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K&L Staff Recommendations
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 »
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.
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 »
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)
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.
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 »
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
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
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.
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 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic Alexander Valley wine with medium body, great fruit flavors and grippy tannins. There are aromas of dark fruit, blackberry, cherry, cassis, plum, vanilla and a... 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)
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 »
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)
From the team at Banshee Wines, best known hereabouts for supplying us with excellently sourced Pinot Noir.
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.
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 »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Edge (75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec), is composed of grapes from various sources. It exhibits a dense ruby/purple color, lots of fruit, and a round, seductive style with good ripeness and a heady finish. Drink it over the next 6-8 years. (RP)" (10/2014)
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)
The wine is made up of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. It drinks well right now but should hold for several years. Members of the K&L staff had a chance to go down and spend a couple hours with Doug and his crew at the winery. The thought was to make a red blend from Happy Canyon, which K&L had never done before. Happy Canyon is the smallest AVA in Santa Barbara County. It lies north and west of Lake Cachuma and is home to six major vineyards: Cimarone, Grassini, Happy Canyon Vineyard, McGinley, Star Lane, and... Read More »
According to the winery: "The Cabernet Sauvignon is selected from well drained vineyards on cool rolling hills in Paso Robles. The vineyards receive plenty of mid-day heat and cool evening breezes to produce balanced grapes. The California Karma Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich and full wine with youthful, juicy fruit aromas. This wine finishes off balanced with soft tannins and a fleshy mouth feel. Enjoy this Cabernet along with some grilled meat or your favorite pasta dish."
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The more serious from Avalon is the 60,000-case cuvée of 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa. Also 100% varietal, it was aged 16 months in French and American oak. It exhibits a dark ruby/plum color along with notes of sweet blackcurrants and plums intermixed with forest floor, licorice and subtle roasted herbs. Fleshy, round and seductive...(RP)" (11/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "Soft and round, this 80% Cabernet Sauvignon also has 16% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc and was given 16 months of oak aging. Flavors lean toward red berry and cedar." (2/2015) Wine Spectator: "Trim and tight, offering chewy, ceda ...Read More »
A partnership between three Paso Robles families who jointly own Margarita Vineyard, the southernmost in the region, just 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Their Cabernet Sauvignon is a deep and generous wine, with black fruits, toasty caramel and cedar notes and a rich, silky palate.
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Sourced from all over the Napa Valley, this wine blends 87% Cabernet Sauvignon with 1% Syrah and other unnamed red varieties. The effort works, resulting in a glass of concentrated red cherry, herb and spice, the tannins tight yet approachable enough for the wine to remain juicy." (3/2015) Connoisseurs Guide: "*Good Value* One of the better values to be had among currently available Cabernets, Michael Mondavi's 2012 Oberon delivers lots of deep and defined black cherry fruit with a good dose of sympathetic oak lending a nice boost in richness, and its careful assembly shows a ...Read More »
From the winemakers: "Cane & Fable is a collaboration between winemakers Curt Schalchlin and Andrew Jones. Curt, owner and vintner of the heralded winery, Sans Liege, is known for his critically acclaimed, yet affordable wines. Andrew, winemaker of Field Recordings spends his days planning and planting vineyards and has stood foot in just about every vineyard on the Central Coast. Together, they produce Cane & Fable, a collaboration that gives special attention to the craft and story behind each wine. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon 81%, Merlot 7%, Tempran... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon shows little Cabernet character, yet has good fruit and an up-front, straightforward feel in its red currants, licorice and spice. Medium-bodied and well made, it should be consumed in its first 3-5 years of life. (JD)" (8/2014) K&L Notes: From Niven Family Wine Estates and their SIP (Sustainability in Practice™ certified vineyards, this good value Paso Cab is typically bold and rich, "loaded with blackberry jam, cherry, black currant, exotic spices and cola, with notes of caramelized oak," according the winery's note.
92 points Antonio Galloni: "Sweet dark cherries, smoke, graphite and grilled herbs flesh out in the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, a voluptuous, racy wine that captures the essence of the vintage. Firm yet well-integrated tannins support the fruit in a powerful, structured Cabernet Sauvignon that delivers tons of quality for the money." (1/2015)91 points Wine Spectator: "Exhibits ripe and juicy, yet firm, flavors of currant and blackberry amid a gravelly earthiness before finding focus on the finish, where the tannins are chewy, revealing a licorice touch. Drink now through 2025." (4/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 C ...Read More »
From the winery: "Aromatic with ripe black cherry, blackcurrant and berry fruit with vanilla, cinnamon and subtle dried fall leaf accents. Classic cabernet with moderate plus blackcurrant and cherry fruit and baking spice flavors on the entry. Sweet tobacco and savory herbal notes arrive on the mid palate, along with beautifully balanced tannins that provide a structure that supports the wine through its perfectly balanced, clean finish."
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another non-vintage cuvée introduced by the sons is the non-vintage Arme Lot #1. A Bordeaux blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 4% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot, it is a deep, delicious, full-bodied, 5,000-case cuvée boasting a dark ruby/purple color as well as attractive notes of cassis, dusty, loamy soil and foresty undertones. Lush and heady, it is ideal for drinking over the next decade or more. The Bilbro brothers, Jake and Scott, have taken over for father, Chris, who is still very much involved, but the newer generation has the responsibili ...Read More »
Mike Berthoud worked under Richard Arrowood at Chateau St. Jean, then was winemaker at Arrowood Winery. After 15 years at Arrowood, Mike moved on to Mayo Family Winery. Ursus is comprised of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petite Verdot. Winemaker's notes: "As always all of the grapes used to produce the blend are grown on the Berthoud estate. Ursus is the Latin word for Bear, while Berthoud is pronounced Bear-2. Just like the bear, Ursus is a muscular wine while maintaining an elegant balance. It is an old world style wine that is... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
Luis Moya of Vinos Unico makes wines that continue to impress us for their quality and affordability under his Urbanite Cellars label. His objective is simple: to make the kind of wines he likes, for everyday consumption. Fortunately, we share his tastes! In Cabernet, this translates to a medium-bodied, complex and approachable style, with fruit, acidity, and oak in perfect harmony, moderate alcohol and suave tannins. Grapes for 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon were sourced from California coastal AVAs and the Sacramento River Delta region. It's a lush and fruity... Read More »
From the winery: "The fruit for our 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon was selected from three of our estate vineyards in Paso Robles. It was handpicked and sorted in the early morning to ensure quality and uniformity of ripeness. Afterwards, the fruit was destemmed and gently crushed into temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Pump-overs took place regularly to enhance color and help extract tannins from the skin. After pressing, the wine was racked into barrels to complete malolactic fermentation. While the majority of wine was aged in French oak, we also ... Read More »
From the near-perfect 2012 vintage, this is a Cabernet Sauvignon-domianted blend that also includes 9% Merlot, 3% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. From the winery: "Dark cherry, clove, blackberry, and violets open up in the glass, followed by traces of tobacco. Hints of vanilla and cocoa dust add complexity to the rich aroma. Flavors: Smooth entry, with lively ripe, fresh berries followed by vanilla and cocoa flavors that fill the palate. Smooth and textural, with generous body and supple tannins. Very well balanced. The finish evokes dark ... 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 stellar 2013 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 2013 Joel Gott 815 Cabernet Sauvignon has aromatics of mocha, roasted blue fruits, plums, and cherry spice. The wine enters sweet ... Read More »
According to the winery: "The grapes used to produce this wine were harvested from several different blocks from our family’s vineyards in High Valley and the Red Hills appellations in Lake County, California. Deep color and flavors were achieved with gentle handling, controlled fermentation and some extended maceration."
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The real glories here are the red wines, and the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Freakshow (110,000 cases) is a major sleeper in the Cabernet Sauvignon category. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the backwaters of Lodi, and sporting an incredible label that reminds me of the Beatles' Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover. In this case it's a true freak show. This delicious, dense purple-colored wine possesses plenty of crème de cassis, licorice, spice box and cedar notes in a medium- to full-bodied, supple, explosively fruity, fruit-bomb ...Read More »
Angeline is made by Martin Ray Winery of Sonoma County, and the wines represent a great value. This Cabernet was sourced from North Coast, California vineyards, and is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon with 12% Petite Sirah--for a bit of a California-blend twist on the theme.
From the winery: "The Endpost label, made by Adelaida Cellars, showcases local Paso Robles’ vineyards in a wine style the reflects regional character of our mountainous terrain, warm to cool marine influence, and the unique geology of the soils, complexed with million year old ocean sediment. This year’s “model” of End Post Cabernet benefited from the addition of over 20% Viking fruit, Adelaida’s much awarded Estate Vineyard. 2012 was a welcome return to a warm, sometimes hot summer, following 2 years of cool temperatures. These ideal conditions led to ... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
According to the winery: "Ripe blackberry, black cherry, rich dark chocolate and fresh spearmint. Velvety flavors of blackberry and black cherry, dark chocolate with a hint of fresh spearmint. This wine is full-bodied with rich tannins and a long finish. 2013, much like the 2012 vintage, produced some of the best fruit we have seen in decades. With the body of a great Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance to pair with a wide range of dishes, this wine is sure to become a household favorite for Tuesday night or weekend date nights!"
From Terroir Napa Valley: "The 2012 Terroir Napa Valley Estate Cabernet is sourced from Gibbs Ranch in St. Helena, with four vineyards on Lodi Lane across from Duckhorn Winery and another four sharing a small valley with Beringer's Chabot Vineyard and Hundred Acre Vineyard. Cabernet grown in both vineyards is partially contracted to Hall Wines and Trinchero Estates. The vineyards are owned and farmed by the winemaker Craig Handly. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Malbec, the 2012 Terroir Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was aged en... Read More »
Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is a pretty, supple wine with plenty of near-term appeal. Sweet herbs, red berries, flowers and leather meld together nicely in the glass. The 2012 is soft, supple and open. I expect the 2012 will offer its best drinking earlier rather than later. Drink 2014-2019. (Antonio Galloni)" (12/2014) K&L Notes: This classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec. Founded in the 1960s by the legendary "father" of contemporary Napa Valley, Robert Mondavi Winery... Read More »
From the winery: "Made from a blend of grapes grown predominantly in Sonoma County and Lake County, the inaugural vintage of our William Hill Estate North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon has a rich palate of dark fruit flavors, with subtle hints of caramel and cocoa. The Sonoma fruit gave this wine its blackberry and black cherry flavors, while the Lake County fruit brought tremendous structure and presence to the blend. This Cabernet, which was blended with a touch of Merlot to round out the mouthfeel, will reveal more complex layers with time in the bottle. T... Read More »
From the winery: "A compilation of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah, and Merlot; this red blend entices the palate with flavors of ripe black cherry, mission figs and anise. Subtle notes of spice and tobacco finish on soft tannins."