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K&L Staff Recommendations
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 under the winery label at a much higher premium. Get it while it lasts.
From the winery website, "When we say Fossil Point rocks - we mean it! Calcareous shale and coarse sand were uplifted from the floor of an ancient ocean and then weathered into place over millennia. It became a place of deep beauty and vast potential. Fossil Point is a rugged headland with sweeping views of the coastline stretching from Port San Luis to the Guadalupe Dunes. The Point is just five miles due west of the vineyards that are its namesake. Sunny afternoons are cooled by marine breezes sweeping off the Pacific Ocean, along Fossil Point to the v... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Menthol and sweet sage aromas leap off this wine from Steve Clifton. They spice up the black cherry and blackberry juice backbone that comes from this Nipomo vineyard, located seven miles from the Pacific. The palate shows lots of energetic verve, with flavors of dried cranberries, raspberries, licorice and slate, finishing long on a sagebrush-driven sense of chaparral." (8/2015)91 points Antonio Galloni: "Brilliant red. High-pitched raspberry, floral pastille and Asian spice aromas are deepened by notes of cola and licorice. Nervy and precise on the palate, offering sweet cherry an ...Read More »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Delicious aromas of ripe cherry pie and black cardamom are quite sexy. The palate is far more complicated and layered, with the tartness of plum skins, richness of strawberry, balsamic reduction and spiciness of black sage." (7/2015)90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(made from fruit grown in the Bien Nacido, Riverbench and Solomon Hills vineyards; no new oak): Bright red. Highly perfumed scents of spicy redcurrant, raspberry, fresh flowers and smoky minerals. Juicy red berry flavors pack a solid punch but come off as lithe. Brisk red berry skin and white pepper qualities dominate a long, ...Read More »
Killer New Price! -Produced and bottled by Brewer-Clifton, the "B-C" Kessler Haak Pinot Noir is a single vineyard wine that comes from the organically farmed Kessler-Haak Vineyard. It is located off Highway 246, about 7 miles west of the town of Buellton, in the heart of the Santa Rita Hills appellation. The blend is made up of 25% Clone 667, 25% Clone 113 and 50% of Clone 115. Only 161 cases were bottled of this unique wine.
91 points Wine & Spirits: "Crisp and salty, this captures the fresh energy of the windy Santa Rita Hills in a blast of flavor that suggests yellow raspberries and wafts of smoke. Its brisk intensity would match grilled mackerel." (4/2015)90 points Connoisseurs Guide: "It may be the least expensive Chardonnay in the Foley line-up, but this tasty, nicely made youngster should not be overlooked. It combines lots of fresh, very vital fruit with a sensible measure of creamy oak and hints here and there at chalk and stones along its way. If its brightness and bounce are a little hard to resist now, this wine is still ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Ripe aromas of passionfruit, kiwi and nectarine rise alongside greener elements of celery stalk, wet thyme and Granny Smith apple on this promising early look at the vintage. The tongue tingles throughout the sip, with flavors of crisp apple, yellow melon and crushed chalk. Buttercream appears on the finish." (2/2015) Antonio Galloni: "Bright yellow. Ripe yellow plum and orange aromas show a touch of heat and pick up a spicy element with aeration. Fleshy and broad in the mouth, offering pliant pit and orchard fruit flavors that could use more structure. Finishes with decent ...Read More »
This is a delicious new Chardonnay made in collaboration with Talley winemaker Eric Johnson. All of the fruit comes from Talley's Oliver's Vineyard. It is a compilation of five different barrels that domestic buyer Bryan Brick chose alongside Johnson down at Talley earlier this year. Here's a breakdown of the components: Barrel #1 is the backbone of the blend; it's earthy and savory, with a wealth of complexity. It's made from the oldest block in the vineyard and the same block that goes into Talley's vineyard-designated Chardonnay. Barrel #2 comes from ... Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid ruby-red. Red fruit preserves on the nose, with complicating notes of licorice and allspice. Lively raspberry and bitter cherry flavors show very good precision, complemented by a bright mineral quality that gains strength with air. This silky, energetic pinot finishes with strong cut, persistent sweetness and sneaky, interwoven tannins. (JR)" (12/2014)90 points Antonio Galloni: "Crushed flowers, rose petals, sweet red cherries and mint lift from the glass in the 2013 Pinot Noir Estate Verna's. This is the most ethereal and delicate of the 2013 Melville Pinots. Following the h ...Read More »
Arguably the most popular of the co-branded wines with our staff last year was the 2010 version of this wine so it had a lot to live up to this year. The good news is the staff is every bit as excited about it this year and we hope that enthusiasm will rub off on you. Bob Lindquist was more than happy to work with us again this year and put together this 100% Syrah bottling from certified Demeter Bio-Dynamically grown vines in the cool Edna Valley Appellation. Unmistakably Syrah from the first sniff of the nose the bold cracked black pepper, fried bacon,... Read More »
Praise for the last vintage of this wine from Antonio Galloni: "A rich, boisterous wine, the 2013 Syrah Tous Les Jours is all about fruit and texture. Dark red cherry, plum, black pepper and spice notes are all pushed forward in a Syrah that captures the generous personality of the wines of Santa Ynez. The style is bold and intense, with considerable up-front fruit and terrific overall balance. Once again, the Tous Les Jours delivers superb quality and value." (06/2015)
Excited by the quality of their 2013 Pinot Noirs, the winery describes this multi-vineyard blend. "Strawberries and raspberries aromas slowly climb out of the glass. Overtime more of the anise and clove will mix with these other aromas. Currently the wine is young with mouth filling intensity. Complexity will increase as the wine ages, but this wine should stay youthful for 6 or 7 years. Like all Au Bon Climat wines, this is a food wine."
93 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2013 Chardonnay Estate is gorgeous. Rich and oily on the palate, with considerable texture, the 2013 boasts tons of texture and breadth. Candied lemon, white flowers, almonds and chamomile add shades of nuance as the 2013 opens up in the glass. The 2013 boasts tons of oiliness and viscosity for a Chardonnay with no malolactic fermentation. Best of all, the 2013 is a great value. Winemaker Greg Brewer turned out a gorgeous set of 2013 Pinots at Melville. The wines are consistently of very high quality, something that was not easy to achieve in a year ...Read More »
90 points Antonio Galloni: "Palmina's 2014 Pinot Grigio is crisp and refreshing, with plenty of stone fruit and floral notes. The non-malo style keeps the flavors bright and slightly reductive, while a touch of lees stirring adds texture. From top to bottom, this is a compelling set of new releases from Steve and Chrystal Clifton at Palmina. In addition to the current releases, the Cliftons poured two 2005 Nebbiolos, both of which were impressive. Although all of these wines are delicious, if there is one wine that delivers an especially compelling mix of quality, personality and v ...Read More »
The wine is made up of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. It drinks well right now but should hold for several years. Members of the K&L staff had a chance to go down and spend a couple hours with Doug and his crew at the winery. The thought was to make a red blend from Happy Canyon, which K&L had never done before. Happy Canyon is the smallest AVA in Santa Barbara County. It lies north and west of Lake Cachuma and is home to six major vineyards: Cimarone, Grassini, Happy Canyon Vineyard, McGinley, Star Lane, and... Read More »
Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Sauvignon Blanc Santa Ynez Valley is laced with lemon peel, white flowers, sage and chamomile, all in a crisp, medium-bodied Sauvignon that offers lovely aromatic presence from a bit of the Musque clone, pliant fruit and terrific overall balance. The 2014 was made from an assortment of vineyards and aged in steel, with a touch of oak (5%) for added texture. This is a superb value from Brander. Brander is one of the historic wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley. The estate vineyard is located in Los Olivos, which is generally better suited to Rhône ...Read More »
91 points Wine & Spirits: "Bob Lindquist blends fruit from cool climates like the Santa Maria and Edna valleys with warmer-climate fruit from Paso Robles for this bottling. The 2012 is pretty great, especially considering the price, offering the full range of syrah fruit, from smoky depths to clean blue fruit to lifted floral and peppercorn aromas. It’s lively and gripping, for smoked pork." (10/2014)90 points Antonio Galloni: "Inky purple. Highly perfumed aromas of dark fruit liqueur, potpourri and incense, with a peppery spice quality emerging with air. Juicy blackberry and blueberry flavors are complicate ...Read More »
93 points Antonio Galloni: "Dierberg's 2012 Chardonnay is gorgeous. Lemon oil, tropical fruit and butter are all tempered by the cool microclimate here. The flavors remain bright, focused and nuanced in a crystalline Chardonnay that stands out for its precision. A hint of sweetness from the oak adds complexity, but overall, the 2012 is a wine built on energy. Dierberg, and its sister property, Star Lane, is in a bit of a transition at the moment. New winemaker Tyler Thomas took over with the 2013 vintage, while the 2012s were finished by assistant winemaker Jeff Connick. Thomas ma ...Read More »
92 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2013 Pinot Noir Estate Sta. Rita Hills is gorgeous. Bright red berries, red currants, rose petals and mint all lift from the glass in a beautifully delineated Pinot endowed with striking beauty. This is a great introduction to the Melville wines and house style. The 2013 is a blend of 16 clones across the property, done with 35% whole clusters. Winemaker Greg Brewer turned out a gorgeous set of 2013 Pinots at Melville. The wines are consistently of very high quality, something that was not easy to achieve in a year with huge yields. As always, Brewer ...Read More »
Praise from the Wine Advocate: "Without a doubt, Steve Clifton is producing some of the finest examples of Italian variety wines in California. While I think you get the most bang for the buck from Steve’s more inexpensive whites and reds, his upper-tier Nebbiolos and blends certainly have unique characters and offer high quality." (JD, 08/2013) And from Antonio Galloni's Vinous: "Is there anything Palmina doesn't do well these days? In the past, this lineup of Italian-inspired wines has always had one or two slight underachievers, but not this year. Eve... Read More »
91 points Antonio Galloni: "Bright yellow. High-pitched aromas of tangerine, peach and white flowers, with a stony accent gaining strength with air. Bright and racy on the palate, with juicy acidity lifting and intensifying the flavors of white peach and fresh citrus fruits. Finishes with an appealingly light touch, lingering minerality and strong persistence. Quiet elegant for the variety, especially for a New World rendition. According to Chad Melville, his family recently sold their Verna's vineyard, north of Los Alamos and in the Santa Barbara County appellation, because they ...Read More »
Connoisseurs Guide: "Quite dark in color and suggesting a fair sense of extract with a tilt to ripe cherries and plenty of size on the palate, this somewhat uneven youngster turns out to be a bit stiff in feel with obvious acidity providing a tart counterpoint to its short-lived sensations of suppleness. The richness first promised is hard to find at the finish, and, while it may find better integration with time, it is a wine that needs a few years of age and bit of good luck if it is to grow into real beauty." (2/2015) Wine & Spirits: "Ripe and grapey, this lasts on simple, sun-warmed blue f ...Read More »
From the winery: "A refreshing, dry white with citrus lemon/lime notes, flinty minerality, and crisp finish. In the mouth the wine is rich and textural, from the time spent on lees in the barrel. This is a great match with shellfish of any kind, or richer white meats such as turkey or duck."
A joint project from your K&L domestic buying team and a high-profile winery in the Santa Barbara area. The fruit for this wine comes from a cooler vineyard site with a north-facing slope. Clone 828 is a Dijon clone that matures early and often shows lots of structure, color and complexity. In general, the clone shows great acidity, red and blue fruits and palate presence. Because of its roundness and completeness, clone 828 makes an excellent individual bottling.
92 points Antonio Galloni: "Brewer-Clifton's 2013 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills is a beautiful example of the appellation. Juicy dark cherries, plums, exotic spices and lavender meld together in an effortless, gracious Pinot endowed with depth and personality. Gently spiced notes add shades of nuance on the racy finish. This is a strong set of new releases from Brewer-Clifton. The Chardonnays in particular are brilliant, once again showing just how compelling this vintage can be. As always, the Chardonnays are built on texture and phenolic intensity. The Pinot Noirs are done with 100% ...Read More »
Fermented in stainless steel, the 2014 Sauvignon Blanc exhibits fresh lemon and grapefruit aromas on the nose. The acidity is vibrant, with mouthwatering bright flavors of lime zest and pear. This is an easy-drinking, crisp, refreshing white that would be great for starting a meal or a cocktail party.
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Coming from one of Ballard Canyon’s premiere vineyards, this offers aromas of black cherry, wet black loam and morning dew on sage. The mouthfeel is all silk, and flavors are savory, with elderberries, crushed sage and wild mint." (2/2015)92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(made with 50% whole clusters and raised in concrete tanks): Opaque ruby. Deeply pitched black and blue fruit aromas are lifted and sharpened by cracked pepper and fresh flowers. Spicy and penetrating on the palate, with juicy blackcurrant and boysenberry flavors framed and lifted by tangy acidity. This suave, powerful, ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "There’s some age showing on the nose of this wine, with cherry liqueur aromas most prevalent. It’s very tasty once sipped, and still strongly tannic, with dark cherry and black clove." (12/2014) K&L Notes: From Central Coast winery owner Nebil "Bilo" Zarif, who also founded Barnwood Vineyards, Summerland is a small (3,000 cases in the single vineyard collection) Pinot Noir specialist. The famed Bien Nacido Vineyard was planted in 1973, before the modern era of the Dijon clones, to Pommard and Martini.
Wine Enthusiast: "This stainless study shows crisp and ripe yellow apple flesh, with white rock and slate minerality. Apples, from Golden Delicious to red, also dominate the flavor profile, which is straightforward and accessible, though not complex." (5/2015) Wine Spectator: "This offers a mix of citrus-infused green apple, pineapple and mango notes, presented in a fresh, snappy style, with flavors that linger on the finish. Drink now through 2019." (6/2015)
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Opaque ruby. Vibrant dark berry, olive and floral scents are complemented by notes of cracked pepper and smoky Indian spices. Very syrah, offering sweet blackberry, violet pastille and fruitcake flavors braced by juicy acidity. Shows very good clarity and energy on the finish, which features silky tannins and a late note of candied flowers. This is a superb value in elegant California Syrah." (12/2013) K&L Notes: Joey Tensley commented, "This vintage we've done a little something different with the Santa Barbara County blend by bringing the cool climate Mormann V... Read More »
While the Central Coast is certainly known for its Pinot Noir, there are plenty of other great wines there as well. Take, for example, the wealth of Rhône-styled wines in the greater area. The 2011 De Su Propia Cosecha “La Cosecha” Central Coast Rhône Blend is one of the new steals we found on our recent Central Coast trip. With pretty tones of violet, rich pork fat, fine spices and a touch of blackberry, this juicy, plump wine was a treat and a shocking value. Cocoa powder, beef au jus and black pepper dovetail seamlessly to create a fun yet serious win... Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(43% grenache, 41% syrah, 9% mourvedre, 4% counoise and 3% cinsault): Bright violet color. Fresh blueberry and violet candy on the highly perfumed nose. Fleshy and appealingly sweet, offering intense black and blue fruit flavors that pick up spiciness with air. Emphatically fruity and supple in texture, finishing smooth and long, with just a hint of tannins." (11/2013)90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Coming from 11 different vineyards, Doug Margerum’s blend of 43% Grenache, 41% Syrah, 9% Mourvèdre, 4% Counoise and 3% Cinsault offers squeezed olallieberries and dried oregano on the nose. ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of the top rosés from Santa Barbara County that I was able to taste for this report, Palmina's 2014 Botasea Rosato di Palmina sports a light ruby/orange color to go with fabulous notes of strawberries, orange blossom and spice box. Perfectly balanced, supple and refreshing, with plenty of texture, this is rock solid stuff to buy by the case ... It also represents a terrific value. Bravo! (JD)" (6/2015)90 points Antonio Galloni: "Pale orange. Fresh pit fruits and red berries on the perfumed nose and in the mouth. Shows very good clarity and lift, with a spicy nuance emerging on t ...Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Delicious aromas cover the entire range of the strawberry experience, from the scents of a blossoming strawberry field to frozen berries macerated into a syrup. It’s refreshing and yet grippy on the palate at the same time, with candied raspberry and crushed vanilla bean swirling with bergamot rind, anise, black pepper and pine sap. Imagine mint-wrapped berries on a fresh-cut plank of oak." (6/2015)94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Brilliant red. Sexy, intensely perfumed aromas of red fruit preserves, incense, smoky minerals and potpourri, with a hint of blood orange in the background. S ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
From the winery: "Pale straw in color, this vintage of Talley Vineyards Estate Chardonnay has aromas of grilled nuts, honeysuckle, and lemon oil. Citrus notes of lemon curd and lime zest characterize this refreshing medium bodied chardonnay. The wine finishes clean with hints of minerality and crushed stone. Enjoy this wine with fresh swordfish or sautéed sea scallops."
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Light red. Red berry and cherry aromas are complicated by rose, white pepper and vanilla. Spicy and brisk on entry, then fleshier and deeper in the middle, offering intense red fruit flavors and a touch of spicecake. Shows a refreshingly light touch, with zero excess fat. Finishes peppery and brisk, with lingering floral notes and no obvious tannins. There's an elegant, pinot-like character to this wine that's quite intriguing." (12/2012)
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another blockbuster is the 2013 Syrah Verna's, which comes from a vineyard located north of the Sta. Rita Hills, near Los Alamos. It was 70% destemmed and aged 10 months in neutral oak. It reveals terrific notes of cassis, peppered meats, blackberries, licorice and wood smoke to go with a full-bodied, ripe, yet beautifully balanced and layered feel on the palate. Given all the Syrahs and Pinot Noirs from Santa Barbara going for three times the price, the quality here is remarkable. In short, it's a no-brainer that will drink nicely for at least another 4 ...Read More »
From the Winery; 68% Syrah, 20% Grenache, 6% Petite Sirah, and 6% Sangiovese. This year's 2013 label is done by Kari Crist, the label’s creator & creative director of Stolpman Vineyards. Champagne, Loire, Chablis, Ballard Canyon... What do these guys have in common? Limestone. The calcium rich soil that sky rockets ordinary Vitis Vinifera into rock star status. Limestone. The soil that directed Tom Stolpman to his family’s legacy on Ballard Canyon. Limestone. The only dirt worthy of gettin’ its picture ‘on the cover of the rollin’ stone,’ no wait...excu... Read More »
93 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Reserve Block Eleven is rich and voluptuous in the glass, with copious apricot pit, honey, chamomile, butter, spice and orange blossom. This is a decidedly flashy, buttery Chardonnay, but all the elements are in the right place, even if this style can't exactly be called subtle. If these new releases are any indication, Qupé is going through a transition following the sale of a majority interest to Charles Banks' Terroir Selections. It will be interesting to see how the infusion of capital manifests itself here. As for the ...Read More »
94 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2013 Chardonnay Golden Slope is incredibly inviting, with superb balance between some of its more overt, oily textures and the underlying minerality that lies in the background. A host of white orchard fruit, apricot, honey and spice nuances open up as this plush, silky Chardonnay shows off its alluring, racy personality. These 2013 Chardonnays from Liquid Farm were among the highlights of my trip through Santa Barbara earlier this summer. The wines are done with native fermentations and spend around 11 months in barrel prior to bottling, with the ex ...Read More »
92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Dark red. Vibrant red fruit and floral pastille scents are complicated by notes of allspice, star anise and smoky minerals. Sappy and precise on the palate, offering sweet raspberry and cherry flavors deepened by a hint of candied licorice. Shows a delicate, vaguely Pinot-like character on the finish, with the mineral and floral notes repeating." (12/2014)91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Syrah is the star of this new appellation, but Grernache does mighty fine too, in this case offering aromas of strawberry reduction sauce, black cloves and cardamom. The palate is heavily laced with crus ...Read More »
Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Cuvee Le Bec is laced with attractive dark red fruit, smoke, tobacco, wild flowers and spices. Grenache adds the bright-toned fruit and silkiness while the other grapes in the blend, the Syrah in particular, is felt mostly in the wine's mid-palate. The 2012 is 43% Grenache, 34% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre and 8% Counoise. (AG)" (7/2014) Wine Spectator: "Black raspberry and peppery caramel aromas lead to zesty but straightforward flavors of cherry and herb. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Counoise. (Web-2015)"
92 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2013 Chardonnay White Hill is one of the most supple, open-knit wines in the range. Hints of apricot pit, smoke, butter, chamomile and honey flesh out in a succulent Chardonnay with tons of near and medium-term appeal. This is the most expressive and complete of the 2013 Liquid Farm Chardonnays for current drinking. These 2013 Chardonnays from Liquid Farm were among the highlights of my trip through Santa Barbara earlier this summer. The wines are done with native fermentations and spend around 11 months in barrel prior to bottling, with the exceptio ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Special blocks are used for this unoaked wine: Sierra Madre and Cottonwood Canyon Vineyards. Peachy nose, lots of racy fruit. A bit hard on the end. Correct and fast fade." (3/2015) K&L Notes: From the winery: "The 2013 Jaybird has a distinct mineral, flinty aroma that is support by nuances of sliced pear and pineapple guava. On the palate, this wine is clean with refreshing acidity and flavors of apple and pear. This wine can be enjoyed as an aperitif, or paired with cuisine that calls for more acidity. It pairs well with raw fish and shellfish, or with sautéed seaf... Read More »
The 2012 Holus Bolus Syrah is sourced entirely from a 5 acre Syrah planting at the edge of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. The vines are planted at a high density of 3,000 vines per acre on a windy hilltop. The coolish, sunny and windy weather at this site give the wine lovely spice and fresh acidity. Grapes are fermented with 25% whole clusters. Aged for 15 months in two and three-year-old 350 liter barrels. 750 cases produced. Here are Robert Parker’s, The Wine Advocate, thoughts about the 2012 Holus Bolus Syrah, giving it a score of 91 points, "a se... Read More »
Pinot may be the big star of Santa Barbara, especially since the movie Sideways, after which the Hitching Post and its wines have been very popular indeed. But Syrah...needs care and attention too, you know? And it can only grow--really well, anyway--in these really specific, tucked away corners of the world--like Santa Barbara County. And only the most patient and nurturing of vintners can make great wine out of it. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Syrah's potential...can coax it into its fullest expression.