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K&L Staff Recommendations
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From one of the warmest sites in France, the 2014 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Lieu Dit La Narassa comes from 70-year-old vines planted in the black schist soils of Maury. Despite the rugged, hot terroir from where this beauty comes, the wine is pure silk and elegant, with lots of black raspberry, chocolate covered currants, pepper and olive notes giving way to a full-bodied 2014; it has polished tannin and a seamless texture. (JD)" (4/2016) K&L Notes: Proprietors Jean-Marc and Eliane Lafage have become synonymous with quality and value from the Roussillon. They con... Read More »
100 points James Suckling: "The much-anticipated 2002 has impeccable detail and depth with a lot of chalky, stony and flinty elements on the nose as well as a very fresh edge. The nose is very complex and wound up tight but presents itself as very integrated and compressed. There are aromas of lemon rind, lime juice and a lime custard all at once, complemented in turn by a super-restrained hazelnut-like edge. Undertones of brown mushrooms, chalky minerals and lemon leaf. The palate has a core of sizzlingly intense, concentrated chardonnay framed whitin a powerful phenolic structure ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Gorgeous aromas of sage, blackberry and blueberry follow through to a full body, polished and silky tannins and a long, flavorful finish. A pretty combination of subtle fruit and wood. Should come together beautifully. Drink in 2019." (1/2016) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, is a strong effort from Joseph Phelps and possibly could turn out to be one of the best generic Napa bottlings they have made in many a year. There are 23,000 cases of this wine, which is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and the rest Malbec, Petit ...Read More »
96 points Bob Campbell: "Reasonably light in colour but there is nothing light about the aroma and flavour of this elegant and quite complex pinot noir. It’s a bright, high energy wine that’s rippling with light. A nice mix of berry and cherry and savoury, herb and baked earth flavours with a subtle mineral influence. Good now, better later." 94 points Wine Spectator: "The crisp cranberry and pomegranate flavors are juicy and vibrant, with details of green tea, fresh earth and white pepper. Cohesive and harmonious on the long finish. Drink now through 2030" K&L Notes: Felton Road, along with producers like Rippon and Qu... Read More »
What specifically makes Enrique's single-site expression so incredible? Let's start with the aromatics. From the minute you pop the cork and begin nosing the bottle, sweet smells of incense, roasted agave and tropical fruit inundate the senses. Absent entirely are the aromas of pepper, savory spice or vegetal notes that usually accompany the fruitier tones. It's as hedonistic as unadulterated tequila can smell, in my experience; but the spirit is not without spice on the whole. The first sip builds on those enticing aromas, but a huge dollop of baking sp... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Cherry, kirsch and candied orange flavors have a hard-candy character in this juicy red. Sweet-tart acidity and light tannins provide focus. Drink now through 2018. (TM, Web-2016)"
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Top 50 Spirits 2013* This honey-hued rye has a remarkable aroma, melding cookie dough, hazelnut and marzipan. The same luscious flavors show up on the palate, rich and sweet, leading into a confected finish of Nutella sprinkled with nutmeg and cinnamon. The sugar-and-spice effect is due to 18 months finishing time in casks that first held Cognac, then Caribbean rum." (7/2013) 90 points Whisky Advocate: "*Editor's Choice* The folks at Angel’s Envy once again push the envelope with this 95% rye whiskey finished in Caribbean rum casks. Vibrant, spicy rye notes (cinnamon and mint) are ...Read More »
91 points Vinous: "(14.4% alcohol; just 700 cases produced, vs. a normal 1,300; half of this wine is from Cara Mia fruit): Red-ruby. Sexy, vibrant aromas of dark cherry, mocha, mint, espresso and licorice pastille, lifted by a lavender high note. Juicy, spicy and penetrating, with dark berry and mint flavors dominating. Terrific intensity for this entry-level wine, with a firm tannic spine and juicy, rising length calling for a year or two of patience. Rather strict for a second wine intended for early drinking, but I'm not complaining. Ben Smith told me he did not crush t ...Read More »
96 points Wine Enthusiast: "Bold and well structured, this Bourbon features warming vanilla and caramel accented by orange peel, stone fruit and a dry baking-spice finish. Sip it with a chunk of ice, or mix up a round of juleps. The trademark round, faceted bottle with the horse-topped cork is perfect for Derby Day. (KN)" (9/2014) Wine Spectator: "Custard, pepper, orange peel and grassy rye fill the nose. In the mouth, it's a breakneck ride: an initial rush of dry corn and grassy rye, a broad wave of sweeter corn in the middle, and a finish of sugar and rough spearmint. One of the first specialty Bou ...Read More »
Producer notes: "Named after the father of Bourbon Rev. Elijah Craig this limited release Small Batch, twelve-year-old Bourbon is bottled at Barrel Proof and without chill filtering, preserving the natural flavors produced during the aging process. At full Barrel Proof, you can enjoy the Bourbon much the same way our Master Distiller does when he samples straight from the barrel or, if you choose, add water to reduce the proof to your liking."
There is perhaps no better match for a dozen oysters than minerally Sancerre from one of the best producers in the region. This release is always a cut above textbook Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc, with bright acidity, smoke, citrus and grassiness. Hippolyte Reverdy's family has been making wine in the charming village of Verdigny, a commune of Sancerre in the eastern Loire, for many generations--perhaps as far back as 1600. Traditional in nature, the farm was planted to multiple crops, and the Reverdys raised goats and made small quantities of wine from ... Read More »
92 points Wine & Spirits: "This wine emphasizes Zinfandel’s gentle tannins (rather than the more rustic tannins of thick-skinned mixed blacks, with which Zin is so often blended). It has the briary taste of black raspberries and a stemmy green scent of strawberry tops. Clean and saturated with flavor, this is ready to decant for ribs or other smoky barbecue." (2/2016) Wine Spectator: "A zesty red, with black cherry and smoky cracked pepper aromas and balanced flavors of plum, licorice and grilled herb. (TF)" (6/2015)
This bourbon, bottled in bond, was aged for seven years in the famous Colonel Taylor's warehouse built in 1881. It is the latest from the sought-after E.H. Taylor line from Buffalo Trace Distillery. Soft and subtle, this is easily the most approachable and affordable of the recent Taylor releases. The Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 means that the bourbon come from barrels all produced at one distillery, in a single season, and then stored in a bonded warehouse for at least four years before being bottled at 100 proof.
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of the two flagship cuvées, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Georges de Latour is a fabulous wine. Obviously, this is the one wine that received the most meticulous attention from their outside consultant Michel Rolland. A great effort in 2013, as one might expect in this vintage, this wine needs 5-6 years and seems capable of lasting 30-40 or more, given the history of the great BV Private Reserves. Inky purple to the rim, with an extraordinary nose of créme de cassis and kirsch, licorice, cedarwood, and a touch of underbrush, the wine hi ...Read More »
98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Chardonnay Kistler Vineyard has very pretty white grapefruit, lemon curd and white peach notes over nuances of honeysuckle, allspice and baker’s yeast plus a touch of chalk dust. Full-bodied and packed with finesse, the rich, concentrated citrus and stone fruit flavors are beautifully marked by crisp acidity and it finishes with loads of mineral layers. Kistler Vineyards remains one of the absolute benchmark producers of great Sonoma Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, sitting right up there with the highest quality examples of these grapes from through ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* From the famed vineyard named for the colorful author, this wine remains a standout for the producer, and a tremendous deal for the quality. It exudes notes of eucalyptus on the nose, before unveiling big-boned but balanced tannins, with leather and cranberry notes meeting a tensile line of minerality. It finishes with a taste of mocha." (4/2016) Wine Spectator: "Shows lots of dill, cedar and dried herb notes amid the mocha and dark berry flavors, making this complex and focused. Ends with a long, pure finish and moderate tannins. Drink now through 2024. ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Merlot Barrel Select ratchets up things rather nicely, with more mocha, black cherry fruit, slightly more body, deeper color and more substance and depth. This wine should turn out to be quite nice. (RP)" (10/2014)
Ransom spirits is a one-man, artisanal distillery in Sheridan, Oregon, run by Tad Seestedt. The Old Tom gin is made on an alembic pot still, and it is an historically accurate replication of what people were drinking in the 1800s during the golden age of American cocktails. (Cocktail historian David Wondrich collaborated on the project.) It has just a touch of sweetness, a golden amber color and is made from malted barley and corn. One of the most fun products we've played with this year, it is versatile, but classically styled. A must for any serious m... Read More »
A new incarnation of Black Maple Hill from Oregon rather than Kentucky.
A new incarnation of Black Maple Hill from Oregon rather than Kentucky.
95 points Vinous: "A heady, exotic wine, the 2003 Mouton Rothschild takes hold of all the senses. The ripeness and exuberance of the year comes through in spades as this dramatic, opulent wine shows off its radiant personality. The 2003 can be enjoyed now, but it could also use another few years for the tannins to soften. Still, the 2003 is pretty hard to resist today. This is an exceptional, deeply satisfying Mouton endowed with notable richness but also exceptional balance. Hints of toffee, torrefaction and dark spices are laced into the finish. In 2003 the blend is 76% ...Read More »
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Chassagne-Montrachet Encégnières has a flattering nose with tropical aromas combining nicely with the citrus fruit, touches of lemon sorbet and yellow plum emerging in the glass. The palate is fresh and poised on the entry, demonstrating fine weight in the mouth and delivering quite a powerful, complex finish of orange zest and lemongrass. There is a pizzazz about this Chassagne that delivers premier cru quality. Superb. (NM)" (12/2015)
93 points James Suckling: "A silky and pretty red with dried cherry and lemon peel aromas and flavors. Full to medium body, firm tannins and a fruity finish. Silky and racy. Tangy finish. Always a classic." (8/2015) 93 points Vinous: "Monsanto's 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva 50 Vendemmie is one of the most pedigreed wines of the year. Deep and resonant in the glass, but not at all heavy, the 2012 possesses magnificent complexity to match what I can only describe as a regal expression of Sangiovese. There is a level of purity and nuance to the 2012 that is hard to describe with words but that is very m ...Read More »
This fresh sherry butt #596 was filled on June 23rd 1998. It matured for 15 years in warehouse No. 3 at this special distillery located at the base of the eponymously named mountain, Scotland's (and the British Isles) tallest. This special and rare malt has not been bottled at the distillery for the US market in more than a decade and represents one of the few offerings available from the Western Highlands region. The distillery was constructed in 1825 by the famous "Long John" Macdonald. In 1986, the distillery was mothballed following the early 80s whi... Read More »
Whether playing Pétanque in the south of France or sitting poolside in Hollywood, Henri Bardouin Pastis is the perfect accompaniment. The aromatic richness comes from a unique blend of more than 65 plants and spices, displaying exotic notes of anise, cardamom, and cloves. Try it on ice with a splash of water for an utterly refreshing summer drink.
Also the source of rare Trousseau Gris from the likes of Wind Gap and Jolie-Laide, the Fanucchi vineyard grows the only 10 acres of the "unicorn" variety in the state of California. Two Shepherds' version is fermented on the skins for five days, resulting in an unusual, category-blurring orange-pink refresher.
89-92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "There is a touch of dried apricot to the white peach, tidal pool and discreet citrus-infused nose. The lush but vibrant medium-bodied flavors possess good minerality and reasonably good detail, all wrapped in an impressively long and complex finish where a hint of lemon zest appears. This should reward up to a decade of cellaring." (10/2015) 90-92 points Vinous: "Bright yellow. Tight nose hints at crushed stone and menthol, plus a whiff of petrol. Tactile, intense and clean; shows strong minerality and acidity, and the nervosité that comes from calcaire, and yet it's not auster ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Noir Estate, made mostly from Rochioli clonal material and a small portion of the so-called Swan clone, is a beautiful Pinot Noir, very Burgundian, with notes of forest floor, loamy soil undertones, sweet black cherries and Asian plum sauce. It is dark ruby, lush, medium to full-bodied and ideal for drinking over the next decade. Some of the best values in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir emerge from Stephen Hansel’s winery in the Russian River Valley. He also has the wonderful Walter Hansel Wine & Bistro on Guerneville Road in Santa Rosa... The ...Read More »
This is a triple style abbey ale with a unique bitterness from the Hallertau hop, which results in the perfect balance tasted here. At 8.5% abv, you can be sure it is not a mere quaffer. Enjoy this one with food, particularly those items fresh from the fryer!
From the famous bar in Oaxaca City renowned for sourcing directly from producers in the hardest-to-get-to areas of the city (and for putting an exceptional amount of information on their label), this extremely limited offering is one of the most special we've yet seen in the U.S.
98 points James Suckling: "This is the best wine ever from Poggio Antico. Aromas of blackberries and flowers follow through to a full body, with ultra-fine tannins and a polished tannin mouth-feel. This is really structured, yet elegant. Wonderful purity." (1/2012) 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino Altero is a gorgeous, sleek wine laced with dark red cherries, kirsch, menthol, pine and spices. Sweet floral notes wrap around the silky finish. The 2007 stands out for its finessed texture and impeccable overall balance. I can’t remember a more polished, elegant vintage of Altero. Poggio ...Read More »
paperboard gift tubes for wine bottles
From the brewery: "We named this beer to honor the rich tradition of farming in the sixteen counties of Maine. We brew the beer with malted Maine-grown barley, unmalted Maine-grown red wheat, and Maine-grown organic oats. Sixteen Counties has a bright copper hue with aromas of lemon rind, flowers, and candied grapefruit. The first sip opens with herbal hop notes, wheat cracker, and citrus and ends with a balanced, dry finish."
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 1992 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is slightly richer than the 1993. There is an extra line on its label honoring Chateau Montelena's 20th Cabernet Sauvignon vintage (1972-1992). The wine's opaque ruby/purple color is followed by a sweet, jammy nose of black fruit and minerals, huge body, a sweet inner-core of ripe fruit, and a long, low acid, opulent finish. Rich and full, this Cabernet is destined for 20+ years of gorgeous drinking. (RP)" (12/1995) 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Saturated deep ruby-red. Redcurrant, tobacco, smoke and loam on the nose, plus a slight sweaty quality; sho ...Read More »
91 points Vinous: "Mint, honey, chamomile and apricot are some of the signatures that emerge from Calera's 2014 Viognier (Central Coast). Beautifully layered and waxy on the palate, but not at all heavy or cloying, the 2014 strikes a gorgeous balance in all of its elements. The 2014 is a real stand out, as well as a tremendous value. One of the things that separates world-class wineries from the merely excellent is consistency across the entire range. That is exactly what readers will find at Calera. I can't think of any of these wines I would not want to drink any day of ...Read More »
92-94 points Vinous: "Building off the considerable success of their 2009 Beaune 150th Anniversary 1er Cru, Jadot has decided to make the wine again in top years. One of the highlights in this range, the 2012 boasts stunning power, depth and harmony. The lifted aromatics recall the Ursules, but here the fruit possesses more volume and creaminess. An explosive, layered finish rounds things out in style. Some of the parcels in the blend are Avaux, Cent Vignes, Pertuisots, Vignes Franches, Perrières, Toussaints and Chouacheux. (AG)" (1/2014) 92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "blend of 17 different owned 1ers plus a ...Read More »
At first we couldn't believe our mouths. We knew that Cut Spike single malt had just taken Double Gold honors at the 2014 San Francisco Spirits competition (the highest possible honor), so obviously other people thought it was good, too. But after tasting so many mediocre American attempts at single-malt whiskey, we had become accustomed to the idea that the Scottish style of distillation would never be recreated here at home. There would be spin-offs, and experimental grasps at greatness, but that supple, malty profile would simply be something we neede... Read More »
The chance to work with Michel Couvreur on a special K&L whisky project was something that David and I had been dreaming of for years. We had heard the stories. This crazy Belgian had moved to Burgundy in the '60s, carved out a wine cellar inside a mountain, only to fill it with Scottish single malt whisky instead of Pinot Noir. He set up camp in Beaune, ordered new-make spirit to be delivered by tanker, and drove down to Jerez himself, selecting his own sherry butts to insure only the finest quality casks for his contracted spirit. Unfortunately, Michel... Read More »
94 points James Suckling: "Lots of dried cherry and mahogany with sweet tobacco. Asphalt too. It's full body, with silky and refined tannins and a long and gorgeous finish. This is structured and layered. Firm and intense. Better in 2018." (1/2015) 94 points Vinous: "Sweet red cherries, flowers, mint, white pepper and tobacco grace the palate in the 2010 Brunello di Montalcino. Although the 2010 is aromatically expressive, the tannins remain quite firm and unyielding. Readers will have to give this mid-weight, classically built Brunello at least a few years in the cellar to come together. All the elem ...Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "This voluptuously seductive wine is also elegantly balanced. Citrus, wet stone and sea salt lift the minerality to pronounced levels, accented by a crispness of lemon peel and papaya wrapped in blossoming jasmine. Many of the vines on the site date back nearly 40 years, a demonstration that in age there is beauty. (VB)" (9/2016) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch is a rather complex blend of multiple heritage clones from California, such as the Wente, Robert Young, Rued, the U.C. Davis Clone 4, and the Spring Mountain Clone. The wine offers up plenty of whit ...Read More »
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, which has been closed since bottling, has just begun to open and display its enormous potential. The saturated black/purple color is followed by aromas of gorgeously pure blackberry and cassis scents. Toasty oak notes are barely discernable given the wine's bombastic display of black fruits, huge, chewy glycerin level, and sensational finish. It will be exciting to follow the evolution of the 1994 and 1995. Modern-day society seems to always be in search of new stars, but this winery has been a super hero for great Cal ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Extremely perfumed with rose, dark-fruit and strawberry aromas and flavors. Full body, firm tannins and a clean, crisp finish. So delicious to taste." (11/2015) 90 points Vinous: "The 2010 Gattinara is a firm, classically austere wine with persistent tannins and a slightly compact personality. It will be interesting to see if the 2010 puts on weight in bottle, or if the tannins soften...Sweet dried cherries, tobacco, crushed herbs and dried flowers add shades of nuance through the middle and finish...Travaglini is one of the historic names in Gattinara. Quality has been up a ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Dusty, chalky/stony nose and bright, almost steely, citrus fruit. Extremely crisp and direct but long and really quite powerful." (1/2016) K&L Notes: Jean-Paul and his son Benoît have five centuries and fourteen generations of winemaking behind them. Notes from Stephen Tanzer: "Some early impressions: The Vaillons showed lovely acid snap and tension and was perhaps more typically Chablis-like than the fruitier, more generous but less taut Montmains." (06/2015)
95 points Connoisseurs Guide: "In its brief history, Hewitt has already made a name for itself as a producer of big, massively extracted Cabernets and, while this most recent version adheres to the norms of muscle and mass, it does so with a little more polish than shown in the past. Very deep, very ripe and very full-bodied, it is bursting with wonderfully concentrated, curranty fruit and is further lifted by loads of sweet oak. Its sense of polish makes it remarkably approachable even now, but the wise choice is cellaring, and we would counsel five or six years of patience. ...Read More »
94 points Wine Spectator: "Tremendous complexity, depth and richness, with sharply focused layers of currant, anise, cedar, tobacco and spice, firming on the finish, where the tannins are soft enough for the wine to be enjoyed now. (JL)" (2/2001) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 1990 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate... is a backward, but splendidly concentrated, broad, expansively-flavored, full-bodied Cabernet with a high level of tannin. Its stunning display of highly extracted, blackcurrant fruit judiciously wrapped in toasty oak is impressive. It is a 20-30 year wine. (RP)" (12/1994) 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Excellent ruby-red color. Less e ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Montelena produces two cuvees of Cabernet. The estate Cabernet Sauvignons, Montelena's flagship wines, have been remarkably consistent. From fruit grown in their Calistoga vineyards, which are dry farmed (non-irrigated), approximately 10,000 cases of this wine are estate-bottled each year. It is hard to find less than a stellar vintage. The 1993 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (the current release) possesses the most aggressive tannin of the 1993-1996 Estate Cabernets. It is a weighty, hefty, powerful wine, with a dense purple color, ripe, sweet black fruit fl ...Read More »
Grapes were sourced from six distinctive vineyards in Wellington, creating a blend with complexity and verve. From the winemaker: "On the nose distinct coffee, rich dark chocolate and baked plums. The ripe subtle tannins create a wine to be drunk very young. This unique style of Pinotage is a perfect accompaniment to salmon, roast venison and even chocolate mousse."
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* This is a bright, integrated and extremely impressive blend of different estate vineyard sources. Effortlessly enjoyed, it’s nonetheless plenty complex underneath the pleasing fruit and acidity. Tart plum, raspberry, pomegranate and touches of cola and mocha combine for a seamless, satisfying experience." (12/2016) K&L Notes: Lynmar is an environmentally oriented winery that's owned by noted philanthropists. The 2014 promises the same quality as their entry-level 2013 Russian River Valley Pinot, which scored 94 points with Wine Enthusiast, and was p... Read More »
When this bottle is on, it has to be one of my all time favorite examples of mature Rioja. Winemaker Ezequiel "El Brujo" García (ex Cune in the 1960's and a portion of the 70's) described the Cerro Añon to me as being more masculine, a very old school Riojano way of referring to a wine as "Burgundian" (think: LdH Viña Bosconia, always in the Burgundy bottle). Accorindg to García, Cerro Añón always had a hefty chunk of Mazuelo and some Garnacha to brighten things up a bit. I hope you enjoy this wine as much as I have; it's not only great but an interesti... Read More »
93 points Connoisseurs Guide: "As Cabernet goes, this highly extracted and very gutsy working stands with the most bombastic in terms of sheer richness and size, yet it does not sell its soul to unbridled ripeness. Its potent aromas of dark berries, cassis, loam and caramel are echoed in character by its concentrated curranty flavors, and its consider-able tannins are never so tough as to overshadow its essential message of varietal fruit. A big wine by any and all standards, it will pair best with appropriately hearty foods and should grow for a good many years." (12/2007) 93 points Wine Spectator: "Tight, firm, ...Read More »