Staff Favorites - Matthew Callahan

Matthew Callahan

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Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne  
Review Date: 8-6-2014
This 50% Chardonnay 50% Pinot Meunier blend, which is aged over four years on the lees, remains one of my all-time favorite Champagnes we stock here at K&L. This dry bubbly is rich and full with wonderful sweetness to the spiced apple fruit. The finish is so long, complex and persistent you will compare it to bottles costing three to four times as much. Super quality and super bang for the buck here.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Michel Loriot "Authentic" Brut Champagne (previously Cuvee Reserve)   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 8-6-2014
Exceptional quality for the money. Remarkably soft and elegant considering that the wine goes through no malo. Ripe orchard fruit and some softer stone fruit elements. Creamy lees texture and great persistence on the palate. One of our best values in all of Champagne.
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart ST 90 BC 0

2013 Kalinda Napa Valley Chardonnay  
Review Date: 8-6-2014
If you are tired of soft, blowsy California Chardonnay and have almost given up on the category this will surprise and refresh you. This is firm and toasty with stone fruit and lemon oil flavors, a touch of honey and a complex leesy note on the finish. There is wonderful freshness and vibrancy to this rich and beautifully balanced wine.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Churchill's "Estates" Douro  
Review Date: 8-6-2014
While many of the top, legendary 2011 vintage ports are beginning to disappear, we are continuing to see a deluge of excellent, top quality dry Douro reds. Given the terrific quality of the 2011 Port vintage (literally a once in a generation type of vintage) in this region, there is no reason not to dip your toes into the dry red wines from the same year; you will not be disappointed. Tasting this wine next to the 2010 vintage was very instructive: while the 2010 is a solid wine, 2011 has so much more intensity, volume, and length. It's a textbook Douro red from a great vintage, a wine that is impressive now and should cellar well in the mid term as well. There is no better vintage than 2011 to check out the unique dry red wines from the Douro.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart WS 93 BC 0

2012 Tikal "Jubilo" Mendoza  
Review Date: 8-6-2014
As with all things chez Tikal, this is a bigger, powerful wine. Smoky/savory oak aromas show mocha and some dark caramel, with the fruit lying in the background, but on the palate...different story. Chunky red and dark plum fruits show drier than what the nose suggests. Clearly there is good quality fruit used here, no surprise given that a Catena (Ernesto) is involved! Definitely a solid fuller bodied wine for your next cookout or grilled steak.

2012 Chehalem "Ridgecrest Vineyards" Ribbon Ridge Gamay Noir  
Review Date: 8-6-2014
Slightly esoteric, fully delicious. Very pretty nose,and great acidity frame this dynamic wine giving endless possibilities for food pairings. Something as pedestrian as juicy hamburgers with charred green chilies and Monterrey Jack mixed into the patty, to cote de boeuf with potatoes gratin and crispy shallots. Or maybe even a grilled cheese with caramelized onions and comte.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Chehalem "Sext-Ridgecrest Vineyard" Ribbon Ridge Riesling  
Review Date: 8-6-2014
An exquisite wine. Serve this with a salad of mixed greens, grilled nectarines, and wild boar sausage!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Fleury "Carte Rouge" Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne  
Review Date: 8-6-2014
Very rich, very concentrated in style. Lovely champagne from a biodynamic grower. Just flat-out excellent and an amazing value.
Top Value!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BH 90 BC 0

Bruno Michel Premier Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne  
Review Date: 8-6-2014
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From a single vineyard, with old selectoin massale vines (not commercial clones), planted a half-century ago. 1/2 has been through ML, half has not. It comes from a vineyard high on the hill, almost on the border with Epernay, so it is a cooler, more mineral rich enviforment. The vineayrd is a 1er Cru one, called Les Brousses. This has a modest 8g/liter of dosage, but such great drive and minerality it shows as a most amazing champagne. This is a Don't Miss! for me.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Bruno Michel Premier Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne  
Review Date: 8-6-2014
This Champagne is from a site that is so cold, it typically has searingly high acidity (always in balance with the fruit in my opinion) which makes it one I love but that I recommend judiciously, only to those who love acidity as much as I do. I say "typically," though, because our most recent bottling is based on a warmer vintage, and combined with the colder vineyard site, this becomes a richer, yet still bright and vibrant Blanc de Blancs to recommend to many more people. This is always one of my favorite expressions of Chardonnay on our shelves.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne  
Review Date: 8-6-2014
UPDATE... This recent batch, based on the 2006 vintage, with an incredible 6 years of time on the lees (good luck finding another Champagne for this price with as much lees ageing and overall balance), is damn good. As always the nose is bright, pure and friendly, inviting. On the palate there fruit is bigger and spicier than I recall, but still balanced by fresh acidity due to Bruno Michel's cooler vineyard sites. I have a review from a previous disgorgement below for some context: This is arguably, pound for pound, dollar for dollar, the most versatile and satisfying Champagne in the store. So bright tasting, with good minerality and delicious, juicy fruit. A colleague put it well when she called this champagne "friendly." I completely agree. It is indeed friendly, without sacrificing originality or wine geek appeal. One to always have on hand around the house (especially if you're inviting me over!)
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2006 Miguel Merino "Vitola" Reserva Rioja  
Review Date: 8-6-2014
This might be the best red under $20 in the store. If you have not tried any of the wines from super producer Miguel Merino, now is the time. This wine has such an open-knit, generous personality, some of the highest quality Tempranillo fruit I have ever tasted, and also texture, maturity and poise. It has it all... Just add lamb blocks!
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2020
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne  
Review Date: 8-6-2014
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I really like this wine, the nose is bursting with spiced apple brioche that just explodes out of your glass (use a BIG glass like we do, no flutes!)and continues on across the palate. The Blanche has such a unique expression of high acid and richness coupled with lots of age you can please edgy purists and those looking for more richness. Excellent finish, supple mousse, such a deal for the price!
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Brio de Cantenac Brown, Margaux  
Review Date: 8-6-2014
While being a great cellar candidate, this is really quite approachable now. I bought a beautiful coil of lamb sausage flavored with herbes de provence from The Fatted Calf this weekend and have been trying to find a wine to pair it with. While leaning towards a Cab Franc, this blend of Cab, Merlot, and Cab Franc could be just the wine to stand up to the grilled meaty depth of lamb and the blend of intense Provencal spices. The Margaux characteristics shine through this wine, and while the oak plays a noticeable role, it is more of a background character tying the story together. Beautiful bright acidity, and playful ripe fruit. An incredible buy at about half the price of the first label.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart JS 91 BC 0

Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 8-6-2014
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Stunning wine. Racy, pure, mineral infused Champagne with endless drive and verve. This wine always has such focus and vibrancy. Not a heavy toasty wine, rather one that has elegance, beautiful length and persistence on the palate. A fantastic aperitif wine with mouthwatering acidity and freshness. You need to try this Champagne for your next dinner party, it is very hard to beat at this price.
Top Value!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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