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K&L Staff Recommendations
2014 Eric Cottat Sancerre $18.99
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. (Eric Story, Loire Buyer)
A Note from the Winery: "A bright clean appearance with fresh lime green hues. Pleasing aromas of grapefruit and white peach, with a floral lift. This medium bodied, dry wine has a refreshing and moreish palate. Mouth-watering acidity is balanced by an elegant, mineral finish."
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.
The 2013 Franck Millet "Vieilles Vignes" Sancerre Blanc is a vineyard selection of older vines, roughly 40 years old and bottled specifically for us. It shows nice concentration throughout along with the precision and drive of the limestone rich soils. Done entirely in stainless steel to retain its freshness and verve but, also was allowed some extra lees contact to add more middle complexity. Drink now and over the next 3-5 years. Pair it with an earthy cheese such as a drier style of goat and also fantastic with an assortment of fresh ocean going critt... Read More »
94 points Raymond Chan: "Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, near colourless on rim. The nose is very elegant and refined with tightly bound and penetrating aromas of gooseberry fruit, white florals and mouthwatering fresh herb and mineral notes. Subtle passionfruit elements unfold with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, elegantly presented flavours of white florals, gooseberries and chalky passionfruit form an intense and concentrated core. The mouthfeel is thirst-quenchingly dry with a fine textural line and beautifully balanced acid laciness lending ...Read More »
Cognizant is a new collaborative project between K&L and some of New Zealand's finest winemakers. "Cognizant" is defined as having 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 first wine being released under the Cognizant label was made by Jason and Anna Flowerday of TWR (Te Whare Ra) winery. The fruit comes from exceptional vineyards in both the Wairau and Awatere Valleys. 25% of the as... Read More »
We can tell you this much: our Kalinda private label hooks you up with awesome wine at a fraction of what you'd otherwise pay for this exact same wine under its normal label. While we have to remain quiet about the source of this beauty, we can tell you that it sells elsewhere under the winery label at a much higher premium. Get it while it lasts.
93 points James Suckling: "An exotic dry white wine with cherry blossom, olive oil, dried herbs, sea salt, wet stones and dried apricots. Bone-dry with persistent acidity. One of the best Sauvignons in Friuli. Drink now." (9/2014)
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 which keeps your palate fresh and alive. Although easy to drink, it has complexity and intrigue up and down the aromatic and palate. You'll be wanting another after the first one has disappeared. (Eric Story, Loire Buyer)
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)" (4/2015)
95 points Bob Campbell: "Deliciously restrained Sauvignon Blanc with mineral, citrus/pink grapefruit, and nutty lees/brioche characters. It has a great almost ethereal texture and plenty of weight and yet boasts tantalising purity. Very sophisticated Sauvignon Blanc with concentration and power. Tasted in a vertical line-up going back to the first vintage in 2004. This vintage earned top rating with 2013 although the earlier vintage is a an overtly fruitier and more accessible style. 2014 is probably a better food wine." (11/2014) 93 points Raymond Chan: "Bright, pale straw-yellow colour with slight green ...Read More »
This Sancerre has a pale yellow color with hints of flashing green. Aromatically, it possesses a nice fruity component of crispy white peaches, melon, yellow plums and the typical presence of place notes of flinty minerals. On the palate, it has a richness and persistence which is nicely balanced with fruit texture, mineral and acidity. The excellent length gets even better as the bottle breathes. If you can get your hands on a round of Crottin de Chavignol, call it a day. Or, try this with pan roasted shellfish with just a touch of butter and a squeeze ... Read More »
92 points Wine Spectator: "The fleshy peach and nectarine flavors are ripe, juicy and appealing, with fresh fennel, grapefruit zest, jasmine and mineral accents. Generous, supple and refreshing, presenting terrific intensity on the finish. Drink now. (Web-2015)" K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "Pale straw colour with a green hue. Lovely aromas of citrus blossom, lime, jasmine and the faintest hint of fresh honey. Subtle flavours of fresh lime and grapefruit are balanced with a fine chalky texture that is reminiscent of the stones and limestone within the vineyard. Finishes dry, fresh and long. ... Read More »
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 & NOP.
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.
95 points Bob Campbell: "A blend of wines made in the four distinctly different Marlborough sub-regions: Awatere Valley, Waihopai, Wairau Valley and Kekerengu. The result is about as true a representation of a regional style that I could imagine. Flavoursome Sauvignon Blanc with gooseberry, red capsicum, nectarine and lime plus a suggestion of passion fruit flavours. Classy wine with an ethereal texture and lingering finish. Delivers everything a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc drinker expects ... and more." 92 points Wine Spectator: "Smart Buy: Impressive and delicious, evoking the supple, fleshy texture of bi ...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 »
Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* An appealing touch of coconut water adds some richness to the peach, melon and citrus flavors, with accents of floral, citrus zest and mango. Drink now." (11/2015) K&L Notes: Honig sources fruit primarily from their sustainably farmed vineyard in Rutherford along with some other nearby vineyards. This blend is 93% Sauvignon Blanc and 6% Semillon, with 1% Muscat. Robert Parker offers in reference to the 2012 bottling: "This winery has a long and impressive track record working with Sauvignon Blanc and continues to produce a classic/textbook example of th... Read More »
91 points Sam Kim: "Classically flavoured and instantly appealing, this vibrant sauvignon shows white peach, feijoa and grapefruit characters with subtle lime zest lift on the nose. It is ripe, lively and intense on the palate, and delivers loads of appealing flavours, backed by refreshing acidity. Crowd-pleasingly tasty. At its best: now to 2017." Bob Campbell: "Delicately aromatic Sauvignon Blanc with fairly subtle passion fruit, tree fruit and capsicum flavours. The wine has impressive purity and a soft texture. It offers excellent value at this price." Wine Spectator: "Crisp, light-bodied, intense and ref ...Read More »
According to the winery: "Crisp and refreshing, typical of NZ Sauvignon that is world famous ... We are a boutique vineyard just five minutes from the Village of Havelock North in Hawke's Bay Wine Country ... All our wines are Estate Grown and the fruit is hand picked. Our elevated north facing site on the lower slopes of the Te Mata hills is not only an excellent location for grape growing it also provides us with stunning views, a warm sheltered micro-climate and a perfect situation for the visitor to spend an hour or two, a night or two or even a week... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 nose with fresh and intense aromas of cut grass, gooseberries and subtle notes of passionfruit, and suggestions of savoury stonefruits. The fruit has richness, but retains a refreshing minerality and clarity of expression. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, juicy ...Read More »
Praise for the winery from Bob Campbell: "Spy Valley Wines is one of Marlborough's leading family owned wine companies. Comprising nine varieties of grapes over 400 acres of estate vineyards, a modern fully integrated winemaking facility and a passion for excellence, Spy Valley consistently produces globally acclaimed award winning wines. Not befitting the world of espionage, the wine has been called "impossible to ignore" and the company among "the planet's 20 most notable new producers."
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 »
According to the winery: "In 2014 our main goal with Sauvignon Blanc was simply to make a worthy follow up to its wildly popular predecessor. Given the quality of 2013, not an easy task. The vintage fortunately blessed us with the conditions to do so and we are proud to offer this version. We again worked with the same vineyards in the Russian River and Dry Creek Valleys to craft a medium bodied, brisk, and eminently crowd pleasing wine. Our vineyard sources have vines ranging from 10 to 32 years old and a feature a variety of clonal selections. As in ye... Read More »
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.
From the winery: "These grapes were selected from vineyards in Marlborough’s Wairau Valley and the neighbouring Awatere Valley. Fast draining, alluvial loams over gravelly subsoils in these valleys provide ideal growing conditions for our Sauvignon Blanc....Aromas: Citrus and tropical fruits backed by characteristic herbaceous notes for which Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is renowned. Taste: An exuberant wine brimming with juicy acidity and fruit sweetness, providing a balanced flavour profile. The finish is fresh, zesty, and lingering."
95 points James Halliday: "*Special Value Selection* Free-run juice from Great Southern/Margaret River grapes has been partially barrel-fermented, the slightly smoky bouquet leading into an intensely focused palate, with the length and clarity more frequently encountered with high quality Riesling, a comparison heightened by attractive citrus notes that accompany stone fruit and gooseberry flavours."
Renowned for their classically styled Napa Cabernet, beloved for their quirky Grignolino, Heitz Cellar also makes Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and this Chardonnay. A great price for this respected Napa Valley label. Heitz Cellar's tasting notes: "Our delightfully refreshing Sauvignon Blanc is a reflection of the outstanding 2014 vintage. Think of the elegance of a tree-ripened white nectarine — floral and fruity aromas that are so exquisitely balanced with the flavors in the mouth, and the finish ties everything together with its bright and easy crispness.... Read More »
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)
Le Blanc de la Graside is sourced from a vineyard 3 miles south of Libourne that is planted with 60-year-old Sauvignon Blanc vines. Grapes are harvested at full maturity and aged in casks to round out a generous profile. Citrus and stone fruit retain a grassy cut with a mineral-driven finish.
93 points Bob Campbell: "Creamy textured Sauvignon Blanc with grapefruit, gooseberry, mineral and a seasoning of hazelnut lees flavours. Quite a grassy style but with concentration and some complexity." (10/2014) 92 points Wine Enthusiast: "It’s interesting to compare this to the 2014, which I also tasted recently. The 2013 is balanced and silky by comparison, with a fine tapestry of interwoven aromas ranging from pineapple and mixed citrus to charming herbaceousness and fresh-cut grass. Pink grapefruit flavors linger on the finish." (2/2016) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Opening with pronounced capsicum and vegetal notes amid an underlyin ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "A dry, stainless-steel fermented wine, this presents a generous floral bouquet upon entry, followed by a creamy palate, with textural layers of apricot and peach. Medium bodied, it remains refreshing throughout, making it an ideal choice for lighter occasions and lighter fare." (12/2015)
92 points Bob Campbell: "Fine-textured, tight, fresh Sauvignon Blanc with strong chalky mineral flavours plus lime, nutty yeast lees and gooseberry. Very pure with an impeccable acid/alcohol balance that gives a pleasantly drying finish. Great food wine." (10/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Petit Clos Sauvignon Blanc has intense aromas of freshly squeezed lemons, green apples and lime leaves with a hint of grassiness. Medium-bodied with a touch of texture it shows great vibrancy through the long and crisp finish. (LPB)" (12/2014) Wine Spectator: "Intense, offering a mix of dried mango, grapefruit and lime flavors, w ...Read More »
Saint Bris les Vineux is a village with its own appellation, producing the only Sauvignon Blanc-based white Burgundy. It used to be called Sauvignon de Saint Bris, but since they received an official appellation a few years ago, it is now just Saint Bris, AOC. Anne and Arnauld Goisot are not only the proprietors of this domaine, they do most everything. If they are not out in the vineyard, they are receiving the public at their lovely cave, located in the basement of their old stone house in St. Bris les Vineux. This is crisp, refreshing, and delightful ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Entirely stainless-steel fermented and aged, this wine offers a tremendously fair deal. Peach and apricot form the core of this light, subtle white that has a solid backbone of acidity and is finished in a taste of lemon verbena." (12/2015) Wine Spectator: "Vivid and intense, with a tropical note of passion fruit running through the citrus and melon flavors. Floral, spice and lemon verbena details echo on the juicy finish. Drink now. 5,100 cases made." (11/2015)
92 points Bob Campbell: "A fairly typical Awatere Valley style with green capsicum, mineral, gooseberry and nettle flavours. Moderately weighty wine with good flavour concentration and a lengthy finish." 92 points Wine & Spirits: "From an estate vineyard on the north bank of the Awatere River, this wine grows in gravelly soils mixed with silt and stones. The relative coolness of the site comes across in scents of pear and fresh apple, the purity of the fruit following a crisp line. The flavors are bright, the color virtually clear. A compellingly pure take on Awatere sauvignon blanc." (2/2014) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "At first glance ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The driest and most serious of the trio is the 2013 Sauvignon Blanc Napa (5,000 cases). Classic notes of fresh figs, melons and honeyed grapefruit are found in this medium-bodied, flavorful, concentrated Sauvignon. (RP)" (11/2014)
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Made from organically grown, dryfarmed vineyards and fermented entirely in stainless steel, this refreshingly dry and low-alcohol white offers flavors of peach and grapefruit pith around electrified acidity. It tastes fresh, fruity and completely on edge—throw a bottle in your beach bag or picnic basket." (9/2015) K&L Notes: Frog's Leap Sauvignon Blanc is 100% stainless steel fermented from dry-farmed, organically grown vineyards in Rutherford. With a philosophy of minimal intervention in the vineyard and the winery, this Sauvignon Blanc has become a reliably true ex... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
92-93 points Raymond Chan: "70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon, indigenous yeast fermented, the Semillon in seasoned French oak to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 6 months on lees. Bright, pale straw-yellow colour with lemon-green hues, lighter on rim. The nose is elegant and softly presented with fresh green stonefruit aromas with delicate herbal detail providing aromatic lift and subtly complexing mineral nuances, all harmoniously integrated. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, a concentrated core of green stonferuits and herbal flavours show with succulence. The fruit richness is balanc ...Read More »
94 points Bob Campbell: "A minor blend of Semillon and a portion that’s been barrel fermented and matured have made their mark on this flavoursome and reasonably full-bodied wine. I noted passion fruit, guava and toast with an influence of roasted nut character. Moderately complex and pleasingly textural wine." (11/2014) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc gives a wonderfully intense nose of fresh grapefruit, mandarin peel and yuzu with nuances of sage, stuck flint and wet pebbles. Light to medium-bodied, it bursts in the mouth with citrus on tropical fruit flavors with just enough herbal an ...Read More »
97 points James Halliday: "A 71/29% blend, wild yeast-fermented, with no acid additions; 87% of the wine was matured for 5 months in French barriques (62% new). Follows in a long and proud tradition of exceptionally complex wines that rely on gentle persuasion, not brute force or, if you prefer, seduction rather than rape. The flavours are so attractive and mouthfilling now, it is easy to forget the wine will mature with grace for well over a decade." (3/2014) K&L Notes: Stunning Bordeaux style wine blend with so much concentration, flavor and drive. Truly great wine worthy of any cellar. Very... Read More »
Young winemaker Francis Hutt is crushing it right now, making some of the region's most exciting and sophisticated wines. (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."
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 neighboring Sonoma County, where the grape thrives in slightly cooler climes. The winery's tasting note: "This inviting wine combines bright citrus aromas with richer layers of kiwi and honeysuckle. On the palate, a perfectly balanced mouthfeel underscores pure flavors of Key lime, orange zest and Honeycrisp apple, all of which carry through to a long and lively finish."
From the winery: "Our 2014 Sauvignon Blanc is a multifaceted wine that combines the best elements of our four estate vineyards. It has a light straw yellow color and an enticing nose of kaffir lime, pear, Elderberry, crystalized ginger and wet slate. The full palate is highlighted by a sweet attack which is deftly balanced by fresh, vibrant acidity and a purity of fruit. This layered, complex, well-knit wine has an extremely long finish with echoes of citrus, stone fruit and minerality."