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K&L Staff Recommendations
91 points Vinous: "Healthy full red. Deep aromas of blackberry, black cherry and mocha are complemented by balsamic nuances. Concentrated, sappy and savory, displaying saline nuances to the black cherry and plum flavors. Finishes with serious depth and the broad, polished tannins to support aging. (ID)" (1/2016) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Cannonau di Sardegna Costera hits all the right buttons. This is a steady and well presented red wine from the heart of the Mediterranean. It shows a high level of confidence and boldness with big, black cherry aromas followed by more subtle nuances of spice ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "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. Drink now through 2018. 1,400 cases imported." (6/2015)
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. Drink now." (10/2014) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Fragrant and fresh, this luminous wine opens with aromas of red berry, blueberr ...Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Sicilia Nero d'Avola Lamùri Tenuta Regaleali represents an impressive achievement. Grapes are sourced from vineyards between 450 and 750 meters above sea level and the wine is aged in mostly neutral oak (with 20% new oak) for one year. The high altitude vineyards have shaped the focused and linear aromas of wild berry and dried cherry. The wood regime has added delicate layers of carob seed and powdered chocolate. This is a very exciting vintage of Lamùri, thanks to its overall balance and intensity. (ML)" (12/2015) 91 points James Suckling: "A fruity, juicy red with dried- ...Read More »
In 2006, Decanter magazine profiled Paolo Caciorgna, son of Tuscan winemaker Pietro Caciorgna, in an article about trailblazing Italians using native grapes: "In late 2004 Caciorgna set up on his own. There were offers both from big industrial wineries looking for help in defining their wines’ styles, and from the smaller family-driven estates that Paolo has always felt an affinity for. ‘Planting a vineyard means putting down roots: where you plant, you live,’ he says, with his softly inflected Tuscan directness. ‘Italy’s patrimony is its vineyards, vine... Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "*Top 100 Wines of 2014* The up-front mulberry and plum fruit is ripe and fleshy in this balanced red, with polished tannins. Notes of licorice string, graphite, tarry smoke and grilled mushroom push through midpalate and on the finish. Drink now through 2021. (AN)" (4/2014)
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."
Tenuta Novare is a single estate that was puchased by Bertani in the middle of the 20th century and bottled under the Bertani label. This 2013 Ripasso is bottled from Novare's single estate vineyard which is located in the heart of Valpolicella Classica. Made from 80% Corvina Veronese and 20% Rondinella grapes, which were harvested at the end of September and immediately fermented in steel tanks. After the estate's Amarone fermentation was complete in March, the Ripasso wine underwent a secondary fermentation on the skins of the Amarone. The finished Rip... Read More »
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)
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
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)
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 »
This classic blend of Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara was vinified according to tradition for the Amarone Riserva style and aged for a minimum of four years in oak casks. It is characteristically bold in flavor, with a rich, silky midpalate and lingering taste of chocolate and dried cherries. A full-bodied wine, this pairs well with rich dishes like red meat, game, and strong cheeses. It is also a nice treat to enjoy after dinner on its own or with cheese or chocolate. Decanting or opening the wine at least a half hour before consuming is recommended i... Read More »
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." (9/2015)
A familiar-looking bottle even if you haven't seen it before, Tenuta Novare was puchased by Bertani in the middle of the 20th century and bottled under the Bertani label. This 2011 Amarone is bottled as Novare's single estate vineyard which is located in the heart of Valpolicella Classica. Comprised of 80% Corvina Veronese and 20% Rondinella, grapes were air dried after harvest in the second week of September until being pressed in mid-January once the withered and rich character of Amarone was realized. After a long and cold maceration and fermentation,... Read More »
Paolo Calì is a pharmacist who began making wine in 2003. In the hot climate of southerneastern Sicily, Calì's grows Nero D'Avola and Frappato in the island's only DOCG, Cerasuola di Vittoria. His Frappato is fresh and aromatic, with notes of strawberries, lavender, and orange zest. He ferments in stainless steel to preserve the brightness of the grape. This wine is a boon companion to any summer picnic--put a slight chill on it and serve it with prosciutto, fried chicken, or pizza.
Inventory: Redwood City
Wine Spectator: "Fresh earth and leather accents are layered with a snappy note of cherry and hints of pekoe tea and dried cranberry in this tangy red. Medium-bodied, with an aromatic, herbal finish. Drink now through 2023. 3,700 cases made. (Web Only - 2015)"
92 points James Suckling: "Beautiful aromas of dried fruits such as strawberry and cherry. Spices and dried flowers. Full body with firm, silky tannins and a long, flavorful finish. A wonderfully firm, silky red from Etna. A blend of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio. Drink or hold." (10/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Benanti's entry-level 2013 Etna Rosso Rossodiverzella represents a blend of fruit from the estate's various holdings on the north, east and south flanks of the volcano. The blend is a traditional 80-20 mix of Nerellos Mascalese and Cappuccio. The wine sports a light ruby color and straig ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "Young and wild red fruits with the trademark peppery edge, some brambly blue fruits and an assertive, spicy thread. This has a supple, fleshy and brambly palate with glossy ripe blue fruit flavors, fine-sheeted tannins and a tangy, saffron-tinged finish." (5/2015)
The finest wine in the stable at Corte Rugolin, the Monte Danieli Amarone is sourced from a 60 year old vineyard with excellent sun exposure. It is made from 55% Corvina, 15% Corvinone, 5% Rondinella, and a balance of the other local varieties Olinara, Dindarellla, Oseleta, and Croatina. Harvest began in September and the grapes were loaded onto special racks where they were allowed to dry at room temperature in a ventilated room for three months. This process reduced the original weight of the grapes by 35-40% via dehydration, in turn concentrating the ... Read More »
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
97 points James Suckling: "Complex aromas of blackberry, stones, cracked black pepper and tar. Full body with soft, round tannins and a juicy, fruity finish. Soulful and refined from this estate. This is a magical wine from Southern Italy." (2/2014) 92 points Wine Spectator: "There's drive to this well-meshed, sanguine red, offering flavors of herbs, dried currant, iron and black olive that are deftly layered with sinewy tannins and balancing acidity. Drink now through 2021." (4/2014) 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(a blend of aglianico and piedirosso): Good full ruby. Ripe red cherry, dark plum, licorice, coffee and spicy oak on the nose. S ...Read More »
For four generations, the Gangemi family has been devoting itself to viticulture and to the improvement of autochthonous Sicilian vines from the area surrounding Mt. Etna. The Alke is 100% Nero D'Avola, featuring a soft and balanced elegance with notes of red fruits, spice, and subtle hints of vanilla.
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)
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 »
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 raising 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.
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!
Vinous: "Deep purple-ruby. Almost overripe dark fruits and musky herbs on the opulent nose. Fresher on the palate: fleshy and open-knit, offering gently sweet blackberry and tar flavors that firm up with air. A hint of pepper adds bite to the long, smoke-tinged finish. (Ian D'Agata)" (5/2015)
A blend of black Pallagrello and Casavecchia grapes. Notes from the winery: "The wine is a beautiful bright pink color, with delicate scents with notes ranging from floral eglantine roses with hints of cherry and sour black cherry. Its flavor is characterized by a remarkable freshness supported by good acidity that nicely extends the persistence."
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 »
The Santoleri vineyards date back to 1968, though the same family has been farming the property since 600! Located at the base of the 2,000 foot Maiella Mountain in the Apennines. Its altitude and proximity to the Adriatic Sea are ideally suited for growing grapes. The vineyards are farmed without the use of pesticides, mineral fertilizers and other invasive products. From the importer: "Ruby red robe with violet hues. Intense aromas with notes of black cherry, balsamic and licorice. Fresh and vigorous on the palate, typical of a young Montepulciano, wit... 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."
Wine Enthusiast: "Made with 93% Schiava and 7% Lagrein, this offers aromas of blue flower and red berry. On the bright palate, almond and baking spice accent crunchy red cherry and crushed raspberry. Polished tannins and fresh acidity provide support. Serve chilled for a perfect summer red." (6/2015)
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 »
Though the 2014 has yet to be professionally reviewed, the 2013 earned 91 points and praise from Antonio Galloni: "Cascina Ca' Rossa's 2013 Birbèt (Brachetto) is beautifully perfumed and aromatic, with plenty of spice, crushed rose petal and stone fruit overtones. A dash of mint and white flowers add freshness on the finish. I especially admire the purity of the flavors here." (05/2015)
91 points Vinous: "Dark bright red. Piedirosso-typical herbaceous notes greet the nose, but aeration brings bright strawberry and red cherry aromas too. Clean and fresh in the mouth, with juicy, precise strawberry and raspberry flavors that build and linger long on the suave aftertaste. A benchmark Piedirosso wine. (ID)" (9/2015)
Jancis Robinson: "Considered a riserva from a 45-year-old vineyard with ridiculously low yields of 30 hl. Vineyards in Montefalco and Bevagna, and the cantina is in Foligno. Beautiful mid ruby with the beginning of orange tinges. Savoury more than fruity at the moment and a little locked up on the nose. Yet it has a supple palate and not heavy at all. Rich tannins on the finish. Aged for at least 18 months in new barrique, which is pretty amazing, because you hardly notice it on the nose. It may have added more tannins, whereas with less new oak you would have had a reall ...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
92 points James Suckling: "So much black-cherry aroma, with hints of sliced mushroom and dried flowers. Full body, silky tannins and lots of sour-cherry flavors. Succulent and fruity. From organically grown nero d'avola. Drink now." (10/2015) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Nerojbleo is an IGT expression of Nero d'Avola made with organically farmed fruit from the province of Ragusa in eastern Sicily. The wine shows some evolution at this stage but this only adds to the overall complexity. At the core are bright notes of cherry and cassis, but these primary aromas are followed by bitter almond, tar and lea ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The delicious Barolo Chinato is made with a secret blend of herbs, spices and essential oils that are steeped in Barolo wine. This is a delicious product that tastes simply divine with a bite of bitter chocolate. This wine is so alive and vibrant in the mouth and it shows exotic spice, cedar, spice box, dried rosemary, ginger, tar, cinnamon, dried roses and so much more. This digestivo will last decades. (ML)" (7/2013) K&L Notes: The originator of this fabulous bitter aperitif wine, Cappellano is truly top dog when it comes to Chinato. This is absolutely the most ove... Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "A delicious red with super-integrated tannins that are polished and beautiful. Full body, loads of licorice and berry character and a long, long finish. Superb. Better in 2015 when the tannins are softer but so delicious already. Stylish." (12/2013) 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(15.5% alcohol): Bright, deep ruby-red. Black cherry, bitter herbs, violet and licorice on the slightly warm nose. Sweet and creamy in the mouth, showing the depth and intensity of fresh red fruits to support its tannins. In fact, this offers outstanding balance for sagrantino, and the alcohol is far less appar ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
About the producer: "Paolo Caciorgna is Tuscan born and bred, and comes from a wine producing family. His experience as a gifted oenologist has taken him to California and France, but it is in Italy that his heart belongs. Since becoming a consultant in 1997 he now consults for over thirty of the finest wine producers in his native country , including over twenty in Tuscany. He continues to oversee the production of his family’s own wine, Caciorgna Pietro."
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Montefalco Sagrantino Collepiano offers a modern interpretation of a traditional wine once made by monks. The extra oak intensity leads to soft tones of chocolate, dark cherry and spice. This wine ages in barrique for 22 months. Each producer finds his or her own way to tame the brutal tannins of Sagrantino. One way Marco does this is with oak. (ML)" (8/2013) 92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Polished and spicy, this structured wine features aromas of leather, truffle, blackberry and savory herb. The juicy palate delivers layers of fleshy black plum, black cherry, freshly ground p ...Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "The aromas are enchanting with cardamom, ivy and dark fruits. Subtle and fascinating. Full body, round tannins with a complex aftertaste of ash, smoke, light jam and orange peel. Silky. Intense chalk." (10/2014) Wine Spectator: "Tangy dried cherry and cranberry fruit is layered with aromatic herb and woodsy spice in this well-knit red, with light tannins and a subtle finish of fresh earth and smoke. (Web-2015)"