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K&L Staff Recommendations
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 »
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 »
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 »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Coming from a vineyard first planted by Mondavi in the late 1990s, this well-priced and widely available wine shows blackberry, violets, black pepper and just snapped dark chocolate on the nose. Fresh, lively black cherries and blueberries meld with fennel, tarragon and lots of herbal spice, all held together by smooth tannins." (11/2015) Antonio Galloni: "Bright ruby. Lively aromas of redcurrant, cherry and peppery spices, with a subtle tobacco nuance emerging slowly. Tangy and focused on the palate, offering bitter cherry and spicecake flavors and a sugg ...Read More »
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)
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.
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
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 »
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 a blend 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 b... 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)
94 points Wine & Spirits: "*Best Buy* Beringer has made wine from Knights Valley, northwest of Napa, since the late 1970s, and now farms 500 acres of grapes on the cobbly soils that have sloughed off of the volcanic hillsides above. This 2012 is a bundle of energy, the structure tight and stony, the fruit pure, its bold and refreshing black raspberry tone interlaced with aromas that suggest resinous pine needles and a hint of smoked tea. It’s bright and accessible enough to decant now, but in ten years, it will be a rich, savory pleasure to open for prime rib." (10/2015)90 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Ca ...Read More »
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.
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)
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)
From the team at Banshee Wines, best known hereabouts for supplying us with excellently sourced Pinot Noir.
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 »
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 »
The 2012 vintage in Sonoma County was a productive one, and this mostly Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, with a few lots from Sonoma Valley and Dry Creek Valley, didn't need more than 7% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec to help flesh it out. The grapes are sourced 90% from Alexander Valley, 6% Sonoma Valley and 4% Dry Creek Valley. The wine is aged for 16 months in 100% small oak barrels of which 24% are new French oak and 10% new American oak. A beautiful wine on the nose, the 2012 Simi Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is ... Read More »
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 »
From the winery: "From its first aromatic impressions, this lovely wine delivers classic Cabernet Sauvignon character, with ripe blackberry and boysenberry notes complemented by hints of toasty oak, sweet cocoa and baking spices. On the palate, beautiful structure and supple, mouth-coating tannins underscore the fruit and add to the long, layered finish."
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 »
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.
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 »
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 »
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!"
Donati Family Vineyards is a small winery in Paicines. Paicines? The town of Paicines, population 204, consists of a country store, restaurant and post office, all in one convenient building, all 10 miles from Hollister. The Donati Family Vineyard is the only brand located in the Paicines appellation. Neighboring appellations are home to Calera Wine Company, Chalone Vineyard, Leal Vineyards and DeRose Vineyards. Enjoy this dark berry-fruited, chocolate-inflected Cab with ribs, the Donatis suggest.
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 Winery; Winemaker Dennis Hill’s deep knowledge of the best California Cabernet Sauvignon climates, soil types and vineyards, coupled with long-term relationships with premiere growers, allow sourcing for the finest grapes to craft the ultimate Cannonball flavor profile.An exciting revival of a classic style. It has the best characteristics of traditional California and old world Bordeaux. is vintage was aged 15 months in French oak, 35% new oak. Features aromatic tiers of ripe mulberry, spiced black tea and purple floral notes. Ample at its cor... Read More »
The 2010 Two Angels Cabernet Sauvignon is a perfect example of how well a wine can drink with just a few years on it. The years allow the wine to soften, flesh out and display its complexity. And this wine is showing very well. The 2010 Two Angels Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma comes from vineyards at and near the top of the Mayacamas mountain range, which lies half in Sonoma County and half in Napa Valley. A blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Merlot, this wine has a unique flavor profile. The nose reveals notes of chocolate, vanilla, cherry and spice no... 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."
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 »
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."
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.
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 »
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 »
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."
From the winery: "The grapes for the 2013 Ramsay Cabernet Sauvignon were sourced principally from vineyards in Napa Valley and Lake Counties and a small portion coming from the Alexander Valley. The separate lots were blended together after a number of exhaustive trials. I am very pleased with the final cuvee. The blend is almost entirely Cabernet Sauvignon, with a small percentage of Merlot. The resulting full-bodied wine is redolent of perfectly ripe mahogany-colored bing cherries and currants. These aromas are echoed on the palate where dark fruits... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
This Sonoma County bottling from Martin Ray is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the Dry Creek, Alexander and Sonoma Valley appellations. The wine was aged for 18 months in a mix of both French and American oak, both new and previously filled. From the winery: "The blend of these different appellations adds a wonderful complexity to this wine, which shines through as savory spices, woodsy earth tones and sweet, baked cherries alongside wild boysenberry jam. This medium-bodied but full Cabernet has a rich front and mid-palate, which is concentrated by ... Read More »
From the winery: "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. This full-bodied red wine has blackberry and cocoa flavors, with some pepper and spice on the finish."
A blend with 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petite Sirah, 6% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Syrah, 1% Cabernet Franc and 2% other red. Aged 12 months in Missouri and Minnesota American oak barrels, with toasted heads. Winemaker's notes: "The 2012 J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon is red-purple in color with a bright hue at release. Fruit aromas are black cherry, plum and blueberry accented with a barrel bouquet of toasted pastry, dark caramel and vanilla. Sturdy tannins strike the palate and finish with the high-toned fruit signature typical of the Paso Rob... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "An almost sweet, ripe fruit character makes this enticing to smell and easy to drink. Though full-bodied and packed with fine tannins, it has a soothingly rich texture. A syrupy oak and fruit flavor lingers on the finish." (2/2015) K&L Notes: From the Winery: "Intense ruby in color, this Cabernet features a redolent bouquet of cassis, blueberry, plum, vanilla bean, toffee, clove and a touch of tobacco. Delectable berry flavors are supported by refreshing acidity which runs through the mid-palate and melts into a long finish. Soft tannins provide a smooth texture, wit... Read More »
Rickshaw Wines are made by the three talented young men from Banshee--Noah, Steve and Baron--who share a very clear vision: to make "kick ass wines at easy to swallow prices." Fortunately for everyone involved, these guys know what they're doing. The 2012 vintage in California was phenomenal, and the wine showcases the perfect weather. From the winery" In this rendition of our Rickshaw Cabernet Sauvignon we were able to pull in some stellar pieces from Napa that really provide ballast and class to the wine. Dark currant, espresso, black plum and pencil l... Read More »