Staff Favorites - Alex Schroeder

Alex Schroeder

Reviews

  
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2014 Knez Winery Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 06-21-2017
Rich and poised cranberry, strawberry and cola berry flavors with a smooth tannic disposition and a bright, subtle acid lift on the back end. This is a delicious, well-structured and richly fruited Pinot Noir from a great appellation. Don’t miss it.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
VN 93

2014 Knez Winery "Cerise Vineyard" Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 06-21-2017
Concentrated red fruit flavors of ripe strawberries and raspberries intensified by medium plus acidity and complemented by a nice savory salinity. The intense fruit is balanced by sweet baking spice with a hint of amaro-like herbs and black tea notes. Powerful, balanced, elegant and exactly what you want from a single vineyard, top appellation Pinot Noir, at a closeout price. It’s hard to argue with a value like this.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
VN 95

2014 Walter Hansel "North Slope" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 06-21-2017
This is such a beautiful, bright and expressive Pinot Noir. It’s perfumed with rich cherry, raspberry, and cola berry flavors, with plenty of underlying herbs, thyme and garrigue, and subtle baking spice from the French oak. And for all it’s delicate expressiveness, it can also be described as rich and powerful, with grippy tannins for structure and ageability. This will be fun to revisit in five years.​

2014 Walter Hansel "Cuvee Alyce" Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-21-2017
Walter Hansel makes some of the best value richer-styled Russian River wines we carry, and the “Cuvée Alyce” represents the top selected barrels of their Chardonnay. It is Burgundian in style with flint, toasted oak, smoke and a subtle nuttiness. It has great phenolic weight on the palate and that beautiful fog-induced acid to balance and give definition to the rich flavor profile.
Price: $38.99 Add To Cart
RP 95 VN 93

2014 Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-20-2017
This vintage is stellar. It is sourced from the same vines as the ultra-premium Insignia and aged on a unique regimen of half-French, half-American, half-new oak barrels. It has perfectly ripened fruit with expressive flavors of blackberries, plums, violets, black pepper, mocha, licorice and black tea leaves. The tannins are smooth yet powerful and the great acidity ensures that this gem will age beautifully for years to come.

2014 Joseph Phelps "Freestone Vineyards" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 06-20-2017
The 2014 Joseph Phelps Freestone Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir was showing great during our recent buying trip to Napa Valley, when the K&L team had the privilege to talk with Will Phelps, grandson of Napa Valley icon Joseph Phelps and current executive manager of the Joseph Phelps estate. Phelps explained how they picked from two different plots with different levels of sun exposure to create a complete and complex Pinot profile. Fresh, crunchy, ripe red fruit like raspberries, strawberries and plums with savory elements of spicy earth, forest floor and a touch of salinity make for a beautiful, well-crafted and powerful Sonoma Coast Pinot.

2013 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-20-2017
Unlike most other Napa wineries, the winemaking at Corison follows a philosophy of finding the peak of expression through restraint. You will not find any wines above 14% alcohol. This, combined with the near-perfect 2013 vintage makes for an incredible, expressive wine that has primary flavors of black currant, blueberries and figs combined with a lovely gamey quality that has plenty of licorice and wild herbs underneath. The flavors continue to unfold as the wine breathes. If this is so good in its infancy, I can hardly imagine how good it will be with some decent age on it.

2013 Corison "Kronos Vineyard" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-20-2017
This was THE highlight of a recent tour of Napa wineries K&L took me on. While many ultra-premium cabs can lose flavors and subtleties through over-extraction and high alcohol levels, the Kronos cab manages to find a sublime balance between power and expression. It falls into the category of wines that I love to simply sit and smell for half an hour. It has beautiful, bright red fruit like strawberries, red plum and boysenberry with crushed rocks, spearmint and a perfectly balancing amount of acid. The tannins are strong but smooth and integrated. If you are looking of the best Napa has to offer, this needs to be on your list.​
Price: $174.99 Add To Cart
JS 96 VN 96

2014 Domaine de l'Aigle À Deux Têtes Savagnin "Naturé" Côtes du Jura Blanc
Review Date: 06-20-2017
The Jura region remains one of the best places to find hidden, undervalued gems, and this is one of my favorites. The quality and complexity here for under $20 are stunning. Fresh flavors of lemon merangue are followed by subtle notes of honey, almonds and white flowers. It is light bodied enough to enjoy on a hot afternoon but substantive so that it would go great with a rich meal.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-20-2017
You have to take note when a premium winery like Flowers releases a biodynamic/organic Chardonnay from my favorite appellation for the varietal, Sonoma Coast. This is a beautiful wine that is at once creamy and toasty, refreshing, and full of secondary flavors of spices like clove and cinnamon from 11 months in 35% new French oak. Have this gem with some roasted chicken and fennel.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
VN 91

2014 Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 06-20-2017
Made from Dijon clones planted in the Sonoma Coast appellation, this is showing great power and concentration, and lifted aromas of red fruit and baking spice with wild herb notes. It’s both powerful and precise, which makes for a wine that you can enjoy tonight, but will also blossom as it ages.​
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 93 W&S 90

2016 Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Rosé
Review Date: 06-20-2017
Right in line with the style of the other Flowers wines, the Pinot Noir Rosé can be described as richly fruited but precise and elegant. You’ll find red fruit flavors like strawberries and red currants with roses, lemon citrus acidity and a creamy rounded texture with great balance and length. It’s probably one of the best domestic rosés on the market.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart

2005 Bodegas Puelles Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 05-31-2017
I know calling this wine the best value in our store would be a bold statement, but it’s one I’m prepared to stand behind. It spent two years in barrel, another decade in bottle and it is showing its age beautifully. From a particularly warm vintage in Europe, the fruit is rich and layered but still retains its freshness and vibrancy with a bright acidity and smooth, integrated tannin. It has savory notes of mushroom, forest floor and crushed gravel and that wonderful perfectly integrated Puelles oak profile. Nothing compares at this price point.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2010 Famille Perrin "Domaine du Clos des Tourelles" Gigondas
Review Date: 05-30-2017
A back vintage from one of my favorite southern Rhone appellations by the renowned producer of the Beaucastel line? I had a feeling this would be good, and it is! The richness of the vintage is evident with robust, savory, ripe strawberry and raspberry jam flavors, with fully integrated wild herb and garrigue notes. It has great weight and richness on the palate and just the right amount of acid to cut all that rich fruit. A+ for style, structure, drinkability, and further aging potential.

2005 Verdignan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 05-30-2017
I love this claret! Plenty of savory dark red fruit, mocha and licorice with earthy elements of graphite, forest floor and mushrooms. 2005 was not a shy vintage, nor are the flavors in this wine. The tannins and acid are right where they need to be, I’d take advantage of the sub-$20 price tag and enjoy this tonight!​
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2015 Noemia de Patagonia "A Lisa" Malbec Rio Negro
Review Date: 05-24-2017
On the nose, dark cherries, blackberries, ripe strawberries, crushed gravel, cocoa and a hint of toast. On the palate, great balance between the rich fruit, plush, silky tannins and acid that provides lift and a crisp, long finish. This is a delicious Malbec that would raise any meal a culinary notch or three.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 JS 92

2011 Proprietà Sperino Lessona
Review Date: 05-24-2017
At its base, easily recognizable Nebbiolo traits like silky, savory dark fruit and grippy tannins are at the helm. The Vespolina blended in quickly makes itself known, however, adding expressive red-fruited acidity and minty herbal notes that make the Lessuna an immediate pleasure to enjoy and contemplate.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
WE 96

2015 Felton Road "Bannockburn" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 05-12-2017
In the realm of Pinot Noir, Felton Road has established itself as one of the world’s best producers, largely due to efforts like the 2015 Bannockburn Pinot. It is loaded with bright red fruit, i.e. wild cherries, strawberries, cranberries with great mid-palate silky weight that is hoisted up effortlessly by vibrant acidity on the back end. There are plenty of wild herbs like thyme, bay leaf and fennel to frame and add complexity to the fruit. Absolutely delicious.

Glenmorangie "Bacalta" Private Edition Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 05-10-2017
The latest in Scotch innovation from Glenmorangie is Madeira-cask aged, in casks that they sourced which were filled with Malmsey Madeira and then seasoned in the sun for two years themselves. Talk about quality control! This is beautiful whisky, both in appearance and flavor profile. At the base, there is a viscous creamy maltiness with dried apricots, almonds and honeycomb flavors in the background. The finish is fresh and fruity, and rounds out the richness perfectly. Very fun bottle of whisky!
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

Fallet-Dart "Clos du Mont" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-09-2017
This is a wine for true Champagne lovers. The fruit comes from a site distinguished for its quality by clergy members back in the 8th Century (much like the vastly more expensive Clos du Mesnil). Aged on the lees for over 12 years, the juice comes from two great, and by now beautifully-aged, vintages: 1999 and 2002, both barrel fermented. This is very vibrant yet precise, with stone fruit, lemon and tropical notes, a creamy butteriness and rich honey notes. The finish is incredibly long, with tantalizing minerality. Unbelievable quality at what amounts to a bargain price.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2008 Fallet-Dart Vintage Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-09-2017
This latest champagne drop has our staff and customers loudly buzzing. From one of our top grower imports and from easily the best vintage of the last couple decades, the ’08 Millesime from Fallet Dart is 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir from the estate’s best parcels, aged 8 years on the lees! Lemon meringue, nectarine, and pear fruit flavors are intense and amplified by the vintage’s hallmark acidity, while beautiful and fully integrated toasty lees add depth and complexity. At sub-$40, it seems too good to be true, which means it will probably disappear pretty fast.. Grab yours!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 Delas "Saint Esprit" Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 05-05-2017
The stunning quality and structure for this sub-$10 red is evidence of the strength of the vintage in the Rhone Valley. The fruit is, as expected, ripe and rich, but it is perfectly framed by signature Rhone dried herbs and spice and perfectly smooth and integrated tannins. Very impressive for its price-point.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

2015 Mas Karolina Côtes Catalanes
Review Date: 05-05-2017
Beautifully crafted southwest French blend! The Grenache lends very clean and fresh blue and black fruit: plums, blackberry, and blueberries; while the acid from Syrah rounds out the richness and also lends a touch of elegance reminiscent of more expensive wines. Great direct import value for your everyday enjoyment!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Mas Karolina Côtes Catalanes Blanc
Review Date: 05-05-2017
If you enjoy the great white wines of the Rhone Valley and other southern French regions, then put this direct import on your shopping list. It is full of beautiful tropical and stone fruits: pineapple, nectarines, lemon and mango with a great, rich texture from very limited aging in huge oak foudres and a nice, long finish.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Lafage "Arqueta" Collioure
Review Date: 05-05-2017
This is one of the finest cuvees I’ve had from Domaine Lafage (who makes a lot of great cuvees). This Grenache dominant Roussillon is aged only 15% in Burgundy barrels, making the fruit the star of this wine! Bright plum, blackberry bramble and pomegranate flavors are rich and fresh with just a touch of toast and a small bit of those southern French dried herbs. The integration and balance are impeccable. This is one value wine to make sure not to miss!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 - 95

2005 Three Dog Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-03-2017
This was by far the most exciting wine at our last domestic staff tasting. Wearing its age very well, it showcases mostly vibrant red fruit like savory raspberries, ripe strawberries and dark cherries with leathery undertones and just a hint of earthy spice. At this price and with several years of ageing potential left, I’m going to case up on this one.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2011 Sesta di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 04-27-2017
This is one of my favorite Brunellos of the vintage so far. It has bright, fresh raspberry, cherry and orange peel notes with grippy tannins and a minty herbal undertone. The finish just goes on and on. It will age well, but it tastes awfully good right now.

2011 Poggiarellino Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 04-27-2017
This is a bold and complex Brunello, one that I suspect will age for quite some time. It is full bodied with big and layered plum, raspberry, wild herbs, mocha and tea leaf flavors, with an impressive acidity that craftily adds freshness to this big, bold Brunello. Its savoriness and herbal character make it a beautiful and powerful representation of Sangiovese.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

Laurent-Perrier "Grand Siècle" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 04-26-2017
The Grand Siècle (literally “Great Century”), is named after the age of King Louis XIV of France, and represents the awe and splendor that was known under his reign, during which Versailles was built. One of my absolute favorite prestige cuvées, it is composed entirely from Grand Cru sites, blended from three great vintages, then aged on its lees for the entirety of a decade. Wow. Made from 55% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir, it has quince, green apple and citrus fruit with honey, almond and biscuit notes from the long aging. It has delicious toasty yeasty character and vibrancy from the great acid. This should be in every Champagne lovers cellar, ready for that perfect, or any, Champagne moment!

2015 Domaine Les Pins "Les Rochettes" Bourgueil
Review Date: 04-19-2017
I’ve been drinking “Les Rochettes” for awhile. It’s such a great representation of Bourgueil at a killer price, but this vintage is something special. 2015 is by now well known for its warmth and ripeness across France, and it has imparted “Les Rochettes” with structure and personality like never before. The riper phenolics highlight flavors of violets, cranberry, stewed bell peppers and herbs while the tannins provide more grip and structure, giving the impression of a wine at a much higher price-point. If you enjoy Cab Franc, this is one value wine not to pass up.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2015 Crystallum "Peter Max" Pinot Noir Hemel-en-Aarde Walker Bay
Review Date: 04-11-2017
The “Peter Max” Pinot Noir is fermented over an unusually long four weeks using minimum extraction methods. The result is a wine with power, concentration and elegance. It’s full of savory fruit flavors like cherry, raspberry and strawberry with strong herbs and tea leaves. It’s sexy and luscious while retaining great acid structure from the cooler climate of Walker Bay. A wonderful wine for the money.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
ST 91 RP 90

2015 Crystallum "The Agnes" Chardonnay Hemel-en-Aarde / Overberg
Review Date: 04-11-2017
This great Chardonnay is entirely barrel fermented, but its richness (and it is rich) is mostly lees based since they only use 10% new oak. There are vibrant tropical flavors of melon and citrus, a rich creamy texture from the lees and time in barrel, and a well balanced cool climate acid to keep it fresh. Great example of Walker Bay Chardonnay from South Africa.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
ST 92

2015 Baron de Montfaucon Côtes du Rhône Blanc
Review Date: 04-11-2017
Another knock-out from one of my favorite direct imports. Wine has been made at the Chateau de Montfaucon since 1520, and that kind of legacy results in superbly crafted blends year after year. This Cotes du Rhone blanc is no exception. The mostly Clairette blend has a viscous tropical fruitiness with a nice floral undertone from the Viognier. Great acid and mineral keep it fresh on the finish which is precise and lingering. One of the very best deals in white in the store. ​
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Fonreaud, Listrac
Review Date: 03-31-2017
Beautiful dark fruit, blueberries and blackberries with cedar, earth and nice gritty tannin. This is great Bordeaux, and at this price it makes a great house red to keep on hand!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Potensac, Médoc
Review Date: 03-31-2017
Great red fruit like black cherry, red currant and strawberry with some graphite minerality, anise, herbs, and leather. The tannins are silky soft, making this great to drink right now, but it definitely has the acidity to age for several years!

2015 Pessac-Léognan de Haut Bailly, Pessac-Leognan
Review Date: 03-31-2017
The ‘15s are trickling in and Haut Bailly’s third label from the vintage is one of the best deals in the store right now! The wonderful ripeness is on display with rich red fruit like black cherries, ripe strawberries and cranberries, with nuanced flavors of violets, aged leather and licorice as well. It has great tannins for structure and the perfect level of acidity to contrast the fruit. This is the best you can do for red wine under $20!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Franck Millet "K&L Cuvee" Sancerre Blanc Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 03-29-2017
Very robust flavors of citrus, lemongrass, pineapple and melon are at the core of this Sancerre Blanc made from the old vines of our good friends Franck and Betty Millet. The density from the old vine fruit is balanced out by focused acidity and chalky minerality. Once again this Millet Sancerre well outperforms its price-point.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2009 Franck Bonville "Millesime" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 03-08-2017
It really made my day when our buyer Gary Westby informed us we had a special batch of the 2009 vintage from my favorite Grand Cru Avize producer, and that it had been aged on the lees an extra two years! The fruit is broad and rich on the palate, with lemon, honey and marzipan, with a creamy toastiness and impressive levels of crisp acid and chalk. Great richness and depth while retaining remarkable freshness and drinkability. A true feat of craftsmanship!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2014 Fonplégade, St-Émilion
Review Date: 03-02-2017
The first word I wrote down in my notebook for the 2014 Fonplegade was “Elegance”. Beautiful blue and black fruit is well-balanced by excellent oak integration and silky smooth tannins. One of my favorite of the vintage from the right-bank so far.

2014 Domaine Andre Moingeon & Fils St-Aubin "Alain Corcia"
Review Date: 03-01-2017
This St. Aubin is a stunner for the price. It features rich lemon citrus, apple, and floral elements with a touch of smoke and toasty undertones. The ripe phenolics give a lovely waxy texture and the legendary Burgundy minerality comes out to add to the focus and complexity. Do yourself a favor and skip the $50 St. Aubins for this less expensive delight.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2016 Kalinda Reserve North Coast Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 03-01-2017
Great Sauvignon Blanc sourced from the California North Coast and made by a high caliber, well known Napa producer. The fruit is rich and poised, with lemon, melon, tangerine and gooseberry flavors, a refreshing acid zip and great balance. This can be used either an elegant poolside sipper or the perfect accompaniment to a seafood feast but at this price you’ll probably want to grab a case to keep on hand this summer.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$14.99

Jacopo Poli Sarpa di Poli Con Tubo Grappa (750ml) (Can't Ship)
Review Date: 02-23-2017
When I started working in the wine industry, I managed a store owned by a Greek family in Texas. Every year they would visit the mother country and bring back a true cornucopia of artisanal Greek paraphernalia: Kalamata olives, feta cheese, dried figs and wild oregano, olive oil and candied fruits. What I most looked forward to, though, was the grappa that an uncle made that came to me in a big plastic soda bottle. This stuff was the elixir of the gods. When I quickly and inevitably ran out I could never find a commercially available substitute…until I tried Jacopo Poli’s Sarpa di Poli. See, this grappa is made with as much care and in equally small batches in Schiavon, Italy as the Greek grappa that came in the soda bottle. It’s made from the pomace of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and has deep penetrating aromas of jasmine, sweet pear, green fruits, coriander and anise. It’s bone dry and super clean on the palate but maintains that rich flavor profile for over a minute on the finish. I love all the spirits of the world, from rich Highland Single Malts to funky agricole Rhums, but when all is said and done, nothing is as exciting and satisfying for me as an artisanal grappa like this.
Price: $52.99 Add To Cart
WE 98

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: Hidden View Price

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

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.

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 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

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