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We LOVE Italian wine. There are several K&L staff members who have gone completely head over heels for this beautiful country and its wines. Our Italian buyer Greg St. Clair is one of the leading Italian wine authorities in the United States and based in our Redwood City store. View our selection below and start exploring the breadth of Italy's thousands of indigenous grape varieties, and the limitless flavors from these artist-winemakers.
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K&L Staff Recommendations
Wine Spectator: "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. Drink now through 2018. 1,400 cases imported." (6/2015)
92 points James Suckling: "So much fruit and richness for this appellation. Medium to full body, round and velvety tannins and a dried fruit, spice and light oak aftertaste. Drink now. Extremely well done." (10/2015) 91 points Wine Spectator: "Dusty tannins keep a tight grip on the cherry, tobacco and earth notes in this rich red. Offers flashes of ripe fruit early before turning lean and firm. Be patient or match with food for now. Shows a more rustic side of Rancia. Best from 2018 through 2030. (BS)" (6/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Chianti Colli Senesi delivers an easy approach and a very clean style. Some 200,000 bottles ...Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "*Top 100 Wines of 2014* The up-front mulberry and plum fruit is ripe and fleshy in this balanced red, with polished tannins. Notes of licorice string, graphite, tarry smoke and grilled mushroom push through midpalate and on the finish. Drink now through 2021. (AN)" (4/2014)
94 points Wine Spectator: "Licorice, cherry and tar notes mark this intense, chewy red, packed with sweet fruit midpalate that offsets the dense, dusty tannins. Shows fine integration and length, with the aftertaste echoing licorice, cherry, tar and mineral details. Best from 2019 through 2035." (7/2016) 92 points James Suckling: "A red with lots of ripe fruit such as plum, strawberry and leather both on the nose and palate. Full body, velvety tannins and a fresh finish. Drink or hold." (3/2016)
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)
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 »
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 Vinous: "Healthy full red. Deep aromas of blackberry, black cherry and mocha are complemented by balsamic nuances. Concentrated, sappy and savory, displaying saline nuances to the black cherry and plum flavors. Finishes with serious depth and the broad, polished tannins to support aging. (ID)" (1/2016) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Cannonau di Sardegna Costera hits all the right buttons. This is a steady and well presented red wine from the heart of the Mediterranean. It shows a high level of confidence and boldness with big, black cherry aromas followed by more subtle nuances of spice ...Read More »
93 points Decanter: "Bright ruby and transparent, yet you find yourself searching the glass for a skeleton, skate-wing bones of neatly structured and delicate tannins fanning out through the fruit. Fine, focused and extremely drinkable. Drink 2015-2022" (6/2015) 92 points James Suckling: "A beautiful red with delicate but rich flavors, bright acidity and an orange-peel undertone. Medium body with fine tannins and a fresh, clean, savory, salty finish. Very Burgundian. Pure Sangiovese. Drink now or hold." (10/2014) 17 points Jancis Robinson: "17++, Mid ruby with orange tinges. Exotically spiced nose with black tea leaves and sweet red ...Read More »
98 points James Suckling: "Aromas of blackberry, burnt orange, licorice and spice follow through to a full body, with super integrated and fine tannins plus a fabulous depth of fruit and center palate. This is a great wine. Drink in 2017." (7/2016)
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 »
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 »
97 points Vinous: "The 2012 Flaccianello della Pieve, a selection of the estate's best fruit, presents a darker, more virile expression of Sangiovese. Here, too, the purity of the flavors is truly striking. Cinnamon, cloves, new leather, licorice and plums are some of the notes that soar from the glass. The 2012 is full-bodied and voluptuous, in classic Flaccianello style, but the new French oak is much better integrated than it often is at this stage, the result of a move to lower toast levels over the last few years. This is one of the finest young Flaccianellos I can re ...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. 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 »
92 points James Suckling: "A rich and earthy red with orange peel and plum character. Full body and tangy with lots of jammy flavors. It becomes bright and fresh with air. Thoroughly delicious. Drink or hold." (1/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Campo di Marzo opens to smoky notes of ash and pencil shaving that segue slowly to dried cherry, savory spice and used leather. Give it a few minutes and the wine opens nicely to show blue flower, pressed violet and dark rose. The complexity on display is a pleasant surprise especially compared to the lackluster 2009 vintage. Il Valenti ...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.
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: Nerello Cappuccio – Nerello Mascalese is a blend of two very Sicilian grape varieties. Together... Read More »
This has been the #1 selling Italian wine for more than a decade 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.
92 points James Suckling: "Lots of vivid spice, meat and dark berry fruit. Full body, fine tannins and bright acidity. Better than the 2012." (8/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Tre is an informal blend of 80% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. This happy threesome offers bright fruit nuances with loads of cherry and dark fruit at the front. This is an easy-drinking red with a lean and crisp character that makes it an excellent pairing partner to pizza or cheesy pasta dishes. (ML)" (10/2015) Vinous: "Crushed flowers, sweet red berries, and gently spiced notes take shape in the 2013 Tre, a blend ...Read More »
97 points James Suckling: "Extremely complex aromas of mushroom, stone, chalk, dark fruit and lightly dried bark or tea. Full-bodied, with powerful, layered tannins. Muscular and intense. It needs loads of time to soften: better in 2017." (1/2015) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is a dense and voluptuous expression with opulent fruit tones and equally intense oak nuances. The wine ages in botte grande for 26 months and the slow oxidation has done much to increase the aromatic intensity of the wine. Bold and chewy with thick lines, this wine also shows tight wood astringency that sho ...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. Drink now." (10/2014) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Fragrant and fresh, this luminous wine opens with aromas of red berry, blueberr ...Read More »
Producer Note: "A classic wine for the entire meal, a wonderful accompainment to hams and young cold cuts, eggplant, fish dishes and white meats. The "Grigio" holds the second place in our production. The grapes, balanced and mature, offer a wine with Mediterranean hints of pear, peach and dried flowers. The taste of Pinot Grigio is fat and complex due to notes of melon, baked apple and tropical fruit, with hints of apricot. When young, it is a pleasant wine for its fresh and acid note."
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 »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The beautifully crafted 2010 Brunello di Montalcino opens to a gorgeous appearance that shows both intense ruby vitality and dark density. The bouquet offers subtle tones of black cherry, blackberry, spice and licorice that roll smoothly off the surface. Those tones are absolutely seamless in both execution and presentation. As the wine takes on more air in the glass, it begins to show spice, tobacco and chocolate adding opulence and decadent richness. It offers amazing flexibility that will appeal to those who appreciate both elegance and power in their ...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 »
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 »
It all began in 1897, when 23-year-old Luigi Einaudi (who was to become Italy’s first President in 1948) purchased the first of the Einaudi estates (poderi) at San Giacomo, near Dogliani, heart of Dolcetto country.
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 »
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 »
90 points James Suckling: "A very elegant, refined style of rosso with dried-cherry, lemon and citrus undertones. Medium to full body, bright acidity and a fruity finish. Delicate and bright." (10/2015)
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Sicilia Nero d'Avola Lamùri Tenuta Regaleali represents an impressive achievement. Grapes are sourced from vineyards between 450 and 750 meters above sea level and the wine is aged in mostly neutral oak (with 20% new oak) for one year. The high altitude vineyards have shaped the focused and linear aromas of wild berry and dried cherry. The wood regime has added delicate layers of carob seed and powdered chocolate. This is a very exciting vintage of Lamùri, thanks to its overall balance and intensity. (ML)" (12/2015) 91 points James Suckling: "A fruity, juicy red with dried- ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* Real Lambrusco is a rarity in this country, but here it is, purple hued, with just enough fizz to help cut through the fattiness of fine salume. It’s grapy and dry, with hints of anise and herbs that prevent it from being too simple." (12/2003) K&L Notes: Lambrusco is not part of the upper echelon of Italian wine. To begin with, it is not expensive. Also, it doesn't come from Tuscany or Piedmont or any of the well know wine-producing regions of Italy. It comes from Emilia-Romagna. And then there's the fact that it's red and sparking. Actually, foaming is c... 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 Spectator: "Cherry, plum, licorice and spice flavors play off the lush texture in this opulent red. The tannins offer support, but are well-integrated, leading to a long, balanced finish. (Web-2015) (BS)" 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From Podere Pietranera, the 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is a soft and perfumed expression that excels in consistency as it glides so smoothly over the senses. It shows dried cherry and cassis with good balance, finesse and class. The palate shows more firmness and grit with a pinch of sharp Sangiovese acidity on the close. (ML)" (2/2014) 90 points James Suckling: "A balanced wine with plums and ...Read More »
To plant Chardonnay in one of Barolo's most prestigious vineyards, "Bussia," was viewed as a rather heretical move back in 1982. But once you taste the results in today's wine, you can thank them. Fermentation in stainless steel with extended lees contact. The wine shows a forceful minerality and a long finish.
93 points Wine Spectator: "Menthol and eucalyptus notes shade the core of black cherry and plum in this broad, densely textured red. Balanced, in a powerful style, with dusty, mouthcoating tannins on the lingering finish. Needs grilled beef. Best from 2019 through 2032. (BS)" (5/2015) 92 points James Suckling: "Lots of dried citrus, meat and earthy aromas follow through to a full body, round tannins and a tangy fruit and juicy finish. A slightly dusty and austere texture but a generous and decadent Brunello. Better in 2015." (1/2015) 92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of ripe berry, cooking spice, tilled soil, truffle, leather and a balsa ...Read More »
96 points James Suckling: "I love the subtle aromas of rose petal, dark fruit and perfume that follow through to a full body, with fine tannins and a beautiful finish. It's very fine and pretty. Savory and delicate. Such finesse here. Drink or hold." (12/2014) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Bright, with cherry and raspberry flavors, edged by spice and a hint of wild herbs. Fresh and linear in profile, but lacks some complexity. Fine length. Best from 2017 through 2028. (BS)" (6/2015) Vinous: "Super-ripe black cherries, espresso, mocha, cloves, lavender, licorice and French oak are some of the notes that inform the estate's ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Just mid crimson. Opulent and sweet on the verge of being jammy. Lots of sweet strawberry fruit on the palate... this certainly has length. Easy going." (2/2015)
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 »
Sella & Mosca is a beautiful and historic winegrowing estate in Sardinia which places 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 this most traditional red Sardinian varietal. Aged for two years in oak casks prior to release, this aristocratic red will sustain a decade or more of aging.
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From the 6.25-hectare Rancia vineyard, the 2011 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia shows a more elaborate and stylized personality with ripe fruit tones, bursting cherry, perfumed violets and rose petal. Those floral notes add a feminine touch to what is in fact a wine of power and determination. It shows a beautiful evolution in the glass as well, with dusty mineral notes that add to the overall elegance of the dry, polished finish. This is one of the best Riservas of 2011. (ML)" (10/2014) 94 points Vinous: "94+: A wine of incredible density, the 2011 Chianti Classico Riserva ...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%
92 points James Suckling: "A silky and soft-textured red with lots of fruit and tannins. Full-bodied, fresh and bright. Needs a year or two to soften. Excellent. Second wine of Luce." (8/2015) Wine Spectator: "A polished red, sporting black cherry, plum, spice and tar flavors. Firm, with cedar and spice details and dusty tannins on the finish. (Web-2015) (BS)"
Terre da Vino's La Lune e I Falò Barbera d'Asti comes from a variety of vineyards with varying soils and microclimates located between the towns of Nizza Monferrato and Agliano Terme. Aged in one-third new oak barrels for a year, this is an intense, purple-fruited Barbera with anise and vanilla spice that carries from the bouquet to the palate. Soft on the palate, with lots of fruit and integrated spice, finishing long.
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)
In 2006, Decanter magazine profiled Paolo Caciorgna, son of Tuscan winemaker Pietro Caciorgna, in an article about trailblazing Italians using native grapes: "In late 2004 Caciorgna set up on his own. There were offers both from big industrial wineries looking for help in defining their wines’ styles, and from the smaller family-driven estates that Paolo has always felt an affinity for. ‘Planting a vineyard means putting down roots: where you plant, you live,’ he says, with his softly inflected Tuscan directness. ‘Italy’s patrimony is its vineyards, vine... Read More »