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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.
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 »
We love these wines for their freshness, charm and affordability, and this is easily our best value Sancerre in the store. From soils of clay and chalk in the village of Bue near the Domaine. The Millet keeps you coming back for more. It is vinified entirely in stainless steel to preserve the wonderful citrus and slightly grassy aromatics and gentle mineral finish.
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.
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.
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 »
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.
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 »
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 »
Another of the fine wines of Dominique Robin, Le Blanc de la Graside is sourced from a vineyard three 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 the wine's generous profile, while it retains a mineral-driven finish. Superb buy.
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 »
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 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 »
Bob Campbell: "Light, fresh sauvignon blanc with crisp nectarine, passionfruit and red capsicum flavours. Refreshingly dry, with appealing purity and an ethereal texture." (7/2016) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Very pale yellow. Sweet nectarine and sexy spices on the nose, lifted by a subtle floral topnote. Supple, easygoing and sweet but with a sappy freshness to the generous flavors of citrus fruits and spices. Finishes dusty and classically dry, with some very ripe notes." (5/2016)
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 »
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.
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.
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 »
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)
94-95 points Raymond Chan: "Bright, pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, lighter on edge. The nose is intense with penetrating aromas of ripe gooseberries, greengages, limes and green stonefruits, fresh herbs and a subtle layer of nutty oak. The aromatics are youthfully fresh and tightly bound. Medium-bodied, the fruit is tight and firmly concentrated, and slender in presentation, still to unfold in richness. The flavours of green stonefruits, herbs and citrus fruits are vibrantly youthful, refreshing and steely, and the palate is slippery and racy, quite mouthwatering ...Read More »
Cliff Lede brings Sauvignon Blanc from around the Napa Valley back to their hillside, Napa Green Winery certified winery for this newly released Sauvignon Blanc from the excellent 2015 vintage, including old vines, Musque and Semillon, and Sauvignon Vert from an old Chiles Valley vineyards. The winery's tasting note: "The 2015 Sauvignon Blanc is loaded with aromas of Meyer lemon and candle wax atop layers of honeysuckle, ginger, and tangerine. Spring blossoms of wisteria, lupin, and California buckeye abound in the upper register of the seductive perfume... Read More »
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 »
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: "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
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.
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.
Robert Parker writes: "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."
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 »
92 points Bob Campbell: "Flavoursome Sauvignon Blanc with bright passion fruit, orange blossom, grapefruit and lemon grass flavours. The wine has an appealing ethereal texture and almost fizzy, fruity acidity that adds an extra shot of freshness." Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc offers green apple and freshly squeezed lemon scents with hints of elderflower and fresh peas. There's a lively backbone of rasping acidity cutting through the intense citrus and apple notes, and it finishes with satisfying persistence. (LPB)" (1/2015) Wine Spectator: "Medium-bodied, with plenty of crisp lemon meringue, l ...Read More »
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 »
Inventory: San Francisco
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 »
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.
93 points Raymond Chan: "Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, near colourless on the rim. This has a softly full and voluminous nose of passionfruit and tropical fruits along with delicately lifted herbs and limes, seamlessly interwoven, and opening up in richness and detail with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is softly concentrated with a deep core packed with flavours of passionfruit and gooseberries, tropical fruits and herbs. The mouthfeel is seamless in texture and the wine flows smoothly, unfolding rich capsicum and citrus flavours. ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Baked pineapple and mango rise to the fore in this nutty, slightly grassy and herbal wine. It's lightly bodied and creamy in texture. (VB)" (11/2016) Wine Spectator: "The Key lime, citrus zest, honeydew melon and green apple flavors are juicy and lively, with a refreshing finish. (MW)" (11/2016)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
This blend of Sauvignon and Timorasso is fermented in stainless steel vats and sees brief aging in bottle.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Even more endearing is the more limited-production 4,000-case cuvée of the 2014 Sauvignon Blanc coming from Napa. It is 100% Sauvignon Blanc, aged in stainless steel and kept on its lees for three months. It offers candied grapefruit, tropical pineapple and honeysuckle. The wine has excellent texture, light to medium body and a good, crisp finish... Mason Cellars certainly knows how to deliver quality and value. The three whites are all big crowd-pleasers, and it would be hard to find fault with any of them. Moreover, at these price points they are absol ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice" This delicious wine makes you wish that a lot more Sauv Blanc was coming out of the Willamette Valley. It's sharp, spicy and bright. The grapefruit and pineapple flavors carry well-defined accents of herb and pine needle. The pinpoint acidity adds further focus." (6/2016)
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
Wine Spectator: "Lemon, melon and peach flavors are fleshy and juicy. Mouthwatering on the intense finish. (MW-Web-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 »
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.
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 »
90 points Connoisseurs Guide: "John Williams and his team farm their certified-organic vineyards without irrigation, and maintained that regimen in 2015 despite a protracted drought. The result is a refreshing and clean wine with tight flavors of grapefruit and lime-like acidity. The citrus-blossom scents last along with the tart fruit. Chill it for Hog Island oysters." (6/2016)
95 points Bob Campbell: "Weighty, concentrated Sauvignon Blanc, with a mix of gooseberry and red capsicum together with riper nectarine, tree fruit flavours plus a seasoning of nutty yeast lees character. Textural, satisfying wine in quite a complex style." (10/2015) 91-92 points Raymond Chan: "Very pale and clear colour. This has soft, gentle ethereal aromatics, showing a subtle amalgam of gooseberries, fresh herbs and white florals, fresh and balanced, quite harmonious. Dry with soft depth and density, and considerable palate presence. Lovely concentration with thirst-quenching soft textures. Subtle, but p ...Read More »