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K&L Staff Recommendations
Vinous: "Very pale yellow. Ripe aromas of pear, stone fruits and spices. A step up in clarity from the basic village offering but still with a slight alcoholic warmth to its restrained yellow fruit flavors. I wanted more flavor authority and cut. Very much a wine of its vintage. (ST)" (7/2016) K&L Notes: Gerard Tremblay is officially en retrait, although his retirement is like that of many growers in that he continues to work, both in the vineyards and the cellar. His son Vincent Tremblay has now taken over the reins. They farm an impressive 35 hectares (about 90 acres) of vi... Read More »
Allen Meadows - Burghound: "The citrus and floral-infused nose flirts with a trace of reduction though I doubt that it will last for long. The clean, intense and well-detailed middle weight flavors exude a subtle salinity on the sleek, balanced and notably complex and persistent finale. This is really a very good Bourgogne and worth considering." (6/2016)
Wine & Spirits: "Made by Banshee, one of W&S’s 2015 Wineries of the Year, this contains declassified barrels of their Sonoma Coast wines as well as fruit from Anderson Valley, Monterey and Santa Barbara. It’s aged almost exclusively in used wood, resulting in a balanced Pinot Noir with clean, bold dark-cherry flavors and tangy acidity that drinks far above its humble price." (4/2016) Wine Enthusiast: "A smooth texture and ripe, inviting black cherry flavors make this medium-bodied wine easy to drink and enjoy. Light spicy accents give it extra interest and moderate tannins help build the su ...Read More »
91 points Vinous: "A wine of precision and nuance, the 2015 Terlaner Classico once again shows why this is one of Alto Adige's most compelling and delicious wines. The Pinot Blanc/Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc blend that has worked so well here for decades yields a white endowed with striking focus. White flowers, lemon peel, ripe orchard fruit, apricot pit, almond, mint and chamomile form a super-appealing fabric of aromas, flavors and textures. There is a lot to like here. The Terlano has a level of precision that none of these varieties show on their own. Then again, that ...Read More »
Vinous: "Bright violet. Extremely primary, displaying dark berry and cherry aromas and flavors enlivened by peppery spices. Shows good focus and energy thanks to tangy acidity, and picks up a subtle floral nuance as the wine slowly opens up. Finishes taut and refreshingly bitter, leaving hints of cherry pit and black currant behind. (JR)" (8/2016) Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* Produced from a small parcel of old vines, this is a crisp and fresh wine. With red-cherry fruit and acidity, it is a bright wine, up-front with its fruitiness and lively aftertaste. (RV)" (11/2016)
Hopped exclusively with the Centennial hop varietal from the Pacific Northwest, with additions in the kettle and again in the fermenter. A significant malt body balances this hop presence along with the signature Bell's house yeast.
96 points James Suckling: "This is great wine with fabulous transparency and clarity showing blackberry, blueberry and floral character. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a superb finish. 80% Malbec and 20% Cabernet Franc. A wine that gives pleasure now but will be even better in 2020." (5/2016) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The one blended wine in the BenMarco line that I tasted was the 2014 BenMarco Expresivo, in this case it's 80% Malbec and 20% Cabernet Franc from Gualtallary, from a young vineyard that gives low yields. The fermentation was completely natural, without any added yeasts, and the élevage was e ...Read More »
The estate was founded in 1897 when the 23-year-old Luigi Einaudi bought the San Giacomo farm in Dogliani with 16 hectares (40 acres) of vineyards. Over the years, Einaudi rose to prominence as an economist and politician, eventually becoming President of the first Republic of Italy in 1948. Despite this, Einaudi was known for never missing a harvest. Einaudi's core release is the Dogliani DOCG Dolcetto, aged in stainless steel tanks, which accounts for around half of the estate's annual 320,000 bottles. Einaudi also makes a more premium Dolcetto wine, ... Read More »
James Suckling: "A bright and fresh pinot noir with sliced lemon, strawberry and flower character. Medium body, crisp and clean. Light tannins and clean and fresh finish." (6/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another undeniable value is the 2014 Pinot Noir Olema, a Sonoma cuvée that would qualify as a sleeper as well. Pomegranate, allspice and clove intermix with sassafras in this medium-bodied, deliciously fruity, round seductive Pinot Noir to drink over the next several years. Even the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Olema offers plenty of value in an elegant, tasty, cedary, blackcurrant-scented and flavor ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "**Editors' Choice** This is a powerful wine, full of dark fruits and dense dry tannins. Even at four-years-old, it is still young. It is impressive in its concentration with fine acidity and black-plum flavors mingling with the tannins. Drink this serious wine from 2018. (RV)" (11/2016) K&L Notes: Is Cahors France’s greatest undiscovered wine? In the southwestern French winegrowing region of Cahors, the majestic Malbec varietal finds its ancestral home, often producing wines of great intensity and character. The indigenous Malbec was cultivated here during Gallo-Roma... Read More »
From the second label of Sobon estates comes Shenandoah Vineyards' full-bodied, full-fledged Amador-style Zinfandel. Its perfume hints at blackberries, cherries and cocoa while the mild tannins, elegant structure and strong fruit flavors make this a satisfying pairing for meats and cheeses.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Languedoc Equilibre is a blend of Syrah, Carignan and Grenache that offers a fresh, lively and medium-bodied profile to go with impressive berry fruit, licorice and floral characteristics. Aged mostly in foudre, yet with a tiny percentage in 1 and 2-year-old barrels, it has juicy acidity, good overall balance and a hard to resist profile. (JD)" (4/2015) Wine Spectator: "This supple, full-bodied red layers dried plum, kirsch and milk chocolate notes accented with tobacco leaf and herbal flavors. Smooth tannins surround the sweet spice and floral finish. (GS, Web-20 ...Read More »
From Badoit: "This major sparkling water brand is much-loved by the French. Badoit brings over two centuries of pleasure and sophistication to every meal. Originally acknowledged for its exceptional properties in the 18th Century, Badoit was recognised in 1778 by King Louis XVI’s physician as having virtues that “enhance the appetite, soothe digestion and lift the spirit”. Resolutely traditional, Badoit knows how to reinvent itself; its bottles are increasingly elegant, and highlight this unique product. Choosing to enjoy Badoit fine bubbles means making... Read More »
From a 4.5 hectare plot of vines which average 30 years of age and planted in flint and clay soils. All hand harvested, vinified in 100% stainless steel tanks along with about a week of carbonic maceration. Bright fruits with spice and fresh palate feel. This is a fantastic wine for those mixed meat grill outs, a dream with salmon and a perfect pairing with an array of Asian foods.
92 points James Suckling: "This has a beautiful depth of fruit with spice and dark fruits. Hints of parsley and cilantro. Full and super silky with a long and beautiful finish." (5/2013) K&L Notes: Composed of the same grapes in the same percentages as the Crianza, the Reserva is a barrel selection of wines that Angel feels can undergo longer aging in barrel and then in bottle. Aged a total of 27 months in barrels, then into concrete for more than a year, the Reserva also sees bottle aging until Angel deems it ready for release. This wine ramps up the intensity of the Crianza, with more pungen... Read More »
94 points James Suckling: "I like the floral character, which highlights the aromas of currants and berries. Full body and a firm and tight center palate. Silky tannins and a savory and creamy-textured finish. A beautifully balanced red. Try in 2021, but it’s already gorgeous to taste." (2/2017) 91-93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Barrel Sample* While the wine does have a strongly dry element, it also has a creamy, black currant background that shows promise for the future. With great acidity offering freshness, this wine will balance well. (RV)" (4/2015) 92 points Vinous: "A wine of notable precision, persistence and class, the 2014 Can ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "More ripe and decadent than the 2013, the 2012 Costières de Nîmes Lou Coucardie (49% Mourvèdre, 35% Grenache and the balance Syrah) is a big, mouth-filling effort that gives up loads of chewy black raspberry, black currants, smoked earth and pepper. Full-bodied, concentrated and dense, yet still showing elegance and purity, it has some rustic tannin that needs a year or two to integrate and will be at its best from 2016-2024. (JD)" (1/2015) 92 points Vinous: "Deep ruby. Black raspberry, vanilla, black pepper and candied flowers on the highly fragrant nose. Offers palate-stai ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice and #85 of Top 100 of 2015* This rich, structured wine is packed with both firm tannins and rich red fruits. Still young, it has all the makings of a dense, balanced wine that will reflect the great fruit of the vintage. Age this smoky, full-bodied wine and drink from 2017. (RV)" (11/2015) Wine Spectator: "Fresh, with a bright core of black cherry and damson plum fruit flavors backed by light black olive and violet notes. Modest in scale but with very nice purity. Drink now through 2018. (JM, Web-2016)" K&L Notes: A rich ruby red with notes of violets and red berry fr... Read More »
91 points Vinous: "Translucent red. High-pitched red berry, cherry and rose pastille scents are lifted by blood orange and mineral nuances. Silky, weightless and focused on the palate, offering juicy raspberry and bitter cherry flavors that become deeper and sweeter with air. Shows impressive depth of flavor but comes off lithe, even delicate. Clings with serious tenacity on the gently tannic finish, which strongly echoes the red fruit and floral notes. Talley's side project, which is not exactly a second label as the wines may include fruit that is sourced from outside Ar ...Read More »
Named for founder Rudy von Strasser, the "Rudy" label is best known around here for top-quality, well-priced Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. Look for fine tannins that complement good acidity and rich, red fruit flavors. 2014 is the 25th vintage for the von Strasser winery, during which time they've won the "Winery of the Year" award from Wine and Spirits magazine an astonishing 12 times.
Valravn is a small project by the folks behind Banshee Wines, with one clear mission: helping the Zinfandel grape live up to its potential glory. Their dry-farmed, bush-pruned vines range from 50 to 105 years old. Made by hand on a small scale, these wines are the antithesis to the jammy mass-produced Zins you can often find on the market. From the winery: "Layers of richness and complexity wrap around a core of wild strawberry and raspberry. Intoxicating aromatics with scents of mocha, espresso roast, violets and ripe red berries. Rich on the palate wit... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The straight up fabulous 2015 Tavel Les Lauzeraies is a layered, medium-bodied, beautifully textured Tavel that offers lots of flowers, lavender, spice and both cherry and raspberry fruit. Showing a touch of saltiness on the finish, drink this beauty with food over the coming year or so. (JD)" (5/2016) Wine Spectator: "A ripe rosé, with cherry and anise notes that stay focused and fresh, showing a flash of warm stone accents through the finish. Offers a juicy feel overall. Drink now. (JM)" (8/2016) K&L Notes: Rejoice Tavel! In a time when very high quality rosés line our shelves, when ... Read More »
Made from Cabernet Franc grapes grown on a clay-limestone hillside, this fruity and aromatic wine drinks wonderfully, even when the wine is very young. The Cabernet France grapes are completely destemmed and vatted for 12-18 days, depending on the year. Fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats. The result is is an elegant, round and easy-to-drink wine that smells of violets and tastes of heaven!
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "A versatile must-have for mixing cocktails, look for pleasing vanilla, maple and a hint of dried cherry. The finish is long and drying, with plenty of baking spice notes. (KN)" (7/2016) K&L Notes: Named North American Whiskey of the Year at the 2006 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and Best Buy of the Year at the 2006 WhiskeyFest. Rye was the first Colonial American whiskey, and was the most popular spirit in the US for more than a century until it fell out of favor. Made in a classic Pennsylvania style at the Heaven Hill distillery in Kentucky, this has been ... Read More »
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Since the 2010 harvest, they ferment plot by plot, and it shows. This Valbuena has almost 100 components in it, smaller lots, all of them corresponding to a plot of vines. It has all the signs of being one of the best vintages ever for this second wine from Vega Sicilia, mostly Tempranillo but with 5% Merlot that matured five months in 20,000-liter oak vats, 18 months in new barriques (equal parts French and American oak), three months in used barrels and then five months in the vats again before being bottled in May 2013. 2010 seems to have the exuberan ...Read More »
"We bring this tropical treat to you as a reminder of Spring's coming, its rebirth and promise of sunny days forever. Lush is made with a hand-selected blend of malts and lush, tropical hops to help you bridge the last days of Winter and the coming of the Spring fever. We hope you enjoy this tropical treat, keep your sunglasses handy, and wash away your cares in the coming Spring rains." (Producer Notes)
95 points Whisky Advocate: "With the Ardbeg 17 year old off the market, it's nice to see a new Ardbeg in the line-up. Uigeadail costs about the same as the Ardbeg 17 did but, with Uigeadail, you're getting a much more interesting whisky. Uigeadail consists of a marriage of younger whisky (from 1990 and 1993) with much older whisky matured in sherry casks. The marriage works exceptionally well, with the younger whiskies providing the classic Ardbeg intensity many of us have come to expect, while the older whiskies contribute depth, maturity, and complexity. And bottling the whisky a ...Read More »
This is a property to watch in the future. Very well-priced wines that have great balance and fruit. This one has toasty aromas and a very fruity palate impression. Super value. Very elegant wine from one of my favorite ready-to-drink vintages. Enjoy with a rack of lamb. (Clyde Beffa, K&L Wine Merchants)
90 points James Suckling: "Lots of nice fresh fruit with strawberry and lemon aromas and flavors. Medium to light body. Clean finish. Drink now" (7/2016) K&L Notes: This blend of Sangiovese and Merlot is concentrated and sexy, with intense notes of forest berries, baking spice, and vanilla. It's deep and round, a perfect match for aged cheeses and roasted meats.
This is a fresh, snappy berry-driven rosé with delicate floral notes. It's bright and crisp, delicious with or without food. Domaine les Pins has been family run for five generations. They are a small artisanal producer that oversees every stage of the production from start to finish. They have roughly 30 hectares of Cabernet Franc spread out through the Bourgueil and St-Nicolas de Bourgueil regions. They practice sustainable farming, and each and every vine gets singular attention throughout the year. Vines of an average age of 25 years are planted in s... Read More »
Arran has been one of our favorite independent producers at K&L for some time with its versatile line-up of Island malts with a bit more Highland character. While the standard Arran editions can vary from sweet sherry to subtle peat, this 20 year single barrel from our Old Particular label is classic Scotch through and through. The key components in the flavor profile are vanilla, sweet barley, soft stone fruit, and just a little bit of salt. Fans of balanced, complex, and easy to drink mature malts are going to fall on their faces for this whisky. It's ... Read More »
90 points James Suckling: "A compacted red with dried-cherry, toasted-oak and coffee-bean aroma and flavors. Full body with firm, silky tannins. Drink now." (2/2016)
Stephane Vedeau is the proprietor/winemaker behind critical darling Les Fermes du Mont. In 2010, Vedeau added Clos Bellane from the Cotes du Rhone-Village Valreas to his portfolio. Valreas is the northernmost of the Village level Cotes du Rhones and Stephane's vineyards sit above 400 meters. This cooler climate and higher exposition lead to bright and vibrant Rhone wines that challenge the notion of big and jammy southern French reds. These are fresh fruit filled and harmoniously balanced wines. The Petite Bellane is young vines Syrah produced using... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "The nose of this wine is quite shy at first, and it takes patience to pull out aromas of plum, crushed berries and a touch of charcoal. The palate opens up more quickly, showing elderberries and elderflowers, plus rose hips and a touch of fennel. (MK)" (11/2016) 90 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* Strikingly rich and complex, with a dense core of dark berry, black licorice, earth and cedar flavors that hold their own, easing up on the finish. Drink now." (9/2016)
95 points James Suckling: "Aromas of dark chocolate, berries, toasted nuts and vanilla bean follow through to a full body, firm tannins and a juicy finish. Lots of intense, beautiful fruit. Tight, layered red. All there. Better in 2017." (11/2014) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Fontalloro is a pure expression of Sangiovese with fruit sourced from the Chianti Classico area and the Colli Senesi area. It ages in new and once-used barrique for up to 22 months. Aromas flow with authority, spanning a large swath of fruit and oak-related attributes. The best part, however, is the aromatic layering: Slices of br ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Morellino di Scansano Riserva Poggio Valente is a breakthrough wine for Fattoria le Pupille and its talented winemaking team. This is a complete and balanced expression that shows its best side to all the senses: its appearance is richly saturated and bright; the bouquet is intense and complex; and the mouthfeel shows elegance and power. In all, this wine tastes and feels much younger than it really is and I have high hopes for its future aging ability. It shows a great sense of inner energy and liveliness that makes it a pleasure to drink in th ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
This exceptionally small estate sits above Tenuta di Sesta (sopra means "above" in Italian) on Montalcino’s south slope, but with this small bit of elevation you reach an outcrop of galestro, a marine-based exfoliating shale that gives the most profound Sangiovese.
Don't let the low price fool you; this is a great bottle of Champagne. The Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" is made of 40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir and 30% Meunier. A balanced cuvée in every way, this Champagne is clean and powerful at once. It has a natural toasty quality from spending five full years on the lees, and plenty of refreshing zip from the far northern location of the vineyards. No bottle in our inventory transports me to Champagne like this one. It is as true to the terroir and as pure as anything I could wish for! You don't have to settle... Read More »
Whisky Advocate: "Like the Writers Tears reviewed in this issue, this is from an independent company linked to renowned whiskey maker Bernard Walsh. It is described as of a style popular in James Joyce's Dublin (hence the name). Grain whiskey was a no-no at that time, so this uses no grain and is a mix of malt and pot still whiskeys. For its price and strength it is amazing — a big-hearted and full-flavored whiskey with an oily, apple-y pot still heart and cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepper spices. (DS, Summer 2012)" K&L Notes: The elusive Writer's Tears Pot Still Irish Whiskey has been a d... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Brewed with Citra and Mosaic hops, this IPA is wonderfully fragrant. It leads with a mélange of fruit aromas: mandarin orange, ruby-red grapefruit, passion fruit, mango, pineapple and papaya. Those notes carry through to the medium-weight palate, supported by flavors of bread dough and lightly caramelized malt. A dank stickiness adds depth to the palate and length to the finish." (9/2013) K&L Notes: A juicy citrus and grapefruit flavor profile. As if fresh Citra and Mosaic hops were squeezed straight into the bottle.
Without a doubt, this is one of the best Champagnes that we carry at any price. Made from two plots of 65-year-old vines, one in the grand cru of Oger called the Chenys and one in Mesnil called the Derriere Maison, this is among the ultimate expressions of Chardonnay that we have to offer. The wine shows the paradox of 2008 perfectly with great ripeness and scintillating acidity. Add in the richness and complexity of old massal-selected from grand cru, mid-slope sites and you have a must buy for any Champagne lover! Unfortunately, because of the shape of... Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "A fresh white, with a quinine edge giving the core of green fig, yellow apple and white peach flavors extra zip through the floral-edged finish." K&L Notes: Another fantastic value from this K&L perennial pick. Juicy, rich, fruit forward but un-oaked Chard with subtle mineral tinges and clean bright acidity. Just so easy to drink and a crowd pleaser for sure. Has the richness and texture that many Chardonnay drinkers love but without the heavy oak flavors that can be so off putting. De Wetshof has been making high-quality wines in South Africa since the 1970s and the... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of the best values in Cabernet Sauvignon anywhere in the world remains Louis Martini’s Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County (89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot and the rest Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc and other varieties) is just a beautiful wine. Dense ruby/purple with classic tobacco leaf, blackcurrant, loamy soil notes and a touch of wood spice, this wine (aged 16 months in French and American oak) has relatively modest alcohol for Cabernets these days (13.5%), and what’s even more remarkable is that there are 408,0 ...Read More »
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château d’Arce 2014 is the first vintage (last year was hailed off) that comes from 4.41ha of Merlot in Saint Etienne de Lys on the limestone plateau and vinified at Château Poesia. Picked on 14 and 15 October, it was fermented in concrete tanks and matured in 30-50% new oak. It has a floral, feminine bouquet with pure cassis and blueberry scents that are nicely integrated with the wood. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, lithe tannin and well-judged acidity. This feels harmonious in the mouth, very smooth and it just glides to a sensual finish ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Aromas of plums and berry with hints of chalk and stone. Medium to full body, chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Structured. Serious Chianti Classico. Drink or age." (8/2016) K&L Notes: The production potential of Lamole, now a hamlet of Greve in Chianti, was first discovered by the Romans, who established vineyards and olive groves on the high hills they’d recognized as ideal farming country. Indeed, the well-aspected site overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea is characterized by a natural amphitheatre that is protected by Monte San Michele to the north and exposed to l... Read More »
From the brewery: "Available September-March, this beer is a western charged firecracker, a conjuring of classics laid to rest on a bed of pale malt. Deep gold and ready to travel the distance."
Dario Ermacora was one of our first Italian Direct Imports. His wines have always been textbook, classic, and archetypal for Friulian whites: understated, balanced, with a long finish. His winery is in the Colli Orientali del Friuli, or the Eastern Hills of Friuli, a few scant kilometers from the Slovenian border. Most of Friuli is a flat, glaciated plain running from the Julian Alps down to the top of the Adriatic Sea, but on the eastern border the topography changes. In the Colli Orientali a series of horseshoe-shaped glacial moraines dot the landscape... Read More »
The most approachable and affordable of Cain's production, the NV cuvees possess a certain kind of "old world" rustic charm not usually found in wines from the Napa Valley today. For a Bordeaux-lover branching out to California wines, or a California connoisseur seeking something different than your go-to Cab, the NV12 is well worth a try.