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K&L Staff Recommendations
2010 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac $279.99
2000 Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac $1,399.99
Second wine of Chateau Carignan.
Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc blend from enologist Michel Dietrich, southeast of Bordeaux. According to Matt Kramer: "This delightful dry white wine is meant to be drunk young, cool and fresh. It delivers striking scents of lime and lemon rind, whiffs of honeydew and even a hint of seashells. And no taste of oak to be found, just “pure play” dry white. This wine could easily become your house white- it’s that good."
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Always one of the better values and ageworthy wines from the Haut-Medoc, Lanessan’s 2003 possesses lots of cedarwood, creme de cassis and forest floor notes, outstanding ripeness, low acidity, and a round, generous mouthfeel with no desiccation or flaws. (RP)" (8/2014) Spirit Journal: "Dense crimson. Delicate scent. Complete if not exactly subtle. A bit brutal with lots of acidity. And those dry tannins, and some rasping greenness on the end. (15/20 points)" (10/2010) Wine Spectator: "Aromas of plum, spices and cherry follow through to a medium-bodied palate, with stewed fruit and a light fi ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Soft and forward, with gentle blueberry and plum fruit, laced with a singed vanilla bean note. (Web Only—2015)"
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, that drinks like a bottle three times the price.
Jancis Robinson: "Pleasant floral bouquet, mingled with red cherries, red currants, and sweet spices. Firm but ripe tannins giving illusion of sweetness. Beautifully balanced. Not short of finesse at all." (9/2012) Wine Enthusiast: "This is a mint- and licorice-flavored wine, with its wood aging prominent at this stage. Full bodied, rich and concentrated, it shows strong signs of extraction that give it a bitter finish. Age this tannic wine for 2-3 years or more." (3/2013) Wine Spectator: "Primal and direct, with blueberry and loganberry notes backed by a charcoal edge which lingers through the finish. Shows l ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Fresh and supple, with an aromatic singed bay leaf edge to the medium-weight plum and black currant fruit. A flash of iron gives the finish some length. (Web-2012)"
Pro tip: When looking for a great value wine, try the appellation next door to the heavy hitters. You often get similar growing conditions and fruit for a fraction of the price. Puisseguin-St-Émilion is a small appellation on the right bank of the Dordogne, just northeast of St-Émilion. Also dominated by Merlot, these wines are superb everyday drinkers, just screaming to be uncorked next to a juicy burger.
88-91 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Les Grands Maréchaux is a bit rustic and rough around the edges, but also quite pleasing. Dark red cherry, tobacco, smoke, cedar and dried herbs flesh out in a succulent, generous wine endowed with notable complexity and nuance. There is a lot going on in the glass. My preference would be to drink the 2014 in its youth, while the fruit is vibrant. The 2014 should be a steal. The blend is 91% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc. (AG)" (4/2015) 90-91 points James Suckling: "Solid core of fruit to this wine with fine tannins, fresh acidity and a savory finish. Good start here." (3/2015) 87-90 points Wine Spectator: "T ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Wine Enthusiast: "Rich and dense, the wine has the fruitiness of the vintage along with a core of firmer tannins. Its black currant and berry flavors are right up front adding perfume to the acidity. Drink from 2016." (12/2013) Wine Spectator: "Light, with modest grip framing the dark cherry, tomato and tobacco notes." (12/2013)
88-90 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Reynon Blanc, 100% Sauvignon Blanc, shows lovely varietal character with more of an emphasis on texture rather than grassy/green flavors. Citrus and floral notes come forward in an attractive, aromatic white to drink young. There is a lot to like in this expressive Sauvignon Blanc from proprietors Denis et Florence Dubourdieu. Best of all, the Blanc should be a fabulous value. (AG)" (4/2015)
Wine Enthusiast: "The wine is sweet, very rich and smooth. Firm tannins are cushioned by the ripe berry and red plum fruits to give a spicy wine with touches of wood, finishing with pepper from the alcohol. Drink from 2017." (10/2014) K&L Notes: A lovely wine from the Cotes de Blaye. Plenty of sweet blackberry fruit. Elegant and delicious now. Will cellar well for five plus years. Along the same lines as the 2009, but with more strength on the palate. Superb value.
Le Blanc de la Graside is sourced from a vineyard 3 miles south of Libourne that is planted with 60-year-old Sauvignon Blanc vines. Grapes are harvested at full maturity and aged in casks to round out a generous profile. Citrus and stone fruit retain a grassy cut with a mineral-driven finish.
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.
89-90 points James Suckling: "A firm and dense wine for the appellation with chocolate, mineral and berry character. Medium to full body. Long finish." (3/2015) Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Gigault Cuvée Viva offers lovely depth, density and volume. Super-ripe dark cherry, plum and smoke meld together. The style is ripe and extracted, with considerable oak influence that does cover the fruit to some extent and leaves the wine with a bit of wood tannin, at least at this early stage. Still, it is, this warm site on gravel and limestone soils is clearly capable of making interesting wines. The blend is 96% M ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Haut Charmes is a very special Sauternes bottling, made from the younger vines of the region's most legendary château. While we aren't allowed to actually reveal the source, it's safe to say its location in the Ciron Valley exposes the Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon fruit to conditions perfect for the development of botrytis. Charming, elegant and an exceptional value for what's in the bottle. A rich wine with fine acidity, the 2010 has wonderful pineapple and coconut aromas that carry through onto the lush palate. A stunning wine just like its big broth... Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Deep crimson. Gentle, dusty, inviting. Light, dry with dusty tannins. Strongly mineral note and really rather delicate. Not a great deal of depth but elegant. Paper-fine tannins and finishes fresh. (JH)" (4/2012) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Chateau Puy Blanquet has a ripe cassis and blueberry scented nose that is very primal and quite precocious for the vintage. Given time to unfurl in the glass it offers up attractive Margaux-like floral notes. The palate is medium bodied with quite a supple entry, light in the mouth but well balanced with soft landing on the finish. This will b ...Read More »
88-91 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Belle Coline is rich, boisterous and super-expressive. Inky black fruit, smoke, tobacco, licorice and incense are laced together in the glass. The style is racy, supple and fruit-forward, all of which add to the wine's early appeal. Even with all of its obvious richness, the 2014 finishes with terrific energy and minerality. The blend is 91% Merlot and 9% Malbec. (AG)" (4/2015) 89-90 points James Suckling: "Another red with pretty concentration and depth of fruit. Full body, firm tannins and a fresh finish. Best ever from here?" (3/2015) Wine Spectator: "Fresh, with damson plum and sanguine note ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
89-92 points Wine Spectator: "Pretty blueberry and flowers on the nose. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a long finish. Lots going on. Big wine for the appellation. Best in a long time from here. (Web-2010)" Decanter: "Purposeful aromas of plum, berry and oak. Pure with a lovely depth, freshness and drive. Quite lean, linear and attractive fruit. Hugely impressive - fresh, direct and comfortable in its skin." (5/2012) Jancis Robinson: "50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc. Deeply coloured. Invitingly rich and dark on the nose. Pure fruited, a little dusty in a good way, and already silky even tho ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Raymond-Lafon 2010 has a complex bouquet with lemon peel, almond and quince aromas, and is well-defined with an impressive sense of energy. The palate is well-balanced with a viscous opening, and well-judged acidity. It builds toward a rounded, pineapple and marmalade- tinged finish. This has good weight and presence with plenty of strikingly fresh acidity to keep everything balanced. This wine deserves a round of applause. (NM)" (4/2014)93 points Wine Spectator: "This is rather dense, with a core of almond cream, coconut, mango, creamed peach and dried apricot notes that shoul ...Read More »
This is the second wine from Château d'Aiguilhe, in the far east of Bordeaux. Proprietor and winemaker Stephan von Neipperg is also responsible for the greatness that lies in each bottle of Château Canon-La-Gaffelière, Clos l'Oratoire, Château Peyreau and La Mondotte. The cepage is overwhelmingly Merlot, with a small percentage of Cabernet Franc. The property dates back to the 12th century and is linked to the Knights Templar. The current château, a "fortified farmhouse," was built in the 13th century. The Right Bank terroir, with its clay-limestone soil... Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A red with plum and berry character, plus lots of hazelnut. Chalky. Full body with chewy tannins and a fresh finish. This is always excellent. Drink in 2015." (2/2014) Wine Spectator: "Bouncy blueberry and cherry fruit flavors are backed by toasted spice. Open knit and fresh." (4/2012) K&L Notes: One of our favorites from the value regions on the right bank. Cotes de Blaye region now referred to as Cotes de Bordeaux. This wine is 90% Merlot and has a lot of blackberry fruit flavors. Decant one hour and serve with a pot roast.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "**Editors' Choice** This marks the first vintage of this Moulis estate under the ownership of the Barton family of Léoville Barton. Already the wine is showing breeding and an understated structure and richness. Lightly perfumed, full of black fruits and integrated tannins, it should age well. Drink from 2017." (6/2014) 87-90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Medium-deep ruby. Captivating nose combines red fruits, mocha and aromatic herbs. Light and lively on the palate, with good precision to the red fruit and mineral flavors. Finishes with lovely length and persistent mineral tang. This re ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Set on the plateau of Saint-Émilion, this 12-acre property has produced a structured and firm wine. It is solid with tannins, dark with its black fruits and rich with superripe Merlot. Drink from 2018." (5/2015) K&L Notes: Lovely richness on the palate; typical of Right Bank 2012 wines. Silky wine--a great value. Black licorice flavors; delicious! And for less than $15? What a great finish on this wine.
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "The wine balances acidity and full fruitiness. These show in the lively, fresh character as well as the rich apple and pear flavors. The end shows more youthful texture, offering the chance to hold this wine until 2015." (10/2014)
91 points James Suckling: "A young red with a solid core of fruit with blueberry and light chocolate character. Full body, with slightly chewy tannin structure and well-framed palate. Very well done for this estate. This shows nicely now but will be better in two or three years." (3/2013) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A relatively soft, round, generously endowed wine with oodles of sweet kirsch fruit, a hint of black currants, herbs and loamy soil notes, this blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc was cropped at 35 hectoliters per hectare. Just over 1000 cases were made, and it tips the scales at 14.5% alcoh ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "There are 100,000 bottles of this beautiful sleeper of the vintage, which offers terrific value. The proprietor is the son of Bernard Magrez, who has crafted a blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc. Fruity and Bordeaux-like, with notes of tobacco leaf, blueberries, black raspberries and incense, this explosively fruity, delicious, complex wine is relatively easy to consume yet should continue to drink well for 7-8 years, if not longer. (RP)" (2/2013) Wine Spectator: "A forward, flattering style, offering quite lush raspberry and plum sauce ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Aromas of licorice, tar and some blackberry lead to a medium body, with light tannins and a fruity, delicate finish." K&L Notes: Château La Prade, just four and a half hectares, was purchased by the Thienpont family in 2000. Despite the tiny size, part of the vineyards are on the limestone plateau and the rest are on a south-facing slope rich in iron. This somewhat unique terroir results in a rich Merlot-dominated blend with great structure. We tasted this wine on our April 2014 Bordeaux trip and bought it on the spot. Delicious, fruit-forward wine to enjoy for th... Read More »
We loved this wine on our April 2012 Bordeaux trip. A 2010 with lots of sweetness and forward fruit. Blackberries abound here. Great value. (Clyde Beffa, K&L Co-Owner and Bordeaux Buyer) It comes from the miniscule St-Georges St-Emilion Appellation, which is located within the boundaries of Montagne-St-Emilion. The vineyards of Château Divon have a specially privileged terroir. They face straight south. Always a plus in this uncertain maritime climate!
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Wine Spectator: "Offers direct bitter plum and black cherry fruit, with light chalk and toasted vanilla notes guiding the finish. A touch shy on depth for the vintage, but remains charming enough. (Web Only--2013)" K&L Notes: This property is situated north of commune of Lussac. We tasted this delightful wine with Dominque Robin and his daughter Pauline on our 2008 buying trip. : The 2010 is a blend of 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon for this wine which is very well balanced with no excess tannins. Nice toasty oak aromas and flavors with blackberries showing t... Read More »
Bordeaux's trade blog identifies this red as a terrific value, noting that it's "a robust, fresh red that pairs well with pork."
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This reminded me of a really well-made, top-notch Cotes du Rhone. Why? Lots of kirsch, lavender, roasted herbs and earthy notes as well as hints of pepper and spice jump from the glass of this dark ruby/purple-tinged wine. Seductive, round and extremely attractive, it is everything a Cotes de Bordeaux should be, at a realistic price. For the statisticians, it is a blend of 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc. Drink it over the next 3-4 years. (RP)" (2/2012) K&L Notes: This Bernard Magrez wine is a great value. Plenty of structure and grip o... Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "Solid, with a direct, open-knit core of apricot, toasted almond, piecrust and white peach flavors that meld through the creamy, ginger-tinged finish. Drink now through 2018. (Web-2014)" K&L Notes: The second wine of Château Guiraud and made by Xavier Planty, Château Guiraud's oenologist since 1982. It is a modern style with a high proportion of Sauvignon Blanc (approximately one third), made from a blend of lots fermented in stainless steel (for minerality and freshness), and new French oak barrels, which promote the development of richness, body, and intensity of fl... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Cuvee La Gargone (14% alcohol) exhibits an opaque ruby/purple color, abundant notes of sweet blueberries and black raspberries and significant density and richness. A major sleeper of the vintage, this blend of 60% Merlot, 20% Malbec, 18% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon should drink well for 3-5 years." (4/2014) James Suckling: "This shows lots of excellent fruit, with spices, chikies and chocolate. Full and dense. Fruity finish. Drink in 2016." (2/2014)
91-93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Barrel sample. This is a densely tannic wine with juiciness showing quite tardily through the tannins. The wine has a very dry, firm character with acidity that finishes on a bright, fresh note." (4/2013)90 points James Suckling: "Some berry and currant character with hints of sandalwood follows through to a medium body, integrated tannins and a clean finish. This is well crafted for the vintage. Drink or hold." (2/2015) Jancis Robinson: "Ripe dark-fruit aroma with just a slight leafy lift. Lovely freshness and gentle harmony. No shouting but everything in place. Juicy fresh finish." (10/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A blend o ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A solid structure of blueberry, plum and spices. Full and chewy. Structured and dense. Needs another four or five years of bottle age." (3/2013)90 points Wine Spectator: "Lively, with a taut plum skin frame that eventually melds nicely into the core of raspberry, warm cherry compote and red currant fruit. Charcoal and chalk lend definition and length to the finish, which is well-packed, but racy overall. Drink now through 2020. (Web Only—2013)" Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Arnauton, a blend of 98% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc that came in it at 14.75% natural alcohol, displays a deep ruby color and load ...Read More »
Ch. L’Avocat’s vineyard location, just a few hundred yards from the Garonne River are in a perfect spot for their grapes to catch the morning mist that will infect the grapes and allow “boytrytis” to flourish, creating a lush wine of great sweetness. The bouquet is of citrus, apricot and pineapple fruit; on the palate it has the hallmark quality of lively acidity with fruit flavors of marmalade, pineapple and lemons. Good complexity and concentration with a fresh finish. An impressive value in sweet wine! (Ralph Sands, K&L Bordeaux Expert)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A decent effort in this tough vintage for some of the Médoc wines, Lanessan’s 2012 has some nice suppleness to the tannin, cranberry and black cherry fruit, plum and blackcurrants. It is medium-bodied with earth, herbs and spice. Drink it over the next decade. (RP)" (4/2015) K&L Notes: * A very fruity and tasty style. Another great value from what Robert Parker calls a "consistent property that turns out wines that are often very close to classified-growth quality."
94-97 points Wine Spectator: "Offers a bold, spicy profile, with nectarine, ginger, hazelnut and pineapple notes. Shows lots of energy, brimming with spice and focused acidity through the finish. A great showing." (4/2015) 95-96 points James Suckling: "A solid wine with dried fruits, spices, dried mushrooms and medium sweetness. Full-bodied, sweet and intense." (4/2015) 94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Doisy-Védrines 2014 is a blend of 85% Sémillon and 15% Sauvignon Blanc, a modest 134 grams per liter residual sugar and a pH of 3.55 (a figure that might be a little lower than recent vintages.) It has a fragrant bouquet that is actually q ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Revealing abundant minerality as well as a leaner, tighter style than the 2010's with less mass, extraction and power, this elegant, medium-bodied 2008 exhibits raspberry and black currant fruit, cedar, loamy soil and a hint of spice box. It should be consumed over the next 3-4 years. (RP)" (5/2011) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright, dark red. Redcurrant, tobacco and menthol on the nose. Broad, sweet and fairly full in the mouth, with a fine grain to the flavors of currant, tobacco, herbs and earth. Not especially complex or structured but nicely made. The finish features broad, ri ...Read More »
90-92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel sample. Attractive and fruity, a wine that has soft texture with light touches of botrytis. It's warm and rich, with a fine final texture of dryness and acidity." (4/2013) 89-92 points Wine Spectator: "Quite lively, with a floral edge to the white peach, pineapple and heather notes. Good freshness and definition." (4/2013) Jancis Robinson: "Pure fruited: citrus and a touch of pineapple and ripe apple. Delicately honeyed. Sour/fresh on the palate. Lively and bright if not yet complex." (4/2013) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Doisy-Vedrines has a typically forthright, honeyed, nectarine-scented bouquet that does not quite p ...Read More »
93-95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. This wine is rich and full while still having a tight structure. It shows a fine streak of acidity that shoots through the honey and gingered marmalade flavors. A fine wine with potential." (3/2014) 92-95 points Wine Spectator: "Ripe, unctuous, rounded style, with lots of orange cream, almond, heather and ginger notes backed by hazelnut and tangerine. Long, powerful finish should really stretch out. (Web-2014)" 91-94 points Antonio Galloni: "An exotic, beguiling wine, the 2013 Doisy-Védrines lifts from the glass with expressive floral notes, white stone fruits, peach and apricots. The 2013 is soft, gent ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse