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K&L Staff Recommendations
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 »
95 points James Suckling: "Traditional style Chianti Classico with cedar, dried meat, dark chocolate and tobacco aromas. Full body, silky and polished tannins and a fantastic finish. A wine that shows depth and lots of flavor. Lively acidity too." (8/2015) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 vintage was less problematic in the Castelnuovo Berardenga sub zone compared to other parts of the Chianti Classico appellation. Fèlsina's 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva Berardenga is full, generous and reflects the house style of this celebrated estate. Fruit is sourced from 35-year-old vines and the harvest takes place a ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* This bright blend of 75% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot and 10% Ciliegiolo discloses aromas of ripe berry and cooking spice. The soft, easy-drinking palate offers black cherry, white pepper and grilled sage alongside round tannins. (KO)" (7/2015) K&L Notes: This Carato is a blend of 75% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot, and 10% Ciliegiolo and is just delicious: full, fleshy, voluptuous, sumptuous, truly hedonistic. We think at this price you too will be saying wow!
97 points James Suckling: "This is amazing on the nose with blackberry, black truffle, dried cherry and hints of tobacco. So complex on the nose. Almost no need to taste it. Full body, soft and velvety tannins, and a persistent, fabulous finish. The mouthfeel is magic." (3/2016) 95 points Vinous: "The 2013 Tignanello is a real knock-out. Rich and intense, but also linear in style, the 2013 is endowed with superb energy from start to finish. In this vintage, the Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc character is especially evident, especially in the aromatics. Today, the 2013 is tightly wound and not ready to s ...Read More »
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 »
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)
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Taurasi Riserva Piano di Montevergine is a standout wine that excels on all fronts. The bouquet delivers an enormous level of harmony and intensity with well-articulated tones of spice, dark fruit, pressed blackberry, clove, cola and balsam herb. Nuanced mineral notes stand out very nicely and render a great sense of definition and focus. Equally impressive is the mouthfeel that moves over the palate with determination and elegance. The tannins are finessed, silky but extra firm. Thanks to the balanced acidity and its natural structure, this win ...Read More »
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From one of the most celebrated vineyards in Monforte d'Alba, the 2009 Barolo Bussia shows a tad more color and concentration upon first inspection. As expected, it also follows through with bigger aromas of dried cherry, spice and dark licorice, but nothing is out of place. It never abandons its promise of understated elegance. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2028." (6/2013) 94 points James Suckling: "This smells like top Burgundy with light earth, flowers and berries. Full body, with ultra-fine tannins and a beautiful palate of subtle yet intense fruits and a long, long finish. Wonderf ...Read More »
Inventory: Special Order
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)
Inventory: Redwood City
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.
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
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)
Tenuta La Fortuna's Fortunello bottling is 100% Sangiovese grown in Tuscany. Vintages are aged for four months in French oak barrels and typically show aromas of raspberries and cherries, with deep chocolaty tones lingering on the finish. This tastes significantly more expensive than it is!
These grapes come from a vineyard planted in 1975 in the commune of Monforte d'Alba, fermented in 50hl wooden casks for 10 days and then aged in 15-30hl French oak barrels for one year. The wine is a classic Old World style Nebbiolo, very light in color but exceptionally well adapted for meals — foods with a more woodsy (mushroom or truffle) character, or poultry.
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 »
98-99 points James Suckling: "Another wow. This is truly sensational with a depth of fruit and incredible depth and polish. Full, silky tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Exciting barrel sample." (10/2016)
Inventory: Special Order
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.
Claudia Ferrero’s small property is situated between Argiano and Banfi’s Poggio all’Oro vineyard in Montalcino’s southwestern corner. This gorgeous Sangiovese is full-bodied and ripe with layers of lush black cherry fruit. On the palate it is lively, balanced and fresh and has a long finish. The perfect match for grilled meats drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.
97 points James Suckling: "A wine with terrific texture and balance. Very polished tannins that are etheral and harmonious. Full-bodied, yet fresh, this is about combining elegance with power. It's so Latour in style. Excellent depth. Better in 2017, but so fine now. Blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and petit verdot." (8/2015) K&L Notes: From the winery: Oreno, which takes its name from the river that crosses the Ponti estate and the hamlet where the farmhouse is found, is the estate's flagship wine. With ample fruit from the Merlot, structure from the Cabernet Sauvignon, brought together w... Read More »
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.
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.
Montalcino's most famous single vineyard is the Montosoli hill, Altesino made this name famous when they designated their best Brunello with their northeastern-facing vineyard's name, Montosoli. Nello Baricci and his family have lived and farmed Sangiovese on their southeastern-facing slope of the Montosoli hill since the 1930s. Their wines are pure, supple, lithe and complex; they are full of tobacco, sweet earth, licorice, violets, rosemary and have long and persistent finishes, as evidenced in this fantastic Rosso, meant to drink now and over the next... Read More »
33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 17% Montepulciano, 17% Alicante.
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Aromas suggesting underbrush, scorched earth, mature black-skinned fruit and a whiff of dried mint jump out of the glass. The big, chewy palate doles out mature Marasca cherry, graphite, chopped herb and dark cooking spice alongside firm, refined tannins. It’s delicious. (KO)" (5/2016) 92 points James Suckling: "This shows lots of mushroom, dried fruit, spice and walnut aromas and flavors. Full-bodied but agile and refined. Pure and balanced. Drink or hold." (10/2015) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I was absolutely impressed with the 2010 Riserva released by Baricci at the same time as this wine. ...Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Deep red. Sexy, expressive aromas of red fruits, lead pencil, licorice and flowers. Silky-sweet, broad and mouthfilling, with concentrated dark fruit and aromatic herb flavors. Finishes long and serious, with ripe, broad tannins and lingering, very intense floral notes. Very drinkable already but still young at six years of age, this Riserva is one of the best wines (Graticciaia excepted) from Agricole Vallone in years. (ID)" (3/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2008 Salice Salentino Riserva Vereto is a pure expression of Negroamaro that is aged in botte grande for up to eight mo ...Read More »
Monica Larner writes: "One of the oldest estates in the Langhe, Fratelli Barale was founded in 1870, shortly after the Barolo denomination was created with the help of Marchesi Falletti and founding father of modern Italy, Count of Cavour, Camillo Benso. Sergio Barale and his daughters manage the estate today."
97 points James Suckling: "This is a very sleek and racy wine with lots of stone, white pepper and fresh rosemary character. Then takes off with dried ripe fruits such as currants and blueberries. Dark chocolate too. This a real mouthful yet remains agile and powerful. Linear and long finish. Great precision. Best ever from Guado al Tasso?" (7/2016) 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This is a fantastic wine. The 2013 Bolgheri Superiore Guado Al Tasso reveals soaring aromas of dark fruit, plum, blackberry, savory spice, tobacco and leather. The results are seamless, harmonious and generous in intensity. This is the q ...Read More »
Erik Banti's Morellino di Scansano is primarily Sangiovese with a little Merlot to flesh it out. There's so much to love about this red: its lush and inviting aromas, full and round mouthfeel, and food-friendly structure are just the beginning. Factor in the price and you've got one of the tastiest and versatile red wine values in the store! Ready to drink tonight, this juicy, mouthwatering red is an satisfying on its own, and makes a worthy complement to simple pasta dishes, poultry and soft cheeses. A must try!
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)
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)
Rosso di Montalcino too often sits in the shadow of its much bigger brother, Brunello. But some estates put nearly the care and expense into their Rosso as their big guns, and La Fortuna is clearly an example of this sort of winemaking. Intense in terms of fruit, but showing off admirable acidity, this is spicy, full bodied, dry and rich with a softness hiding amid all that tannic structure. A wine to drink while your Brunello ages, yes, but a quality wine nonetheless. From vines 15-25 years of age, aged for one year in barrique, 6 months of this in Fren... Read More »
I met Dino and Patrizia Torti, a dynamic father-daughter team who are passionately committed to championing their region Lombardia, at their winery in the hills of Oltrepo Pavese about 45 miles south of Milano. Pinot Noir or Pinot Nero in Italian has been used in Lombardia in the making of methode champenoise sparkling wines since the 19th century, but only recently has there been a movement for the production of red wines. Tasting notes from the winery: "Ruby red with a smooth velvety aroma, ethereal; full distinct taste in the mouth, reminiscent of nob... 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 »
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 »
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 »
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)
91 points Vinous: "The 2012 Barolo Vendemmia is a very pretty entry-level offering from Barale. Sweet floral and spice notes meld into red cherry, tobacco, licorice and leather. Lifted and aromatically expressive, with good depth, the 2012 impresses for its balance and overall harmony. Best of all, the 2012 will drink well with minimal cellaring. The Barolo Vendemmia is a blend of fruit from the Preda, Monrobiolo and Coste di Rose vineyards." (11/2016)
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 »
90 points James Suckling: "A fine and silky red with plum and chocolate character, medium body and a fresh finish. Real Chianti." (8/2016)
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 »
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 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)"
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)
Monica Larner of eRobertParker.com writes: "The Sportoletti family founded their estate in the late 1970s and farm 26 hectares of vines in the Spello and Assisi area of Umbria. They work with consulting enologist Riccardo Cotarella."
98 points James Suckling: "Aromas of blackberry, burnt orange, licorice and spice follow through to a full body, with super integrated and fine tannins plus a fabulous depth of fruit and center palate. This is a great wine. Drink in 2017." (7/2016)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 »