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K&L Staff Recommendations
1997 Potensac, Médoc $24.99
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 »
Jancis Robinson: "From a 41-ha vineyard planted on high-lying gravel croupes. Vineyards are densely planted with 6,000 vines/ha and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. Vines are on average 35 years old and the grapes were hand-harvested. One-third new French oak was used in maturation. Capbern Gasqueton has belonged to the Gasqueton family for 10 generations. They also own Calon-Ségur and this wine was made by the talented Calon-Ségur cellar team. Invitingly rich, warm dark fruit, some oak sweetness, particularly on the palate, though the fruit driv ...Read More »
90-91 points James Suckling: "I really like the polished tannins with mineral, berry and violet character. Full and round. Beautiful. This is next to Sociando Mallet." (4/2011) Wine Spectator: "Has the ripeness of the vintage, with a dark core of plum and cassis guided by solid, well-integrated tannins that let black licorice and Black Forest cake notes play out on the finish. (Web-2013)" K&L Notes: This rich and layered Cru Bourgeois offers generous aromas of vanilla and dark fruit, which follow through to the palate along with a powerful dose of structure. Cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petit verdot and malbec.
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. Won Best Of Class, Gold Medal, in the Los Angeles Wine & Spirits Competition, 2013.
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 »
Our customers know us for delivering great finds in everyday, value wines, as well as for perfectly aged, old Bordeaux. And affordable, aged Bordeaux from a Pauillac-based château for less than $12? Oui.
91 points Wine Spectator: "Rock solid, with a gutsy frame of roasted apple wood and a full-bodied core of plum, boysenberry and black currant fruit. Dense and chewy, displaying spice-studded grip on the finish that courses along vivaciously. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2020. (Web only - 2013)" 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "From a property owned by Patrick Bernard of négociant Millésima, this shows the results of considerable investment during the recent years. The wood dominates at this early stage, but it also shows complex fruit to balance the spice and toast ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Rich and dense, the wine has the fruitiness of the vintage along with a core of firmer tannins. Its black currant and berry flavors are right up front adding perfume to the acidity. Drink from 2016." (12/2013) Wine Spectator: "Light, with modest grip framing the dark cherry, tomato and tobacco notes." (12/2013)
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.
91 points James Suckling: "A little austere but shows chocolate, blueberry and hints of spices. Full body. Chewy. Needs about two or three years of bottle age." (7/2014) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another of my favorite estates from the southern part of the Medoc, Macau, this Haut-Medoc cru bourgeois is a blend of 54% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot. The alcohol was 14% and the wine bottled unfined and unfiltered by its consulting oenologist, the brilliant Claude Gros. Wonderfully dark ruby/purple in color, with loads of sweet berry fruit as well as hints of licorice and charcoal, the wine ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Lots of ripe fruit with hints of cheese and earth on the nose. Full body, with velvety tannins that are round and intense. Serious density of fruit here. Better in a year or two." (7/2014) 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good full red. Redcurrant, mocha and cedary, smoky oak on the ripe nose, with a hint of peppery lift. Lush, ripe and concentrated, offering a dense, thick texture for this wine and a hint of salty herbs. Nicely subtle and perfumed in the mouth. Finishes with suave tannins and sneaky length. A sleeper of the vintage, for drinking over the next 15 years. (ST)" (7/2012) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Still young, with its dry tannins, this is a wine that has developed depth and concentration over the last 3-4 years. It has power, the berry fruits driving through the structure to give a layered, attractive, serious finish. (RV)" (6/2011) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Deep ruby/plum/purple, with more sweetness to its fruit than normal, the 2005 Fourcas Hosten displays minerality, earth, spice, blackcurrants, and touches of oak and forest notes. (RP)" (6/2015) Wine Spectator: "Blackberry and mineral aromas and flavors follow through to a medium-to-full body, with chewy tannins and a m ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "This has a good sappy feel, with kirsch and cherry preserves flavors laced with a pepper note and a lively tobacco streak. Shows a stony edge on the finish. Drink now through 2015. (JM)" (5/2012) K&L Notes: Not to be confused with the Napoleonic museum (Château de Malmaison) located just west of Paris, the 24 hectare Château Malmaison in Moulis, Gironde, was purchased by the Rothschilds in 1973 and lies adjacent to Château Clarke. The abandoned vineyard was renovated between 1974 and 1978, its soils now yielding distinctive and harmonious wines that are mellow, fruit... Read More »
Just north of Pomerol, the Lalande-de-Pomerol is known for lush, Merlot-dominant wines of great value. In 2012, Pomerol and surrounding regions produced some of the best reds in Bordeaux. Praise from Wine Spectator for a previous vintage of this bottle: "This plump red offers round cherry and plum flavors, with notes of vanilla and spice. An herbal edge gives this supple wine a traditional character." (2012)
Jancis Robinson: "Vanilla-laced dark fruit. More cedary on the palate. Rich, chewy and satisfying with very soft finish." (10/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "An excellent blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, this wine offers attractive value for its superb quality. The wine has a dense ruby/purple color, nice cedary blackcurrant fruit, medium body and surprisingly soft, well-integrated tannins. This sleeper of the vintage should drink nicely for 5-8 years. (RP)" (4/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "The dominance of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend of this structured wine gives strong tannins and tight ...Read More »
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.
When young, the wines of Château Lanessan are typically a deep, intense ruby color, with an elegant nose and fruity, floral aromas. On the palate, the structure is complex and dense, melting away harmoniously to a good, long finish. When they are older, the wines take on a terracotta tint and the nose becomes increasingly complex, with the appearance of plummy, then undergrowth aromas. The flavors are smooth, warm and perfectly harmonious, ending with silky tannins. This fifteen-year-old bottle is drinking perfectly now! According to Robert Parker: "This... Read More »
89-91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Big, bold, tannic wine, the dry core of tannins leavened by the black currant juice acidity. There is some extraction and a strong wood element, although the wine does profit from its freshness." (6/2011) 90 points James Suckling: "Lovely aromas of flowers and berries follow through to a full body, with fine tannins and a fresh finish. So drinkable now but better in 2016." (3/2013) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Slightly deeper than its sibling namesake, Fourcas Dupre, the 2010 Fourcas Hostens exhibits some notes of cigar smoke, red currants, roasted herbs in a straightforward, slightly deeper style. Drink it over ...Read More »
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 »
The second label of Grand Enclos du Château de Cérons. A selection from their younger vines. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot.
90 points Wine Spectator: "***Smart Buys*** Offers a dark, plush feel, with roasted fig and warm currant preserves notes flowing over dark tobacco and bittersweet cocoa flavors, followed by a solid, tarry-edged finish. Drink now through 2019." (3/2012) Jancis Robinson: "60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot. Intense and savoury-edged cassis with a very light leafiness adding freshness. Tight, tense and grippy at the moment but with the fruit to fill the core." (9/2011) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 is made from a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot. Attractive loamy soil not ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Second wine of Chateau Carignan.
90-93 points Wine Spectator: "Pure and direct, with a textbook beam of cassis and bitter cherry notes, laced with lilac and iron hints. The racy, unencumbered finish lets the mineral edge shine. Lots of improvement here recently. This may be the best value play in the vintage." (4/2015) 90-92 points Vinous: "A delicious, mouth filling St. Estèphe, the 2014 Capbern captures the personality of the year in the northern Médoc in spades. Hints of smoke, tobacco, licorice, mocha and earthiness wrap around a core of dark fruit in an exuberant wine loaded with pure textural richness. The 2014 finishes with notable ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Revealing abundant minerality as well as a leaner, tighter style than the 2010's with less mass, extraction and power, this elegant, medium-bodied 2008 exhibits raspberry and black currant fruit, cedar, loamy soil and a hint of spice box. It should be consumed over the next 3-4 years. (RP)" (5/2011) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright, dark red. Redcurrant, tobacco and menthol on the nose. Broad, sweet and fairly full in the mouth, with a fine grain to the flavors of currant, tobacco, herbs and earth. Not especially complex or structured but nicely made. The finish features broad, ri ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Fully ripe dark fruit. Lightly perfumed. Good harmony on the mid palate, lightish but refined and fresh. Maybe the tannins are just slightly drying on the finish." (10/2014)
Jancis Robinson: "Deepest crimson. Lively, juicy and very moreish. Not terribly long but attractive, chewy, wholesome and digestible. Drink 2016-2022." (4/2013) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Ruby-red. Red cherry, blackcurrant, cinnamon and violet on the enticing nose. Bright, fresh and juicy in the mouth, with a floral nuance to the delicate red berry and mineral flavors. Lively acidity provides lift and cut on the long finish. A straightforward but well-made wine with no harsh tannins or green notes. (ID)" (6/2013)
93-94 points James Suckling: "This is a stunning barrel sample with oyster shells, blackberries, chalk, blueberries. Full body, great density of fruit and power. Best yet?" (3/2015) 90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Tour Saint Christophe 2014 has a very pure bouquet. There is some new oak to be subsumed, but there is plenty of fruit to support it. The palate is ripe and sensual on the entry with supple tannin, plush black cherry and blackberry fruit with a generous, modern-style opening with commendable length. This could turn out to be one of Saint Emilion's classier offerings in 2014. (NM)" (4/2015) 88-91 points Vinous: "The 201 ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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: "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 »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A decent effort in this tough vintage for some of the Médoc wines, Lanessan’s 2012 has some nice suppleness to the tannin, cranberry and black cherry fruit, plum and blackcurrants. It is medium-bodied with earth, herbs and spice. Drink it over the next decade. (RP)" (4/2015) K&L Notes: * A very fruity and tasty style. Another great value from what Robert Parker calls a "consistent property that turns out wines that are often very close to classified-growth quality."
Château Bois-Malot is located in St. 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.
Jancis Robinson: "Slightly peppery fruit and fragrant mid palate. Firm tannins but still pretty well balanced and showed well after a run of right-bank richness. Drink 2014-2023." (10/2011) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of the better Clarkes ever made, this wine from the cool, backwater appellation of Listrac displays serious density, an opaque ruby/purple color, and lots of earth, black currants and raspberries. Drink it over the next 10-12 years." (2/2012) Wine Spectator: "This delivers a direct beam of red and black currant fruit, liberally laced with tobacco and roasted cedar notes that hang through the lightly fi ...Read More »
Decanter: "*Highly Recommended* Lovely perfumed blackcurrant fruit. Very stylish, boasting rich harmony and power. Approachable now but try to wait as it will improve. Drink from 2012." (1/2010) Jancis Robinson: "Richer and more toasty than the Fourcas-Dupré and sweeter fruit on the mid palate. Dusty light texture and dryish finish. (JH)" (10/2009) K&L Notes: This property has been bought by the Hermes people - the renovation is stunning and the wine is delicious. Usually rustic, this wine is now making easy drinking, elegant wines-like a Hermes scarf.
Decanter: "Fine deep colour, rather earthy, vegetal fruit, definite Cabernet dominance, quite good length, just shows an edge of leanness, but quite good Médoc style. Drink 2006-12 (SS)" (4/2003) K&L Notes: From gravel-rich vineyards of the Médoc, this Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend is soften by the addition of Merlot and Petit Verdot, and aged for 12 months in oak barrels. Solid and structured, young but ready to drink now, this wine is an excellent value as an "everyday Bordeaux." One of the few delicious 2002s in Clyde's view.
Inventory: San Francisco
89-91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Barrel sample.* This chateau has been newly acquired by the Barton family of Léoville Barton. It's an attractive, fruity wine with warm tannins. The palate is fine and juicy, and finishes softly at the end." (4/2013) K&L Notes: In 2011, the Barton family (already famous for their Leoville and Langoa properties) purchased Chateau Mauvesin from the Baritaults who had owned the estate for four generations. The sale gave Lilian Barton-Sartorius her first property outside of St. Julien, where the Bartons have made world-class Bordeaux for almost 200 years. With 2012 as t... Read More »
91-94 points Vinous: "The 2014 Labégorce is round, supple and nicely layered. Smoke, plums, black cherries and French oak meld together in a ripe, racy Margaux built on textured fruit. Sweet floral notes add lift on the layered, sensual finish. This voluptuous Margaux should drink well pretty much upon release. There is a lot to like, that much is clear. The blend is 58% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot. Michel Rolland is the Consultant for Labégorce, which is owned by the Perrodo family. Here, the winemaking style appears to be better suited to the intrinsi ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Siran 2014 has perhaps the most sophisticated bouquet that I have encountered at this stage from this upcoming estate. There is real definition and focus here, more precision than recent vintages have shown. The palate is medium-bodied with tensile tannin. There is good acidity, energetic and animated in the mouth with a vivacious finish that has class. This is very promising for the future and it may warrant a higher score in bottle. Hopefully proprietor Edouard Miailhe now has the grand Margaux estate on the right tracks after years of inco ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
90 points Wine Spectator: "Polished and alluring, with black tea, dense plum and blackberry fruit, followed by a long, licorice- and tar-filled finish that glides along with surprisingly polished structure. An echo of smoky tobacco lingers as well, and this offers good range and depth. Best from 2014 through 2021. 8,500 cases made. –JM" (1/2013) Jancis Robinson: "Dark purple. Very intense nose and colour. Sweet, perfumed start with a little oak influence. Lots of flesh and less freshness than some. Marked structure." (5/2011) James Suckling: "Aromas of ripe fruit with prunes, spice and berries. Full body with velvety t ...Read More »
Second label of Chateau Poujeaux. As noted by Stephen Tanzer, "This large chateau, among the finest properties in Moulis, was purchased in 2008 by Philippe Cuvelier, who also owns Clos Fourtet. The same team of manager Nicolas Thienpont and enologist Stephane Derenoncourt was responsible for superb 2009s at both estates." Clyde's notes-Toasting, oaky aromas. After decanting the wine opens up to a red fruit forward beauty.
90 points James Suckling: "Aromas of spices, plums and strawberries follow through to a medium to full body, velvety tannins and a bright finish. Hints of vanilla on the finish. Better in 2017." (2/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Leveque family has hit pay dirt again with this 2012 Graves. An inky, bluish/purple color, and an equal part blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, the wine shows terrific fruit, great purity, graphite and underlying earthy burning ember notes. It has medium body and loads of fruit, depth and light tannin in the finish, showing this wine can be drunk early, or cellared for up t ...Read More »
This is the second wine of Château Pedescalux, a Pauillac property that offers a lot of bang for your buck. The Fleur de Pedesclaux is softer and more approachable, but in the same modern style, with plenty of fruit but softer tannins. A blend of 50% Cab, 45% Merlot, and 5% Cab Franc. This property is on a roll. (Clyde Beffa, K&L Staff Member)
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This is a lovely Cru Bourgeois: very pure and feminine on the nose with crisp red berries, redcurrant and candied orange peel. The palate is fleshy but not cloying with layers of ripe sweet red fruit, leading to a very lithe sensual finish where the oak is supremely well integrated. Bravo! (NM)" (1/2012) K&L Notes: Château Le Bourdieu is situated close to the mouth of the Gironde and is planted to half Cabernet Sauvignon and half Merlot. The river helps balance temperature and humidity and contributes to a gentle ripening process. The wine is fermented in steel and c... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* The wine has serious tannins and firm fruit that give an austere character at this stage. But it will develop and round out into a rich wine with ripe black fruits, always with a solid tannic structure. Owner Juliette Bécot manages the technical side here with consultant Jean-Philippe Fort from the Michel Rolland lab, and manages marketing at classed-growth Château Beauséjour-Bécot in nearby Saint-Émilion." (12/2014) 90 points James Suckling: "Fresh and silky red with blueberry, mineral and floral character. Medium body, fine tannins and a clean finish. Extremely well don ...Read More »