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K&L Staff Recommendations
2010 Cantine Ascheri Barolo $25.99
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 »
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)"
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.
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. (KO)" (10/2014)
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.
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 is the original Americano, a low-alcohol, wine-based aperitif from the Asti region of Piedmont intended to be consumed before eating to enliven the palate while whetting the appetite. It has been produced in Asti since 1891 and is still made according to the original recipe, which is essentially white wine aromatized with many herbs and spices. All the ingredients are natural, with no artificial additives or coloring of any kind. It is produced in limited quantities and matured for a year before being released for sale. Traditionally, it is served c... 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 Wine Enthusiast: "Barolo Essenze is a blend of Nebbiolo fruit sourced from multiple vineyard spots. The results are super concentration, a brooding, masculine feel and dark notes of black fruit and exotic spice. This chewy, textured wine delivers a big, powerful style that will benefit from more years of cellar aging. - M.L. (9/1/2011)" (9/2011) K&L Notes: Terre da Vino's Essenze is a selection of small lots of grand cru Barolo fruit for an unbeatable price. This 2007 vintage includes fruit from La Morra, Novello, Serralunga d'Alba, and Monforte d'Alba. The wine is aged in barriques... Read More »
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 »
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. Serve cold.
92 points Antonio Galloni: "The grapes are selected from vineyards located in Castiglione Falletto, Monforte, Barolo, and Novello, from vines ranging in age from 7 to 35 years old. Fermentation occurs in stainless steel over 15 days, with daily cap submersion for extraction of flavor and color. The wine is then aged for 24 months in casks. The wine was blended in stainless steel tanks 8 months before bottling." (9/2014) 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 proper load of firm, ripe ...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 »
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.
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "A blend of Nebbiolo, Vespolina and Croatina, this opens with a medley of aromas that include ripe berry, underbrush, truffle, menthol, leather and spice. The firm palate delivers crushed black cherry, game, grilled herb, ground pepper and a balsamic note. It still has youthfully assertive tannins that need to unwind and soften. Drink 2016–2026." (3/2015) K&L Notes: Paolo de Marchi, the owner of Isole e Olena, Paolo has always dreamed of restoring his family property (he's acutally Piemontese) and bringing back the winegrowing tradition of Lessona in Alto Piemonte. I... 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 »
Inventory: Redwood City
From the winery: "Ruby red in color with violet reflections, this wine is nicely toned in scent with hints of sour black cherry and cherry on recalls of coffee cream. Rich and tonic in the mouth, almost austere, this unique wine has a balsamic and fruity finish."
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
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 »
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)
95 points Antonio Galloni: "Savory herbs, dried rose petals, tobacco, wild flowers, mint, spices and dark red stone fruits lift from the glass as Pecchenino 2010 Barolo San Giuseppe shows off its beguiling personality. Deceptively medium in body, this classically austere, tannic Barolo possesses striking nuance, chiseled fruit and exceptional overall balance. The 2010 spent two years in cask followed by another year in cement. Readers should plan on forgetting the 2010 for at least a few years." (9/2014)95 points James Suckling: "Enchanting strawberry and raspberry aromas follow through to a full body, with s ...Read More »
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 »
Arneis is the historical grape from the Roero district. It is typically pleasing on the palate with slightly lower acidity than typical Italian whites. This wine from the Luèt ("small wolf" in the Piedmontese dialect) vineyard is fermented 40% in French oak and 60% in stainless steel. It spends 4 months in stainless steel tanks. Straw yellow color with greenish hues introduce a floral nose with tropical fruit. A long and soft finish characterize the wine. A rare breed of Arneis, this complex and extremely rich white has enough acidity to keep everything ... Read More »
96 points James Suckling: "Wow. This is a young Barolo with a beautiful clarity of fruit from dark berries to wet forest floor. The wine is full bodied, with chocolate, vanilla and blackberry character with vanilla bean undertones. Long and intense. Fascinating young wine that deserves to be in your cellar." (7/2011)94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2007 Barolo Bricco Luciani is one of the most beautiful wines I have tasted here in quite some time. Dark berries, flowers, minerals and spices are some of the nuances that emerge from this sexy, well-delineated Barolo. The 2007 possesses more depth than has been th ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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
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.
100% Cortese, floral and fruity, but crisp on dry on the palate.
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 »
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 »
93 points James Suckling: "Aromas of tar and asphalt combined with strawberries follow through to a full-bodied, juicy Barolo with fine tannins and a beautiful acid/fruit balance. Long on the finish, and although a bit oaky now, this will be excellent in 2016." (8/2014) K&L Notes: Started by Angelo Germano in 1908, this estate has been run by the fourth generation of Germanos--Davide--since the 1990s. (Davide's first complete vintage was 1998.) This is sourced from the Rué Vineyard. The vineyard's soils are sandy marl, and the vines are farmed naturally, using Integrated Pest Management techn... 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 James Suckling: "This used to be called Moccagata but the name was changed in 2007. Lots of ripe fruit on the nose with hints of dried strawberry. Full body, very chewy and intense. Powerful palate. Lots of fruit and ripe tannins. Needs to soften: Better in 2017." (7/2014)93 points Antonio Galloni: "One of the more beautiful and complete wines in the range, 2009 Barbaresco Riserva Muncagota impresses for its balance of aromatics, fruit and structure. Dark red cherry and plum notes flesh out in a juicy, expressive Barbaresco backed up by plenty of tannin and enough acidity to drink well for a number ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
95% Nebbiolo, 5% Vespolina, grown in soils that are 35% old marine sand, 25% clay and 40% silt, at about 1,300 feet above sea-level. The fruit is from a single hillside vineyard right beneath the winery, usually picked in early October and fermented in stainless steel, with about 40 days of maceration with the skins. The wine is then aged in small oak, not new, for about 30 months. In the glass the wine is medium ruby red; complex, generously flavored (wild strawberry, cinnamon, licorice), warm, very accessible. These wines are indecently drinkable when ... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
93 points Wine Spectator: "*Highly Recommended* Bright cherry, strawberry, floral, licorice and herbal aromas and flavors highlight this fragrant, elegant red, which is silky and pure, with fine ripe tannins for support. Shows excellent length, with an aftertaste of fruit, spice and mineral. Best from 2015 through 2028." (4/2014)92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Barbaresco shows personality and good cheer with a good dose of dried fruit and savory spice. There are some elements that make the wine seem more aged than it really is. Cured meat and old leather emerge. But then the wine suddenly surprises you w ...Read More »
Meaning "middle son," "Moliss" is a Piedmontese word, not Italian. This is one of two single vineyard Barberas produced by Agostino Pavia and his sons Giuseppe ("Pino") and Mauro, of which total production is less than five thousand cases. Made from old vines and aged in large Slavonian oak ovals, which impart subtle oak aromas and can add texture when new, "Moliss" is stylistically similar to a traditional Asti but cleaner and much more concentrated. Importer Oliver McCrum writes: "Barbera d'Asti used to have a reputation for having acidity like that of... Read More »
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 »
Inventory: Redwood City
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 »
Inventory: Redwood City
From the people who brought you Cocchi Americano and Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, comes the brand new rose colored, quinine-flavored, aperitif wine you've been anxiously waiting for. The Cocchi Americano Rosa has the lush mouthfeel and weight of a sweet vermouth, the fruit of a sangria, and the spice of a mulled wine, finishing with a tingle of bitterness on the tongue. It's absolutely delicious. Time to make a rose-colored gin martini!
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 »
Inventory: Redwood City