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K&L Staff Recommendations
This Prosecco offers delicate flavors of pear and hints of nutmeg, all in a well balanced sparkling wine. Montechiara is an Extra Dry bubbly, like most Prosecco, which gives it a more determined palate presence, good acidity and a bright freshness that make it seem more like a Brut while lengthening the finish. Try it for your holiday parties or just knocking the dust off a long day at work! (Greg St. Clair, K&L Italian wine buyer)
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)
93 points James Suckling: "A fresh, clean red with balsamic and chocolate character, plus fresh cherry. Full body, firm tannins and a juicy finish. Ripe, generous fruit. Always outstanding from here. A polished Super Tuscan. Drink or hold." (10/2014)93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Giampaolo Motta’s 2012 La Massa wraps clean around the palate, imparting sassy tones of Mexican spice, tobacco and dark berry fruit. The blend is 60% Sangiovese with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Alicante. The wine shows luscious dark concentration with equal billing to both the dark fruity component of the wine and its spicy, oak-driv ...Read More »
Poggiarellino is an evolving star in our Direct Import portfolio. From Montalcino, this tiny winery is making superb wines at stunning prices.
Giovanni Blason and his wife Valentina are young producers who continuously surprise us with the price-to-quality ratio of their wines, earning them tons of kudos in Gambero Rosso and beyond. They come from the Isonzo region of Northern Italy, right up against the Slovenian border. Their Pinot Grigio is really sensational, full in the mouth, rich on the palate and extraordinarily drinkable at this price! Very aromatic, with good complexity, length and that subtle elegance that shows muscle and a long and flowing finish.
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 »
This has been the #1 selling Italian wine for more than a decade at K&L! You can't get that kind of continued success without a supremely fantastic quality to price ratio. The south Tuscan coast is a breadbasket of wine making, stable temperatures, solid history of quality yet no fame and fortune. Incredible price bargains that come out of the region, and the proof is in the bottle. This wine is wonderful, soft, forward and easy to drink Sangiovese with an enticing mixture of cherry, plum and earth. Imminently drinakable.
Sella & Mosca is a beautiful and historic winegrowing estate in Sardinia which places great emphasis on their traditional winemaking values enabled by modern cellars. In the most outstanding vintages, Sella & Mosca produces this Cannonau Riserva bottling from grapes picked in select vineyard parcels of this most traditional red Sardinian varietal. Aged for two years in oak casks prior to release, this aristocratic red will sustain a decade or more of aging. The ruby color introduces a nose marked by violet and spice which reverberate on the palate with ... Read More »
Terre da Vino's La Lune e I Falò Barbera d'Asti comes from a variety of vineyards with varying soils and aspects, 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.
Wine Enthusiast: "Made with organic grapes, this fruity blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo/Colorino begins with aromas of ripe red berries, spice and espresso. The dense palate delivers fleshy black cherry, black pepper and balsamic herbs supported by youthfully aggressive, chewy tannins. Drink 2015-2020." (4/2014)
Matteo Ascheri is in charge of a vibrant wine cellar and is producing really complex and interesting wines for excellent price points. The winery has been in his family and making wine since 1880 but really blossomed upon Matteo taking the reins. This 2010 Barolo is a blend of three different Barolo communes 50% comes from Serralunga d'Alba where the most powerful wines are made and blended with 40% from La Morra and 10% from Verduno where high tone aromatics add a top end to the wine. This Barolo is made with 100% Nebbiolo, was harvested in mid October... Read More »
Antonio Galloni: "La Fortuna's 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is already quite forward. Dried cherries, crushed flowers, mint, tobacco and licorice meld together in a forward, mature Brunello to drink over the next 2-3 years." (5/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "Fragrances of mature black fruit, violet, espresso and baking spices take the lead. The palate delivers ripe red berries, black cherry, vanilla and mocha backed up by assertive but somewhat drying tannins. It’s evolving fast so drink over the next few years." (5/2014) K&L Notes: Angelo Zannoni is the fifth generation of winemakers at La Fortuna; the winery c... 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)
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 »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Focused and balanced, it opens with a fragrance recalling ripe berries, wet soil, red rose, blue flower and baking spices. The spicy palate delivers wild cherry, cinnamon-spice, white pepper, hot red pepper and a mineral note alongside brooding tannins and just enough fresh acidity. Drink 2016–2021. — K.O" (5/2014)90 points James Suckling: "Very pretty, savory Brunello with plums, and hints of jam and balsamic character. Full body with a velvety texture and a long finish. Drink or hold." (2/2014) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright, deep red. Enticing aromas of raspberry and fresh flowers are lifted by a steel ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A tangy and lively red with plums, berries and chocolate. Full body and lovely fruit. Very well-made and delicious now." (11/2013) K&L Notes: A delightful blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot, this delicious, approachable red is aged 14 months in two and three year-old barrels. Pride and care is taken to reduce yields in order to produce an excellently concentrated wine.
94 points James Suckling: "Lots of dried cherry and mahogany with sweet tobacco. Asphalt too. It's full body, with silky and refined tannins and a long and gorgeous finish. This is structured and layered. Firm and intense. Better in 2018." (12/2014)
Ravello, carved into the hillsides overlooking the Mediterranean on Italy's Amalfi Coast, is one of my favorite places on earth. Maybe it's because it is where my husband and I honeymooned, but honestly I was in love with Ravello before I ever set foot there, and that goes back to this wine. Made from 60% Falanghina and 40% Biancolella grown in the rocky, calcareous soils of both Ravello and Scala, this slightly floral, wonderfully mineral, fresh white wine tastes like the crystalline blue sea and sunshine captured in a bottle. It is particularly delicio... Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "Lots of blueberry and toasted oak character with vanilla undertones. Full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. The new wood and ripe fruit needs to come together still. Try in 2014." (11/2013)90 points Antonio Galloni: "Firm tannins support an expressive core of dark red/blue fruits in the 2010 Chianti Classico Riserva. The aromas and flavors are bright, delineated and nuanced. Readers should give the wine another 6-12 months in the cellar for the tannins to soften, but this is already an impressive Chianti that should drink well for another handful of years. Hints of tobacco, und ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
93 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2010 Chianti Classico boasts striking inner perfume, but is otherswise very shut down. Today, the 2010 seems to combine the finesse of the 2004 with some of the structure of the 2006. Clean veins of 2010 acidity support the brilliant, sensual finish. The 2010 is a gorgeous wine with a bright future, although readers will need to be patient." (8/2013)92 points James Suckling: "A wine with a dried berry and plum character. Full body, silky tannins and lots of juicy fruits. A solid and tannic Chianti Classico more like a top Brunello than a Chianti Classico!" (9/2013)92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Chian ...Read More »
90 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2013 Chardonnay Pomino Bianco is a gorgeous, bright wine from Frescobaldi's Castello di Pomino. Lemon, jasmine, and sweet white peaches are some of the notes that emerge from an effortless, impeccably balanced wine. A dollop of aromatic varieties adds texture and attractive floral overtones. This is a fabulous value from Frescobaldi. (Antonio Galloni)" (1/2015)90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright pale straw. Lemon, white peach and jasmine on the knockout nose, with an enticing spicy nuance emerging at the back. Fresh and pure in the mouth, offering a lovely fruit/acid balance and ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Dolcetto d’Alba Bricco dell’Oriolo shows great attention to detail with tones of wet earth and red beet that are offset by vibrant cherry and cassis. The wine is true to the varietal characteristics of the grape and shows a soothing, silky texture as well. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2016. (ML)" (6/2013)
Remo Farina's Bianco di Custoza is a blend of aromatic white grapes from the Moreniche hills, southeast of Lake Garda in Veneto. The blend of 40% Garganega, 25% Trebbiano, 15% Fernanda, 20% Malvasia are grown in calcareous clay soils. The wine is vinified entirely in stainless steel to maintain its fresh, bright, and aromatic profile. Notes of peach and white flowers reverberate on an easy-going palate that is perfect as an aperitif or with light dishes and fish.
We started importing the wines of this small family-owned winery in Colli Orientali de Friuli (not far from the Slovenian border) with the 2001 vintage. Back then they were far better known in Italy, where they have continuously garnered accolades from Gambero Rosso, but these days they have quite a following here at K&L, too. Vintage after vintage the wines from the brothers Ermacora (Dario and Luciano) sell out very quickly. And they still adhere to the motto: Do little, in order to do better.
Always a bargain red from one of K&L's favorite direct imports. The 37-acre Blason property in Gradisca d'Inzonzo, owned by Giovanni and Valentina Blason, is just a few miles from the Slovenian border. Spicy pepper, juicy red fruit and a whole lot of deliciousness.
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 »
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 »
From some of the best vineyards in the Barbaresco DOC, this is a delightful rendition of Nebbiolo. From the winery: "Ruby-red shading to garnet. Very intense and forward, with scents of violets, redcurrants, strawberry and vanilla. Rich and generous in the mouth, soft, with a light vein of tannin over violets, and a lingering finish."
The Bronca sisters grow their own fruit in steep hillside vineyards, then make base wine and perform the secondary (sparkling) fermentation on non-vintage batches three or four times a year, to ensure freshness. Low yields and hillside-grown fruit ensures that the wine has good concentration and acidity. This one's a clean, crisp and ultimately refreshing sparkler that is one of our favorites.
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 spend six months in tanks. Blason is from Isonzo in Italy's north easternmost region, called Friuli, which borders Slovenia.
This is always one of the most popular Italian whites at K&L. Made entirely from Vermentino from the Gallura Highlands on the island of Sardenia. The granitic soils force the vines to struggle to survive, but that struggle (like so many) gives the wine its character. The 2013 is dry and full, with lots of white fruit, a touch of green pepper and a salty minerality that makes this a natural pairing with seafood. Don't miss.
La Monacesca’s idea for this wine is for a crisp white, fresh and vibrant and the perfect accompaniment to the Marche’s seafood bounty, especially shellfish. The grapes are harvested in the early part of September and then aged for a year in stainless before the wine is bottled. The wine has a super focus, bright and clean with an underlying mineral presence and a long finish. Decant this wine an hour or so, to allow it to open up a bit. Enjoy with your favorite seafood!
Poderi San Lazzaro is a 15 hectare, organically-farmed estate in the Marche, located between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea. This lovely and wonderfully affordable Sangiovese shows hints of smoke to complement the floral, cherry-inflected nose. The fruit is clean on the palate, which is medium-bodied, with good acidity, soft tannins and a vein of minerality. Great for pasta night.
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 »
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.
This is 100% Sangiovese that will remind you of sitting in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, having a simple glass of red wine and a plate of pasta while watching the world go by. The fresh, bright Sangiovese character goes particularly well with a simple Aglio e Olio pasta (that's garlic and oil) with a whisper of crushed red pepper and a bit of Parmigiano Reggiano sprinkled across the top. Bargain priced, easy to drink and filled with memories (or fantasies). (Greg St. Clair, K&L Italian wine buyer)
92 points Wine Spectator: "Cherry, plum, licorice and spice flavors play off the lush texture in this opulent red. The tannins offer support, but are well-integrated, leading to a long, balanced finish. Best from 2016 through 2026." (11/2014)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From Podere Pietranera, the 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is a soft and perfumed expression that excels in consistency as it glides so smoothly over the senses. It shows dried cherry and cassis with good balance, finesse and class. The palate shows more firmness and grit with a pinch of sharp Sangiovese acidity on the close. Drink: 2016-2023. (ML ...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)
94 points James Suckling: "Pale, watery color with a slightly green tinge. Cherry blossom with stony green apple peel on nose. Crisp, dry but elegant tropical-fruit character, saltiness and tannins offer focused structure. Fresh, elegant finish. An amazing Friulano." (9/2014)
Giovanni Blason and his consulting enologist Andrea Rossi have turned this 37-acre property into a juggernaut of affordable quality wines. Giovanni and his wife Valentina own this winery in Gradisca d’Inzonzo, 3.75 miles from the Slovenian border and about 20 miles north of Trieste. This white offers such intense floral aromatics, with, jasmine, elderflowers, and lime blossoms, you'd guess that there would be some correlating sweetness on the palate, but this one from Blason is absolutely dry. Great with cheese!
Frascati doesn't have the best reputation--it's often the innocuous white wine served as "house wine" across Rome--but this one from Casale Marchese transcends any preconceived notions. Made from Malvasia del Lazio, Trebbiano Toscano, Malvasia di Candia, Bonvino and Bellone grown on family farms in the Tusculo hills and brought to us by one of our favorite Italian importers, Oliver McCrum (it's how you KNOW it's going to be good), this is fresh and delightful. Notes of basil complement peach and nectarine with a slight almond underpinning. It's fresh, ea... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This straightforward, inviting Barolo boasts classic Nebbiolo aromas of rose, leather, berry spice and tilled earth. It’s not loaded with complexity, but the sour cherry, black pepper and clove flavors are delicious. It closes on a note of subtle oak alongside a drying, tannic finish. (KO)" (10/2014)
This sparkling white wine was obtained, as you might guess by the name, from the Prosecco grape using the Charmat method in autoclave. It is the epitome of prosecco, where the harmony of its elegant body is accompanied by a delicate bouquet. The freshness and fragrance of this wine, together with a fine and persistent perlage, make it ideal for any occasion. And the price doesn't hurt either! Serve at a cooler temperature than most whites, and watch bottle after bottle disappear at your next party.
We started importing the wines of this small family-owned winery in Colli Orientali de Friuli (not far from the Slovenian border) with the 2001 vintage. Back then they were far better known in Italy, where they have continuously garnered accolades from Gambero Rosso, but these days they have quite a following here at K&L, too. Vintage after vintage the wines from the brothers Ermacora (Dario and Luciano) sell out very quickly. And they still adhere to the motto: Do little, in order to do better. Their 2013 Friulano is no exception. The 2012 scored 90 poi... Read More »
Allura is a peninsula on the northeast corner of the island of Sardinia that specializes in Vermentino (the grape is also grown on the coast of mainland Italy, on Corsica and in the south of France under the name Rolle). Mancini's version of the grape is very fresh and forward, with no oak or malolactic fermentation aromas, just grape juice fermented at low temperature in stainless steel. Enjoy this delicious, lively and aromatic white as an aperitif or with seafood (prawns with pasta?). A hint of citrus peel on the finish adds food-friendly complexity.
93 points James Suckling: "Fabulously dense and flavorful. Aromas of sliced green pears and lemons follow through to a full body with a rich and tangy aftertaste. I like the lemon grass and herb undertones. Flinty too. A blend of pinot blanc, chardonnay and sauvignon banc. Drink now." (7/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "A blend of 60% Pinot Bianco, 30% Chardonnay and 10% Sauvignon, this reveals a fragrance of white flowers and tree fruit. The juicy palate delivers white peach, yellow apple and a mineral note alongside fresh acidity." (6/2014)
Impressive for its purity and refreshing mineral qualities, Valle dell'Acate takes the Inzolia varietal to a whole new level of quality. As a second label, 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 ... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco