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K&L Staff Recommendations
Wine Enthusiast: "* Best Buy * Named after the grapes in the blend (Negroamaro, Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon), this easygoing, savory wine doles out juicy blackberry, black currant, black cherry and a hint of licorice. Soft, round tannins provide the framework." (3/2015)
Poggiarellino is an evolving star in our Direct Import portfolio. From Montalcino, this tiny winery is making superb wines at stunning prices.
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 »
A blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara, this Valpolicella is ruby-red and super silky in texture, with the quintessential chocolate-covered cherry quality you'd expect from good Valpolicella.
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 south Tuscan coast is a breadbasket of wine making, stable temperatures, solid history of quality yet no fame and fortune. Incredible price bargains that 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. Imminently drinakable.
Giovanni Blason and his wife Valentina are young producers who continuously surprise us with the price-to-quality ratio of their wines, earning them tons of kudos in Gambero Rosso and beyond. They come from the Isonzo region of Northern Italy, right up against the Slovenian border. Their Pinot Grigio is really sensational, full in the mouth, rich on the palate and extraordinarily drinkable at this price! Very aromatic, with good complexity, length and that subtle elegance that shows muscle and a long and flowing finish.
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 »
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 »
Inventory: San Francisco
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)"
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 »
This sparkling white wine was obtained, as you might guess by the name, from the Prosecco grape using the Charmat method in autoclave. It is the epitome of prosecco, where the harmony of its elegant body is accompanied by a delicate bouquet. The freshness and fragrance of this wine, together with a fine and persistent perlage, make it ideal for any occasion. And the price doesn't hurt either! Serve at a cooler temperature than most whites, and watch bottle after bottle disappear at your next party.
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)
Negroamaro is a red wine grape variety native to southern Italy. It is grown almost exclusively in Puglia and particularly in Salento, the peninsula which can be visualised as the “heel” of Italy. Wines made from Negroamaro tend to be very rustic in character, combining perfume with an earthy bitterness. The grape produces some of the best red and rosè wines of Puglia, particularly when blended with the highly scented Malvasia Nera. While most varieties of Malvasia produce white wine, Malvasia nera is a red wine variety that is used primarily as a blendi... Read More »
Remo Farina's Bianco di Custoza is a blend of aromatic white grapes from the Moreniche hills, southeast of Lake Garda in Veneto. The blend of 40% Garganega, 25% Trebbiano, 15% Fernanda, 20% Malvasia are grown in calcareous clay soils. The wine is vinified entirely in stainless steel to maintain its fresh, bright, and aromatic profile. Notes of peach and white flowers reverberate on an easy-going palate that is perfect as an aperitif or with light dishes and fish.
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.
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)
This Carato is a blend of 75% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot and 10% Ciliegiolo and is just delicious; full, fleshy, voluptuous, sumptuous, truly hedonistic. It spends 10 months in Slavonian and American oak barriques, and we think at this price you too will be saying wow!
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 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 »
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)
94 points James Suckling: "Lots of dried cherry and mahogany with sweet tobacco. Asphalt too. It's full body, with silky and refined tannins and a long and gorgeous finish. This is structured and layered. Firm and intense. Better in 2018." (12/2014)
94 points Wine Spectator: "Loaded with dark fruit, texture and a dense structure, this is complex, beautifully proportioned and long. Black cherry, blackberry, plum, tobacco and spice notes get a lift from the bright acidity, while the tannins are fine and well-integrated. Best from 2016 through 2030." (8/2014)
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 Enthusiast: "Focused and balanced, it opens with a fragrance recalling ripe berries, wet soil, red rose, blue flower and baking spices. The spicy palate delivers wild cherry, cinnamon-spice, white pepper, hot red pepper and a mineral note alongside brooding tannins and just enough fresh acidity. Drink 2016–2021. — K.O" (5/2014)90 points James Suckling: "Very pretty, savory Brunello with plums, and hints of jam and balsamic character. Full body with a velvety texture and a long finish. Drink or hold." (2/2014) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright, deep red. Enticing aromas of raspberry and fresh flowers are lifted by a steel ...Read More »
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.
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.
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.
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 »
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)
Always a bargain from one of K&L's favorite direct imports. The 37-acre Blason property in Gradisca d'Inzonzo, owned by Giovanni and Valentina Blason, is just a few miles from the Slovenian border. Their Friulano is always rich and complex, but balanced, with round frut, minerality and hints of savory herbs.
94 points Antonio Galloni: "Castello di Bossi's 2009 Merlot Girolamo is undeniably sexy. Plump, juicy and wonderfully expressive, the 2009 captures the very best qualities of the year. Dark cherries, plums, menthol and licorice all jump from the glass in this generous, inviting Tuscan Merlot. There is a lot to love about the 2009, starting with its impeccable balance. The purity of the fruit alone is striking. I am not sure how the 2009 is going to age, but it is drop-dead gorgeous today." (8/2013)94 points James Suckling: "Wow. This wine shows an impressive depth of blackberries and blueberries with hints of ...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. Their 2013 Friulano is no exception. The 2012 scored 90 poi... Read More »
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)
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Round and smooth, this delivers sensations of strawberry, wild cherry, raspberry, pine forest, menthol and cake spices. The concentrated flavors are balanced by supple tannins and fresh acidity. Enjoy this over the next few years." (10/2014)
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."
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.
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.
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 »
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.
This comes from a small suburb of Bolzano called Gries, where the alluvial soils are perfectly suited to Lagrein--a native grape that has been grown in the region since at least 1379. The fruit is manually harvested, slowly fermented in stainless and finished in mostly large wooden barrels (70%) and barriques (one-third new). Always a favorite, this cool climate red is ink-dark and packed with lifted dark berry fruit, fine tannins and exotic spice. It's particularly delicious with game, offal and aged cheeses.
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Elena Fucci's latest release is the 2012 Aglianico del Vulture Titolo. The wine shines bright with primary aromas of dark fruit, herb, oak spice and dark volcanic tones of crushed granite and smoke. Given the proven track record of this wine, I'd expect this vintage to age for 15 to 20 years without a hitch. The 2012 vintage was only slightly warmer than average and those ripe fruit flavors do a lot to round out and soften the firm tannic backbone of the wine. There's a notable point of acidity that helps the wine to achieve an impressive sense of balanc ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Here’s a Prosecco Brut with a fuller, more generous personality that comes across in the form of peach, nectarine and grapefruit aromas. The wine has a light, golden color and offers frothy cream backed by a tight citrus finish." (7/2009) K&L Notes: San Venanzio has won many awards over the years. At K&L they get the coveted "Guido" award two thumbs up and three stars for value. On the nose, there are generous notes of apples, peaches, tropical fruits and pear blossom. It’s wonderfully balanced and elegant, with a pleasurable spiciness. The palate is rich and creamy,... Read More »
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 »
Inventory: San Francisco
94 points Antonio Galloni: "Col d'Orcia's 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is drop-dead gorgeous. Fleshy, rich and layered, yet with terrific freshness, the 2009 impresses for its balance and pure vibrancy. Juicy red berries, mint, rose petals, autumn leaves and sweet spices all meld together on the finish. The 2009 is a bit more forward than other recent releases has been, but in this case, that is not a bad thing at all, as the wine is drinking beautifully today." (5/2014)91 points Wine Spectator: "Offers a core of balsamic and underbrush flavors, with hints of cherry, licorice and leather. Coffee and mineral ac ...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.
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!
Inventory: San Francisco
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2005 Taurasi Pago dei Fusi is a huge, explosive wine. It possesses superb delineation of aromas and flavors to match its dark, brooding personality. Sweet balsamic notes develop in the glass, adding further complexity as the wine gradually builds towards a powerful close. The 2005 doesn't appear to quite have the finesse of the 2004, but it comes very close. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025. (AG)" (6/2011)90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Pago dei Fusi is an extremely mineral-driven wine that oozes with aromas of asphalt, wet river stone and crushed brimstone. There’s are touches of ca ...Read More »