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K&L Staff Recommendations
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.
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc comes from three vineyards, predominantly whole-bunch pressed in order to settle as clean as possible, fermentation in 300-liter used barrels where the lees can be worked and limit sulfur for six months. It has a fine, tense and slightly chalky bouquet with touches of Mirabelle coming through. The palate is crisp on the entry with a fine line of acidity. Good tension here, very nicely focused and refined with hints of almond and walnut toward the finish. Very fine." (10/2014) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Peach and straw flavors mingle with brioche and blanched ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 The Nest Sauvignon Blanc has a yeasty nose over a core of ripe apples, fresh pears and orange blossom plus a waft of sage. Medium-bodied, it is both refreshing and understated compared to most of this region's offerings with a touch of minerality to the long finish." K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "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."
Wine Enthusiast: "Light and bright with plenty of fruit and a lsoft texture, this lemon-flavored wine has crisp acidity and a ready-to-drink freshness." (11/2015) K&L Notes: 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 i... 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 »
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.
Inventory: San Francisco
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 »
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 »
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.
Winemaker's Notes: "A blend of grapes grown in Martinborough and Hawkes Bay. The combination of the rich yet zingy Martinborough fruit and more refined Hawkes Bay fruit leads to a wine that has amazing drinkability with the richness of stone fruit, highlights of peach and lime and underlying minerality."
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
As of press time, the 2014 has not yet been reviewed, but the 2013 vintage garnered praise from Robert Parker: "Delicate grapefruit, fig, melon and gravelly aromas jump from the glass of the 2013 Sauvignon Blanc. Light to medium-bodied and flavorful with zesty acidity, good crispness and focus." (10/2014)
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 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)
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 »
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)
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.
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 »
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.
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.
According to the winery: "The 2014 California Sauvignon Blanc has aromas of pineapple, ripe stone fruit and citrus. The wine fills the palate with bright fruit flavors and a round fullness, finishing with crisp, refreshing acidity. Throughout California, the 2014 growing season produced one of the best vintages to date. A dry winter followed by light spring rains and a warm, temperate summer caused fruit to mature slightly faster than normal resulting in optimal ripeness with a good balance of sugar and acidity in time for harvest. The warmer tropical a... 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.
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 »
From Matahiwi Estate, Wairarapa, New Zealand, here's a textbook NZ Savvy from the winery's biggest-selling range of fresh and value-priced wines. Look for lime, passionfruit and, yes, that famous gooseberry on the nose, with zest and a hint of minerality. "We love to drink it with seafood and pasta dishes and delicious summer salads," the producers suggest.
95 points James Halliday: "Hand-picked and sorted, free-run juice cool-fermented in tank. There is a subliminal savoury edge to the bouquet and palate, possibly from more than one yeast at work, and also to crisp, crunchy acidity. You pick up the extra level of flavour from ripe (not overripe) fruit on the back-palate and finish. Has the X-factor many Sauvignon Blancs lack." (9/2015) K&L Notes: Having S.C. Pannell as a K&L exclusive import is like having the national monopoly on Opus One. Steve Pannell is one of the most highly regarded and awarded winemakers in Australian history. Pannell ha... 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.
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 »
91-92 points James Suckling: "Lots of sliced apple and pear character with a full body, fresh fruits and a tangy finish. Shows such balance and beauty already." (4/2015) 90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Carbonnieux Blanc 2014 has a pretty nose in the making: precise apple blossom and blackcurrant leaf aromas that gently waft from the glass. The palate is crisp on the entry, the acidity not as shrill as some of its peers, thus rendering it a more 'languid' Pessac-Léognan. There is already a very elegant, gravelly finish that lingers in the mouth–a very promising Carbonnieux Blanc that may merit a higher sco ...Read More »
91 points Bob Campbell: "A blend of grapes from the Wairau and Awatere Valleys. One of the first examples of 2015 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc I have tasted. If it is typical of the vintage then it appears to have been an excellent year. A smaller than usual crop might explain greater than usual concentration in this wine. Citrus, grapefruit, melon and a hint of passion fruit supported by juicy acidity. Good value at this price." (7/2015) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Light and crisp, with tangy lime, melon and peach flavors that are succulent and smooth, finishing juicy, with plenty of focus and intensity. Dri ...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 »
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."
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.
Vinous: "The 2014 Sauvignon Blanc Santa Ynez Valley is laced with lemon peel, white flowers, sage and chamomile, all in a crisp, medium-bodied Sauvignon that offers lovely aromatic presence from a bit of the Musque clone, pliant fruit and terrific overall balance. The 2014 was made from an assortment of vineyards and aged in steel, with a touch of oak (5%) for added texture. This is a superb value from Brander. Brander is one of the historic wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley. The estate vineyard is located in Los Olivos, which is generally better suited to Rhône ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
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."
79% Sauvignon Blanc, 21% Sémillon Aromas of passion fruit, papaya, ginger and star fruit leap from the glass, along with layers of grapefruit and melon. A lovely Sémillon-driven silkiness provides delicate weight to this wine, while crisp, refreshing acidity and vibrant citrus flavors draw the wine to a lingering finish with notes of Meyer lemon and Kaffir lime.
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.
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 »
There is perhaps no better match for a dozen oysters than minerally Sancerre from one of the best producers in the region. This release is always a cut above textbook Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc, with bright acidity, smoke, citrus and grassiness. Hippolyte Reverdy's family has been making wine in the charming village of Verdigny, a commune of Sancerre in the eastern Loire, for many generations--perhaps as far back as 1600. Traditional in nature, the farm was planted to multiple crops, and the Reverdys raised goats and made small quantities of wine from ... Read More »
92 points Bob Campbell: "Tangy Sauvignon Blanc with a mix of ripe passion fruit and guava with less ripe grapefruit and green capsicum characters. There is also a suggestion of nutty lees characters. Quite a richly textured wine thanks in part to a barrel fermented component." (11/2014) 92 points Raymond Chan: "Fruit from 8 different sites in the Wairau Valley, including North Bank, Southern Valleys, Lower Wairau, Conder’s Bend as well as a southerly site near the Awatere, given limited skin contact and fermented in stainless-steel with 7% in barrel to 13.0% alc. and 3.5 g/L RS, the wine aged 3 months on ...Read More »
93-94 points James Suckling: "A very tangy and bright white with intense white peach, grapefruit and mineral character. Full body, crisp acidity. Gorgeous. One of the best Carbonnieux ever." (4/2014) 91-93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Barrel Sample.* A rich and rounded wine, this shines with pineapple and citrus flavors. It is full-bodied and likely to age well, with a mineral texture." (4/2015) 92 points Wine Spectator: "This has lots of energy, with enticing thyme and tarragon notes flecking the core of lemon zest, white peach, tangerine and straw flavors. The long salted butter finish crackles with life. Rock-solid, and will be fun to cellar fo ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "This shows the sunny opulence of the vintage, brimming with tropical- and stone-fruit notes. Guava and nectarine flavors meet ample weight on the palate, balanced by a slightly chalky finish. (JC)" (7/2016) Wine Spectator: "Pear, peach and apricot flavors are spicy and smooth, with a juicy finish and plenty of intensity, finishing with Meyer lemon zest. (MW)" (6/2016)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
90 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* Crisp lime, grapefruit, passion fruit and lemongrass flavors show accents of fresh ginger. Smooth and succulent, especially on the finish. (MW)" (2/2016) Jancis Robinson: "Fruit is 60% Awatere Valley, 30% Wairau Valley and 10% Kekerengu Coast, which is further S of Blenheim than Awatere - cool but benefiting from warm sea air so that it has an early budburst but is late to ripen; some limestone. RS 1.4 g/l. Both grassy and stony on the nose, raising expectations of a tight, dry wine but on the palate it is richer with green-fruited ripeness. Plenty of fruit fla ...Read More »
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 »
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)
A single vineyard reserve bottling. The vines here are planted on a 50 million year old bed of silex and the ground is littered with ancient fossilized sea critters. This is a salty, oily and intense style of Sauvignon Blanc - arguably the benchmark for the region. Still quite young this will improve over the next five years or with 8 hours of decanting. Domaine Vacheron, currently run by two cousins, Jean-Laurent & Jean-Dominique, sits along the eastern edge of the Sancerre appellation. It was certified organic back in 2003 and now has been integrated i... Read More »
90 points Bob Campbell: "Pure, zesty Sauvignon Blanc with guava, lime zest and subtle herbal flavours. Nice purity and an ethereal texture. Refreshing wine with good varietal characters" (11/2015) K&L Notes: One of the best value Marlborough Sauv Blancs out there. Real family winery, real vineyards, dedicated winemaking team. Just exceptional value for money delivering quintessential NZ Savvy flavors. (Ryan Woodhoue - K&L NZ Wine Buyer) Winemaker's Notes: "This wine is zesty and vibrant, with a base of rich tropical fruit, kaffir lime, lemon grass and herb aromas. On the palate - generous fr... Read More »
Howell Mountain was Napa’s first sub-AVA, and for good reason. The terroir is dramatic, unique and powerful. At between 1,600 and 1,800 feet in elevation, Ladera Vineyards sits above the Napa Valley fog, its grapes cooled instead by the high elevation. Longer, cooler but still very sunny ripening days and a deft hand in the cellar create the dynamic power found in their wine.
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 »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The largest Sauvignon Blanc cuvée is the 20,880 cases of the 2014 Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma. Coming from all the estate vineyards, this wine is partially fermented in neutral oak and has a touch of Semillon and a clone of Sauvignon Blanc (Musqué) added for more flowery and exotic notes. The wine offers up light to medium body and pretty caramelized grapefruit and floral notes along with melons in the mouth. It is dry, crisp, zesty and ideal for drinking over the next several years. (RP)" (10/2015) Vinous: "The 2014 Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma County) is laced with lively ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco