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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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

2013 Fujanera "Bellalma" Falanghina Puglia
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 11/17/2014 | Send Email
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  This 100% Falanghina is delicious, it's fermented in stainless steel, and then kept on its lees for two months before being bottled. The nose is a complex perfume of elderflowers and white peach, with a bit of crushed stone that is couched in a med-full body, and it has a long and decidedly refreshing finish. Perfect with Crab or just by itself!
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Erik Banti "Carato" Toscana (1.5L)
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 11/17/2014 | Send Email
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  2012 Erik Banti Carato Toscana IGT $7.99 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: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Blason Pinot Grigio Isonzo (1L)
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 11/17/2014 | Send Email
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  Giovanni Blason’s tiny winery is only 10 miles from Italy’s eastern border with Slovenia, and here he produces excellent wines for bargain prices! This 2013 vintage was Giovanni's best Pinot Grigio so far, the richness, complexity and balance. This wine recived 2 Glasses in Italy's #1 wine reviewer Gambero Rosso with an additional indication for its unbelievable price to quality ratio. This wine sees no oak treatment just some gentle lees stirring to add a bit of richness. Your holiday go to Pinot Grigio for sure!
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Lestruelle, Médoc
 By: Jacques Moreira | Review Date: 11/16/2014 | Send Email
  Full bodied and concentrated, this Bordeaux displays an intense nose of dark chocolate, licorice, dark cherries and some beautiful notes of violets. On the palate the high acidity is noticed and very welcomed for the over all balance of this wine, along with a good amount of oak spices. The fairly high tannins need some resolving with a few years in the cellar, or a good decanting will do. The sustainable agriculture method used by this property make it even more enticing. As for pairing, I would suggest heavy dishes, like stews, or a fatty cut of meat.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre
 By: Mike Parres | Review Date: 11/14/2014 | Send Email
  We have carried this wine for a couple of years now and I have always enjoyed it. The 2013 just came in last week and...wow! The BEST yet! Three stars from Guido. Lots of limestone and flint on the palate; has wonderful length and is food friendly. This would be a great luncheon wine -- maybe baked goat cheese with fines herbs and baguette?
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Ostler "Caroline's" Pinot Noir Waitaki Valley North Otago
 By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 11/14/2014 | Send Email
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  This is a highly fragrant wine. Purple flowers, a touch of lavender and anise on the nose. The palate is fresh and vibrant with lifted tones of fresh forest fruits, ground clove, star anise and some juicy raspberry as the mid-palate fleshes out with air. The wine is incredibly exotic and yet very focused and quite structured at the same time. It possesses a bright acidity and the unmistakable vibrancy that comes from deep limestone-rich soils. I can't wait to see how this wine ages; something tells me that it has a decade-plus ahead of it, and yet it is so expressive right now. This type of wine experience illustrates why people persist trying to make wine in very challenging places like the Waitaki Valley...because when things come together, vines on the edge of their existence produce the most exquisite and remarkable wines...just like this one!
Drink from 2014 to 2024

2013 Guy Saget "Marie de Beauregard" Vouvray
 By: Ivan Diaz | Review Date: 11/14/2014 | Send Email
  Guy Saget has crafted a perfect introductory Vouvray, striking all the hallmarks that define the region’s expression of Chenin Blanc. The nose is subtle, if not restrained, but the palate is where the wine reveals its abundance of fresh pear, orange blossom, fennel, and honey. Sea shell minerality and just a touch of residual sugar add welcome dimensions of complexity, while the lifted but comfortable acidity keeps everything afloat. If you’ve not yet experienced the perfection that is Vouvray paired with Thanksgiving dinner, do yourself a favor and give this crazy value a chance.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart WS 91 BC 0

2013 Claude Riffault "Les Boucauds" Sancerre
 By: Olivia Ragni | Review Date: 11/14/2014 | Send Email
  The ‘Les Boucauds’ is very racy and zippy. The nose shows notes of bright lemon peel, a hint of flint and minerality. The palate provides sharp, mouthwatering acidity and a very linear and focused backbone of minerality. Notes of limoncello, orange blossom and lime zest are perfect for seafood or simply sipping on those inevitably, unseasonably warm winter days in SoCal.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart RP 93 BC 0

2013 Daou Vineyards Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Trey Beffa | Review Date: 11/14/2014 | Send Email
  This is the most bang for the buck you can get in California! Loaded with black licorice, mocha, black cherry, cola and Asian spices, the 2013 Daou really blew me away. The concentration of this wine is deep and intense, while still keeping a round, seamless mouth feel. When you taste this wine it is hard to believe it is under $25!

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
 By: Jim Barr | Review Date: 11/14/2014 | Send Email
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  It is remarkable to me, and to much of our wine staff, some of the unique, profoundly produced Champagnes from the small producers that Gary Westby, our Champagne Wine Buyer, has discovered over the last decade. Virtually all of these producers, including the Aristons, are making sparkling wine strictly from estate fruit from Grand Cru recognized vineyard sites, and in small lots. As with any small producer, these wines are “hands-on” creations that are given extensive individual attention and long term aging before being disgorged. The Ariston “Carte Blanche’s” exquisite, superb quality is at a mind boggling low price vis-à-vis its style and complexity. Rich and authoritative both on its nutty, doughy yeasty nose and in the mouth, the very fine mousse leads to an amazingly rich, full style brut, with a long, intense finish. Some of you will probably not enjoy this Gem, due to the fact that you have gotten use to flavorless, bulk productions from the international, well-known, simply made name “brands,” but for those of you that seek complexity and profoundness in your Champagne, you will not find one even close in quality to this Gem at this price. The Guys (Rusty, Eby, The Beaner, and Rizzo) have forcefully made this our house sparkling wine forever. Don't be afraid to age this wonderful Champagne; it will only keep getting better. ABV 12%
Drink from 2014 to 2020
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Our Wine Rkatsiteli Republic of Georgia
 By: Krista Johnson | Review Date: 11/14/2014 | Send Email
  I LOVE ORANGE WINE (In case you're unfamiliar with what Orange Wine is, basically, it's white grapes pressed and left in contact with the skins/lees for a super long time...like years instead of days or months...). This Georgian beauty is full of flavors of roasted citrus peel and a crazy wonderful herb garden. It's almost waxy in texture and so grippy tannic! This is so "new" to most Americans but so old school in Eastern Europe. This is my winter white.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart W&S 95 BC 0

2010 Ostler "Caroline's" Pinot Noir Waitaki Valley North Otago
 By: Sal Rodriguez | Review Date: 11/14/2014 | Send Email
  Seriously stunning Pinot! A lovely perfume on the nose is quick to announce its presence. Soft tannins and persistent fruit on the palate with remarkable focus. The fruit and over-all loveliness of the wine continues beautifully into the finish. There won't be a lot of this available so you'll be well-served not to hesitate.

2010 Ostler "Caroline's" Pinot Noir Waitaki Valley North Otago
 By: Ralph Sands | Review Date: 11/14/2014 | Send Email
  A lovely, expressive nose with a nice hint of development. A stylish and elegant Pinot drinking beautifully right now!

1988 Blair Athol 25 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 11/14/2014 | Send Email
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  Don't think about it just buy it. For me the best cask of this "batch" of Signatory bottlings. Rich, textured, layered showing its sherry beautifully with a combination of ripe red fruits, cake spice and sweet rancio notes. An amazing bottle for the holiday season!
Price: $154.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Obsidian Ridge "Obsidian Ridge Vineyard" Red Hills Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Christie Brunick | Review Date: 11/13/2014 | Send Email
  Obsidian Ridge Cab has always been my "go to" when I don't want to spend twice as much as some of the Napa Valley counterparts. From just north of Napa, this densely packed Cab hits all the right notes. Dark and full in the glass, with great aromatics of black current, cedar, baking spice and cassis. Super lush and forward on the palate with well-integrated oak and tannins making it the perfect winter red that can be enjoyed solo or with a juicy steak!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart W&S 92 BC 0

2013 Ancient Peaks/K&L Wine Merchants Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Christie Brunick | Review Date: 11/12/2014 | Send Email
  The Best Paso Cab I've had in a LONG Time! I love Ancient Peaks for its unique mesoclimate and being able to construct Paso Robles AVA Cabs that are so beautifully structured and food friendly. This has all the fruit you need but the structure, acid, and tannin that Paso Cabs usually lack, and it's not overripe, raisiny, or stewy as can be the case, either! Love, love, love this Cab and so will you!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Brewer-Clifton/K&L Wine Merchants "B-C. Kessler-Haak Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
 By: Christie Brunick | Review Date: 11/12/2014 | Send Email
  Bright, forward, yet sweetly seductive, this K&L Barrel selection Pinot Noir delivers all the goods! Not as candied as the typical Brewer Clifton Pinots tend to be, yet still shows the same intensity of red fruits. The aromatics burst out of the glass and the palate is full of juicy, bright fruit, acid, and seamless texture. This is amazing to drink now or put away for a few years! Such a Thanksgiving classic!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Au Bon Climat/K&L Wine Merchants "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
 By: Bryan Brick | Review Date: 11/12/2014 | Send Email
  Last year’s Co-Branded Pinot Noir from Au Bon Climat was such a hit we couldn’t help but to make it again! Once again we think Jim Clendenen and his wildly talented crew at Au Bon Climat has out done themselves with the quality of the components that they allowed us to make this wine from. Just like last year this wine is 100% fruit from the famed Bien Nacido Vineyard, with both components coming from Block 2, which was planted in 1994. Made from 50% Clone 113 and 50% Clone 115, of which 50% was whole-cluster fermented, this was actually the first blend we put together once we ran through all of the components we had available to us. That’s right; we nailed this blend on the first go around! We certainly tried to improve it but it always lingered on our palates as the best of the bunch. Instantly drinkable this is packed with boisterous red fruits on the nose of Bing cherry and muddled raspberry with a hint of sassafras, tarragon and finely ground white pepper. Mouthfilling and with no roughness, which is impressive in its youth, this is one easily gulpable wine but it’s so much more serious than what you’d first expect. With velvety fine tannins and a persistent mouthwatering acidity this wine has plenty of structure to get better over the next 4-8 years. However if you drink it now you’ll be able to experience plenty of delicious flavors like red plum, dragonfruit, cola, violets and Rainier cherries. Long and lasting on the palate with a likeable plush texture we think this Pinot has a little something to please everyone. Go ahead prove us wrong.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Bethel Heights/K&L Wine Merchants Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
 By: Bryan Brick | Review Date: 11/12/2014 | Send Email
  On our recent trip to Oregon this summer we certainly found plenty of great wines and met with a multitude of amazingly talented people. Many of the wines we found on that trip have already come in and sold out mostly due to our sheer excitement about the quality of wines we found. One of the most exciting opportunities from that trip was to work closely with our friends at Bethel Heights to put together a Pinot Noir exclusive to K&L as part of our burgeoning Co-Branded project. This 2013 Bethel Heights/K&L Wine Merchants Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir ($24.99) is a blend of the young vibrant fruit of the bordering Bjornson Vineyard, a vineyard planted in 1996, and the more nuanced, ethereal fruit from the old Wädenswil block at Bethel Heights Estate, planted in 1977. Ben Casteel (winemaker for BH), the K&L staff and I came up with and tasted numerous blends before we enthusiastically chose the one in the bottle here. We thought it was a perfect middle ground between the sappy, rich black fruits of Bjornson and the more earthen, sage and subtle red fruits from the Estate. We loved how the nose really spoke of classic Oregon Pinot focusing on earthen, sous bois and floral tones rather than chunky fruit. The wine is seamless in texture at this point with a feminine frame and well integrated acid/tannin interplay. A bit of aeration, either by untwisting the convenient Stelvin closure or popping this into a decanter, will really help to heighten the lovely tones of loganberry, evergreen, black currant, white sage, new leather and lavender found here. Thanks to the entire Casteel Family for helping make this wonderful wine that we couldn’t be prouder to have our name on!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Zind Humbrecht Pinot Blanc
 By: Olivia Ragni | Review Date: 11/12/2014 | Send Email
  The aromatics of this Pinot Blanc blew me away, never have I had a Pinot Blanc with so much intensity. The nose is extremely complex, full of honeysuckle, snowbell flowers, honeycomb, apricot, pears, and I can go on and on and on....The palate starts out similar to the nose with honey and pear until all of a sudden you're smacked with high acid, slate, wet stone, and steely minerality. The finish is long, dry, and satisfying. An exceptional Alsatian white that is sure to become a staple in my home.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart WE 89 BC 0

2012 Domaine Cabirau Côtes du Roussillon
 By: Olivia Ragni | Review Date: 11/12/2014 | Send Email
  The wine reminds me of the holidays! With a nose of clove, black pepper, cardamom, and bramble fruits and a palate full of ripe plums, blackberries, baking spices and fine tannins, all you’ll need is this bottle to season and spice up your holidays.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart RP 92 BC 0

2012 Greywacke Pinot Noir Marlborough
 By: Jim Chanteloup | Review Date: 11/12/2014 | Send Email
  Former Cloudy Bay winemaker Kevin Judd has knocked it out of the park with his 2012 Greywacke Pinot Noir. The bouquet opens with ripe raspberry, cherry, earth, clove, forrest floor and dried orange peel that is framed by light toasted oak that is perfectly integrated. On the palate there is good acidity giving a juicy mid-palate that is supported by dusty fine supple tannins and a long finish. Delicious.

2009 Domaine Cabirau "Malgre les Fonctionnaires" Côtes du Roussillon
 By: Jacques Moreira | Review Date: 11/11/2014 | Send Email
  This is one of these wines that completely surprised me. Crimson color and a very meaty, irony nose. Loved that, and expected a somehow savory herby palate. Than the surprise commenced... Cocoa powder, raspberry coulis, and plums, fruity for sure, but delicately so, and with lots of minerality. Very well balanced with silky-soft tannins. Think of it as a dry and lighter Banyuls-like wine. An absolutely delicious Roussillon (Catalan) wine.

2009 Domaine Cabirau "Malgre les Fonctionnaires" Côtes du Roussillon
 By: Keith Mabry | Review Date: 11/11/2014 | Send Email
  As it has added a couple of years, this wine has opened to reveal its true mineral side. Layers of black fruit are interspersed with notes of granite and iron. Medium bodied with nice complexity and showing the potential for a few more years. Why wait any longer though, this is a pleasure right now. This would complement grilled lamb and hearty braised meat dishes.

Figata Spritz
 By: Mike Parres | Review Date: 11/11/2014 | Send Email
  If you ever been to Europe and had a pre-dinner cocktail called a spritz, we have it here already to go. Pour, add ice and an orange slice and you are done. This is a great holiday party sipper, only eight percent alcohol, so you can have a nice big glass. Buy a few, this bottle empties quickly.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Au Bon Climat/K&L Wine Merchants "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 11/11/2014 | Send Email
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  I've sometimes found ABC's wines just a bit lean in their striving for a more Burgundian approach to California wine, and for that I applaud them, but there's something to be said for full flavored California Pinot, and I think with this wine they've done both. There is an extra level of textural pleasure on the palate that one doesn't usually get in ABC but it still has excellent length and that wild touch of complexity that makes it so ABC. Wonderful wine; you should definitely buy this wine.
Drink from 2014 to 2017
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Brewer-Clifton/K&L Wine Merchants "B-C. Kessler-Haak Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 11/11/2014 | Send Email
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  One of the best wines I've had from Brewer-Clifton, slightly more reserved, less of the opulent fruit and more complexity. This wine has superb balance, great length and makes a bold statement of flavor, just not over-ripe! Great to drink now, this might end up on my Thanksgiving table for those Pinot lovers.
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Compass Box Great King Street "Glasgow Blend" Scotch Whisky 750ml
 By: David Driscoll | Review Date: 11/11/2014 | Send Email
  It's not often we get new, limited releases that are both plentiful, affordable, and this tasty. Imagine the regular Great King Street, but richer, fuller, and with a healthy dollop of peat smoke. That's all there really is to know! Just a super tasty, well-formulated blend from our buddy John Glaser.
Price: $42.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1995 Glenburgie 19 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: David Driscoll | Review Date: 11/11/2014 | Send Email
  This baby is as advertised. WOW....does it deliver on the finish. It starts out subtle enough with standard single malt flavor, but then BAM the richness just comes rolling through on the finish, bringing vanilla, oak spices, and rich malty flavor like "a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant," to quote Christmas Vacation. There's nothing out of the ordinary going on here, just really, really good Scotch. And, my God, is it really good Scotch.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Cantine Ascheri Barolo
 By: John Downing | Review Date: 11/11/2014 | Send Email
  Thanks to Matteo Ascheri's sizable vineyard holdings and long-term vision he has managed to craft an outstanding quality Barolo at a very affordable price. This terrific red is ideal for those wanting to try Nebbiolo for the first time as well as for Barolo drinkers looking for serious value. Although it's delicious now, it will only improve with a bit of time in the cellar. Don't miss this one!
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 La Massa "La Massa" Toscana (3.0L)
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 11/11/2014 | Send Email
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  La Massa’s flagship wine is a powerful, complex and overtly flavorful wine. On the palate its texture is supple yet balanced and well structured and it is eminently drinkable. It shows a density for wines in this price range that is astounding. Yet while the density is obvious it still shows a lively energy. This is no couch potato of a wine; it is vibrant, fresh and has a superb finish. Plus this is easy drinking on its own!
Drink from 2014 to 2018

2012 Domaine Cabirau Côtes du Roussillon
 By: Keith Mabry | Review Date: 11/11/2014 | Send Email
  The Cabirau is functionally one of the best values I have tasted from the Roussillon this year. It has deep black plum and mission fig flavors with brambly blackberry juice and dried blueberries. This has weight but is not overtly concentrated (ie. not over-extracted). The notes of Asian spices and violets add to the complexity. There is great balance that leads to a harmonious finish. A lingering memorable wine that will make you forget that it's only $12.99! Just don't forget to buy more before it's all gone.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart RP 92 BC 0

2012 Domaine Cabirau Côtes du Roussillon
 By: Jacques Moreira | Review Date: 11/11/2014 | Send Email
  Incredibly pleasing and easy-going wine in the best sense of the way. A light violet color, with a very brambly/Blackberry nose. On the palate the cocoa powder, and the brown sugar surface. Delicate spices follow with soft tannins. I can think of nothing better to drink with a plate of Charcuterie, light cheeses and yeah... I'll go there: buffalo wings! Seal of approval!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart RP 92 BC 0

Big Peat Islay Holiday Edition Blended Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: David Driscoll | Review Date: 11/11/2014 | Send Email
  The Big Peat Xmas Edition won best blended single malt from the Whisky Advocate in 2013, and the new edition, in my opinion, is better than last year's. Imagine the lithe, briny character of Ardbeg Uigeadail with the baking spices and cinnamon peat of Laphroaig and Caol Ila on the finish. At cask strength, it really comes on strong at the back, letting you know this isn't some watered-down well drink. The flavors are potent and balanced from front to back. Of course, there's a bit of Port Ellen mixed in as well, just for the fun of it. Those who take the plunge on this bottle will be well-rewarded. It's another solid attempt from the Big Peat team.
Price: $66.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1995 Imperial 18 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: David Driscoll | Review Date: 11/11/2014 | Send Email
  This is just an updated version of a cask we bought a few years back. This one is both older and better. It's just everything you want: oily, resinous, fat-fruited, waxy, chewy, viscous, but never sweet. There's a bit of a tropical element on the finish, but it turns into something almost phenolic instead. Layers, upon layers, upon layers. 52.7% is perfect, so you don't need water. Imperial is no longer in operation, so there's a bit of a collectability factor here as well. One hot price. This is like cask strength Glenmorangie 18 (but for less!).
Price: $84.99 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 Driscoll | Review Date: 11/11/2014 | Send Email
  So this guy started as a couple of hogsheads and was then finished in a sherry butt. You can tell because there's a lot of oak action on the nose, almost Bourbon-like with pencil lead, but then morphing into stonefruit. The sherry turns on however in the mid-palate, but as we saw with the Bruichladdich it only highlights the fruit. Holy cow, this is tasty. Lots of sweet apricot and pear notes, but like they were dipped in a bit of cocoa. I'm going back in again and there's another wave of sweet baking spices that washes over the finish. Wow, this is good.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1997 Glen Ord 17 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: David Driscoll | Review Date: 11/11/2014 | Send Email
  We wanted this as comparison to the other 1997 barrels we bought so folks could do a horizontal. Glen Ord is a distillery that we don't see much of and we usually like it (partially because of the exotic nature of drinking Glen Ord). This is more subtle and less-pronounced than the other casks on this list. There's a lot of straight-forward sweetness and soft fruit, but it will take a discerning drinker to appreciate the nuance. But I know there are easily 272 guys who will really enjoy this bottle. 58.3% makes this a great rocks whisky.
Price: $79.99 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 Driscoll | Review Date: 11/11/2014 | Send Email
  23 years and 10 months old. Not quite 24, but close. Rather than fresh sherry, we have a refill which is really what Bruichladdich needs: just a bit of sweetness to help accent the salty goodness. In this case, it works like utter magic. There's a kiss of rich caramel on the initial sip, but the back end goes more towards the fruit and sea salt. It's absolutely charming and, if I were to do a blind tasting of all these new Signatory whiskies, I think I would have chosen this first. There's something just perfect about the flavor profile. It's everything I want from single malt. This is right there with the Blair Athol.
Price: $159.99 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 Driscoll | Review Date: 11/11/2014 | Send Email
  This one we did at full proof rather than 46% like the last barrel. The 59.1% is key to bringing out the best in this Bowmore. It's so powerful that the peat almost turns into that medicinal note, which is surprising given the level of richness from the refill sherry. It's nothing at all like the other Bowmore we brought in a few months back though. That was all campfire smoke and lazy vanilla, perfect for sipping on a cold winter evening. This is all high-tone phenolic notes with just a bit of sweet sherry that quickly explodes into something beyond all of those elements. It finishes entirely differently from where it begins. Bowmore collectors will be stoked.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1988 Blair Athol 25 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: David Driscoll | Review Date: 11/11/2014 | Send Email
  This delicious whisky was distilled in October, but bottled in September. So 25 years and 11 months, but not quite 26 years old. It's a first fill sherry butt, not a refill. It's big and dark and intense sherry. At 61.2%, this is a beast of a sherry butt, in the vein of Glendronach and Glenfarclas. It has that subtle mix of earth and cake on the nose with a bit of burnt sugar underneath. The palate is more of the same, and the finish is just big, fat sherry all night long. It's spicy sherry, though, not sweet sherry. The proof just kills any chance of sweetness. Water helps to release oils, creamy elements, and cuts out some of that heat so you can get into the malty center. Top notch whisky for slam dunk price. Can you imagine what 25 year old Macallan or Glendronach would cost at full proof? This is the star of the lineup. You buy this one first, and everything else second.
Price: $154.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2005 Valandraud, St-Emilion
 By: Trey Beffa | Review Date: 11/11/2014 | Send Email
  One of our suppliers was kind enough to hold this wine for several years before we purchased it for a ridiculous price (that is one way to look at it). A few extra years in the bottle has really rounded out and opened up the wine. It is just starting to hit its stride now as there is still plenty of tannin and structure underneath the enormous amount of fruit and toasty oak. Still, with a little air this wine is delicious right now!

1988 Blair Athol 25 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: Jeffrey Jones | Review Date: 11/10/2014 | Send Email
  The Blair Athol 25 has an inviting, mouthwatering dark brown color. There are pretty aromas of malt and sherry, but they don't tell the whole story. In the mouth, while full-bodied and rich, the Blair Athol 25 is not overly sweet and is balanced and well rounded.
Price: $154.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Quinta da Aveleda Loureiro Alvarinho Vinho Regional Minho
 By: Jeffrey Jones | Review Date: 11/10/2014 | Send Email
  Always a favorite easy-to-drink white wine. It is clean and crisp with enough bright fruit to make it too easy to drink. On the dry side with a touch of fizz, it will go well alone or with calamari, shell fish and chicken.

2009 Baricci Brunello di Montalcino
 By: Jeffrey Jones | Review Date: 11/10/2014 | Send Email
  I think that everything that I have tasted from Baricci has been well crafted and tasty. This wonderful Brunello is no exception. It has bright fruit mixed with the dusty flavors producing a complex and very good Brunello. While on the young side, it can be enjoyed now with some decanting.Drink with hearty foods.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart ST 91 BC 0

2013 Château Font-Mars Picpoul de Pinet
 By: Ed Donovan | Review Date: 11/10/2014 | Send Email
  This was the first wine I tried at my first-ever official K&L tasting, which was appropriate because I am always looking for bargain bubbles! Crisp and refreshing with mineral notes and a slight saline quality that makes me think oysters. At this price point, though, you can afford to experiment with pairing. How about just sipping a glass as you make dinner?
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Erik Banti Morellino di Scansano
 By: Jeffrey Jones | Review Date: 11/10/2014 | Send Email
  A fantastic bright and expressive wine for a bargain price. It is medium bodied with nice red fruit flavors that is soft enough to drink now. It will go well with pasta, pizza or most sandwiches.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Textbook Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: John Majeski | Review Date: 11/9/2014 | Send Email
  Mention the word "textbook" and aside from the "textbook" definition, I flashback a decade or so to my poor niece Emily having to lug the equivalent of twenty pounds of school books in her beast of a backpack during the seventh grade. Fortunately times have changed, and today, with handheld tablets no one needs to be a human pack mule to get a decent education. Of course the best education for a student of wine is an uncorked bottle and a sparkling glass, allowing the winemaking talents of folks like Jonathan and Susan Pey to shine forth. With extensive experience in Bordeaux, Burgundy and the restaurant culture, they bring true sense and sensibility to their passion for wine, and their "newly published" Textbook Cabernet Sauvignon is defined by lovely aromas of ripe, juicy plums, succulent blackberries, licorice and camphor framed by subtly spicy oak, elegant tannins and scrumptious, mouthwatering acidity. An incredible Cabernet value, serve this throughout the holidays and into 2015. No homework required!
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2012 Blason Friulano Isonzo
 By: Mike Parres | Review Date: 11/9/2014 | Send Email
  As most of you know these wines from past vintages, let me just put it plain and simple: 2012 ROCKS in Friuli! The “Friulano” is medium to full-bodied, with ripe pear and red apple on the palate. On the finish I find a hint of almond balanced with crisp acidity. This will work well with ham or hearty soup.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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