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K&L Staff Recommendations
2011 Antinori "Solaia" Toscana $219.99
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Dolcetto d’Alba Bricco dell’Oriolo shows great attention to detail with tones of wet earth and red beet that are offset by vibrant cherry and cassis. The wine is true to the varietal characteristics of the grape and shows a soothing, silky texture as well. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2016. (ML)" (6/2013)
91 points James Suckling: "This is a soft and fruity red with dried berries and hints of fruit cake. Full body, ripe tannins and a delicious finish. An opulent and pleasing wine." (12/2013) Wine Spectator: "Integrated mocha and tar accents enrich dark plum, black licorice and olive paste notes in this elegant red, structured by fine tannins and juicy acidity. Drink now through 2018." (12/2013)
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright red. Fragrant aromas of red cherry, minerals and flowers. Then bright and fresh on the palate, with pure red berry and cherry flavors that last and last on the clean, smooth finish. Zippy acidity and lingering minerality give this wine added punch. A traditionally styled, well-made Rosso di Montalcino." (10/2013) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: Dark red ruby with garnet red shades. Ethereal smell and intense complex bouquet. Full bodied with poweful structure and balanced tannins. Perfect with typical Tuscan dishes such as pappardelle, polenta, salami, seaso... Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "A pretty red, elegant and detailed, evoking flowers, strawberry, raspberry and white pepper aromas and flavors. This is very harmonious, with the structure and length to develop well. Drink now through 2020." (2/2014) K&L Notes: From the winery: "The Langhe DOC Nebbiolo is produced from the youngest vines, 20 years old on average, located part in Castiglione Falletto and part in Serralunga d'Alba. All the sites have a south and south-west exposure and the vines could be destined to the production of Nebbiolo for Barolo. Every year, however, Luigi uses these grapes no... Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Chianti Classico is absolutely impressive and is one of the best base Chianti Classicos I have tasted from 2011. You feel the ripeness and heat of the vintage, but this wine also delivers surprising finesse and complexity. Black cherry and baking spice mingle on the bouquet. Soft tannins wrap around the palate. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025. (ML)" (8/2013)90 points Antonio Galloni: "Readers on a budget will delight in Felsina's 2011 Chianti Classico. Supple, resonant and beautifully expressive, the 2011 is a clear overachiever. The style is a little juicier than in most v ...Read More »
The Tralivio is made in a clean crisp style from some of Sartarelli's oldest vines. Antonio Galloni says, "When the mood strikes for Verdicchio, Sartarelli is often one of my go-to houses. The wines are loaded with varietal character, while the different bottlings are usually nicely differentiated and articulated."
Wine Spectator: "Balanced, featuring a core of black cherry, aromatic herb, crème de cassis and wild strawberry fruit, with hints of gumdrop and smoke. Fresh. (Web-2013)" K&L Notes: Verona is a city with history, culture and excitement all wrapped into one. The province of Veneto, in fact, is surrounded by attractions and theme parks, to meet the desires of all, couples, families and groups of friends. We say this because if you like this wine, you can stay at the property. Musella is an historic estate on the northeast outskirts of Verona, just 15 minutes drive from the centre. Hugh... Read More »
95 points James Suckling: "The blackberry, currant, nutmeg and chocolate aromas follow through to a full body, with velvety tannins and lots of savory fruit. Some balsamic and citrus fruit underneath it all. Needs a little time to soften. Pure sangiovese. From organically grown grapes. Better in 2016." (9/2014)95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Flaccianello della Pieve is 100% Sangiovese aged 24 months in new French oak and two months in large oak cask. I’m not sure how Fontodi does it, but this edition of Flaccianello is simply beautiful. It is a seamless expression with lingering tones of red cherry, coff ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Salento is a stones throw away from the Adriatic Sea. You get a hint of that salinity in this Primitivo and a lot of sunshine. The dark brooding fruit and milk chocolate will lure you in and coat your mouth with brandied cherries, mulberry jam, ginger and tobacco. An intense wine likes intense food. Pasta with wild boar ragu, pork stew, tripe, fire roasted beef, rich tomato sauce. This wine received award at Gambero Rosso, one of the highest regarded Italian wine festivals in the world.
Jancis Robinson: "Magliocco. Deep ruby with the beginning of orange on the nose. Pretty nose of oak and leafy fruit and already a little mature. Still a bit closed on the fruit on the palate and the tannins and acidity make it a little austere. Long perfumed finish with hints of oak. (WS)" (10/2013) K&L Notes: The 2011 Cantine Viola Rosso is 100% Magliocco from Calabria, and sees no wood aging at all, just fermentation in stainless steel and then bottle age. The wine’s aromatics are untamed; it smells of wild brush and roasted meats and while those aromatics are profound they seem to ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "This is a creamy and very well-executed blend of Chardonnay and Ribolla Gialla that opens with exciting aromas of stone fruit, citrus and honey, plus tiny touches of candy and butterscotch (a common aromatic characteristic of Ribolla Gialla)." (12/2012) Wine Spectator: "A crisp white, with a smoky base and hints of yellow apple, star fruit and almond. Tangy finish. Chardonnay and Ribolla Gialla. (Web-2013)" K&L Notes: This blend of 65% Chardonnay and 35% Ribolla Gialla is light, crisp, and citrusy with great minerality. An outstanding value!
Sandro Fay has been producing wines in Valtellina for the past 40 years, and is dedicated to single-vineyard expressions of this unique and historic terroir. Upriver from Lake Como, near the Swiss border, the Valtellina DOCG sits in a narrow valley that runs east/west at the base of the alps, which protect its sunny climate. The signature grape is Nebbiolo, known locally as Chiavennasca. Fay's Costa Bassa vineyard is located in the village of Teglio, designated as "Valtellina Superiore," one of the finest terroirs in the appellation. In this cooler, sub-... Read More »
Anna Maria Abbona is a Dolcetto specialist in Dolgiani, a sub-region of Piedmont where Dolcetto is the star, not content to play backup to Nebbiolo or Barbera. All of the best sites in the area are planted to Dolcetto, producing wines that are deep, concentrated and complex. Abbona uses micro-oxygenation, oak and picking for phenolic ripeness to keep Dolcetto's aggressive tannins in check.
97 points James Suckling: "Glass-staining, with plum, hints of anise, red flowers, gravel and dark olive. Layered, complex and hard to resist. Full-bodied. Perfectly integrated, melted tannins. A real triumph. Greatest Lagrein out there. Drink now." (10/2014) K&L Notes: #10 James Suckling's Top 100 Italian Wines of 2014; November 11th, 2014. Named for the bedrock on which the vineyards stand, this Prophyr bottling is 100% Lagrein selected from three different parcels of vineyard which are all nearly 100 years old. The grapes were manually harvested and again hand-sorted before being slowly fe... Read More »
95 points James Suckling: "Captivating aromas of blueberries, raspberries, violets and orange peel. Full body with crazy tannins." (9/2013)94 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2011 Giorgio Primo is just as beautiful today as it was last year, even if it has barely budged since then. Blackberry jam, spices, licorice, smoke and new leather meld together in a seamless voluptuous wine endowed with superb depth and pure textural richness. The oak still needs time to integrate, but there is a lot to look forward to here." (9/2014)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Giorgio Primo is the latest edition of one of my favorite Tuscan blends. Cabernet S ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A beautiful red with plums, flowers and hints of cedar. Full body, round tannins and a fresh finish. Balanced and delicious. Drink now." (9/2013)91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright medium red. Deep, penetrating aromas of red cherry, raspberry, crushed blackcurrant, violet and minerals. Silky and pure, with harmonious acidity providing focus and precision to the ripe, sweet raspberry and currant flavors. Finishes with lovely perfume, polished tannins and a sweet note of maraschino cherry. One of the finest entry-level Chianti Classicos of 2011." (9/2014)90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This structured wine opens w ...Read More »
92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright red. Captivating, extremely intense aromas of flinty red cherry and raspberry, lifted by violet and mineral notes. Sappy, floral fruit shows lovely sweetness and energy thanks to well-integrated acidity and spicy mineral lift. Dense, chewy and saline on the brisk finish, featuring youthful, building tannins. Made from vines between 75 and 100 years of age, this is a star in the making--a truly great Passopisciaro and the best wine in this year's releases of Sicilian wines from the talented Andrea Franchetti. 92(+?) points." (3/2014)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Pas ...Read More »
This classic blend of 40% Corvina, 20% Corvinone, 20% Rondinella and 20% other grapes, including Molinara, Dindarella and Croatina from Valpolicella. A low-alcohol red, as the winery describes it: "Its deep ruby red colour, the fruity flavour that reminds us of cherries, wild cherries and plums, its pleasant sapid and harmonious taste, gives us the opportunity of defining this wine as being modern, youthful and ready to drink."
94 points James Suckling: "Wonderful aromas of freshly sliced coastal rosemary and currants follow through to a full body, with integrated tannins and a fine finish. This shows so much finesse and beauty. But there is a solid backbone of tannins and length. Reminds me of some of the underrated Sass of the 1980s such as 1982, 1983 or 1987. Try after 2018." (5/2014)94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas suggest blackberry, cedar and Mediterranean scrub. On the palate, notes of tobacco, licorice, exotic spice and cranberry accent the juicy black-cherry core. It’s well balanced and elegant, with silky tannins. Drink ...Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A gorgeous wine, the 2011 Bolgheri Rosso Le Serre Nuovo dell-Ornellaia (57% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petit Verdot and 12% Cabernet Franc) opens with an inky dark, almost impenetrable appearance and beautifully chiseled - but abundantly intense - aromas of blackberry, dried cherry, rum cake, leather, moist pipe tobacco and chewy black licorice. The balance and harmony are seductive and impressive and the wine lasts many long seconds on the palate. Noticeable tannic backbone gives us hope in its cellar potential. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025. ...Read More »
40% Refosco, 40% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.
According to Wine Advocate: "Poderi San Lazzaro is one of my very favorite estates in the Marche. The wines are rich, layered and always loaded with personality." (2/2013)
93 points James Suckling: "A new wine from the estate of Nipozzano with pretty blueberry and light vanilla character. Full-bodied, chewy and rich with a long, lightly austere finish. Wonderful depth of fruit. From the oldest vines on the property and aged 24 months in barrel. Needs a year or two more of bottle age to soften: Drink in 2016." (10/2014)93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Dark red. Refined aromas of dark red cherry, blackcurrant, lavender, sage, rosemary and tobacco on the multidimensional nose. Textured, pure and classy, with very long, mineral-driven dark red berry and cherry flavors framed by noble, s ...Read More »
98 points James Suckling: "This smells like great Burgundy with strawberry, flowers and hints of incense. Full body with wonderful, ultra-refined tannins and amazing depth and length. So layered and so fine. It goes on for minutes. Magical red. Better in 2017." (10/2014)
96 points Antonio Galloni: "Blackberry jam, cassis, grilled herbs and melted road tar meld together in the 2011 Solaia. Another super-exotic, racy 2011 from Antinori, Solaia is supremely beautiful. Mocha, espresso and sage are some of the many notes that add complexity. Hints of white truffle, lavender, smoke and licorice are laced into the exotic, racy finish. In 2011, Solaia has a dollop more of Cabernet Franc in the blend, added to give the wine a touch of freshness. Ripe and flashy to the core, the 2011 needs time to lose some of its youthful exuberance. At times, the 2011 coul ...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."
94 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2011 Carbonaione is another gorgeous wine in a line of successful vintages that goes all the way back to 1992. Blackberry jam, cloves, menthol, licorice, new leather and sweet spices flesh out in a voluptuous, racy wine that beautifully expresses the personality of the vintage. Today, the 2011 is rich, layered and voluptuous to the core. It is also incredibly primary. Readers who want to experience the 2011 in its full glory will have to wait at least a few years, but there is little question the 2011 is a worthy follow up to the epic 2010." (9/2014)94 points James Suckling: "W ...Read More »
Antonio Galloni: "The 2011 Barolo Castiglione is an excellent choice for drinking over the next decade or so. Open and resonant in the glass, the 2011 captures all the raciness of the years in its expressive red-toned fruit. Sweet spices, flowers and mint add attractive overtones. Today, the Castiglione appears to be showing some ill effects from its recent bottling, something I am seeing for the first time in the 2011." (3/2015) Jancis Robinson: "Pale ruby with orange tinges. Classic Nebbiolo nose yet closed and with the merest hint of oak. Compact and fresh fruit on the palate with a prope ...Read More »
97 points Antonio Galloni: "A vivid, beautiful wine, the 2011 Pergole Torte is superb. Warm, early-maturing harvests often attenuate the differences between sites, but not here. The old vines weathered the heat better, resulting in a wine that is very much in line with the past, but with more body, amplitude and resonance. Rose petals, bright red stone fruits and mint are some of the many notes that grace the super-expressive finish. The 2011 spent one year in French oak barrels and a second year in cask." (9/2014)95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Le Pergole Torte is a stunning expression from the heart of ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Here's a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend from cntral Italy's Lazio. It's self-described by the winery as "a red wine with an intense ruby color and bold and persistent aromas that recall black fruits like blackberry and blueberry, accompanied by scents of spice and an elegant vanilla note, along with an austere one from bottle aging. The mouthfeel is balanced, persistent and quite elegant."
95 points Antonio Galloni: "Kirsch, rose petal, pomegranate, exotic spices and mint are woven together in a fabric of notable class in the 2011 Tignanello. An exotic wine that captures the essence of the year, the 2011 is endowed with magnificent complexity, nuance and class. The silky, polished finish makes the 2011 incredibly appealing today, but the wines from this site have always aged very well. The 2011 is going to need time to shed some of its baby fat, but it will always remain extroverted and racy to the core. I can't wait to see how the 2011 ages. (AG)" (9/2014)95 points James Suckling: "Ruby, rose, ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Terre di Balbia is a small estate in Altomonte, a small village in Calabria--the toe of the Italian boot. The 52-hectare estate is a collaboration between famed Friulian winemaker Gianni Venic and importer Silvio Caputo, a native Calabrian. The pair produce just two wines focused on utilizing indigenous grapes, though they have to have the grapes transported up to Venica in Friuli because there was too much red tape involved in opening a winery in Calabria (oh, Italian bureaucracy). This, the Balbium, is made entirely of Magliocco, and is wonderfully sur... Read More »
Mocali is based in the hills of Montalcino, in a place called Tavernelle, and is perhaps better known for their classic Brunello. The "I Piaggioni" is a more New World style of wine made entirely from Sangiovese aged for eight months in a combination of new, one-year-old and two-year-old tonneaux. Ruby-hued, with dark red fruit, cocoa powder and vanilla accents, plus a touch of anise on the finish.
Decanter World Wine Awards 2014 Commended this red, describing it as having "fleshy jammy red fruit on the nose. The palate of red fruit is rich supple and prolonged."
The Santoleri vineyards date back to 1968, though the same family has been farming the property since 600! Located at the base of the 2,000 foot Maiella Mountain in the Appenines. Its altitude and proximity to the Adriatic Sea are ideally suited for growing grapes. The vineyards are farmed without the use of pesticides, mineral fertilizers and other invasive products. From the importer: "Ruby red robe with violet hues. Intense aromas with notes of black cherry, balsamic and licorice. Fresh and vigorous on the palate, typical of a young Montepulciano, wit... Read More »
The Mirum is a big league wine. The level of flavor saturation, power, density and age-ability is remarkable. Mirum is harvested the third or fourth week in October, assuring the maximum amount of flavor, focus and richness on the palate, all coming together in a focused, textured, seamless experience. The wine is fermented in stainless steel for 20 days and then remains there for 18 months sur lie. (Greg St. Clair, K&L Italian wine buyer)
"I Perazzi" is a primarily unoaked blend of 85% Morellino (the local name for Sangiovese in Maremma), 5% Syrah, 5% Alicante, 2% Colorino, and 3% Ciliegiolo. The objective here is simple: pure fruit aromas and flavors uninhibited by oak influences in order to acheive a clear, honest expression of terroir in an ultimately juicy, balanced and food-friendly wine with a sublte hint of natural spice. The name "I Perazzi" comes from the fruit trees that grow on the estate that bear the pear-like fruit represented on the label.
Inventory: San Francisco
95 points Antonio Galloni: "Another gorgeous wine, the 2011 La Ricolma wraps around the palate with fabulous depth and richness. Dark red and black-toned fruit, cloves, menthol, spices and licorice meld together in a supple, radiant wine endowed with notable depth and nuance. Lavender, jasmine and a host of floral notes add gorgeous perfume on the finish. Of all the San Giusto wines, Ricolma seems to get the least attention, but it can be superb, as it is again in 2011." (9/2014)94 points Wine Spectator: "A cool reserve lends a fresh feel to the pure cherry and blackberry flavors in this dense red. Taut, focu ...Read More »
93 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2011 Chianti Classico Riserva Le Baroncole is a great example of the year. Dark red and black fruit, smoke, tobacco and licorice wrap around the palate in a racy, voluptuous Chianti loaded with pure class and pedigree. Hints of game, tobacco and cedar add nuance on the finish. (AG)" (9/2014)92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good bright medium red. Pungent, wild aromas of redcurrant, sweet spices, underbrush and flint. Silky and fine-grained, with heady minerality and floral character energizing the redcurrant and dark red cherry flavors. Finishes with suave tannins, noteworthy intensi ...Read More »