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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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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 »
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 »
Vinous: "Pale pink. Bright and lively on the nose and palate, displaying fresh blood orange and red currant qualities and a suggestion of white pepper. Dry and nervy in character, offering firm closing bite and a subtle touch of candied flowers. (JR)" (6/2016) Wine Enthusiast: "Pale salmon-grey in color, this is perfumed, soft and generously ripe. It is well balanced between the light acidity and the rounded strawberry flavors, and the aftertaste brings in a crisper element. (RV)" (7/2016) Wine Spectator: "Very fresh, with a racy edge to the blood orange, white cherry and savory notes. (JM)" (8/2016)
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Our dear friend and vigneron Sophie Guiraudon is always such a delight to visit. Her vineyards are in one of the higher altitude parts of Corbières. I met winemaker Sophie Guiraudon a while back 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. She adores Carignan as a grape variety and has become one of its great champions in the region. She also farms delicious Grenache, Syrah and a tiny amount of Mourvèdre. We call her the one-woman wrecking crew, as she farms, per... 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 »
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 »
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.
Agnes and Henri Gaussen cultivate the vineyard of Château de la Noblesse, which has been in their family for generations. The wine is a blend of 50% Mourvedre, 25% Grenache and 25% Cinsault. The Noblesse Rosé was recently featured in the Forbes Top Twenty Rosés for the 2016 summer season: "This is about as good as it gets in Provence rosé...well almost as good as it gets, and certainly as good as it gets for the money. With its intense purity, its ripe, tangy fruit - thinking melon with a tinge of grapefruit here - and mineral-layered complexity it shows... 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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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.
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)
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 »
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 »
It’s rare to find estate-bottled wines in Picpoul de Pinet, so we are fortunate to have this direct relationship with one of the greats in the region. Made by Guilhem Bascou, whose father, Guy (and founder of the estate) was the president of the Picpoul de Pinet appellation. Both father and son work side by side, while mother Marie-Claude manages the office. The family's 15 acres of Picpoul are planted just west of the Thun Lagoon near the Mediterranean, and the coastal influence is palpable in this licksmackingly refreshing wine. It's a natural companio... Read More »
Jeb Dunnuck of Wine Advocate says that the wines of Chateau de la Negly "are hard to find in the marketplace, but they're singular, world class efforts worth the extra effort to track down." One of our favorite producers of the Languedoc, we're thrilled to say that you can find them here at K&L.
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 »
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 »
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 »
An organically farmed, naturally made old-vine Carignane from Aubais, a small medieval village south of Nîmes, and unconventional winemaker Mark Haynes. 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. Half of the grapes for this wine undergo carbonic maceration to preserve freshness in the fruit and the other half are fermented traditionally. The result, as the winery puts it, is an "engaging nose of red fruit flesh with a delicate, ... Read More »
Situated in to the east of the walled city of Carcassonne and in the shadow of the Montagne Noire (Black Mountains) lies Minervois. The village of Laure-Minervois is home to the winery Chateau Saint Jacques d'Albas a 90 hectare estate in the hills above the village. Some 26 hectares of the estate are planted to vines with the rest composed of forests and creeks acting as a natural barrier to their neighbors. At the winery, a small team led by owner Graham Nutter, craft superb reds, whites and rosés, all of which are farmed organically. The "La Chapell... 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 »
Agnes and Henri Gaussen cultivate the vineyard of Château de la Noblesse, which has been in their family for generations. Bandol is ground zero for wines made of Mourvèdre, and the 2010 exhibits all the dark and brooding personality you could ask of the grape. With notes of blackberry and dark chocolate, plus a firm tannic core, this is begging to be eaten with a hearty lamb stew.
An organically farmed, naturally made Chardonnay-Viognier blend from Aubais, a small medieval village south of Nîmes. The aromatic and supple Albion won the Gold medal from the Gilbert & Gaillard Wine Guide in 2011 and stands as winemaker Mark Haynes's signature white. 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 his childhood and he always ... Read More »
A warm weather superstar, this is 100% Vermentino. Domaine Petroni lies on the eastern shore of Corsica near Lake Diane, one of the great sources for oysters and mussels on the island. Founded in 1885 and run by the Ramazotti brothers, the vineyards are planted on sandy and clay soils overlooking the Mediterranean. Their rosé was one of our great success stories this year, but the white and red have made great strides as well.
Yves Duport is a fourth generation winemaker based in the town of Groslee, one of the villages located in the not-so-well-known appellation of Bugey. Bugey lies to the west of Savoie, France's alpine region, of which it shares many similarities. The region is also quite close to Burgundy and Beaujolais, so many of their influences are felt as well. The classic grape varieties from both regions are planted throughout Bugey including Chardonnay, Gamay, Pinot Noir, Altesse and Mondeuse. The region itself is most famous for its Bugey-Cerdon, a slightly s... 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.