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.


Reviews

  
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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 AG 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

2014 Commanderie de la Bargemone Coteaux d'Aix en Provence Rosé
Review Date: 04-10-2015
This is quintessential Provençal rosé. Gorgeous color of opaque salmon, with fresh, bright, mineral-driven crisp notes and subtle fruit undertones of strawberry seed and watermelon rind. Great acid, and uber refreshing!
Price: $14.99 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 Cane & Fabel 373 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-08-2015
A perfect bbq Cab for all those who want a no fuss, easy drinking, juicy, ripe, classic Paso Cab that is food friendly as well as balanced. This is a crowd pleaser that you can drink at any occasion!
Price: $19.99 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

Alexandre Le Brun "Tradition" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 03-20-2015
A new Direct Import for us and I'm in love! This is the perfect Champagne to start out the night with! Although dry, it has a ripeness to the fruit that makes it a great aperitif or sipping Champagne on its own. This will be great for anyone that wants to dive right into our grower Champagne program and see what it has to offer! Great Champagnes for less than you'll find anywhere!
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List

Wine Club

$34.99

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!

2013 Andrew Murray "Tous les Jours" Santa Ynez Valley Syrah
Review Date: 02-25-2015
Best Domestic Syrah in this price category by a long shot! Rich and supple, but with a touch of smoked meats and pepper that give it that classic Syrah style. Easy enough to drink on its own or pair with some short ribs!
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 93

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 Angeline California Pinot Noir
Review Date: 02-25-2015
Best Domestic Pinot Noir around for a ridiculously great price! I even served it at my wedding reception and people absolutely loved it! I didn't have any left, they guzzled it up! Classic Pinot Noir aromas of ripe strawberry and dried cherry lead you to a palate of juicy and bright fruit with quenching acidity, making it the perfect cocktail or food wine! Trust me:)
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List

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

2013 Mas de Daumas Gassac VDP de l'Herault Blanc
Review Date: 02-25-2015
One of the most unique and intriguing wines I've tasted lately. A unique blend of white varieties that goes farther than your typical southern French blend. All in perfect harmony, creating a complex, rich, and balanced wine with gorgeous texture and supple yet bright finish. White flowers, lavender, honeycomb, stone fruit, citrus, are just the beginning. You'll have to wait and see for yourself for the rest...
Price: $41.99 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

2010 Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley Syrah
Review Date: 02-10-2015
Drinking superbly right now this 2010 Santa Ynez Syrah hits all the high notes. Bursting out of the glass with wild-berries, figs, speck, and peppered dark chocolate. This Syrah is classic yet lifted and oh, soo plush. Just the right amount of juicy acid leaving the palate full but not too weighty, as well as being super food-friendly! BBQ ribs anyone?
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 92

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: $21.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 GRÜNER by Etz Grüner Veltliner Kamptal (1L)
Review Date: 01-28-2015
Still the best deal in Gruner Land! I can't get enough of the Etz Gruner; it's exactly how a Gruner should be! Light, zippy, fresh, easy to drink, pairs well with food--especially greens like grilled artichoke and asparagus! You can sip it by the pool, on the deck, while you whip up dinner, or bring to a party. The extra glass is always a plus for sharing!
Price: $13.99 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

2009 Columbia Crest "Reserve" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 01-15-2015
Dark purple-black color in the glass. Subtle aromas of chocolate, earth, truffles, cassis, and blackberry. Juicy and plush on the palate with fair acidity and integrated oak tannins. This is ready to drink now and is a lovely wine that expresses Washington terroir very well.
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 92 WS 91

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
RP 90

2012 Spellbound California Petite Sirah
Review Date: 12-10-2014
Deep purple in the glass. Aromas of ripe and dried blueberries and mixed berry pie. Luscious and velvety on the palate with velvety smooth texture, a touch of vanilla bean toast, and a very supple finish.
Price: $10.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 90

2010 Bodegas Puelles Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 12-01-2014
Rioja that's ready to drink now, drinkable on its lonesome, perfectly food-friendly, and costs -$$? What? This is an amazing value for the holidays, or any time of year, for that matter. Super-classic aromas of dusty red fruit and old man cigars, lightly savory and earthy with a touch of chocolate. This is delicious!
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 90

2012 Frog's Leap Napa Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 12-01-2014
I love Frog's Leap wines for many reasons. The most important thing they do is make food-friendly wines that are balanced, sophisticated, restrained, friendly, and age-worthy. I'm super impressed by their Napa Zinfandel in particular because it is the way Zinfandel used to be made years ago, before all the "Prisoners and Opolos" of the world came to take over! The 2012 Frog's Leap Zin is super classic in style and varietally correct. Bright and focused fruit with wonderful acid and not over-oaked and alcoholic like so many of its counterparts. This is a Zin that will never go out of style. Blackberry, currant, cassis, with slight hints of tobacco leaf and cocoa nibs on the finish. Juicy without over-extraction, and wonderful integration of oak tannins.
Price: $27.99 Add To Waiting List
W&S 91

2013 Spellbound California Chardonnay
Review Date: 12-01-2014
Robert Mondavi Jr. hits it out of the ballpark again with the 2013 vintage of Spellbound Chardonnay. I have to say, this is the richest, creamiest, toastiest vintage of this wine I've tasted! You really can not beat the value here. Lots of buttered popcorn, creme brulee, caramel-dipped apple, and freshly buttered toast. This is A LOT of wine for the price! If you're a Cali-Chard fan, this is one not to miss!
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List

2011 Obsidian Ridge "Obsidian Ridge Vineyard" Red Hills Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-13-2014
Obsidian Ridge Cab has always been my "go to" when I don't want to spend twice as much as some of the Napa Valley counterparts. From just north of Napa, this densely packed Cab hits all the right notes. Dark and full in the glass, with great aromatics of black current, cedar, baking spice and cassis. Super lush and forward on the palate with well-integrated oak and tannins making it the perfect winter red that can be enjoyed solo or with a juicy steak!
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
W&S 92 WE 90

2013 Ancient Peaks/K&L Wine Merchants Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-12-2014
The Best Paso Cab I've had in a LONG Time! I love Ancient Peaks for its unique mesoclimate and being able to construct Paso Robles AVA Cabs that are so beautifully structured and food friendly. This has all the fruit you need but the structure, acid, and tannin that Paso Cabs usually lack, and it's not overripe, raisiny, or stewy as can be the case, either! Love, love, love this Cab and so will you!
Price: Hidden View Price

2013 Brewer-Clifton/K&L Wine Merchants "B-C. Kessler-Haak Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-12-2014
Bright, forward, yet sweetly seductive, this K&L Barrel selection Pinot Noir delivers all the goods! Not as candied as the typical Brewer Clifton Pinots tend to be, yet still shows the same intensity of red fruits. The aromatics burst out of the glass and the palate is full of juicy, bright fruit, acid, and seamless texture. This is amazing to drink now or put away for a few years! Such a Thanksgiving classic!
Price: Hidden View Price

2013 Oustric Picpoul de Pinet
Review Date: 11-09-2014
Looking for that crisp white that will deliver the transition from summer to fall? Look no further. With this direct import Picpoul you get your perfect, crisp autumn white wine! Lots of pretty mineral white floral notes on the nose, but not overwhelmingly floral. It's a perfect fall white wine. A bit more richness than a typical Picpoul but great acid and lift. Lovely for the price too!
Price: $10.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Kalinda "Clone 828 Reserve" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-09-2014
Juicy, candied red fruit, savory Xmas spice, gobs of mixed berry jam, wonderful prickly mouth-feel from the great balance of acid and integrated tannin. Not oaky, but definitely has a nice toast:) Perfect holiday Pinot!
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List

Wine Club

$24.99

2013 Kalinda Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 11-05-2014
The best Kalinda Chardonnay to date! I'm not typically a Cali-Chard drinker but this hits all the high notes! This is filled with richness but not in the buttery-oaky way. It has depth and minerality with pure citrus and stone fruit and perfectly integrated acidity that gives it just the right amount of lip-puckering lift! This is my Thanksgiving Chard for sure:)
Price: $17.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Honig Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 09-21-2014
Always a stellar value for 100% pure, estate-grown, Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc at a price that hasn't gone up in over 10 years! 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: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Ramey Napa Valley Claret
Review Date: 09-21-2014
Always one of my favorite Bordeaux blends of the Napa Valley that is done in an old-school style that actually has gorgeous structure and minerality. I even get a touch of gravel from the soil on the finish. Well integrated French oak and purity of fruit. Love the forward quality of 2012s; this you can enjoy or keep for years to come!
Price: $36.99 Add To Waiting List
ST 90

2012 Honig Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 09-18-2014
Plush, yet structured, integrated oak and tannins, a great bottle to pop and serve this year, or cellar for up to 12 years from now. Incredible balance and class. This is classic Napa Cab at an even more classic price!
Price: $35.99 Add To Waiting List

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 Waiting List

2013 Château de Ripaille Vin de Savoie Ripaille
Review Date: 07-25-2014
If you want to be refreshed instantly, then drink this delightfully crisp and minerally white from the Savoie made from 100% Chasselas from a 1,000-year-old estate! This reminds me of skiing down the Swiss Alps getting fresh chucks of snow in my face! Yes, it's just like that!
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Ridge "Three Valleys" Sonoma County Zinfandel Blend
Review Date: 07-09-2014
This is surprisingly a softer style of Ridge than I've seen in vintages past, which means it's super food-friendly and accessible for every occasion!

2013 Bodkin "The Victor's Spoils - Sandy Bend Vineyard" Lake County Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 07-09-2014
Fresh, lively, bright, subtle citrus-stone fruit, and low alcohol! What more could one ask for a perfect summer Sauv Blanc! I love that it isn't grassy or oaky, its very much in the Loire style, and the price is perfect!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 91

2012 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-03-2014
I have to admit I was pretty impressed when I tasted the latest vintage of the Knights Valley Cabernet. It had more structure and depth than I anticipated. Loads of the gorgeous dense black fruit as always, but with the integrated tannins and grip of a Napa Cab twice its price. Pair this with something fatty like a New York or rib-eye steak!
Price: $22.99 Add To Waiting List
AG 90 WS 90

2013 A.A. Badenhorst "Secateurs" Chenin Blanc Swartland
Review Date: 07-03-2014
I feel in love with this wine last vintage, and the 2013 is making me fall in love all over again! Classic Chenin Blanc texture with the silky honey and citrus fruit, with gorgeous minerality and a bright high acid finish that makes your mouth water. I will be drinking a lot of this again!
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Margerum "K&L Blend" Happy Canyon Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 05-27-2014
My favorite K&L Branded wine to date! This is very similar in style to the Margerum Sybarite Sauvignon Blanc that is their house style. The K&L Cuvee is bright, tropical, even a touch floral, with honeysuckle and guava, lots of zippy acidity and tons of flavor! This is the perfect summer wine!!
Price: $18.99 Add To Waiting List

Wine Club

$14.99

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