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K&L Staff Recommendations
2014 Saracco Moscato d'Asti $14.99
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 »
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.
Villa Pillo is situated in the heart of the Chianti region, equidistant from the famed cities of Pisa, Florence and Siena. The winery was purchased by John and Kathe Dyson in 1989, who restored the estate, refurbished the winery and replanted many of the vineyards. Their Vin Santo, however, is made from Trebbiano (80%) and Mavasia (20%) planted in 1968. The best fruit from the harvest is left to dry for five months. The grapes are pressed and the must is left for 24 hours to rest. The wine is then transferred to traditional small casks called "caratelli,... Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2004 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico is stunningly beautiful. This is a fairly restrained vintage for the Vin Santo in which some of the wine’s more oxidative qualities are less evident than in other years. Orange peel, burnt sugar, dried flowers and herbs wrap around the generous, inviting finish. Despite its nearly 8 years of age, the 2004 remains very young, with a bright life ahead of it. The wine needs several hours if opened today. Felsina’s Vin Santo is 55% Malvasia, 25% Trebbiano and 20% Sangiovese, aged 7 years in the traditional small Vin Sa ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* The sweet interpretation of Marsala offers a more dynamic and intense bouquet with aromas of marron glacé, honey-covered almonds, candied fruit and dried prune. Drink it alone after dinner or pair it with a very aged Pecorino cheese." K&L Notes: Utterly integral to the sumptuously simple dessert Zabaglione, Florio's sweet Marsala is too tasty to be relegated to the back of the pantry. Macerate oranges or really any old fruit in a mixture of this with some added sugar and you'll have an authentic sweet sauce for any kind of cake or pudding. It is also delic... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
Luigi Giusti's Visciola is made in a centuries-old Marche tradition of making dessert wine with cherries. The production is actually quite complicated, as two varieties of cherries are processed separately with half of them being dried in the sun for 40 days. Grape wine from the current vintage is used as a base wine, but the fermented cherries are not pressed. Rather, a ripasso process is employed with some wine from the previous vintage. Sour cherries are then also utilized with residual sweetness retained. The resulting dessert wine has a potent sour ... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
97 points Wine Spectator: "A thick, creamy dessert wine, exuding apricot, fig paste, caramel, roasted walnut and orange peel aromas and flavors. For all its mouthcoating intensity on the attack, this finishes clean and lingers with treacle, nut and spice notes. Drink now through 2020. 125 cases made." (10/2013)94 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2005 Vin Santo is fabulous. This is one of the richer, more textured Vin Santos readers will come across, the result of six years spent in a range of cherry, moro and oak barrels. Expressive floral and spice notes meld into a core of dried cherries, figs, tobacco and leat ...Read More »
Known for small berries and "spontaneous abortion" of the flower, Picolit fashions one of the rarest Italian passito wines. Golden hued with sumptuous honey, tropical and citrus notes, this complex white successsfully rivals Vin Santo for its ability to stand up to hearty cheeses or in a glass all by itself.