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K&L Staff Recommendations
92 points James Suckling: "Aromas of pears, green apples and dried mangoes with hints of minerals and stones as well as salty undertones. Full body, plenty of fruit and great acid tension. Long and flavorful. Unique white that has a history for aging well. Drink or hold." (5/2015)91 points Antonio Galloni: "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 t ...Read More »
2 points Gambero Rosso: "2 Red Glasses: This year's Valdobbiadene Brut offers a particularly elegant, expressive nose, showing flowers interwoven with white fleshed fruit, suddenly giving way to garden vegetables. We see a change of gear on the palate, with the fizz exalting a lean, dry, supple body with extraordinary flavor, and a long spirited finish." (1/2015)
The Bronca sisters grow their own fruit in steep hillside vineyards, then make base wine and perform the secondary (sparkling) fermentation on non-vintage batches three or four times a year, to ensure freshness. Low yields and hillside-grown fruit ensures that the wine has good concentration and acidity. This one's a clean, crisp and ultimately refreshing sparkler that is one of our favorites.
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. Their 2013 Friulano is no exception. The 2012 scored 90 poi... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of Spanish broom, ripe apricot and yellow peach lead the nose and carry over to the round palate. Fresh acidity accompanies the juicy fruit flavors while an almond note closes the finish." (10/2015) K&L Notes: 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... 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 Pinot Grigio tastes like that just makes it into the perfect cocktail white. It is ideal for keeping in the fridge (I've tasted them after they've been open for 6 month... 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 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "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." (9/2011) Jancis Robinson: "Very different from ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Vini Buoni d'Italia ranked Battistelle's Roccolo del Durlo Soave Classico with its Top Score of a Gold Crown. (08/2015) Praise for a previous vintage from the Wine Advocate: "Luminous and bright, the 2011 Soave Classico Battistelle rests on its lees for six months with continuous batonnage. The wine is creamy and rich with deep layers of stone fruit, yellow flower, honey and almond nut. Pretty mineral nuances bring up the rear." (ML, 10/2013)
Indicative blend: Falanghina 60% and Biancolella 40%
This 2014 release is too new to have already been professionally reviewed, but the 2013 bottling garnered 90 points from Antonio Galloni. In the context of another previous vintage, Galloni writes: ""Paolo Saracco remains the reference point producer for Moscato d’Asti, with perhaps one or two close peers, and that is it. I have seen Saracco’s vineyards, and they are great sites, but they aren’t the only top Moscato vineyards, so I am perplexed why no one else can make wines at this level. But the truth remains that very few can, or are willing to make t... Read More »
This batch of the Blason Brut sparkling wine is made from 100% Ribolla Gialla grapes and is produced in a "long Charmat" method, meaning that it spend six months in tanks. Blason is from Isonzo in Italy's north easternmost region, called Friuli, which borders Slovenia.
On the border of Tuscany, Lazio, and Umbria--the area that also happens to be the birthplace of the ancient Etruscan civilization--Paolo and Noemia d'Amico have built a winery deeply embedded in tradition. The landscape is a result of a long period of volcanic erosion, and is full of deep valleys of cliffs and rock walls. Their cellar is modeled after the Etruscans, and was built underneath the vines, ensuring that temps are always ideal. This Grechetto-Sauvignon Blanc blend is, according to the winery, "well-balanced, fresh, with a good persistence. Sce... Read More »
94 points James Suckling: "This is a phenomenal white with sliced pear, apple and cream. Wonderful richness. It's full bodied, very layered and stylish. A petrol, candle-wax and dried-apricot character. Savory finish. Drink now." (12/2014)3 points Gambero Rosso: "With its extraordinary interpretation of the Matelica DOC, Aldo Cifola's winery is the perfect exponent of the concept of terroir. He reads the potential of Verdicchio, which finds a powerful, flavorsome expression here without losing its acidic, tangy edge endowed by the area and its cool microclimate. Another magnificent verison of the Mirum, th ...Read More »
From the importer: "Fabio [Marchioni] makes less than four thousand cases of Verdicchio, which he used to bottle, cork and label by hand in his tiny cantina (now he's sprung for a bottling machine). The romance isn't the point, though; the point is that this wine is racy, vivid, and excellent with all kinds of seafood dishes. It is fermented and matured entirely in stainless steel (no oak) and does not undergo malolactic fermentation. Use it like you might use a Sauvignon Blanc, because Verdicchio has some of the same herbal aroma and flavor as Sauvignon... Read More »
This 100% Falanghina is wonderful, it's fermented in stainless steel, and then kept on its lees for two months before being bottled. The nose is a complex perfume of elderflowers and white peach, with a bit of crushed stone that is couched in a med-full body, and it has a long and decidedly refreshing finish. (Greg St.Clair, K&L's Italian buyer)
The wines of Ermacora are absolute steals for their price to quality ratios, which is why we continue to bring them in direct, vintage after vintage. Ribolla Gialla is a local selection of the ancient white grape variety Ribola that dates back at least as far as the 11th century, and the variety also has Slavic roots. This straw-yellow white wine is recommended as an aperitif or with delicate, fresh water fish. It also pairs well with hors d'oeuvres and vegetable-based appetizers--but caution on the cheese, advises our Italian wine buyer, Greg St. Clair.
Always a bargain from one of K&L's favorite direct imports. The 37-acre Blason property in Gradisca d'Inzonzo, owned by Giovanni and Valentina Blason, is just a few miles from the Slovenian border. Their Friulano is always rich and complex, but balanced, with round frut, minerality and hints of savory herbs.
Matteo Correggia was a pioneer in helping the Roero gain international recognition when there wasn't much in the way of quality wine being produced. Today, the reputation of the Roero is rooted in much of the early work of Matteo and a few daring other pioneers. Matteo's tragic death in a tractor accident in 2001 rallied many of the region's leading winemakers to help his wife Ornella carry on. After a five year transitional period, Ornella took the helm and has been guiding and expanding the direction of the winery ever since. Correggia produces some st... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Known for small berries and "spontaneous abortion" of the flower, Picolit fashions one of the rarest Italian passito wines. Golden hued with sumptuous honey, tropical and citrus notes, this complex white successsfully rivals Vin Santo for its ability to stand up to hearty cheeses or in a glass all by itself.
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.
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 »
Inventory: San Francisco
Antonio Galloni: "The 2013 Roero Arneis bristles with energy and tension. Crushed rocks, citrus and white flowers abound, all with an extra kick of acidity from the cool growing season." (5/2015) Wine Spectator: "This is elegant, boasting floral, talcum powder and jellied fruit flavors. On the candied side, yet balanced. Drink now. (Web Only - 2014)"
From the winery: "ASKOS is the name of our project of rediscovery and selection of ancient Apulian grape varieties that are almost disappearing. Wines are produced by using exclusively these indigenous varietals, cultivated in their most suitable terroirs according to the traditional method. We have chosen a Greek 'Askos' (=wine jar) as a symbol of the wine making, a practice that in Puglia was started by the ancient Greeks. Bright yellow color with green shades. Intense fruity on the nose, with scent of tropical fruit, citrus, pear and fresh spices. On ... 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 »
95 points James Suckling: "Incredible richness of dried papaya and mango with lemon undertones. Peach stone too. Fabulous character of dried fruits and citrus as well as sea salt and oyster shell. Amazing finish." (11/2014)90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Green-tinged gold. Musky, lees-accented aromas of yellow apple, melon and cinnamon, with a suggestion of buttered toast. Supple and expansive, offering fresh lime and richer baked apple and guava flavors. Finishes with very good energy and focus, along with a note of vanillin oak. This is an impressively rich white wine, but terroir lovers may find that it fails ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Creamy and delicious, this beautiful white offers aromas and flavors of juicy pear, ripe green apple, white almond, sea salt, wild herb and ginger. Fresh acidity brightens the creamy flavors." (10/2015)
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 »
Inventory: San Francisco
Edi Keber, viticulturalist of Zegla in the area of Collio, a few meters from Brda, Slovenia, is one of the mavericks of this territory. The excellent quality of his wines runs parallel with the volcanic character of this farmer. The year 2008 marked a momentous milestone for Keber as the azienda decided to commit to the production of a single white grape wine, the Collio, a blend of three varieties: Friulano for structure, Malvasia Istriana for its aromatic qualities, and Ribolla Gialla for acidity, lending to the production of a wine with remarkable wei... Read More »
94 points James Suckling: "Pale, watery color with a slightly green tinge. Cherry blossom with stony green apple peel on nose. Crisp, dry but elegant tropical-fruit character, saltiness and tannins offer focused structure. Fresh, elegant finish. An amazing Friulano." (9/2014)
"La Ghibellina is an estate in the Gavi appellation of southern Piedmont," writes importer Oliver McCrum, "near the border with Liguria and less than an hour's drive to Genoa on the coast. Cortese di Gavi, or Gavi di Gavi which the wine can be called when the grapes are grown in the commune of Gavi, was promoted to DOCG status in 1998. Wines labeled Cortese di Gavi or Gavi di Gavi must be made from 100% Cortese grapes. The Cortese grape, with it's striking acidity and chalky mineral character, thrives in the limestone rich clay soils around Gavi. The own... Read More »
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 Sarno 1860 estate in Avellino. They make a single wine, a Fiano di Avellino, that sees fruit harvested from a high density vineyard planted 630 meters above se ...Read More »
A blend of Grechetto and Voignier, this wine ages 'sur lies' in 10-hectoliter oak and chestnut barrels. The color is a clear, golden-yellow, the result of sitting on the lees. The aromas are surprisingly complex, mineral, intense yet elegant, with a pleasing fruit component that is not too ripe. There is white peach, medlar and perhaps some fresh almond, along with flint and gentian flower. The flavor is balanced, soft, piquant and perfectly upheld by a brackish, Mediterranean acidity.
The Castelcerino vineyard is planted on predominantly volcanic soil, giving a distinct minerality to the 100% Garganega fruit.
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." (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 spark... Read More »
From an "agriculturally self-sufficient" wine farm that include orchards and pasture, just a few miles outside of Roma along the Appian Way. The winery's note: "This has a straw-yellow color with golden reflections. The aromas are intense and elegant and range from floral scents to those of tropical fruit, together with notes of golden delicious apple and banana. The flavor is balanced, piquant and very elegant."
This is always one of the most popular Italian whites at K&L. 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). Made entirely from Vermentino, The granitic soils force the vines to struggle to survive, but that struggle (like so many) gives the wine its character. The 2013 is dry and full, with lots of white fruit, a touch of green pepper and a salty minerality that makes this a natur... Read More »
A blend of Vitovska, Malvasia and Sauvignon. A wine that reflects the territory and its characteristics. The wine is named after the Prulke Vineyard, located below the village of Prepotto.
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 »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Costa d'Amalfi Furore Bianco Fiorduva is a blend of 40% Ripoli, 30% Fenile and 30% Ginestra that sees six months in wood. This is a dense and full-bodied white wine that would pair with creamy shrimp risotto or spicy crab cakes. The wine shows power and determination (at 13.5% alcohol) with fragrant and thick layers of exotic fruit, pineapple, creamy butter and sweet almond paste. The overall effect is round and opulent. The 2012 vintage was a hot one and this wine feels bolder and bigger as a result. Marisa Cuomo is one of the most important na ...Read More »
A unique blend of 85% verdicchio from the 2008 vintage, with 15% verdicchio coming from the 2000-2001-2002-2004 vintages. The result is a concentrated marriage of depth and balance, created to celebrate the 20th vintage of Mirum. From the producer: "Notes of caramelised apricot, passion fruit, and toasted almond on the nose introduce a palate with a perfect harmony of alcohol and acidity, tremendous intensity and rare persistence."
Raccaro was founded in 1928 when the current proprietor's grandfather originally set it up as their family farm. Wine slowly became the sole focus of their family endeavor as winemaking knowlege was accrued and their terroir asserted itself and demanded attention. Vigna del Rolàt is their flagship bottling, which is grown on a low-yielding cru first established in the 10th Century. The resulting wine is simultaneously elegant and robust... a testament to the distinction of this top white wine region. Made from 100% Tocai Friulano, the wine is fermented i... Read More »