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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 »
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 »
93 points Wine Spectator: "Vibrant and mouthwatering, with green apple, Meyer lemon and dried pineapple favors that are fresh and juicy. Lemon verbena and lime sherbet notes reverberate on the long, detailed finish. Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne. Drink now." (11/2016) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This blend of 56% Grenache Blanc, 23% Viognier, 12% Roussanne and 9% Marsanne from nine vineyards offers a pretty nose that mixes Key lime, honeydew, just-ripe nectarine and lily florality. It’s bright and fresh on the tightly wound and texturally intriguing sip, with lime pith and lemongrass flavors ...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)
The village of Apremont once sat in the shadow of a great mountain. In 1248 that mountain collapsed, destroying, everything in its path. Fortunately, the mountain itself was made of limestone which is some of the best geological material for growing grapes and the site is littered with limestone scree (broken rock fragments). The grape of choice for the region is Jacquère and some of the best comes from this village. Like most wines from Savoie, the Perret has hallmark aromas of citrus and lemongrass with a touch of peach as well. Where it really excels ... 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 »
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 »
Jesús Puelles is one of the most talented vignerons in Rioja. Hailing from a long line of vineyard worker/owners, Puelles knows the terruño in his little slice of land in the Rioja Alta town of Abalos. Most of the grapes for his red wines come from his own 20 hectares, which are north-facing and located at 600 meters in altitude, affording the visitor with one of the most dramatically beautiful views of Rioja's main mountain ranges: the Sierra Cantabria mountains immediately to the north and the Sierra de la Demanda mountains to the south. This white win... Read More »
It’s rare to find estate-bottled wines in Picpoul de Pinet, so we are fortunate to have this direct relationship with one of the greats in the region. Made by Guilhem Bascou, whose father, Guy (and founder of the estate) was the president of the Picpoul de Pinet appellation. Both father and son work side by side, while mother Marie-Claude manages the office. The family's 15 acres of Picpoul are planted just west of the Thun Lagoon near the Mediterranean, and the coastal influence is palpable in this licksmackingly refreshing wine. It's a natural companio... 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 »
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.
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)
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Aa is Sigalas' typical blend, 75/25 Assyrtiko and Athiri. An under-the-radar buy, this is very fine again this year, chock full of flavor and possessed of a long finish. What makes it more special, though, is the way it evolves in the glass with air and warmth, gradually showing more and more tension on the finish as well as an increasingly transparent demeanor. This is a beauty and a bargain, the equal of the 2014--and perhaps its better. (MS)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: A combination of Assyrtiko, with its inherent layers of structure and power, combined with the... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
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 »
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, a blend of many different grape varieties. A fruit-driven style with loa... Read More »
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 »
92 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* This expressive white is aromatic and juicy, featuring a rich, ripe, fleshy core of apricot and peach flavors, with accents of vanilla bean, honeysuckle and melon. A spicy note lingers on the long finish. Viognier, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Chardonnay. Drink now. 5,100 cases made." (10/2016)
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 »
Wine & Spirits: "Buoyant with lemongrass scents and floral lime flavor, this is summery and refreshing." (6/2016) Wine Enthusiast: "Produced at the largest family-owned vineyard in France, this is a fruity, immediately attractive wine. There are both citrus and more tropical fruit flavors in the wine, alongside a herbal, grassy touch from the Sauvignon Blanc and Colombard in the blend. The wine is ready to drink. (RV)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: A blend of 45% Ugni Blanc, 35% Colombard, 10% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Gros Manseng, this white wine is juicy yet crisp. Crack open a bottle at the shore, a picnic, on th... 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 »
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)
A light straw yellow with greenish highlights in color, the wine shows a fruity nose with notes of citrus fruit, peaches, and pineapples. The structure and the acidity balance one another and the finish and aftertaste are lively and persistent. This Orvieto is a blend of 50% Grechetto, 25% Procanico, 25% Pinot Blanc and Viognier.
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Upfront, juicy, balanced and deliciously quaffable, the 2015 St Chinian Tradition Blanc (60% Grenache Blanc, 20% Vermentino, 15% Roussanne and the rest Bourboulenc) offers crisp peach, citrus blossom and a kiss of honey on the nose. It has both acidity and texture, and will be versatile on the dinner table. (JD)" (4/2016) K&L Notes: Indicative blend: 60% Grenache Blanc, 20% Vermentino, 15% Roussanne and 5% Bourboulenc.
94 points Vinous: "Bright dark yellow-gold. Enticing aromas of ripe peach, lime, ginger, custard cream, spring flowers and minerals. Dense, smooth and rich, offering precise, strong flavors of ripe stone fruit, raisin, caramelized fig and crème brûlée. Quite perfumed in the mouth, and nicely balanced; the long finish displays a seamless quality and remarkable freshness for such a big, concentrated wine." (11/2014) K&L Notes: About the producer: "Among vines and rocks rising vertically over the sea of Furore, we find Cantine Marisa Cuomo. The grapes that grow here, clinging to the rocks... Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "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. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Sémillon and Muscat Canelli. (Web Only - 2016)" (8/2016)
Gallura is a peninsula on the northeast corner of the island of Sardinia that specializes in Vermentino (the grape is also grown on the coast of mainland Italy, on Corsica and in the south of France under the name Rolle). Mancini's version of the grape is very fresh and forward, with no oak or malolactic fermentation aromas, just grape juice fermented at low temperature in stainless steel. Enjoy this delicious, lively and aromatic white as an aperitif or with seafood (prawns with pasta?). A hint of citrus peel on the finish adds food-friendly complexity.
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!
This is a delicious Albariño, always one of our top two or three for someone looking for a classic expression of this white wine. A wonderfully mineral nose leads to bright, succulent, yellow stone fruit flavors with more than a wisp of salinity adding freshness and making it pretty difficult to not gulp this one down quickly. Palacio de Fefiñanes is the oldest known brand of Albariño and the first to have bottled their wine. Based in the "birthplace of Albariño," the seaside town of Cambados, the winery purchases fruit from 60 growers, many of whom own... Read More »
Giovanni Blason and his wife Valentina are young producers who continuously surprise us with the price-to-quality ratio of their wines, earning them tons of kudos in Gambero Rosso and beyond. They come from the Isonzo region of Northern Italy, right up against the Slovenian border.
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.
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 »
Produced by a 25-grower cooperative located in the Condado do Tea sub-zone of Rias Baixas, this is crisp, citrus- and yellow-fruited Albariño from a challenging, but ultimately rewarding, cooler and damper vintage. The results are a very fresh white that has just enough juicy fruit to balance the clean salinity and crisp acids. This is a perfect aperitif and of course, is a seafood-ready white! (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish & Portuguese Wine Buyer)
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 »
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 »
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.
90 points Wine & Spirits: "Full reviews to follow on their Aug 2016 issue:" (8/2016) K&L Notes: Though the 2014 has yet to be professionally reviewed, the 2013 bottling earned 91 points and accolades from Antonio Galloni's Vinous: "Medium-deep gold-tinged yellow. Enticing aromas of apricot, savory herbs and minerals. Rich, ripe stone fruit and balsamic herb flavors are nicely buoyed by lively acidity. The long finish features resonating mineral lift. This outstanding, archetypal Verdicchio wine speaks clearly of the cooler Matelica terroir." (06/2015)
Inventory: Redwood City
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 »
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 »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Showing similar to last year, the 2012 Hermitage Blanc (which doesn’t include the grapes that went into the Ex Voto) is a fabulous white that gives up classical notes of acacia flowers, buttered citrus, wood smoke and crushed rock. Medium to full-bodied, rich, textured and layered, it will have another decade of thrilling drinking. (JD)" (12/2015) 93 points Wine Spectator: "Rich, almost unctuous in feel, with melon, apricot and glazed peach flavors layered with notes of orange sabayon and singed hazelnut. Cuts a long and broad swath through the finish, showing lingering paraffin and ...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)
91 points Vinous: "Bright gold-tinged yellow. Intense notes of anise and sweet botanical herbs complicate mineral, citrus and orchard fruit aromas. Rich and dense but juicy too, with licorice, sage and white peach flavors lingering nicely through a pure, juicy, very bright finish. One of the better versions of Canayli in years. (JR)" (1/2016)
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."
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.
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Aged in cement vats, Edi Keber's 2014 Collio is a pristine blend of 70% Friulano, 15% Ribolla Gialla and 15% Malvasia Istriana. The wine follows a local winemaking philosophy that sees structure thanks to Friulano, acidity thanks to Ribolla Gialla and fragrance from the Malvasia. Edi Keber dedicates most of his effort to this one wine. Beautiful tones of yellow rose and honey segue to creamy persistence. (ML)" (5/2016) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "A blend of 70% Friulano, 15% Ribolla Gialla and 15% Malvasia, this is perfumed with scents suggesting yellow flower, apple, citrus fruit an ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A white I normally buy by the case, the 2014 Coudolet de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône Blanc is a mix of Clairette, Bourboulenc, Viognier and Marsanne that offers lots of citrus blossom, lemon zest and hints of apple in a medium-bodied, racy style on the palate. More racy and lively on the palate than the nose would have you believe... (JD)" (10/2015)
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: "A light touch is conveyed by aromas of honeysuckle, while the off-dry palate is balanced by fresh, citric verve. This wine has a dancing, easygoing nature marked by freshness and lightness in equal measure. Asian food flavors suggest themselves for this super-balanced, playful white. (AK)" (11/2016) Wine Spectator: "Orange blossom, ripe melon and pineapple flavors are layered with juicy acidity and a hint of stony mineral in this zesty white, with a lightly spiced finish. (AN)" (10/2016) K&L Notes: Gentil is a traditional blend of Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Muscat and Sylvan... Read More »
Varietals: Garnatxa Blanca, Picapoll Blanca, Xarel.lo
A blend of Rolle (aka Vermentino), Sémillon and Ugni Blanc, the 2015 Château Trians Coteaux Varois en Provence Blanc displays flavors of white peach, Meyer lemon and notes of lemon verbena. This is crispy, crunchy white, perfect as an aperitif. Coteaux Varois en Provence is in the west center of the appellation and is ringed by hills and mountains to the south, north and west. The soils are mostly limestone and clay with the two main distinctions being altitude (most vineyards average 350 meters) and a continental climate influence. The surrounding mount... Read More »