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K&L Staff Recommendations
93 points James Suckling: "Lots of blackcurrants, grapes and lemon zest character. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a long and flavorful finish. It's firm and very tight. Compact structure. Delicious blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah and sangiovese. Better in 2018." (8/2015) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Pure and fresh, boasting black currant and black cherry flavors, with tar and earth details. Lean, almost racy, with vivid acidity driving the long, mineral-tinged finish. Sangiovese, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2017 through 2023. (BS)" (10/2015)
Wine Spectator: "*Best Values* This creamy red takes a modern tack, with mocha and spice accents to the pureed boysenberry fruit. Bright and balanced, with a lightly chewy finish of moderate length. Negroamaro, Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon. (AN)" (6/2015)
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 »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I'm not sure how you could possibly beat a deal this good. A 90/10 blend of Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera di Lecce, the 2013 Salice Salentino Riserva 50 Vendemmia is given Riserva status because the wine is released two years after the harvest. The wine presents a bold and shapely body of fruit with ripe berry and black cherry on prime view. There are thicker accents of dried prune and plum at the back. The wine reveals a bold and determined style that is in line with the wine style of Puglia. 90+ (ML)" (8/2016) Wine Spectator: "Savory accents of forest floor and game meet ...Read More »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "***Editors' Choice*** Made with 85% Nerello Mascalese and 15% Nerello Cappuccio, this radiant red boasts a beautiful fragrance of blue and red flower, ripe berry, cake spice and aromatic herb. The radiant, delicious palate doles out layers of juicy black cherry, raspberry compote, cinnamon, white pepper and clove while a mineral note backs up the lingering finish. It's young but balanced, with bright acidity and tightly wound but refined tannins. (KO)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: #3 Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 Wines for 2016: Nerello Cappuccio – Nerello Mascalese is a blend ... Read More »
90 points Vinous: "90+: Bright red. Aromas of red cherry, tar and violet on the enticing nose. Dense but fresh, delivering crunchy red cherry fruit flavors that linger long on the bright floral finish. ID" (8/2016) K&L Notes: About the producer: "The tradition of Illuminati Wines has been going on for over one hundred and twenty years. Innovation and research abilities have been growing too in the course of time, without forgetting the essential characteristics of homemade products: a genuine and transparent wine, reflecting the territory where it is produced. The knowledgeable art of ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Fresh and fruity, this straightforward red offers aromas of ripe dark-skinned berry, licorice and leather. The soft, juicy palate doles out dried blackberry and spiced blueberry alongside round, smooth tannins. (KO)" (3/2016)
95 points Vinous: "Fully saturated ruby. Pure, very deep aromas of black cherry, red plum, medicinal herbs and minerals. Rich, dense and suave, with complex flavors of saline red berries and dark plum complicated by repeating botanical herb and balsamic nuances. Finishes seamless an long. A wine of noteworthy purity, with an excellent balance of sweetness, acidity and tannins. This is Gulfi's closest vineyard to the sea and almost always gives the estate's most elegant, refined wine. (ID)" (12/2015)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
About the producer: "Zaccagnini company was established in 1978. Starting from a family-run business, the Winery has grown rapidly and steadily with the goal of “absolute quality, from cluster to glass”, reaching the current condition of an international reality with more than 300 hectares of beautiful vineyards, well-kept and monitored at every production stage. Excellence, passion and devotion to job have made Tralcetto’s wines the pride of Abruzzi’s wine production appreciated all over the world."
Inventory: San Francisco
90 points James Suckling: "A fresh and zesty valpo with dried-watermelon and lemon character. Light body and a pretty linear backbone of acidity." (11/2016) Wine Spectator: "Hints of incense and star anise perfume this creamy red, which shows plumped cherry and singed orange peel notes underscored by loamy earth accents. Bright finish. (AN, Web-2016)" K&L Notes: Musella, one of my favorite Amarone producers, is now back in stock. They’d been out of the market for some time but now they are back! Musella’s wines have an elegance, a supple grace to them and don’t carry that "heavy" connotation that most would tag ... Read More »
Vinous: "Bright pink. Aromas of black cherry, blueberry, licorice and dried flowers. Sweet and rather soft on entry, then nicely stuffed with energetic, perfumed fruit in the middle. (IDA)" (3/2016) K&L Notes: From 100% Negroamaro, a late-ripening red grape variety (whose name translates to "dark bitter") that produces some exciting and distinct rosé wines from the Puglia region. Tormaresca sourced the hand-harvested grapes from the Maime estate in San Pietro Vernotico. The grapes were softly pressed and fermented at a low, controlled temperature before settling for several m... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2006 Taurasi Radici hits the palate with masses of blueberries, black berries, flowers and spices. The 2006 is a big, explosive wine in need of considerable cellaring. That said, it is remarkably accessible for a young Taurasi from this historic property. Layers of fruit continue to build towards the exotic, concentrated finish. This is a marvelous wine in the making. The 2006 spent two years in a combination of casks and smaller French oak barrels. (AG)" (5/2011) 95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* This is a gorgeous, compelling wine of power and finesse. It has a capt ...Read More »
92 points Vinous: "The 2014 Frappato Vittoria opens up with an irresistible fresh red fruit cocktail quality on the nose, followed by very spicy and floral notes, with juicy red berry and cherry. Finishes long and clean with a bright floral echo. A stellar Frappato that makes it impossible to put the glass down. (ID)" (11/2015) 91 points James Suckling: "This shows aromas of blueberry, forest fruit and salt. Medium to full body, bright acidity and a mineral finish. Goes on for minutes. Tangy and savory." (10/2014) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Fragrant and fresh, this luminous wine opens with aromas of red berry, blueberry, violet, ...Read More »
Pelaverga (often known as Pelaverga Piccolo) is a rare red grape from the hills of Piedmont in northwestern Italy. It is also known by many other names, including Carola, Cari, Fra Germano and Taddone. The village of Verduno, just west of Alba on the banks of the Tanaro River, is right at the northern edge of the Barolo DOCG catchment area. Verduno's growers have resisted the temptation to eradicate Pelaverga entirely from their vineyards, even though the Nebbiolo vines that produce the grapes for Barolo's prestigious cuvées are much more valuable. But e... Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Aromas of dried berries, dried flowers and shaved chocolate open to a full body, firm and silky tannins and a polished, textured mouthfeel. So very pretty and harmonious. Drink now." (11/2016) K&L Notes: Monica Larner writes: "In 2005, Paolo Caciorgna visited with Marco De Grazia on Etna and fell in love with a half-hectare vineyard planted to ancient pre-phylloxera vines in the Contrada Marchesa near Passopisciaro. After that initial purchase, he acquired more tiny plots of land. He started a tiny production (n’anticchia means “a tiny bit” in Sicilian dialect) of wi... Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "This gorgeous wine opens with aromas of smoke, baking spice, red berry and flint. The mineral note carries over to the vibrant, silky palate, accenting juicy Morello cherry, white pepper, star anise, Mediterranean herb and tobacco. Polished tannins and fresh acidity provide impeccable balance. Hold for more complexity. Drink 2019-2027. (KO)" (9/2016) 92 points Vinous: "Bright red. Sweet botanical herbs, minerals and intense red cherry aromas on the captivating nose. Sweet on entry, then focused and penetrating; savory, saline soil tones currently dominate red primary fruits. ...Read More »
Old-vine, hillside vineyard Lambrusco = serious fun! This is a magnificent wine: dry, slightly fizzy with just a mess of purple froth. We are pretty confident it will be among the most exciting wines you've tried in a while! A perfect match for simple BBQ chicken and burgers or slices of Mortadella and Parmigiano. Some would even venture to suggest a batch of lasagna!
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)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Paestum Aglianico Donnaluna is an easy-going wine with earthy aromas of crushed mineral and wet terra-cotta. The bouquet shows wild and untamed layers of red fruit, forest floor, pressed rose and cola. Donnaluna delivers a medium dark color and consistency with sweet cherry flavors on the close. The tannins are solid but round and there's a good dose of freshness on the close. (ML)" (4/2015)
Inventory: Redwood City
Wine Spectator: "Well-spiced and fruit-forward, with candied black cherry and crème de cassis notes, backed by lively acidity. Graphite, spice and orange zest details show on the finish." (12/2015)
One of the lesser known grape varietals from Piemonte - home, of course, to Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera and Dolcetto - it's unfortunate that this traditional indigenous grape so often gets overlooked. But leave it to importer Oliver McCrum to find one, and to find a great one at that. Made by Pino Pavia from Agostino Pavia, a 50-year-old, small, family-run estate. McCrum describes it like this: "Misleadingly pale color, but a very distinctive and flavorful wine; wild strawberries, rhubarb, a touch of herbs, the perfect wine with salumi or pizza. I put it... 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 James Suckling: "This shows iron, dried cherries and violets too. Ripe and juicy with dark fruit flavors that conclude with a wonderful dried apricot-like finish." (11/2016) 91 points Wine Spectator: "A harmonious, medium-bodied red, with fine-grained tannins that provide a supple frame for the layered palate of crushed black cherry, subtle spice, hints of fig bread and accents of smoky mineral. Lovely, with a lingering, aromatic finish. Corvina, Rondinella and Oseleta. (AN)" (9/2015)
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 »
The lush, forward red fruit of this Montepulciano is incredibly inviting and spicy. On the palate the supple texture of the wine is balanced perfectly by a core of bright acidity that stretches out the finish.
This Aglianico pours a shade of deep ruby red and opens with aromas of morello cherry and cracked black pepper that lead to harmony and freshness on the palate.
91 points James Suckling: "A fresh and fruity red with dried cherry and strawberry. Hints of lemon rind. Medium body. Fruity finish. A delicate and fruity Etna red." (11/2015) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The entry-level 2013 Etna Rosso unfolds to beautiful notes of wild berry, sour cherry, spice, grilled herb and volcanic ash. It shows elegant simplicity and a balanced level of intensity that is both genuine and bright. There are no rough edges to this Nerello Mascalese. The mouthfeel is silky and long with more fruit flavors to come. This is a well-made expression born in volcanic soils. (ML)" (9/2015) 91 points Vinous: "Bright r ...Read More »
Antonio Galloni writes: "De Conciliis is located in the Cilento, a part of Campania known for the richness of its natural, rugged landscapes."
Vinous: "The 2013 St. Magdalener Classico stands out for its texture and polish. Sweet tobacco, crushed flowers, mint and dried cherries lift from the glass in this super-classic, mid-weight Alto Adige red. The 2013 is quite pretty, not to mention a terrific example of Schiava. (AG)" (5/2015)
70% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, 10% Barbera. 15% of the Corvina grapes are dried for four weeks, 20% of all fresh grapes are vinified as normal. 65% of the grapes are “repassed” on the skins of Amarone to gain colour and structure.
The I Favati winery is located in Cesinale, a town and surrounding hilly area in the heart of Irpinia (east of Naples, in the region of Campania), a land with a profound calling to the creation of quality wines. Irpinia's unique, indigenous grape varieties make up all of I Favati's vineyards, which benefit from a perfect exposition to the sun. Each year, the harvest is carefully supervised by brothers Piersabino and Giancarlo Favati, founders of the winery. The region of Irpinia contains the DOCG of Taurasi, which is considered by many to produce the gre... Read More »
Monica Larner writes: "Despite generations of history as a vineyard, Corte Rugolin starts its modern chapter as a winery with sister-brother team Federico and Elena Coati."
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 »
90 points James Suckling: "A tangy and fresh red with lemon rind and blueberry flavors plus hints of new oak. Full-bodied, round and fruity. Always a delicious red. Drink now." (10/2015)
Oblio is a blend of Lambrusco Salamino, Lambrusco Maestri and Ancellotto. This is not as dry as their Terra Calda and not as sweet as their Lambruco Dolce. Dense and full-bodied, it possesses just a hint a sweetness, reminiscent of strawberries and wild flowers, with a dry, dusty finish. This Rosso Frizzante is a must-serve for your holiday parties.
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.
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 »
Antonio Galloni writes: "Trabucchi makes intense, fruit-forward wines from biologically-certified vineyards in Illasi, one of the valleys that emerges on the eastern side of the Valpolicella zone."
You should know that the folks behind this newish label are none other than the children of the famous Amarone producer Bruno Coati. This one is impeccably balanced and rich, with layers of coffee, toffee, nuts, berries and earth. A rising star of the region, and already a frequent Gambero Rosso favorite, try this autumnal red with poultry and long-cooked meats, or a rich traditional lasagne.
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: Redwood City
92 points James Suckling: "This is very polished and refined with polished tannins and a fruity finish. Full body and bright acidity. Drink now." (12/2013) 91 points Vinous: "Inky ruby. Deep nose of black cherry, aromatic herbs and vanilla. Dense and smooth, this gently tannic wine shows lovely fruit–acid–tannin balance for a Sagrantino wine. Long and perfumed on the bright floral finish. (ID)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: "Dark garnet with ruby tints. Mature nose of spice, menthol, mocha and black fruits with an elegant oak patina. Velvety, concentrated, massive and warm palate with refined tannins that are still present.... Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* New leather, black cherry, underbrush, sweet baking spice and a whiff of white pepper are just some of the aromas you'll discover on this stunning red. The structured, delicious palate doles out mature black cherry, raspberry, licorice, Mediterranean herb and a note of exotic spice alongside a backbone of polished, refined tannins. It already seamlessly combines power and finesse but will continue to develop complexity over the next decade. Drink 2018–2028. (KO)" (3/2016) 91 points Vinous: "Deep ruby. Spicy aromas of red berries, minerals and cocoa. Brigh ...Read More »
Producer Note: "Dense ruby red colour. A rich and intense nose, featuring fruits with marked notes of citrus and wild berries. Subtle scents of aromatic herbs. Elegant and fresh on the palate. Very persistent and fruity finish."
Inventory: San Francisco
Wine Enthusiast: "This dry sparkling red wine opens with an inky dark color and offers pulpy tones of raw fruit and blackberry jam with tart cherry and cranberry on the finish." (8/2013) K&L Notes: Concerto is the world’s first single vineyard vintage Lambrusco. A sparkling dry red wine, its lively bubbles are achieved through natural fermentation. Grapes from the prestigious Tenuta La Rampata vineyard in Reggio Emilia province are grown on Cordone Speronato (cordon trained and spur pruned) vines in clay soil with highly limited yields. The wine is best served at a temperature of 57 t... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
93 points James Suckling: "Very beautiful with soft and silky tannins that give this wine finesse and harmony. Medium body, a dense center palate and plenty of berry, plum and vanilla character. Drink now." (11/2016) K&L Notes: Monica Larner writes: "In 2005, Paolo Caciorgna visited with Marco De Grazia on Etna and fell in love with a half-hectare vineyard planted to ancient pre-phylloxera vines in the Contrada Marchesa near Passopisciaro. After that initial purchase, he acquired more tiny plots of land. He started a tiny production (n’anticchia means “a tiny bit” in Sicilian dialect) of wine,... Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Crushed iris, baked plum, cedar, tobacco and new leather aromas seamlessly come together on this bold full-bodied red. Smooth and ripe, the full-bodied palate doles out mature black cherry, raspberry jam, licorice and mocha framed in well-knit, velvety tannins. (KO)" (12/2016) 90 points Wine Spectator: "This bright, medium-bodied red shows well-knit tannins and appealing flavors of juicy, sun-dried cherry, lavender, dried fig and spice. An accessible version, with a lightly chewy, citrusy finish. (AN)" (2/2017) K&L Notes: Musella, one of my favorite Amarone producers, is now b... Read More »
About the producer: "Driven by an infallible love for his land, Enzo Manicardi founded his winery in the hills of Castelveto more than 30 years ago. He had the intuition to choose one of the most fertile areas within Emilia Romagna: a prosperous place surrounded by forests and rows of vines. Over the years, leadership of the company has been passed down to the second generation, who grew up cultivating the same principles and sharing the same values of his father. This has in fact been able to maintain that perfect and almost magical balance between Emil... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
Made with Piedirosso Aglianico, 20% Sciacinoso and other local varieites.