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K&L Staff Recommendations
According to the importer: "This new Loire Valley project is a partnership with Rodolphe and Ludivine Marteau, who took over their family’s estate in 2010 (they are the 4th generation) The 29 hectare property is located on South bank of the river Cher, on siliceous-argilo (clay and flint) soils. Of the 29 hectares of estate vineyards owned by the Marteau family, 20 are planted to Sauvignon Blanc. These vines average 30 years in age and are meticulously tended by the family. Short-cane pruning, selective ploughing, spring debudding, deleafing, grass cover... Read More »
Francois and Jean-Marie Cherrier with father Pierre produce steely and citrus-driven Sancerre from fine parcels of Sauvignon Blanc planted in Sancerre's silex (flint) and chalky soils. Yields are kept low and harvest is done strictly by hand before fermenting in 100% stainless steel. Vibrantly aromatic and mineral-driven, this is quintessential Sancerre.
Invigorating and fresh, with lemony citrus aromas and flavors accented by delicate white flowers. The palate is full and fresh, with balanced acidity and minerality on the finish. This a style of wine that keeps your palate fresh and alive. Although easy to drink, it has complexity and intrigue up and down the aromatic and palate. You'll want another after the first one has disappeared. (Eric Story, K&L Loire buyer)
Wine Enthusiast: "Still young, this wine is showing intense herbaceous characteristics that need to soften. Plenty of fruit between the texture needs to fill out. Hints of apples, pears and quince are all there. Drink from 2016. (RV)" (9/2015) K&L Notes: 85% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Semillon
Picked as a "Best Buy" by Wine Spectator in the 2014 vintage, Honig's Sauvignon Blanc regularly gets a good word from Wine Advocate, as well. Through a variety of trellising options, yeast selection, and mostly stainless steel aging (just 8% in neutral oak tanks, Honig dials in a balance between zingy grapefruit acidity and tropical fruit. The blend is 95% Sauvignon Blanc and 4% Semillon, sauced up with just 1% Muscat.
93 points James Suckling: "A wine that is full of excitement, showing an array of grapefruit, lime and lemon citrus as well as gently nettly herbal notes, really fresh. The palate carries juicy white peach and nectarine flavor, very attractive wine, acid holds crunch and balance is nigh on perfect." (1/2016) 92 points Vinous: "Pale, bright yellow. Sexy musky aromas of white peach, ginger and quinine. Ripe, broad stone fruit and spice flavors display more body than most Marlborough Sauvignons while maintaining a captivating piquancy. Really dusts the palate and carries on the aftertaste. Delivers an im ...Read More »
95 points Bob Campbell: "Ripe and concentrated Sauvignon Blanc, with appealing purity and a thread of welcome chalky mineral character adding extra complexity to gooseberry, capsicum and lime zest flavours. Attractive wine that gives a nod in the direction of Sancerre." (10/2015) 93 points Sam Kim: "This is elegant and restrained, yet not short on fruit concentration and attractive flavours. The bouquet shows elegant aromas of white nectarine, lemon peel, dill and flint, leading to a beautifully weighted and richly fruited palate that is bright and vibrant. The wine shows fine texture and rounded mou ...Read More »
92 points Bob Campbell: "Tangy Sauvignon Blanc with a mix of ripe passion fruit and guava with less ripe grapefruit and green capsicum characters. There is also a suggestion of nutty lees characters. Quite a richly textured wine thanks in part to a barrel fermented component." (11/2014) 92 points Raymond Chan: "Fruit from 8 different sites in the Wairau Valley, including North Bank, Southern Valleys, Lower Wairau, Conder’s Bend as well as a southerly site near the Awatere, given limited skin contact and fermented in stainless-steel with 7% in barrel to 13.0% alc. and 3.5 g/L RS, the wine aged 3 months on ...Read More »
92 points Bob Campbell: "Made from seven separate hand-picks over an eight-day period. Juicy, fruity sauvignon blanc with ripe nectarine, mango, tropical fruits and a hint of lime zest. A silken-textured wine, with concentration and a perfect balance of sweetness with fruity acidity." 91-92 points Raymond Chan: "Fruit from seven different hand-picks from the Te Awanga vineyard, WBP and indigenous yeast cool-fermented in stainless-steel. The wine aged 6 months on lees. Bright, very pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, near colourless on the rim. This has a finely concentrated and tightly packed no ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Refreshingly marked by a tangy acidity, this white is made to please, fermented entirely in stainless steel. It sings in zesty, medium-bodied layers of peach and lime that are fresh and juicy on the palate, yet it somehow maintains some unexpected complexity." (8/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Roth has produced a tasty 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, with a delicate light straw color and plenty of honeysuckle and melon fruit as well as some caramelized citrus. This is a Bordeaux style of Sauvignon, medium-bodied, but floral and effusively fruity. I liked its delineation as well. Drink it ov ...Read More »
From the producer: "We started Banshee Wines in 2009 - three of us - friends from the wine business and circumstance, in San Francisco. We were all working day jobs in the trade: importing, marketing and making wine. Without much of a plan, we decided to buy eight barrels of coveted Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir from a top producer. The wine was amazing, and the price was insanely low due to dropout of the $60+ per bottle market. We figured we would either sell the wine case-by-case to friends and family or at worst would be drinking great Sonoma Coast Pinot ... Read More »
Salvatore Emmolo immigrated from Italy to Rutherford in 1923 and planted vines. Emmolo was a leading supplier to Napa vintners until Cheryl, the third generation, launched Emmolo Wines in 1994. Today, it's in the fourth generation's hands, with fruit still grown on their grandparents' property. The 2014 Sauvignon Blanc shows fresh citrus notes and lively minerality, making it infinitely sipple.
Cognizant is a collaborative project between K&L and some of New Zealand's finest winemakers. The word "Cognizant" means to have an intimate grasp of knowledge through personal experience. This series of wines will pay homage to talented winemakers and their ability to capture the unique "sense of place" or "terroir" within their wines. The 2015 Cognizant is made specifically for us by TWR (Te Whare Ra). The wine is a blend of three different blocks with a considerable (20%) barrel fermented component. It captures the quintessential flavors of Marlboroug... Read More »
95 points Bob Campbell: "Delicately aromatic Sauvignon Blanc showing impressive subtlety and plenty of power with its long and linear finish. Quite a barrow band of flavours focusing on the citrus, lime zest end of the flavour spectrum without being overtly grassy. Very textural wine with hints of nutty lees character. Impressive." Jancis Robinson: "Creamy with apricots and stone fruit on the nose then tight and more nettley on the palate. Overall less pungent than I expected. Some notes of dried grass. Crisp and long. 17/20 points. (JH)" (5/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough has a nose of fr ...Read More »
Inventory: Special Order
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Sauvignon Blanc Fig Tree Vineyard is a dead ringer for a Loire Valley Fumé Blanc. Loads of gun flint, melon fruit, lemon zest and other caramelized citrus, including kiwi, jump from the glass of this medium-bodied, dry, crisp, delicious Sauvignon. Drink it over the next 1-2 years. (RP)" (2/2016) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Light with a floral, jasmine-like bouquet, this perennial classic shows lemony crispness around a medium-bodied core of juicy acidity and weight, remaining balanced and fresh. On the finish, expect a length and depth of fig flavor. (VB)" (12/2015) Wine Spectator: "Medium-bo ...Read More »
Made from Sauvignon grapes from both Touraine and Anjou. The wine sees no oak and has a dry, lively nose of white flowers and blackcurrant. The palate is dry, with flavors of passion fruit, lychee and hints of talc along with zippy acidity. Great with fish or cheeses, this lively white wine will perk up any meal.
88-91 points Wine Spectator: "Bracing lime and tarragon notes are allied to a lean frame, with tangy sel gris accents rippling through the finish. Offers a bony, chiseled feel. (JM, Web-2015)" 88-90 points Vinous: "The 2014 Reynon Blanc, 100% Sauvignon Blanc, shows lovely varietal character with more of an emphasis on texture rather than grassy/green flavors. Citrus and floral notes come forward in an attractive, aromatic white to drink young. There is a lot to like in this expressive Sauvignon Blanc from proprietors Denis et Florence Dubourdieu. Best of all, the Blanc should be a fabulous value. (AG) ...Read More »
90 points Bob Campbell: "Pure, zesty Sauvignon Blanc with guava, lime zest and subtle herbal flavours. Nice purity and an ethereal texture. Refreshing wine with good varietal characters" (11/2015) K&L Notes: One of the best value Marlborough Sauv Blancs out there. Real family winery, real vineyards, dedicated winemaking team. Just exceptional value for money delivering quintessential NZ Savvy flavors. (Ryan Woodhoue - K&L NZ Wine Buyer) Winemaker's Notes: "This wine is zesty and vibrant, with a base of rich tropical fruit, kaffir lime, lemon grass and herb aromas. On the palate - generous fr... Read More »
2014 Dry white Bordeaux wines are fantastic and with the strong dollar this wine is a no-brainer. We tasted it on our last night in Bordeaux in April 2015. From Bill Blatch's old company Vintex, this wine has good richness and flavor with that great 2014 acidity.
94 points James Suckling: "A beautifully judged barrel-fermented sauvignon, really complex but tightly integrated. Shows attractive lemon, lime and grapefruit citrus fruit aromas as well as ripe peach and green mango across some gently waxy, lanolin-like notes and dried grass. The oak is subdued and discreet, adding a neat spicy and gently mealy savory thread. There's a wealth of flesh and weight below, handy oak spice runs trough some crisp and concentrated melon and papaya with a wash of lime juice; great acidity, smooth and supple texture, finishes succulent and flavorsome, gen ...Read More »
We like Groth's Cabernet Sauvignon, and offer several library vintages of perfectly aged Cab that comes direct from the winery's cellar, as well as the current vintage. But for an aperitif before the main course and the Cabernet, try this vibrant Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc from the same producer. Blending is the key: fruit from both warm and cool areas of the Napa Valley provide a balance of acidity and ripe melon fruit, and some sur lie aging adds complexity.
Vinous: "Groth's 2015 Sauvignon Blanc is bright, focused and nicely delineated throughout. I would prefer to drink it over the next year, while the lemon and grapefruit flavors retain the vivacity. (AG)" (8/2016)
Young winemaker Francis Hutt is crushing it right now, making some of the region's most exciting and sophisticated wines. Classic NZ Savvy but with lots of lees derived texture and drive from the Central Otago's schist soils. (Ryan Woodhouse, K&L NZ wine buyer) Winemaker's Notes: "A very aromatic Sauvignon Blanc. The wine has strong fragrances of lychee, gooseberry and passion-fruit. Initially textural on entry, in the mouth the wine leads into a broad wide acidity with flavours of gooseberry flowing through onto the finish."
Inventory: Redwood City
The Brander family's first Sauvignon Blanc was crafted in 1977 from grapes grown in Los Olivos, and it became the first gold-medal-winning wine in Santa Barbara County. The 2015 vintage was sourced from multiple vineyards, including Brander Estate, Mesa Verde, Tierra Alta, and Buttonwood. It is rich and luscious, with a medley of tropical fruit notes--lychee, honeydew, and guava, with a hint of hibiscus and orange zest. Perfect for summer picnics or sipping poolside.
Domaine Begude is a small, family-owned property located high in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the Limoux region of the Languedoc. The long, cool growing season lends itself perfectly to the production of crisp and delicate wines, and this Sauvignon Blanc is no exception. More in the style of a Loire Valley Sancerre, with its fine, mineral-laden nose and fresh citrus fruits on the palate, this is the perfect accompaniment to grilled fish, oysters or just by itself. Make this one your house white! Organically certified by Ecocert.
This Lake County Sauv Blanc smells like early fall with its nose of melons, figs and pears.The fruit continues after you take a sip, and the wine has mouthwatering acidity. Perfect ratatouille, or kabobs.
94 points James Halliday: "Adelaide Hills enjoyed a picture-perfect vintage, with moderate yields ripening to perfection. No winemaking tricks, cool fermentation in stainless steel and early bottling. The wine verges on fleshy on the mid-palate, then finishes with a swagger of limey natural acidity on the long, fresh finish. Flavours? Grapefruit and a touch of passionfruit." 90 points Vinous: "Bright silver-straw color. Vibrant, mineral-laced lemon/lime and quince aromas are complemented by emerging notes of pineapple and mango. Emphatically fruity, focused and dry, showing a firm stony underpinning t ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "This shows the sunny opulence of the vintage, brimming with tropical- and stone-fruit notes. Guava and nectarine flavors meet ample weight on the palate, balanced by a slightly chalky finish. (JC)" (7/2016) Wine Spectator: "Pear, peach and apricot flavors are spicy and smooth, with a juicy finish and plenty of intensity, finishing with Meyer lemon zest. (MW)" (6/2016)
Wine Enthusiast: "This is a medium-bodied, low-in-oak white, linear in vanilla and lime, with a freshness on the palate. It will serve well as both an apéritif and at the table with lighter fare, a well-made and distributed wine to please many palates. (VB)" (12/2015) Wine Spectator: "Smooth melon, pear and citrus flavors have details of apple blossoms and fresh herbs, with a refreshing finish. (MW, Web-2015)" K&L Notes: Decoy is a label of Napa Valley's Duckhorn Vineyards, which has been making Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc since 1982. More recently, they've begun sourcing Sauvignon Blanc from neighborin... Read More »
Vincent Gaudry is a traditionalist in Sancerre who has gained respect among his peers for dedication to authentic espression of Sancerre terroir. His was the first domaine in Sancerre to be certified biodynamic, and the naturally low yielding vines endow the wines with richness and volume. Mélodie de Vieilles Vignes is sourced from vines up to 90 years old, and the concentration and complexity show driving minerality and savory flavors adorned with notes of grapefruit zest and cut grass.
Just to the west of the much larger Sancerre region is Menetou-Salon, where Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are grown in limestone and clay soils. The wines are delightful for drinking upon release, but this bottling can age for 4-5 years. Domaine Franck Millet, now run by the third generation, has deep knowledge of winemaking in the region. Vigorous selection and vineyard work are done to produce the best possible quality wines. (Eric Story, K&L Loire Buyer)
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Made in a style that will appeal to fans of both creamy, fruity richness and more austere notes of fresh grass, this wine is dry, herbal and juicy. It offers accents of vanilla and white plum, as well as the aforementioned fruitiness of peach and pear." (9/2016)
Winemaker's Notes: "The wine is translucent with a bright green hue. The nose is opulent with aromas of fynbos, lithci, peardrops, granny smith apples and grapefruit. The palate is lively with flavours of passionfruit, gooseberry and richness from the barrel fermented portion, lingering with fresh acidity and flint. Our Sauvignon Blanc 2016 was made from seven vineyards growing around the Franschhoek valley. The blend includes 5% barrel fermented old vine Semillon. Each vineyard is harvested and vinified separately to insure maximum complexity. All our ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Light and crisp, this delivers straightforward lemon, lime, grapefruit and melon around soft, simple textures, making it both juicy and inviting. (VB)" (2/2015) Wine Spectator: "Offers a mix of lemon, mango and green apple flavors, set on a light body, with crisp acidity and a whiff of honeysuckle on the finish. Drink now. (MW)" (6/2015)
Inventory: Redwood City
Howell Mountain was Napa’s first sub-AVA, and for good reason. The terroir is dramatic, unique and powerful. At between 1,600 and 1,800 feet in elevation, Ladera Vineyards sits above the Napa Valley fog, its grapes cooled instead by the high elevation. Longer, cooler but still very sunny ripening days and a deft hand in the cellar create the dynamic power found in their wine.
92 points Bob Campbell: "Dry, flavoursome and moderately gutsy Sauvignon Blanc, with green capsicum, lemongrass, gooseberry, nut and nettle flavours. The wine also shows a thread of chalky mineral character. Good food wine offering value at this price." (10/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Organic Sauvignon Blanc offers intense notes of gooseberries, freshly squeezed lemons, coriander seeds and grass. Light-bodied with tons of citrus zing in the mouth, it has a lively acid backbone and nice, long, refreshing finish. (LPB)" (2/2015) Wine Spectator: "Floral, with honeysuckle and lemon verbena notes at the core, and jui ...Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "This is very underground sauvignon blanc from Napa from old head pruned vines at the top of Spring Mountain. Full body, yet fresh and lively with sliced dried apple, pear and lemon. Pretty length too. This is a serious white. 185 cases made. Drink now." (6/2016) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Aged half in stainless and half in new French oak for eight months, this is a complex, tangy wine with medium viscosity and a strong taste of lemon peel and green apple. With a slightly tropical edge of lemongrass, it's lively and fresh." (7/2016) Wine Spectator: "Crisp and linear, with lime zest and green apple note ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Lemon, melon and peach flavors are fleshy and juicy. Mouthwatering on the intense finish. (MW-Web-2016)"
About the producer: "Turnbull has been rooted in the culture and history of the Napa Valley for more than 35 years. Operating our small, family business from the original estate winery in Oakville, we stand for exceptional quality and a true Napa Valley wine experience, as it should be. We offer enduring Cabernet Sauvignon with a depth and texture of lasting quality. We make elegant, structured wines, crafted from our four estate vineyards that deliver our signature profile year in and year out – a result of our careful hand in all aspects of the making... Read More »
95 points Bob Campbell: "Hand harvested grapes were whole-bunch pressed before being fermented and matured in old oak barrels. One of a growing number of wines showing real complexity and a great texture. Guava, grapefruit, mineral and subtle nutty flavours. A smooth-textured wine with a lengthy finish. Very impressive." Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Scented of white peaches, fresh apples and pears with nuances of honeysuckle and chopped herbs, the medium-bodied 2014 OTQ Series Sauvignon Blanc offers a ripe, stone fruit and spiced pear flavored version of this style, with a nicely balanced finished. (LPB) ...Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* Crisp lime, grapefruit, passion fruit and lemongrass flavors show accents of fresh ginger. Smooth and succulent, especially on the finish. (MW)" (2/2016) Jancis Robinson: "Fruit is 60% Awatere Valley, 30% Wairau Valley and 10% Kekerengu Coast, which is further S of Blenheim than Awatere - cool but benefiting from warm sea air so that it has an early budburst but is late to ripen; some limestone. RS 1.4 g/l. Both grassy and stony on the nose, raising expectations of a tight, dry wine but on the palate it is richer with green-fruited ripeness. Plenty of fruit fla ...Read More »
This blend of Sauvignon and Timorasso is fermented in stainless steel vats and sees brief aging in bottle.
Founded by Parisian transplant Alain Cailbourdin in 1981, the domaine consists of 11 hectares planted primarily in Sauvignon Blanc, with a minority percentage planted in Chasselas. Alain is part of a new breed of winemakers dedicated to producing a high quality wine and not just a high volume wine. His methods are traditional, yet his yields are low and the wines are concentrated and pure expressions of Sauvignon Blanc. He believes in using a minimum of sulfur dioxide during and after vinification. The Les Cris is a beautiful Pouilly-Fumé, offering th... Read More »
93 points Connoisseurs Guide: "One of our favorites from down under, and a wine we have enjoyed on lots of occasions, this is one of the few in this tasting from the North Island of New Zealand. Its growing area is a bit warmer than Marlborough on the South Island and finds a touch of extra richness while not giving up any of the bright, crisp character expected of New Zealand SBs. At the same time, it exhibits more melon and layered sophistication than most and earns high commendation for its depth and straightforwardly delightful drinkability." (8/2016) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* As usual, the ...Read More »
This single-vineyard selection from Francis Blanchet is sourced from a plot with an excellent presence of silex (flint stones) in the soil, which lends the signature smoky minerality to the finest Sauvignon Blancs in the Loire. The southeast-facing slope and 35+ year old vines complete the pedigree of this terroir. Grapes are hand-harvested and whole-cluster pressed before being fermented on fine lees in temperature-controlled stainless steel. The wine's smoky nose with lemon zest and white flower introduces the crisp and firm palate which reverberates ... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "It is always obligatory when I taste or drink Ferrari-Carano’s Fumé Blancs to reference my mother. This was her favorite wine, and it was the only one where, with prodding, we could get enough in her to become euphoric. Why she liked it so much I never can be sure, but certainly every time I have had it, I can understand its popularity. It basically says one thing, “I am delicious.” In many ways, there is no need for a wine critic or any wine jargon if a wine can make that point quickly. In any event, the 2014 Fumé Blanc has a delightful, rather compelli ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
The Ink Grade Vineyard is organically farmed and is the source for the fruit that goes into the 2015 Heitz Sauvignon Blanc. The winemaker notes highlight pronounced aromatics of tropical and citrus fruits followed by a crisp finish on the palate.
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "The wine balances acidity and full fruitiness. These show in the lively, fresh character as well as the rich apple and pear flavors. The end shows more youthful texture, offering the chance to hold this wine until 2015." (10/2014)