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K&L Staff Recommendations
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Tasted out of barrel, the 2012 Languedoc Pezenas Equilibre is similar to the 2011, yet I think could be even better. Offering loads of black fruits, pen ink, licorice and toasted spice, this medium to full-bodied effort has a plush, polished texture, fantastic purity of fruit and no hard edges, with fine tannin coming through on the finish. It should have a decade of ultimate longevity." (4/2014) K&L Notes: Villa Symposia was founded in 2003, after Bordeaux vigneron Eric Prissette was passing through the Languedoc and fell in love with the region. He stopped at Aspi... Read More »
98 points James Suckling: "What a tightly knit wine this is with so much fabulous character of dried meat, orange peel, berry and spice. Dried and dusty earth too. Full body, sweet fruit character and ripe tannins but loads of structure and intensity. Structurally intense and dry at the finish. It goes on for minutes. Best ever. Better in 2018." (12/2014) 97 points Vinous: "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is gorgeous. Vibrant and alive in the glass, the 2010 is impeccable in its balance. Sweet red cherry, plum, smoke, tobacco and Mediterranean herbs are some of the notes that are laced together in a B ...Read More »
96 points James Suckling: "Intense aromas of iron, rust, earth and dark, dried fruits. It's full-bodied, with incredible depth of fruit, berries and lemon peel. Drink or hold. A beautiful Brunello. So much going on here. Gorgeous." (12/2014) 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Caparzo's 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Vigna la Casa opens to dark intensity with blackish-garnet undertones. The wine exhibits muscle and power with a large array of aromatic qualities that include dried cherry, spice, leather, tobacco, licorice and tar. It aspires to high complexity and intensity and it delivers on that promise. In the mouth, i ...Read More »
Duet is a classic West Coast IPA made with Simcoe and Amarillo hops working together in blissful harmony! 1.065 OG 45 IBU 7% abv
Inventory: Redwood City
90 points Wine Spectator: "#74 Wine Spectator's Top 100 2014: The up-front mulberry and plum fruit is ripe and fleshy in this balanced red, with polished tannins. Notes of licorice string, graphite, tarry smoke and grilled mushroom push through midpalate and on the finish. Drink now through 2021. 8,500 cases made. (AN)" (4/2014)
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* From one of the top estates in Cahors, this complex, dense wine is both structured and packed with great fruit. At the moment, the tannins are in charge, big, bold and dense. Over the next few years the opulent black fruits will come out strongly, bringing richness along with impressive concentration. Drink from 2019." (8/2015) K&L Notes: These days, when you think of Malbec you often think of Argentina. But the Cahors appellation in South West France is the ancestral home of this black grape, situated in the high country (Haut Pays), equidistant f... Read More »
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 »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A consistent, big-time winner in the value sweepstakes, the 2014 Chenin Blanc / Viognier is a blend of 80% Chenin Blanc and 20% Viognier (145,000 cases produced) is aged totally in stainless steel, has malolactic blocked, and offers what consumers love – big, flowery, fresh honeysuckle and tropical fruit, a light to medium-bodied mouthfeel, beautiful purity, texture and a long finish. Drink it over the next year." (8/2015) K&L Notes: Grapes for this perennial summertime value were sourced from Clarksburg, in California's Central Valley. Seriously quaffable but not to... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Truly a wine that overdelivers, this packs molten fudge cake, vanilla-laced black-currant syrup and chocolate pudding with a fresh sprig of mint on the nose. The palate is soft and dynamic, with ripe black currants given complexity though licorice and butter-softened roasting herbs, all wrapped in tannins that keep the flavors steady throughout. (MK)" (3/2016)
93 points Vinous: "Dierberg's 2012 Chardonnay is gorgeous. Lemon oil, tropical fruit and butter are all tempered by the cool microclimate here. The flavors remain bright, focused and nuanced in a crystalline Chardonnay that stands out for its precision. A hint of sweetness from the oak adds complexity, but overall, the 2012 is a wine built on energy. Dierberg, and its sister property, Star Lane, is in a bit of a transition at the moment. New winemaker Tyler Thomas took over with the 2013 vintage, while the 2012s were finished by assistant winemaker Jeff Connick. Thomas ma ...Read More »
97 points James Suckling: "Extremely complex aromas of mushroom, stone, chalk, dark fruit and lightly dried bark or tea. Full-bodied, with powerful, layered tannins. Muscular and intense. It needs loads of time to soften: better in 2017." (1/2015) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is a dense and voluptuous expression with opulent fruit tones and equally intense oak nuances. The wine ages in botte grande for 26 months and the slow oxidation has done much to increase the aromatic intensity of the wine. Bold and chewy with thick lines, this wine also shows tight wood astringency that sho ...Read More »
From the brewery: "Elephant Heart de Brettaville takes its name from Elephant Heart plums, a fruit prized for its ruby red flesh and berry-like tartness. We began with a brett-fermented ale and aged it in wine barrels with this succulent stone fruit, then generously dry-hopped with El Dorado right before packaging. This bright farmhouse ale balances the candy-like sweetness of the fruit and hops with brettanomyces funk to create a complex brew, perfect for pairing with roasted lamb or Manchego cheese."
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Louer Family is a blockbuster of power and elegance. Young, exuberant and youthful, with a dense purple color, notes of charcoal and smoke from the barrels interwoven with copious quantities of blackberry and blackcurrant fruit. This lavishly rich, full-bodied, multi-dimensional wine is still youthful and coiled tight, but has enormous upside and promise. Give it several more years of cellaring and drink it over the following 20-25 years. (RP)" (12/2015)
This fantastic direct import has been in the Moreau family since the late-1800s, who have acquired an impressive range of parcels in Grands Crus, including a monopole, and Premiers Crus like this Vaulignot. This 10-hectare vineyard in the village of Beines has a southeast orientation and calcareous soils, which creates sublime Chablis. this is done entirely in stainless steel to preserve freshness and minerality. It always finishes with a pronounced silex, or powdered stone taste on the palate.
From the brewery: "A crisp and authentic German-style beer, our Claritas features light fruit-like aromatics, along with those from the malt and hops. Malt sweetness is balanced by enough hop bitterness to end with a dry, clean finish."
Inventory: San Francisco
97 points James Suckling: "A wine that sneaks up on you. It starts up slowly with dried-berry, chocolate and dried-lemon character. Full body, chewy tannins and a long, long finish. A wine that shows such layered, in-depth character. Tight and exciting. Give it three to four years more before drinking. (JS)" (10/2015) 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The special vineyard selection 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Poggio Alle Mura opens to brooding dark concentration and an impressive sense of depth. The aromas that characterize the wine are in a school of their own. Instead of the standard red cherry and rose, this exp ...Read More »
Whisky Advocate: "A new addition to the permanent Balvenie range. Lovely bright gold color. Layers of sweetness (the characteristic Balvenie honey, along with vanilla fudge, nougat, and rich toffee) peppered with dried spice and a hint of tropical fruit (papaya, guava, tangerine). Nice viscosity with good grip on the finish. I really like the balance and complexity of this whisky. A very solid effort and the price is right." K&L Notes: This exciting new expression follows the acclaim of 2008's limited edition Balvenie 17 Year Old Rum Cask, and the subsequent popularity of rum cask-fin... Read More »
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I loved the 2012 Pinot Noir de Villiers. It's a beautifully complete, balanced and satisfying Pinot Noir that does everything right. Giving up tons of sweet black raspberry and strawberry fruits, spice-box, dried flowers and potpourri characteristics, it's medium to full-bodied, layered and seamless, with a ripe, supple texture that keeps you coming back to the glass. While there's more than enough fruit to keep this enjoyable now, there's some solid tannin and depth in there as well, so it will age. (JD)" (8/2015) 93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Hard cinnamon candies, cherry juice, pome ...Read More »
From the brewer: "Who knew a worldwide hop shortage in 2008 would give rise to such a memorable, delicious beer? When it came time to craft a commemorative offering for our 12th anniversary, we decided to trade in the bitterness of hops for the bitterness of unsweetened chocolate, and paired that with flaked oats. Featuring a thick, rich, roasty mouthfeel and chocolate-heavy flavors and aromas, this onyx-colored, malt-forward beauty became an instant classic that shares space on our liquid trophy case alongside our hop-focused fan favorites."
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Green-tinged straw. Exotic aromas of green apple, agave and white flowers, with a citrus zest nuance adding lift. Dry, focused and firm on the palate, offering zesty orchard and citrus fruit flavors underscored by dusty minerality. Shows little in the way of herbal character and finishes tangy, tight and very long." (5/2014) 90 points Wine & Spirits: "The Rochioli estate sustains some of the oldest sauvignon blanc vines in California, planted by Joe Rochioli in 1959. That original planting accounts for about 44 percent of this wine. Its ripeness and phenolic concentration is almost ...Read More »
Special Order Only! Special order items are not in stock and are dependent upon quantity available from distribution. All special orders are final and non-refundable. Will take 3-7 business days to receive this product before it can be shipped. This is the most dangerous product that we have ever carried - this delicious, cocoa-filled elixir just goes down too easily, too quickly, and too deliciously. We take our spirits collection very seriously, so I can see the concerned faces on our customers when they look at the Godiva bottle. "Chocolate vodka? Wha... Read More »
Inventory: Special Order
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A blend of 58% Cabernet Franc and 42% Merlot, the 2012 Justification was aged 19 months in 47% new French oak. It's an impressive, full-bodied, nicely structured Bordeaux blend that gives up plenty of cassis, lead pencil, black raspberry and toasted spice on the nose. Already approachable, it nevertheless has the tannic structure to evolve nicely for a decade. One of the original estate to focus on Bordeaux Varieties from Paso Robles, Justin Vineyards pulls from a number of estate vineyards and the wines are made by Fred Holloway and Scott Shirley. ...Read More »
Whisky Advocate: "Burnt orange/amber color. Sweet, fruity and spicy on the nose and palate. Notes of ripe orchard fruit (peach, apple), golden raisin, bramble, spice (cinnamon, mint, nutmeg and clove) on a bed of sweetness (maple syrup and honey). It’s thick and viscous in texture and quite sweet on the front end of the palate, but dried spices and oak emerges mid-palate and rescue it. Long, spicy, resinous finish..." (10/2008)
This estate is owned by Louis and Anne Moreau, who farm it with great care. They have stopped using all pesticides, reduced herbicides, and started plowing between rows instead of spraying. The vines here are almost 50 years old. The Bieville is always a bit rounder and richer in character than their Louis Moreau Chablis, but retains the same sense of freshness and bright minerality to accompany the lovely floral notes.
Made with "soft" water from Lake Bolmen in southern Sweden, known for its arctic purity, neutral corn spirits five-times distilled that lends sweetness to the gin and a blend of classic botanicals including juniper, coriander leaf and cardamom. The blend creates a gin with a warm, nutty spice punctuated by the addition of citrus (lemon, bergamot, lime and bitter orange) and sarawak black pepper, for a clean, refreshing gin with no funky aftertaste or astringency. Beautiful! Skip the tonic water with this gin; it's perfect unadulterated.
Inventory: Special Order
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Sourced from vines plated in 1951 on partly limestone, partly silex soils the dense, firmly structured 2012 Sancerre Les Romains has an intense yellow color and a rich nose with an amalgam of ripe (and slightly oxidized) fruit, crushed rocks, fresh citrus flavors, yeast, (new) oak, nut oil, hazelnut, yogurt and chalk. On the palate all these impressions become tactile and tastable in a rich, creamy textured Sancerre with a demanding minerality and a finish that reminds of vins jaunes of the Jura region. Although quite inaccessible, this is a profund, pow ...Read More »
Here at K&L we love dry rosé. We especially love rosé from France, and we really love French sparkling rosé. But we really, REALLY love French sparkling rosé that sells for less than $20! This is quality, too. Made in the traditional methode (Champenoise) from 100% Pinot Noir. Wonderful strawberry fruit and a crisp, flowery tang. Just the thing on a romantic evening that just happens to fall on a regular old Tuesday.
94 points James Suckling: "This is very silky and polished with a wonderful density and intensity. Full-bodied yet compressed and refined in texture. Plenty of fascinating mineral and berry character. Better in 2017 but delicious already." (12/2014) 94 points Wine Spectator: "Muscular and tight for now, offering ample cherry and raspberry fruit, tinged by roast beef, spice and earth, with dense tannins and a compact finish. Underbrush accents linger. Best from 2018 through 2033. 2,168 cases made. –BS" (6/2015) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Caprili's 2010 Brunello di Montalcino shows unique aromas with undertones of forest floor and wet eart ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Deep ruby. Heady scents of raspberry, cherry-cola, floral oil, Asian spices and vanilla. Juicy and penetrating, with superb inner-mouth perfume to its sweet red fruit and candied rose flavors. Becomes spicier with air and finishes with excellent clarity, breadth and persistence. (ST)" (6/2013) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Offering up a supple, perfumed and delicate array of kirsch, crushed berries, spice and forest floor, the 2011 Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands) flows onto the palate with a light, deft texture, bright acidity and a clean, nicely focused finish. This isn’t a heavy ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Though the 2014 has yet to be reviewed, the 2013 earned "Outstanding Top Value" from Burghound: "This too is extremely fresh though with a bit more aromatic breadth to the floral, citrus, pear and apple-scented nose. The middle weight flavors possess an attractive texture and solid concentration before terminating in a balanced and lingering finish. I would suggest holding this excellent effort for 2 to 3 years though it could be approached young. Recommended." (06/2015) From the importer, Louis Dressner: "The wines from the Pernot family in Puligny-Mont... Read More »
Producer Note: "A classic wine for the entire meal, a wonderful accompainment to hams and young cold cuts, eggplant, fish dishes and white meats. The "Grigio" holds the second place in our production. The grapes, balanced and mature, offer a wine with Mediterranean hints of pear, peach and dried flowers. The taste of Pinot Grigio is fat and complex due to notes of melon, baked apple and tropical fruit, with hints of apricot. When young, it is a pleasant wine for its fresh and acid note."
From the brewery: "Late in November of 2011, Mike Rodriguez our head brewer asked about creating a Coffee and Cacoa Nib version of Serpent’s Stout for the San Diego Strong Ale Festival. The beer was a hit with our fans. When we wrote up the syllabus for the Ultimate Box Set, we knew a version of this beer would be included. We waited until the very end of the release schedule to put this beer in a bottle so that the coffee and cacoa nibs really come through. Four Bourbon barrels were selected for their rich and dense chocolate flavors. One week before pa... Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Ramnista is an old vines Xinomavro sourced from selected vineyard blocks within the Yianakohori vineyard. It won't make lovers of the fruity, sweet and simple very happy, but if you like old school Barbaresco, this somewhat aggressive red is for you. It is well priced for the quality, too, and one of my favorite Ramnistas to this point--although it is young and requires some patience despite the late release. It was aged in a mixture of French and American oak (25% new in a mixture of 225-liter and 500-liter casks) for 18 months, a bit longer th ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* This old-vines wine is really clean and light on the nose, with aromas of red apple, fresh-cut white sapote and blanched almonds. The laser-focused palate is dominated by a refreshing texture, like sipping an ice-cold martini or licking a steel knife, with sea salt and lemon peel flavors most prevalent." (7/2015) 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Light, bright yellow. Lively, mineral-laced citrus and orchard fruit aromas show very good clarity, picking up a sexy floral quality with air. Dry and focused on the palate, offering energetic pear and Meyer lemon flavors and a t ...Read More »
From the brewery: "When you brew as much as we do, sometimes we get tired of telling the yeast what to do. For Apex Predator Farmhouse Ale, we pitch the yeast cold, turn off the temperature control, and let the yeast do it's thing. To our delight, it spat out the sweet scent of juicy fruit wafting from a frothy, white mane. Brewed only with grain and sugar unencumbered by the heat of the kiln, we create a hazy, golden body. Apex Predator gets its teeth from a generous Crystal dry-hopping that completes the dry finish with a fruity bite. Pounce on the opp... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
This is our newest Armagnac and it's going to be our best deal on brandy of any kind. It is outrageously smooth and supple, to the point that I can't imagine anyone truly not enjoying it. The fruit is all handpicked and the Grassa family has been making it in a pot still since 1911. It spends only three years in barrel, which seems impossible when you feel its velvety texture in your mouth. The aromas are very delicate with dried apricots and caramel sifting gently in. The palate is lush with rich barrel flavors of baking spice. The finish has gobs of fr... Read More »
90% Grenache & 10% Syrah sourced from Tierra Alta Vineyard and Larner Vineyard in the Ballard Canyon AVA. Mikael who is part Hawaiian and raised on the Oahu shores, uses a shortened version of his given name for the brand -Kaena - which means "potential for greatness". Aromas of raspberry, dark cherry and licorice, combining with incense, cigar box and earth. Complex flavors of dark cherry, pomegranate and raspberry give way to a juicy core of cocoa, leather, and sweet tobacco, finishing long and seductive with the perfect balance between acidity and ta... Read More »
From the brewery: "Ape Snake is a dark, dry hopped farmhouse ale. We’ve taken our dark farmhouse base and dry hopped it with Falconer’s Flight and Centennial hops. The combination of yeast and hops create an explosion of flavors, and this beer will continue to develop as it ages."
From the brewery: "The coffee notes in Stone Americano Stout are bold, rich and full of American swagger. For each 120-barrel batch, we incorporated over 250 lbs. of artisanal espresso-roast beans into the mash and added in Columbus, Chinook, Amarillo and Cascade hops to invigorate the coffee taste with a slight citrus and resin hop presence. When it came time to selecting our coffee, we chose the same local roasters who contributed to our sought-after 2013 Stone ESPRESSO Imperial Russian Stout. Their fantastic beans helped us achieve this dark, hoppy an... Read More »
From the brewery: " 13% ABV and aged in High West bourbon barrels."
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Seductive nose is juicy, with ripe, fruity aromas of baked apple, baked pear, nutmeg, vanilla bean, cardamom and dried orange peel. Flavor is firm, bittersweet, focused and more maple-like than sugary. Ends moderately oily and keenly bittersweet. In that league of aged rums that begin to resemble brandies." (6/2006) K&L Notes: Gold Medal Winner 2009 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition. Silver Medal International Review of Spirits Award. Also **Highly Recommended** by the Beverage Testing Institute: "Rich copper brown color. Rich aromas of chocolate pudding and browni... Read More »
From the brewery: "This is our take of the renowned Bohemian-style pale lager that you might find in Bavaria or the Czech Republic. Ours is a little more golden, rounder, and a little more malt driven than many other versions. The beer possesses strong hop character that is balanced by its rich, round, malty palate. Refreshing and balanced, this beer is a favorite of our winery friends during harvest."