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K&L Staff Recommendations
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)
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)
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 »
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: Nerello Cappuccio – Nerello Mascalese is a blend of two very Sicilian grape varieties. Together... 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. 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 »
Inventory: San Francisco
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 »
Amicone is made from predominantly Corvina grapes (same grapes that go into Amarone) but are dried for a shorter period and on the vine not on mats like Amarone. The wine is fermented in stainless steel and then aged in French oak tonneaux for 8 months. The result is an easy drinking full-bodied red that has lots of rich soft, smooth texture.
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "An IGT Terre Siciliane wine, the 2012 Passopisciaro is 100% Nerello Mascalese aged in botte grande for 18 months. The wine opens to a light garnet hue that is characteristic of the grape and the hot vintage. This Etna grape can easily bleach out its color. The wine's bouquet reveals volcanic tones of brimstone and ash with pretty contours of wild berry, cassis and blue flower. There's a pretty sense of lift and buoyancy in the mouth thanks to the pure energy and intensity of its fruit. Despite the wine's light color, this is a firecracker red in terms of ...Read More »
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 »
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, which is a late-ripening red varietal (which 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 mont... 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."
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 »
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!
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)
Inventory: San Francisco
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 »
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)
Inventory: Redwood City
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)
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 »
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 »
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)
San Lazzaro's Grifola is made from 100% Montepulciano grapes from the calcareous clay soils of Offida in Marche; a historic winegrowing region nestled between the Adriatic Sea and the Apennine Mountains. Vines souced for Grifola are 40 years old and offer modest yields of high quality fruit which stands up to vinification in new French oak barriques to realize a rich and powerful red. Ruby red color introduces a nose of cherry, leather, baking spice, and chocolate. These characteristics continue powerfully on the palate with good mouthfeel and an elegant... Read More »
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)
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.
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)
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)
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)
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 »
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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From a hot vintage, the 2011 Roccamonfina Terra di Lavoro is a soft, round wine with a large presence of dark cherry fruit and blackberry. This wine has broader shoulders compared to 2010 and 2012. Dark fruit, prune, plum and dried cherry lift heavily from the bouquet. Those more obvious aromas are followed by ethereal touches of ash, li ...Read More »
Starting in 1963, the Venturini family has made vintage after vintage of stunning wines from the Valpolicella DOC.
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 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 »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Intensely perfumed, this offers enticing scents of wild red berry, rose, violet and exotic spice. The polished, linear palate delivers ripe black cherry, spiced blackberry, cinnamon and star anise alongside silky tannins and refreshing acidity. (KO)" (3/2016) 91 points Vinous: "Dark ruby-red. Pure aromas of red cherry and rose petal, plus a whiff of alcohol on the enticing, aromatic nose. Big, dense and juicy, but with lively acidity providing lift and nicely extending the bright, sweet red cherry and peppery raspberry flavors on the long, suave finish. Thi ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
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)"
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.
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."
Praise for the winemaker from Wine Advocate: "Giuseppe Quintarelli's passing earlier this year left a huge void in the wine world that isn't likely to ever be filled. Veneto is a fascinating region with tons of untapped potential, yet only one or two other producers have managed to make hypnotic, life-changing wines such as those that are found in these tiny cramped cellars in Negrar. At their best, Quintarelli's wines had no equal. I only hope the estate continues the tradition of making these idiosyncratic, compelling wines." (02/2011) 55% Corvina and ... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Made with Piedirosso Aglianico, 20% Sciacinoso and other local varieites.
Corvina 70%, Molinara 5%, Rondinella 25%. After harvest, 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 via dehydration, in turn concentrating the flavors. After pressing and fermentation, the wine spent two years in barrique before being bottled and allowed to age a further year before release.
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Michele Satta's 2013 Bolgheri Rosso hits all the right buttons. This is a complete and generous wine with loads of bright fruit intensity followed by balanced notes of spice, leather and tobacco. These aromas are well measured to contrast one another. The mouthfeel is generous and round without going overboard. There is a great sense of balance and harmony here. (ML)" (10/2015) Vinous: "The 2013 Bolgheri Rosso comes across as dark, heavy and roasted. Black cherries, plums, smoke, tobacco and licorice add a measure of complexity on the finish, but this Rosso remain ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of tilled soil, blue flower, new saddle leather, underbrush and woodland berry waft from the glass after pouring this savory wine. The spicy palate offers creamy black cherry and raspberry layered with white pepper, clove and cinnamon. The juicy palate is supported by firm, polished tannins and fresh acidity. Drink after 2016. (KO)" (9/2014) 92 points Wine Spectator: "Fresh and expressive up front, where pure black cherry and wild strawberry notes are layered with dried herb, star anise and smoky mineral accents. This elegant red displays good drive through to the lingering, ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco