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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2012 Grgich Hills "Estate" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 12-03-2015
Classic and elegant, Napa meets Bordeaux in style and drinkability. Will cellar nicely as well for the next decade.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

2010 Heitz Cellar "Martha's Vineyard" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 12-03-2015
If I could have a "last meal" wine this would be it. It doesn't lack anything. And it's not pretentious or shy. It's exactly what you want for a special occasion to blow your palate away!
Price: $189.99 Add To Cart
VN 96

2012 Grgich Hills "Estate" Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 12-03-2015
Always classic and lovely. Grgich has a way with keeping their wines balanced and nuanced without too much oak and malo. I always recommend this to someone who is trying to cut back on the typical Cali Chard and wants to move closer to a Burgundian styled Chardonnay.
Price: $36.99 Add To Cart
CG 90

Michel Loriot "Authentic" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-18-2015
It won't be here for long, so stock up on the best deal in Direct Import Champagne while it lasts! This is the perfect fall-holiday bubbly because it has a fuller, moussey texture and mouthfeel because of the Pinot Meunier fruit and toasted hazelnuts with wild berries on the finish.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
ST 90

2014 Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay (375ml)
Review Date: 11-09-2015
My favorite vintage of Rombauer Chard yet! Why? Because this year they have made a more balanced and intriguing style of their Chardonnay with more vibrancy and purity of fruit than ever before, and it's not covered up by the copious amount of oak and malo that usually hides the pretty fruit.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2013 Layer Cake California Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 10-28-2015
This is A LOT of wine for the money, people! If you are looking for a full-bodied, lush yet soft, rich and velvety textured Cab that will please palates across the table for a price that won't break the bank, then look no further! I love this for the holiday's and will be stocking up because the quality of fruit here really shines through with its intensity of blackberry, chocolate, dried currant, red berry and blueberry fruit, and even a touch of vanilla from French Oak. Absolutely Delic!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2013 Layer Cake Central Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-28-2015
Best Pinot for the price I've tasted all year! And the name says it all -- juicy, supple, rich, ripe, soft yet sultry intensity, and just plain delicious! I can't think of a better party Pinot than this! Or just a great Tuesday night wine...or any night of the week for that matter!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2014 Evesham Wood Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-28-2015
If you thought 2012 was an amazing vintage for Oregon Pinot Noir then wait till you start tasting the 2014s! Like the '12s, these puppies are vibrant and juicy, but with possibly even more suppleness on the palate and intense purity of fruit. I love the Evesham Wood's entry-level Pinot at just $20 because it shows off the highlights of this amazing vintage while remaining true to the classic roots of this Burgundian inspired producer with all of its complex spice, floral, and savory undertones. Absolutely the perfect wine for fall, and will pair perfectly with all those autumn-inspired Thanksgiving flavors!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2013 Bishop's Peak San Luis Obispo Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-28-2015
I love Talley Vineyards. And what I love more is a great value from one of my favorite Central Coast producers! Bishop's Peak is Talley's second label, but the fruit is still being sourced from all their esteemed local vineyards, and the result is a mind-blowing, amazingly delicious and juicy Pinot Noir for sub-$20! Not only am I a huge fan of this label but I even served it at my very own wedding reception because it over-delivers for the price and is everything you could want from a classic California Pinot Noir. It's drinkable with or without food, it's balanced with the right amount of acid and fruit, it's bright and juicy, and is perfect for a crowd-pleasing Pinot! Thanksgiving is around the corner and I could not think of something better for your guests that will be well received and not break the bank!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Opus One "Overture" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 10-12-2015
I took a whiff of this and the aromatics screamed Bordeaux! But with a Napa Valley sensibility, of course. You can smell how expensive the oak is they use in this, and trust me, they spare no expense in accessories at Opus One. I love the Overture because it's so much more open and gives immediate gratification, while their first label takes a few years in cellar to open up. This isn't usually released and is very rarely in stock. So take advantage.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

2014 Pine Ridge California Chenin Blanc-Viognier
Review Date: 10-06-2015
This wine always over-delivers for the price. And with the fall weather and Thanksgiving coming up this is the perfect white wine, with the mouth-feel just a bit richer than your other typical aperitif-type whites but still plenty of great acidity making it food-friendly.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2012 Inglenook "Cask" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 10-06-2015
Just like the classic story behind this famous label, so is the wine...Classic! This is pure, polished, elegant yet packs a punch, and is cellar-worthy as well. You really can't ask for much more with this quality of fruit and winemaking combination for this price!
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 VN 92

2013 DuMol Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-06-2015
Elegance, polish, and class, all bottled up and packaged for your drinking pleasure. Dumol always delivers the goods: richness of fruit, purity of fruit, and a juicy and balanced mouthfeel. Always a winner in my book.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
VN 91

2013 DuMol Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 10-06-2015
Dumol has been called by an anonymous source "the DRC of California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir." And I won't totally disagree. These wines are extremely elegant and classically made, and very cellar-worthy for California standards.

2012 Ehlers Estate St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 10-01-2015
During the holidays I like to buy gifts that keep on giving. The 2012 Ehlers Estate St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon is my favorite Napa Cab to gift because it makes me feel good as well as those who receive it! Ehlers Estate is a “not-for-profit” winery and is held in trust for the Leducq Foundation. Jean and Sylviane Leducq established the trust in 1996 to fund the Foundation which supports international cardiovascular research. So every time you drink this wine it's good for your heart in more ways than one! I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited the Ehlers estate. All 39 acres are 100% organically and biodynamically farmed. This is always a well-received wine because of how approachable and balanced it is. Gorgeous color in the glass, with pretty fruit aromas of crushed flowers, with sweet Bing cherries and dried berry patch fruit. Silky and supple on the palate with savory baking spice and smooth tannins, this wine makes everyone happy.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2012 Frog's Leap "Estate" Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 10-01-2015
My biggest surprise in this year’s 2012 Cabernet lineup was the 2012 Frog's Leap "Estate" Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon. If you tasted it blind, you would swear you were smelling and tasting Bordeaux! I’m so happy they released this wine for the first time this year, because it is the best Cab I’ve ever tried from Frog’s Leap, hands down! And it comes from 100% Rutherford AVA estate fruit that is dry farmed, as well. This explodes out of the glass with crazy aromatics that remind me of Pauillac, with its crushed savory herbs, flowers, and purity of fruit. The palate is rich, refined, and elegant. Completely complex in all the right ways with structure that will age, this wine will do so beautifully or can be enjoyed right now!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
VN 93 W&S 93

2014 Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay
Review Date: 09-29-2015
My favorite vintage of Rombauer Chard yet! Why? Because this year they have made a more balanced and intriguing style of their Chardonnay with more vibrancy and purity of fruit than ever before, and it's not covered up by the copious amount of oak and malo that usually hides the pretty fruit.
Price: $33.99 Add To Cart

2006 Baron Fuente "Grand Millesime" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-29-2015
Unbelievable! An amazing vintage Champagne, and a great vintage at that, for sub-$30! You've got to be joking, right? In fact we are not, that is the beauty of finding a hidden gem in this gorgeously stupendous Direct Import we've gotten our hands on! I love the purity of fruit and the focus here. Not too challenging for being just released, but still very cellar-worthy. I can't think of any other Champagne in the whole store that I could recommend at a better value for the holidays or any occasion--every day is a celebration in my book!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

2014 Talley/K&L Wine Merchants Edna Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 09-25-2015
Gorgeous baby Burgundy here for an amazing price! From cool climate vineyard sites in San Luis Obispo's Edna Valley, this mimics the minerality and freshness of Burgundy, with gorgeous texture and fruit, as well. Just the right amount of creaminess and brioche on the finish.
Price: Hidden View Price

2013 Beckmen "Cuvée Le Bec" Santa Ynez Rhône Blend
Review Date: 09-25-2015
Year in and year out, Beckmen has always delivered solid Rhone-styled blends that are truly Californian in fruit but classically Rhone in quality and texture. This is by far the best vintage of the Cuvee Le Bec I've tasted yet, and for this price, it won't last long. Talk about a crowd-pleaser for the upcoming holidays, well this is it! Act fast or forever be regretful.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
VN 91

2012 Novelty Hill Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 09-11-2015
The perfect no-brainer, easy drinking Cab that's food-friendly, with lots of fruit and rich velvety texture. A for-sure crowd-pleaser. I haven't tasted a well balanced $20 Cab like this in a while, so get your hands on some!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 RP 90

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 Cart

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 Cart
WE 91 WS 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.

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 Cart
WE 91

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 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 Cart

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 Cart

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 Cart

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 Cart

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 Cart

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 Cart
RP 90

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 Cart

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 Cart
WS 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 Cart
JS 93 RP 90

Jardesca California Aperitiva (750ml)
Review Date: 07-29-2014
Looking for your summer aperitif wine that's local, light, aromatic, complex, and wont give you a hangover?! This small production aperitif is made in Northern California's Sonoma County and is loaded with natural aromatic botanicals like basil, Kaffir lime, fresh herbs, mint, flowers, and citrus. This is a drier style aperitif wine whose cocktail combinations are endless! Splash of soda, lime, fruit, or lavender, and you've got yourself one complex concoction! I've been enjoying it on my deck during sunset for an immediate summer refreshment! You must try! You will be hooked.
Price: $28.99 Add To Cart

Underwood by Union Wine Co. Oregon Pinot Noir (375ml can)
Review Date: 07-03-2014
I'm extremely excited to announce the inaugural release of our favorite value Oregon Pinot Noir in the best possible package for easy and efficient summer sipping! Yes people, it's in a can! But don't let that fool you, it's the same juice that goes into the 2013 750ml bottle. Union Wine Co. orders labeled empty cans in quantity. This allows more flexibility with future cannings and makes sure they don't end up with unused vintage-specific cans. This is very similar to the beloved 2012 vintage that flew out of here before we could take a breath between sips! It has gorgeous aromatics of bright red and purple fruit--strawberry and pomegranate--with great texture and supple acid on the palate, pepper spice and a mineral finish. Serve with a slight chill and be the star wherever this summer takes you, whether it be camping, boating, picnicking, beaching or the Hollywood Bowl this year!
Price: $5.99 Add To Cart

Caves Messias Santola "Crab Wine" Vinho Verde
Review Date: 05-27-2014
Its like a white wine spritzer but better! I love this Fizzy, zippy, frizzante, dry white wine! I can drink it all day long, and my palate stays refreshed and alive with this wonderful wine! Great with salads, fish, Mexican food, or just on its own!
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart

Montechiara Prosecco DOC
Review Date: 11-08-2013
This little Italian Prosecco has changed the way think about Prosecco here at K&L, and trust me, that's not an easy task. With a label that mimics a yellow/orange Veuve Cliquot label, and a price that will keep your wallet full, this lovely bubbly will be the hit of every party, day or night. Not too dry, not too fruity, it's just right. You and your friends will be very, very happy!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

Egrot (formerly Elisabeth Goutorbe) Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-17-2012
From the daughter of Henroit Goutorbe, Elisabeth is making something so elegant and superb for a far better price! 70% Pinot noir, and 25% Chardonnay, with 5% Pinot Meunier, this Champagne is rich and moussy, with a full of honey and caramelized fruit on the nose and finish. delicate yet plush, and a steal in my book!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Deligeroy Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé
Review Date: 09-28-2012
This is one of my all time favorite Bubbly Rose and a fraction of the price of Champagne.I love the new cuvee of my Deligeroy Rose. Its much softer and more feminine that the last cuvee which was a touch herbaceous. This Cab Franc based blend is aimed to please this holiday season! Its the perfect party wine that will please a crowd instantly. Subtle fruit with balanced acid and a clean, dry finish! You wont believe your wallet! It has subtle red berry and sweet herb undertones with its racy acid and minerality keep it refreshing but still full on the palate. Perfect for any gathering or romantic date, or just sip and savor alone! Its that good
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 01-27-2012
My favorite Rose Champagne for the price! Amazing bright and vibrant red-pink fruit with a broad and creamy mouthfeel with racy acidity to keep it all in balance. As far as I'm concerned it's my Billecart Rose for a quarter of the price! Always elegant and delightful!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

San Venanzio Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore Brut
Review Date: 12-14-2011
A delightful Prosecco from Italy which is dry but still very soft and elegant on the palate. Perfect Party bubbles for the Holiday season!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

Graham's "Six Grapes" Port
Review Date: 11-10-2011
The best value I've tasted for a full 750ml bottle of Ruby Port! Dark and deep in color with loads of black fruit, spice, and chocolate on the nose. Richly intense with a creamy mid-palate with plenty of good acidity to balance it out. I'll be definitely buying some for the holiday season!
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

Pol Roger "White Foil - Extra Cuvée de Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-11-2011
One of my new favorite finds at K&L! This is a gorgeous Champagne. Lots of focus and elegance showing from start to finish. Just slightly toasty, this Brut is full of integrated acid and fresh minerality that will have your taste buds tingling and salivating for more! An amazing value for under $40 as well! Stock up for the holidays before its gone!

Franck Bonville "Belles Voyes" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 06-01-2011
On of the most elegant yet powerful Blanc de Blancs Champagne I've had this year. I also think its one of the houses best cuvee's they've made that you can enjoy now or cellar for years! All 2004 vintage old vine fruit shows lovely integration on the palate. The nose is crisp and minerally with subtle sweet sugar cookie dough essences. Freshly smashed ripe apple crisps up on the palate with notes of allspice! A very amazing Champagne...treat yourself before its gone!

Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 04-16-2011
If I could pick any Champagne to drink on a daily basis regardless of price, it would be the Beautiful Billecart Salmon Rose! Without a doubt your last sip will still taste as good as the first. And your obsession will start at your first sip. This is a clean and elegant style that will impress just about any level Champagne drinker

Deligeroy Cremant de Loire Brut
Review Date: 03-09-2011
Its a beautiful thing to have an exceptional sparkler for an amazing price! This is always one of my favorites to always keep on hand at home because it is so fresh, minerally, with crisp acidity, elegant zesty bubbles, what more could you ask for from the Loire Valley? Its perfect day and night!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

Baron-Fuenté "Esprit" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-09-2011
This is one of my favorite direct import Champagnes because it is seamless from start to finish. Very elegant but brilliantly intense as well. Using all stainless steel and spending 7 years on the lees gives the wine its smooth and creamy texture with that nutty brioche and layers of complexity. Triple cream on the nose with pommace fruit on the mid palate and a crisp finish.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 92

Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-09-2011
Although I am usually a fan of our smaller producer direct import Champagnes I really loved the Laurent-Perrier for the price! And we have the best price for this in town by the way. I love the crisp and elegant nose with a mousse filled mid-palate and a clean and toasty finish.

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Launois "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($34.99)