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K&L Staff Recommendations
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "**Editors' Choice** Earthy aromas recall tilled soil, game and truffle. The dense, juicy palate delivers crushed black cherry, black pepper and clove alongside velvety tannins. It's forward and friendly; drink now for the succulent fruit flavors." (10/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Tight and linear, the 2012 Rosso di Montalcino shows a somewhat unusual personality for the more structured and generous 2012 vintage. Giovanni Ciacci and his family have set forth to present an approachable and food-friendly Rosso that very accurately captures the spirit of Montalcino’s second most imp ...Read More »
Terre da Vino's La Lune e I Falò Barbera d'Asti comes from a variety of vineyards with varying soils and aspects, 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.
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. The ruby color introduces a nose marked by violet and spice which reverberate on the palate with ... Read More »
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good deep red with ruby highlights. Expressive aromas of raspberry, violet and tea leaf on the perfumed, Sangiovese-dominated nose. Dense and sweet, boasting lovely depth and plenty of framing energy to its blueberry and sour red cherry flavors. Building but polished tannins coat the palate on the long, bright finish. Very impressive Montefalco Rosso." (3/2013)90 points Wine Enthusiast: "The entire line-up from Arnaldo Caprai has been very successful this year. This blend of Sangiovese, Sagrantino and Merlot delivers a smooth mouthfeel and ripe fruit flavors, with background tone ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Made with organic grapes, this fruity blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo/Colorino begins with aromas of ripe red berries, spice and espresso. The dense palate delivers fleshy black cherry, black pepper and balsamic herbs supported by youthfully aggressive, chewy tannins. Drink 2015-2020." (4/2014)
93 points James Suckling: "A fresh, clean red with balsamic and chocolate character, plus fresh cherry. Full body, firm tannins and a juicy finish. Ripe, generous fruit. Always outstanding from here. A polished Super Tuscan. Drink or hold." (10/2014)93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Giampaolo Motta’s 2012 La Massa wraps clean around the palate, imparting sassy tones of Mexican spice, tobacco and dark berry fruit. The blend is 60% Sangiovese with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Alicante. The wine shows luscious dark concentration with equal billing to both the dark fruity component of the wine and its spicy, oak-driv ...Read More »
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)
91 points James Suckling: "Lots of blueberry and toasted oak character with vanilla undertones. Full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. The new wood and ripe fruit needs to come together still. Try in 2014." (11/2013)90 points Antonio Galloni: "Firm tannins support an expressive core of dark red/blue fruits in the 2010 Chianti Classico Riserva. The aromas and flavors are bright, delineated and nuanced. Readers should give the wine another 6-12 months in the cellar for the tannins to soften, but this is already an impressive Chianti that should drink well for another handful of years. Hints of tobacco, und ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A tangy and lively red with plums, berries and chocolate. Full body and lovely fruit. Very well-made and delicious now." (11/2013) K&L Notes: A delightful blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot, this delicious, approachable red is aged 14 months in two and three year-old barrels. Pride and care is taken to reduce yields in order to produce an excellently concentrated wine.
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Bisceglia’s 2008 Aglianico del Vulture Gudarra is one of the very best wines readers will find in this price range. Layers of expressive dark fruit cover every inch of the palate in a vivid, textured Aglianico that impresses from start to finish. Hints of mocha, grilled herbs and rosemary add complexity over time. The dazzling, racy Gudarra is best enjoyed over the next few years. It is another superb value. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018. (AG)" (2/2013) Wine Enthusiast: "This is a generous and powerful expression of Aglianico, with angular edges, tight tannins and a lasti ...Read More »
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)
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 »
A second label of Valle dell'Acate, 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 reflective of the philosophy of the estate, all at an affordable price. Made from 100% Nero d'Avola grapes grown in medi... 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.
From some of the best vineyards in the Barbaresco DOC, this is a delightful rendition of Nebbiolo. From the winery: "Ruby-red shading to garnet. Very intense and forward, with scents of violets, redcurrants, strawberry and vanilla. Rich and generous in the mouth, soft, with a light vein of tannin over violets, and a lingering finish."
90 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2013 Chardonnay Pomino Bianco is a gorgeous, bright wine from Frescobaldi's Castello di Pomino. Lemon, jasmine, and sweet white peaches are some of the notes that emerge from an effortless, impeccably balanced wine. A dollop of aromatic varieties adds texture and attractive floral overtones. This is a fabulous value from Frescobaldi. (Antonio Galloni)" (1/2015)90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright pale straw. Lemon, white peach and jasmine on the knockout nose, with an enticing spicy nuance emerging at the back. Fresh and pure in the mouth, offering a lovely fruit/acid balance and ...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 »
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.
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)
I really love this variety for its scintillating aromatics, Nero di Troia, is an indigenous grape from Puglia, the heel of the Italian peninsula. The Arrocco is special, lilting, inviting, and lingering with a higher tone to it rather than just simple fruit. This wine's perfume is full of delicate veils of wildness, stem, spice and earth subtly layered in behind the smooth palate richness. No wood aging only stainless steel yet on the palate the wine is luxuriant, supple yet portends power, depth and significant weight yet with only 12.5% alcohol leve... Read More »
Giovanni Blason and his consulting enologist Andrea Rossi have turned this 37-acre property into a juggernaut of affordable quality wines. Giovanni and his wife Valentina own this winery in Gradisca d’Inzonzo, 3.75 miles from the Slovenian border and about 20 miles north of Trieste. This white offers such intense floral aromatics, with, jasmine, elderflowers, and lime blossoms, you'd guess that there would be some correlating sweetness on the palate, but this one from Blason is absolutely dry. Great with cheese!
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
Wine Spectator: "Light-bodied, with a zesty base driving modest notes of green melon, salted almond and pink grapefruit. (Web-2014)" K&L Notes: Pure crystaline fruit with a tautness and elegance that reminds me of great Gruner Veltliner from the Wachau, this is a lot of wine for the price tag. If there was every a region to gauge the incredible transformation of Italian wine from plonk to among the world's best, Soave would be right up near the top, and the Soave of Ca Rugate is a stellar example of why.
This is 100% Sangiovese that will remind you of sitting in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, having a simple glass of red wine and a plate of pasta while watching the world go by. The fresh, bright Sangiovese character goes particularly well with a simple Aglio e Olio pasta (that's garlic and oil) with a whisper of crushed red pepper and a bit of Parmigiano Reggiano sprinkled across the top. Bargain priced, easy to drink and filled with memories (or fantasies). (Greg St. Clair, K&L Italian wine buyer)
93 points James Suckling: "Fabulously dense and flavorful. Aromas of sliced green pears and lemons follow through to a full body with a rich and tangy aftertaste. I like the lemon grass and herb undertones. Flinty too. A blend of pinot blanc, chardonnay and sauvignon banc. Drink now." (7/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "A blend of 60% Pinot Bianco, 30% Chardonnay and 10% Sauvignon, this reveals a fragrance of white flowers and tree fruit. The juicy palate delivers white peach, yellow apple and a mineral note alongside fresh acidity." (6/2014)
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)
Allura 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.
Poderi San Lazzaro is a 15 hectare, organically-farmed estate in the Marche, located between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea. This lovely and wonderfully affordable Sangiovese shows hints of smoke to complement the floral, cherry-inflected nose. The fruit is clean on the palate, which is medium-bodied, with good acidity, soft tannins and a vein of minerality. Great for pasta night.
La Monacesca’s idea for this wine is for a crisp white, fresh and vibrant and the perfect accompaniment to the Marche’s seafood bounty, especially shellfish. The grapes are harvested in the early part of September and then aged for a year in stainless before the wine is bottled. The wine has a super focus, bright and clean with an underlying mineral presence and a long finish. Decant this wine an hour or so, to allow it to open up a bit. Enjoy with your favorite seafood!
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 »
This is always one of the most popular Italian whites at K&L. Made entirely from Vermentino from the Gallura Highlands on the island of Sardenia. 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 natural pairing with seafood. Don't miss.
94 points James Suckling: "Very perfumed with flower, truffle, light wet earth and cherry character. Full body and full integrated ripe tannins and caresses your palate. Very fine and pretty. Slight soya undertone. Succulent and enticing. You want to drink this. Better in 2016." (1/2015)94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino represents a return to the traditional values of Montalcino. The bouquet is buoyant and bright with lingering tones of smoke, ash, balsam herb, licorice and soy sauce. Those kinds of aromas make Brunello such a wonderful wine and thankfully you get them in abundance h ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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, it is a dry sparkler to enjoy over the next 1-2 years." (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, ...Read More »
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 »
Inventory: San Francisco
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.
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."
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Spicy and super zesty in the mouth, the 2013 Vermentino di Gallura Superiore Sciala is redolent of white flower, peach jasmine and dried ginger. Vermentino sometimes has a sage-like edginess and this wine delivers that quality in spades. If you like crisp whites to pair with fried fish, this is a perfect choice. The wine rests on its lees for five months with battonage and this process helps to add dimension and thickness on the finish. (ML)" (12/2014)
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 »
Bricco della Ciliegie is a70-year-old vineyard in Piedmont that used to be dedicated to cherry cultivation. Its sandy soils are dotted with calcareous strips, which combines with the altitude and unceasing wind, makes it the perfect place for growing Arneis. Unsurprisingly, the wine that comes from here is stunning. Floral, with notes of apple and pear and intense minerality.
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 »
94 points Antonio Galloni: "La Lecciaia's 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is beautifully layered in the glass, with gorgeous intrigue, depth and personality all on full display. There is a sense of translucent finesse in the 2010 that is impossible to miss. Sweet red cherry, stone fruit, mint and wild flowers all grace the exquisite finish. What a pretty wine this is." (2/2015)92 points James Suckling: "This shows so much ripe fruit that it verges on being Port-like in the nose. Full body, with lots of fruit and soft and velvety tannins. This will please so many drinkers that love fruit forward wines. Yet it rema ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Old-vine, hillside vineyard Lambrusco = Serious Fun! This is a magnificent wine: dry, slightly fizzy with just a mess of purple froth. We are pretty confident it will be amongst the most exciting wines you've tried in a while! A perfect match for simple BBQ chicken and burgers or slices of Mortadella and Parmigiano. Some would even venture to suggest a batch of Lasagne!
From the Collio DOC on Italy's border with Slovenia, Venica is one of the region's most well-known and respected estates. Jesera actually means "little lake" in Slovenian, named for where the vineyard sits at the bottom of a cool valley. From the winey: "The natural copper color extracted with maceration is the signature of this wine and its richness reminiscent of williams pear, banana, and acacia flowers wrapped in a slight scent of fresh apricot. Intriguing taste with pleasant flavors of pear syrup and quince peels. Good acid/alcohol balance with a lo... Read More »