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K&L Staff Recommendations
The estate was founded in 1897 when the 23-year-old Luigi Einaudi bought the San Giacomo farm in Dogliani with 16 hectares (40 acres) of vineyards. Over the years, Einaudi rose to prominence as an economist and politician, eventually becoming President of the first Republic of Italy in 1948. Despite this, Einaudi was known for never missing a harvest. Einaudi's core release is the Dogliani DOCG Dolcetto, aged in stainless steel tanks, which accounts for around half of the estate's annual 320,000 bottles. Einaudi also makes a more premium Dolcetto wine, ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Alluring aromas of jasmine and wild flower lead the nose. The fresh palate offers mature apple, white peach and a citrusy note alongside bright acidity. A touch of white almond note fills in the finish. (KO)" (7/2016) K&L Notes: This full bodied white made from 100% Cortese is fresh and fruity with scents of white flowers and a pleasantly though quite dry palate. Rich and balanced, this elegant white is soft and round, but somehow structured; it is well-matched to fish and fowl dishes. The 25 hectare Carmelitani estate was planted in the fourteenth century by the Car... Read More »
Winemaker notes: "The pre-eminent growing area for the arneis grape is the Roero, the area of magnificent hills on the left bank of the Tanaro river. Here, the calcareo-siliceous soils encourage the development of perfumed, elegant wines. After a gentle pressing, the must is given a cultured-yeast fermentation for some 10 days at 16-18°C. A final crucial step is a brief maturation in the bottle to further improve the structure of the wine and the complexity of its bouquet. Colour: Deep straw yellow with greenish highlights. Bouquet: Generous, crisp, and... Read More »
90 points Wine & Spirits: "No tasting note given." (12/2016) K&L Notes: Vietti's Roero Arneis is one of the most delicious and consistent versions of this varietal we carry every vintage. The grapes for this wine come from 25-year-old vines in Santo Stefano Roero. Fermented in stainless, they suppress malo to preserve the crisp acidity and freshness. And it is fresh, with mineral accents that complement its floral, citrus and melon aromas and flavors. Delightful with food.
80% Nebbiolo and 20% Vespolina and Uva Rara. Pebbly, sandy and kaolinic clay soils with shells. Grapes are hand harvested. Maturation takes place over six months in cement tanks and followed by six more months in bottle.
91 points James Suckling: "Lots of dried berry, apple and lemon aromas and flavors. Medium to full body, outstanding acid tension and a long and flavorful finish." (10/2015) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Barbera d'Alba Bricco dei Merli is a dark and generous wine that is loaded tight with bright fruit flavors. The Cogno family describes it as having the exuberance of the 2011 vintage and the elegance of 2012. It's true that 2013 marches to the beat of its own drum with pretty fruit contours surrounded by a fringe of spice and light leather. It ages in large oak casks for 12 months and rests on the lees ...Read More »
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 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Showing power and determination, the 2009 Nebbiolo d'Alba sees a two-week maceration period and aging in traditional oak casks. The wine is full and generous with tones of dark fruit, spice, balsam herb, licorice and dried mint. The best Nebbiolo fruit goes toward Roddolo's Barolo, but the 2009 vintage saw a good crop for both the production of the higher- and lower-tier wines. (ML)" (6/2015)
95 points James Suckling: "Ripe fruit with orange-peel, walnut and ripe-strawberry aromas. Full body, ultra-fine and long tannins and a finish that lasts for minutes. Wow. Gorgeous. Better in 2021 but who can wait?" (1/2017) 94 points Vinous: "94+ Points: Black cherry, smoke, tar, licorice and menthol give the 2013 Barolo Terlo Vigna Costa Grimaldi much of its virile personality. Here, too, the level of fruit intensity is considerable, but, as always, the Costa Grimaldi has the broad shoulders and frame to hand all of that richness. Readers will have to be patient, as the 2013 needs at least a few yea ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Antonio Galloni writes: "Year after year, Almondo is one of the very finest producers in Roero, a part of Piedmont where consistency is hard to come by."
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Rose, violet and red berry aromas waft out of the glass. The vibrant palate offers juicy wild cherry and crushed strawberry while white pepper and anise provide the backup. It's elegantly structured but still young and tight so give this time to unwind. Drink 2019–2027. (KO)" (10/2015)
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Sour berry, rose, and chopped herb aromas follow through to the full-bodied palate along with black raspberry, licorice and a hint of mocha. Firm, ripe tannins provide the framework while a balsamic closes the finish. Drink 2018-2031. (KO)" (2/2016)
90 points Wine Spectator: "Black cherry, boysenberry and violet candy flavors mark this pretty, juicy red. Shows excellent purity and intensity, with the emphasis on the fruit. (BS)" (9/2016)
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)
A rising star producer from the Roero in Piedmont, Marco Porello produces wines of depth and richness. Look for hints of wild strawberries and violets in this young Nebbiolo, which was aged 12 months in large Slavonian oak barrels.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Moscato 100% Intense grape, floral and honey aromas. Spicy. Sweet with crisp acid to balance. Moderately fine bubbles. Light body and alcohol (7%). Long finish, straightforward, some minerality. (LPB)" (3/2010) K&L Notes: Muscat grapes, being particularly aromatic, require a special winemaking technique in order to preserve the fruit's potent fragrance and to create a wine that is light on its feet and a fine accompaniment to fruit and nut-based desserts. The gently pressed grape juice is kept in refrigerated tanks until it is processed into the autoclave to obtain a... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "This opens with a nose of mature black-skinned fruit, leather, truffle, blue flower and cake spice. On the smooth palate, notes of cake spice and star anise back up ripe black cherry and raspberry compote. Firm, velvety tannins provide the framework. (KO)" (10/2016) 91 points Wine Spectator: "A tightly wound red, with firm, raspy tannins that make the future difficult to predict. With air, sweet cherry, licorice and spice flavors emerge. Fans out nicely on the lingering finish. Best from 2019 through 2032. (BS, Web-2017)"
Brezza produced their first estate wine in 1910, and the fourth generation now oversees their 22 hectares of estate vineyards. Their wines are made in a traditional style.
95 points Vinous: "The 2008 Barolo Riserva Bussia - Cascina Dardi is shaping up to be a real jewel. Exquisite balsamic-inflected aromatics meld into a core of dark fruit. Slender and nuanced, as most wines are in this vintage, the 2008 Riserva is all about grace and finesse. The first signs of aromatic complexity are just beginning to appear, making the 2008 an excellent choice for drinking now and over the next 10-15 years. The 2008 spent five and half years in cask and is just being released now. (AG)" (12/2015)
96 points Vinous: "An addition to the range, the 2013 Barbaresco Montaribaldi is magnificent. Dark spices, lavender, sage, menthol and dark cherries are front and center. Large-scaled, ample and super-expressive, the Montaribaldi captures the power and intensity of this site. Sweet mentholated notes round out the finish. What a gorgeous wine this is. The 2013 spent two full years in cask. It needs time to shed some tannin, but it is fabulous even at this early stage. These are some of the best Barbarescos I have ever tasted from Bruno Nada and his son, Danilo. The late ha ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
95 points James Suckling: "This is a young Barolo that builds on the palate with super silky tannins and fantastic pure and delicious fruit. Hints of hazelnut, plum and dark berry character. Full and polished tannins. Better in 2019 but so delicious now." (3/2016) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Pio Cesare has produced a small miracle with the 2012 Barolo. In a vintage that saw many nondescript wines, this Nebbiolo is bursting with energy and personality. The bouquet opens to an exciting sense of freshness with bright cherry and wild berry at the forefront. You also get balsam herb and mint, with cola and licorice ...Read More »
A sauvignon and Timorasso blend, this wine is fermented in stainless steel for a few months before bottling. A classic expression of Monferrato.
Giuseppe and Mauro Pavia are dedicated to their mission--to bring attention and acclaim to Barbera d'Asti, as they state very clearly: "...our aim has always been to create a strong identity with this land, in the commune of Agliano Terme, which we cultivate in order to offer Barbera d'Asti to wine lovers."
Ca' del Baio is the labor of love of four generations of family producers. Today, Giulio Grasso, along with his wife Luciana and their three daughters manage the winery in Treiso and 25 hectares of estate vineyards. The Grasso family follows a hands-on winemaking philosophy, and vines young and old are tended to with passion and care by hand. They've been able to successfully integrate new technology into their traditional methods to produce wines today that showcase the unique terroir of their Langhe vineyards. The Moscato is a delightful straw-colored ... Read More »
94 points James Suckling: "Aromas of strawberry, lemon and hints of dried flowers follow through to a medium body, chewy tannins and a racy finish. Linear and very long. A pretty balanced young Barolo and Cannubi vineyard. Better in 2019." (11/2016) 93 points Vinous: "Einaudi's 2012 Barolo Cannubi is another huge, intense wine. Big, rich and explosive in style, the 2012 possesses notable depth and concentration in a style that is shockingly rich for Cannubi. There isn't a whole lot of subtlety here, but there is plenty of power. Here, too, readers will have to be patient. Still, I don't expect the 201 ...Read More »
Located in the picture-perfect village of Casilglione Tinella, in the heart of the Langhe (Piedmont), the Saracco family has been growing Moscato d'Asti for four generations. The soils here are comprised of limestone mixed with sandy veins and the vineyard's elevation provides the right temperature and humidity balance. This wine has lots of fresh peach, pear and jasmine on the nose and a gentle sparkle on the palate that brightens the fruit. Try as an apertivo or as a refreshing finish to a meal.
92 points James Suckling: "Soft and velvety texture to this wine with chocolate, meat and berry character. Full body, round tannins and a chewy finish. Needs two or three years to soften. Better in 2018." (4/2015)
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 »
What do you do when you want to make Nebbiolo in a province where Barbera is king (namely, Alba in northern Piedmont)? You get creative! The Bava Brothers, a fun-loving bunch, decided to find a catchy fantasy name for their 100% Nebbiolo wine. They went American and named it after a real American tradition, Band-Aids, (evidently at a winery you go through a lot of them). "Johnson & Johnson" was too long; they switched to "Johnson" but that's unpronounceable for an Italian so... "Gionson!" That's how you say "Johnson" in Italian! Delicious Nebbiolo, drink... Read More »
Anna Maria Abbona is a Dolcetto specialist in Dolgiani, a sub-region of Piedmont where Dolcetto is the star, not content to play backup to Nebbiolo or Barbera. All of the best sites in the area are planted to Dolcetto, producing wines that are deep, concentrated and complex. Abbona uses micro-oxygenation, oak and picking for phenolic ripeness to keep Dolcetto's aggressive tannins in check. According to importer Oliver McCrum: "This is classic Dogliani Dolcetto, fermented and aged in stainless steel. It shows great color, reddish purple and violet-tinged,... Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Showing a hearty dose of all-Nebbiolo personality, the 2013 Barbaresco opens to well-balanced notes of dried berry, licorice, tar and blue flower. The ensemble is delicate and fresh. What makes this wine so appealing is the fact it offers such a clear and pristine view of the grape that is especially well-executed in this vintage. The finish is elegant and silky." (9/2016)
Ca' del Baio is the labor of love of four generations of family producers. The Grasso family manages the 22 hectare vineyard and winery based in Treiso. They follow a hands-on winemaking philosophy founded in the belief that great wine is made in the vineyards; these hand-tended Barbera vines were planted in 1995. The Grassos have been able to successfully integrate new technology into their traditional methods to produce wines today that showcase the unique terroir characteristics of the Langhe. This Barbera bottling undergoes a controlled fermentation ... Read More »
This estate has been making Dolcetto in Dogliani (where this grape, not Nebbiolo, is king) longer than anyone.
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Crushed violet, herb, wild berry, leather, exotic incense, eucalyptus and balsamic aromas carry over to the elegantly structured palate underscored by a mineral vein. It's bright and fresh, with young, tightly wound tannins that need time to unfurl. Drink 2018-2031. (KO)" (2/2016) 92 points James Suckling: "Very solid and rich center palate here with dried berry and chocolate character and hints of hazelnuts. Full and velvety. Give this two or three years to soften." (4/2015) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Barolo Tortoniano shows savory characteristics of cured meat and spice with some b ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "The light green-coffee-bean and plum character is enticing. Medium body, bright acidity and a savory finish. Always a favorite barbera. Delicious now." (11/2016) 92 points Wine & Spirits: "No tasting note given." (12/2016) 90 points Vinous: "The 2013 Barbera d'Alba Scarrone is dense, powerful and focused in the glass, with terrific energy throughout. A dark, sumptuous beauty, the 2013 is going to need time to develop the full breadth of its aromas. There is plenty to look forward to. Overall, the 2013 Barberas are restrained in style, both a reflection of the cold year and a stylistic shift towards grea ...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 limeli... Read More »
Birbet is the Piedmontese name given to a slightly sweey, slightly fizzy style of wine made from the Brachetto grape. Served chilled, it provides the perfect accompaniment to a salumi and cheese plate or summer-ripe red fruits.
Inventory: San Francisco
Made from 100% Nebbiolo, this Chinato is aromatized with cinchona bark, gentian, and other aromatic herbs, then fortified with neutral alcohol. According to the winery: "Spicy and intense with cinnamon and rhubarb notes... Dry finish and slightly tannic, similar to an aged Barolo. Perfect as an after dinner drink. Excellent paired with bitter dark chocolate and biscuits."
Piano Delli Perdoni is a 7 hectare cru from which Mossio sources this special Dolcetto d'Alba bottling. Sandy limestone clay soils are hand-cultivated and the vines are typically harvested at the end of September. The wine's ruby red color introduces a high-toned aroma of black cherry with hints of mocha. The scents reverberate on the palate with a stately savory character before the finish echoes fruit and balsamic tones.
This wine is naturally "frizzante," or half-sparkling, because of the carbon dioxide created during the autoclave fermentation. You know this delightfully sweet, low-alcohol Moscato d'Asti has to be good--it was brought in by one of our favorite Italian importers, Oliver McCrum. La Caudrina owner Romano Dogliotto was one of the first of the region's small producers to start bottling his own wine. With just 5.5% alcohol by volume, this fresh Moscato tastes like biting into a ripe peach with a refreshing burst of bubbles in the mouth. A fantastic dessert w... Read More »
96 points Vinous: "The 2013 Barbaresco is fabulous. In fact, this is one of the best Barbarescos I have tasted at Gaja in many years. Vibrant, perfumed and beautifully sculpted in the glass, the 2013 possesses tons of understated intensity. Sweet red cherry, mint, white pepper and anise are all lifted in the glass. The 2013 is an almost shockingly classic Barbaresco from Gaja. The translucent color, vibrant Nebbiolo fruit and austere but noble tannins represent a move towards a much more traditional style. For readers who can find it, the 2013 is simply a must-have wine. ( ...Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of berry, mocha, menthol and a whiff of baking spice lead the nose. The firm palate offers red cherry, white pepper, orange peel and grilled herb alongside a backbone of assertive tannins. (KO)" (10/2016)
Inventory: San Francisco
91 points Wine Spectator: "A vibrant, elegant '11, this exhibits cherry, currant and spice flavors, with hints of tea and tobacco. Stays fresh and persistent, if not that intense or complex overall. Best from 2018 through 2030." (4/2016) Vinous: "The 2011 Barolo is dark and powerful, but also shows some of the roasted qualities of the year. Hints of leather, smoke, tobacco and herbs add shades of nuance as the wine opens up gently in the glass. There is good immediacy here... (AG)" (12/2015)
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of underbrush, tobacco, sunbaked earth and mature black-skinned fruit lead the nose on this fantastic, firmly structured red. On the concentrated palate, notes of licorice, graphite and clove add depth to the core of mature black cherry. Drink 2019–2024. (KO)" (9/2016) 93 points James Suckling: "This is really excellent with ripe and savory fruit showing plum, strawberry and hazelnut character. Some tar undertones. Full body and firm tannins giving form to the wine. Better in 2018." (3/2016) 90 points Wine & Spirits: "This 2012 feels cool and lean, with austere tannins and leafy tobacco notes that give a ...Read More »
95 points James Suckling: "The perfumes to this wine are amazing with blueberry, cherry and raspberry character. Full body, with chewy tannins and a long and flavorful finish. A juicy and rich wine. Better in 2017." (4/2014)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Terre da Vino's La Lune e I Falò Barbera d'Asti comes from a variety of vineyards with varying soils and aspects located between the towns of Nizza Monferrato and Agliano Terme. Aged in one-third new oak barrels for a year. A purple-fruited Barbera with lots of fruit and integrated spice, finishing long.
91 points James Suckling: "Fresh and aromatic with orange peel, watermelon and strawberry aromas. Medium to full body, tight and fine tannins and a delicious finish. A beautiful Barolo to drink now and in the future." (3/2016)