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K&L Staff Recommendations
This spectacular Champagne is one of the most sought-after in France, and Launois' cult status made it very difficult for us to make a purchase. We lucked out, and now we buy it directly, passing massive savings on to you. This house is from Mesnil, the southernmost Grand Cru in Champagne and home to Salon and Krug's Clos de Mesnil. This Champagne is all Chardonnay and all Grand Cru from the villages of Mesnil, Oger, Cramant and Avize--a roll call of the finest crus for Chardonnay in all of Champagne and all Veritas-certified for sustainable agriculture.... Read More »
95 points James Suckling: "Traditional style Chianti Classico with cedar, dried meat, dark chocolate and tobacco aromas. Full body, silky and polished tannins and a fantastic finish. A wine that shows depth and lots of flavor. Lively acidity too." (8/2015) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 vintage was less problematic in the Castelnuovo Berardenga sub zone compared to other parts of the Chianti Classico appellation. Fèlsina's 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva Berardenga is full, generous and reflects the house style of this celebrated estate. Fruit is sourced from 35-year-old vines and the harvest takes place a ...Read More »
Château Bois-Malot is located in Saint Loubes and situated on the shoreline of the Dordogne River. The soils are clay and light limestone with a subsoil of red pebbles and clay. The blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 20% Cabernet Franc. It is aged for eighteen months in large vats and then an additional six months in oak. Won Best Of Class, Gold Medal, in the Los Angeles Wine & Spirits Competition, 2013.
Baron Fuente is a négociant that owns almost 90 acres of vines and purchases another 90 acres "sur pied," meaning that they pick the grapes. This is an important distinction since many négociants buy "sur lattes," meaning in bottle! The Grand Millésimé is a blend of 45% Chardonnay, 40% Meunier and 15% Pinot Noir that spent more than seven years on the lees.
A blend of 80 percent Grenache and 20 percent Carignan from a family-run winery in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
97 points James Suckling: "This is amazing on the nose with blackberry, black truffle, dried cherry and hints of tobacco. So complex on the nose. Almost no need to taste it. Full body, soft and velvety tannins, and a persistent, fabulous finish. The mouthfeel is magic." (3/2016) 95 points Vinous: "The 2013 Tignanello is a real knock-out. Rich and intense, but also linear in style, the 2013 is endowed with superb energy from start to finish. In this vintage, the Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc character is especially evident, especially in the aromatics. Today, the 2013 is tightly wound and not ready to s ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* This bright blend of 75% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot and 10% Ciliegiolo discloses aromas of ripe berry and cooking spice. The soft, easy-drinking palate offers black cherry, white pepper and grilled sage alongside round tannins. (KO)" (7/2015) K&L Notes: This Carato is a blend of 75% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot, and 10% Ciliegiolo and is just delicious: full, fleshy, voluptuous, sumptuous, truly hedonistic. We think at this price you too will be saying wow!
From La Maison Antech, located in the Southern France region of the Languedoc, comes this beautiful example of Cremant de Limoux. Named after the grande dame of the estate, Eugenie Limouzy, this Cremant is composed of 50% Chardonnay, 40% Chenin Blanc and 10% Mauzac. It is produced along the lines of methode champenoise and spends 12 months on the lees before being disgorged. This balanced and elegant sparkling wine reveals subtle hints of citrus fruits, toast and honey. At less than half the price of a bottle of Champagne, the Cuvée Eugenie is the perfec... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Peyrabon is owned by a branch of the Bernard family that also owns Domaine de Chevalier. This powerful, complex wine shows its pedigree. Dark tannins and ripe black fruits are all evidence of its aging potential. Drink from 2018." (5/2015) Wine Spectator: "Light loam and charcoal shadings line a core of plum skin and macerated blackberry fruit. A loamy edge lends a slightly chewy twinge to the finish. This has put on a bit of weight since the barrel tasting. (JM, Web-2015)"
Wine Spectator: "Soft, delivering ginger, brioche and pear notes, with a friendly, open finish. Drink now. (Web Only-2013) (JM)" K&L Notes: A pale yellow wine with tiny bubbles, this Cremant de Loire Brut is rounded and delicate with a fine, nervy, complex nose and the freshness of Chenin Blanc, floral Chardonnay and fruity Cabernet Franc from 20- to 30-year-old vines. With its lively attack, it evolves gracefully across the palate with nice aromatic persistence in the mouth and lingering notes of fresh peaches and pear. A great opener to a memorable night! 12.5% abv. (Eric Story, Lo... Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "A solid and chewy young red with dried blackberries, licorice and hints of toasted oak and walnuts. A full-bodied, energetic red from the Chianti Classico region of Panzano. Needs two to three years of bottle age. A blend of Sangivoese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Alicante." (8/2015) 93 points Vinous: "A dark, sumptuous beauty, the 2013 La Massa opens with superb depth and textural richness. Inky blue/purplish fruit, smoke, white pepper and violets are all super-expressive. Pliant, concentrated and deep, the 2013 is shaping up to be a real beauty. I especially like the de ...Read More »
The Antech "Emotion" is a little something different: a blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Mauzac and Pinot Noir from AOC Cremant de Limoux in the Languedoc region of southern France. It was a huge hit with our staff beginning with the 2012 vintage; now it is back, to make our evenings and dinner parties sparkle just that much more. Pale pink hue, fine bead, delicate hints of cherry and strawberry with white floral notes. A crisp, elegant sparkler made in the traditional method, spending 15 months in the bottle before disgorgement. At about half the pric... Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "100% Chardonnay from Oger, Cramant and Avize. From a 50-ha estate. Olivier Bonville is the third generation to make wine here. Super-clean fresh nose, smells like a health scrub. Vigorous mousse. Crisp edges and a creamy middle, streaked with verbena. More green than lemon, and just slightly sour. Quite weighty and substantial yet with a cutting edge, like prow of a ship. GV (TC)" (12/2014) K&L Notes: All Champagne producers should be judged on their entry level wine, and Olivier's is as good as they get. This is always the fastest non-vintage Champagne to sell out…... Read More »
Francois and Jean-Marie Cherrier with father Pierre produce steely and citrus-driven Sancerre from fine parcels of Sauvignon Blanc planted in Sancerre's silex (flint) and chalky soils. Yields are kept low and harvest is done strictly by hand before fermenting in 100% stainless steel. Vibrantly aromatic and mineral-driven, this is quintessential Sancerre.
One of K&L's very finest buys from France. This is a reserve cuvée, made from Millet's chalkiest limestone soils. There is a long maceration at very low temperatures to extract as much flavor and character as possible. The resulting wine is intensely charged with stone fruit and minerality, with bright citrus notes. However, due to the amazingly warm vintage, it's quite soft, with layers of rich fruit.
We met Marie Chauffray at the Vinifilles tasting in January of 2015 in Montpellier. The Vinifilles (which means "wine girls") is an association of women producers who own and operate their own estates. From growing to winemaking to marketing, they are involved in every aspect of their wineries' successes. I was invited by our friend Francoise Antech-Gazeau (our sparkling wine producer from the Limoux) to visit and taste her wines and meet some of her other grower-producer friends. Chauffray's was one of the most impressive wines we tasted at the event, a... Read More »
Glenallachie is a Pernod-Ricard-owned distillery that sends most of its whisky to the blended Chivas Regal, but after our customers get a taste of this super-saturated sherry-matured delight, it's going to be a household name at K&L. This 11 year old first-fill sherry bomb is like a darker, sweeter, older, richer, better version of another Pernod-Ricard classic: the Aberlour A'Bunadh. But whereas the A'Bunadh sells for $70 a bottle, this decadent Glenallachie comes in at a cool $49.99. For the age, quality, and concentration of the sherry here, this is r... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
As is the case with so many other great spots in Spain, Bodega Casa Juan is located opposite the village church, in the beautiful walled pueblo of Laguardia. The winery is a converted flour mill, featuring concrete tanks for fermenting and blending the wine, and for ageing, barrels that are used for up to seven years. These are traditional Riojas in elaboration and spirit, though the site specificity of their Laguardia and Villabuena vineyards confers a fruit character all its own to these wines. And what fruit!This crianza is a potpouri of mixed berries... Read More »
Domaine Renaud is a small operation, making Mâcon, Pouilly-Fuissé and St. Veran from 12 hectares of estate vineyards. Their cellar is modern, and they use upright ovals for many of the wines, and stainless for others. This value is a great alternative to California Chardonnay and an entry into white Burgundy.
Mas Codina is a 40 hectare estate in Penedès which dates back to 1681. This Brut Reserva Cava was hand-harvested from 20 to 30-year-old vines and estate bottled. Though it does not say it on the label, the current disgorgement is based entirely on the 2010 harvest. Vines are planted in calcareous and sandy clay soils which keep the wine minerally and lively. The wine undergoes secondary fermentation in the bottle, and is aged on its lees for a minimum of two years before disgorgement. Varietals include Macabeo, Xarel-lo, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. 100% ... Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "*Good Value* Apple nose. Refreshing but not much depth. Very clean. Not a bad value...Super clean and long." (9/2011) K&L Notes: Antech's Brut Nature is produced with no added dosage, which translates to a super clean and crisp glass of bubbles. It is composed of 90% Mauzac, 5% Chenin Blanc and 5% Chardonnay. All harvesting is done by hand. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel, and the wine undergoes a 12 month elevage on the lees a la methode traditionelle for 12 months before being disgorged. The Brut Nature is the perfect way to start off the evening's fest... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Based in Bué, one of the top villages of Sancerre, this producer has made a ripe, crisp and nervy wine that comes from chalk soil. Tangy with a mineral texture, it offers rich currant and lime flavors and full-throated final acidity. (RV)" (5/2016) K&L Notes: We love these wines for their freshness, charm and affordability, and this is easily our best value Sancerre in the store. From soils of clay and chalk in the village of Bue near the Domaine. The Millet keeps you coming back for more. It is vinified entirely in stainless steel to preserve the wonderful citrus an... Read More »
94 points James Suckling: "An subtle nose with plenty of fine autolysis aromas of fresh bread and sweetly fragrant yeasty notes, plus some gentle spice and chalky notes. The palate unleashes beautiful wild strawberry fruit flavors, super fresh, fleshy and pure. Great balance and depth." (7/2015) 93 points Wine Spectator: "A lovely rosé in an almost vinous style, with mouthwatering acidity and a fine, lacy mousse carrying appealing flavors of ripe raspberry, white cherry fruit, star anise, mandarin orange peel and honeysuckle. Lightly chalky on the lasting finish. Enjoy with food. Drink now through 2020. (AN) ...Read More »
Marie and Frederic Chauffray began their career in wine when they took over Fred parent's wine shop in a suburb outside of Paris. They ran the business successfully for many years but Marie always wanted to pursue winemaking. After 8 years of searching they found the perfect terroir in a small vineyard in the hills above the city of Montpellier. Since 2005, they have made wine their way, with respect for nature and following organic and biodynamic principles. The Bilbo represents their everyday wine. It is composed of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 20% Ci... Read More »
*A K&L direct import! This is our latest arrival from Miguel Merino, whom we like to call "the hardest working man in Rioja." Having begun his humble "retirement project" in the early 1990s by restoring an older bodega just down the hill from the historic town of Briones, Miguel either owns or rents to own a total of around 8 hectares of vines, all of which are located in Briones; not only is this village specific Rioja, but it happens to come from one of the most sought after villages in all of Rioja Alta, where many top bodegas have some of their most ... Read More »
Situated in to the east of the walled city of Carcassonne and in the shadow of the Montagne Noire (Black Mountains) lies Minervois. The village of Laure-Minervois is home to the winery Chateau Saint Jacques d'Albas a 90 hectare estate in the hills above the village. Some 26 hectares of the estate are planted to vines with the rest composed of forests and creeks acting as a natural barrier to their neighbors. At the winery, a small team led by owner Graham Nutter, craft superb reds, whites and rosés, all of which are farmed organically. The "Le Chateau... Read More »
94 points Raymond Chan: "Bright, very pale straw colour with light golden-green hues, pale on rim. The nose is very elegantly presented, tightly bound with pure, mouthwatering aromas of passionfruit entwined with lime fruit, fresh herbs, subtle notes of white florals and stonefruits and thirst-quenching minerals. The aromatics show finesse, intensity and cut. Medium-full bodied, the palate is tightly constructed but has lusciously rich, bright and juicy, lively fruit flavours of passionfruit, gooseberries, herbs and minerals, lifted by fragrant white stonefruits and florals. The ...Read More »
Costières de Nîmes is at the southernmost part of the Rhône Valley sitting on the opposite bank of Chateauneuf du Pape. One of our best new finds is Chateau de l'Ermitage which produces three terrific values with imminent drinkability. The estate's history traces back to the 12th century when the winery produced wine for the pilgirms of Saint Jacques de Compostelle who were traveling the Santiago de Compostela. The property is now owned by Castillon family and today Michel and his son Jerome manage the vineyards and winemaking. The "Victor" is named for ... Read More »
Just a note to clear up some nomenclature issues with this brand. Silvano Follador has added an extra word to their label, "Nature." It means that the finished wine has less than 3 grams per liter of residual sugar, so even though their wines are Brut, Brut can be decidedly higher. Nature is a designation that is more definitive. Most Prosecco is Extra Dry and that is 12-20 grams per liter which could go from dry-ish to outright sweet. Follador is looking to distance themselves from the rest of the pack.
Domaine de Biéville was established by Jean-Jacques Moreau in the village of Viviers in the 1970s. The contiguous, 65-hectare vineyard was selected for its textbook truffières soil terroir and south/southwest exposure which resembles the premier cru classified vineyards of Chablis. Now with 45+ year old vines, Domaine de Biéville produces a textured and classically styled Chablis which shows its old vine pedigree on a complex and mineral-driven finish.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This Haut-Medoc sleeper of the vintage from Bordeaux visionary Bernard Magrez possesses copious quantities of black currant and cherry fruit as well as supple tannins presented in a medium-bodied, opulent style... (RP)" (6/2007) Wine Enthusiast: "Now mature, this is a powerful wine for the vintage. It has a spice note, plus tannins that are still present and likely to develop further. The flavors of truffle, gamy beef and beet are are testaments to the age of this wine." (2/2013)
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 »
Wow! An insane value in Cabernet from famed (Jimmy Watson Trophy Winner) winemaker Jeremy Gordon. Trellis is a new line of wines from Margaret River-based Amelia Park. The fruit, as with all of Amelia Park's wines, is sourced from some of the best vineyards in the region. Most producers in this ultra-premium wine region charge top dollar for their wines, how Amelia Park can deliver this level of quality, for these tiny prices, continues to amaze me. Jeremy makes beautiful, pure, fruit driven wines with excellent richness, balance and polish. This is just... Read More »
One of our most popular rosés, this fresh and balanced wine comes from one of our favorite co-ops in the south of France. It's a blend of Syrah and Grenache grown in volcanic soils in the heart of the Languedoc. With aromas and flavors of ripe strawberries and raspberries, this crisp, medium-bodied rosé is an ideal complement to spring green salads, light cheeses, mac and cheese, mozzarella cheese salads, goat cheese, cheese and crackers with olives and salumi...or enjoy as an evening aperitif, cheese optional.
These grapes come from a vineyard planted in 1975 in the commune of Monforte d'Alba, fermented in 50hl wooden casks for 10 days and then aged in 15-30hl French oak barrels for one year. The wine is a classic Old World style Nebbiolo, very light in color but exceptionally well adapted for meals — foods with a more woodsy (mushroom or truffle) character, or poultry.
Wine Spectator: "Ebullient cherry and raspberry fruit flavors stream along, lined with a light licorice note. Open-knit finish. Drink now. 1,250 cases made. (JM)" (11/2015) K&L Notes: An 88-acre estate, Château de Montfaucon sits just across the Rhône River from the esteemed vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It is owned and operated by Rodolphe de Pins, a UC Davis graduate and former member of the winemaking staff at Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe. Over the years, Château de Montfaucon has developed a HUGE following amongst both our staff and customers.
Dailuaine is one of Diageo's classic Speyside distilleries that produces a classically rich, nutty, and creamy Highland malt whisky. We thought this particular nine year old sherry butt-aged expression was so fruity and delicious that we practically jumped across the negotiating table to get our hands on it. Matured in a second fill cask, the toffee and shortbread notes of the Oloroso cask are more restrained and integrated, but they're still front and center. They meld beautifully with the inherent maltiness of the whisky and build to a finish that pops... Read More »
Vinous: "Light gold. Fresh melon, orange and peach on the fruity nose and in the mouth. Supple and broad on the palate, showing a hint of warmth on the back half. In an easygoing style, finishig with gentle cut and good length. (JR)" (1/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "With a high proportion of Pinot Meunier in the blend, this is ripe, warm and accessible. Fresh apple and ripe pear flavors are cut by grapefruit acidity. The texture is soft, ripe and very ready to drink. (RV)" (2/2016) Wine Spectator: "A firm bead and lively acidity structure this broad bubbly, with tightly knit flavors of white raspberry, cand ...Read More »
This Sancerre has a pale yellow color with hints of flashing green. Aromatically, it possesses a nice fruity component of crispy white peaches, melon, yellow plums and the typical presence of place notes of flinty minerals. On the palate, it has a richness and persistence which is nicely balanced with fruit texture, mineral and acidity. The excellent length gets even better as the bottle breathes. If you can get your hands on a round of Crottin de Chavignol, call it a day. Or, try this with pan roasted shellfish with just a touch of butter and a squeeze ... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "A rich, ripe while still mineral wine, this is concentrated and dense with fruit. It has a good texture as well as a layer of toast that gives extra depth. The wine has spice and a stylish, crisp aftertaste. Drink from 2017." (8/2016) K&L Notes: Once in a great while you find wines from the Mâcon so good that tasting them blind you are forced to apply some much higher (and more expensive) appellation to it. Often, such a wine comes from hillside vineyards, with better drainage and cooler nights. This is such a wine, from the slopes below the giant monolith of rock th... Read More »
Tenuta La Fortuna's Fortunello bottling is 100% Sangiovese grown in Tuscany. Vintages are aged for four months in French oak barrels and typically show aromas of raspberries and cherries, with deep chocolaty tones lingering on the finish. This tastes significantly more expensive than it is!
In the case of Domaine Paul Pernot, the vigneron tradition runs back about 200 years. Although Paul Pernot founded the domaine in 1959, the family had been growing and making wine long before that—mostly for the Drouhin family. Now the third generation of Pauls is learning the classic, careful farming and winemaking that makes this domaine such a success. Based in Puligny-Montrachet, the Pernots touch some of the best Chardonnay vines on earth. But the care used on their high end wines extends all the way down through to their Bourgogne Blanc (still larg... Read More »
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 »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "***Editors' Choice*** Made with 85% Nerello Mascalese and 15% Nerello Cappuccio, this radiant red boasts a beautiful fragrance of blue and red flower, ripe berry, cake spice and aromatic herb. The radiant, delicious palate doles out layers of juicy black cherry, raspberry compote, cinnamon, white pepper and clove while a mineral note backs up the lingering finish. It's young but balanced, with bright acidity and tightly wound but refined tannins. (KO)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: #3 Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 Wines for 2016: Nerello Cappuccio – Nerello Mascalese is a blend ... Read More »
There are still treasures to be found in the Mâcon, where small producers fly under the radar. Our most recent acquisition is Château Vitallis. In classic Burgundian fashion, the Dutron family has been growing vines since 1835, and now owns some of the oldest and best parcels in the village of Fuissé in the Pouilly-Fuissé district. Our buyers happened upon the château during a trip to Burgundy last October, and it was quite evident upon their return that they’d found something special. Perhaps it was the haste with which the samples were chilled and open... Read More »
Vinous: "Pale orange. Aromas of tangerine, strawberry and white peach are energized by a hint of white pepper. Clean and racy on the palate, offering fresh red berry and pit fruit flavors and a subtle hint of succulent herbs. Closes taut and nervy, showing good focus and length and lingering spiciness. (JR)" (6/2016) Wine Enthusiast: "This is an immediately attractive, fresh wine with red-currant and clementine-zest flavors. With its light, dancing character, it jumps out of the glass, full of fruit and with a delicious refreshing aftertaste. (RV)" (7/2016) K&L Notes: Domaine de la Colombe is b... Read More »
96 points James Suckling: "There's impressive clarity and depth here, and this is nicely struck. Ripe-dark-cherry and plum fruit aromas abound, along with a subtle spice and fragrant layer, too; this is gently herbal, flinty and complex. The palate is immaculately cast in the form of the tannins that ride side by side with crunchy, dark-cherry-fruit flesh and flavors. This is a super-even, impressively balanced and elegantly powerful wine. One of their finest and purest Pinots to date. The structure is mesmerizing." 95 points Bob Campbell: "Impressively complex Pinot Noir with reasonably intense plum, raspb ...Read More »
Outstanding value white from a reliable source.
Vitallis is a new "hidden gem" our buyers found in the Mâcon, where small producers fly under the radar. In classic Burgundian fashion, the Dutron family has been growing vines since 1835, and now owns some of the oldest and best parcels in the village of Fuissé in the Pouilly-Fuissé district. In the glass, the wines live up to the hype: subtle, like any good white Burgundy, but complex, mineral-driven and poised. Denis Dutron uses all French oak, again with minimal new oak, and he also employs traditional “batonnage” practice, stirring the lees through ... Read More »
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 »