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K&L Staff Recommendations
Does Jean-Louis Denois ever fail to impress us? So far, this talented winemaker has an exceptional track record with K&L customers and staff alike. Denois' latest offering is this nifty little red that seriously over-delivers in the price-quality ratio department. The 2013 "Les Garrigues" is composed of Syrah, Grenache, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. It exhibits a gorgeous pomegranate color, with fresh aromas of small red berry fruit and delicate hints of spice box. Subtle notes of tobacco leaf and licorice provide extra dimension that be... Read More »
As of press time, the 2014 has not yet been reviewed, but the 2013 vintage garnered praise from Robert Parker: "Delicate grapefruit, fig, melon and gravelly aromas jump from the glass of the 2013 Sauvignon Blanc. Light to medium-bodied and flavorful with zesty acidity, good crispness and focus." (10/2014)
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This is a collaboration between Jim Nance and Peter Deutsch, and one certainly has to like the name they chose. Their 2014 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch displays beautiful tangerine oil, orange blossom, and honeysuckle in a medium to full-bodied, crisp, clean style with very discreet oak. Fresh and lively, this is a beautiful Chardonnay of elegance and authority. Drink it over the next 3-4 years. (RP)" (3/2016) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Exuberantly fruit-forward and richly layered, this medium- to full-bodied white is tangy with rocky minerality and bursts of citrus in between ginger and ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "*Good Value* Sweet spices, juicy red fruit, a touch of marzipan and appreciable tannic grip for Côtes du Rhône. Nicely made – more serious than most." (3/2015) K&L Notes: Just across the Rhône river from the esteemed vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this 88-acre estate is owned and operated by Rodolphe de Pins, a UC Davis graduate and former member of the winemaking staff at Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe. Montfaucon crafts their Côtes du Rhône to express the intense fruit characteristics of the appellation, blending to achieve harmony and balance.
Inventory: Redwood City
We were so happy with the 2013 Kalinda Napa Cabernet that we went back to the same well for the 2014. From another exceptional year for Napa Cabernet, this wine is lush and quite rich with tons of cassis on the nose and palate. Still quite young and showing some rounded tannins, I would cellar this beauty for five years minimum, but if you must drink it, decant one hour at least and serve with a hearty meat course. One hint: the property whence the grapes came is located quite close to a town that really does not have a wine shop in it. - KL Staffer Dri... Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "A rich and earthy red with orange peel and plum character. Full body and tangy with lots of jammy flavors. It becomes bright and fresh with air. Thoroughly delicious. Drink or hold." (1/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Campo di Marzo opens to smoky notes of ash and pencil shaving that segue slowly to dried cherry, savory spice and used leather. Give it a few minutes and the wine opens nicely to show blue flower, pressed violet and dark rose. The complexity on display is a pleasant surprise especially compared to the lackluster 2009 vintage. Il Valenti ...Read More »
90 points Wine & Spirits: "Bold, supple blue fruit gives this cabernet an impression of simple, healthy richness, while that exuberance is held in check by a tannic grip that seems to come from fruit skin as much as oak. It’s already accessible, but may gain additional dimension with a few years in bottle. Well-priced and smartly crafted, it’s a wine for roast beef." (12/2015)
This blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon is a stellar value from Bordeaux. Grapes are hand-harvested and the juice undergoes a cold soak before 75% of it is barrel fermented and the other 25% is fermented in stainless steel. Crisp and mineral with vanilla tones on the nose, the palate is nicely rounded and full with citrus and tropical fruit. It is delicious with lighter foods and also quite refreshing on its own.
91 points Vinous: "Deep red. Fresh, mineral-tinged red and dark berry scents are given depth by suggestions of licorice and cola. Sappy raspberry and boysenberry flavors show very good depth and pick up a suave lavender pastille nuance on the back half. Concentrated yet lively, delivering strong thrust and smooth, even tannins that build steadily through a long, floral-dominated finish. (JR)" (4/2016) Jancis Robinson: "Bright crimson. Firm and substantial with more obvious tannin than most but sufficient (just) fruit too. Not that sweet. Racy, food wine. Cool overall." (10/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Showing nicely ...Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "There are 5,000 cases of this remarkable value, another stunning example of the astonishing palate of Eric Solomon and his ability to ferret out exceptional wines at such ridiculously low prices that most consumers will never guess how good they are based on the price alone. Composed of 66% Monastrell, 19% Garnacha and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for one year in both new and 2-year-old French oak, it displays an inky/purple color along with notes of road tar, melted asphalt, blackberry liqueur, camphor, graphite and forest floor. The wine is complex, ful ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Moving to the reds, the 2011 Vin de Pays Terre de Bussiere is a blend of mostly Merlot, with 20% Syrah and a splash of Grenache and Cabernet. Aged all in older barrels, it exhibits meaty notes of green olives, plum and leather to go with a soft, quaffable palate. Enjoy this bistro-styled effort over the coming year or three...Located in the town of Courthezon, and covering 38 acres in Chateauneuf du Pape and 100 acres in Cotes du Rhone, Domaine de la Janasse is run by the brother/sister pair, Christophe and Isabelle Sabon. While 2011 was a difficult vint ...Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "Aromas of dried tangerines and plums with hints of flowers. Full body with ultra-fine tannins and a delicious balsamic, dark-fruit and plum character. Savory and delicious. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold." (10/2014) 92 points Wine Spectator: "Reinforced by beefy tannins, this black cherry- and plum-filled version offers floral and spice accents. In a modern, fruity style, yet not oaky, this stays lively and persistent through the long aftertaste. Best from 2016 through 2027. 15,000 cases made. (BS)" (10/2014) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I am always impressed by the wines of Fontodi. The 2011 Chiant ...Read More »
Whole cluster fruit, native yeast fermentation, 828 Pommard Rochioli clones. Aged for 12 months in 100% French Oak Barrels, 35% new oak. From the winery: "Maryetta Wines is a boutique winery specialising in organic wines from Mendocino County. We make complex, balanced wines that are made in the vineyards. The wine is aged in French oak barrels, and sits for almost a year before it reaches bottling. Maryetta Pinot Noir is unfiltered, which allows the wine to retain many flavors and aromas that would normally be filtered out. The result is an authentic Pi... Read More »
Salvatore Emmolo immigrated from Italy to Rutherford in 1923 and planted vines. Emmolo was a leading supplier to Napa vintners until Cheryl, the third generation, launched Emmolo Wines in 1994. Today, it's in the fourth generation's hands, with fruit still grown on their grandparents' property. The 2014 Sauvignon Blanc shows fresh citrus notes and lively minerality, making it infinitely sipple.
Wine Enthusiast: "A field blend with defined amounts of Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet, this wine is perfumed and light bodied, exhibiting soft, persistent waves of black pepper and crisp red fruit that give it a cool-climate edge of approachability and intrigue. (VB)" (4/2016)
Negly's La Cote is a "CGSM," or 30% Carignane, carbonically macerated, with Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Aged in 50% oak and 50% concrete tanks, it promises a toasty, opulent aroma with cassis and licorice, and a palate fit for a T-bone.
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "From Michael Mondavi’s portfolio, this affordable Cabernet is concentrated in red berry and savory leather, a nod to the small amounts of Syrah and Petite Sirah that are included in the blend. French oak provides a hint of vanilla and cardamom, while the medium-bodied palate and attractive finish is washed in coffee." (12/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The two Bordeaux reds from Oberon are competent and above-average quality wines that are reasonably priced, especially coming from Napa Valley. The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa is aged 14 months in about 45% new French oak and ...Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "The wine balances acidity and full fruitiness. These show in the lively, fresh character as well as the rich apple and pear flavors. The end shows more youthful texture, offering the chance to hold this wine until 2015." (10/2014)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "For the 100% Chardonnay, about one-third of the 2014 Chardonnay Novellum is aged three months in Burgundian barrels and the rest in stainless-steel tanks, but an interesting twist is that the 70% that was aged in tank was aged on Viognier lees–obviously trying to give it more of a floral character. The wine is just lovely, with plenty of tropical fruit, such as peach, honeysuckle, apricot and pineapple that jump from the glass of this wine, which offers clean, fresh acids, a medium-bodied mouthfeel and delicious mineral underpining. This is quite impress ...Read More »
Stephen Vincent Wines is a partnership between Stephen Vincent Situm, (marketing guru behind such brands as Mondavi, J. Lohr, and Louis Roederer) founder of La Crema, Bob Goyette, vineyard manager Hossein Namdar, and sales and marketing master Stephen Vincent Situm III. Together these men have 100 years of experience in different facets of the wine business and they seek to use that experience to create exceptional wines at super-attractive prices.
From some of the top sites in the Kamptal. Michaela Haas is the fourth generation of this family to run the 23-hectare domaine. Fermented and aged in stainless steel and bottled with a crown cap, this fresh, light, and snappy wine is the kind you want to drink by the liter. This food-friendly thirst quencher will be MVP at your next picnic.
Winner of the Bronze Medal in the 2013 International Wine Challenge. From the winery: "Garnatxa Blanca Old Vines is for those who seek a bit of extra body and richness in white wines. Vineyards located in the Albera Nature Reserve Area. This wine is aromatic, showing notes of apricot, vanilla, aniseed and fennel. The mouthfeel is round, rich and mouth-coating. For those who know that youth isn't everything..."
Wine Enthusiast: "A Zinfandel-based blend, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Syrah, Merlot and Malbec, this wine is hearty, thick and dense. It traffics in smoky char, leathery tannins and a strong taste of tobacco, finishing with a flash of red plum." (12/2015)
Wine Spectator: "A succulent white, sporting melon, floral and peach flavors, backed by tangy acidity. Vibrant and long, ideal for a summer quaff. Favorita. (Web Only—2015)"
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A solid blend of Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Clairette and Bourboulenc, the 2014 Côtes du Rhône St Esprit Blanc offers plenty of buttered citrus, flowers, hints of minerality and tangerine in a medium-bodied, beautifully textured, yet juicy and refreshing style. It’s a no brainer and is made in enough quantity that it should be easy to find." (3/2016) K&L Notes: Though the 2014 vintage has yet to be reviewed, Wine Spectator praised the 2013: "Juicy, with a twinge of yellow apple skin framing the green plum, white peach and lemon curd flavors. A stony hint on the finish... Read More »
91 points Wine & Spirits: "Delicate scents of heather and elegant citrus notes carry a kiss of sweetness through this wine. The flavors are all withheld, the finish quiet and pretty, focused on mineral and floral notes. This should develop well over the next several years." (4/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The cherry-colored regular 2012 Chinon Cabernet Franc has a lovely clear and fresh acerbic cherry aroma mixed with raspberries. It is a light to medium-bodied, fruit-driven, silky textured, refreshing red wine with a brisk acidity, ideal for a summer lunch at high noon or with some snacks in the afternoo ...Read More »
This is the second label of Russian River Valley's beloved DuMOL, made from younger fruit with an eye toward value and food-friendliness. The wine is aged in French oak for ten months before release. Notes of cola, cranberry and cherry harmonize on the rich palate and bright finish.
This is a joint venture by three vinous powerhouses: Rhône négociant Michel Tardieu, his winemaker Philippe Cambie, and importer Eric Solomon. Though the 2013 has yet to be professionally reviewed, the 2012 earned praise from Wine Spectator: "Tar and dried herb flavors mingle with cherry and roasted plum notes in this lean and firm red. Despite grippy tannins, fresh acidity keeps the finish lively." (Web Only—2015)
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Beautifully perfumed, the 2012 Rasteau offers a sweet bouquet of red and black fruits, pepper, underbrush, incense and spices to go with a medium to full-bodied, deep and layered profile on the palate. Possessing solid mid-palate depth, fine tannin and rocking length, it should be a no-brainer purchase and drink nicely for 7-8 years. Located in Rasteau, Domaine La Colliere is run by the talented Georges Perrot, with consulting advice from Philippe Cambie. Both of these 2012s are excellent and some of the top wines in the vintage. (JD)" (12/2013)
Barale's 1.2 acre, southwest-facing Preda vineyard is in the commune of Barolo and was planted in 1994. The grapes are harvested in the last half of October giving it a bit more richness but not overripeness. The grapes are destemmed and fermented in 50hl wooden barrels for 8 days and then aged for one year in 500 liter Tonneaux. The wine shows a supple richness on the palate and is best adapted for grilled meats or heavier pasta.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright red. Tightly wound but not dry or edgy, showing a distinctly medicinal cast to the red cherry and flint aromas and flavors. Showing limited complexity today but has the juicy acidity and spine, along with firm supporting tannins, to gain in nuance with a couple years of cellaring." (12/2014) Vinous: "Generous black stone fruits, smoke, tobacco and menthol are some of the notes that emerge from the estate's 2012 Rosso di Montalcino. The style is rich, ample and intense to the core." (5/2014)
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Absolutely amazing wine from vineyards near the Priorat village of Gratallops, which is in the heart of Priorat. This 2011 D'Iatra is made from 44% Carignan, 36% Grenache, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 4% Syrah aged 12 months in French oak. All the vines are farmed biodynamically and range in age from 60 to 80 years. The wine is a beauty, dense ruby/purple color with notes of raspberry jam mixed with notes of kirsch and blacker fruits. It has fresh acids, crushed rock minerality and floral notes make for sensational and complex fragrant introduction. Once ...Read More »
This estate has been in Michel Loriot's family for 12 generations, since 1675. From the winery: "Michel has inherited two passions from his family: music and vines, as well as the family’s pioneering spirit. The music, which is played in the vineyards and the cellars, has a real effect on the vines and on the yeast in the wine. Thanks to this the Champagne is enriched with more complex and more refined aromas. The Apollonis estate covers 7 hectares in Festigny and has been awarded HVE (High Environmental Value) certification in recognition of the care an... Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "...The 2011 Cotes du Ventoux La Terre du Petit Homme offers awesome aromas and flavors of roasted herbs, melted licorice, earth and black cherry-styled fruit in a medium to full-bodied, deep, layered and rich profile. Gorgeous all around, with excellent mid-palate depth and sweet tannin, it’s another smoking value from this producer that readers need to check out. One of the up-and-coming producers in the Cotes du Ventoux appellation, Chateau Juvenal is co-owned by Anne-Marie and Bernard Forestier, and Sebastien Alban. Building a new cellar in 2011, and ...Read More »
The 2013 Villa Maria "Private Bin - The Red Blend" Hawke’s Bay is a classic Bordeaux-style blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Cabernet Franc, it is packed full of deep plum and berry fruits, blackcurrant, leather, graphite and toasted spices. It has a classic Bordeaux profile, combining dark fruit with brooding minerals and savory nuances. The wine is medium-plus bodied with good concentration and broad flavors. The tannins are very refined and supple for a wine of this price point. Subtle French oak tones round out the finish, which is long... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "This is the main non-vintage wine from this southern Champagne Aube-based producer. It’s a cuvée based around the producer’s specialty of Pinot Noir. With fresh acidity over rich white fruits, apples and pears, it is balanced, fragrant and ready to drink." (9/2015) Wine Spectator: "A modest version, with a smoky undertow and a tangy palate of kumquat, melon and lemon curd. Drink now. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 5,980 cases made. (Web Only - 2015)" K&L Notes: This all Pinot Noir Champagne is a blend of many small plots on the Josselin estate in Gye-Sur-Seine. It is aged for thr... Read More »
2012 Vignalta Manzoni Bianco ‘Agno Casto’ Riserva Vignalta The indigenous Veneto variety Manzoni Bianco was created in the 1930s by Professor Luigi Manzoni of the enology school in Conegliano by crossing Pinot Bianco with Riesling. Fermentation for stainless steel; Aged 10 months in steel tanks and 6 months in bottle
91 points James Suckling: "A red with lots of iodine, stone, currant and spice character. It's full-bodied, chewy and juicy. I like this slightly better than the Estate Bottled in 2010. Needs a least three or four years to soften: better in 2016." (5/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon’s dark ruby/purple color is followed by clean, pure aromas of black currants and underbrush, medium body, excellent purity and an alluring texture. This delicious, accessible Cabernet Sauvignon should also drink well for 7-8 years. Moreover, the pricing is realistic for Napa. (RP)" (10/2013) Wine & Spirits: "This is a new ...Read More »
Paolo Calì is a pharmacist who began making wine in 2003. In the hot climate of southerneastern Sicily, Calì's grows Nero D'Avola and Frappato in the island's only DOCG, Cerasuola di Vittoria. His Frappato is fresh and aromatic, with notes of strawberries, lavender, and orange zest. He ferments in stainless steel to preserve the brightness of the grape. This wine is a boon companion to any summer picnic--put a slight chill on it and serve it with prosciutto, fried chicken, or pizza.
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Also superb, as well as a fantastic value, the 2012 Volcae Cuvee Speciale (a custom cuvee made specifically for the U.S. market) checks in as a blend of 40% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 20% Carignan that spent 12 months in barrel (Grenache all in tank). Hedonistic, up-front and voluptuously textured, with medium to full-bodied richness and depth, it offers loads of kirsch, raspberry, spice box, incense and hints of flowers on the nose. Possessing no hard edges and a forward personality, it can be consumed anytime over the coming 4-5 years, and given its balan ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The pretty 2012 Fiano di Avellino represents the single wine made by Tenuta Sarno 1860. This is a fresh and clean expression of the grape with bright notes of citrus, peach, pear, white flower and honey. Sur lie aging gives the wine good tension and density in the mouth. It wraps smoothly over the palate with layers of yellow fruit and crushed mineral. Mauro and Adele Sarno run the boutique Tenuta Sarno 1860 estate in Avellino. They make a single wine, a Fiano di Avellino, that sees fruit harvested from a high density vineyard planted 630 meters above se ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Soft and fruity in black cherry and plum, this wine offers a solid foundation of cinnamon spice atop a mountain of blackberry. The acidity is well measured and the finish medium in length and breadth." (11/2015)
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* This wine is quite an accomplishment in flavor and complexity given the vintage and the price. From high-altitude vineyards atop the Mayacamas, it delivers peppercorn, herb and fine, well-integrated tannins, with mellow oak. Graphite and cedar also figure into the mix, with a shock of black cherry and cassis weaved within. Drink now through 2019." (12/2015) K&L Notes: Praise for the producer from Robert Parker: "Stonestreet’s wines continue to go from strength to strength under the direction of South African winemaker Graham Weerts. The Chardonnays... Read More »
Also a 50/50 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, this is aged for five years and treated with a low dosage to preserve its crisp character. Producer's tasting note: "Intense, rich with great length and breadth. Attractive on the eye, wonderfully fresh on the palate and highly perfumed. Aromas of pear melt into a lovely, round, gingerbread sensation on the tongue. Good structure, tightly integrated and an excellent match with fish."