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K&L Staff Recommendations
2012 L'Avocat Rouge, Graves $14.99
Jancis Robinson: "Two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon, one-third Merlot. 40% of production. Very sweet and round and low key – rather forward but with lovely satiny texture. A bit austere: tannins on the finish and it does fall away a little bit, but it’s awfully well done really – even if hardly recognisable as a St-Estèphe! (JR)" (4/2011) K&L Notes: This wine is stunning. The little brother of Tronquoy Lalande and owned by the Montrose people, this wine is packed with fruit--lots of cassis on the palate. Smooth and sweet and delicious.More structure than the 2009-great for the cellar.
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 »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "This nicely made wine balances juicy black fruit with black licorice, flinty dried herb and a velvety texture. Medium bodied, it shows structure and grace within a context of ripeness and depth. (VB)" (12/2016)
This is a property to watch in the future. Very well-priced wines that have great balance and fruit. This one has toasty aromas and a very fruity palate impression. Super value. Very elegant wine from one of my favorite ready-to-drink vintages. Enjoy with a rack of lamb. (Clyde Beffa, K&L Wine Merchants)
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is an impressive blend of 45% Merlot with 25% estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah from Stagecoach Vineyard and 10% Biale Zinfandel. It comes together seamlessly in a twist of structured blackberry, leathery tannin and tomato leaf, priced to be enjoyed by many." (3/2017) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A terrific value and an amazing sleeper of the vintage is the 2014 Y3 Taureau Proprietary Red, a mélange of 45% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah and 10% Zinfandel. This is a steal at $20, and Napa could certainly use more wines that are creatively put together like this ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Dark in color, this is a concentrated wine that’s very firm in structure, with dense tannins. It’s powered by ripe, mature black fruits as well as acids that cut through the dry texture. This needs several years of aging. (RV)" (2/2013) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Focused, with a singed apple wood frame propelling the core of plum, cassis and black cherry fruit. The solid finish lets hints of charcoal and anise flitter in, displaying fine cut. (JM)" (3/2013) Jancis Robinson: "Dense bright red. Round and fresh. More forward than most but vigorous. Eerily forward. But a nice package. Minerally." (2/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "An ...Read More »
Organic in fact bio-dynamic wine with all the bells and whistles. Our first red in from the great 2015 vintage. Soft and elegant and quite forward-in fact drink it in the next few years.
33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 17% Montepulciano, 17% Alicante.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This full-bodied beauty traffics in cigar, tar and chocolate, expressing a rich, robust and smoky world of goodness. With a velvety texture, it continues to impress beyond the first sip, offering both memorable length and breadth. It blends together 80% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Malbec." (2/2017) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The outstanding 2013 Mountain Cuvée Proprietary Red, which is 80.4% Merlot, 17.4% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Malbec, was aged ten months in a combination of new and used oak. The good news is that there were 16,000+ cases of this outstanding wine. ...Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "Dense, with dark cocoa, graphite and roasted spice notes embedded in a core of fleshy plum sauce, currant paste and blackberry confiture. The long, racy finish smolders with dark fruit. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2020." (3/2013)
We were so happy with the 2013 Kalinda Napa Cabernet that we went back to the same well for the 2014. From another exceptional year for Napa Cabernet, this wine is lush and quite rich with tons of cassis on the nose and palate. Still quite young and showing some rounded tannins, I would cellar this beauty for five years minimum, but if you must drink it, decant one hour at least and serve with a hearty meat course. One hint: the property whence the grapes came is located quite close to a town that really does not have a wine shop in it. - KL Staffer Dri... Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "Serious and rich aromas with blueberry and blackberry character and hints of almonds. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a fresh and bright finish. Drink now or hold." (5/2016) 91 points Wine Spectator: "***Smart Buy*** A ripe and powerful red, with concentrated flavors of dark cherry, smoke and Asian spice that are loaded with chocolate and fresh-ground coffee notes. Creamy and lush on the rich finish. Drink now through 2020. (KM)" (10/2016) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Earthy blackberry aromas are spicy and moderately complex. Structured and sound on the palate, with a strong tannic framework, this tastes of ...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 »
Château Haut-Vigneau is owned by Eric Perrin, the son of the late Anthony Perrin of Château Carbonnieux fame. This property is one of the best value reds in all of Bordeaux. (Clyde Beffa, K&L Co-Owner and Bordeaux Buyer)
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of the best values in Cabernet Sauvignon anywhere in the world remains Louis Martini’s Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County (89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot and the rest Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc and other varieties) is just a beautiful wine. Dense ruby/purple with classic tobacco leaf, blackcurrant, loamy soil notes and a touch of wood spice, this wine (aged 16 months in French and American oak) has relatively modest alcohol for Cabernets these days (13.5%), and what’s even more remarkable is that there are 408,0 ...Read More »
A delicious value red from the right bank. The 10s are usually tannic and a bit hard, but this wine drinks great right now. Lots of sweet blackberry flavors and a smooth, lingering finish. Have it now with a nice rack of lamb. Can be cellared five Plus years. Tastes like a 2009 vintage-maybe they mislabelled it?
Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of toast, char, and milk chocolate along with blue and black fruit are followed by velvety soft fruit flavors. It shows an appealing sense of balance and polish. (SS)" (12/2016) Wine Spectator: "Broad and toasty, with tobacco and cedar overtones to the cherry and red plum flavors, persisting on the well-mannered finish. Best from 2018 through 2022. (HS)" (12/2016)
Wine & Spirits: "A velvety blend based on Merlot, this is simple but clean, its strawberry-red fruit lifted, the structure easy rather than gripping. It’s light enough for roast chicken." (8/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "This wine has a foundation of 57% Merlot, followed by almost equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, then smaller percents of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Perfumed, it expresses itself in tight, chewy tannins before revealing cedar, pencil shavings and cranberry in a medium-bodied package. (VB)" (11/2015) K&L Notes: Lyeth's Meritage is a blend of the five red Bordeaux varietals with 58... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A realistically priced wine from Napa, the 2012 Pauline's Cuvee is an outstanding blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec (7,500 cases) is a beauty from four vineyards in Napa Valley, showing the vintage’s telltale purity, dense purple color, lushness and seductive mocha, espresso and chocolaty notes intermixed with black cherry and blackcurrant fruit. This is a medium to full-bodied, lush, heady wine to drink over the next 5-10 years. (RP)" (10/2015) 90 points Vinous: "The 2012 Pauline's Cuvée is a sexy Merlot-based red, is another ...Read More »
Two talented Paso Robles winemakers joined forces to craft this Cabernet - Curt Schlachlin and Andrew Jones. Curt is winemaker at Sans Liege, known for his high-scoring yet affordable wines, and Andrew is winemaker at Field Recordings and spends most days planting vineyards and walking just about every vineyard in the Central Coast! Tasting notes from the winery: "The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon greets you with scents of lush blue fruit and memories of your grandfather’s briarwood pipe. As the flavor begins to march across your palate it leaves behind hints ... Read More »
The vineyards of Chateau Priban cover less than 1 hectare in the Haut-Medoc. A classic Bordeaux blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and petit verdot. The property is very close to Chateau Cantemerle.
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 »
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)"
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) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Even the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Olema offers plenty of value in an elegant, tasty, cedary, blackcurrant-scented and flavored wine that has good concentration, light tannin and a tasty, savory mouthfeel. Drink it over the next 4-5 years. This winery has a large and varied portfolio of wines, including their four value picks, which consumers need to notice. (RP)" (12/2016) Wine Enthusiast: "This soft ...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. (RV)" (2/2013)
Avalon makes this incredibly affordable Cab sourced from a variety of Napa Valley appellations. A classic Napa Valley Cab and at a ridiculously fair price!
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The straight 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is outstanding. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, native fermented, aged in French oak and bottled unfined and unfiltered, it’s a killer value that has lots of blue fruits, violets, graphite and leafy herbs in medium to full-bodied, concentrated, layered style. Savvy readers should buy a case of this and drink bottles over the coming 4-5 years, although I see no reason that it won’t keep longer either. A substantial change with the K Vintners/Charles Smith wines is the separation of the Rhone blends and the Bordeaux ...Read More »
80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petite Sirah, 7% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot. Fermented in 100% stainless steel and aged in 75% neutral oak, 25% new French Oak. According to the winery: "Our Cabernet Sauvignon is a rustic wine with a deep, dark nose of blackberry, currants and cocoa, which show off the natural structure and power of each varietal in the finished blend. Enjoy with a sliced venison loin or hangar steak seared in cast iron and finished in the oven. Chop up some new potatoes; cover them with fresh rosemary and your favorite olive oil. Grab some black... Read More »
Organically grown, Justin's 2014 Cabernet is rich and full bodied. Black fruit, spice, tobacco, violet and savory herbal notes will satisfy any red wine lover.
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château d’Arce 2014 is the first vintage (last year was hailed off) that comes from 4.41ha of Merlot in Saint Etienne de Lys on the limestone plateau and vinified at Château Poesia. Picked on 14 and 15 October, it was fermented in concrete tanks and matured in 30-50% new oak. It has a floral, feminine bouquet with pure cassis and blueberry scents that are nicely integrated with the wood. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, lithe tannin and well-judged acidity. This feels harmonious in the mouth, very smooth and it just glides to a sensual finish ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Pepper and tar notes lead the way, with briar-framed plum and black currant fruit forming the core. A tarry accent echoes through the finish. (JM, Web-2014)"
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 »
90 points Wine Spectator: "Black cherry, plum, graphite and tobacco flavors show good density in this firm, crisp red. Light herbal notes keep it fresh. Grippy, but focused, pure and dense. (TM, Web-2012)" James Suckling: "Sweet strawberries, with citrus undertones follow through to a full body, with delicate tannins and a fresh finish." (2/2012)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Coming all from Paso Robles, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (100% Cabernet aged in stainless steel) is a forward, charming wine that has lots of upfront jammy blackberry, savory herbs, licorice and a hint of graphite to go with a medium-bodied, supple, nicely focused feel on the palate. There's a solid kick of tannin on the finish, so pair this with some fatty meat over the coming couple of years. Readers looking for killer values need look no further than this Foxglove releases from Jim and Bob Varner. (JD)" (10/2016) K&L Notes: Though the 2014 vintage has yet to be p... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Coming from a downright hot vintage, this wine offers quite pure aromas of black currant and black fruit. The palate brings more of the same, giving a very pure unencumbered-by-new-oak look at Washington Cabernet. Lightly grippy-tannins provide support." (2/2017) K&L Notes: The Charles Smith winery proclaims: "If you like Cabernet dark and rich, this is your sexy beast. Chocolate, dark cherries, tobacco leaf. It continues with earth and stone on an infinite finish."
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The straight 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon should be another outstanding vintage of this cuvee and it has full-bodied richness, beautiful concentration and lots of dark chocolate, plum and smoked herb aromas and flavors. It has more obvious structure than the 2014 did at this stage as well. (JD)" (8/2016) 90-91 points Vinous: "Dark purple. Energetic, spice-tinged aromas of dried cherry, red currant, mocha and licorice. Juicy and tightly focused, showing very good energy and lift to the bitter cherry and red berry flavors. Becomes spicier and deeper with air and finishes on a youthful ...Read More »
Vinous: "The 2012 Les Terrasses is the second wine of Tour Saint-Christophe. Drink this soft, supple Saint-Emilion over the next few years, while the fruit retains its juiciness. (AG)" (1/2016)
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Made for broad release, this wine impresses for its rounded, approachable layers of dried herb and anise, the tannin and oak lightly applied. Blended with 10% Merlot, it finds a jolt of richness on the finish, a showcase for notions of chocolate, cherry and blackberry." (2/2017) K&L Notes: 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 establis... Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Some obvious toasty oak aromas here, but this fairly sleek and tannic wine also has plenty of fruit up its sleeve and comes across fresh and lively, rather than heavy or ponderous." (2/2017) 90 points Wine Spectator: "This sports a brambly streak amid the bright raspberry and boysenberry compote flavors. Fresh star anise and black tea details enhance the finish. Approachable now, but there's no rush. (JM)" (3/2017) Vinous: "The 2014 Laroque is a plump, juicy wine to drink now and over the next few years. Sweet red cherry, plum, mocha and floral notes, along with soft contours, add to the wine' ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "This second wine of Calon Ségur is beautifully proportioned. It is fruity with rich tannins. At the same time, the crisp fruit of the vintage gives a lift to the deep concentration. Let the wine develop over several years. (RV)" (4/2017) 92 points James Suckling: "Blackberry, mushroom and flower aromas follow through to a full to medium body, round and juicy tannins and a flavorful finish. Like the hints of bitter oranges." (2/2017) 92 points Vinous: "A rich, flamboyant wine, the 2014 Marquis de Calon Ségur is just as exotic from bottle as it was from barrel back in early 2015. A host of inky blue and p ...Read More »
91 points Vinous: "The 2012 Joanin Bécot is dark, open and quite seductive. Black cherry, plum, spice and leather all meld together in a very pretty, gracious wine with soft contours to drink now and over the next handful of years. The 2012 is 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. Jean-Philippe Fort is the consulting winemaker. This is a gorgeous wine that delivers superb quality as well as value. (AG)" (1/2016) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "***Best Buy*** The wine has serious tannins and firm fruit that give an austere character at this stage. But it will develop and round out into a rich wine with ripe b ...Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "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) Jancis Robinson: "Deep crimson. Leafy cassis aroma. Dry but extremely creamy in texture, like a creamy coffee but with black fruits through the middle. A bit short but offering gentle pleasure. (JH)" (10/2015)
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.
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Their newer non-vintage blends ratchet up the level of quality, such as the NV Arme Lot 3, a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and the rest Malbec and Petit Verdot. This is a big Bordeaux blend, aged up to three years in neutral oak prior to being bottled. It’s a blend of three vintages, 2011, 2012 and 2013. All the fruit comes from not only their estate, but from many of their close friends located in Sonoma and Mendocino. The wine is a 6,000-case North Coast appellation, with elegant black cherry and blackcurrant fruit as well as tobacco leaf ...Read More »
Joel Gott's 815 is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from some of the most important appellations across California. With inclusion of fruit from Napa Valley, Sonoma, Lodi, Lake County, Paso Robles, and Monterey County, the resulting wine creates a broad snapshot of the 2014 vintage. This perennial value is food-friendly and accessible with a modest 13.9% alcohol and 25% new oak barrels for aging. From the winery: "The 2014 Joel Gott 815 Cabernet Sauvignon has aromas of blackberry and cherry with hints of vanilla and spice. The wine opens with dark, conce... Read More »
The 2014 Bench Cabernet Sauvignon exudes a deep, dark purple color in the glass. The nose is vibrant with violets, huckleberry and a touch of vanilla spice. The palate is elegantly wound with dusty tannins and a supple, velvet texture. The long, seamless finish ebbs and flows with flavors of black currant, dark cocoa and black forest floor.
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Packed with the dark tannins and structure of Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine, produced by the team of Calon Ségur is intense, concentrated and dark. It has a firm structure, solid and with a luscious aftertaste. The acidity of the year just shows at the end. Drink from 2026. (RV)" (4/2017) 92 points James Suckling: "A self-confident, modern St.-Estèphe with a lot of ripe black fruits and not too much new oak. It’s quite bold and generous, but cool and fresh on the finish. Love the spice! Drink in a year or two, but this will age." (2/2017) 92 points Vinous: "The 2014 Capbern is bold, ripe and quite juicy ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Dense blackberry and blueberry-paste scents mesh with dark chocolate, milk chocolate and graphite on the nose of this bottling from the Hahn family. A lush mouthfeel with ample weight unleashes coffee and mocha flavors, blueberry and black cherry fruit, with hints of fudge and a sweet oak touch." (9/2016) Connoisseurs Guide: "*GOOD VALUE* Tending to berries as much as to the classic cassis of Cabernet Sauvignon, but a wine that sports fine fruity volume with a nice dollop of sweet oak lending no small measure of richness, this balanced, moderately full-bodied wine is structure ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Blueberry, blackberry and cherry aromas with hints of walnuts. Medium to full body, velvety tannins and a fresh finish. Like the energy to this. Drink now, but this will improve with age." (1/2017) Vinous: "Buehler's 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is a soft, pleasing wine to drink now and over the next few years. Mocha and expressive spice notes add character to this dark, fruit-driven, open-knit Cabernet Sauvignon. (AG)" (12/2016) Wine Spectator: "Clean and direct, this is an easy-drinking charmer, with lively dark berry, spice, light cedar and loamy tannins that cast a nutmeg aroma. Best ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "The red and black fruits and delicately herbal character make this quite a complex wine. For this appellation and given the wine’s youthfulness, the balance of fruit, tannins and alcohol is almost seamless." (2/2017) 90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Siran 2014 has perhaps the most sophisticated bouquet that I have encountered at this stage from this upcoming estate. There is real definition and focus here, more precision than recent vintages have shown. The palate is medium-bodied with tensile tannin. There is good acidity, energetic and animated in the mouth with a vivacious ...Read More »