Staff Favorites - Matthew Callahan

Matthew Callahan

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2011 Obsidian Ridge "Obsidian Ridge Vineyard" Red Hills Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 11-18-2014
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  
Review Date: 11-18-2014
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  
Review Date: 11-18-2014
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  
Review Date: 11-18-2014
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  
Review Date: 11-18-2014
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  
Review Date: 11-18-2014
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  
Review Date: 11-17-2014
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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  
Review Date: 11-17-2014
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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)  
Review Date: 11-17-2014
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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)  
Review Date: 11-17-2014
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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  
Review Date: 11-16-2014
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  
Review Date: 11-14-2014
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   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 11-14-2014
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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   | Approved
Review Date: 11-14-2014
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   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 11-14-2014
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

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