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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2001 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  A delicious wine that is perfect right now. Great cassis aromas follow to palate, which is soft, elegant and lingering.e. A steal for less than $20. This, and a rack of lamb would be heavenly.
Drink from 2015 to 2017
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Lalande Borie, St-Julien
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  Tastes great right now. From our good friend Bruno Borie, this wine shone at the Sopexa Bordeaux event in 2014.
Drink from 2015 to 2025

2009 Malartic-Lagravière Pessac-Léognan
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  More earth and plenty of extraction. Good mid-palate texture. Very nice. Good length. At UGC: Classic, with tons of mineral notes. Very rich and fresh. One of the best value 2009s from the Pessac area. Earthy style but toasty and sweet. Charming wine.
Drink from 2015 to 2025

2002 Latour, Pauillac (1.5L)
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  The value vintage for Latour. One of the best from this controversial vintage.
Drink from 2020 to 2030
Price: $1,099.99 Add To Cart RP 96 WS 96 ST 94

2000 Chasse-Spleen, Moulis (1.5L)
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  Mature wine that with decanting can be enjoyed now. I bought a case for parties.
Drink from 2015 to 2025

2009 Caronne Ste-Gemme, Haut-Médoc
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  We love this property and 2009 was their best ever. Can be enjoyed now with a steak.
Drink from 2015 to 2020
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart WS 90 BC 0

1997 Potensac, Médoc
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  Our biggest selling Bordeaux the past two years. Still young and lively-Buy cases.
Drink from 2015 to 2020
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Brane-Cantenac, Margaux
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  Under $100 for this beauty? Packed with fruit and a firm structure underneath, this will reward the patient collector.
Drink from 2018 to 2035

2009 Potensac, Médoc
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  Drink the 1997 now and cellar this one a few years. From the Delon crew, this wine is polished and fruity.
Drink from 2016 to 2025

2009 Gloria, St-Julien
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  ½* More gritty and smoky, with integrated tannins. Quite nice. Along with the great 2010, this wine harkens back to the glory days of Gloria in the 60s. Sweeter than 2010 but will age superbly.
Drink from 2016 to 2025

2009 Pédesclaux, Pauillac
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  One of the best values from this great vintage. This property is on a roll.
Drink from 2016 to 2030

1998 Latour, Pauillac
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  One of the best of the Medoc 1998s-excellent wine.
Drink from 2015 to 2025

2013 Lynch Bages Blanc, Bordeaux
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  Great balance and fine acidity, this is the best Lynch Bages Blanc ever.
Drink from 2015 to 2017
Price: $46.99 Add To Cart JS 93 BC 0

2011 Petit Guiraud, Sauternes (375ml)
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  Wow! This wine is a baby Guiraud for one fifth of the price. Some coconut and pineapple aromas and flavors. Honeyed flavors and incredible acidity. Perfect balance.
Drink from 2015 to 2025
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart WS 90 BC 0

2008 Pauillac de Latour, Pauillac
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  Our fourth vintage to sell of this outstanding third wine from Chateau Latour. After twenty years of begging the property to sell the Pauillac, here it is and the 2008 vintage is quite good and priced well under the 2009. Powerful red fruit aromas with some cassis. The palate impression is powerful with some tannins to settle out. perfect acid balance-cellar it five years minimum. You can buy 2 bottles of latour or a case of this beauty. -Clyde beffa
Drink from 2020 to 2025
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 McClean X "Simone" Paso Robles Zinfandel
 By: Patrick Cu | Review Date: 3/22/2015 | Send Email
  McClean X Vineyards has done a tremendous job with this Zin based red blend. It has an expressive nose with notes of mocha, coffee bean, toffee, and blackberry fruit. The mouthfeel is velvety plush. Rich flavors of juicy dark fruit, blueberries, and chocolate make this so easy to enjoy.The wine has hit a really nice point in its life and is ready to drink now. For $20, it's a keeper.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart WE 93 BC 0

2013 Eric Cottat Sancerre
 By: Dulcinea Gonzalez | Review Date: 3/21/2015 | Send Email
  Looking for a snappy expression from Sancerre for under $20? Look no further, here is a simple yet great representation of a wine that displays that inimitable mineral sensation that only Sauvignon Blanc from this region embodies. Perfumed with white flowers and a tangy, crisp citrus palate, this is a total go-to white that never disappoints.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Marisa Cuomo "Ravello" Costa d'Amalfi Bianco
 By: Olivia Ragni | Review Date: 3/21/2015 | Send Email
  Marisa Cuomo makes so of my favorite whites, period. The Ravello emanates notes of lemon oil, white flowers, crushed wet stones and peach fuzz. The palate expresses lemon zest, white peach, and nectarine, but that’s just the beginning. Honeysuckle, almond skins, pithy and chalky minerality integrate perfectly with the high acid and beeswax texture. Try it with a seafood risotto!!
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Pedro Martinez Alesanco Rosado Rioja
 By: Dulcinea Gonzalez | Review Date: 3/21/2015 | Send Email
  From the Rioja Alta comes a totally affordable, fun and vibrant rosado. Brightly colored pink with the scent of strawberries, the palate is tangy with flavors of red berries, and a refreshing acidity. This is a total slam dunk to pair with your favorite taco truck fare especially tacos al pastor! Think of this as your dry, adult version of Jarritos -- not too serious just totally enjoyable. Salud!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Kalinda Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Christie Brunick | Review Date: 3/20/2015 | Send Email
  If you haven't already heard, the 2013 vintage is even more exciting to Napa winemakers than 2012! Hard to believe I know, but wait to you taste our new release of the 2013 Kalinda Yountville Cabernet you will need to sit down for this! It's coming from one of my favorite producers in Napa Valley making balanced age-wothy Bordeaux style Cabernet. All the fruit used is second from this powerhouse estate and it is stupid-good for the money. I can't wait to put a case away and see how it develops over the next few years!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Alexandre Le Brun "Tradition" Brut Champagne
 By: Christie Brunick | Review Date: 3/20/2015 | Send Email
  A new Direct Import for us and I'm in love! This is the perfect Champagne to start out the night with! Although dry, it has a ripeness to the fruit that makes it a great aperitif or sipping Champagne on its own. This will be great for anyone that wants to dive right into our grower Champagne program and see what it has to offer! Great Champagnes for less than you'll find anywhere!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

WINE CLUB

Club Price: $34.99
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2013 Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir
 By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 3/20/2015 | Send Email
  This Pinot is full of cool, brooding black cherry fruit and framed by high quality savory flavors. It is great to see a wine of such depth and character at this price in the current Pinot Noir market. Calera has delivered richness, power and length for a fair price with this excellent wine.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart WE 92 BC 0

2013 Chehalem "INOX" Willamette Valley Chardonnay
 By: Heather Vander Wall | Review Date: 3/20/2015 | Send Email
  I'm always on the look out for unoaked, Chablis-style Chardonnays, and this one really impressed me in our most recent staff tasting. With great floral and orchard fruit aromatics, this lighter bodied Chardonnay has all the pure, extracted fruit you look for from Chehalem, but a great balance of fresh minerality and acidity to keep it in check. Truly lovely.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Von Strasser "Rudy" Paicines Pinot Noir
 By: Heather Vander Wall | Review Date: 3/20/2015 | Send Email
  We see a number of California Pinots in this price range at K&L, and several from prestigious wineries like this Von Strasser, but this wine stood out to me. The Rudy Pinot is neither overly extracted, or big bodied. Rather it has a medium to light body, with fresh, bright cherry fruit, fine, integrated tannins, and lovely, crisp acidity. Quite a find at this price!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Mercer Canyons Columbia Valley Chardonnay
 By: Heather Vander Wall | Review Date: 3/20/2015 | Send Email
  This is a lovely wine, and a no-brainer at this price. Surprisingly great aromatics for a Chardonnay, this wine has crisp, tropical fruit and good refreshing acidity. This may well become your summer stand-by.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart WE 91 BC 0

2011 Ravenswood "Big River" Alexander Valley Zinfandel
 By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 3/20/2015 | Send Email
  If you like Zinfandel, you have to take advantage of this incredible deal. The single vineyard selections from Ravenswood are blue chip California soul wines, and all the more interesting in a cool vintage like 2011. This big, serious, manly wine has all of the brambly blackberry fruit and tannic structure that one could wish for in a Zin. It is also free of any jammy, overripe flavors or aromas. This bottle is crying out for a smoky pork shoulder tonight with a few hours of decanting, but should develop for a good number of years in your cellar as well!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart ST 90 BC 0

2013 Calera Central Coast Chardonnay
 By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 3/20/2015 | Send Email
  It is hard to believe how much wine the folks from Calera have delivered here for under $20. This robust Chardonnay is kissed with oak, but not dominated by it. It is rich and full bodied, but not flabby or heavy. The most impressive feature of this wine is the long finish- dry, mineral and serious!
Top Value!

2013 Mercer Canyons Columbia Valley Chardonnay
 By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 3/20/2015 | Send Email
  This light, clean, soft and easy Chardonnay is a real crowd pleaser. The folks at Mercer Canyons have delivered a real value with this- it has enough flavor for Chard fans to hang onto, but is dry enough not to weigh a drinker down.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart WE 91 BC 0

2013 Mercer Canyons Columbia Valley Chardonnay
 By: Bryan Brick | Review Date: 3/20/2015 | Send Email
  The Mercer winery was first put on my radar a couple of years back on a field trip to Washington State. We met with the folks behind this large farming operation; they are one of the largest producers of carrots and potatoes in the state, to check out their impressive amount of vineyards. Long one of the main growers for the largest wineries in Washington a number of years ago they decided to start making their own wine off of the better parcels of their sprawling acreage. The “Canyons” series was debuted in 2012 and already has turned heads nationally with its tremendous quality for value ratio. I was shocked on just how pure and clean these wines were. The Chardonnay is a perfect example of this. Pulpy apple aromas fill the nose with a broad streak of vanilla/butterscotch that meld into a rich golden fruited base. Broad and rich but still with a nice airy feel this has all the toasty flavors and yeasty richness that the classic Domestic Chard fans are going to want but also has a pretty floral component and some mellow citrus tones to keep the wine from being bogged down in excess. The best thing here is that this is only $11.99 a bottle which is a paltry sum for a wine that has this much going for it. I think we just found our best “cheap” Chardonnay.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart WE 91 BC 0

1993 Schloss Schönborn Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg Riesling Auslese
 By: Olivia Ragni | Review Date: 3/20/2015 | Send Email
  The color of this wine is so majestic with a gorgeous burnt orange, honey color that seems to tell you immediately this wine is special. The nose is full of petrol, wet stones, honeysuckle and orange blossom. Flavors of honeycomb, hazelnuts, apricot and burnt orange fill the palate. It’s sweet and full bodied but still so well balanced with acidity. A perfect after dinner drink!
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Dreissigacker Riesling Trocken
 By: Olivia Ragni | Review Date: 3/20/2015 | Send Email
  The Dreissigacker trocken is so beautifully balanced, like it’s been practicing yoga for years. The nose expresses peach, white flower, basil and chalk. Stone fruits like nectarine and peach certainly come through on the palate with a touch of lemon oil and orange zest. All that elegant silky and rich Rheinhessen body shows through with a great backbone of acidity and very little sugar all work together in perfect harmony. Namaste.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Banshee "Rice-Spivak Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
 By: Joe Manekin | Review Date: 3/19/2015 | Send Email
  This is one racy, tangy Pinot Noir, sourced from the Rice Spivak vineyard in Sebastopol. Plenty of acidity and sufficient cut. California Pinot for fans of a lighter, brighter, firmer style. Delicious.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart AG 90 BC 0

Jean-Jacques Lamoureux "Réserve" Brut Champagne
 By: Christie Brunick | Review Date: 3/19/2015 | Send Email
  Unbelievably drinkable and sophisticated on the palate. 100% Pinot Noir makes this dry cuvee especially luscious and creamy, with ripe stone fruit and subtle creamy brioche on the finish. This is a Champagne I'm really excited about because anyone can enjoy this style of Champagne. From the connoisseur to the bubbly drinking starter, this will seduce and amaze your palates!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

WINE CLUB

Club Price: $29.99
BC 0

Jean-Jacques Lamoureux "Réserve" Brut Champagne
 By: Krista Johnson | Review Date: 3/19/2015 | Send Email
  What an intensely pretty Champagne! Peach and blood orange waft from the glass, which makes me think of a spring-time sunset. The texture is moussey and very playful and carries flavors of white stone fruit and orange blossom. I'm so happy that this Champagne exists!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

WINE CLUB

Club Price: $29.99
BC 0

2013 Akitu "A1" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Black Label)
 By: Joe Manekin | Review Date: 3/19/2015 | Send Email
  Serious, very brightly fruited Pinot Noir, with a core of minerality that lends real structure, but also requires time to open up. I would suggest that you decant for an hour or so. Then you will have a chance to see just how impressive this Central Otago Pinot Noir really is.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Akitu "A2" Pinot Noir Central Otago (White Label)
 By: Joe Manekin | Review Date: 3/19/2015 | Send Email
  Akitu is definitely one of, if not the, Central Otago find of the year. Juicy, spicy, red and dark fruits make this very drinkable, while the acidity keeps it balanced and food friendly. Tough to do better than this in under $25 Pinot Noir.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Bucklin "Old Hill Ranch - Bambino" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
 By: Joe Manekin | Review Date: 3/19/2015 | Send Email
  This is one great Bambino - juicy, but structured as well, it's not as much of a mouthful as the Old Hill Ranch, but definitely is a great intro to Bucklin, one of the more underrated Zinfandel producers if you ask us.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Unti Dry Creek Valley Grenache
 By: Joe Manekin | Review Date: 3/19/2015 | Send Email
  As usual, this is very well made, dark fruited, structured, yet fresh Grenache from the folks at Unti. Mick and crew continue to do a great job with the Rhone varieties, making wines that are honest, balanced, and great at table.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Nalle Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
 By: Joe Manekin | Review Date: 3/19/2015 | Send Email
  The flagship, old vine Nalle Dry Creek Zin also has a bit of Petite Syrah and Carignane blended in. Delicious berries, balance, this is so drinkable and ageworthy as well for those enlightened few who prefer to stash some Zinfandel away in their cellars.
Price: $37.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Nalle "Vinum Clarum" Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
 By: Joe Manekin | Review Date: 3/19/2015 | Send Email
  Classic! This puts the "dry" in Dry Creek, with very fresh fruit, low alcohol (12.8%!) and a crisp drinkable style that many certainly do not equate with Zinfandel. I'll take another glass of Zinfandel, please!
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Porter Creek Mendocino County Old Vine Carignane
 By: Joe Manekin | Review Date: 3/19/2015 | Send Email
  Juicy, with just enough of Carignane's trademark, edgy/raspy quality, this is fresh and tasty, with satisfyingly grippy tannins. Very good.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2006 Fourcas Dupré, Listrac
 By: Olivia Ragni | Review Date: 3/19/2015 | Send Email
  It’s time to pay attention to this delicious Bordeaux in an over-looked vintage. It shows an enticing bouquet of espresso, dark cherries, honey and cocoa with a rich palate of plums, blackberries and chocolate covered cherries. It’s incredibly well balanced with high acid and firm tannins, while integrated enough to drink now, this bottle will age with grace for the next 10 years.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Kalinda Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Olivia Ragni | Review Date: 3/19/2015 | Send Email
  A bouquet of wild berries and purple flowers leads to a palate of sweet fruits and dark cherries, pencil shavings, and chocolate with well balanced acidity and plush tannins.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2007 Joseph Swan "Trenton Estate" Russian River Valley Syrah
 By: Joe Manekin | Review Date: 3/19/2015 | Send Email
  Purple fruited, with a lovely combination of softening fruit and secondary flavor development, this is serious Syrah that is surprisingly easy to drink as well. For me, this was possibly the single most surprising (in a good way!) wine of our recent 40 wine domestic staff tasting.

2012 Joseph Swan "Trenton Estate" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
 By: Joe Manekin | Review Date: 3/19/2015 | Send Email
  Very good vintage, awesome wine. This is the flagship Swan Pinot Noir,which you will likely be able to tell the moment you lift the glass and taste. Layered berry fruit, with a great mouth feel, bright acidity, and seamless balance. It's delicious now and should age very well for quite a while.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart ST 92 BC 0

2012 Fort Ross "Sea Slopes-Fort Ross Vineyard" Fort Ross-Seaview Pinot Noir
 By: Joe Manekin | Review Date: 3/19/2015 | Send Email
  A great value Pinot Noir that should appeal to a wide range of palates, this is all juicy plums, with lovely spice notes and structure. As a fan of higher acid and lighter Pinot Noir, I can still appreciate this wine for its fresh, supple qualities. A very tasty wine from this beautiful Sonoma Coast winery.

2012 Banshee "Marine Layer" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
 By: Joe Manekin | Review Date: 3/19/2015 | Send Email
  Marine layer, a blend of single vineyard sites on the Sonoma Coast, is showing wonderfully right now: juicy, pure red fruits and mixed berry flavors are structured and fresh, but surprisingly generous as well. So much to like here....

Laurent-Perrier "Cuvée Rosé" Brut Rosé Champagne
 By: Kyle Kurani | Review Date: 3/18/2015 | Send Email
  Intriguing rose that begins in an understated elegant way, and builds towards a fuller finish showing off its’ Grand Cru providence. The nose is hauntingly seductive, crushed red fruit, a mineral vein, and the faintest scent of rose petal all intermingled in harmony. The palate is defined by a textural grip that adds weight and importance, but the lifted flavors of wild strawberry and cream, with hits of cherry tart keep the wine extremely elegant and pretty. The finish picks up speed with reinforced dark cherry and minerality that wraps the wine up beautifully.

2012 Nalle Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
 By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 3/18/2015 | Send Email
  This is the kind of wine that I want to bring to France to share with my winemaker friends there... Real California soul wine! Yes, it is sunny in California and yes, our wines should be rich and fruity. But that doesn't mean that our wines have to be heavy or hot! This nuanced, balanced Dry Creek Zin has great poise and elegance without loosing its wild berry fruit. Tasting Zin this good made me proud to be a Californian!
Drink from 2015 to 2022
Price: $37.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2004 Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne
 By: Kyle Kurani | Review Date: 3/18/2015 | Send Email
  Another great bottle of Vintage Champagne from the wonderfully classic vintage that is 2004?. Lively and lifted, this wine possesses a vibrancy that carries it from stem to stern. Pithy and fresh on the entry, lemon cake and sweet almond, a touch of Meyer lemon zest as well to add verve. The palate has a rich lees quality to add balance and depth, more shortbread than brioche. Minerality and lift carry the day though, fresh and clean, lovely vintage offering.

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