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K&L Staff Recommendations
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another incredible wine that's shockingly good for the price, the 2013 Tessellae Old Vines checks in as a blend of 40% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 20% Mourvedre that was aged all in concrete tank. It offers brilliant notes of black cherries, blueberry, licorice, clove and spring flowers in its medium to full-bodied, gorgeously pure profile. Showing more and more finesse and elegance with time in the glass, as well as classic Roussillon minerality on the finish, it has loads of fruit and texture yet is never heavy, cumbersome or cloying. It's hard to believe ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I have loved the wines from Domaine Lafage in the past, and this 2013 Bastide Miraflors Cotes Catalanes is one of the greatest red wine values I have tasted in the last year or so. A custom cuvee put together by Eric Solomon and Jean-Marc Lafage, it is a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache that spent one year in 80% concrete tank (Grenache) and 500-liter demi-muids (Syrah). From a Roussillon vineyard dominated by gallets roules that resembles many Chateauneuf du Pape vineyards, the wine undergoes a long maceration of six weeks. The result is an inky/blue ...Read More »
91-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A wine that blew me away was the 2014 Languedoc Les Darons by Jeff Carrel. Still in barrel, it offers thrilling notes of black and blue fruits, violets, and peppery spice to go with a medium to full-bodied, elegant, seamless profile on the palate. A blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Carignan and 10% Syrah that was fermented and aged all in concrete tank, it has striking purity, integrated acidity and a great finish. It should drink nicely on release and have 7-8 years of overall longevity. (JD)" (4/2015) K&L Notes: From the importer: "An accessible wine with loads of charac... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Côtes du Roussillon Vieilles Vignes is a terrific, medium-bodied, bright and juicy effort that's loaded with notions of citrus blossom, lime and hints of green herbs. Made from 80% Grenache Blanc and 20% Roussanne that was brought up almost exclusively in tank (10% in new oak), buy this beauty by the case... Jean-Marc Lafage's Maury-based estate, Saint Roch pulls from vines planted on the black schist soils around Maury, but ALSO from the more cooler, more granite-dominated terroirs around the villages of Lesquerde and Saint Paul de Fenouillet. ...Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A custom cuvee and joint venture with importer Eric Solomon, the 2013 Tessellae Vieilles Vignes is 100% Carignan and comes from 70-year-old vines and the schist soils of Maury and Les Aspres. It is an off-the-charts value that offers up thrilling notes of black raspberry, chocolate, graphite, tar and licorice to go with a voluptuous, decadent, yet seamless and gorgeously pure feel on the palate. Seriously, this wine is smoking good and should thrill for 4-5 years, if not longer. Just pretend you paid more for it. Most of these wines are custom cuvees mad ...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. 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 perf... Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "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 festivities. Its ... Read More »
16 points Jancis Robinson: "Nutty and creamy nose with baked apple on the palate. Good length, good balance – it’d be hard to find a classic French Chardonnay with a better quality-to-price ratio. GV (RH)" (5/2015)
Cotes 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 »
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 in 2012; 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 price of a bottle of Champa... 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. The wine is 100% Jacquere, a rather productive grape, that benefits from being planted on the depleted soils of the region which limit its growth. The wine is the pure essence of the region, with its crystaline focus and vibrant nose of yellow apples, lemongrass and crushed limestone.
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 growing 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.
87-90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Also with outstanding potential, the 2012 Cotes du Roussillon Villages is a structured, medium-bodied effort the will benefit from a year or two in the cellar once released. Toast, spice box and loads of crushed stone and rocky minerality give way to a floral tinged core of sweet kirsch and black raspberry, and it opens up nicely with time in the glass. A blend of 55% Grenache, 35% Syrah and 10% Carignan that’s aged 12 months in 20% new barrels, enjoy it over the coming 5-7 years. These three impressive barrel samples were made by Caroline Bonville from ...Read More »
Outstanding sparkling wine from the Languedoc? Absolutely and resoundingly, YES! There will be those of you who will 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 ... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Praise for Mas Karolina's 2013 vintage from the Wine Advocate: "These three impressive barrel samples were made by Caroline Bonville from her small estate in the Roussillon. They all showed beautifully, with solid purity of fruit and lively, fresh profiles that made them a joy to drink."" (4/2014) K&L Notes: Mas Karolina is the project of Caroline Bonville, cousin of Olivier Bonville proprietor of one of our favorite Champagne houses Franck Bonville. Caroline originally hails from Bordeaux where much of her family still resides. Looking for her own property, she se... 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." 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's called ... Read More »
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Maury Sec Serge & Nicolas is a blockbuster that goes screaming past its humble price point. Made from a blend of 60% unoaked Grenache and 28% Syrah and 12% Carignan aged in 500-liter demi-muids, it boasts tons of kirsch, peppery herbs, licorice and hints of crushed flowers to go with a full-bodied, layered, and beautifully concentrated feel on the palate. Coming all from the black schist soils around the village of Maury, it pretty much maxes out the QPR scale and is a complete, balanced Roussillon to drink over the coming 7-8 years. (JD) ...Read More »
16 points Jancis Robinson: "Pale cherry red. Pale rim. Obviously a delicate touch in the winemaking. Light vegy spectrum of Pinot scents and very refreshing too. There's a good core of just-ripe fruit underneath. This is already a good drink and has no surplus fat nor sweetness. Appetising dry finish. Very fine tannins. Good stuff! And, even if not a long-term bet, likely to be VGV. (JR)" (8/2015)
93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Still not in bottle (it will be in bottle by the time you read this), the 2013 Coteaux du Languedoc la Closerie du Pic is an incredible looking barrel sample that's made from equal parts Syrah and Grenache, with the Syrah aged in barrel (some new) and the Grenache in concrete tank. It exhibits terrific amounts of cassis and black raspberry fruit to go with additional notes of pepper, smoked meats, violets and crushed rock. Full-bodied, beautifully pure, layered and elegant, yet rich and textured, it should drink nicely on release, yet also evolve gracefu ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I loved the 2013 Côtes du Roussillon from Domaine Cabirau. A blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Carignan that was aged mostly in tank, it offers a voluptuous, sexy personality to go with lots of kirsch and black raspberry fruit, savory herbs, pepper and dried earth. This medium to full-bodied, complex, elegant red has a core of sweet fruit, fine tannin and a great texture, all of which come together nicely on the finish. It’s already hard to resist, and I see no reason to delay gratification. These blockbuster efforts are made by Dan Kravitz at the ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Fresh and light, showing a floral edge to the brisk core of peach pit and rose water. Shows lots of zip through the finish, but remains just a touch lean in the end." (6/2015) K&L Notes: Domaine de la Colombe is based in the village of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume, located at elevations between 900 and 1,300 feet. The terroir includes clay-limestone soils in combination with sandier soils in the valley.
Domaine Dragon is located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, in southeastern France where its vineyards benefit from the kind of calcareous clay soils that are ideal for producing Rhone varietals with concentration and freshness. It consists of 60 hectares with 24 hectares under vine, planted on hillside terraces to promote perfect ripening. With delicate strawberry and peach aromas and flavors, this is quintessential Provencal rose, a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Cinsault that was fermented in stainless steel to preserve freshness of ... Read More »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* From one of the top estates in Cahors, this complex, dense wine is both structured and packed with great fruit. At the moment, the tannins are in charge, big, bold and dense. Over the next few years the opulent black fruits will come out strongly, bringing richness along with impressive concentration. Drink from 2019." (8/2015) K&L Notes: These days, when you think of Malbec you often think of Argentina. But the Cahors appellation in South West France is the ancestral home of this black grape, situated in the high country (Haut Pays), equidistant f... Read More »
Does Jean-Louis Denois ever fail to impress us? So far, this talented winemaker has an exceptional track record with K&L customers and staff alike. Denois' latest offering is this nifty little red that seriously over-delivers in the price-quality ratio department. The 2013 "Les Garrigues" is composed of Syrah, Grenache, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. It exhibits a gorgeous pomegranate color, with fresh aromas of small red berry fruit and delicate hints of spice box. Subtle notes of tobacco leaf and licorice provide extra dimension that be... Read More »
91 points Antonio Galloni: "Vivid salmon-skin color. Fresh, incisive aromas of orange zest, redcurrant and white flowers, with hints of honey and lavender in the background. Silky and light on its feet, offering intense red berry and citrus fruit flavors that deepen and spread out with air. Packs a solid punch but comes off as lithe and precise, with excellent finishing cut and floral persistence. Put aside the celebrity cachet of this wine and judge it for what it is: an outstanding, classically built Provençal rosé that happens to be made by the highly esteemed Perrin family of C ...Read More »
Classic pink Provence blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault and 20% Syrah. Notes from the winemaker: "Light pink in color, with violet shades, this wine possesses a memorable and complex aroma. A lively wine that is smooth and possessing a certain sweetness. Very fruity, this rosé is particularly well suited as an aperitif or with salads and vegetable dishes."
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 & NOP.
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Tasted out of barrel, the 2012 Languedoc Pezenas Equilibre is similar to the 2011, yet I think could be even better. Offering loads of black fruits, pen ink, licorice and toasted spice, this medium to full-bodied effort has a plush, polished texture, fantastic purity of fruit and no hard edges, with fine tannin coming through on the finish. It should have a decade of ultimate longevity." (4/2014) K&L Notes: Villa Symposia was founded in 2003, after Bordeaux vigneron Eric Prissette was passing through the Languedoc and fell in love with the region. He stopped at Aspi... Read More »
The appellation of Picpoul de Pinet covers about 3000 acres just off the coast of the Mediterranean. It is famous for two things, oysters and this wine of origin Picpoul. Picpoul itself is the grape and means "lip stinger" and it has been a running joke in our Hollywood store. Whenever we taste a new Picpoul we ask each other if it "pics your poul?" We want to know if it has the vibrancy and minerality that are the hallmarks of the region. That brings us to the Montmassot which is produced at the local cooperative in the village of Florensac. It i... 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 »
Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* From one of the largest private vineyards in France (2,300 acres), this wine epitomizes the light and fresh style that comes from Gascony in the hidden southwest of France. It is fruity, citrus-crisp with a touch of honey from the Gros Manseng in the blend." (8/2015)
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I found Le Cirque’s 2014 Côtes Catalanes Grenache Gris to be outstanding, with lots of citrus, dried pineapple and rocky nuances, medium-bodied richness, and a fresh, crisp, juicy feel on the palate. (JD)" (4/2015) K&L Notes: Le Cirque is crafted by the modern and very progressive Les Vignerons de Tautavel in the village of Tautavel. Aptly named after the vast, ampitheater-shaped bowl of vineyards stretching north towards Vingrau, the wines represent phenomenal values and perfectly reflect the rugged, wind-swept terroir on which they are grown. The Grenache Gris is ... 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 »
Château Trillol sits high in the hills of southwestern France. The vineyard is located in between two of the Corbières terroirs: Termenès and Quéribus. The local grape varieties, Grenache, Syrah and Carignan, are harvested by hand and blended to produce authentic wines that are packed with character and a strong sense of place. From the winery: "The intense colour with deep purple highlights heralds in a wine with depth and complexity. Expressive, frank nose exuding aromas of red fruit, redcurrant, blackcurrant and a hint of oak. The front-of-palate is s... Read More »
I met winemaker Sophie Guiraudon this past winter at the organic wine fair Millesime 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 len... 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 »
An elegant salmon pink, this rosé exudes aromas of summer cherries and raspberries, with a zippy, refreshing finish.
92 points Wine Spectator: "Rock-solid, with dark bay and roasted chestnut leaf notes leading the way, followed by a muscular core of black currant and blackberry confiture flavors. Worn leather and dried anise details line the finish, while the fruit smolders. On the old-school side of the spectrum. Best from 2017 through 2024. 800 cases imported. (JM)" (7/2015)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A blend of 70% Mourvedre, 15% Grenache, 10% Cinsault and 5% Syrah that was raised all in foudre, the 2012 Bandol from Domaine la Bastide Blanche gives up classic leather, garrigue, underbrush and sweet black raspberry notes ...Read More »
From the importer: "Henri Le Roy farms a few tiny parcels of vineyards in the Cotes du Jura – an area just west of the Swiss border and Lac Léman (Lake Geneva), and just east of Burgundy. He’s an intense man – driven, and smart. In fact, his original career was as a Biologist, in Paris. He was drawn to the Jura by its incredible terroir, with ancient stones and seashells from its Jurassic period namesake. He’s pretty new at this – his first vintage was 2005 – but the results speak for themselves. Unlike many of his counterparts in Jura, he abhors oxidati... Read More »
I met winemaker Sophie Guiraudon this past winter at the organic wine fair Millesime 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 smitten with the quality of the wines. I made an appointment to visit her winery right after the fair ended. Sophie is a one woman show farming 25 acres of vines while running her humble facility in Corbieres. The region is kind of a hodge podge of soil types but Sophie's vines are planted on silty clay-limestone. Her "Les ... Read More »
The Château de Ripaille is located in the far northeastern part of the Savoie appellation, along Lac Léman (Lake Geneva), just four kilometers from Evian-les-Bains, where the famed bottled water comes from. The Château dates back to the 14th century, and today it is surrounded by 21 hectares of vines. The soils are mostly limestone, sun-baked glacial deposits and the vines are all Chasselas, the oldest known grape variety (its history dates back at least 5,000 years). The resulting wines are creamy, mineral and a touch bitter, in a pleasant way, with hi... Read More »
This comes from the producer of one of our favorite summer rosés. It's a fresh and easy-drinking blend of Syrah and Grenache. Perfect for a week night BBQ!
In 1973, Daniel Dugois bought 2 hectares of vineyard 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 wines... Read More »
If you are a fan of the gorgeous rosés of Pradeaux, you will love this enticing dry rosé from Domaine Dupuy de Lôme. Farmed organically, this is a classic Bandol rosé at Provencal price. Peachy citrus fruits with hints of berry skin and cut flowers, this is fresh, complex, and invigorating all at once. It is perfect grilled fish and seafood dishes, but balanced to take on more complex and spicy dishes too. For a traditional pairing, try it with bouillabaisse, or be more adventurous and pair it with Pad Thai or fish curry.
60% Syrah 40% Grenache Notes from the Wine Maker: "Rich, deep, dark hue. After decanting, the wine releases aromas of red fruit (blackcurrant, blackberry) and the complexities of underbrush. The palate is silky, marked by powerful and velvety tannins. The explosion of flavors is dominated by savory licorice, violet with chocolate buttons."
The 2014 rosé is a blend of 40% Grenache and 60% Cinsault. From the winery: "Powerful nose, white peach with spicy notes, evolving towards candied apricots, guava, exotic fruit. Great fullness in the mouth, a rich wine with great character, excellent aromatic length typical to the unique terroir of Château Saint Pierre. Its innate character is a perfect match for Mediterranean-style cuisine.'
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. This is a zippy and bright Chardonnay, with citrus, apple, and pear notes underlined by a refreshing minerality.
From the winery: "Beautiful golden straw color with green highlights. Delicate nose of white flowers and citrus fruits. Sweet palate marked by good acidity, dominated by lemon and grapefruit notes, titivated by apricot aromas. Fresh and lingering finish."
From limestone soils of the Languedoc, Picpoul (which translates as "lip-stinger") delivers a reliably invigorating and affordable white. Picpoul de Pinet is the grape's spiritual home and varietally named AOC, where the Mediterranean breezes moderate the daytime temperature and slow the ripening. From the producer: "Crystal clear color with green highlights. A soft, delicate nose, with pleasant hints of acacia and hawthorn blossom. Delicate and fresh in the palate with and excellent acidity and structure balance."