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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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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 »
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)
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 »
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 »
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 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)
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 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 »
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.
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)
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 »
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 »
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)
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.
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 »
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)
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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."
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 »
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)
The winegrowing estate of Chateau les Valentines is more than a century old. The estate originally brought their grapes to the local cooperative, but when Gilles and Pascale Pons took over in 1997, they decided to make their own wine. They built a modern winery and called the domaine "Les Valentines" after their children, Valentin and Clémentine. Château les Valentines now covers approximately 100 acres. The white is a blend of old vine Ugni Blanc, Rolle and Clairette.
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.
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.
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 »
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 »
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)
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 »
Frascati doesn't have the best reputation--it's often the innocuous white wine served as "house wine" across Rome--but this one from Casale Marchese transcends any preconceived notions. Made from Malvasia del Lazio, Trebbiano Toscano, Malvasia di Candia, Bonvino and Bellone grown on family farms in the Tusculo hills and brought to us by one of our favorite Italian importers, Oliver McCrum (it's how you KNOW it's going to be good), this is fresh and delightful. Notes of basil complement peach and nectarine with a slight almond underpinning. It's fresh, ea... Read More »
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 »
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 »
Chateau Dereszla enjoys a rich history in the Tokaji region of Hungary, dating back to the 1450s and passing through many hands before seeing it rise to new heights in 2000 by way of the D’Aulan family from Champagne.
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 »
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 »
93 points James Suckling: "What a wonderful white with white pepper, sliced apple, lemon, and mineral character. Full to medium body, bright acidity, and a flavorful finish. Love the spice to this. This is an exciting new wine for me. Drink now." (10/2016) K&L Notes: This is an amazing wine, the first vintage ever from the Treves family who's been growing grapes for generations in Val d'Aosta who have decided to make wine from their own grapes, a whopping 280 cases. Petite Arvine is one of the local many indigenous grape varieties in Val d'Aosta, which is nestled in a tiny valley in the Alps c... Read More »
Tre Campane means 'three bells,' signifying the three communes of Lugana where the grapes for this cuvee are grown. The estate vineyards are all in the historic part of the Lugana appellation, in the communes of Pozzolengo, Sirmione e Peschiera, no more than half a mile from Lake Garda. The vines used here are older, an average of around 30-35 years of age. Alessandro harvests the grapes in two parts, 50% in mid-September and the remainder in mid-October at full ripening, allowing him to make a wine with excellent fresh acidity and added body and complex... 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)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Montenovo is the entry level white, produced with Godello grapes from back slate soils and bottled early trying to preserve the fruit character of the grape. They consider 2015 a Mediterranean vintage, with a dry summer in July, August and September. The grapes are pressed in absence of oxygen and the must fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel vats, where the wine was kept for three months before bottling. The nose is a bit muted and takes some time to unfurl the white acacia flower and apple aromas. The palate is quite vibrant, cl ...Read More »
This family-run estate is farmed with no pesticides and harvested by hand in the heart of Tuscany. This white is complex and refreshing, with bright fruit and herbal notes. A great wine for scallops.
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Santorini is an Assyrtiko coming in at 13.5% alcohol. This old vines white (40 to 80 years) is simply gripping, filled with youthful, unevolved fruit and a certain salty nuance on the end. (I think that is a descriptor too often used–but it seems to fit here.) Elegant, yet concentrated enough for this level, this is impressive on many fronts for the regular Assyrtiko. As it airs and warms, it seems wonderfully fresh and completely delicious, yet always persistent. Admittedly, it is not exactly the most concentrated Santorini as it airs out, but ...Read More »