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K&L Staff Recommendations
93 points James Suckling: "A ripe and decadent nose with licorice, sliced mushrooms and blackberries too. The palate is really savory with a tantalizing salty note that really lifts it up. Precise and linear. Beautiful austerity on the finish. Drink now." (7/2016) K&L Notes: 70% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot
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." (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 delineation and focus here. This a gorgeous La Massa. (AG) ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "A super refined wine with sliced berry plus hints of cedar and vanilla. Full-bodied, bright and crisp; lovely finish." (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. (KO)" (9/2015) 92 points Wine Spectator: "*Top 100 of 2016, 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 the overall st ...Read More »
Giovanni Blason and his wife Valentina are young producers who continuously surprise us with the price-to-quality ratio of their wines, earning them tons of kudos in Gambero Rosso and beyond. They come from the Isonzo region of Northern Italy, right up against the Slovenian border. Their Pinot Grigio is really sensational, full in the mouth, rich on the palate and extraordinarily drinkable at this price! Very aromatic, with good complexity, length and that subtle elegance that shows muscle and a long and flowing finish.
91 points James Suckling: "What a pretty young Chianti giving you all the cherry and strawberry character you could hope for. Medium body, light tannins and a fresh and bright finish. Drink now" (11/2016)
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)
33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 17% Montepulciano, 17% Alicante.
Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of dried tobacco leaf, toast, oak and underbrush lead the nose. The bright, approachable palate offers black cherry, espresso and star anise alongside fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity. (KO)" (11/2016) Wine Spectator: "Black cherry fruit is framed by toasty oak in this firm, dense red. Modern in style, with energy and balance, finishing with dusty tannins. Drink now through 2019. (BS)" (8/2016)
92 points James Suckling: "Complex aromas of sliced apples, lemon curd and hot stones. Medium to full body, beautiful fruit and a bright finish. I like the layered texture to this." (11/2016)
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.
Erik Banti’s Carato is back! This mini Super Tuscan has a great following at K&L and the new vintage is even better than the last! It’s a Sangiovese-based blend from the Tuscan coast that tastes like it should cost much more because of its full, smooth, flavorful palate presence and excellent balance. A K&L Direct Import that offers you extraordinary value, and at this price you will be saying, "I should buy two!"
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: Affectionately named "Catzilla" by our staff because of the seemingly oversized orange cat adorning the label, the Baccinetti hails from south slope Montalcino vineyards adjacent to Lisini. The Baccinetti family has worked their family farm south of Montalcino since 1935, but 2004 was their first vintage of estate-grown wine. Planted ... 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)
Wine Spectator: "Honeysuckle and Honeycrisp apple flavors are layered with juicy acidity in this zesty, light-bodied white. (AN)" (10/2016)
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 »
91 points Vinous: "A wine of precision and nuance, the 2015 Terlaner Classico once again shows why this is one of Alto Adige's most compelling and delicious wines. The Pinot Blanc/Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc blend that has worked so well here for decades yields a white endowed with striking focus. White flowers, lemon peel, ripe orchard fruit, apricot pit, almond, mint and chamomile form a super-appealing fabric of aromas, flavors and textures. There is a lot to like here. The Terlano has a level of precision that none of these varieties show on their own. Then again, that ...Read More »
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 »
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.
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
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Morellino di Scansano Riserva Poggio Valente is a breakthrough wine for Fattoria le Pupille and its talented winemaking team. This is a complete and balanced expression that shows its best side to all the senses: its appearance is richly saturated and bright; the bouquet is intense and complex; and the mouthfeel shows elegance and power. In all, this wine tastes and feels much younger than it really is and I have high hopes for its future aging ability. It shows a great sense of inner energy and liveliness that makes it a pleasure to drink in th ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
This exceptionally small estate sits above Tenuta di Sesta (sopra means "above" in Italian) on Montalcino’s south slope, but with this small bit of elevation you reach an outcrop of galestro, a marine-based exfoliating shale that gives the most profound Sangiovese.
92 points James Suckling: "Aromas of plums and berry with hints of chalk and stone. Medium to full body, chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Structured. Serious Chianti Classico. Drink or age." (8/2016) K&L Notes: The production potential of Lamole, now a hamlet of Greve in Chianti, was first discovered by the Romans, who established vineyards and olive groves on the high hills they’d recognized as ideal farming country. Indeed, the well-aspected site overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea is characterized by a natural amphitheatre that is protected by Monte San Michele to the north and exposed to l... Read More »
90 points James Suckling: "A compacted red with dried-cherry, toasted-oak and coffee-bean aroma and flavors. Full body with firm, silky tannins. Drink now." (2/2016)
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 »
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 »
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."
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 »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Ramitello has enjoyed its own cult following over the years. The 2012 Molise Rosso Ramitello (a blend of Montepulciano and Aglianico) is a delicious expression with a balanced approach that puts just as much emphasis on intensity as it does elegance. The bouquet reveals dark fruit tones with spice and lingering leather at the back. The mouthfeel is reinforced by firm tannic structure and bright acidity. Of all the wineries in Molise, none stands taller than Di Majo Norante in terms of international visibility. Celebrated enologist Riccardo Cotarella help ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "A Brunello with chocolate, walnut and berry aromas and flavors. Full body with round tannins and a long finish. Citrus undertones. Lively and fun. Drink now." (10/2016) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino shows aromas of candied fruit and cassis that are tight and precious. This wine does not share the wide and expansive personality of many of the other Brunellos produced in this warm vintage. Instead, this expression is more introspective and timid. Those delicate berry notes are followed by cola, balsam herb and licorice root. The wine is streamlined and sim ...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 »
Dario Ermacora was one of our first Italian Direct Imports. His wines have always been textbook, classic, and archetypal for Friulian whites: understated, balanced, with a long finish. His winery is in the Colli Orientali del Friuli, or the Eastern Hills of Friuli, a few scant kilometers from the Slovenian border. Most of Friuli is a flat, glaciated plain running from the Julian Alps down to the top of the Adriatic Sea, but on the eastern border the topography changes. In the Colli Orientali a series of horseshoe-shaped glacial moraines dot the landscape... 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 »
91 points James Suckling: "I like the lively and zesty character to this white with green apple and lemon undertones. Full body, loads of fruit, yet firm and focused. Go-to Gavi." (10/2015) Wine & Spirits: "Tart lemon and yellow apple flavors mingle with lightly bitter notes in a round, oily texture. Serve this with a seafood stew." (12/2015) Wine Spectator: "A mix of pear, apple, lemon and earth notes, backed by touches of earth and mineral. Offers a clean, chalky finish." (11/2015)
Inventory: Redwood City
91 points Wine Spectator: "*#25 on Top 100 of 2016, Best Values* Enticing aromas of violet, black currant and rosemary are accented by licorice and tobacco flavors in this fluid and harmonious red, with fine tannins gracing the long finish. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now through 2022. (BS)" (11/2016)
94 points James Suckling: "I have been a fan of Solengo since the mid-1990s. The 2013 vintage shows great generosity in its ripe fruit, with currant and stone character, a firm undertone of tannins and a flavorful finish. Try in 2018 but already very attractive to taste." (11/2015)
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) 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Tignanello represents the beginning of a new chapter for Italy's ultimate game-changer wine. The blend remains 80% Sangiovese with 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc but Renzo Cotarella tells me "stylistically-speaking, this is what we wanted to achieve." The winemaking formula remains the ...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 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 »
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 »
Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* Made with 80% Sangiovese, 10% Mammolo and 10% Canaiolo, this offers subdued aromas of red cherry, chopped mint and a hint white pepper. The breezy, easygoing palate shows crushed raspberry and orange zest underscored by lively acidity. (KO)" (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 ... Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "Gorgeous aromas of blueberries, blackberries and cherries with hints of flowers follow through to a full body, firm and silky tannins and a citrusy finish. Very tangy and lively. Drink now or hold." (8/2015) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Philip is a wine with an American spirit. The front label depicts family ancestor Philip Mazzei (1730-1816) but his white wig and demeanor is very reminiscent of the United States founding fathers. The wine is based on Cabernet Sauvignon (with some Cabernet Franc). It offers surprisingly soft and luscious tannins with a bouquet that is enhance ...Read More »
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good medium red. Ripe, slightly high-toned aromas of raspberry, chocolate and minerals. Large-scaled, intensely flavored and well-delineated, showing a pronounced flinty aspect to the fresh red and darker berry flavors. Finishes pure and long, with a firm tannic backbone that avoids coming off as dry. (IDA)" (12/2014) Vinous: "The 2012 Rosso di Montalcino is soft, silky and expressive. Floral notes meld into soft red fruit in a pretty, delicate Rosso to drink now and over the next few years. (AG)" (2/2015) Wine Spectator: "Starts out with cherry and earth notes, turning tight and aus ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A very ripe, rich wine with cherry-liqueur and salt character. Full body and lots of fruit. A crowd-pleaser – very yummy. Drink now." (2/2016) Wine Enthusiast: "This opens with aromas of toast, prune, scorched earth and chopped mint. The juicy palate offers dried black cherry, star anise and a hint of sweet baking spice alongside supple tannins. Straightforward and already approachable, it will offer enjoyable sipping in the near term. Drink through 2020. (KO)" (3/2017) K&L Notes: The Baccinetti family has worked their family farm south of Montalcino since 1935, but 2004 was their first... Read More »
90 points Vinous: "90+: Bright red. Aromas of red cherry, tar and violet on the enticing nose. Dense but fresh, delivering crunchy red cherry fruit flavors that linger long on the bright floral finish. (ID)" (8/2016) 90 points Wine Spectator: "A vibrant, finely knit red, with a minerally underpinning and rippling notes of crushed raspberry and black cherry fruit. This is medium-bodied, with sleek tannins and a lasting finish that echoes the aromatic herb and spice accents." (10/2016) K&L Notes: About the producer: "The tradition of Illuminati Wines has been going on for over one hundred and twenty years. Innovatio... Read More »
What makes this DOC of Matelica so special is its geographical position and geological character. This is an inland north-south valley, the only one in the Apennines that blocks the flow of warm coastal air, giving the region more of a continental climate. La Monacesca’s vineyards sit at about 1,800 feet above sea level in what was an ancient salt lake. The marine soil is full of fossils and rich in minerals that add to the wines’ vibrancy and aging ability. The nights are cool and the days are warm all summer long, allowing the grapes to remain on the v... 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 »
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)