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K&L Staff Recommendations
1997 Potensac, Médoc $24.99
2012 L'Avocat Rouge, Graves $15.99
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Appealing aromas of cocoa, vanilla and spice intermingle with dark fruit. The palate brings plenty of the same, with pleasing richness and texture to the flavors, and lots of hang time on the finish." (9/2015)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Incorporating 8% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec, the 2012 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is another terrific wine from this estate that shows the house style with its plump, soft, fruit-forward personality. Giving up lots of currants, licorice, dried herbs and tobacco leaf, I suspect this is best consumed over the coming 4-5 years, but w ...Read More »
Wow! An insane value in Cabernet from famed (Jimmy Watson Trophy Winner) winemaker Jeremy Gordon. Trellis is a new line of wines from Margaret River-based Amelia Park. The fruit, as with all of Amelia Park's wines, is sourced from some of the best vineyards in the region. Most producers in this ultra-premium wine region charge top dollar for their wines, how Amelia Park can deliver this level of quality, for these tiny prices, continues to amaze me. Jeremy makes beautiful, pure, fruit driven wines with excellent richness, balance and polish. This is just... Read More »
89-92 points Wine Spectator: "Pretty blueberry and flowers on the nose. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a long finish. Lots going on. Big wine for the appellation. Best in a long time from here. (Web-2010)" Decanter: "Purposeful aromas of plum, berry and oak. Pure with a lovely depth, freshness and drive. Quite lean, linear and attractive fruit. Hugely impressive - fresh, direct and comfortable in its skin." (5/2012) Jancis Robinson: "50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc. Deeply coloured. Invitingly rich and dark on the nose. Pure fruited, a little dusty in a good way, and already silky even tho ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Dark glowing crimson. Grunty, very concentrated. Arguably the miracle here is to find a wine from Jean-Hubert Delon under £20. And one you could actually think of drinking too. This should certainly appeal to classicists—especially those knowledgeable enough to know it’s related to the most expensive super second of all, Léoville Las Cases." (9/2011) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A soft, cedary, herbaceous, but pleasant, round, elegant style of wine, with berry and red currant fruit, and a smooth finish... (R)=P)" (4/2000) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good ruby-red. Smoky aromas of plum and leather. Lush, smooth and ...Read More »
90-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another stunner from the team at Charles Smith, the 2013 Substance is a Cabernet Sauvignon dominated blend that comes from the higher elevation vineyards of Goose Ridge and Frenchman Hills. Harvested in early November and aged in 40-50% new French oak, it sports gorgeous aromas and flavors of cassis, violets, pencil shavings and tobacco/herbs to go with a medium to full-bodied, layered, rich and beautifully balanced profile on the palate. Scheduled to be bottled in December, it tastes like a wine that taste 3-4 times what this is going for. It is a knock ...Read More »
Château Bois-Malot is located in Saint Loubes and situated on the shoreline of the Dordogne River. The soils are clay and light limestone with a subsoil of red pebbles and clay. The blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 20% Cabernet Franc. It is aged for eighteen months in large vats and then an additional six months in oak.
90 points James Suckling: "Blueberry and fresh mushrooms, with hints of earth. Medium-to-full body, with medium chewy tannins and a medium finish. A little austere. Second wine of Cantermerle, which made a super 2009. Best in 2015." (2/2012) K&L Notes: This second wine of Château Cantemerle is primarily sourced from younger vine parcels from the esteemed estate. The wine has a similar profile to the Grand Vin, but is ready to drink within several years of harvest. That's now! A quick decant reveals generous fruit and and good terroir that is always welcome for under $20. The blend is 61% Caber... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A California Côtes du Rhône look-alike, the 2012 Mountain Cuvée is a blend of 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 8% Zinfandel and the rest small dollops of Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Malbec aged 14 months in mostly French oak. It reveals spicy, peppery, meaty notes intermixed with hints of Provençal herbs, dense black cherry and plum-like fruit, medium to full body, an attractive texture, and a seductive finish. Drink it over the next several years. (RP)" (11/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "An unidentified mix of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot sourced from throughout t ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. Cherries and a slight mocha note. Dense and savoury on the palate. Firm grip but fully ripe tannins. Needs a good bit of time. Drink 2015-2025. (JH)" (9/2011) James Suckling: "wine with a leafy and creamy character with hints of dried fruits. Full body, chewy tannins and a medium finish. Better in 2015." (7/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A sleeper of the vintage, this well-made Medoc reveals lots of cedar, tobacco leaf and black currant characteristics, silky tannin, medium to full body and attractive succulence and flesh. Year in and year out, d’Escurac is a majo ...Read More »
Rudy Von Strasser may have got his start in the wine business as an intern at prestigious Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, but he hasn't let his head, or his prices, ascend into the stratosphere. The wine is made up of 100% Diamond Mountain fruit, some of which comes off the Von Strasser Estate. This is a concentrated, elegant, and eminently drinkable Cab delivering more-than-everyday quality for a fantastic price. From the winery: "This bold Cabernet Sauvignon has great perfume of violets. Intertwining aromas of blueberry,cassis and coffee all lead into a ric... Read More »
Great Price - Just Reduced! Last year’s Ancient Peaks/K&L Zinfandel bottling was such a hit with our staff and customers that we could have done another vintage of it and we all would have been incredibly happy. However, that would be too easy, and that is simply not the K&L way. I started talking to the folks at AP early this year when we began the discussion about doing another bottling together. We both knew that we wanted to, but I really wanted to show off the winery's incredible Cabernet vines and I didn’t know if they had enough Cab to let us have... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "There are 100,000 bottles of this beautiful sleeper of the vintage, which offers terrific value. The proprietor is the son of Bernard Magrez, who has crafted a blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc. Fruity and Bordeaux-like, with notes of tobacco leaf, blueberries, black raspberries and incense, this explosively fruity, delicious, complex wine is relatively easy to consume yet should continue to drink well for 7-8 years, if not longer. (RP)" (2/2013) Wine Spectator: "A forward, flattering style, offering quite lush raspberry and plum sauce ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Coming from a vineyard first planted by Mondavi in the late 1990s, this well-priced and widely available wine shows blackberry, violets, black pepper and just snapped dark chocolate on the nose. Fresh, lively black cherries and blueberries meld with fennel, tarragon and lots of herbal spice, all held together by smooth tannins." (11/2015) Antonio Galloni: "Bright ruby. Lively aromas of redcurrant, cherry and peppery spices, with a subtle tobacco nuance emerging slowly. Tangy and focused on the palate, offering bitter cherry and spicecake flavors and a sugg ...Read More »
Decanter: "Lean but pure blackcurrant nose with attractive touch of mint. Ripe tannins, discreet, fine acidity, balanced and graceful." (10/2007) Jancis Robinson: "Very dark. Quite dramatic. Sweet and rich - I would have guessed 2003 blind. Very sweet and could be very satisfying up in the air (written at a BA tasting). A little lacking in freshness on the ground but good for flying. A bit overripe on the nose and very slightly bretty? Sweet cassis gums and cuts off a little at the end." (1/2009) Wine Spectator: "Shows currant and hints of dried flowers on the nose. Medium-bodied, with velvety tannins a ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Parcela 7 Gran Reserva is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot and 10% Cabernet Franc aged in French and American oak for 18 months (second fill). It has a subtle red currant and blackberry-scented bouquet with touches of sous-bois and bell pepper that are very attractive. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and pure red berry fruit mixed with black pepper, sage and cured meats. It is very well-balanced and fresh, the finish supple and in tune with the oak. This is very fine and, again, should age nicely ov ...Read More »
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Inky purple. Spicy cherry and dark berry aromas are deepened by notes of bitter chocolate, vanilla and espresso. Peppery, sharply focused cherry and blackberry flavors show a slight bitterness but possess good energy. Finishes with a strong cherry skin quality and good length." (9/2012) K&L Notes: The Eguren family is a well-known name in Spain, having made successful reds at everything from the $5 level on up to collectible Riojas. Produced from a 25-year-old Cabernet vineyard in the Vino de la Tierra de Castilla appellation (a large swath of land in the autonom... Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "A solid red with ripe plum, cherry and vanilla character. Full and savory with round and ripe tannins and a long, intense finish. Approachable, but better in 2015." (7/2012) 89-91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel sample. Solidly packed tannins, very firm and structured, a feeling of considerable extract as well as a high toast content." (8/2010)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A major sleeper of the vintage, this blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot is another 'best ever' performance. Notes of tobacco leaf, hot rocks, sweet kirsch and black currants are impressively displayed in this medium to full-bodied, ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Attractive freshness on the nose. Not desperately complex but ready to drink. Solid if a bit dry." (7/2009) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Sweet cherry, dusty, loamy soil, and forest floor-like characteristics make an appearance in this medium-bodied, elegant, pretty, but somewhat superficial 2004. Enjoy its charm and suppleness over the next 5-6 years." (6/2007)
Martin Ray specializes in crafting Cabernet Sauvignon from the most esteemed sub-appellations of Napa, Sonoma, and the Santa Cruz Mountains, and offers an amazing value over what you'd usually pay for such wines. 80% of this vintage is from the Stags Leap District, and is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 6% Malbec and 4% Petite Sirah. The winery's tasting notes: "This complex but sophisticated Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from some of the most sought-after regions in the Napa Valley showcases its roots from many of its mountain sources. Featuring ent... Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Light nose. Racy and transparent and early maturing but clean and focused. Very Cabernet. Not fleshy. (Good Value)" (9/2011) James Suckling: "Soft and drinkable now with plums and berries. Full body, velvety tannins and a delicious finish." (7/2014) Wine Spectator: "A smoldering tobacco leaf edge runs from start to finish, lending a nice foil to the core of mulled plum and blackberry fruit. Shows a flash of pepper on the finish." (5/2012) K&L Notes: A property very close to Pauillac that is one to watch in the future. Well-made, valu... Read More »
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I think the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon will be even better, and it has more depth and texture, with gorgeous blackcurrants, violets, licorice and smoked earth all emerging from the glass. The texture here is really something, and this should be a smoking value. Made from 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and the balance Malbec and Petit Verdot, it will have 10-12 years of longevity. (JD)" (8/2014)
Olema is produced by the folks at Amici Cellars. Fruit was sourced from select vineyards around Sonoma County and blended with a splash of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.The wine was aged for more than a year in 30% new French oak before bottling.
92 points Wine Spectator: "Combines firm, dark fruit and chewy tannins with a measure of finesse and refinement. Ends with gripping, cedary tannins, bolstered by good length and depth. Drink now through 2024." (4/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "This chewy, still-tight Cabernet is full-bodied on the palate, revealing savory, herbaceous characteristics. Made in a robust style, it’s approachable and enjoyable now." (4/2015)
Wine Spectator: "Dark and winey, with charcoal and tobacco notes framing the core of dark plum, steeped black currant and fig fruit flavors. The tight-grained finish is tinged with iron accents. (Web Only—2012)" K&L Notes: Owned by Celine Villars of Chasse Spleen fame, this property is making great value reds. This 2009 has tons of red fruit flavors and a rich, smooth finish. Great value at under $20 a bottle. This was a big hit at the recent Sopexa Bordeaux event.
Just 87 cases of the Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon were produced in this 2011 vintage by Relyea-Wood. Their boutique winery sits on Montebello Road in Cupertino, where the gravity flow cellar sits adjacent to the estate vines overlooking Silicon Valley and not far from Ridge Vineyards. The 2011 growing season was fairly cool and the fruit was harvested in late October.
91-93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Barrel sample. This is a densely tannic wine with juiciness showing quite tardily through the tannins. The wine has a very dry, firm character with acidity that finishes on a bright, fresh note." (4/2013)90 points James Suckling: "Some berry and currant character with hints of sandalwood follows through to a medium body, integrated tannins and a clean finish. This is well crafted for the vintage. Drink or hold." (2/2015) Jancis Robinson: "Ripe dark-fruit aroma with just a slight leafy lift. Lovely freshness and gentle harmony. No shouting but everything in place. Juicy fresh finish." (10/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A blend o ...Read More »
Lyeth's Meritage is a blend of the five red Bordeaux varietals with 58% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Malbec, 11% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. With grapes sourced from select vineyards across Sonoma County, it is the flagship wine of the estate and delivers an excellent value. From the winery: "A brilliant garnet in color, this Meritage is rich with aromas of dark cherry, plum, and boysenberry with subtle notes of mocha and cedar completing the nose. Flavors of blackberry and anise are lush and pronounced on the palate and are followed by hi... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Columbia Crest's H3 Cabernet Sauvignon is a perennial value and very, very tough to beat at this price.
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 stellar 2013 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 2013 Joel Gott 815 Cabernet Sauvignon has aromatics of mocha, roasted blue fruits, plums, and cherry spice. The wine enters sweet ... Read More »
95 points Decanter: "Gorgeously refined, almost French in style. Typical Vista Flores notes of violets, lavender, tobacco and black pepper on the nose. The palate is medium to full-bodied with very fine-grained, classy tannins. Fruit characters on the palate are more dried fruit than lush and primary. Lovely age-worthy Cabernet." (12/2014) K&L Notes: Antucura has proven themselves quite adept at producing purely fruited reds (both Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon) that express their Vista Flores origins, as well as a deft touch in the cellar. Their wines are expressive, extraordinarily supp... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "The Cabernet is stiffened up with small amounts of Petit Verdot, Cab Franc and Malbec, resulting in a firm, herbal, but very well-balanced Bordeaux-style blend. There’s compact cassis fruit, streaked with light stem, earth and herb. This is a wine that should improve with bottle age through 2019." (7/2014)90 points Antonio Galloni: "(14.4% alcohol): Bright ruby-red. High-pitched aromas of cassis, black cherry, licorice, menthol and violet. More tightly coiled and backward than the Seven Hills Vineyard Merlot, showing distinctly darker flavors of black cherry, bitter chocolate and li ...Read More »
Charles Smith, he of the "Kung Fu Girl" Riesling, offers a new Columbia Valley classic Cab in the sweet spot: take it seriously, but get change for your twenty. 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot, 1% Malbec. Have with roasted leg of lamb with rosemary-mustard sauce.
91 points James Suckling: "A young red with a solid core of fruit with blueberry and light chocolate character. Full body, with slightly chewy tannin structure and well-framed palate. Very well done for this estate. This shows nicely now but will be better in two or three years." (3/2013) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A relatively soft, round, generously endowed wine with oodles of sweet kirsch fruit, a hint of black currants, herbs and loamy soil notes, this blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc was cropped at 35 hectoliters per hectare. Just over 1000 cases were made, and it tips the scales at 14.5% alcoh ...Read More »
Mike Berthoud worked under Richard Arrowood at Chateau St. Jean, then was winemaker at Arrowood Winery. After 15 years at Arrowood, Mike moved on to Mayo Family Winery. Ursus is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petite Verdot. Winemaker's notes: "As always all of the grapes used to produce the blend are grown on the Berthoud estate. Ursus is the Latin word for Bear, while Berthoud is pronounced Bear-2. Just like the bear, Ursus is a muscular wine while maintaining an elegant balance. It is an old world style wine that is b... Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "This is a Cabernet with dark berry, chocolate and hazelnut character. Full body, fine tannins and a delicious finish. Balanced. The wood and fruit are in harmony. Drink or hold." (8/2014)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Grillos Cantores Cabernet Sauvignon uses grapes from the Grillos Cantores (singing crickets) vineyard in the Alto Cachapoal on calcareous gravels, the blend of four different micro-terroirs, fermented and aged in cement vats. It has a pure, Graves-like aroma, without interference from wood. It is delineated and pure, with bright notes of cassis, raspberry leaf an ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa is also outstanding. Rich and dense with lots of crème de cassis and a hint of forest floor presented in a full-bodied, deep, lusty, opulent style, it can be enjoyed over the next decade. (RP)" (10/2014)
94 points Wine & Spirits: "*Best Buy* Beringer has made wine from Knights Valley, northwest of Napa, since the late 1970s, and now farms 500 acres of grapes on the cobbly soils that have sloughed off of the volcanic hillsides above. This 2012 is a bundle of energy, the structure tight and stony, the fruit pure, its bold and refreshing black raspberry tone interlaced with aromas that suggest resinous pine needles and a hint of smoked tea. It’s bright and accessible enough to decant now, but in ten years, it will be a rich, savory pleasure to open for prime rib." (10/2015)90 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Ca ...Read More »
Connoisseurs Guide: "*Good Value* It may not come with a sense of high pedigree, and it is admittedly a bit light on stuffing, but this well- scrubbed, moderately fruity wine hits the varietal marks that very few Cabernets of its price do. It is medium-full-bodied, slightly rounded in feel and consistently keeps defined fruit in its sights, and its gentle, nicely integrated tannins makes it one that can be comfortably enjoyed in the near- to mid-term." (12/2014)
Great wines at very good prices. That is what you get from Foxglove. This is a side project from Bob and Jim Varner, who bring us the great wines from the Varner and Neely labels. The Foxglove Cabernet is amazingly well balanced. Beautiful berry and cassis fruits with nicely integrated tannins and just a hint of earthy tannin. Tremendous value.
Wine Spectator: "A wine of substance and density, firm, rich and concentrated, with a tight core of mineral and gravel-laced dark berry, espresso, cedar and graphite flavors, ending with dry, chewy tannins." (7/2015)
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Rich while also structured, this is beginning to be delicious. Acidity comes from the black currant fruits while the structure shows dense tannins and wood-aging flavors. The wine is still young and prepared for a long haul, so don’t drink before 2018." (12/2014) K&L Notes: Chateau des Annereaux, a benchmark for the entire Lalande de Pomerol appellation, has been owned for six centuries (more than twenty generations) by the same family. The Annereaux family appears in the history of the region in 1450.
You need look no further than Graves for a screamingly good example of ready-to-drink, Merlot-based red. Tobacco, oak and black currant aromas exude from this value-driven Bordeaux, that drinks like a bottle three times the price.
Pro tip: When looking for a great value wine, try the appellation next door to the heavy hitters. You often get similar growing conditions and fruit for a fraction of the price. Puisseguin-St-Émilion is a small appellation on the right bank of the Dordogne, just northeast of St-Émilion. Also dominated by Merlot, these wines are superb everyday drinkers, just screaming to be uncorked next to a juicy burger.
95 points Raymond Chan: "40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 15 months in approx. 35% new French oak. Full, even black-red colour with youthful purple hues. This has a tightly concentrated, penetrating nose of ripe blackberry, blackcurrant and redcurrant fruit aromas unfolding cassis, dark herb, liquorice and minerally detail. The aromatics are presented with precision, focus and depth. Medium-full bodied, the palate is very firmly concentrated with a deep core of ripe black and red berry fruits. Comp ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Precise and bright with blueberries, minerals and violet aromas. Full body plus ultra-fine tannins and a caressing texture. Very, very fine. Drink or hold" (8/2014) K&L Notes: Based in the Maipo Valley just south of Santiago, Santa Ema has been quietly, reliably producing very good value Cabernet Sauvignon for many years now. However, they clearly have re-doubled their efforts, changing up a bit their winemaking approach and the result is this juicy, purely fruited, elegant, medium bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. At 13.5% ABV, it is incredibly delicious and honest Caberne... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Edge (75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec), is composed of grapes from various sources. It exhibits a dense ruby/purple color, lots of fruit, and a round, seductive style with good ripeness and a heady finish. Drink it over the next 6-8 years. (RP)" (10/2014)
From the team at Banshee Wines, best known hereabouts for supplying us with excellently sourced Pinot Noir.