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K&L Staff Recommendations
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Coming all from Paso Robles, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (100% Cabernet aged in stainless steel) is a forward, charming wine that has lots of upfront jammy blackberry, savory herbs, licorice and a hint of graphite to go with a medium-bodied, supple, nicely focused feel on the palate. There's a solid kick of tannin on the finish, so pair this with some fatty meat over the coming couple of years. Readers looking for killer values need look no further than this Foxglove releases from Jim and Bob Varner. (JD)" (10/2016) Vinous: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon from Foxglov ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent value that has classic Cabernet notes of black currants, plums, graphite and some herbal aromas and flavors. Blended with 16% Syrah, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Zinfandel, and aged 16 months in French and American oak, drink this medium-bodied, nicely balanced 2014 over the coming 4-5 years. (JD)" (8/2016) Vinous: "Dark purple. Spice-accented dark fruits and pipe tobacco on the perfumed nose. Supple and appealingly sweet, showing good depth to the ripe black currant and cherry flavors. Finishes smooth, broad and a touch warm ...Read More »
Two talented Paso Robles winemakers joined forces to craft this Cabernet - Curt Schlachlin and Andrew Jones. Curt is winemaker at Sans Liege, known for his high-scoring yet affordable wines, and Andrew is winemaker at Field Recordings and spends most days planting vineyards and walking just about every vineyard in the Central Coast! Tasting notes from the winery: "The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon greets you with scents of lush blue fruit and memories of your grandfather’s briarwood pipe. As the flavor begins to march across your palate it leaves behind hints ... Read More »
Organically grown, Justin's 2014 Cabernet is rich and full bodied. Black fruit, spice, tobacco, violet and savory herbal notes will satisfy any red wine lover.
This is a delicious collaboration between Talley winemaker Eric Johnson and our domestic buyer Bryan Brick. A wonderfully balanced, beautiful Chardonnay, if we do say so ourselves.
Ancient Peaks has become known for producing one of Paso Robles’ most acclaimed Zinfandels. Here, amid one of the region’s coolest growing environments, the Zinfandel grape achieves a rare balance of robust flavors and elegant structure. Zinfandel has been a cornerstone variety of Paso Robles for more than 100 years, and the folks at Ancient Peaks are proud to feature it in their small family of wines.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "***Editors' Choice*** This is a strong wine for the price, unfolding with caramelized berries, kirsch, black cassis, wet river stone and tight plum skins on the dense nose. Cooked blackberries and black-cherry jam show on the palate, where elegant graphite tannins make for a very silky, earthy wine. (MK)" (9/2016) K&L Notes: Quietly Concannon Vineyard has one of the longest histories in the California Wine Industry. Dating back to 1883 when James Concannon set up his winery in the Livermore Valley, recognizing that it was strikingly similar to the terroir of Bordeaux... Read More »
We couldn't be more excited to bring you another installment in what hopefully will turn out to be a long, fruitful project with wineries from around the United States, working with us directly to make exclusive bottlings for our customers. The Domestic team here at K&L has spent a great deal of time kicking around the idea of approaching wineries or winemakers we love, and asking them to work with us to create exclusive wines to our specifications. Furthermore we wanted to not only promote these outstanding wines, but the wineries behind them (rather th... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The two Zinfandels among the current releases include the 2014 Zinfandel Paso Robles, which comes from the Benito Dusi Ranch. One hundred percent Zinfandel tipping the scales at 14.4%, this straightforward, dark ruby-colored Zinfandel offers briary, spicy, easygoing strawberry and black cherry fruit. It is medium-bodied, cleanly made, and best drunk over the next 4-5 years. (RP)" (8/2016) Wine Spectator: "Sleek and focused, offering a gentle complexity. Aromas of raspberry and dill lead to zesty flavors of cherry, licorice and smoky white pepper. Drink now through 2024. ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Zinfandel is a brambly, spice, raspberry and blackberry-scented effort that has medium-bodied richness, an upfront, sexy texture and no hard edges. Drink this balanced, incredibly enjoyable Zinfandel over the coming couple of years. Readers looking for killer values need look no further than this Foxglove releases from Jim and Bob Varner." (10/2016) Vinous: "The 2014 Zinfandel is another delicious, value-priced red from the Varner brothers. Pinot-influenced aromatics meld into a core of sweet red berry fruit. Rich, deep and luscious in a fruit-driven styl ...Read More »
From the Winery: "The 2015 vintage comes exclusively from Block 41 at Margarita Vineyard, where the vines occupy rocky alluvial soils that vary in density, elevation and exposure. As the block slopes downward from its crown, the soils become thicker, and the temperatures more brisk. These variances shape the fruit and contribute dimension to the final blend. The 2015 Sauvignon Blanc leans into the nose with vivid varietal signatures, including notes of lime zest, grassy herb and gooseberry. The palate is crisp and clean, offering quenching flavors of gra... Read More »
Two talented Paso Robles winemakers joined forces to craft this wine - Curt Schlachlin and Andrew Jones. Curt is winemaker at Sans Liege, known for his high-scoring yet affordable wines, and Andrew is winemaker at Field Recordings and spends most days planting vineyards and walking just about every vineyard in the Central Coast.
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "This hearty blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc and 9% Merlot is what put Justin on the map, and it still impresses with its elegantly woven tobacco, leather, cocoa, blueberry, and caramel aromas. It hits the palate softly, showing black cherry, baking spice, milk chocolate and faint mint notes, ending in a finish that reveals a firm tannic structure. (MK)" (4/2017) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Rich and full-bodied, with an alluring mix of loamy earth, dark berry, licorice and spicy oak flavors. Features a long, persistent follow-through. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet F ...Read More »
Harvested from the newly designated Santa Margartia Ranch and Estrella District AVAs in Paso Robles, Broadside crafts their Cabernet Sauvignon with minimal intervention for the sake of varietal purity and expression of vintage and terroir. The wine is aged for 14 months in neutral oak (both French and American). From the winery: "Our 2014 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon highlights a beautiful vintage. A balanced growing season lent itself to producing impeccable fruit, not unlike 2013, with slightly greater intensity and concentration. A strong showing of... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* This blend of 55% Syrah, 29% Grenache,10% Mourvèdre and 6% Counoise offers boisterous yet elegant aromas of blackberry, boysenberry and dried violet that are met with hints of crushed marjoram and white pepper. Once sipped, mulberry and exotic plum flavors mesh with wild mint on a brooding yet bright and fresh palate." (10/2016) 91 points Vinous: "Brilliant red. High-pitched aromas of ripe red berries, cherry and fresh flowers; bright mineral and peppery spice scents build in the glass. Energetic and appealingly sweet, offering intense raspberry and lavende ...Read More »
Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star & Good Value* Clean and nicely composed with an attractive nose of juicy red cherries backed up by a trim bit of creamy oak, this well-crafted offering earns the nod for its fine sense of balance, its steady, well-focused fruit and its youthfully tight, slightly claret-like construction. It shows more winemaking polish and depth than its modest price might lead one to expect, and it has all of the right pieces in place to improve for a good half-decade or more. It is, in short, a lot of wine for the money, and it ranks high on our list of excep ...Read More »
Vintage notes: "The 2013 vintage started with a very dry winter followed by a warm, dry and early spring. The weather turned hot in late May and staying that way through July. The first 10 days of August were cooler and slowed things a bit, but the heat returned and we began harvesting on August 19, making 2013 our fifth earliest harvest start in JUSTIN history. September and October gave us perfect conditions to harvest cabernet franc from mid-September through early October with an attractive red fruit and finesse while the earlier ripening merlot star... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Deep and lush aromas of candied blueberry and black cherry meet with chocolate cake, light brown spices and a touch of beef jerky on the nose of this judiciously priced wine. Though a tad light on the palate at first, it has an energetic and spicy acidity that carries forth flavors of tobacco and black fruit. (MK)" (12/2016)
98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A massive, gorgeously rich and decadent version of this cuvee, the 2014 Estate Cuvee (50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Syrah and 15% Petit Verdot) is reminiscent of a 2005 Pomerol with its huge bouquet of cassis, toasted spice, graphite, damp earth and leafy herb aromas and flavors. Thick, full-bodied, unctuous and palate-saturating, yet still with purity and grace, it's an insanely good Bordeaux blend (or close) from Paso Robles that will have two decades of overall longevity. One of the reference point estates in Paso Robles is unquestionably Stephan Asseo ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Red cherry, vanilla, chaparral scrub and cranberry puree show on the nose of this bottling from the longtime estate, and then come the intriguing olive and Middle Eastern spices. The palate hones in on that Mediterranean spice character, with Kalamata olives blending into lavender, exotic mulberry and thyme-laced cherry-plum sauce." (7/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A well made, charming effort that offers lots of raspberry, cherry and spice aromas and flavors, the 2014 Classic Estate Pinot Noir (from various clones) is forward, nicely textured and ready to go. I ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
A collaborative effort between three families (Filipponi, Rossi, and Wittstrom), Ancient Peaks has a special location within the Paso Robles AVA. From the winery: "Our estate Margarita Vineyard stands alone as the southernmost vineyard in the Paso Robles region, tucked beneath the peaks of the Santa Lucia Mountains just 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Here, the vines unfold along a rare array of soils amid one of the region’s coolest growing environments. The resulting wines express an unmistakable sense of place, with balanced structure and flavors tha... Read More »
This Zinfandel features fruit from 8 different vineyards in the Paso Robles region and the wine is aged for 10 months in French Oak barrels.
90 points Vinous: "(aged in a 50/50 combination of French and American oak, 35 percent of it new) Inky ruby. Ripe cherry, dark berries and a hint of vanilla on the perfumed nose. Sweet, seamless dark fruit, mocha and spicecake flavors put on weight and gain energy with air. Rich yet lively; a peppery element adds cut to the long, focused finish, and fine-grained tannins add grip. Talley's side project, which is not exactly a second label as the wines may include fruit that is sourced from outside Arroyo Grande, is a consistently excellent source for elegant wines that deli ...Read More »
A new release from Sandy Garber and Ralph Meyer's Topanga Vineyards, a "négociant" winery, blending excellent lots of wine that don't have a high-priced label go under, to make stylistically consistent, great value signature bottlings. The Chroma Cab is varietally correct and food friendly. If you're looking for your next weeknight Cab for under $20, look no further.
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "There's roughly a thousand cases of the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, and this 100% Cabernet offers full-bodied, ripe and voluptuous notes of creme de cassis, black currants, coffee beans and ample sweet oak. It has a serious, tightly wound and tannic feel, and will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and have 10-15 years of overall longevity. This was a massive tasting with brothers Daniel and Georges Daou, who have a large estate located high up off of Adelaida Road. While they release a terrific Syrah blend, their focus is on Bordeaux varieties, ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
Andrew Jones learned to make wine from the ground up. He started as a vine nursery fieldman, planting and planning vineyards for wineries all over California. This gave him firsthand knowledge of nearly every vineyard on the Central Coast and a knack for finding "diamonds in the rough." Meanwhile, he was building friendships with some great California growers, who'd often offer him small lots of their best grapes on the side. From these beginnings he has built a catalog of delicious, affordable wines that hum with personality.
93 points Vinous: "(72% Roussanne, 23% Grenache Blanc, 5% Picpoul Blanc) Light bright yellow. Smoky aromas of poached pear, honey and pungent flowers, backed by a hint of succulent herbs. Pliant and sappy in the mouth, offering subtly sweet orchard and pit fruit flavors and a refreshing jolt of bitter citrus pith. Deftly combines power and finesse and closes sappy, gently sweet and impressively long, leaving a suave pear nectar note behind. (JR)" (6/2016) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A seriously aromatic white (which isn't the norm for Rhone blends), the 2014 Esprit Blanc de Tablas (72% Roussanne, 23% G ...Read More »
Vinous: "Deep ruby. Black raspberry, cherry compote and peppery aromas are complicated by herb and white pepper notes. Seamless, round and vaguely jammy, offering juicy dark fruit flavors that deliver good, straightforward appeal. Finishes smooth and subtly smoky, displaying easy-going tannins and a hint of lingering warmth. (JR)" (9/2016)
Inventory: San Francisco
91 points Vinous: "Deep ruby. Lively, spice-laced aromas of dark berries and candied flowers, complemented by subtle vanilla and woodsmoke notes in the background. Starts off taut and firm, then gains weight and breadth, offering gently sweet blackberry and cherry flavors and a touch of candied licorice. Finishes juicy and long, with building tannins coming in very slowly. This wine is tighter than the Luna Matta bottling and a bit less come-hither in character, at least for now. (JR)" (6/2016) Jancis Robinson: "10% new French oak. Violet candy and perfume. Almost creamy mid palate. Mouthwate ...Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The entry level cuvee that readers should snag a case of is the 2014 Optimus. Made from 42% Syrah, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Petit Verdot, it's a supple, seamless and elegant wine that gives a small window into the quality and style from this terrific estate. Its deep purple color is followed by classy notes of black raspberries, spice box, dried flowers and underbrush in a full-bodied, balanced and lengthy package. It lacks the depth and length of the top cuvee here, but it is nevertheless a beautiful wine to drink over the coming 7-8 years. One o ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Looking at the 2011s from bottle, and always a rock-solid bottle of wine and a great entry into the style here, the 2011 Estate Blend offers up plenty of ripe plum, licorice, crushed flowers and violet-like nuances as well as a medium to full-bodied, balanced profile in the mouth. Showing the cooler vintage with its overall freshness and focus, it’s beautifully done and should drink nicely for 3-5 years, Drink now-2018. An estate that continues to go from strength to strength, Epoch is owned by Bill and Liz Armstrong, with the wines made by Jordan Fiore ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
92 points Vinous: "Bright ruby. Mineral-accented red fruit liqueur scents are complemented by suggestions of white pepper and candied flowers. Fleshy, seamless and gently sweet on the palate, offering juicy cherry and raspberry flavors underscored by a smoky mineral quality. Shows excellent clarity and spicy lift on the finish, which is given shape by smooth, harmonious tannins. The Grenache component is really showing itself right now. (JR)" (9/2016) 92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Fresh-pressed boysenberry and olallie-berry aromas are lifted by tons of inviting violet florality, garrigue-like potpourri a ...Read More »
Jeff Runquist banked 19 years making wine in California before opening his own winery. During that time, he developed close relationships with growers and is now able to source first-rate fruit for his own wines.
Russell From is the man behind Herman Story Wines, a Central Coast phenomenon since 2001. Unpretentious, unmanipulated, and undeniably good wines.
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "This wine begins a bit wound-up and restrained on the nose, but then reveals waves of cassis, blackcurrant, elderberry and caramelized beef tips. The flavors are woven together perfectly, showing deep blueberry syrup, dark-chocolate chips, brighter plums, lovely lilacs and a touch of tar. It's deep, dark and complex." (12/2016) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another outstanding wine from the estate is the 2013 Moose, which is named after the Estate's founding partner, Lloyd Messer, whose nickname was Moose. Made from 82% Syrah and 18% Petit Verdot, aged 28 months in French oak (45% new) ...Read More »
The Benito Dusi Ranch in Paso Robles is the only vineyard that Ridge uses south of the San Francisco Bay area. Originally planted by Sylvester and Caterina Dusi in 1923 after emigrating from Italy, these old vines produce phenomenal fruit. With excellent Zinfandel-growing temperatures and rocky soils, the Dusi Vineyard wines are known for their juicy bramble fruit and velvety tannins. According to the winery, these are wines that "consistently show deep, juicy bramble fruit on the palate, along with notes of black cherry, gravelly earth, and rich chocola... Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of the standouts in the single variety blends was the 2013 Syrah which saw 19 months in 2-year-old foudre. It's a beautiful and classic Syrah that has an inky purple color, lots of black fruits, peppery herbs and smoked earth aromas and flavors plus medium to full-bodied richness on the palate. Showing the standard freshness and purity of the estate, it will impress for upward of a decade. I had a terrific visit with Jason Haas and Neil Collins at Tablas Creek, and while I think their 2012s are a step back, the 2013s are superb, and the 2014s look e ...Read More »
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Looking at the 2014s, these are serious wines that are reminiscent of Stephan's sensational 2012s (which were some of the top rated wines in the vintage). The 2014 Cote a Cote is 50% Grenache, 28% Mourvedre and 22% Syrah, all from the limestone soils of the estate L'Aventure vineyard. Deep, full-bodied, gorgeously layered and with plenty of fine tannin, this big, rich 2014 is loaded with notions of cassis, toasted spice, peppery herbs and graphite. Still backwards and tight, yet loaded with potential, give bottles 2-3 years and enjoy over the following d ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
A blend of four grapes: Syrah, Petite Sirah, Grenache and Mourvedre, mostly from the Huerhuero Vineyard in Paso Robles. Scents of red cherries and plums give way to anise, caramel and spice and carry over to the fresh, medium-bodied palate.
90 points Vinous: "Ruby-red. Aromas of fresh dark berries, cherry and spicecake are complemented by subtle woodsmoke and dark chocolate nuances. Concentrated black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors become livelier with air, picking up a hint of candied flowers. Fine-grained tannins emerge slowly on a long, sappy finish that echoes the berry and spice notes. Pretty impressive for a Pinot from this region, which is hardly known for producing delicate wines. After extensive construction, work a fancy new tasting room and visitors’ center has been completed at this strikingl ...Read More »
89-92 points Vinous: "Another expressive Paso Robles wine, the 2015 Zinfandel Dusi Vineyard is ripe, powerful and intense, with notable breadth to hand all of that dark fruit. Today, the Dusi is a bit burly, but it all works well." (12/2016) 91 points Wine Spectator: "Soft, silky and subtly structured, with briary wild berry and orange peel aromas and ripe raspberry, grilled sage and cracked pepper flavors. Drink now through 2026." (2/2017)
Inventory: Redwood City