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Staff Favorites - Alex Schroeder

Alex Schroeder

Reviews

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2014 Ferraton Père et Fils "La Source" Saint-Joseph
Review Date: 01-18-2018
During a recent staff tasting of Rhones, this wine stuck out in terms of Northern Rhone Syrah values. It has a very bright and expressive nose of raspberry, violets, blackberries and black pepper, with good rich fruit but a nice balancing element of acid and earth. This would be a knockout with a wild game meal.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 François Chidaine Vin de France (Vouvray) Moelleux
Review Date: 01-18-2018
If Loire valley whites thrill you as much as me, this wine should be on your radar. It’s a Vouvray Chenin Blanc, though not labeled as such because the fermentation occurs outside of Vouvray. It is incredibly expressive with zesty minerals, flavors of white raisins, honey, golden apples with great balance and length. Pair with mild cheeses or an apple tartine.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine Huët "Le Haut-Lieu" Vouvray Sec
Review Date: 01-18-2018
The Loire Valley chenin blancs are some of the best in the world, and Domaine Huet is widely accepted as the top producer of them. The Haut-Lieu Vouvray Sec is a superbly crafted wine, with a rich aroma profile of golden apples with saffron spice, elderflower honey and cinnamon. The flavors are focused by great minerals and vibrant acidity into a long, clean finish. It’s truly one of the world’s top white wines at what amounts to a bargain price.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2009 Egrot (formerly Elisabeth Goutorbe) Brut Grand Cru Champagne
Review Date: 01-16-2018
This is one of the more low-profile super-values in our direct import portfolio. Elisabeth Egrot used to sell under her maiden name, Goutourbe, to a large and dedicated fan base. Her new name hasn’t quite gained the same traction, but her wines are better than ever. This superb vintage offering comes entirely from the Grand Cru village from Ay, from a vintage renowned for the power of its fruit. The richness and depth of the fruit manifest with flavors of gala apple, anjou pear, sweet Meyer lemon, and dried apricots, with equally intense acidity and minerals (no dosage was added creating superb balance.) Incredible for sub-$40 Champagne.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2005 La Louvière, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 01-13-2018
After reading my colleagues' notes below from nearly a decade ago, I can tell you that they were right about this wine having aging potential. Nearly thirteen years on, it is still quite young in the glass! It has dense flavors of red currant, blackberries, tobacco, graphite and gamey earth, with beautiful taut tannins and perfectly balancing acid. Enjoyed with a ribeye steak, a match made in heaven!​
Price: $41.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 WS 90

Baron-Fuenté "7" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-12-2018
How exciting! A new release from the baron of great values in Champagne, Baron Fuente! Correction, a new OLD release from Baron Fuente. The 7 began a journey that would eventually lead to our shelves (and hopefully your champagne glass) almost eight years ago, and the story it tells fun, intriguing and ultimately one I plan to revisit many times. The barrel aging of 20% of the Chardonnay gives the blend a beautiful creamy, viscous texture to go along with aromas of dried fruits, pear, honeysuckle and almond, all finished by great acidity. This is definitely a wine that makes keeping your guests' flutes full a real challenge.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Franck Bonville Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 01-11-2018
Olivier Bonville carries on the tradition of his grandfather, Franck, producing wines of incredible richness and complexity from his estate vines in the Grand Cru villages of Avize and Mesnil on the picaresque Cote de Blancs. It has the rich flavors of Anjou pear, Meyer lemon, white apricots and a touch of delicate spice. The real magic is in the chalky minerality and zippy acidity that the Cote de Blancs is famous for. When you consider that similar offerings from the Big Houses cost three to four times more, this becomes a must-buy for anyone calling themselves Champagne enthusiasts.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2014 La Source du Ruault "La Coulee d'Aunis" Saumur Blanc
Review Date: 01-11-2018
This is such a beautiful wine! It has concentrated flavors of honey, hibiscus blossom, pineapple guava with just a hint of almond nuttiness, all underscored by a subtle toast from barrel fermentation. As the wine opened up and got a little closer to room temperature, the flavors exploded into a full on symphony for my taste buds. The texture is phenolically rich and the finish long, dry and crisp with zippy acidity. This is one white I want to put away to age for a few more years. ​
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2015 Chappellet "Signature" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 01-10-2018
The search for amazing values in Napa Valley Cabernets has become an arduous task. With so many people jumping into the lucrative game to cash in on skyrocketing prices, buyers can end up wasting a lot of dollars on subpar efforts. Chappellet represents the opposite. Winemaker Phillip Corallo and viticulturalist David Pro have been working together for over 25 years, and the quality of the wine they make is remarkable. It shows deep, rich flavors of red currants, pepper, mocha, roses and cigar tobacco with velvety tannins and great acid for aging. The balance and integration are superb, and at prices that make it a comparative steal. This is what California wine is about.

2015 Yves Duport "Origin'L Reserve" Bugey Brut
Review Date: 01-05-2018
If you are a fan of Old World bubbly, this should definitely be in your fridge. It comes from Bugey, which is a cool wine growing area in Eastern France with viticultural origins predating the Romans. Yves Duport runs this small operation with his family, and makes fantastic wines. The “Origin’L Reserve” has zesty minerality with flavors of stone fruit and baked apples, and a touch of toast from 12 months on the lees. It’s very clean, crisp and refreshing. For now, Bugey doesn’t quite command the prices other famous bubbly regions do, making it a killer value. ​
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2009 Moulin-à-Vent, Moulis
Review Date: 01-04-2018
Moulin a Vent’s 25 hectares of estate vines occupy the highest hill in Moulis. The soil is mostly volcanic gravel with calcareous clay, making it perfect for Merlot, which makes up about 65% of the blend. The rest is 30% Cabernet Sauvignon with a little bit of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The 2009 offers supple cherry and cassis fruit with an elegant bouquet and a touch of earth. This could easily age another ten years.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Julien Schaal Rosacker Grand Cru Riesling Alsace
Review Date: 01-04-2018
From one of the top vineyard sites in Alsace, the pedigree of this wine is apparent at the outset. Wonderful minerality with a touch of honey and stone fruit, this is an incredibly linear and focused dry wine with superb balance and length. It hits well above its price. ​
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 95

2015 Biecher & Schaal Rangen de Thann Grand Cru Alsace
Review Date: 01-04-2018
This is an incredible display of terroir and typicity for Alsacean Grand Cru Riesling. My first note was “minerals,” brimming out of the glass followed by a subtle and nuanced wave of pears, stone fruit, honeysuckle and white floral notes. The phenolic texture is rich and weighty while the wine itself remains quite dry, with a linear, very long, mineral-laden finish. Whether you are a long standing Alsacean Riesling fan or are perhaps looking for a wonderful new part of the wine world to discover, this is a brilliant wine at a great price point.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 95

2004 La Tempérance, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 01-04-2018
This is showing wonderfully, with lots of firm cherry and blackberry fruits, a touch of licorice and baking spice, and just a hint of smokey game. The tannins have developed perfectly so far. It is still quite youthful and will continue to age nicely for several more years.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2016 Luciano Sandrone Dolcetto d'Alba
Review Date: 01-03-2018
This has a great bouquet of crunchy blue and black brambly fruits, with a nice mid-palate weight and beautiful ripeness. Very well balanced in terms of tannin and acidity. If you’re a fan of Dolcetto, you won’t want to miss this one.​
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Gagliole "Rubiolo" Chianti Classico
Review Date: 01-03-2018
This has a beautiful Sangiovese bouquet with plums, raspberries and savory herbal notes. Sangiovese does great in warm vintages like 2015, and this is no exception with great acidity and tannins for ageability. While it is drinking delicious and fresh right now, a couple years in the cellar will do no harm at all.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 RP 90

2016 Pala "I Fiori" Cannonau di Sardegna
Review Date: 01-03-2018
My only other experience with Cannonau is the brilliant offering from Sella e Mosca (both the 2011 and 2013). So I was a bit skeptical about such an affordable, young version. But wow, what a great wine! It has fresh fruit flavors of plum, blueberries, brambly fruits and herbs, with a touch of baked pastry notes. There’s great tannins, and surprisingly great acidity for a warm weather Grenache! This is going to age well for 5 to 10 years, easy!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2007 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 01-03-2018
This was Pontet Canet’s first vintage to go full biodynamic, which, given the difficult growing conditions, makes this bottle a “petit miracle.” What a beautiful nose! Black cherry, leather, violets, baked blueberries, a hint of toast. The fruit is still quite fresh and given the structure and balance, this bottle will age for years to come.

2007 Labegorce Zede, Margaux
Review Date: 01-03-2018
If you are looking for a great example of Margaux for under $30, look no further. LZ has a beautifully expressive bouquet, with dark powerful fruit, violets and minerals. The acidity is great and keeping this bottle fresh even ten years after the fact. Power, grace, age and value, this has it all!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2007 Tronquoy-Lalande, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 01-03-2018
Did someone say this was an off vintage? This bottle of wine would argue otherwise! The structure and balance are definitely up-to-par with other Tronquoy offerings. It has a very pretty nose with soft red fruit, a touch of pepper and great ripeness with balancing acidity. This will continue to age gracefully for years to come.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2007 Côte de Baleau, St-Emilion
Review Date: 01-03-2018
This has pretty red fruit on the nose: black cherry, strawberry and minerals. The extra merlot gives this a riper edge than some other clarets from the vintage, but there is still great acidity. It is just starting to show savory elements like leather and forest floor. I had this with Christmas dinner, and it was showing great!
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2007 Malescasse, Haut-Medoc
Review Date: 01-03-2018
The nose on this is amazing! Roses, black cherry, tobacco and minerals with nice aged savory elements. The fruit is fresh on the palate, with enough acid and restraint to make it the perfect food claret. This is THE deal in sub $20 claret at the moment.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2015 Franck Millet Sancerre Rouge
Review Date: 01-02-2018
This is the epitome of red Sancerre Pinot Noirs — great acidity, silky dark red fruit with a generous touch of earth and minerals. It is part of a stellar line of wines that we’ve been importing for over 20 years from Franck and Betty Millet. They seem to get better every year, and that seems particularly true for this 2015 vintage.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

Egrot (formerly Elisabeth Goutorbe) Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-28-2017
Champagne Egrot (prounounced Eh-grow) falls in the same company as Bonville and Launois in terms of value for money. 80% Grand Cru Pinot Noir from Ay, 20% Premier Cru Chardonnay from Louvois, aged on the lees well over half a decade. For under $35. Proprietors Elisabeth (Henri Goutorbe’s granddaughter) and Jean-Marie Egrot have a long history in Champagne, and the pedigree shows in the bottle. Precision, richness, freshness, depth and length are all on full display. A subtle toast quality perfectly underlines rich pear, Bing cherry and apple blossom notes, with vibrant minerals and crisp acidity. Champagne enthusiasts rejoice!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-27-2017
A great amount of effort and care goes into Aspasie’s Carte Blanche, and it is instantly clear when you taste it. Low temperature macerated in small volume, then lightly filtered and aged for at least five years on the lees, it is a true wonder that the cost is not much higher than it is. Bright, pure flavors of Anjou pear, granny smith apple, toasted pastry dough, and hisbiscus, with a light creamy texture and crisp acidity.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

Pol Roger "White Foil - Extra Cuvée de Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-29-2017
Pol Roger, long the favorite Champagne House of the Royal Family of Great Britain, takes special steps towards exceptional quality in their Brut Reserve. The nonvintage cuvée is an equal blend of the three allowed varieties, which are double cold-settled and slow fermented in the particularly cold cellar (9°C) entirely in stainless steel. The result is incredibly pure fruit flavors of lemon citrus, apples and stone fruit with a generous, creamy texture from the 9g/L dosage and extended lees aging, during which each bottle is hand-riddled. Considering the process, this is and always has been a great value in bubbles. ​

2015 Cantina di Gallura "Genesi" Vermentino di Gallura
Review Date: 11-16-2017
This is one Italian white you don’t want to miss this holiday season. It is stunning! On the nose, flowers, bright orange citrus, cream, exotic spice and leesy richness. The texture is supple and satisfying, but with stellar acidity to bring that richness into focus on the finish, which just keeps going and going. This may be the best Vermentino I’ve ever tried.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2013 Stefania Barbot Ion Aglianico Irpina
Review Date: 11-16-2017
This is an excellent southern Italian Aglianico, with beautiful purity of fruit flavors like plums and blueberries that are rich and robust but still fresh and expressive from the great acidity. The tannins are strong, as you’d expect with Aglianico, but after almost 5 years, they are fully integrated into the wine, and lend towards the crisp, long lasting finish. This is an exceptionally executed wine.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

1977 Dow's Vintage Port
Review Date: 11-09-2017
For world-class wines, this is a steal. From a legendary vintage that is drinking in its prime, this is one beautiful bottle of porto. Black cherry, leather, cocoa and herbal mint notes with a beautiful texture and great acidity for freshness and balance. The finish is complex and long. One could easily spend much more on a bottle of wine not nearly as good.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 WS 92

2009 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-07-2017
Among the prestige cuvées in Champagne, Louis Roederer’s Cristal stands out for its delicacy, purity and precision. It is made entirely from mid-slope Grand Cru vines, with no malolactic fermentation and seven years of lees aging. Even in its relative youth, the 2009 displays a meticulous nature: mouth watering, fresh citrus fruit and white flower flavors with subtle underlying pastry notes that meld seamlessly with the richness from the long lees aging. This impressive vintage will last at least 30 years, so set a couple aside!

2014 Domaine Trapet Bourgogne Blanc
Review Date: 11-01-2017
The Trapet Rochelandet family has seven acres in Gevrey-Chambertin and uses fruit from the lieu-dit “Pruniers” for their Bourgogne Blanc. They farm biodynamically and use native yeast, to create a beautiful classic Burgundian Chardonnay. On the nose, green apples and lemon, with a hint of butterscotch, baking spice and leesy toast. The acidity, which is the signature of the 2014 vintage, highlights and electrifies the rich fruit and leaves the flavors lingering for over a minute. Pick this up for a wine with real pedigree at bargain pricing!
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2014 Barde-Haut, St-Emilion
Review Date: 10-31-2017
When the Garcin family presented their wines at a K&L dinner a couple months back, I was amazed at the grace and style with which Barde-Haut aged. The 2014 should be no different: It offers amazing aging potential at great value. It has great fruit, blackberries, blueberries, black cherries, with toast from the oak regimen and a slightly smoky character with spice that adds complexity and layers.

2014 No Curfew California Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-25-2017
Amici Cellars is one of the best wineries in the valley, and they are known for consistently offering value beyond price, but the No Curfew Pinot Noir is ridiculous in this regard. It has great fruit flavors of plums, cola berry and raspberry and a richness to acidity balance reminiscent of much pricier wines. This is my go to California red for everyday house wine. ​
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine de Biéville (Louis Moreau) Chablis
Review Date: 10-25-2017
Louis Moreau is the sixth generation of his family to make great Chablis, and the pedigree shows in this well-priced 2016 vintage of “de Biéville.” Made entirely in stainless steel, it spends about 4 months on the lees which gives it a rich texture, with a crisp edge from brisk acidity. Rich flavors of green apple, honeydew melon, meyer lemon, and white flowers are expressive and focused, with great calcareous minerality. I think this is the best Chardonnay deal in the store. ​
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2010 Louise Brison Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-23-2017
One of the first grower-producers I ever tasted, Louise Brison’s vintage Champagnes hold a special place in my heart. The 2010 continues the legacy of vintage greatness with vibrant pear, lemon and toasted brioche flavors alongside a stellar acidity for length and structure. ​
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Jean-Jacques Lamoureux "Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-23-2017
Stone fruit and Anjou pear flavors are broad and pure on the palate. Lively acidity on the crisp finish makes the flavors last for a minute. The fruit is pronounced and very clean, with just a hint of autolytic flavors mingling with the fruit on the back end. Delicious Blanc de Noirs!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Gilbert Jacquesson "Cuvée Tradition" Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-21-2017
Made from only Pinot Meunier, this Blanc de Noirs carries aromas of Bing cherries, red apple and Asian pears, with a hint of lees on the back end to create the cherry pie experience with just a hint of spicy herbs. It’s very dry with incredible acidity.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Four Pillars "Faultline" K&L Exclusive Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 10-04-2017
Tasting this gin made me incredibly happy! I love gin for its refreshing nature, and Four Pillars have proven to be masters of the balanced, refreshing fruit-based gin profile. This has delicious flavors that lean a little more towards fresh fruit, with citrus, strawberry and orange peel flavors, fleshed out with subtle spices and botanicals. It’s amazing in mixed drinks.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Canard-Duchêne "Authentic" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 10-04-2017
The Authentique Rosé from Canard Duchêne has a soft, rich strawberry and raspberry fruit profile offered by the great Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims. The texture is lush and round, complemented by chalky minerality and kept in balance by refreshing acidity on the back end.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Canard-Duchêne "Authentic" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-04-2017
Canard Duchêne has experienced a renaissance of sorts since being purchased from Veuve Clicquot by Champagne Thienot in 2003, more than doubling sales since the purchase. The clear reason is the higher quality of the product. Made predominantly from Pinot Noir, the grape of Ludes, on the Montagne de Reims, the Authentique shows powerful, rich red-fruited flavors with a hint of Meyer lemon sweetness. The texture is brimming with minerality and a lively acidity.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2004 Krug Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-04-2017
The latest vintage release from Krug since the legendary 2002 release is a different animal altogether. It comes from a vintage that fully benefited from the poor crop output of 2003, using the unspent energy for amazing crop yields across Champagne in 2004. It offers fineness, intensity, complexity and real aging power. Upon its release, some 13 years after production, it is vibrantly youthful and fresh, with nuanced notes of citrus, yeasty toast, saffron and dried apricots. This will go for many more years.

2014 Hyot, Côtes de Castillon
Review Date: 09-28-2017
Bright flavors of bramble, black raspberry, spice, violets, leather and oak. Very smooth tannic profile and enough acid for structure and freshness. It's tasting great now, but in 5 to 10 years it will be singing!

2010 Gulfi "Nerosanlorè" Nero d'Avola Sicilia
Review Date: 09-27-2017
I literally wrote “Wow” in my tasting notebook for this wine. On the nose, mature fruit notes like dates, raisins, and dried cranberries with roses. On the palate, there’s serious structure and freshness with plush, smooth tannins.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
VN 95

Charles de Cazanove Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-27-2017
Very impressive Pinot dominant blend at a great price. The fruit comes mostly from the famous Montagne de Reims, where Pinot reigns supreme. It has beautiful, soft red fruit like cherries, strawberries, blood orange and marmalade that mingle perfectly with the toasty yeast. The fruit pops with vibrant acidity and the rich texture keeps you reaching for more.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
WS 92

Charles Heidsieck "Brut Reserve" Champagne
Review Date: 09-27-2017
In a lineup with 12 other Grand Marques, Champagne Charlie was at the top of my list of favorites. The Brut Reserve uses up to 20-year-old reserve wines for 40% of its blend and combines the flavors of fresh stone fruit and pears with quince and dried apricots for a rich, but ultimately refreshing and vibrant profile.

Taittinger "La Française" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-27-2017
This is one nonvintage brut from a Grand Marque that is well worth the money. The blend is 40% Chard, 35% Pinot, 25% Meunier and spends nearly 4 years on the lees in stainless steel. The result is vibrant, pure flavors of apples and pears with an underlying toastiness that accents the fruit.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
RP 91 WS 90

Deanston 10 Year Old PX Sherry Finish Highland Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 09-27-2017
I have been absolutely loving my Pedro Ximenez-finished Benriach, and this whiskey from Deanston is just as exciting! It has that wonderful PX funkiness: savory cedar, anisette, umami, butterscotch and banana notes, flavors that are powerful but fully integrated. It is a little hot at 57% abv, but this is immensely enjoyable stuff.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Real McCoy 12 Year Old Single Blended Barbados Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 09-27-2017
Transparency is becoming a powerful factor in consumer decisions in the spirits world, and Real McCoy Rum has embraced this. Made using the pot and column stills at Criterion, then aged 12 years in charred Bourbon barrels, this has a beautiful amber brown color and a clean, smooth flavor profile of wet brown sugar, vanilla, caramel and slight grassy spice. It is bar none unmatched for smoothness.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2012 Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 09-07-2017
The Silver Oak Napa Cabernet Sauvignon is a testament to the quality Napa wines can achieve with precise winemaking and the pristine fruit of the Valley. It showcases ripe, savory red currant, cherry and raspberry fruit flavors with slight thyme and rosemary herb elements. The French oak is well integrated and lends a subtle spice profile to the elegant wine. The tannins are still strong, and combined with the great acid, will help this bottle age beautifully for years.
Price: $114.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

1996 Tamdhu 20 Year Old K&L Exclusive Old Particular Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 09-02-2017
On the nose, there are aromas of freshly squeezed apples with cracked wheat, wild honey, and floral notes. On the palate there is sweet honeyed cereal, barley, vanilla toffee and baking spices like clove and cinnamon. This is very intensely flavored and complex with a wonderful round texture that will have your palate begging for another sip.
Price: $79.99 Add To Waiting List

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