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K&L Staff Recommendations
This Chardonnay is produced by the three brothers Couillaud at the Château de la Ragotière, a few minutes from the Atlantic near the mouth of the Loire River, where the maritime climate is ideal for producing whites that are refreshing and bright. The Couillauds age most of this wine on its lees until bottling to add weight and texture with around 10% being barrel-fermented in French oak for the faintest touch of toastiness. Saveur magazine wrote about a previous vintage: "This value-priced Chardonnay tastes crisp and bright. It comes from the western Lo... Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "This is really refined and fresh with sliced apple and lemon aromas. Hints of stone too. Medium to full body, an almost salty undertone. Medium finish. Bright and tangy. Gorgeous limey undertone." (6/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "#1 in "Best of 2016: Robert Parker, Top 3 Greatest Value Wines of the Year"...The 2014 Chardonnay Olema at $15.00 from Sonoma is a heck of a bottle of wine, with honeysuckle, lemon blossom and a touch of white peach all present in this wine that offers clean, pure fruit, medium body and a distant hint of wood. This is a terrific value and sleeper selecti ...Read More »
Sancerre at half the price! The Fournier family, with roots as deep as their vines in this region, seem to be related to just about everyone in some way. They've been farming and producing wines in Sancerre for generations. We are pleased to have been offered this wine, yet again, at such a great price. Soft, subtle mineral notes are wrapped up in aromatics of melon and citrus. Clean, bright and refreshing, this is a perfect little Sauvignon Blanc. Tropical fruit, citrus and spice aromas and flavors, with vibrant acidity and minerality. Perfect for goat ... Read More »
This Sauvignon Blanc from Touraine displays an intense, classic nose of cut grass, pepper and, believe it or not, pineapples and lemons, with plenty of minerality. Very crisp and refreshing, like a cross between a classic Touraine and a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, at an astonishingly low price! Perfect with seafood. Grown in an area located between the Loire River and the Cher River and sandwiched between the towns of Tours and Blois, the wine shows the classic characteristics of the rich clay soils that are fortified with flint and limestone. Very brig... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star, Good Value* No matter that this unoaked bottling treds a direct, green apple line with few complex adjuncts in its makeup, such is the way of Chardonnays of its ilk, and this one makes a pretty good stab at capturing lively, somewhat juicy fruit. There is a not unexpected bit of fresh, slightly candied fruit here and little in the way of the rich, buttery side of the variety to be sure. Yet, all in all, this wine is both easy to take and easy on the wallet." (7/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "This stainless-steel take shows lime juice, golden apples and white pepper on t ...Read More »
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 »
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)
An outstanding value white from a reliable source, the Alain Corcia is a hit with K&L staff.
The wines of this family domaine have been a staple here at K&L since the 1994 vintage, when Franck and Betty Millet drove from Sancerre to Beaune (a long way) to meet Clyde and crew to present the wines. The wines were great even in that tough vintage, and the rest is history. 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 ... Read More »
A partnership between Rodolphe and Ludivine Marteau, the fourth generation to make wine from their family's estate. Of their 29 acres, 20 are devoted to Sauvignon Blanc. With vines averaging 20 years and very detail-oriented farming, they harvest the best quality fruit possible. Tasting notes from the importer: "The nose offers an intense 'fruit basket' dominated by citrus scents with a note of blackcurrant bud. In the mouth, all is suppleness and elegance. The final spicy note emphasizes the freshness and the generous length of this Touraine Sauvignon."... Read More »
This is fresh, minerally and crisp, with that classic Gruner white pepper lift to the nose and tangy green apple and snap pea flavors on the palate. In an easy to open, liter-sized bottle, it's a refreshing go-to for a variety of green salads or veggie dishes, and is particularly complementary to dishes featuring asparagus, Brussels sprouts, or artichoke.The Etz family has been in the wine business since 1898, and the estate is now in the fourth generation. With nearly 40 hectares of vineyard in production, the Etz estate prides itself on synthesizing th... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur lie Harmonie offers a very clear, elegant and pure bouquet of ripe pears with fresh citrus flavors. Full-flavored, juicy and full of minerals, this is a gorgeously pure and elegant but also sensual and stimulating Muscadet in perfect balance. The finish is pretty long, aromatic and structured, which is what makes this still primarily fruity wine highly attractive to be drunk young, although this Muscadet will gain even more complexity over the years." (10/2016) K&L Notes: Michel & Nathalie Delhommeau farm 28 hectares of vines plan... Read More »
For decades now, our Kalinda private label has been providing K&L customers with awesome wines at a fraction of what they'd normally pay under the producers' mainstay labels. That being said, no producer wants their wines on the market for less than what they'd usually sell for, so the trade-off is anonymity. While we have to remain quiet about the source of this beauty, we can tell you that wine from this prestigious producer sells elsewhere under the winery label at a much higher premium. Our 2016 Sauvignon Blanc release was produced in Napa, but the f... Read More »
Leaving behind careers in molecular biology and medicine, Brigid and John Forrest returned to the Wairau River Valley in 1988 to merge their passion for science with their love of wine. Along the way, they've picked up awards and accolades for their structured, rich, aromatic whites and reds. Praise from Raymond Chandler: "From modest beginnings in 1988 when John and Brigid Forrest planted their first vineyard in Renwick, Forrest Wines has grown to be a most significant Marlborough and New Zealand producer. Although the quantities of wine do not rival th... Read More »
Once in a great while you find wines from the Mâcon so good that tasting them blind you might think they're from a much higher (and more expensive) appellation - and this is such a wine. Domaine Renaud is a small operation, making Mâcon, Pouilly-Fuissé and St. Veran from 12 hectares of estate vineyards. Their cellar is modern, and they use upright ovals for many of the wines, and stainless for others. This value is a great alternative to California Chardonnay and an entry into white Burgundy.
92 points James Suckling: "This shows tension and depth with sliced lemon and hints of ripe peach. Some cream and flan undertones. Full body, lightly oily and a flavorful finish. All here. Napa chard. Drink now" (3/2017) K&L Notes: The 2015 vintage was a great one for Rombauer--warm weather and low yields translated to exceptional fruit: ripe, concentrated, and full of all the voluptuous pizzazz that is Rombauer's signature. The cool Carneros region, where San Pablo Bay meets both Napa and Sonoma valleys, provides beautiful, fresh acidity and the key sense of balance for these fan-favorite win... Read More »
Domaine de Biéville was established by Jean-Jacques Moreau in the village of Viviers in the 1970s. The contiguous, 65-hectare vineyard was selected for its textbook truffières soil terroir and south/southwest exposure which resembles the premier cru classified vineyards of Chablis. Now with 45+ year old vines, Domaine de Biéville produces a textured and classically styled Chablis which shows its old vine pedigree on a complex and mineral-driven finish.
92 points Wine Spectator: "*Best Values* This is refined, with a steely spine that lets gooseberry, verbena and white peach flavors streak through. A hint of shortbread adds range and mouthfeel along the edges. The long finish has lovely cut. An amazing value. Drink now through 2019. (JM)" (2/2017)
From winemaker Rob Mondavi Jr, Spellbound is one of the most popular California Chardonnays we carry every year, and the 2014 was also a hit with K&L staff. Value priced, it typically lacks for nothing in lush, tropical fruit and acidity. A blend of barrel-fermented and stainless steel-aged Chardonnay.
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. Their Pinot Grigio is really sensational, full in the mouth, rich on the palate and extraordinarily drinkable at this price! Very aromatic, with good complexity, length and that subtle elegance that shows muscle and a long and flowing finish.
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. The wines of this family domaine have been a staple here at K&L since the 1994 vintage when Franck and Betty Millet drove a long way (to Beaune!) on Easter Sunday to meet Clyde and crew to present the wines. We love these wines for their fres... Read More »
93-94 points Raymond Chan: "Bright, very pale straw-green colour, near colourless on the edge. The nose is very fresh with intense, vibrantly fragrant aromas of ripe passionfruit with bright lime and citrus notes, gooseberries, lifted florals and subtle minerally elements. This is delicately detailed and exudes vitality. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, bright and elegantly concentrated flavours of sweet tropical fruits and gooseberries are entwined with passionfruit and mineral notes. The mouthfeel is refreshing and refined, with very fine textures and a crisp, poised palate line. ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Sauvignon Blanc delivers a great intensity of lemon juice and lime leaf notes with underlying dried herbs, crushed stones and pea pod hints. The medium-bodied palate lends a lovely creamy texture and complimentary yeasty notes to the intense citrus and herbal flavors, finishing long and minerally. (LPB)" (2/2017) K&L Notes: Familiar to many of you by now, TWR is our longest-running Direct Import partner from NZ. Husband-and-wife team Jason and Anna Flowerday run this small organic vineyard in the heart of Marlborough. Truly one of the most incredible winerie... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "A rich, ripe while still mineral wine, this is concentrated and dense with fruit. It has a good texture as well as a layer of toast that gives extra depth. The wine has spice and a stylish, crisp aftertaste. (RV)" (10/2016) K&L Notes: Domaine Renaud is a small operation, making Mâcon, Pouilly-Fuissé and St. Veran from 12 hectares of estate vineyards. Their cellar is modern, and they use upright ovals for many of the wines, and stainless steel for others. This value is a great alternative to California Chardonnay and an entry into white Burgundy.
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 »
95 points Decanter: "A fresh, fruity nose brings out notes of white flowers, golden apples and a certain touch of oak. This leads into a round, savoury palate loaded with new oak characteristics, hints of butter and butterscotch, a touch of apple and peach and a long finish." (9/2016) 95 points James Suckling: "Extremely complex white showing dried apples, toasted oak, smoke and toffee and lime undertones. Full-bodied, dense and layered with superb texture and tension. A vibrant Napa chardonnay that combines both intensity and tension. Complex and long. Drink or hold." (1/2017) 92 points Wine Spectator: "The fruit is ripe and juicy ...Read More »
After working as the vineyard manager for Newton Vineyards for over 30 years, Lupe Maldonado bought a 10-acre piece of land in the cool southern tip of Napa (in Jamieson Canyon), and planted vineyards in the dark, gravelly clay soil. He brought in Jean Hoefliger from Newton as his consulting winemaker. Winemaker notes: "Clean and light with aromatics of white nectarine, citrus and orange blossoms... Fermented in Stainless Steel.
Wine Spectator: "Honeysuckle and Honeycrisp apple flavors are layered with juicy acidity in this zesty, light-bodied white. (AN)" (10/2016)
Once in a great while you find wines from the Mâcon so good that tasting them blind you are forced to apply some much higher (and more expensive) appellation to it. Often, such a wine comes from hillside vineyards, with better drainage and cooler nights. This is such a wine, from the slopes below the giant monolith of rock that is Solutré. Domaine Renaud is a small operation, making Mâcon, Pouilly-Fuissé and St. Veran from 12 hectares of estate vineyards. Their cellar is modern, and they use upright ovals for many of the wines, and stainless for others. ... Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "Round, with vibrant, underlying acidity and abundant apple, melon and lemon flavors. Reveals hints of stone and seashore as the finish lingers. (BS)" (7/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Chablis Villages, bottled two weeks prior to my visit, has a light grassy bouquet, quite simple, but clean and defined. The palate is nicely defined with a slightly resinous entry, a keen line of acidity and a twist of sea salt on the finish. (NM)" (8/2016)
We can tell you this much: our Kalinda private label hooks you up with awesome wine at a fraction of what you'd otherwise pay for this exact same wine under its normal label. While we have to remain quiet about the source of this beauty, we can tell you that it sells elsewhere at a much higher premium. Get it while it lasts.
Domaine Renaud is a small operation, making Mâcon, Pouilly-Fuissé and St. Veran from 12 hectares of estate vineyards. Their cellar is modern, and they use upright ovals for many of the wines, and stainless steel for others. This value is a great alternative to California Chardonnay and an entry into white Burgundy.
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "The nose barely hints at the subtle joys contained in this concentrated, fresh but generous wine. Ample fruit-think yellow pear and yellow plum-is held at the core, tightly corsetted by fresh citrus. Full of verve, savoriness and joy. (AK)" 91 points Wine Spectator: "A powerful and savory white, with concentrated green peach, apple and white cherry flavors, accented by sage and white pepper notes. Lemon curd and chamomile details show on the finish. Drink now through 2020. (KM)" (9/2016)
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another terrific white is the 2015 Côtes du Rhône Blanc, a cuvée that continues to over-deliver in just about every vintage. Tasting like a top-flight Condrieu with its tangerine, honey and floral aromas and flavors, it’s pure, elegant and impeccably balanced on the palate. (JD)" (12/2016) 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. ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The wine does not go through malolactic fermentation, and the aim is to produce pure varietal fruit with virtually no oak in the formula. The 2013 is a beauty with notes of flowers, white peach, honeysuckle and a touch of tropical fruit. It is crisp, elegant, medium-bodied and, as promised, very pure. (RP)" (10/2015) Vinous: "The 2013 Chardonnay is a fabulous wine for the money. Lemon oil, white flowers and white pepper are all laced together in an impeccably balanced, layered Chardonnay long on class and personality. The 2013 is a blend of fruit from vineyards in ...Read More »
Allen Meadows - Burghound: "A subtle but not invisible touch of wood sets off the pretty and fresh aromas of various orchard fruits, and in particular white peach and pear. There is fine volume for a wine at this level to the round and seductively textured flavors where a hint of citrus adds a bit of lift to the acceptably complex and persistent finale." (6/2016) Wine & Spirits: "Warm and leesy, this has the textural weight and body of a Rhône wine and some musky green flavors. Serve it well chilled with boudin blanc." (4/2016) Wine Enthusiast: "This is a ripe and soft wine with pure apple and citrus fruit. It is crisp, ...Read More »
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!
A lovely nose of apples, citrus, tropical fruits and dusty gravel. This is a bright and energetic wine that also carries good texture and finishing length. Very well balanced from start to finish, making for a 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. Fermentation is low and slow and done in 100% stainless-steel tank. The wine is then allowed to re... 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 »
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Proprietary White Mannequin, which draws fruit from diverse regions of Northern California such as the Carneros Basin and the Sonoma Coast, is actually a blend of 76% Chardonnay, 8% Viognier, 6% Marsanne, 5% Grenache Blanc, 3% Muscat and 2% Roussanne. This is amazing wine, a gorgeous, full-throttle, honeyed wine with a light-gold color, oodles of tropical fruits including pineapple and mango, rose petal and floral notes, and beautifully integrated oak (aged in 40% new French oak on its lees for 11 months). This full-throttle wine is completely d ...Read More »
La Chablisienne is a renowned producer in the region we started working with directly last spring. With an impressive portfolio consisting of some of the best vineyard sites in Chablis, we'd been eager to do business with these guys from years. Now that our first container has arrived and the bottles are finally hitting the shelves, it's safe to say there may not be a more exciting selection of white wines at K&L right now. The 2014 La Chablisienne Bourgogne Chardonnay has it all there: minerality, fruit and acidity, in perfect harmony and balance. It st... Read More »
Indicative blend: 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 6% Semillon and 4% Sauvignon Musque. For the past 40+ years, Cakebread has been growing Sauvignon Blanc. Bright and fresh, the 2015 vintage is fragrant with honeydew, grapefruit, guava, and white floral. Rich, vibrant, and silky, the flavors of citrus and gooseberry shine through to a succulent finish. A Napa classic, this will pair perfectly with seafood, grilled vegetables, and polenta.
Wine Enthusiast: "This ripe, yellow-fruit-flavored wine has a smooth, rich texture. Full and flavorsome, it conveys a ripe, nutty character. The wine with its warm fruitiness is ready to drink. (RV)" (10/2016) K&L Notes: Once in a great while you find wines from the Mâcon so good that tasting them blind you might think they're from a much higher (and more expensive) appellation. Often, such a wine comes from hillside vineyards, with better drainage and cooler nights. This one example, harvested from the slopes below the giant monolith of rock that is Solutré. Domaine Renaud is a small... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Well differentiated from the winery's Pinot Blanc, this round and fleshy wine offers freshly cut pear fruit with a burst of orange juice and peel. It's bright, lively, spicy and a great all-purpose white wine when you need a break from Chardonnay. (PG)" (4/2017) Wine Spectator: "Light and supple, with easygoing pear and peach flavors. (TF, Web-2017)"
90 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* A substantial complement of nicely ripened, white melon fruit spreads out beneath this ample effort's mildly weedy, vaguely straw-like varietal veneer, and a bit of enriching oak makes a subtle, but welcome appearance as well. On the palate, it is a somewhat fuller and richer rendition, but it stops well short of being at all oversized and stays in very comfortable balance all the way to a lengthy, well-focused finish. It is a Sauvignon Blanc best suited to service with flavorful fare such as poached salmon or chicken sautéed in plenty of butt ...Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice and #14 in Best 100 of 2016* From one of the preeminent Chardonnay producers in the country comes their least expensive yet perhaps most stunning bottling, showing strong lemon rind, sea salt, Gravenstein apple and a floral touch of honeysuckle on the nose. The wondrously zippy and saline palate is framed by a grippy, grapefruit-rind-led tension, but opens just enough to allow the slightest hints of lemon curd and delicate marzipan warmth. (MK)" (9/2016) 92 points Vinous: "Fogarty's 2013 Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains is delicate and beautifully layered in ...Read More »
In addition to collaborating on four acres of fruit in Brouilly, Michel and Robert Perroud took over their father's winemaking estate in Colgny, a family tradition that goes back seven generations all the way to the French Revolution! Over time they've made a few changes to that family legacy, investing in new rootstock, planting additional varietals like chardonnay, pinot noir, and viognier, as well as making a committed effort to organic and sustainable farming. All their young vines are either organically farmed or under organic conversion and all the... Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Quite rich and savoury - definitely not in the floral spectrum that I suspect some would expect of a Riesling. Bone dry - very much for the German market! Naked and unadorned. Pungent and well made but definitely for the converted? (JR)" (5/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Riesling Trocken (named 'Just Riesling' in Germany) is based on the youngest vines of the domaine and reflects the purity and crystallinity of the Gut Hermannsberg terroirs, which are only located in grands crus. Provided with ripe apple flavors, this light to medium-bodied Riesling is dry, straight and p ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Shows a strong, pithy lemon peel bitterness that subsides a bit but dominates the core fruitiness. (JL)" (6/2015)