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K&L Staff Recommendations
1997 Potensac, Médoc $24.99
2012 Beaumont, Haut-Médoc $15.99
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.
90-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another stunner from the team at Charles Smith, the 2013 Substance is a Cabernet Sauvignon dominated blend that comes from the higher elevation vineyards of Goose Ridge and Frenchman Hills. Harvested in early November and aged in 40-50% new French oak, it sports gorgeous aromas and flavors of cassis, violets, pencil shavings and tobacco/herbs to go with a medium to full-bodied, layered, rich and beautifully balanced profile on the palate. Scheduled to be bottled in December, it tastes like a wine that taste 3-4 times what this is going for. It is a knock ...Read More »
Great Price - Just Reduced! Last year’s Ancient Peaks/K&L Zinfandel bottling was such a hit with our staff and customers that we could have done another vintage of it and we all would have been incredibly happy. However, that would be too easy, and that is simply not the K&L way. I started talking to the folks at AP early this year when we began the discussion about doing another bottling together. We both knew that we wanted to, but I really wanted to show off the winery's incredible Cabernet vines and I didn’t know if they had enough Cab to let us have... Read More »
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 »
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 »
Jancis Robinson: "Dark glowing crimson. Grunty, very concentrated. Arguably the miracle here is to find a wine from Jean-Hubert Delon under £20. And one you could actually think of drinking too. This should certainly appeal to classicists—especially those knowledgeable enough to know it’s related to the most expensive super second of all, Léoville Las Cases." (9/2011) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A soft, cedary, herbaceous, but pleasant, round, elegant style of wine, with berry and red currant fruit, and a smooth finish... (R)=P)" (4/2000) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good ruby-red. Smoky aromas of plum and leather. Lush, smooth and ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Always one of the better values and ageworthy wines from the Haut-Medoc, Lanessan’s 2003 possesses lots of cedarwood, creme de cassis and forest floor notes, outstanding ripeness, low acidity, and a round, generous mouthfeel with no desiccation or flaws. Enjoy it over the next 4-5 years. (RP)" (8/2014) K&L Notes: When K&L's Bordeaux buyer Clyde Beffa Jr. tasted the 2003 in early April 2010 he immediately recognized it for the great value it is. He wrote: "Spicy nose and flavors. Very ripe and fine tannins. Lively and sweet. Ready early. The combination of rustic prop... Read More »
90 points James Suckling: "Blueberry and fresh mushrooms, with hints of earth. Medium-to-full body, with medium chewy tannins and a medium finish. A little austere. Second wine of Cantermerle, which made a super 2009. Best in 2015." (2/2012) K&L Notes: This second wine of Château Cantemerle is primarily comprised of 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. It is comprised of 61%... Read More »
89-92 points Wine Spectator: "Pretty blueberry and flowers on the nose. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a long finish. Lots going on. Big wine for the appellation. Best in a long time from here. (Web-2010)" Decanter: "Purposeful aromas of plum, berry and oak. Pure with a lovely depth, freshness and drive. Quite lean, linear and attractive fruit. Hugely impressive - fresh, direct and comfortable in its skin." (5/2012) Jancis Robinson: "50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc. Deeply coloured. Invitingly rich and dark on the nose. Pure fruited, a little dusty in a good way, and already silky even tho ...Read More »
Just 87 cases of the Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon were produced in this 2011 vintage by Relyea-Wood. Their boutique winery sits on Montebello Road in Cupertino, where the gravity flow cellar sits adjacent to the estate vines overlooking Silicon Valley and not far from Ridge Vineyards. The 2011 growing season was fairly cool and the fruit was harvested in late October.
Decanter: "Lean but pure blackcurrant nose with attractive touch of mint. Ripe tannins, discreet, fine acidity, balanced and graceful. Drink 2008-14." (10/2007) Wine Spectator: "Shows currant and hints of dried flowers on the nose. Medium-bodied, with velvety tannins and a medium finish. Slightly hollow midpalate, but clean. Best after 2008." (3/2007) K&L Notes: This wine is flat-out delicious. Enjoy right now with a juicy hamburger. (Clyde Beffa Jr., K&L)
Martin Ray specializes in crafting Cabernet Sauvignon from the most esteemed sub-appellations of Napa, Sonoma, and the Santa Cruz Mountains, and offers an amazing value over what you'd usually pay for such wines. 80% of this vintage is from the Stags Leap District, and is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 6% Malbec and 4% Petite Sirah. The winery's tasting notes: "This complex but sophisticated Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from some of the most sought-after regions in the Napa Valley showcases its roots from many of its mountain sources. Featuring ent... Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Attractive freshness on the nose. Not desperately complex but ready to drink. Solid if a bit dry." (7/2009) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Sweet cherry, dusty, loamy soil, and forest floor-like characteristics make an appearance in this medium-bodied, elegant, pretty, but somewhat superficial 2004. Enjoy its charm and suppleness over the next 5-6 years." (6/2007)
You need look no further than Graves for a screamingly good example of ready-to-drink, Merlot-based red. Tobacco, oak and black currant aromas exude from this value-driven Bordeaux, that drinks like a bottle three times the price.
Jancis Robinson: "Pleasant floral bouquet, mingled with red cherries, red currants, and sweet spices. Firm but ripe tannins giving illusion of sweetness. Beautifully balanced. Not short of finesse at all." (9/2012) Wine Enthusiast: "This is a mint- and licorice-flavored wine, with its wood aging prominent at this stage. Full bodied, rich and concentrated, it shows strong signs of extraction that give it a bitter finish. Age this tannic wine for 2-3 years or more." (3/2013) Wine Spectator: "Primal and direct, with blueberry and loganberry notes backed by a charcoal edge which lingers through the finish. Shows l ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Light nose. Racy and transparent and early maturing but clean and focused. Very Cabernet. Not fleshy. (Good Value)" (9/2011) James Suckling: "Soft and drinkable now with plums and berries. Full body, velvety tannins and a delicious finish." (7/2014) Wine Spectator: "A smoldering tobacco leaf edge runs from start to finish, lending a nice foil to the core of mulled plum and blackberry fruit. Shows a flash of pepper on the finish." (5/2012) K&L Notes: A property very close to Pauillac that is one to watch in the future. Well-made, valu... Read More »
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I think the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon will be even better, and it has more depth and texture, with gorgeous blackcurrants, violets, licorice and smoked earth all emerging from the glass. The texture here is really something, and this should be a smoking value. Made from 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and the balance Malbec and Petit Verdot, it will have 10-12 years of longevity. (JD)" (8/2014)
Columbia Crest's H3 Cabernet Sauvignon is a perennial value and very, very tough to beat at this price.
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)"90 points Wine Enthusiast: "From a property owned by Patrick Bernard of négociant Millésima, this shows the results of considerable investment during the recent years. The wood dominates at this early stage, but it also shows complex fruit to balance the spice and toast ...Read More »
Olema is produced by the folks at Amici Cellars. Fruit was sourced from select vineyards around Sonoma County and blended with a splash of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.The wine was aged for more than a year in 30% new French oak before bottling.
95 points Decanter: "Gorgeously refined, almost French in style. Typical Vista Flores notes of violets, lavender, tobacco and black pepper on the nose. The palate is medium to full-bodied with very fine-grained, classy tannins. Fruit characters on the palate are more dried fruit than lush and primary. Lovely age-worthy Cabernet." (12/2014) K&L Notes: Antucura has proven themselves quite adept at producing purely fruited reds (both Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon) that express their Vista Flores origins, as well as a deft touch in the cellar. Their wines are expressive, extraordinarily supp... Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A young red with a solid core of fruit with blueberry and light chocolate character. Full body, with slightly chewy tannin structure and well-framed palate. Very well done for this estate. This shows nicely now but will be better in two or three years." (3/2013) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A relatively soft, round, generously endowed wine with oodles of sweet kirsch fruit, a hint of black currants, herbs and loamy soil notes, this blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc was cropped at 35 hectoliters per hectare. Just over 1000 cases were made, and it tips the scales at 14.5% alcoh ...Read More »
A fantastic Cabernet value from the great 2013 vintage. This wine was made by Yountville's most famous property. We can say no more. Very elegant for the vintage with layers of ripe red berry fruit. Silky texture with tons of latent tannin. Serve with a rack of lamb after decanting for an hour
92 points Wine Spectator: "Combines firm, dark fruit and chewy tannins with a measure of finesse and refinement. Ends with gripping, cedary tannins, bolstered by good length and depth. Drink now through 2024." (4/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "This chewy, still-tight Cabernet is full-bodied on the palate, revealing savory, herbaceous characteristics. Made in a robust style, it’s approachable and enjoyable now." (4/2015)
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. Drink it over the next several years. (RP)" (11/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "An unidentified mix of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot sourced from throughout t ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "A solid red with ripe plum, cherry and vanilla character. Full and savory with round and ripe tannins and a long, intense finish. Approachable, but better in 2015." (7/2012) 89-91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel sample. Solidly packed tannins, very firm and structured, a feeling of considerable extract as well as a high toast content." (8/2010)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A major sleeper of the vintage, this blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot is another 'best ever' performance. Notes of tobacco leaf, hot rocks, sweet kirsch and black currants are impressively displayed in this medium to full-bodied, ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Rich and dense, the wine has the fruitiness of the vintage along with a core of firmer tannins. Its black currant and berry flavors are right up front adding perfume to the acidity. Drink from 2016." (12/2013) Wine Spectator: "Light, with modest grip framing the dark cherry, tomato and tobacco notes." (12/2013)
90 points James Suckling: "Earthy and juicy with sweet tobacco and spice. Full-to-medium body, fine tannins. Drink now." (5/2013) 89-90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Lots of spiced wood, with sweet blackberry fruits. The wine is initially soft, but the tannins do kick in. The fruit finally has vivid freshness." (8/2010) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Wood spice, roasted herbs and black currants are present in this solidly made, supple blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot. Drink it over the next 4-5 years. (A member of the Association of Crus Bourgeois du Medoc.)" (2/2012) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Inky ruby. Captivating aromas of strawberry, vio ...Read More »
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 notes of mocha and cedar completing the nose. Flavors of blackberry and anise are lush and pronounced on the palate and are followed by hi... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
95 points Raymond Chan: "40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 15 months in approx. 35% new French oak. Full, even black-red colour with youthful purple hues. This has a tightly concentrated, penetrating nose of ripe blackberry, blackcurrant and redcurrant fruit aromas unfolding cassis, dark herb, liquorice and minerally detail. The aromatics are presented with precision, focus and depth. Medium-full bodied, the palate is very firmly concentrated with a deep core of ripe black and red berry fruits. Comp ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "This is a Cabernet with dark berry, chocolate and hazelnut character. Full body, fine tannins and a delicious finish. Balanced. The wood and fruit are in harmony. Drink or hold." (8/2014)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Grillos Cantores Cabernet Sauvignon uses grapes from the Grillos Cantores (singing crickets) vineyard in the Alto Cachapoal on calcareous gravels, the blend of four different micro-terroirs, fermented and aged in cement vats. It has a pure, Graves-like aroma, without interference from wood. It is delineated and pure, with bright notes of cassis, raspberry leaf an ...Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A spectacular wine made by the owners of nearby and better-known Chateau Chasse-Spleen, this is a seriously endowed, dense, full-bodied wine made from an equal part blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Oodles of black fruits, licorice, truffle and new saddle leather are present as well as some toasty oak. Full-bodied, deep, pure and exceptionally long in the mouth, this is a major overachiever that should drink nicely for 10-15+ years. (RP)" (2/2013) Wine & Spirits: "This vineyard, on a gravel rise over clay and limestone, is the original part of the 18th-century Gressi ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa is also outstanding. Rich and dense with lots of crème de cassis and a hint of forest floor presented in a full-bodied, deep, lusty, opulent style, it can be enjoyed over the next decade. (RP)" (10/2014)
93 points Raymond Chan: "Hand-picked fruit, 65% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Malbec from the company’s Gimblett Gravels, Te Awanga and Bridge Pa Triangle vineyards, fermented over 14 days to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 12 months in oak. Full, deep, near impenetrable, purple-hued black-red colour. This has a very elegant and finely presented nose with fragrant and subtly interwoven aromas of ripe red and blackcurrants, dark red plums, and sweetly lifted oak, all tightly concentrated with good intensity. Medium-full bodied, a tightly concentrated heart of sweet, ripe black ...Read More »
Bench is one of the labels of Brack Mountain Wine Company, a winery devoted to hand-crafted wines at reasonable prices. The 2012 Cab is sourced from rocky, volcanic vineyards along the western side of the Mayacamas Mountains. Fog in the morning and sunshine in the afternoon helped make this a stellar vintage, with exceptional fruit and nuanced, balanced wines. From the winery: "Deep, dark purple in color, this wine offers aromas of violets, huckleberry and a touch of vanilla spice. The palate is elegantly wound with dusty tannins and a supple, velvet tex... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "A wine of substance and density, firm, rich and concentrated, with a tight core of mineral and gravel-laced dark berry, espresso, cedar and graphite flavors, ending with dry, chewy tannins." (7/2015)
From the team at Banshee Wines, best known hereabouts for supplying us with excellently sourced Pinot Noir.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "The Cabernet is stiffened up with small amounts of Petit Verdot, Cab Franc and Malbec, resulting in a firm, herbal, but very well-balanced Bordeaux-style blend. There’s compact cassis fruit, streaked with light stem, earth and herb. This is a wine that should improve with bottle age through 2019." (7/2014)90 points Antonio Galloni: "(14.4% alcohol): Bright ruby-red. High-pitched aromas of cassis, black cherry, licorice, menthol and violet. More tightly coiled and backward than the Seven Hills Vineyard Merlot, showing distinctly darker flavors of black cherry, bitter chocolate and li ...Read More »
Napa Valley-based Louis M. Martini has always had a focus on Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, not least because Mr. Martini himself developed the Monte Rosso vineyard there in the 1930s. This county-wide blend, which Robert Parker Jr. has called "Always one of the best buys in Cabernet Sauvignon" (Wine Advocate, 10/2014), is generally a blend of Dry Creek Valley vineyards like Frei Ranch with Alexander Valley fruit.
Decanter: "Fine deep colour, rather earthy, vegetal fruit, definite Cabernet dominance, quite good length, just shows an edge of leanness, but quite good Médoc style. Drink 2006-12 (SS)" (4/2003) K&L Notes: From gravel-rich vineyards of the Médoc, this Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend is soften by the addition of Merlot and Petit Verdot, and aged for 12 months in oak barrels. Solid and structured, young but ready to drink now, this wine is an excellent value as an "everyday Bordeaux." One of the few delicious 2002s in Clyde's view.
Jon and Susan Pey are talented, passionate vignerons with access to some incredible vineyard sources throughout Northern California. They produce a collection of wines that over-deliver in quality for the price under their various boutique labels. The fruit for the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Oak Knoll, Rutherford, and Oakville appellations. From the winery: "Vintage 2013 followed the excellent 2012 and led to debates as to which vintage was 'better.' Our sense is they are both very, very high quality; both had abundant sunshine, cool evenings... Read More »
Situated between the great Château Fieuzal and Château Malartic-Lagravière just outside the village of Léognan, this estate, owned by the esteemed Perrin family, makes first class wines from 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, aged in barrique (25% new). Black cherries, dark currants, and a touch of spice with plenty of backbone and good acidity.
90 points Wine Spectator: "*#80 Top 100 Wines of 2013/Smart Buy* This ripe red boasts flavors of cherry, cedar and herb matched to a medium-bodied frame. The acidity and tannins are in the correct proportions, offering a lingering finish. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best from 2015 through 2024." (9/2013) James Suckling: "Aromas of currants and mint with hints of chili powder. Medium body, with fine tannins and a medium finish. Polished and delicious. Made from biodynamic grapes." (9/2012)
Connoisseurs Guide: "*Good Value* It may not come with a sense of high pedigree, and it is admittedly a bit light on stuffing, but this well- scrubbed, moderately fruity wine hits the varietal marks that very few Cabernets of its price do. It is medium-full-bodied, slightly rounded in feel and consistently keeps defined fruit in its sights, and its gentle, nicely integrated tannins makes it one that can be comfortably enjoyed in the near- to mid-term." (12/2014)
Great wines at very good prices. That is what you get from Foxglove. This is a side project from Bob and Jim Varner, who bring us the great wines from the Varner and Neely labels. The Foxglove Cabernet is amazingly well balanced. Beautiful berry and cassis fruits with nicely integrated tannins and just a hint of earthy tannin. Tremendous value.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This reminded me of a really well-made, top-notch Cotes du Rhone. Why? Lots of kirsch, lavender, roasted herbs and earthy notes as well as hints of pepper and spice jump from the glass of this dark ruby/purple-tinged wine. Seductive, round and extremely attractive, it is everything a Cotes de Bordeaux should be, at a realistic price. For the statisticians, it is a blend of 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc. Drink it over the next 3-4 years. (RP)" (2/2012) K&L Notes: This Bernard Magrez wine is a great value. Plenty of structure and grip o... Read More »
90-93 points Wine Spectator: "Pure and direct, with a textbook beam of cassis and bitter cherry notes, laced with lilac and iron hints. The racy, unencumbered finish lets the mineral edge shine. Lots of improvement here recently. This may be the best value play in the vintage." (4/2015) 90-92 points Antonio Galloni: "A delicious, mouth filling St. Estèphe, the 2014 Capbern captures the personality of the year in the northern Médoc in spades. Hints of smoke, tobacco, licorice, mocha and earthiness wrap around a core of dark fruit in an exuberant wine loaded with pure textural richness. The 2014 finishes with notable ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse