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K&L Staff Recommendations
When young, the wines of Château Lanessan are typically a deep, intense ruby color, with an elegant nose and fruity, floral aromas. On the palate, the structure is complex and dense, melting away harmoniously to a good, long finish. When they are older, the wines take on a terracotta tint and the nose becomes increasingly complex, with the appearance of plummy, then undergrowth aromas. The flavors are smooth, warm and perfectly harmonious, ending with silky tannins. This 18-year-old bottle is drinking perfectly now! According to Robert Parker: "This unde... Read More »
96-97 points James Suckling: "This is superb: a triumph for the vintage considering how complicated it was in St.-Emilion. Elegance with power. Full-bodied, intense and forthright. Wonderful length and depth. Better than the 2015." (4/2016) 91-94 points Vinous: "*Top 30 Bordeaux Values of 2016 Vintage* The 2016 Tour Saint Christophe is gorgeous. Exotic, ripe and voluptuous, the 2016 possesses striking aromatics and plenty of presence. Smoke, grilled herbs, inky dark fruit, crème de cassis and leather are beautifully delineated in the glass. This is the first recent vintage I can remember tasting that is not ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
93 points James Suckling: "Aromas of plums and fresh thyme follow through to a medium to full body, chewy tannins and a lightly austere finish. Needs time to soften. Drink in 2020." (11/2016) 93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Cellar Selection: Underbrush, leather, sun-baked soil and chopped herb aromas emerge from this structured red. Loaded with personality, the palate delivers juicy layers of ripe Morello cherry, crushed raspberry, baking spice and pipe tobacco flavors, framed by firm, chewy tannins. It’s a full-bodied wine that will reward several more years of cellaring. Drink 2019-2032." (1/2017)
Inventory: Special Order
93 points James Suckling: "A ripe and decadent nose with licorice, sliced mushrooms and blackberries too. The palate is really savory with a tantalizing salty note that really lifts it up. Precise and linear. Beautiful austerity on the finish. Drink now." (7/2016) K&L Notes: 70% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot
Winner Best Of Class, Gold Medal, in the Los Angeles Wine & Spirits Competition, 2013. Château Bois-Malot is located in St-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.
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.
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 2013 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 »
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 »
This Sauvignon Blanc from Touraine displays an intense, classic nose of cut grass, pepper and, believe it or not, pineapples and lemons, with plenty of minerality. Very crisp and refreshing, like a cross between a classic Touraine and a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, at an astonishingly low price! Perfect with seafood. Grown in an area located between the Loire River and the Cher River and sandwiched between the towns of Tours and Blois, the wine shows the classic characteristics of the rich clay soils that are fortified with flint and limestone. Very brig... 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." (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 delineation and focus here. This a gorgeous La Massa. (AG) ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon, one-third Merlot. 40% of production. Very sweet and round and low key – rather forward but with lovely satiny texture. A bit austere: tannins on the finish and it does fall away a little bit, but it’s awfully well done really – even if hardly recognisable as a St-Estèphe! (JR)" (4/2011) James Suckling: "Pretty and fruity with fine tannins and a fresh clean finish. Bright and fun." (4/2011) K&L Notes: This wine is stunning. The little brother of Tronquoy-Lalande and owned by the Montrose people, this wine is packed with fruit--lots of cassis on the palate.... 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 »
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 »
93 points James Suckling: "Fantastic aromas of blueberries, orange peel and flowers. Full-bodied, fruity — yet silky and focused with a beautiful center palate of fruit and ripe tannins. Remains fresh and gorgeous. Best ever." (2/2017) 93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Under the ownership of Jacky Lorenzetti, president of one of France’s top rugby clubs, this estate is now performing impressively. The wine is finely structured with dark tannins and tight acidity and a hint of minerality. It is Merlot-dominated, although it is the 40% Cabernet Sauvignon that brings out the black-currant fruitiness. (RV)" (4/2017) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2 ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur lie Harmonie offers a very clear, elegant and pure bouquet of ripe pears with fresh citrus flavors. Full-flavored, juicy and full of minerals, this is a gorgeously pure and elegant but also sensual and stimulating Muscadet in perfect balance. The finish is pretty long, aromatic and structured, which is what makes this still primarily fruity wine highly attractive to be drunk young, although this Muscadet will gain even more complexity over the years." (10/2016) K&L Notes: Michel & Nathalie Delhommeau farm 28 hectares of vines plan... Read More »
Invigorating and fresh, with lemony citrus aromas and flavors accented by delicate white flowers. The palate is full and fresh, with balanced acidity and minerality on the finish. This a style of wine that keeps your palate fresh and alive. Although easy to drink, it has complexity and intrigue up and down the aromatic and palate. You'll want another after the first one has disappeared. (Eric Story, K&L Loire buyer)
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 »
An outstanding value white from a reliable source, the Alain Corcia is a hit with K&L staff.
The wines of this family domaine have been a staple here at K&L since the 1994 vintage, when Franck and Betty Millet drove from Sancerre to Beaune (a long way) to meet Clyde and crew to present the wines. The wines were great even in that tough vintage, and the rest is history. 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 ... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "A soft sparkler, featuring cherry, peach and strawberry notes, with a pillowy finish. (JM, Web—2013)" K&L Notes: A wine with tiny, long-lasting bubbles, Deligeroy's Cremant de Loire Rosé is a lovely gleaming pink, enticing with a delicate, nervy nose and aromas of fresh red fruit. It's lively on the attack and has lovely aromatic intensity and brightness. Well-balanced in the mouth, this sparkler is enhanced by a fresh but subtle finish. The wine is stored for at least 12 months on racks in freestone cellars before disgorging to make incomparably fine bubbles. The fr... Read More »
Once in a great while you find wines from the Mâcon so good that tasting them blind you might think they're from a much higher (and more expensive) appellation - and this is such a wine. 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.
91 points Wine Spectator: "A gorgeous nose of ripe raspberry, with hints of vanilla and blackberry. Intense yet subtle. Full-bodied, with lots of fruit, yet refined and layered with silky tannins. Long and caressing. Gets better and better. I like it more than the 2003 or the 2000. (JS)" (3/2007) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A dark ruby/purple hue is accompanied by sweet aromas of black cherries, crushed rocks, flowers, and subtle oak, moderate tannin, excellent ripeness, and a long finish. This charming, medium to full-bodied St.-Emilion offers plenty of punch and depth. If additional complexity emerges, it wi ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Sancerre is deep, clear and aromatic on the nose, yet also discreet in its fruity and floral flavors: Full-bodied, dense and intense on the palate, this is a round and elegant Sancerre with grip, structure and a long and promising finish; it shows a stimulating, phenolic gooseberry grip and a lingering salinity. The 2015 tastes lovely already, but can be kept for a couple of years due to the substance and complexity it reveals. The best is yet to come. (SR)" (10/2016) K&L Notes: Francois and Jean-Marie Cherrier with father Pierre produce steely and citrus-dr... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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) 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Tignanello represents the beginning of a new chapter for Italy's ultimate game-changer wine. The blend remains 80% Sangiovese with 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc but Renzo Cotarella tells me "stylistically-speaking, this is what we wanted to achieve." The winemaking formula remains the ...Read More »
Just to the north of Corbieres and to the east of the walled city of Carcassonne, lies Minervois. The appellation has equally diverse soils like Corbieres but limestone and clay are its primary ones. This is a warm region with a very Mediterranean climate. The hills are covered with the local scrub, known as garrigue, forests and vineyards. Our newest producer from the region is Domaine Tour Boisée. The domaine dates back to 1826 and is still run by its descendants. Now farming about 200 hectares of vines, the winery was recently certified organic. This... Read More »
94-95 points James Suckling: "Soft and velvety wine with blackberry, blueberry and raspberry character. Full body, a dense center palate and a long and pure finish. Another winner." (3/2017) Jancis Robinson: "Deep crimson. Scented and peppery on the nose and then gently sweet on the palate. Much less drying than most. Charming! 17/20 points. (JR)" (4/2017)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 & Spirits: "Broad and Cognac-like in its scent, this has an earthy bitterness that pushes back with gingery spice. It’s rich enough to stand up to Shanghai soup dumplings." (12/2016) Wine Enthusiast: "This is the producer’s nonvintage cuvée—a crisp, apple-flavored wine dominated by the softness of Pinot Meunier. It’s fruity with an attractive and zesty acidi ...Read More »
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.
Giovanni Blason and his wife Valentina are young producers who continuously surprise us with the price-to-quality ratio of their wines, earning them tons of kudos in Gambero Rosso and beyond. They come from the Isonzo region of Northern Italy, right up against the Slovenian border. Their Pinot Grigio is really sensational, full in the mouth, rich on the palate and extraordinarily drinkable at this price! Very aromatic, with good complexity, length and that subtle elegance that shows muscle and a long and flowing finish.
Erik Banti’s Carato is back! This mini Super Tuscan has a great following at K&L and the new vintage is even better than the last! It’s a Sangiovese-based blend from the Tuscan coast that tastes like it should cost much more because of its full, smooth, flavorful palate presence and excellent balance. A K&L Direct Import that offers you extraordinary value, and at this price you will be saying, "I should buy two!"
All-Mesnil grand cru bargain!!!! This wine comes from all estate-grown fruit in the grand cru of Mesnil. It is a very clean wine with pure flavors and a complex, subtle nose. The texture is silky and delicate, but the finish is quite powerful. This is a very stylish wine, and a very good deal thanks to a direct buy from the producer. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer)
Wine Spectator: "The raspberry and plum fruit is lightly mulled, accented by gentle cinnamon and licorice notes. Offers a juicy, open finish. Drink now. 7,500 cases made. (JM)" (11/2015) 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.
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. (RV)" (2/2013)
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 berrie... Read More »
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 »
Inventory: San Francisco
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Sauvignon Blanc delivers a great intensity of lemon juice and lime leaf notes with underlying dried herbs, crushed stones and pea pod hints. The medium-bodied palate lends a lovely creamy texture and complimentary yeasty notes to the intense citrus and herbal flavors, finishing long and minerally. (LPB)" (2/2017) K&L Notes: Familiar to many of you by now, TWR is our longest-running Direct Import partner from NZ. Husband-and-wife team Jason and Anna Flowerday run this small organic vineyard in the heart of Marlborough. Truly one of the most incredible winerie... Read More »
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. The wines of this family domaine have been a staple here at K&L since the 1994 vintage when Franck and Betty Millet drove a long way (to Beaune!) on Easter Sunday to meet Clyde and crew to present the wines. We love these wines for their fres... Read More »
97-98 points James Suckling: "The finish is something else here. This is a wine that’s so powerful and tannic yet at the same time so polished and superb on the finish. Full-bodied, beautifully crafted and precise. This is a wine that really grabs your attention. The agility and power are more than impressive. Wow is the word." (4/2017) 96-98 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Barrel Sample* This perfumed wine is stylish and elegant. It is all about the magnificent and sophisticated fruit. At the same time, don't be fooled by the richness: the tannins are all there, a dense and concentrated core at the heart of this seriousl ...Read More »
The Desmeures family of Domaine des Remizières are fourth-generation winemakers who originally sold grapes to the local cooperative. After completing their winery in 1974, the family began production at their new property. The estate is now managed by Phillipe Desmeures, his daughter Emilie and son Christophe. They have expanded to 30 hectares with vineyards in Crozes-Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Hermitage. Emilie now oversees the winemaking, with her brother Christophe tending to the vineyards. We were excited to add them to our lineup of Direct Imports ... Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "What a pretty young Chianti giving you all the cherry and strawberry character you could hope for. Medium body, light tannins and a fresh and bright finish. Drink now" (11/2016)
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Dark in color, this is a concentrated wine that’s very firm in structure, with dense tannins. It’s powered by ripe, mature black fruits as well as acids that cut through the dry texture. This needs several years of aging. (RV)" (2/2013) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Focused, with a singed apple wood frame propelling the core of plum, cassis and black cherry fruit. The solid finish lets hints of charcoal and anise flitter in, displaying fine cut. (JM)" (3/2013) Jancis Robinson: "Dense bright red. Round and fresh. More forward than most but vigorous. Eerily forward. But a nice package. Minerally." (2/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "An ...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. (RV)" (10/2016) K&L Notes: 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 steel for others. This value is a great alternative to California Chardonnay and an entry into white Burgundy.
96 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Enticing perfumed berry, violet, new leather and a truffle scents emerge in this textbook Brunello. On the savory, full-bodied palate, licorice, clove and chopped herb flavors accent a juicy core of ripe black cherry fruit. Firm, refined tannins provide structure. It’s already tempting but hold for even more complexity. Drink 2020-2032. (KO)" (2/2017) 91 points James Suckling: "You can smell the effects of a warm growing season in this one with very ripe cherry and strawberry aromas that follow through to a full body, round and soft tannins and a tangy finish. Alm ...Read More »
Inventory: Special Order
I met winemaker Sophie Guiraudon a few years ago at the organic wine fair Millésime Bio. It's an annual event where organic winemakers from all over the world gather to show their wines. I tasted with her and was immediately impressed with the quality of the wines. So much so, I made an arrangements to visit her winery right after the fair ended. Sophie is a true one-woman show, farming 25 acres of vines while running her humble facility in the region of Corbieres. The vines for the "Lolo" cuvee are planted on silty-clay limestone soils which lend freshn... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Very fresh, with unadorned plum and black cherry fruit streaming through, backed by a pretty violet note on the finish. Has just enough grip to stay honest. (JM)" (12/2016) K&L Notes: An award winner at many French wine competitions, the Dame Victoria is an impressive Rhône red raised not far from the fabled vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Warmly fruited and full of robust, rustic character, the nose offers minerality and blue fruit notes, which are echoed on the palate and joined with berries, berries and more berries. Elegant on the supple finish, this is just th... Read More »
Côtes de Gascogne is primarily known for the production of Armagnac; it wasn’t until the last 20 years or so that producers began to take table wine production seriously. Traditionally, these wines would have been distilled into Armagnac. Producers found that by fermenting at lower temperatures in stainless steel, they could develop and preserve more powerful aromatics. Though yields are high, costs have stayed low and the wines are consequently some of the best bargain whites in France. Domaine de Millet is first and foremost an Armagnac producer. They ... Read More »
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 that is Solutré. 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. ... Read More »
96 points Wine Spectator: "Cherry, leather and iron notes mark this suave, elegant red. A bit reticent now, but the fruit is fresh and long on the finish. The dense tannins leave a mouthcoating impression, but this opens up beautifully over a few hours. Best from 2021 through 2035. (BS, Web-2016)" 94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Marking the winery's 40th harvest, this vintage offers classic Sangiovese fragrance: wild berry, blue flower, baking spice and a whiff of new leather. The palate is sleek and elegant, doling out juicy red cherry, crushed raspberry, cinnamon and star anise, framed by lithe, polished tannin ...Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "Round, with vibrant, underlying acidity and abundant apple, melon and lemon flavors. Reveals hints of stone and seashore as the finish lingers. (BS)" (7/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Chablis Villages, bottled two weeks prior to my visit, has a light grassy bouquet, quite simple, but clean and defined. The palate is nicely defined with a slightly resinous entry, a keen line of acidity and a twist of sea salt on the finish. (NM)" (8/2016)