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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Michel Couvreur K&L Exclusive "Blossoming Auld Sherried" 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

Kavalan Solist Ex-Bourbon Cask #75 K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Barrel Taiwanese Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 06-22-2016
With water this baby really opens up and lets loose a wave of sweet vanilla, crème brulee, soft fruit, and even a hint of tropical fruit on the finish. Kavalan's Solist series has always been popular, and now we've got our own limited edition batches here at K&L!
Price: $149.99 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 #1 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.

2015 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-08-2016
The 2015 Lynch Bages was the first wine we tasting on the morning of the third day in Bordeaux, so our palates were fresh and ready. The aromas were full of dark fruit and oak, the fruit was ripe on the palate with plenty of power as a counterweight. Behind that power was finesse on the finish; the iron fist in a velvet glove analogy we like to use so often. This is one of the more powerful wines I tasted from the 2015 vintage, easily capable of long-term maturation.

2015 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien
Review Date: 06-07-2016
One of my favorite wines of the vintage--period. This wine was supple and rich on the palate with seductive fruit and a finish that just went on forever. I left the property with a skip in my step, bugging my colleagues with: "Wasn't that wine just incredible?" I'll be buying plenty of this for myself.

2006 Fallet-Dart Vintage Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-06-2016
This is a wine of supreme balance. There's no one flavor that overwhelms the sense, it's just the combination of a number of elements working in total harmony that make this wine special. There's a lovely breadiness, just the right amount of richness, and a nice crisp acidity that firmly holds the body together. Fallet Dart is an exciting new addition to our exclusive Champagne portfolio. Being able to offer vintage Champagne with this much maturity for this price is something I look forward to doing regularly in the store.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$44.99

2015 Smith Haut Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 06-03-2016
I consider anything above fifty bucks to be a splurge bottle, but with Bordeaux anything that drinks as well as the 2015 SHL for less than a hundred dollars is a hot deal! This wine was right there with the Pape Clement for me personally. It's a complex wine--all about the relationship between the fruit and the potent minerality. The tannins are soft and round on the palate and the wine is silky on the finish. Finesse is a word you'll hear a lot when describing the 2015 Bordeaux vintage. There are few better examples than this wine here.

2015 Larcis Ducasse, St-Emilion
Review Date: 06-03-2016
We tasted this wine multiple times at the chateau on our trip and every sip just got better and better. There's a pop of plump fruit on the initial sip and then it moves into beautiful notes of violets and dark earth before enveloping itself in its own tannic structure. This is a great cellar wine and one of my favorites from our St. Emilion selections.

2015 d'Issan, Margaux
Review Date: 06-03-2016
Always one of my favorite properties, the 2015 Chateau d'Issan is classic Margaux flavor for a hot price. The nose is brimming with pretty aromatics, the wine soft on the palate, and the finish is long and elegant. I've bought plenty of Issan in the past as a slam dunk value for the relative vintage and 2015 won't be any different. Highly, highly recommended.

2015 Malartic-Lagravière, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 06-03-2016
One of the most complete "value" wines we tasted during our recent trip to Bordeaux, a few of us have been waiting with baited breath for this wine to release. The 2015 Malartic Lagraviere showcases the fresh, pretty, and elegant fruit of the vintage along with supreme balance of Graves minerality with added complexity from spice and earth on the finish. Alex and I had this in our top ten of the vintage. The price should get you very, very excited.

Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin 750ml
Review Date: 05-28-2016
The Navy Strength gin is not simply a higher proofed version of the Rare Dry from Four Pillars, but rather an entirely different formula. This one uses finger limes for a different citrus tone, but the balance of spice and botanicals is what ties both gins together. This is a bolder, brighter, more intense experience, but it's obviously made by the same team because the same attention to detail is prevalent. This is a world class gin of the highest quality, pure and simple.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin 750ml
Review Date: 05-28-2016
Bow down to the new king of gin: Four Pillars. A group of gin crazy Aussies put together one of the most focused and high-quality gin distilleries in the world in the Yarra Yarra Valley and now we're fortunate to get a taste of that goodness here in the U.S. The Rare Dry gin simply explodes with citrus, a burst of fresh orange, but it still packs a lovely balance of juniper and spice with the most delicate and graceful of mouthfeels. This is high quality gin, pure and simple. It tastes like it was fussed over, formulated and retooled until it was perfect. I can't stop talking about it nor drinking it. I'm just so happy we have it.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2015 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-18-2016
This is a dark and decadent wine with lush black fruits and oak influence that turn into earthier elements and tannic structure on the finish. It's also a powerful wine with a massive finish compared to its 2015 counterparts. There's a flurry of pepper and herbs on the finish that come out to play once the fruit fades away. Could be the wine of the vintage for those in search of big, structured, cellar-worthy wines.

2015 Barde-Haut, St-Emilion
Review Date: 05-13-2016
One of my top ten wines of the vintage--at any price! This was such a lovely wine when we tasted it at the property. Maybe it was the scenic view or maybe it was Helene Garcin herself swaying me towards that mindset, but I have to say that the 2015 Barde-Haut is just a delicious Bordeaux wine. It's plush, full of concentrated fruit, still fresh with acidity, and complex on the finish. The silky tannins make it so very approachable in its youth, but this wine is the PERFECT 3-5 year cellar candidate with the stuffing to last much longer. For the price, it's a no-brainer. There's been nothing this good that's been released so far at a sub-$40 price.

2015 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux
Review Date: 05-10-2016
This is an absolutely beautiful wine with a nose of chocolate and cherries, followed by a lush fruit on the palate and a graceful run to the finish. There are plenty of firm tannins on the back end, meaning the wine should have great potential for the cellar, but it tastes so darn good right now I think most people would have a tough time keeping their hands off of it. The Malescot sums up the 2015 Margaux vintage perfectly: it's a wine of beauty, finesse, and elegance. For the price, it may be the best value we see from the appellation. I'm expecting this and Issan to be the vintage's top bargains for those who (like me) cannot afford to buy wines like Chateau Margaux proper.

2015 Pape Clément, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 05-09-2016
We all said to each other at the chateau while tasting this: "If Pape Clement comes out under $100 it will be one of the best values of the vintage." Sure enough we're under $90 now for the pre-order price and that means grab it while it's here. The 2015 Pape Clement is an elegant and refined marriage of 56% Cabernet and 40% Merlot (with 4% Franc) that is incredibly pleasant from the first sip. The fruit is fresh and concentrated, the tannins are fine and supple, and the finish is long and graceful. Some of us had this as a top 10 wine from the entire 2015 Bordeaux vintage. It might be one of the only that comes in under $100.

2015 Berliquet, St-Emilion
Review Date: 05-04-2016
Soft and sweet-fruited with lush cherry and other red berries notes. This will probably taste great no matter when you open it!

2015 Fleur Cardinale, St-Emilion
Review Date: 05-04-2016
This wine showcases all that silky, soft St. Emilion fruit on the initial entry, but turns into a structured and tannic tour de force on the finish. This is a great cellar candidate from the Right Bank. I think five to ten years should pay huge dividends.

2015 Poujeaux, Moulis
Review Date: 05-04-2016
A fine, elegant, well-balanced claret from a producer that has become the darling of the K&L staff. Along with Cantemerle, this is a wine I've started buying almost every vintage since 2009. The 50% of cabernet adds full-bodied structure, but the 40% of merlot gives a soft-fruited texture and finesse to the wine. Another fantastic value from Poujeaux and another wine I'll be buying at least a case of.

2015 Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Sauternes
Review Date: 05-04-2016
This Lafaurie Peyraguey is like a classic semillon wine with more sweetness. There are white flowers and classic stone fruit flavors like you would find in a drier version of the wine, but with just enough sweetness to bolster it into the Sauternes category. Those looking for something more refined and elegant should give this a whirl. I thought it was a refreshing respite from some of the stickier stickies!

2015 La Tour Blanche, Sauternes
Review Date: 05-04-2016
The tropical notes are concentrated in the La Tour Blanche, but the mouthfeel is leaner and more fresh than some of the richer wines we tasted. There was a lovely freshness of acidity and the wine finished with a nice little zip. Quite charming.

2015 Doisy-Daëne, Sauternes
Review Date: 05-04-2016
The 2015 Doisy Daene was more fresh, lively, and restrained on the palate, far less rich than some of the more decadent Sauternes we tasted this year. If you're looking for something fun to enjoy in the short term, this is worth keeping an eye on.

2015 Doisy-Védrines, Sauternes
Review Date: 05-04-2016
Mango galore! And a rich, creamy, succulent palate of pure hedonistic splendor. Decadent stuff!

2015 Clos Haut Peyraguey, Sauternes
Review Date: 05-04-2016
The 2015 Peyraguey is loaded with stone fruits almost a dried apple note, which made it a standout Sauternes for me. Most of the wines tend more towards tropical and lemon flavors, but this one was quite different. Very nice.

2015 Suduiraut, Sauternes
Review Date: 05-04-2016
This is just lovely stuff; just a classic Sauternes in every way. There's a perfect balance of lush hedonistic fruit, with ample sweetness, and a long, lingering finish of candied lemon zest and mango followed by just enough tanginess from the acidity. Wow.

2015 Coutet, Sauternes
Review Date: 05-04-2016
There's a lovely tropical mai tai note right on the entry of the 2015 Coutet, followed by a firm mineral note on the mid-palate and mouthwatering acidity on the finish. There's a new school of thought in Bordeaux at the moment that perhaps more Sauternes should be enjoyed young as an aperitif, rather than solely as a mature dessert wine. This Coutet is a prime candidate for that new mindset. It's absolutely delicious now!

2015 Guiraud, Sauternes
Review Date: 05-04-2016
The balance of the 2015 is what caught my attention when we tasted in Bordeaux this year. I thought the wines were utterly drinkable in their youth, yet classically structured with acidity simultaneously. The Guiraud is the perfect example of this phenomenon. There's bright acidity on the entry, but it's tempered by delicate flavors of tropical fruit and ample sweetness, all in perfect harmony. I'll definitely be going deep on Sauternes as they become available.

2015 Lespault-Martillac Blanc, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 04-28-2016
THE WHITE WINE DEAL OF THE VINTAGE. You heard it here first. In all seriousness, this was one of the most impressive wines I tasted from anywhere this vintage and it was on our last night in Bordeaux (when I was about ready to stop drinking wine period!). It was lovely and subtle on the palate with a leesy richness and a firm mineral note on the finish. There was finesse. There was beauty and elegance. There was soft fruit and refreshing acidity. I've just convinced myself to buy some now having written this all out.

2015 Lespault-Martillac Rouge, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 04-28-2016
We tasted this wine before dinner at Domaine de Chevalier and I was thoroughly impressed. The wine was plump and dense with dark fruit, but balanced by a mineral note that one would associate with wines of the Graves. I like to think of this as baby Demaine de Chevalier. It's made by the same dudes!

2015 La Fleur de Boüard, Lalande-de-Pomerol
Review Date: 04-28-2016
This wine was plush on the palate with bright red juicy fruit, balanced by firm acidity and a richness of structure that carried through to the finish. Completely in balance and a nice price to match with the quality. I can see wines like this being what we remember about 2015. "All those value-priced Right Bank wines...."

2015 Bourgneuf, Pomerol
Review Date: 04-28-2016
If you’re looking for something a little more old school and less fruit-forward, then the 2015 Bourgneuf is the wine for you. There was more pronounced oak on the palate that will need to integrate over the next five years and a dustiness to the tannins that helped balance the lush fruit. This is a wine that should evolve beautifully over the next decade; a real cellar candidate.

2015 Lafleur-Gazin, Pomerol
Review Date: 04-28-2016
This was one of the better deals I tasted from Pomerol. The Lafleur-Gazin coated my palate with plush purple fruits, but finished dry and fine on the back end. It’s the kind of wine that gives Merlot a good name; a wine that’s almost too delicious to wait on. I’ll be interested to see how it develops though. These Pomerol wines have tiny production levels (compare the 21 acres of Lafleur-Gazin to the roughly 160 of Latour). I find it's best to grab these first during the pre-arrival campaign as they're the most likely to sell through.

2015 Capbern, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 04-27-2016
My sleeper pick for value of the vintage. I've been buying quantities of Capbern since 2009 and now I'll likely be taking an even deeper plunge with the outstanding 2015. This is an easy Bordeaux to love and an even easier wine to understand. For those looking to take more affordable baby steps into the category, this is a great place to start. Part of the prestigious Montrose portfolio, this wine has structure but also soft and approachable fruit. There's a heavy amount of merlot here (46%) which I think really rounds out the edges. $20.99 for the pre-order is a steal.

Corti Brothers "Good Honest" Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 04-18-2016
I'm a big fan of wine-finished American whiskey, especially because the maturation process almost creates within the spirit the same flavors we try to create in vermouth & whiskey cocktails like a Manhattan or Vieux Carre. The Mission del Sol influence here not only adds that sweetened note to the profile of the whiskey, it also adds a touch of California to the mix. The Mission del Sol wines are made using the historic Mission grape in Amador county, but their production is pretty much extinct at this point. The barrels used to age the whiskey came from wines originally made in the 1980s, so that's a fun little fact to think about when you're sipping the whiskey.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2015 Haut-Brisson, St-Émilion
Review Date: 04-15-2016
This wine has an intensely aromatic nose of cassis and dark raspberry with a mouthful of juicy fruit balanced by great acidity. The tannins were gritty and chewy on the finish, and the flavors were overall fresh and satisfying. We all thought this was a great deal at the chateau, and I'm excited that value wines like the Haut Brisson are part of the 2015 vintage en primeur launch. A case of this is likely going into my cellar as well.

2015 Enclos Tourmaline, Pomerol
Review Date: 04-15-2016
This wine knocked my socks off. This is serious Pomerol on every level, deeply concentrated with a brooding note of dark red fruit. The palate is lithe and supple, elegant really, with perfect balance between the ripeness of the fruit and the mineral notes from the terroir. Enclos Tourmaline's vineyards are between Le Pin & Trotanoy, serious names in the Bordeaux hierarchy. This is top-tier wine.

2014 Chateau de la Noblesse Bandol Blanc
Review Date: 04-01-2016
We always think of rosé when we hear the word Bandol, but the whites are starting to really catch my eye—especially when I can find something this tasty for around twenty bucks. Made from mostly Clairette, the Noblesse has delicate accents of white flowers and citrus, but it's also quite textural thanks to the addition of Grenache Blanc and Rolle grapes into the cepage. This is an off-the-beaten-path pick that should please any Chardonnay drinker.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2008 Domaine Hauvette "Cornaline" Les Baux de Provence
Review Date: 04-01-2016
If you want to spend for something fun and exciting outside the normal sphere of French reds, check this bottle out for a guaranteed success. A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cabernet, the Cornaline Les Baux is a seamless stream of pure fruited deliciousness coupled with aromatics that seem like a dream. The harmony of fruit, tannins, and weight might only be appreciated by serious fans of the genre, but that's what separates great wines from the everyday. If quality like this was obvious we'd be sold out already.
Price: $36.99 Add To Cart

2013 Yves Duport Mondeuse "Terre Brune" Bugey
Review Date: 03-31-2016
Mondeuse is the great red varietal of Bugey and if you've ever wanted to test the red waters outside of Cabernet beach this is the wine for you. There's an intense concentration of fruit with absolutely gorgeous integration of spice and tannic structure. I kept going back to my glass time after time, thinking ohh and ahh. Great stuff.
Price: Hidden View Price

2013 Yves Duport "Origin'L Reserve" Bugey Brut
Review Date: 03-31-2016
This wine is the closest to real Champagne quality that I've ever tasted in a French regional sparkler. The richness and the depth of the mineral character are simply stunning for the price point. There's a freshness that I associate with most Crement, but the more you sip this wine from Yves Duport, the more you start looking around the room, asking others if they think the wine is as good as you do. I asked that of my wife, then I told her the price. "Buy a case," she said. And so I did.
Price: Hidden View Price

John L. Sullivan "Irish Bourbon" Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 02-19-2016
Just like I have no desire to eat at the French Laundry every single night of the week, I have no desire to drink Macallan 30 or Pappy Van Winkle after work on a Wednesday. I like coming home to a beer and a shot at 7:30 PM most days and this bottle of Sullivan "Irish Bourbon" just became my new go-to. They pretty much did the impossible here. They improved what was already a classic style of whiskey. I may start combining all my Midleton Rare into my Wild Turkey editions from now on. I'm hooked.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart

2013 Jax Vineyard "Y3 Taureau" Napa Valley Proprietary Red Blend
Review Date: 02-17-2016
This is perfect the answer to the oft-asked question at K&L: what's a great bottle of red for twenty bucks? Jax Vineyards Y3 Taureau is the best $20 bottle of Napa wine in the store right now. Just a lovely note of luscious red fruit on the initial entry with a lush layer of balanced richness behind it. It's exactly what California red wine should taste like. Not too rich, not too old world: just perfect. There's no amount of wine like this that we can't sell. There are simply too many customers out there looking for exactly this. Locally owned by the Jackson family as well, natives of the SF Peninsula. A slam dunk all around.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2013 Jax "Estate" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 02-17-2016
Again, following my love for the Jax Y3 Taureau, I'm very impressed by this wine because of its restraint. You get the full-bodied red fruit right on the entry, an opulent note of ripe fruit, but it's never sweet and it's never cloying. This is Napa Cabernet that drinks like it's supposed to and costs what it should. You get every penny of what you pay for here: a pure expression of the varietal, from a superb vineyard site in Calistoga, made with precision by winemaker Kirk Venge. Bravo. I wish all California cab tasted like this.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 - 92

Faultline "Jaime Hernandez Special Edition" Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 02-04-2016
I think with all the hoopla of the artwork and the limited edition vinyl that originally came with it, we forgot to talk about how amazing the spirit is. I had the bartenders from Whitechapel come in recently to express their love and ask if they could potentially work with the product at their newly-established gin bar downtown (alas, there's no legal way of selling it to them). It's like a far more-drinkable version of the Monkey with hints of red berries on the initial entry that give way to an almost creamy mouthfeel accented by vibrant Indian spices. You don't need tonic, or ice, or anything. You can sip this neat and I honestly believe it offers all the complexity of a whisky straight up, all on its own. There are layers of complexity within this gin. They just need a bit of your undivided attention.
Price: Hidden View Price

San Venanzio Prosecco Valdobbiadene Demi-Long Superiore Brut
Review Date: 02-03-2016
This wine is the worst thing that's happened to me in years. It's a better, longer-aged (on the lees) version of the standard San Venanzio that, for an extra two bucks, brings UNBEATABLE sparkling drinkability. This wine is light as air, with utterly faint hints of citrus and stone fruit just dancing briefly in the distance. The bubbles are fine, the finish is clean and refreshing. I could (and probably will) drink a bottle of this every single night of the week and never get tired of it. And that's my problem. There's just nothing this good for this low of a price in sparkling wine.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 JS 90

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