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K&L Staff Recommendations
De La Terre is a fascinating project from prolific winemaker Tony Pritchard. The wines are very much a labor of love and I am delighted to be working with De La Terre in this direct import relationship. After a career at some of NZ's top commercial wineries and as a consultant winemaker, Tony has gone back to his roots and set up his own boutique operation making crafting tiny amounts of these delicious wines. The fruit for the wines is largely from a patchwork of unique vineyard blocks on the slopes of Te Mata Peak in Hawke's Bay. The soils here are ver... Read More »
Owner/Winemaker of Cascina La Ghersa, Max Pastura, passionately directs the winery his family has run since 1928. The Piagè, or 'toll' in the Piemontese dialect, represents a killer value in 100 percent Barbera. Fruity, bright, and exuberant on the nose, with aromas of dark red fruits and underbrush, the palate is full of cherries and plums with a persistent and always fresh mouthfeel.
Inventory: San Francisco
Terre da Vino's La Lune e I Falò Barbera d'Asti comes from a variety of vineyards with varying soils and microclimates 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.
From importer Olivier McCrum: "'Blina' is the name of the vineyard. This wine is a direct, straightforward rendition of the Barbera grape. Fresh acidity and berry flavors are the hallmarks of Barbera, but low yields and old vines give this wine very good depth and concentration, too. Fermentation and aging are completed in stainless steel, and the wine is bottled before the following harvest. (There are two things I like about wines that aren't aged in oak; one of them is that they taste of fruit, rather than oak, and the other is that they are better va... Read More »
This Barbera comes from the biodynamically farmed Serra Gatti Vineyard, which is perched at 820 feet above sea level in the Priocca zone of the Alba DOC. Typical vintages of this bright and intense red are flavorful, fresh and forward, and it's naturally quite food-friendly. Try it with braciole or sauteed chicken livers smeared on crostini.
92 points Vinous: "Once again, Palmina's 2012 Barbera is absolutely delicious as well as one of the most distinctive wines in the range. Pungent red berries, orange peel, spice and mint open up in a super-classic, old-school Barbera endowed with tons of complexity and nuance, with a distinct nod to the great old-school Piedmont Barberas. The 2012 spent six months in neutral barrels then two years in cask. From top to bottom, this is a compelling set of new releases from Steve and Chrystal Clifton at Palmina. In addition to the current releases, the Cliftons poured two 2005 ...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 »
Ca' del Baio is the labor of love of four generations of family producers. The Grasso family manages the 22 hectare vineyard and winery based in Treiso. They follow a hands-on winemaking philosophy founded in the belief that great wine is made in the vineyards; these hand-tended Barbera vines were planted in 1995. The Grassos have been able to successfully integrate new technology into their traditional methods to produce wines today that showcase the unique terroir characteristics of the Langhe. This Barbera bottling undergoes a controlled fermentation ... Read More »
Owner/Winemaker of Cascina La Ghersa, Max Pastura, passionately directs the winery his family has run since 1928. The Piagè, or 'toll' in the Piemontese dialect, represents a killer value in 100 percent Barbera rosé. It sports a luminously clear ruby hue, with aromas of rose petals and raspberries. It's light on its feet thanks to fresh acidity, and finishes on an elegant note of ripe, supple fruit.
Inventory: San Francisco
91 points James Suckling: "A full-bodied red with lots of dried-fruit, spice and berry character. Shows some tannins that give it tension and energy. Drink now." (10/2015)
James Suckling: "A red with sliced-lemon and berry character, a medium body and a fresh, clean finish. Very lemony. Drink now." (3/2015) Vinous: "Forward and expressive, the 2012 Barbera d'Alba is loaded with sweet red berries, mint, cloves, lavender and spices. Drink this supple, juicy Barbera over the next year or two, while the fruit remains vibrant." (5/2015)
Inventory: San Francisco
92 points James Suckling: "Pretty focus to this excellent 2011 Barbera with sliced peaches and blueberries on the nose and palate. Full and fresh." (12/2013)
96 points James Suckling: "This is always one of the best Barbera d'Albas. The 2010 Pozzo (notice the change in the name due to changes in Italian appellation laws) shows fabulous density and depth with wet earth, dark berries and loads of mineral character. It's full-bodied with bright and creamy acidity plus a long, long finish. Only in magnums. Fantastic." (11/2014) 95 points Vinous: "The 2010 Barbera d'Alba Pozzo is stunningly beautiful. Violets, lavender, dark cherries, plums, tobacco and menthol all flesh out in an aboslutely impeccable, gracious Barbera loaded with class and elegance. Striking ...Read More »