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K&L Staff Recommendations
91 points Wine Spectator: "**100 Top Values of 2016**Broad and generous, open-textured and inviting, offering cherry, currant and red plum flavors that swirl enticingly among fine-grain tannins and creamy oak on the finish. (HS)" (11/2016) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* The aromas of milk chocolate, cherry and spice bring immediate appeal. The flavors are silky and polished, showing equal parts fruit and barrel." (12/2016) K&L Notes: From the winery: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. The wine spends 12 months in 65% older and 35% new oak barrels, both French and American.
From the second label of Sobon estates comes Shenandoah Vineyards' full-bodied, full-fledged Amador-style Zinfandel. Its perfume hints at blackberries, cherries and cocoa while the mild tannins, elegant structure and strong fruit flavors make this a satisfying pairing for meats and cheeses.
"Year in and year out one of our best values is Pinot Noir. If you don't believe me, just ask any K&L customer." (Illya Haase, K&L Staff Member) This wine comes to us from Sonoma County's Martin Ray Winery, owned by Courtney Benham (creator of the Blackstone brand). This multi-county blend of Pinot Noir has been well-received in recent years, maybe not tipping the point-scales over 90, but earning consistent praise for the solid varietal character it delivers for a modest price.
This is the same delicious Underwood Pinot Noir as the bottle, but in an easy-to-transport pop top can! No, it doesn't affect the taste--it's still packed with strawberry and pomegranate fruit, with the same supple texture, acidity and peppery spice and minerally finish. Perfect for summer sipping, for camping, boating, picnicking, beaching or rocking out at the Hollywood Bowl! From the winery's tasting notes: Cherries, raspberries, and chocolate."
Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* This wine has a strong layer of spicy oak from the first sniff through the lingering finish. Deep, ripe black cherry and blackberry flavors fill in the palate, and the full body of moderate tannins creates a mouthfeel that’s plush." (7/2016) K&L Notes: A cleanly made Cab priced for everyday drinking. McManis's strategy of 100% stainles- steel fermentation followed by aging in a combination of new and used French and American oak enables them to produce a consistently tasty value Cabernet that continues to stand out in the under $10 category.
Wine Spectator: "Bright and expressive, this is a light-footed, fruity style, with blackberry and spice flavors on an easygoing frame. Drink now. (Web Only-2016) (HS)" K&L Notes: Steak House Cabernet Sauvignon delivers an excellent value as an unusual cross region blend. It includes roughly 1/3 parts of the blend from each the Snake River Valley (ID), Columbia Valley (WA), and Lodi (CA).
From the winemaker: "Deep ruby in color, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon from McManis Family Vineyards has aromas of bright blackberry. The medium body is accompanied by flavors of black cherry and black currant. The well rounded, creamy tannin structure is followed by hints of mocha and a smokey finish."
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Made from 45% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 8% Counoise and the rest Mourvedre, the 2013 Cuvee le Bec is a smokin’ value and savvy readers should buy a case. Giving up lots of ripe dark fruits, ground herbs, licorice and wood smoke, it’s ripe, mouthfilling and loaded with charm. Drink bottles over the coming 4-5 years. (JD)" (8/2016) Wine Spectator: "A red blend that's loaded with pepper, plus zesty flavors of black raspberry, toffee and smoky herb. Syrah, Grenache, Counoise and Mourvèdre. Drink now through 2022. 5,000 cases made." (3/2016)
Dark fruits highlighted with spicy notes of cinnamon and cedar lead into a medium bodied wine with flavors of cassis and licorice. Because of the bright acidity, this wine goes with a variety of foods.