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K&L Staff Recommendations
2014 Villa Sparina Gavi $13.99
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.
Just a note to clear up some nomenclature issues with this brand. Silvano Follador has added an extra word to their label, "Nature." It means that the finished wine has less than 3 grams per liter of residual sugar, so even though their wines are Brut, Brut can be decidedly higher. Nature is a designation that is more definitive. Most Prosecco is Extra Dry and that is 12-20 grams per liter which could go from dry-ish to outright sweet. Follador is looking to distance themselves from the rest of the pack.
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 »
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.
A light straw yellow with greenish highlights in color, the wine shows a fruity nose with notes of citrus fruit, peaches, and pineapples. The structure and the acidity balance one another and the finish and aftertaste are lively and persistent. This Orvieto is a blend of 50% Grechetto, 25% Procanico, 25% Pinot Blanc and Viognier.
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.
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 »
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 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)
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 »
93 points James Suckling: "What a wonderful white with white pepper, sliced apple, lemon, and mineral character. Full to medium body, bright acidity, and a flavorful finish. Love the spice to this. This is an exciting new wine for me. Drink now." (10/2016) K&L Notes: This is an amazing wine, the first vintage ever from the Treves family who's been growing grapes for generations in Val d'Aosta who have decided to make wine from their own grapes, a whopping 280 cases. Petite Arvine is one of the local many indigenous grape varieties in Val d'Aosta, which is nestled in a tiny valley in the Alps c... Read More »
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.
Inventory: San Francisco
Ravello, carved into the hillsides overlooking the Mediterranean on Italy's Amalfi Coast, is one of my favorite places on earth. Maybe it's because it is where my husband and I honeymooned, but honestly I was in love with Ravello before I ever set foot there, and that goes back to this wine. Made from 60% Falanghina and 40% Biancolella grown in the rocky, calcareous soils of both Ravello and Scala, this slightly floral, wonderfully mineral, fresh white wine tastes like the crystalline blue sea and sunshine captured in a bottle. It is particularly delicio... Read More »
Impressive for its purity and refreshing mineral qualities, Valle dell'Acate takes the Insolia 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 »
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 Wine & Spirits: "Full reviews to follow on their Aug 2016 issue:" (8/2016) K&L Notes: Though the 2014 has yet to be professionally reviewed, the 2013 bottling earned 91 points and accolades from Antonio Galloni's Vinous: "Medium-deep gold-tinged yellow. Enticing aromas of apricot, savory herbs and minerals. Rich, ripe stone fruit and balsamic herb flavors are nicely buoyed by lively acidity. The long finish features resonating mineral lift. This outstanding, archetypal Verdicchio wine speaks clearly of the cooler Matelica terroir." (06/2015)
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 »
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)
Inventory: San Francisco
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 »
91 points Vinous: "Bright gold-tinged yellow. Intense notes of anise and sweet botanical herbs complicate mineral, citrus and orchard fruit aromas. Rich and dense but juicy too, with licorice, sage and white peach flavors lingering nicely through a pure, juicy, very bright finish. One of the better versions of Canayli in years. (JR)" (1/2016)
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 »
Antonio Galloni writes: "Year after year, Almondo is one of the very finest producers in Roero, a part of Piedmont where consistency is hard to come by."
90 points James Suckling: "A creamy and delicious Prosecco with sliced-pear and lemon character. Medium body, a creamy texture and fine bubbles. Drink now." (11/2016) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This luminous sparkler opens with aromas of jasmine, orange blossom and white peach. The crisp, refreshing palate doles out green apple, Bartlett pear and white almond alongside vibrant acidity and a silky mousse. (KO)" (12/2015) Jancis Robinson: "Still has some of the lovely orchard and ctirus aromas of the Brut but also a more creamy quality to the nose. Fuller in the mouth and seems perhaps slightly richer, if not sweeter. Mouthfilling ...Read More »
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 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 »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Aged in cement vats, Edi Keber's 2014 Collio is a pristine blend of 70% Friulano, 15% Ribolla Gialla and 15% Malvasia Istriana. The wine follows a local winemaking philosophy that sees structure thanks to Friulano, acidity thanks to Ribolla Gialla and fragrance from the Malvasia. Edi Keber dedicates most of his effort to this one wine. Beautiful tones of yellow rose and honey segue to creamy persistence. (ML)" (5/2016) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "A blend of 70% Friulano, 15% Ribolla Gialla and 15% Malvasia, this is perfumed with scents suggesting yellow flower, apple, citrus fruit an ...Read More »
Located in the picture-perfect village of Casilglione Tinella, in the heart of the Langhe (Piedmont), the Saracco family has been growing Moscato d'Asti for four generations. The soils here are comprised of limestone mixed with sandy veins and the vineyard's elevation provides the right temperature and humidity balance. This wine has lots of fresh peach, pear and jasmine on the nose and a gentle sparkle on the palate that brightens the fruit. Try as an apertivo or as a refreshing finish to a meal.
93 points Wine & Spirits: "Troisi’s basic fiano is less intense than his single-vineyard Aipierti (reviewed above), yet it’s also terrifically impressive. Delicate scents of orange blossom and bee pollen give way to flavors of fresh apple, pear and lemon that take on a honeyed richness with air, developing notes of salted almonds and nori that add a savory character. A stream of salinity runs through the dense, waxy texture and gives direction to the rich fruit flavors, bringing them to an energetic and refreshing finish." (10/2016) 92 points Vinous: "Deep gold-tinged yellow. Knockout Fiano aromas of ...Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Made with Trebbiano, Malvasia and Sangiovese, the 2005 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico opens to a brilliant amber color and thick viscosity that hugs to the rim of the glass. Oak-driven tones of vanilla and caramel are immediately apparent, but quickly followed by candied fruit, butterscotch and orange peel. Clusters undergo a natural drying process on mats until February of the following year. The must is transferred to sealed oak casks containing the “mother,” or gelatinous remains from previous vintages. Fèlsina and consulting winemaker Franco Bernab ...Read More »
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)"
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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)
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 »
Monica Larner writes: "Four generations of the Gangemi family boast 100 years of collective winemaking experience on Mt. Etna."
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 »
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.
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 »
This family-run estate is farmed with no pesticides and harvested by hand in the heart of Tuscany. This white is complex and refreshing, with bright fruit and herbal notes. A great wine for scallops.
Wine Enthusiast: "Here’s a cheerful Prosecco Brut (in bright green packaging) with distant aromas of stone fruit, melon, kiwi and white stone. It offers creamy foam and a soft approach on the palate followed by lively acidity." (7/2009) K&L Notes: Franceso Drusian is the third generation of his family to make wine from the Prosecco grape, but the first to make sparkling Prosecco, which he has been doing since 1986. He cares for his vineyards in Conegliano and Valdobbiadene biodynamically, and this comes through in his wines. This Prosecco shimmers in the glass, casting glints of gold ... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Ca' del Baio is the labor of love of four generations of family producers. Today, Giulio Grasso, along with his wife Luciana and their three daughters manage the winery in Treiso and 25 hectares of estate vineyards. The Grasso family follows a hands-on winemaking philosophy, and vines young and old are tended to with passion and care by hand. They've been able to successfully integrate new technology into their traditional methods to produce wines today that showcase the unique terroir of their Langhe vineyards. The Moscato is a delightful straw-colored ... Read More »
"U Pastine" in the Ligurian dialect means, essentially, a gift that is specially crafted for someone in particular as an extra special present. Bianchetta Genovese is a very rare grape grown in the area south of Genoa. It is usually just part of a field blend with other grapes (if you've even been fortunate enough to visit Cinque Terre and enjoy a crispy glass of white wine, this grape was probably in it), but Bisson was the first to vinify it as it's own varietal. This wine is super snappy, with citrus, sea spray, wet stone and an wild coastal scrub nos... Read More »
Christian Kerschbaumer is a young winemaker and proprietor of Weingut Garlider in Alto Adige's Eisack Valley. English wine writer and critic Stuart Pigott writes: "His white wines are of a very special class... The Grüner Veltliner is also dynamic, yet more athletic and stress-laden, the aromas come from the glass: with wonderfully ripe, yellow fruits, but also cool, slightly iodine spice, which unfolds with every sip. Almost as if a primordial sea were breeding against the alpine pastures! When the vines grow older and this wine gets a bit more deep, a ... Read More »
94 points Vinous: "Bright dark yellow-gold. Enticing aromas of ripe peach, lime, ginger, custard cream, spring flowers and minerals. Dense, smooth and rich, offering precise, strong flavors of ripe stone fruit, raisin, caramelized fig and crème brûlée. Quite perfumed in the mouth, and nicely balanced; the long finish displays a seamless quality and remarkable freshness for such a big, concentrated wine." (11/2014) K&L Notes: 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... Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Fine and firm on the nose. Hugely ambitious. For the moment it’s all structure. Real polish and mineral density. Bone-dry finish. This all comes from the grape!" (1/2016)
About the producer: "The farm of Elvio Tintero is located in the steep but extraordinary hills of the City of Mango (CN) in Gramella place. Tintero’s family handle with care land and grapevine just on these hills since three generations. At the moment Tintero’s Farm is lead by Marco, Elvio, Adriana."
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 more than half a mile from Lake Garda. The vines used here are older, an average of around 30-35 years of age. Alessandro harvests the grapes in two parts, 50% in mid-September and the remainder in mid-October at full ripening, allowing him to make a wine with excellent fresh acidity and added body and complex... Read More »
The largest producer of Verdicchio di Matelica DOC wines, Belisario has been making wines in the Marche region of Italy since 1971.
This is white wine for a red wine drinker. There is so much concentration and depth of flavor, intensity, complexity, and downright deliciousness here, you'll have a hard time ever sipping on a light quaffing white wine ever again. Made from 100% Timorasso, a rare Piedmontese varietal grown in the Tortonesi hills near the Lombardy border, this wine's richness comes from extended skin and lees aging. Though not quite an orange wine, this can stand up to more substantial fare than your typical white.
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Best of 2016* Made with 70% Carricante and 30% Catarratto, this elegantly structured wine has enticing aromas of Mediterranean herb, fragrant yellow flower, citrus and a whiff of acacia. The fresh, savory palate shows juicy lime, ripe pear, chopped herb and mineral alongside tangy acidity. The lingering finish closes crisp and clean. (KO)" (8/2016)