Staff Favorites - Jeff Garneau

Jeff Garneau
Jeff Garneau  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
Jeff has been a member of the sales staff in our Redwood City store for the past four years. His first introduction to wine was as a waiter in an upscale Italian restaurant in Hanover, NH more years ago than he likes to admit. He slowly made his way west to wine country, working his way across the US as a graduate student in geography, a public sector researcher in regional economic development, and briefly, in the wake of the Anderson-Enron scandal, a records management coordinator for one of the remaining Big Five accounting firms. Finally, surrendering to the inevitable, he accepted a position in the wine business here at K&L. His goals for the next four years include drinking more wines from Italy and France and trying to limit the number of open bottles on the dinner table on any given night to fewer than six.


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2013 Tongue In Groove "The Mound Vineyard" Riesling Waipara Valley
Review Date: 10-01-2016
Winemaker Lynnette Hudson pulls out all the stops in this monster of a Riesling that puts me in mind of the best of the Alsatian wines. Big and rich in style with just a hint of residual sugar and a deft touch of botrytis. Tons of Riesling goodness here, pure poetry, with no apologies and no regrets. Very well done.

2015 Tongue in Groove Chardonnay Waipara Valley North Canterbury
Review Date: 10-01-2016
The Chardonnays coming out of NZ these days are some of the most exciting whites in production there, and some of the best of the Chardonnay being produced in the New World. Generous in style with admirable richness of texture combined with remarkable restraint and truly breathtaking concentration and depth. California wine lovers take note. There is a new standard being established here. Don't miss out.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
DC 93

2007 Malescasse, Haut-Medoc
Review Date: 10-01-2016
The 2007 is a softer, more forward version of the 2009. There is a lovely floral lift to the nose. Good ripeness was achieved here. There is plenty of bright, sweet black fruit on the palate and surprising weight and richness. Offered at a significant price reduction to the ’09, this is a superb example of an affordable, everyday red.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2007 Fleur Cardinale, St-Emilion
Review Date: 10-01-2016
This was my personal favorite among the wines recently tasted and a perfect example of all that is best about the 2007 vintage. At nearly 10 years past the vintage the wine is just beginning to show some development. Purple to garnet in color with a lightly floral nose and still youthful fruit. Generous ripe, sweet red and black fruits, cherry and plum. The oak is well integrated on both the nose and palate with subtle spice notes. Altogether a very polished effort with admirable weight. Should continue to provide years of pleasure.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 ST 90

2007 Labegorce Zede, Margaux
Review Date: 10-01-2016
One of the last vintages bottled under a separate label prior to its historic reunification with neighbor Château Labégorce in 2009. The wine is still quite youthful in character, deeply colored and marked by primary fruit flavors and firm tannins. It shows a great deal of promise, however, with a lovely weight and lush texture that make an immediate impression.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2007 Côte de Baleau, St-Emilion
Review Date: 10-01-2016
Purchased in 2013 by the Cuvelier family, owners of neighboring Clos Fourtet, along with Clos St-Martin and Les Grandes Murailles. This continues a centuries-old tradition of family ownership that dates back to the founding of the property in 1643. Toasty oak and a hint of violets on the nose. Merlot dominates the blend in this Right Bank value, with ripe, almost jammy plum notes. Finishes with fine tannins.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Pike Road Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-08-2016
A new value priced label from the good folks at Elk Cove Vineyards. A mix of estate and purchased fruit with the idea of providing honest Willamette Valley Pinot Noir at an affordable price. 2014 was a perfect choice for an inaugural vintage, with near ideal growing conditions and a large crop of ripe fruit. A seamless integration of fruit and oak with plenty of bright red fruits, tart cherry, cranberry and raspberry. Lightly spicy with good balance and structure. Soft and round and forward in style. Just pop (or twist!) and pour.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2010 Bois-Malot, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 09-03-2016
From 10 hectares of vineyards on the banks of the Dordogne River, about 15 km from the city of Bordeaux itself, 3rd generation vigneron Jacques Meynard produces this incomparable Bordeaux Supérieur . I have found it to be remarkably consistent vintage to vintage, quite good even in years when the weather is less accommodating. Given the very favorable conditions of the extraordinary 2010 vintage, however, this little vin ordinaire is a surprisingly substantial wine! At first showing only ripe fruit with a slightly savory component, the wine – decanted – really opened up over the course of an hour. Sweet, ripe, almost jammy red fruits tasting of cherry preserves combined with a delightful note of fresh mint. A typical Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, and the Cabernet really takes the lead here. This is a big, full-bodied effort with lively acidity and firm tannins. Greatly outperforms the price point, constantly inviting another sip. Altogether very "moreish", as the English say.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2014 Tongue in Groove "Cabal Vineyard" Pinot Noir Waipara Valley North Canterbury
Review Date: 08-31-2016
Further fruits of our direct import program in NZ/Australia. The 2014 Tongue in Groove Cabal Vineyard Pinot Noir offers extraordinary complexity at an almost unbelievable price. Without the overt ripeness of the 2013 vintage the more reserved 2014 nevertheless offers plenty of ripe red and black fruits with lively acidity and a rich, almost silky texture. Decant for a full hour for best near term results, or cellar for up to a decade.

2015 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Rosé Marlborough
Review Date: 08-31-2016
It goes without saying that we here at K&L are big fans of Anna and Jason Flowerday of Te Whare Ra (TWR). Their wines have brought us so much pleasure it seems unfair to ask more of them, yet here on our shores, just in time for summer we have the new 2015 TWR Rosé. Each year, I find that at least one of the several rosé wines that I keep on hand for the warmer months inevitably is a rosé of Pinot Noir. This year my choice was an easy one. Bright and crisp in style with singular focus and admirable length, this wine really over delivers.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

2015 Quinta da Aveleda Loureiro-Alvarinho Vinho Verde
Review Date: 08-31-2016
A blend of Loureiro and Alvarinho, this Portugese white is the perfect companion for long, lazy summer afternoons. Dry and crisp in style and low in alcohol, this light-bodied wine neither tires nor dulls the senses but rather enlivens and refreshes. Lightly floral with bright citrus notes, there is a slight effervescence here that only emphasizes the wine's youthful exuberance.

2009 Peyrabon, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 08-17-2016
Delighted to see that the 2009 Peyrabon, Haut-Médoc ($19.99) is now back in stock. Bordeaux veterans will recall this Haut-Médoc bargain is happily situated on the border with Pauillac near Château Bernadotte. The strength of the exceptional '09 vintage really shines through here. The wine is remarkably fresh, with textbook blackberry and cassis notes and fine tannins. While it may be difficult to resist drinking this wine immediately, it will only continue to improve over the next 3 to 5 years.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Oakridge Estate "Willowlake Vineyard" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley
Review Date: 07-29-2016
A terrific example of topnotch Aussie winemaking expertise inspired by French traditions. New World Pinot Noir in a Burgundian style. The 2014 Oakridge Estate Willowlake VIneyard Pinot Noir Yarra Valley offers crisp, slightly "crunchy" red fruits with notes both floral and spicy. Think Chambolle Musigny. Astonishing quality here at this price. "Bonjour, mate! Merci beaucoup!"
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JH 96

2014 Roquefort Blanc, Bordeaux
Review Date: 07-29-2016
My personal favorite so far from this 2014 vintage and a perfect example of an entry level Bordeaux blanc. The most expensive dry white wines from Bordeaux are aged in oak barrels and are typically cellared for a decade or more prior to consumption. By contrast, the 2014 Chateau Roquefort Blanc is available for a mere $11.99, is aged entirely in stainless steel tanks, and is ready to drink right now. The wine is delightfully fresh and lively in character, quite crisp and dry but with remarkably generous fruit. A blend of 85% Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Semillon. Mostly citrus here with mouthwateringly fresh, white grapefruit notes and the barest hint of something a bit more exotic and tropical. If you are a fan of Sauvignon Blanc and have yet to discover the quality of the white wines of Bordeaux, this is the perfect wine with which to begin.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2013 Trellis (Amelia Park) Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot Margaret River
Review Date: 07-24-2016
If I had tasted the 2013 Trellis (Amelia Park) Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot Margaret River blind, I would have assumed it was a much more expensive wine. However, since I was aware of the true retail price, my actual response at first sip was a calm, restrained, very professional “Holy &%$@!” I don’t know what to say about this wine that won’t be dismissed as mere hyperbole, but I can tell you honestly that it may very well be one of the top $10 reds we currently have available. This is classic Margaret River Cab (actually a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot) for a mere song. The nose is lightly floral with a hint of mint. On the palate, notes of cherry and raspberry, generous red fruits, sweet and ripe. The wine is rich in texture but with near perfect balance. Bright and lively with ultra-fine tannins. An absolute delight to drink and an unbeatable value. I repeat, there is simply NO way for me to convey how good a deal this wine is and make you believe me. You will have to try it for yourself. Once you do, your friends won’t believe you either, so do them a favor and pour them a glass. You'll make believers of them, too.
Top Value!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2000 Sarget de Gruaud-Larose, St-Julien
Review Date: 07-07-2016
The second label of second growth Chateau Gruaud-Larose, named for one of the property's most prominent 19th century owners. The 2000 Sarget de Gruaud Larose, St-Julien shows off the strength of this millennial vintage. Big and round in the mouth with admirable weight. Lightly floral nose with characteristic tobacco notes. Lively fresh-picked blackberry fruit. Finishes firm with tannins still noticeably present. Drink or hold.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

2014 Jacques Bavard Auxey-Duresses "Les Clous" Blanc
Review Date: 06-30-2016
From the heart of the appellation of Auxey-Duresses, which lies between Meursault and Saint-Romain, this single vineyard villages-level white Burgundy is among the more richly-textured of Jacques Bavard’s wines. There is more weight here and less apparent minerality yet plenty of liveliness and energy. Bright citrus peel notes combine with lightly toasted oak and delicate floral aromas to create a very satisfying whole. Drinkable now or over the next few years.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2000 Calon-Ségur, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 06-21-2016
he pedigree is obvious here. The 2000 Calon-Ségur has it all: lovely weight, richness and texture with ample, ripe, sweet fruit. However, it also demonstrates how the very best wines of this stellar vintage are going to require further patience. The tannins are still quite firm. If I had, say, half a dozen bottles in my cellar (and I do), I would not look to open the next bottle for another three to five years at least.

1982 Dauzac, Margaux
Review Date: 06-21-2016
The 1982 Dauzac, now in its third decade, is approaching full maturity. The nose is quite savory, with a pronounced sous bois character. With the bottle I sampled, the removal of the cork was followed by an explosion of violets, an enchanting floral note that virtually defines Margaux. The ripeness of the vintage is apparent in the wine’s rich texture and bright, sweet red fruits—predominantly dried cherry and cranberry. Fine tannins frame the finish.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

2013 Olema Sonoma County Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-04-2016
The second label of staff and customer favorite, Amici Cellars. From fruit sourced in Sonoma Carneros, the Russian River and Sonoma Coast, the 2013 Olema Sonoma County Chardonnay is richly textured with generous apple and pear notes nicely integrated with lightly spicy oak. A superbly crafted wine from an outstanding vintage, and a terrific deal in a California Chardonnay.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2013 Obsidian Ridge "Obsidian Ridge Vineyard" Red Hills Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-02-2016
I can't stress this strongly enough. The 2013 Obsidian Ridge "Obsidian Ridge Vineyard" Red Hills Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon is the BEST DEAL we have in stock right now in a California Cab, bar none. This is serious juice! Geography is destiny, and the volcanic soil and higher elevations found in the Red Hills are merely a northward extension of the superb conditions found in Napa in places like Howell Mountain. Classic Cabernet profile here - a hint of violets on the nose with notes of blackberry and cassis. Rich texture with loads of dark fruit. Superb structure with lively acidity and fine tannins. Unbelievable quality at his price. Outstanding value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2010 Bava Barbaresco
Review Date: 06-01-2016
From one of a handful of exciting new Piemontese producers recently added to our Italian Direct Import program. The 2010 Bava Barbaresco may be one of the best values we currently offer in a Barbaresco or Barolo. Classic Nebbiolo character. Elegant. Refined. Wonderfully floral in aroma. Crunchy red fruits with a hint of spice. Firm, structured finish. The quality of this 2010 vintage, the best in recent memory, is outstanding. It really begs for a few more years in the cellar to develop fully. Can be enjoyed now if you allow an hour or so for decanting.
Top Value!
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre Rosé
Review Date: 05-31-2016
Each year I look forward to the new crop of rose wines. Inevitably, one of my favorites is always a rose of Pinot Noir. This Sancerre rose looks like a top contender for this season. Plenty of fresh, ripe strawberry notes. Lightly floral. Mineral in character with a hint of earth. Bright and fresh and crisp in style. The perfect thing for a hot summer afternoon. Maybe to pair with grilled salmon? or perhaps just a fresh tomato salad.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre
Review Date: 05-31-2016
Prices for the many of the best known producers in the upper Loire Valley continue to increase year by year, with many Sancerres now selling in the $20 to $50 range. In order to continue to make available a selection of wines for less than $20, we have been expanding the portfolio of wines we import directly. Newly arrived from France is the 2015 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre, now the fourth vintage we have offered of this classic Sauvignon Blanc. There is a hint of something delicately floral on the nose at first blush, followed by more assertive notes of fresh herbs – tarragon and thyme. Intensely mineral in expression with notes of smoke and gunflint. The fruit is decidedly citrus in character with loads of fresh grapefruit. Bright and fresh, crisp and clean overall with perhaps a bit more weight than I expected – a product of the 2015 vintage? (Quite good by all accounts. Time will tell…) If you are a Sancerre fan this one is hitting on all cylinders. Don't miss out.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2000 Brane-Cantenac, Margaux
Review Date: 05-13-2016
2000. The millennial vintage. Cooler, wetter conditions earlier in the year eventually gave way to warm, sunny weather in August and September, allowing for good ripening of the grapes and a harvest under ideal conditions. Notwithstanding, at Brane Cantenac in order to produce the best possible wine for the vintage a much stricter selection than usual was made for the first wine (less than 30% of total production) and a higher proportion of Merlot was used (55%). A little more than 15 years later the results speak for themselves. The 2000 Brane Cantenac, Margaux is typical of the best wines of the vintage with generous ripe, sweet red and black fruits and admirable mid-palate weight. The wine offers a rich, sensuous texture with good underlying structure – lively acidity and firm, fine tannins. The wines from this 2000 vintage are beginning to diverge in terms of their development. Some are ripe and forward and ready to drink. Others can be enjoyed now but clearly have a long life ahead of them. Others still remain largely closed and will require additional cellaring before their full promise is revealed. Fortunately, the 2000 Brane Cantenac falls into the middle category. Though some signs of bottle age have begun to emerge, the wine is perhaps five to ten years away from the peak of maturity. Drink now or hold.

2013 Sesta di Sopra Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 04-30-2016
Sesta di Sopra was our first Direct Import from Montalcino. I think that this 2013 Sesta di Sopra Rosso di Montalcino is our twelfth vintage of this wine. Like its bigger brother Brunello, this is one of the few Tuscan reds that is 100% Sangiovese by law. And Sesta di Sopra's wine, unusually for a rosso, is aged entirely in barrique. This is a polished, elegant wine, entirely in the Sesta di Sopra style. This is what you drink while you wait for the 2010 Brunello to age beautifully in the cellar. Terrific value.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2014 Clos Floridene, Graves Blanc
Review Date: 04-16-2016
This classic white Bordeaux is produced by the husband and wife team of Florence and Denis Dubordieu. (The name of the domaine is an amalgam of their two first names.) Denis Dubordieu is a professor of oenology at the University of Bordeaux and the foremost expert on white wine production in the region. No surprise then that his 2014 Clos Floridene Graves Blanc offers such exceptional quality. The wine is a blend of 55% Sauvignon Blanc and 45% Semillon. It is aged in barrel (25% new) for 8 months with frequent lees stirring. The result is a dry white wine that combines a refreshing crispness with a palate-pleasing richness of texture. This is the model on which the best California Sauvignon Blancs are based. Outstanding value.
Top Value!

Fukucho "Forgotten Fortune" Junmai Sake 720ml
Review Date: 04-01-2016
The re-establishment of the Hattan-so variety of sake rice is a personal project of master brewer Miho Imada. Fukucho Forgotten Fortune Junmai Sake is made entirely from Hattan-so rice milled to 75%. It is a bold, full-flavored junmai, supple and richly textured, very much in the style for which Hiroshima prefecture is famous. A superb value!
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

2011 Fratelli Barale Barolo "Cannubi"
Review Date: 03-30-2016
Cannubi is the most prestigious of Barolo's many vineyards with a reputation for producing fine wines that precedes the creation of the DOC itself. Prices for "Cannubi" designated wines therefore are often higher than for other nearby "crus". Which explains in part why this 2011 Cannubi bottling from new direct import Sergio Barale is so compelling. Traditional in style. Lightly floral with some savory notes. Lovely weight and mouthfeel, rich and round. Bright and fresh with a firm finish. Classic appeal from one of Barolo's best vineyards at a very reasonable price.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2014 Saint-Jean-des-Graves Blanc, Graves
Review Date: 01-29-2016
The 2014 Saint-Jean-des-Graves Blanc, Graves is the latest release of a wine K&L has sold vintage after vintage for nearly 20 years, and it remains a perennial staff and customer favorite. A 50/50 blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, it is bright and fresh, very crisp and clean and mineral driven with abundant notes of citrus and fresh herbs. A great value, conveniently priced for everyday drinking.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

Alexandre Le Brun "Tradition" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-31-2015
From one of our newest grower-producers. On the drier side, but with remarkable richness and weight. A light toast complemented by ripe pear and apple notes and a hint of cinnamon spice. A terrific introduction to the wines of this exciting young winemaker.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2015 Lake Chalice "The Nest" Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 12-14-2015
Our fourth vintage of what is fast becoming one of our best selling NZ Sauvignon Blancs. Among the best priced wines in the category, it compares very favorably to many wines in the $15 to $20 range. This 2015 vintage may very well be the best yet. Loads of tart, fresh grapefruit notes and a hint of something a bit more floral and tropical - passionfruit? Classic NZ "savvy" at a price you can afford to drink every day.
Top Value!
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2014 Domaine de Biéville (Louis Moreau) Chablis
Review Date: 11-28-2015
Chablis offers a unique expression of the Chardonnay grape. Its climate and soils are nearer to those of Champagne - both literally and figuratively - than to the rest of Burgundy. Crisp. Clean. Mineral driven. Usually unoaked. Sometimes lightly floral. Fruit notes range from green apple to lemon to peach. How wonderful then to find such classic character in the 2014 Domaine de Bieville Chablis from Louis Moreau and all for a mere $14.99. A superb introduction to the Chablis style and a great value.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2001 Brane-Cantenac, Margaux
Review Date: 10-28-2015
As a lover of fine Bordeaux who is always looking for good values, I am increasingly turning to the 2001 vintage for well-priced wines of excellent quality. I recently enjoyed the 2001 Brane Cantenac, Margaux along with a Friday night dinner of steak frites. A remarkable wine for the vintage, combining better than average ripeness with the telltale acidity typical of the '01's. Classic fresh-picked blackberry and rich cassis notes. Already showing some bottle age with a youthful, purple color shading to brick and savory notes of leather and tobacco beginning to emerge on the nose and palate. A great price on a Deuxième Cru from Margaux, and a great choice to drink now or hold for a few years.

Mezcalero "Los Nahuales" Special Edition Sierrudo/Cuishe Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 10-22-2015
When our spirits buyer, David Driscoll, returned from Mexico last May, it was as if he had had a religious conversion, a “Saint Paul on the road to Oaxaca” moment. Mezcal was his new god, and Karina Abad Rojas, the head of production for Los Danzantes, his High Priestess. David was as excited as only David can be, and within a few days of his return he had the staff here in Redwood City in a similar state, thrilled to be able to sell the Los Danzantes and Alipus mezcals, and ready to become evangelists for this remarkable agave spirit. How typical of David not to mention that there was something even better on the way, a mezcal handcrafted by none other than Karina Abad Rojas herself, a remarkable expression of her intense passion for, and deep knowledge of, the agave grown in and around her home state of Oaxaca. The Mezcalero Los Nahuales Special Edition Sierrudo-Cuishe Mezcal, a co-fermented blend of the massive and slow-growing Sierrudo and wild Cuishe agaves is an agave spirit of astonishing subtlety and refinement. I lingered long over complex notes of cedar smoke, fleur de sel, and candied lemon peel. It was nothing short of a revelation, and the most exciting thing to come out of Mexico since Salma Hayek. This is a mezcal that is going to win over not only tequila aficionados, but gin drinkers as well. And if you are already a mezcal fan, well, make a little room on your bar for this little miracle. It would be a sin not to.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Michel Loriot "Authentic" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-17-2015
"You had me at Meunier..." So rare to have a chance to enjoy Champagne that is 100% Pinot Meunier. As if that weren't enough, this is one of the few non-vintage cuvees we sell that is more than 50% reserve wine. Oh, and at less than $30 one of the best deals among our directly imported grower producer Champagnes. Still not sold on this one? Each bottle is sealed with genuine 16k gold foil. OK. That's not actually true. But everything else, you bet. What are you waiting for?
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
ST 90

2014 Franck Millet Sancerre Blanc
Review Date: 08-28-2015
A perennial favorite of both customers and staff, available now at the lowest price in years due to favorable exchange rates. 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Classic Sancerre profile. Lovely minerality. Ripe, tangy gooseberry notes shading to slightly more tropical guava with this 2014 vintage. Hints of fresh herbs, tarragon and sorrel. Compared to the $20 to $30 average price for Sancerre generally this is a superb value priced for weeknight consumption.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2013 Von Strasser "Rudy" Paicines Pinot Noir
Review Date: 05-29-2015
Rudy Von Strasser, of Napa Cab fame, has ventured south to San Benito County to source fruit for this value-priced Pinot Noir. Round and richly textured, even opulent in style, the 2013 Von Strasser Rudy Paicines Pinot Noir offers plenty of ripe red fruits yet retains a very sensible 14.2% alcohol. A crowd pleaser, ideal for summer, and a terrific deal at under $20.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2012 Ellero "Pisa Terrace" Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 05-29-2015
My list of "outstanding Pinot Noirs from New Zealand offered at unbelievable prices" just keeps getting longer and longer. At the moment we have perhaps a dozen wines in the $20 to $30 range, all of exceptional quality. This 2012 Pisa Terrace bottling from Ellero comes from one of the most coveted vineyards in Central Otago. A melange of spice notes coupled with ripe red and black fruits define this supremely balanced wine. Deliciously sweet yet fresh and lively. Accessible yet with good underlying structure. Perfection in a glass.

2013 Von Strasser "Rudy" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-30-2015
Is there a better value in California Cabernet than this second label bottling from Rudy Von Strasser? A wine that we encountered unexpectedly while tasting at the winery a few years back. Hard to believe we are now on our sixth vintage. And still available for only $20. If you haven't tried this wine yet, then grab a bottle of the 2013 at once. Maybe the best vintage yet.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2011 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 02-18-2015
Tasted blind in a recent K&L weekly staff tasting along with the 2000 Pontet Canet. Thank god Clyde decided to taste us blind on this 2011 Pontet Canet or I likely would have allowed my feelings about the vintage as a whole to color my perceptions. The class and breed of the exceptional terroir at Pontet Canet along with the incredible work done by the Tesseron family over the past twenty years really shines through here in a wine made under very challenging conditions. Youthful character, remarkably sweet fruit, and firm but not astringent tannins. And what length! Quite possibly the wine of the vintage.
Top Value!

Ariston Aspasie "Prestige Vieilles Vignes" Champagne
Review Date: 02-10-2015
The wines of Paul-Vincent Ariston were the first from Champagne to be imported directly by K&L some 15 years ago now, and the Ariston Aspasie Prestige Vielles Vignes is still one of the best values on our shelves. The current cuvee, though not vintage dated, is composed entirely of fruit from the exceptional 2008 vintage (certainly the best vintage in Champagne since 1996, and perhaps even surpassing that much-heralded year). A blend of all three principal varieties (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier) from 65 year old vines, the old vine character really shines through here, yielding a wine of surpassing concentration and depth. This is one to savor, or perhaps to cellar for a few years. You can congratulate yourself on your foresight in the years to come.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2004 Haut-Bergey, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 02-03-2015
2004 is one of those often overlooked vintages. Not in the top rank for the decade but solidly good, with quite a few well-priced wines of superb quality. The 2004 Chateau Haut Bergey from Pessac-Leognan is certainly one of these. It possesses lovely weight and richness with plenty of ripe red and black fruits, cherry and plum. There is an intriguing note of green tobacco, at once both comfortingly familiar and beguilingly exotic.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

1995 Calon-Ségur, St Estèphe
Review Date: 01-27-2015
It's hard to believe this vintage is now 20 years old. '95 and '96 were the two top vintages of the decade and as they reach their twentieth birthday no doubt many of the wines will receive renewed scrutiny. 20 to 30 years old is prime maturity for most Bordeaux wines and many will be reaching their peak over the next decade. That being said, the 1995 Calon Segur, St-Estephe still seems very youthful with still firm tannins and just a hint of aged character emerging. The oak is nicely integrated at this point with lovely spice notes. Plenty of sweet, ripe fruit and classic Cabernet character of blackberry and cassis. As my colleague Ralph Sands notes, all the reasons we drink Bordeaux can be found in this bottle. I love this wine.

2000 La Gaffelière, St-Emilion
Review Date: 01-27-2015
I drink a lot of Bordeaux, but, I am ashamed to say, not nearly enough Right Bank wines. So, last Friday for our weekly "steak & claret" night I opted for the 2000 Chateau La Gaffeliere, St-Emilion. I have a few cases of Bordeaux from the 2000 vintage in my cellar, mostly wines from the Medoc that are too young to drink, but this Right Bank beauty was raring to go at 15 years of age. A classic 2000. Rich, ripe, and round with good acidity, admirable weight, and fine tannins framing the finish. The wine was beginning to show some age - the color has shifted towards a lovely garnet and the nose showed hints of truffle emerging - but while it's drinking beautifully now it easily has another decade or more ahead of it. A perfect St-Emilion and a superb value for the money.

Tozai "Typhoon" Futsu Sake 720ml
Review Date: 12-31-2014
Our best value futsu-shu. Soft, round and fruity. Delicious either chilled or gently warmed.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-31-2014
The current disgorgement of the Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne is perhaps a little firmer, a little less open knit than previous bottlings. But the tradeoff is more focus, more purity, and more length. Quite dry, but with remarkable sweetness of fruit and a light toast that adds depth and character. The ideal New Year's Eve companion - complex enough to be interesting but not so serious as to dominate the conversation.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

1986 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 04-30-2014
The wines of the '86 vintage were forbiddingly tannic in their youth and very slow to evolve. Closing in on 30 years past the vintage they are really coming into their own. The 1986 Haut Bailly, Pessac-Leognan is certainly a strong candidate for one of the most charming wines of the vintage. The wine has all the hallmarks of a nicely aged claret - fully garnet color, bottle notes of cedar and saddle leather, and a fine coating of tannins on the finish that is the legacy of this long-lived vintage. In addition, however, it also offers a remarkable sweetness of fruit - red currant and cherry. The wine is possessed of a lovely ripeness and a suppleness of texture that became even more evident with additional aeration.
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

2009 Les Allées de Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 11-07-2013
Easily the best $20 Bordeaux in the store. Why? Well, the 2009 vintage was the best since 2005 for wines at the $10 to $20 price point. And Chateau Cantemerle is one of only five Haut Medoc properties that are designated "cru classe", in fact it is a fifth growth. Finally, the quality of the 2009 vintage was such that even second wines like the "Les Allees" really excel. Loads of dark fruit here, blackberry and cassis. Superb Cabernet character. I was shocked by how well this is drinking already. If you really want to get your money's worth, though, tuck this away in the cellar for a few years. You won't regret it.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2009 Clos du Marquis, St-Julien
Review Date: 10-15-2013
Elegant and intriguing. 2009 is the 'vintage of the second wine.' This is easily one of the best.

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