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K&L Staff Recommendations
This Chardonnay is produced by the three brothers Couillaud at the Château de la Ragotière, a few minutes from the Atlantic near the mouth of the Loire River, where the maritime climate is ideal for producing whites that are refreshing and bright. The Couillauds age most of this wine on its lees until bottling to add weight and texture with around 10% being barrel-fermented in French oak for the faintest touch of toastiness. Saveur magazine wrote about a previous vintage: "This value-priced Chardonnay tastes crisp and bright. It comes from the western Lo... Read More »
This Sauvignon Blanc from Touraine displays an intense, classic nose of cut grass, pepper and, believe it or not, pineapples and lemons, with plenty of minerality. Very crisp and refreshing, like a cross between a classic Touraine and a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, at an astonishingly low price! Perfect with seafood. Grown in an area located between the Loire River and the Cher River and sandwiched between the towns of Tours and Blois, the wine shows the classic characteristics of the rich clay soils that are fortified with flint and limestone. Very brig... Read More »
This is a fresh, snappy berry-driven rosé with delicate floral notes. It's bright and crisp, delicious with or without food. Domaine les Pins has been family run for five generations. They are a small artisanal producer that oversees every stage of the production from start to finish. They have roughly 30 hectares of Cabernet Franc spread out through the Bourgueil and St-Nicolas de Bourgueil regions. They practice sustainable farming, and each and every vine gets singular attention throughout the year. Vines of an average age of 25 years are planted in s... Read More »
Invigorating and fresh, with lemony citrus aromas and flavors accented by delicate white flowers. The palate is full and fresh, with balanced acidity and minerality on the finish. This a style of wine that keeps your palate fresh and alive. Although easy to drink, it has complexity and intrigue up and down the aromatic and palate. You'll want another after the first one has disappeared. (Eric Story, K&L Loire buyer)
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur lie Harmonie offers a very clear, elegant and pure bouquet of ripe pears with fresh citrus flavors. Full-flavored, juicy and full of minerals, this is a gorgeously pure and elegant but also sensual and stimulating Muscadet in perfect balance. The finish is pretty long, aromatic and structured, which is what makes this still primarily fruity wine highly attractive to be drunk young, although this Muscadet will gain even more complexity over the years." (10/2016) K&L Notes: Michel & Nathalie Delhommeau farm 28 hectares of vines plan... Read More »
Sancerre at half the price! The Fournier family, with roots as deep as their vines in this region, seem to be related to just about everyone in some way. They've been farming and producing wines in Sancerre for generations. We are pleased to have been offered this wine, yet again, at such a great price. Soft, subtle mineral notes are wrapped up in aromatics of melon and citrus. Clean, bright and refreshing, this is a perfect little Sauvignon Blanc. Tropical fruit, citrus and spice aromas and flavors, with vibrant acidity and minerality. Perfect for goat ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Pure fruitiness holds the balance of this wine between crisp acidity and a tightly mineral texture. It comes from the producer's Bué vineyards, one of the top villages of Sancerre. The wine is crisp, made to be drunk young and fruity. (RV)" (12/2016) Wine Spectator: "Lively, with a bold jolt of gooseberry leading the way, followed by lemon zest and thyme notes. Flinty zip on the finish. (JM, Web-2016)" K&L Notes: This Sancerre has a pale yellow color with hints of flashing green. Aromatically, it possesses a nice fruity component of crispy white peaches, melon, yellow plums and the typ... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "A soft sparkler, featuring cherry, peach and strawberry notes, with a pillowy finish. (JM, Web—2013)" K&L Notes: A wine with tiny, long-lasting bubbles, Deligeroy's Cremant de Loire Rosé is a lovely gleaming pink, enticing with a delicate, nervy nose and aromas of fresh red fruit. It's lively on the attack and has lovely aromatic intensity and brightness. Well-balanced in the mouth, this sparkler is enhanced by a fresh but subtle finish. The wine is stored for at least 12 months on racks in freestone cellars before disgorging to make incomparably fine bubbles. The fr... Read More »
A partnership between Rodolphe and Ludivine Marteau, the fourth generation to make wine from their family's estate. Of their 29 acres, 20 are devoted to Sauvignon Blanc. With vines averaging 20 years and very detail-oriented farming, they harvest the best quality fruit possible. Tasting notes from the importer: "The nose offers an intense 'fruit basket' dominated by citrus scents with a note of blackcurrant bud. In the mouth, all is suppleness and elegance. The final spicy note emphasizes the freshness and the generous length of this Touraine Sauvignon."... Read More »
The wines of this family domaine have been a staple here at K&L since the 1994 vintage, when Franck and Betty Millet drove from Sancerre to Beaune (a long way) to meet Clyde and crew to present the wines. The wines were great even in that tough vintage, and the rest is history. We love these wines for their freshness, charm and affordability, and this is easily our best value Sancerre in the store. From soils of clay and chalk in the village of Bue near the Domaine. The Millet keeps you coming back for more. It is vinified entirely in stainless steel to ... Read More »
Pineau d'Aunis is a dark-skinned wine grape variety whose story began in the Loire Valley in the Middle Ages. Despite once being popular with royalty on both sides of the English Channel, the variety is now increasingly rare, and is limited to a role in the rosés and light reds of the central Loire. It is valued for the gently peppery spiciness it brings to the area's rosé wines, a role mirrored by the Carignan and Tibouren used to make the famous rosé wines of Provence. When the elements grant the Loire a vintage with warm weather more akin to that foun... Read More »
One of K&L's very finest buys from France. This is a reserve cuvée, made from Millet's chalkiest limestone soils. There is a long maceration at very low temperatures to extract as much flavor and character as possible. The resulting wine is intensely charged with stone fruit and minerality, with bright citrus notes. The wines of this family domaine have been a staple here at K&L since the 1994 vintage when Franck and Betty Millet drove a long way (to Beaune!) on Easter Sunday to meet Clyde and crew to present the wines. We love these wines for their fres... Read More »
A lovely nose of apples, citrus, tropical fruits and dusty gravel. This is a bright and energetic wine that also carries good texture and finishing length. Very well balanced from start to finish, making for a well-focused drink while retaining a higher quality level. Made from 35-year-old vines planted in sandy clay soils. After harvest the fruit is allowed to rest on its skins for a bit longer in order to extract a bit more aromatic and palate complexity. Fermentation is low and slow and done in 100% stainless-steel tank. The wine is then allowed to re... Read More »
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.
Joël Taluau is a fabulous grower in St. Nicolas de Bourgueil known for making some of the purest expressions of Cabernet Franc in the Loire, which are unmarred by the intrusion of oak. He was also the first producer in the appellation to begin domaine bottling. These days, Joel makes wines with the help of his son-in-law, Thierry Foltzenlogel. Their "Expression" comes from vines up to 35 years old, planted on a hillside with clay and limestone. The terroir is perfect for a youthful expression of Cabernet Franc that's immediately drinkable and fresh, with... Read More »
Made from Cabernet Franc grapes grown on a clay-limestone hillside, this fruity and aromatic wine drinks wonderfully, even when the wine is very young. The Cabernet France grapes are completely destemmed and vatted for 12-18 days, depending on the year. Fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats. The result is is an elegant, round and easy-to-drink wine that smells of violets and tastes of heaven!
Maison Couly-Dutheil is undeniably one of the finest estates of Chinon, with eighty acres of prime Chinon vineyards as well as seven hectares of Saumur and Saumur-Champigny. The estate's Chinon holdings are impressive indeed as they spread over three distinct Chinon terroirs: Sand and gravel along the Vienne River which produce light and fruit driven wines, siliceous slopes and plateaus which impart a certain finesse and elegance to Chinon; and finally clay and limestone slopes which produce Chinon's most serious and profound wines. The Domaine's masterp... Read More »
This is a straightforward refreshing version of Vouvray Chenin Blanc. With a gold color, this wine is dry and smooth. It displays very nice citrus and fruity notes like ripe peach and green pear as well as flower aromas such as sweet acacia. The wine is round and fruity, well balanced and ends super fresh. A killer value in 100% Chenin Blanc. Picked from 45-year-old vines and then vinified in stainless and aged in tank for 2-3 months. Fantastic with fish dishes with an exotic flair and, of course, the typical meat and cheese starter plates.
Wine Spectator: "This crackles nicely, with lime, fleur de sel and thyme notes rippling through. Lively finish. (JM, Web-2016)" K&L Notes: This Muscadet is very pure and bright, with an intense floral bouquet with overtones of spice and fruit. The richness, balance and freshness of this wine make it an excellent example of its appellation. It is enjoyable young, but will age well for several years. It is, however, unlikely you'll be able to save some--it's that good. Perfect accompaniment to fish and seafood dishes.
Méthode Traditionnelle (same process as Champagne) 60% Chardonnay 40% Folle Blanche grown in soils consisting of chalk and flint on the south side of the Loir. This fun bubbly is fresh, vibrant yet delicate and textural. Subtle hints of brioche with a ultrathin spread of fruit which adds to the aromatic. There is a nice richness on the palate which comes from the Chardonnay and then finishes clean and mouthwatering thanks to the Folle Blanche. This is a super food-friendly bubbly, but will double down and be a fantastic stand-around cocktail sipper as we... Read More »
The Crochet domaine evolved through the marriage of the Crochet and Picard families, with the latter family having commenced its vineyard holdings in the Sancerre district as early as 1765. It was the great-grandfather of Lucien Crochet who first installed that part of the family in the region and it was in 1934 that the first bottling of wines occurred at the domaine. The domaine now is under the direction of Lucien Crochet and his son, Gilles. Much of the Crochet holdings are located in the fabled vineyards of the Clos du Chene Marchand and Clos du Roy... Read More »
The low-alcohol Millet Sancerre Rouge is 100% Pinot Noir, partially barrel aged, and absolutely delicious. Aromas of cherries and purple flowers give way to a vibrant, crunchy red-fruited palate with just a enough tannins to balance out the juicy fruit.
Bright and driven style of Gamay Rose. Perfectly dry finish with spiced red fruits and hints of stone fruit. This comes from the little known AOC of Côte Roannaise, which was established in 1994 and sits about 50 kilometers west of Lyon in the Loire Valley. The granitic soils of this southern appellation are well-suited to Gamay, and especially to the family-owned Domaine Robert Sérol, now being run by the fifth generation. The domaine's namesake, Robert, was the first in the family to bottle the wines, and he can be still found wandering the property to... Read More »
This wine is 100% cabernet franc. Sustainable practices are used in the vineyard, and the fruit is mechanically harvested and completely destemmed. Fermentation and ageing takes place in stainless steel temperature-controlled vats.
This 100-percent Cabernet Franc was farmed biodynamically and organically in one of the world's best growing spots for the grape. Vines range from 15 to 50 years in age and are planted in sandy clay and Turonian-era limestone. Extra attention is paid to select the very best fruit by hand, then fermentation takes place with native yeasts. After 8 months of aging in concrete vats, the wine is bottled without fining or filtering. This careful winemaking allows the purest expression of Loire Valley Cabernet Franc to shine through.
From the lesser known enclave of Cheverny comes this delightful red blend of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Gamay. Full of bright red fruit and supple sweet tannins this is a great crossover for fans of Beaujolais and Pinot Noir alike.
Jancis Robinson: "Organic farming. Intense crimson. Peppery, crunchy dark-red fruit, just a little smoky. A fine texture - silky but dry. Gentle and fresh, subtle. (JH)" (3/2016) K&L Notes: This is produced all in stainless steel, solely from Cabernet Franc that is grown on a limestone slope. It has a rich ruby color and excellent structure. A nice fruity style of Chinon, this value-priced wine has a subtle peppery spice, ripe dark berries and a soft, chalky mineral character that really makes the fruity core come to life. There are rich tannins on the finish and a juicy freshness th... Read More »
Vinous: "Light, bright orange. Zesty, sharply focused citrus fruit and strawberry scents are complemented by suggestions of succulent herbs and candied rose. Juicy and gently sweet, offering pliant red fruit flavors and a touch of bitter blood orange. Clings with good, spicy tenacity, leaving a subtle rose pastille note behind. (JR)" (6/2016)
Certified organic since 2009, this domaine has been in the hands of the Caslot family since 1640, long before there was any other way of farming. Today, Stéphanie and her brother Emmanuel run the estate. There are over 80 acres of vines on the property. These vineyards are always harvested below 40 hectoliters per hectare (the legal permitted maximum yield is 55 hl/ha). The wines are made with indigenous yeast and usually bottled without fining or filtration. They are deliciously meaty, dense, and astonishingly age-worthy Loire Cabernet Francs.
This affordable, semi-dry white comes from Domaine Sylvain Gaudron, a family-owned domaine in Vouvray. Made entirely from Chenin Blanc grown in the region's famed clay and limestone soils, this version is fresh and elegant, with delicious quince and apple aromas and flavors and is an ideal partner for spicy Morroccan tagines and Southeast Asian curries.
Chateau d’Epiré is an 11 hectare estate and this bottling is sourced from 30-55 year old vines in schist soils. From importer Kermit Lynch: "Despite the beauty and timelessness of the building structures, it is the vineyard for which the domaine is best known. The Savennières from Epiré is regarded as Grand Cru. The domaine works primarily three parcels: La Croix Picot, Le Parc, and Le Hu-Boyau. It is the latter that sits just above another famous vineyard, La Coulée de Serrant. The soils here are rich, and the microclimate is ideal. Southern and south-e... Read More »
95 points Wine Spectator: "Offers a big, broad feel, with layers of glazed pear, apple and peach falling over each other, backed by fresh ginger, honeysuckle and quince notes. Everything pulls together through the finish, with green tea accents and racy minerality providing the foil. (JM)" (9/2016) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Moelleux displays open and elegant ripe fruit (pineapples, oranges) with some dusty flavors of crushed rocks. Powerful but full of finesse and elegance, this is a piquant and stimulating sweet wine with grip and tension. (SR)" (10/2016) K&L Notes: Maison Huet is a leading... Read More »
Muscadet as a simple, neutral, quaffing white? Not this one! Jo Landron is one of the very top producers in Muscadet. He has been completely organic since 1999 and is now on the way to being certified Biodynamic. He uses no chemicals of any kind in the vines, hand harvests, has natural yeast fermentations and plows all his vineyards. This cuvee is vinified with a very short time on the lees, without chaptalization, making this a super fresh and lower alcohol wine perfect with fresh oysters or as an aperitif. According to Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "J... Read More »
This bright and bold blend of 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Chardonnay has something for everyone, with the SB bringing powerful citrus aromatics and the Chardonnay adding roundness and body. Excellent with seafood, fish and charcuterie.
Biodynamically farmed vineyard, Demeter-certified since 1998. Wild yeast fermentation. The importer's tasting note: "Gneiss is the first of the 'expression' wines to be harvested, and the earliest to express itself. The nose is opulent and rich in white fruits with notes of pear, citrus, hazelnut and aromas of the sea. On the palate, the wine has a lively acidity and a minerally, saline finish."
Pascal Gitton is the current scion at the helm of Domaine Gitton. The estate began life as a 1.5-hectare parcel near Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre that his grandmother farmed in addition to running a bistro and épicerie. From these beginnings, the total of the family’s various holdings is now close to 27 hectares. Having grown to 3.5 hectares, the foundational site, whose calcareous soil is known as “Caillottes” locally, contributes the fruit for the Les Montachins bottling.
Wine Enthusiast: "From a former rock-star sommelier of the Parisian wine scene, this slightly sweet cider is produced from the fruit of apple trees more than 50 years old. Tones of baked apple drizzled with honey beg to be paired with warm apple pie à la mode. Don’t let the sweetness fool you—there’s enough tannin and acid to please even dry-seeking palates. (AP)" (9/2015) K&L Notes: A sommelier by training, in 1992 Eric took over his family's estate and orchards. His goal was to revolutionize the cider industry and bring it into restaurants, high-end retail and export markets. A clo... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "This wine is steely, with tight acidity and grapefruit and lime flavors. It is bright and lively, with a tense edge that needs to soften over the next few months. Drink from the end of 2016. (RV)" (5/2016)
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Assembled from diverse parcels with vines averaging 40 years, the bright, lemon yellow 2012 Vouvray Sec from Philippe Foreau starts somewhat versatile on the nose where refreshing citrus and white pip fruit aromas are intermixed with nutty and mineral flavors in a rather discreet way. The subtle aroma leads to a very elegant, pure, really dry, fresh, medium to full-bodied Chenin with a stunningly salty and long, tension-full finish. The meager purity, freshness and salinity reminds me of Manzanilla and works extremely well as an aperitif or with fish as ...Read More »
Vigneron by way of butcher, Pascal Janvier is one of those souls destined to make wine, despite himself. Fortunately, he wised up at age thirty and yielded to his inevitable fate. Today, Pascal and his wife Dominique farm a total of nine hectares in the department of the Sarthe in the Val du Loir, a tiny, stony hillside along the Loir River (a tributary of the Loire River), north of Vouvray that is also the most northerly--and coldest--of the regions of the Loire. The "Cuvée du Rosier" is 100% Pineau d'Aunis from 25-year-old vines planted to 1.6 ha of sa... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Vouvray Le Mont Demi-Sec is deep, rich and flinty on the nose, with caramel and vegetable flavors indicating a great complexity. Full-bodied, dense and powerful, this is highly complex and persistent, yet refreshing and transparent Chenin with a juicy fruit and lots of grip, energy and tension. Rather demure at the moment, this enormously structured wine has a great aging potential and I recommend to store it for 6-10 years, at least. (SR)" (10/2016) 93 points Wine Spectator: "Offers a flattering feel, with ginger cream and singed almond notes gliding along while the core o ...Read More »
Translated to mean "the son of the fat sheep," this delicious Muscadet is made by Claude Branger, a committed grower who farms his 61 acres in the heart of the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine appellation completely sustainably, with an attention to detail that translates to wines of superior quality. He harvests by hand, and bottles without fining or filtration. This is his entry-level Muscadet and a glorious value for the price. It is dry and fresh, with tangy lemony citrus aromas and flavors, delicate creaminess on the mid-palate, and a minerally finish. You w... Read More »
"A cabernet franc that showcases some of the higher tannic potential of the grape varietal but in a low-alcohol style that works perfectly for hotter weather and heavier dishes. Ruby in color this wine has a nose of red fruit including red plum, red currant and raspberry; there is also violet and a handful of fall green vegetable which lays underneath cedar and a dash of vanilla baking spice. On the palate grippy, earthy, medium-plus tannin shows on the attack ahead of the muted red fruit which emerges mid-palate towards a chalky finish. The wine is med... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "This profound, off-dry sparkling pear cider from Normandy comes from biodynamically farmed, 300-year-old trees." (5/2014) K&L Notes: A sommelier by training, in 1992 Eric took over his family's estate and orchards. His goal was to revolutionize the cider industry and bring it into restaurants, high-end retail and export markets. A close friend of his, Didier Dagueneau, the icon wine-maker in Pouilly-sur-Loire encouraged him down the path of producing ciders from apples and pears that are like no others. Ciders that make one draw comparisons to fine vintage wine. The ... Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "This shows the riper edge of the vintage, featuring intense yellow apple and quince flavors laced with a lively anise note. Delivers a rounded mouthfeel without giving up cut and focus. Well-embedded acidity ripples through the finish. Drink now through 2022. 3,000 cases made. (JM)" (11/2016)
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The apricot/golden colored 2015 Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux shows a very intense, elegant and also subtle bouquet of ripe fruit intermixed with flinty aromas. Dense, piquant and concentrated on the palate, this is a great and tension-filled Chenin with grip and persistence, but also great finesse and elegance. This is a highly complex and energetic, but also light-footed and stimulating wine with lots of mouthwatering salinity. A fascinating Chenin with great aging potential. (SR)" (10/2016) 94 points Wine Spectator: "Offers ginger- and hibiscus-infused creamed yellow apple, quince and ...Read More »