Customer Reviews - KLF

12 year customer of K&L, a serious amateur wine drinker. Passionate about finding value wines that trump the bigger brands of their class. Love all things Rhone, Piedmont, Chianti, Spain and the up-and-comers of California.


Reviews

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2008 Mud House "Swan" Pinot Noir Central Otago New Zealand
Review Date: 02-01-2012
This has become the new house pinot, intermixed with Sean Minor Four Bears, until the supply runs out. This quality of wine is usually in $17-20 range for New Zealand, so kudos to K&L for serving it up at $11.
Price: $10.99 Add To Waiting List

2008 Convento Muri-Gries Lagrein Scuro/Dunkel
Review Date: 02-01-2012
An excellent value. Paired it with braised pork and it made everyone happy. Those who had never tried lagrein were over the moon.
Price: $15.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 Spellbound California Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-01-2012
This wine is probably a tremendous value to Rombauer lovers (which I am not). It has a sweet finish, and possesses all the "Cal-modern" winemaking tricks that seem to please the American masses. Its fruit is very tropical. But it will not please someone looking for Burgundian and leaner-styled French chardonnay -- at any price.
Price: $8.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 Mission Estate Winery Syrah Hawkes Bay New Zealand
Review Date: 05-20-2011
An excellent value for folks who like Northern Rhone style syrah. I'd buy this before most sub-20 Crozes Hermitage and Saint Joseph.
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

Deligeroy Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé
Review Date: 05-20-2011
My house rose bubbly. The regular brut is even better.
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

2002 Hijos de Antonio Polo Pagos de Peñafiel Crianza Ribera del Duero
Review Date: 05-20-2011
A real beauty, equal parts modern and classic Rioja. Drink now. Thanks to K&L for getting this wine and passing it down to customers at a great price.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 Sean Minor "Four Bears" Carneros Pinot Noir
Review Date: 05-20-2011
Sorry to say this isn't nearly as great as the 2008 (I bought a case of it), which was one of the greatest California pinot values in awhile IMO. But if you are willing to take your chances on a sub-15 dollar-pinot and you like copious new oak, then give it a shot.
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

Wine Preserva - Wine bottle preservation disks - 50 pack
Review Date: 12-23-2010
Bubble wrap core with plastic fingers. A novel way to preserve wine -- and I think it works -- but I just don't find myself stuffing these things down the neck of every bottle I leave open for the next day. Argon is so much easier.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2007 Domaine les Pallieres "Les Terraces de Diable" Gigondas
Review Date: 10-21-2010
Cellar material here. A beautiful, classic Gigondas. Not drinking that well right now, but improves at 3 hours of air. The fruits and spices are quite subltle even at 3 hours, which I trust will improve with bottle age.
Drink from 2015

2009 Quinta do Feital "Auratus" Minho
Review Date: 10-01-2010
The given K&L wine description did very little to prepare me for this wine. No, I have never tried this style of wine before, but somehow I was expecting an aromatic, peachy, light Rias Baixas albarino. What I got instead was a medium weight wine with a ton of mineral and acidity. Fruits were lower toned. How about: "French chenin blanc meets a dry Alsace pinot blanc meets Sancerre." Very, very nice wine. Better on the second day. Incredible pairing potential...and definitely pair with food.
Drink from 2010 to 2010
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List
W&S 93

2008 Westrey "Oracle Vineyard" Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-17-2010
So this is what the 2008 vintage is all about! For $25, this is a world-class pinot noir to make most everyone happy -- the Burgundians and the cooler climate folks. Certainly cellar worthy.
Drink from 2012 to 2012
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
ST 91

2007 Ferreira "Preston Estate " Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-17-2010
Unbelievable QPR for this Russian River AVA wine.
Price: $16.99 Add To Waiting List

2007 J. Runquist "Z" Amador County Zinfandel
Review Date: 09-17-2010
One of my favorite zins in this price range and in the Amador/Napa style. Very consistent year on year. Alcohol not overpowering.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2008 Sean Minor "Four Bears" Carneros Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-17-2010
Unbelievable for the price. Carneros pinot for 13.99 that blows many value-priced names in the same year/AVA out of the water.
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 91

Deligeroy Cremant de Loire Brut
Review Date: 09-17-2010
Lovely stuff. Excellent QPR. Tiny, creamy bubbles.
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List

2005 Clos Tita "Gironde" Santa Cruz Mountains Red Wine
Review Date: 09-10-2010
A value-priced Santa Cruz Mountains classic, with enough bottle age to be drinking beautifully tonight? Yes please. Back up the truck. At $20, its a bargain. At its original $30, its fairly priced among its peers.
Drink from 2010 to 2010
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2006 Domaine les Pallières Gigondas
Review Date: 08-17-2010
At the 23.99 club price, this has to be the best "drink-now" Gigondas value on the market. After 30 minutes decanting, it transforms into an ultra-smooth wine packed with the dark fruit and leathery/gamey flavors that we know and love in this region. After a glass of this, I asked myself: "Why not buy more of the excelent 05 and 06 vintages, which are selling off at a dramatic rate due to the early buzz of 2007?"
Drink from 2010 to 2010
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
ST 92

2001 Fromm "La Strada" Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand
Review Date: 07-12-2010
Very frustrated with this one. Nothing left in this wine, and if the rest of the lot is like this, K&L should know better than to sell off a lot of wine that is tired.
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List

2007 Passopisciaro Passopisciaro Sicily IGT
Review Date: 07-07-2010
Hmm. A nice wine, but not $30 nice to me. When there are so many barberas to be had in the 10-20 range, I think this one could easily be skipped. (BTW, not sure what this grape is, from Sicily, but not nero d avola. I would easily misguess it as barbera.)
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 92

2007 Tenuta di Biserno Insoglio del Cinghiale
Review Date: 07-07-2010
A great super Tuscan value, especially appealing to those who like them more modern and Parkerized in style. This particular vintage is excellent -- could easily pass for $50-60 wines in the same region on average years. The only challenge I have is that I seek more earthy, leathery, herbal flavors in these kinds of wines.
Price: $18.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 90

2008 Ermacora Friulano
Review Date: 07-07-2010
It's a beauty. One of my summer house whites. Great introduction to Tocai Friulano...oops, now just Friulano. This has that steel/acid/minerals gestalt that the US winemakers find it so hard to duplicate.
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List

2008 Alois Lageder Biodynamic Beta-Delta Chardonnay/Pinot Grigio
Review Date: 07-07-2010
Chardonnay and pinot gris are often strange bedfellows to me, but not in this case. It's a great summer wine...well, anytime wine.
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List

Jean-Louis Denois Pinot Noir Brut Rosé
Review Date: 05-20-2010
A consistent top choice for me in the NV brut rose. Amid the sweet bubbles and typical sparkling rose experience, this one has more weight than the $13 Boillot, offering some very earthy and spicy pinot noir flavors that I just love.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

1999 De Meric "Catherine de Medicis" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-20-2010
For $49.99 this has to be the best vintage Champagne I have ever tasted. It's pinot noir in the attack and midpalate, then transitions to an awesome chardonnay finish. A very distinct tasting experience here. As with most vintage Champagnes, I'll insist that you enjoy this with real food, not just a handfull of almonds. If you have the nerve, leave this wine alone for another 3-4 years...
Drink from 2012 to 2012
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List

Perrier Jouët "Grand Brut" Champagne
Review Date: 05-20-2010
Just plain excellent every time. This is my go-to $30ish NV Champagne, because it pairs well with so many foods and whoever I serve it to loves it too.
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List
WS 91

2005 Villa Maria "Cellar Select" Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand
Review Date: 05-03-2010
Great quality to price ratio. And great that K&L can bring in a value-priced pinot with some bottle age.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2007 Rippon Pinot Noir Central Otago New Zealand (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 05-03-2010
Not a fan of this wine at this price. I visited Rippon in January and tried everything they had -- about 10 wines. I simply do not understand how Rippon is priced with the top wines in the region, as it seems this winery has lost its glory. That said, I give it props for being one of the first premium pinot producers in New Zealand.
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List

2007 Tarras Vineyards "The Steppes Vineyard" Pinot Noir Central Otago New Zealand
Review Date: 05-03-2010
Score is based on my assessment of quality to price at the club price of $23. I love NZ Central Otago pinot noir, and this is a great example that comes at half the price that we usually have to pay for this quality... such as Mt. Difficulty and Felton Road. UPDATE: Drink within the same day if you can. Once this baby hits the air, it degrades much more quickly than a typical pinot.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2005 Seresin "Leah" Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand
Review Date: 04-09-2010
This is a gorgeous wine, and right on par with the 2006 Quartz Reef from Central Otago that's also $19.99. For you pinophiles looking to stretch outside of cooler climate California and Oregon names, this is a great place to go next. But save some for me!
Drink from 2010 to 2010
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2008 Tormaresca "Neprica" Puglia
Review Date: 04-08-2010
Served as a second bottle at a dinner party for 6 people, all who appreciate European wines. This was not a winner -- 5 thumbs down. I agree with Greg St Clair in that this wine is well made and value priced. But the flavors are simply not my style. Allow ample time for breathing -- a couple hours at least.
Drink from 2010 to 2010
Price: $8.95 Add To Waiting List

2006 Valpidio Ribera del Duero
Review Date: 03-30-2010
What is it about Spanish tempranillo that is often better on day 2 or 3? This is yet another example. but let me state my preference biases before I go any further: I do NOT appreciate the modern, Parkerized versions of value wines from Spain. If they trade terroir for higher alcohol and fruit bomby-ness, I'm gone. So imagine my disdain when I opened this wine and nosed a New World take on Ribera del Duero...and I promptly put a cork in it and let it sit for a day...then two.... On day two, the wine found its terroir and became the wine that the K&L guys are talking about. For $13, an excellent value. For $25, skip it and talk to K&L's John Majeski about what's on his mind lately.
Drink from 2010 to 2010
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 89

2007 Château de Montfaucon "Vin de Monsieur Le Baron de Montfaucon" Vin de Pays du Gard
Review Date: 03-30-2010
Tried this at the Southern Rhone tasting a month back, and thought it too early to tell what we really have here. Hat's off to Montfaucon for leveraging an awesome vintage to roll back to an old style. I think K&L staff is overly enamored with Montfaucon in general, as it is with Cos d' Estournel. But certainly, this is a beautiful, unique wine, and one to put away just to see what it gives in 5+ years. But should you buy this in place of other promising 07 Southern Rhones? I say buy one now and try it to see if it's your thing, and if so, buy for the cellar.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 92 WS 91

2008 The Crossings Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand
Review Date: 03-30-2010
Best value pinot noir under $10 (club = $9) in the K&L house and perhaps the country right now. It's light/medium, but balanced. I did not get the challenged midpalate that others are talking about. It trumps anything that the U.S. can produce at this price, and is much more a classic pinot than K&L's staff pick, Undone (from Germany, which I do not like at all).
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List

2007 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Blanc
Review Date: 03-30-2010
Score based on my opinion of quality to price. This is a stunner on the value front. I agree with Parrker, and Jauques at K&L -- it's a non-typical CdR white blend from Guigal, but they got this blend right. Every white drinker should find something to love in this (assuming they like viognier), and Rhone lovers will make this their house white as long as the case lasts.
Drink from 2010 to 2010
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 90 W&S 90

2006 Havens Napa Valley Merlot
Review Date: 01-30-2010
Tried two bottles from two different purchases. Quality varies from bottle to bottle, hence I think they set the price at $7 so you can afford to have a few bad ones in a case and not be irate with the shop. But I just gotta say to K&L - please be transparent about some of these wines you are selling off. If there are quality inconsistencies, just say so, or else don't sell the lot of wine to begin with. We can go to Grocery Outlet if we want to play roulette with low cost wine.
Price: $6.99 Add To Waiting List

2006 Beaulieu Vineyard "Tapestry Reserve" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 01-30-2010
We can thank the recession for bringing some of these Napa greats down to reasonable price levels for awhile. I always have serious reservations about Cali Bordeaux blends in the $50 range. Byt at the $29.99 price, this wine makes much more sense from a quality-to-price perspective.

2007 La Fortuna Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 01-30-2010
I tried the $15 and $20 Fortunas from 2007. Only on the second day of being open (!!) did I start to recognize what the K&L staffers raved about in these wines...but honestly I don't think there is a ton to gush about... That said, the 2007 rosso from Poggiarellino is something I like much, much more.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2008 Sherwood Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 01-27-2010
Score based on my opinion of quality to price. Wow. 2008 was a spotty vintage for pinot noir on the South Island. But this Sherwood is amazing! This is my #1 recommendation right now for pinot noir under $15, trumping A to Z from Oregon. Great fruit, great balance, and a solid dose of minerality that Burgundy drinkers will appreciate. For a denser, darker-fruited wine in this genre, look at Quartz Reef 2006 for $19.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 91 WS 89

2007 Jim Ball "Boonville-Middleridge Ranch" Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 01-27-2010
What a beauty, and what a price. Is there a better value for classic Anderson Valley pinot noir? At a dinner party of 10, we tried 4 pinots from K&L, and the Jim Ball placed #1 or 2 on everyone's list. FYI - the other consistent winner Quartz Reef 2006 from New Zealand.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 92

2007 Federico Tinto Roble Ribera del Duero
Review Date: 01-27-2010
The quality to price ratio is very high on this one. I have had many reds rom the Ribera region at twice the cost that I didn't like as much as this one. Word to the wise - let this guy breathe for an hour or two before serving. Until then, the fruit doesn't really show.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2008 Mt. Difficulty Pinot Gris Central Otago
Review Date: 01-15-2010
(Score based on my quality to price ratio.) At $20, you are paying $5 for the brand and $15 for the wine when I compare it to other value-priced pinot gris in Central Otago. This wine is a great example of South Island NZ pinot gris. So if you like it, I urge you to look further for lesser known names in the region. That said, what's great about Otago pinot gris is a strong minerality in these wines not often found anywhere else besides Alsace.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 89

2005 Poderi San Lazzaro "Grifola" Marche IGT
Review Date: 01-15-2010
(Score based on my quality to price ratio at $24 club price). Wow, this one is simply gorgeous and drinking well right now. One of the great values of Marche, and the perfect montepulciano to share with your friends who can't seem to kick their California cab, syrah or zin habits. Hey - I love Cali wines when the value is right, but in the $24 class, there aren't many American reds that can compete with this Poderi San Lazzaro.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 90

2008 Kalinda Pinot Gris Marlborough New Zealand
Review Date: 01-12-2010
(Score based on quality to price ratio.) Having just returned from New Zealand, it's no surprise to me that K&L's Kalinda line features a NZ pinot gris, as these wines pack the fruit+minerality that you only can get in Alsatian and Swiss names. That said, there's no other place on earth you can get these flavors in a bottle for $11. I believe pinot gris is currently the top white grape in NZ, and universally more appealing, especially to folks like me who do not appreciate the green apple and lemony flavors of the much more popular sauvingon blanc.
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List

2000 Jade Mountain Paras Vineyard "Block P10" Syrah
Review Date: 11-16-2009
Why to buy this wine: because it's $20, to see what Jade Mountain is like if you've never tried it, and now with some bottle age. Why not buy? It's not that great of a wine IMHO. I poured it last Saturday with three other comparable Cali syrahs. Guest say Jade came in 4th place behind Beckman, Copain, Amphora. Me? I'll take my $20 to a St Joseph wine and skip California altogether.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 93 RP 90

2007 Poggiarellino Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 11-02-2009
Amazing value at wine club price of $12.50. This is the best Poggiarellino rosso d' that I have tried so far (of three). It is classic, old style sangiovese on a great vintage year. SUGGESTION: tannins are firm and dusty. Serve only with food...that can stand up to them, or, wait for a few years for them to calm down, which I assume they will. I'm buying a case, and going to forget about it for at least a year.
Drink from 2010 to 2010
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2007 Alpen Cellars Trinity County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-31-2009
Great quality to price ratio here. Blind tasters who like this style would expect it to be $30+.
Drink from 2009 to 2009
Price: $16.99 Add To Waiting List

2006 Storybook Mountain "Eastern Exposures" Napa Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 10-30-2009
I bought this one on the advice of John Majeski at the SF store, and greatful that I did. A library-class zinfandel, and one of the few. The 2006 is clearly an outstanding wine, but barely showing its greatness now. I will open another bottle in about 18 months from now and see where we're at.
Drink from 2011
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List
W&S 96 WE 95

2008 Olek Bondonio Langhe Rosso "Giulietta"
Review Date: 10-30-2009
This is certainly a well made, unique wine, but not one for me at this price. I 'get' the elegance of pepper, roses, strawberries, but I just kept wanting more than this wine gives. Instead of Olek Bondonio, I'd rather have a well made Beajoulais or red Burgundy for the same money. Also, be careful who you serve the wine to -- they have to be into faint and elegant flavors or else they will think this a garden variety $10 wine (as two of my guests did).
Drink from 2009
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2005 Vecchie Terre di Montefili Chianti Classico
Review Date: 10-16-2009
Would be a 4.5 if not for the bizarre sandalwoody, clovey note in the midpalate that I could not shake. 2 hours of decanting slows it down and makes it right with food. That said, the rest of the wine experience is simply beautiful, especially for the price.
Drink from 2009
Price: $21.99 Add To Waiting List

2006 Schinosa Nero di Troia
Review Date: 09-20-2009
A grape called nero di Troia? Such is Italy. This is a really neat wine that I never would have found on my own. Flavor description: cab franc meets barbera meets nero di avola. I'll echo Greg St. Clair's suggestion NOT to decant it before serving (after first opening). After an hour, the tannins became unbearable. THEN, after leaving half the the bottle overnight (no gas, just cork), it magically softened back to a reasonable state. Hmm.
Drink from 2009
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List

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