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K&L Staff Recommendations
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "A generously fruity, just-ripe and refined wine, this offers classic notions of the appellation in a warm, welcoming vintage, from rhubarb, cranberry and cherry to cola spice and clove. Still young, it shows an intensity that should meld and mellow in the bottle in short order. (VB)" (5/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Pinot Noir from Russian River has a similar medium to deep ruby color and notes of sassafras, cola, red cherries and strawberries. It is a little more primary and fruit-driven, but remains medium-bodied and, in this case, very Côtes de Beaune-like. Drink it o ...Read More »
We can tell you this much: our Kalinda private label hooks you up with awesome wine at a fraction of what you'd otherwise pay for this exact same wine under its normal label. While we have to remain quiet about the source of this beauty, we can tell you that it sells elsewhere at a much higher premium. Get it while it lasts.
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*#12 in Wine Enthusiast's The Enthusiast 100 of 2015, Editors' Choice* This might be one of the best values on the market, given the quality. Equal parts pretty and funky, it’s a tightly wound, savory, fruity wine that’s elegant and compelling. The tannins and oak are lightly imprinted around strawberry-rhubarb and fresh-cut rose, and the texture seductively silky. This is a delicious treat of a wine that should also age. (VB)" (12/2015) Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* Perhaps, because it is not quite so severe, we like this bottling a tad better than its mate below. It is, of ...Read More »
94 points Vinous: "The 2013 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard stands out in this range for its striking aromatics. Sweet floral notes open up first. The Ritchie is just as subtle and nuanced on the palate. Classy and polished throughout, the Ritchie is all about finesse. It should drink well for the better part of the next decade. It's hard to know where to begin with these wines from David Ramey, as there are so many highlights, but one common theme is the quality of the entry-level wines. The appellation-level Chardonnays, Pinot, Syrah and Claret all deliver serious quality fo ...Read More »
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The two vintages of Chardonnay I tasted come from the Jos. Belli Vineyard in Russian River. The 2015 Chardonnay Jos. Belli Vineyards was made from small yields, and according to Dick Arrowood, it is one of the top three vintages in his 50 years of experience. This wine offers loads of peach, honeysuckle, delicate apricot, caramelized citrus and apple blossom in a full-bodied, rich, discreetly oaked style. It is long, promising and super-concentrated. If this is an example of just how strong many 2015s will be, we’re in for another treat from Northern Cal ...Read More »
Stuhlmuller Vineyards sits at the southern edge of Alexander Valley where it borders both Chalk Hill and the Russian River Valley AVAs. Five blocks of the estate vineyard are planted with Chardonnay grapes, 80% of which are the sought-after Gauer Upper Barn clone. The wine was brought up in small barrels (82%) and larger casks (18%), all of which were French oak (6% new). The wine was fermented on the lees for eight months and underwent 80% indigenous malolactic fermentation. The winery's vintage note: "This medium-bodied wine offers an alluring orchard-... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
92 points Vinous: "The 2014 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) is a fabulous wine at this level. Sweet spices, rose petal, mint and succulent cherry/plum notes all lift from the glass. Supple and beautifully layered throughout, the Sonoma Coast hits all the right notes. A final burst of fruit rushes across the palate on the refreshing, inviting wine. There is so much to like. (AG)" (2/2016) 91 points Wine & Spirits: "The nine vineyards that go into this wine range from Olivet in the middle of the Russian River Valley to Bohan and Hirsch on the far-coast ridges. It’s inviting, with plump red fruit and tangy aci ...Read More »
91 points Vinous: "The 2013 Chardonnay (Russian River Valley) is another terrific entry-level Chardonnay from David Ramey. Here it is the wine's richness and creaminess that really stand out. Honey, apricot pit, mint, butter and dried flowers blossom are some of the signatures. This is a real overachiever in its class. It's hard to know where to begin with these wines from David Ramey, as there are so many highlights, but one common theme is the quality of the entry-level wines. The appellation-level Chardonnays, Pinot, Syrah and Claret all deliver serious quality for the ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Spicy nutmeg meets a reckoning of lemon zest and grapefruit pith in this light, bright, elegant white that's subtle in oak. Notions of just-ripe pear follow around a rounded, medium-bodied build, providing plenty of juiciness and structure. (VB)" (8/2016)
92 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*Two Stars* More than once we have found a great deal to like in the straight appellation bottlings of top-notch Pinot producers, and here is just such an example that rivals and even surpasses several of its pricier cellarmates with respect to balance, fruity depth and real varietal beauty. It is moderately full, slightly fleshy in feel and very well-balanced, and, while it impresses as a Pinot of many parts, it impresses at least as much for the way in which those parts are seamlessly joined. It is no stretch to see richness and refinement intersecting ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Noir Cuvée Alyce, which is made from a field blend of Dijon clones 115 and 777, is also backward and restrained. I can totally understand Stephen Hansel’s statement that the 2013 Pinots are very European with their reserved character. This is a big wine, dense, ruby in color, with terrific fruit intensity, but the tannins still dominate, and the wine has good acidity and a backward personality. It’s not austere by any means and should blossom fully with another 1-2 years of bottle age. It could turn out to be a low- to mid-90 pointer. It’s ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Noir Estate, made mostly from Rochioli clonal material and a small portion of the so-called Swan clone, is a beautiful Pinot Noir, very Burgundian, with notes of forest floor, loamy soil undertones, sweet black cherries and Asian plum sauce. It is dark ruby, lush, medium to full-bodied and ideal for drinking over the next decade. Some of the best values in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir emerge from Stephen Hansel’s winery in the Russian River Valley. He also has the wonderful Walter Hansel Wine & Bistro on Guerneville Road in Santa Rosa... The ...Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Dark yellow in color, this wine shows tangy green apple and a richer, more concentrated element of applespice cake, with supportive, balanced acidity. With a bright, lifted finish, this less-expensive offering compared with many of the producer’s singlevineyard designates never lets up on complexity or deliciousness." (2/2017) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Features a tight mix of leesy, pithy citrus, pineapple skin and blood orange rind flavors. Complex, with a long, sustained finish. (JL)" (12/2016) Wine & Spirits: "Drawn from seven Russian River vineyards, including pedigreed sites like Rochioli and Al ...Read More »
93 points Vinous: "The 2014 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) is terrific. Bright, nuanced and savory, the straight Russian River Pinot has all the attributes of this strong vintage. Sweet floral notes round out a Pinot that is understated and silky. This is a rare appellation-level Pinot that could use another few years in bottle to fully flesh out. Paul Hobbs describes 2013 as a consistently warm, dry year but without excesses. I remember stopping by in January of that year, and being quite surprised when Hobbs told me he was likely to start irrigating imminently, which ...Read More »
92 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*Two Stars* This serious, nicely composed opus impresses in all of the ways that very good Chardonnay can, and it hits the right marks from its concentration and keen focus to its exemplary balance and vitality. It teams deep, optimally ripened fruit with just the right amount of sweet, ever so slightly toasty oak, and, while always quite rich, it is wonderfully lively and dynamic from beginning to end. There is so much going on that it is fascinating right now, but this is one that will prove just how well fine Chardonnay can age, and we see it improvin ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "This is a 100% varietal wine made to be widely distributed and enjoyed by a range of palates. With a slight perception of sweetness, which may just be ripeness, it gives way to fleshy flavors of baked apple and pineapple. (VB)" (6/2016)
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "It’s hard not to jump up and down about the outstanding value represented here, a wine made from Dutton Ranch fruit that’s juicy and generous in baked strawberry, earth and rose petals. A grippy structure provides weight around nuanced, spicy cherry-pie flavor and plenty of body to satisfy." (12/2016)
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Like a fresh-picked cherry off the tree, the aromatic entry into this appellation wine is compelling and memorable in Proustian ways. Medium bodied, it’s a highly quaffable experience, sultry on the palate while maintaining bright of acidity that ping-pongs between lush and lean." (2/2017) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The least expensive Pinot Noir is the generic 2014 Pinot Noir Russian River, and it’s also the largest production at just over 3,000 cases. It is soft and ripe, showing attractive apple skin notes intermixed with pomegranate, cherry and a hint of strawberry in a straight ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "***Cellar Selection*** A suggestion of minty eucalyptus makes itself quietly known on the entry of this wine, followed by soft, seamless layers of rich red cherry. Floral and bursting in elegance, it's a vibrant, worthy representation of the vineyard. Sadly, this is the last vintage from this producer from this site. Drink now through 2020. (VB)" (4/2016) Wine Spectator: "Complex, if on a modest scale, with graceful plum and raspberry fruit, shaded by fresh earth and spice notes. Holds focus and gains depth on the finish. Drink now through 2022. (JL)" (9/2014) K&L Notes: Winemaker Rod ... Read More »
A member of Jackson Family Wines, Hartford Court is an award-winning producer of appellation-designate and single-vineyard Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and old vine Zinfandel from low-yielding vineyards in prime regions throughout Sonoma County.
Rod and Lynn Berglund carry the mantle for this historic Russian River Valley winery as it marches into its 50th year.
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "This voluptuously seductive wine is also elegantly balanced. Citrus, wet stone and sea salt lift the minerality to pronounced levels, accented by a crispness of lemon peel and papaya wrapped in blossoming jasmine. Many of the vines on the site date back nearly 40 years, a demonstration that in age there is beauty. (VB)" (9/2016) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch is a rather complex blend of multiple heritage clones from California, such as the Wente, Robert Young, Rued, the U.C. Davis Clone 4, and the Spring Mountain Clone. The wine offers up plenty of whit ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
93 points Vinous: "The 2013 Chardonnay The Meadows has a real sense of phenolic weight and density, yet the flavors remain bright, focused and beautifully nuanced throughout. Lemon peel, hazelnut, butter, spice and mint blossom as this beautifully textured, layered Chardonnay shows off its notable personality and pure class. Stephen Hansel is one of the most intelligent winery owners in Sonoma. More interested in getting people to drink his wines than in maximizing short-term profit, Hansel continues to offer some of the very best wines readers will find for the money. I ...Read More »
93 points Vinous: "The 2013 Chardonnay Cahill Lane is another beautiful, precise wine loaded with class and personality. As is the case in this vintage, the flavors are bright, but there is plenty of the signature Hansel texture underpinning the fruit. Lemon, pastry and brioche are some of the notes that meld into the racy, beautifully textured finish. Stephen Hansel is one of the most intelligent winery owners in Sonoma. More interested in getting people to drink his wines than in maximizing short-term profit, Hansel continues to offer some of the very best wines readers ...Read More »
93 points Wine & Spirits: "In her second vintage at Gary Farrell, Theresa Heredia drew on seven vineyard sites, including pedigreed vineyards like Rochioli and Allen, to compose this vibrant Russian River wine. It’s an intense chardonnay, with a spicy, floral scent that brings chanterelle mushrooms and apple skin to mind. It holds that abundance of flavor in a texture that’s clean and breezy, seemingly weightless. Decant it and explore its nuances over a multicourse dinner." (12/2015) 91 points Wine Spectator: "Ripe and pithy, with a mix of lemon, fig, apricot and tangerine flavors. Light-weight, presenting a ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "The producer’s flagship wine, this is sourced from several Green Valley sites, including Amber Ridge and Manna. Both contribute a full-bodied wealth of packed-earth flavor in a generously layered, rich explosion of dark cherry, plum and pomegranate. Along the way, streaks of citrus and black tea provide exotic interludes." (12/2016) Wine Spectator: "A very agreeable mix of savory and dried herb, red berry and dusty earth notes, this is elegant and refined, ending with a graceful aftertaste. Drink now. (JL, Web-2016)" K&L Notes: EnRoute is an allocated Pinot Noir that comes to us from t... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Robert Parker writes: "Under owner Don Hartford, winemaker Jeff Stewart continues to produce a stunning succession of Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs (as well as Zinfandels) under the Hartford Court moniker from generally cool-climate sites. His is one of the bright stars in the Kendall-Jackson portfolio of small estate wineries."
From one of K&L's favorite Napa producers. The winery notes: "Blazing tropical fruit, exotic spices and sexy ripe citrus come together in this tangerine dream. Like a beach volleyball Olympian, the wine has explosive power plus tremendous depth and range on the palate. Richness and precision are continually on point, and the wine sets up high in the mouth before stretching out in a tanned and impossibly long-legged, leesy finish."
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Shy in the glass, this wine needs more time in bottle to unravel its complexities of rose petal and cardamom, flanked by crisp red cherry and raspberry. Tangy acidity is the star and backbone of the lovely, structured wine, which is delightful now, but worth cellaring through 2023. (VB)" (2/2016) Wine Spectator: "Delivers a pleasant offering of zesty raspberry, cherry and blueberry notes, turning supple and gaining depth and length. (JL, Web-2016)"
Inventory: San Francisco
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Silky yet slightly grippy, this is a mineral-driven wine, with violet and spicy cardamom aromas atop bright, vibrant swathes of cherry and wild strawberry. This vineyard is where Joseph Swan himself first planted Pinot Noir, it retains all the promise and greatness of his initial discovery of this magical place along the Laguna Ridge." (4/2016) 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Brilliant ruby-red. Youthful, highly perfumed red and dark berry scents are complemented by deeper notes of cola, mocha and black cardamon, with a sexy floral nuance building in the glass. Smooth, ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
91 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*Good Value* Possessing such a wealth of juicy, well-focused cherry-like fruit that this wine would garner enthusiastic recommendation and a tip of the hat for fine value on its fruity virtues alone, Migration's basic appellation offering is a surprisingly serious Pinot Noir with the depth and careful construction of upper-echelon offerings. It is clean and constant with impeccable varietal focus and layered richness to spare, and, as very good, generously fruited Pinots are wont to do, it is certain to tempt early drinking even though its best lies some ...Read More »
92-95 points Vinous: "A wine of density and wound up energy, the 2014 Pinot Noir Estate Vineyard is very tightly coiled at this stage. All the elements are there for the Estate to develop into a splendid Pinot with proper aging, especially if the wine finds a more refined register over time. Even so, the 2014 is attractive, if a bit monolithic next to the other wines in this range. This is a strong set of new releases from DuMOL. Winemaker Andy Smith has really dialed in his approach here over the last few years, and it shows. Harvest dates have been moved up, while in genera ...Read More »
Porter Creek Wines is a family-owned vineyard and winery located alongside Porter Creek, one of the Russian River's major tributaries. To showcase their unique hillside terroir, this father and son team focuses on Rhone and Burgundian varietals, which they farm organically to produce primarily vineyard-designated wines.
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The cool-climate 2014 Pinot Noir Bondi Home Ranch, from the Green Valley in the Russian River, is absolutely spectacular. It saw 80% new oak because it was so concentrated, and it seems to have sucked it up and only reveals just a slight wood spice to its full-bodied, beautifully textured, black raspberry and blackberry fruit. This is one of the profound 2014s and should drink well for 15-20 years. One of the great families of Northern California, and of course, one of the highest quality producers, the Martinellis - and rather remarkably so - only esta ...Read More »
Second label of Alysian Wines. Led by the Hambrecht family in partnership with esteemed winemaker Gary Farrell, they are committed to sourcing from the best vineyards in the Russian River Valley. From the winery: "In keeping with the tradition of second label wines, which originated in the cellars of 18th century Bordeaux, ours is a collection of barrels that do not quite fit the philosophy of Alysian. This flexibility in the cellar allows us to select and blend barrels of small lot wines from exceptional and off the beaten path vineyards and craft an ap... Read More »
Dutton Ranch is a well-respected Sonoma vineyard that Patz & Hall has been working with since 1998. This is mainly an old vines vineyard, with the original block planted in 1969 to California heirloom Chardonnay selections. All the grapes are hand harvested and sorted in the field, then moved to the winery, where they are sorted again and whole cluster pressed. After pressing, the juice is racked into French oak barrels where it ferments slowly on its lees, generally finishing alcoholic fermentation in early winter. The wine then undergoes full malolacti... Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Fashioned from yields of 2 to 2.5 tons of fruit per acre, the 2013 Chardonnay North Slope sees 30% new and 70% used barrels. It has nowhere near the generosity of its 2012 counterpart, but it exhibits beautiful nectarine, tangerine and other assorted tropical fruit notes, crisp, zesty acidity and a hint of wet stones that provide unmistakable minerality. Drink now-2018. The consistently run Walter Hansel winery (now in the capable hands of Steve Hansel) has over 40 acres of Chardonnay and 40 acres of Pinot Noir, all family-owned. Visitors to the Sonoma V ...Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a creamy, thick and food friendly white with highlights of honey and green apple and a lingering decadence of ginger, just hinting at anise. Medium-bodied, it represents the vintage and the appellation well, at a price that's nice. (VB)" (8/2016) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Elegantly styled and moderately rich, with nectarine, honeydew, anise and green apple flavors. This is a wine of finesse, showing more grace than power and richness. Drink now. (JL)" (6/2016)
92-95 points Vinous: "The 2014 Chardonnay Chloe Ritchie-Lorenzo Old Vines is one of the biggest, most voluptuous wines in the range, but like all of the Chardonnays, the 2014 has preserved notable acidity and freshness. Here it is the wine's overall balance that truly stands out. This should be terrific once bottled. This is a strong set of new releases from DuMOL. Winemaker Andy Smith has really dialed in his approach here over the last few years, and it shows. Harvest dates have been moved up, while in general Smith is seeking a bit more freshness in his wines than was the ...Read More »
92-95 points Vinous: "One of the many highlights in this lineup, the 2014 Pinot Noir Ryan Widdoes Vineyard offers notable depth and concentration. There is a real sense of gravitas to the Ryan, while a dollop of whole clusters (15%) adds aromatic intrigue, something that is so typical of Martino clone Pinots. Sweet red cherry and floral notes built to the intense, richly textured finish. This is a strong set of new releases from DuMOL. Winemaker Andy Smith has really dialed in his approach here over the last few years, and it shows. (AG)" (1/2016) 92 points Wine Spectator: "Begins with a surge of vibrant ...Read More »
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "As for the 2014 Chardonnays, they all possess great acid and obvious intensity. I’ll keep my notes short, but they are all brilliant wines, including the 2014 Chardonnay Russian River, which has plenty of citrus oil, white flowers, quince and peach. Paul Hobbs has emerged as one of the great success stories in Northern California. He’s an international consultant known for his outstanding work in Argentina. He is also now involved in a joint venture in the Finger Lakes region of New York, so hopefully we can anticipate some interesting Rieslings and po ...Read More »
92 points Vinous: "The 2014 Chardonnay Estate is a very pretty, understated wine. Lemon curd, mint, white pepper and expressive floral notes are all pushed forward. This is an especially strong appellation-level Chardonnay and also a harbinger for the year at Rochioli. (AG)" (2/2016) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Chardonnay Estate comes from both Wente and Hanzel clones of Chardonnay. It displays loads of caramelized citrus and orange blossom, a rich, full-bodied mouthfeel, great minerality and freshness, and a floral personality. This wine sees about one-third to 40% new oak and is bottled unfi ...Read More »
91 points Vinous: "One of the highlights in this range, the 2014 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) is a gorgeous wine, especially at this level. Sweet red cherry, cinnamon and rose petal notes are front and center. Linear and tightly wound, the 2014 possesses notable restraint as well as class, with less of the overt boisterousness that is at times typical of Russian River Pinots. (AG)" (8/2016) 91 points Wine Spectator: "Smooth and inviting, offering charming flavors of wild berry, blueberry, spice and cedar. Supple in texture, long and lingering on the finish. Drink now. (JL)" (9/2016) K&L Notes: From the produc... Read More »
Robert Parker writes: "This is another Russian River pioneer winery. Tom Dehlinger has slowly inched into quasi-retirement, with his two daughters taking over the reins. However, it is important to remember that their first vintage was 1975, and they have a tremendously consistent track record for high-quality Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and more recently, Syrah. They even turn a trick or two with an impressive Cabernet Sauvignon, which is probably the most unexpected star from this Russian River property. One of the big surprises about the Dehlinger wines i... Read More »
Situated on the sandy loam soils of the Green Valley of the Russian River Valley AVA, in close proximity to the Pacific, the Medina vineyard is known for its naturally low-yielding Chardonnay vines and a lengthy, cool growing season.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Tightly structured and quiet in oak, this wine instead exudes bright notes of lemon peel and orange blossom, offering plenty of well-traced minerality on the palate. It finishes lean and crisp, refreshing enough to enjoy all night long.(VB)" (11/2015)
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Ranked #12 in Wine Enthusiast's The Enthusiast 100 of 2015 and an Editors' Choice* This might be one of the best values on the market, given the quality. Equal parts pretty and funky, it’s a tightly wound, savory, fruity wine that’s elegant and compelling. The tannins and oak are lightly imprinted around strawberry-rhubarb and fresh-cut rose, and the texture seductively silky. This is a delicious treat of a wine that should also age. (VB)" (12/2015) Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* Perhaps, because it is not quite so severe, we like this bottling a tad better than its mate bel ...Read More »
88-90 points Vinous: "The 2014 Pinot Noir (Russian River) is an attractive, mid-weight wine, especially within the context of the Russian River, where the wines can be much more exuberant. Bright red cherry, game and spice notes open up in this very pretty, delineated Pinot from David Ramey. There is plenty to look forward to. Vineyard sites are: Westside Farms, Bucher and Keller. (AG)" (2/2016)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Noir is a seductive style of Pinot, with a medium ruby color, notes of black cherry and raspberry, light tannin, and not much depth, but it is superficially attractive and supple. Drink it over the next 3-4 years. (RP)" (3/2016)