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K&L Staff Recommendations
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 The Nest Sauvignon Blanc has a yeasty nose over a core of ripe apples, fresh pears and orange blossom plus a waft of sage. Medium-bodied, it is both refreshing and understated compared to most of this region's offerings with a touch of minerality to the long finish." K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "A bright clean appearance with fresh lime green hues. Pleasing aromas of grapefruit and white peach, with a floral lift. This medium bodied, dry wine has a refreshing and moreish palate. Mouth-watering acidity is balanced by an elegant, mineral finish."
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)
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Tart aromas of sour cream, yogurt, candied lime and pressed quince show on the nose of this stylishly structured Chardonnay. The palate carries the theme forward, with pithy pink grapefruit notes, lime ade and brie rinds, showing firm tension on the tongue and bound-up energy that will keep this bottle alive for years. (MK)" (2/2016)
One of our most popular rosés, this fresh and balanced wine comes from one of our favorite co-ops in the south of France. It's a blend of Syrah and Grenache grown in volcanic soils in the heart of the Languedoc. With aromas and flavors of ripe strawberries and raspberries, this crisp, medium-bodied rosé is an ideal complement to spring green salads, light cheeses, mac and cheese, mozzarella cheese salads, goat cheese, cheese and crackers with olives and salumi...or enjoy as an evening aperitif, cheese optional.
90 points Wine & Spirits: "This estate-grown blend of loureiro and alvarinho has clean flavor and depth in 2015, its ripeness captured in tart green pear and sweeter lime flavors. There’s a salty snap to the fresh finish, delicious with pan-roasted sea bass or most anything else from the sea. A steal at the price." K&L Notes: A perennial staff and customer favorite, this Vinho Verde continues to deliver the goods, the fizzy, citrus-drenched, delicious goods. If you're looking for a poolside, picnic, or patio sipper, this wine never disappoints.
Wine Enthusiast: "Light and bright with plenty of fruit and a lsoft texture, this lemon-flavored wine has crisp acidity and a ready-to-drink freshness." (11/2015) K&L Notes: 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 i... Read More »
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 has become a go-to favorite for customers and staff at K&L. Priced at a level that allows for corks to pop any old time it suits you, the Montechiara phenomenon continues to gain followers by the hour. See for yourself why this value sparkler is getting so much attention.
90 points James Halliday: "Light, clear colour; there aren't many pinots from the Yarra and King Valleys buzzing around with this degree of varietal fruit, its varietal purity suggesting little or no oak. It's a drink tonight bargain of some magnitude." (10/2015) 90 points Vinous: "Bright red. Lively and focused on the perfumed nose, displaying fresh red berry, potpourri and five-spice powder scents along with a hint of smokiness. Lithe and subtly sweet, offering vibrant raspberry and bitter cherry flavors that become sweeter and spicier with aeration. In an elegant, fat-free style, with silky tannins ...Read More »
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.
The Union de Vingerons de l'Ile de Beaute (UVIB) is an association of growers on the island of Corsica based near the town of Aléria. Their wine the Terra Santa Rosé is 100% Sciaccarellu, a grape native to the island. It is a pale pink with crisp berry fruit notes of white raspberry and strawberry. The beauty of Corsican rosés is the intensity and texture of the wines. Discover the region with this terrific value.
Jesús Puelles is one of the most talented vignerons in Rioja. Hailing from a long line of vineyard worker/owners, Puelles knows the terruño in his little slice of land in the Rioja Alta town of Abalos. Most of the grapes for his red wines come from his own 20 hectares, which are north-facing and located at 600 meters in altitude, affording the visitor with one of the most dramatically beautiful views of Rioja's main mountain ranges: the Sierra Cantabria mountains immediately to the north and the Sierra de la Demanda mountains to the south. This white win... Read More »
The Wolftrap is a robust, lively blend of Syrah, Mourvedre, and Viognier. From Neal Martin at erobertparker.com: "Robert Parker recently tasted Mark Kent's (a.k.a. Mr Boekenhoetskloof) Wolftrap red and white and came to the same conclusion as I in recent years: these are just wonderful bang for bucks wines that are thoughtfully crafted at this price point."
Costières de Nîmes is at the southernmost part of the Rhône Valley, sitting on the opposite bank of Chateauneuf du Pape. One of our best new finds is Château de l'Ermitage which produces three terrific values with imminent drinkability. The estate's history traces back to the 12th century when the winery produced wine for the pilgrims of St-Jacques de Compostelle who were traveling the Santiago de Compostela. The property is now owned by the Castillon family, and today Michel and his son Jerome manage the vineyards and winemaking. The "Victor" is named f... Read More »
A blend of 80 percent Grenache and 20 percent Carignane from a family-run winery in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
"The best Cabernet Sauvignon under $10 that I have tasted in nearly 9 years of working here." - Joe Manekin (K&L Spanish Wine Buyer) This was produced from a 30-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in the Vino de la Tierra de Castilla appellation (a large swath of land in the region of La Mancha), this Cab has delicious, balanced dark currant fruit, and a subtle influence from a six-month stint in American oak barrels. This nicely-priced Spanish Cabernet has been a staff favorite for two vintages running.
91 points Bob Campbell: "A blend of grapes from the Wairau and Awatere Valleys. One of the first examples of 2015 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc I have tasted. If it is typical of the vintage then it appears to have been an excellent year. A smaller than usual crop might explain greater than usual concentration in this wine. Citrus, grapefruit, melon and a hint of passion fruit supported by juicy acidity. Good value at this price." (7/2015) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Light and crisp, with tangy lime, melon and peach flavors that are succulent and smooth, finishing juicy, with plenty of focus and intensity. Dri ...Read More »
Vinous: "Pale orange. Aromas of fresh red berries, orange and lavender are lifted by a suggestion of chalky minerals. Juicy and tightly focused, offering strawberry, blood orange and succulent herb flavors that deepen on the back half. Finishes dry and nervy, showing good focus and lingering citrus and red fruit qualities. (JR)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: Praise for the producer from Wine Advocate: "I continue to be blown away by the quality coming from Domaine de la Bila Haut, which is run with the Chapoutier team. They’ve continued to grow these Roussillon releases, and even at th... Read More »
A lovely nose of apples, citrus, tropical fruits and dusty gravel. This is a bright and energetic wine which also carries good texture and finishing length. Very well balanced from start to finish which makes for a very 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 and then pressed off. Fermentation is low and slow and done in 100% stainless steel tank.... Read More »
92 points Bob Campbell: "Bright, fresh and reasonably concentrated Pinot Noir with strongly varietal plum and cherry flavours. Nice purity and a fine-grained texture. The wine has an honesty and vinosity (as opposed to "fruitiness") that I like. Excellent value at this price. SRP $17.99" K&L Notes: Exceptional value in Pinot Noir. This wine from Mt. Hector is truly one of the best value reds we have in store. Given that it's Pinot Noir (a notoriously difficult / expensive grape variety to cultivate) the quality for price ratio is even more astounding! Master of Wine Bob Campbell (NZ's most p... Read More »
90 points James Suckling: "Lots of nice fresh fruit with strawberry and lemon aromas and flavors. Medium to light body. Clean finish. Drink now" (7/2016) K&L Notes: This blend of Sangiovese and Merlot is concentrated and sexy, with intense notes of forest berries, baking spice, and vanilla. It's deep and round, a perfect match for aged cheeses and roasted meats.
This has been the #1 selling Italian wine for more than a decade at K&L! You can't get that kind of continued success without a supremely fantastic quality-to-price ratio. The southern Tuscan coast is a breadbasket of winemaking, with stable temperatures and a solid history of quality yet no fame and fortune. Incredibly priced bargains come out of the region, and the proof is in the bottle. This wine is wonderful, soft, forward and easy-to-drink Sangiovese with an enticing mixture of cherry, plum and earth. Eminently drinkable.
91 points Wine Spectator: "***Best Values*** This ripe red is filled with plenty of dark chocolate and Asian spice notes up front, wrapped around flavors of roasted plum, dark currant and wild herb. Features a luscious mouthfeel, with a finish supported by medium-grained tannins. Drink now through 2020. 30,000 cases imported. (KM)" (5/2016)
Winemaker's Notes: "A blend of grapes grown in Martinborough and Hawkes Bay. The combination of the rich yet zingy Martinborough fruit and more refined Hawkes Bay fruit leads to a wine that has amazing drinkability with the richness of stone fruit, highlights of peach and lime and underlying minerality."
The appellation of Picpoul de Pinet covers about 3000 acres just off the coast of the Mediterranean. It is famous for two things, oysters and this wine of origin Picpoul. Picpoul itself is the grape and means "lip stinger," which has become a running joke in our Hollywood store. Whenever we taste a new Picpoul we ask each other if it "pics your poul?" We want to know if it has the vibrancy and minerality that are the hallmarks of the region. That brings us to the Montmassot, which is produced at the local cooperative in the village of Florensac. It is so... 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 »
Produced from Loureiro and Pederña grapes grown in the granitic soils of the Vinho Verde region, the Santola (or as we here are calling it, "the crab wine") is a delicious, spritely and refreshing white. It doesn't get much more traditional, thirst-quenching or seasonally perfect then this wine. Delicious, low in alcohol, slightly fizzy and way too easy to drink!
90 points James Halliday: "Pepper-laden shiraz. Meaty, mid-weight style. Cherry-flavoured fruit. Has enough interest, flavour and form to satisfy. Chewy finish. Toasty/spicy oak tops it off nicely." (2/2014) K&L Notes: 91 points Wine Front: "Quite remarkable. Tastes very much like Pinot Noir. Cherries, spices, perhaps some pepper and cloves. Light- to medium-weight and fragrant/savoury/spicy. Excellent to drink." All estate fruit from Oakridge Estate in Yarra Valley. The wine shows lovely perfumed notes of red currant, raspberry and toasted spices. The palate is medium bodied with great vibran... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The grapes of the 2014 Malbec were harvested very early and 70% of them fermented using carbonic maceration. The freshness is so impressive that I had to look at the alcohol level, which is half a degree lower than in the fresher 2013 vintage! There are some herbal aromas (think raspberry leaf), bright cherries and flowers, even lilies. The palate is very tasty, with some subtle bitter flavors, fine tannins and very good acidity. This is a triumph over the vintage. Bravo! This should be readily available, as they produced 500,000 bottles of it. And it's ...Read More »
The village of Apremont once sat in the shadow of a great mountain. In 1248 that mountain collapsed destroying everything in its path. Apremont means "bitter mountain" taking its name from the tragic event that occurred. Now, the mountain itself was made of limestone which is some of the best geological material for growing grapes. The site is littered with limestone scree (broken rock fragments). The grape of choice for the region is Jacquere and some of the best comes from this village. Like most wines from Savoie, the Perret has the hallmark aro... Read More »
Wine & Spirits: "Buoyant with lemongrass scents and floral lime flavor, this is summery and refreshing." (6/2016) Wine Enthusiast: "Produced at the largest family-owned vineyard in France, this is a fruity, immediately attractive wine. There are both citrus and more tropical fruit flavors in the wine, alongside a herbal, grassy touch from the Sauvignon Blanc and Colombard in the blend. The wine is ready to drink. (RV)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: A blend of 45% Ugni Blanc, 35% Colombard, 10% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Gros Manseng, this white wine is juicy yet crisp. Crack open a bottle at the shore, a picnic, on th... Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(raised entirely in concrete): Brilliant ruby. Pure, high-pitched aromas of redcurrant, strawberry, blood orange and fresh rose, plus a bright mineral overtone. Vibrant and precise on the palate, offering sappy red fruit and floral pastille flavors lifted by spice and mineral nuances. Closes spicy, nervy and long, with silky tannins making a late appearance. Finding a wine with this much clarity and precision is a tough job at double and even triple the price of this one. (JR)" (9/2014) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Made from vines planted in 1915, the 2013 Garnacha Negra comes from th ...Read More »
90 points Vinous: "Brilliant ruby. Smoke-accented dark berries and cherry on the fragrant nose. Smooth, sweet and open-knit, offering pliant blackberry and violet pastille flavors that tighten up and gain focus on the back half. Nicely plays richness off vivacity and finishes with very good persistence and supple tannins, leaving a juicy berry note behind. This wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks, with the malo taking place in clay amphoras, followed by eight months of aging in used French and American oak. (JR)" (12/2015)
Winemaker notes: "The pre-eminent growing area for the arneis grape is the Roero, the area of magnificent hills on the left bank of the Tanaro river. Here, the calcareo-siliceous soils encourage the development of perfumed, elegant wines. After a gentle pressing, the must is given a cultured-yeast fermentation for some 10 days at 16-18°C. A final crucial step is a brief maturation in the bottle to further improve the structure of the wine and the complexity of its bouquet. Colour: Deep straw yellow with greenish highlights. Bouquet: Generous, crisp, and... Read More »
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.
This is the same delicious Underwood wine as the bottle, but in an easy-to-transport pop top can! No, it doesn't affect the taste - it's still packed with lemon, apple, and pear fruit with the same supple texture, acidity, 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: White peach, apple, and lemon."
Based in the Rioja Alta village of Badarán, Martínez Alesanco is a truly original bodega producing tasty, characterful wine for laughably low prices. They are entirely self-reliant in grapes, all of which are grown in their home village of Badarán, one of the coldest zones of Rioja Alta. The vineyards are closer to the Sierra de la Demanda mountains, a range whose elevation and visible snow covered peaks are even more dramatic than the Sierra Cantabria range to the north. Martínez Alesanco's Rosado is made from Garnacha and white Viura grapes in a typic... Read More »
This is a fresh, low-alcohol, and affordable rosé for your warm summer days. "Les Ligeriens" is a blend of Gamay and Grolleau from the Anjou AOC and is aged in stainless steel to maintain the purity of the fruit. Strawberry-scented with flavors of cherry and cranberry that pop on a crisp, refreshing palate. Drink it as an aperitif or with your favorite foods off the grill. (Eric Story, Loire) Gamay+Grolleau is a blend of two grape varieties usually used in the production of rosé wines in the Loire Valley in northern France. Grolleau Noir is only permitt... 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 »
Based in the Rioja Alta village of Badarán, Martínez Alesanco is a truly original bodega producing tasty, characterful wine for laughably low prices. They are entirely self reliant in grapes, all of which are grown in their home village of Badarán, one of the coldest zones of Rioja Alta. The vineyards are closer to the Sierra de la Demanda mountains, a range whose elevation and visible snow covered peaks are even more dramatic than the Sierra Cantabria range to the north. This is made from Tempranillo grown in iron rich clay soils. In fact, this red tin... Read More »
The Elsa Malbec comes from Valentin Bianchi's Doña Elsa estate in the cool reaches of San Rafael, Mendoza. With just a kiss of French oak, the rich fruit dominates this easy-drinking red, which has barely-there tannins. Invoke your inner-Argentine and drink this alongside grilled flank steak with a garlicky chimichurri. Many previous vintages recommended by Wine Enthusiast as a "Best Buy."
Rich, ripe, soft, full bodided, fruit driven Cabernet that is great drinking for the money.
Costières de Nîmes is at the southernmost part of the Rhône Valley, on the opposite bank of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. One of our best new finds is Château de l'Ermitage which produces three terrific values with imminent drinkability. The estate's history traces back to the 12th century when the winery produced wine for the pilgrims of St-Jacques de Compostelle who were traveling the Santiago de Compostela. The property is now owned by the Castillon family, and today Michel and his son Jerome manage the vineyards and winemaking. The "Victor" is named for the f... Read More »
"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."
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Made from 100% Grenache planted in decomposed granitic soils, and aged four months in new and used French oak, this deep ruby/purple-colored 2012 Garnacha Old Vines demonstrates what high quality can be found in obscure Spanish appellations. Aromas of kirsch, lavender and strawberries emerge from this medium-bodied, dense, rich 2012. (RP)" (11/2013) 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Inky ruby. Deeply scented bouquet of dark berries, bitter chocolate and black pepper, with a smoky quality gaining strength with air. Juicy and sweet, showing a chewy texture to its pungent blackberry and blueb ...Read More »
According to the winery: "The 2014 California Sauvignon Blanc has aromas of pineapple, ripe stone fruit and citrus. The wine fills the palate with bright fruit flavors and a round fullness, finishing with crisp, refreshing acidity. Throughout California, the 2014 growing season produced one of the best vintages to date. A dry winter followed by light spring rains and a warm, temperate summer caused fruit to mature slightly faster than normal resulting in optimal ripeness with a good balance of sugar and acidity in time for harvest. The warmer tropical a... Read More »
From Matahiwi Estate, Wairarapa, New Zealand, here's a textbook NZ Savvy from the winery's biggest-selling range of fresh and value-priced wines. Look for lime, passionfruit and, yes, that famous gooseberry on the nose, with zest and a hint of minerality. "We love to drink it with seafood and pasta dishes and delicious summer salads," the producers suggest.
From the winery: "It’s hard to keep your pinky up when you’re drinking wine from a 375 mL can. These are the most approachable and ready-to-travel anywhere wines we produce. Whether you’re sitting in a hot tub after a good day of riding or heading where other wines dare not travel, we have you covered without sacrificing the craft taste Union is known for. Tasting notes: White peach, apple, and lemon."
Ricardo Sanz is one of the leading figures in the Rueda D.O. His 2013 Palacio de Menade is clean, citrusy, and quite refreshing. It is a leaner style, without any of the tropical fruit sometimes present in wines from Rueda. Enjoy this as a delicious change of pace from Sancerre or Sauvignon Blanc. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish Wine Buyer)