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K&L Staff Recommendations
Albarino is the perfect summer white, but its naturally crisp acidity and peachy citrus flavors make it enjoyable year-round as an aperitif or paired with a variety of foods, particularly shellfish and seafood. It hails from the Rias Baixas zone of Gallicia, on the northwest coast of Spain. Walk through any given fishing village along the "rias" (fjords) in this beautiful, cool, maritime-influenced region and you will find fresh grilled "pulpo" (octopus) vendors at every corner! A classic Albarino nose of white peach, citrus and mineral aromas gives way ... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Ordoñez family, Jorge and his sister Victoria, were the first to try and produce a dry, crisp wine from 100% Muscatel de Alexandria in Malaga. This area is known for historic, sweet wines, with ancient history stretching back to 600 B.C. for viticulture. These steep, almost unreal hillside vineyards are planted in decomposed red slate, with a mixture of white quartz. They are complex soils, but the Botani has turned out to be an incredible success story and a great value. The 2014 Botani is light-bodied, shows flowery, fragrant notes with hints of fl ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The NV Añadas is a solera of Viura wines from the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 vintages, aged for an average of five years in barrel and bottled in July 2012. It's a fascinating, deep golden colored white that reminded me of the whites from Marqués de Murrieta and López de Heredia; it has those diesel-like aromas, hints of chamomile, dry flowers, honey wax, nuts, orange peel and pollen. The wine matured in 225-liter barrels of new and used French and American oak, and 5% Bulgarian acacia wood. The palate is fresh with lively acidity, pungent flavors a ...Read More »
91 points Vinous: "Light chartreuse color. Sharply focused, assertively perfumed nose displays an array of citrus and orchard fruit scents complicated by sexy floral and mineral nuances. Sappy, penetrating and pure, offering crackling lemon-lime flavors and suggestions of fresh fig and honeysuckle. The mineral quality comes back strong on the long, nervy finish, along with a subtle touch of spicy ginger. (JR)" (1/2016) 90 points James Suckling: "Plenty of pear and sliced apple character. Full body, fresh acidity and a fresh and clean finish." (7/2015) K&L Notes: Do Ferreiro is a benchmark Albariño. Every year, it ... Read More »
Amats is both the brand name of the Txakoli as well as one of Zudugarai's vineyards. It's a beautiful vineyard, a sandy substrate covered in naturally growing green cover between the rows, with the Cantabrian Sea in full view to the north. Produced from Hondarribi Zuri grapes, this is classic Txakoli: zippy, crisp, tart green apple flavors are enlivened by a lovely sparkle from the CO2 retained in tank during fermentation. Try this refreshing, vibrant, low in alcohol white wine with a wide range of foods, from obvious choices such as seafood (grilled sar... Read More »
Varietals: Garnatxa Blanca, Picapoll Blanca, Xarel.lo
A project lead by Eulogio Pomares, famous for his work at Zarate, this Salnes Valley Albariño is crisp, fresh, juicy, and brightly yellow fruited. Impeccably balanced Albariño done just right, it will be sure to hit the spot. Best to hurry on this one as there is not too much more of this wine available stateside.
Angel Rodriguez Leal produces what is hands down the best wine in Rueda: Martinsancho. A family-owned bodega since 1784, holding some of the best real estate in the D.O., their land boasts Verdejo vines which average 40 years of age and stand in a bed of rounded river stones. Wine is fermented in enamel tanks and aged in very large, neutral oak "cubas." The resulting wine is generous, with delicious peach, melon, and guava notes, textural, as well as mineral, focused, and age-worthy.
92 points Wine & Spirits: "From the owners of Bodegas Muriel, in Rioja, this is the second vintage of Pazo Cilleiro. Made from a selection of vines in Salnés, it feels fresh and alive, moving throughout the mouth with graceful acidity (the wine did not undergo malolactic) and a fine leesiness that tap dances on the tongue. Its citrus flavors are layered with herbal notes that predominate in the end, leaving a fresh and crisp memory." (8/2016) K&L Notes: This is a delicious, new Albariño from the heartland of the Rias Baixas region, the strongly Atlantic influenced Salnes Valley. Juicy, very ta... Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The NV Fino Inocente must be one of the few wines in Jerez that is still fermented in 600-liter American oak botas, which is an incredible amount of work compared with fermenting tens of thousands of kilos of grapes (or even more) in a big stainless steel tank. This method was the norm of yesteryear, but is so labor intense that it was discontinued in most wineries, and gives a big diversity of wines, as each barrel has its own character, which contributes to the complexity of the blend. Furthermore, the bottled wine is on average 8 to 10 years old. One ...Read More »
100 points James Suckling: "This is a triumph. An amazing white showing roasted pineapple, dried apple, flowers and hints of lemon curd on the nose. Hints of almonds, too. Full-body, closed and tight with amazing depth and beauty. Waxy, salty, and creamy. Goes on for minutes. 21 years in wood, seven in concrete and then about three years in bottle. First year since 1978. Viura with a hint of malvasia. I have the same mind-tingling sensation tasting this as tasting the 1963 Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva Blanco. Another perfect wine." (12/2016) 100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I have been terribly excited about this wine ...Read More »
Honorío Rubio is a Riojano white wine specialist. In a land best known for its incredibly age-worthy reds, among many die-hards out there it is undoubtedly the traditional whites which represent Rioja's finest and most original wines. These days, outside of Lopez de Heredia (whose whites are increasingly difficult to find) and the odd older bottles of Ygay Blanco, traditional white Rioja is tough to find. That's why we are so excited to be selling the wines of our newest DI producer, Honorío Rubio. Based in the high altitude Rioja Alta village of Cordoví... Read More »
92 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* This round white has texture and grip, with rich and focused flavors of apple, almond, green olive and brine. Offers plenty of fruit, but remains grounded thanks to the briny character. Expressive and balanced." (11/2012) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The NV La Guita Manzanilla has always had a very strong and marked character of brine, green olives and mustard seeds, with an overall sweet sensation. The medium-bodied palate is precise, very dry and intense, with some brine and rancio flavors and great length. The quality of this wine has increased notably in the last few ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Montenovo is the entry level white, produced with Godello grapes from back slate soils and bottled early trying to preserve the fruit character of the grape. They consider 2015 a Mediterranean vintage, with a dry summer in July, August and September. The grapes are pressed in absence of oxygen and the must fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel vats, where the wine was kept for three months before bottling. The nose is a bit muted and takes some time to unfurl the white acacia flower and apple aromas. The palate is quite vibrant, cl ...Read More »
Produced by a 25-grower cooperative located in the Condado do Tea sub-zone of Rias Baixas, this is crisp, citrus- and yellow-fruited Albariño from a challenging, but ultimately rewarding, cooler and damper vintage. The results are a very fresh white that has just enough juicy fruit to balance the clean salinity and crisp acids. This is a perfect aperitif and of course, is a seafood-ready white! (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish & Portuguese Wine Buyer)
From a solera begun in 1991, this spectacular Sanluqueño Amontillado contains wine of an average age of 15-20 years old. Blended in, there is a tiny amount of very old wine discovered in the bodega shortly after its purchase. It had been sealed in plaster, as the former owner was apparently determined to keep this pre-phylloxera wine, unblended, all to himself! Aromatics reveal salty flor, followed by toffee. The wine is racy on the palate, until it turns rich and succulent, with buttered and roasted pecan and almond flavors. This is really quite good. (... Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The orange-wine wannabe 2013 Macerado is a Viura that had long skin contact (approximately one year), as seen in the wines of Georgia. Less orange than others, it's more of a deep golden, and portraying a very personal nose. Initially it smelled of syrup, but it opened up and changed tremendously developing medicinal aromas, hints of herbal tea, notes of mint and quince paste. It was a fascinating nose to follow and the palate was impressive, with bold flavors and great freshness. (LG)" (8/2016) K&L Notes: Honorío Rubio is a Riojano white wine specialist. In a land b... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The rather young, ultra-pale 2014 Benufet is Garnacha Blanca with 5% Viognier, fermented in stainless steel and bottled unoaked to keep purity of fruit and freshness. The palate is rather simple, fresh and with faint white fruit flavors. (LG)" (6/2015) K&L Notes: The Spanish wine industry has a lot going for it right now. The wines are very affordable for the quality you get—that’s obviously the most important thing. But along with incredible value there’s an amazing amount of diversity across white, red and sparkling wine varietals. Wineries have incredibly old vine... Read More »
Our second vintage of this DI Albariño, this wine shows everything we like in the grape: hints of lemongrass, lively stone fruit and a brisk, saline tinged palate. Located in the sub-zone of Condado do Tea, where the days are a bit warmer and evenings are slightly cooler, there is a wonderful mid-palate presence to complement the typically lean and mineral qualities of Albariño. A classic with any shellfish, especially Dungeness crab!
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The entry-level 2015 Bolo wants to showcase Godello at its purest, and therefore is fermented in stainless steel and bottled early without bâttonage to preserve the primary character of the grape. 2015 saw an early harvest because of a warm and dry summer, with some rains in the middle of the harvest, which allowed the remaining vines to reach a better phenolic ripeness. The grapes come from the O Bolo zone, both purchased and from their own vineyards. The wine is quite expressive after bottling, a touch reductive, but with powerful aromas of bay leaf an ...Read More »
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The NV Amontillado Gran Barquero is an impressive 25-30 years old. It wears a dark amber robe and a subtle, elegant and focused nose. It’s an Amontillado of finesse, with biological, salty notes and roasted almonds, close to the Fino character. The palate shows a medium-bodied wine of a velvety texture, fine acidity and clean, focused flavors, It represents superb value for the quality it delivers. (LG)" (8/2013) 94 points Wine & Spirits: "Pérez Barquero was founded in 1905, but the name was known only locally until 1985, when businessman Rafael Cordoba bought the winery in Montilla ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
A new K&L Direct Import! Native South African Bryan MacRobert grew up in a farming family, and has been quietly making some of that country's best value wines. He fell in love with a girl from Rioja as well as the region's wines (we forget in which order) but quickly became fascinated with the inimitable terroirs and endless potential for wines in the region. A proponent not only of organic viticulture, but also a strong believer in the importance of legacy organically cultivated vines on top quality sites, Bryan is picky about where he grows and sources... Read More »
This is a delicious Albariño, always one of our top two or three for someone looking for a classic expression of this white wine. A wonderfully mineral nose leads to bright, succulent, yellow stone fruit flavors with more than a wisp of salinity adding freshness and making it pretty difficult to not gulp this one down quickly. Palacio de Fefiñanes is the oldest known brand of Albariño and the first to have bottled their wine. Based in the "birthplace of Albariño," the seaside town of Cambados, the winery purchases fruit from 60 growers, many of whom own... Read More »
Produced from 100% Albilla, a white grape variety indigenous to the Manchuela D.O. on the eastern most portion of Castilla La Mancha, this is delicious, bone dry white, punctuated by citric fruits and intense minerality. You can really sense the chalkiness of his vineyards in this pure expression. Juan Antonio Ponce is one of Spain's leading lights among a new, younger set of vignerons who pair their vineyard knowledge with serious discipline and curiosity in the cellar, often borrowing techniques from the north of the border, where their influences are ... Read More »
Agusti Torello Mata is one of the leading producers of Cava in Penedès, and also produce some still wines from the same grape varieties.
An incredible 8-10 year average age Manzanilla, the Aurora is our newest Manzanilla and one of our more exciting Sanluqueño offerings in quite a while! A blend of two different soleras: one in barrio bajo which contributes umami driven savoriness and the other in barrio alto which lends a round richness, this is a Manzanilla that satisfies and clearly is punching beyond its weight class. Aromas of flor and tarragon lead to a lovely appley palate with surprising textural weight and length. A must try for fans of the inimitable dry Sherries of Sanlucar de... Read More »
Produced from 70 year-old Palomino and Doña Blanca, planted on a west facing vineyard in Bierzo, this is fermented and aged in neutral barrels, and is one of the finest Spanish whites I have tasted year to date. Aromas are slightly spicy and, at the same time, reminiscent of Burgundy with white fruit and citrus. On the palate the wine is certainly riper than Burgundy (as it should be in sunny España) but delicious, both creamy in texture and with plenty of cut as well. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer)
Wonderful Chardonnay from Navarra! This comes from a vineyard planted in 1988. Clean yellow fruit and citrus with shows a balanced flavor profile, with lovely lees-aged creaminess as well.
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 X could be considered an Albariño varietal, as it only contains 5% Treixadura. X is for xisto, schist in Gallego language, the soil where the vines are planted on the As Penelas vineyard, which is the source for the wine; they are very poor soils where the young plants really struggle to grow. I believe Albariño has a very high potential in Ribeiro and it produces sharper wines than Godello, but still it's not very common and it's even rarer on schist soils. All the whites unless specified otherwise start fermenting with natural yeasts, and sele ...Read More »
Based in the Rioja Alavesa town of Ollauri, Valencisco recently started producing a very limited amount of Rioja rosado and blanco. This wine is aged in all Russian oak, imparting a slightly nutty/sweet spiciness to an otherwise bright, steely, crisp, and mineral white wine. 70% Viura, 30% Garnacha Blanca. White Rioja continues to be a vastly underappreciated, overlooked style of wine, particularly white Rioja as well made as Valenciso's.
Inventory: San Francisco
Wine Spectator: "Shows a light piney hint before bright chamomile and honeysuckle aromas fill in. Rather nervy through the palate, featuring a finish of green almond and fennel notes. (Web-2014)" K&L Notes: A wonderful expression of Manzanilla, the La Cigarrera always comes to us very fresh, expressing the briny, sea air quality for which these wines are known. It is bone dry, appley and has suggestions of loquat fruit and pits, with terrific complexity, no doubt due to the bodega's prime location in the "barrio bajo" section of Sanlucar, as well as its use of an amazing eight criade... Read More »
91 points Wine & Spirits: "Gently floral, with hints of iodine and pepper, this is a subtle and delicate Fino. The acidity keeps up the tension while the texture feels soft. Give it time in the glass and spicy scents emerge, along with an intriguing fruitiness." (10/2013) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The non-vintage Fino offers up aromas and flavors of sea salt and roasted nuts. It is excellent as an aperitif or as an accompaniment to sushi. (JM)" (2/2007) Jancis Robinson: "Quite subtle and light. Delicate but not thin - tangy and bright, in fact." (9/2012) K&L Notes: El Maestro Sierra is a terrific boutique sherry bodega in Jerez de la Fronte... Read More »
93 points Wine & Spirits: "Extremely dry, this austere Amontillado comes from the white chalky albariza soils of the famed Macharnudo vineyard. It aged under flor for about eight years, and then spent eight more years aging oxidatively before being bottled. At first, it shows only the classic flavors of iodine and salt, with enchanting sea breeze notes. You have to wait for the fruit flavors to emerge, notes of roasted white fruit and nuts emerging in the midst of its cool flavors. Only for fans of super-dry Sherry, this is ideal for mojama, cured tuna belly." (10/2015) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The NV Tio D ...Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "This has enticing range, with hints of nectarine and white peach out front, followed quickly by a saltier profile of chalk, quinine, Brazil nut and citrus oil. The long, vigorous finish has lovely spine, leaving a fleur de sel note echoing. (JM)" (8/2014) K&L Notes: Lots of attention has recently been placed on the historic region and stunning wines of Jerez. Despite all the newspaper articles, restaurant by-the-glass placements, even a serious new book on the topic, the spotlight has generally avoided Rey Fernando de Castilla. Now that we finally have the wines avai... Read More »
This juicy, yellow fruited, "smashable" white is from the region of Ribeiro, which lies immediately east of Rias Baixas within Spain's autonomía of Galicia. Treixadura typically forms the basis of white wines in the Ribeira D.O., with Godello and Albariño often present in smaller quantities.
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Superb within its class, the NV La Bota de Fino Macharnudo Alto is sourced from the Inocente solera from Valdespino, a barrel-fermented, 10 year under flor Fino from the Macharnudo Alto vineyard, one of the most famous in Jerez, bottled unfiltered from a selection of butts from the Inocente solera of Valdespino, a Fino averaging 10 years of age under flor when bottled, with a strong flor character. It has a powerful nose of esparto grass, dried herbs, iodine, brine and almonds. The palate is medium to full-bodied with great power and concentration. This ...Read More »
Bright, citric and balanced, without any overt fruitiness, this Malvasia from volcanic soils on the island of Lanzarote is one of our favorite Canary whites. The minerality and pitch perfect fruit combine for a refreshing white to enjoy on its own, with seafood (cooked or raw), or for a taste of the canaries, with some herb roasted chicken, papas arrugadas and mojo!
Jancis Robinson: "Salt, fresh green apple, iodine and mushroom with a winning creamy texture and lovely clarity. Excellent, as usual. (RH)" (11/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Talking about which, the NV Tio Pepe Fino is an icon of Sherry wine. Produced from Palomino grapes aged in the Tio Pepe solera for an average of four years under flor. It has a light nose of dried flowers, almonds and olives, in a subtle way and a dry palate dominated by the chalky notes. Light and easy to drink, it is a good introduction to Fino Sherry. (LG)" (8/2013) Wine Spectator: "Shows a rounded edge for a fino, with blanched almond and wh ...Read More »
Produced from a blend of Viura, Malvasia and Tempranillo Blanco, this is a wonderfully fresh, minerally white typical of the best unoaked whites of the region. Perhaps there is a bit more flesh and richness due to the presence of Tempranillo Blanco, a naturally occuring mutation of the Tempranillo grape that gives wine of great character, richness and intensity.
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Going one step beyond, the NV Amontillado en Rama Cruz Vieja is aged for five years under 'flor' and then a further seven years in topped up barrels once the alcohol was adjusted to 17.5% in the 'soleras' and 'criaderas' system for an average of seven years. It is an elegant, floral wine, with subtle notes of hazelnuts, pine nuts, flowers, honey and a very sharp, salty palate, that makes it extremely long. This is the May 2014 bottling (Lot-141603), and I consider this a great value Amontillado. 1,000 bottles were filled. (LG)" (12/2014) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Offers a smoked al ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Really above the average of Montilla Moriles Fino. Delicate, refreshing, salty, marine with an elegant yeasty character. Vivid but with a nutty appeal with really marked ageing notes such as toast and biscuit. Great intensity and depth. Extremely fresh bottle - although I know Spaniards are at an advantage in terms of sherry freshness. (FC)" (3/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The NV Electrico del Lagar Fino is aged, unfortified, under flor for an average of 10 years in the solera created 60 years ago before being bottled into half liter bottles. It is called Electrico, and it used ...Read More »
This is far and away the best vintage of Viña Mein that I can recall. Considered by some the "Grandfather of Galicia," proprietor Javier Alén is clearly moving things forward at this venerable property located in th D.O. of Ribeiro, due east of Rias Baixas. Primarily a Treixadura based blend, Godello, Loureiro, Torrontes, Albariño and Albilla are also cultivated. Juicy apricot, yellow fruit and fruit cocktail flavors show loads of freshness and typicity. This manages a lovely balance between lees driven richness and fresh fruit flavors. Tasty stuff. (Joe... Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The NV Fino en Rama Cruz Vieja is an unfiltered and un-fined Fino aged for an average of five to seven years under 'flor'. It has a textbook Fino nose of albariza soil, esparto grass, green olives and iodine, balanced and pungent. It has a medium-bodied palate with some volume and sweet green olive flavors. Only 1.260 bottles produced, which are for now sold in Spain and Japan. This is the bottling from May 2014. (LG)" (9/2014) K&L Notes: We are thrilled to introduce you to the newest winery in Jerez, Bodegas Faustino Gonzalez, who just began commercializing and bott... Read More »
93 points Wine & Spirits: "Inland from the coast, Montilla-Moriles does not feel the influence of the sea as greatly as Jerez. In the warmer climate, the wines tend to be more unctuous and ripe. In this case, the pedro ximénez has been vinified under flor, which gives it an inescapably salty flavor that overpowers the candied apricot and prune fruit. In the end, it’s a dry, delicious sherry for jamón serrano." (10/2015) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The NV Fino Gran Barquero is aged 8-10 years under flor, pushing the limits of biological aging, which gives it a different profile: It is a big step up in quality, ...Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "Round, rich style. Sports bitter chocolate, toffee, honey and ocean brine flavors, picking up a burnt edge. Balanced, ending with a dry, pungent finish. Drink now. (BS)" (11/2006) K&L Notes: Lots of attention has recently been placed on the historic region and stunning wines of Jerez. Given all the newspaper articles, restaurant by-the-glass placements, even a serious new book on the topic, the spotlight has generally avoided Rey Fernando de Castilla. Now that we finally have the wines available to us in California, it is our intention to change that and spread the w... Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The textbook NV Oloroso en Rama Cruz Vieja is bottled from a solera started in 1900 and the wine averages 10 years of age. It's immediately recognizable as Oloroso, and even if it's not particularly old or complex, it's really pleasant. It mixes noble woods, with bitter marmalade, tobacco and spices. The palate is round and balanced, with good intensity. (LG)" (4/2016) 90 points Wine Spectator: "A high-pitched oloroso, with singed orange peel, dried persimmon, Brazil nut and green tea notes allied to a nervy spine. A little shy on bass, but shows plenty of cut and drive. (JL) ...Read More »
Finca Garabato is a parcel of Valtea's oldest wines. You will notice that it says "2o Año" on the label, which refers to the fact that it ages in tank on its lees for a year following fermentation. This gives the wine a lovely richness, which, particularly in a cooler vintage like 2014, really ramps up the flavor and textural qualities of the wine. Still refreshing, only richer and ready to take on a meal.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The impressive line-up is opened with the pale-colored NV Manzanilla Deliciosa, which is produced with Palomino grapes from the Miraflores vineyard and aged for five years under yeast. It is a finer version of La Guita, easy to drink, with a sweet note of apples in the nose, a polished and gentle palate, ending with a saline touch. Drink 2013-2014." (8/2013) Wine Spectator: "Lovely salt, Brazil nut and floral notes combine with a bitter citrus oil accent on the taut finish. Drink now. (Web-2013)"
Albarín, no relation to Albariño of Galician fame, is a variety indigenous to Asturias, the beautiful portion of Spain best known for great blue cheeses and tart ciders. While the region is not yet well known as a wine growing region, it is not without its ideal climates and soils for fine wine production, and grapes have been growing in the slate soils of Cangas for a long time. This is delicious white wine, more than a mere curiosity from a beautiful, under-explored region, or an example of a novel grape variety. The fruit flavors are bright and focuse... Read More »
An incredibly elegant series of barrel-selected Sherries, personally chosen by Alex Russan, a passionate Sherry evangelist. Alex's belief that Sherry can be amongst the most complex, versatile, and deeply satisfying of all wines, particularly when they are carefully selected, blended, and minimally processed, is one with which we here completely agree. This Fino is fresh and lively enough to pair with savory foods as well as delicate desserts.