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K&L Staff Recommendations
2015 Eric Cottat Sancerre $18.99
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)
94 points Raymond Chan: "Bright, very pale straw colour with light golden-green hues, pale on rim. The nose is very elegantly presented, tightly bound with pure, mouthwatering aromas of passionfruit entwined with lime fruit, fresh herbs, subtle notes of white florals and stonefruits and thirst-quenching minerals. The aromatics show finesse, intensity and cut. Medium-full bodied, the palate is tightly constructed but has lusciously rich, bright and juicy, lively fruit flavours of passionfruit, gooseberries, herbs and minerals, lifted by fragrant white stonefruits and florals. The ...Read More »
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 »
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 »
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.
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
One of K&L's very finest buys from France. This is a reserve cuvée, made from Millet's chalkiest limestone soils. There is a long maceration at very low temperatures to extract as much flavor and character as possible. The resulting wine is intensely charged with stone fruit and minerality, with bright citrus notes. However, due to the amazingly warm vintage, it's quite soft, with layers of rich fruit.
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 »
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 »
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.
Cloudy Bay put New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc on the map, but Kim Crawford fits the everyday pocketbook. Great choice for that spring asparagus or summer salads. The winery's tasting note: "Aroma: Citrus and tropical fruits backed by characteristic herbaceous notes for which Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is renowned. Palate: An exuberant wine brimming with juicy acidity and fruit sweetness, providing a balanced flavour profile. The finish is fresh, zesty, and lingering. Cellar: All these factors have resulted in the plethora of fruit flavours, crisp acidity... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
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 »
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: "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 »
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 »
95 points Bob Campbell: "Is this New Zealand's priciest Sauvignon? Old vine fruit was whole-bunch pressed and fermented with wild yeasts, 30% in old French oak barriques for five months. The result is an intense and complex wine with a great, mouth-filling texture. Assertive yeast and oak characters. Great food wine. It's a bold statement that moves well away from the typical Marlborough style." (11/2010) 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright yellow. Passion fruit and gingery oak spices on the nose, complicated by a sweaty saline character (from the wild yeasts?). Rich, ripe, tactile and sweet, with an almost g ...Read More »
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.
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.
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.
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 »
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."
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.
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)
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 »
Wine Spectator: "Lemon, melon and peach flavors are fleshy and juicy. Mouthwatering on the intense finish. (MW-Web-2016)"
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 »
Inventory: Redwood City
Jancis Robinson: "A little bit grassy but mostly riper flavours of stone fruit. Impressive intensity on the mid palate, not just on the attack. Fine, dry length. 17/20 points. (JH)" (5/2016) K&L Notes: Greywacke is the awesome new project from Kevin Judd. Kevin was one of the founders and winemakers behind the legendary Cloudy Bay. There isn't much this guy doesn't know about making Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
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 »
93 points James Suckling: "Once again a portion of barrel matured wine and a little semillon added to the mix, this has a sophisticated nose with dried flowers, meadow hay and citrus fruits, gently complex and enticing. The palate delivers a powerful, driving citrus-focused impression, dry and long, handy structure too. Drink now and up to 2020." (1/2016) 92 points Bob Campbell: "Organic/biodynamic Sauvignon Blanc, with 15% fermented in aged French barriques to build texture and complexity. The wine does show some nutty yeast lees characters, although it is still fruit dominant with peach, melon, spice, ani ...Read More »
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.
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 Bob Campbell: "Weighty, textural Sauvignon Blanc with impressive concentration and mouth-feel. Melon, perhaps nectarine and mineral characters with a seasoning of nutty yeast lees. I like the wine's balance of acidity and fruit/alcohol sweetness. It promises to become even more interesting with bottle age. Good food wine." 92-93 points Raymond Chan: "Bright, very pale straw-colour, near colourless on rim. The nose is expressive of finesse, with elegantly and tightly bound, delicate aromas of green stonefruits interwoven with soft herbs, wet-stone minerals, unveiling sweet gooseberry fruit and rainw ...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 »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "POINTS 0 Plush and bright passionfruit aromas waft from this bottling drawn from five different vineyards, yet they are linked to sharper grass, lime rind and yellow grapefruit-pith tartness. Extreme energy shows on the sizzling palate, where Key lime, lemongrass and lemon peels conspire for a light-but-sharp experience. (MK)" (5/2016) Wine Spectator: "Lean and vivid, with a clean, crisp body emphasizing the ruby grapefruit and lime zest flavors, lingering with notes of white flowers. (MW)" (5/2016)
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 »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Sauvignon Blanc has a nice flinty, melony character that comes across as Loire Valley-like with its minerality and citrus. (RP)" (3/2016) Wine Spectator: "The vivid lemon, grapefruit and pineapple flavors are bright and crisp, with lime zest and lemon thyme notes gaining momentum on the finish. (Web-2016) (MW)"
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 »
Wine Spectator: "Key lime and honeydew melon flavors are ripe and tangy, with a succulent, juicy finish, accented by lemon thyme details. (Web Only-2016) (MW)"
Inventory: San Francisco
A special price on "The Brothers Reserve" bottling from Giesen. Sourced from the estate's top parcels across both the Wairau and Awatere valleys. Absolutely quintessential "Marlborough Sauv Blanc"...packed full of juicy, gooseberry, citrus, tomato leaf, and stony minerals. Tons of flavor, great mouthwatering acidity, and a clean mineral finish. This bottle really shows the high quality of the 2013 vintage. (Ryan Woodhouse, K&L NZ Wine Buyer)
From the winery: "This elegant wine is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon harvested from our estates and other select premium Napa Valley vineyards. A portion of the Sauvignon Blanc was barrel-fermented in French oak. This technique and the addition of the Sémillon add depth and complexity to the aroma and palate, enhancing the ripe citrus and tropical flavors of the Sauvignon Blanc."
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Reserve Rutherford has more Muscat in it than the basic bottling as well as 10% Semillon compared to 3.9% in the regular cuvée. This is a beauty with honeysuckle, a touch of tropical fruit, broad, savory flavors and a dry, zesty finish. It should be drunk over the next 1-3 years. (RP)" (12/2015)
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.
Wine Spectator: "Tangy and vibrant, with lime, grapefruit and green apple flavors that are juicy and refreshing, showing plenty of intensity and a touch of Key lime pie on the finish. (AW)" (2/2016)
Sauvignon Blanc lovers take notice. While the small appellation of Quincy was the second appellation to be recognized by France, it's often overshadowed by its neighbor to the northeast, Sancerre. (Though up until the last half century or so, it was known for offering wines of better quality.) The sandy, silex topsoils over pink limestone are fabulous for Sauvignon Blanc, which was introduced to Quincy by Cistercian monks back in the 12th century. Pierre Ragon has been in charge of his family's 200-plus-year-old domaine since 1973, and his vines average ... 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.