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K&L Staff Recommendations
2012 Peyrabon, Haut-Médoc $15.99
2012 L'Avocat Rouge, Graves $14.99
Château Bois-Malot is located in Saint Loubes and situated on the shoreline of the Dordogne River. The soils are clay and light limestone with a subsoil of red pebbles and clay. The blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 20% Cabernet Franc. It is aged for eighteen months in large vats and then an additional six months in oak. Won Best Of Class, Gold Medal, in the Los Angeles Wine & Spirits Competition, 2013.
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Peyrabon is owned by a branch of the Bernard family that also owns Domaine de Chevalier. This powerful, complex wine shows its pedigree. Dark tannins and ripe black fruits are all evidence of its aging potential. Drink from 2018." (5/2015) Wine Spectator: "Light loam and charcoal shadings line a core of plum skin and macerated blackberry fruit. A loamy edge lends a slightly chewy twinge to the finish. This has put on a bit of weight since the barrel tasting. (JM, Web-2015)"
Château Malescasse is an historic property ideally situated on gravel soils close to the Gironde River just north of Margaux. While it is true that 2007 will never have the power or authority of the finest vintages of the decade, the best wines display a remarkable ripeness and an admirable richness of texture. These are medium to full-bodied reds with soft tannins that will make great near to medium-term drinking. They are priced appropriately and many, like this 2007 Malescasse, offer exceptional value.
90 points James Suckling: "Soft and pretty now with currants, mineral and stone character. Medium to full body, rough tannins." (10/2015) K&L Notes: This second wine of Château Cantemerle is primarily sourced from younger vine parcels from the esteemed estate. The wine has a similar profile to the Grand Vin, but is ready to drink within several years of harvest. That's now! A quick decant reveals generous fruit and and good terroir that is always welcome for under $20. The blend is 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot,and 10% Cabernet Franc. Even as a second wine, grapes were individually hand s... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "***Editors' Choice*** This is a strong wine for the price, unfolding with caramelized berries, kirsch, black cassis, wet river stone and tight plum skins on the dense nose. Cooked blackberries and black-cherry jam show on the palate, where elegant graphite tannins make for a very silky, earthy wine. (MK)" (9/2016) K&L Notes: Quietly Concannon Vineyard has one of the longest histories in the California Wine Industry. Dating back to 1883 when James Concannon set up his winery in the Livermore Valley, recognizing that it was strikingly similar to the terroir of Bordeaux... Read More »
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Tasted out of barrel, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon should be just as good as the 2013. Seeing all native yeast, 42 days on skins, 12 months in French oak and bottled unfined and unfiltered, it offers classic plum and blackberry fruit intermixed with ample licorice, toasted bread and violet aromas and flavors. Concentrated, balanced and the real deal, buy it by the case and drink it over the coming 4-5 years. Readers need to check out these latest Charles Smith offerings released under the Substance label. These are all handpicked, see native ferments and ...Read More »
Wow! An insane value in Cabernet from famed (Jimmy Watson Trophy Winner) winemaker Jeremy Gordon. Trellis is a new line of wines from Margaret River-based Amelia Park. The fruit, as with all of Amelia Park's wines, is sourced from some of the best vineyards in the region. Most producers in this ultra-premium wine region charge top dollar for their wines, how Amelia Park can deliver this level of quality, for these tiny prices, continues to amaze me. Jeremy makes beautiful, pure, fruit driven wines with excellent richness, balance and polish. This is just... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "There are 100,000 bottles of this beautiful sleeper of the vintage, which offers terrific value. The proprietor is the son of Bernard Magrez, who has crafted a blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc. Fruity and Bordeaux-like, with notes of tobacco leaf, blueberries, black raspberries and incense, this explosively fruity, delicious, complex wine is relatively easy to consume yet should continue to drink well for 7-8 years, if not longer. (RP)" (2/2013) Wine Spectator: "A forward, flattering style, offering quite lush raspberry and plum sauce ...Read More »
90 points James Suckling: "Fascinating aromas of dried flowers and dark currants. Full to medium body with bright fruit and a delicate finish. Turns to chocolate and sweet tobacco." (8/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon mixes grapes from Medrano where it is warmer and their vines are young, while Agrelo is fresher (very old vines). The wine aged for eight months in French oak barrels, third and fourth-use. It is a ripe Cabernet with a creamy texture, where they are looking for the varietal character. It has a velvety palate and is medium-bodied and intense, with fine tannins combinin ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a dense wine, solid with black plum and berry flavors that show great warmth and richness. At this stage the wood aging does give some bitter dark chocolate, although this will integrate. It needs aging; drink from 2019. (RV)" (5/2015) 91 points James Suckling: "This is tight and integrated with firm and racy tannins, bright fruit and hints of wet earth. Full to medium body and complex flavors. Give it more time to soften and develop in bottle." (2/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A juicy, sexy style of Margaux, with a dark ruby/plum/purple color, some nice blackcurrant and black cherry fruit, sweet tan ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "...Interesting aromas of plum pit and flowers. Medium to full-bodied, with firm tannins and a medium finish...Traditional in style... (JS, Web-2004)"
Though the 2014 vintage has yet to be professionally reviewed, the 2013 earned 91 points and a "Best Value" designation from Wine Spectator: "Supple, focused and distinctive, with a core of ripe plum, currant, sage, and floral flavors, mingling effectively and harmoniously on the long, expressive finish. The tannins are nicely shaped. Drink now through 2020." (12/2015)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A California Côtes du Rhône look-alike, the 2012 Mountain Cuvée is a blend of 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 8% Zinfandel and the rest small dollops of Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Malbec aged 14 months in mostly French oak. It reveals spicy, peppery, meaty notes intermixed with hints of Provençal herbs, dense black cherry and plum-like fruit, medium to full body, an attractive texture, and a seductive finish. (RP)" (11/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "An unidentified mix of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot sourced from throughout the county, this is a smoky, leathery e ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "This is rich with black fruits and layers of wood. It is structured and dense while also having the attractive fruitiness of the vintage. (RV)" (3/2016)
94 points James Halliday: "Good hue; a medium-bodied wine that meets all reasonable expectations. The cassis, black olive and bay leaf aromas and flavours are clear and uncluttered, but do not deny the oak and tannins their place at the table. I have every confidence the wine will richly repay five to 10+ years in the cellar." 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A blend of Clare Valley and Coonawarra fruit, the deep garnet-purple colored 2013 Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon opens with tons of minted blackcurrant and black cherry notes with some chocolate and clove hints. The medium to full-bodied palate is filled with juic ...Read More »
91 points Wine & Spirits: "For all its plumpness, this feels sophisticated, its sense of fatness coming from abundant, perfectly ripe tannins rather than jammy, overripe fruit. Its clean, dark berry flavors are harmonious and lasting, the structure seeming at one moment supple and easy, at the next more deep and stony. Give it another five years in the bottle before pouring it with a standing rib roast." (2/2016) 90 points Vinous: "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley is terrific... Sweet red cherry, pomegranate, spices, mint and gravel meld into the voluptuous, racy finish. There are plenty of ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A top-notch effort from proprietress Helene Garcin, Haut-Bergey’s 2004 exhibits an evolved, cedary, smoky, tobacco, and sweet cherry-scented bouquet offered in a medium-bodied, supple-textured style." (6/2007) Decanter: "Very ripe, modern style. Pronounced colour. Creamy, cassis cordiale and spice fragrance. Rich, chunky fruit with a firm tannic structure." (4/2005) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Red-ruby. Sexy, rather wild aromas of roasted raspberry and game. Supple but firm-edged, with good grip to the raspberry and mineral flavors. There's good fruit here but limited fat and a restrained sweetne ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "This is dense yet fresh and lively with ripe currant, plum and dried mushroom character. Medium to full body, crisp and delicious. Real Napa at a solid price. Drink now." (6/2016) Wine Enthusiast: "This soft, simple wine, with small touches of Malbec and Petit Verdot, delivers sizable tannin atop notable acidity. Tart red currant and cherry meet cedar and a taste of toffee, allowing for a pleasantness on the palate that’s rich and ripe." (12/2016) Wine Spectator: "Fresh herb, dill and charry oak notes make this distinctive, if a bit dry and smoky. Retains an elegant mouthfeel. (Web Only—2016)" ...Read More »
Château Haut-Bailly can trace its origins back to the 16th century, but it’s been managed by a member of the Sanders family since the Belgian merchant Daniel Sanders bought the property in 1955 and began to restore the quality and reputation of the wine. Today it’s managed by his granddaughter Veronique Sanders who has put together an outstanding cuvee under the property's third label: the Pessac-Léognan de Haut Bailly. While 2014 was a difficult vintage, this wine is a shining star; especially considering the price and the quality of the vineyards invol... Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "This has a large core of dark currant, plum and fig fruit rolled together and inlaid with baker's chocolate, dark tobacco and loam notes. The long, solid, muscular finish lets the fruit and loam play out nicely. Best from 2014 through 2020. 2,500 cases made. (JM)" (3/2013)
92 points James Suckling: "A big and juicy style of Napa red for those who love the 1990s genre. Yet there's a form and tension to the wine with chewy tannins that make it very drinkable and intriguing. Drink or hold." (1/2016) 91 points Vinous: "A rich, full-throttle wine, the 2013 Red Blend Taken, a Merlot/Cabernet blend is one of the more flamboyant wines readers will come across in this vintage. Unctuous on the palate, the 2013 is loaded with tons of super-ripe fruit and French oak, with all of its elements nicely put together. (AG)" (9/2015) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon with 40% Merlot is y ...Read More »
Wine & Spirits: "A velvety blend based on merlot, this is simple but clean, its strawberry-red fruit lifted...It’s light enough for roast chicken." (8/2015) K&L Notes: Lyeth's Meritage is a blend of the five red Bordeaux varietals with 58% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Malbec, 11% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. With grapes sourced from select vineyards across Sonoma County, it is the flagship wine of the estate and delivers an excellent value. From the winery: "A brilliant garnet in color, this Meritage is rich with aromas of dark cherry, plum, and boysenberry with subtle ... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This Haut-Medoc sleeper of the vintage from Bordeaux visionary Bernard Magrez possesses copious quantities of black currant and cherry fruit as well as supple tannins presented in a medium-bodied, opulent style... (RP)" (6/2007) Wine Enthusiast: "Now mature, this is a powerful wine for the vintage. It has a spice note, plus tannins that are still present and likely to develop further. The flavors of truffle, gamy beef and beet are are testaments to the age of this wine." (2/2013)
Jancis Robinson: "Very refreshing nose. Lots of energy...Minerals, refreshment and nice balance here...Good stuff." (1/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Tasted at the Crus Bourgeois 2010 tasting in London. This has a very seductive bouquet with blackberry, violet and vanilla – there is some new oak to be absorbed here, but it has a beguiling femininity. The palate is medium-bodied with coca-tinged black fruit. (NM)" (8/2012) Wine Spectator: "Shows a gutsy feel, with lightly mulled plum and steeped cassis fruit melded with singed apple wood and smoldering charcoal. The long, fleshy finish lets the roasted wood edge play ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Substantive flavors and a rich, tannic texture form a serious profile for this deeply colored, dry and full-bodied wine. It smells like raspberries, tastes deep and concentrated, and has a very firm and nicely astringent mouthfeel. Pour it with a big steak, chop or roast." (4/2016)
92 points James Suckling: "A firm and beautiful red with black currant and berry character. Full-bodied, silky and refined. Shows real Napa Valley Cabernet character. Drink or hold." (7/2015) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Mostly from estate vineyards, and blended with other Bordeaux varieties, this wine balances dense, chewy, sizable tannins with a juicy core of blackberry, baking spices and leather. Given time, its sense of elegance should rule over its power, while for now, it finishes in bittersweet chocolate. Cellar through 2020. (VB)" (12/2015) Wine & Spirits: "Sour cherry flavors fill this soft Cabernet, ...Read More »
93 points James Halliday: "Well, well. This is unadorned Cabernet Sauvignon, with as much olive, bay leaf, earth and firm tannins as black fruits. A standout for purists interested in fruit, not oak, flavours; moreover a cellaring special for those so inclined." (8/2016) 91 points Wine & Spirits: "Scents of graphite, gunflint and fresh tobacco all contribute to this wine's varietal integrity, a Cabernet with lasting cassis and darker currant flavors. It's refreshing, with fruit-skin tannins that feel chewy, giving the wine shape. Youthful and approachable, this will only gain from several years in the cellar. ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Blackberry and blueberry character. Currants too. Full body, lots of velvety tannins and a long and intense finish. Solid here. Better in 2016." (7/2014) 91 points Wine Spectator: "Rock solid, with a gutsy frame of roasted apple wood and a full-bodied core of plum, boysenberry and black currant fruit. Dense and chewy, displaying spice-studded grip on the finish that courses along vivaciously. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2020. (Web Only - 2013) (JM)" 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "From a property owned by Patrick Bernard of négociant Millésima, this shows the result ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A tasty effort from the Reiffers family, this 2007 (70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon) exhibits dusty, earthy notes, a lush, medium-bodied style, and abundant black cherry fruit, herb, and spice characteristics. It is deep, medium-bodied, and best drunk over the next 7-8 years. (RP)" (4/2010) Wine Spectator: "Berry and black olive on the nose and palate. Medium-bodied, with firm tannins and a medium-to-light finish. (JS, Web-2008)"
Chateau Ste. Michelle crafts their Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon to highlight concentrated Washington red fruit in an accessible style. One of the warmest seasons in decades, 2014 in eastern Washington was ideal for growing Cabernet grapes. This is an inviting red wine, versatile with anything from a cheese platter to a sumptuous roast.
Inventory: San Francisco
92 points James Suckling: "A tangy and rich red with dried plum and berry character. Full body. Flavorful finish. Drink now. (JS)" (2/2016) 92 points Wine Spectator: "Robust and concentrated, with vanilla and sarsaparilla accents to the blackberry and cherry flavors. Dried herb notes linger on the velvety finish. Drink now through 2030. Web Only-2016 (MW)" K&L Notes: This is a serious mouth full of Cabernet for a ludicrously low price! The latest in a run of dynamite value Cabs from Margaret River - the "Ringbolt" is made by 30 year veteran winemaker Peter Gambetta. Pete has made wine all over the world including some top... Read More »
96 points James Halliday: "Another wine from Wynns and the '12 vintage that shows a significant change in winemaking direction, with the alcohol of 13.5%. While the Woodley Treasure Chest wines were basically shiraz, none wholly cabernet sauvignon, this wine has a structure those wines had in their early maturity. What is most interesting here is the early development on the palate of savoury flavours and firm tannins, yet allowing the fruit to maintain its line through to the all-important finish, where balance is not in question." 90 points Wine Spectator: "Grippy tannins frame a bright beam of raspberry an ...Read More »
95 points Sam Kim: "This is impressively fruited and beautifully styled. The perfumed bouquet shows complex aromas of cassis, dark plum, floral and clove with classic cigar box complexity. It is concentrated, dense and plush on the palate, delivering bags of gorgeous flavours and layers of fine texture, all brilliantly wrapped in fine, chalky tannins. Lovely harmony and integration, promising to evolve graciously. At its best: 2017 to 2024." (8/2015) 92-93 points Raymond Chan: "Very dark, deep, black-hued purple-red colour. The nose is refined in expression with tightly bound and elegantly concentrated ...Read More »
96 points James Halliday: "Classic claret-style Cabernet. Medium-bodied and refreshing with fine flavours of pencil, chocolate, mulberry and crushed leaf. Firm but well integrated tannin. Knows exactly what style it wants to be and sets about nailing it." (2/2015) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "Bright, vibrant purple reds. Fragrant, ripe Cabernet - cassis, blackcurrant and violets underpinned by redcurrant, chocolate and pencil lead. The presentation is of a fine, elegant medium bodied claret style that has weight and firmness yet retains its refreshing line and length. It will cellar well ove... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent value that has classic Cabernet notes of black currants, plums, graphite and some herbal aromas and flavors. Blended with 16% Syrah, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Zinfandel, and aged 16 months in French and American oak, drink this medium-bodied, nicely balanced 2014 over the coming 4-5 years. (JD)" (8/2016) Vinous: "Dark purple. Spice-accented dark fruits and pipe tobacco on the perfumed nose. Supple and appealingly sweet, showing good depth to the ripe black currant and cherry flavors. Finishes smooth, broad and a touch warm ...Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This screaming deal is majority varietal, with small amounts of Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. It works deliciously, thick and concentrated in cherry, cranberry and a tease of orange peel, staying crisply intriguing and amazingly light bodied on the palate. This is well worth case-stocking in one's home. (VB)" (5/2016)
90 points James Suckling: "Elegant, bright and fruity with light raspberry, lemon rind and stone character. Medium body, fine tannins and a clean finish. Better in 2016." (2/2015) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Made up of several different parcels scattered across the Margaux appellation, the château now has 24 acres. This 2012 is structured while also full of ripe fruit. The tannins lie behind the juicy red fruitiness and the immediately attractive ripe flavors. (RV)" (5/2015)
From one of the most legendary of vintages we've secured a Cabernet deal that brings both the sensational quality of the Napa Valley with the perfect growing conditions of 2013 and combines them into one unbeatable price. The dark fruit envelopes the palate on the initial sip, while plenty of tannic structure carries through to the finish. This is simply a beautiful wine you can open tonight, or any other day of the week, but with potential to go much longer in the cellar! While we have to remain quiet about the source of this beauty, we can tell you tha... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Consistently one of the great values in Cabernet Sauvignon from Northern California is Louis M. Martini’s Sonoma County 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot, Petitie Sirah, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. They make 353,000 cases of it, so there shouldn’t be many complaints about finding it. This is another beauty from the Martinis, aged in a combination of French and American oak staves in tank. The wine is dark ruby/purple and displays delicious black and red currant fruit with some underlying soil and underb ...Read More »
Producer Note: "Native fermentation, 100% de-stemmed, 100% whole berry, 100% neutral French Oak, unfined and unfiltered, 85% Seaton vineyard in Dry Creek Valley, 15% Totem Ridge vineyard in Knight's Valley. Tasting notes: This full-bodied red wine has blackberry and cocoa flavors, with some pepper and spice on the finish."
Rudy Von Strasser may have got his start in the wine business as an intern at prestigious Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, but he hasn't let his head, or his prices, ascend into the stratosphere. The wine is made up of 100% Diamond Mountain fruit, some of which comes off the Von Strasser Estate. This is a concentrated, elegant, and eminently drinkable Cab delivering more-than-everyday quality for a fantastic price. From the winery: "This bold Cabernet Sauvignon has great perfume of violets. Intertwining aromas of blueberry,cassis and coffee all lead into a ric... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "0 This wine comes from vineyards owned by Saint-Julien Château Beychevelle that lie just outside the appellation. It’s a sophisticated wine that has great balance between the ripe black fruits and fresh acidity. Keenly structured, it has a dark texture and layers of attractive fruit and acidity. (RV)" (5/2015)
93 points James Suckling: "Extreme nose of crushed raspberries and minerals. Full body, with very integrated tannins and a fresh clean finish. Lasts for minutes. Very well done. Better in 2016." (2/2013) 90-92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Great swathes of sweet tannins and ripe berry fruits, the wine is delicious, ripe, concentrated and intense without losing charm." (6/2011) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Chateau Clarke 2010 has a well-defined bouquet with ripe blackberry and strawberry fruit, touches of eau-de-vie and liquorice emerging to render the aromatics quite medicinal, in stark contrast to its showing a year ago. The palate is medium-b ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Warm, spicy and sweetly oaky. Ripe damsons on the mid palate. Very nice harmony of fruit and structure, and just fresh enough." (10/2011) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Deep ruby. Complex nose features delicate, almost Margaux-like aromas of cassis, fresh tomato, clove, damp earth and dried underbrush. Then smooth and sweet on the palate and weightier than the nose suggests, with a velvety texture to the cassis and blackberry flavors. Very fine tannins and a saline nuance add interest on the moderately long finish. A very good wine that owing to its ripe fruit flavors is easier to ident ...Read More »
Though the 2014 vintage has yet to be professionally reviewed, Robert Parker praised the 2013: "The 2013 Foxglove Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a nearly 11,000-case cuvée, comes from northern Paso Robles from all hillside vineyards and represents a soft, round, juicy, succulent style of Cabernet. It has black and red currants, loamy soil notes and plenty of juiciness. The wine is delicious and best drunk over the next 2-3 years. The following notes include value-priced wines from the Varner brothers under the moniker Foxglove and they are indeed great va... Read More »
Ch. L’Avocat is from the small commune of Cerons, which is located just north of Barsac and Sauternes in the southern Graves appellation. I met Nicola Allison at a small conference of Women from Bordeaux and Napa Valley in Napa earlier. She followed my advice by sending her wines to our hotel in April to be tasted and Clyde and I liked them. I followed up by visiting the estate almost 8 weeks later and was shown the gravely, plateau vineyards by her husband Sean who manages the vines. The vineyards were purchased by the Allisons in 2002; the fruit was pr... Read More »
Producer Note: "The 2013 J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon is showing exceptionally dark color with a bright hue at release. Intense fruit aromas of black cherry, plum and blueberry are accented by a barrel bouquet of hazelnut, dark chocolate and toasted pastry. Sturdy tannins strike the palate and finish with the hightoned fruit signature that typifies the Paso Robles appellation." -Steve Peck, red winemaker
About the producer: "Since the inaugural vintage of our Decoy Napa Valley Red Wine almost a quarter century ago, Decoy has taken an important place in the Duckhorn Wine Company family of wines. With a reputation for delivering great quality at a remarkable price, Decoy has established a loyal following for its distinctive style, which emphasizes ready-upon-release wines that are capable of expressing their full charm and complexity in their youth. Building on this foundation, Decoy has evolved from being a single wine that supported the Duckhorn Vineyard... Read More »