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K&L Staff Recommendations
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Free-Run Steen Chenin Blanc has a focused, clinical bouquet with pineapple and lemon zest, hints of passion fruit developing just behind. The palate is very well balanced with a fine line of acidity: plenty of tropical fruit on display here but neatly delineated on the tense and citric finish that linger in the mouth. Quite simply, this represents unbeatable value. (NM)" (10/2014) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "We source our Chenin Blanc from selected vineyards in the Agter-Paarl region. The vineyards are all unirrigated and bush-vine (untrellised) that prod... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A consistent, big-time winner in the value sweepstakes, the 2014 Chenin Blanc / Viognier is a blend of 80% Chenin Blanc and 20% Viognier (145,000 cases produced) is aged totally in stainless steel, has malolactic blocked, and offers what consumers love – big, flowery, fresh honeysuckle and tropical fruit, a light to medium-bodied mouthfeel, beautiful purity, texture and a long finish. Drink it over the next year." (8/2015) K&L Notes: Grapes for this perennial summertime value were sourced from Clarksburg, in California's Central Valley. Seriously quaffable but not to... Read More »
This is a straightforward, refreshing version of Chenin Blanc from Vouvray. With a gold color, this wine is dry and smooth. It displays very nice citrus and fruity notes like ripe peach and green pear as well as floral aromas such as sweet acacia. The wine is round and fruity, well-balanced, and ends super fresh. A killer value! Picked from 45-year-old vines and then vinified in stainless and aged in tank for 2-3 months. Fantastic with fish dishes with an exotic flair and of course the typical meat and cheese starter plates. (Eric Story, Loire Buyer)
Jancis Robinson: "They do three bottlings; this is the second and therefore a bit richer than the first. Fermented in concrete and old vats." (1/2015) Wine Spectator: "Plump and friendly, with creamed yellow apple and pear fruit flavors, backed by a hint of almond on the finish. Drink now. 12,000 cases made. –JM"
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Shaped like a butterfly (papillon), this vineyard is one of the best known in Savennières. It is very rich and ripe, from a warm vintage. With its apricot and pear flavors and opulent texture, it brings out the potential of Chenin Blanc. So age this wine for 5–6 years more. Screwcap." (10/2013)93 points Wine Spectator: "Captivating, with a lively quinine streak leading the way, followed by Jonagold apple, honeysuckle, green almond and plantain notes that race through the pure, mineral-driven finish. Intense, with enough in reserve to warrant cellaring. Best fr ...Read More »
François Chidaine is a biodynamic producer in the Loire Valley specializing in Chenin Blanc. Rated 94+ John Gilman: "François Chidaine’s Clos de Breuil bottling is always a bit exotic in a lineup of other Montlouis cuvées, as this vineyard’s flint soils (like Pouilly-Fumé) give the wine a very unique personality. The 2014 is another absolutely stellar wine, delivering a complex and vibrant nose of quince, apple, orange zest, gorgeously refined silex soil tones, a hint of rhubarb, citrus peel and a discreet topnote of the lanolin to come with bottle age. ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "A concentrated wine, its pear and lemon character segueing into a tight, wound-up structure, very dry, very crisp." (6/2011)
Established in 1890, the Domaine Sylvain Gaudron is now run by the third generation of the Gaudron family. It comprises 59 acres spread out over 50 little plots. The soils are limestone-clay on a sub-layer of tuffeau. This is an incredibly affordable Vouvray that belies its meager price, delivering honeycomb, jasmine and quince aromas. In the mouth it's explosive, with crisp apple, Mirabelle plum, minerals and honeysuckle flavors. Zesty acidity and a clean finish make a tight package, perfect for seafood, salads and your favorite curry.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid gold with an aggressive bead. A complex bouquet of ripe apple, pear and quince, with honey and beeswax nuances. Distinctly chenin blanc in character, offering dried orchard fruit and bitter lemon qualities and a strong mineral undertone. A touch of marzipan adds depth to the dry, stony, precise finish. This will be very flexible with rich fish or poultry dishes." (5/2010) Wine Spectator: "Alluring, with ginger, quince and maple hints allied to a soft, brioche-filled palate. The friendly, open-knit finish has an off-dry hint. (Web-2010)" K&L Notes: Produced from Chidaine's biodyn... Read More »
Maison Huet is a leading force in the Vouvray appellation. Founded in 1928, the estate now covers 35 hectares, which are divided up between three properties: Le Mont, Le Haut-Lieu and Le Clos du Bourg - all of which have been farmed in the biodynamic method since 1990. Stretching over 9 hectares, Le Haut-Lieu provides extremely deep limestone and brown clay soils. Due to the heavy soils the wines from this site tend to have a richer, rounder character, with deep nuances of stone fruit, and finish off with a mouthwatering, juicy finish.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Savennières Les Petites Gorgees ("pg de Damien“) is a full-bodied, aromatic, ripe and elegant Chenin Blanc that is rich and salty and nicely balanced, displaying attractive honey aromas as well as refreshing lime flavors in the delicate finish. It is a clear, fruity-mineral, well-balanced and accessible wine for early consumption, but it can also age for several years. (SR)" (10/2014) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright yellow. Smoky aromas of hazelnut, linseed oil and crushed white pepper on the nose. Fresh, clean and tightly wound, with firm acid structure giving focus to t ...Read More »
94 points Wine Spectator: "Plump, ripe and full, featuring a slightly exotic edge to the guava, mango and creamed peach flavors, before a racier side of green plum, honeysuckle and plantain moves in behind. Still youthfully raw, with the fruit bouncing rather than gliding for now. The finish is long, revealing an echo of green almond that bodes well for cellaring. Best from 2015 through 2026." (2/2013) 90-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I tasted a 2009 Coteaux du Layon Clos de Sainte Catherine that was to a much greater extent than with Baumard’s other as yet un-bottled cuvees a mere approximation to the likely final ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* This old-vines wine is really clean and light on the nose, with aromas of red apple, fresh-cut white sapote and blanched almonds. The laser-focused palate is dominated by a refreshing texture, like sipping an ice-cold martini or licking a steel knife, with sea salt and lemon peel flavors most prevalent." (7/2015)90 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2013 Chenin Blanc Ernesto Wickenden Vineyard Old Vines is soft, supple and accessible. Pear, melon, almonds and spices inform the expressive, silky finish. This is an impeccable white from Foxen to drink now and over the next ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Light but distinctive nose, honey and lemon character. Gentle, soothing sort of character, and genuinely dry (even at 12%). Very subtle, and pretty short, but a great lunchtime option, with a lovely savoury finish. (RH)" (10/2013) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright gold with a frothy mousse. Pear and white peach on the nose, with complicating floral and spice qualities and a hint of orange zest. At once fleshy and dry, offering tangy citrus and orchard fruit flavors and slow-building spiciness. The finish repeats the orange note and leaves a strong spicy quality behind. This impressi ...Read More »
100% Chenin Blanc from Chinon. Purity and depth is what this wine is all about. Fantastic Chenin perfume with chalky minerals bouncing in and out. Nicely weighted on the palate while keeping the finish lively and fresh with juicy acid and mineral lift.
Maison Huet is a leading force in the Vouvray appellation. Founded in 1928, the estate now covers 35 hectares, which are divided up between three properties: Le Mont, Le Haut-Lieu and Le Clos du Bourg - all of which have been farmed in the biodynamic method since 1990.
A mineral intensive, rich, old vine Chenin Blanc with both concentration and elegance. We have been working with Ginny's beautiful Botanica wines for a few years now and the purity and depth of this Chenin continues to impress year after year. Ryan Woodhouse (K&L South African Wine Buyer)
Antoine Foucault (yes, son of Chalry Foucault of Clos Rougeard) and Caroline Boireau found the estate in 1999. Located in the village of Breze their 6 hectares of vineyards (Chenin Blanc & Cabernet Franc only) are farmed on the biodynamic principals and are given nothing but optimum attention all the while letting Mother Nature do her thing. The wines are all fermented and rested barrel, of various ages and types, for two to three years and only bottled when the wine is ready. Domaine du Collier represents hard work and simplicity at its finest. These ar... Read More »
The Bretons have been farming their eleven hectares biodynamically since 1994. Pierre is the primary cellar master, but the wines under the "Dilettante" label are the pet projects of Catherine. This Vouvray sec is grown on 40 year-old vines, and treated with exquisite care: hand harvested, native yeast, low sulfur, low yields. From the winery: "Dry white wine, fresh and ripe from a ground of clay with flints. The happy medium of the minerality of the terroir, the acidity of the wine and the grape's ripeness."
Certified made from organically grown grapes, from a small winery run by Nicolas Bertin & Geneviève Delatte, who aim to practice minimal input, "natural" winemaking.
The Champalou family farms 22 acres in Vouvray, making the Cuvée des Fondraux from 45-year-old Chenin vines grown in the area's prized clay, limestone and flint soils. Like all of their wines, it is distinctive, with incredible balance and energy ... a true representation of the soil. A great value.
Maison Huet is a leading force in the Vouvray appellation. Founded in 1928, the estate now covers 35 hectares, which are divided up between three properties: Le Mont, Le Haut-Lieu and Le Clos du Bourg - all of which have been farmed in the biodynamic method since 1990. These wines are stunning and are worth being in your cellar. Legends in the making here! Le Mont is an eight hectare site which runs along the slopes of the Loire Valley. The soil structure is one of pebbles and green-colored clay and silica which produce sleek wines with elegance and a so... Read More »
François Chidaine is a biodynamic producer in the Loire Valley specializing in Chenin Blanc. From the importer: "From a parcel located at the top of the appellation, just on the line where the Silex (flint) gives way to broken chalk and clay. 60-90 year old vines have roots that plunge deep into the limestone bedrock bringing up nutrients that are unique to this site. Always vinified in a demi-sec style, Clos Habert is probably Chidaine's most prestigious site. The wine shows notes of honey, lichee and citrus in the nose which lead into a wine which, alt... Read More »
Clos de l'Elu is an older property which was taken over in 2008 by Thomas Carsin and Gregoire du Bouexic. It is located in the small village of Saint Aubin de Luigne not too far from the city of Angers. Under the inspiration of growers such as Jo Pithon they have converted all of their holdings over to biodynamic farming and continue to acquire vineyards and convert as they grow. These wines are at the higher end of what the all too often Anjou region can do. They are pure, driven and from start to finish produced with the utmost integrity for the land a... Read More »
Thinus Krüger, CEO / President / Winemaker / Grape crusher / Sole employee of FRAM, brings us these remarkable "wines of exploration." I recently tasted these with Pascal Schildt, the small, specialist South African importer who brings us these wines, and I was truly blown away by the quality, purity, and depth of the entire range! Ryan Woodhouse (K&L S.Africa Wine Buyer) Winemaker's Notes: "The very special area that these grapes come from is actually closer to Clanwilliam than to Citrusdal, but the part about the mountain is very true. Situated in dee... Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "The aromas draw you in with notes of kiwi, pineapple and mango. Brown sugar and tropical fruit flavors are intensely sweet and rich, with an unctuous feel." (11/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The dessert-styled 2014 Red Mountain Chenin Blanc (which was harvest from frozen grapes on the vine) has lots of overt sweetness in its white peach, apricot and honeyed bouquet. This gives way to a pure, clean and well-made dessert wine that comes up a little short on acidity, and I liked the first sip better than the last. It is good, but best consumed over the coming year. (JD)" (6/2015)
Vigneron by way of butcher, Pascal Janvier is one of those souls destined to make wine, despite himself. Fortunately, he wised up at age thirty and yielded to his inevitable fate. Today, Pascal and his wife Dominique farm a total of nine hectares in the department of the Sarthe in the Val du Loir, a tiny, stony hillside along the Loir River (a tributary of the Loire River), north of Vouvray that is also the most northerly--and coldest--of the regions of the Loire. 'Cuvée du Silex' is a six hectare parcel of 35-40 year-old vines that contains all three Ja... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
Are you "over" over-alcoholic, over-priced, over-oaked wines? Then you must get to know the wines of Pascal Janvier. His Coteaux du Loir Blanc is 100% Chenin Blanc, from 15 year-old vines planted to predominantly clay soils. It is crisp and vivacious, with lots of fruit upfront and a fleshy core that leads to a long mineral-kissed finish.
Inventory: Main Warehouse
The Clos Baudoin just happens to be right next to the Le Mont site which you may know from Huet fame.
Inventory: San Francisco
Maison Huet is a leading force in the Vouvray appellation. Founded in 1928, the estate now covers 35 hectares, which are divided up between three properties: Le Mont, Le Haut-Lieu and Le Clos du Bourg - all of which have been farmed in the biodynamic method since 1990. Stretching over 9 hectares, Le Haut-Lieu provides extremely deep limestone and brown clay soils. Due to the heavy soils the wines from this site tend to have a richer rounder character, with deep nuances of stone fruit and finish off with a mouthwatering, juicy finish.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Light gold with tiny bubbles. Subdued aromas of orange zest, lemon, dried pear and honeysuckle. Broad but energetic citrus and orchard fruit flavors are complemented by anise and honey, giving the wine an impression of richness as well as vivacity. The persistent finish repeats the honey and floral notes and clings nicely. This is weighty enough to handle richer fish dishes." (5/2010) K&L Notes: A petulant child might pout over dinner, refusing to eat and then throw a temper tantrum at bedtime, causing no end of anxiety, sleeplessness and stress to her parents. A Pét... Read More »
From the importer: "For a young man from the north of France, Xavier Weisskopf has an impressive track record in the world of wine. He went to school in Chablis, where his winemaking ambitions took flight and led to the wine school in Beaune. After earning a degree in viticulture and enology, he went to work for Château de Saint Cosme in Gigondas. It doesn't hurt that he cuts an impressive profile as a tall, handsome young man with the skills and the determination to make wines exactly as he sees fit. This determination, along with his love for the Cheni... Read More »
Not vintage labeled but all 2013 vintage. Jean-Pierre does it how he wants and when he wants. This 100% Chenin-Blanc is full of minerality, salinity and a beautiful beeswax finish. Dry, lean and mineral driven, it reminds us of top quality Chablis.
Jancis Robinson: "Golden orange colour. Unusual nose: chamomile, hay and apricots. Honeyed and gorgeous on the palate. I'd love to try this with some hard cheeses. Silky texture, viscous but no heaviness." (10/2014) K&L Notes: Les Rouannières, perhaps the finest, firmest, slowest-to-evolve and longest-lasting of all Papin's moelleux, is from very meagre, superficial soil whose base is the volcanic rock spilite. The soil is so superficial it cannot be plowed: it would erode and disappear. So instead, the Papins plant grass, which serves to keep the soil from eroding, competes with the ... Read More »
95 points Wine Spectator: "Starts with a tangy crème fraîche note before giving way to green almond, green tea, chamomile, powdered ginger and mineral notes. So precise it almost comes off as dry in feel, but the finish belies its late harvest with a showy candied citrus peel note. Drink now through 2025." (5/2011)93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Light gold. An exotically perfumed bouquet shows passion fruit, mango, poached pear, honey and chamomile qualities, with a lashing of baking spices. Sappy, palate-staining orchard and pit fruit flavors are given a bitter edge by a hint of citrus pith, which adds back end ...Read More »
92 points Antonio Galloni: "Golden yellow. Rich, smoky aromas of yellow plum, quince, apple blossom and sweet herbs. Sumptuous nectarine texture with a bright, salty minerality. At once generous and juicy, showing an herbal crispness on the long finish. (JP)" (12/2012) K&L Notes: We are so very, very pleased to have this opportunity to offer you this Vouvray from one of the premier producers of Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley, if not the world. Maison Huet has been a leading force in the Vouvray appellation for quite sometime now. Founded in 1928, the estate now covers 35 hectares, which are ... Read More »
With their old vines, quality organic viticulture, and modern winemaking, Domaine Guiberteau has quickly become a leading estate in the Loire's Saumur. The family has grown grapes in Saumur for more than 100 years, and for much of that time they provided the fruits of their labor to the local winemaking co-op. Current proprietor Romain Guiberteau is the third generation of vigneron since the family officially founded their own label, and their vines were planted by his father and grandfather just after World War II. According to importer Becky Wasserman,... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
Some would call this pétillant naturel méthode ancestrale, which is loosely the same thing: a sparkling wine made in bottle with its native yeast and without any sugar additions (no chapitalization during initial fermentation, no sweet yeast liquor added for secondary in bottle, and no sweet dosage at disgorgement the bottles are simply topped off with the same wine and corked). Indeed, Originel is made without any additions or modern interventions of any kind. It is absolutely natural, a requirement enshrined by its makers and, as of 2007, by law for Pé... Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Pungent candied citrus rind, smoky black tea, iris, quince preserves, and a distinctly alkaline note inform the strikingly intense nose of the Huet 2009 Vouvray Moelleux Le Mont 1er Trie. This elixir of close to 100 grams residual sweetness makes the corresponding “regular” moelleux taste like demi-sec alongside. It boasts an extraordinary mineral presence for a wine so rich, viscous, and honeyed, with saline, smoky and alkaline elements all offering counterpoint, and tightly-wound (or should that be “fast flowing”?) springs of fresh citrus convey energy ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
This "new California" Chenin Blanc was listed in the San Francisco Chronicle's "Top 100 Wines: The Best of the West Coast in 2014." Since-departed wine critic Jon Bonné explained this wine's appeal in this tasting note: "Winemaker Craig Haarmeyer preaches 'Sacramento terroir,' and this taps nearby Clarksburg’s best-known grape for a profound barrel-fermented Chenin. Austere on one side, almost like crushed oyster shells, but then revealing the grape’s full, funky apple-pulp side, with maitake mushroom and green olive accents, and a wonderful fullness to ... Read More »
Winemaker's Notes: "Radio Lazarus is our first Single Vineyard wine. This vineyard bottling for an old hilltop vineyard that we’ve been farming ourselves since 2010. Yields here are extremely low. It was farmed for bulk wine for decades and relatively neglected. Getting this vineyard back on its feet has required an oversupply of TLC. We persist with it because we believe in the site. It’s perched at 403 m above sea level, just 17 kms from the ocean. The site is cool, ripening around two weeks later than our other parcels. The Bottelary Hills are typical... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
96 points Wine Spectator: "Unctuous, concentrated and refined, this holds a large core of quince, creamed Anjou pear and white ginger notes in reserve for now, while heather, chamomile, orange blossom and white peach flavors take the lead. When the reserves stretch out and catch up with the floral accents, this will be a pure, precise stunner, with a long life. Best from 2018 through 2035." (8/2013)94 points Wine & Spirits: "Glistening in golden hues, this chenin draws you in with its broad, luscious fruit then pounces with searingly fresh acidity and grape skin spice. Luxurious as a young wine, this integra ...Read More »
The Champalou family farms 22 acres in Vouvray, making the Cuvée des Fondraux from 45-year-old Chenin vines grown in the area's prized clay, limestone and flint soils. Like all of their wines, it is distinctive with incredible balance and energy... a true representation of the soil. A great value.