Staff Favorites - Christie Cartwright

Christie Cartwright
Christie Cartwright  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
I was first introduced to the fabulous world of California wine in Napa where I spent weekends bike riding and wine tasting with my parents up and down the Silverado Trail. Growing up in the East Bay Area it was only a hop...skip...jump away from wine country where my family would venture to relax and play every possible moment. It wasn't until my senior year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo that I realized I had a passion for the wine industry. My first encounter with the working world of wine was my volunteer internship at Edna Valley Winery where I traveled to a number of tasting events with the marketing manager for the winery and realized I needed to get in the business. I added a minor in wine and viticulture to my communications studies major and ended up writing my thesis on the differences in wine marketing throughout a choice number of Paso Robles wineries. My first "real job" in the wine industry was at the smallest tasting room with the biggest personality in Paso Robles named Four Vines Winery. I worked there for almost three years while going to school and fell in love with not only central coast wines, but also with the business of sales and all those who loved, appreciated, and enjoyed our fruitful product. After graduation in 2007 I loved the central coast so much I decided to make a go for it and stay in this blissful paradise of beach and vines. I became fond very fond of making trips to Los Olivos and Santa Ynez valley quite often and in the mean time also became employed at Tolosa Winery in San Luis Obispo and 15 degrees wine bar in Templeton. In the summer of 2009 I decided to take a chance and move to Hollywood for more opportunity. Being from northern California I wanted to expand my horizons and see what the LA lifestyle was all about. I knew this was where I belonged the moment I stepped into this oasis of wine and cuisine. Never had I been to a place where I could find so many restaurants, bistros, wine bars, and the like within a 4 mile radius, and I don't have to get on the freeway! I'm in heaven. When I walked into the infamous K&L Hollywood Store it was love at first sight! I'm thrilled to be working here doing what I love, and love the incredible people here who share this passion and commitment with me.


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1994 Benriach 19 Year Old K&L Exclusive Single Bourbon Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 11-25-2013
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Fascinating whiskey. Not the biggest, boldest flavors one can find, but it certainly has layers of complex, balanced nuances. A spicy, medium-weight malt with nice savory toast flavors and subtle touches of vanilla. This whiskey has both the vibrancy and liveliness of a young spirit but also the softness and supple ease of a more mature bottling. If you want a heavy, more multidimensional sherry expression, try the Glendronach.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Lea (Tensley) Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-25-2013
This Pinot Noir from the folks at Tensley is bright, ripe and extracted, with plentiful dark red fruits, spice and hints of cedar. Fleshy and silky, this is a wine to enjoy immediately. This wine isn't for the Burgundy lover--this is a California Pinot Noir fan's Pinot Noir.

2011 Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 11-8-2013
This is the highest-rated Chardonnay from Montelena Estates that has ever been released to date! A masterful piece from the so-called "bad vintage" that would fool you for Premier or Grand Cru Burgundy. Exquisitely balanced with gorgeous minerality, bright acid, creamy lemon curd and subtle fruit from sitting on its lees, but with no stirring and no malolactic fermentation. This hits it out of the ball park for sure, and will be in my fridge as soon as it's released on October 1st!

2011 Chateau de Peyrassol "La Croix Rouge" VDP des Portes de la Mediterranée
Review Date: 11-8-2013
Always a staff favorite here at K&L, it comes and goes so fast that we barely have a chance to buy any for ourselves! This is a great crossover wine as well for New World wine drinkers discovering friendly Old World wines like this. This will be at all my holiday parties, as it will please every palate in the best way possible. Great food wine, great cocktail wine; it has depth, minerality, lusciousness and weight on the palate, and not too much tannin or oak influence. This is a gem not to be missed!
Price: Hidden View Price BC 0

2012 Amici Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 11-8-2013
I love the new Amici Cellars 2012 Sauvignon Blanc! It's by far the most crisp, clean, bright, and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc I've seen from them yet. It only sees 10% Oak and 10% Malo is is made with the Muscat Clone of Sauvignon Blanc. The hue is a very light, straw pale gold, with subtle aromas of clean tropical fruit and citrus. None of the über-grassy notes that you can sometimes get from Napa or New Zealand Sauv Blancs. This is a steal for this type of Napa quality for under $20!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Amici Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-8-2013
When I tasted with the folks from Amici cellars this summer, I was wowed by how well their Cabernets were showing, especially since they're quite young. But I thought the star was their basic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. It was exactly what I would expect from well-made, no-expense-spared Napa Cab! Super classic in style, with an ultra-rich color of black and purple fruit and plush weight on the palate, making it feel luxurious but not too over-the-top. Superbly elegant and finessed with integrated tannins and a polished finish. This is drinking great now, but can also cellar for another few years if you like.
Price: $43.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

Montechiara Prosecco DOC
Review Date: 11-8-2013
This little Italian Prosecco has changed the way think about Prosecco here at K&L, and trust me, that's not an easy task. With a label that mimics a yellow/orange Veuve Cliquot label, and a price that will keep your wallet full, this lovely bubbly will be the hit of every party, day or night. Not too dry, not too fruity, it's just right. You and your friends will be very, very happy!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Olema Sonoma County Chardonnay
Review Date: 11-8-2013
This 2012 vintage of Olema Sonoma County Chardonnay is my personal favorite style of Chardonnay. It's not your typical California oak and butter-bomb that makes you feel like you're licking the inside of a freshly charred oak barrel. Amici is sticking to the Burgundian model by fermenting only half the juice in French oak to get the rich, leesy texture, the other half in stainless to retain the fresh, crisp, delicate balance between the two. And did I mention this is a delicious wine to drink on the deck while watching the sunset? Subtle fruit, touch of tropical notes, bright acid, creamy mid palate texture...It's a perfect Chardonnay that will please your wine drinking friends whether they're fans of Old World or New World styles.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Domaine Renaud Pouilly-Fuissé "Cuvée Vieilles Vignes"
Review Date: 11-8-2013
Always one of my favorite bargains in Direct Import Burgundy! Super classic yet approachable to any white Burgundy fan! Wonderful minerality and superb texture on the palate with subtle fruit on the nose, perfect balance (if you want something a little richer than a Chablis style), and a touch lighter than a Mersault; not too heavy, not too light, it's just right!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Elsa Bianchi Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 11-8-2013
Nowhere else can you find such a quality Argentine Malbec at this price! Classic in style and structure, with a beautiful, deep purple hue in the glass. Aromas of sweet blackberry, plum, blue fruit and chocolate, silky texture and polished in the mouth. Finishes very silky smooth with a lingering finish. Perfect for holiday parties and is great with or without food!
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Spellbound California Chardonnay
Review Date: 11-8-2013
Spellbound Chardonnay comes from Robert Mondavi and Folio Fine Wine Partners, and the 2012, if you can believe it, is even more amazing than 2011. Some say 2012 is the best vintage California has had in a decade, and this wine is a perfect testament to that. Perfect balance and texture to a "Baby Rombauer" style of Chardonnay. Even with its rich, creamy texture, there are layers of flavor and complex fruit notes like citrus, tropical fruit and vanilla. But with the drinkability and balance of this "life of the party" wine, you would never guess its price! It will be bikini season soon so drink your spellbound in place of the cheese!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Kalinda Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-8-2013
Finally, a California Cab for under $20 that isn't bogged down by oak and high alcohol! If your palate is anything like mine, then you will love it. It's juicy but not heavy, has nice, bright, juicy acidity and absolutely no harsh tannins. This is a great Cab for all red wine drinkers because it's super approachable and food friendly. I think I could even have it with cedar plank salmon as well as grilled meats. Versatile, juicy, delicious!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Failla Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 8-29-2013
The 2012 Failla Pinot is full of super concentrated crunchy red fruits, bursting with pretty and sweet aromatics exploding with flavor on the palate. Tons of juicy acid, great structure, only sees 5% new oak, unfined and unfiltered. Erin's wine-making philosophy is simple, using native yeasts, picking fruit by PH not necessarily by brix levels, never adding water and acid like some who pick too ripe. He also practices natural Malolactic never inoculating, letting the wines do their own magic and really speak for themselves.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2011 Michel Delhommeau "Symbiose" Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie
Review Date: 7-24-2013
If you like the "Harmonie" Muscadet then you'll LOVE the Symboise Muscadet! From the same producer the only difference is the soil the fruit comes from. The Symboise is a touch more intense and mineral on the palate while the Harmonie is a bit more of an "easy drinker". So if you need a porch pounder get the harmonie and if your pairing with oysters do the Symboise!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Michel Delhommeau "Harmonie" Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie
Review Date: 6-21-2013
It's back and just as refreshing as ever! Always a favorite of mine, weather I'm relaxing on the deck, or cooking up a storm, Harmonie is always there to keep me cool, calm, and feeling like I'm on vacation in the Loire Valley! Super fresh and clean with high acid and minerality on the palate. Perfect for salads, oysters, or just on its own!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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