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K&L Staff Recommendations
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Competing with many a Chateauneuf du Pape, the 2014 Côtes du Rhône Villages Valréas (50/50 Grenache and Syrah, aged in concrete) has lots of ripe black and blue fruits, pepper, asphalt and melted licorice aromatics. Medium to full-bodied, layered, even decadent, it looks to be a sensational 2014 that will drink nicely on release. (JD)" (3/2016)
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 »
Inventory: San Francisco
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)
Ettore Spina and his wife, Enrica Bandirola, owners of Sesta di Sopra, planted a new vineyard to Sangiovese in 2005. It has the same Galestro soils as the Brunello vineryard, perfect for taming Sangiovese's natural vigor. Unfortunately, in Montalcino all of the Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino vineyards are all registered and controlled, and they aren't allowing any more to be added right now, so the wine that comes from this new vineyard has to be designated an IGT (Indicates Geographic Tipicity). The wine is just bursting with ripe fruit.... 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 »
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.
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) 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. Smooth and sweet and delicious.More structure than the 2009-great for the cellar.
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 »
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 »
96 points Vinous: "I was deeply impressed with these wines from Domaine de Chevalier. The red has a slight upper hand in 2014, but both wines are distinctive and full of character. Olivier Bernard owns one of the crown jewels of Bordeaux, as these wines clearly make evident. The 2014 Domaine de Chevalier is a total knockout. Precise, brilliant and finely sculpted, the 2014 possesses superb intensity. Freshly cut flowers, mint and sweet red berries, along with finessed but persistent tannins, give the wine its regal personality. The 2014 needs a number of years to shed some ...Read More »
Inventory: Special Order
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.
93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape is a classic blend of 75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre and 5% Cinsault, mostly from rolled stone terroirs, that was partially destemmed and will see 15 months all in foudre. It boasts a deep ruby/purple color as well as full-bodied richness, sweet tannin and textbook Southern Rhône notes of cured meats, toasted spice, garrigue and ample red and black fruits. It will have two decades or more of prime drinking. Along with a small handful of other estates, I consider Claire Michel’s le Vieux Donjon at the top of the hea ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
The Verquiere estate has been passed down from father to son for many generations and is now managed by brothers Romain and Thibaut Chamfort. Following age-old traditions and sustainable practices, the estate was recently certified organic. The Cotes du Rhone is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah, grown on chalky clay soils with loads of large pebbles in the vineyards. Verquiere recently returned to us after a long hiatus and we are pleased to have them back.
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 »
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! (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer)
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* A selection from the best grapes and parcels, this is a dense, firm wine with both great tannins and dark fruits. Acidity gives a lift to the dry core of the wine and brings out the black currant fruits. Wood aging is still showing, so the wine needs time. (RV)" (11/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of the old-time favorites and value picks in The Wine Advocate, this wine, from a gorgeous château in the Castillon, sports a completely new label. Black cherry and blackcurrant fruit, and some underbrush and earth are present in this supple-textured, medium-bodied, ...Read More »
93 points Wine Spectator: "Intense, with bitter almond, citrus oil, white peach, nectarine and ginger notes tightly coiled together and driving through the anise- and wet stone-accented finish. (JM, Web-2016)" 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Made from equal parts Bourboulenc, Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Roussanne, the 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc is a beauty! Medium-bodied, fresh, elegant and nicely balanced, it sports a very light color, yet has impressive intensity in its crisp peach, spice and mint aromas and flavors. (JD)" (10/2016) K&L Notes: Chante Cigale means singing cicada (a type of grasshopper/cricket). The pro... 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.
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 »
96 points Bob Campbell: "*Five Stars* From a clay and fragmented limestone soils of a vineyard in North Waipara. Around 35% whole-bunches were used to give structure and intensity. An impressively complex wine, with a mix of cherry, plum and chalky/mineral flavors, with a more savory, baked earth, dried herb character. Nicely structured so the wine is accessible but promises to age well." (1/2015) 95 points Decanter: "Wonderfully complex and enticing bouquet of limestone like mineral, ripe red berry fruits, distinctive oak and spice moments. Highly textured, complex, dry, ripe berry flavors, layers of ...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 »
Organic in fact bio-dynamic wine with all the bells and whistles. Our first red in from the great 2015 vintage. Soft and elegant and quite forward-in fact drink it in the next few years.
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 »
Inventory: Redwood City
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2004 Gran Reserva leans more towards the black fruit, with some notes of leather, ink and spices. It is a full-bodied wine, with perfumed flavors, meaty, whose tannins are still there and will require some powerful food. A young and powerful Gran Reserva. (LG)" (12/2013)
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 »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Delicately scented, this alluring sparkler opens with aromas of white flowers and freshly picked orchard fruit. The vibrant, linear palate delivers crisp apple, pear and a citrus note accompanied by racy acidity and an elegant perlage. (KO)" (12/2015) James Suckling: "This is round and delicious with candied-apple and lemon aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, fresh and clean. Drink now." (10/2015) K&L Notes: San Venanzio has won many awards over the years. At K&L they get the coveted "Guido" award two thumbs up and three stars for value. On the nose, there are generous notes of apples, pe... 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 »
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 »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
The village of Apremont once sat in the shadow of a great mountain. In 1248 that mountain collapsed, destroying, everything in its path. Fortunately, the mountain itself was made of limestone which is some of the best geological material for growing grapes and the site is littered with limestone scree (broken rock fragments). The grape of choice for the region is Jacquère and some of the best comes from this village. Like most wines from Savoie, the Perret has hallmark aromas of citrus and lemongrass with a touch of peach as well. Where it really excels ... 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 »
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 »
Wine Spectator: "Very fresh, with a racy edge to the blood orange, white cherry and savory notes. Drink now. (JM, Web-2016)"
This is a charming Chardonnay from a small grower in the Mâcon. Lionel Rhedon-Marin is a recent graduate of the College of Viticulture in the nearby village of Davaye, where Guffens trained. All of their young-vine fruit is sold in bulk to one of the better negociants, who is pleased to have it, since Lionel is such a careful grower. But their old-vine fruit, all over 45 years of age, is kept for the Domaine's wine, which is tantalizing and elegant.
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.
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 »
Vinous: "Light, bright orange. Zesty, sharply focused citrus fruit and strawberry scents are complemented by suggestions of succulent herbs and candied rose. Juicy and gently sweet, offering pliant red fruit flavors and a touch of bitter blood orange. Clings with good, spicy tenacity, leaving a subtle rose pastille note behind. (JR)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: Light and pale in color with fresh, crunchy strawberries on the nose and chalky minerals in the background. Fresh and light on the palate with a good focus of fruit throughout. This is a very well made rosé that deserves some ... 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 »
Jancis Robinson: "*Good Value* Light nose. Racy and transparent and early maturing but clean and focused. Very Cabernet. Not fleshy." (9/2011) James Suckling: "Soft and drinkable now with plums and berries. Full body, velvety tannins and a delicious finish." (7/2014) Wine Spectator: "A smoldering tobacco leaf edge runs from start to finish, lending a nice foil to the core of mulled plum and blackberry fruit. Shows a flash of pepper on the finish. (JM)" (5/2012) K&L Notes: A property very close to Pauillac that is one to watch in the future. Well-made, value-driven wines with good depth and length.
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*#10 in Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 Wines of 2008* Surprisingly dry, this has richness rather than sweetness, and intense, powerful botrytis. The honey is intensely perfumed, along with baked apples and spice. Certainly a long-aging wine. (RV)" (6/2008) 92 points Connoisseurs Guide: "It is not unusual for late harvest wines to have a bit of a sharp, kerosene edge to their lush personalities, although that characteristic is more often associated with the sweet wines of Germany than it is with those of Sauternes. Yet there, in the midst of the orange rind, dried peach, juicy pineapple, stra ...Read More »
If you liked the 2008, you are going to love the 2009 from Brison! This Champagne is composed of half Chardonnay, entirely barrel fermented, and half Pinot Noir that was fermented in two-thirds stainless and one-third barrel. This Champagne has perfect texture, medium body and a spectacular bead of compact streamers. It has aromas and flavors of cream, nuts and white fruit, and a very detailed, mineral-driven finish. It finishes quite dry, but I would never guess how little sugar has been added—only three grams per liter! The warm, ripe 2009 vintage had ... Read More »
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.
Wine Enthusiast: "Fragrant blue flower, tilled soil and wild berry aromas lead the nose. The light-bodied, accessible palate offers tart cherry and a hint of chopped herb. It's fresh and easy drinking, with loose-knit tannins. (KO)" (12/2016) K&L Notes: Affectionately named "Catzilla" by our staff because of the seemingly oversized orange cat adorning the label, the Baccinetti hails from south slope Montalcino vineyards adjacent to Lisini. The Baccinetti family has worked their family farm south of Montalcino since 1935, but 2004 was their first vintage of estate-grown wine. Planted ... 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 »
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 »
If there's one thing we can help take credit for here at K&L, it's been helping to remove the undeserved stigma associated with grain whisky in the Scotch industry. Maligned and misunderstood for years, it wasn't until we started launching a number of 25-50 year old releases at ridiculously reasonable prices that hearts and minds began to change. When Nikka brought their delicious Coffey Still editions to the market and people saw just how fruity and delicious these corn and unmalted barley whiskies could be, we think grain whisky finally got over the hu... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Jesús Puelles is one of the most talented vignerons in Rioja. Hailing from a long line of vineyard worker/owners, Puelles knows the terruño in his little slice of land in the Rioja Alta town of Abalos. Most of the grapes for his red wines come from his own 20 hectares, which are north-facing and located at 600 meters in altitude, affording the visitor with one of the most dramatically beautiful views of Rioja's main mountain ranges: the Sierra Cantabria mountains immediately to the north and the Sierra de la Demanda mountains to the south. This white win... 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 »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Fermented in wood and with the addition of a high proportion of reserve wines, this rich bottling displays a creamy texture and good acidity. It hints at the wood and is on the dry side. (RV)" (12/2016) K&L Notes: The Louis Victor from Coutelas is made in the solera style, from one large barrel containing a perpetual blend. Coutelas lists this as composed of 1/3 each Chardonnay, Meunier and Pinot Noir, but in fact, it is refreshed with 1/4 of the best variety of vinified in a given year, while another 1/4 is taken out and bottled. This means that we know a lot more a... Read More »
33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 17% Montepulciano, 17% Alicante.
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 2014 "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 »