Staff Favorites - Keith Mabry

Keith Mabry

Reviews

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2010 Domaine de Montbourgeau Vin Jaune de l'Etoile (620ml)
Review Date: 04-19-2018
This is one of the most harmonious young Vin Jaune's I've tasted in quite some time. I say young because the wine spends 7 years under the traditional layer of yeast before bottling making this the current release. These kinds of wines have an almost indefinable history of longevity. I've had some going back to the forties and they are exquisite. I know people who've tasted further back than that with the same kinds of results. What makes Vin Jaune so special in general and this in particular is the layers of unique flavors that persist from nose to palate to finish. Explosive aromas of tamarind, salted apples, caramelized walnuts lead to a palate of smoked lemon peel and light peat tones all while having beautiful acidity and balance. The finish persists for minutes if not longer. All this in a dry wine! It is unique and not necessarily for everyone but if you are open, trust me you'll be in all the way. And when you try it, make sure to have a hunk of Comte cheese on hand. There is no better pairing in the wine universe.
Price: $76.99 Add To Cart
RP 97

2012 Domaine de Montbourgeau "Cuvée Speciale" l'Etoile
Review Date: 04-19-2018
A bit more of an outlier, the Cuvee Speciale is all Chardonnay aged sous voile like a Vin Jaune. Not quite as long but it has all of those beautiful qualities. Brined apples, sweet spices, dried pineapple and roasted almonds, it has a quality that resonates on the palate. If you've had Vin Jaune before, you'll know what I'm talking about but the feel here is a touch fresher and feels a tad rounder since the grape is Chardonnay. It is a gorgeous expression worthy of any Jura collector or someone looking to explore a little outside the box.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2014 Domaine de Montbourgeau "En Banode" l'Etoile
Review Date: 04-19-2018
The wines of Montbourgeau are no joke and this is one of the best introductions you could hope for. The En Banode is a field blend of Savagnin and Chardonnay that has gorgeous aromas of curry spices and tamarind and persists long on the palate. Salted caramel apples, lemon curd and a bit of fenugreek develop on the palate and the vibrant acidity leads to a long finish. It's hard to contextualize these kinds of wines if you have never had them but think Fino or Manzanilla sherry with more intense weight and underlying acidity meets aged white Burgundy. The wine is a beast with food too. I love to serve this with oilier cuts of grilled fish, any type Japanese cuisine and aged cheeses.
Price: $31.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2014 Charles Joguet "Les Varennes du Grand Clos" Chinon
Review Date: 04-16-2018
Capturing the essence of Chinon, let alone the Loire Valley, is no easy task but the wines of Charles Joguet continue to do so with all their site specific bottlings. The Les Varennes is something truly special though coming from a single parcel of own-rooted vines on the sandy-clay hillsides that make up the best sites. The wines expresses all of the things good about the noble Cabernet Franc varietal, including the characteristics of black raspberry, cherry and lavendar oil. A touch of crushed herb puts you firmly in Chinon. The texture is something to behold as well, and it is the ideal reflection of the 2014 vintage. Sinewy acidity is framed by supple tannins and the finish is long. The vintage is not as robust and fruited in general as say 2015, which we call more of a crossover style. 2014 is for purists and classicists. And that is where the Les Varennes sits, on the edge of classic but with such potency that a few years in the cellar will be well rewarded.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart
W&S 94 WS 92

2015 Domaine Cabirau "First Things First" Maury Sec
Review Date: 04-03-2018
This new bottling from Cabirau is almost a fluke really. After some equipment malfunction in the vineyards, a small portion of the harvest was left for some additional time on the vine. This last parcel was brought in later and went through elevage in foudre separately so as not to interfere with the character of the classic Serge & Nicolas. And what character indeed! Lush but not over-the-top it is filled with strawberry jam, framboise, sassafras, nutmeg and notes of bay. This wine benefits with a little longer aging also yielding sweeter rounder tannins. A remarkably delicious endeavor for sure and one hopes a mistake worth repeating.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 - 96

2016 Domaine Cabirau "Serge & Nicolas" Maury Sec
Review Date: 04-03-2018
The beauty of Maury and its vineyards is derived from the shattered rocky brown schist that makes up this other-worldly landscape. When climbing through the vineyards (it's too difficult to just wander), its easy to recognize that though these soils are difficult to farm, the quality of Grenache, Syrah and Caringnan that these vineyards produce can be unparalleled. Importer Dan Kravitz recognized this quality from the beginning when he picked up a dozen or so acres of vineyards and began making his wines from a special plot in Maury. Almost immediately, the critics recognized Dan's endeavors often awarding his wines high marks. Dan's flagship wine is the "Serge & Nicolas" which is his best parcel selection and oldest vines. Showing the depth and richness that wines from these vines can produce, black fruit, anise, violets and peppery spices erupt from the glass. Expressive but still balanced by lingering acidity, Dan continues to produce wines that offer an other-worldly experience.

2016 Domaine Cabirau Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 04-03-2018
The 2016 Cabirau Cotes du Roussillon does everything it should upon opening. Delivers delicious ripe fruit, sweet spices and a juicy saturated finish that pleases the senses. Every year this tried and tasted beauty is pure pleasure and the 2016 lives up to all of its predecessors promises. I love the wines of Roussillon for their inviting loveliness and joyful flavors and this year's Cabirau will be at the top of the list for sensational bargains.

2015 Chante Cigale Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 04-03-2018
We have been privileged to work with Chante Cigale for about 15 years now. An estate on the rise, they have always been one of our favorite value conscious CDPs, offering great classic character in their wines with open flavors that expand in the glass. They deliver the goods regardless of vintage. I've visited the estate on multiple occasions but I first tasted the 2015 in barrel in early 2016. It was piecemeal, with components coming from large foudre, to smaller barrique and concrete tank. Each parcel spoke to the potential of the 2015 vintage and I felt deep in my bones that this was going to be one of the sensations of the vintage. Earlier last year, 2017 that is, I paid a visit to check the progress of the the new wines and got to taste the now finished and bottled 2015. The parts were harmonious showing depth, length and layers of the sweet polished fruit that are hallmarks of this exciting vintage. Proprietor Alexandre Favier invited me to stay for a quick homemade lunch (his mother is a great cook) of blanquette de veau which we had with the 2016 Blanc (equally terrific) and this new vintage with some cheeses. A wonderful way to while away the day. Of course, Alex is a perfectionist and did not want to release the wine just then deciding to wait until later in the fall of last year and he then offered us our allocation. Now that the wine has finally arrived, I had the chance to share it with our sales staff and the wine has exceeded my and their expectations. Brimming with saturated red and black fruit, it is none to heavy, leading to gorgeous aromas of incense and potpourri. Impeccable balance and fine tannins, this is a wine that offers near term pleasure but has the structure to evolve for years to come. Since we have been great supporters over the years, we got a good slug but will it be enough?

2016 Jean Reverdy "La Reine Blanche" Sancerre
Review Date: 03-02-2018
There is an ocean of Sancerre out there and one of my favorite jobs at K&L is to swim through it all and find the real standouts. In this instance, we came across a particularly inviting wine from one of our suppliers that has a long history in the appellation and delivers on its promise of all things classic and wonderful from this region. Domaine Jean Reverdy is a hallmark producer and this wine is from a benchmark vintage. The wines of 2016 have beautiful nerve and tension and the Reverdy delivers that with its perfume of grapefruit, fresh cut grass and chalky minerality. Where 2015 as a vintage had more exotic and borderline tropical nuances, people who have been drinking Sancerre long before it became "a thing" will be whisked back to the golden age when vibrancy and minerality were the first things you noticed in a great bottle from the region. Rejoice in the classic nature of this wine and its promise of other great things to come from the region.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

2015 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Christophe" Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 02-12-2018
This is now our third year working with Remizieres and each year the wines just keep delivering more and more. This is a rubber meats the road kind of vintage, where a really good producer in what is one of the greatest years on record delivering what will surely be an iconic bottle of wine. And it's only $25 a bottle? The "Cuvee Christophe" comes from the most select parcels of the Crozes portion of the estates property and it shows. The vines average age is around 65, all on clay-limestone soils. Where the basic Crozes had lovely pointed fruit, this "Christophe" comes from a much deeper place. Layers of blue and black fruit aromas unfold on the nose and deliver a rich saturated palate in the mouth. There is so much going on, I couldn't get my notes down fast enough. Sexy now but oh what a sweet treat to find some (or in my case many) bottles stashed in a cellar in a few years. And it's only $25! Do not miss this!!

Baron-Fuenté "Grande Reserve" Brut Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 02-06-2018
Consistently my favorite go-to bubble for its freshness, deft touch and biscuity aromas, the Fuente has always punched well above its fighting weight. Much like Goldilocks, I put Fuente in my "Just Right" category. It hits all the marks of balanced fruit, doughy yeast and crunchy acidity to give me everything I want in Champagne. The magnum is the most ideal of Champagne formats as the wine lays a little longer on its lees before disgorgement, offering even more perfume, toast and spiced layers. I always grab a magnum or two to have on hand for instant party needs when those few extra guests inevitably make the rounds.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2013 Bersano "Mantico" Barbaresco
Review Date: 01-31-2018
Barbaresco for under $20? Yes, that's correct. But could it be good? Yes, it is! The Bersano "Mantico" almost defies credibility by being exactly what it purports to be - a gorgeous and inviting Barbaresco for the most reasonable of prices. The wine captures the more elegant stylings of Barbaresco with perfumed fruits of Bing cherry and dried strawberry finishing with savory spices, oolong tea and much more supple tannins. It takes a lot of work and negotiating to get grande marques wines like Brunello, Barolo and Barbaresco down to prices like this, so kudos to buyer, Greg St. Clair for bringing home the prize for what is destined to be one of the best values of the year.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 JS 90

2015 Ferrero "Pepita" Rosso di Toscana
Review Date: 01-31-2018
I don't usually think of Toscana red blends as luscious but the Pepita is one luscious wine. A warm vintage pushes this multi-varietal blend towards international styling but never loses sight of its Tuscan roots. Vibrant and clean flavors of Maraska cherries, crushed herbs and savory spices lead to a subtly mouthfilling wine that has polished tannins and a sweet lingering finish. The acid structure keeps it all together and says, I am Italian! This is probably one of my favorite Ferrero wines to date for its shear accessibility and pleasure to drink with food. Give me a Bistecca alla Fiorentina to go with this bold and delicious red.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Lafage "Tessellae - Old Vines GSM" Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 01-30-2018
Like all Lafage wines, there is no shortage of fruit in the GSM. The wine has the sensation of warm raspberry coulis drizzled over a berry compote. It almost sounds like a little much but Lafage excels at creating finesse where fruit lingers. Great acidity, plush velvety tannins and glycerol richness lead you to believe this is a much more expensive wine and gives you the balance you desire. The name Jean-Marc Lafage has become synonymous with cost to quality in our stores. Every wine is inflected with his joyously exuberant style. For wines that you can drink every day that show pure pleasure in the glass, you need look no further than Lafage's harmonious Grenache Syrah Mourvedre blend.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2015 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Emilie" Hermitage
Review Date: 01-29-2018
I've been fortunate enough to visit the cellars of Remizières a couple of times now and it is always an impressive journey. The attention to detail that Emilie and her brother Christophe Desmeures have is evident throughout. This is fully revealed upon wandering the rows of concrete tanks, the beautiful barrique, and the large foudre - all of which are of the highest quality. From top to bottom, whether it be an entry Crozes, small parcel selections like the Cuvee Christophe, or to the top tier Cuvee Emilie Hermitage, the wines have beautifully delineated fruit and clarity of terroir. It's no surprise that the 2015 "Cuvee Emilie" Hermitage was a huge standout. First tasted from tank in 2016, it was deeply concentrated loaded with raspberry coulis and coffee notes. It was one of the reasons we struck up our direct relationship with them. In early 2017, we visited again to check the progress of the wines and it had gone from an almost overwhelming mouth-filler to a classic Hermitage. Deep dark fruit with harmonious flavors of roasted black raspberries, candied dates, and soft notes of vanilla and sassafras. The wine was still mouth filling, but all the final components had been married together for bottling and it showed the detail and poise I had come to expect after tasting all their other wines. There was a nationwide distributor that originally imported the Remizières wines with severe mark-ups, but our direct relationship provides a clear path to a benchmark wine for the best price in the US market. On a side note, we had lunch with the Desmeures clan after our cellar visit last year and they brought out some older Crozes and Hermitages for us to taste through. With the beauty and complexity those wines displayed, there is no doubt the 2015 Cuvee Emilie Hermitage will have a long a prolific life and should round out to be one of their greatest wines produced.

2016 Domaine des Remizières Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 01-26-2018
It's hard to find this quality of Syrah for this price anywhere in the world let alone the Rhone Valley. The 2015 of the Remizieres Crozes was a breakthrough wine for us as it gave our clients access to the Northern Rhone for a very reasonable price. No doubt it was special as people came back for more, again and again. It became one of our best selling northern Rhone wines of all time. And from a small estate producer?? But that's what our Direct Import program helps us do - bring you quality wines at great price points. So how does the 2016 measure up? Beyond favorable, it is brighter and more overt than the 2015 which makes it so appealing now. It has great acidity and smoother tannins, sweet black plum fruit and savory spices. The 16 is not as concentrated, as 2015 was a warmer vintage overall, but it is fleshy, vibrant and good to go. I am thrilled we were able to establish this direct relationship with Remizieres. They have continued to wow us at all levels of their production from this humble little red, to their sultry whites to their deeply powerful Hermitage.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2009 Baron-Fuenté "Grand Millesime" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-26-2018
The 2009 sings with an opulence that reminds me of a stone fruit crumble. Toasty spices, hint of nutmeg with notes of white nectarine are all balanced on the framework of lovely acidity and tight bubbles. This is such a fine bottle of Champagne to drink now and over the next few years.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine de Marcoux Lirac "Lorentine"
Review Date: 01-18-2018
You hear of Lirac producers making Chateauneuf-du-Pape but not so much about Chateauneuf producers picking up Lirac properties...until now! Marcoux recognized the quality of the vineyards and potential and with their bio-dynamic sensibilities found some incredible plots across the river in Lirac and are now making this exciting red. Full of smoky rustic flavors, this is old-school with peppery spice and saddle leather wrapped around blackcurrant and roasted plum fruit. The perfect foil for some cowboy chili or braised pork belly.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine de Marcoux Cotes-du-Rhone
Review Date: 01-18-2018
Marcoux was my winery of the year last year for their incredible Chateauneuf releases. The 2015s were expressive, classic and layered with so much potential that they will surely deliver the goods over the next two decades. The 2016 vintage is as equally impressive (and maybe ultimately longer living). The wines show a level of depth that goes beyond simple hedonism. The basic or entry level wines from producers like Marcoux are always the great bellwether for exciting vintages because when the starter wines show this great, you know the high-end stuff will be legendary. Marcoux's Cotes du Rhone is from dedicated vineyards following all the same bio-dynamic principals they use for the Chateauneuf, so it is no mere declassified or second wine. This is serious Cotes du Rhone that ages beautifully but is also out of the gate charming. Lush strawberry, dried tobacco and potpourri permeate the glass and sweet fruit persists on the palate. So before the hype begins, drink this wine and be ahead of the curve and know what we know...2016 is great from top to bottom and Marcoux is on track to be my Winery of the Year two years running.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine Roger Sabon "Rhone by Roger Sabon"
Review Date: 01-18-2018
Sabon was one of our break out stars for our 2015 Chateauneuf campaign and 2016 looks to be equally great. How do we know? Taste this 2016 Cotes du Rhone-esque bottling from them. For $12, you get a fleshy rich and ultimately very satisfying wine that delivers layers of delicious Rhone pleasure. With the quality of 2016 showing through this humble little wine, there is no need to wait months for the CDPs. You can enjoy this gem right now.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2013 Château Peyros Madiran Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 01-11-2018
I am falling in love with the wines of Madiran. There has been so much forward progression in the making and styling of these wines, it is hard to keep up. I'm not the only one either. Fans of fuller bodied reds from Bordeaux, Cahors and even California are finding a lot to like here. We have had tremendous success with a few noteworthy producers but for cost to quality, no one beats Peyros. Densely packed, velvety structrue, deep dark fruit and tons of graphite minerality are just a few of my notes when tasting the old vine Peyros. The small percentage of Cabernet Franc adds a little polish but the wine never loses its focus on its Tannat roots. This is bold and savory wine that is at its most harmonious with lush charcuterie, grilled sausages and of course, my favorite winter treat - Cassoulet!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2014 Château Haut-Monplaisir "Prestige" Cahors
Review Date: 01-11-2018
Back to back successes with the Haut Monplaisir has solidified it as one of our favorite Malbecs from any region. Both the 2011 and 2012 were quick sell throughs with their level of quality, concentration and power. The '14 offers up something even more special in my opinion. Sweet black plum. It was such an evident marker, I would have used it in a wine class on flavor profiles. It's not the only thing going for this wine though with its beautiful blackcurrant, gorgeous weight, full-bodied texture and loads of spice notes. It is a hallmark Malbec showing the best of what can come from its home region of Cahors. Easily the sexiest of the last few vintages, you would be hard pressed to keep you hands of this beauty while serving it with hearty winter fare and dare I say even some grilled Argentine steak?! Let's show those southern hemisphere Malbecs how it's done old-school French style.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2015 Yves Cheron "Les Dentelles" Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 01-03-2018
A boisterous and delightful style to say the least, this Grenache-Syrah blend captures the essence of both the region and the quality of the 2015 vintage. Composed of fruit around Vacqueyras, Beaumes de Venise and Gigondas, the wine is named for the famous jagged limestone monoliths along the ridge of the Montmirail, the "Dentelles." Packed with flavors of raspberry coulis and peppery spices, the wine is open and inviting, giving you sweet fruit and length. It is a worthy wine of the region which harkens to some of the best that producers like St. Cosme and the Perrin family create.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2012 Château Bouscassé Madiran
Review Date: 10-17-2017
Proprietor Alain Brumont has truly revolutionized the region of Madiran so much for the better. Madiran, a region best known for producing wines with jaw-breaking tannic structure, Brumont has perfected the accessibility of the Tannat grape through his strict selection of fruit and winemaking practices. His Chateau Bouscasse property is his original property and it shows all the classic nature of the region with its flavors of melted licorice, menthol, black currants, roasted plums and cocoa husks. It also captures the essential velvety structure of the wines which usually requires years of bottle age to obtain. An amazing follow-up to the past vintages we have carried, the 2012, much like a teenager, is still a little brooding in its youth. Unlike said teenager, the underlying richness and fruit unfold given a little time and air. The palate unfolds with ripe aromatics and the velvety tannins one associates with Tannat and Brumont's particular winemaking style. For certain, you could cellar this for a decade but as we approach the cooler seasons, this would make quite the foil for decadently rich braises and stews.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2014 Domaine du Vieil Orme Malbec-Cabernet Franc Touraine Rouge
Review Date: 10-01-2017
Composed of equal parts Malbec (known locally as Cot) and Cabernet Franc, the wine is aged in stainless steel, keeping the fruit in its most vibrant state. It is loaded with flavors of sweet black cherry and blueberry jam, crushed thyme and savory spices. It is open, forward and delicious. This wonderful red will pair beautifully with braised pork dishes, creamy cheeses and herb roasted chicken.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$9.99

2016 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre (375ml)
Review Date: 10-01-2017
This wine goes through all stainless steel tanks during its fermentation, preserving freshness and vibrancy. It is a gorgeous Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of pomelo, grapefruit peel and lemongrass. This delightful white will pair beautifully with some smoked trout or grilled sea bass over a bed of greens and citrus.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart
DC 95 WS 90

2016 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre
Review Date: 10-01-2017
This wine goes through all stainless steel tanks during its fermentation, preserving freshness and vibrancy. It is a gorgeous Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of pomelo, grapefruit peel and lemongrass. This delightful white will pair beautifully with some smoked trout or grilled sea bass over a bed of greens and citrus.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2015 Clos Saint-Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 09-27-2017
Recently I had two of the most tremendous Chateauneufs at a dinner party and they affirmed why I fell in love with the wines from this region so long ago. They were both served at a dinner party where the staple was multiple courses of beef cooked over Japanese charcoal. The first was a 1995 Marcoux Vieilles Vignes that was seamless and I would put it easily in my top five CDPs of all time. The second was a 2004 Clos Saint Jean Deux Ex Machina. Not what the critics would qualify as a great vintage but easily one of the best wines I have ever tasted from Saint-Jean. The wine was deep rich and showed more of the modern qualities of Chateauneuf. The beauty was how it unfolded in waves of flavors and not one big chunk of balmy fruit. It was gorgeous and went beautifully with the fattier cuts of meat. So what about this 2015? Well after tasting an retasting - I found qualities from both of those great wines in what is surely the most harmonious Vieilles Vignes I have yet tasted. A beautiful panoply of spices unfolds followed by layers of rich but not over-ripe fruit leading to a long and lingering finish. Like I've been saying, 2015 has produced wines that scale back the opulence but bring out the layers. The Clos Saint Jean VV is a worthy addition to any collector's cellar and it will surely be a part of mine.

2015 Chateau de L'Ou "Velours Noir" Côtes Catalanes Rouge
Review Date: 09-25-2017
Derived from 100% Syrah, this wine is aged in barrel and has a beautiful, dense texture. This is reminiscent of the great wines of the Northern Rhône, and you would be hard-pressed not to think of producers like Chapoutier or Guigal while drinking it.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JD 94 RP 94

2015 Château de L'Ou "Ipso Facto" Côtes Catalanes Rouge
Review Date: 09-25-2017
Their benchmark wine to be sure is the 2015 Ipso Facto. A blend of the best lots from all three soils—alluvial, black schist and brown schist—the depth on this wine is almost inconceivable. Approaching perfection, this wine moves the needle on what we think about wines from the Roussillon. With organic principles, insightful winemaking and passion for their project, Château de L’Ou has done something truly amazing by changing the perception of what a region is and what can be accomplished there.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart
JD 97 RP 97

2015 La Source du Ruault Saumur-Champigny Rouge
Review Date: 09-25-2017
This represents all that is good and delicious about the wines of the region. Planted in the sandy and gravelly soils over the tuffeau, this powerhouse Cabernet Franc is rich, representing the depth of fruit from the 2015 vintage, but it is also full of finesse. The tannins are quite fine and the finish is long on black fruit, cedary spice and black pepper.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2015 La Source du Ruault Saumur-Champigny Rouge (375ml)
Review Date: 09-25-2017
This represents all that is good and delicious about the wines of the region. Planted in the sandy and gravelly soils over the tuffeau, this powerhouse Cabernet Franc is rich, representing the depth of fruit from the 2015 vintage, but it is also full of finesse. The tannins are quite fine and the finish is long on black fruit, cedary spice and black pepper.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart

2014 La Source du Ruault "Sensei" Saumur-Champigny Rouge
Review Date: 09-25-2017
A sensei is a teacher (Jean-Noël practices martial arts in his spare time) and there is no better wine to teach you about the quality of Saumur fruit. More strikingly powerful, this is parcel-selected fruit that sees some time in barrel, giving it a long-lingering quality that will persist for years to come.
Price: Hidden View Price

2014 La Source du Ruault "La Coulee d'Aunis" Saumur Blanc
Review Date: 09-25-2017
One of the most serious contenders for my white wine of the year, this 100% Chenin Blanc, barrel-fermented wine delivers all the roasted apple and quince paste fruit of Chenin with just a note of marzipan. It has a fleshy Burgundian finesse that brings to mind Premier Cru Meursault. But at one-third the price, this is a worthy additon to your collection. Jean-Noël is a vigneron to watch, as we continue with his gorgeous and complex wines for years to come.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine du Petit Coteau Vouvray Moelleux
Review Date: 09-25-2017
Just on the sweet side of things, drinking like a fine Auslese from Germany, this is unctuous and long on the ripe apple and caramelized pear flavors. You could treat this as more of an after-dinner wine, pairing with creamy goat cheeses, or get a little bold and serve it with rich curries or spicy Thai food.
Price: Hidden View Price

2015 Domaine du Petit Coteau Vouvray Sec
Review Date: 09-25-2017
The dry wine, with its lush mineral components, apple flavors, sweet fig notes and rounded acidity, this is a perfect foil for complex foods ranging from savory to spicy. Methinks a little duck confit with a salad of bitter greens would complement quite nicely.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

Domaine du Petit Coteau Vouvray Brut
Review Date: 09-20-2017
This is a straight-up delicious sparkling wine with notes of pear cider and toasted apples. Take note of this engaging bubbly to enjoy as we begin to enter the fall season.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2004 Domaine Les Pins "Le Clos les Pins" Bourgueil
Review Date: 09-20-2017
The 2004 “Le Clos les Pins” was brimming with notes of tobacco, leather and spices. The fruit has mellowed but is ever-present, showing the classic style of the sandy and gravelly soils. This still has a long way to go.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2004 Domaine Les Pins "Vieilles Vignes" Bourgueil
Review Date: 09-19-2017
We’ve been working with Domaine les Pins in Bourgueil for several years now and the wines continually over-deliver for the money. On our recent visit, vignerons Philippe and Christophe Pitault-Landry were kind enough to dig some older bottles out of the cellar to show us how the wines evolve. I immediately homed in on their two 2004s—the Les Clos des Pins and Vieilles Vignes. After a little negotiating we were able to convince them to sell us a small parcel of each. The 2004 “Vieilles Vignes” Bourgueil was remarkably persistent on the palate, showing flavors of strawberries, clove and truffle nuances. It is still quite powerful in the mouth and loaded with body and texture. This could easily withstand another decade of evolution. Both are tremendous successes and demonstrate the ageability of Cabernet Franc, even from a modestly priced producer such as this.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2016 Franck Millet Sancerre Blanc (1.5L)
Review Date: 09-19-2017
Our visit to the Loire Valley would not have been complete if we hadn't visited our dear friends Franck and Betty Millet. Clyde, myself and a friend were traveling through the region and arrived a day early to have a relaxing meal in the village of Sancerre. We actually surprised the Millets by popping in to see their new house which sits on the hill of the village overlooking the valley of Sancerre and its vineyards. We had an appointment to visit them the next morning but they were so gracious even with our surprise visit, they began pulling out bottles of wine for us to try, offering us food and a tour of their recently finished house. I often point to these kinds of occasions when trying to illustrate why we try to develop strong relationships with our Direct Import producers. Even though we were just stopping by to say "hello" they went above and beyond to make us feel welcome and a part of their family. And that's why the Millets are part of our K&L family. When we finally did arrive at the winery for our scheduled appointment we retasted all the wines as well as some of the new tank samples for the 2016 Insolite. They had fresh cheeses and bread all laid out for us because they knew we were going to be traveling a couple of hours to our next destination. We discussed the difficulty of the 2016 vintage due to the early frost but thankfully they were not largely affected by the staggering crop losses that others felt. The quality of the 2016 was outstanding as usual, classic grapefruit and lemongrass tones, chalky minerality and a long citrusy finish with a whisper of wild thyme at the end. Clyde's specific comments were "better than the 2015" and "more my style, racy and classic." When Clyde saw some magnums, we immediately explored the notion (Clyde's a sucker for large formats) of adding that to our inventory set. I of course love the little half bottles which are new as well. So, in whatever format you choose, halves, mags or standard bottles, you'll hopefully share in the sense of gazing out over the vineyards of Sancerre and sipping wine with our dear friends Franck and Betty Millet.
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2015 Domaine de la Janasse "Tradition" Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-19-2017
Never shy on the fruit side, the 2015 shows remarkable restraint, pushing more towards a beautifully balanced style. Fruit is still quite present but it is of the freshest variety, the ripest you find at your local farmer's market but not pushing sur-maturity. Harmonious tannins on the finish make this appealing now but great for short term cellaring.

2015 Chateau de Vaudieu "Amiral G" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-19-2017
Very rich and concentrated nose. The palate affirms. This is deep and luscious with flavors of kirsch and strawberry compote. Some oak aging adds dimension. A few years down should deliver a pretty outstanding wine.

2015 Château de Vaudieu Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-19-2017
Generous and ripe fruit but maintains balance. This is not too showy and has great structure. Should age gracefully into something even more special.

2015 Domaine Giraud "Tradition" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-08-2017
Giraud shows the riper side of Chateauneuf du Pape. Plush polished fruit with notes of Chambord and cherry compote. Rounded out with light herbal/garrigue tones. This is a lot of wine for those seeking the richer side of CDP. Decadent yet satisfying.

2015 Roger Sabon "Secret de Sabon" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-08-2017
The tête de cuvée is no “secret.” Made from 100% Grenache, it was a little tight on the nose but delivered copious, fleshy fruits. Layers of kirsch, Chambord and spices abound. The finish was long, almost endless.

2015 Roger Sabon "Prestige" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-08-2017
The “Prestige” is actually a single plot co-planted with their oldest Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre vines plus a handful of the old heirloom grapes from the region. The smallest production cuvée, it rapidly approaches “next level” with its incense, brambly fruit and dynamic palate. This represents high-order, terroir-driven CdP and at a comparatively reasonable price.

2015 Roger Sabon "Réserve" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-08-2017
The Réserve shows much more of the mineral qualities of Châteauneuf, with savory black fruit and graphite. Aged primarily in foudre and larger oak tanks, this should evolve gracefully to unleash more of the exotic floral and dusty spice notes. From the La Crau and La Grenade lieux-dits.

2015 Roger Sabon "Les Olivets" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-08-2017
A more classically rustic yet charming style. Notes of red and black fruit macerated together with a beautiful sandalwood edge. One of the great values of the vintage.

2015 Domaine de Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 09-08-2017
One of, if not my wine of the vintage. When I tasted this in 2016 from the oak tank, it was one of the most exotic and perfumed young CdPs I had ever tasted. When tasted earlier this year, it was again revelatory. Concentrated yet refreshing, with so much gorgeous fruit and spice, the wine is beginning to firm up around the edges. I would not say the wine will shut down, but there are signs that 5–10 years in bottle will reward those who cellar it with a truly exceptional wine.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart
VN 96 - 98 JD 96 RP 95
DC 94
Limit of 12 per customer

2014 Domaine L'Ostal Cazes "Grand Vin" Minervois La Livinière
Review Date: 08-11-2017
My first trip to Minervois included a visit to the L'Ostal Cazes property. Situated in the Cru appellation of Minervois La Liviniere, the property sits below the foothills of the Montagne Noire in a region surrounded by the classic garrigue forests of the south of France. Old classical buildings make up the exterior of the estate but since this is a Jean-Michel Cazes property, the interiors are beautifully redesigned with the idea of delivering the purest and most expressive version of the fruit the vines yield. After a brief tour of the winery, my group was treated to a little ride through the property. We did some serious off-roading driving over hills and through creek beds (some full of water from the spring rains) more than once nearly driving off a cliff into one of the surrounding gullies. When we reached a plateau that overlooked the greater part of Minervois, what makes La Liviniere special was revealed. This plateau is made up of deep limestone and marl soils that lift it above the rest of the region. This translates beautifully into the wines. These calcareous soils help preserve the acidity in the grapes for a region that gets a lot of sun intensity and very little rainfall during the growing season. Deliciously ripe but not overwhelmingly so, the "Grand Vin" also picks up the classic garrigue notes of lavendar, thyme and chaparral. Supple black fruit, wild fennel and Mexican chocolate permeate the palate and sweet tannins lead to a long finish. All throughout, acidity provides a spine to the wine keeping it on the fresher side. JM Cazes has given us one of our most pristine examples of a Languedoc red but I expect no less since he is responsible for making Lynch Bages one of the most successful and iconic wines of Pauillac. Expect to hear more great things about his property in the south.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
DC 95

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