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K&L Staff Recommendations
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)
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 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!
90 points James Suckling: "Bright, fruity red with plums, cranberries and flowers. Full to medium body, firm tannins and a bright, citrus finish. Drink or hold." (10/2014)
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.
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)
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."
93 points James Suckling: "A very successful 2012 with a beautiful texture of ripe tannins plus cherry, chocolate and berry character. Full body and a silky texture. Outstanding harmony and balance." (10/2014) 91 points Vinous: "The 2012 Torrione is seriously beautiful. Dark red cherry, plum, spice and mocha notes flesh out in a supple, radiant wine endowed with gorgeous depth and pure resonance. All the elements meld together in this gracious, juicy Sangiovese-based red from Petrolo. Dollops of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon round out the blend. (AG)" (9/2014) 91 points Wine & Spirits: "Pure red Sangiovese flavors predominate in ...Read More »
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)
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 »
96 points James Suckling: "Aromas of blackcurrants and blueberries with hints of lavender and violets. Full body, chewy and polished tannins and a long, flavorful finish. A beautifully linear and polished red. Give it time to show it all but this is already a beauty. The depth and class to this are indeed impressive. Better in 2017." (8/2015) 95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Here’s a structured red with lots of finesse. It opens with alluring aromas of fragrant blue flowers, red berries, baking spices and exotic herbs while the firm, vibrant palate delivers black cherry, crushed raspberry, clove, ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
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 »
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 Sarno 1860 estate in Avellino. They make a single wine, a Fiano di Avellino, that sees fruit harvested from a high density vineyard planted 630 meters above se ...Read More »
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 bouquet of cherries and plums."
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)
Guido Rivella's Nebbiolo d'Alba is grown partly in Montestefano and partly in Patricone (near Cole) and it is made from 90% Nebbiolo and 10% Barbera. The grapes are separately fermented in stainless steel for 14-18 days and then aged in wood for 6-12 months. The blend of Nebbiolo and Barbera is something that Guido did regularly at Gaja, using the Barbera to add lift and drive to the Nebbiolo. Perfect for pasta and roast meats.
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. (JS)" (12/2014) 93 points Vinous: "Bright golden yellow: this looks like a dessert wine. Brooding, deep nose hints at ripe yellow apple, pear, minerals and almond paste. Dense, rich and suave in the mouth, displaying noteworthy complexity and purity to its rich flavors of yellow fruits, mineral and balsamic herbs. Finishes extremely long and pure, with lingering hints of honey ...Read More »
Tenuta di Aglaea cultivates the indigenous and mysterious Nerello grape on the cool volcanic terraces of Sicily's Mount Etna. Perfumed with minerally aromas, the wine is marked by a firm body and a freshness of fruit tones with gentle tannins. It is a wine of subtlety and will reward several years of cellaring. Try it with antipasti, pasta, vegetable dishes, and lighter meats like pork, veal, and poultry. 100% Nerello Mascalese.
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.
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 »
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.
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 »
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.
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 blackberries. Full body, ultra-refined tannins and an exquisite finish. This i ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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
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." (6/2015)
Inventory: San Francisco
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
91 points Vinous: "Iron, smoke, white truffles, menthol, spices and anise are some of the many notes that meld together in the 2012 Roero La Val dei Preti. Juicy and expressive in this vintage, the Val dei Preti is an excellent choice for drinking now and over the next few years. I wouldn't wait too long, as the mid-weight structure suggests the 2012 is best suited to medium-term drinking, but all the elements are very nicely balanced just the same. (AG)" (5/2015)
93 points James Suckling: "Aromas of blueberry, mineral and flower follow through to a full body with firm tannins and a rich, flavorful finish. A big Barbera with lots of fruit and ripeness. Hard not to love." (3/2015)
Inventory: San Francisco
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 »
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)
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 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 »
Inventory: San Francisco
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 »
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)
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. Drink or hold" (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 a ...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."
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. 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 of... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Non Confunditur ("NC" is written on the front label) is 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 20% Sangiovese. The wine takes an easy approach with nice freshness, bright fruit flavors and sweet lines at the back. (ML)" (8/2014)
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
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.
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 »
In the Colli Euganei the Orange Muscat grape is called Fior d’Arancio. As a variety it is very different than the Canelli Muscat; it ripens a few weeks later, contains more aroma and flavor and comes with a thick skin. In order to produce a passito style wine, the grapes are harvested at regular ripening and put on trellises in the "fruttaio" room, sheltered from the weather. The grapes gradually loose part of their water content and after about four months they are crushed and pressed obtaining a thick must that will ferment slowly for almost two years ... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
90 points Vinous: "Dark ruby-red. Rich red cherry and red berry aromas are complemented by cinnamon and fresh herbs. Suave, dense and juicy, with superripe red cherry and marzipan flavors complicated by hints of vanilla and mocha. Finishes long, with noteworthy peppery bite." (9/2015)
Inventory: San Francisco
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "A delicious blend of 55% Cabernet Franc, 27% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon and a dash of Petit Verdot opens with aromas of concentrated black plum, blackberry, blue flowers and a whiff of leather. The juicy palate doles out fleshy black cherries, crushed raspberries, white pepper, clove and grilled herb while velvety tannins provide the framework. A licorice note marks the close." (8/2015) 92 points Vinous: "One of the great values in Tuscan wine, the 2012 Cupole di Trinoro is simply stunning in this vintage. Dark red cherry, plum, licorice, spice and leather notes jump fro ...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