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K&L Staff Recommendations
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is on the full-bodied side, quite ripe and tropical in style compared to its Marlborough siblings. Mango, pineapple and stone-fruit notes are all present, balanced on the finish by citrus and ginger." (7/2014) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Pale, bright yellow. Stone fruits, anise and a spicy touch of oak on the nose. The palate offers decent intensity to the soft citrus and spicy oak flavors, with a suggestion of tropical fruits emerging with air. On the lean side but has cut and freshness." (9/2013) K&L Notes: An exceptional deal in New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Lagoon Hill is sourced from a s... Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Chardonnay Private Reserve became famous under the helmsmanship of chief winemaker Ed Sbragia, and Laurie Hook has refined it ever so slightly by somewhat backing off the oak, and maintaining the depth and richness, but with more precision and refinement. The full-bodied 2012 Chardonnay Private Reserve exhibits wonderful orange blossom, white peach and pineapple fruit, a subtle touch of vanillin and toast, and a nicely layered, pure style with terrific fruit intensity. It is a great value, especially if you compare its quality to just about any premi ...Read More »
93 points Antonio Galloni: "A dark, powerful wine, the 2010 Brunello di Montalcino possesses gorgeous depth and nuance. Intensely savory and mineral, the 2010 packs a serious punch. Readers will have to give the 2010 a few years to settle down, but there is plenty of intrigue. Mediterranean herbs, game, smoke, lavender and dried flowers add nuance on the finish. This is a highly distinctive wine from the southern reaches of Montalcino, with more in the way of ferrous/mineral notes than overt fruit. (AG)" (2/2015)93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is one of the best value wines of this ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "The first winery to plant Syrah in the county continues to produce powerful but layered expressions. This delivers rich aromas of cherry, stewed plum and blackberry alongside sage and a wisp of vanilla. On the palate, it starts rich, until bright acidity and tannins bring balance amidst mocha and blackberry jam flavors and an oak-powered vanilla finish." (2/2015)
New Price - A Steal! A rich, but not over-the-top Chardonnay from a prominent Napa Valley winery who has also made wine under our Kalinda label. Creamy and toasty with a fine core of acidity makes for easy drinking. For those who like a full but not too full-bodied Chardonnay. (Clyde Beffa Jr., K&L Wine Merchants Co-Owner)
Great Price - Just Reduced! Last year’s Ancient Peaks/K&L Zinfandel bottling was such a hit with our staff and customers that we could have done another vintage of it and we all would have been incredibly happy. However, that would be too easy, and that is simply not the K&L way. I started talking to the folks at AP early this year when we began the discussion about doing another bottling together. We both knew that we wanted to, but I really wanted to show off the winery's incredible Cabernet vines and I didn’t know if they had enough Cab to let us have... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Fashioned from 100% Merlot, this mainstream, deliciously fruity, succulent, soft, dark ruby/purple-tinged, juicy 2009 is everything a bargain hunter is seeking." (4/2010) K&L Notes: Chateau Larteau is a carefully modernized 18th Century property with 12 hectares planted in the gravelly soils beside the Dordogne. Vinification of this 100% Merlot takes place in temperature-controlled concrete vats before the wine is aged for 18 months in 30% new Allier oak barrels. The wine is fruity and generous and enjoyable in its youth, but with an aging potential of 5-10 years in ... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "A soft and charming style, with a perfumy edge around the lightly steeped plum and cherry fruit. Lingering sandalwood and tea notes line the finish, which shows good persistence. Drink now through 2015. (Web-2014)"
We've always been fans of the Campeon tequilas, we just always had an issue with the bottle. It didn't fit on our shelves, it didn't fit in our shipping containers, and it didn't have a story or any specifics about the tequila itself. That's when brand owner Lou Palatella asked me to make some suggestions about what we might fix. I ended up getting on a plane to Guadalajara, visiting El Viejito distillery (who helped make Patron for years), and signing off on a special batch of Campeon blanco made just for K&L. I was really impressed with the quality of ... Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "Lots of blueberry and toasted oak character with vanilla undertones. Full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. The new wood and ripe fruit needs to come together still. Try in 2014." (11/2013)90 points Antonio Galloni: "Firm tannins support an expressive core of dark red/blue fruits in the 2010 Chianti Classico Riserva. The aromas and flavors are bright, delineated and nuanced. Readers should give the wine another 6-12 months in the cellar for the tannins to soften, but this is already an impressive Chianti that should drink well for another handful of years. Hints of tobacco, und ...Read More »
Surprisingly serious for a twelve dollar bottle of Cabernet Franc. Concentrated aromas of black and red fruits with dried herbs and hints of tobacco spice. Good earthiness but on the more on the subdued side and nice tannin on the finish. An overachieving entry level wine. (Eric Story, Loire Buyer)
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Bacio Divino, a project of Claus Janzen and his son, offered three vintages of their single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons and a couple generic bottlings, plus other assorted bottlings from their terrific value-priced wines, such as Pazzo. There are also a couple of Burgundy-styled wines made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Dutton Ranch, which I decided to include since they’re the only Sonoma County wines from Bacio Divino. Speaking of Janzen’s terrific value, the 2012 Pazzo rocks. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Sangiovese, it’s a very ...Read More »
This is our most recent find for great value Sauvignon Blanc, not surprisingly from one of the world's best spots for value SB these days, Chile's cool Casablanca Valley. Juicy melon, peach and citrus fruit flavors combine to create one delicious, fresh tasting value Sauvignon Blanc! Compared to many other inexpensive Sauvignon Blancs out there from Chile and further afield, this one has a nicely rounded mid palate, with very good purity and a lovely finish.
94 points James Halliday: "*Special Value Selection*...this is a seriously attractive medium-bodied, cool-grown wine with cedary tannins woven through the cassis and plum of the long palate. Outstanding value. Larry Cherubino has had a particularly distinguished winemaking career...the range and quality of his wine is extraordinary, the prices irresistible." (7/2014) K&L Notes: Larry Cherubino is one of the most highly regarded winemakers in Australia in fact he was recently voted (by his peers, the other top flight winemakers) into the current Top Ten Most Talented winemakers in the nation. H... Read More »
Killer New Price! -Produced and bottled by Brewer-Clifton, the "B-C" Kessler Haak Pinot Noir is a single vineyard wine that comes from the organically farmed Kessler-Haak Vineyard. It is located off Highway 246, about 7 miles west of the town of Buellton, in the heart of the Santa Rita Hills appellation. The blend is made up of 25% Clone 667, 25% Clone 113 and 50% of Clone 115. Only 161 cases were bottled of this unique wine.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Light orange. Ripe citrus fruits and strawberry on the fragrant nose and in the mouth. Pliant and seamless in texture, showing good breadth and depth as well as vivacity. A touch of white pepper adds bite to the taut, refreshingly brisk, persistent finish." (6/2014) Wine & Spirits: "A project from Alberto Orte and Patrick Mata (of Olé Imports), Norrel Robertson, MW, (a Scot making wine in Spain) and Charles Bieler (of Bieler Père et Fils), this 'Provence-style' rosé is crisp and lean, with sour cherry fruit and light herbal notes. All proceeds go to the TJ Martell Found ...Read More »
In the southeast of Spain sandwiched between Jumilla and Alicante, wines from Yecla have most prolifically come from what happens to be the largest co-op in Spain. However the Castaño family stands as the most important and ambitious privately owned winery in the D.O., and they have gone to great lengths to push the quality from the often coarse wines for which this region was previously known. Bodegas Castaño started small and has nurtured their old vine plantings, which has done much for their Yecla renaissance. Their four prime estate vineyards now co... Read More »
89 points Wine Enthusiast: "In recent years, Villa’s Chardonnays have dominated the New Zealand show circuit, but this is a reminder that the company can make some darn good Sauvignon at a darn good price. Tomato leaf and white grapefruit aromas and flavors are the order of the day, easing into a long, mouthwatering finish. Rock solid." (7/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc presents aromas of green apples, lemongrass and chopped herb notes with touches of bell peppers and pea pods. Medium-bodied with mouth-filling vegetal and herb flavors, it has a lively backbone of acid and ...Read More »
A touch deeper in color than the "Les Rochettes" from Bourgueil along with a bit more density throughout. A broad mouth feel with a really nice silky tannin component adds to its structure and overall appeal. Lots of fleshy purple fruits and silky spring flowers. Domaine les Pins has been family run for five generations. They are a small artisanal producer which oversees every stage of the production from start to finish themselves. They have roughly 30 hectares of Cabernet Franc spread out through the Bourgueil and Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil regions. Th... Read More »
Located in the town of Roa, which is part of the Burgos district, Lambuena is a producer of D.O. Ribera del Duero wines and is one of our newest Spanish direct imports. Ideally situated in the central growing region of the Ribera del Duero, in an area known for the very high quality of its chalky clay soils and its extreme continental climate, Lambuena makes big, generously fruited, yet structured and ultimately classic Ribera del Duero wines (these days, this is very difficult to find in this D.O.) Though the wines consist primarily of Tempranillo ("tin... Read More »
94 points James Halliday: "Pale straw-green; the voluminous and complex bouquet sets the scene for the palate, where citrus and apple flavours grapple with crunchy acidity. Just when you think the acidity wins the argument, the lingering aftertaste reveals the fruit once more. Its Porongurup heritage guarantees its long future." (7/2013) K&L Notes: Mount Trio was named one of James Halliday's Top 10 "Dark Horses" of up-and-coming wineries for 2014. This small family estate is owned and managed by veteran winemaker Gavin Berry and his wife. Together they make wines from their own lovingly hand-... Read More »
This can legally come from many of the villages in the Cote de Beaune. In this case, it comes from some vineyards quite near each other. One is in Chorey-les-Beaune, just below Aloxe-Corton, in a lovely organically and biodynamically farmed vineyard called "Les Champs Long." Other fruit comes from Savigny-les-Beaune and Pernand-Vergelesses. The result is a lovely wine, with bright and charming fruit, a lovely mid-palate and a soft and pretty finish. This is what the British would call more-ish, as in I'll have some more, please! (Keith Wollenberg, K... Read More »
91 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills is beautiful. Dried pear, almonds, orange peel and spices meld together in a textured, resonant Chardonnay laced with gorgeous depth and balance. Never content to stay put, Greg Brewer and Steve Clifton continue to push the envelope on quality in the Sta. Rita Hills. Over the years, Brewer and Clifton have had an enormous impact on the region, both directly and indirectly, in giving advice to newly arrived owners and developing a number of vineyards they no longer farm. The most recent development at Brewer-Clifton is ...Read More »
92 points James Halliday: "*Special Value Selection* Good colour; medium-bodied, with a complex blend of savoury/spicy notes woven through the blackberry/black cherry fruit, the tannins well balanced."90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the 2010 The Guardian Eden Valley Shiraz Viognier flaunts a nose of ripe red cherries, red currants and kirsch with hints of sage, black pepper and menthol. Medium-bodied with a beautiful, silky texture in the mouth, plenty of spicy, red berry preserves flavors hold on through a long finish. Drink it now to 2017+. (LPB)" (7/2014)90 points Wine Spectator: "Fresh, vibrant and ...Read More »
91 points Bob Campbell: "Ripe, succulent Sauvignon Blanc with ginger, guava, passion fruit, honeysuckle and with a subtle toasty/nutty character from partial barrel fermentation. The wine shows a nice combination of fruit purity with a good texture and some complexity." K&L Notes: This refreshing white wine from New Zealand's Waipara Valley has mineral notes, freshly squeezed citrus and stone fruit on the nose. The palate expands with concentrated nectarine flavors and complex characters of yeast and brioche. This is a genuinely dry wine with character and length. The fruit is picked from tw... Read More »
93 points James Halliday: "Matured in American and French puncheons for 18 months, it has very good shape and drive to its medium to full-bodied palate, with black cherry, bramble and fruitcake flavours, the mocha oak in balance." (3/2014)92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "92+ Deep garnet-purple colored and just gorgeous on the nose, with intense floral and black fruit notes plus some menthol and dusty earth nuances, the full-bodied and rich 2012 Estate Shiraz offers concentrated flavors supported by a good backbone of medium to firm, rounded tannins and refreshing acid. It finishes long. Drink now to 2024+. (LPB) ...Read More »
Roca Patron represents the modern need for big brands to adapt to the uprising of craft distillers in the marketplace. In Patron's case, they've reacted better than any large producer we've seen so far. Those craving more wood maturation should look to the Roca Patron anejo, which would be the reposado in any other big brand tequila portfolio. The nose has more vanilla and toasted oak with a lovely hint of butterscotch, but it's still much more mild that something like the Don Julio or El Tesoro anejos. Despite the richness of the bouquet, the palate is ... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The palate is quite sweet with a note of fig and raisin. Firm, well-integrated tannins with a rich black, liquorice finish. Very good for a second wine....Tasted July 2004. (NM-Wine Journal)" Wine Spectator: "A pleasant red, with tobacco cedar and plum character. Medium body, fine tannins and fresh finish... Second wine of Nenin. Best after 2002." (3/2002) K&L Notes: Alex and I tasted this beauty and bought it on the spot. Tons of blackberry fruit flavors and a spicy palate impression. Enjoy with rack of lamb. (Clyde Beffa, K&L Bordeaux Buyer)
Edelzwicker fans will love this wine from Charles Baur (and love the price, too!). Made from 50% Pinot Blanc, 40% Sylvaner and 10% Gewurztraminer, it is pale yellow in color with exotic fruit and white flower on the nose. A superb freshness enhances the complex fruit flavors of this seductive white wine from Alsace.
Great Buy - Just Reduced! On our recent trip to Oregon this summer we certainly found plenty of great wines and met with a multitude of amazingly talented people. Many of the wines we found on that trip have already come in and sold out mostly due to our sheer excitement about the quality of wines we found. One of the most exciting opportunities from that trip was to work closely with our friends at Bethel Heights to put together a Pinot Noir exclusive to K&L as part of our burgeoning Co-Branded project. This 2013 Bethel Heights/K&L Wine Merchants Eola-A... Read More »
Joël Taluau is a fabulous grower in St. Nicolas de Bourgueil known for making some of the purest expressions of Cabernet Franc in the Loire, which are unmarred by the intrusion of oak. He was also the first producer in the appellation to begin domaine bottling. These days, Joel makes wines with the help of his son-in-law, Thierry Foltzenlogel.
95 points James Suckling: "Wonderful texture to this Brunello with so much dried fruit, chalk, stone, salt and light chocolate character. It's full body, fine tannins and bright acidity delivers a complete package with beauty and elegance. Better in 2016." (1/2015)93 points Antonio Galloni: "Il Palazzone's 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is racy, sumptuous and quite pretty. Sweet tobacco, mint and licorice are woven throughout, adding considerable nuance to a core of red-fleshed fruit. Silky tannins and an overall feeling of resonance give the 2010 considerable early appeal, but there is more than enough structur ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
92 points James Halliday: "*Special Value Selection* Strong crimson-purple; has a complex interplay on its bouquet and palate between the fragrant plum and mulberry fruit on the one hand, and a savory/chocolatey fruitcake McLaren Vale imprint on the other. Will have great appeal to biodynamic acolytes."91 points Wine Spectator: "Fresh and vibrant, this full-bodied style offers juicy currant and blackberry flavors at the center, floating through the harmonious finish. Drink now through 2020." (8/2014) K&L Notes: The nose shows powerful, lifted ripe berry fruit, vanilla and chocolate. On the palate there is plenty of rich,... Read More »
Please join us in welcoming the return of the Meeker Chardonnay. From 1984 through 1995, this fun, idiosyncratic Sonoma County winery released a Dry Creek Valley Chardonnay, but then it was kicked out of the teepee (Meeker winery's tasting room used to be a teepee on their Dry Creek property), i.e. discontinued in favor of an all "Big Red" wine format. Founders Molly and Charlie, however, report that they missed the "sur lie" style Chardonnay that they formerly produced, and such reminiscences led to the reappearance of the Dry Creek Chardonnay with the ... Read More »
In the southeast of Spain sandwiched between Jumilla and Alicante, wines from Yecla have most prolifically come from what happens to be the largest co-op in Spain. However the Castaño family stands as the most important and ambitious privately owned winery in the D.O., and they have gone to great lengths to push the quality from the often coarse wines for which this region was previously known. Their four prime estate vineyards now comprise 10% of the vine acreage in Yecla, and their ambition is only matched by their commitment to quality. Their organica... Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Remelluri Reserva aims at showing the character of Remelluri, as this is the first modern vintage that does not have grapes purchased from external suppliers. These grapes are now in the Lindes range of wines, but in the past they were blended with the estate grapes. The cool Remelluri vineyards behave very well in warmer years. This 2009 is very clean with predominant aromas of earthy red fruit intermixed with notes of vanilla and cinnamon, a satin texture with round, fine-grained tannins and quite classical and very well-proportioned style. Th ...Read More »
From the Bridge Pa Triangle in Hastings, the free drain soils lend themselves to producing full bodied Chardonnay's. Fermented in new French oak, the wine tastes of ripe stone fruit, soft vanilla, and toasty oak, with a nice touch of acidity on the finish.
Allen Meadows - Burghound: "This possess a deep color for a Chorey along with an attractive nose of kirsch, plum and earth nuances. Here too there is good volume to the medium-bodied flavors that have a suave and very round mouth feel, all wrapped in a mildly rustic finish that delivers fine depth and length for what this is. Worth considering for value." (4/2014) Jancis Robinson: "A touch of farmyard here, plus some bright, tasty herbal notes. Leathery and dark to finish. Good density, and the first funkiness on the nose doesn’t dominate. (RH)" (1/2014) K&L Notes: Labeled as simply Chorey Les Beaune, this is esta... Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A rich and fruit Chardonnay with apple pie and milk aromas and flavors. Full and fruity, with lots going on. Always excellent." (12/2011)90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good, medium yellow color with gold highlights. Bright, pure aromas of tropical fruit, lime and white pepper. Dense, supple and fresh, offering bright orchard fruit, butter and pineapple flavors that gain depth and spiciness with air. In an exuberant, in-your-face, fruit-filled New World style, but avoids coming across as an over-the-top caricature. Serious unoaked chardonnay with impressive purity." (10/2011) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Cha ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A red with plum and berry character, plus lots of hazelnut. Chalky. Full body with chewy tannins and a fresh finish. This is always excellent. Drink in 2015." (2/2014) Wine Spectator: "Bouncy blueberry and cherry fruit flavors are backed by toasted spice. Open knit and fresh." (4/2012) K&L Notes: One of our favorites from the value regions on the right bank. Cotes de Blaye region now referred to as Cotes de Bordeaux. This wine is 90% Merlot and has a lot of blackberry fruit flavors. Decant one hour and serve with a pot roast.
94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good medium red. Less expressive on the nose than the Briccotto, hinting at ripe, musky plum, black raspberry, menthol and tobacco. Then smooth and sweet in the mouth, but with terrific energy keeping the red fruit and tobacco flavors fresh and primary. Sweeter and more elegant in style than the 2009, but this fine-grained, firmly tannic wine really shut down in the glass. Outstanding potential here." (12/2013)93 points James Suckling: "A solid wine for the vintage with pretty fruit such as cherry and plum, as well as a light minerality. Full body with chewy tannins and a polis ...Read More »
A total production of only three barrels from rthis vineyard located next to the village, just across the road from the winery. It is named for the rivulets of water that flow down the slope after a heavy rain. It is very vibrant and alive with the sturcture a bit tight and compressed from the recent bottling (it was bottled 10 days before I tasted it). Lots of very fine-grained tannin structure at the finish. Rather black fruit notes, but an elegant rather than burly profile. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer 03/2013)
What a delicious wine. Soft and supple with tons of spicy fruit on the nose and palate. Semi-new wave, but fine structure and balance. Excellent value. Another find on our 2012 Bordeaux buy trip. Organically cultivated. (Clyde Beffa, K&L Co-Owner and Bordeaux Buyer)
Our madcap distiller friend Bryan Davis is back with a new 151 proof Cuban style rum that represents his best work to date. While Lost Spirits started off as a whisky operation, no one can argue that their best releases so far have been the Navy Style and Polynesian rums. They are taking the country by storm and this new Cuban style rum -- lighter and more focused on the sugar cane flavor -- just debuted at this year's Tales of the Cocktail. Despite its incredibly high proof, this rum drinks like a dream. The flavors are seamless and subtle, never funky ... Read More »
Reserved and closed in character. Very nice lenght on the finish. This has lterrific fruit, but the structure will require q bit of patience. (Keith Wolenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer, 06/2013)
92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Inky purple. Pungent, smoke- and spice-accented aromas of black and blue fruits, licorice, vanilla and violet. Fleshy and broad on entry, then tighter in the mid-palate, offering sappy blueberry and black raspberry flavors and a zesty touch of cracked pepper. Closes on a sweet note, with impressive energy and slow-building tannins. I'd give this one at least another five years of bottle age." (5/2013) K&L Notes: Ravenswood's Icon, once a Syrah-based Rhone blend, has been reinvented as a distinctly California-style, premium Zinfandel-based blend balanced with Peti... Read More »
From a vineyard on the northern side of the vineyards south of town, this is bigger than the village wine, with more succulence and flesh on the mid-palate to balance the structure. This has an attractie chocolate note. Lovely ripe blueberry flavors and a long finish. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy BUyer, 06/2013)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 SEXT Riesling, which has just a tiny bit of pétillance, contains 7% alcohol and 7.4% residual sugar. It has a "direct" bouquet of dried pineapple and beeswax aromas that are nicely defined, though not as complex as the Wind Ridge Riesling. The palate is intriguing (in a positive way) because the "sparkle" is more noticeable than I expected and it instantly refreshes not just the mouth, but your body from head to toe. No, it's not an intellectual Riesling, but what a perfect aperitif." (3/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "Turning to Moscato-levels of sweetness and alcohol, th ...Read More »