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K&L Staff Recommendations
Jesús Puelles is one of the most talented vignerons in Rioja. Hailing from a long line of vineyard worker/owners, Puelles knows the terruño in his little slice of land in the Rioja Alta town of Abalos. Most of the grapes for his red wines come from his own 20 hectares, which are north-facing and located at 600 meters in altitude, affording the visitor with one of the most dramatically beautiful views of Rioja's main mountain ranges: the Sierra Cantabria mountains immediately to the north and the Sierra de la Demanda mountains to the south. This white win... 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
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.
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.
Inventory: San Francisco
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 »
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)
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 »
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 »
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 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 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 »
Honorío Rubio is a Riojano white wine specialist. In a land best known for it's incredibly age-worthy, amongst 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 Codorvín,... 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 »
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)"
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 »
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.
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 »
Agusti Torello Mata is one of the leading producers of Cava in Penedès, and also produce some still wines from the same grape varieties.
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 »
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 »
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 »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The pungent and marine NV La Bota de Manzanilla 55 is one new bottling of a Manzanilla from seven years of aging under flor in the Barrio Bajo in Sanlúcar, from the Sánchez Ayala winery with a really pungent aroma, the character of this particular winery, really high acetaldehyde, a sub-product of the biological aging, for me a textbook, pungent Manzanilla, that won't please the drinker of light, over filtered, industrial Manzanillas. The palate is medium-bodied with very intense, sharp flavors. This is ready to be enjoyed now, but it will develop a diff ...Read More »
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 »
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)
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!
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 »
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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
Vinous: "Light, bright yellow. Vibrant, mineral-accented citrus and orchard fruit aromas are complemented by suggestions of jasmine and green tea. Silky and focused on the palate, offering bitter citrus zest and green apple flavors that stretch out on the back half. Shows a refreshingly bitter quality on the tangy, lingering finish. (JR)" (1/2016) Wine Enthusiast: "Apple and peach aromas are clean and pure. This feels round yet compact, with orange, nectarine and pithy flavors. Green-apple tartness and malic acidity push a pure finish that doesn't balk." (2/2016) K&L Notes: 100% Hondarribi Zuri ... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 »
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.
This minimally filtered, en rama Fino comes from a fairly large solera in Jerez, and is characteristically the richest and fullest in body of the "3 En Rama" series. Fortunately for all of us fans of "en rama," or minimally filtered and minimally processed Sherries, Lustau bottles three excellent examples from their extensive holdings. These bottlings present a real opportunity to enjoy a young Fino or Manzanilla in a state that most faithfully approximates a barrel drawn solera sample (which, of course, is Sherry at its most romantic and its most delici... 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 »
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 »
A delicious fresh vintage of Txakoli from the region of Alava ('Araba' in Basque). this is a blend of the indigenous Hondarribi Zuri and Hondarribi Zuri Zerratia (HZZ for short, also known as Petit Courbu in France). Fresh and fizzy, though slightly less so than our other Txakolis. While zippy and bracing, this Txakoli does show a slightly richer texture and rounder, more intense fruit quality, owing as much to its production as to the vineyards' location further inland from the sea (Alava also happens to be part of Rioja wine country). Add this to the s... 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 Manzanilla is hot off the presses--just bottled in 2015.
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 »
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.
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The NV Barbiana Manzanilla Pasada, also from Palomino grapes from the Miraflores vineyard, is a 30,000-bottle selection with a nose of salty sunflower seeds, a strong Manzanilla character and an intense palate, long, with subtle saline flavors and a very dry finish. I cannot see the pasada character here (it’s what it said on the label), but it is a superb Manzanilla. Drink 2013-2014. (LG)" (8/2013) K&L Notes: The Barbiana Manzanilla Pasada comes from a solera from Rodriguez La-Cave, purchased in 1978. The Rodriguez La-Cave bodega was located in the barrio alto whe... 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 »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The youngish NV Fino Una Palma 2014 release is a selection of three butts from the 4th 'criadera' from the Amontillado Fino solera averaging six years of aging under flor. It has a fine, elegant, aromatic, feminine aroma and a subtle, medium, light palate with flavors of seaweed and salt. Drink this on its young exuberant phase or let it mellow down in bottle for a while. (LG)" (12/2014)
Inventory: San Francisco