Staff Favorites - David Driscoll

David Driscoll
David Driscoll  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
David Driscoll likes to drink alcohol when he is not working at K&L. His main interests include wine, beer, and distilled spirits. Before he worked here he went to college at a decent school, got a masters degree from an OK school, worked as a waiter and taught elementary school in Chinatown. He decided to get into the wine business after reading a few books about wine and realizing that one cannot seriously learn about wine solely through reading. His career goals include: trying to convince K&L customers that he does know something despite his youthful appearance, and learning everything about everything about every single wine ever made.


Reviews

  
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2006 Worthy Park 10 Year Old "Golden Devil" Single Barrel Jamaican Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 12-07-2016
I could just nose this rum all day long and never get tired of it. The aromas are so enticing, full of flat cola, tropical fruits, vanilla bean, and pineapple. Then you get the bitter ester notes like earth, petrol, and polish on the palate, but they're balanced by just enough sweetness from the barrel. You can do so many different things with this Worthy Park: sip it on the rocks, make a cocktail, or even pour yourself a shot after a long day. It's utterly complex, intriguing, and I discover new flavors each time I taste it. That being said, if you're used to Zaya or Zacapa, this might cause your head to explode.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2007 Monymusk 9 Year Old "Golden Devil" Single Barrel Jamaican Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 12-07-2016
If you're looking for a Jamaican mixing rum, this is the best we've ever carried in the store. The high-ester funk in this Monymusk is balanced and there's only a slight bit of sweetness from the wood. What you have is a wonderfully dry component to make daiquiris with, but it also makes the best rum and Coke I've ever tasted. So much of mass market rum's character is stripped out and then replaced with caramel (much like our processed foods), so if you've never tasted "real" rum, this is a great place to start.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

1992 Hampden 24 Year Old "Golden Devil" Single Barrel Jamaican Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 12-07-2016
I had to get a little clever with the math to get this 24-year-old Hampden in for $99.99, but it was worth doing. The real price should be somewhere around $160, but I'm a realist: I understand that introducing something this esoteric, wacky, and completely misunderstood to the larger market needs to be done with kid gloves, so I've managed to subsidize this selection. Hampden is the grandaddy of funky Jamaican rums. It's the DRC of the Tiki world. The Pappy of tropical funk. But, like your first cigar, this ancient 24-year-old expression isn't something everyone will gravitate towards right away. It's a wild ride of pineapple taffy, gasoline, sweet spice, nail polish, and mushy banana. I've already taken orders from rum fans around the world who were practically weeping at the opportunity to buy this stuff. But, again, it's a very particular product for the most educated of all rum palates.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

2012 Villa Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 12-06-2016
It's been a while since I've tasted Chianti that balanced the softness of the wild cherry with the savory, meatier flavors this well. Everything about the Antinori Riserva's profile is harmonious and fluid in its flavor. It's equal parts old school and new school, equal parts fruit and leather, equal parts structure and suppleness. It's a complex Chianti, one that expands beyond the simple table wine elements we adore so much and blooms into a more expansive experience. I could drink this with pasta, with a steak, with pork tacos, or just on its own after a long day at work. You can cellar it, or you can decant it and enjoy it now. This is a can-do Chianti.

2007 Dailuaine 9 Year Old "Hepburn's Choice - K&L Exclusive" Single Sherry Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-06-2016
While the super sherry heads all fawn and freak out over the uber-rich Glenallachie 11, the fans of more restrained and balanced sherry-aged whisky should be surreptitiously stocking up on this 9 year old Dailuaine, hoping the masses don't catch wind of this incredible deal. This sherry-aged delight drinks like a full proof version of Glendronach 12 or the Balvenie Doublewood. It's half creamy malt and half toasted sherry deliciousness. The flavors of sweet barley and sweet sherry meander back and forth and trade places numerous times with each sip. Sure, it's the price as the Glenallachie and it's two years younger, but this is the bottle you'll come back to over and over again. This is the one you'll really miss when all 559 bottles are sold out.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2005 Glenallachie 11 Year Old "Hepburn's Choice - K&L Exclusive" Single Sherry Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-06-2016
I've been anxiously awaiting the release of this whisky for months, ever since I first tasted it back in Glasgow this past September. Once the price of the Pound dropped and I was able to rework a little math, I knew we had a chance to offer one of the best single malt deals in our store's history. This is like a K&L Exclusive version of Aberlour A'Bunadh, but this version comes from another Chivas distillery called Glenallachie. This one also comes with an age statement (11 years) and a discount of $20 per bottle. Sherry bomb chasers haven't seen a deal this good in a decade. This is every thing we say it is: dark, rich, chewy, raisined, concentrated, and full of sweet sherry. It's almost 60% at cask strength and it's a complete animal. For $49.99, I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2012 Michel Gassier "Lou Coucardié" Costières de Nîmes Rouge
Review Date: 11-30-2016
This is not at all the ripe or decadent wine that I read about before tasting. This is a wonderful surprise! Instead of over-extracted blue fruits I got real acidity, plush dark fruit, and the meatiness of the Mouvedre. Fans of Cote du Rhone will get far more than their money's worth here, and Southern Rhone drinkers will rejoice in tasting a wine that has more to offer than just richness and texture. There is real nuance here in this bottle and it's dialed back enough to where you can pair it with a number of meals.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 VN 92

2015 Domaine Paul Pernot Beaune Rouge "Clos des Marconets"
Review Date: 11-30-2016
This wine is a godsend for those of us in the Burgundy department who are constantly looking for new, drinkable selections to recommend. The Clos des Marconets is not only delicious now, it has enough acidity and focus to develop nicely over the next five to seven years. The whole tasting experience is a piercingly pure note of red cherry, foresty notes, and classic Burgundian baking spices. It's utterly charming from front to back, and it tastes so good right now you'd be hard pressed to lay off it once the bottles are in your possession.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Paul Pernot Puligny-Montrachet
Review Date: 11-30-2016
While we have a number of other premier cru selections from Paul Pernot right now, I was most impressed with the standard village grade Puligny Montrachet at our recent tasting. At the moment, it's easily the most drinkable and the most attractive of the bunch, so if you're not the cellaring type this is clearly the one for you. It tastes expensive. It's remarkably clean, vibrant, and balanced in terms of acidity, fruit, and richness. There's a seamless transition from lemon citrus to stonefruit on the palate and the wine finishes with both textural richness and length. If I were looking for a nice bottle to bring to a special dinner that I knew would cater to a number of different tastes and preferences, this would be high on my list.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2014 Columbia Crest "Grand Estates" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-28-2016
I think the price and the points are what held your attention long enough to even bother reading these staff reviews. The question now is: does the wine deliver as advertised? I think the Wine Enthusiast notes are pretty much dead on. I took a sip and I immediately tasted sweet cherry, dark cocoa, and milk chocolate. It's pretty straightforward stuff--deliciously straightforward. There's a good amount of oak here, but it's not sweet vanilla oak or extracted wood chips like you might expect in the sub-$10 cab region. It's a nice little dollop of toast that adds complexity to the ripeness of the fruit. What you get is a classic, value-priced Washington wine that harkens back to the days when Columbia Crest was banging out winners right and left. If you like silky reds with plenty of body, yet with a certain level of finesse, this is a real gem.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart
WS 91 WE 90

Taittinger "La Francaise" Brut Champagne Jeroboam (3L)
Review Date: 11-27-2016
I was quite taken aback by the quality of wine in this major brand-labeled bottle. The Taittinger "La Francaise" is a wonderful combination of leesy richness with firm acidity, that glides effortlessly over the palate, hitting all the right notes. The finish is full of citrus and rich, bready flavors. It tastes like it should cost twice as much. It tastes way better than 2003 Dom, which does cost twice as much. (9/2013)
Price: $229.00 Add To Cart
RP 90 WS 90

Taittinger "La Francaise" Brut Champagne Methuselah (6L)
Review Date: 11-27-2016
I was quite taken aback by the quality of wine in this major brand-labeled bottle. The Taittinger "La Francaise" is a wonderful combination of leesy richness with firm acidity, that glides effortlessly over the palate, hitting all the right notes. The finish is full of citrus and rich, bready flavors. It tastes like it should cost twice as much. It tastes way better than 2003 Dom, which does cost twice as much. (9/2013)
Price: $499.00 Add To Cart
RP 90 WS 90

2012 Marquis de Terme, Margaux
Review Date: 11-22-2016
Yet another gorgeous wine from the 2012 vintage that really puts into perspective just how under-priced these wines are compared to years like 2009 and 2010. This wine is dark and fleshy with loads of cassis fruit and lightly gritty tannins that provide just enough structure for a quick five year cellar run. It's a pretty wine, one that expands for minutes on the finish. To drink Margaux in any vintage for forty bucks is nice. To drink one this good from a beautiful vintage like 2012 is wonderful. This is Bordeaux you can afford and one that delivers on every level.

Siembra Valles "Ancestral" Blanco Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 11-22-2016
For serious agave nuts, this is as close as Tequila will ever get to mezcal in that David Suro's team used many Oaxacan production methods to make this spectacular expression. In fact, in order to help consult on the project Suro brought up a number of Oaxacan distillers to help explain the process to the Tequileros. He said to me, "It brought a tear to my eye; seeing mezcaleros and Tequileros working side by side." This is a historic Tequila, but it's also an unbelievably delicious one. Huge notes of roasted agave, citrus, and spice coat the palate. At 50.1% there's a little kick on the finish as well. This isn't for people who want smooth. It's for people who want maximum flavors at all costs. In this case, David Suro paid the costs for that flavor. He spared no expense.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart

1995 Glenburgie 21 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Signatory" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-11-2016
This 21 year old Glenburgie achieves exactly what its predecessor did (that 20 year old cask we bought last year): it provides high quality, no frills Scotch whisky goodness with maturity and punch for a hot price. There's nothing out of the ordinary here, just rich vanilla, oak, malted grains, stone fruits, and a nice smooth finish. Chalk up another win for no-name single malt whisky and those who trust in it.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

1997 Linkwood 19 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Signatory" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-11-2016
Linkwood is such a great whisky and it's so dependable. I've never really had a bad version of it, be it from Gordon & MacPhail or elsewhere. What's paramount, however, is that you give the whisky its due. Linkwood is incredibly delicate, nuanced, and precise. You almost need to sip it in the absence of any other sensory distractions. Doing that will allow you to hone in on the brilliance of the spirit itself. There's citrus, cereal grains, shortbread, and ginger spice lying in wait for those who make the effort to coax all the beauty out of the glass. This is yet another fantastic example of the elegant Scotch whisky.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

1995 Imperial 20 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Signatory" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-11-2016
If you're someone who's interested in tasting whisky from one of Scotland's many "lost" distilleries, don't let your hunt for Port Ellen and Brora distract you from this remarkable Imperial. Once owned by Pernod Ricard, the distillery was demolished a while back to make room for a new distillery called Dalmunach: a new state-of-the-art facility with all the bells and whistles. While I'm sure the new whisky will be delicious, it's pretty tough to beat this 20 year old Imperial, especially if you like Clynelish with that waxy, oily, lemony core that's wrapped in sweet malt goodness. A fitting goodbye to a lost friend!
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart

1997 Dufftown 18 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Signatory" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-11-2016
I'm all about bringing in new distilleries for our customers to try, mainly because David OG and I try so many interesting whiskies that never make it back across the Atlantic with us. Dufftown is a working man's whisky from the Speyside town of the same name, normally an ingredient in the Johnnie Walker blends, but in this case bottled on its own. There's a robust spiciness and intense oaky richness on the first sip that slowly dissipates into sweet barley and classic Highland Scotch flavor. This is the first time we've ever bought a cask of Dufftown and, because of the fact it's not a household name, the price is a right.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2013 Tenuta Sette Ponti "Oreno" Toscana
Review Date: 11-11-2016
While it's always difficult to think of Tuscany as producing anything other than top-notch sangiovese wines, the cabernet and Bordeaux style blends from the region have continued to improve and impress over the last decade. If I had tasted the Oreno blind or as part of a Napa staff tasting, I would have easily been fooled. This rich, structured, and dynamic marriage of merlot, cab, and petit verdot is like a hybrid of the riper California fruit with the structure and acidity of a fine Bordeaux. Aged in French oak, it's a wine for the big and bold cab drinker who thinks he's tried everything.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
JS 97

2013 Trinity Hill "Gimblett Gravels" Syrah Hawke's Bay (Black Label)
Review Date: 11-09-2016
If I had to teach a class on what classic syrah tastes like, this is the bottle I would use. The Trinity Hill is textbook in every way: potent flavors of crushed black pepper, violets, and delicate dark fruits. The flavors are so pure it's like the wine has been macerated with peppercorns. Plus, this is from Gimlett Gravels, one of the best syrah terroirs in the world with its rocky soils and moderate climate. The stones reflect the sun's heat and help keep the grapes warm throughout the growing season. On top of all that, 2013 was considered by all the growers in Hawke's Bay to one of the best in the region's history. Yet this wine is only $19.99. If you've ever wanted to taste real syrah without all the additional ripeness and jammy fruit, this is the wine for you. Consider it a master class in a bottle.

2015 Giesen Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 11-09-2016
As if the clean and herbaceous flavors of the Giesen weren't tempting enough, and the round stonefruit flavors enticing in their own right, the most incredible thing about the 2015 Giesen sauvignon blanc is the price. When you see "$9.99" on any bottle of wine the first thought that should come into your head is "inexpensive purchased fruit." But Giesen owns all of their own vineyards, so all the grapes used to make this lovely wine are estate-grown. Giesen is also family-owned. It just happens to be a big family-owned company with enough scale to offer reasonable prices. So you're getting an outstanding, highly-rated, delicious and affordable wine from a family-run winery that uses all estate fruit. Did I mention it's $9.99? Go big. Go deep.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
DC 95 BC 90

2014 Domaine Lafage "Tessellae Vieilles Vignes" Carignan Côtes Catalanes
Review Date: 11-09-2016
This is the $10-$15 red that you drink cases of each winter and ends up being your favorite wine of the season. After reading the reviews, I thought this vintage of Tessallae would be too over the top for me, but the fruit is incredibly balanced and restrained compared to what I expected. There's a lovely plushness to the red berries and the acidity helps preserve that union of fruit and refreshment. Carignan isn't a grape most drinkers are familiar with, but if you like standard Cotes du Rhone wines or French bistro-style drinkers, this is a can't miss bottle. You buy this by the case.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2015 Au Bon Climat/K&L Wine Merchants "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-08-2016
I love doing K&L cuvees with ABC because I love having another Au Bon Climat pinot noir to choose from! The Bien Nacido Vineyard is brimming with fresh strawberries and spice, subtle tannins, and a core of refreshing acidity that balances out any ripeness from the fruit. This is holiday wine, pure and simple. It's practically begging to be paired with roasted turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. I know what I'm drinking on Thanksgiving. This. And probably a bottle of the ABC Bien Nacido chardonnay as well.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2012 Au Bon Climat "Historic Vineyards Collection-Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 11-08-2016
This is the type of California chardonnay that needs to be more readily available: a textural, yet clean and focused style that has both the subtle honeyed and faintly-rich notes of classic California goodness, but with restraint and elegance. This is a stunning wine, one that brings to mind Chassagne-Montrachet, rather than Rombauer, with its grace and elegance. The wine is deceptively round and supple, offering fruit and hints of tropicality without sacrificing its core tenets. It's a brilliant balance of two worlds, a praise-worthy achievement that stands among the finer chardonnay's I've tasted from ABC.

2014 Ancient Peaks/K&L Wine Merchants Paso Robles Zinfandel
Review Date: 11-08-2016
Every now and again I ask myself: why don't I drink more zinfandel? Then I buy a bottle of something that's too ripe, too sweet, and too high in alcohol and I remember. But tasting this beautifully balanced offering from Ancient Peaks, I'm reminded of all the things I really love about zin: the juicy, mouthwatering fruit, the fleshy berries that coat my palate, the supple and soft mouthfeel that washes down the finish. It's all happening here in this K&L cuvee, but all the elements are harmonic. It's a zinfandel you drink again and again.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2006 York Creek "Estate" Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-08-2016
Let me get this straight: ten year old Spring Mountain estate cabernet for how much? Twenty five bucks? Is there something wrong with it? Is it cursed? Was it left in the back of a hot car? NO? Fear not, friends: Fritz Maytag has returned to bring you the hottest York Creek deal yet. This is fleshy, mouth-filling, delicious California cabernet that comes from one of the state's best vineyard sites and its because of our long-standing relationship with the man that we can bring you a wine this good for a price this ridiculous. Of the many York Creek library releases we've featured over the last year, this one is the most accessible. It's not full of sediment and old school grit like the meritage. There's plenty of dark fruit, spice, and texture to please any fan of the genre. A must buy, if you ask me.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2014 Antinori "Cervaro della Sala" Chardonnay Umbria
Review Date: 11-07-2016
I have to admit two: I eat a lot of Italian food and I drink a lot of white wine. What I often struggle with, however, is how to take both of those enjoyments to the next level for a special occasion. I can always go out to Stella Alpina in Burlingame if I want a fine Italian meal, but what high-end Italian white do I bring for the occasion? I've got a cellar full of great Barolos, Brunellos, and various other interesting reds, but what do I break out when I need a stunner in the Italian bianco category? After months and months of revisiting the same old selections (verdicchio, soave, vermentino, etc), our buyer Greg put this bottle in my hand and told me to have fun. As a fan of white Burgundy, I was excited to find an Italian equivalent and I was not disappointed by the Antinori. It had everything I was looking for: nuance, clean flavors, underlying complexity, and just enough richness. It tastes expensive. Those of you looking for a next-level white for your next Italian dinner need look no further.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
JS 96 WS 91

2014 Haut-Vigneau, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 11-01-2016
This is a killer Bordeaux value and it's an eye-opener into how good the 2014 vintage really is. In the modern age of sound bites and short summaries, we tend to classify entire vintages into "good" or "bad." 2009 = good, for example. Anything not hyped as the greatest vintage of all time gets short shrift as a result. When broad strokes like that get painted in the wine world, two things happen: prices stay low and values get overlooked. That's exactly what happened here with the 2014 Haut Vigneau, a wine I've now enjoyed on a number of occasions. The quality is apparent in the first sip, before you've even decanted it. The fruit is pretty and restrained. The tannins are subtle and understated. The minerality of the Graves moves like an undercurrent beneath the berries and the earth. I've had this wine with steak, with chicken, even with Chinese food. It always tastes great. Then I look at the $17.99 price tag and it starts tasting even better.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2014 Haut Charmes, Sauternes
Review Date: 11-01-2016
With Sauternes being designated purely as an after-dinner drink or dessert course luxury, it's nice to find an affordable, medium-sweet, high-quality bottle that we can enjoy on a more regular basis. Enter the 2014 Haut Charmes, a wine I polished off this most recent Halloween with my wife and box of spicy Chinese take-out. The 2014 stickies have plenty of acidity, so you can drink them like you would a German auslese. It's full of fresh peaches and apricots and, while it's sweet, it's never decadent or over the top in richness. This is a functional and food-friendly Sauternes for a bang-up price. And it's Suduiraut fruit, to boot!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Château de Montfaucon Lirac
Review Date: 10-26-2016
The Montfaucon Lirac takes everything we love about the Cotes du Rhone, softens it, and adds just a smidge more red fruit flavor. If you like the balance and the elegance of classic French reds, but like the fruit more than the earth or the acidity, this one's for you. A hot deal for fifteen bucks.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Zorzal "Terroir Unico" Pinot Noir Tupungato Valley
Review Date: 10-21-2016
This is an affordable Old World-style Pinot Noir from the New World, and one that stresses Old World values like terroir. Fans of Bourgogne rouge with that cooler climate fruit and hint of minerality will be thrilled. The Zorzal drinks like something from a rustic French bistro, yet it was made in Argentina! It tastes real and honest without that overtly fruity, un-Pinot-like character that many sub-$20 Pinot Noirs carry. It's clearly Pinot, and it's real, un-manipulated, pure Pinot. I'm getting thirsty just thinking about it.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2014 Giant Steps "Sexton Vineyard" Chardonnay Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 10-19-2016
I think it puzzles our customers every now and again when I head to the Australian wine section after getting asked about white Burgundy recommendations. Ryan Woodhouse is almost single-handedly redefining the wines of the Southern Hemisphere for both us and our clientele. This incredibly crisp and refined Chardonnay from Giant Steps is yet another example. It's super clean (like clean as a whistle) and it's remarkably vibrant and zippy with a sheer minerality that cuts like a laser through the palate. Never in a million years would someone guess Australian Chardonnay in a blind tasting, but that's because they haven't gotten to know the Yarra. This is right there with Oakridge for me as a total game changer.

2014 Giant Steps "Applejack Vineyard" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 10-19-2016
You can smell the whole-cluster fermentation right on the nose here. When a winemaker chooses to drop whole clusters of grapes into the fermentation it lifts the aromatics into something in between strawberries and bramble brush. That freshness persists here on the palate, but it alternates in between juicy and savory without skipping a beat. This is Pinot lover's Pinot. This is something quasi-Burgundian here, but the wine is more approachable in its youth than a village red Burgundy would ever be. How much more great stuff like this are we going to taste before we recognize that the Yarra Valley is making some of the most affordable, high-quality wines in the world?

Baron Fuente "Esprit" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-07-2016
This is a tremendous wine and one that I think fully conveys the thought and the effort that goes into our direct import Champagne program. For the price of a standard grade big house-blended cuvee, you're getting a single vineyard, single varietal expression of incredible beauty and depth. There's a nuttiness on the palate from the extended lees aging (keeping the spent yeast in the bottle) and a crispness that comes from the cool weather in this particular vineyard site. All in all, it's a fascinating bottle with unique spice and character for a price that still comes in less than the entry-level Veuve Clicquot!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2014 Tongue in Groove "Cabal Vineyard" Pinot Noir Waipara Valley North Canterbury
Review Date: 10-05-2016
I think I've written the exact same thing in all my previous reviews when it comes to Ryan's Pinot Noir selections from New Zealand: as Burgundy gets more expensive and small vintages reduce that inventory, I continue to be swayed over to the wines from Wiapara, Central Otago, and Marlborough. This TIG from Cabal Vineyard drinks like something in between village-level Pommard and a heartier Sonoma Coast expression. It's full of dark berries and an endearing earthiness, but it's utterly approachable and can be drunk right now. We have a take-out place nearby the Redwood City store called Pronto that does rotisserie chicken and sides. I paired that hearty meal with this wine and polished off both in less than a half hour. Now I'm back for more!

2013 Shaw + Smith Shiraz Adelaide Hills
Review Date: 10-01-2016
I could nose this wine ALL DAY LONG and never get tired of smelling it. The aromas are sultry with slightly perfumed berries accented by faint hints of smoke and earth. It's a haunting scent, one that entices you back for more repeatedly. There's no way in the world I would have guessed this was Shiraz without knowing ahead of time, yet it's clearly not Zinfandel, or Cabernet, or Pinot Noir. At the same time, if you even remotely enjoy the three aforementioned grapes, you need to do yourself a favor and buy this wine. Those who still associate Aussie Shiraz with Yellowtail or Mollydooker need to have their minds reset by the Shaw Smith and erase whatever prejudices they might be holding on to. This wine is as soft as a Storybook Zin, as elegant as a Joseph Swan Pinot, and as concentrated as a fine Margaux. Forget marketing this bottle to people who like Shiraz, we should be alerting anyone who likes red wine made with poise and precision about the Shaw + Smith. If you like red wine with beauty, balance, and soul, this is your bottle. That should cast a pretty wide net. Don't miss this.

2014 Pessac-Léognan de Haut Bailly, Pessac-Leognan
Review Date: 09-27-2016
As a somewhat value-driven Bordeaux drinker, I'm always on the hunt for two things: second and third wines from major chateaux, and the "off" vintages. 2014 was a perfectly respectable harvest for many properties, but it gets lost between the talk of 2009, 2010, and 2015. That's precisely the reason, however, that this sleeper from Haut Bailly is only $19.99. It's charming wine, full of delicate fruit and classic Graves minerality that purists like myself are smitten with. Decant this, cook yourself a steak, and know that you just came up on a hot deal. This is textbook claret from Pessac Leognan.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2001 Bowmore 14 Year Old "Hepburn's Choice" Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 09-17-2016
An absolutely delicious smoky whisky that should please any fan of the genre. This has everything: smoke, peat, sherry, campfire, earth, chocolate, toffee, and even a nuttiness that finishes with poise and presence. I'll be recommending this to everyone looking for something beyond Lagavulin 16.
Price: $82.99 Add To Cart

2006 Launois "Spécial Club" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Magnum (1.5L)
Review Date: 09-08-2016
The leesy flavor on the palate is unreal in the latest Special Club vintage. This wine destroys many of the big brand, big box wines we sell for even double and triple the price. If you want something rich and refined for your next cocktail party, or want to celebrate a special occasion in style, save some money and load up on the Launois. You're not in any way skimping on the quality and you'll have a few bucks left over for the caviar.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart

2015 Siran, Margaux
Review Date: 08-31-2016
2015 will not only be remembered as the vintage that brought sanity back to Bordeaux pricing, it will be remembered by enthusiasts as the year Margaux dominated the communes. Just about every wine we tasted from the region was balanced, beautiful, and elegant. When the combination of great pricing and great quality comes together, it only adds to our initial excitement. Just like the Malescot before (a Margaux wine we sold TONS of), the Siran showcases everything we loved about the vintage but at an even lower price. The difference here is the Merlot dominance, but the grace is still there under all that dark fruit. The wine is alive and kicking, plush on the palate, and loaded with drive and panache. It's also less than thirty bucks. I'd say: go for it.

2014 Fromm "Fromm Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 08-11-2016
The Fromm vineyard release from Fromm is the more complex of the two wines, in my opinion. Beyond the delicate fruit and subtle spice there are layers, and layers, and layers of mineral notes, herbs, earth, and savory notes. It's there with some of the finer Burgundy pinots I've tasted when they're on, but the great thing about the Fromm pinots is that they're ALWAYS on. Decant this baby and let it open up a whole new world of flavor.

2009 Can Mayol Loxarel "MM" Blanc de Noir Gran Reserva Brut Nature Penedes
Review Date: 08-10-2016
This wine really surprised me with its Champagne like richness and depth of flavor. The wine is clean and refreshing, but there's more beyond that. There's a kiss of almond skin and a nuanced note of nutty richness that just dances on the finish. Top notch bubbly, no doubt!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2014 Fromm "La Strada" Syrah Marlborough
Review Date: 08-05-2016
I hardly ever drink syrah anymore. Not because I don't like it, but because I drink so much Bordeaux, Burgundy, and reds from Italy that I can't seem to make room in my busy drinking schedule. The Fromm La Strada syrah, however, has me looking for ways to create space in my calendar. It's a syrah that is practically begging to be drunk. Full of northern Rhone smoke and savory, peppery notes, but done with a delicate touch, this is just beautiful red wine any way you slice it. Find an excuse to drink this. Cook something meaty. Make a BLT. Do something.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart
SK 94 BC 93

Michel Couvreur "Blossoming Auld Sherried" K&L Exclusive Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-20-2016
While the “Blossoming” label is not a custom one like the peated blend we make with Couvreur, this particular batch of the Blossoming Auld Sherried was bottled specifically for us and shipped as part of our exclusive order. It is utterly divine. It is the softest, smoothest, more concentrated sherry-aged whisky on the shelf by far. It’s like the sherry and the whisky have fused to become one perfect entity. As we know from our visit, Couvreur’s specialty is sherry. They select their own butts from Jerez personally and have connections going back to the 1960s. The result of that sherry is on display here.
Price: $219.99 Add To Cart

2015 Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien
Review Date: 06-16-2016
This wine, along with the tremendous Vieux Chateau Certan, would be at the very, very top of my list for best of the vintage. In my humble opinion, Ducru outshined the entire pack of first-growths, the big players of Pomerol, and the mineral-rich wines of the Graves. It was both elegance and refinement defined. Sensual and perfectly ripe fruit with seamless integration and a precision that moved from front to back in perfect balance. We all left the chateau simply mesmerized by the experience. I'm hoping everyone who buys a bottle of the 2015 has a similar epiphany by the time they open it. Not to be missed.

2015 Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 06-16-2016
This wine absolutely knocked our socks off when we tasted at the château. It's not just about the seamless fruit or sensual texture at Haut-Brion, it's the mineral notes, the smoke, the hint of black olive. It's a symphony of complexity.

2015 Montrose, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 06-13-2016
With the weather in St. Estephe a bit rainy and wet compared to other Left Bank appellations, the cabernet-heavy 2015 Montrose doesn't show any signs of waterlog. This is easily the best Montrose I've tasted in my young career and the most lush on the palate. The black fruits are rich and mouthcoating, the structure firm and foreboding. An old school claret worthy of second-growth status.

2015 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-13-2016
One of the best wines of the vintage for me. Gorgeous aromatics, lush fruit, finesse and beauty through and through. A wine that holds up great vintages of the past.

Tom's Foolery Bottled In Bond Batch #3 Ohio Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 06-10-2016
Real bourbon from a some guys backyard shed in Ohio? I've heard those stories before. But now I've tasted the reality of Tom's Foolery. This is not some rapidly-rushed brown water attempt to exploit the current bourbon fever. This is something entirely legit. A rich, spicy, full-flavored, old school American whiskey that brings credit to the word "craft." This four year old wonder gives me new hope for the market. Knowing that someone out there can make something this good for the price has me excited for more!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2015 Lynch-Bages Blanc, Bordeaux
Review Date: 06-08-2016
Seventy percent of the 2015 Lynch Bages Blanc was fermented in wood, adding a nutty richness to the bright, clean, and fresh acidity of the wine. For the price, it's one of the best bang for your buck whites I've seen thus far from 2015.

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