Staff Favorites - Christie Brunick

Christie Brunick
Christie Brunick  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
I was first introduced to the fabulous world of California wine in Napa where I spent weekends bike riding and wine tasting with my parents up and down the Silverado Trail. Growing up in the East Bay Area it was only a hop...skip...jump away from wine country where my family would venture to relax and play every possible moment. It wasn't until my senior year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo that I realized I had a passion for the wine industry. My first encounter with the working world of wine was my volunteer internship at Edna Valley Winery where I traveled to a number of tasting events with the marketing manager for the winery and realized I needed to get in the business. I added a minor in wine and viticulture to my communications studies major and ended up writing my thesis on the differences in wine marketing throughout a choice number of Paso Robles wineries. My first "real job" in the wine industry was at the smallest tasting room with the biggest personality in Paso Robles named Four Vines Winery. I worked there for almost three years while going to school and fell in love with not only central coast wines, but also with the business of sales and all those who loved, appreciated, and enjoyed our fruitful product. After graduation in 2007 I loved the central coast so much I decided to make a go for it and stay in this blissful paradise of beach and vines. I became fond very fond of making trips to Los Olivos and Santa Ynez valley quite often and in the mean time also became employed at Tolosa Winery in San Luis Obispo and 15 degrees wine bar in Templeton. In the summer of 2009 I decided to take a chance and move to Hollywood for more opportunity. Being from northern California I wanted to expand my horizons and see what the LA lifestyle was all about. I knew this was where I belonged the moment I stepped into this oasis of wine and cuisine. Never had I been to a place where I could find so many restaurants, bistros, wine bars, and the like within a 4 mile radius, and I don't have to get on the freeway! I'm in heaven. When I walked into the infamous K&L Hollywood Store it was love at first sight! I'm thrilled to be working here doing what I love, and love the incredible people here who share this passion and commitment with me.


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2013 Antech "Grande Cuvée" Cremant de Limoux
Review Date: 09-02-2015
The newest addition to the Antech Cremant lineup is my personal favorite yet! The Grand Cuvee has a touch more Chardonnay than the Eugenie, and has a bit more lift and brightness to it that is absolutely stunning on the palate. Clean and precise on the nose, with subtle notes of stone fruit and citrus; soft but intense moussey bubbles on the palate, and balanced with gorgeous acidity and minerality. If you like clean and balanced styles of Blanc de Blanc Champagne then you will LOVE this baby Champagne for a quarter of the price. I will be serving this all through the holidays, and my own personal baby shower, because it is the most crowd-friendly bubbly I've tasted. It will not last long, so get it while it's still here!
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Domaine Lafage "Tessellae" Carignan Vieilles Vignes Côtes Catalanes
Review Date: 08-25-2015
An absolutely lovely 100% Carignan with flavors of pure bittersweet dark chocolate, crunchy herbs and spice, and juicy acidity that makes this extremely food friendly and versatile.
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 94

2013 Kistler "Sonoma Mountain" Chardonnay
Review Date: 08-18-2015
Still one of the most elegant, well balanced, yet full-bodied California Chardonnays in the market today. Kistler is truly a first-class operation that never disappoints.
Price: $64.99 Add To Waiting List
WS 93

Sean Thackrey "Pleiades XXIV Old Vines" California Red Blend
Review Date: 08-18-2015
Consistently one of the best non-vintage blends on the market today. Always food friendly, yet drinkable on its own, this is the perfect red that can be enjoyed all year round. Spicy, floral, medium-full bodied, supple texture and ripe fruit. This is always surprising and intriguing every time.
Price: $21.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Amici Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-05-2015
If you like Big, Massive, Layered, Textured, Sultry, Sexy, Voluminous, Full-Bodied and Oaky Napa Cabernet, then the Amici is for you! This is a boutique Napa winery and one that always over-delivers quality for price! I call it Caymus for half the price! Only the Amici has way better structure and longevity than Caymus does these days. Tons of rich, dark Napa fruit, and plenty of new French oak that makes this wine scream..I need a steak! Absolutely stunning and you deserve every drop!
Price: $43.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Domaine Renaud St-Véran
Review Date: 08-03-2015
Absolutely my top favorite of all our Direct Import Burgundy producers, because year after year, Domaine Renaud consistently over-delivers quality for the price! Which is hard to find in Burgundy, and if you're a Burgundy connoisseur you already know this! The Saint Veran is the most seamless and elegant of the bunch, with a freshness about it that the Pouilly-Fuissé lacks because of its heavier use of oak. The Saint Veran is full of flavor but not new oak. Gorgeous texture and layers of stone fruit, zesty minerality, and balanced acid that makes it perfect with food. It has the brightness of a Chablis but not the ultra tartness on the finish. It carries itself so elegantly you will fall in love, over and over again with every sip!
Price: $18.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Domaine Dragon Côtes de Provence Rosé
Review Date: 08-03-2015
Simply the best Provencal rosé I've tasted under $15 all year! Or for the past few years for that matter. This boutique producer we just started importing delivers everything you could want in a Provence rosé and more! Gorgeous light salmon color, dry, crisp, mineral driven, subtle fruit undertones of grapefruit pitch, pomelo rind, even a touch of white nectar and strawberry seed. Super light and refreshing, perfect pool-side sipper for the long summer ahead! If you're looking for a food pairing try it with a summer salad of prosciutto, melon, and burrata! Yum!
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Banshee Sonoma County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-03-2015
Every year Banshee wines seem to get better and better. They are getting more recognized and more popular, which means they are getting better picks and vineyard sources than they used to. The fruit quality in the 2013 is above and beyond what I've experienced in the past! Not only was 2013 an even better vintage than 2012 in Sonoma, the winemakers and vineyard managers all love the '13s for their elegance, power, and purity of fruit. Classic in color and flavor, with a medium-dark purple/red tone and flavors that portrays sweet summer Bing cherries, wildflowers, summer wild berry fields, quenching acidity, and an absolutely stunning texture that's silky and polished. This is California Pinot at its best!
Price: $22.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Joseph Carr Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-22-2015
A classic California styled Chardonnay with nice creamy texture and integrated oak that doesn't finish bitter or too toasty. Even a nice tropical note of pineapple upside-down cake on the finish. Delicious summer Chardonnay for a great price!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 90

2006 Drappier "Grande Sendrée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 07-15-2015
Drinking perfectly upon release, this blend of 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay is the definition of expressive elegance in a glass. Gorgeous aromas, texture, and fruit, this is the belle of the ball. Absolute perfect amount of creaminess to acid ratio, this is bright and buttery at the same time.

2008 Michel Arnould Vintage "Carte d'Or" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 07-15-2015
This gorgeous blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay Champagne is a great example of how amazing the 2008 vintage is. I can't believe this is vintage Champagne for the price! Bright and fresh, but with the delicious savory hazelnut, apple, cherry flavors that we know and love this producer for. Completely balanced and drinking great now.
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Domaine Anne & Arnaud Goisot Chablis
Review Date: 07-15-2015
Flinty, mineraly, high acid, bright, racy, crisp, and clean...these are the elements that make great Chablis. Try finding one better than this for under $15! Good luck.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Alain Voge "Les Vinsonnes" Saint-Joseph
Review Date: 07-08-2015
YES, YES, YES, YES, AND HELL YES!!! Every French Syrah from now on will be compared to this. I'm ruined for life! But hey, at least the best St Joseph I've ever tasted is only $30!

2013 Clos de l'Anhel "Lolo de l'Anhel" Corbieres
Review Date: 07-08-2015
Classically Corbieres, complex, completely old school, and oh so food friendly. This new DI addition is perfect for anyone wanting to try something new, or get out of their Rhone Rut! Give it some air or a decant first, this wine totally over-delivers for the price with its super-structure and depth of savory earth, spice, and dusty tannins.
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Roth Estate Alexander Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 07-08-2015
Classic cool climate Sauvignon Blanc at its best for a ridiculous price! This is Lancaster's second label that usually sells for closer to $20! A stellar value for 100% pure, estate-grown, Alexander Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Great citrus and mineral notes, juicy mouthwatering acidity, and easy to drink with or without food. It's a no-brainier if you ask me!
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Bench Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-08-2015
A very classicly styled Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. Juicy and rich on the palate, with silky and seamless texture. Lots of black cherry and red fruit notes. Always a go to!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2010 Collemattoni Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 07-04-2015
OMG! I just discovered the Best 2010 Brunello I've tasted this year! And we've been tasting A LOT since they've been rolling in over the past months. This Direct Import straight from the Winery is Super classic in style, and right upon popping the cork it's showing amazing fruit and character! Yes you can age it for 20 years, but of all the 2010's this is gorgeous out of the bottle and oh soo showy! Amazing texture, integrated oak and tannins, purity of fruit and layers and layers of delicious! Please do yourself a favor and and let this wine transport you to the Italian wine-country of Brunello!

2013 William Hill "Estate" North Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-01-2015
This is a great value in California Chardonnay done by the people who know how to do Chardonnay right! Gallo of course! Very classic to the Cali style we all love but not too sweet and alcoholic as many domestic Chards can be. Nice creamy texture with plenty of toasted oak and vanilla on the finish.
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 90

2014 Ermitage "Victor" Costieres de Nimes Rosé
Review Date: 06-23-2015
If you're looking for the absolute best crowd-pleasing rosé that is classically French in style but priced like a summer porch pounder, then look no further! This is a gorgeous rosé Rhone blend of 50% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 25% Mourvedre from a tiny AVA called Costieres de Nimes within the Rhone region. For just under $10 this rosé will tantalize your senses and get your party skinny dipping in no time! I can't believe the balance of summertime strawberry fruit, quenching textures of minerality and juicy acidity, and it finishes so clean and perfect, it just entices you to drink more! The only bad news is that we only got a very limited amount of this amazing southern French Direct Import and it won't last through the whole summer, so get it while you can!
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List

2011 Ousterhout "Nance's Vineyard" Alexander Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 06-16-2015
An extremely food friendly style Zin that we don't see very often. Almost reminds me of Italian Zin or Primitivo with its brightness and spice. Great to drink now or cellar a couple years!
Price: $27.99 Add To Waiting List
W&S 95 WE 90

2012 Jordan Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-16-2015
Jordan is great at making wines true to varietal character yet displaying all the nuances of the terroir from which they come. This Chardonnay is no exception. It has subtle, creamy aromas and a great texture on the palate, yet this cool-climate Chardonnay has an intense leesy quality that mimics Burgundy. Food-friendly and ready to consume.
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 91

2014 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre Rosé 1.5L
Review Date: 06-16-2015
Unbelievably fresh, bright, mineral driven, with subtle hints of that light Pinot Noir strawberry fruit coming through. This is the quintessential Sancerre summer rosé that is so refreshing with its quenching acidity and mouth-watering finish. And for this price you should stock up before it's gone...won't last long!
Price: $32.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre Rosé (375ml)
Review Date: 06-16-2015
Unbelievably fresh, bright, mineral driven, with subtle hints of that light Pinot Noir strawberry fruit coming through. This is the quintessential Sancerre summer rosé that is so refreshing with its quenching acidity and mouth-watering finish. And for this price you should stock up before it's gone...won't last long!
Price: $7.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Caymus "Special Selection" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-04-2015
This vintage of Caymus Special Select is just as special as ever. The 2012 is massive and mouth-coating. If you love the over-the-top style Caymus has become famous for, then this year's is going to make your eyes roll back and drool at first sip!
Price: $169.99 Add To Waiting List
WS 94

2013 Haut Rian Blanc, Bordeaux
Review Date: 06-04-2015
Finally, A Bordeaux blanc that is superbly balanced and priced to drink! With 60% Semillion and 40% Sauvignon Blanc, this white has amazing texture and viscosity on the palate while remaining crisp, mineral-driven, and with high acidity all the way through. I'm obsessed! Will be drinking this till it's gone!
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Dominus "Napanook" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 06-04-2015
The 2012 Napanook is the second label from the 99-Robert-Parker-point 2012 Dominus and is just about the best value I've seen for this pedigree of fruit in years! This Napa Valley Bordeaux blend should constitute a wine that's triple in price! A bit more plush and forward than the usual restrained and more lean style of Napanook, but with all the structure and finesse that will keep this baby aging gracefully for decades to come. I love it now, but I will love, love, love it in 5 to 15 years!

2012 Roth Estate Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-02-2015
California Chardonnay fans watch out! This second label Chard from Lancaster is going to take over by storm! This screaming deal comes from vineyards with all estate fruit that is better quality than some of the biggest Cali Chard producers in the business. If you love Rombauer, Cakebread, or Ramey and don't want to be in the well over $30 range than try the Roth Chard for well under $20! You will find your new everyday wine!
Price: $17.99 Add To Waiting List
W&S 90

2012 Olema Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-22-2015
Again and again, the Olema Cabernet never fails to be the best in its class! The 2012 is even more exceptional than usual because the fruit is matched by its pure elegance. More richness, but also more texturally pleasing, without too much oak, leaving it supple and food friendly with its integrated light tannins and juicy acidity. This is the perfect $20 Cab for anyone looking for a super versatile everyday red that can pair with almost any food, or just enjoy it on its own!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Foxen Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 05-15-2015
By far the best vintage of Foxen Pinot Noir I've tasted. And I've been drinking this wine for well over a decade! The aromatics just burst out of the glass and is so bright yet intriguing with underlying richness and supple texture on the palate. This is not to be missed! It will go fast.
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 94 ST 90

2014 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre
Review Date: 05-08-2015
A Perfect expression of classic Sancerre. This is perfect for anyone who wants to try their first Sancerre coming from New World Sauvignon Blancs, or the Sancerre aficionado who just wants an amazing value under $20 that will be delicious to drink with or without food. It has a nice balance of fruit with acid and is mineral driven at the core.
Price: $17.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Domaine Courtois "La Grange" Vinsobres
Review Date: 05-08-2015
This Southern Rhone Blend is from a lesser known sub-region called Vinsobres. I love this wine because it retains the plush and ripe fruit we all know and love from Cote du Rhone but has a much more depth of character. It's mineral driven at the core, with great acidity and structure to give it a rustic edge, but remaining friendly at the same time. Enjoy and Cheers!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Castillo de Monseran Garnacha Cariñena
Review Date: 05-01-2015
Can you get a better summer party wine for the price? The Answer is No! This Garnacha is not only juicy and ripe but it has great quenching acidity that balances the fruit making it perfect for sipping alone or with food! Great with any type of salty tapas and wont give you a hangover from high alcohol or sugar! You cant find better bang for your buck in this category!
Price: $7.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Martin Ray Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-08-2015
Napa Valley fruit at this price?! It's true, and it's amazing! This drinks like a Napa Cab at twice its price and is worth every penny! Dark fruit, lush and supple on the palate with a fair amount of rich, sweet French oak that makes the finish oh so good! Drink up!
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Fossil Point Edna Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 04-08-2015
This is the most varietally correct and friendly Pinot Noir from California's cool climate central coast that you can get! It is bright and juicy, with lots of pretty red cherry and strawberry fruit with a Burgundian sensibility to it. This is one of those not to miss vintages of this wine, completely over-delivers for the price!
Price: $15.99 Add To Waiting List

Del Professore Vermouth 750ml
Review Date: 04-01-2015
Looking for a great springtime aperitif? This semi-off-dry Italian White Vermouth is soo delicious and refreshing! It's a great option for someone who wants something a little different than there typical Lillet Blanc or similar. I love it over the rocks with a twist of lemon or other citrus! I will be enjoying this all summer!
Price: $27.99 Add To Waiting List

2010 Amici Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 03-24-2015
This is drinking beautifully now and will age gracefully over the next 5-10 years as well. No expense spared by the folks at Amici Wines to make the absolute best wines possible for the price! Dark, rich, supple, juicy, with integrated oak and polished tannins on the finish. This is always a staff favorite!
Price: $43.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 91 RP 90

2013 Kalinda Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 03-20-2015
If you haven't already heard, the 2013 vintage is even more exciting to Napa winemakers than 2012! Hard to believe I know, but wait to you taste our new release of the 2013 Kalinda Yountville Cabernet you will need to sit down for this! It's coming from one of my favorite producers in Napa Valley making balanced age-wothy Bordeaux style Cabernet. All the fruit used is second from this powerhouse estate and it is stupid-good for the money. I can't wait to put a case away and see how it develops over the next few years!
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Larkmead Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 03-19-2015
When you talk about a wine that is sleek, polished, elegant, with classic Napa Valley hedonism at its core, then you must be talking about the new 2012 Larkmead Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon! My only complaint here is; I want more! I can't get enough of this wine, I want to drink it now, and I want to cellar it! It's 100% perfect in its depth of fruit and structure. Love.
Price: $90.00 Add To Waiting List
AG 93 RP 93

2012 Araujo "Altagracia" Napa Valley Proprietary Red
Review Date: 03-06-2015
Looking for a perfect balance of power and beauty, a little Cali mixed with a little Bordeaux style, this delivers all the goods. Stunning structure, rich, bold, beautiful classic Cabernet fruit with structure and sweet oak that will keep this wine aging for years to come! To me it's just perfect! Drink while your Eisele Vineyard ages!

2007 Bodegas Puelles Rioja Reserva
Review Date: 02-25-2015
Drinking beautifully now and is extremely supple with polished tannins and a pure expression of fruit. Lots of violets, purple and blue fruit, with a touch of savory earth and tobacco on the finish. Absolutely perfect with tapas and easy enough to sip on its own. A great Rioja to introduce friends to as well.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 90

2013 Rickshaw California Pinot Noir
Review Date: 02-25-2015
To be Honest, I like this second label Pinot Noir from Banshee wines more than the first! For almost $10 cheaper, you get brilliant fruit from the same exact source! I love the richness on the palate, it's actually a bigger Pinot than the Banshee label, but still has that great acidity to polish it out. Lots of Black and red cherry, blueberry, and red fruits here. Absolutely delicious!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2011 Mas de Daumas Gassac VDP de l'Herault Rouge
Review Date: 02-25-2015
I'm in love. This lovely Cabernet-based southern French blend has all the richness and weight of a Bordeaux, but without the harsh tannins! Hallelujah! But it's not just fruit, it has a gorgeous, gravely tobacco rusticness that makes its black and purple fruit marry very well together. I will be drinking a lot of this very soon! Think of Bandol without waiting all the time!
Price: $41.99 Add To Waiting List

2010 Château la Caminade "Fut de Chene" Cahors
Review Date: 02-25-2015
Malbec from Argentina = cocktail wine, Malbec from Cahors France = food wine! All the dark fruit but with so much more structure. Gorgeously rustic with high acid and integrated tannins that will go oh so well with any red meat you can get your hands on! Delicious.
Price: $21.99 Add To Waiting List

Marietta "Old Vine Red-Lot #62" Red Blend
Review Date: 02-25-2015
Looking for a red to drink day or night? With or without food? Not too tannic and not too sweet? Then you've met your match! This is a terrific crowd-pleaser with its ripe, juicy upfront fruit, but balanced with a fair amount of acid and not too much oak! Pizza party, burgers, chicken, it's all good!
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List
WS 90

2012 Anaba Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-06-2015
If you're looking for a Chardonnay that includes the Big 4--Flavor, Fruit, Food Friendliness, and Full-bodied--look no further! I'm loving this boutique production Chardonnay from some of the most well regarded vineyards in the region! The main reason I love it is because it's not your typical super oaky-buttery fat-flabby Cali Chard, not to say that it doesn't have the lusciousness of a Cali Chard we all love, but it has gorgeous texture, acidity, and balance like Burgundy, without the harsh edges. It dances on the palate with its citrus and tropical fruit notes and has a wonderful weight from the lees and integrated French oak. Wow, this is delicious!
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 93

2013 Franck Millet "Insolite" Sancerre
Review Date: 02-04-2015
My Favorite Sancerre is back! Slightly updated label, same Amazing Sauvignon Blanc. I always love the Insolite Sancerre because it has a touch more palate weight and texture than your typical Sancerre. Bursting with minerality, juicy acid, and even a touch of salinity, this is the perfect shellfish wine and I can vouch for that! I had a bottle at a raw bar with oysters and scallops and it was absolutely divine! Easy enough to drink on its own as well, this also goes great with salty hard cheeses.
Price: $23.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Adelsheim Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 01-28-2015
The Perfect expression of what everyone expects from the spectacular 2012 vintage in the Willamette Valley. Deep and lush in color and flavor, the 2012 Adelsheim Pinot Noir delivers all the goods. Rich aromatics of ripe berry patch and rhubarb. On the palate it's juicy and supple, with bursting cherries, raspberries, and dried strawberry. Not your typical light, lean and mean style Oregon Pinot so many people equate Willamette Pinots with. This is more full bodied and lush than expected and still 100% Pinot.

2010 Soluve Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 01-28-2015
I don't usually love Chianti but we just got in one of the most friendly Chiantis I've tasted in a long time! The reason is that it has a touch of Merlot blended with the Sangiovese giving it a nice weight and richness, and adds a soft quality to the usually very astringent and acidic Chianti. This is perfectly food friendly and a great wine to have with anything Italian!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 91

2012 Trimbach Riesling
Review Date: 01-08-2015
This is as classic as the blind wine they would pour at the Court of Master Sommeliers blind tasting. If you're looking for non-petrol driven dry Riesling, this is where it's at! Chock-full of minerality and acid, with subtle fruit, it's extremely food-friendly and versatile.
Price: $16.99 Add To Waiting List
WS 91 WE 90

2012 Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 12-12-2014
Sophisticated and supple. Yes, the second label from Quintessa has done it yet again. The Faust Cabernet is pure and straightforward. Black currant, cassis and blackberry fruit on the nose, with just a wisp of toast. Fresh minerals and finely integrated tannins make this Napa classic very drinkable now or easily cellarable for the next 5+ years or so.
Price: $44.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 93 RP 90

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