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K&L Staff Recommendations
Wine Enthusiast: "This is the equivalent of a second wine from Les Valentines, a lighter version of the estate wine. With lively acidity, it is fruity while rounded, crisp but also sweet with ripe strawberry flavors. The acidity at the end is soft, light and bright. (RV)" (7/2016) Wine Spectator: "Pure and fresh, with a core of white peach and cherry pit, backed by subtle tea and wet stone notes on the finish. Cinsault and Grenache. Drink now. (JM)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: The winegrowing estate of Chateau les Valentines is more than a century old. The estate originally brought their grapes to the local ... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Cotes du Roussillon Miraflors Rose offers lots of framboise, strawberry and rose petal characteristics in medium-bodied, juicy, gorgeously quaffable style. This is prime hot summer day stuff that will hit the spot over the coming six months. 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 region, and vines around the estate and close the Mediterranean Sea, they’ve just completed work on a new, state of the art winery ...Read More »
Catherine and James Kinglake bought the domaine in 2003 and have since organically harvested their 29 hectares, creating excellent natural wines that truly express the terroir of Limoux. Year in, year out, the rose is always one of our top buys in the category. Don't mistake this for a Provencal knock off, the pinot fruit shines through here. White cherry, red currants, wet stone and a touch of fresh sorrel make for a complete and engaging wine. So refreshing, you'll reach for another bottle as quickly as you drain the first. We only received one sh... Read More »
91 points Vinous: "Pale orange. Expressive scents of fresh red berries, orange zest, white flowers and chalky minerals show excellent clarity and lift. Fine-grained and focused on the palate, offering zesty red currant, strawberry and tangerine flavors and an exotic touch of honey on the back half. The floral note comes back strong on a silky, very persistent, mineral-tinged finish." (6/2016) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editor's Choice* The product of a partnership between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie with the Perrin family of Château Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this bottling achieves instant ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Created by Knights Templar in the 13th century, the estate now consists of 160 acres of vines. This wine has a strong sense of structure, with a zesty tang as well as tannins that enhance the fruitiness of this intense and juicy wine." (7/2016) 90 points Vinous: "Light, bright orange-pink. Fresh red berries, orange zest and fresh flowers on the perfumed nose. Juicy and broad on entry, offering ripe strawberry and tangerine flavors that tighten up and become livelier with air. Rich yet energetic, finishing with strong persistence and lingering honeysuckle and blood orange flo ...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 »
Jancis Robinson: "Unoaked organically grown Chardonnay 'with a splash of Chenin Blanc' from the fringes of Limoux. Quite ripe and intense on the nose and then crisp and appley on the palate - much zestier than the average Mâconnais white. Very well made. Clean as a whistle." (5/2016) K&L Notes: 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. From predominantly clay and limestone soils on southeast facin... 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 »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A terrific value that’s close to an even split of Grenache and Syrah (there’s 10% Carignan), from a mix of terroirs in the Agly Valley, the 2014 Haut Cotes du Roussillon Villages les Vignes de Bila Haut was completely destemmed and spent eight months in a mix of concrete tanks and stainless steel prior to bottling. A fabulous value that will be hard to beat as a mid-week drinker, it offers lots of juicy berry fruit, violets, peppery herbs and damp earth characteristics in a medium-bodied, bright, fresh and elegant package. (JD)" (4/2016) 90 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* This ...Read More »
One of our most popular rosés, this fresh and balanced wine comes from one of our favorite co-ops in the south of France. It's a blend of Syrah and Grenache grown in volcanic soils in the heart of the Languedoc. With aromas and flavors of ripe strawberries and raspberries, this crisp, medium-bodied rosé is an ideal complement to spring green salads, light cheeses, mac and cheese, mozzarella cheese salads, goat cheese, cheese and crackers with olives and salumi...or enjoy as an evening aperitif, cheese optional.
Wine Spectator: "Very fresh, with a racy edge to the blood orange, white cherry and savory notes. Drink now. (JM, Web-2016)"
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)
92 points Vinous: "Light, bright orange. Potent, mineral-accented citrus fruit and red berry aromas, along with a suave honeysuckle flourish. Silky and expansive, offering juicy strawberry, tangerine and lavender pastille flavors and a deeper suggestion of white peach. Ripe yet lithe, with the mineral and floral elements carrying through. Impressively long, focused and seamless finish. (JR)" (6/2016) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "The pale rosé color doesn't detract from this concentrated, ripe wine that offers yellow fruits, orange zest and spicy flavors. Pure acidity gives intense freshness and an impre ...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 Spectator: "Pretty and focused, with a light iron tang along the edges of the white cherry and peach flavors. Reveals a stony hint through the racy finish. Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault and Cabernet Sauvignon." (6/2016) K&L Notes: 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 de... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Giving up lots of white cherry, underbrush and spring flower notes, the light pink colored 2015 Cotes de Provence Esprit Gassier Rose is medium-bodied, nicely balanced and has good acidity that comes through on the finish. It's another high quality rose from this estate that's well worth drinking. (JD)" (5/2016) Wine Enthusiast: "Produced in vineyards close to Mont Saint-Victoire in the west of the Provence vineyards, this perfumed, floral wine has crisp acidity along with orange and citrus flavors. The wine is light, very fruity and bright at the end. (RV)" (5/2016) Wine Spectator: "Fresh an ...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 »
Built on a backbone of 60% Chardonnay, this effervescent white is the product of female hands. Francoise Antech-Gazeau leads this Limoux estate. She has worked with her father and uncle since 1996 to improve their sustainable agricultural practices in the vineyard and their quality in the cellar. This bottling references the family's six generation history of making wine.
Negly's La Cote is a "CGSM," or 30% Carignane, carbonically macerated, with Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Aged in 50% oak and 50% concrete tanks, it promises a toasty, opulent aroma with cassis and licorice, and a palate fit for a T-bone.
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 »
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 »
I met winemaker Sophie Guiraudon this past winter 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 fresh... Read More »
Yves Duport is based in the town of Groslee, one of the villages located in the not-so-well-known appellation of Bugey. Bugey is just to the west of the Savoie, France's alpine region and shares many similarities with the wines of that region. It is also quite close to Burgundy and many of the influences of that region are also felt. Yves grows Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Mondeuse and Altesse.
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Languedoc-La Clape la Falaise is blockbuster blend of 65% Syrah and 35% Grenache; the Grenache was raised in oak tanks and the Syrah was raised in smaller barrels. This beauty offers fabulous notes of cassis, black raspberries, ground pepper and garrigue to go with a medium to full-bodied, seamless, downright sexy profile that just glides over the palate. It’s a big wine, no doubt, but it is always balanced and silky (JD)" (4/2016) K&L Notes: Jeb Dunnuck of Wine Advocate says that the wines of Chateau de la Negly "are hard to find in the marketplace, but the... 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 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 their weal... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "A medium-bodied red, with herb and leather aromas, flanked by plum, black cherry and spice flavors. Presents a fresh core of clean minerality, supported by bright acidity and dusty tannins. Spice and floral notes show on the finish." (8/2015) K&L Notes: 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... Read More »
Vinous: "Vivid peach skin color. Deeply pitched nectarine, orange and redcurrant aromas show good focus and pick up a floral element with air. Supple and dry, offering mineral-tinged citrus and pit fruit flavors and a refreshingly bitter suggestion of quinine. Closes on a stony, dry note, with a honeysuckle nuance lingering. (JR)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: 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... Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Bigger and richer, with more black fruits, ground pepper, forest floor and resinous scrub brush, the 2011 Coteaux du Languedoc Terrasses du Larzac Les Obriers (65% Cinsault, 35% Carignan) is medium-bodied, layered and textured on the palate, with a terrific finish. Drink it over the coming 4-6 years. One of the reference point producers in the Languedoc, and in my view, easily one of the top estates in all of France, La Peira en Damaisela was created in 2004 by Australian composer Rob Dougan, with the talented Jeremie Depierre making the wines. Coverin ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Pretty and focused, with a light iron tang along the edges of the white cherry and peach flavors. Reveals a stony hint through the racy finish. Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault and Cabernet Sauvignon. (JM)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: 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. Wi... 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)
Wine Spectator: "Lightly plump in texture, this white leads off with minerally notes of oyster shell and sea salt. The underlying citrus and yellow apple fruit lingers into a fennel- and floral-accented finish. Refreshing. (GS, Web-2015)" K&L Notes: Say bonjour to your summertime white! Picpoul de Pinet is considered the "Muscadet of the South." Grown just meters from the oyster beds of the Bassin de Thau, the wine marries perfectly with fish and shellfish. Picpoul (also known as Folle Blanche or Gros Plant) means "lip stinger," which refers to the high acidity of its must. Great wi... Read More »
92 points Vinous: "Vivid orange. Potent, mineral-accented orange, red currant and white peach aromas are complemented by suggestions of succulent herbs and lavender pastille. Sappy, penetrating and energetic, offering fresh red berry, citrus fruit and floral flavors; a spine of juicy acidity adds back-end lift. Smoothly plays power off delicacy and finishes minerally and long, with an echo of floral pastilles. (JR)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: There is the appellation of Bandol with its plethora of producers, some good, some mediocre; and then there is Château Pradeaux, the unique, inimitable,... 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 »
From a small appellation dramatically framed by the Alps and an idiosyncratic grape called Mondeuse, this wine is eccentric, complex, and absolutely delicious. From the winery: "Purple in colour, with complex summer fruits, blackcurrant, spices, and empyreumatic [AKA smokey caramel] nose. Its structure asserts itself with supple and silky tannins in the mouth. Racy, it asserts its personality. It can be kept for ten years."
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 »
Vinous: "Pale orange. Aromas of tangerine, strawberry and white peach are energized by a hint of white pepper. Clean and racy on the palate, offering fresh red berry and pit fruit flavors and a subtle hint of succulent herbs. Closes taut and nervy, showing good focus and length and lingering spiciness. (JR)" (6/2016) Wine Enthusiast: "This is an immediately attractive, fresh wine with red-currant and clementine-zest flavors. With its light, dancing character, it jumps out of the glass, full of fruit and with a delicious refreshing aftertaste. (RV)" (7/2016) K&L Notes: Domaine de la Colombe is b... Read More »
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.
A blend of Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Cinsault from the spiritual home of rosé. Summery fruit flavors abound--think strawberry, peach, with an intriguing hint of white pepper. This would make a lovely match with spicy fare, such as Ethiopian or Indian.
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "A blend of Grenache and Cinsault, this wine comes from old vines in an estate revived in 1997 by Gilles Pons and Pascale Massenot. It's all about aromatic fruit, with grapefruit, pineapple and red currants playing in the flavors. A rich element contrasts pleasurably with the tight, crisp acidity. The wine will benefit from a few more months aging, so wait until the end of 2016. (RV)" (7/2016) K&L Notes: 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 ... Read More »
90 points Vinous: "Limpid orange-pink. Aromas of fresh citrus fruits, strawberry and rhubarb are given urgency by suave floral and mineral notes. Lithe and racy, offering intense red berry and blood orange flavors that show very good power, with no undue weight. Pure and nervy on the penetrating finish, which leaves a sexy honeysuckle note behind. (JR)" (6/2016)
Vinous: "Pale orange. Aromas of fresh red berries, orange and lavender are lifted by a suggestion of chalky minerals. Juicy and tightly focused, offering strawberry, blood orange and succulent herb flavors that deepen on the back half. Finishes dry and nervy, showing good focus and lingering citrus and red fruit qualities. (JR)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: Praise for the producer from Wine Advocate: "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 th... Read More »
This wine is a blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Tibouren and is sourced from vineyards surrounding Clos Cibonne's property. All grapes are grown on clay and schist soils providing expressive floral and mineral notes. Cibonne has been around since 1797, and since a renovation in the 1990s, has been producing wines of unique character and complexity. 12.5% abv.
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."
With clean citrus and light strawberry notes, this is a subtle yet serious expression of Provence rosé for people who prefer a mineral-driven style. Château Revelette is an organically-certified, 30 hectare estate run by German transplant Peter Fisher in the Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence AOC. Grapes are hand-harvested and vinified in their traditional but modernly equipped cellar. Grape varieties in this rosé include 70% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 10% Syrah, and 5% Carignan. From the winery: "Vinified with ripe grapes, this traditional rosé, sporting a pale rob... Read More »
Vinous: "Light bright orange. Fresh and racy on the nose, displaying aromas of fresh red berries and orange zest. Fleshy, dry and focused, offering bitter cherry and red currant flavors that show a touch of warmth as the wine opens up. Closes soft and broad, displaying good cling and a lingering suggestion of candied orange zest. (JR)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: Château Viranel is a small family-run domaine located in the picturesque Languedoc appellation of Saint-Chinian. The domaine's rosé is perfect for an apéritif but is also ideal served throughout a meal because of its richnes... 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 »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A terrific value, the 2013 Cotes du Roussillon Villages (40% Grenache and 30% each of Syrah and Carignan) shows the purity and freshness of the vintage and offers medium-bodied, lively notes of violets, purple fruits and leather. There’s plenty of classic Carignan feel here, and this inky colored, lively 2013 should drink nicely for at least 4-5 years. (JD)" (4/2016) 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... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* A beautifully perfumed wine. It shows an elegant side to Cahors, offering intense and juicy blackberry fruit that override the dark tannins. The wine has weight and power and remains finely proportioned. Age for 4-5 years." (6/2012) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Focused and vibrant, with plenty of juiciness to the crushed red fruit flavors, joined by intense raspberry and red currant notes. Powerful dark chocolate accents fill the finish, which offers lots of spice." (9/2012)
The Reserve d'O Blanc is a small one acre parcel on the domaine that is co-planted with Chenin Blanc, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc. The Chenin is not legally allowed in the Terrasses du Larzac appellation, so it is declassifed to the IGP Saint Guilhem le Desert. Another interesting thing about this parcel: it is co-harvested in one pass, pressed together and co-fermented. Elevage is in stainless steel tanks to preserve freshness in the wine. Wildly unique and super cool wine. (Keith Mabry, K&L French Regional Buyer)