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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 at a much higher premium. Get it while it lasts.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "A generously fruity, just-ripe and refined wine, this offers classic notions of the appellation in a warm, welcoming vintage, from rhubarb, cranberry and cherry to cola spice and clove. Still young, it shows an intensity that should meld and mellow in the bottle in short order. (VB)" (5/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Pinot Noir from Russian River has a similar medium to deep ruby color and notes of sassafras, cola, red cherries and strawberries. It is a little more primary and fruit-driven, but remains medium-bodied and, in this case, very Côtes de Beaune-like. Drink it o ...Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*#12 in Wine Enthusiast's The Enthusiast 100 of 2015, Editors' Choice* This might be one of the best values on the market, given the quality. Equal parts pretty and funky, it’s a tightly wound, savory, fruity wine that’s elegant and compelling. The tannins and oak are lightly imprinted around strawberry-rhubarb and fresh-cut rose, and the texture seductively silky. This is a delicious treat of a wine that should also age. (VB)" (12/2015) Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* Perhaps, because it is not quite so severe, we like this bottling a tad better than its mate below. It is, of ...Read More »
92 points Rhone Report: "The 2008 Martinelli Syrah Hop Camp Vineyard "Gravel Lens" (Grave lens refers to the rare soil characteristic of alluvial soil layers interleaved with layers of gravel) is a big, beautifully fruited Syrah that possess touches of northern Rhone like qualities mainly on the nose. Blackberry, cracked pepper, mineral, and hints of chocolate all emerge, and this fleshes out over the evening and gains floral and violets characteristics, as well as notable complexity and a layered profile. This full-bodied, beautifully textured Syrah has an overall seamless feel ...Read More »
This new release from Silver Oak is a blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Merlot that was aged for 24 months in American Oak barrels (48% new, 52% once-used) and an additional 15 months in bottle prior to release.
94 points Vinous: "The 2013 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard stands out in this range for its striking aromatics. Sweet floral notes open up first. The Ritchie is just as subtle and nuanced on the palate. Classy and polished throughout, the Ritchie is all about finesse. It should drink well for the better part of the next decade. It's hard to know where to begin with these wines from David Ramey, as there are so many highlights, but one common theme is the quality of the entry-level wines. The appellation-level Chardonnays, Pinot, Syrah and Claret all deliver serious quality fo ...Read More »
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The two vintages of Chardonnay I tasted come from the Jos. Belli Vineyard in Russian River. The 2015 Chardonnay Jos. Belli Vineyards was made from small yields, and according to Dick Arrowood, it is one of the top three vintages in his 50 years of experience. This wine offers loads of peach, honeysuckle, delicate apricot, caramelized citrus and apple blossom in a full-bodied, rich, discreetly oaked style. It is long, promising and super-concentrated. If this is an example of just how strong many 2015s will be, we’re in for another treat from Northern Cal ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A blend of three clones - Dijon clones 114 and 115, as well as Rochioli material - the 2013 Pinot Noir Cahill Lane has a dark ruby color and a fragrant style with floral and earth tones intermixed with strawberries and black cherries. The sweetness of the tannin as well as the heady glycerin and lushness make for a hedonistic and intellectually satisfying Pinot Noir to drink over the next 7-10 years. Some of the best values in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir emerge from Stephen Hansel’s winery in the Russian River Valley. He also has the wonderful Walter Han ...Read More »
Move over Bacchus, Oeno is here and she's ready for her time in the sun. The Greek goddess of wine is this project's spiritual patron, created by industry pro Amy Atwood. Unable to find affordable domestic wines made with native yeasts and neutral oak, she sought out California winemakers who would make these wines to her specifications.
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The proprietary red wine, the 2014 Geyserville from Alexander Valley is a big boy at 14.6% alcohol. Made from a blend of 60% Zinfandel, 24% Carignan, 12% Petite Sirah and the rest Mourvèdre, this is a big-time winner in 2014, with copious quantities of juicy blackberry and black cherry fruit, some wood spice and loamy soil undertones. Full-bodied, fleshy and seductive, the wine is clean, pure, textured, and offers sensational drinking now and over the next 7-8 years. (RP)" (8/2016) 93 points Vinous: "The 2014 Zinfandel Geyserville is just as beautiful from bottle as it was f ...Read More »
92 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*Two Stars* More than once we have found a great deal to like in the straight appellation bottlings of top-notch Pinot producers, and here is just such an example that rivals and even surpasses several of its pricier cellarmates with respect to balance, fruity depth and real varietal beauty. It is moderately full, slightly fleshy in feel and very well-balanced, and, while it impresses as a Pinot of many parts, it impresses at least as much for the way in which those parts are seamlessly joined. It is no stretch to see richness and refinement intersecting ...Read More »
Stuhlmuller Vineyards sits at the southern edge of Alexander Valley where it borders both Chalk Hill and the Russian River Valley AVAs. Five blocks of the estate vineyard are planted with Chardonnay grapes, 80% of which are the sought-after Gauer Upper Barn clone. The wine was brought up in small barrels (82%) and larger casks (18%), all of which were French oak (6% new). The wine was fermented on the lees for eight months and underwent 80% indigenous malolactic fermentation. The winery's vintage note: "This medium-bodied wine offers an alluring orchard-... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Their newer non-vintage blends ratchet up the level of quality, such as the NV Arme Lot 3, a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and the rest Malbec and Petit Verdot. This is a big Bordeaux blend, aged up to three years in neutral oak prior to being bottled. It’s a blend of three vintages, 2011, 2012 and 2013. All the fruit comes from not only their estate, but from many of their close friends located in Sonoma and Mendocino. The wine is a 6,000-case North Coast appellation, with elegant black cherry and blackcurrant fruit as well as tobacco leaf ...Read More »
91 points Vinous: "The 2013 Chardonnay (Russian River Valley) is another terrific entry-level Chardonnay from David Ramey. Here it is the wine's richness and creaminess that really stand out. Honey, apricot pit, mint, butter and dried flowers blossom are some of the signatures. This is a real overachiever in its class. It's hard to know where to begin with these wines from David Ramey, as there are so many highlights, but one common theme is the quality of the entry-level wines. The appellation-level Chardonnays, Pinot, Syrah and Claret all deliver serious quality for the ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a complex, layered and elegantly conceived wine. It’s enjoyable now in its juicy waves of red currant and cassis, with a background hint of brown sugar and toasted oak." (10/2016) Jancis Robinson: "Bright red. Cherry red. Both juicy and dry. I'm not sure I would guess it was Cabernet Sauvignon if I had it blind because tannins are already so velvety for this stage, gentle but not overly soft. (JH)" (10/2013) K&L Notes: Producer Note: "Concentrated aromas of blackberries and black cherries with an inviting hint of cedar. The wine’s silky palate is long and expansive, boasting a b... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Spicy nutmeg meets a reckoning of lemon zest and grapefruit pith in this light, bright, elegant white that's subtle in oak. Notions of just-ripe pear follow around a rounded, medium-bodied build, providing plenty of juiciness and structure. (VB)" (8/2016)
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Refreshingly marked by a tangy acidity, this white is made to please, fermented entirely in stainless steel. It sings in zesty, medium-bodied layers of peach and lime that are fresh and juicy on the palate, yet it somehow maintains some unexpected complexity." (8/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Roth has produced a tasty 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, with a delicate light straw color and plenty of honeysuckle and melon fruit as well as some caramelized citrus. This is a Bordeaux style of Sauvignon, medium-bodied, but floral and effusively fruity. I liked its delineation as well. Drink it ov ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Noir Cuvée Alyce, which is made from a field blend of Dijon clones 115 and 777, is also backward and restrained. I can totally understand Stephen Hansel’s statement that the 2013 Pinots are very European with their reserved character. This is a big wine, dense, ruby in color, with terrific fruit intensity, but the tannins still dominate, and the wine has good acidity and a backward personality. It’s not austere by any means and should blossom fully with another 1-2 years of bottle age. It could turn out to be a low- to mid-90 pointer. It’s ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "This is a 100% varietal wine made to be widely distributed and enjoyed by a range of palates. With a slight perception of sweetness, which may just be ripeness, it gives way to fleshy flavors of baked apple and pineapple. (VB)" (6/2016)
92 points Vinous: "The 2014 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) is a fabulous wine at this level. Sweet spices, rose petal, mint and succulent cherry/plum notes all lift from the glass. Supple and beautifully layered throughout, the Sonoma Coast hits all the right notes. A final burst of fruit rushes across the palate on the refreshing, inviting wine. There is so much to like. (AG)" (2/2016) 91 points Wine & Spirits: "The nine vineyards that go into this wine range from Olivet in the middle of the Russian River Valley to Bohan and Hirsch on the far-coast ridges. It’s inviting, with plump red fruit and tangy aci ...Read More »
92-94 points Vinous: "(96% Zinfandel, 4% Carignane) The 2014 Zinfandel Papera Ranch is exuberant, rich and extroverted to the core. Sweet dark cherry, plum, mint, tobacco, cedar, menthol and spices flesh out in a hugely appealing wine endowed with real depth and intensity. The finish is perhaps a bit chunky, but there is so much to like that I can look past that slightly rustic part of the wine's personality. This historic Russian River site was planted in 1934. The blend of 96% Zinfandel and 4% Carignane is unusually high for mixed blacks vineyards planted during this period ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Noir Estate, made mostly from Rochioli clonal material and a small portion of the so-called Swan clone, is a beautiful Pinot Noir, very Burgundian, with notes of forest floor, loamy soil undertones, sweet black cherries and Asian plum sauce. It is dark ruby, lush, medium to full-bodied and ideal for drinking over the next decade. Some of the best values in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir emerge from Stephen Hansel’s winery in the Russian River Valley. He also has the wonderful Walter Hansel Wine & Bistro on Guerneville Road in Santa Rosa... The ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "***Cellar Selection*** A suggestion of minty eucalyptus makes itself quietly known on the entry of this wine, followed by soft, seamless layers of rich red cherry. Floral and bursting in elegance, it's a vibrant, worthy representation of the vineyard. Sadly, this is the last vintage from this producer from this site. Drink now through 2020. (VB)" (4/2016) Wine Spectator: "Complex, if on a modest scale, with graceful plum and raspberry fruit, shaded by fresh earth and spice notes. Holds focus and gains depth on the finish. Drink now through 2022. (JL)" (9/2014) K&L Notes: Winemaker Rod ... Read More »
A member of Jackson Family Wines, Hartford Court is an award-winning producer of appellation-designate and single-vineyard Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and old vine Zinfandel from low-yielding vineyards in prime regions throughout Sonoma County.
93 points Vinous: "The 2014 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) is terrific. Bright, nuanced and savory, the straight Russian River Pinot has all the attributes of this strong vintage. Sweet floral notes round out a Pinot that is understated and silky. This is a rare appellation-level Pinot that could use another few years in bottle to fully flesh out. Paul Hobbs describes 2013 as a consistently warm, dry year but without excesses. I remember stopping by in January of that year, and being quite surprised when Hobbs told me he was likely to start irrigating imminently, which ...Read More »
The Wetzel family has been growing Cabernet Sauvignon in Alexander Valley since the 1960s, and embody the Sonoma County spirit of winemaking, charging very fair prices for estate-grown, Alexander Valley wines, yet always innovating and pursuing quality. Wines are aged in their own shotcrete-walled caves, just steps from the winery. According to the winery: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic Alexander Valley wine with medium body, great fruit flavors and polished tannins. Winemaker Kevin Hall added 6% Merlot for structure, a touch of Cabernet Fran... Read More »
Robert Parker called the Martinelli family "one of the great families of Northern California, and of course, one of the highest quality producers." Vigneto di Evo is a blend of multiple vineyard sites farmed by the estate. From the winery: "The 2013 Vigneto di Evo Zinfandel has aromas of dark red fruit, Bing cherries, and hints of conifer and rose petal. The palate is medium weight with flavors of sour cherry, raspberry, and red plum skin, with a slightly earthy/mineral finish."
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Dark yellow in color, this wine shows tangy green apple and a richer, more concentrated element of applespice cake, with supportive, balanced acidity. With a bright, lifted finish, this less-expensive offering compared with many of the producer’s singlevineyard designates never lets up on complexity or deliciousness." (2/2017) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Features a tight mix of leesy, pithy citrus, pineapple skin and blood orange rind flavors. Complex, with a long, sustained finish. (JL)" (12/2016) Wine & Spirits: "Drawn from seven Russian River vineyards, including pedigreed sites like Rochioli and Al ...Read More »
92 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*Two Stars* This serious, nicely composed opus impresses in all of the ways that very good Chardonnay can, and it hits the right marks from its concentration and keen focus to its exemplary balance and vitality. It teams deep, optimally ripened fruit with just the right amount of sweet, ever so slightly toasty oak, and, while always quite rich, it is wonderfully lively and dynamic from beginning to end. There is so much going on that it is fascinating right now, but this is one that will prove just how well fine Chardonnay can age, and we see it improvin ...Read More »
From one of K&L's favorite Napa producers. The winery notes: "Blazing tropical fruit, exotic spices and sexy ripe citrus come together in this tangerine dream. Like a beach volleyball Olympian, the wine has explosive power plus tremendous depth and range on the palate. Richness and precision are continually on point, and the wine sets up high in the mouth before stretching out in a tanned and impossibly long-legged, leesy finish."
93 points Vinous: "The 2013 Chardonnay Cahill Lane is another beautiful, precise wine loaded with class and personality. As is the case in this vintage, the flavors are bright, but there is plenty of the signature Hansel texture underpinning the fruit. Lemon, pastry and brioche are some of the notes that meld into the racy, beautifully textured finish. Stephen Hansel is one of the most intelligent winery owners in Sonoma. More interested in getting people to drink his wines than in maximizing short-term profit, Hansel continues to offer some of the very best wines readers ...Read More »
Rod and Lynn Berglund carry the mantle for this historic Russian River Valley winery as it marches into its 50th year.
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Zinfandel Estate is primarily Zinfandel, but there are other grapes in this mixed black field blend, including Peloursin, Négrette, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Carignan. This is a sensational Zinfandel, with an explosive nose of pepper, raw meat, blackberry, black raspberry and cherry. Deep, chewy and dense, it finishes at 14.8% natural alcohol... The owners of the well-known Marietta Cellars, the Bilbro family, have taken this once-moribund producer, Limerick Lane, and resurrected it to impressive heights of quality. This estate always had some fab ...Read More »
Robert Parker writes: "Under owner Don Hartford, winemaker Jeff Stewart continues to produce a stunning succession of Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs (as well as Zinfandels) under the Hartford Court moniker from generally cool-climate sites. His is one of the bright stars in the Kendall-Jackson portfolio of small estate wineries."
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "It’s hard not to jump up and down about the outstanding value represented here, a wine made from Dutton Ranch fruit that’s juicy and generous in baked strawberry, earth and rose petals. A grippy structure provides weight around nuanced, spicy cherry-pie flavor and plenty of body to satisfy." (12/2016)
92 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*Two Stars* Finding a place at the lighter end of the Rosé spectrum and, in fact, a wine that could easily pass for a Blanc de Noirs, this lightly yeasty version fixes on energetic, slightly juicy, young fruit as its main motif. It is briskly balanced, but its ample acidity enlivens without ever once seeming sharp, and it is wholly free of the astringency that marks its more vinous mates." (11/2015) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The N.V. Brut Rosé is 66% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay and 1% Pinot Meunier. The wine shows a light/pale pinkish color, crisp acids and dry medium-bodied cranber ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "There are approximately 12,000 cases of the NV Christo Lot 3, which is a hedonistic blend of Grenache, Syrah, Petite Sirah and a touch of Viognier to uplift the aromatics. This is, again, aged in neutral oak for two years and a blend of three vintages: 2011, 2012 and 2013. This is my favorite of all of these wines – a wine of exceptional purity and intensity and plenty of character, as this one is 70% Syrah and the rest the other three grapes. It tips the scales at a lofty 15.3% alcohol, but it’s well hidden behind a cascade of blackberry and cassis frui ...Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "This voluptuously seductive wine is also elegantly balanced. Citrus, wet stone and sea salt lift the minerality to pronounced levels, accented by a crispness of lemon peel and papaya wrapped in blossoming jasmine. Many of the vines on the site date back nearly 40 years, a demonstration that in age there is beauty. (VB)" (9/2016) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch is a rather complex blend of multiple heritage clones from California, such as the Wente, Robert Young, Rued, the U.C. Davis Clone 4, and the Spring Mountain Clone. The wine offers up plenty of whit ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
94 points Wine Spectator: "Plush, rich and impeccably structured, with floral blueberry and raspberry aromas accented by smoked pepper and complex, expressive flavors that combine mineral-tinged tannins with plump fruit. Best from 2018 through 2030." (9/2016) 91 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*Two Stars* Insistently and very confidently fixed on lightly spicy, ripe berry fruit and doing a deft balancing act between refinement and richness that allows a good deal of both, this very well-structured wine may be a bit constrained by its youth, yet it shows plenty of substance and depth. It is sustained in its keen varie ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Like a fresh-picked cherry off the tree, the aromatic entry into this appellation wine is compelling and memorable in Proustian ways. Medium bodied, it’s a highly quaffable experience, sultry on the palate while maintaining bright of acidity that ping-pongs between lush and lean." (2/2017) Vinous: "The 2014 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) is plump, juicy and forward. Dark cherry, plum, spice, menthol and cola race out of the glass. This exuberant, flamboyant Pinot is sure to deliver considerable pleasure over the next few years. The addition of the fruit that wou ...Read More »
91 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*Good Value* Possessing such a wealth of juicy, well-focused cherry-like fruit that this wine would garner enthusiastic recommendation and a tip of the hat for fine value on its fruity virtues alone, Migration's basic appellation offering is a surprisingly serious Pinot Noir with the depth and careful construction of upper-echelon offerings. It is clean and constant with impeccable varietal focus and layered richness to spare, and, as very good, generously fruited Pinots are wont to do, it is certain to tempt early drinking even though its best lies some ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Zinfandel Dry Creek has briary fruit, not quite the density of the 2013s, but beautiful berry fruit, especially raspberries and black cherries, medium to full body, and again, stunning purity. I think this is the first time I’ve had a good look at these wines, and I’m impressed. Drink this one over the next 5-6 years. It is likely to be shorter-lived than the 2013s." (3/2016)
93 points Vinous: "The 2013 Chardonnay The Meadows has a real sense of phenolic weight and density, yet the flavors remain bright, focused and beautifully nuanced throughout. Lemon peel, hazelnut, butter, spice and mint blossom as this beautifully textured, layered Chardonnay shows off its notable personality and pure class. Stephen Hansel is one of the most intelligent winery owners in Sonoma. More interested in getting people to drink his wines than in maximizing short-term profit, Hansel continues to offer some of the very best wines readers will find for the money. I ...Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a creamy, thick and food friendly white with highlights of honey and green apple and a lingering decadence of ginger, just hinting at anise. Medium-bodied, it represents the vintage and the appellation well, at a price that's nice. (VB)" (8/2016) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Elegantly styled and moderately rich, with nectarine, honeydew, anise and green apple flavors. This is a wine of finesse, showing more grace than power and richness. Drink now. (JL)" (6/2016)
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Shy in the glass, this wine needs more time in bottle to unravel its complexities of rose petal and cardamom, flanked by crisp red cherry and raspberry. Tangy acidity is the star and backbone of the lovely, structured wine, which is delightful now, but worth cellaring through 2023. (VB)" (2/2016) Wine Spectator: "Delivers a pleasant offering of zesty raspberry, cherry and blueberry notes, turning supple and gaining depth and length. (JL, Web-2016)"
Inventory: San Francisco
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Silky yet slightly grippy, this is a mineral-driven wine, with violet and spicy cardamom aromas atop bright, vibrant swathes of cherry and wild strawberry. This vineyard is where Joseph Swan himself first planted Pinot Noir, it retains all the promise and greatness of his initial discovery of this magical place along the Laguna Ridge." (4/2016) 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Brilliant ruby-red. Youthful, highly perfumed red and dark berry scents are complemented by deeper notes of cola, mocha and black cardamon, with a sexy floral nuance building in the glass. Smooth, ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
93 points Wine & Spirits: "In her second vintage at Gary Farrell, Theresa Heredia drew on seven vineyard sites, including pedigreed vineyards like Rochioli and Allen, to compose this vibrant Russian River wine. It’s an intense chardonnay, with a spicy, floral scent that brings chanterelle mushrooms and apple skin to mind. It holds that abundance of flavor in a texture that’s clean and breezy, seemingly weightless. Decant it and explore its nuances over a multicourse dinner." (12/2015) 91 points Wine Spectator: "Ripe and pithy, with a mix of lemon, fig, apricot and tangerine flavors. Light-weight, presenting a ...Read More »
The "Wedding Cuvée" is the very latest iteration of this first-class California sparkling wine, although iteration may be a tad too cool and technical for this festive and elegant wine, what Iron Horse calls their "most romantic bubbly." It's a very pale pink blanc de noirs, from primarily Pinot Noir grapes. Like most Iron Horse sparkling, however, it's fairly dry and lean, with hints of red fruit. A 90+ point wine in recent vintages with all the top wine magazines and critics. This wine, naturally, is made to pair with a variety of foods: "A food friend... Read More »
92-95 points Vinous: "A wine of density and wound up energy, the 2014 Pinot Noir Estate Vineyard is very tightly coiled at this stage. All the elements are there for the Estate to develop into a splendid Pinot with proper aging, especially if the wine finds a more refined register over time. Even so, the 2014 is attractive, if a bit monolithic next to the other wines in this range. This is a strong set of new releases from DuMOL. Winemaker Andy Smith has really dialed in his approach here over the last few years, and it shows. Harvest dates have been moved up, while in genera ...Read More »
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The cool-climate 2014 Pinot Noir Bondi Home Ranch, from the Green Valley in the Russian River, is absolutely spectacular. It saw 80% new oak because it was so concentrated, and it seems to have sucked it up and only reveals just a slight wood spice to its full-bodied, beautifully textured, black raspberry and blackberry fruit. This is one of the profound 2014s and should drink well for 15-20 years. One of the great families of Northern California, and of course, one of the highest quality producers, the Martinellis - and rather remarkably so - only esta ...Read More »