Staff Favorites - Christie Brunick

Christie Brunick
Christie Brunick  | 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.


Reviews

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2012 Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 12-12-2014
Sophisticated and supple. Yes, the second label from Quintessa has done it yet again. The Faust Cabernet is pure and straightforward. Black currant, cassis and blackberry fruit on the nose, with just a wisp of toast. Fresh minerals and finely integrated tannins make this Napa classic very drinkable now or easily cellarable for the next 5+ years or so.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2012 Spellbound California Petite Sirah
Review Date: 12-10-2014
Deep purple in the glass. Aromas of ripe and dried blueberries and mixed berry pie. Luscious and velvety on the palate with velvety smooth texture, a touch of vanilla bean toast, and a very supple finish.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2010 Inglenook "Cask" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 12-5-2014
Deep purple and ruby color in the glass with high-toned and beautifully perfumed bouquet of crushed red fruit and holiday spice box. Very supple and elegant palate with powdered raspberries, currant, boysenberry and cassis flavors on the palate with gravely minerality and strong yet integrated tannins. New World in fruit and Old World in style, this baby will age beautifully or can be enjoyed now with a quick decant.
Price: Hidden View Price AG 91 BC 0

2010 Bodegas Puelles Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 12-1-2014
Rioja that's ready to drink now, drinkable on its lonesome, perfectly food-friendly, and costs -$$? What? This is an amazing value for the holidays, or any time of year, for that matter. Super-classic aromas of dusty red fruit and old man cigars, lightly savory and earthy with a touch of chocolate. This is delicious!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2012 Frog's Leap Napa Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 12-1-2014
I love Frog's Leap wines for many reasons. The most important thing they do is make food-friendly wines that are balanced, sophisticated, restrained, friendly, and age-worthy. I'm super impressed by their Napa Zinfandel in particular because it is the way Zinfandel used to be made years ago, before all the "Prisoners and Opolos" of the world came to take over! The 2012 Frog's Leap Zin is super classic in style and varietally correct. Bright and focused fruit with wonderful acid and not over-oaked and alcoholic like so many of its counterparts. This is a Zin that will never go out of style. Blackberry, currant, cassis, with slight hints of tobacco leaf and cocoa nibs on the finish. Juicy without over-extraction, and wonderful integration of oak tannins.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart W&S 91 BC 0

2013 Spellbound California Chardonnay
Review Date: 12-1-2014
Robert Mondavi Jr. hits it out of the ballpark again with the 2013 vintage of Spellbound Chardonnay. I have to say, this is the richest, creamiest, toastiest vintage of this wine I've tasted! You really can not beat the value here. Lots of buttered popcorn, creme brulee, caramel-dipped apple, and freshly buttered toast. This is A LOT of wine for the price! If you're a Cali-Chard fan, this is one not to miss!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Obsidian Ridge "Obsidian Ridge Vineyard" Red Hills Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-13-2014
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
Review Date: 11-12-2014
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
Review Date: 11-12-2014
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 Oustric Picpoul de Pinet
Review Date: 11-9-2014
Looking for that crisp white that will deliver the transition from summer to fall? Look no further. With this direct import Picpoul you get your perfect, crisp autumn white wine! Lots of pretty mineral white floral notes on the nose, but not overwhelmingly floral. It's a perfect fall white wine. A bit more richness than a typical Picpoul but great acid and lift. Lovely for the price too!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Kalinda "Clone 828 Reserve" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-9-2014
Juicy, candied red fruit, savory Xmas spice, gobs of mixed berry jam, wonderful prickly mouth-feel from the great balance of acid and integrated tannin. Not oaky, but definitely has a nice toast:) Perfect holiday Pinot!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Kalinda Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 11-5-2014
The best Kalinda Chardonnay to date! I'm not typically a Cali-Chard drinker but this hits all the high notes! This is filled with richness but not in the buttery-oaky way. It has depth and minerality with pure citrus and stone fruit and perfectly integrated acidity that gives it just the right amount of lip-puckering lift! This is my Thanksgiving Chard for sure:)
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Bogle "Essential Red" Old Vine Red Blend
Review Date: 10-14-2014
For this price and quality get outta town! This is going to be everyone's bring-to-a-party pick and not get nervous about everyone gulping it down immediately, and not embarrassed about bringing a sub-$10 wine either! This is a Zin-based red blend that is juicy and full without being cloyingly sweet. It retains balance and gets you in the mood...to drink more!
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart WE 91 BC 0

2013 Honig Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 9-21-2014
Always a stellar value for 100% pure, estate-grown, Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc at a price that hasn't gone up in over 10 years! Great citrus and mineral notes, juicy mouthwatering acidity, and easy to drink with or without food. It's a no-brainier if you ask me!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Ramey Napa Valley Claret
Review Date: 9-21-2014
Always one of my favorite Bordeaux blends of the Napa Valley that is done in an old-school style that actually has gorgeous structure and minerality. I even get a touch of gravel from the soil on the finish. Well integrated French oak and purity of fruit. Love the forward quality of 2012s; this you can enjoy or keep for years to come!

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Launois "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($34.99)