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K&L Staff Recommendations
2010 Cantine Ascheri Barolo $25.99
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.
Matteo Ascheri is in charge of a vibrant wine cellar and is producing really complex and interesting wines for excellent price points. The winery has been in his family and making wine since 1880 but really blossomed upon Matteo taking the reins. This 2010 Barolo is a blend of three different Barolo communes 50% comes from Serralunga d'Alba where the most powerful wines are made and blended with 40% from La Morra and 10% from Verduno where high tone aromatics add a top end to the wine. This Barolo is made with 100% Nebbiolo, was harvested in mid October... 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)
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 »
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."
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 »
100% Cortese, floral and fruity, but crisp on dry on the palate.
Inventory: San Francisco
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.
96 points Antonio Galloni: "Another dazzling wine, the 2010 Barolo Le Coste races across the palate with bright red cherry, plum, spice, hard candy, mint and rose petal overtones. The Le Coste is a bit more primary, perfumed, sweet and pliant-especially through the mid-palate than the San Giuseppe. Sinewy, powerful and tannic, the Le Coste is what traditionally made Barolo is all about. The 2010 spent three years in cask." (9/2014)94 points Wine Spectator: "Cherry, floral, tar, iron and mineral aromas and flavors mark this red, which is savory and fruity in equal measure. The sweet fruit is balanced by seriou ...Read More »
94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good medium red. Less expressive on the nose than the Briccotto, hinting at ripe, musky plum, black raspberry, menthol and tobacco. Then smooth and sweet in the mouth, but with terrific energy keeping the red fruit and tobacco flavors fresh and primary. Sweeter and more elegant in style than the 2009, but this fine-grained, firmly tannic wine really shut down in the glass. Outstanding potential here." (12/2013)93 points James Suckling: "A solid wine for the vintage with pretty fruit such as cherry and plum, as well as a light minerality. Full body with chewy tannins and a polis ...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 pretty green-gold color, this refreshing white combines crisp acidity with a full, rich floral nose. A lovely Gavi di Gavi perfect for sipping with scallops.
The Castello di Verduno, owned by Gabriella Burlotto and Franco Bianco, is a beautiful old building at the top of the village of Verduno, on the edge of the Barolo zone. The Castello di Verduno wine label unites two cellars, one under the castle in the Barolo zone and the other near the famous 'cru' Rabajà, in the Barbaresco area. Wines are produced in Barbaresco and bottled and stored in Verduno. Grapes for Verduno's Langhe Nebbiolo bottling come from the Faset and Rabajà vineyards in Barbaresco. The wine is aged for 2 months in large casks and 6 months... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
This 100% Nebbiolo bottling from Schiavenza is sourced from plots in the village of Serralunga d'Alba. So yes, this under-$20 bottle is declassified Barolo that was vinified to drink at a young age. The wine spent one year in steel tanks before bottling, upon which time it was bottle-aged for another year before release.
Grown on part of the Prevostura hill, from a typical northern Piedmont blend of varieties Nebbiolo (70%), Vespolina (20%) and Croatina (10%). The soils here are 35% old marine sand, 25% clay and 40% silt, and they are acidic; the grapes are picked typically in early October, and the wine is fermented in stainless steel with a fairly long maceration (18 days after the end of fermentation). The wine is aged in small barrels (not new) for 21 months before bottling. In effect this is declassified Lessona with a little Croatina added, so the flavors tend towa... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Here’s a fantastic addition to your cellar collection of Barolos. Gianfranco Alessandria’s San Giovanni Barolo is at the top of its class. The wine is elegant and ethereal with dark, spicy concentration and loads of pulpy fruit, licorice, ginger, cola and leather. Open this bottle in ten years or so." (12/2010)92 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2006 Barolo San Giovanni sparkles on the palate with plenty of violets, spices, blackberries and mint in an elegant, firm style. The 2006 doesn't appear to be one of the more massive vintages of this bottling, instead the wine convinces with its ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This straightforward, inviting Barolo boasts classic Nebbiolo aromas of rose, leather, berry spice and tilled earth. It’s not loaded with complexity, but the sour cherry, black pepper and clove flavors are delicious. It closes on a note of subtle oak alongside a drying, tannic finish. — K.O." (10/2014)
A lovely Brachetto that enchants with a delicate, rosy hue. Its nose is intensely floral--violets, rose petal and geranium--with raspberry undertones that keep it from smelling like grandma's perfume. Served cool, the palate has rose-inflected and raspberry fruit and delightful freshness.
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.
98 points James Suckling: "Wow. Great aromas of plums, cedar, chocolate and spices. Tar too. Full body, soft and round tannins and a long, long finish. Exceptional. Best wine ever from Oberto? Better in 2018." (4/2014)92 points Antonio Galloni: "Dark plum, spice, menthol and cloves flesh out in the 2010 Barolo Vigneto Brunate. This is a supple, relatively approachable style for Brunate, even if the firm young Barolo tannins kick in on the laced finish. Violets, lavender, purple fruit and sweet spices add the closing notes of complexity. I would hold the 2010 for another few years, which should allow the eleme ...Read More »
The Germano winery is a few hundred yards north of Serralunga. Sergio Germano is typical of the new generation of producers in the Langhe; after completing six years of study at the school of enology in Alba he made wine for a few years at Fontanafredda, one of the largest wineries in the area, before returning to the family winery in 1993. This is 100% Nebbiolo, as are Germano's stellar Barolos. But this is from just outside the zone. It is pure and driven as the snows that sit on these vineyards each winter. Roses, tar, black fruits, earth and a firm t... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Delicious pink wine, some of the first Nebbiolo rosé of the season. Pink like a perfect spring sunset. Pink like...an earthworm. Indeed, Proprietà Sperino, located in the historic district of Ori in northern Piedmont, also produces worm cast humus in its own production facility. Utilizing millions of Californian red earthworms, the facility produces a rich, organic humus full of microorganisms that make for a holistic and innovative approach to the use of fertilizer. The result of this intercontinental nexus of New World worms and Old World Nebbiolo know... Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Monforte d’Alba. Quite deep ruby with narrow orange rim – oak? Very closed and reluctant on the nose, with only a hint of bacon. Succulent fruit with a muscular tannic structure and multilayered finish, but not nearly ready. (17/20)" (6/2014) K&L Notes: Started by Angelo Germano in 1908, this estate has been run by the fourth generation of Germanos--Davide--since the 1990s.
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 »
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 »
96 points James Suckling: "What gorgeous aromas of sliced strawberries and flowers. Full body, with silky tannins and a fabulous intensity. Such incredible depth and length. Best ever from here. A small producer you should know. Better in 2016." (4/2014)93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Loaded with finesse, this vibrant, structured Barolo boasts an alluring fragrance of ripe red berry, violet, rose, and cinnamon. The bright palate delivers concentrated black cherry, raspberry, baking spices and balsamic notes supported by youth ful but refined tannins. It’s already accessible but will be better after 2020. KO ...Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "This alluring red shows precise balance, allowing the cherry, raspberry and floral flavors to mesh seamlessly with the supple texture and refined structure. Excellent length. Drink now through 2017. (Web only 2014)"
97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2004 Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra sweeps across the palate with stunning depth and expansiveness in its dark cherries, menthol, spices, chocolate and sweet toasted oak. It offers exceptional length and delineation, with a note of freshness that provides lift on the close. It is a profound effort from Domenico Clerico. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2024. (AG)" (12/2007)94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Deep red-ruby. Complex but youthfully reticent aromas of raspberry, loam, rose petal, graphite, mint and tobacco. Rich, fat, chewy and quite dry, with compelling density and breadth and te ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
Fresh, low-alcohol 5.5%, semi sparkling, sweet, red wine! Serve chilled this super refreshing and easy to drink Piemontese wine made predominantly from Brachetto grapes in the tiny town of Santo Stefano Belbo will charm the pants off you. Buy two - you won't be able to resist. This wine is produced using the Charmat method, which gives a sparkle to the gorgeous strawberry aromatics, and although it's sweet, the crisp acidity makes this wine perfectly balanced. Have on a summer afternoon, with Sunday brunch or your late night munchies. It is like a soda w... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Barbera d'Alba Superiore (aged 18 months in large oak cask) shows just enough spice and tobacco to add that extra layer of intensity and richness that makes Barbera so delicious. Dark fruit, blackberry, tar and cassis spread evenly over the palate. Long barrel aging has helped to soften the variety's naturally high acidity. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018." (6/2013) K&L Notes: Success comes to those with a clear vision of what the future will bring, but even greater success comes to those who pour their heart and soul into being the very best they can be. Th... Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "ess obvious and definitely more flirtatious, this gorgeous wine playfully dangles subtle hints of licorice, dark fruit, anisette and Middle Eastern spice in front of your nose. They morph and transform into something new and unexpected with each swirl of the glass. There’s enough flesh here to keep the wine grounded, but there’s also enough tonic freshness to keep it from feeling heavy. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2028. 94+ (ML)" (6/2013)93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Medium red. Less roasted than the Briccotto, offering aromas and flavors of cherry, mocha, coffee and spices. Less fat ...Read More »
This Barbera comes from the biodynamically farmed Serra Gatti Vineyard, which is perched at 820 feet above sea level in the Priocca zone of the Alba DOC. Typical vintages of this bright and intense red are flavorful, fresh and forward, and it's naturally quite food-friendly. Try it with braciole or sauteed chicken livers smeared on crostini.
The Asti and Monferrato areas of Piedmont, east of the Barolo zone, are Barbera country. Barbera may be indigenous to this region, and (although grown elsewhere in Italy and increasingly here in California) finds its best expressions here, ranging from bright, raspberryish wines aged in stainless steel, to darker, more substantial examples aged in small French oak. Agliano is perhaps the best-known Barbera village in the Asti zone. Agostino Pavia and his sons Giuseppe ("Pino") and Mauro make three styles of Barbera. Bricco Blina is the most straightforwa... Read More »
93 points Wine Spectator: "Raspberry, tar and rose notes signal this juicy red, whose silky texture gives way to a burr of tannins as it unfolds on the palate. Elegant and structured. Best from 2018 through 2032. B.S" (10/2014)
92 points Antonio Galloni: "Firm tannins provide the backbone for the 2009 Barbaresco Riserva Pora. Bigger and richer on the palate than it often is, the 2009 Pora is also quite beautiful in this vintage. Sweet floral and mint notes wrap around the palate in this impeccable, beautifully balanced, mid-weight Barbaresco from the Produttori. The 2009 impresses for its pliancy and generosity. Today, the tannins are a bit four-squared, but there is enough depth in the fruit to make me think the wine will come together a little more fully with more time in bottle." (10/2013)92 points James Suckling: "The integrated ...Read More »
From high-limestone soils and a selection of vineyards in the Rabajà bass and Faset areas of the village. "A rich, delicately aromatic wine, it shows perfect balance between elegance and intensity."
94 points Antonio Galloni: "Sperino's 2009 Lessona is drop-dead gorgeous. Sweet red berries, tobacco, menthol and licorice all flesh out in a juicy, soft Nebbiolo with no hard edges and plenty of supple, deeply expressive fruit. This is an unusually resonant, generous young Lessona built on balance and symmetry. I expect the 2009 will be even better in another few years, but it is already a drop-dead gorgeous beauty." (3/2014) K&L Notes: This is a side project from Paolo de Marchi, the founder of Isole e Olena, which helped lead the charge in reestablishing Chianti Classico as the great winegro... Read More »
99 points James Suckling: "This is an absolutely fabulous red, with incredible concentration but polish and refinement. It’s full-bodied, with wonderful depth of fruit and length. Complex, with minerals, dark fruits, plums and currants. Speechless. It sends chills up my spine. What a wine. It goes on for minutes. Hard to believe that it’s better than the 2007, but it is. Better in 2020 but so amazing now. Available in February 2015." (9/2014)95 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2008 Barolo Riserva Runcot is a drop-dead gorgeous beauty. Smoke, tar, licorice, menthol, plums and spices form a tapestry of undeniable c ...Read More »
96 points Antonio Galloni: "Sweet tobacco, freshly cut flowers, rose petals and sweet red berries, all framed by silky tannins are the signatures in Ceretto's 2010 Barolo Bricco Rocche. Graced with exquisite finesse, the Bricco Rocche offers a little more textural polish than the Prapò at this early stage. At the same time, elements of intrigue remain, suggesting the 2010 isn't showing all of its cards just yet. Overall, this is a fairly dark Barolo for the site at this stage, although the wine does open up very nicely with time in the glass. Sweet floral and spice notes are woven ...Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Dark and rich upon first impact, the 2010 Barolo Bricco Luciani is a powerful and muscular expression that aspires to the highest level of aromatic intensity. This wine definitely leaves a lasting impression and speaks in high volumes for the 2010 vintage. It presents delicate tones of dried cherry, blue flower and licorice backed by oak-driven tones of nutmeg and dried tobacco leaf. If feels smooth and silky on the palate. Those firm tannins bode well for long-term consumption. Drink: 2017-2030. (ML)" (7/2014)91 points James Suckling: "Bright aromas of strawberries and flowers fol ...Read More »
94 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2011 Barbaresco Asili captures the pedigree of this great site. Freshly cut flowers, sweet red berries, mint and cinnamon all resonate in an impeccable, silky Barbaresco loaded with class. A translucent, crystalline wine, the 2011 impresses for its balance and overall harmony. What a gorgeous wine this is. (AG)" (10/2014)