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K&L Staff Recommendations
95 points James Suckling: "Aromas of dark chocolate, berries, toasted nuts and vanilla bean follow through to a full body, firm tannins and a juicy finish. Lots of intense, beautiful fruit. Tight, layered red. All there. Better in 2017." (11/2014) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Fontalloro is a pure expression of Sangiovese with fruit sourced from the Chianti Classico area and the Colli Senesi area. It ages in new and once-used barrique for up to 22 months. Aromas flow with authority, spanning a large swath of fruit and oak-related attributes. The best part, however, is the aromatic layering: Slices of br ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
93 points James Suckling: "A solid and chewy young red with dried blackberries, licorice and hints of toasted oak and walnuts. A full-bodied, energetic red from the Chianti Classico region of Panzano. Needs two to three years of bottle age. A blend of Sangivoese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Alicante." (8/2015) 93 points Vinous: "A dark, sumptuous beauty, the 2013 La Massa opens with superb depth and textural richness. Inky blue/purplish fruit, smoke, white pepper and violets are all super-expressive. Pliant, concentrated and deep, the 2013 is shaping up to be a real beauty. I especially like the de ...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.
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 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Cantele 2013 Salice Salentino Riserva shows a greater level of depth and finesse compared to many of its peers. The wine is packed tight with blackberry fruit, with Maraschino cherry, plum and prune in abundance. The wine is chewy and rich for sure, but it also provides an authentic and generous portrait of a red wine from Puglia. A spicy beef or lamb dish would make the perfect pairing partner. (ML)" (8/2016)
93 points James Suckling: "Decadent and rich with a foie gras and dark fruit character on the nose and palate. Full body, soft and round. Savory fruit. Very long and intense." (2/2016) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "La Velona's 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is a pretty and complete wine that does reveal its age. The alcohol is a bit high on this wine (recorded at 15%) and there are budding tertiary aromas of tobacco, savory spice, and cured meat. The core of the wine is well defined by dark fruit, blackberry and plum. There is freshness on the finish and the mouthfeel is moderate in length. (ML)" (3/2016)
90 points James Suckling: "Lots of nice fresh fruit with strawberry and lemon aromas and flavors. Medium to light body. Clean finish. Drink now" (7/2016) K&L Notes: This blend of Sangiovese and Merlot is concentrated and sexy, with intense notes of forest berries, baking spice, and vanilla. It's deep and round, a perfect match for aged cheeses and roasted meats.
93 points Decanter: "Bright ruby and transparent, yet you find yourself searching the glass for a skeleton, skate-wing bones of neatly structured and delicate tannins fanning out through the fruit. Fine, focused and extremely drinkable. Drink 2015-2022" (6/2015) 92 points James Suckling: "A beautiful red with delicate but rich flavors, bright acidity and an orange-peel undertone. Medium body with fine tannins and a fresh, clean, savory, salty finish. Very Burgundian. Pure Sangiovese. Drink now or hold." (10/2014) 17 points Jancis Robinson: "17++, Mid ruby with orange tinges. Exotically spiced nose with black tea leaves and sweet red ...Read More »
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 »
Inventory: Redwood City
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 »
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 »
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)
Sella & Mosca is a beautiful and historic winegrowing estate in Sardinia which places great emphasis on their traditional winemaking values enabled by modern cellars. In the most outstanding vintages, Sella & Mosca produces this Cannonau Riserva bottling from grapes picked in select vineyard parcels of this most traditional red Sardinian varietal. Aged for two years in oak casks prior to release, this aristocratic red will sustain a decade or more of aging.
This has been the #1 selling Italian wine for more than a decade at K&L! You can't get that kind of continued success without a supremely fantastic quality-to-price ratio. The southern Tuscan coast is a breadbasket of winemaking, with stable temperatures and a solid history of quality yet no fame and fortune. Incredibly priced bargains come out of the region, and the proof is in the bottle. This wine is wonderful, soft, forward and easy-to-drink Sangiovese with an enticing mixture of cherry, plum and earth. Eminently drinkable.
Inventory: San Francisco
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)
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From the 6.25-hectare Rancia vineyard, the 2011 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia shows a more elaborate and stylized personality with ripe fruit tones, bursting cherry, perfumed violets and rose petal. Those floral notes add a feminine touch to what is in fact a wine of power and determination. It shows a beautiful evolution in the glass as well, with dusty mineral notes that add to the overall elegance of the dry, polished finish. This is one of the best Riservas of 2011. (ML)" (10/2014) 94 points Vinous: "A wine of incredible density, the 2011 Chianti Classico Riserva Ranci ...Read More »
93 points Wine Spectator: "Menthol and eucalyptus notes shade the core of black cherry and plum in this broad, densely textured red. Balanced, in a powerful style, with dusty, mouthcoating tannins on the lingering finish. Needs grilled beef. Best from 2019 through 2032. (BS)" (5/2015) 92 points James Suckling: "Lots of dried citrus, meat and earthy aromas follow through to a full body, round tannins and a tangy fruit and juicy finish. A slightly dusty and austere texture but a generous and decadent Brunello. Better in 2015." (1/2015) 92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of ripe berry, cooking spice, tilled soil, truffle, leather and a balsa ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
92 points James Suckling: "A silky and soft-textured red with lots of fruit and tannins. Full-bodied, fresh and bright. Needs a year or two to soften. Excellent. Second wine of Luce." (8/2015) Wine Spectator: "A polished red, sporting black cherry, plum, spice and tar flavors. Firm, with cedar and spice details and dusty tannins on the finish. (Web-2015) (BS)"
90 points James Suckling: "A very elegant, refined style of rosso with dried-cherry, lemon and citrus undertones. Medium to full body, bright acidity and a fruity finish. Delicate and bright." (10/2015)
94 points James Suckling: "Lots of dried cherry and mahogany with sweet tobacco. Asphalt too. It's full body, with silky and refined tannins and a long and gorgeous finish. This is structured and layered. Firm and intense. Better in 2018." (1/2015) 94 points Vinous: "Sweet red cherries, flowers, mint, white pepper and tobacco grace the palate in the 2010 Brunello di Montalcino. Although the 2010 is aromatically expressive, the tannins remain quite firm and unyielding. Readers will have to give this mid-weight, classically built Brunello at least a few years in the cellar to come together. All the elem ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Lots of vivid spice, meat and dark berry fruit. Full body, fine tannins and bright acidity. Better than the 2012." (8/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Tre is an informal blend of 80% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. This happy threesome offers bright fruit nuances with loads of cherry and dark fruit at the front. This is an easy-drinking red with a lean and crisp character that makes it an excellent pairing partner to pizza or cheesy pasta dishes. (ML)" (10/2015) Vinous: "Crushed flowers, sweet red berries, and gently spiced notes take shape in the 2013 Tre, a blend ...Read More »
Vinous: "La Fortuna's 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is already quite forward. Dried cherries, crushed flowers, mint, tobacco and licorice meld together in a forward, mature Brunello ... (AG)" (5/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "Fragrances of mature black fruit, violet, espresso and baking spices take the lead. The palate delivers ripe red berries, black cherry, vanilla and mocha backed up by assertive but somewhat drying tannins." (5/2014) K&L Notes: La Fortuna celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2007, and Angelo Zannoni is the fifth generation of winemakers at the estate. He has been working with his fa... Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A wine with plenty of dried cherry and citrus fruit aromas and flavors. Medium body, slightly chewy tannins and a fresh finish. How Chianti Classico should be. Drink or hold." (10/2015) 91 points Vinous: "The 2013 Chianti Classico is dark, sensual and beautifully layered in the glass. Freshly cut flowers, sweet red berries, mint and cinnamon are some of the many notes that flesh out in a textured, inviting Chianti Classico endowed with notable depth and personality. In 2013, Rocca di Montegrossi's Chianti Classico is especially dark and powerful. (AG)" (9/2015) 90 points Wine & Spirits: "The stony soils ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A tangy, delicious red with a soft texture and plenty of ripe fruit such as blueberries and blackberries. Hints of citric acidity. Full and savory." (10/2015) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Fragrant and fresh, this offers scents of blue flowers, wild berry, moist earth, chopped herbs and a hint of baking spice. The vibrant, supple palate doles out juicy black cherry, crushed raspberry, white pepper and star anise alongside fresh acidity. (KO)" (11/2015) 90 points Wine & Spirits: "No tasting note given." (12/2015) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Lush and juicy, boasting blackberry, black currant and sweet spice flavors. Shows tannins from oak, and r ...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)
The Langhe Nebbiolo is 100% Nebbiolo, harvested in the beginning of October. It spends a brief 6-7 day fermentation on the skins and then is aged in barrique for 10 months on the lees. The result is a fresher, lower alcohol (12.5%) Nebbiolo that is drinkable yet still complex and flavorful. The perfect accompaniment to lighter pasta dishes or chicken.
91 points Vinous: "The 2013 Le Cupole di Trinoro hits the palate with racy dark cherries, mocha, plums, espresso and new leather. Radiant and deeply expressive, the 2013 is a great introduction to the Tenuta di Trinoro wines. Cherry compote and cinnamon are some of the notes that shape the super-ripe, opulent finish. Le Cupole is the second selection of fruit and barrels that don't make it into the top wines. It also happens to be a terrific value. (AG)" (3/2016)
91 points James Suckling: "A ripe, rich red with plum, violet and blackberry aromas that follow through to a full body, firm tannins and a tangy finish. Shows real nero d'avola character." (10/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of ripe plum, blue flower and baking spice lead the nose on this easy-drinking red. The chewy, straightforward palate doles out juicy black cherry, fleshy blackberry and a clove note alongside round tannins. It's made to drink young so enjoy soon. (KO)" (3/2016) Wine Spectator: "Balanced and open-knit, this creamy red offers supple tannins dressed in plum pudding, tar-tinged smoke, cassis, mocha and ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* Real Lambrusco is a rarity in this country, but here it is, purple hued, with just enough fizz to help cut through the fattiness of fine salume. It’s grapy and dry, with hints of anise and herbs that prevent it from being too simple." (12/2003) K&L Notes: Lambrusco is not part of the upper echelon of Italian wine. To begin with, it is not expensive. Also, it doesn't come from Tuscany or Piedmont or any of the well know wine-producing regions of Italy. It comes from Emilia-Romagna. And then there's the fact that it's red and sparking. Actually, foaming is c... Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Sporting a new label design, the 2011 Brunello di Montalcino represents a philosophical divide from previous vintages. In the past, Castiglion del Bosco was focused on soft and immediate Brunellos for near-term consumption. Despite the warm conditions of the 2011 growing season, this wine shows far more elegance, nuance and grace than I expected. This massive property is comprised of various vineyard sites for more blending possibilities. The bouquet is redolent of wild berry, cola and grilled herb. The tannins are silky but long in terms of persistence. ...Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "Leans toward the firm side, offering raspberry, strawberry, leather, earth and tobacco flavors. Elegant overall, with fine length. (BS)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: There were many highlights during our recent spring travels in Italy, and our visit to Poggio Salvi remains among the fondest. The winery is nestled in a picturesque forested area on the south side of Montalcino where the combination of clay soils and Tyrrhenian Sea breezes create ideal terroir for their outstanding Sangiovese. The estate has been owned and operated by Pierluigi Tagliabue since 1979, with a very ... Read More »
95 points James Suckling: "Lots of dried bark, mahogany, leather and spice character on the nose and palate here. Full body, soft and silky tannins and a long and powerful finish. Focused and long finish. Drink or hold." (12/2014)
92 points James Suckling: "A super refined wine with sliced berry plus hints of cedar and vanilla. Full-bodied, bright and crisp; lovely finish. Drink now." (10/2015) 92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Dark berry, underbrush and tobacco aromas lead the nose of this vibrant, structured wine while the palate doles out black cherry, fresh raspberry, licorice and clove. Fresh acidity and supple tannins balance the juicy flavors. Drink through 2018. (KO)" (9/2015) 92 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buy* This is rich and sumptuous, boasting pure flavors of cherry and raspberry, matched to a juicy texture. There are plenty of tannins neatly folded into ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Extremely perfumed with rose, dark-fruit and strawberry aromas and flavors. Full body, firm tannins and a clean, crisp finish. So delicious to taste." (10/2015) 90 points Vinous: "The 2010 Gattinara is a firm, classically austere wine with persistent tannins and a slightly compact personality. It will be interesting to see if the 2010 puts on weight in bottle, or if the tannins soften...Sweet dried cherries, tobacco, crushed herbs and dried flowers add shades of nuance through the middle and finish...Travaglini is one of the historic names in Gattinara. Quality has been up a ...Read More »
96 points James Suckling: "I love the subtle aromas of rose petal, dark fruit and perfume that follow through to a full body, with fine tannins and a beautiful finish. It's very fine and pretty. Savory and delicate. Such finesse here. Drink or hold." (12/2014) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Bright, with cherry and raspberry flavors, edged by spice and a hint of wild herbs. Fresh and linear in profile, but lacks some complexity. Fine length. Best from 2017 through 2028. (BS)" (6/2015) Vinous: "Super-ripe black cherries, espresso, mocha, cloves, lavender, licorice and French oak are some of the notes that inform the estate's ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The beautifully crafted 2010 Brunello di Montalcino opens to a gorgeous appearance that shows both intense ruby vitality and dark density. The bouquet offers subtle tones of black cherry, blackberry, spice and licorice that roll smoothly off the surface. Those tones are absolutely seamless in both execution and presentation. As the wine takes on more air in the glass, it begins to show spice, tobacco and chocolate adding opulence and decadent richness. It offers amazing flexibility that will appeal to those who appreciate both elegance and power in their ...Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Made entirely from Sangiovese, it opens with fragrances that recall spicy black berries and Mediterranean herbs. The velvety palate delivers power and finesse along with fleshy black cherry, licorice and a graphite note." (5/2014) 94 points James Suckling: "A red with focus and freshness with plum and peach pit aromas and flavors. Medium-to-full body with wonderfully fine tannins that are in balance with the fruit. Hints of cocoa too. Give it a year or two to soften. Gorgeous Sangiovese-based red from a top producer in Chianti Classico." (7/2013) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Fontalloro is 100% Sangiovese ...Read More »
Guido Rivella had a multi-decade career as the winemaker for Angelo Gaja. Now retired, he and his daughter have a tiny estate in Barbaresco. This Barbera comes from a vineyard next to the Barbaresco vineyard "Cole." It is an eastern-facing, 1.4 acre piece. The wine is fermented in stainless steel for 12-14 days and then aged in used barrique for six months. Barbera has naturally high acid, but this wine shows exceptional balance and is supple and layered, with complex earthy aromatics.
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)
96 points James Suckling: "Extremely perfumed with rose petal, blueberry, fresh mushroom and plum character. Full body, super silky tannins and a dried, slightly raisiny finish, but this is delicious and luscious. Fruit cake center palate. Immediate impact here. Drink or hold." (10/2015) 95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Here's a soulful red with earthy aromas wet soil, underbrush, ripe, violet, berry, leather and a funky whiff of game. The palate presents juicy wild cherry, crushed black raspberry, white pepper, cinnamon and grilled herb alongside firm, refined tannins and bright acidity. A tobacco note closes the ...Read More »
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 »
97 points James Suckling: "This is fabulous Barolo with burnt orange, blackberry, meat, earth, and fresh herb. Full-bodied, round and velvety. So flavorful and crazy. Drink now. Why wait? But it will age wonderfully." (9/2015) 92 points Wine Spectator: "A fluid, spicy version, with cherry, strawberry, licorice, black pepper and cumin flavors. This is balanced and glides to a lingering finish that displays sweet fruit and tobacco notes. Best from 2018 through 2028. 1,800 cases made. (BS)" (2/2016) 91 points Vinous: "The 2011 Barolo Riva del Bric is a bit richer and deeper than it usually is, yet all the elements are very nicely ba ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
95 points James Suckling: "Lots of berry, dried-mushroom and cedar aromas follow through to a full body with super-integrated tannins and layers of dried berry, chocolate and cedar on the finish. Delicious and intense. Drink now or hold." (12/2014)
92 points James Suckling: "Aromas and flavors of plums, chocolate and light prune. Full body, soft and velvety tannins and a savory finish." (9/2015) 91 points Vinous: "The 2011 Barolo Neirane is a lovely, mid-weight wine that captures plenty of Verduno personality in its lifted, perfumed aromatics and bright, finely sculpted fruit. Sweet tobacco, amaro herbs, anise, dried flowers and cherry pit are all laced together in an attractive, gracious Barolo that will drink well now and for at least another handful of years. This is a strong showing from Bosco Agostino." (3/2016) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Enticing aromas of red rose, w ...Read More »
92 points Vinous: "The 2011 Barbaresco is round, sensual and inviting, with tons of near and medium-term appeal. This is an especially large-scaled, ample entry-level Barbaresco that shows just how compelling this vintage is here in the Barbaresco zone. Ripe, silky tannins wrap around the voluptuous, engaging finish. The Barbaresco emerges from a parcel just outside Montestefano with a more northerly exposure that in this vintage helped preserve nuance and precision. This is a striking wine from the Rivella family. (AG)" (11/2015) K&L Notes: The Barbaresco comes from 1.5 acres of viney... Read More »
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 »