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K&L Staff Recommendations
91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The jaw-dropper in the lineup was the quality of the 2015 Haut Cotes de Roussillon Villages les Vignes de Bila Haut. While the entry level wine from this estate, the quality here is incredible, especially at the price point. Made from 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Carignan from a mix of the estate’s terroirs, aged in concrete tanks and stainless steel, it offers a rich, concentrated and serious feel to go with fabulously pure notes of blackberries, black raspberries, crushed rock and melted licorice. Thick, unctuous and luxuriously textured, this will ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Coteaux du Languedoc Prestige (which was already in bottle at the time of this tasting) is a blend of 55% Grenache and 45% Syrah aged all in concrete tank. Fresh, elegant and thrillingly pure, with first rate aromas of blackberry, fresh plum, licorice and ground herbs, it is decidedly sexy and forward, yet stays perfectly balanced, with juicy acidity and fine tannin on the finish. Enjoy this superb value over the coming 4-5 years (although it will evolve longer). Easily one of the top estates in the Languedoc (if not southern France), Chateau ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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.
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A crazy value, the 2014 IGP Cotes Catalanes Tessellae Carignan Vieilles Vignes is one of the best examples of this variety from the Roussillon, and the fact that it sells for a song is just icing on the cake for the consumer. Coming all from schist soils and 70-year-old vines, raised 12 months in a mix of concrete tanks and demi-muids, it offers tons of black raspberry and black cherry fruit, licorice and dried spices to go with a super sexy, heady, seamless style on the palate that keeps you coming back to the glass. Drink this blockbuster over the comi ...Read More »
Sustainably grown, certified Qualisud. Bargemone is among the foremost estates of the Coteaux d’Aix, a small fine-wine district in the larger appellation of Provence. A benchmark producer of the delicious, dry rosé for which Provence is famous, the Commanderie was founded by the Knights Templar in the 13th century, and is home to a proud viticultural tradition with more than 160 acres of sustainably grown vineyards. Offering classic aromas of wild strawberries and red currants, with a light, floral character and a crisp, bone-dry palate, this is a rosé o... Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A steal from Lafage is the 2014 Bastide Miraflors, which is a Cotes du Roussillon, and a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache, with the Grenache aged in concrete tanks and the Syrah in 500-liter demi-muids. Lafage makes more expensive wines than this, but certainly excels with his value lineup. He has really hit a home run with this 10,000-case cuvée. It is deep, ruby/plum/purple, with fresh notes of blackcurrants, plums, Provençal herbs as well as licorice. Deep, medium to full-bodied, with amazing fruit, the purity, authenticity and Mediterranean upbrin ...Read More »
91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "What looks like another great vintage here, the 2015 AOP Languedoc les Darons is made from 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 5% Carignan; grapes were completely destemmed, and fermented and aged all in concrete tanks. It sees absolutely no oak whatsoever. This medium to full-bodied, plump, rounded, downright sexy 2015 has lots of blueberry, violets, and jammy black cherry aromas and flavors; it has terrific purity of fruit, good acidity and an overriding sense of elegance. If it came from a more prestigious appellation in the southern Rhone, it would go for th ...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 »
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
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 »
This delightful salmon-pink wine is produced using the traditional saignée process. After macerating on the skins for approximately 10 hours, the juice is then pumped off and fermented in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks. Aromatics of strawberries and crushed red fruit leap from the glass. In the mouth, it is fresh with excellent acidity, some mineral components and good length. Very food friendly, it is a great companion to just about anything you want to throw at it.
90-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre and 20% Carignan that was aged in 50% new demi-muids, the 2014 Kerbuccio Maury Sec has an inky color to go with lots of upfront black raspberry, cassis, licorice, wilder herbs and violet-like aromas and flavors. Coming all from the black schist soils of the newly created Maury Sec AOC, this full-bodied, sexy, supple and yet still fresh and lively 2014 will drink nicely on release and have 4-5 years or evolution. I don’t think it has the depth of the 2013, but it’s not far off. (JD) Jean-Marc Lafage’s Maury-based estat ...Read More »
The winegrowing estate of Chateau les Valentines is more than a century old. The estate originally brought their grapes to the local cooperative, but when Gilles and Pascale Pons took over in 1997, they decided to make their own wine. They built a modern winery and called the domaine "Les Valentines" after their children, Valentin and Clémentine. Château les Valentines now covers approximately 100 acres. The "Le Caprice de Clémentine" is part of the second range of wines coming from the estate. Moderately priced, it is a high quality Côtes de Provence m... Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From one of the warmest sites in France, the 2014 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Lieu Dit La Narassa comes from 70-year-old vines planted in the black schist soils of Maury. Despite the rugged, hot terroir from where this beauty comes, the wine is pure silk and elegant, with lots of black raspberry, chocolate covered currants, pepper and olive notes giving way to a full-bodied 2014; it has polished tannin and a seamless texture. (JD)" (4/2016) K&L Notes: Proprietors Jean-Marc and Eliane Lafage have become synonymous with quality and value from the Roussillon. They con... 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 »
Domaine Ott has been a pioneer in rosé since 1912. This graceful blend is 75% Grenache and 25% Cinsault and Syrah. From the winemaker: "BY.OTT is a new wine produced with all the savoir-faire of the Domaines Ott team in the newly constructed cellar of Château de Selle. It is a refined and elegant wine for any rosé enthusiast. The blends originate from select vineyards in Cotes de Provence that have been chosen to ensure that the wine is characterized by fruit and freshness with added finesse and complexity."
An organically farmed, naturally made Grenache-Cabernet blend from Aubais, a small medieval village south of Nîmes. Winemaker Mark Haynes may be many things: entrepreneur, winemaker, tango dancer; but there is one thing that he is not--conventional. Mark is a spirited man who came to winemaking late in life when he realized that so many producers in the Gard region were turning their backs on winemaking and farming. The region is in the south of France about 30 minutes from Nîmes. It was his summer home in his childhood and he always had a fondness for i... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Checking in as a blend of 50% Grenache Blanc, 30% Chardonnay and 20% Roussanne that spent four months in tank, on lees, the smoking good 2015 IGP Cotes Catalanes Cote d’Est comes from vineyards located right up against the Mediterranean Sea. This medium-bodied, juicy and deliciously fresh white is almost overflowing with notes of orange blossom, peach, salty sea breeze and honey on the nose. It’s a terrific value that should be bought by the case... I’ve raved time and time again about the quality - and value - coming from Domaine Lafage’s Jean-Marc La ...Read More »
A blend of 60% Syrah, 10% Cinsault and 30% Grenache, the unusual indigo-colored bottle is utilized as a UV filter in order to maintain the wine's fresh profile for as long as possible. Made with an unusually high attention to detail for a rosé, the grapes were hand-harvested into small bins before being carefully sorted in the gravity-fed cellar. The is a delicious and sensual rosé with an exotic perfume of candied violets, lilies, and strawberries.
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "More ripe and decadent than the 2013, the 2012 Costières de Nîmes Lou Coucardie (49% Mourvèdre, 35% Grenache and the balance Syrah) is a big, mouth-filling effort that gives up loads of chewy black raspberry, black currants, smoked earth and pepper. Full-bodied, concentrated and dense, yet still showing elegance and purity, it has some rustic tannin that needs a year or two to integrate and will be at its best from 2016-2024. (JD)" (1/2015) 92 points Vinous: "Deep ruby. Black raspberry, vanilla, black pepper and candied flowers on the highly fragrant nose. Offers palate-stai ...Read More »
Outstanding sparkling wine from the Languedoc? Absolutely and resoundingly, YES! There will be those of you who scoff at the price of this wine, and claim that a sparkling wine set so low will never be worth any serious consideration. Well, those of you would be WRONG. One of the rising stars of the Languedoc, Jean Louis Denois makes exciting, world class wines that nonetheless remain amazingly inexpensive, owing to his location more than anything else. His vineyards sit in the very southwestern corner of France, at the foot of the Pyrenees, and he produ... Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "*Very Good Value* From Limoux, but without Chenin Blanc in the blend it can't be called Crémant de Limoux. Full bodied, showing some lovely development with a neat bead. Mouthfilling citrus tang, and very satisfying. Would put many champagnes to shame, quite frankly. (TC)" (7/2014) K&L Notes: Outstanding sparkling wine from the Languedoc? Absolutely and resoundingly, yes! There may be those who would scoff at the price of this wine, and claim that a sparkling wine set so low could never be worth any serious consideration. Well, we're happy to confidently report a cou... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Languedoc-La Clape la Cote is a medium-bodied, juicy effort that gives up lots of darker fruits, damp underbrush, violets and pepper in a pretty, nicely balanced style. Made from 30% each of Carignan, Syrah and Grenache, with 10% Mourvèdre that was aged in equal parts tank and concrete, it has plenty of fruit, good freshness and a lovable, easy-drinking character. Drink it over the coming 4-5 years. (JD)" (4/2016) K&L Notes: Negly's La Cote is a "CGSM," or 30% Carignane, carbonically macerated, with Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Aged in 50% oak and 50% conc... Read More »
Wine & Spirits: "This sparkler's zingy lemon-lime flavors evolve into fuller pineapple and citrus notes, a yeasty character adding breadth and weight. The full flavors and light, cardamom-like spice suit it to the dinner table, with rich fish or roasted chicken." (6/2010) K&L Notes: You should always have a handful of bottles of this sparkler on hand for impromptu parties (because a sudden Tuesday night fete with your pals is, of course, better with bubbly). This wallet-friendly "Blanc de Blancs" drinks like an expensive French Champagne, with a rich yeasty nose and body to match. It... Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Ranked #9 in Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2016, Cellar Selection* The home vineyard of Madiran's star, Alain Brumont, has yielded a superb wine that is full of dark tannins and with a considerable ability to age. It is balanced, concentrated and touched by spice and toastiness from the wood aging. In tandem with that are generous fruits within a dense structure that is just beginning to smooth out. Drink from 2018-2038. (RV)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: Alain Brumont is one of the stars of Madiran. In 1979 he inherited his father's estate, Chateau Bouscass... Read More »
In 1973, Daniel Dugois bought 2 hectares of vineyards and a house equipped with wine cellars in a village called Les Arsures, where he was born. He cultivated the vineyard and sold his production primarily to Henri Maire, one of the most prominent producers in Jura at that time. In 1982, Daniel made his first harvest in his own cellars and began to sell his wines to consumers. His first ever harvest earned him his first Gold Medal for his Chardonnay at the Jura Wine Contest. Daniel and his wife Monique have continued to work on the quality of their wine... Read More »
The name of the estate is the first indication of its long, illustrious past. Located in the heart of Provence, near routes traveled by Crusaders in the early Middle Ages, the Commanderie de Peyrassol was founded by the Knights of Templar who were dedicated to protecting the Crusaders en route to, and in, the Holy Land. The first recorded grape harvest took place in 1256 and winemaking has continued uninterrupted throughout the centuries. When the Templars were brought down in 1311 by the King of France, who was nervous of their power and jealous of thei... Read More »
Praise for the producer from Jeb Dunnuck: "I continue to be blown away by the quality coming from Domaine de la Bila Haut, which is run with the Chapoutier team. They’ve continued to grow these Roussillon releases, and even at the entry-level price point, the quality is stunning... In short, these are fabulous wines that show classic characters (most are aged all in concrete) and represent incredible values. Don’t miss them."
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Languedoc Equilibre is a blend of Syrah, Carignan and Grenache that offers a fresh, lively and medium-bodied profile to go with impressive berry fruit, licorice and floral characteristics. Aged mostly in foudre, yet with a tiny percentage in 1 and 2-year-old barrels, it has juicy acidity, good overall balance and a hard to resist profile. (JD)" (4/2015) Wine Spectator: "This supple, full-bodied red layers dried plum, kirsch and milk chocolate notes accented with tobacco leaf and herbal flavors. Smooth tannins surround the sweet spice and floral finish. (GS, Web-20 ...Read More »
Domaine Begude is a small, family-owned property located high in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the Limoux region of the Languedoc. The long, cool growing season lends itself perfectly to the production of crisp and delicate wines, all organically certified by Ecocert. This is a zippy and bright Chardonnay, with citrus, apple and pear notes underlined by a refreshing minerality.
Wine Enthusiast: "This is an attractively ripe blend of Niellucciu, Syrah and Grenache. Softly textured with a warm backdrop of blackberry fruit, the wine is spicy and has a distinctly southern-France feel. Its softness means it is ready to drink now. (RV)" (12/2016) K&L Notes: Domaine Petroni is an estate on the eastern side of Corsica near Lake Diane. Lake Diane is a famous lagoon, where the local aquaculture produces gorgeous oysters and mussels. Now run by the Ramazotti brothers, this idyllic location overlooks the Mediterranean with its vineyards composed of sandy and clay soil... Read More »
Domaine Begude is a small, family-owned property located high in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the Limoux region of the Languedoc. The long, cool growing season lends itself perfectly to the production of crisp and delicate wines, and this Sauvignon Blanc is no exception. More in the style of a Loire Valley Sancerre, with its fine, mineral-laden nose and fresh citrus fruits on the palate, this is the perfect accompaniment to grilled fish, oysters or just by itself. Make this one your house white! Organically certified by Ecocert.
Domaine Begude is a small, family-owned property located high in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the Limoux region of the Languedoc. The long, cool growing season lends itself perfectly to the production of crisp and delicate wines, all organically certified by Ecocert & NOP. The "Exotique" is 100% Grüner Veltliner, a grape not authorized for cultivation in France. James Kinglake, owner of Begude, wanted to experiment so he sought out cuttings from his friend Markus Huber of Huber winery located in the Traisental region of Austria. The experiment succee... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Dry, crisp, fresh and incredibly fragrant, this sparkling wine is a terrific bargain. The good news is there are around 4,000 cases of it, although I do not know how much is imported by Kermit Lynch ... This cuvee may qualify as the 'wine bargain of the year.' A Champagne-like sparkling rose from the largely forgotten area of Bugey (which only received appellation status in 2009), this low alcohol (8%) offering is made from 90% Gamay and 10% Poulsard (an indigenous grape of the region). (RP)" (2/2012) K&L Notes: According to the L.A. Times: "Ever so slightly sweet, i... Read More »
The Grande Cuvée from Antech is a blend of 50% Chardonnay, 40% Chenin Blanc and 10% Mauzac. In 2010, the winemakers liked the vintage so much they set aside a portion of the wine for for extended sur latte aging. This was disgorged after six years of aging.
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "**Editors' Choice** This is a powerful wine, full of dark fruits and dense dry tannins. Even at four-years-old, it is still young. It is impressive in its concentration with fine acidity and black-plum flavors mingling with the tannins. Drink this serious wine from 2018. (RV)" (11/2016) K&L Notes: Is Cahors France’s greatest undiscovered wine? In the southwestern French winegrowing region of Cahors, the majestic Malbec varietal finds its ancestral home, often producing wines of great intensity and character. The indigenous Malbec was cultivated here during Gallo-Roma... Read More »
Founded in 1927 in the village of Jongieux, the Perret family has worked with many of the same seasoned growers for four generations. Roussette de Savoie is not the easiest appellation to describe as it encompasses vast parts of the region of Savoie. The most important thing to remember is that these are usually some of the best sites and they are 100% Altesse (aka Roussette). Altesse is a grape that seems to have more in common with Chenin Blanc rather than the local Jacquere. It is loaded with vibrant citrus notes and Mandarin orange qualities. It is d... Read More »
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 »
Delicately effervescent, this blend of 30% Pinot Noir and 70% Chardonnay was grown in mainly marl-limestone soils and farmed sustainably (Domaine Baud is certified by Terras Vitis). The winemaker took utmost care to preserve the quality and flavors of the fruit: grapes were harvested manually and gently pressed, dosage was kept to a bare minimum. What resulted is an ode to elegance: pale yellow with silvery green flecks and a very fine mousse, with aromas of grilled green applees, tangerines and wild flowers. On the palate it is supple, finishing with a ... Read More »
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Cotes du Roussillon Centenaire is a racy, medium-bodied blend of mostly Grenache Blanc (and Gris), with 20% Roussanne. Crushed rocks, mint, lime and citrus blossom are some of the nuances here, and it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, beautiful purity of fruit and a clean, dry finish. It’s certainly an outstanding white to enjoy over the coming 2-3 years. I’ve raved time and time again about the quality - and value - coming from Domaine Lafage’s Jean-Marc Lafage. A large estate that pulls from vines in the Agly Valley, the Aspres r ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Organically grown in the hills of Limoux. Very delicate - a light touch - but definitely fully ripe from a rewarding year. It needs a bit more time to develop seductive perfume but I am confident it will grow into something really very charming. Excellent texture and balance. Nothing in excess. GV for lovers of red burgundy." (5/2016)
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 »
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 »
Inventory: San Francisco
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Produced from organically grown grapes, this powerful impressive expression of pure Malbec is generous while also solid and firm. It has plenty of dark tannins to go with the solid fruits and tense acidity. Produced from selected parcels, it is a wine to age further. Drink from 2019.(RV)" (11/2016) K&L Notes: Is Cahors France’s greatest undiscovered wine? In the southwestern French winegrowing region of Cahors, the majestic Malbec varietal finds its ancestral home, often producing wines of great intensity and character. The indigenous Malbec was cu... Read More »
Just to the north of Cobieres 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. The v... Read More »
Clos Cibonne's special rosé bottling is 100% Tibouren sourced from 60+ year old vines instead of 30 years for the regular bottling. It is aged on the lees for 1 year before bottling, so it hits the market the year after the rosé wines from other estates. From the importer: "Intense color. On the nose it is spicy with hints of quince and roasted nuts. The palate is bold and fresh with a long finish."
Winemaker Mark Haynes may be many things: entrepreneur, winemaker, tango dancer; but there is one thing that he is not—conventional. I first met Mark in New York at a trade fair and we immediately hit it off. I loved his wines, so this meeting led to a visit to his winery on my April buying trip. Mark is a spirited man who came to winemaking late in life when he realized that so many producers in the Gard region were turning their backs on winemaking and farming. The region is in the south of France about 30 minutes from Nimes. It was his summer home in... Read More »
Clos Cibonne's regular rosé bottling is 90% Tibouren and 10% Grenache sourced 30+ year old vines in schist soil. The wine is aged on the lees for 1 year before bottling, so it hits the market the year after the rosé wines from other estates. From the importer: "Aromas of orange peel with spicy notes. On the palate, the wine is fresh and vibrant with fruit tones and saline notes."
Nielluccio – Sciaccarello is an important blended wine made on the French island of Corsica. Both varieties are widely planted, and reflect the island's Italian heritage: Nielluccio is perhaps best known by its Tuscan name Sangiovese, and Sciaccarello is also planted there under the name Mammolo. Together, the two make a savory, herbal wine with a touch of rusticity.