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K&L Staff Recommendations
1999 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc $19.99
91 points Wine Spectator: "**100 Top Values of 2016**Broad and generous, open-textured and inviting, offering cherry, currant and red plum flavors that swirl enticingly among fine-grain tannins and creamy oak on the finish. (HS)" (11/2016) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* The aromas of milk chocolate, cherry and spice bring immediate appeal. The flavors are silky and polished, showing equal parts fruit and barrel." (12/2016) K&L Notes: From the winery: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. The wine spends 12 months in 65% older and 35% new oak barrels, both French and American.
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "This nicely made wine balances juicy black fruit with black licorice, flinty dried herb and a velvety texture. Medium bodied, it shows structure and grace within a context of ripeness and depth. (VB)" (12/2016)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This Haut-Medoc sleeper of the vintage from Bordeaux visionary Bernard Magrez possesses copious quantities of black currant and cherry fruit as well as supple tannins presented in a medium-bodied, opulent style... (RP)" (6/2007) Wine Enthusiast: "Now mature, this is a powerful wine for the vintage. It has a spice note, plus tannins that are still present and likely to develop further. The flavors of truffle, gamy beef and beet are are testaments to the age of this wine. (RV)" (2/2013)
The best Cabernet Sauvignon under $10 that I have tasted in nearly 9 years of working here. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish Wine Buyer) This was produced from a 30-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in the Vino de la Tierra de Castilla appellation (a large swath of land in the region of La Mancha), this Cab has delicious, balanced dark currant fruit, and a subtle influence from a six-month stint in American oak barrels. This nicely priced Spanish Cabernet has been a staff favorite for two vintages running.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "The aromas of cedar, fresh dark berries, thyme, garden herbs and flowers provide instant appeal, with woodsy accents following. Lively plum and raspberry flavors back them up, with fine-grained tannins and barrel accents speckled throughout. (SS)" (3/2016) Vinous: "(bottled three weeks before my visit in June): Healthy red-ruby. Pure, expressive aromas of plum, currant, menthol and cigar box. Lusher and more savory than the Merlot but not as suave or consistently ripe as the Petit Verdot, showing a note of chocolatey sweetness to go with its dark berry and spice fl ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon, one-third Merlot. 40% of production. Very sweet and round and low key – rather forward but with lovely satiny texture. A bit austere: tannins on the finish and it does fall away a little bit, but it’s awfully well done really – even if hardly recognisable as a St-Estèphe! (JR)" (4/2011) James Suckling: "Pretty and fruity with fine tannins and a fresh clean finish. Bright and fun." (4/2011) K&L Notes: This wine is stunning. The little brother of Tronquoy-Lalande and owned by the Montrose people, this wine is packed with fruit--lots of cassis on the palate.... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "The wine, still young, has spice and tannins as well as toasty flavors. Its fruit is still developing but will become ripe and full of red berries. The acidity and crisp aftertaste are balanced and fruity. Drink from 2018. (RV)" (12/2016) K&L Notes: About the winery: "A family business for 3 generations, located in Sauveterre de Guyenne, Vignobles Ballarin produces red wines in Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur appellation, under the names of Château Loyasson and Château Roc Levraut. The vineyard consists of 40 hectares of vines consists of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet ... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This full-bodied beauty traffics in cigar, tar and chocolate, expressing a rich, robust and smoky world of goodness. With a velvety texture, it continues to impress beyond the first sip, offering both memorable length and breadth. It blends together 80% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Malbec." (2/2017) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The outstanding 2013 Mountain Cuvée Proprietary Red, which is 80.4% Merlot, 17.4% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Malbec, was aged ten months in a combination of new and used oak. The good news is that there were 16,000+ cases of this outstanding wine. ...Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "Serious and rich aromas with blueberry and blackberry character and hints of almonds. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a fresh and bright finish. Drink now or hold." (5/2016) 91 points Wine Spectator: "***Smart Buy*** A ripe and powerful red, with concentrated flavors of dark cherry, smoke and Asian spice that are loaded with chocolate and fresh-ground coffee notes. Creamy and lush on the rich finish. Drink now through 2020. (KM)" (10/2016) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Earthy blackberry aromas are spicy and moderately complex. Structured and sound on the palate, with a strong tannic framework, this tastes of ...Read More »
Wine & Spirits: "A velvety blend based on Merlot, this is simple but clean, its strawberry-red fruit lifted, the structure easy rather than gripping. It’s light enough for roast chicken." (8/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "This wine has a foundation of 57% Merlot, followed by almost equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, then smaller percents of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Perfumed, it expresses itself in tight, chewy tannins before revealing cedar, pencil shavings and cranberry in a medium-bodied package. (VB)" (11/2015) K&L Notes: Lyeth's Meritage is a blend of the five red Bordeaux varietals with 58... Read More »
33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 17% Montepulciano, 17% Alicante.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Dark in color, this is a concentrated wine that’s very firm in structure, with dense tannins. It’s powered by ripe, mature black fruits as well as acids that cut through the dry texture. This needs several years of aging. (RV)" (2/2013) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Focused, with a singed apple wood frame propelling the core of plum, cassis and black cherry fruit. The solid finish lets hints of charcoal and anise flitter in, displaying fine cut. (JM)" (3/2013) Jancis Robinson: "Dense bright red. Round and fresh. More forward than most but vigorous. Eerily forward. But a nice package. Minerally." (2/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "An ...Read More »
Château Haut-Vigneau is owned by Eric Perrin, the son of the late Anthony Perrin of Château Carbonnieux fame. This property is one of the best value reds in all of Bordeaux. (Clyde Beffa, K&L Co-Owner and Bordeaux Buyer)
90 points Wine Spectator: "Dense, with dark cocoa, graphite and roasted spice notes embedded in a core of fleshy plum sauce, currant paste and blackberry confiture. The long, racy finish smolders with dark fruit. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2020." (3/2013)
This is a property to watch in the future. Very well-priced wines that have great balance and fruit. This one has toasty aromas and a very fruity palate impression. Super value. Very elegant wine from one of my favorite ready-to-drink vintages. Enjoy with a rack of lamb. (Clyde Beffa, K&L Wine Merchants)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent value that has classic Cabernet notes of black currants, plums, graphite and some herbal aromas and flavors. Blended with 16% Syrah, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Zinfandel, and aged 16 months in French and American oak, drink this medium-bodied, nicely balanced 2014 over the coming 4-5 years. (JD)" (8/2016) Vinous: "Dark purple. Spice-accented dark fruits and pipe tobacco on the perfumed nose. Supple and appealingly sweet, showing good depth to the ripe black currant and cherry flavors. Finishes smooth, broad and a touch warm ...Read More »
We were so happy with the 2013 Kalinda Napa Cabernet that we went back to the same well for the 2014. From another exceptional year for Napa Cabernet, this wine is lush and quite rich with tons of cassis on the nose and palate. Still quite young and showing some rounded tannins, I would cellar this beauty for five years minimum, but if you must drink it, decant one hour at least and serve with a hearty meat course. One hint: the property whence the grapes came is located quite close to a town that really does not have a wine shop in it. - KL Staffer Dri... Read More »
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château d’Arce 2014 is the first vintage (last year was hailed off) that comes from 4.41ha of Merlot in Saint Etienne de Lys on the limestone plateau and vinified at Château Poesia. Picked on 14 and 15 October, it was fermented in concrete tanks and matured in 30-50% new oak. It has a floral, feminine bouquet with pure cassis and blueberry scents that are nicely integrated with the wood. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, lithe tannin and well-judged acidity. This feels harmonious in the mouth, very smooth and it just glides to a sensual finish ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of the best values in Cabernet Sauvignon anywhere in the world remains Louis Martini’s Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County (89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot and the rest Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc and other varieties) is just a beautiful wine. Dense ruby/purple with classic tobacco leaf, blackcurrant, loamy soil notes and a touch of wood spice, this wine (aged 16 months in French and American oak) has relatively modest alcohol for Cabernets these days (13.5%), and what’s even more remarkable is that there are 408,0 ...Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is an impressive blend of 45% Merlot with 25% estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah from Stagecoach Vineyard and 10% Biale Zinfandel. It comes together seamlessly in a twist of structured blackberry, leathery tannin and tomato leaf, priced to be enjoyed by many." (3/2017) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A terrific value and an amazing sleeper of the vintage is the 2014 Y3 Taureau Proprietary Red, a mélange of 45% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah and 10% Zinfandel. This is a steal at $20, and Napa could certainly use more wines that are creatively put together like this ...Read More »
Organic in fact bio-dynamic wine with all the bells and whistles. Our first red in from the great 2015 vintage. Soft and elegant and quite forward-in fact drink it in the next few years.
Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of toast, char, and milk chocolate along with blue and black fruit are followed by velvety soft fruit flavors. It shows an appealing sense of balance and polish. (SS)" (12/2016) Wine Spectator: "Broad and toasty, with tobacco and cedar overtones to the cherry and red plum flavors, persisting on the well-mannered finish. Best from 2018 through 2022. (HS)" (12/2016)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Coming all from Paso Robles, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (100% Cabernet aged in stainless steel) is a forward, charming wine that has lots of upfront jammy blackberry, savory herbs, licorice and a hint of graphite to go with a medium-bodied, supple, nicely focused feel on the palate. There's a solid kick of tannin on the finish, so pair this with some fatty meat over the coming couple of years. Readers looking for killer values need look no further than this Foxglove releases from Jim and Bob Varner. (JD)" (10/2016) Vinous: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon from Foxglov ...Read More »
A delicious value red from the right bank. The 10s are usually tannic and a bit hard, but this wine drinks great right now. Lots of sweet blackberry flavors and a smooth, lingering finish. Have it now with a nice rack of lamb. Can be cellared five Plus years. Tastes like a 2009 vintage-maybe they mislabelled it?
Two talented Paso Robles winemakers joined forces to craft this Cabernet - Curt Schlachlin and Andrew Jones. Curt is winemaker at Sans Liege, known for his high-scoring yet affordable wines, and Andrew is winemaker at Field Recordings and spends most days planting vineyards and walking just about every vineyard in the Central Coast! Tasting notes from the winery: "The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon greets you with scents of lush blue fruit and memories of your grandfather’s briarwood pipe. As the flavor begins to march across your palate it leaves behind hints ... Read More »
80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petite Sirah, 7% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot. Fermented in 100% stainless steel and aged in 75% neutral oak, 25% new French Oak. According to the winery: "Our Cabernet Sauvignon is a rustic wine with a deep, dark nose of blackberry, currants and cocoa, which show off the natural structure and power of each varietal in the finished blend."
90 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* A fresh and inviting red, with crisp acidity set against a plush layer of well-formed blueberry and floral flavors, picking up spicy notes as the finish plays out. (HS)" (10/2015) Vinous: "Bright medium red. Lively aromas of cherry, cranberry and mint display a slightly candied character. Juicy, spicy red fruit flavors are straightforward and fresh. This light, dry blend finishes with dusty tannins and a refreshing bitter edge, with more acidity than tannins. (ST)" (12/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "Sangiovese, Malbec and Merlot take the lead on this blend. Red cherry, plum and ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The straight 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is outstanding. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, native fermented, aged in French oak and bottled unfined and unfiltered, it’s a killer value that has lots of blue fruits, violets, graphite and leafy herbs in medium to full-bodied, concentrated, layered style. Savvy readers should buy a case of this and drink bottles over the coming 4-5 years, although I see no reason that it won’t keep longer either. A substantial change with the K Vintners/Charles Smith wines is the separation of the Rhone blends and the Bordeaux ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Their newer non-vintage blends ratchet up the level of quality, such as the NV Arme Lot 3, a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and the rest Malbec and Petit Verdot. This is a big Bordeaux blend, aged up to three years in neutral oak prior to being bottled. It’s a blend of three vintages, 2011, 2012 and 2013. All the fruit comes from not only their estate, but from many of their close friends located in Sonoma and Mendocino. The wine is a 6,000-case North Coast appellation, with elegant black cherry and blackcurrant fruit as well as tobacco leaf ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "This is dense yet fresh and lively with ripe currant, plum and dried mushroom character. Medium to full body, crisp and delicious. Real Napa at a solid price. Drink now." (6/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Even the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Olema offers plenty of value in an elegant, tasty, cedary, blackcurrant-scented and flavored wine that has good concentration, light tannin and a tasty, savory mouthfeel. Drink it over the next 4-5 years. This winery has a large and varied portfolio of wines, including their four value picks, which consumers need to notice. (RP)" (12/2016) K&L Notes: Olema is ... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Pepper and tar notes lead the way, with briar-framed plum and black currant fruit forming the core. A tarry accent echoes through the finish. (JM, Web-2014)"
91 points Wine & Spirits: "*Best Buy* Another great value from the Bousquet family, this is made from organic grapes grown in the chalky and stony soils of Gualtallary. The high altitude shows in a subtly herbal scent, while the wine focuses on ripe red fruit and spices. This is a textbook Cabernet, with the firm acidity and a solid structure, but it's also easy to drink and ready for steak." (4/2016)
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "***Editors' Choice*** This is a strong wine for the price, unfolding with caramelized berries, kirsch, black cassis, wet river stone and tight plum skins on the dense nose. Cooked blackberries and black-cherry jam show on the palate, where elegant graphite tannins make for a very silky, earthy wine. (MK)" (9/2016) K&L Notes: Quietly Concannon Vineyard has one of the longest histories in the California Wine Industry. Dating back to 1883 when James Concannon set up his winery in the Livermore Valley, recognizing that it was strikingly similar to the terroir of Bordeaux... Read More »
Ch. L’Avocat is from the small commune of Cerons, which is located just north of Barsac and Sauternes in the southern Graves appellation. I met Nicola Allison at a small conference of Women from Bordeaux and Napa Valley in Napa earlier. She followed my advice by sending her wines to our hotel in April to be tasted and Clyde and I liked them. I followed up by visiting the estate almost 8 weeks later and was shown the gravely, plateau vineyards by her husband Sean who manages the vines. The vineyards were purchased by the Allisons in 2002; the fruit was pr... Read More »
Joel Gott's 815 is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from some of the most important appellations across California. With inclusion of fruit from Napa Valley, Sonoma, Lodi, Lake County, Paso Robles, and Monterey County, the resulting wine creates a broad snapshot of the 2014 vintage. This perennial value is food-friendly and accessible with a modest 13.9% alcohol and 25% new oak barrels for aging. From the winery: "The 2014 Joel Gott 815 Cabernet Sauvignon has aromas of blackberry and cherry with hints of vanilla and spice. The wine opens with dark, conce... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A realistically priced wine from Napa, the 2012 Pauline's Cuvee is an outstanding blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec (7,500 cases) is a beauty from four vineyards in Napa Valley, showing the vintage’s telltale purity, dense purple color, lushness and seductive mocha, espresso and chocolaty notes intermixed with black cherry and blackcurrant fruit. This is a medium to full-bodied, lush, heady wine to drink over the next 5-10 years. (RP)" (10/2015) 90 points Vinous: "The 2012 Pauline's Cuvée is a sexy Merlot-based red, is another ...Read More »
Vinous: "The 2012 Les Terrasses is the second wine of Tour Saint-Christophe. Drink this soft, supple Saint-Emilion over the next few years, while the fruit retains its juiciness. (AG)" (1/2016)
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Coming from a downright hot vintage, this wine offers quite pure aromas of black currant and black fruit. The palate brings more of the same, giving a very pure unencumbered-by-new-oak look at Washington Cabernet. Lightly grippy-tannins provide support." (2/2017) K&L Notes: The Charles Smith winery proclaims: "If you like Cabernet dark and rich, this is your sexy beast. Chocolate, dark cherries, tobacco leaf. It continues with earth and stone on an infinite finish."
91 points James Suckling: "Ripe dark cherries with some blueberry, leather and licorice. Opens up with orange blossom and violets. Really sweet and pretty fruit on the palate with a nice juicy acidity and fine tannins. Vibrant and fresh with medium body and length. Charming and enjoyable but a bit tight and bitter in the finish." (3/2013) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Features a toasty frame, lead by notes of mocha and ganache. Sleek steeped currant and blackberry fruit sit at the core, with a vibrant graphite edge driving the finish. Solid. Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2022. (JM, Web-2013)" Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "An att ...Read More »
96 points James Suckling: "Dark currants and berries with walnuts on the nose. Follows through to a full body, integrated tannins and a gorgeous finish. Exciting. Wow." (2/2017) 93 points Vinous: "The 2014 Malescot Saint Exupéry is powerful, rich and explosive. One of the more exuberant, flamboyant Margaux that readers will come across, the Malescot exudes serious depth and intensity. Black cherry, plum, smoke, licorice and dark spice meld into the deep, succulent finish. The 2014 needs time in bottle, but it is impressive and also highly promising. (AG)" (2/2017) 91-93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. This is an attractive, a ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Organically grown, Justin's 2014 Cabernet is rich and full bodied. Black fruit, spice, tobacco, violet and savory herbal notes will satisfy any red wine lover.
90 points Wine Spectator: "Black cherry, plum, graphite and tobacco flavors show good density in this firm, crisp red. Light herbal notes keep it fresh. Grippy, but focused, pure and dense. (TM, Web-2012)" James Suckling: "Sweet strawberries, with citrus undertones follow through to a full body, with delicate tannins and a fresh finish." (2/2012)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Dense blackberry and blueberry-paste scents mesh with dark chocolate, milk chocolate and graphite on the nose of this bottling from the Hahn family. A lush mouthfeel with ample weight unleashes coffee and mocha flavors, blueberry and black cherry fruit, with hints of fudge and a sweet oak touch." (9/2016) Connoisseurs Guide: "*GOOD VALUE* Tending to berries as much as to the classic cassis of Cabernet Sauvignon, but a wine that sports fine fruity volume with a nice dollop of sweet oak lending no small measure of richness, this balanced, moderately full-bodied wine is structure ...Read More »
Classic Coonawarra Cab packed full of blue fruit with lovely tobacco notes and whiffs of mint and eucalyptus. The fruit has great drive and purity. I think Coonawarra is one of the best areas for Cabernet in Australia and this bottle shows why for a pretty inexpensive price. Made by a small family owned operation the Raidis Family. (Ryan Woodhouse - K&L Aussie Wine Buyer).
91 points Wine Spectator: "*#25 on Top 100 of 2016, Best Values* Enticing aromas of violet, black currant and rosemary are accented by licorice and tobacco flavors in this fluid and harmonious red, with fine tannins gracing the long finish. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now through 2022. (BS)" (11/2016)
94 points James Halliday: "Medium crimson-purple; a totally delicious second label, full of supple, sweet cassis and plum fruit, the tannins superfine, the oak precisely where it should be." (1/2014) 90 points Vinous: "Deep ruby. A complex, perfumed bouquet evokes fresh dark berries and peppery spices, with hints of tobacco and vanilla emerging with aeration. Juicy, incisive blackcurrant and bitter cherry flavors stretch out slowly and become sweeter with air. Shows very good clarity and lift on the persistent finish, which is given shape by harmonious tannins. This blend is already approachable, espe ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Blueberry, blackberry and cherry aromas with hints of walnuts. Medium to full body, velvety tannins and a fresh finish. Like the energy to this. Drink now, but this will improve with age." (1/2017) Vinous: "Buehler's 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is a soft, pleasing wine to drink now and over the next few years. Mocha and expressive spice notes add character to this dark, fruit-driven, open-knit Cabernet Sauvignon. (AG)" (12/2016) Wine Enthusiast: "Structured with firm, sticky tannin, this wine is built to age and impress over time, dusted with mocha and spicy black cherry flavor. Moderate ...Read More »
Chateau Ste. Michelle crafts their Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon to highlight concentrated Washington red fruit in an accessible style. One of the warmest seasons in decades, 2014 in eastern Washington was ideal for growing Cabernet grapes. This is an inviting red wine, versatile with anything from a cheese platter to a sumptuous roast.
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Made for broad release, this wine impresses for its rounded, approachable layers of dried herb and anise, the tannin and oak lightly applied. Blended with 10% Merlot, it finds a jolt of richness on the finish, a showcase for notions of chocolate, cherry and blackberry." (2/2017) K&L Notes: About the producer: "Since the inaugural vintage of our Decoy Napa Valley Red Wine almost a quarter century ago, Decoy has taken an important place in the Duckhorn Wine Company family of wines. With a reputation for delivering great quality at a remarkable price, Decoy has establis... Read More »
Full disclosure here... I have always considered Jacob's Creek as more of a big grocery store brand and haven't often carried the wines at K&L. However if there is one thing I've learned being a wine buyer it's to always be prepared to change your opinion and to let your palate do the decision making. I was quite simply blown away by the value for the money this Cab delivers. Two Lands is a collaborative project between Jacob's Creek and one of my longtime favorite Californian wine makers, Ehren Jordan of Turley/Failla fame! This is rocking Cab that coul... Read More »