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K&L Staff Recommendations
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 »
Inventory: Special Order
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.
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
Ettore Spina and his wife, Enrica Bandirola, owners of Sesta di Sopra, planted a new vineyard to Sangiovese in 2005. It has the same Galestro soils as the Brunello vineryard, perfect for taming Sangiovese's natural vigor. Unfortunately, in Montalcino all of the Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino vineyards are all registered and controlled, and they aren't allowing any more to be added right now, so the wine that comes from this new vineyard has to be designated an IGT (Indicates Geographic Tipicity). The 2013 Sesta di Sopra Sangiovese is just... Read More »
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 »
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)"
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.
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)
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)
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)
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 »
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
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)
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.
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 »
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.
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.
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)
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)
K&L Italian Wine Buyer Greg St. Clair knew that Albatreti was a real find the moment he put his nose in a glass of the 2010 Brunello: "We’ve been travelling to Montalcino for more than 20 years and have tasted a veritable ocean of Brunello. We’d never even heard of this producer, the first vintage was the 2009 and we hadn’t seen it in the market at all. We re-tasted another bottle just to make sure we didn’t get mis-poured, and the second time we had a “Double Wow”! So we went out to meet the producer, Gaetano Salvioni and found a self proclaimed “hobbyi... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 »
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 »
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.
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 »
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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)
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 »
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 »
Erik Banti's Morellino di Scansano is primarily Sangiovese with a little Merlot to flesh it out. There's so much to love about this red: its lush and inviting aromas, full and round mouthfeel, and food-friendly structure are just the beginning. Factor in the price and you've got one of the tastiest and versatile red wine values in the store! Ready to drink tonight, this juicy, mouthwatering red is an satisfying on its own, and makes a worthy complement to simple pasta dishes, poultry, and soft cheeses. A must try!
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.
Inventory: Redwood City
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 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!
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
Wine Enthusiast: "This is a creamy and very well-executed blend of Chardonnay and Ribolla Gialla that opens with exciting aromas of stone fruit, citrus and honey, plus tiny touches of candy and butterscotch (a common aromatic characteristic of Ribolla Gialla)." (12/2012) Wine Spectator: "A crisp white, with a smoky base and hints of yellow apple, star fruit and almond. Tangy finish. Chardonnay and Ribolla Gialla. (Web-2013)" K&L Notes: This blend of 65% Chardonnay and 35% Ribolla Gialla is light, crisp, and citrusy with great minerality. An outstanding value!
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 »
We love the pure, crystalline whites from the Cantina Valle Isarco, and amazingly, this Pinot Noir-based red fits right in stylistically. Its slightly astringent aroma is intense and ethereal. On the palate, this is very dry, full-bodied and pleasantly tannic. Not a fruit bomb, not by a long shot. But if you enjoy European-influenced Pinot with acidity, vibrancy and balance, this will blow you away! Melt some strong cheese, dip some bread and veggies in there, and enjoy with a glass (or a bottle) of Tyrolean Pinot Noir!
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 »
Jancis Robinson: "The entry-level wine from Sting and Trudie Tyler's estate in Tuscany. A blend of Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Colorino which doesn't see any oak. Quite pale, very bright ruby. Bright aromas too - cough sweets and aniseed balls and sweet-sour cherry. Slightly raw fruit on the palate. Chewy tannins. Plenty of fresh acidity and no specious sweetness of fruit but without tremendous depth, and short on the finish. Cheerful, though." Wine Spectator: "A rich, fruity style, exuding cherry, raspberry, licorice and spice flavors. Finishes with a solid grip of tannins. Drink now through ...Read More »
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)