezes and cool currents coming in from the Maiella."
92 points James Suckling: "Fascinating aromas of dried fruits, orange peel, earth, pomace and meat. Full body with soft and tangy fruit plus a long, flavorful finish. It's decadent and citrusy on the finish besides the opulent and delicious red fruits." (3/2015) Wine Spectator: "Blackberry, loamy earth, spice and tea leaf notes mix in this balanced red, with light tannins on the aromatic finish. Drink now through 2018." (3/2015)
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Aglianico del Vulture Alto Vulture Macarico is an extremely mineral-driven wine with delineated layers of pencil shaving, brimstone and graphite. The fruit is dark and brooding, recalling dried blackberry, plum and candied figs. There is little sweetness or softness in the mouth and what exists is immediately overwhelmed by the tannic tightness and firm structure. Like other wines from the Vulture, the finish is driven by dark, ashy tones. (ML)" (4/2015)
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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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)
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.
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 »
This 100% Nebbiolo bottling from Schiavenza is sourced from plots in the village of Serralunga d'Alba. So yes, this under-$20 bottle is declassified Barolo that was vinified to drink at a young age. The wine spent one year in steel tanks before bottling, upon which time it was bottle aged for another year before release.
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 »
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
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." (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. This ...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 »
Inventory: San Francisco
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
93 points James Suckling: "A crisp and vivid red with dried berry, cherry and blueberry character. Hints of lemon and peach too. Full body, wonderful fruit and balance. Focused and very intense. From organically produced grapes." (8/2015) 93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Fragrant blue flower, plum, cake spice and a whiff of leather are some of the aromas you'll find on this stunning wine. Made with organically farmed Sangiovese, the juicy, delicious palate doles out ripe black cherry, fleshy blackberry, white pepper, licorice and grilled herb. It's open and well balanced, with firm, polished tannins. (KO'K) ...Read More »
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 »
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 »
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 »
96 points James Suckling: "Lots of blackcurrants and blackberry aromas and flavors with hints of bark and mushrooms. Full-bodied, chewy and rich. A powerful red with plenty of structure and depth. This Bordeaux blend from Bolgheri is a challenger to Sassicaia and Ornellaia. Better in 2018." (8/2015) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Showing exceptional density and thickness, the 2012 Orma is a monumental red wine from Tuscany. The blend is 50% Merlot with Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc in supporting roles. Compared to the 2011 vintage, this edition of Orma shows tighter tannins and a longer aging potential. In fact, ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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
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)
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.
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 »
Vinous: "The 2012 Chianti Classico is superb. Bright red-toned fruit, spices, anise and leather grace the palate in an absolutely exquisite, vibrant wine endowed with superb texture, finesse and personality...It is super-refined and a real standout for the year. Dollops of Canaiolo and Colorino round out the blend." (9/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "Made with organic grapes, this fruity blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo/Colorino begins with aromas of ripe red berries, spice and espresso. The dense palate delivers fleshy black cherry, black pepper and balsamic herbs supported by yout ...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
91 points Wine Spectator: "This is elegant, revealing kirsch, raspberry, licorice and earth flavors, framed by oak spice. Fine-grained tannins prevail on the lingering finish. Drink now through 2020. 250 cases imported." (4/2016) James Suckling: "A red with earth and berry aromas and flavors. Some cedar tones too. Medium body. Drink now." (10/2015) K&L Notes: Il Favot is made from younger vine plantings (under 15 years) in Bussia. resulting in a declassified but high-quality bottling. It was aged for 18 months in barriques instead of the 26-30 months in casks for Conterno's classified Barolos.
99 points James Suckling: "Fantastic aromas of lavender, rosemary, violets and currants. Full body, a wonderful concentration of fruit yet tense and taunt energy. The new wood is exposed now but will become integrated and polished. Give it three or four years together. The pure Merlot magic is there. The 2011 was a perfect wine, and this is very close indeed. Drink in 2019." (8/2015) 96 points Vinous: "Once again, Masseto shows why it is one of the world's truly great wines. Vibrant and nuanced in the glass, the 2012 possesses magnificent complexity to match its textured, inviting personality. Black c ...Read More »
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 »
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 »
From the winery: "Ruby red in color with violet reflections, this wine is nicely toned in scent with hints of sour black cherry and cherry on recalls of coffee cream. Rich and tonic in the mouth, almost austere, this unique wine has a balsamic and fruity finish."
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 »
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)
93 points Wine Spectator: "Blueberry, black currant and violet notes are enhanced by vanilla and sweet spice accents in this suave red. Dense and structured, with a long, fresh aftertaste. Needs some time to absorb the oak. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best from 2016 through 2024. 4,200 cases made. (BS)" (2/2015) 90 points James Suckling: "Crisp cherry skins, cola and chiseled stone. Nice core richness with noted oak marks. Full-bodied with ample tannin. Well crafted and balanced. Made from merlot and cabernet. Drink in 2015." (10/2014)
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
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
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 »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of blackberry, crushed violet, tilled earth and a hint of tobacco lead the nose of this generous wine. The chewy palate offers juicy Marasca cherry, ground pepper, clove and anise alongside ripe, velvety tannins. It’s already delicious but will continue to develop over the next few years. Drink through 2020. — K.O. (9/1/2015)" (9/2015) 92 points Vinous: "The 2012 Chianti Classico is round, sweet and super-expressive. Dark red cherry, spice and tobacco meld together as this silky, open-knit Chianti Classico shows off its inviting personality. Succulent and racy to th ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
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) 94 points James Suckling: "Aromas of flowers, strawberry and dried sage come through. ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse