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K&L Staff Recommendations
1977 Graham's Vintage Port $149.99
93 points James Suckling: "Lots of blackcurrants, grapes and lemon zest character. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a long and flavorful finish. It's firm and very tight. Compact structure. Delicious blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah and sangiovese. Better in 2018." (8/2015) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Pure and fresh, boasting black currant and black cherry flavors, with tar and earth details. Lean, almost racy, with vivid acidity driving the long, mineral-tinged finish. Sangiovese, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2017 through 2023. (BS)" (10/2015)
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Ranked #9 in Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2016, Cellar Selection* The home vineyard of Madiran's star, Alain Brumont, has yielded a superb wine that is full of dark tannins and with a considerable ability to age. It is balanced, concentrated and touched by spice and toastiness from the wood aging. In tandem with that are generous fruits within a dense structure that is just beginning to smooth out. Drink from 2018-2038. (RV)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: Alain Brumont is one of the stars of Madiran. In 1979 he inherited his father's estate, Chateau Bouscass... Read More »
If you try to find the exact cepage on this always-fantastic red blend, you might find yourself gazing up at the heavens for an answer, since you won't get one from the winemaker. The Pleiades might be the only super-allocated, cult California wine for under $25, and it's sure to sell out quickly, as previous vintages have. From "one of California's most iconic and mystical winemakers," says Robert Parker: "Sean Thackrey has logged in 20 or more vintages of consistently stunning wines that perhaps say it all with the simple quote on his label: -Sean A. T... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "For many years I have been touting the old-vine red put together by Marietta cellars as one of the great values in all of winedom. I got to taste two of the old-vine reds, Lot 64 and Lot 65, and there is no reason to change my opinion. This is a blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah and mixed Italian blacks. It usually hits about 13.5% alcohol, which is modest, and aged largely in neutral oak and stainless steel. Production is about 30,000 cases and, of course, they sell it like they are giving away free hotcakes it is so delicious. The NV Old Vine Red ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "*Best Values* This creamy red takes a modern tack, with mocha and spice accents to the pureed boysenberry fruit. Bright and balanced, with a lightly chewy finish of moderate length. Negroamaro, Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon. (AN)" (6/2015)
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I'm not sure how you could possibly beat a deal this good. A 90/10 blend of Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera di Lecce, the 2013 Salice Salentino Riserva 50 Vendemmia is given Riserva status because the wine is released two years after the harvest. The wine presents a bold and shapely body of fruit with ripe berry and black cherry on prime view. There are thicker accents of dried prune and plum at the back. The wine reveals a bold and determined style that is in line with the wine style of Puglia. 90+ (ML)" (8/2016) Wine Spectator: "Savory accents of forest floor and game meet ...Read More »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "***Editors' Choice*** Made with 85% Nerello Mascalese and 15% Nerello Cappuccio, this radiant red boasts a beautiful fragrance of blue and red flower, ripe berry, cake spice and aromatic herb. The radiant, delicious palate doles out layers of juicy black cherry, raspberry compote, cinnamon, white pepper and clove while a mineral note backs up the lingering finish. It's young but balanced, with bright acidity and tightly wound but refined tannins. (KO)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: #3 Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 Wines for 2016: Nerello Cappuccio – Nerello Mascalese is a blend ... Read More »
Does Jean-Louis Denois ever fail to impress us? So far, this talented winemaker has an exceptional track record with K&L customers and staff alike. Denois' latest offering is this nifty little red that seriously over-delivers in the price-quality ratio department. The 2014 "Les Garrigues" is composed of Syrah, Grenache, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. It exhibits a gorgeous pomegranate color, with fresh aromas of small red berry fruit and delicate hints of spice box. Subtle notes of tobacco leaf and licorice provide extra dimension that be... Read More »
Winemaker Morgan Twain-Peterson says, “This wine is made from grapes sourced from the beautiful and diverse state of California. Grapes are hand picked, native yeast fermented, aged in French Oak barrels (a small fraction of which are new) and assembled into this wine with the same care and love as all of our wines. The hope is to make a delicious, perfumed and satisfying wine from top quality grapes without too much pretension, marketing BS nor excessive budgetary duress on your part."
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Best of 2016* The name of the wine comes from the huge horseshoe bend of the Douro River that surrounds the Meão vineyards on three sides. This is the second wine of the estate, ripe with tannins and packed with black fruits. (RV)" 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Meandro do Vale Meão is a blend of 38% Touriga Nacional, 30% Touriga Franca, 20% Tinta Roriz and 12% miscellaneous grapes aged for 12 months in second and third use Allier barriques. After finishing the first round of tasting, I poured out the glass and took a new one just to make sure I wasn't mixing this up with the ...Read More »
95 points Vinous: "Fully saturated ruby. Pure, very deep aromas of black cherry, red plum, medicinal herbs and minerals. Rich, dense and suave, with complex flavors of saline red berries and dark plum complicated by repeating botanical herb and balsamic nuances. Finishes seamless an long. A wine of noteworthy purity, with an excellent balance of sweetness, acidity and tannins. This is Gulfi's closest vineyard to the sea and almost always gives the estate's most elegant, refined wine. (ID)" (12/2015)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Deep red. Sexy, expressive aromas of red fruits, lead pencil, licorice and flowers. Silky-sweet, broad and mouthfilling, with concentrated dark fruit and aromatic herb flavors. Finishes long and serious, with ripe, broad tannins and lingering, very intense floral notes. Very drinkable already but still young at six years of age, this Riserva is one of the best wines (Graticciaia excepted) from Agricole Vallone in years. (ID)" (3/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2008 Salice Salentino Riserva Vereto is a pure expression of Negroamaro that is aged in botte grande for up to eight mo ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The light pink colored 2015 Cotes de Provence Rose Cuvee Marie Christine is fabulous. Silky, layered and seamless, with notes of orange blossom, caramelized cherries, salty seawater and distinct minerality, it's impeccably balanced, has perfectly integrated acidity and a great finish. Impressive and Bravo! (JD)" (5/2016) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "From a 1,350-acre family estate divided among five chateaus, this crisp wine is packed with red fruits cut with citrus acidity. Refreshing and mineral textured, it will make a fine apéritif. (RV)" (7/2016) Vinous: "Light, bright pink. Musky red berri ...Read More »
A perennial, the 2015 Prisoner is a Zinfandel-based blend with the balance in Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Syrah and just a splash of Charbono. It was sourced from well-known vineyards such as Somerston, Solari, York Creek and Hudson. The wine was aged in a combination of French and American oak before bottling. This eclectic crowd pleaser has found a following from lovers of fruit-forward and jammy wines, but it has enough substance to please those who prefer their California reds a bit more structured. Not just a cocktail wine, this hefty red pair... Read More »
In 1973, Daniel Dugois bought 2 hectares of vineyards and a house equipped with wine cellars in a village called Les Arsures, where he was born. He cultivated the vineyard and sold his production primarily to Henri Maire, one of the most prominent producers in Jura at that time. In 1982, Daniel made his first harvest in his own cellars and began to sell his wines to consumers. His first ever harvest earned him his first Gold Medal for his Chardonnay at the Jura Wine Contest. Daniel and his wife Monique have continued to work on the quality of their wine... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Cantele 2013 Salice Salentino Riserva shows a greater level of depth and finesse compared to many of its peers. The wine is packed tight with blackberry fruit, with Maraschino cherry, plum and prune in abundance. The wine is chewy and rich for sure, but it also provides an authentic and generous portrait of a red wine from Puglia. A spicy beef or lamb dish would make the perfect pairing partner. (ML)" (8/2016)
Made from the same set of recipes since 1821, Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry has long been the benchmark for fine French Vermouth. Botanicals found in the Alpine meadows above Chambéry are added to a base wine made from regional grapes to aromatize it, imparting fresh, herbal qualities to the nose and complex flavors to palate. It is then fortified. The Rouge is ideal as an aperitif or in for a wide range of uses in cocktails. In the late 19th century, Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry won medals in Paris, London, St. Louis and Philadelphia and in 1932 earned Chamb... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Well-spiced and fruit-forward, with candied black cherry and crème de cassis notes, backed by lively acidity. Graphite, spice and orange zest details show on the finish." (12/2015)
Herdade do Rocim is located in the lower Alentejo region (southern Portugal). This property got its start in 2000 focusing primarily on local grapes like Aragonez, Touriga Nacional and Alicante Bouschet. They also work with several international grapes like Cabernet and Syrah, which is becoming more common in the Alentejo region. (Keith Mabry, K&L Hollywood) The Touriga Nacional is organically grown on clay and sand soils, manually harvested, then barrel aged in French oak for nine months. Tasting notes from the winery: "Blueberries, raspberries and cher... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "A Zinfandel-based blend, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Syrah, Merlot and Malbec, this wine is hearty, thick and dense. It traffics in smoky char, leathery tannins and a strong taste of tobacco, finishing with a flash of red plum." (12/2015)
94 points Decanter: "Abundant, ripe, fresh red berry and perfumed blueberry laced with rich, dark plum aromas, lead to a beautifully textured, rounded palate packed with heady black fruit, delicate smoke and fine grained tannins." (6/2016) K&L Notes: Chateau Peyros is a 17th century estate situated in the souther part of Madiran. In 1999, Jean Jacques Lesgourgues bought the estate and began the process of modernizing and revitalizing this historic property. Peyros, which means "stony place," sits atop soils of clay and limestone but the vineyards themselves are covered in the large rol... Read More »
Negly's La Cote is a "CGSM," or 30% Carignane, carbonically macerated, with Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Aged in 50% oak and 50% concrete tanks, it promises a toasty, opulent aroma with cassis and licorice, and a palate fit for a T-bone.
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Pessimist is one of the more forward, ready to go and sexy releases in the lineup. Made from 37% Syrah, 27% Zinfandel, 31% Petite Sirah and the rest Tannat and Grenache, it gives up tons of sweet dark fruits, spice box, vanilla bean and sweet oak in its full-bodied, nicely balanced, mouth-filling style. It will be ready to go on release.. (JD)" (8/2016)
92 points Vinous: "The 2014 Frappato Vittoria opens up with an irresistible fresh red fruit cocktail quality on the nose, followed by very spicy and floral notes, with juicy red berry and cherry. Finishes long and clean with a bright floral echo. A stellar Frappato that makes it impossible to put the glass down. (ID)" (11/2015) 91 points James Suckling: "This shows aromas of blueberry, forest fruit and salt. Medium to full body, bright acidity and a mineral finish. Goes on for minutes. Tangy and savory." (10/2014) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Fragrant and fresh, this luminous wine opens with aromas of red berry, blueberry, violet, ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Fresh and fruity, this straightforward red offers aromas of ripe dark-skinned berry, licorice and leather. The soft, juicy palate doles out dried blackberry and spiced blueberry alongside round, smooth tannins. (KO)" (3/2016)
Shirley and Leon Sobon originally founded Shenandoah Vineyards in 1977, and with the purchase of another winery in Amador County in 1989, they created Sobon Estate.
90 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* Very suave, with rich minerality and luscious flavors of plum tart and cherry compote. Cedary notes are accented by lots of white pepper and spice on the zesty finish. Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca. Drink now through 2020. (KM)" (6/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Papa Figos (Casa Ferreirinha) is a blend of 30% Touriga Franca, 15% Touriga Nacional, 25% Tinta Roriz and 30% Tinta Barroca, all sourced from Douro Superior. About 20% of the juice was aged in used French oak for six months. Clean and fruity, this lower priced red ha ...Read More »
Pelaverga (often known as Pelaverga Piccolo) is a rare red grape from the hills of Piedmont in northwestern Italy. It is also known by many other names, including Carola, Cari, Fra Germano and Taddone. The village of Verduno, just west of Alba on the banks of the Tanaro River, is right at the northern edge of the Barolo DOCG catchment area. Verduno's growers have resisted the temptation to eradicate Pelaverga entirely from their vineyards, even though the Nebbiolo vines that produce the grapes for Barolo's prestigious cuvées are much more valuable. But e... Read More »
92 points Vinous: "Bright copper-tinged pink. Knockout aromas and flavors of red berries, nectarine, minerals, herbs and orange peel. Creamy but with juicy verve and lovely floral lift extending the stone and citrus fruit flavors on the long back end. Outstanding; this is the best Rosato bubbly from Murgo I have memory of. (ID)" (4/2016) 90 points Wine & Spirits: "Nerello Mascalese grapes harvested for this wine underwent twenty-four hours of skin contact, imparting a pale salmon color and delicate flavors of red berries underlined by a fine minerality. Polished and elegant, it has the concentration t ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "This is very aromatic with dried-berry, mineral and floral character. Full body with firm tannins and a juicy finish. Lots of tannins but polished and chewy." (3/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "Blue flower, ripe black fruit, black pepper and cedar are just some of the aromas offered by this blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Sagrantino. The palate features ripe black cherry, coffee, espresso, vanilla and grilled sage alongside bracing tannins. Drink after 2016." (2/2015) Wine Spectator: "A fresh red, offering fragrant herb and smoke notes, with flavors of tangy raspberry, wild strawberry, salumi and spi ...Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "*#39 on the Top 100 Wines of 2015, and a Best Value* A taut, sinewy style, with notes of slate and white pepper to the roasted plum and dried red berry flavors. Medium-grained tannins emerge on the snappy finish, showing ferrous accents. Drink now through 2020. (KM)" K&L Notes: Relatively speaking for this region, 2013 was a cooler, fresher vintage in the Douro. This WS Top 100 wine shows these vintage traits in the wine, with gently extracted dark fruits and subtle hints of licorice. It's a great example of a Douro red for a value price. (Joe Manekin, K&L Portugues... Read More »
Here is a Priorat that is not at all shy or trying to hide its Mediterranean origins, a richer, fuller bodied style especially considering its modest price. This is on the darker-fruited side, generous and slightly savory, a well-balanced, tasty blend of Garnacha, Carignane, and just a tiny amount of Cabernet Sauvignon. Try this with your favorite recipe for braised or stewed lamb. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish & Portuguese wine buyer)
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Ramitello has enjoyed its own cult following over the years. The 2012 Molise Rosso Ramitello (a blend of Montepulciano and Aglianico) is a delicious expression with a balanced approach that puts just as much emphasis on intensity as it does elegance. The bouquet reveals dark fruit tones with spice and lingering leather at the back. The mouthfeel is reinforced by firm tannic structure and bright acidity. Of all the wineries in Molise, none stands taller than Di Majo Norante in terms of international visibility. Celebrated enologist Riccardo Cotarella help ...Read More »
Located in the plains of Roussillon near the outskirts of Perpignan, the Deneufbourgs are a multi-generational family of vignerons. The "Olympe" is a blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Marselan, a crossing of Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. Each component of this blend is fermented in concrete and then aged in stainless steel to preserve the freshness of the varieties.
53% Petite Sirah, 37% Syrah and 10% Barbera.
About the producer: "Banshee Wines was founded by three friends from the Midwest and East Coast who shared a passion for wine and a lifelong dream of owning their own winery. Their fascination with wine started early in life. While their peers were drinking Milwaukee's Best, they had an af?nity towards collecting European wines and hosting dorm room wine tastings. Post-college, each pursued a career in the wine industry, ranging from importing wines, to winemaking, to distribution and sales. When their paths ultimately converged in San Francisco, they s... Read More »
About the producer: "Zaccagnini company was established in 1978. Starting from a family-run business, the Winery has grown rapidly and steadily with the goal of “absolute quality, from cluster to glass”, reaching the current condition of an international reality with more than 300 hectares of beautiful vineyards, well-kept and monitored at every production stage. Excellence, passion and devotion to job have made Tralcetto’s wines the pride of Abruzzi’s wine production appreciated all over the world."
Inventory: San Francisco
James Suckling: "A wine that sneaks up on you. Full bodied, with polished tannins. This is peppery and fun but a little light in the finish. Made from 73% Syrah, 12% Grenache, 8% Petite Sirah and 7% Mourvedre." (11/2011) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A big crowd-pleasing and quaffable effort that’s a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel, the latest N.V. Troublemaker is loaded with sweet blackberry, charred meat, tobacco and vanilla. Full-bodied, rich and loaded with fruit, it is a straightforward party wine... (JD)" (8/2013) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(...made from a blend of wines from the 2010, 2011 an ...Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of scorched earth, underbrush, chopped herb and dark spice lead the way on this full-boded wine. The firm, hearty palate offers dried dark cherry, raisin, clove, anise and tobacco framed in solid, fine-grained tannins. (KO)" (12/2016) 90 points Wine Spectator: "This harmonious red features ripe and juicy black cherry fruit and tarry mineral character, accented by delicate spice and grilled herb notes. Fresh and appealing, with a lightly chewy finish. Drink now through 2021. (AN)" (10/2016)
94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I think the first time its all from Jack's Vineyard in Walla Walla, the 2013 The Creator (70/30 Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah) is still aging in 50% new French oak. It has lots of iodine, dried blood (these are classic Rocks aromatics), pepper, chocolate and peat moss that flow to a full-bodied, voluptuously textured, ripe Cabernet that has plenty of mid-palate depth and sweet tannin. While it's a big, rich, ripe wine, it never comes across as heavy or cumbersome. It should benefit from 2-3 years in the cellar and drink well over the following decade. As ...Read More »
91 points Wine & Spirits: "Nero d’Avola and Frappato grown in red, sandy soils coexist harmoniously in this smooth and polished wine, with notes of spice and licorice accenting its red cherry fruit. The flavors are rich and concentrated, lifted by light floral scents. This would make a delicious companion for roasted leg of lamb." (6/2016) 90 points Vinous: "Deep ruby-red. Spicy and leafy nuances complicate aromas and flavors of ripe red and black cherry, coffee and cocoa. Polished on the palate, with bright, harmonious acidity and smooth tannins providing solid supporting backbone. The long finish sh ...Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "This gorgeous wine opens with aromas of smoke, baking spice, red berry and flint. The mineral note carries over to the vibrant, silky palate, accenting juicy Morello cherry, white pepper, star anise, Mediterranean herb and tobacco. Polished tannins and fresh acidity provide impeccable balance. Hold for more complexity. Drink 2019-2027. (KO)" (9/2016) 92 points Vinous: "Bright red. Sweet botanical herbs, minerals and intense red cherry aromas on the captivating nose. Sweet on entry, then focused and penetrating; savory, saline soil tones currently dominate red primary fruits. ...Read More »
This Aglianico pours a shade of deep ruby red and opens with aromas of morello cherry and cracked black pepper that lead to harmony and freshness on the palate.
In 1973, Daniel Dugois bought 2 hectares of vineyard and a house equipped with wine cellars in a village called Les Arsures, where he was born. He cultivated the vineyard and sold his production primarily to Henri Maire, one of the most prominent producers in Jura at that time. In 1982, Daniel made his first harvest in his own cellars and began to sell his wines to consumers. His first ever harvest earned him his first Gold Medal for his Chardonnay at the Jura Wine Contest. Daniel and his wife Monique have continued to work on the quality of their wines ... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Late Bottled Vintage Port is an unfiltered blend of 55% Touriga Franca, 25% Touriga Nacional, 10% Tinta Roriz, 5% Sousão and 5% Tinto Cão bottled in April, 2014. It comes in at 106 grams per liter of residual sugar. This opens sweet and luscious, with the considerable power lurking underneath. There are only hints of what is going to happen. Hold this puppy open for a couple of hours--or, better yet, try it the next day--and you'll see the lurking structure. It doesn't stint on intensity of flavor, though. The next day it is just beautiful, show ...Read More »
As Wall Street Journal wine writers Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher advise, "If you ever see Heitz Cellars' Ink Grade Port...grab it!" (from "Give Sweets a Chance," 10/2009). It's sound advice, for this rich and intensely satisfying dessert-style wine from Heitz sure does hit the sweet spot for under $20! A blend of eight different Portuguese grape varieties with distinctive character from the Ink Grade Vineyard in Napa Valley, the current blend draws from the 2005, 2006, and 2007 vintages. From the winery: "The deep hue of our Ink Grade Port sets the to... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Fresh and fruity on the nose, this bottling by Joey Tensley and Alex Guarachi shows strawberries and olallieberries as well as crushed black rocks, wet slate and char aromas. Those same fruits power a zesty palate enhanced by lavender and black-tea flavors." (9/2016) Wine Spectator: "A bit like a Rhône-blend nouveau, this is supple and flamboyant, with touches of ripe sweetness. Aromas of blackberry cobbler and pepper combine with jammy black cherry and licorice flavors. Syrah, Grenache, Petite Sirah and Merlot. Drink now through 2022. 5,000 cases made." (3/2016)
92 points James Suckling: "Aromas of dried berries, dried flowers and shaved chocolate open to a full body, firm and silky tannins and a polished, textured mouthfeel. So very pretty and harmonious. Drink now." (11/2016) K&L Notes: Monica Larner writes: "In 2005, Paolo Caciorgna visited with Marco De Grazia on Etna and fell in love with a half-hectare vineyard planted to ancient pre-phylloxera vines in the Contrada Marchesa near Passopisciaro. After that initial purchase, he acquired more tiny plots of land. He started a tiny production (n’anticchia means “a tiny bit” in Sicilian dialect) of wi... Read More »