Staff Favorites - David Othenin-Girard

David Othenin-Girard
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Rhum Clement Cask Stength Single Barrel Agricole Martinique Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 11-30-2016
When I first nosed this cask I knew immediately that we had to have it. It's full-strength-full tilt Agricole aged in NEW AMERICAN OAK. The perfect crossover to get bourbon people into Agricole Rhum WITHOUT sacrificing authenticity. One first nosing, you get a strong, dry oak tannin, but wait a moment and the spectacular complexity arises from the glass. Deep dark spices, kola nut, mahogany, flambéed orange peel. The palate is vibrant, with subtle funk of Agricole never lost around the rich oak spice, powerful tropical fruit, and long dry finish. BUT WAIT, add one tiny drop of water, this thing is cask strength after all, and this little puppy explodes. Gone are the dark dry oak tannins and replaced with candied orange peel, sweet Tahitian vanilla, and that underlying topicality that's so inviting. On the palate is explodes with rich exotic spices, marzipan, ginger, coffee, and salted fruits. Sometimes adding water breaks rum as it does with many brandies, but in this case it reacts much like a fine single malt. Without a doubt one of the finest rhums we've ever had on our shelves at any price point.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2012 Au Bon Climat "Historic Vineyards Collection-Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 11-16-2016
I tasted this gorgeous little bottle next to some of the world's top burgundies last week. Surprising balance and depth for the price and while it stood out as distinctly SoCal in nature, for the first time it was a good thing. Lovely aromatics on the nose with excellent integration of fruit and toasty oak. The palate is big tropical fruit and well structured without any popcorn or overt sweetness. A lovely example of what SO Cal does so well for such a reasonable price.

1997 Linkwood 19 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Signatory" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-16-2016
There's no doubt that stocks in Scotland are getting tight. At Signatory, which was once our secret weapon, it's become more and more difficult to find special casks. It's not that the whisky isn't there per se, but simply that the whisky we want is so far out of the price point that we're willing to pay. But we occasionally stumble a few casks that haven't been subject to the incredible price increases of the rarities around them. This Linkwood would falls solidly in that category. This fabulous Linkwood exhibits the wonderful malty character of this lovely distillery beautifully. The nose is sweet vanilla, bold citrus, bright apple and creamy malt. The palate exhibits tons of delicate fruit and has a rich texture that goes on for ages. The finish brings the barrel spices and a warming sweetness. At this silly price it won't likely last long.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

1997 Dufftown 18 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Signatory" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-15-2016
Good old over looked Dufftown, this is the first time we've bottled this fun little distillery as a single cask for exclusive offer. This one starts more on the oak than the old casks, that subtle saw dust, cocoa powder and pepper. With a little water the sweet oak comes through, but also some bitter roots, angelica and gentian. The powerful and slightly unusual nose is totally belied by the rich malty palate, which shows subtle cocoa bean, sweet oak and a long juicy finish. A real work horse malt here, but something that will likely be unique in the cabinet and ultimately is really fun to drink!
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

1995 Imperial 20 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Signatory" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-15-2016
This gorgeous cask of Imperial was bottled just 10 days before it's 21st birthday. This casks shows off that wonderful old school quality that Imperial has, less on the fruit that previous casks have and more on the big mineral note. Almost austere on the nose before water, it could be a high end riesling from a far. With water, more fruit, yellow plums, sweet herbs, sea beans. BIG sweetness coming out on the palate after water, more plums and lemon rind. A monster of a malt, that loves both air and water and proves that you don't need a big cask influence to get world class whisky. This is magic, totally in love.
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: 11-15-2016
Another stunning value from one of our favorite suppliers. 21 year old single malt for under $100 is a real rarity these days add that it's a delicious single barrel bottled at cask strength and we're down right rare air here. This is a true Speysider in every respect. Subtle herb, shrubby flowers and fruit notes open with some air into aromas muscovado and candied apple. A pleasing mineral earthiness, like a fresh stream in the forest, balances the wonderful pop of fruit on the palate. The finish turns up the spice with a bit of dryness on the long lingering finish.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine de la Réserve d'O "Hissez O" Terrasses du Larzac
Review Date: 09-21-2016
This tremendous wine from our dear friends at Reserve D'O exemplifies all the reasons why Terrasses Du Larzac (and Languedoc in general) is such an incredible value. World-class winemaking from the finest possible fruit sources at an altogether reasonable price. This is definitely one to compare to the top-level CNDP and Gigondas, but has something extra. It's all Biodynamic and made as a labor of love, and you can definitely taste the commitment in every bottle.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2014 Clos de la Bonnette "Roches d'Arbuel" Condrieu
Review Date: 09-21-2016
An absolutely wonderful additional to our northern Rhone white offering, this stupendous producer is one of those world class offerings that's yet to hit the limelight, but surely will soon. Big nose of the finest buttered popcorn, although the butter is powerful, it's not overpowering and aeration brings deep yellow fruit, white flowers and big minerality. This is is what Viognier should be and exactly the reason I list Condrieu as one of my preferred appellations. Sure it's not cheap, but it roundly best big powerful whites in the price range in almost every other category.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine de la Réserve d'O "La Reserve d'O" Saint Guilhem le Desert Blanc
Review Date: 09-21-2016
This lovely little wine drinks like something much more seriously priced. Big nose of apple and pear, with strong mineral notes behind. The palate is structured, but open with incredible complexity, hinting at a great potential for aging. It's hard to compare this to anything else due to the unusual blend, but it easily beats most southern Rhone blends at twice the price.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Clos de la Bonnette "Légende Bonnetta" Condrieu
Review Date: 09-21-2016
This is just a monster in every way, what the Roches d'Arbuel has in opulence and openness this wine has in power and longevity. This is a world-class wine that deserves 5-10 years in your cellar and will likely become one of your most appreciated purchases. There's really nothing on this quality level and price point in the category. Despite the increase oak utilization, this shows LESS buttery oak and much more mineral intensity. Deep, complex and ultra-lengthy, these is clearly in its youthful phase, but still SO pleasurable right now.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2013 Knez Winery Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-21-2016
As usual, Knez is producing some of the most authentic and affordable Pinot in CA. Big notes of hibiscus, rose hips, Bing cherry, and baking spice. The aromatic fruit is perfectly balanced with an exotic woodsy notes. On the palate, well structured with out any flab, and that lovely earth lacquer box thing continues to frame the fruit wonderfully. Powerful acidity that remains balanced throughout. Some real-deal wine made by some real-deal-ass wine makers.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart
VN 90

2013 Hendry "Block 13" Napa Valley Merlot
Review Date: 09-21-2016
Most people see Hendry and think Zinfandel, but this wonderful Merlot should be redefining them across all categories. Round old-school Merlot in the most classic sense, with big, ripe, plummy fruit and deep, dark earthiness almost brooding, but never sweet. Absolutely lovely structure and incredible length that makes me think of the really old school CA wine that few make any longer. A real outlier in the region and category in general.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

1998 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 09-21-2016
Maybe the best of the Left Bank in this Right Bank-centric vintage, the Haut-Bailly shows tons of dense plum fruit framed in a bed of powerful herb and sweet licorice. The palate is wonderfully complex, showing great maturity at this stage, but with no signs of slowing down. A serious wine for serious lovers of Bordeaux that won't necessarily be accessible to the average Joe, but will make the diehards fawn for sure.

2011 Domaine Santamaria Patrimonio Rouge (Corsica)
Review Date: 09-21-2016
This wonderful example of the bounties of Corsica strikes the balance between the incredible elegance of the French influence and the rustic authenticity of the Italian. Deep smoky fruit with a sweet fresh earthiness on the nose. On the palate the rich dark fruit is balanced by a bitter chocolate and slight ferrous quality. Stupendous depth and wonderful length, you definitely want to pair this with richer Italian fare.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Santamaria Patrimonio Muscat du Cap Corse (Corsica)
Review Date: 09-21-2016
A phenomenal value for a very special muscat comparable to the best from Beaume De Venise at a fraction of the price. Wonderful Muscat nose of deep dried citrus and exotic flowers. The palate exhibits stupendous acidity and a lovely bitter sweet quality that reminds me of the very best marmalade. A unique example of this very special and difficult-to-do-well style.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Begude Sauvignon Blanc Pays d'Oc
Review Date: 09-21-2016
Absolutely glorious! Every year the Begude SB gets better and better and this is BY far the BEST we've had. Ultra tropical, light but not boring, zippy but not sharp. Super-duper pricing and SO MUCH PLEASURE. Cases all around, cases.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2015 Chante Cigale "L'Apostrophe" Mediterranée
Review Date: 09-21-2016
Wowwy wow, I was not expecting this to be SO good. Awesome dark fruit and depth on the nose, followed by a rich texture that's perfectly balanced by the juicy acidity. I guess the 2015s are going to be the real deal. Can't believe the balance and depth they've achieved at this price point.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2013 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Emilie" Hermitage
Review Date: 09-21-2016
A world-class Syrah in the relatively classic style without the baked fruit or overly alcoholic notes that are ubiquitous across the category. Very much in need of time in the cellar to achieve full potential, but nonetheless drinking wildly well for the age and price. Considering the extreme prices we see out of this appellation, Remizieres is really coming through in a big way to compete with high-end CA and WA Syrah without kowtowing to the overripe style that has become ubiquitous in the category.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2015 Mönchhof Erdener Prälat Riesling Auslese Mosel
Review Date: 08-25-2016
A legendary wine and one of the best Erdener Pralat I've ever tasted. Focused yet complex - this wine should evolve for several decades, but it will be difficult to keep your hands off it. Magical!!!
Price: $48.99 Add To Cart

2014 Gessinger "Josefsberg Old Vines" Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese ** Mosel
Review Date: 08-25-2016
This spectacular offering is the best of the best when it comes to balanced Spatlese. Showing stupendous acidity and tons of freshness with the first tiny hints of petrol peaking through. Powerful aromatic and mouth filling, the texture is perfectly balanced by the racy acid. Lovely price on this and the perfect pairing for SPICY foods.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2015 Leitz Rüdesheimer Riesling Trocken Rheingau
Review Date: 08-24-2016
An absolute dream for Trocken riesling lovers finding that perfect balance between aromatic intensity, textural richness, and powerful acidity. A nose of freshly crush meyer lemon - peel and all. Big notes of limestone and sea spray which all come together on the palate with great richness and focus. Beaming all the way through it never stops and delivers the goods with out seeming austere or hard edge like some other trockens. Leitz kills it all the time.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2012 Vignobles des 2 Lunes "Périgée" Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-24-2016
I'm definitely impressed with these 2 Lunes wines, but the pinot out performed even my already lofted expectations. The nose is exactly what I want from Alsatian pinot without any semblance of under ripeness or veggie quality, yet expressive and powerful. Super gorgeous pointed cherry, flecks of earthy mineral and a subtle texture makes this one of the most drinkable and delicious Pinot Noirs on the shelf for those seeking balance and freshness.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2011 Vignobles des 2 Lunes "Comète" Cremant d'Alsace
Review Date: 08-24-2016
This fabulous little wine took me utterly by surprise. We get stuck assuming that many Cremant are built as some sort of approximation of their more expensive counterparts in Champagne, but that's not at all the case here. I'm totally enamored because this is different and delicious. The nose is all creamy sherbet -Orange sherbet, tangerine peel, and soft clean nuttiness. The palate, the citrus turns up, but remains totally balanced. Creamy, but lifted. Total pleasure going down and something utterly unique.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2008 Baron Fuente "Grand Millesime" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-24-2016
Another stupendous value from the magicians at Baron Fuente, this magically little bottle should embarrass most grand marque producers releasing lesser wine for 2 or 3 times the price. The nose has fresh nuts, strong stone fruit and yellow flowers (honeysuckles!). The palate shows exceptional balance with extreme focus revolving around citrus and stone fruits again, but with a freshness that can't go unnoticed. Supremely drinkable, but still taught hinting at wonderful potential in the cellar. Early proof that 2008 was truly the special vintage that was promised.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2010 Domaine de la Jaufrette Côtes-du-Rhone
Review Date: 08-24-2016
What a gorgeous little value this wine is. I'm a huge fan of the 2010s and this reminds me of why. Still kicking more than a half decade later, it's got great structure and lovely balance, without being light or overly fruited. A pretty serious little style, with some deep dark earthiness, but no barnyard whatsoever, it seems to really be in its prime now and deserves a nice decant, but could easily go for several more years in the cellar. Totally lovely affordable aged CDR? Yes please!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Michel Couvreur "Blossoming Auld Sherried" K&L Exclusive Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-22-2016
The first time I tasted the Blossoming Auld Sherry was at a wonderful little bistro in Levernois outside of Beaune called Du Bord De L'Eau. After a wonderful meal at this exceptional casual restaurant, the director of Couvreur Jean Arnauld suggested we finish the night with a taste of something special from his exceptional collection. We could have taken the exceptionally expensive vintage offerings, but he recommended this special little treat. From the moment I put my nose to the glass I was transfixed. Of course, I know Couvreur's style and what to expect, but this was unlike anything I'd yet come across. It was truly like diving head first into the finest Sherry, but at 90 proof!!! The nose exhibits an intoxicating bouquet of plum preserves, old exotic wood, fresh leather, tobacco and the intricately carved wooden pipe to pack it. The palate is SO smooth. When someone says they like something "smooth," it's such a vague notion, and difficult quality to guarantee in a product, but THIS is what they're talking about. The density of the fruit remains on the palate, but it's pointed with wonderful dried citrus and sweet herbal notes. This is the real deal, and while not inexpensive, it out-performs its price point by a mile and then some. Imagine having a bottle of sherry that never goes bad, which you can sip by the ounce and clocks in at 45%! You'd never stop, so you know, you shouldn't. We're the exclusive source for this product in California and will likely buy the entire US allocation of 20 cases.
Price: $219.99 Add To Cart

2013 Tenuta Novare Valpolicella Ripasso
Review Date: 07-13-2016
Wow! Ripasso with some acid and finesse? Sign me up. All the big bold flavors you'd want from the category without any stinking baked fruit or sweet overripe finish. Dense dark and lush, but with a wonderful acidity and an abv under 14%! The total package in my book - if you've been slaving over a proper bolognese this might be the perfect answer!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2011 Rivella Barbaresco
Review Date: 07-13-2016
This precise and seamless Barbaresco is so clearly made with one of the finest touches, it's almost not a surprise to find out that the winemaker was Gaja's top guy for 30 years. It's SO open and generous right now without any hints of manipulation or over extraction. This elegant and attractive style is exactly what I love about Barbaresco and the perfect contrast to the brooding style made over the hill. The purity is unsurpassed in the price point and worth stocking up on in a big way if you're at all a lover of nebbiolo.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
VN 92

2013 La Massa "La Massa" Toscana
Review Date: 07-13-2016
The absolute perfect Tuscan under $20. Not with the ripe dense intensity of last years, but with so much more depth and complexity it's impossible not to LOVE! It's soft and open, but very with this wonderful acidity that makes it ultra quaffable. The key here is balance and this beautiful red fruit that's almost impossible to describe properly. This bombastic nose is balanced by great herbal quality and this beautiful dried floral component. Maybe not as hedonistic as some would like, but for me this is the clearly best Massa I've tasted.

2013 Le Battistelle "Battistelle" Soave Classico
Review Date: 07-13-2016
So much schlock in the Soave category, I had low expectations for this one. It was a bit dumb when it we first tasted it, but right now it's absolutely delightful. Open expressive nose without being super fruity or lactic. Honeysuckle, apricot, wet stone and meyer lemon zest. The palate has wonderful lift and great acid, but isn't light per say. The subtle citrus notes continue with a building mineral quality. Total quaffer and priced to drink. Might be the White of the Summer for me...
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2012 d'Issan, Margaux
Review Date: 07-13-2016
This might be the deal of the vintage. This is real solid uncompromising style of Margaux for a very reasonable price. I really can't believe it's still in stock because this is both drinking and cellaring Bordeaux at a fraction of the cost of some of it's neighbors. Big notes of coffee, violets, dark plum and vanilla. The perfect silky texture and wonderful ripe tannin. The whole thing is balanced and lifted with a great freshness! An open bombastic style without the sense that it's modernized or international in style at all.

2012 White Rock Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-13-2016
White Rock is a freakin' home rum for lovers of the old school style Napa Cab that's so hard to get these days. What I love about this wine, in the vibe of Heitz or maybe even Dunn, it has this incredible sense of place. While it doesn't taste like Bordeaux, there's clearly an eye to a more restrained, terroir driven style. And if you're about terroir then your wines should not taste like they're from the Medoc, indeed they should taste like they're from Napa, which so few wines from Napa seem to do any longer. This is the real deal. Do not ignore it.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
VN 92

2012 Keenan "Reserve" Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-13-2016
Good old Keenan continues to deliver extreme quality year after year. The '12 Reserve is a structured and classic Napa style with great density and power without crossing that line into the over oaked, overripe, overly alcoholic style that's become so popular! Tons of fresh cola and dense dark fruit. The density is balanced with a wonderful structure built for the cellar. Set it and forget it. This stuff will be magic in 5-10 years.

2004 Heitz Cellar "Trailside" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-13-2016
A triumph! Totally round and open. Fully mature, but still with plenty of life. Silky textured mouth feel. The sign of a perfectly ripe tannin! Dense dark fruit and a wonderful gravelly cab note. More proof that Heitz is still one of the best in the west.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

2014 J.L. Chave Selection "Mon Coeur" Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 07-13-2016
The total package. It's absolutely astonishing that Chave continues to make such high quality wines regardless of vintage and price point. Totally seamless and classical, without the overripe baked fruit that's become ubiquitous with southern Rhone in general over the last decade. That does not mean it's austere or funky, but still has plenty of completely clean dense fruit and the perfect amount of earthy spice. I've always loved this wine and it's a no brainer for almost any drinker in a pinch, but this vintage seemed particularly special and I plan to put a case away for cooler weather.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2014 Clos de l'Anhel "Les Terrassettes" Corbières
Review Date: 07-13-2016
While I love all three of the Anhel wines, the Terrassettes spoke to me as the best of the bunch to open today. Absolutely gorgeous texture and wild aromatics of blackberries, ripe red cassis, black pepper, and rock earth. Powerful and dense, but not heavy or overripe. A truly spectacular wine the feels effortlessly drinkable, while over delivering on complexity.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2014 Clos de l'Anhel "Lolo de l'Anhel" Corbieres
Review Date: 07-13-2016
We're all in love with the Anhel wines, but this new vintage is a benchmark for me. Ultra pure expression of the terroir, big floral notes without the hint of perfumed artificial quality. Dark and spicy fruit and a great texture that's all about the lifted structure while maintaining the intensity. Stupidly cheap price on these.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Begude Grüner Veltliner "Exotique" Pays d'Oc
Review Date: 07-13-2016
This special little oddity is so familiar yet not quite what you'd expect. Gruner apply and subtle mineral quality paired with a building fresh herbal quality and a great dry stony note on the finish. Totally fun and priced to give Austrian liters some heat.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2015 Chateau les Valentines "Le Caprice de Clementine" Cotes de Provence Rosé
Review Date: 07-13-2016
Easy fresh and well integrated. Tons of bright lemon and fresh peach aroma. So drinkable yet not boring or neutered.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Kavalan Solist Ex-Bourbon Cask #52" K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Barrel Taiwanese Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 06-30-2016
I remember the first time I tasted Kavalan Single Cask (Solist). It was at the 2013 Whisky Fest in San Francisco. This special little distillery was completely unknown by the general public at the time. While people lined up out the door to get a tiny snort of Pappy, I sauntered over to the small table where Ian Chang stood completely alone and got REAL excited to see all FOUR Solists casks there to taste. I'd heard good things from Taiwanese friends and certain members of the whisky geek elite, but I was very surprised to see Mr. Chang actually manning the table. He took me through the line-up and I became completely enamored. The incredible complexity and depth that these whiskies show is unprecedented for an upstart single malt distillery. After a nice long chat, I thank Mr. Chang and jokingly said as I left, "can't wait to buy some single casks!" The ever gracious distiller, looked at me slyly and said, "You’ll have to come to Taiwan." I promised I’d tried and walked away certain that this was the best whisky of the night. A year later, my colleague David was actually able to make the journey to visit Ian and there the true seed of the possibility began to grow. Then one day months later, the importer walked in and slid three samples across my desk. In the mean time, Kavalan had become one of the hottest brands in the world and we were selling out ever drop we could get our hands on in a matter of days if not hours. The prospect of getting a single cask was almost too good to be true. Indeed, as we tasted through them I was blown away by the complexity and depth of each. We just couldn't let these incredible whiskies slip through our fingers, no matter what the cost. And so we didn't. We may be one of the only places in the US right now to have cask strength ex-bourbon. Thanks to our importers efforts, we locked in the casks at the 2015 pricing, so expect subsequent offerings to be $20-30 more expensive than then. Cask #52 has a massive nose of creamy rich coconut, powerful Tahitian vanilla, and sweet fresh spices. Expect deep toasty caramel on the palate, with piles of over ripe fruit and American oak spices taking over on the back palate. This may be too powerful for many single malt drinkers without water, but should satiate the most seasoned bourbon lover right out of the bottle.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

Kavalan Solist Ex-Bourbon Cask #75 K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Barrel Taiwanese Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 06-30-2016
I remember the first time I tasted Kavalan Single Cask (Solist). It was at the 2013 Whisky Fest in San Francisco. This special little distillery was completely unknown by the general public at the time. While people lined up out the door to get a tiny snort of Pappy, I sauntered over to the small table where Ian Chang stood completely alone and got REAL excited to see all FOUR Solists casks there to taste. I'd heard good things from Taiwanese friends and certain members of the whisky geek elite, but I was very surprised to see Mr. Chang actually manning the table. He took me through the line-up and I became completely enamored. The incredible complexity and depth that these whiskies show is unprecedented for an upstart single malt distillery. After a nice long chat, I thank Mr. Chang and jokingly said as I left, "can't wait to buy some single casks!" The ever gracious distiller, looked at me slyly and said, "You’ll have to come to Taiwan." I promised I’d tried and walked away certain that this was the best whisky of the night. A year later, my colleague David was actually able to make the journey to visit Ian and there the true seed of the possibility began to grow. Then one day months later, the importer walked in and slid three samples across my desk. In the mean time, Kavalan had become one of the hottest brands in the world and we were selling out ever drop we could get our hands on in a matter of days if not hours. The prospect of getting a single cask was almost too good to be true. Indeed, as we tasted through them I was blown away by the complexity and depth of each. We just couldn't let these incredible whiskies slip through our fingers, no matter what the cost. And so we didn't. We may be one of the only places in the US right now to have cask strength ex-bourbon. Thanks to our importers efforts, we locked in the casks at the 2015 pricing, so expect subsequent offerings to be $20-30 more expensive than then. Cask #75 is easily the most closed of the three casks right out of the bottle. It shows dark flavors, more exotic wood and deeper spice notes, still exhibiting incredible complexity, but without the intense sweet notes of the other two casks. With water however, this baby really opens up and starts to bring in complexities not available in its sisters. First, the mahogany notes begin to move more toward sandalwood and around the omnipresent vanilla, you'll see fresh mint and echoes of malted grain. This whisky begs you to take your time an watch it's layers unfold.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

Kavalan Solist Ex-Bourbon Cask #76 K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Barrel Taiwanese Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 06-30-2016
I remember the first time I tasted Kavalan Single Cask (Solist). It was at the 2013 Whisky Fest in San Francisco. This special little distillery was completely unknown by the general public at the time. While people lined up out the door to get a tiny snort of Pappy, I sauntered over to the small table where Ian Chang stood completely alone and got REAL excited to see all FOUR Solists casks there to taste. I'd heard good things from Taiwanese friends and certain members of the whisky geek elite, but I was very surprised to see Mr. Chang actually manning the table. He took me through the line-up and I became completely enamored. The incredible complexity and depth that these whiskies show is unprecedented for an upstart single malt distillery. After a nice long chat, I thank Mr. Chang and jokingly said as I left, "can't wait to buy some single casks!" The ever gracious distiller, looked at me slyly and said, "You’ll have to come to Taiwan." I promised I’d tried and walked away certain that this was the best whisky of the night. A year later, my colleague David was actually able to make the journey to visit Ian and there the true seed of the possibility began to grow. Then one day months later, the importer walked in and slid three samples across my desk. In the mean time, Kavalan had become one of the hottest brands in the world and we were selling out ever drop we could get our hands on in a matter of days if not hours. The prospect of getting a single cask was almost too good to be true. Indeed, as we tasted through them I was blown away by the complexity and depth of each. We just couldn't let these incredible whiskies slip through our fingers, no matter what the cost. And so we didn't. We may be one of the only places in the US right now to have cask strength ex-bourbon. Thanks to our importers efforts, we locked in the casks at the 2015 pricing, so expect subsequent offerings to be $20-30 more expensive than then. The gorgeous cask #76 is perhaps the most balanced of the three. Like getting that perfect dessert from a world class chef, it shows incredible richness and complexity but never feels out of balance. Big bold sweet notes, but moving away from the frosting and caramel of cask #52 toward a more seamless spiced honey tone. Slightly lower proof than her sisters, this whisky drinks right of the bottle like a dream, although a touch of water does highlight some of the wild honey that I love. Either way, this whisky seems to have no edge and while bold, it's never sharp or aggressive. A truly special cask and a pleasure to have on the bar for however long it can possibly last.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

Tom's Foolery Bottled In Bond Batch #3 Ohio Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 06-16-2016
A weekend in my wife's hometown - celebrating her incredible accomplishments as a designer - turned into one of the most exciting work trips of the year when I realized her grandparents' house was a five minute drive from the well-regarded Tom's Foolery Distillery. The town of Chagrin Falls is a beautiful, quaint little place, which as the name suggests has a massive waterfall running through the middle of town. Just outside the town are some of Ohio's largest and most historic estates along with apple orchards and open space. It was there that we came upon the home of the Herbrucks. Tom and Lianne are the real deal. With out the pomp, ego, or gimmicks that have become ubiquitous in the Craft Whiskey world, these two are generally achieving something great through hard work and dedication. They hit all the important craft notes without making a fuss about it (local grain grown on their own farm, hand distillation, pot stills, years of experience). They have several hundred barrels sitting in their unheated warehouses and while they no longer have the historic Michter's stills that is not stopping them from continuing to make some of the best craft whiskey in the country. This whisky does of course come from those special stills. Expect big bold flavors of dark wood, stewed stone fruits, minty spice and earthy grain. The nose reminds me of some of the great young old whiskies I've had (those post-Prohibition gems). Ultimately, it's a flavor profile that's almost non-existent in KY today. Dryer than most modern bourbon, likely due to the lack of patent warehousing, it remains very balanced with a lovely palate filling texture - leaving you with a unique forest floor and dark cocoa finish. There isn't a hot or harsh note anywhere in the mix and the whole thing is as seamless and integrated as can be. We're all very lucky to have a crack at this special juice.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Prestige Vieilles Vignes" Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2016
This is a wonderful example of what OLD VINES means for champagne. Real old vines! The depth and power is not surpassed by anything in the price point. Fresh open and alive, tons of black cherry, touches of fresh brioche, big bold richness with an ultra long finish. Bubbles for ballers who don't have that black card yet.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2016
Just astonishing how delicious this is for the price. It hits every note you want from a rose champagne, both power and elegance, round and rich with great long structure, aromatic pinot fruit with a hint of savory spice. You could decant it and serve it with a filet mignon as easily as you'd serve it with your aper'eau. A triumph of wine making fit for the most frugal lover of bubbles and the most opulent spender alike.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2008 Michel Loriot "Apollonis" Vintage Extra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2016
A fabulous little wine designed for those who really love the bright fresh floral and tropical fruit qualities of Meunier with the depth and complexity provided by a healthy dollop of high quality chardonnay. This vintage product is easily accessible now and can be served on nearly any occasion. Lovely white flowers, but not too perfumed though -no gardenias, more honeysuckles. Lovely long soft finish with fresh tropical fruit continuing throughout. This I want to have with french onion soup for some reason.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$34.99

2004 Charles Ellner "Prestige" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2016
Even though this has been aged at the estate for years, it is still taught and full of life. Creamy apple and pear on the nose, with a big laser beam of apply acid on the palate. Mouth filling and thirst quenching, don't leave me alone with one of these if you were expecting to have a glass. Despite the obvious complexity and depth at this stage, I long to enjoy it again after another few years in the cellar. Buy a case and drink it over the next half decade or so and you will be RIGHTEOUSLY rewarded.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WS 93 WE 91

1998 Dom Pérignon "P2" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2016
This decadent offering from one of Champagne's most storied brands does everything you'd expect. Bold, rich and over the top, it's as showy and opulent as the price point would suggest. Expect intense oak and nutty spice balanced by a powerful creamy texture and ultra complex pommace fruit. Perfect pair for hoisting the automatic sails on your Swan! Press that button and pour.

1992 Louise Brison Vintage Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2016
There are simply so few opportunities to taste something like this, 24 years on the lees from a small grower producer. It's incredible that we have access to this stuff and all serious champagne collectors and lovers of old wine should take note. The price point is not to be ignored considering how rare and special this is. Don't expect it to be the easiest glass of wine of your life, but it might be one of the most memorable. This is a wild animal erupting with glorious savory and exotic fruit aromas. Still, it remains fresh on the palate with a lifted vibrant acid and a strong nutty finish. Out there in the very best possible way. It's not for everyone, but for the select few it be a triumph.
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Franck Bonville Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2016
This is basically the non-vintage champagne that everybody wants, everybody needs, and everybody can have! It checks every box. It suits any occasion. It fits nearly any budget. It delivers in every single way. Perfect blanc de blancs nose, vibrant soft white fruit, fresh crisp apples and citrus, slight saline, and that grand cru chalkiness that you can't miss. Lively, pointed and open - it slips from the glass like a slithering snake, just disappears. Where did it go? I don't know. Buy another.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

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