- Adam Winkel (22)
- Alex Pross (169)
- Angie An (64)
- Bryan Brick (113)
- Christie Brunick (254)
- Cindy Westby (56)
- Clyde Beffa Jr. (461)
- Daniel Maas (17)
- Dave Genevro (15)
- David Othenin-Girard (157)
- David Driscoll (344)
- Dulcinea Gonzalez (6)
- Eric Story (6)
- Gary Lai (56)
- Gary Westby (351)
- Greg St. Clair (141)
- Heather Vander Wall (7)
- Illya Haase (87)
- Ivan Diaz (2)
- Jacques Moreira (433)
- James Knight (9)
- Jason Marwedel (67)
- Jeff Garneau (210)
- Jeffrey Jones (197)
- Jim Chanteloup (54)
- Jim Boyce (93)
- Jim Barr (176)
- Joe Manekin (301)
- Joel Nicholas (29)
- John Downing (3)
- John Majeski (208)
- Keith Mabry (192)
- Kirk Walker (195)
- Krista Johnson (25)
- Kyle Kurani (152)
- Mahon McGrath (79)
- Mari Keilman (176)
- Mellyn Craig (6)
- Michael Jordan (30)
- Mike Parres (191)
- Olivia Ragni (35)
- Ralph Sands (211)
- Ryan Woodhouse (81)
- Sal Rodriguez (9)
- Sarah Covey (76)
- Scott Beckerley (195)
- Shaun Green (34)
- Steve Bearden (217)
- Tom Martinez (1)
- Trey Beffa (142)
K&L Email Alerts
Sign up to receive custom alerts, new arrivals and the latest happenings from K&L Wines
|If you’re going to have Robert Parker or Stephen Tanzer over for dinner, selecting a wine they’ve rated highly will be a nice choice. However, when you’re buying wines for yourself, we’d love to see you find wines that match up your unique palate and pocketbook. We have a large staff of friendly and knowledgeable wine professionals that taste hundreds of wines each week. They can put you in touch with bottles that you are likely to love, often at a much lower cost than the highly-rated gems that often see a run-up in price and frequent availability issues. Like any great group of opinionated professionals, our staff has varied tastes themselves. Often our customers will find a particular staff member with a style that corresponds to their own. That concept works extremely well in our retail stores, and this section is our effort to bring you the same online. Don’t get us wrong, we love the highly rated wines from the press and will continue to offer them, but we think you’re missing out if you’re not augmenting those selections with picks from our excellent staff. Here are their favorites. (Click on a name to see their other selections - or to drop them a line.) Cheers!|
Del Professore Vermouth 750ml
Looking for a great springtime aperitif? This semi-off-dry Italian White Vermouth is soo delicious and refreshing! It's a great option for someone who wants something a little different than there typical Lillet Blanc or similar. I love it over the rocks with a twist of lemon or other citrus! I will be enjoying this all summer!
2013 Clos Henri "Petit Clos" Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand
This is probably one of my favorite value wines. As New Zealand Pinots gain the recognition they deserve, the prices have begun to reflect the wines, but Henri Bourgeois's Petit Clos Pinot from Marlborough is an exception. Here we have a lovely wine with characteristic bright cherry and strawberry notes, a generous, soft body, and great balance. Yet somehow it's still only 15.99!
2007 Mortlach 7 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
This young Mortlach has a lot to offer. It has a pretty aromas that are sweet and floral. It is pure, lively, and soft with a sweet core of malty flavors. This is one single malt that is hard to put down.
2008 Caol Ila 5 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
This is a lovely Caol Ila. It has some nice smoke in the nose but not too much. It is light bodied and very easy to drink. There is a pretty fruity finish. I think that this a single malt to drink and enjoy anytime.
1995 Miltonduff 19 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
An inviting noise that is expressive, floral and malty. In the mouth this Miltonduff is pure, round and refreshing. Michael Jackson, the great whiskey writer, used to describe single malts sometimes as restorative, and I think that that is what this single malt is.
2014 Elk Cove Willamette Valley Rosé
Generous fruit, berry jams, great acidity and finish. Not to mention this rose of Pinot Noir is simply perfect for all of this beautiful hot weather. Try this with some Atlantic salmon and vegetables...Bam!
Drink from 2015 to 2015
2012 Storybook Mountain "Mayacamas Range" Napa Valley Zinfandel
This awesome Zinfandel is rich, ripe and structured. It has the length and grip on the finish that I look for in reds. I would drink this bottle any day of the week, and that says something because Zinfandel is not normally my go-to varietal. All around a greatly executed wine through and through.
2013 Chehalem "INOX" Willamette Valley Chardonnay
This Old World-inspired, unoaked Chardonnay has crisp green apples and pears on the nose, with a great vibrant tang from the acidity. This wine showcases the delicate flavors and characteristics that Chardonnay has to offer without any oak influence. A great Oregonian wine!
2012 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica (1.5L)
This is one of my favorite wines in the store. Wonderful power, structure and delicacy. No oak aging in this wine. This just shows what happens when a grape and place are such a perfect marriage. Fruit and floral throughout the wine, with a great mineral backbone. Lovely texture with a surprising weight in the mid-palate. It is one complex glass of wine. Don't forget, the magnum is perfect for any kind of party.
2013 Sharp Zombie Rioja
This is your no guilt, easy drinking middle of the week wine. Best paired with pizza, burger while watching a zombie movie and relaxing. It's 100% Tempranillo done in a juicy lively style. It doesn't take a sharp zombie to realize it's an awesome value! (pun totally intended)
Venus Spirits Batch #2 Gin 750ml
I've got a new favorite barrel aged gin, and its name is Venus Batch 2! Sean Venus hits it out of the park with each bottling of his carefully crafted, local Santa Cruz spirits. Not just another bottling of the same darn gin just thrown into a barrel, Venus actually created this spirit independent of his Batch 1 gin. Batch 2 winks at you from the shelf with a bright amber sparkle, with dried orange peel, nutmeg, star anise and gingerbread teasing you to make yourself a Negroni, for goodness sake! This puppy will be a mainstay on my bar from today forward!
Anchor Old Tom Gin 750ml
This year is the first year that I have played around with the Old Tom sweeter style of gin, and the Anchor Old Tom now has a permanent position on my home bar shelf. Slightly sweet, with notes of lemon and orange zest, and spicy juniper, this gin is absolutely fabulous mixed with blood orange juice and a bit of soda water! Or, try it with grapefruit juice! Such a fun and festive gin for springtime!
1998 Tamdhu 16 Year Old K&L Exclusive Old Particular (Douglas Laing) Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky 750ml
In my tasting notes for the Tamdhu 16 I wrote: Very good, refreshing with round malt flavors. Pretty. Easy to drink and enjoy. Nice long finish. The Tamdhu has all of these qualities and should please most single malt drinkers.
1985 Hospices de Beaune (Leroy) Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru "Cuvée Madeleine Collignon"
This legendary wine was the first Burgundy to which Robert Parker ever awarded a perfect 100 point score. It comes from the rich and legendary vintage of 1985, the best of which are fully mature and drinking fabulously. This was acquired directly from a noted local collector, who bought it on release and has kept it in his perfectly controlled extensive cellar. If you are looking for something truly exceptional look no further!
Drink from 2015 to 2015
2013 Eric Cottat Sancerre
Carmalized zesty Meyer lemon, with hints of melon, grapefruit and a beautiful flinty minerality overwhelm the nose of this easy drinking porch pounder.
Westland Sherry Wood Single Malt Whisky 750ml
One of the best American Single Malts I have tasted, period. Westland is doing everything properly, no corners cut, the proper still, and high quality wood, each of these factors going in to creating a whisky that is every bit as good as its Scottish counterparts. Full of sherry richness, dates, sweet roasted pecans, and lush mahogany notes, like a fine library. The quality of the sherry really jumped out of the glass--I find that smaller producers often have overall a much better quality of wood due to the fact they are not buying lots of hundreds of barrels, so the essence of sherry barrels are more purely expressed. For Mac 12 fans, this is an exciting local alternative that really offers a ton of quality.
2014 Château les Valentines "Le Caprice de Clémentine" Côtes de Provence Rosé
Everything you want from a classic Provencal rosé, full of fresh vibrant acidity, elegant red fruit, and a hint of rose petal come together to create the essence of summertime rosé. The nose elegantly gives notes of fresh raspberry and Queen Anne cherry, giving way to a palate that is clean and precise. Perfect picnic sipper.
2011 Fromm "La Strada" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Fromm has been crushing it with their Pinot Noir the last couple vintages! Fresh red fruit and rose petal aromatics, vibrant and spicy mid palate, pure fruit without being rich or cloying, and fine tannins on the finish. Every sip continued to impress with overall vibrancy and balance. Outstanding stuff!
2012 Eyrie Vineyards "Estate Grown" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Red and black fruit nicely balanced with underlying structure and acidity. Cola, rhubarb, forest floor and spice beautifully integrated. The 2012 are a little riper than the past couple of vintages but this wine keeps its balance perfectly. One of the best of the 2012s from Oregon.
Krug "Grande Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Customers constantly ask me what my favorite champagnes are and I always tell people that each bottle is like a child to me and you can't possibly ask a mom to pick a favorite. But its a pretty well-known secret that Krug has always been a special little "baby" for me. Krug is hands-down my go-to tête de cuvée. While priced for those extra special occasions or a moment when you want to splurge, the Grand Cuvee over delivers and never disappoints. The grandeur of this cuvee is apparent immediately. Aromas of marzipan, Asian spice, white flowers and Meyer lemon are a mere tease of of what this cuvee possesses. The complexity on the nose is followed by a harmonious balance on the palate between the maturity of the oak-fermented reserve wines in juxtaposition with the focused, delineated acidity that comes from suppressing malolactic fermentation. Gorgeous now, even better with age, the Grand Cuvee is a must!
Laurent-Perrier "Cuvée Rosé" Brut Rosé Champagne
Stylistically, Laurent Perrier is one of my favorite Grand Marques. I gravitate towards their bright, vibrant house style and that's exactly what you get in the Laurent Perrier "Cuvee Rose" Brut Rose Champagne. While the rose is 100% Pinot Noir and macerated with full skin contact, this rose is surprisingly lifted and understated for receiving such a heavy-handed treatment. The nose and palate are loaded with copious amounts of red berry fruit with ripe strawberries taking center stage supported by a backdrop of clean minerality. The refreshingly tart finish of cranberries and pomegranate make this rose the perfect accompaniment to any special occasion.
Amaury Coutelas "Cuvée Louis Victor" Brut Champagne
A very interesting concept in Champagne and one that delivers quality and flavor-wise beyond the unique approach. This wine is basically a single vessel "solera" where each year 100 cases worth of wine are removed from the large oak barrel and then an equal amount of vin clair is added back. Current disgorgement is 2007-2012 base. The wine has tons of pure, juicy fruit, lovely floral high notes and great richness on the palate. The finish is defined by taught acidity and good chalky structure. A wine with real presence and persistence on the palate.
2012 Center of Effort Edna Valley Chardonnay
Rare is the case that a new Chardonnay comes across my desk that really has something to say, but that is exactly what the 2012 Center of Effort did. It spoke, and it did so clearly and efficiently. From estate fruit that is planted to rockier/sandier soils than what’s found in the majority of Edna Valley, this is from one heritage clone of Chardonnay that was planted in 1997. Furthermore the wine making team of Mike Sinor (Ancient Peaks, Sinor-LaVallee) and Nathan Carlson (EOS, Tolosa) select only the best block on the estate property to make this wine. A very rich nose full of brioche, custard and orange oil comes together nicely without being overbearing or over “made” here. Slightly tropical and nicely weighted, this is a full-throttle Chardonnay that is still balanced and energetic. Its backbone of solid calcareous minerality is a wonderful foil to the creamier notes of oak toast, white pineapple and apricot on the palate. Simply put, this is one of the best new $30 Chardonnays I’ve seen this year and a wine that is sure to please fans of the larger side of the varietal while still being intriguing to the folks that are looking for balance above all else.
Macallan 18 year old Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Here is the Rolls-Royce of single malt. Not everybody needs a Rolls-Royce--some people dream of one, others detest the idea of luxury for luxury's sake. Nonetheless, Macallan has built a reputation over the last half century for producing the finest sherried malts on the planet. Geek will argue about whether that's still the case, but no one can deny that this is top-notch stuff. That's why I call it a "message malt." It sends a strong message no matter what you're trying to say.
Amaury Coutelas "Cuvée Louis Victor" Brut Champagne
This multivintage blend which includes harvests from 2007 through 2012 is a must try for those who like their bubbly on the rich side but without giving up any complexity. This is chock-full of red fruit and berry flavors and there is an additional layer of maturity provided by the inclusion of the older stocks. This is produced using the solera system (as in sherry) and there is nothing else quite like it.
2013 Ridge "Geyserville" Sonoma County Zinfandel
Ridge has made the Geyserville as a single-site Zinfandel in every year since 1966. 73% Zinfandel 17% Carignane, 9% Petite Sirah, 1% Mataro (Mourvedre) Lush black and red fruit, mint, cedar and spice. Good structure with aging potential.
2004 Smoky & Peaty Tobermory (Ledaig) 8 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
WOW! As someone who has long loved single malt scotch, and yet is fairly new to the business of REALLY learning about their nuances (Thanks, David), I am super excited to say that this is one of the most interesting things I've tasted in a long time. A full-bodied and intense experience, this exclusive bottling of a Tobermory (Ledaig) is balanced and robust. The co-mingling of the earthy smoke, vibrant fruit notes, and long finish make this a superb example of Island whiskies! Get one while they last.
Jean-Jacques Lamoureux "Réserve" Brut Champagne
Gary has hit the ball out of the park with his latest DI offering! The Lamoureux Reserve Brut is sure to please every palate at the party. Elegantly toasty with notes of ripe pear and apple up front, this cuvee continues its decadent journey with a sumptuously sinful palate loaded with white nectarine and exotic starfruit. Couple this with a ridiculously creamy, full-bodied texture and ultra fine bead and you have a true 5 star Champagne!
2013 Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel
One of California's great Zinfandel producers, the Seghesio Family have been at the forefront of Zinfandel production. There Sonoma County Zinfandel is one of the great values in California Zin. Consistency and quality are second to none.
2013 Dönnhoff Norheimer Kirschheck Riesling Spätlese
This is what Spätlese from the Nahe is all about. Clear mineral definition wrapped up by well defined juicy layers and a hint of salinity to drive out the finish. Once again, House Dönnhoff, superb job!
2012 Ridge "Three Valleys" Sonoma County Zinfandel Blend
Ridge's entry level Zinfandel, the Three Valleys is a Sonoma County blend of predominately Zinfandel with just a touch of Carignane, Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouchet. A great way to start your Ridge wine experience or a great Tuesday night sipper.
2010 Soluve Chianti Classico Riserva
In this wine you will find black cherries, plum with minerals and a touch of chestnuts on the finish. Medium-bodied with soft tannins, this is a very user-friendly Chianti that will show well with the pizza and pasta.
2004 La Temperance, Haut-Medoc
Yet another discovery in the world of ready-to-drink Bordeaux at staggeringly great prices, the 2004 La Temperance is a pure representation of what the Medoc can do. Comprised of 60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Petit Verdot, this is a full bodied, mature wine that is loaded front to back with black currant, graphite, pencil lead, and bright cherry fruit. Enough tannin to maintain the structure leads to a strong finish! Excellent!
Lamoureux Rosé des Riceys
A truly unique rose. Almost more on the color side of a light red. Don't served super chilled. Cellar temperature would be ideal. Flavors of red plum, cherry and raspberry are on the nose. The palate opens to bright fleshy fruit flavors. It has a silky mouthfeel that again make you think of a red wine but has very little tannic structure relying on bright acidity to give it focus. One of the best new French roses I have tried and I try them all.
Jean-Jacques Lamoureux "Réserve" Brut Champagne
What a revelation! I'm a huge fan our DIs but this new arrival may be one of the best yet. Layers of fruit erupt from the glass including notes of apple, pear, peach and blood orange. A hint of the exotic as well including some starfruit, kiwi and a bit of ginger. On the palate the mousse is creamy with flavors that are generous and keep unfolding. Bravo! (A side note - don't miss the STILL rose that they also make. Truly special!)
1989 Clos du Marquis, St-Julien
This 1989 is still very dark and young, and I am glad that we gave it an hour and a half to air in the decanter. The nose shows off the purity and power of Cabernet Sauvignon from this hallowed area with some of the best dark cassis aromas that I have smelled. In the mouth, the wine is medium bodied, with great texture that has the potential to get even better with more time. The tannins are firm and the acidity fresh- I was very happy to have thick slices of marbled, prime New York steak to act as a foil to this big wine. Our bottle was also layered and complex with a nod to Pauillac showing through in pencil lead hints. Best of all it was super easy to drink despite its size and complexity; a virtue that only wines of great breed have.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
2011 Quinta do Vallado Douro
Conventional wisdom is that the best red wine values at this price level might come from South America or elsewhere in the New World. But I contend that you can't do better than one of the most important terroirs in the Old World... the Douro. This consistently excellent bottling from Vallado is always good, but the standout 2011 vintage is unstoppable. Firm yet polished, perfumed, expressively mineral-driven, and even a little serious. A case-purchase consideration if there ever was one.
Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut
One of the finest sparkling wines in the world. Made with great care and precision by winemaker/General Manager Arnaud Weyrich. A leaner style of sparkling wine with a minerality and depth punctuated by a lush mid palate. Approximately 60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir. Aged a minimum of two years on the yeast. A tasty sparkling for any occasion.
Alexandre Le Brun "Tradition" Brut Champagne
A finely balanced Champagne, this is all Challah dough on the nose, which leads to a dry, elegant, tasty palate. We like to joke about the recent trendiness of the Aube, or Cotes des Bar, the warmer, southern zone that is closer to Chablis than to Epernay and the rest of Champagne. That said, wines as good as Le Brun's provide serious competition to the established names up north!
2008 Launois Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
A so called "east wind" vintage, or a year where both ripeness and natural acidity are very high, this 2008 Launois belongs on your table and in your cellar. Bright yellow skinned and citrus fruit flavors are lively and engaging, and the wine's persistence is what we have come to expect and love in the great 2008 vintage. Best to hurry up on this one; it will not last long on our shelves....
2009 Marguet Père et Fils "Amboniacus" Brut Rosé Champagne
A pretty, pale "partridge eye" color rosé, this is delicious, balanced, on the dry and serious side. It's structured yet not austere, no doubt a reflection of the direction Benoit has been taking Marguet over the past several years. One of my favorite rosés, this is for those who like 'em dry and tense. It's a great food Champagne and should also age well.
2000 Miguel Merino Gran Reserva (1.5L)
A longtime participant in the wine business, having sold wine for wine distributors in the States as well as working as an export manager, Miguel has found success along every step of the way, and then decided that rather than retire, he wanted to fulfill his dream of owning vines and making wine. Based in the Rioja Alta town of Briones, Miguel Merino makes, as he likes to put it, an "updated classic" style of Rioja, all from his own 2 hectares of vines and several hectares of vineyards owned by a close friend. All the fruit is from sloped vineyards (Miguel is a fan of his slopes) within the cooler climate Rioja Alta town of Briones, which makes these wine a terrific showcase of the terroir (especially in a region where wines blended from various villages are more often the norm). This Gran Reserva is from some of their oldest Tempranillo and Graciano vines, planted in 1931 and 1946. We had the opportunity to enjoy this at our company party, and it went down quickly! Too quickly as I did not get much more than a tiny sip from a colleague's glass. Needless to say it's a great wine to enjoy now, with softer tannins, succulent dark cherry fruit and an underlying subtly meaty savor. This bottle is an encouraging sign of the ageing potential of Merino's current release '04 gran reserva.
Faultline Straight Bourbon Whiskey 750ml
This bourbon has it all...It has the aromas, the richness, length and the spice. This well rounded bourbon is the third round of this amazing joint project we have going on with Smooth Ambler, and it looks like the quality is only getting better. At 50% ABV, what's not to love?! Mix it in cocktails, drink it straight, you can prepare this gem in whichever fashion suits you. Bourbon lovers- a must try for sure!
2006 Launois "Spécial Club" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (ships as 1.5L)
Another great Special Club bottle from Launois. Quite unusually for Champagne this bottling is becoming a perennial stalwart! Rich, decadent...ripe for Chardonnay standards in Champagne but certainly no lack of freshness and vibrancy. A powerful wine with the mouthfeel you might associate with a bigger more Pinot based wine...but the flavor says this is all Chardonnay! Toasty orchard fruit, savory Croissant, chalk and spiced pear with more air. Lots of depth from these 60+ year old vines.
Ariston Aspasie "Cepages d'Antan" Brut Champagne
How can you put a price on tasting rare, almost extinct varietals from champagne like Petit Meslier, Arbanne and Pinot Blanc? Especially when they taste as amazing as the Ariston Aspasie Cepages d'Antan! When first popped the nose is quite subtle and delicate. After a little time in the glass, the Pinot Blanc begins to dominate with aromas of white nectarine, star fruit and orange blossoms. With even more time in the glass, the native varietals begin to express themselves with strong notes of chalky minerality and a hint of savory herb. Top this off with a strikingly long finish of limestone chalk and you have a champagne that is unlike anything you'll find on most wine store shelves.
2004 Fleury "Cuveé Robert Fleury" Extra Brut Champagne
One of the most intriguing Champagnes we have in stock (and that's saying something!) I love this wine's counterbalance of broad, nutty, toasty richness balanced by it's racy acidity and mineral core. The Pinot Blanc adds great palate weight while the roasted orchard fruit and stony, flinty mineral flavors linger long on the finish. Great food wine.
2013 Domaine du Tariquet "Classic" Cotes de Gascogne Blanc
Distinctive aromas of lime-zest and dandelion greens, which carry over in the mouth to a really crisp, clean, mouthwatering set of flavors. From the Southwestern French regional area, this Gem is comprised of Ugni Blanc [hey, Wente Brothers use to call this varietal Grey Riesling back when I first started in this business many, many, many years ago and they even allocated it], Colombard, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cros Manseng [native grape to that area] and provides a wonderful bright, flashy finish with a slate-like mineral note. This Gem is a go-to wine when you want to serve shellfish or lighter seafood dishes. The Bean has informed me that I need to bring home this delicious wine in case lots. Don’t miss it! ....... 10.5% ABV
2013 Mount Trio Sauvignon Blanc Great Southern Western Australia
This juicy and fresh bargain falls into the no-brainer category when grabbing something while on the way to a party or picnic. Although this is from Australia it will remind you more of New Zealand with its snappy and crisp flavors of citrus, passionfruit and kiwi. The savory aromas of herb, white flowers and lime invite you to dive right in.
2013 Rickshaw California Pinot Noir
Another winner from the boys at Banshee. Light medium body with red fruit dominated flavors with hints of plum, cola, cinnamon and forest floor. As usual, not much better in this price point for California Pinot Noir.
2012 Pessagno "Central Avenue" Monterey County Pinot Noir
A favorite of all the K&L staff at the tasting down at the Pessagno winery. Red fruits, heavy pomegranate and spice. A great price point to boot.