Staff Favorites - Alex Schroeder

Alex Schroeder

Reviews

  
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2015 Clos de la Bonnette Syrah Vieilles Vignes Collines Rhodannienes
Review Date: 02-22-2017
This stunning (and remarkably affordable) Northern Rhone Syrah is one of the best buys you can find in the varietal. It hails from 40-year-old vines from the Collines Rhodannienes (the area surrounding the steep slopes of the Northern Rhone) for a wine high in nuance and power, but with a fine and complex flavor profile. It tastes like violets, black pepper, cola berry, lavender and plum, with a full bodied roundness and great acid on the long finish. A glass of this with some barbecued pulled pork would put me on cloud nine.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2014 La Jasse Castel "El Abanico" Pays l'Herault Blanc
Review Date: 02-22-2017
The Languedoc region is so good at offering great values in table wine that people are sometimes taken aback at the prices of the Herault Blancs. But if you enjoy the rich, complex and refreshing white wines of the Rhone and other southern French regions, this is worth every penny. It has rich, almost (but not) sweet flavors of green grapes and Gala apples with a small touch of nuttiness and toast. It has a full bodied waxiness and great acid to keep it fresh and balanced. This is a beautiful addition to our Direct Import portfolio, and white lovers should not miss it.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Boulard-Bauquaire "Carte Noire" Brut Blanc de Noirs Champagne
Review Date: 02-22-2017
Power and depth are the hallmarks of Boulaird Bouquaire’s Carte Noir, a Blanc de Noir made from 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Pinot Meunier. The texture on the palate is round and lush, with deep rich flavors of honey, baked wheat, clove, hibiscus, lemon zest, apricots and ripe red fruit. The finish is long and supple and lends itself to making the bottle disappear a lot quicker than expected. Another phenomenal value from the K&L Direct Import Champagne program!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2015 Chante Cigale Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc
Review Date: 02-08-2017
This is the best deal I’ve found in the new year so far. Made from Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Roussanne and Bourboulenc, there are aromas of stone fruit, apricot, wildflowers, lime blossom and citrus. The ripeness of the vintage is evident with the extremely rich fruit on the palate and a wonderful waxy texture. The finish is incredibly long and well balanced by great acid. Unbelievable quality under $25, another great product of our Direct Import program!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WS 93 RP 90

A.D. Coutelas "Cuvée Louis Victor" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2017
This Champagne, made using a sort of solera-style fractional blending, deserves a good amount of contemplation. It is incredibly precise and delicate with light citrus, apple, exotic fruits, and a hint of herbs with chalky minerality. But its method of production adds notes that are new to me in the realm of Champagne. It has almost a fine indigenous-yeast sherry note to it that I love! I now understand why this Champagne sells out so quickly every time we get it in stock.​
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

A.D. Coutelas "Cuvée Eloge" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2017
When I tried this the other night, I knew I was in for a good bottle of bubbly with Coutelas on the label, but my company and I were genuinely stunned by just how good it was. This Premier Cru blanc de blanc pours a deep golden color, has rich fruit with honey, acacia blossom, candied apricots, and a beautiful leesy toastiness. The texture is velvety and creamy, with fine bubbles and a nearly eternal finish. The only problem was that we ran out too soon—should have gotten another bottle!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$34.99

2014 Pencarrow Pinot Noir (Palliser) Martinborough
Review Date: 02-05-2017
This bottle of wine tastes awfully Burgundian to cost so little! It has cooler-climate freshness with great fruit and just a touch of earth and baking spice. I am loving these Kiwi Pinots, their value is just unmatched!

2015 Pencarrow Sauvignon Blanc (Palliser) Martinborough
Review Date: 02-05-2017
It almost feels too good to be true. How can such a clean, aromatic and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc cost so little? More magic out of New Zealand, my favorite area for the varietal. Classic gooseberry and grapefruit with a touch of herbal flavors. It’s very balanced and easy-drinking. At this price, this could easily become your new summer house white.

2015 Stony Bank Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 02-05-2017
This is a stellar Sauvignon Blanc! Rich, exotic fruits, lime citrus and orange, with stoney minerality and a long finish. It’s a good thing it costs so little, because I can’t get enough.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2010 L'Argenteyre, Medoc
Review Date: 02-05-2017
Great fruit depth and concentration. It’s showing darker fruit, soft leather, a hint of mint, herbs and licorice. It’s got the solid 2010 structure with great tannins and acid. If you love a good Bordeaux, don’t pass this one up at this price.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2010 Tronquoy de St-Anne, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 02-05-2017
This wine has remarkable balance and power. Blackberry, black cherry, leather, coffee, licorice. It certainly has big tannins but the acid to match it. The quality and price make this one of the quickest selling clarets every year so grab a six-pack to put away, you’ll be glad you did.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2010 La Dauphine, Fronsac
Review Date: 02-05-2017
This is an elegant and powerful right-bank claret. At 90% Merlot, 10% Cab Franc it has great blue and black fruit, some mocha, worn leather and licorice. The tannins, while still displaying the 2010 power, are remarkably approachable. I’d love to revisit in a couple of years.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 91 WS 90

2001 Labegorce, Margaux
Review Date: 02-05-2017
Drinking great right now, this aged gem is my pick for great-value, read-to-enjoy Bordeaux. It has intense, ripe red fruit and puts on a real show of terroir: minerals, smoke, and a bit of earth. The tannins are grippy and you can still feel that acidity. It has really aged beautifully.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

1997 Glen Spey 18 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-25-2017
Tropical notes dominate the nose on this single-cask Speyside: orange citrus and mango with a little dill spice underlined by a rich butterscotch and caramel layer and subtle notes of preserved apricots and cocoa. Complex and a pure pleasure to sip.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

2009 Seresin "Reserve" Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 01-25-2017
There is a lot going on here! This is a great example of the good things that can happen when a well-made Sauvignon Blanc gets some age. The wine has developed a round and silky texture but has retained a great amount of acid, which is good because the flavors are intense: melon, pineapple, baked lemons, lime blossom and honey. There’s definitely some development, but I love the way it has aged so far and think it would be wonderful with some smoked trout.​

2012 Marqués de Murrieta Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 01-25-2017
This reserva rioja is really starting to hit its stride. It is showing an explosion of well integrated flavors like cherries, redcurrant, cola berry, ripe strawberries, licorice and violets. The body is full and rounded by thick, silky tannins with a solid acid to reign everything in. 5 years in and great potential for further aging, this has edged its way to the top of my sub-$20 bang-for-my-buck category.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 95 RP 92

2014 Clos Bellane Côtes du Rhône-Villages Valréas
Review Date: 01-23-2017
I love this Cotes du Rhone Villages because it has a vibrancy and freshness to it that you might not expect from a Southern Rhone appellation. It leans a little more toward the Syrah side of things with wild raspberry fruit, black pepper, and spices with a silky texture and a nice acidic edge. Great structure, rich fruit and a fresh lift make it a fun food wine with great drinkability now. ​
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 - 92

2015 Clos Bellane "Petite Bellane" Côtes du Rhône-Villages
Review Date: 01-16-2017
This is brimming with the aromas of freshly crushed raspberry confiture…very rich fruit and the acid to back it up. This is likely due to its unusually high Syrah content for a southern Rhone wine. There’s a nice toastiness from the oak and its light-bodied nature makes it especially “mid-week quaffable.” The strong acid makes it a great food wine and a fantastic value.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Averaen (Banshee) Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 01-11-2017
Banshee has been blowing minds with its quality-to-price ratios in Sonoma County, and now they are redefining what $20 gets you in the Willamette Valley, too. The Averaen Pinot Noir is a beautiful one. Fresh, ripe blueberry, raspberry and strawberry flavors with a great acid backbone and a light, silky texture. By far the best money you can spend in the appellation at the moment.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
VN 91

2014 Gary Farrell "Russian River Selection" Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 01-11-2017
This stood out at a recent staff Chardonnay tasting. The fruit, sourced from a lot of the top-billed vineyards in the Russian River area, was notable for its freshness and focused acid, while still offering the classic Russian River richness and depth…the best of both worlds at a price far below its stature.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 95 WS 90

2014 Baccinetti "La Saporoia" Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 01-11-2017
Beautiful wine made in the classic Montalcino tradition! 100% Sangiovese aged a year in barrel. Although lighter in body than bigger Brunellos, it still showcases incredibly rich savory red fruit flavors with a silky mouthfeel and great acid to balance it out. I’m not always in the mood for a big, rich (expensive) Brunello, and this more than satisfies the red-wine drinker in me at an everyday price!​
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Michel Delhommeau "Harmonie" Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie
Review Date: 01-09-2017
The “Harmonie” Muscadet Sevre et Maine is quite appropriately named, it has a lot going on but it all comes together for a well-synchronised wine experience. It’s bone dry with remarkable minerality for its price point, and is rounded out nicely by fruit flavors of melon and citrus. It’s light bodied with good acid, making it a great food-pairing wine as well.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

Laurent-Perrier "Cuvée Rosé" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 01-05-2017
Everything about the Cuvée Rosé is rich and seductive: the deep pink hue, the lush Pinot Noir fruit flavor, the silky texture. The fruit, entirely Grand Cru Pinot Noir, is destemmed, crushed and left in contact with the skins for an unusually long 72 hours, before being vinified and aged on the lees for four years. The result is a wine rich in the pure flavors of ripe strawberries, raspberries and black cherries and hazelnuts with a creamy texture, crisp bubbles, and incredible length. This is a very delicious — and unique—rosé Champagne.

Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-07-2016
I tried this at K&L Champagne buyer Gary Westby’s suggestion and I’m glad I did. It’s not every day a wine gives you a veritable “Wow” moment, but this one took me aback. Bruno Michel has been a pioneer in organic, biodynamic vine growing since the 1980s, and apparently putting prodigious amounts of tender love and care into them makes a stunningly good bottle of bubbly. Roughly half Meunier, half Chardonnay, the aroma profile is unique and complex: sweet flaky pastry, lemon zest and a hint of cocoa melded together by a rich lees quality. The acidity doesn’t necessarily stick out, but rather gives the wine the perfect sense of balance, tying together all the rich and complex flavors of quince, toasted pie crust, cloves and baked apples perfectly. They may not have the marketing power of the “Grand Marques” but Bruno Michel’s champagnes would stand up to the very best of them in any tasting panel.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Nino Franco "Rustico" Valdobbiadene Prosecco
Review Date: 12-07-2016
A great, crisp, clean prosecco. Bone dry with very clean, light aroma of lemon rind rounded out by a touch of creaminess. Perfect for that everyday occasion that can always be enhanced by some bubbles.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
JS 90 WE 90

2012 Villa Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 12-07-2016
This wine is for me the embodiment of Old World elegance. It captures the savory Sangiovese flavors of cherries, raspberries and plum with subtle notes of spices and herbs. It has a soft earthy texture underlying rich, concentrated fruit and just a touch of acidity. Very well balanced, structured and, in a word, elegant.

Franck Bonville Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 12-07-2016
Every year, the K&L staff finishes each incredibly busy day of December over a bottle of champagne. We kicked it off this year with this gem, and it was a sight to behold. Every member of the team took a quiet moment to contemplate and appreciate the beauty and elegance of this rosé with closed eyes and furrowed brows, followed by a “whoa…” Rich, creamy red fruit flavors…black cherry, strawberry, raspberry…a soft and rounded texture and just a tiny hint of toast. At this price, I’m tempted to finish all my busy days with Bonville Rosé. ​
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WS 92

2013 Leone de Castris Salice Salentino Riserva
Review Date: 11-21-2016
Every now and again a previously unbeknownst-to-me wine will surprise me by hitting all the right notes in exciting ways—this is definitely one of those. This mostly negroamaro blend seems to tell the story of its southern Italy environment with savory aromas of earth, leather, potpourri, mushrooms and ripe bush berries and plum. This savory fruit profile is held up by a plush tannic structure and just the right amount of acid to keep the finish crisp and interesting, making you want to take the ride all over again with another sip. Delicious stuff.​
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2015 Jeff Carrel "Les Darons" Languedoc
Review Date: 11-15-2016
We’re on the precipice of the cold season, and I can’t think of a wine I would want close by on the first wintry day than this gem from Jeff Carrel in Languedoc. It features an unbelievable rich concentration and purity of fruit like blackberries, blueberries and black cherries that glides over the palate like silk and ends with a touch of acid on the long finish. It’s a classic example of the incredible quality to price value that the winemakers in Languedoc are offering right now and shouldn't be passed up while it is around!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
RP 91 - 93

2004 Bodegas Puelles Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 11-10-2016
This is the deal of the year from Spain and I fully expect inventory to dwindle pretty quickly. I have never seen a Gran Reserva with over 10 years of bottle age for under $30, much less $20. It is absolutely singing right now! Blue and blackberry fruit with subtle, savory notes of mushroom and espresso and just a tiny hint of menthol. The structure is such that the wine is still fresh and textured and has a crisp finish that seems to go on and on. If we run out of stock before you get to try it, I’m partly to blame as this is my new house red.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2009 Miguel Merino "Vitola" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 11-10-2016
The fruit used to produce this Reserva Rioja came from vines planted in the 1970s, and the concentration and depth are evident. I get notes of cocoa, vanilla and espresso underneath loads of concentrated dark fruit like blueberries, mulberries and blackberries. There’s solid tannin, but it’s well rounded by the extra year in bottle and lends to the great structure typical of a Miguel Merino wine. Age and structure like this at a price so low should get our bargain-hunters pretty excited!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2012 Miguel Merino "Viñas Jovenes" Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 11-10-2016
Beautiful entry level Rioja from our good friend and direct import Miguel Merino. It’s aged in American and French oak, subtle and nuanced notes of vanilla and licorice underline the more pronounced savory flavors of raspberry and black cherry. The fruit is rather lifted and fresh, with a velvety smooth texture from soft round tannins.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine Lafage "Tessellae Vieilles Vignes" Carignan Côtes Catalanes
Review Date: 11-09-2016
This is one of the best values out there in the wine world right now, and sure enough it comes from the south of France, on the Cotes Catalanes. It has incredible power and finesse, with loads of very pure, dark fruit like blackberry and boysenberry, with great concentration and powerful structure from the 70-year-old vines. The wonderful purity of fruit and terroir are on full display with notes of cloves, anise, wildflowers and cocoa, followed a long, raspberry-tinged finished. Very delicious, complex and well-priced!
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2015 Au Bon Climat/K&L Wine Merchants "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-08-2016
This is one of the finest Pinot Noirs I’ve tasted from ABC. It has the great, rich crunchy fruit one would expect from the Bien Nacido Valley with a frame of secondary flavors like herbs, garrigue and a touch of baking spices. The concentration is awesome while retaining freshness and vibrancy with a great acid backbone. This will certainly be making an appearance at my Thanksgiving table.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2012 Prunotto Barolo
Review Date: 11-08-2016
This is an elegant and refined Barolo, already showing finesse and roundness through all that Nebbiolo power. It showcases aromas of sweet, savory red berry fruit with underlying raspberry, spices and herbs. Its tannins are ultra fine and fully integrated, and a delicate but powerful mid-palate texture leads through to a finish well-accented by soft acid. Delicious Barolo ready to be enjoyed for years to come!
Price: $46.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2015 Pascal Berthier "Esprit de Séduction" Saint-Amour
Review Date: 11-01-2016
This is one of the many gems recently brought back from Beaujolais for the direct import program, and the quality-to-price ratio is awe-inducing. The generous nature of the 2015 vintage is on full display with perfectly ripe fruit flavors of raspberry, red currant and cranberry that have great mid-palate weight and a smooth but powerful tannic texture with great acid and a slightly savory finish. This is the epitome of great, traditional French wine at a great price. ​
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 90 VN 90

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne (375ml)
Review Date: 10-30-2016
I recently enjoyed this while relaxing in a hot tub on a nice summer evening in California; it was perfect! Fresh and pronounced flavors of pear and apricot combine with a crisp acidity and lush creaminess for a wine fresh and approachable in style. The perfect accompaniment to any moment of leisure, at a price far below its value!
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

2014 Château de Montfaucon Clairette "Vin de Mme la Comtesse" Côtes du Rhône Vieilles Vignes Blanc
Review Date: 10-25-2016
This is a seriously delicious bottle of old-vine, single vineyard Clairette. It opens with a bouquet of acacia blossom, melon, pear and earthy minerality. On the palate it has a wonderfully rich, creamy texture, plenty of weight, and a nice medium-acid finish that leaves those delicious flavors lingering quite awhile. If you’re into Rhone whites, this is a gem!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

2014 Château de Montfaucon Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 10-25-2016
It doesn’t get much better than this for everyday reds. Lighter in weight than the Lirac and the Baron Louis, it still displays rich Grenache flavors of blackberry and plum with smooth tannins rounded out by a long, crisp, savory and raspberry finish. At this price it’s worth buying a case—it never fails to please a crowd!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2010 Antinori "Pian delle Vigne-Vigna Ferrovia" Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
Review Date: 10-18-2016
Expectations are high for the Riserva wines from this stunning vintage, and for me this one not only meets those expectations, it redefines how great a Brunello di Montalcino can be. The structure is incredible: I’ve been drinking on this bottle for three days and it’s not just holding up, it’s singing as gracefully as ever! On the nose: crushed violets and ripe raspberries with a touch of mint and small undertones of licorice. Velvety smooth on the palate, with a rich and broad tannic fruitiness with a savory umami note that meets at the back of the palate with the perfect level of acidity. Showing amazing right now, I can only imagine the wonders a few more years of age would work on this surreal wine.​

Boulard-Bauquaire "Trepail" Brut Blanc de Blancs Vieilles Vignes Champagne
Review Date: 10-07-2016
The Chardonnay used in this Blanc de Blancs comes from the illustrious Montagne de Reims, and the quality of the fruit is evident. Lovely aromas of roasted almonds, butterscotch and sweet baked pastry lift from the glass; on the palate a soft chalky minerality rides alongside nicely balanced acidity. Another fantastic addition to our Direct Import roster and outrageous value for the money. Don’t miss this one!​
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2013 Kingston Family "Lucero" Syrah Casablanca Valley
Review Date: 10-04-2016
I really love the Kingston Family Estate for their philosophy on wine making, which is to craft wines based not on what everyone else is selling, but to tell the beautiful story of their cool-climate Chilean terroir. The Lucero Syrah is that beautiful story in a bottle. It is very aromatic with notes of fresh eucalyptus and cranberry, pepper and leather. The fruit is bright and vibrant with acid driven fruit flavors like raspberry and blackberry, with a soft, medium-bodied texture. Wonderful balance and fresh style.

2014 Thistle Ridge Pinot Noir Waipara Valley North Canterbury
Review Date: 10-03-2016
Another home-run value from New Zealand buyer Ryan Woodhouse! Produced organically for three years now, the Thistle Ridge PN has a slight cola-berry sweetness on the nose, but on the palate it's dry and elegant, with great weight and bright fruit flavors of plum and boysenberry. There is no way this is going to last long, it tastes WAY more expensive than it is.

2014 Momento Chenin Blanc/Verdelho Bot River Western Cape
Review Date: 10-03-2016
For me, this wine was the star of our recent staff tasting. It has an incredibly interesting smokiness underlying; dry, but with bright yellow tropical fruit like pineapple and quince. The texture was just phenomenal, with a waxy phenolic character and great mid-palate weight and balance. It can definitely be enjoyed tonight, but I have a feeling a few years in the cellar would be very rewarding .
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine Lafage "Bastide Miraflors" Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 09-26-2016
Just in time for fall, the shipment of the latest vintage of Bastide Miraflors from Domaine Lafage has arrived. It’s full of pure, big-bodied dark fruit flavors like plum, black cherry and cassis with ultra smooth integrated tannins. This has a lot of personality with secondary flavors like tobacco, licorice and spice underlining the great fruit. Even in the south of France, where low-cost wines abound, this is a standout quality-to-price ratio!
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2013 Domaine Aubai Mema Grenache Vieilles Vignes "Lunatico" Gard Rouge
Review Date: 09-22-2016
Beautiful Grenache from an area in Eastern Languedoc (very close to the Rhone). It has a deep transparent ruby hue, and smells like wild blackberries and ripe blueberries with floral undertones. The purity of fruit is great, and 18 months in new and used oak gives it an added texture that suggests it would age very well. An impressive new find from our direct import program!​
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine des Remizières Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 09-22-2016
It’s not often you get a wine of this pedigree at such a low price. Northern Rhône Syrahs are the most prestigious and costly in the world and this value-priced Crozes displays the appellation very well: vibrant and concentrated raspberry and blackberry fruit with plenty of earthy spice and full bodied tannins. Aged in traditional foudres for 18 months, the oak element is very subtle and elegant underneath the vibrant fruit. If you enjoy a great Syrah, don’t pass this stellar deal up.​
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2010 Louis Roederer Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 09-21-2016
62% Pinot Noir, 38% Chardonnay. Rich round red berry fruit, creamy texture from 20% barrel aging and a crisp acid to back it up. The minerality is bracing and enriching, to make for an overall stellar rosé Champagne. Ready to enjoy now and for years to come!​

2008 Louis Roederer Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-20-2016
Roederer took full advantage of the superb conditions in 2008 to create a powerful, complex and elegant Brut Champagne. Made from 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, the acid is electrifying and powerful yet the richness of fruit cushions it perfectly, opening the palate to a bouquet of flavors like citrus, pear, honey and toasty goodness. A delicious take on a great vintage!

Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-16-2016
This bone dry offering from the prestigious Laurent Perrier house is elegant, fresh and satisfying. This no-dosage cuvée consists of 55% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir from high quality vineyards that display a subtle toasty quality over clean green apple and fresh citrus flavors. Wonderful expression of the Champagne terroir and one of my favorite takes on the style.

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