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K&L Staff Recommendations
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Fragrant and balanced, this structured wine opens with an alluring fragrance of red rose petal, black raspberry, leather and spice. The ripe, savory palate delivers mature black cherry, balsamic notes, subtle oak and a touch of vanilla, all supported by a firm, tannic backbone and fresh acidity. It’s already fabulous but hold for complexity. Drink 2016–2026." (12/2014)92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Barbaresco Gallina is perfumed and layered with bright red fruit at the core. You can feel the heat of the 2011 vintage, but not in a distracting or diminishing w ...Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "A fruity, delicious red with sliced-plum and lemon-rind character. Full body with light tannins and a flavorful finish. I like the traditional, honest character here. Drink now." (10/2014)92 points Wine Spectator: "Aromas and flavors of eucalyptus, wild sage and pine mingle with cherry, tobacco and earth notes in this complex, structured red. Balanced, long and built for the long haul. Drink now through 2024. 26,000 cases made." (10/2014)91 points Antonio Galloni: "Monsanto's 2011 Chianti Classico Riserva fleshes out beautifully in the glass. The flavors are bright, lifted and beautifully focused throughout. S ...Read More »
Ah, Piedmont! Home to Italy's most long-lived reds, Barolo and Barbaresco. Piedmont also lays claim to this frothy number, a semi-sweet sparkling wine that shares as much in common with Barolo as a turnip does with a root beer float. To begin with, there's the preponderance of wild strawberry fruit, and the effervescent goodness that is not totally dissimilar to Moscato, only this one is pink. Deep pink. Gulpable pink. After a certain age it is unseemly to drink cherry soda pop in public--go for Brachetto instead! No, it isn't Red Moscato, but I couldn't... Read More »
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)
According to Wine Advocate: "Poderi San Lazzaro is one of my very favorite estates in the Marche. The wines are rich, layered and always loaded with personality." (2/2013)
Inventory: San Francisco
93 points Wine Spectator: "Marked by ripe cherry, strawberry, floral and tar flavors, this red is graceful and detailed, with the fruit intensity persisting on the finish. This is well-integrated, and just needs time for the tannins to soften. Excellent length." (5/2015)92 points James Suckling: "Aromas of dried berry, lemon peel and plum follow through to a medium to full body, fine tannins and a bright finish. Bright and delicious. I like both the 2010 and 2011 at the same level but for different reasons. Better in 2015." (12/2014)90 points Antonio Galloni: "The Produttori del Barbaresco's 2011 Barbaresco presents an intriguing combin ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
94 points James Suckling: "A gorgeous and flavorful white with sliced mangoes, apples and lemons. Full and fresh with a long, long finish. Full of character. Always one of the best wines of Italy. A blend of sauvignon, chardonnay, ribolla gialla, malvasia Iastriana, and picolit. Screw cap." (12/2013)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Vintage Tunina is a blend of Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana and Picolit that shows impressive density and integrity. The wine feels silky smooth and pleasurable on the palate, imparting stone fruit, preserved lemon and sun-ripened Golden Delicious appl ...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 persistence and fine tannins, and should pair well with grilled meats, pasta, and hard cheese.
95 points James Suckling: "The blackberry, currant, nutmeg and chocolate aromas follow through to a full body, with velvety tannins and lots of savory fruit. Some balsamic and citrus fruit underneath it all. Needs a little time to soften. Pure sangiovese. From organically grown grapes. Better in 2016." (9/2014)95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Flaccianello della Pieve is 100% Sangiovese aged 24 months in new French oak and two months in large oak cask. I’m not sure how Fontodi does it, but this edition of Flaccianello is simply beautiful. It is a seamless expression with lingering tones of red cherry, coff ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Decanter World Wine Awards 2014 Commended this red, describing it as having "fleshy jammy red fruit on the nose. The palate of red fruit is rich supple and prolonged."
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 Wine Enthusiast: "Complex aromas of red rose, tilled earth, red berry, black pepper, balsamic notes and a whiff of barnyard lead the nose on this structured wine. The juicy palate features ripe black cherry, crushed raspberry, white pepper and a hint of mocha alongside fresh acidity and firm but polished tannins. Drink 2016–2026." (12/2014)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Ornella Pelissero’s 2011 Barbaresco Bricco San Giuliano shows some of the heat of the 2011 vintage but does so with an irresistible level of moxie and charm. You get generous servings of ripe cherry and raspberry with lingering tones of ...Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "A new wine from the estate of Nipozzano with pretty blueberry and light vanilla character. Full-bodied, chewy and rich with a long, lightly austere finish. Wonderful depth of fruit. From the oldest vines on the property and aged 24 months in barrel. Needs a year or two more of bottle age to soften: Drink in 2016." (10/2014)93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Dark red. Refined aromas of dark red cherry, blackcurrant, lavender, sage, rosemary and tobacco on the multidimensional nose. Textured, pure and classy, with very long, mineral-driven dark red berry and cherry flavors framed by noble, s ...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 »
92 points James Suckling: "A stylish Syrah with spices, dried meats and ripe fruits that follow to a full body, with silky tannins and a fruity finish. Drink or hold." (7/2013) Wine Spectator: "An elegant yet well-toned red, offering a core of blackberry fruit, tinged with iron, sanguine and pepper accents. Balanced and moderately long. Drink now through 2018. (Web only 2014)"
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 »
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)
96 points Antonio Galloni: "Blackberry jam, cassis, grilled herbs and melted road tar meld together in the 2011 Solaia. Another super-exotic, racy 2011 from Antinori, Solaia is supremely beautiful. Mocha, espresso and sage are some of the many notes that add complexity. Hints of white truffle, lavender, smoke and licorice are laced into the exotic, racy finish. In 2011, Solaia has a dollop more of Cabernet Franc in the blend, added to give the wine a touch of freshness. Ripe and flashy to the core, the 2011 needs time to lose some of its youthful exuberance. At times, the 2011 coul ...Read More »
94 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2011 Montevertine is gorgeous. A rich, textured wine, the 2011 hits the palate with exuberant dark fruit, spices, new leather and tobacco. This is a decidedly rich, layered Montevertine, with darker fruit than normal and plenty of richness, all of which means it will drink well pretty much right out of the gate. Montevertine fans looking for a wine to drink without waiting too long will flip out over the 2011. Drinking window: 2018 - 2031." (9/2014)94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 IGT Montevertine (Sangioveto, Canaiolo and Colorino) is enormously silky and smooth with a supe ...Read More »
96 points James Suckling: "There is a purity of fruit in this young Tuscan red, with flowers, citrus fruit and currants. Full body with firm, silky tannins that are ultra-fine and wonderfully polished. The structure builds to a racy finish. This is a Bordeaux blend that is all in harmony. Give it time: the tannins and fruit will melt together." (11/2013)94 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2011 Oreno wraps around the palate with gorgeous resonance and silkiness. Mocha, cloves, leather and dark spices all add nuance to a core of voluptuous, racy fruit. This is a typical 2011 long on texture, resonance and early app ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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!
Sandro Fay has been producing wines in Valtellina for the past 40 years, and is dedicated to single-vineyard expressions of this unique and historic terroir. Upriver from Lake Como, near the Swiss border, the Valtellina DOCG sits in a narrow valley that runs east/west at the base of the alps, which protect its sunny climate. The signature grape is Nebbiolo, known locally as Chiavennasca. Fay's Costa Bassa vineyard is located in the village of Teglio, designated as "Valtellina Superiore," one of the finest terroirs in the appellation. In this cooler, sub-... Read More »
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
This classic blend of 40% Corvina, 20% Corvinone, 20% Rondinella and 20% other grapes, including Molinara, Dindarella and Croatina from Valpolicella. A low-alcohol red, as the winery describes it: "Its deep ruby red colour, the fruity flavour that reminds us of cherries, wild cherries and plums, its pleasant sapid and harmonious taste, gives us the opportunity of defining this wine as being modern, youthful and ready to drink."
94 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2011 Le Serre Nuove dell'Ornellaia comes across as tight and shut down today. There is plenty of depth in the glass, but less of the appeal I saw just a few months ago. The high tannins of the vintage and the relatively large amount of Petit Verdot (14%) are both very marked at this stage in the wine's life. Readers holding the 2011 are best off cellaring their bottles for at least another 1-2 years. The 2011 Le Serre Nuove is a powerhouse. (AG)" (9/2014)94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A gorgeous wine, the 2011 Bolgheri Rosso Le Serre Nuovo dell-Ornellaia (57% Merlot, 17% Cabernet S ...Read More »
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
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Costa d'Amalfi Tramonti Riserva Quattro Spine is a blend of Aglianico, Tintore and Piedirosso from old vines. This is a beautiful and delicious wine with a untamed and rustic personality. The highly distinctive bouquet shows dark berry, bramble, grilled herb, candied cherry and balsam notes. Background tones of tar and licorice also appear and contribute to the uniqueness of this wine. The Aglianico component adds a firm vein of tannins at the back. I'd be very curious to try this wine three to five years from now. (ML)" (4/2015) K&L Notes: If you've ever be... Read More »
From the winery: "The grapes used to produce this wine come from the best vineyards in Belvedere Ostrense and San Marcello in the province of Ancona. Ruby red colour. Distinguished floral scent, of rosehip and spices. Full, elegant, medium bodied flavour, which enhances aromas."
95 points James Suckling: "Captivating aromas of blueberries, raspberries, violets and orange peel. Full body with crazy tannins." (9/2013)94 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2011 Giorgio Primo is just as beautiful today as it was last year, even if it has barely budged since then. Blackberry jam, spices, licorice, smoke and new leather meld together in a seamless voluptuous wine endowed with superb depth and pure textural richness. The oak still needs time to integrate, but there is a lot to look forward to here." (9/2014)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Giorgio Primo is the latest edition of one of my favorite Tuscan blends. Cabernet S ...Read More »
Terre di Balbia is a small estate in Altomonte, a small village in Calabria--the toe of the Italian boot. The 52-hectare estate is a collaboration between famed Friulian winemaker Gianni Venic and importer Silvio Caputo, a native Calabrian. The pair produce just two wines focused on utilizing indigenous grapes, though they have to have the grapes transported up to Venica in Friuli because there was too much red tape involved in opening a winery in Calabria (oh, Italian bureaucracy). This, the Balbium, is made entirely of Magliocco, and is wonderfully sur... Read More »
97 points James Suckling: "Glass-staining, with plum, hints of anise, red flowers, gravel and dark olive. Layered, complex and hard to resist. Full-bodied. Perfectly integrated, melted tannins. A real triumph. Greatest Lagrein out there. Drink now." (10/2014) K&L Notes: #10 James Suckling's Top 100 Italian Wines of 2014; November 11th, 2014. Named for the bedrock on which the vineyards stand, this Prophyr bottling is 100% Lagrein selected from three different parcels of vineyard which are all nearly 100 years old. The grapes were manually harvested and again hand-sorted before being slowly fe... Read More »
96 points James Suckling: "This is so refined and polished with dusty tannins and shaved-chocolate and dried-berry character. Full-bodied but fresh and lively. Long, long finish. Trudy and Sting's best wine ever. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese. Made from biodynamically grown grapes. Very drinkable now but better in 2017." (10/2014) K&L Notes: This is the winery owned by famed musician Sting.
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 »
Inventory: Redwood City
98 points James Suckling: "This smells like great Burgundy with strawberry, flowers and hints of incense. Full body with wonderful, ultra-refined tannins and amazing depth and length. So layered and so fine. It goes on for minutes. Magical red. Better in 2017." (10/2014)
90 points Wine Spectator: "A modern style, with black cherry, black currant and tobacco notes enhanced by oak spice. Vibrant and balanced, featuring fine tannins that still need to be absorbed. The spice elements echo on the finish. Best from 2016 through 2024." (8/2014) Jancis Robinson: "Cask sample. Very dark ruby. Focused oak and fruit nose. Supple dense fruit with a firm tannic frame. Only a tiny bit astringent on the finish, but will mellow out with more bottle age." (2/2014)
From an "agriculturally self-sufficient" wine farm that include orchards and pasture, just a few miles outside of Roma along the Appian Way. The winery's note: "This has a straw-yellow color with golden reflections. The aromas are intense and elegant and range from floral scents to those of tropical fruit, together with notes of golden delicious apple and banana. The flavor is balanced, piquant and very elegant."
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A pure expression of Chardonnay, the oak-aged 2011 Falesia is a creamy, buttery wine with roasted pineapple, vanilla, canned peach and flinty mineral. The structure is not too big and that’s ultimately what helps this wine feel balanced in the mouth. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2015. (ML)" (8/2013)
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 »
Anna Maria Abbona is a Dolcetto specialist in Dolgiani, a sub-region of Piedmont where Dolcetto is the star, not content to play backup to Nebbiolo or Barbera. All of the best sites in the area are planted to Dolcetto, producing wines that are deep, concentrated and complex. Abbona uses micro-oxygenation, oak and picking for phenolic ripeness to keep Dolcetto's aggressive tannins in check.
95 points Antonio Galloni: "Kirsch, rose petal, pomegranate, exotic spices and mint are woven together in a fabric of notable class in the 2011 Tignanello. An exotic wine that captures the essence of the year, the 2011 is endowed with magnificent complexity, nuance and class. The silky, polished finish makes the 2011 incredibly appealing today, but the wines from this site have always aged very well. The 2011 is going to need time to shed some of its baby fat, but it will always remain extroverted and racy to the core. I can't wait to see how the 2011 ages. (AG)" (9/2014)95 points James Suckling: "Ruby, rose, ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright red. Fragrant aromas of red cherry, minerals and flowers. Then bright and fresh on the palate, with pure red berry and cherry flavors that last and last on the clean, smooth finish. Zippy acidity and lingering minerality give this wine added punch. A traditionally styled, well-made Rosso di Montalcino." (10/2013) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: Dark red ruby with garnet red shades. Ethereal smell and intense complex bouquet. Full bodied with poweful structure and balanced tannins. Perfect with typical Tuscan dishes such as pappardelle, polenta, salami, seaso... Read More »
40% Refosco, 40% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Since Enzo Boglietti assumed control at his family domain, he has pushed quality to near Barolo’s summit. Despite spectacular vineyard holdings, the family had sold the entire production in bulk prior to 1991. Perhaps inspired by local leaders, Elio Altare and Roberto Voerzio, young Enzo set out to maximize the potential of his vineyards. Boglietti brings to his Barbera the same voluptuous house style as his Baroli.
Inventory: Redwood City