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K&L Staff Recommendations
90 points Antonio Galloni: "(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)
40% Refosco, 40% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.
90 points Wine & Spirits: "This aged for 12 months, half in cement and half in tonneaux, sustaining an inky violet hue and dense flavors of black plum and sour cherry. Firm fruit-skin tannins frame the juicy fruit, leaving a fresh impression. A few years in the cellar may unpack more layers." (8/2015)
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 spends six months in tanks. Blason is from Isonzo in Italy's north easternmost region of Friuli, which borders Slovenia.
A Premier Cru Classé Pomerol from the Veneto? It may sound strange, but that is exactly what the folks from Vignalta had in mind when they set out to make their top wine, the Gemola. A blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, aged in French and American barriques (a mix of oldish and new), this wine is anything but typical. The Gemola is madewith plenty of grip and complexity to make it practically irresistible even for staunch traditionalists. In truth, both Merlot and Cabernet Franc have been grown in the Colli Euganei for decades. In the Gemola, they combi... Read More »
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)
91 points Wine Spectator: "Black cherry, sweet spice, toast, cedar and bell pepper aromas and flavors highlight this smooth red, showing fine intensity and a long, new oak—infused finish. Drink now through 2018." (2/2014)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Bolgheri Rosso Adeo is a 60-40 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The bouquet definitely underlines the Cabernet component with distant layers of rosemary oil and wild herb. Spicy oak tones of cinnamon and clove add density and heft to the palate. The tannins are long and tight. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2019. (ML)" (8/2013) James Suckling: "This is a Bordeaux blend w ...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)"
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 »
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 »
The Bandol Rosé of the Alps! Lauded as a reference point for the wines of Trentino-Alto Adige, Cantina/Kellerei Terlan makes this fresh rose, ready-to-enjoy now, from the red Lagrein grape. Winemaker Rudi Kofler notes: "Lagrein is a distinctive indigenous wine. It can be enjoyed as a full-bodied red but also, in the warmer months of the year, as a fruity rosé. Thanks to its fresh and uncomplicated character, the rosé is becoming increasingly popular among wine connoisseurs."
Inventory: Redwood City
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Madonna del Piano is an expressive and articulate wine that speaks highly of Sangiovese and the Montalcino territory. The wine offers a pristine narrative of both grape and place with crystalline aromas of cherry, blackberry, spice, leather, smoke and Mediterranean herb. The bouquet peels back one delicious layer at a time. The mouthfeel is similarly successful with deep concentration and complexity. It imparts soft layers of dried fruit and velvety tannins. Endnotes of espresso bean and toasted almond add length a ...Read More »
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."
Paolo Calì is a pharmacist who began making wine in 2003. In the hot climate of southerneastern Sicily, Calì's grows Nero D'Avola and Frappato in the island's only DOCG, Cerasuola di Vittoria. His Frappato is fresh and aromatic, with notes of strawberries, lavender, and orange zest. He ferments in stainless steel to preserve the brightness of the grape. This wine is a boon companion to any summer picnic--put a slight chill on it and serve it with prosciutto, fried chicken, or pizza.
95 points Antonio Galloni: "Another gorgeous wine, the 2011 La Ricolma wraps around the palate with fabulous depth and richness. Dark red and black-toned fruit, cloves, menthol, spices and licorice meld together in a supple, radiant wine endowed with notable depth and nuance. Lavender, jasmine and a host of floral notes add gorgeous perfume on the finish. Of all the San Giusto wines, Ricolma seems to get the least attention, but it can be superb, as it is again in 2011." (9/2014)94 points Wine Spectator: "A cool reserve lends a fresh feel to the pure cherry and blackberry flavors in this dense red. Taut, focu ...Read More »
Delicious pink wine, some of the first Nebbiolo rosé of the season. Pink like a perfect spring sunset. Pink like...an earthworm. Indeed, Proprietà Sperino, located in the historic district of Ori in northern Piedmont, also produces worm cast humus in its own production facility, Utilizing millions of Californian red earthworms. Serve cold.
91 points Antonio Galloni: "A dark, brooding wine, the 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva boasts terrific depth and intensity in its black cherries, mocha, scorched earth, game and black olives. The flavors are intense and pungent, while slight hints of oxidation suggest the 2008 is on its way to being fully mature. For now, though, the 2008 offers solid overall balance and plenty of personality. (AG)" (5/2014)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. ...Read More »
According to importer Jan D'Amore: "In 1928 Dario Raccaro’s grandfather, bought the farm at the foothills of Monte Quarin, just outside of Cormons, near the small church of S.Maria ... in the eighties Dario decides to abandon his career in professional basketball and to take the reins of the winery. Dario’s charismatic and gregarious personality eschews trends and avoids the compromises dictated by the market. He is adamant about vinification in steel for his whites in order to retain the purest expression of the fruit and the terroir. Dario produces 27.... Read More »
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 »
92 points James Suckling: "This is a wine with dried meats, berries and earth. Full body, velvety tannins and a beautiful fruit intensity. Energetic red. Always an excellent Chianti Classico. Made from organically grown grapes. Drink now." (9/2013) Wine Enthusiast: "This has aromas of ripe berry and toast. The palate isn’t very expressive but reveals new wood, vanilla and chocolate. Give this a few more years to fully develop. Drink 2015–2020." (10/2013) Wine Spectator: "Dense yet medium-weight, with tobacco, briar and leather flavors. More savory than fruity, offering a dry finish. Best from 2015 through 2021. (Web-20 ...Read More »
Known for small berries and "spontaneous abortion" of the flower, Picolit fashions one of the rarest Italian passito wines. Golden hued with sumptuous honey, tropical and citrus notes, this complex white successsfully rivals Vin Santo for its ability to stand up to hearty cheeses or in a glass all by itself.
Inventory: San Francisco
93 points Wine Spectator: "Clever winemaking delivers subtle, deftly oaked barrique notes--toasty, smoky, grilled aromas--while letting the ripe fruit character unfold in a smooth package that shows complexity and class. Long, satisfying finish." (11/1999)92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Very good full red. Sappy, spicy, perfumed aromas of raspberry, smoke, chocolate and vanilla. Full and backward on the palate, with oak tones adding complexity to the fruit flavors. Sound acidity gives the flavors delineation and finesse. The tannins build on the strong aftertaste. Classy Barolo, with very good density for the vin ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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."
A blend of Grechetto and Voignier, this wine ages 'sur lies' in 10-hectoliter oak and chestnut barrels. The color is a clear, golden-yellow, the result of sitting on the lees. The aromas are surprisingly complex, mineral, intense yet elegant, with a pleasing fruit component that is not too ripe. There is white peach, medlar and perhaps some fresh almond, along with flint and gentian flower. The flavor is balanced, soft, piquant and perfectly upheld by a brackish, Mediterranean acidity.
Inventory: Redwood City
94 points James Suckling: "Beautiful nose of ripe plums and sweet tobacco, follow through to a full body, with velvety tannins and a ripe finish. Extremely balanced and complex. Best after 2012." (8/2011)94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* This inky wine opens with black concentration and rich aromas of mature cherry, almond paste, spice, blackberry and plum. Integrated wood tones of leather and toasted coffee complete the picture and help render soft but structured tannins. Drink after 2015." (2/2012)92 points Wine Spectator: "Thick and concentrated, this extracted red exudes blackberry, plum, oak spice and tobacco flavors, ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Sesta di Sopra’s 2008 Brunello di Montalcino is rather closed in its aromatics, but is more expressive on the palate, where layers of dark red fruit come alive. Smoke, tar, licorice, scorched earth and smoke add an attractive element of gravitas on the finish. Deceptively medium in body, the 2008, nevertheless, packs a serious punch. The long, superbly delineated finish bodes well for the future, but the 2008 needs time in bottle to settle down a bit more. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026." (6/2013)91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Dark cherry, leather, tobacco and spicy aromas of cured me ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
93 points James Suckling: "There's plenty of mineral, currant and dried-flower character. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a clean finish. Always a serious Bordeaux blend here. Better in 2016." (10/2014)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Bolgheri Superiore Sapaio is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot and 10% Cabernet Franc, aged for 18 months (in 80% new oak). This is a unique wine, aromatically speaking, with tangy notes of exotic spice and Asian barbecue. Savory dried meat and teriyaki are backed by a high degree of black fruit, blackberry and plum cake. The wine shows broad shoulders, unyieldi ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse