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K&L Staff Recommendations
On the border of Tuscany, Lazio, and Umbria--the area that also happens to be the birthplace of the ancient Etruscan civilization--Paolo and Noemia d'Amico have built a winery deeply embedded in tradition. The landscape is a result of a long period of volcanic erosion, and is full of deep valleys of cliffs and rock walls. Their cellar is modeled after the Etruscans, and was built underneath the vines, ensuring that temps are always ideal. This Grechetto-Sauvignon Blanc blend is, according to the winery, "well-balanced, fresh, with a good persistence. Sce... Read More »
On a high plateau in the heart of Chianti Classico, the team at Villa Trasqua lives by the "wine is made in the vineyard" ethos. They harvest grapes at their peak, and practice minimal interferance so the aromas of the terroir can shine through. Their "Traluna"—mostly Sangiovese with a touch of Alicante Buchet—is ample and generous, with deep cherry and baking spice notes.
93 points Decanter: "Bright ruby and transparent, yet you find yourself searching the glass for a skeleton, skate-wing bones of neatly structured and delicate tannins fanning out through the fruit. Fine, focused and extremely drinkable. Drink 2015-2022" (6/2015) 92 points James Suckling: "A beautiful red with delicate but rich flavors, bright acidity and an orange-peel undertone. Medium body with fine tannins and a fresh, clean, savory, salty finish. Very Burgundian. Pure Sangiovese. Drink now or hold." (10/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "Here’s a vibrant wine that opens with pretty aromas of blue flower, rose and berry. The savor ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "A balanced white, with modest poached apple, stone, preserved lemon and graphite notes. Juicy. (Web Only—2015)" K&L Notes: Well almost Umbria, actually in Lazio but you can see Umbria from this vineyard!
90 points Vinous: "(a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo Nero): Bright pink with an orange tinge. Complex aromas of strawberry, violet, botanical herbs and blood orange. Fresh and juicy, with tactile flavors of strawberry, fresh citrus fruit and pepper. Finishes with a hint of residual sweetness and outstanding lift. This is always one of Tuscany’s best rosato wines, and it’s no different this year. (ID)" (6/2015)
95 points James Suckling: "Lots currants, blueberries, vanilla and floral character on the nose and palate. Full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Edgy contrast of acidity, ripe fruit and wood. Stylish, savory and delicious. A blend of Sangiovese and Merlot. One of the best values amongst Super Tuscan reds. Drink in 2016." (8/2015) Vinous: "The 2013 Crognolo offers notable intensity, with searing tannins that are a bit overpowering at this stage. Dark red cherry, raspberry and white pepper are some of the signatures. Today, the Crognolo is a bit linear and compact. It will be interestin ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
91 points James Suckling: "A firm, silky wine with hazelnut and berry character. Medium to full body with firm tannins and a fresh, clean finish. Chewy. Give it time to soften. Better in 2016." (10/2014) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva displays a dark, brooding color with evolved aromas of dried spice, autumnal underbrush, cassis, figs and candied prune. As the wine evolves in the glass, it imparts increasingly seductive layers of licorice and dried ginger that build in complexity and momentum in quintessential Brunello fashion. There’s a tightness and firmness to the palate ...Read More »
94 points James Suckling: "This is a phenomenal white with sliced pear, apple and cream. Wonderful richness. It's full bodied, very layered and stylish. A petrol, candle-wax and dried-apricot character. Savory finish. Drink now." (12/2014) 3 points Gambero Rosso: "With its extraordinary interpretation of the Matelica DOC, Aldo Cifola's winery is the perfect exponent of the concept of terroir. He reads the potential of Verdicchio, which finds a powerful, flavorsome expression here without losing its acidic, tangy edge endowed by the area and its cool microclimate. Another magnificent verison of the Mirum, th ...Read More »
90 points James Suckling: "A clean, fresh red with dried-strawberry and lemon-rind character. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a chewy finish. Always excellent. Drink or hold." (2/2014) 90 points Vinous: "The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is a pretty wine, with good freshness and solid overall balance for the year. Sweet tobacco, dried herbs, smoke and spice meld together nicely in the glass. Although a bit compact and forward, the 2009 offers lovely drinking today and should develop nicely for the next decade or so. In 2009, Mastrojanni did not produce their flagship Brunello Schiena d'Asino; that ...Read More »
Claudia Ferrero and her husband/winemaker Pablo Härri's estate is called the Podere Pascena and it sits in the southwesterly corner of Montalcino (they are bordered by Argiano and Banfi's Riserva vineyard "Poggio all'Oro"). The wines from this zone are really rich and you can feel the sun shining on these grapes, ripening, and filling them with a dense richness, while their wines show lots of black cherry, plum, chocolate with a satiny texture, round, full and broad on the palate. When we were first introduced to this winery, we thought it was so soft, f... Read More »
90 points Vinous: "The 2013 Rosso di Montalcino is fresh, floral and lifted, which is to say very much in the style of this late-ripening vintage. Sweet tobacco, mint, leather, smoke and dark red stone fruits open up nicely in the glass. Although not quite as voluptuous as most editions, the 2013 has lovely energy and enough acidity to drink well for a number of years. This is a very pretty Rosso from Giancarlo Pacenti." (2/2015)
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 Apennines. 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 »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is one of the best value wines of this celebrated vintage. Fruit is sourced from the Castelnuovo dell'Abate subzone of the appellation and you immediately notice the extra density and power of this wine (the label reads 14.5% alcohol and you feel it). That power is well checked by the general richness and pulpiness of the mouthfeel and the balanced intensity of the bouquet. Having said that, this Brunello definitely veers toward the savory side of the Sangiovese spectrum with dark cherry tones, dried meat and exotic spice. ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
On a high plateau in the heart of Chianti Classico, the team at Villa Trasqua lives by the "wine is made in the vineyard" ethos. They harvest grapes at their peak, and practice minimal interferance so the aromas of the terroir can shine through. Their "Fanatico" is a Chianti Classico Riserva, with ripe black cherry flavors underlined by baking spice and chocolate. It's well structured, and will age well.
92 points James Suckling: "Beautiful aromas of bark, berry and dark chocolate character follow through to a full body, chewy tannins and a smoky, meaty and peppery aftertaste. Drink now or hold." (1/2015) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is a lush and layered expression that shows a dark and rich side of Sangiovese. Sweet fruit and Morello cherry lift first from the glass with impressive intensity. After a few brief moments, the wine begins to show delicate nuances of cinnamon, nutmeg, grilled herb, ash and smoke. Ultimately, the wine delivers more bang to the nose and follows with a ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva feels like a wine made from a whole other producer and a different environment when compared to the estate’s 2009 Brunello Campo Marzo. While that wine is thin and fraught, this Riserva on the other hand, is bountiful and generous especially where the use of oak is concerned. Some 48 months in barrel adds cinnamon and vanilla over dark cherry and blackberry. It is meant for near-term consumption. Drink: 2014-2021. (ML)" (2/2014) Jancis Robinson: "Deep ruby with orange tinges. Balsamic fruit with a hint of incense on the nose, Concentr ...Read More »
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)
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)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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)"
97 points James Suckling: "A tight and silky red with compacted fruit and tannin texture featuring blackcurrant, mushroom and bark undertones. Full body, firm tannins and a minerally finish. Excellent structure and mouthfeel. A cooler style of Ornellaia, bringing it back to the classicism of this celebrated region. Bordeaux blend. Better in 2018." (8/2015) K&L Notes: This is a hallmark Super Tuscan, that's been produced to great acclaim since 1985. A blend of estate-grown Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot, it has a reputation for concentrated elegance. From the winem... Read More »
Here's a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend from cntral Italy's Lazio. It's self-described by the winery as "a red wine with an intense ruby color and bold and persistent aromas that recall black fruits like blackberry and blueberry, accompanied by scents of spice and an elegant vanilla note, along with an austere one from bottle aging. The mouthfeel is balanced, persistent and quite elegant."
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Dark red-ruby. Aromas of black cherry, ripe red berries, licorice, dried flowers and spices are a bit aromatically compressed owing to the vintage's hot weather. Sweet and rather soft on entry (again due to 2000's warm weather), then nicely stuffed with surprisingly energetic red fruit in the middle. The broad finish features repeating, lingering flavors of ripe red cherry and licorice. A very successful 2000 Brunello. (ID)" (5/2014) Wine Spectator: "Aromas of strawberry and cream, with hints of mahogany. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a ripe fruit character. Slight ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Inventory: Main Warehouse
95 points Vinous: "At nearly twenty years of age, the 1994 remains opulent, full-bodied and voluptuous to the core. This is the best bottle of the 1994 I have ever had. Warm days alternated with cool nights during the final phase of ripening produced one of the greatest Solaias ever made. (AG)" (12/2013) 93 points Wine Spectator: "*Cellar Selection* A super red wine from a top Tuscan producer. Displaying inky color, intense aromas of blackberries, mint and currants, this vino da tavola is full-bodied, with full yet silky tannins and a long, long, fruity finish." (9/1997) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 1994 Solaia is a revelation. ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Vinous: "Crushed flowers, mint, pine, spices and crushed raspberries lift from the glass in the 2013 Anthos, Correggia's still, dry Brachetto. In this vintage, the Anthos is especially light-bodied and ethereal. I would drink it slightly chilled as an aperitif. - (AG)" (5/2015)
97 points James Suckling: "I can't think of a greater pinot bianco or pinot blanc than this. The aromas and flavors are so subtle but complex with minerals, flint, hints of flowers, sliced pear and apple. Full-bodied with creamy acidity and a long finish. A perfect fruit/acid balance. About 85% pinot bianco and the rest chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. A selection of the best grapes from here. Only 2,450 bottles made. Speechless. Already sold out in the US. One of the greatest dry white of Italy recently released." (9/2014) K&L Notes: Obviously not sold out! We've got connections! The wine is a... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of my favorite white wines from Northern Italy, the 2011 Alto Adige Pinot Bianco Riserva Vorberg is dazzling and impressive on both the nose and in the mouth. It offers a full package of varietal purity with aromas of pear, quince, Golden Delicious apple and honeysuckle. Aged 12 months in large oak casks, it imparts a seductively rich and creamy texture on the long finish. This beauty promises to age ten years or more and will develop more mineral nuances as it continues its bottle evolution. (ML)" (10/2014) K&L Notes: From Alto Adige, here is a Pinot Bianco that... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
On a high plateau in the heart of Chianti Classico, the team at Villa Trasqua lives by the "wine is made in the vineyard" ethos. They harvest grapes at their peak, and practice minimal interferance so the aromas of the terroir can shine through. Their "Trasgaia" is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. It is aromatic and savory, with notes of coffee, cocoa, clove and plum.