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K&L Staff Recommendations
2015 Eric Cottat Sancerre $18.99
This Sauvignon Blanc from Touraine displays an intense, classic nose of cut grass, pepper and, believe it or not, pineapples and lemons, with plenty of minerality. Very crisp and refreshing, like a cross between a classic Touraine and a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, at an astonishingly low price! Perfect with seafood. Grown in an area located between the Loire River and the Cher River and sandwiched between the towns of Tours and Blois, the wine shows the classic characteristics of the rich clay soils that are fortified with flint and limestone. Very brig... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
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.
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 »
Sancerre at half the price! The Fournier family, with roots as deep as their vines in this region, seem to be related to just about everyone in some way. They've been farming and producing wines in Sancerre for generations. We are pleased to have been offered this wine, yet again, at such a great price. Soft, subtle mineral notes are wrapped up in aromatics of melon and citrus. Clean, bright and refreshing, this is a perfect little Sauvignon Blanc. Tropical fruit, citrus and spice aromas and flavors, with vibrant acidity and minerality. Perfect for goat ... Read More »
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 »
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)
93-94 points Raymond Chan: "Bright, very pale straw-green colour, near colourless on the edge. The nose is very fresh with intense, vibrantly fragrant aromas of ripe passionfruit with bright lime and citrus notes, gooseberries, lifted florals and subtle minerally elements. This is delicately detailed and exudes vitality. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, bright and elegantly concentrated flavours of sweet tropical fruits and gooseberries are entwined with passionfruit and mineral notes. The mouthfeel is refreshing and refined, with very fine textures and a crisp, poised palate line. ...Read More »
From the winery: "True to the style of Sauvignon Blanc we’ve honed over the past 40 years, our 2015 rendition boasts beautifully fresh, fragrant aromas of honeydew melon, grapefruit and guava, with a slight floral note. Full-bodied and concentrated on the palate, with a silky texture, its vibrant melon, citrus and gooseberry flavors are perfectly balanced, leading to a long, succulent finish boasting bright citrus and mineral tones. Enjoy this classic Sauvignon Blanc over the next 3-5 years with your favorite salad, seafood, poultry and vegetarian dishes... Read More »
Leaving behind careers in molecular biology and medicine, Brigid and John Forrest returned to the Wairau River Valley in 1988 to merge their passion for science with their love of wine. Along the way, they've picked up awards and accolades for their structured, rich, aromatic whites and reds. Praise from Raymond Chandler: "From modest beginnings in 1988 when John and Brigid Forrest planted their first vineyard in Renwick, Forrest Wines has grown to be a most significant Marlborough and New Zealand producer. Although the quantities of wine do not rival th... Read More »
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Château Reynon Blanc has a crisp Granny Smith apple and limestone-scented bouquet that is linear and focused, yet bounding full of energy. The palate is medium-bodied with a lively, citrus-driven entry backed by hints of pineapple and guava. Harmonious from start to finish and with impressive substance, this is a great Reynon Blanc from Denis Dubourdieu. (NM)" (4/2016) 89-91 points Vinous: "Denis Dubourdieu's 2015 Reynon is absolutely delicious. Rich, creamy and inviting, the 2015 captures striking richness and plenty of nuance. Peach, apricot, jasmine and candied lemo ...Read More »
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: "Based in Bué, one of the top villages of Sancerre, this producer has made a ripe, crisp and nervy wine that comes from chalk soil. Tangy with a mineral texture, it offers rich currant and lime flavors and full-throated final acidity. (RV)" (5/2016) K&L Notes: 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 an... Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "Fragrant and succulent, with melon, lime and passion fruit flavors accented by spice and orange sherbet hints. Features a smooth, supple frame and juicy accents. Drink now." (8/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Sauvignon Blanc is a blend of 79% Sauvignon Blanc and 21% Semillon. It offers attractive notes of melon, fig and caramelized citrus, and has a texture more akin to Chardonnay than Sauvignon. It also has a very long finish. This is a top flight Sauvignon Blanc to drink over the next several years. (RP)" (12/2016) K&L Notes: 79% Sauvignon Blanc, 21% Sémillon Aromas of passion frui... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This wine delivers just about everything you'd possibly expect from the variety and the region—grassy aromas, a bountiful mix of herb and tropical fruit flavors, ample weight and texture, and a long finish built around a solid core of grapefruit. (JC)" (7/2014) Raymond Chan: "This is an elegant and tightly bound, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc with passionfruit and gooseberry flavours and a minerally finish." Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* Tangy Key lime, white grapefruit, mango and bergamot flavors are aromatic, vivid and intensely juicy, with a squirt of fresh lemon juice on a light and refre ...Read More »
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.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of the leading practitioners of Sauvignon Blanc in Napa Valley, Honig makes two cuvées – their basic Sauvignon Blanc (blended with 4% Semillon and 1% Muscat) and the Reserve (blended with 10% Semillon and 2% Muscat). Their 2015 Sauvignon Blanc exhibits pleasant honeysuckle, citrus and melony fruit in a light to medium-bodied style, with an attractive fragrance and a dry, crisp finish. Drink it over the next year. (RP)" (12/2016) Wine Enthusiast: "A stainless-steel fermented white, with 4% Sémillon, this bright wine shows vibrant acidity and a lively streak of lemon peel ...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 »
A lovely nose of apples, citrus, tropical fruits and dusty gravel. This is a bright and energetic wine which also carries good texture and finishing length. Very well balanced from start to finish which makes for a very well focused drink while retaining a higher quality level. Made from 35 year old vines planted in sandy clay soils. After harvest the fruit is allowed to rest on its skins for a bit longer in order to extract a bit more aromatic and palate complexity and then pressed off. Fermentation is low and slow and done in 100% stainless steel tank.... Read More »
90 points James Suckling: "Really striking aromatics. Unmistakable passion fruit and lime citrus with subtle grassy and herbal complexity. The bold, flamboyant fruit is what takes center stage here. There's a fleshy, succulent feel to the palate. Acidity keeps it vibrant and the flavors hold fresh and lively. As appealing as ever. Drink now." (10/2016)
Jancis Robinson: "On first opening there was a slight hint of smoke but this soon blew away to reveal intense and pure fruit. Not pungent but deep and ripe - citrus and green fruits, including some candied green fig. Equally intense and ripe-fruited on the palate, managing to be both mouth-filling, almost a little viscous, and intensely fresh at the same time. Although there is fruit sweetness on the palate, the finish tastes pretty dry with a clean stony finish. Very long citrus aftertaste. Generous and all very primary at the moment. No rush to drink this. 17/20 points ...Read More »
89 points Wine Spectator: "This white is precise, showing mango, lemon verbena and lime sherbet flavors that are fragrant and juicy. A hint of honeysuckle lingers on the finish. Drink now." (11/2016)
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 blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon is a stellar value from Bordeaux. Grapes are hand-harvested and the juice undergoes a cold soak before 75% of it is barrel fermented and the other 25% is fermented in stainless steel. Crisp and mineral with vanilla tones on the nose, the palate is nicely rounded and full with citrus and tropical fruit. It is delicious with lighter foods and also quite refreshing on its own.
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.
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 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 »
Inventory: San Francisco
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 »
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) Wine Spectator: "Succulent lemon meringue flavors at the core show accents of toast, hay and dried chamomile, lingering on the finish. Drink now." (10/2016)
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.
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.
Inventory: San Francisco
93 points Bob Campbell: "30-40% of grapes from low-yielding vines were barrel-fermented to produce a fruit-driven wine with a strong emphasis on texture. Intense stone fruit flavours with a strong mineral/chalk backbone. Bone-dry Sauvignon which should develop well with moderate bottle age." (3/2014) 91 points Raymond Chan: "Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, near colourless on rim. The nose is elegant and restrained in fruit expression, showing subtle green stonefruit and hints of tropical fruits and nuances of fresh herbs, along with a minerally, chalky density. Dry to taste, fine te ...Read More »
94 points James Suckling: "Aromas of stones, dried lime, and lilly follow through to a full body, dense and tight white. Gorgeous intensity and flavor. Persistent finish. Structured and powerful. Drink or hold." (2/2016) 91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A super dry white made by the great red winemaking guru, Michel Rolland, yields were 22 hectoliters per hectare and the wine comes from an estate owned by the proprietors of Malartic Lagraviere, the Bonnie family from Belgium. Lots of honeysuckle, tangerine oil, pineapple and honeyed grapefruit notes are found in this shockingly fairly priced beauty. It should drink ...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)
Wine Spectator: "Lemon-lime, ruby grapefruit and green apple flavors are crisp and refreshing, with a note of matcha green tea on the finish. Drink now. 28,000 cases made." (2/2017) K&L Notes: This 100% Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from Mason Vineyard in Lake County's Kelsey Bench, where it picks up its signature grapefruit characteristics. A long, cold fermentation in stainless steel showcases the aromatic intensity of the wine with vibrant fruit flavors. Mouth-watering brightness is found in the tropical fruit flavors with plenty of citrus zest.
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."
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." (5/2016) 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 ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
A sauvignon and Timorasso blend, this wine is fermented in stainless steel for a few months before bottling. A classic expression of Monferrato.
92 points Bob Campbell: "Well-made Sauvignon Blanc, with green capsicum, gooseberry, grapefruit, melon and a hint of passionfruit flavour. Quite a textural wine with weight and mouth-feel. Satisfying Sauvignon that captures the essence of the variety and region" (10/2015) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Intense and aromatic, this opens with a whiff of smoke to the Meyer lemon, melon and apple flavors, mingling with honeysuckle and pear details and lingering on the long finish. (MW)" (10/2016)
95 points Bob Campbell: "Fresh, tangy Sauvignon with an appealing mix of bright stone fruit, nectarine, mineral and lemongrass flavours, plus a subtle nutty character from barrel fermentation. The wine has an appealing texture while retaining energy and vibrancy. Very appealing." 95 points Sam Kim: "This is awesome. From their home vineyard (Hope), the grapes were whole bunch pressed and fermented in French oak barrels. The bouquet shows complex aromas of stone fruit, lemon peel, flint and almond, which lead to a concentrated and powerful palate that is rounded and richly textured. The wine is superb ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
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 »
Vines ranging in age from 15-50 years old planted high on the slopes of St-Andelain (the highest village in the Pouilly-Fume appellation) and only from vineyard plots that have an extremely high content of silex. The vines are cropped to produce much lower yields than most. The juice is then barrel fermented and aged in the famous Dagueneau cigar barrels. Since there is a much lower clay content in the soils this wine is typically much more austere in its youth and needs a fair amount of time to come into itself. This is often considered the domaine's to... 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.
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 »
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 »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "A consistently great white, this vintage is as impressive as ever, exhibiting steely, rocky minerality around savory, smooth layers marked by light, pretty flavors of key lime and lemon peel. (VB)" (10/2016) Wine Spectator: "Firm, with pear and citrus flavors that have a dried floral and chamomile note, and a spicy, juicy finish. (MW, Web-2016)"
Wine Spectator: "Lemon, melon and peach flavors are fleshy and juicy. Mouthwatering on the intense finish. (MW-Web-2016)"
In the small commune of Bué, just outside of Sancerre, François Crochet and his wife farm 10.5 hectares of prime vineyards that boast all three of the main Sancerre soil type: chalk, flint, and gravelly marl. François' reputation as a producer of first class, hand-crafted Sancerrre is on the rise, and as a boutique producer with such a small production, we are lucky to get what we have. All the fruit is hand-harvested. "Le Chene Marchaund" is matured in barrel for 10-11 months, lending additional layers of depth and complexity to its focused, mineral-del... Read More »
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 »
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.
From the Winery: "The 2015 vintage comes exclusively from Block 41 at Margarita Vineyard, where the vines occupy rocky alluvial soils that vary in density, elevation and exposure. As the block slopes downward from its crown, the soils become thicker, and the temperatures more brisk. These variances shape the fruit and contribute dimension to the final blend. The 2015 Sauvignon Blanc leans into the nose with vivid varietal signatures, including notes of lime zest, grassy herb and gooseberry. The palate is crisp and clean, offering quenching flavors of gra... Read More »