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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)
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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Inventory: San Francisco
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Ripe dark fruit, nutmeg, clove and tobacco aromas lead the nose on this bold and balanced wine. The rich palate delivers black plum, raisin, cinnamon, black pepper and licorice supported by velvety tannins and fresh acidity. Combining elegance and power, it boasts wonderful depth. Drink 2015-2025." (12/2014)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A classic interpretation, the 2010 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Costasera offers power and personality. The bouquet shows your standard Amarone aromas of sweet spice and overripe fruit. But Costasera adds class and finesse tha ...Read More »
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 »
Azienda Agricola Barone Cornacchia was esablished in 1577. Now organically farmed from stony calcareous soils, this 100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo displays a deep ruby color with a perfumed and plummy bouquet. The rounded and intense palate shows persistance and fine tannins which pairs well with grilled meats, pasta, and hard cheese.
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One step up in sophistication and pedigree compared to the base Campofiorin is the 2010 Brolo Campofiorin Oro. The base Campofiorin is great for sitting by the fireplace with family and friends, but this is a wine of extra caliber for dinner parties and elegant company. The bouquet is tightly woven with threads of dark fruit, spice, tobacco and cola. The wine shows a thicker, more elaborate level of extraction in the mouth. It tastes more like an Amarone than a Ripasso. (ML)" (12/2014) Wine Spectator: "Though elegant overall, the supple tannins lend weight and structure to ...Read More »
Marchione represents the efforts of Importer A.I. Selections to create outstanding value-priced wines with regional authenticity. The fruit for this wine is sourced from 15-18 year old Nero d'Avola vines located in the Argiento Hills of Sicily. The wine sees no oak and offers a fresh and smoothly textured palate of spicy black cherry and plum fruit. This is certainly an ideal daily table red and perfect for outdoor occasions as well.
This wine used to be called Testarossa, but though the name on the bottle has changed, the quality of the wine in the bottle has not. It is consistently one of the benchmarks for wine from this mountainous and remote region, smack in the middle of Italy but somehow forgotten by time and tourists.
92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright red. Captivating, extremely intense aromas of flinty red cherry and raspberry, lifted by violet and mineral notes. Sappy, floral fruit shows lovely sweetness and energy thanks to well-integrated acidity and spicy mineral lift. Dense, chewy and saline on the brisk finish, featuring youthful, building tannins. Made from vines between 75 and 100 years of age, this is a star in the making--a truly great Passopisciaro and the best wine in this year's releases of Sicilian wines from the talented Andrea Franchetti. 92(+?) points." (3/2014)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Pas ...Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2007 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Vigna Monte Danieli shows big bones and a more embellished Amarone style. You can feel the alcohol (the label reads 16%). Broad aromas span from dried fruit and prune to tangy barbecue spice and savory steak sauce. The mouthfeel is velvety and rich. Drink 2014-2022. (ML)" (10/2013) K&L Notes: The finest wine in the stable at Corte Rugolin, the Monte Danieli Amarone is sourced from a 60 year old vineyard with excellent sun exposure. It is comprised of 55% Corvina, 15% Corvinone, 5% Rondinella, and a balance of the other lo... Read More »
Tenuta di Aglaea cultivates the indigenous and mysterious Nerello grape on the cool volcanic terraces of Sicily's Mount Etna. Perfumed with minerally aromas, the wine is marked by a firm body and a freshness of fruit tones with gentle tannins. It is a wine of subtlety and will reward several years of cellaring. Try it with antipasti, pasta, vegetable dishes, and lighter meats like pork, veal, and poultry. 100% Nerello Mascalese.
Jancis Robinson: "Magliocco. Deep ruby with the beginning of orange on the nose. Pretty nose of oak and leafy fruit and already a little mature. Still a bit closed on the fruit on the palate and the tannins and acidity make it a little austere. Long perfumed finish with hints of oak. (WS)" (10/2013) K&L Notes: The 2011 Cantine Viola Rosso is 100% Magliocco from Calabria, and sees no wood aging at all, just fermentation in stainless steel and then bottle age. The wine’s aromatics are untamed; it smells of wild brush and roasted meats and while those aromatics are profound they seem to ... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
97 points James Suckling: "A gorgeous, sleek wine with super-polished tannins and fabulous fruit. It's full but so refined and sexy. It goes on for minutes. Really fine. What a wine. This Bordeaux blend from here is the best ever. Better in 2016 but great now." (10/2014)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "This gorgeous wine opens with fragrances of blue flower, moist earth, leather and ripe berry. The delicious palate delivers succulent black cherry, cinnamon, white pepper and balsamic herbs alongside smooth, silky tannins. It’s already delicious now, but hold for complexity. Drink now–2026." (9/2014)
Inventory: Redwood City
Wine Spectator: "Balanced, featuring a core of black cherry, aromatic herb, crème de cassis and wild strawberry fruit, with hints of gumdrop and smoke. Fresh. (Web-2013)" K&L Notes: Verona is a city with history, culture and excitement all wrapped into one. The province of Veneto, in fact, is surrounded by attractions and theme parks, to meet the desires of all, couples, families and groups of friends. We say this because if you like this wine, you can stay at the property. Musella is an historic estate on the northeast outskirts of Verona, just 15 minutes drive from the centre. Hugh... Read More »
Organically grown Nero d'Avola that's fresh, fruit-filled and affordable. A touch of bay leaf and mint complements the volcanic soil, sweet red fruit and peppery spice on this wine's nose and palate. Delicious!
The originator of this fabulous bitter aperitif wine, Cappellano is truly top dog when it comes to Chinato. This is absolutely the most overtly appealling and drinkable Chinato I have ever tasted. The family's secret recipe was developed over 100 years ago by Giuseppe Cappellano, the pharmacist son of this storied estates founder Filippo. While he died of tropical fever in Tunisia, his recipe lives on. This is the first Chinato I could imagine sitting down with and finishing the bottle, but it's works so well as a mixer you must experiment. Don't be shy... Read More »
NEROIBLEO is a warm, solar red, with the striking characteristics of wine produced from the renown Nero'd'Avola, the Sicilian grape variety which has been cultivated for centuries on Mount Iblea in the province of Ragusa.
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.
40% Refosco, 40% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.
92 points James Suckling: "Another wonderful red, with ripe, chewy but silky-textured tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Ripe dark fruits, walnuts and flowers. It shows a wonderful balance for the appellation. Drink or hold." (2/2014)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2008 Montefalco Sagrantino is a massive wine with dark spice aromas, ripe fruit, prune, tar leather and tobacco. The aromas transport you somewhere exotic, like a spice marker in the Middle East. Gritty tannins show some coarseness on the close. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2022. 90+ (ML)" (8/2013) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good deep ruby-red. Subdued nose opens slowly with ...Read More »
A harmonious blend of Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, and Alicante, grown in the terraced vineyards on Mount Etna known for having sandy, volcanic soils rich in minerals. From the producer: "Aetneus is born in monumental vineyards on the Volcano’s north side: a living natural wine, complex and elegant, with great aging potential."
Pignolo is rare grape, native to Friuli and known for being "grumpy" and difficult to grow. Until a few decades ago, it was all but obsolete. The Ermacora family is among the few brave winemakers to replant this grape, and its patience has been rewarded. This is a powerful wine, with tannic heft and great complexity. According to the winemaker: "The aromas are full and fruity, with notes of cherry and ripe plum. The dry taste emphasizes hints of wild berry jam, aromatic spices, and stewed fruits. It is an ideal match for red meat dishes and game."
91 points James Suckling: ""This is a very intense and rich with blackberry, dark chocolate, grilled meat and cherry flavors. Full body with ripe fruit and tannins. Layered and rich. Long finish. Merlot, Sangiovese, syrah and cabernet sauvignon. Drink now."" (10/2014)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
92 points Antonio Galloni: "Trabucchi's 2006 Amarone della Valpolicella explodes from the glass. Black cherry, tar, incense, smoke and licorice notes all take shape as this big, broad-shouldered wine shows off its personality. Another year or two in bottle should help the 2006 come together even more fully, but it is likely to remain a fairly powerful, hulking Amarone. Still, there is a lot to look forward to here." (3/2014)91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Dark, thick and syrupy, this savory Amarone delivers notes of Indian spice, Teriyaki, molasses, plum and dark berry fruit. It has a noticeably sweet finish with ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2007 Montefalco Sagrantino shows off layers of dark fruit, juniper berries and sweet medicinal herbs in a sumptuous expression of Sagrantino. All of the elements come together nicely here, as the hard Sagrantino tannins and some of grape's wildness have been tamed but without the loss of too much varietal character. A lush, refined finish rounds things out nicely. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019." (6/2011) Jancis Robinson: "Dark ruby with bricky rim. Balsamic cherry with real depth and a little earthy. Elegant palate weight and big tannins. Quite pure fruit on the finis ...Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "A subtle red, finely balanced and elegant, this layers sweet dried cherry, spiced plum and baking chocolate notes with savory accents of leather and woodsy spice. Supple tannins show on the fresh finish. Drink now through 2024." (4/2015)
Inventory: San Francisco
The finest wine in the stable at Corte Rugolin, the Monte Danieli Amarone is sourced from a 60 year old vineyard with excellent sun exposure. It is comprised of 55% Corvina, 15% Corvinone, 5% Rondinella, and a balance of the other local varieties of Olinara, Dindarellla, Oseleta, and Croatina. Harvest began in September and the grapes were loaded onto special racks where they were allowed to dry at room temperature in a ventilated room for three months. This process reduced the original weight of the grapes by 35-40% via dehydration, and in turn concentr... Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of the estate’s two flagship wines, the 2007 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico "Crosara de le Strie" is a richly textured and intense wine with firm tannins and sweet cherry accents. It is aged two years in barrique and botte grande and has the spicy endnotes of cinnamon and dark vanilla that come with barrel-aging. The best quality here is the wine’s immediate focus. (ML)" (10/2013) Decanter: "Volatile aromas of intense plum jam, cherry, cassis, dark spice, oak, prunes and chocolate. Big, full, ripe and sweet with youthful fruit and a spicy finish. It has a go ...Read More »
Cantine Marisa Cuomo makes wines that capture the essense of the rugged beauty of the Amalfi Coast. This Rosato is 50% Piedirosso and 50% Aglianico from south-facing terraces set 100-250 meters above the sea on extremely rocky soil of dolomite and limestone.
The Santoleri vineyards date back to 1968, though the same family has been farming the property since 600! Located at the base of the 2,000 foot Maiella Mountain in the Appenines. Its altitude and proximity to the Adriatic Sea are ideally suited for growing grapes. The vineyards are farmed without the use of pesticides, mineral fertilizers and other invasive products. From the importer: "Ruby red robe with violet hues. Intense aromas with notes of black cherry, balsamic and licorice. Fresh and vigorous on the palate, typical of a young Montepulciano, wit... Read More »