Staff Favorites

If you’re going to have Robert Parker or Stephen Tanzer over for dinner, selecting a wine they’ve rated highly will be a nice choice. However, when you’re buying wines for yourself, we’d love to see you find wines that match up your unique palate and pocketbook. We have a large staff of friendly and knowledgeable wine professionals that taste hundreds of wines each week. They can put you in touch with bottles that you are likely to love, often at a much lower cost than the highly-rated gems that often see a run-up in price and frequent availability issues. Like any great group of opinionated professionals, our staff has varied tastes themselves. Often our customers will find a particular staff member with a style that corresponds to their own. That concept works extremely well in our retail stores, and this section is our effort to bring you the same online. Don’t get us wrong, we love the highly rated wines from the press and will continue to offer them, but we think you’re missing out if you’re not augmenting those selections with picks from our excellent staff. Here are their favorites. (Click on a name to see their other selections - or to drop them a line.) Cheers!


Reviews

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2007 Reinhold Haart Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese
 By: Olivia Ragni | Review Date: 11/21/2014 | Send Email
  What an impressive Riesling! It’s starting to come into its age by developing beautiful aromatics of petrol, honey, and orange blossom. While it does have the typical light body of the Mosel, it’s light without being thin and shows richness and complexity. The palate provide bright acidity, lemon zest, nectarine and white peach notes. This medium-sweet style can be admired on its own or paired exceptionally with spicy foods or dessert.

2012 Waits-Mast "Nash Mill" Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
 By: Sarah Covey | Review Date: 11/20/2014 | Send Email
  Red cherry, red rose, sandalwood and red currant. Medium plus acidity and medium, fine tannin. Elegant and drinkable, I simply love this wine!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Zepaltas "Clay Wheels" Rhone Blend
 By: Sarah Covey | Review Date: 11/20/2014 | Send Email
  Former pro-skater Ryan Zepaltas really brings it with this juicy, drinkable red blend. Grenache, Syrah & Carignan. Plum, cherry, and currant with medium plus acidity. A fun wine for every day drinking!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Mount Edward Estate "Muirkirk Vineyard" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago
 By: Sarah Covey | Review Date: 11/20/2014 | Send Email
  Strawberry, thyme, red cherry, and rose leap out of this wine. Medium plus acidity with fine, easy tannin. Elegant and polished, a stunning example of Central Otago Bannockburn Pinot Noir. Love it!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Tongue In Groove "Clayvin Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough
 By: Sarah Covey | Review Date: 11/20/2014 | Send Email
  A sexy little find from our friends at Tongue & Groove, this wine shows black currant, red cherry, and cranberry with an underlying minerality, medium plus acidity and fine tannin. Beautifully balanced and elegant. Love it!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 96

2012 Tongue In Groove "Cabal / Smith Vineyard" Pinot Noir Waipara Valley
 By: Sarah Covey | Review Date: 11/20/2014 | Send Email
  Bright crunchy red fruit- cranberry, cherry and strawberry with medium plus acidiy. Zippy acid and flshy fruit make this pinot hard not to love!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 95 JS 95

2012 Tongue In Groove "The Mound Vineyard" Riesling Waipara Valley
 By: Sarah Covey | Review Date: 11/20/2014 | Send Email
  The Tongue & Groove "The Mound Vineyard" Riesling is a totally brilliant find! Apricot, citrus, mineral, slate with hints of botrytis. Medium plus acidity makes this wine so, so drinkable. Fabulous balance. A must for riesling-lovers everywhere!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Château Trillol Corbières
 By: Krista Johnson | Review Date: 11/20/2014 | Send Email
  What an incredibly expressive nose! Crushed rose petals & smokey meaty wildness fly from the glass. The palate is full of dark, rich berries and savory forest floor. Incredible wine for less than $15.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Mount Edward Estate "Morrison Vineyard" Pinot Noir Lowburn Central Otago
 By: Mike Barber | Review Date: 11/20/2014 | Send Email
  Any fan of pinot will love this bottle- it's one of the more well rounded and delicious pinots we've brought in from NZ. A light body of blackberry fruit notes is held up by subtle cinnamon and leather flavors. The finish is very long, full of the understated earthy tones one expects from a real pinot of this calliber.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart JS 93 BC 0

2012 Tongue In Groove "Cabal / Smith Vineyard" Pinot Noir Waipara Valley
 By: Mike Barber | Review Date: 11/20/2014 | Send Email
  This one is the more earthy of the two tongue in groove pinots we're offering. The bright red fruit here is complemented by noticeable leather and dark cherry with a dark underbelly of minerality.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 95 JS 95

2012 Tongue In Groove "Clayvin Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough
 By: Mike Barber | Review Date: 11/20/2014 | Send Email
  A rich nose of earth and raspberry gives way to red fruit and fig flavors. This Marlborough beauty has many layers of fruit complexity and reminds me of an elegant sonoma pinot from the best of vintages, albeit a little more racy and edgy than most domestic pinots can get.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 96

2012 Tongue In Groove "The Mound Vineyard" Riesling Waipara Valley
 By: Mike Barber | Review Date: 11/20/2014 | Send Email
  An excellent NZ riesling with a gold straw color. It's musky, apricot nose gives way to a generous body of sharp stonefruit, white flower, and honey flavors.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Brewer-Clifton/K&L Wine Merchants "B-C. Kessler-Haak Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
 By: Krista Johnson | Review Date: 11/20/2014 | Send Email
  Succulent and seamless, this Pinot is silky & rich with ripe red berries and soft savory earth. The finish is long, lingering and mouthwatering.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine Lafage "Novellum" Chardonnay Pays d'Oc
 By: Krista Johnson | Review Date: 11/20/2014 | Send Email
  This is a killer Chardonnay for $10.99. It's unconventional and delicious! This is full of ripe stone fruit, fresh tropical notes and is wonderfully dry. It's a fantastic choice for your holiday gatherings!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart RP 92 BC 0

2012 Mount Edward "Estate" Pinot Noir Central Otago
 By: Mellyn Craig | Review Date: 11/20/2014 | Send Email
  This Estate Pinot Noir from Mount Eden is a very pretty and elegant style, and is a steal at this price. The red fruits in this wine are very soft, and have a pretty floral note. It is balanced out with baking spice and vanilla flavors with soft tannins. This is a great style of Pinot Noir for salmon.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart JS 92 BC 0

2010 Ostler "Caroline's" Pinot Noir Waitaki Valley North Otago
 By: Jim Barr | Review Date: 11/20/2014 | Send Email
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  If any one Pinot Noir makes a statement that New Zealand has joined the ranks of great Pinot producers of the world, this incredible Gem from Ostler is it! Deeply colored, the high profiled, profound aromatics of dried rose petals, raspberry, black cherry, and spices fruit characteristics with distinctive undertones of slate-like minerality, and meaty notes, all of which carries over nicely in the mouth. It is deeply complex, broad and viscous, well-integrated and wonderfully balanced, has great structure, acid backbone and excellent mid-range, yet is lush, rich, and beautifully focused with a finish that seems to go on and on. This is an amazing Gem, and Rusty has told me that we need at least a case of this in our collection. This lovely Pinot should easily age and get better for the next five to ten years, although I think once you taste it, you will find it very difficult to keep your hands off of it. In any case, you should not miss this Gem and need to buy it in quantity. Also, Matt Kramer recently wrote glowingly about this great Pinot in one of his columns, equating it to a single vineyard production from a great vintage from Chambolle-Musigny, but he did not give it a score. So, I'll do that for him - 96 points! 13.5% ABV
Drink from 2014 to 2024

2012 Tongue In Groove "Clayvin Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough
 By: Mellyn Craig | Review Date: 11/20/2014 | Send Email
  I LOVE this Clayvin Vineyard Pinot! This wine is loaded with juicy dark cherry and currant, earthy forrest floor notes, backing spice and purple flowers. The fresh acidity balances out this wine and has enough structure to age well. It is delicious now, but I hope I will practice discipline and save some for about 5 years from now.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 96

2013 Brewer-Clifton/K&L Wine Merchants "B-C. Kessler-Haak Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
 By: Trey Beffa | Review Date: 11/20/2014 | Send Email
  Fans of Santa Rita Pinot Noir will love this wine. This unique blend from the Kessler Haak vineyard is loaded with red fruits, Asian spice and cola notes. The texture is lush and round in the mouth while the finish is supple and smooth. Even though this Pinot Noir is still very young it is drinking great right now and should develop even more complexity with some extra time in the bottle. A very cool wine to serve friends as it is a unique item that can only be found at K&L!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Ostler "Caroline's" Pinot Noir Waitaki Valley North Otago
 By: Jim Chanteloup | Review Date: 11/20/2014 | Send Email
  The 2010 Ostler shows a darker edge and more body than any other Pinot in this cool, limestone laced Northern region of Otago that I have ever had. The nose is lifted with notes of violets , herbs, dark plum, black cherry and a mineral note. On the palate the wine is rich with medium to full bodied weight supported by good acidity and structure with a rewarding long finish. Yet another reason the Pinot Noirs from Otago are gaining deserved recognition.

1988 Blair Athol 25 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: David Othenin-Girard | Review Date: 11/20/2014 | Send Email
  This is an obvious contender for most valuable malt of 2014. A massive cask of first fill sherry from this beautiful and renowned distillery is exactly what all the sherry heads are craving. While Blair Athol is not well known here, in Scotland it's well regarded as the under the radar work horse for Diageo. Deep, oily complex and long. I'm not going to over sell it anymore cause it doesn't need the help.
Price: $154.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Blason Friulano Isonzo
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 11/20/2014 | Send Email
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  Giovanni Blason is a dynamo. His small winery on the extreme eastern edge of Italy produces about 3,000 cases annually and Giovanni, with the help of his consulting enologist Andrea Rossi, is producing wines of outstanding quality for bargain prices. His wines have received high marks from Italian critics. I Friulano, this is the Friulian national drink I love the freshness this wine has, the crisp minerality, the hint of tarragon in the finish, lively and fresh on the palate. Sprightly and nicely acidic, it is also somehow creamy with peach and apricot notes and a hint of clover honey on the end. No oak here, thank you. It is so refreshing and sensationally balanced, crisp and refreshing. Enjoy it with sautéed red snapper, grilled vegetables or with some Frico! Frico is fried Montasio cheese that crisps up and is absolutely delicious! (Greg St Clair, K&L Italian buyer):
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart GR 2 BC 0

2004 Peyrabon, Haut-Médoc
 By: Jacques Moreira | Review Date: 11/19/2014 | Send Email
  After almost 10 years in the bottle, this classic Bordeaux is starting to show some color development. Beautiful notes of cedar wood, currants and a touch of vanilla. The acidity is high (always a blessing in my book) and the tannins are still quite apparent. This wine is not about the fruit, rather about the intense peppery spices, and how good a pairing it would be with a nice cut of meat! Very good indeed.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Filippi "Castelcerino" Soave Classico
 By: Mike Parres | Review Date: 11/19/2014 | Send Email
  WOW! That's what several of us were saying at a staff tasting where this Soave was the first wine we tasted. Pure and fresh, this is a delicious dry white wine. Soave is one of Italy's most popular white wines, probably because the good ones like this are so smooth, light, and easy to drink. This wine comes from an area just east of Valpolicella and the grape is Garganega. A great sipper for your holiday brunches.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Tongue In Groove "Cabal / Smith Vineyard" Pinot Noir Waipara Valley
 By: Mellyn Craig | Review Date: 11/19/2014 | Send Email
  If you like Pinot Noirs with more restrained fruit, then this Cabal/Smith Vineyard is a must try! The nose on this wine is very aromatic with pretty floral notes. There is a lot of pepper, herbs and minerality on the palate with soft fruits such as dark cherry and raspberry. The tannins are very polished and the long finish will have you reaching for more.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 95 JS 95

2012 Tongue In Groove "The Mound Vineyard" Riesling Waipara Valley
 By: Mellyn Craig | Review Date: 11/19/2014 | Send Email
  This Tongue and Groove Riesling is a fun wine at a great price! It is a medium dry style Riesling brimming with stone fruits, honeysuckle, chalky acidity and zesty minerality. Enjoy!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 E. Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape
 By: Alex Pross | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
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  One of my go-to Chateauneuf-du-Papes, Guigal has been fashioning one of the most dependable and value-oriented Chateaneuf-du-Papes for as long as I can remember. The 2009 vintage in the Rhone Valley was a hot vintage and the 2009 Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Pape displays all the character of a warmer vintage with intense aromatics of marzipan, clove, grilled meat and cherry kirsch explode from the glass while the palate blends spicy cherry fruit, cranberry, red licorice and spice into a tightly-wound package. Dense and chewy this large-scaled offering is just beginning to open up and show all that it has to offer. This is shaping up to be one of the better Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Papes I have had.
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2030

2009 E. Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape
 By: Keith Mabry | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
  Guigal is synonymous with the Rhone Valley. Consistently producing some of the region's best wines, their Chateauneuf is no exception. The 2009 CdP is decidedly old school, which is a very welcome expression. The nose has beautiful notes of Turkish coffee, roasted plums and spiced blackberries. The palate is loaded with even more exotic spices, marzipan and confiture of raspberries. This is finely balanced and expressive. This 2009 has that extra something that a lot of Chateauneuf has been lacking as of late - finesse! Ready to drink now with its polished tannins or worthy of laying away for a few years. Either way this is a terrific drink worthy of stocking up on.

2012 Mount Edward "Estate" Pinot Noir Central Otago
 By: David Driscoll | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
  I've completely curbed my Burgundy spending in favor of our newest direct imports from New Zealand; specifically the Mount Edward wines. The cherry fruit is soft and pretty, the mixture of floral notes and baking spices in the estate selection enticing. Perfect balance of acidity. A fabulous Pinot Noir.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart JS 92 BC 0

2013 Mount Edward Estate "Morrison Vineyard" Riesling Lowburn Central Otago
 By: David Driscoll | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
  Hot deal. There's not much, so grab what we have. Petrol, minerality, stoney schist, serious Riesling.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Quarter Acre Viognier Hawke's Bay
 By: David Driscoll | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
  Viognier isn't everyone's bag; it's definitely not mine. But this is just pure peaches and pears, not an ounce of overpowering perfume or flagrant floral notes. There's no sweetness either; instead just a crisp layer of acidity. I wish all Viognier tasted like this. Then it definitely would be my thing.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Quarter Acre Sauvignon Blanc Hawke's Bay
 By: David Driscoll | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
  This is a barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc and that wood influence makes a huge difference in the flavor of this wine. I'm not a big grassy, grapefruity NZ Sauv Blanc guy. I like the mineral-driven wines with leesy richness. The Quarter Acre is definitely in the latter group. This is a crisp, stony, acidity-driven SB with great weight and balance. The barrel influence just takes the edge off, rather than providing toasty oak or chardonnay flavors. It's like a high-end white Bordeaux but for a way better price.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Erik Banti "Carato" Toscana
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
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  Erik Banti’s Carato is a Mini Super Tuscan! It’s a blend of 75% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot and 10% Ciliegiolo aged for 10 months in oak barrels and is just delicious. The wine tastes like it should cost much more, full, smooth, flavorful with excellent balance. A K&L Direct Import that offers you extraordinary value, and at this price you will be saying--Wow!
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $7.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Lestruelle, Médoc
 By: Daniel Maas | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
  An amazing value from the northern tip of Bordeaux's Left Bank, the 2010 Chateau Lestruelle is an excellent representation of the region's classic character and complexity. A blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, this bottling has everything I want in a red wine. Opening with strong tannins that mellow out before going down smoothly, this is a rich and complex wine, combining elements of blueberry, tobacco, flint, and pencil lead on the back end. This all leads to a satisfying finish that makes you insist upon one thing, and one thing only: ANOTHER GLASS!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Elephant Hill "Le Phant Rouge" Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay
 By: David Driscoll | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
  This wine is so good, I'm not sure whether to age it or drink it. Again, I'm not the kind of guy who looks too far from Bordeaux for my Bordeaux blends, but this is a serious wine with both pure, unadulterated fruit flavor and serious structure. You could decant it with a steak tonight, or throw it down in your wine cellar for 3-5 years. Either way, you're in good shape. The price is just insane.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Quarter Acre Bordeaux Blend Havelock Hills Hawke's Bay
 By: David Driscoll | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
  I'm not usually one to buy my Bordeaux blends outside of Bordeaux, but for this guy I'll make an exception. This Merlot/Malbec blend is dark fruited, slightly structured, and shows lovely mineral notes underneath all the earth and berries. For the money, it's an absolute incredible find by Ryan, our buyer.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 E. Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape
 By: Daniel Maas | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
  Ron Burgundy once famously confused Chateauneuf Du Pape with Heinz Ketchup. Obviously, nothing could be further from the truth, a fact especially evident with this 2009 bottling from the famed producer of Rhone wines. Medium bodied and evenly laced with plenty of dark fruit, tobacco, and chocolate, the wine hits you in the face with complexity, while also being very approachable. The moderate tannins sit nicely in the middle of the spectrum between too dry and too sweet,and is sure to please lovers of both fuller, more tannic wines and those wanting something a bit more mellow. A lovely representation of the area.

2010 Majo di Norante "Contado" Riserva Aglianico di Molise
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
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  Aglianico is a big, bold powerful grape and in Majo Norante’s Contado Riserva you get a real mouthful for the price. Smokey, earthy nose that seems to deepen as it escapes the glass, full of dense fruit and hints of vanillin. On the palate this wine is powerful, structured and decisive; layers of flavor explode across your tongue and leave you saying holy wow. The wine finishes with a bit of a reassuring grip long lasting flavors. This wine comes from one of Italy’s least know Regions called Molise, it’s on the Adriatic side of the peninsula between Abruzzo and Puglia.
Drink from 2014 to 2020
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart RP 91 BC 0

Bibi Graetz "Casamatta" Toscana
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
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  Hard to imagine that you can get such good quality at this price but yes you can! One of the ways is to make a multi vintage blend (non vintage sounds so passé) like this one where one vintage’s lesser characteristics can actually balance out another’s. This wine is full of bold cherry and plum fruit, with lots of soft fleshy richness on the palate, just a wonderful drinking wine! Try it with your favorite pizza, or sausage and pepper pasta.
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart JS 90 BC 0

2008 Bisceglia Aglianico "del Vulture" Gudarrà
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
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  I love this wine’s complexity, layers of wild brush, smoke, truffle, tar, saddle leather and big bold plumy fruit. Aglianico is a powerhouse grape and the wines that come from Vulture, in Basilicata (the instep of the boot) have origins that come from an ancient volcano and that soil lifts and brightens this tannic variety into a superbly balanced and delicious wine. While definitely having a tannic signature this wine has such great balance that it is really drinking well right now and will age well for another 5-8 years. This is a wine that is perfect for braised meats or hearty pasta dishes.
Drink from 2014 to 2020
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart RP 91 BC 0

1995 Glenburgie 19 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: David Othenin-Girard | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
  For me, this is the ultimate Speyside expression. Recently, Speyside has become synonymous big unctuous sherry bombs. That is not what we'd call a typical Speyside, but nonetheless distilleries are changes people perceptions of what a regional character should be. This Glenburgie does a good job of putting the Speyside back into its box. Perfectly floral and lifted, the lightness and elegance is apparent on first nosing. When someone asks you what heather smells like, this is the bottle you grab. Light citrus and fragrant candies, the finesse is mimicked on the palate perfectly. Utterly drinkable and unbelievably classic. While this whisky is not light on flavor, it has tons of light flavors. Know what I mean?
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Domaine Cabirau Côtes du Roussillon
 By: Alex Pross | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
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  Vibrant aromas of crushed blackberries, licorice and nutmeg spring from the glass of 2012 Domaine Cabirau Cotes du Roussillon, a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% syrah and 10% Carignan this wine is absolutely gorgeous! The palate is stuffed with rich blackberry and blueberry fruit, violet and plum accents with bright acidity and the perfect balance between tannins, fruit and acid. This is a delicious wine that can pair flawlessly with food but has enough body to be drunk on its own or with a charcuterie plate.
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2018
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart RP 92 BC 0

Ariston Aspasie "Brut Prestige" Champagne (1.5L)
 By: Adam Winkel | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
  Fine, steady beads. Toasty profile with a lot of bass. Perhaps this is a middle-class man's NV Krug. I suspect that the color of the label is a subtle nod to this. Try with some grilled crostinis or other toasty or rich appetizers.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1998 Mortlach 16 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Sherry Butt Finish Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: David Othenin-Girard | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
  This Mortlach is going to make so many people happy. We were shocked earlier this year when the owners released and 18 year in the UK at £200 for the half bottle. We were equally surprised when Signatory pointed out the ten casks of Mortlach that had been undergoing a second maturation for over 2 years in Fresh Sherry Casks. We were allowed to taste one. We bought it immediately. The rugged Mortlach spirit is in perfect balance with the lovely sherry influence. While the whisky isn't as dark as I remember it being, there's still all that rich oloroso influence. The spirit is flamboyant and still showing the great youthful savoriness that Mortlach is known for. So much going on hear, a true display of why Mortlach is a true blue chip distillery.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Obsidian Ridge "Obsidian Ridge Vineyard" Red Hills Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Bryan Brick | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
  Do any of you remember the story about the little train that could? Maybe you read it to your kids/grandkids or maybe you remember having it read to you when you were young like I do. The way I recall this story, not having heard it in a couple of decades, is there was this little, forgotten, overlooked train that had great pluck and determination. He kept with it always knowing that he could pull with the best of them. One day he got his chance and wouldn’t you know it he saved the day! In my mind that’s a perfect metaphor for the 2011 Obsidian Ridge "Obsidian Ridge Vineyard" Red Hills Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon ($24.99). We’ve always kept this wine around in corners of the store that sometimes just get passed by too quickly. The staff has always loved the wine but maybe it slips their minds when someone asks them for a recommendation. This year’s wine is just too good to forget. Simply put it may be their best effort yet and it certainly is one of the best Cabernets we’ve seen from the much, yet sometimes unfairly, maligned 2011 vintage at it respective price point. There is just so much wine in this bottle; the scope and largesse here is pretty spectacular with bold, rich flavors of tar, ink, blackberry, ash, fried sage and lavender. Add a ton of spicy, exotic oak notes in the nose and a rock solid tannic structure and this is a wine that will be mistaken often for a wine twice its cost. Come on; give the little train a chance.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart W&S 92 BC 0

1997 Glen Ord 17 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: David Othenin-Girard | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
  Glen Ord is a funny little distillery and this whisky is no different. Here we 100% on the waxy pear and apple fruit. Also some green grapes and fresh herbs. With air it throws aromas of some very unusual exotic tincture. This is idiosyncratic whisky to say the least. The real scotch lovers will be able to coax a lot out of this special cask, but they must be patient and listen.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2001 Bowmore 12 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: David Othenin-Girard | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
  Beautiful Bowmore! We owe you so much. This fabulous distillery holds a place close in our hearts for many reasons, but the number one reason is they keep putting out RIDICULOUSLY good whisky. This is exactly what I want in an everyday Islay peater. The nose is all smoke, but surprisingly little peat. Instead, we get flinty embers, dried underbrush, fresh sugar cookies, dried sultanas, and a hidden sherry note to balance. The palate brings all the Islay you could want focused like a laser around a bevy of complex flavors. This is another one of these contrast whiskies that I just can't get enough of.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1990 Bruichladdich 23 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: David Othenin-Girard | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
  This, for me, is the quintessential 'Laddie. Often we compare Bruichladdich to it's smoky siblings on Islay. By describing it in this context, we are undoubtedly misrepresenting it's character. It is not a light fresh floral malt, but remains a rugged powerful ocean whisky. Despite it's lack of peat, this whisky shows power and depth. The nose draws the perfect line between the exotic wood and savory nuts of the refill sherry. IN the background, a fresh saline spray is apparent. Upon entry, what seemed dark and pensive is now expressive and free. Beautiful fresh fruit flavors mingle perfectly with deep flavors inherent. All along a slight salt nibble. It is indeed non slouch, but instead an Islay stunner of the truest sense.
Price: $159.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1997 Glenrothes 17 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: David Othenin-Girard | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
  Oh man, oh man this is a doozy. This whisky is going to make so many people happy. I don't remember this being quite so good back in Scotland and what this Glenrothes does right is exactly what lovers of Glenrothes will notice. The nose is powerfully sweet, dried figs, spiced cakes, chocolate frosting. Based on the nose the mouth was certain to keep this theme, but instead the earthy depth of the 'Rothes spirit pops its head up. Bringing earthy and leathery notes into the fold balances any fears of this being overly sweet. A fine Rothes to say the least.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1995 Imperial 18 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: David Othenin-Girard | Review Date: 11/18/2014 | Send Email
  Without a doubt the Imperial is the biggest surprise of the trip. When we found this cask is was among a host of similar Imperials. We painstakingly examined each one, but even in the cold warehouse this cask stood out. Aromatically unabashed, the nose is all dark spiced oranges coating freshly made almond brittle. The balance on the palate is impeccable staying focused and lifted for power. This is a real stunner.
Price: $84.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Sesta di Sopra Rosso di Montalcino
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 11/17/2014 | Send Email
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  The desire to call Sesta's 2012 Rosso a "baby" Brunello is really coursing through my veins, as much as I don't like to use the phrase, but man this wine is something. This wine so complete, with such depth of flavor, so much fruit and such perfect balance; it is stunningly good for the price and remarkably drinkable now, although I'll be aging a six-pack myself for another few years. If you're new to Brunello, this is a great wine to get familiar with the region at a really good price.
Drink from 2014 to 2022
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

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