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K&L Staff Recommendations
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Branco Quinta Da Aveleda is a screwcapped blend of 70% Loureiro and 30% Alvarinho, unoaked and coming in at 11.5% alcohol. There is no added carbonation. This was seen earlier this year, but it was tasted only a few weeks after bottling. It is worth revisiting with some time in the bottle. This is typically a super value, real wine at a bargain-basement price. So, too, this year. It seems even better now. This is bright and crisp, but the wonderful fruit is the reason you buy this. Expressive and exuberant, it tastes great, yet the fruit is perf ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Checking in as a blend of 50% Grenache Blanc, 30% Chardonnay and 20% Roussanne that spent four months in tank, on lees, the smoking good 2015 IGP Cotes Catalanes Cote d’Est comes from vineyards located right up against the Mediterranean Sea. This medium-bodied, juicy and deliciously fresh white is almost overflowing with notes of orange blossom, peach, salty sea breeze and honey on the nose. It’s a terrific value that should be bought by the case... I’ve raved time and time again about the quality - and value - coming from Domaine Lafage’s Jean-Marc La ...Read More »
Côtes de Gascogne is primarily known for the production of Armagnac; it wasn’t until the last 20 years or so that producers began to take table wine production seriously. Traditionally, these wines would have been distilled into Armagnac. Producers found that by fermenting at lower temperatures in stainless steel, they could develop and preserve more powerful aromatics. Though yields are high, costs have stayed low and the wines are consequently some of the best bargain whites in France. Domaine de Millet is first and foremost an Armagnac producer. They ... Read More »
93 points Wine Spectator: "Intense, with bitter almond, citrus oil, white peach, nectarine and ginger notes tightly coiled together and driving through the anise- and wet stone-accented finish. (JM, Web-2016)" 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Made from equal parts Bourboulenc, Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Roussanne, the 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc is a beauty! Medium-bodied, fresh, elegant and nicely balanced, it sports a very light color, yet has impressive intensity in its crisp peach, spice and mint aromas and flavors. (JD)" (10/2016) K&L Notes: Chante Cigale means singing cicada (a type of grasshopper/cricket). The pro... Read More »
Albarino is the perfect summer white, but its naturally crisp acidity and peachy citrus flavors make it enjoyable year-round as an aperitif or paired with a variety of foods, particularly shellfish and seafood. It hails from the Rias Baixas zone of Gallicia, on the northwest coast of Spain. Walk through any given fishing village along the "rias" (fjords) in this beautiful, cool, maritime-influenced region and you will find fresh grilled "pulpo" (octopus) vendors at every corner! A classic Albarino nose of white peach, citrus and mineral aromas gives way ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Alluring aromas of jasmine and wild flower lead the nose. The fresh palate offers mature apple, white peach and a citrusy note alongside bright acidity. A touch of white almond note fills in the finish. (KO)" (7/2016) K&L Notes: This full bodied white made from 100% Cortese is fresh and fruity with scents of white flowers and a pleasantly though quite dry palate. Rich and balanced, this elegant white is soft and round, but somehow structured; it is well-matched to fish and fowl dishes. The 25 hectare Carmelitani estate was planted in the fourteenth century by the Car... Read More »
Produced from Loureiro and Pederña grapes grown in the granitic soils of the Vinho Verde region, the Santola (or as we here are calling it, "the crab wine") is a delicious, spritely and refreshing white. It doesn't get much more traditional, thirst-quenching or seasonally perfect then this wine. Delicious, low in alcohol, slightly fizzy and way too easy to drink!
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Cotes du Roussillon Centenaire is a racy, medium-bodied blend of mostly Grenache Blanc (and Gris), with 20% Roussanne. Crushed rocks, mint, lime and citrus blossom are some of the nuances here, and it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, beautiful purity of fruit and a clean, dry finish. It’s certainly an outstanding white to enjoy over the coming 2-3 years. I’ve raved time and time again about the quality - and value - coming from Domaine Lafage’s Jean-Marc Lafage. A large estate that pulls from vines in the Agly Valley, the Aspres r ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "I like the lively and zesty character to this white with green apple and lemon undertones. Full body, loads of fruit, yet firm and focused. Go-to Gavi." (10/2015) Wine & Spirits: "Tart lemon and yellow apple flavors mingle with lightly bitter notes in a round, oily texture. Serve this with a seafood stew." (12/2015) Wine Spectator: "A mix of pear, apple, lemon and earth notes, backed by touches of earth and mineral. Offers a clean, chalky finish." (11/2015)
Inventory: Redwood City
Winemaker notes: "The pre-eminent growing area for the arneis grape is the Roero, the area of magnificent hills on the left bank of the Tanaro river. Here, the calcareo-siliceous soils encourage the development of perfumed, elegant wines. After a gentle pressing, the must is given a cultured-yeast fermentation for some 10 days at 16-18°C. A final crucial step is a brief maturation in the bottle to further improve the structure of the wine and the complexity of its bouquet. Colour: Deep straw yellow with greenish highlights. Bouquet: Generous, crisp, and... Read More »
95 points Decanter: "Complex and beautiful nose with flinty, floral and guava notes. Clever use of Riesling which highlights Torrontes and works as a perfect partner. Vibrant, fresh and fruity on the palate, with a delicate, mouth-watering salinity. Delicious, fantastic bottle of wine to be served in all Asian restaurants" Vinous: "Very pale, bright yellow. Pure, fresh aromas and flavors of white peach, flowers and mint. Firm and aromatic in the mouth; not complex or fat but offers considerable immediate juicy appeal. Finishes fresh and persistent. I like the crisp, limey citricity bro ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Released May. 60% Viognier, 15% Roussanne, 5-7% Marsanne, and the rest Clairette and Bourboulenc. They're not big fans of Grenache Blanc. Nervy green edge on the Viognier perfume. Round and smooth and ready with an edge of coffee powder on the end... Perfectly friendly." (10/2016)
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Ordoñez family, Jorge and his sister Victoria, were the first to try and produce a dry, crisp wine from 100% Muscatel de Alexandria in Malaga. This area is known for historic, sweet wines, with ancient history stretching back to 600 B.C. for viticulture. These steep, almost unreal hillside vineyards are planted in decomposed red slate, with a mixture of white quartz. They are complex soils, but the Botani has turned out to be an incredible success story and a great value. The 2014 Botani is light-bodied, shows flowery, fragrant notes with hints of fl ...Read More »
What makes this DOC of Matelica so special is its geographical position and geological character. This is an inland north-south valley, the only one in the Apennines that blocks the flow of warm coastal air, giving the region more of a continental climate. La Monacesca’s vineyards sit at about 1,800 feet above sea level in what was an ancient salt lake. The marine soil is full of fossils and rich in minerals that add to the wines’ vibrancy and aging ability. The nights are cool and the days are warm all summer long, allowing the grapes to remain on the v... Read More »
90 points Wine & Spirits: "No tasting note given." (12/2016) K&L Notes: Vietti's Roero Arneis is one of the most delicious and consistent versions of this varietal we carry every vintage. The grapes for this wine come from 25-year-old vines in Santo Stefano Roero. Fermented in stainless, they suppress malo to preserve the crisp acidity and freshness. And it is fresh, with mineral accents that complement its floral, citrus and melon aromas and flavors. Delightful with food.
Dario Ermacora was one of our first Italian Direct Imports. His wines have always been textbook, classic, and archetypal for Friulian whites: understated, balanced, with a long finish. His winery is in the Colli Orientali del Friuli or the Eastern Hills of Friuli, a few scant kilometers from the Slovenian border. Most of Friuli is a flat, glaciated plain running from the Julian Alps down to the top of the Adriatic Sea, but on the eastern border the topography changes. In the Colli Orientali a series of horseshoe-shaped glacial moraines dot the landscape ... Read More »
Ravello, carved into the hillsides overlooking the Mediterranean on Italy's Amalfi Coast, is one of my favorite places on earth. Maybe it's because it is where my husband and I honeymooned, but honestly I was in love with Ravello before I ever set foot there, and that goes back to this wine. Made from 60% Falanghina and 40% Biancolella grown in the rocky, calcareous soils of both Ravello and Scala, this slightly floral, wonderfully mineral, fresh white wine tastes like the crystalline blue sea and sunshine captured in a bottle. It is particularly delicio... Read More »
Impressive for its purity and refreshing mineral qualities, Valle dell'Acate takes the Insolia varietal to a whole new level of quality. As a second label, the Case Ibidini range (pronounced 'bidini) consists of varietally labeled wines from the estate intended for more casual consumption. The local name of the area where the estate is situated, Bidini, is drawn from the ancient root Bidis. This in turn referred to the name of a group of early Hellenic settlers who populated the area nearly 20 centuries ago. These wines provide a purity and authenticity ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* Fresh and savory, this offers aromas and flavors of fresh apple, green Anjou pear and almond. Bright acidity gives it a crisp, clean finish while a hint of saline signals the close. (KO)" (7/2016) K&L Notes: This very special white is made exclusively with Verdicchio grapes cultivated from the east slopes of the Alta Valle Esina, on the foot of the Mount San Vicino. As is typical for Matelica, this is elegant, fresh and very mineral, and just the thing for your most elaborate fish dishes.
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Torrontés is sourced from 50-year-old parral vineyards that yielded 10,000 kilos per hectare from vines planted at 1,700 and 2,300 meters altitude. Some 10% of the grapes were harvested early to provide freshness. It fermented slowly with neutral bayanus yeasts for some 35 days and lots of fine lees and was bottled without malolactic in the month of June. This is perfumed and lightly floral with the Torrontés notes making an appearance in the palate, which fills the mid palate and leaves that sensation of Moscatel pulp. This has the intensity of ...Read More »
90 points Vinous: "Pale straw. Easygoing aromas and flavors of lemon, apple and fresh white flowers complicated by a delicate hint of ginger. Bright and juicy, offering noteworthy lift and a strong saline slant to the juicy, long back end. Sneaky concentration here. (ID)" (12/2016)
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The delicious 2013 Fiano di Avellino shows excellent mineral definition and sweet layers of exotic fruit. This is a complete package and a beautiful portrait of the Fiano grape. The wine lasts long on the palate with creamy texture and balanced fruit flavors. It shows an impressive level of intensity and elegance. This white wine should continue to evolve with age. Mauro and Adele Sarno run the boutique Tenuta Sarno 1860 estate in Avellino. They make a single wine, a Fiano di Avellino, that sees fruit harvested from a high density vineyard planted 630 me ...Read More »
Antonio Galloni writes: "Year after year, Almondo is one of the very finest producers in Roero, a part of Piedmont where consistency is hard to come by."
Amats is both the brand name of the Txakoli as well as one of Zudugarai's vineyards. It's a beautiful vineyard, a sandy substrate covered in naturally growing green cover between the rows, with the Cantabrian Sea in full view to the north. Produced from Hondarribi Zuri grapes, this is classic Txakoli: zippy, crisp, tart green apple flavors are enlivened by a lovely sparkle from the CO2 retained in tank during fermentation. Try this refreshing, vibrant, low in alcohol white wine with a wide range of foods, from obvious choices such as seafood (grilled sar... Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The NV Añadas is a solera of Viura wines from the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 vintages, aged for an average of five years in barrel and bottled in July 2012. It's a fascinating, deep golden colored white that reminded me of the whites from Marqués de Murrieta and López de Heredia; it has those diesel-like aromas, hints of chamomile, dry flowers, honey wax, nuts, orange peel and pollen. The wine matured in 225-liter barrels of new and used French and American oak, and 5% Bulgarian acacia wood. The palate is fresh with lively acidity, pungent flavors a ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Made with organically farmed grapes, this delicious white opens with aromas of citrus blossom and white stone fruit. The tangy, medium-bodied palate offers a lovely depth of flavors that include juicy tangerine, lime, white peach, bitter almond and mineral. Crisp acidity brightens the rich flavors and carries through to the clean finish. (KO)" (7/2016)
Inventory: San Francisco
Founded in 1927 in the village of Jongieux, the Perret family has worked with many of the same seasoned growers for four generations. Roussette de Savoie is not the easiest appellation to describe as it encompasses vast parts of the region of Savoie. The most important thing to remember is that these are usually some of the best sites and they are 100% Altesse (aka Roussette). Altesse is a grape that seems to have more in common with Chenin Blanc rather than the local Jacquere. It is loaded with vibrant citrus notes and Mandarin orange qualities. It is d... Read More »
91 points Vinous: "Light chartreuse color. Sharply focused, assertively perfumed nose displays an array of citrus and orchard fruit scents complicated by sexy floral and mineral nuances. Sappy, penetrating and pure, offering crackling lemon-lime flavors and suggestions of fresh fig and honeysuckle. The mineral quality comes back strong on the long, nervy finish, along with a subtle touch of spicy ginger. (JR)" (1/2016) 90 points James Suckling: "Plenty of pear and sliced apple character. Full body, fresh acidity and a fresh and clean finish." (7/2015) K&L Notes: Do Ferreiro is a benchmark Albariño. Every year, it ... Read More »
This Tuscan Vermentino comes from the Colli di Luni which is right at the Ligurian border. The wine was fermented on the skins for 48 hours and has a simply stunning character. Loads of nascent fruit are wrapped around a core of mineral salts, spice and producing a palate feel that is absolutrely scintillating. A long finish that is so expressive, I really think this wine is fantastic.
Our second vintage of this DI Albariño, this wine shows everything we like in the grape: hints of lemongrass, lively stone fruit and a brisk, saline tinged palate. Located in the sub-zone of Condado do Tea, where the days are a bit warmer and evenings are slightly cooler, there is a wonderful mid-palate presence to complement the typically lean and mineral qualities of Albariño. A classic with any shellfish, especially Dungeness crab!
90 points Wine Spectator: "*** Smart Buys *** Fragrant and juicy, offering a charming mix of honeysuckle, peach, apple and lemon verbena, set on a light and effortless frame. A mouthwatering vein runs throughout. (MW, Web-2016)" (8/2016) K&L Notes: This is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Muscat Canelli and Viognier sourced from Napa, Monterey, Santa Barbara, San Benito and Tulare counties. Yes, a fascinating wine! Wild aromas of peach, jasmine and lemon curd spring from the glass while on the palate the wine displays flavors of apricot, pear, citrus and lemon meringue pie. A... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Proprietary White Blindfold is a cross-AVA blend of Chardonnay, Viognier, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Marsanne as well as a touch of Semillon. This wine is gorgeous, with oodles of rose petal, honeysuckle, melon and white peach notes in the aromatics and flavors. It is medium-bodied, quite complex, and best drunk over the next 1-2 years. (RP)" (10/2015) Wine Spectator: "Rich and unctuous, a blend of toasted cedar, nutmeg, honeysuckle and vanilla bean notes, with a fleshy stone fruit core and toasted nut accents on the finish. Chardonnay, Viognier, Roussanne, Ma ...Read More »
Varietals: Garnatxa Blanca, Picapoll Blanca, Xarel.lo
92 points Wine & Spirits: "Fruit for Mirum hangs on 30-year-old vines into the latter half of October, imparting a golden color and densely concentrated flavors of yellow apple, Asian pear and dried thyme. Notes of blanched almonds and spearmint emerge with air, the rich flavors and creamy texture balanced by notes of lemon zest and prickly sea-salt that vibrate on the palate. Match its intensity of flavor to linguini with clams in a rich garlic broth." (8/2016) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "With a little time in the glass, this eventually reveals subtle aromas of toasted almond, pressed yellow flower, beeswax a ...Read More »
91 points Vinous: "Pale straw. Perfumed fresh yellow apple, minty herbs, orange peel and flowers. Rich and dense but with lovely floral lift providing clarity and cut on the long, penetrating finish. Very refined, with a hint of mineral underpinning at the back. (ID)" (10/2016)
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Alvarinho is unoaked and comes in at 12.5% alcohol. As fans of this classic bottling know, it is very dry, most definitely not fizzy and typically a great value. It is glorious, expressive and fresh in this vintage. In the long, proud history of this fine estate, this seems to be as good or better as any standard, unoaked Alvarinho they have produced. It is also one of the best unoaked young Alvarinhos I've had. We'll see what the future brings--it won't be an unqualified success for Soalheiro if it does not hold well for a decade or much more-- ...Read More »
Albert Boxler's Edelzwicker composition changes every vintage. The 2014 is made up of 60% Pinot Blanc, 30% Riesling and 10% Muscat. Many of the vines are 40+ years of age and predominantly grown on granite soils. All grapes are harvested by hand. All fermentation is natural with wild yeast. The wine is vinified in large foudre. No fining is performed. This is a fantastically aromatic wine but is also packed with minerality and has a fine line of acidity that gives lovely cut and verve to the wine. I could truly drink this every night. (Ryan Woodhouse, K&... Read More »
92 points Wine & Spirits: "From the owners of Bodegas Muriel, in Rioja, this is the second vintage of Pazo Cilleiro. Made from a selection of vines in Salnés, it feels fresh and alive, moving throughout the mouth with graceful acidity (the wine did not undergo malolactic) and a fine leesiness that tap dances on the tongue. Its citrus flavors are layered with herbal notes that predominate in the end, leaving a fresh and crisp memory." (8/2016) K&L Notes: This is a delicious, new Albariño from the heartland of the Rias Baixas region, the strongly Atlantic influenced Salnes Valley. Juicy, very ta... Read More »
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Medium yellow. Slightly high-toned aromas of yellow apple, dried fruits, nuts and spices. Dry and chewy in the mouth, with a pronounced phenolic character to the flavors of pear skin, cyanic peach pit, green almond and bitter herbs. Suggests a good bit of skin contact. Not a fruity style but this distinctly idiosyncratic blend should be endlessly flexible with food. Hipster alert! (ST)" (5/2014) K&L Notes: Yes, he finally did it. A white wine from Sean Thackrey. Made a lot like the Pleiades red, this is a blend of many different grape varieties. Sean Thackrey has bee... Read More »
Domaine des Remizieres are 4th Generation winemakers that originally sold grapes to the local cooperative. After completing their winery in 1974, the family began production at their new property. The estate is now managed by Phillipe Desmeures, his daughter Emilie and son Christophe. They have expanded to 30 ha with vineyards in Crozes-Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Hermitage. The Cuvee Christophe is named for son Christophe. The blanc is a blend of 85% Marsanne and 15% Roussanne aged in a mix of new and used barrique. It captures the essence of rich... Read More »
Praise from Ian D'Agata: "The third and fourth generations of the Di Meo family are propelling this estate into the stratosphere of Italian wine production. Along with wines from Mustilli and Contrada Salandra, there are no better Falanghina bottlings made anywhere than these. Following a stint with world-famous consulting enologist Roberto Cipresso, Vincenzo Di Meo is the winemaker here. The estate vineyards are situated in the particularly sandy Campi Flegrei production zone, which seems especially well suited to Falanghina, of which there are at least... Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The NV Fino Inocente must be one of the few wines in Jerez that is still fermented in 600-liter American oak botas, which is an incredible amount of work compared with fermenting tens of thousands of kilos of grapes (or even more) in a big stainless steel tank. This method was the norm of yesteryear, but is so labor intense that it was discontinued in most wineries, and gives a big diversity of wines, as each barrel has its own character, which contributes to the complexity of the blend. Furthermore, the bottled wine is on average 8 to 10 years old. One ...Read More »
A warm weather superstar, this is 100% Vermentino. Domaine Petroni lies on the eastern shore of Corsica near Lake Diane, one of the great sources for oysters and mussels on the island. Founded in 1885 and run by the Ramazotti brothers, the vineyards are planted on sandy and clay soils overlooking the Mediterranean. Their rosé was one of our great success stories this year, but the white and red have made great strides as well.
Angel Rodriguez Leal produces what is hands down the best wine in Rueda: Martinsancho. A family-owned bodega since 1784, holding some of the best real estate in the D.O., their land boasts Verdejo vines which average 40 years of age and stand in a bed of rounded river stones. Wine is fermented in enamel tanks and aged in very large, neutral oak "cubas." The resulting wine is generous, with delicious peach, melon, and guava notes, textural, as well as mineral, focused, and age-worthy.
89-91 points Vinous: "The 2015 The Bee Flora & Fauna White is a blend of Moscato, Friulano, Arneis and Cortese. Wonderfully expressive and aromatic, but with the depth of the year, the 2015 is an absolutely gorgeous, refreshing white to drink now and over the next few years. Sam Bilbro crafts delicious, uncomplicated wines at Idlewild. Bilbro continues sharpen his focus, so the Valdiguie and Carignane have been eliminated by the lineup in favor of biggest inspiration. All of these wines are great choices for the dinner table. Best of all, they won't break the bank. (AG) ...Read More »
This three-liter box is 100% Friulano (though, it cannot be labeled as such because the DOC's laws do not recognize box wine, as of yet). I think there is no tastier, more versatile white wine in our store right now that beats this Bianco for value and pure drinkability. It combines the body, weight and richness of what California Chardonnay feels like with the minerality and freshness of how Pinot Grigio tastes, which just makes it the perfect cocktail white. It is ideal for keeping in the fridge (I've tasted them after they've been open for 6 months an... Read More »
An organically farmed, naturally made Chardonnay-Viognier blend from Aubais, a small medieval village south of Nîmes. The aromatic and supple Albion won the Gold medal from the Gilbert & Gaillard Wine Guide in 2011 and stands as winemaker Mark Haynes's signature white. Mark is a spirited man who came to winemaking late in life when he realized that so many producers in the Gard region were turning their backs on winemaking and farming. The region is in the south of France about 30 minutes from Nimes. It was his summer home in his childhood and he always ... Read More »
Intense notes of acacia, broom and field flowers define the bouquet of this wine. The taste is very very dry, full-flavored and fresh with a slightly bitter aftertaste that works so well with food. Try pasta in clams, whole roasted fish with green olives, lighter risotti, and most any cooked vegetable dish.
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Best of 2016* Made with 70% Carricante and 30% Catarratto, this elegantly structured wine has enticing aromas of Mediterranean herb, fragrant yellow flower, citrus and a whiff of acacia. The fresh, savory palate shows juicy lime, ripe pear, chopped herb and mineral alongside tangy acidity. The lingering finish closes crisp and clean. (KO)" (8/2016)
100 points James Suckling: "This is a triumph. An amazing white showing roasted pineapple, dried apple, flowers and hints of lemon curd on the nose. Hints of almonds, too. Full-body, closed and tight with amazing depth and beauty. Waxy, salty, and creamy. Goes on for minutes. 21 years in wood, seven in concrete and then about three years in bottle. First year since 1978. Viura with a hint of malvasia. I have the same mind-tingling sensation tasting this as tasting the 1963 Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva Blanco. Another perfect wine." (12/2016) 100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I have been terribly excited about this wine ...Read More »