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K&L Staff Recommendations
93 points James Suckling: "A solid and chewy young red with dried blackberries, licorice and hints of toasted oak and walnuts. A full-bodied, energetic red from the Chianti Classico region of Panzano. Needs two to three years of bottle age. A blend of Sangivoese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Alicante." (8/2015) 93 points Vinous: "A dark, sumptuous beauty, the 2013 La Massa opens with superb depth and textural richness. Inky blue/purplish fruit, smoke, white pepper and violets are all super-expressive. Pliant, concentrated and deep, the 2013 is shaping up to be a real beauty. I especially like the de ...Read More »
95 points Decanter: "Enjoys a deep nose with white pepper, graphite notes and bright red fruits. The palate is powerful and intense with black cherry and dark, muscular berry fruit, crisp acid and some neat, grippy, slightly salted tannins. The finish is long with berries and spice." (6/2016) Jancis Robinson: "Tank/cask sample. 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 5% Carignan and other varieties. Four months in foudres and stainless steel. Rich and complete. Nice peppery note. An interesting wine." (10/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Cotes du Rhone is mostly Grenache and Syrah, and has a classic southern Rhone ...Read More »
93 points Wine & Spirits: "This blend is focused on Cristom’s four Eola-Amity Hills vineyards. It’s a dense mélange of stem spice, smoke, graham flour and tobacco, with plummy fruit that absorbs the savory elements, and a sturdy oak component that cradles the lot of it in a warm embrace. Tasted over several days it gains polish and elegance, the oak integrating into something more burnished and structural, lending direction without weight." (4/2013) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Kept for 18 months rather than the Jefferson Cuvee’s 12 months in barrels, a higher percentage of which are new, Cristom’s 2009 Pinot N ...Read More »
95 points James Suckling: "A soft and silky red with violet, berry and dark fruits on the nose and palate. Full body, fine tannins and a flavorful finish. Extremely well craft with elegance and style. Made from high vineyards in Uco Valley with consulting enologist from Bordeaux Jean-Claude Berrouet. Drink or hold." (6/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Tapiz Alta Collection Malbec from eight-year-old vineyards in San Pablo (Uco Valley) that are planted on stonier soils and matured in new and used French oak barrels for one year. It's a juicy, quite fruit-driven, ripe Malbec with some notes of cereals ...Read More »
94-95 points James Suckling: "This really is fantastic with so much ripe fruit and ripe tannins. Exquisite purity and beauty. 55% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 7% Petit Verdot." (4/2016) 92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Siran is a blend of 55% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot picked between 17 September to 12 October. It is raised in 25% new oak plus one-year barrels. It is a little richer and more opulent than its neighbor, the 2015 Dauzac, due to the higher proportion of Merlot. It veers to more red fruit here, wild strawberry and later cassis. The palate is smooth and sensual on the ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Kalinda can be a lot of things. It can be really good bulk wine that is available to us. It can be a wine that we help create from scratch from a winery we have a great relationship with and wants to work with us. Or in the case of the NV Kalinda North Coast Pinot Noir it can be from a famous and elusive winery that had some extra bits and pieces that they pieced together not because they didn't work for them but because the recent vintages just didn't produce enough fruit to make to make them financially viable for the "secret" winery. Bottom line is th... Read More »
91 points Wine & Spirits: "(Best buy) Another great value from the Bousquet family, this is made from organic grapes grown in the chalky and stony soils of Gualtallary. The high altitude shows in a subtly herbal scent, while the wine focuses on ripe red fruit and spices. This is a textbook cabernet, with the firm acidity and a solid structure, but it's also easy to dirnk and ready for steak." (4/2016)
92 points Wine Spectator: "The texture is plush, with lots of complex flavors, ranging from plum to anise to dusty, cedary oak. Satisfying from start to finish, ending with dusty, nutmeg-scented tannins. (JL)" (6/2016) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* This is a lot of heady wine for a relatively affordable price. Aromas of black-cherry syrup, baked black plum, nutmeg, clove and gingerbread make for an attention-grabbing nose. The hearty palate shows similar elements, along with black peppercorn, Christmas spice, dense blackberry paste, chaparral scrub and pine-forest notes." (10/2016) 90 points Decanter: "Complex dark f ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "This creamy red takes a modern tack, with mocha and spice accents to the pureed boysenberry fruit. Bright and balanced, with a lightly chewy finish of moderate length. Negroamaro, Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2018. 1,400 cases imported." (6/2015)
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Probably the greatest vintage of this cuvee to date, the 2014 Syrah Milbrandt Vineyard is 100% Syrah, fermented with 100% whole clusters, that spent 15 months in 20% new French oak barrels and puncheons. This beauty is overflowing with notes of cassis, caramelized meats, licorice and spice, which gives way to a full-bodied, concentrated, superbly textured Syrah that can be enjoyed today, or cellared for a decade. These latest releases from Charles Smith check in at the top of the pyramid and are flat out incredible wines that I wish every reader could t ...Read More »
93 points Wine & Spirits: "In 2007, wine importer Dan Kravitz purchased this 13.5-acre domaine, with Grenache vines dating back 60 years. Today he farms 18 acres, and works with the local cooperative to vinify his wines: Serge Soulatge takes care of the vines, and Nicolas Burger makes the wines. This 2014 blends 60 percent old-vine Grenache with new- and old-vine Carignan and Syrah. It has a lovely transparency to its flavors, the richness of the plummy fruit balanced by fine, ferrous tannins and soft, dark earth. Entirely pretension-free, this is ready to drink now but also capab ...Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This large estate of 131 acres has been run brilliantly by a Belgian family, the Bonnies since their acquisition a number of years ago. The quality of the white and red have soared to exceptional heights, and this is certainly still one of the more realistically priced wines of Pessac-Lèognan and classified crus. The 2012 is a beauty, with a dense ruby/purple color, a fabulously plush, opulent texture and medium to full-bodied flavors of cassis, spicy earth and blueberry. Quite rich, yet light on its feet, this is an absolutely textbook Pessac-Lèognan, w ...Read More »
98 points James Suckling: "The aromas of this show an amazing freshness of flowers and herbs such as lavender, rosemary, and violet. Then it goes to raspberry, candy and currants. Black licorice too. A truly great wine on the nose. Full-bodied, racy and linear. So polished. It's like a red ruby. 86% tempranillo and 14% mazuelo in the blend. For release in September 2015. Great length and future. Give it three years or so. Or decant two hours in advance." 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A worthy follow-up of the 2005, the 2007 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial will be released in late 2015. This is a cuvée of mos ...Read More »
You need look no further than Graves for a screamingly good example of ready-to-drink, Merlot-based red. Tobacco, oak and black currant aromas exude from this value-driven Bordeaux, which drinks like a bottle three times the price.
The Verquiere estate has been passed down from father to son for many generations and is now managed by brothers Romain and Thibaut Chamfort. Following age-old traditions and sustainable practices, the estate was recently certified organic. The Cotes du Rhone is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah, grown on chalky clay soils with loads of large pebbles in the vineyards. Verquiere recently returned to us after a long hiatus and we are pleased to have them back.
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A terrific value that’s close to an even split of Grenache and Syrah (there’s 10% Carignan), from a mix of terroirs in the Agly Valley, the 2014 Haut Cotes du Roussillon Villages les Vignes de Bila Haut was completely destemmed and spent eight months in a mix of concrete tanks and stainless steel prior to bottling. A fabulous value that will be hard to beat as a mid-week drinker, it offers lots of juicy berry fruit, violets, peppery herbs and damp earth characteristics in a medium-bodied, bright, fresh and elegant package. (JD)" (4/2016) 90 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* This ...Read More »
A blend of 80 percent Grenache and 20 percent Carignane from a family-run winery in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
As is the case with so many other great spots in Spain, Bodega Casa Juan is located opposite the village church, in the beautiful walled pueblo of Laguardia. The winery is a converted flour mill, featuring concrete tanks for fermenting and blending the wine, and for ageing, barrels that are used for up to seven years. These are traditional Riojas in elaboration and spirit, though the site specificity of their Laguardia and Villabuena vineyards confers a fruit character all its own to these wines. And what fruit!This crianza is a potpouri of mixed berries... Read More »
Château Bois-Malot is located in Saint Loubes and situated on the shoreline of the Dordogne River. The soils are clay and light limestone with a subsoil of red pebbles and clay. The blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 20% Cabernet Franc. It is aged for eighteen months in large vats and then an additional six months in oak. Won Best Of Class, Gold Medal, in the Los Angeles Wine & Spirits Competition, 2013.
94 points James Suckling: "This is like a top Napa Cabernet with full body, dusty tannins plus chocolate, bark and black currant. Very long and rich. Racy and beautiful. Will age beautifully. Believe the wine at this price. Drink or hold." (5/2016)
95 points Bob Campbell: "Dense and decadent red with dark berry, plum, chocolate, vanilla, liquorice and a suggestion of spicy oak. Very impressive wine from an outstanding vintage where Merlot was the star, at least at a regional level. Fruit flavours are supported by soft, chewy tannins. Approachable now but with obvious cellaring potential. Great value at this price." 95 points Sam Kim: "This is impressively fruited on the nose displaying dark plum, blueberry, mixed spice, smoked meat and cedar notes on the nose, followed by a dense palate that is focused and silky with abundance of ripe fruit fla ...Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2004 Viña Tondonia Reserva is a completely different story. It is a worthy follower of the 2001, the greatest of the Viña Tondonia Reservas of recent times. It has the usual blend and usual levels of alcohol and acidity, bottled after six years in oak barrels. The nose feels savory (if that's possible–umami?) and developed, with tertiary aromas and good balance between spices, leathery notes, cherries and balsamic notes of cigar box and incense. The palate is both round and crisp, with refined tannins. It has very good balance with subtle acidity and ...Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2007 Viña Ardanza Reserva is a blend of Tempranillo with 20% Garnacha, the Tempranillo from 30-year-old vineyards La Cuesta and Montecillo in the villages of Fuenmayor and Cenicero, and the Garnacha from old head-pruned vines at 600 meters altitude in Tudelilla, in Rioja Baja, from plots next to their Finca La Pedriza. Those should soon be mature enough to go into the wine (they were planted in 2004 and they will make it into the Ardanza blend from 2007-2008). The grapes are fermented separately with natural yeasts and the Tempranillo then matured in ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Sour berry, rose, and chopped herb aromas follow through to the full-bodied palate along with black raspberry, licorice and a hint of mocha. Firm, ripe tannins provide the framework while a balsamic closes the finish. Drink 2018-2031. (KO)" (2/2016)
In the region of Cariñena, the Garnacha grape variety finds a lovely expression, one which is less high octane and lighter on its feet than in some of the neighboring regions. This easy drinker is a terrific bargain for anyone looking for a house red or a wine for a celebration.
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Bottled 3 weeks prior to my visit, the 2015 Côte de Brouilly was very closed on the nose though you can tell that it is packed to the rafters with fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with intense red and black fruit, superb mineralité and harmony, gradually building in the mouth with a compelling, tensile finish. What a fantastic Beaujolais in the making - about as good as it gets to be quite honest. If I taste a better QPR wine this year...no, just impossible. The good thing about visiting Château Thivin with only a sketchy idea of its location is that ...Read More »
Made from 20-year-old Pinot Noir planted in chalk and clay soils, vinified entirely in stainless steel, this is a super fresh and fun style of Pinot. It has everything you want in a Pinot--a touch of spice, pretty red and blue fruits, light tannin and a fresh, juicy finish.
92 points James Suckling: "This has a beautiful depth of fruit with spice and dark fruits. Hints of parsley and cilantro. Full and super silky with a long and beautiful finish." (5/2013) K&L Notes: Composed of the same grapes in the same percentages as the Crianza, the Reserva is a barrel selection of wines that Angel feels can undergo longer aging in barrel and then in bottle. Aged a total of 27 months in barrels, then into concrete for more than a year, the Reserva also sees bottle aging until Angel deems it ready for release. This wine ramps up the intensity of the Crianza, with more pungen... Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "*Top 100 Wines of 2014* The up-front mulberry and plum fruit is ripe and fleshy in this balanced red, with polished tannins. Notes of licorice string, graphite, tarry smoke and grilled mushroom push through midpalate and on the finish. Drink now through 2021. (AN)" (4/2014)
If you try to find the exact cepage on this always-fantastic red blend, you might find yourself gazing up at the heavens for an answer, since you won't get one from the winemaker. The Pleiades might be the only super-allocated, cult California wine for under $25, and it's sure to sell out quickly, as previous vintages have. From "one of California's most iconic and mystical winemakers," says Robert Parker: "Sean Thackrey has logged in 20 or more vintages of consistently stunning wines that perhaps say it all with the simple quote on his label: -Sean A. T... Read More »
90-92 points Wine Enthusiast: "This wine is made from property owned by the Bernard family of Domaine de Chevalier in Pessac-Léognan. It's a finely-made wine with great acidity and swathes of blackberry fruits. Well balanced and likely to age. (RV)" (4/2013) Wine Spectator: "Light loam and charcoal shadings line a core of plum skin and macerated blackberry fruit. A loamy edge lends a slightly chewy twinge to the finish. This has put on a bit of weight since the barrel tasting. (JM, Web-2015)"
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A blend 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot raised in 50% new oak and 50% one-year old barrels. The Capbern-Gasqueton 2009 has a very precise bouquet with ample red fruits: wild strawberry and raspberry with subtle earth and liquorice notes underneath and beginning to rise to the surface with each swirl of the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with good fruit concentration, slightly chalky tannins at this stage, good tension and mineralite coming through towards the finish with blacker fruits, one again with a hint of liquorice. Nice length and persis ...Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* This lower-priced Pinot from the Center of Effort team punches way above its weight in the vintage, showing light cherry-blossom and black-cherry aromas mixed with gamy meat and wet slate. Blackberry pie is cut with orange rind on the sip, with an earthy grip showing flavors of juniper, crushed clove and pipe tobacco." (10/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I found the 2014 Pinot Noir Fossil Point to be straightforward and a touch simple, but at 19 bucks, who can argue. Medium-bodied, well made and with pretty notes of sweet cherries, framboise and spice, this value ...Read More »
94 points Wine Spectator: "Licorice, cherry and tar notes mark this intense, chewy red, packed with sweet fruit midpalate that offsets the dense, dusty tannins. Shows fine integration and length, with the aftertaste echoing licorice, cherry, tar and mineral details. Best from 2019 through 2035." (7/2016) 92 points James Suckling: "A red with lots of ripe fruit such as plum, strawberry and leather both on the nose and palate. Full body, velvety tannins and a fresh finish. Drink or hold." (3/2016)
Wine Spectator: "This concentrated, full-bodied red layers notes of cherry tart, fig, and black olive, edged with paprika and mocha flavors. Grippy tannins and firm, integrated acidity show solid structure to back up the minerally finish. Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault. Drink now through 2020. (Web Only-2016)" K&L Notes: We met Marie Chauffray at the Vinifilles tasting in January of 2015 in Montpellier. The Vinifilles (which means "wine girls") is an association of women producers who own and operate their own estates. From growing to winemaking to marketing, they are involved in eve... Read More »
A K&L Exclusive Direct Import. Made by 20+ year veteran, Yarra Valley winemaker David Bicknell. David is considered by many as one of the best winemakers in all of Australia. The "Over The Shoulder" label is basically estate fruit that didn't quite make the cut for the much more expensive single vineyard bottlings but still represents excellent quality and an exceptional value. This is a more elegant, medium bodied style with very moderate alcohol, bright, crunchy berry fruit, spice and lovely earthy, forest floor nuances. Think of it like a great bottle... Read More »
Wow! An insane value in Cabernet from famed (Jimmy Watson Trophy Winner) winemaker Jeremy Gordon. Trellis is a new line of wines from Margaret River-based Amelia Park. The fruit, as with all of Amelia Park's wines, is sourced from some of the best vineyards in the region. Most producers in this ultra-premium wine region charge top dollar for their wines, how Amelia Park can deliver this level of quality, for these tiny prices, continues to amaze me. Jeremy makes beautiful, pure, fruit driven wines with excellent richness, balance and polish. This is just... Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "A super refined wine with sliced berry plus hints of cedar and vanilla. Full-bodied, bright and crisp; lovely finish. Drink now." (10/2015) 92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Dark berry, underbrush and tobacco aromas lead the nose of this vibrant, structured wine while the palate doles out black cherry, fresh raspberry, licorice and clove. Fresh acidity and supple tannins balance the juicy flavors. Drink through 2018. (KO)" (9/2015) 92 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buy* This is rich and sumptuous, boasting pure flavors of cherry and raspberry, matched to a juicy texture. There are plenty of tannins neatly folded into ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "An absolutely fabulous value is the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa. This comes from multiple sources and there are 46,000+ cases of it. A stunning Cabernet Sauvignon and a classic example of Napa viticulture, this blend of 75.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, was aged just over two years in oak. Loads of sweet blackcurrant fruit, cocoa, a touch of toast, earth, and baking spice are all present in this wine that has terrific fruit on the attack and mid-palate, a full-bodied mouthfeel, no hard edges and a lus ...Read More »
James Suckling: "A bright and fresh pinot noir with sliced lemon, strawberry and flower character. Medium body, crisp and clean. Light tannins and clean and fresh finish. Drink now." (6/2016) K&L Notes: Olema is produced by the folks at Amici Cellars. Fruit for their 2014 Pinot Noir is 50% Russian River Valley, 25% Sonoma Coast, and 25% Sonoma County. The wine was aged in 35% new French oak barrels before bottling. From the winery: " A burst of fresh black cherry, ripe strawberry and cola spice on the nose lead to deep flavors of red fruits with hints of earth, warm spice and vio... Read More »
91 points Vinous: "Healthy full red. Deep aromas of blackberry, black cherry and mocha are complemented by balsamic nuances. Concentrated, sappy and savory, displaying saline nuances to the black cherry and plum flavors. Finishes with serious depth and the broad, polished tannins to support aging. (ID)" (1/2016) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Cannonau di Sardegna Costera hits all the right buttons. This is a steady and well presented red wine from the heart of the Mediterranean. It shows a high level of confidence and boldness with big, black cherry aromas followed by more subtle nuances of spice ...Read More »
Just to the north of Cobieres and to the east of the walled city of Carcassonne, lies Minervois. The appellation has equally diverse soils like Corbieres but limestone and clay are its primary ones. This is a warm region with a very Mediterranean climate. The hills are covered with the local scrub, known as garrigue, forests and vineyards. Our newest producer from the region is Domaine Tour Boisée. The domaine dates back to 1826 and is still run by its descendants. Now farming about 200 hectares of vines, the winery was recently certified organic. This ... Read More »
As difficult as it is to produce excellent Pinot Noir, it is even more difficult to do so at a fine value. In their development of the Banshee label, the winemakers gained a stable of quality sources for Pinot fruit from the finest AVAs in California. The 2014 Sonoma County Pinot Noir is the sixth vintage from the enterprising team at Banshee Wines. A large percentage of it is still sourced from the Sonoma Coast, often declassified barrels from vineyards that close followers of top-tier West Coast Pinot may recognize. From the producer: "As with past vin... Read More »
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Arrowood deserves a lot more credit than he often gets for his Cabernet Sauvignons, which are long-lived. Some of the early Château St. Jean Cabernet Sauvignons have stood the test of time, and those made under the Arrowood label, especially his Reserves, are 30+ year wines at the minimum. The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, which is 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot, is brilliant. Notes of graphite, crème de cassis, blueberry and blackberry along with some espresso are all present in this dense, full-bodied wine with great fruit, beautiful puri ...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 »
The 2014 Rickshaw Pinot Noir is the sixth vintage from the team at Banshee Wines, known for elegant, food-friendly coastal Pinot and Chardonnay. Via the Rickshaw bottling, Banshee can offer a phenomenal value, thanks to relationships they've built with growers over the years from the finest AVAs in California. The largest share of fruit is sourced from the Sonoma Coast, followed by Anderson Valley and the Central Coast. The appeal of the wine is driven by its balance of fruit and earth tones, so just 10% of the juice sees new oak (the remainder being onc... Read More »
Coming from a single, small tank of press wine from their Casablanca Valley vineyards, located close to the cooling influence of the Pacific, this is delicious Pinot Noir! Brightly fruited, and bolstered by firm tannins that provide structure without distraction, I would be hard pressed to think of a tastier, more honest expression of Pinot, especially if what you are after is a highly drinkable wine that does not aim to be the biggest, the most fruity or the most highly awarded. This is a great deal in everyday Pinot! (Joe Manekin, K&L Chilean wine buye... Read More »
90 points Vinous: "Bright ruby-red. Lively, spice-accented aromas and flavors of fresh raspberry and cherry, with subtle anise and white pepper notes adding complexity. Bright and penetrating on the palate, showing no excess fat. A sexy floral nuance emerges on the back half and the berry note repeats on the finish, which is given shape by even tannins. This label, which owner Brian Talley is quick to say is not a second label for Talley, has steadily improved in recent years and the wines, without exception, deliver big bang for the buck. While it might not be exactly cor ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Then multi-vintage blend that until recently has been available only at the winery in Napa Valley...Deep ruby with a pale rim. Very sweet, ripe, penetrating nose that screams Napa Valley. An edge of cocoa. Light, lively and open with just a little bit of rusty nail on the end. Perfectly friendly..." (9/2016) K&L Notes: "Overture" is Opus One's homage to the Bordeaux blend. Varietals are blended across multiple vintages to achieve a final non-vintage wine that is complex and elegant. It's meant to capture the "essence of the estate over time". Aged in French oak, ... Read More »