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K&L Staff Recommendations
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." (12/2016)
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.
Winner Best Of Class, Gold Medal, in the Los Angeles Wine & Spirits Competition, 2013. Château Bois-Malot is located in St-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.
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)"
93 points James Suckling: "This is extremely fine and focused with ultra-fine tannins and a beautiful black currant and spearmint undertone. Full and fruity. Yet reserved and interesting. A triumph for the price. Drink or hold." (1/2016) 92 points Wine & Spirits: "The Indelicato family makes this wine at their Napa Valley property, using grapes from Oak Knoll, Rutherford, Atlas Peak and Oakville. It shows the quality of the 2013 vintage in deep, plummy flavors and warm notes of exotic spice. The tannins add umami breadth with scents of black mushrooms and earth. Ready to enjoy with braised lamb." (4/2016) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "An af ...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 »
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 »
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 »
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)
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.
James Suckling: "Lots of ripe strawberries, with juicy orange and chalky mineral notes. Sweet red fruit on the palate with a juicy acidity and fine ripe tannins. Medium-full body and a pleasant medium-long finish with nice red fruit. Elegant, but a bit linear. Second wine of Prieur de Meyney. Drink now-2017." (10/2011) Wine Spectator: "Offers a solid core of plum, currant paste and steeped cherry notes wrapped tightly with charcoal thread and dark briar patch and tobacco leaf notes. A bit rugged overall, but shows solid range and character. Drink now through 2020. (JM, Web-2013)" K&L Notes: This is the... Read More »
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 »
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.
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?
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 »
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 »
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 »
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)
33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 17% Montepulciano, 17% Alicante.
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 »
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 »
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 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 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 »
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 one. Kudos to winemaker Kirk Venge-this is a killer bargain. Ruby purple in color, with loads of black cherry and briary blackcurrant fruit, the wine is meaty and refreshing, with hints of mocha and earth. Medium to full-bodied, luscious and velvety, this is all a $20 wine should ...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 »
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)
Jancis Robinson: "Mature ruby with some brick. Deliciously mature nose of undergrowth and sweet spice and leather. Silk slub tannins – ie fine but with some texture. Fresh, lightish but elegant in that lightness. (JH)" (10/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Elegant, spicy, tobacco, cranberry, and red cherry characteristics emerge from this finesse-styled, sweet, flavorful, medium-bodied wine. (RP)" (4/2001) Wine Spectator: "Plenty of cherry, tobacco and mineral aromas. Medium- to full-bodied, with fine tannins and a medium finish. (JS)" (1/2001) K&L Notes: Noting what an excellent value this wine is, K&L's own Clyde Beffa attributes ... Read More »
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 »
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 »
Move over Bacchus, Oeno is here and she's ready for her time in the sun. The Greek goddess of wine is this project's spiritual patron, created by industry pro Amy Atwood. Unable to find affordable domestic wines made with native yeasts and neutral oak, she sought out California winemakers who would make these wines to her specifications.
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 »
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 »
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.
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 »
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)
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 »
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.
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 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)
This is 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 12% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot from--as the name suggests--some of the winery's more gravely vineyard sources, including the famed Cherryblock, with Mountain Terraces and Bedrock. Though the 2014 has yet to be professionally reviewed, the 2013 earned 97 points from Robert Parker, who enthused about the venerable Sonoma winery's recent successes: "If you haven’t noticed the qualitative efforts by winemaker Mark Lyon and the Sebastiani team over the last decade or more, it’s time to take notice. Not only are the ... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
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)"
James Suckling: "A little lean with blueberry, mineral and walnut character. Medium body." (3/2015) K&L Notes: 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)
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 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 »