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Staff Favorites - Kyle Kurani
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Cain "Cuvée NV10 " Napa Valley Proprietary Red
Review Date: 9-21-2014
Combining the richness of the 2009 vintage with the freshness of the 2010, this incredible multi-vintage red offers an extraordinarily balanced Napa Cab. The dark fruit is layered with notes of raspberry and currant, laced with savory leather. To add balance to this blend, the 2010 brings freshness, red cherry and herbal components, fresh mint and crushed sage. The sum is greater than the parts in this case.
Singani 63 Bolivian Muscat Brandy 750ml
Review Date: 9-15-2014
Exactly what we love to drink. After a "serious day in the office" tasting as many as 40 different whiskies, the Singani is the type of spirit I want to come home to, delicious. Fresh, and lively, you get the essence of the Muscat grape, floral, with ripe peach and apricot, this is super clean and dangerously drinkable. So much to do with it: Pisco sour stand-in, add some tonic, or lemon soda with a twist; I would even venture to say it would be killer in a Mojito.
2002 Thienot "La Vigne aux Gamins" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 8-28-2014
A study in elegant richness and composure. The La Vigne Aux Gamins is one of the best bottles of bubbles I have had the pleasure to have this year. Out of the glass come toasted almonds and a hint of pound cake, with elegant aromas of white flowers and fresh chalk, signs of the beautiful Chardonnay that is about to envelope your palate. The first sip rushes in with spiced apples, fresh baguette and a beautiful counterbalance of white flowers that follow through from the nose. The freshness of this wine is what sets it apart, there is a persistent minerality that lends lift to the mouth feel, and an elegance that dances all the way through to the beautifully long and full finish. These notes were written on a day that we tried a total of 63 other Champagnes, from Krug to Billecart; this wine was undoubtedly one of the best things we tasted.
2006 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 8-20-2014
Cristal is really serious Champagne. Yes it is famous, yes it has a lot of hype, but behind all of that, there is some of best Champagne in the bottle you will find anywhere. The 2006 is a beautiful combination of ripe summer fruit that is characteristic of the vintage, and a driving minerality that comes from the chalky soil from estate-grown grapes. I was well impressed with the golden apple and pear notes that were delivered alongside super-fine bubbles and a precise mineral presence. A hint of nutty richness at the back-end of the palate adds just the perfect balance of richness. This is a wine that will develop in the cellar for years to come and will undoubtedly reward your patience.
2002 Bowmore 11 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Single Refill Sherry Hogshead Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 7-30-2014
In the barrage of barrel samples that we tasted over the trip, 50-plus on the day we found this little gem alone, I had somehow forgotten how much I liked this. After tasting it in a lineup of far more heralded and expensive single malts, this reminded me why I love Bowmore so much. The perfect balance of richness and complexity, not too much sherry as to cover up the sweet grain and spice notes, but enough nutty richness to lend a seductive and soft mouth feel. The smoke is dark and brooding like Bowmore should be, perfectly integrated and stunning.
Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Gin 375ml
Review Date: 5-1-2014
This was the only bottle I brought back from our recent trip to Scotland. When you spend all day tastings as many as 60 Scotches, the idea of buying booze was pretty much the farthest thing from my mind...until I tried this gin. We were lucky enough to stumble into a very reputable bottle shop where the lovely lady was kind enough to let us try this. As soon as I did, I was hooked. This is by far the most complex and intriguing gin I have ever tasted. Layers of herbal notes that keep revealing themselves, juniper, bay leaf, and lemon zest, to name a few. It is so fresh and clean, not a rough edge to be found. I couldn’t believe that it was a gin I was drinking. If you are a fan of complex spirits, this is worth getting into a glass near you.
1988 Littlemill 25 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Exclusive Malts" Single Barrel Cask Strength Lowland Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 4-15-2014
Toasted golden corn in the glass. The nose is intense and driven, notes of wood spice, burnt orange, and savory herbs, the sort of mix that only evolves with time. The palate is much less savory; more on the toasty and grainy side. Butterscotch and sweet oak dominate but there are hints of stone fruit at the back that add complexity. A touch of honey and graham cracker round out a very classic “scotchy” flavor profile. This distillery is both closed and demolished, so these remnants of single casks are always a treat to have while they still exist.
2005 Launois "Spécial Club" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (ships as 1.5L)
Review Date: 10-15-2013
Another amazing vintage of Special Club! 2005 in Champagne ended with smiles on the faces of all the wine makers, an even growing season, perfect harvest mid-October, and beautiful fruit. This 2005 is everything you would expect from such an exceptional year. The Special Club is Launois’ crown jewel and is annually one of my favorite wines in the decadent, richer style of Champagne. The nose is full of vanilla shortbread and peaches with cream. The palate is one layer of confectionary richness after another: angel food cake, toasted hazel nut, and graham cracker, are all intertwined. Like walking into your favorite bakery and being enveloped with the aroma of all your childhood favorites.
2005 Island Distillery (Ledaig) 7 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Exclusive Malts" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 10-9-2013
I love the intense and young whiskies. Malts that haven’t lost their youthful vigour, that are unabashedly smoky and intense. The mystery malt behind door #1 is bright and fresh, with intense smoke delivered on a palate of grainy sweetness. Bold but in balance, this peaty little number is already on my bar and waiting to impress my friends who think it is Islay or go home for peated malts in Scotland.
2002 Piper-Heidsieck "Cuvée Rare" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 9-25-2013
A glamorous wine inside and out. Don’t let the fancy gold bottle fool you; this is some seriously great Champagne, rich and opulent, with drive and finesse. I have had this bottle three times over the past year and have been impressed on all occasions. Aromas a ripe peach and candied apricot greet you on the nose, the palate is full and yeasty, layers of brioche and hazelnut. For those of us who love the rich and decadent style of Champagne, this fits the bill perfectly. Suitable for any occasion that I can think of, a wonderful bottle.
Laurent-Perrier "Grand Siècle" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 9-17-2013
The Grand Siècle is a prestige bottling with the stuffing to back it up. I was well impressed with this bottle in our last tasting, it has all the complexity and richness that you would expect from the top bottling of a Champagne House. A true multi-vintage wine, this combines the strengths of three great vintages into a sum that is greater than the three parts. This wine is driven decadence, ripe off the tree peaches and cream envelope your palate at the first sip, followed by dense shortbread and white flowers. Layers or citrus and ginger follow, supported by a subtle nuttiness from the lengthy aging, this wine is complete, without a single edge to be found.
Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne
Review Date: 9-17-2013
The LP non-vintage is made in a very open-knit, pleasing style. Layers of rich apple and golden pear are enveloped by toasted bread and candied citrus peel. This wine is on the opulent side for the category, with the brightness of the citrus enough to balance out the creaminess. Overall this is very pretty Champagne, there are layered flavors that impress for the price, and this comes across as very well made.
2005 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 9-17-2013
The crown jewel of the Roederer house, the 2005 Cristal certainly lives up to the reputation it has so rightly established for itself. To borrow from the jewelry world, the cut and clarity of this wine are commendable. The pure vein of minerality that cuts through this wine gives focus and definition, only serving to highlight the purity of stone and citrus fruits that are present in abundance. This minerality is balanced by the richness of 5 years on the lees, baking spices and other confectionary qualities really lend to the depth of this wine. What strikes me about this version of Cristal is the immediate allure of the wine, usually one of the most prematurely opened bottles in the Champagne world, the 2005 has so much beauty to offer right now. It was absolutely a pleasure to taste this wine and a good reminder of just how world class Champagne can be. Something to drink now, or tuck away for a future special occasion, please enjoy this wine with fellow Champagne enthusiasts.
Nikka Coffey Still Japanese Grain Whisky 750ml (one bottle limit)
Review Date: 9-11-2013
One of the most unique and exciting Whiskey's I have had this year! I always love off the beaten path Spirits that just wow you. This is the ultimate in soft, supple, and yummy unmalted grain Whiskey. Notes of caramel, candied nuts and sweet sweet grains all combine to make something that is absolutely delicious. The finish is velvety vanilla and hazel nut and lengthier than I would have expected. With the other expressions from Nikka being so highly allocated, jump on this while you can!
Marguet Pere et Fils Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 9-3-2013
A charming Rose that is a joy to drink. This wine is both elegant and precise, a balance of ripe red fruit and minerality that play together very nicely. This wine became more complex by the glass, the last glass was a delicious mix of red cherry from the 35% Pinot Noir, coupled with Christmas spices of clove and candied fruit, as well as tension provided from very mineral driven Chardonnay. The finish is lengthy with strawberry and raspberry continuing the theme of red fruit, and almost a plum skin feel left on the palate. Very well balance wine.
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