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K&L Staff Recommendations
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The basic offering from proprietor Ramon Castano Santa, who owns a whopping 1,000 acres in Yecla, is the 2012 Hecula, which is sourced from a non-irrigated, single vineyard planted with 100% Monastrell. Aged in both tank and French oak, it comes from 60-80-year-old vines planted in limestone soils at a relatively high elevation of over 1,600 feet. Its opaque purple color is followed by copious aromas of blueberries, black raspberries, camphor, licorice, white flowers and a chalky limestone/dusty character. Full-bodied, rich and well-balanced, it is an in ...Read More »
Too soon? Not for rosé from the Southern Hemisphere, and not for this perennial staff and customer favorite at K&L. This is one of our best-selling and most-raved-about rosés every year. Hand-picked from biodynamically farmed, old Mourvèdre vines in a cool coastal sub-region of Stellenbosch, it's a fresh, elegant wine that does a fantastic impression of Bandol (which is also predominantly made from Mourvèdre), but at a fraction of the cost! Waterkloof is a stunning property working with very natural, non-interventionist methods. The wines are pure, expre... Read More »
Agnes and Henri Gaussen cultivate the vineyard of Château de la Noblesse, which has been in their family for generations. The wine is a blend of 50% Mourvedre, 25% Grenache and 25% Cinsault. The Noblesse Rosé was recently featured in the Forbes Top Twenty Rosés for the 2016 summer season: "This is about as good as it gets in Provence rosé...well almost as good as it gets, and certainly as good as it gets for the money. With its intense purity, its ripe, tangy fruit - thinking melon with a tinge of grapefruit here - and mineral-layered complexity it shows... Read More »
Agnes and Henri Gaussen cultivate the vineyard of Château de la Noblesse, which has been in their family for generations. Bandol is ground zero for wines made of Mourvèdre, and the 2010 exhibits all the dark and brooding personality you could ask of the grape. With notes of blackberry and dark chocolate, plus a firm tannic core, this is begging to be eaten with a hearty lamb stew.
An excellent value from Spain. Monastrell grapes for this wine came from 45-year-old parcels on their estate vineyards. Shallow, chalky soils on a bed of limestone and rock combine with an arid climate to produce the low yields required for wine of this complexity. After harvesting, the deep purple grapes are whole-cluster macerated for 25 days and aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. The wine possesses a very dark cherry color with purple tones. In the nose it has powerful aromas of red berries and smoky tones. The palate displays excellent fruit a... Read More »
Looking for a consistently over-achieving, full-bodied red? How about this for a track record? (all scores from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate) 2003 - 96 points; 2004 - 97 points; 2005 - 95 points; 2006 - 95 points; 2007 - 94 points, 2008 - 94 points, 2009 - 90 points. The wine is a blend of 70% old vine Monastrell and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon that was barrel-aged for 22-26 months in French and American oak. It bears Clio's hallmark opulence, with bold aromas and flavors, a thick, dense palate, and a long finish. A powerful, decadent wine.
91 points Vinous: "Bright purple. An exotically perfumed bouquet displays scents of fresh black and blue fruits, licorice, vanilla and peppery spices. Juicy and incisive on the palate, offering sweet boysenberry and cassis flavors that flesh out on the back half. Sappy and concentrated, yet quite lively, finishing with smooth, shaping tannins and a strong punch. This sexy wine went through malolactic fermentation and was aged in French oak barrels for 20 months. (JR)" (1/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The best is the 2013 Tarima Hill, which is 100% Monastrell from vines planted between 1935-1970 in ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Monastrell Altos de la Hoya is produced from the fruit of dry-farmed, ungrafted, old Monastrell vines and some 5% Garnacha. It fermented with indigenous yeasts in 10,000-liter stainless steel tanks and matured for six to eight months in used barriques and larger oak vats. The nose is clean and textbook Mediterranean with aromas of esparto grass, tree bark, blackberries and thyme, with perfectly integrated oak. The palate feels compact and balanced, with fine tannins and good acidity. I think this shows very well for such a challenging vintage in ...Read More »
97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "There is no 2012 Pie Franco so I tasted the 2013 Pie Franco, the leading old-vine, ungrafted Monastrell wine from Casa Castillo. This is an indigenous wine showing the character of the place, grape and vintage quite transparently. 50% full clusters were foot trodden and fermented in cement vats and aged in used 500-liter barrels. I had the chance to taste the wine a mere week before bottling and it was showing truly superb. It reminded me of a hypothetical blend of 2010 and 2006, perhaps more elegant at this stage, with subtle earth and tree bark aromas ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "There is also a red unoaked 2015 Monastrell kept in cement until bottling where it underwent malolactic after fermenting in stainless steel. It's a nice ruby color, not too dark, with a nose still redolent from the reductive media where it was fermented and possibly the recent bottling. With time it developed some meaty notes not that far from what you often find in northern Rhône reds. The palate is medium-bodied with some tannins to stand up to food. (LG)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: Produced from organically cultivated Monastrell in the D.O. of Valencia, this stainless st... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Light black cherry, turned black loam and dried rose petals show on the nose of this straightforward and earthy bottling. Black raspberry and dark cranberry fruit consume the tart, edgy palate, with shaved licorice, sagebrush and a touch of pine needle completing the savory picture. A good lesson in fresh Mourvèdre." (8/2016) 91 points Vinous: "Opaque ruby. Pungent aromas of dark berries, lavender pastille and succulent herbs, along with building spiciness. Supple and broad on the palate, offering fresh blackberry and bitter cherry flavors and a jolt of cracked pepper. Shows ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
91-93 points Vinous: "Savory herbs, mint, new leather, smoke and tobacco form a hugely attractive tapestry of aromas and flavors in the 2012 Mourvèdre. A dark, mysterious wine, the 2012 is also quite deep, nuanced and impeccable in its balance. There is plenty of varietal character in the glass. Once again, Tablas Creek has turned out a mind-bending number of fabulous wines, from delicious entry-level whites and reds all they way up to the top selections, which remain very reasonably priced considering the quality. General Manager Jason Haas describes 2012 as a vintage with ...Read More »
La Clarine Farm makes their wines as naturally as possible while expressing the terroir of the Sierra Foothills from their estate at 2,500 feet in elevation. They are one of leaders in the new generation of young, inspired "natural" winemakers in the US working to bring viticulture and winemaking back to its roots. This Mourvedre, from grapes grown at the well-established Cedarville Vineyard, is whole cluster fermented, and aged in neutral, large puncheons. (10ppm sulfites added prior to bottling).
Inventory: San Francisco
In 1853 Friedrich Koch planted this Mourvèdre vineyard in the heart of the Barossa Valley in the area now known as Rowland Flat. Nurtured in deep sand over a bed of limestone the vines flourished. By the 1880s the local vignerons had already acknowledged the vineyard as the Old Garden. To the end of the 19th Century, throughout the 20th Century and now into the 21st Century subsequent generations of the Koch family have tended these vines in the traditions of the Barossa: bush vines, no irrigation, hand pruned and hand harvested. Old Garden is likely to ... Read More »
97 points Wine Spectator: "This shows some noticeable maturity at first, with black tea and mulling spice notes out front, but there's a lovely spine of briary tannins and finely beaded acidity that pulls this back to a fresher side as the core of raspberry pâte de fruit slowly wakes up, throwing off additional cherry, currant and plum nuances. By the time this all knits through the finish, you realize it's just a bit too soon to open this beauty. Best from 2020 through 2035. (JM, Web-2016)" 95 points James Suckling: "I am really loving the nose here, sweet ripe fruit, raspberries and strawberries, and flower ...Read More »
99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "We finished the tasting with the inky-purple 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape. A cellar selection by Manfred Krankl (of Sine Qua Non) of mostly Mourvedre, yet with a splash of Grenache and even some white varieties, it was aged in two new 300-liter French oak barrels before being bottled (in magnum only) unfined and unfiltered. It’s a massive, masculine and structured Chateauneuf du Pape that needs to be tasted to be believed. Cassis, creamy licorice, jammy blackberry and crushed flowers are only a few of the nuances here, and it hits the palate with full-bodied ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco