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K&L Staff Recommendations
2014 Villa Sparina Gavi $13.99
2014 Edi Keber Collio Bianco $25.99
This has become a go-to favorite for customers and staff at K&L. Priced at a level that allows for corks to pop any old time it suits you, the Montechiara phenomenon continues to gain followers by the hour. See for yourself why this value sparkler is getting so much attention.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Delicately scented, this alluring sparkler opens with aromas of white flowers and freshly picked orchard fruit. The vibrant, linear palate delivers crisp apple, pear and a citrus note accompanied by racy acidity and an elegant perlage. (KO)" (12/2015) James Suckling: "This is round and delicious with candied-apple and lemon aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, fresh and clean. Drink now." (10/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Breaking with tradition, the non-vintage Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze Brut highlights this special single vineyard but offers no residual sugar. This sparkler is lean and tight ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Muted scents of orchard fruit and a touch of almond lead the nose. The vibrant palate offers pear, citrus zest and mineral accompanied by bracing acidity." (4/2016)
90 points Wine & Spirits: "There's a hint of complexity in the interplay between this wine's gentle sweetness and crisp acidity, like biting into a freshly picked ripe pear. It's lean and focused, a match for warm goat cheese on crostini." (12/2009) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The non-vintage Prosecco del Valdobiaddene Extra Dry is a featherweight Prosecco displaying light, crisp, grapefruit and citrus notes, pure flavors, good acidity and a zesty, but not overly aggressive effervescence. Enjoy it over the next year. (RP)" (6/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "This offers aromas of wisteria, jasmine, white stone fruit and a whiff of almond. ...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 »
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 »
Impressive for its purity and refreshing mineral qualities, Valle dell'Acate takes the Inzolia varietal to a whole new level of quality. As a second label, the Case Ibidini range (pronounced 'bidini) consists of varietally labeled wines from the estate intended for more casual consumption. The local name of the area where the estate is situated, Bidini, is drawn from the ancient root Bidis. This in turn referred to the name of a group of early Hellenic settlers who populated the area nearly 20 centuries ago. These wines provide a purity and authenticity ... Read More »
Although I’ve always liked Soave, I never really "got" what was going on until I visited for four days in September 2014. I toured the Soave Classico region, which is a different DOC from "regular" Soave, and was just blown away by the stunning vineyards and the incredible soils of the extinct volcano that encompasses it. One of the most unique producers we visited there is Le Battistelle, a very small winery that’s been growing grapes for generations but has only begun to bottle its own wine in the last decade. (Greg St. Clair, K&L Italian wine buyer) V... Read More »
This three-liter box is 100% Friulano (though, it cannot be labeled as such because the DOC's laws do not recognize box wine, as of yet). I think there is no tastier, more versatile white wine in our store right now that beats this Bianco for value and pure drinkability. It combines the body, weight and richness of what California Chardonnay feels like with the minerality and freshness of how Pinot Grigio tastes, which just makes it the perfect cocktail white. It is ideal for keeping in the fridge (I've tasted them after they've been open for 6 months an... Read More »
Gallura is a peninsula on the northeast corner of the island of Sardinia that specializes in Vermentino (the grape is also grown on the coast of mainland Italy, on Corsica and in the south of France under the name Rolle). Mancini's version of the grape is very fresh and forward, with no oak or malolactic fermentation aromas, just grape juice fermented at low temperature in stainless steel. Enjoy this delicious, lively and aromatic white as an aperitif or with seafood (prawns with pasta?). A hint of citrus peel on the finish adds food-friendly complexity.
92 points Wine & Spirits: "Full reviews to follow on their Aug 2016 issue:" (8/2016) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "With a little time in the glass, this eventually reveals subtle aromas of toasted almond, pressed yellow flower, beeswax and a whiff of honey. The honeyed note follows over to the enveloping palate, along with candied citrus peel, marzipan and mineral. Fresh acidity brightens the rich flavors and provides balance. It's already enjoyable but hold for more complexity. Drink through 2023." (7/2016) K&L Notes: Praise from Antonio Galloni's Vinous: "La Monacesca, one of the best producers of Verdicchio wines, takes i... Read More »
Vietti's Roero Arneis is one of the most delicious and consistent versions of this varietal we carry every vintage. The grapes for this wine come from 25-year-old vines in Santo Stefano Roero. Fermented in stainless, they suppress malo to preserve the crisp acidity and freshness. And it is fresh, with mineral accents that complement its floral, citrus and melon aromas and flavors. Delightful with food.
91 points Vinous: "Green-tinged yellow; less gold in color than the Furore Bianco. Apple, sage and flowers on the bright nose are complicated by a note of liquid slate. The flavors of apple, pear and mint are similarly joined by mineral nuances. Finishes broad, smooth and persistent. I find this much fresher and more precise than the Furore Bianco." (9/2015) K&L Notes: Indicative blend: Falanghina 60% and Biancolella 40%
Although I’ve always liked Soave, I never really “got” what was going on until I visited for four days in September 2014. I toured the Soave Classico region, which is a different DOC from “regular” Soave, and was just blown away by the stunning vineyards and the incredible soils of the extinct volcano that encompasses it. One of the most unique producers we visited there is Le Battistelle, a very small winery that’s been growing grapes for generations but has only begun to bottle its own wine in the last decade. (Greg St. Clair, K&L Italian wine buyer)
We started importing the wines of this small family-owned winery in Colli Orientali de Friuli (not far from the Slovenian border) with the 2001 vintage. Back then they were far better known in Italy, where they have continuously garnered accolades from Gambero Rosso, but these days they have quite a following here at K&L, too. Vintage after vintage the wines from the brothers Ermacora (Dario and Luciano) sell out very quickly. And they still adhere to the motto: Do little, in order to do better.
As the Bava Brothers like to say this is Moscato with an Altitude! Grown in south east facing limestone soils in the Alta Langa it is a classic representation of the floral vibrancy of Moscato full of floral and fruit character low in alcohol. Just a bit of fizzy bubbles, not fully sparkling. Moscato is the perfect intermezzo or afternoon refresher and a perfect post dinner dessert wine because it is so delicate and low alcohol. It is also an excellent match to spicy savory dishes not just a sweet wine!
93 points James Suckling: "This is an Etna white that delivers lots of mineral, salt and dried apple character that reminds me of a grand cru Chablis. Full and flavorful with so much going on. Fantastic white." (10/2015) Vinous: "Bright yellow. Shows a slightly herbal quality to the opulent citrus and tropical fruit aromas and flavors. Finishes bright and long, with more minerality than past vintages. The precise, Riesling-like Carricante seems to stick out more than usual this vintage--a good thing, as past releases were typically richer but softer. (ID)" (12/2013)
Sitting in the northeastern corner of Italy on the border of Slovenia, Collio has an ancient winegrowing history and remains an important DOC zone for quality white wines. Here the Palla family, led by patriarch Giancarlo, produces distinctive wines from these Friulian lands. Densely planted vines produce a terroir-driven Pinot Grigio, which features a flinty profile with notes of pear and fine minerals.
In the glass, this delightful wine exudes a brilliant golden shimmer with copious bubbles. On the nose, you'll find grapefruit and ripe, golden grape notes, with hints of sage. It's intense and creamy, with a playful sweetness that makes it the perfect pair for fruit or french toast. Try it at brunch and start your day off right!
Erste e Neue is a highly revered co-op located high up in the Mediterranean Alps in the Alto Adige region of Northeast Italy, where it is famous for producing racy, refreshing, and mineral-driven white wines from the varietals that thrive there. A cross of Riesling and Madeleine Royale, Muller-Thurgau is one of the more widely planted cross-bred varieties in Germany, possessing Riesling's hardiness and intense fruit but with the genes for earlier ripening. This is a fragrant, fruity wine, with soft floral and citrus aromas and flavors, accented by hints ... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Wine Spectator: "Lightly honeyed and floral, this sleek and silky white shows a refined palate of star fruit, cantaloupe, stone, sliced almond and ground ginger notes, with a lasting, minerally finish. Friulano, Ribolla Gialla and Malvasia Istriana. (Web-2015) (AN)"
Frascati doesn't have the best reputation--it's often the innocuous white wine served as "house wine" across Rome--but this one from Casale Marchese transcends any preconceived notions. Made from Malvasia del Lazio, Trebbiano Toscano, Malvasia di Candia, Bonvino and Bellone grown on family farms in the Tusculo hills and brought to us by one of our favorite Italian importers, Oliver McCrum (it's how you KNOW it's going to be good), this is fresh and delightful. Notes of basil complement peach and nectarine with a slight almond underpinning. It's fresh, ea... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The non-vintage Prosecco del Valdobiaddene Particella 68 comes from a hillside vineyard planted with 40-60-year-old Glera vines in rocky soils. It reveals more minerality along with honeyed grapefruit and apple-like fruit. Crisp and light-bodied with more intensity and flavor than its sibling ... (RP)" (6/2014) 90 points Vinous: "Bright straw-green. Sexy, clean aromas of floral white peach, apricot and tangerine. On the palate, soft citrus and pineapple flavors are enlivened by vibrant acidity and nicely extended on the creamy, luscious back end. (ID)" (9/2011) Jancis Robinson: "Very different ...Read More »
Ciro Picariello is a producer of outstanding white wines from Campania. While his emphasis is on Fiano, "a few years ago he started making Greco from a rented vineyard, a vineyard that he is now intending to buy," writes importer Oliver McCrum. "The soil is a sandy clay of volcanic origin called tuff, or 'tufo' in Italian (but the name of the appellation refers not to the soil, but to the village of Tufo, which is not far from Avellino). Picariello's Greco is made similarly to his Fiano...Ciro tells me that Greco can age like Fiano; given that he started... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Moscato 100% Intense grape, floral and honey aromas. Spicy. Sweet with crisp acid to balance. Moderately fine bubbles. Light body and alcohol (7%). Long finish, straightforward, some minerality. (LPB)" (3/2010) K&L Notes: Muscat grapes, being particularly aromatic, require a special winemaking technique in order to preserve the fruit's potent fragrance and to create a wine that is light on its feet and a fine accompaniment to fruit and nut-based desserts. The gently pressed grape juice is kept in refrigerated tanks until it is processed into the autoclave to obtain a... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Alluring aromas of white flower, orchard fruit and Mediterranean herb mingle in the glass. The delicious, linear palate offers a nice depth of flavors including juicy yellow peach, tart green apple, nectarine and a hint of ginger alongside tangy acidity. The lingering finish closes on a mineral note." (6/2015) K&L Notes: Tre Campane means 'three bells,' signifying the three communes of Lugana where the grapes for this cuvee are grown. The estate vineyards are all in the historic part of the Lugana appellation, in the communes of Pozzolengo, Sirmione e Peschiera, no m... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* Fresh and savory, this offers aromas and flavors of fresh apple, green Anjou pear and almond. Bright acidity gives it a crisp, clean finish while a hint of saline signals the close. (KO)" (7/2016) K&L Notes: This very special white is made exclusively with Verdicchio grapes cultivated from the east slopes of the Alta Valle Esina, on the foot of the Mount San Vicino. As is typical for Matelica, this is elegant, fresh and very mineral, and just the thing for your most elaborate fish dishes.
91 points Vinous: "Bright, pale straw-yellow. Complex, mineral-driven aromas of orchard fruit, chamomile and anise. Bright, fresh and juicy, showing sneaky concentration and noteworthy floral lift to the orchard fruit and mineral flavors. Finishes long and delicately savory, with a strong mineral overlay. One of the best young Frassitellis I can recall. Incidentally, the name Frassitelli refers to one of the world’s most beautiful vineyards, located at roughly 600 meters above sea level and offering a spectacular view of Capri and Procida. The top portion of the vineyard i ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of apple, delicate white flowers and a whiff of chopped herbs lead the way. The round palate offers creamed pear, yellow peach and candied lemon drop alongside firm acidity and a creamy mousse. (KO)" (12/2015) K&L Notes: This sparkling white wine was obtained, as you might guess by the name, from the Prosecco grape using the Charmat method in autoclave. It is the epitome of Prosecco, where the harmony of its elegant body is accompanied by a delicate bouquet. The freshness and fragrance of this wine, together with a fine and persistent perlage, make it ideal fo... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "A succulent white, sporting melon, floral and peach flavors, backed by tangy acidity. Vibrant and long, ideal for a summer quaff. Favorita. (Web Only—2015)"
Inventory: San Francisco
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This opens with attractive floral aromas of Spanish broom, acacia and chamomile while the bright palate offers white peach, green apple and citrus. Brisk acidity gives it a crisp, clean finish while a note of white almond signals the close. Small persistent bubbles add finesse. (KO)" (10/2015) K&L Notes: At K&L we give this wine two thumbs up and three stars for value. On the nose, there are generous notes of apples, peaches, tropical fruits and pear blossom. It’s wonderfully balanced and elegant, with a pleasurable spiciness. The palate is rich and creamy, with pret... Read More »
Made from the Malvasia of Schierano, a black skinned Malvasia that is cold macerated on the skins for 2 days and then gently pressed to preserve its aromatics. The result is nothing short of marvelous, extraordinary aromatics likened to Dog Rose and because it has a bit of tannin from the skins the wine feels remarkably dry. I really think this is an exceptional accompaniment to spicy Asian beef dishes, the sweetness absorbs a bit of the shock from the spiciness and the tannic grip and aromatics go exceptionally well together.
90 points Vinous: "Pale gold-tinged straw-yellow. Peach, apricot and yellow apple aromas and flavors are complicated by a delicate note of fresh herbs. Rich and savory, but with lively acidity adding freshness and lift. Finishes crisp, chewy and long. This is not the first time that I've been extremely impressed by what is essentially Cenatiempo’s entry-level wine, a steal at the price. (ID)" (9/2015)
Praise from Ian D'Agata: "The third and fourth generations of the Di Meo family are propelling this estate into the stratosphere of Italian wine production. Along with wines from Mustilli and Contrada Salandra, there are no better Falanghina bottlings made anywhere than these. Following a stint with world-famous consulting enologist Roberto Cipresso, Vincenzo Di Meo is the winemaker here. The estate vineyards are situated in the particularly sandy Campi Flegrei production zone, which seems especially well suited to Falanghina, of which there are at least... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Costa d'Amalfi Furore Bianco is a blend of 60% Falanghina and 40% Biancolella. Vines are planted in near vertical fashion on a sea facing cliff and range in altitude from 100 meters above sea level to an impressive 750 meters. That's a steep drop. The wine shows beautiful marine and saline tones of sea salt and oyster shell. It also offers white flowers, peach and honeydew melon. Its appearance is luminous and bright. The finish is long and silky." (4/2015) Jancis Robinson: "Candied lemon, garden herbs and lime, inviting and pretty and fresh. The palate is quite fu ...Read More »
About the producer: "Among vines and rocks rising vertically over the sea of Furore, we find Cantine Marisa Cuomo. The grapes that grow here, clinging to the rocks of Furore, are exposed to the magical action of the sun and sea of the Amalfi Coast. The charm of the geometry of the estate’s vineyards is joined by the beautiful wine cellar dug into the rock. Since 1980, the year in which the winegrowing estate was established, Cantine Marisa Cuomo has belonged to Andrea Ferraioli and Marisa Cuomo, and it occupies an area of 10 hectares. The selection of ... Read More »
A pretty green-gold color, this refreshing white combines crisp acidity with a full, rich floral nose. A lovely Gavi di Gavi perfect for sipping with scallops.
Inventory: San Francisco
93 points James Suckling: "A wonderful white with dried lemon and hints of green apple that follow through to a full body, wonderful acidity and a tangy finish. Delicious white from Umbria. Try it. Drink now." (10/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Grechetto dei Colli Martani Grecante offers spot-on aromas of lemon, peach, pear and Golden Delicious apple. This vintage is slightly weaker compared to past editions, but not by much. In the mouth, the wine offers a simple but authentic approach with crisp acidity and medium persistence. All said and done, this is a very enjoyable Umbrian white wine. (ML) ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Fresh and floral, with apricot, grapefruit granita, candied ginger and stone notes. Lightly creamy, presenting a lingering, tangy finish of melon ball and spice. Garganega with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Drink now through 2017. (AN)" (10/2015)
Praise from Antonio Galloni: "Giovanni Almondo is a reference-point producer for Arneis, Barbera and Roero. I am amazed this producer isn't better known considering the high quality of the wines here." (10/2008)
The "Zuani" blends Friulano, the Colliio's indigenous varietal, with Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Pinot Grigio from marl and sandstone soils. Fermented in new French oak barrels with daily (then weekly) battonage. This is a spicy, citrusy wine with layers of fruit and a creamy minerality.
Vinous: "Golden yellow color. Honeyed white peach and pear aromas are complemented by chamomile on the fresh nose. Bright, savory flavors of stone and fresh citrus fruits are juicy and clean if a bit simple. The moderately long finish shows lovely floral lift. Only 12.5% alcohol. (ID)" (9/2015)
90 points James Suckling: "A balanced, attractive Fiano with sliced limes, minerals and almonds. Full-bodied, fruity and delicious. A new producer for me. Try it. Drink now." (3/2015) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The pretty 2012 Fiano di Avellino represents the single wine made by Tenuta Sarno 1860. This is a fresh and clean expression of the grape with bright notes of citrus, peach, pear, white flower and honey. Sur lie aging gives the wine good tension and density in the mouth. It wraps smoothly over the palate with layers of yellow fruit and crushed mineral. Mauro and Adele Sarno run the boutique Tenuta Sarn ...Read More »
The largest producer of Verdicchio di Matelica DOC wines, Belisario has been making wines in the Marche region of Italy since 1971.
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Greco di Tufo shows beautiful luminosity and pretty tones of citrus, peach and pear. Fruit is sourced from the Santa Paolina and Prata areas with clay and limestone soils. Harvest ends the first week of October. This is a tonic and balanced effort with impressive fruit brightness and simple, clean lines. It needs another three or four years to flesh out further." (4/2015) 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright straw-yellow. Clean aromas of yellow apple, pear, lime and white pepper. Vibrant, juicy citrus and stone fruit flavors are complicated by salty minerality, with the saline ...Read More »
We've heard it a number of times, even from people knowledgeable about wine--that the wines of Lazio are really nothing special, just simple quaffers. Well, Giampiero Bea's collaboration with the Sisters at Monastero Suore, a Cistercian monastery in Vitorchiana, 90 minues north of Rome, produces one of the finest Italian wines we've ever tasted and IT'S from Lazio. The Coenobium is a white table wine fermented on its skins that comes from the Malvasia, Verdicchio, Grechetto and Trebbiano vines the Sisters tend organically.