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K&L Staff Recommendations
93 points James Suckling: "Very clean and bright aromas of crushed berries, chocolate and spices, yet this is subtle and pretty. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a long, long, polished and tannic finish. Drink or hold." (11/2016) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This is a wine I highly recommend especially for those who can't resist the beautiful taste of Nebbiolo in a more informal dining scenario (like around the kitchen table with family and friends). The 2012 Barolo Lecinquevigne sees fruit sourced from five vineyard sites, and all that mixing and matching gives the winemakers more flexibility for achievin ...Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "Lots of blackcurrants, grapes and lemon zest character. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a long and flavorful finish. It's firm and very tight. Compact structure. Delicious blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah and sangiovese. Better in 2018." (8/2015) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Pure and fresh, boasting black currant and black cherry flavors, with tar and earth details. Lean, almost racy, with vivid acidity driving the long, mineral-tinged finish. Sangiovese, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2017 through 2023. (BS)" (10/2015)
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 »
96 points James Suckling: "Fantastically complex aromas of spices, dried flowers and plums follow through to a full body, integrated and polished tannins and a superb finish. This is a 2012 Brunello with it all." (11/2016) K&L Notes: "[The 2012s] have more in common with the legendary 2010 vintage and are most like the 2004s, a harmonious and gorgeous year for Brunellos (James Suckling)." ---- Standing at the top of their portfolio, Argiano’s Brunello di Montalcino is the flagship wine for an estate that has a history tracing back all the way to the 1500s. The wine itself is steeped in traditi... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 »
Ettore Spina and his wife, Enrica Bandirola, owners of Sesta di Sopra, planted a new vineyard to Sangiovese in 2005. It has the same Galestro soils as the Brunello vineryard, perfect for taming Sangiovese's natural vigor. Unfortunately, in Montalcino all of the Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino vineyards are all registered and controlled, and they aren't allowing any more to be added right now, so the wine that comes from this new vineyard has to be designated an IGT (Indicates Geographic Tipicity). The wine is just bursting with ripe fruit.... 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)
This has been the #1 selling Italian wine for more than 2 decades 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.
98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Flaccianello della Pieve is a commanding wine and a strong protagonist of both the vintage and its territory. Connoisseurs of Sangiovese will be hard pressed to find a wine more authentic, elegant, complex and pristine than this. I am a huge fan of the 2013 vintage in Chianti Classico and the Flaccianello della Pieva is one big reason for this love affair. The bouquet is gorgeous and delineated with wild berry, tangy spice, crushed mineral and forest flower. Yet, the wine's color is dark, brooding and austere. The wine offers exuberance and ener ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
93 points James Suckling: "A silky and pretty red with dried cherry and lemon peel aromas and flavors. Full to medium body, firm tannins and a fruity finish. Silky and racy. Tangy finish. Always a classic." (8/2015) 93 points Vinous: "Monsanto's 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva 50 Vendemmie is one of the most pedigreed wines of the year. Deep and resonant in the glass, but not at all heavy, the 2012 possesses magnificent complexity to match what I can only describe as a regal expression of Sangiovese. There is a level of purity and nuance to the 2012 that is hard to describe with words but that is very m ...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 »
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!
90 points James Suckling: "A soft, velvety red with plummy, juicy flavors. Full body, lovely tannins and a flavorful finish. Drink now." (2/2016) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The La Fortuna 2011 Brunello di Montalcino reminds us of the elegant and nuanced side of Sangiovese that can be harnessed even in a challenging vintage like this. Despite the warm growing season, this wine shows depth and precision with wild berry tones that are followed by lingering aromas of balsam herb and licorice." (8/2016) Wine Spectator: "Cherry and raspberry flavors are accented by tobacco and earth notes, all wrapped up in dusty tannins. This is bal ...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."
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 »
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.
Wine Enthusiast: "Fragrant blue flower, tilled soil and wild berry aromas lead the nose. The light-bodied, accessible palate offers tart cherry and a hint of chopped herb. It's fresh and easy drinking, with loose-knit tannins. (KO)" (12/2016) K&L Notes: The Baccinetti family has worked their family farm south of Montalcino since 1935, but 2004 was their first vintage of estate-grown wine. Planted with 100% Sangiovese, the vineyard comprises 3 hectares of young vines that go into their rosso bottling. The wine is fermented in stainless steel and then spends 12 months in barrel before b... Read More »
Vinous: "Bright red. Red cherry aromas are complicated by leather and game. Then more game in the mouth and slightly drying tannins, but with enough rich red fruit to keep this dancing on the palate. Finishes medium-long, fruity and chewy. Needs food. (ID)" (10/2016) K&L Notes: Sella & Mosca is a beautiful and historic winegrowing estate in Sardinia. They place 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 ... Read More »
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.
James Suckling: "A fresh and simple red with dried cherry and lemon aromas and flavors. Medium body, crisp finish." (11/2015)
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 »
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 »
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)
33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 17% Montepulciano, 17% Alicante.
95 points Vinous: "Fully saturated ruby. Pure, very deep aromas of black cherry, red plum, medicinal herbs and minerals. Rich, dense and suave, with complex flavors of saline red berries and dark plum complicated by repeating botanical herb and balsamic nuances. Finishes seamless an long. A wine of noteworthy purity, with an excellent balance of sweetness, acidity and tannins. This is Gulfi's closest vineyard to the sea and almost always gives the estate's most elegant, refined wine. (ID)" (12/2015)
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)
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Red berry, fragrant blue flower, dark spice and a whiff of eucalyptus come together on this one. The taut, structured palate offers dried black cherry, licorice, clove and a hint of grilled sage. Firm, fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity provide balance and support. (KO)" (5/2016) 94 points Wine Spectator: "Aromas of wild herbs and cherry are the hallmarks of this cherryand currant-laced red, backed by a lively structure. This remains balanced in the end. Best from 2019 through 2035. (BS)" (4/2016) 91 points James Suckling: "Some dark berry and cherry with a slightly subdued character. Hints of cooked fruit. ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Very aromatic with dark fruits, dried meats and flowers that follow through to a full body, round tannins and a fresh finish. Tangy and delectable. This is always a delicious Chianti Classico Riserva." (8/2015) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Made with Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, this opens with aromas of red berry, plum, violet and whiff of cedar. The elegantly structured, savory palate delivers juicy black cherry, clove, ground pepper and grilled herb alongside fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity. It's well balanced and already accessible. (KO)" (9/2015) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Chianti Cl ...Read More »
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 »
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 »
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." (11/2015) 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 »
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!
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 »
92 points James Suckling: "Some dried fruit with strawberry and lemon rind on the nose and palate. Medium to full body. Tangy tannins. Pèppoli is always excellent." (11/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "You'll find aromas of violet, iris, red berry and baking spice on this savory blend of 90% Sangiovese, Merlot and Syrah. The vibrant palate doles out wild cherry, crushed raspberry, cinnamon and a hint of tobacco alongside polished tannins and bright acidity. (KO)" (9/2015) Wine Spectator: "A firm yet juicy red, displaying black cherry and blackberry flavors. The tannins are assertive, so give this air or short-term cellaring. (B ...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 »
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 James Suckling: "A fresh and tangy red with dried berry, lemon rind and hints of lemon grass. Medium body, light tannins and a fruity finish." (10/2015)
94 points James Suckling: "Love the decadent, sweet-tobacco, stem and ripe-fruit aromas to this one. Full-bodied, layered and soft with ripe tannins and so much subtle fruit. Sexy is the only word to describe it. Drink in 2020." (1/2017)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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)
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)
90 points James Suckling: "A wine with lots of berry, vanilla and cream aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, round and savory. Intense new wood but delicious all the same. Needs time to come together in the bottle: Drink in 2017." (10/2015)
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: "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)
90 points James Suckling: "A red with plum, chocolate and hints of cedar. Nutty too. Medium to full body. Hazelnut undertones. Savory finish. Excellent value here. Drink now." (10/2014) K&L Notes: Antonio Galloni writes: "Consulting oenologist Riccardo Cotarella is now the man in charge at Fattoria del Cerro and all of the SAI Agricola properties, which includes La Poderina in Montalcino. Although the wines could use a little more polish, these seem like assignments that require a gentle guide rather than a total revolution. If anything these wines need less, not more. The quality of the fruit... 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 »
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 »
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 »