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K&L Staff Recommendations
2007 Malescasse, Haut-Medoc $14.99
The owner of York Creek is Fritz Maytag (Of Anchor Steam beer fame). He has farmed the property since 1968, selling grapes from his 125-acre mountain vineyard to many outstanding names in the California wine industry (Ridge Vineyards among them). York Creek began making a small amount of its own wine in 1992, and today releases limited bottlings of classic Spring Mountain Cabernet and blends, produced entirely from estate grapes grown on Spring Mountain above St. Helena. Hillside vineyard blocks range in altitude from 1,200 to 2,100 feet.
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.
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 »
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)
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 »
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 »
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 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: "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 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. Dense purple in color with a big beautiful nose of black cherries, cassis, chocolate and espresso roast, this opaque, full-bodied wine has gorgeous purity, a beautifully layered texture and a heady, rich finish. This is a stunner and quite a steal in the marketplace. Gundlach Bundschu has hit home runs wit ...Read More »
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 »
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.
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?
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)
Don't let this wine's reasonable price scare you off. Paying top dollar for a Napa wine isn't the only way to get a top-quality Cabernet. The offering from Obsidian Ridge is a blend of six blocks from their own vineyard in Lake County, aged in Hungarian oak barrels for 18 months, and blended with a small amount of Cabernet Franc. The fruit is pure and bright, tending toward the blackberry and plum end of the spectrum and underscored by mocha, cinnamon and warm nutmeg spice. The tannins are big but ripe, and just need a little air or time in your cellar t... Read More »
The Buehler Estate is situated in the mountains above Conn Valley and near the base of Howell Mountain, where the various rocky, high-draining soils are ideal for growing Bordeaux varietals (Cabernet in particular) with the structure to produce long-lived wines. Always a reliable bargain in California Cabernet, the 2014 vintage has not yet been professionally reviewed, but past vintages have regularly scored into the 90s.
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 »
90-92 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 »
33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 17% Montepulciano, 17% Alicante.
89-90 points James Suckling: "Pretty blackberry and blueberry character with medium to full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish." (4/2014) Decanter: "Good fresh red and black fruits, some depth and class. An elegant southern Médoc." (4/2014) Jancis Robinson: "Pure and refined fruit - combines a crunchy fresh style with riper, more cooked elements. Light on the palate, and finishes without incident, but this has a good honesty about it, and is a very pleasant drink." (10/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "An elegant, attractive wine, with a dark ruby color, red and black currant fruit and dusty, loamy soil undertones, this mid-weight, stylish re ...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 »
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)
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 »
Take home this third wine (of sorts) from St-Julien's grand Château Beychevelle for a song! Who said you couldn't drink great Bordeaux every day? This wine is elegant and consists of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged partially in new oak barrels, the wine is rich and round, medium to full-bodied and has luscious ripe red fruit flavors, spice and a touch of new oak. Superb value.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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 points James Suckling: "Fine and silky with pretty aromas and flavors of currants and stones. Medium body, dense fruit and fine tannins. Racy finish. Better in 2016." (2/2015) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Features a smoldering charcoal edge, with focused plum, cassis and bitter cherry fruit forming the core. Sleek, with iron and loam notes underscoring the finish. Shows solid length and drive, and should age nicely. Best from 2017 through 2025. 8,333 cases made. (JM)" (3/2015)
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."
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)"
92-93 points James Suckling: "Blackberry and black licorice aromas and flavors. Full body, chewy tannins and bright acidity. Impressive concentration for the vintage. 60% cabernet sauvignon, 35% merlot, 4% petit verdot and 1% cabernet franc." (3/2016) 90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Lanessan has quite a punchy, fruit-driven bouquet with well-integrated oak, a Lanessan with more sense of purpose than I have found in recent vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with fine blackberry and raspberry fruit, fine tannin, leading to a smooth and harmonious finish, which lingers nicely in the mouth. You know, this is ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
91-93 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a densely tannic wine with juiciness showing quite tardily through the tannins. The wine has a very dry, firm character with acidity that finishes on a bright, fresh note. (RV)" (4/2013) 90 points James Suckling: "Some berry and currant character with hints of sandalwood follows through to a medium body, integrated tannins and a clean finish. This is well crafted for the vintage. Drink or hold." (2/2015) Jancis Robinson: "Ripe dark-fruit aroma with just a slight leafy lift. Lovely freshness and gentle harmony. No shouting but everything in place. Juicy fresh finish." (10/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A blend of 53% Cabe ...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 »
94 points James Halliday: "Australian Wine Companion - "A 50% Cab, 37% Shiraz, 13% Merlot blend matured for 18 months in French (70%) and American (30%) oak (10% new), one of Wirra Wirra's celebrated foot soldiers. This really does over-deliver; while it's chock-full of luscious red and black fruits (more on the red side) it has good shape and texture, the finish very more-ish. (JH)" (3/2015) 92 points James Suckling: "The staple of the Wirra Wirra stable, this has a definitive cabernet stamp to it with liquorice and dark chocolate. Plum fruits, cassis and black cherry flavors linger on elegant tannins. Nicel ...Read More »
Harvested from the newly designated Santa Margartia Ranch and Estrella District AVAs in Paso Robles, Broadside crafts their Cabernet Sauvignon with minimal intervention for the sake of varietal purity and expression of vintage and terroir. The wine is aged for 14 months in neutral oak (both French and American). From the winery: "Our 2014 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon highlights a beautiful vintage. A balanced growing season lent itself to producing impeccable fruit, not unlike 2013, with slightly greater intensity and concentration. A strong showing of... Read More »
92 points Decanter: "Colchagua reds tend to be generous in ripeness and opulent in body, but Calcu takes another direction. This is crunchy and filled with nervy acidity, the red fruit flavors are seductively refreshing, showing a lovely intensity." (3/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is a serious, ripe and fresh, balanced and restrained Cabernet, with aromas of black fruit, some soil undertones and noticeable spiciness. A balanced wine with some meaty flavors, it is juicy and lively, intense and round. A very good Cabernet. (LG)" (6/2014) K&L Notes: Viña Maquis is one of the leaders in C... Read More »
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 »
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 »
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)
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This second wine of the Haut-Brion's newly acquired Château Quintus is rich, with layers of black plums and dense juicy tannins. A dark Merlot-dominated wine, it's smooth and likely to be ready soon. (RV)" (5/2015) 90 points James Suckling: "A solid wine with blackberry, plum and berry character. Full and chewy. Solid." (3/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Their second wine, called Le Dragon de Quintus, has elegant raspberry and blueberry notes in a blue-fruited style. Minerality is present, and the wine is perfumed, floral, medium-bodied ... (RP)" (4/2015) Vinous: "The 2012 Le Dragon de Quintus is deep, fleshy and nuanced ...Read More »
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)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A tasty Haut-Medoc with notes of black currants, loamy soil, tobacco leaf and underbrush, this wine should drink nicely for 10 or more years. (RP)" (2/2012) Wine Spectator: "A fruity and attractive young red, with plum and currant on the nose and palate. Medium-bodied, with fine tannins. Clean red. (Web Only—2010)" K&L Notes: 89-91 points Neal Martin's Wine Journal: "A blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc 3% Petit Verdot, this has a fine crisp dark brambly nose: good definition with hints of black olive tapenade and a touch of smoke. The palate is medium-bodi... 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 »
The Wetzel family has been growing Cabernet Sauvignon in Alexander Valley since the 1960s, and embody the Sonoma County spirit of winemaking, charging very fair prices for estate-grown, Alexander Valley wines, yet always innovating and pursuing quality. Wines are aged in their own shotcrete-walled caves, just steps from the winery. According to the winery: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic Alexander Valley wine with medium body, great fruit flavors and polished tannins. Winemaker Kevin Hall added 6% Merlot for structure, a touch of Cabernet Fran... Read More »
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 »