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K&L Staff Recommendations
92 points James Suckling: "Precise and bright with blueberries, minerals and violet aromas. Full body plus ultra-fine tannins and a caressing texture. Very, very fine. Drink or hold" (8/2014) K&L Notes: Based in the Maipo Valley just south of Santiago, Santa Ema has been quietly, reliably producing very good value Cabernet Sauvignon for many years now. However, they clearly have re-doubled their efforts, changing up a bit their winemaking approach and the result is this juicy, purely fruited, elegant, medium bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. At 13.5% ABV, it is incredibly delicious and honest Caberne... Read More »
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 »
Killer new price! Produced and bottled by Brewer-Clifton, the "B-C" Kessler Haak Pinot Noir is a single vineyard wine that comes from the organically farmed Kessler-Haak Vineyard. It is located off Highway 246, about 7 miles west of the town of Buellton, in the heart of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. The blend is made up of 25% Clone 667, 25% Clone 113 and 50% of Clone 115. Only 161 cases were bottled of this unique wine.
A certified organic blend of 50% Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo and Syrah, this wine undergoes carbonic maceration to highlight the fresh, high toned qualities of this delicious fruit. Think Beaujolais Village, with a bit more heft. Having planted vines in the national park lands of the Sierra Norte outside of Sevilla, at 700 meters altitude in heavily slate soils, where there is a surprisingly generous amount of rainfall, the results are both delicious and impressive: crisp, bright, varietally true blended wines with great personality that are truly wines ... Read More »
Lora is a blend of certified organic Tempranillo and Syrah from one of the cooler parts of La Mancha (high up on the plateau not too far from the UNESCO heritage city of Cuenca). This is a delicious red - full of fresh fruited drinkability, but surprising structure from the minerality and balanced acidity. The winemaker and person who carefully sources this great organic fruit is none other than our friend Miguel Merino Navajas, son of Miguel Merino of Rioja fame! (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer)
94 points James Halliday: "A 70/30% blend, the grapes picked at different harvest times, but held in stainless steel at low temperatures to settle and combine prior to fermentation on fine solids in new and 1-year-old French oak, held on lees for 9 months. The oak cost, combined with the ultra-low extraction rate through basket pressing (less than half the extraction through a pneumatic press, at around 320l per tonne) make this a very expensive wine to produce, further insult to injury through the small bottling run of 200 dozen." (3/2014) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "Light straw in colour,... Read More »
A joint project from your K&L domestic buying team and a high-profile winery in the Santa Barbara area. The fruit for this wine comes from a cooler vineyard site with a north-facing slope. Clone 828 is a Dijon clone that matures early and often shows lots of structure, color and complexity. In general, the clone shows great acidity, red and blue fruits and palate presence. Because of its roundness and completeness, clone 828 makes an excellent individual bottling.
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."
90 points Antonio Galloni: "(a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo Nero): Bright pink with an orange tinge. Complex aromas of strawberry, violet, botanical herbs and blood orange. Fresh and juicy, with tactile flavors of strawberry, fresh citrus fruit and pepper. Finishes with a hint of residual sweetness and outstanding lift. This is always one of Tuscany’s best rosato wines, and it’s no different this year. (ID)" (6/2015)
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "A lightly textured wine that suggests lemon chiffon, this has plenty of body to make it feel rich on the palate, along with ample acidity to keep it refreshingly crisp. Apple and pear rise to the fore, maintaining the fruitiness from start to finish." (12/2015) K&L Notes: Chardonnay has been called the "Queen Bee" of white grapes. With roots in the prestigious soils of Burgundy, this singular varietal has gained renowned status the world over. Chardonnais is a cleverly named French-inspired Chardonnay from Napa Valley. The wine is made to be rich and full bodied, wi... Read More »
92 points Wine & Spirits: "There are very few Carignans like this in Chile. Made from old vines planted in the 1960s, this takes a light, fresh approach, focused on fruit rather than pushing for superconcentration. With its pure, juicy ripe cherry flavor, it could bolster a plate of grilled sausages or develop for a few years in the cellar." (6/2014)90 points James Suckling: "A spicy and balanced red with blueberries, blackberries and hints of slate. Full to medium body, fresh acidity and a clean finish. A stylish red. Drink now." (8/2014) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Dark purple. Ripe plum and blueberry on the deeply scented nose. Plush ...Read More »
An elegant salmon pink, this rosé exudes aromas of summer cherries and raspberries, with a zippy, refreshing finish.
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Opaque ruby. Ripe cherry and black raspberry aromas are complicated by notes of licorice, cola and smoky herbs. A sexy floral nuance comes up with air, adding lift to weighty berry and espresso flavors. Takes a brighter turn on the long, sappy finish, featuring raspberry compote and floral pastille qualities." (5/2014) Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* This may be the ripest of the new Ravenswood lot, but it does not go the way of chocolaty heaviness, and it delivers a fair bit of bright, slightly raspberry-like fruit. It is fleshy, big-bodied and a bit hot in the bargain, and i ...Read More »
93 points James Halliday: "Bright crimson-purple hue, although not deep; a 30/37/24% blend; particularly attractive wine in the context of '11, with abundant sweet dark berry fruit without any Turkish delight/confection flavours; there is a seamless flow of flavour from the first sip right the way through to the aftertaste." (7/2013)91 points Wine Spectator: "Smooth and expressive, brimming with coffee-accented blackberry and purple plum flavors, tumbling through the open-textured finish. Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre." (5/2014) K&L Notes: Sons of Eden is a new project from two guys who really know what they're doing. W... Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Deep red. Ripe cherry and raspberry aromas are complemented by notes of black cardamom, fruitcake and minerals. Concentrated and energetic, offering powerful red berry and floral pastille flavors and a touch of smokiness. The cherry quality repeats on the finish, which is broad, gently sweet and impressively long. (JR)" (1/2013)90 points Wine Spectator: "A pretty, perfumy style, with anise and sandalwood notes leading to gentle plum and cherry fruit flavors. The tobacco edge slowly takes over on the elegant finish. Drink now through 2019." (4/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The tank-aged 2010 Chateauneuf du P ...Read More »
Château Trillol sits high in the hills of southwestern France. The vineyard is located in between two of the Corbières terroirs: Termenès and Quéribus. The local grape varieties, Grenache, Syrah and Carignan, are harvested by hand and blended to produce authentic wines that are packed with character and a strong sense of place. From the winery: "The intense colour with deep purple highlights heralds in a wine with depth and complexity. Expressive, frank nose exuding aromas of red fruit, redcurrant, blackcurrant and a hint of oak. The front-of-palate is s... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Daryl Groom is making these wines from Livermore Valley vineyards mostly and the wine is no doubt big in every way-15.6% alcohol with big tannins and big black, spicy fruit flavors hiding in there at first. It definitely needs time to open. And a giant, slathered-in-sauce kind of steak or other red meat." (11/2011)
This Sonoma County bottling from Martin Ray is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the Dry Creek, Alexander and Sonoma Valley appellations. The wine was aged for 18 months in a mix of both French and American oak, both new and previously filled. From the winery: "The blend of these different appellations adds a wonderful complexity to this wine, which shines through as savory spices, woodsy earth tones and sweet, baked cherries alongside wild boysenberry jam. This medium-bodied but full Cabernet has a rich front and mid-palate, which is concentrated by ... Read More »
40% Refosco, 40% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.
According to the winery: "Crisp and refreshing, typical of NZ Sauvignon that is world famous ... We are a boutique vineyard just five minutes from the Village of Havelock North in Hawke's Bay Wine Country ... All our wines are Estate Grown and the fruit is hand picked. Our elevated north facing site on the lower slopes of the Te Mata hills is not only an excellent location for grape growing it also provides us with stunning views, a warm sheltered micro-climate and a perfect situation for the visitor to spend an hour or two, a night or two or even a week... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Firm and structured, this wine, produced by the same team as classed growth Calong-Ségur, has solid architecture. It does also have fine fruitiness and acidity but it is the shape that impresses. Given time, it will develop into an elegant wine. Drink from 2018." (5/2014) Jancis Robinson: "Vanilla-laced black fruit. Firm, chewy, very dark but needs time. Savoury, high acid, pretty hard work at the moment but should come round." (1/2015) Wine Spectator: "This has a brambly feel, with toasted spice, tobacco leaf, dark plum and crushed black currant notes rolled together at the core. A brambly, ...Read More »
90 points Wine & Spirits: "This aged for 12 months, half in cement and half in tonneaux, sustaining an inky violet hue and dense flavors of black plum and sour cherry. Firm fruit-skin tannins frame the juicy fruit, leaving a fresh impression. A few years in the cellar may unpack more layers." (8/2015)
Composed of primarily Tempranillo grapes and made at Covila's facility, this is dark cherry fruited Tempranillo that is unoaked and delicious. Enjoy this with a slight chill to highlight the freshness of the fruit.
95 points James Halliday: "Classic Dalwhinnie style with abundant aromas, fruit on the fore-palate likewise; tightens up on the finish with tannin grip that will relax as the years go by." (12/2011)92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2010 Moonamble Cabernet Sauvignon offers a nose of cassis, wild blueberries, toasty oak and yeast extract with subtle suggestions of pencil lead and chocolate. Full-bodied with a nice backbone of medium to firm, grainy tannins and very crisp acidity, it has a long savory finish. Delicious in this youthful stage, it should develop gracefully and drink to 20 ...Read More »
92 points James Halliday: "*Special Value Selection* Strong crimson-purple; has a complex interplay on its bouquet and palate between the fragrant plum and mulberry fruit on the one hand, and a savory/chocolatey fruitcake McLaren Vale imprint on the other. Will have great appeal to biodynamic acolytes."91 points Wine Spectator: "Fresh and vibrant, this full-bodied style offers juicy currant and blackberry flavors at the center, floating through the harmonious finish. Drink now through 2020." (8/2014)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Medium to deep garnet/purple, the 2012 Shiraz opens to warm blackberries and black cherries, pepper, baking spi ...Read More »
De La Terre is a fascinating project from prolific winemaker Tony Pritchard. The wines are very much a labor of love and I am delighted to be working with De La Terre in this direct import relationship. After a 30 year career at some of NZ's top commercial wineries and as a consultant winemaker, Tony has gone back to his roots and set up his own boutique operation making crafting tiny amounts of these delicious wines. The fruit for the wines is largely from a patchwork of unique vineyard blocks on the slopes of Te Mata Peak in Hawke's Bay. The soils here... Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(34% grenache, 33% mourvedre and 33% zinfandel; 15.2% alcohol): Bright purple. Ripe raspberry and blueberry on the nose and in the mouth. Juicy, spice-accented berry compote flavors show an appealingly silky quality and pick up a floral nuance with air. Closes on a gently sweet note, with lingering blue fruit and spice qualities. No shortage of fruit here." (11/2012) Antonio Galloni: "The 2010 Lothario is another of the more restrained wines in this lineup from Kukkula. It shows good depth and persistence, with pretty notes of tobacco, wild flowers and dried cherries linger ...Read More »
La Selve is certified organic and may technically be in the Rhône Valley, but really lies just to the west. The blend is decidedly un-Rhône, though, made up of 40% Cinsault, 30% Grenache and 30% Merlot. It has ripe cherry and berry flavors with notes of freshly tilled earth. This is a terrific value and a great introduction to this little-known region.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Blended of 69% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc and 9% Malbec, the 2011 Te Kahu Vineyard Proprietary Red displays a deep purple-black color and nose of fresh black currants, blackberries and black cherries with hints of violets, cigar boxes and dried Provence herbs. Medium bodied, it is just a little lean on fruit concentration in the mouth, nonetheless offering fresh, youthful black and red berry flavors and complimentary herbal accents structured with well-balanced chewy tannins and just enough acidity, finishing just a tad abruptly. ( ...Read More »
94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Showing much more open and expressive than when I tasted it last year (or said another way, I under-rated it), the 2012 Côtes du Rhône Villages Vinsobres les Hauts de Julien comes from close to 100-year-old vines located in the northern part of the Southern Rhône. A blend of Syrah and Grenache that’s still in barrel, it offers thrilling notes of smoked dark fruits, pepper meats, graphite and big minerality to go with a full-bodied, focused, concentrated and serious feel on the palate. This is impressive across the board, and might be the greatest Vinsobr ...Read More »
97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This may be the most prodigious wine Jean-Luc Thunevin and his partner Murielle Andraud have made to date. Inky purple to the rim at age ten, this wine’s explosive aromatics include espresso, chocolate, plum, blackberry and cassis. The oak is well-hidden behind an extravagant, full-bodied, multi-layered palate. Stunningly pure, super-intense and just beginning to move into middle adolescence, the “Bad Boy” of Bordeaux has produced a legend in 2005. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2035.(RP)" (6/2015)95 points Wine Spectator: "Dark ruby in color, with intense aromas of blackberry, mineral ...Read More »
This batch of the Blason Brut sparkling wine is made from 100% Ribolla Gialla grapes and is produced in a "long Charmat" method, meaning that it spends six months in tanks. Blason is from Isonzo in Italy's north easternmost region of Friuli, which borders Slovenia.
The wines are made by Jean Simonet, the former assistant winemaker at Bandol's famous Chateau de Pibarnon. To make this cuvee, Jean destems the grapes and allows them to macerate on their skins before extracting the juice mostly by direct press. He vinifies the grapes by varietal in stainless steel tanks, and ages the wines in a combination of 90% tank and 10% in oak barrels. The domaine is particular when it comes to oak, and only uses barrels made from 200- to 250- year-old oak trees. The wines from the different grape varietals are blended at the e... Read More »
A Premier Cru Classé Pomerol from the Veneto? It may sound strange, but that is exactly what the folks from Vignalta had in mind when they set out to make their top wine, the Gemola. A blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, aged in French and American barriques (a mix of oldish and new), this wine is anything but typical. The Gemola is madewith plenty of grip and complexity to make it practically irresistible even for staunch traditionalists. In truth, both Merlot and Cabernet Franc have been grown in the Colli Euganei for decades. In the Gemola, they combi... Read More »
Certified organic Chardonnay (by CAAE, Comité Andaluz de Agricultura Ecológica), from outside of Sevilla! Colonias de Galeon is a labor of love headed by Elena Viguera and Julián Navarro. They set out in 1998 to prove that Andalucía is capable of producing delicious red and white wine (in addition to the famous wines of Jerez). Having planted vines in the national park lands of the Sierra Norte outside of Sevilla, at 700 meters altitude in heavily slate soils, where there is a surprisingly generous amount of rainfall, the results are both delicious and i... Read More »
91 points Antonio Galloni: "Bright red. Blackberry, dried cherry, licorice and woodsmoke on the pungent nose. Chewy, sharply focused bitter cherry and dark berry flavors stretch out and deepen with air, picking up a peppery nuance on the back half. Nicely balanced, precise Pinot Noir with no excess fat. Finishes with very good thrust and persistence and dusty tannins that add grip." (6/2015) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Brilliant red. Musky red berries, cherry pit, dried flowers and underbrush on the fragrant nose. Bitter cherry and redcurrant flavors show good depth and...flourish. Closes with good focus and fi ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "A minty aroma wafts from this wine, fresh and herbal, intermingled with the smell of sun-warmed tomato leaves. In taste, cranberry and savory black tea surround soft layers of well-built acidity and subtle red cherry fruitiness. It’s an intriguing wine that gets better in the glass." (10/2014)90 points Wine Spectator: "The plum, black cherry and raspberry flavors are pure and intense, showing some finesse, with star anise, clove and black pepper details that crescendo on the finish. Drink now through 2018." (9/2013)
90 points Wine Spectator: "A modern style, with black cherry, black currant and tobacco notes enhanced by oak spice. Vibrant and balanced, featuring fine tannins that still need to be absorbed. The spice elements echo on the finish. Best from 2016 through 2024." (8/2014) Jancis Robinson: "Cask sample. Very dark ruby. Focused oak and fruit nose. Supple dense fruit with a firm tannic frame. Only a tiny bit astringent on the finish, but will mellow out with more bottle age." (2/2014)
91 points Wine Spectator: "Black cherry, sweet spice, toast, cedar and bell pepper aromas and flavors highlight this smooth red, showing fine intensity and a long, new oak—infused finish. Drink now through 2018." (2/2014)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Bolgheri Rosso Adeo is a 60-40 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The bouquet definitely underlines the Cabernet component with distant layers of rosemary oil and wild herb. Spicy oak tones of cinnamon and clove add density and heft to the palate. The tannins are long and tight. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2019. (ML)" (8/2013) James Suckling: "This is a Bordeaux blend w ...Read More »
From a cooperative winery in the ancient Provençal village of Cuers, the Saint Roch les Vignes Côtes de Provence Rosé is a blend of 50% Grenache with 50% Cinsault, in the traditional Provençal bottle.
Jacques Bavard is a tiny negociant producer in Puligny-Montrachet. He comes from a long line of winegrowers, and is dedicated to working with organic and biodynamic growers. Keith has brought these wines in since the 2008 vintage. And they sell out quickly. (Clyde Beffa Jr., K&L)
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "...Dan Kravitz’s 2012 Maury Sec Serge & Nicolas is a rock star in this, at times, erratic vintage. A blend of 60% Grenache, 28% Syrah and the rest Carignan, that was fermented in tank aged in demi-muid (the Grenache is brought up all in tank), this medium to full-bodied beauty has terrific ripeness in its sweet blackberry, black cherry, truffle, peppery herbs and spice-driven aromas and flavors. Concentrated, rich and structured, with rocking levels of fruit, it will drink nicely for 5-6 years. (JD)" (4/2015)
91 points James Suckling: "A wine with a pretty ripe-fruit character and ripe, chewy tannins. Some toasted oak as well. I think it needs another two or three years to soften the tannins and bring it all together. Serious 2011 Pomerol." (2/2014) 90-91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of new wood mark this wine. On the palate, the tannins are gentle, with flavors of ripe black plum, nutmeg and milk chocolate." (4/2012)90 points Wine Spectator: "On the chewy side, with ganache and Black Forest cake notes leading the way, followed by loam, plum sauce, roasted fig and singed alder flavors that form the core and finish. Should drop the chewy edge ...Read More »
90 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2013 Pinot Noir Land's Edge Vineyards is soft, open and expressive, all of which suggest it is best enjoyed over the next few years. Dark red cherry, plum, spice and a hint of new oak meld together on the supple finish. The Land's Edge is a blend of fruit from Far Coast and Seascape, and is a great introduction to the house style. (AG)" (1/2015)
This is a delicious, certified organic blend of Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo, Merlot and Syrah. A short time in barrel adds a bit of structure and spice without detracting from the focused, pure dark berry fruits. This is so crunchy and fresh, and surprisingly serious for a mere under $15 bottle of red. Having planted vines in the national park lands of the Sierra Norte outside of Sevilla, at 700 meters altitude in heavily slate soils, where there is a surprisingly generous amount of rainfall, the results are both delicious and impressive: crisp, bright, ... Read More »
Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* Rich and well-ripened but not going too far and no more than hinting at a bit of chocolate here and there, this generous wine keys in on ample, berry-like fruit and shows a quiet hand with regard to varietal spice. It is fleshy, full and firm, and its fruit stays the course despite toughening tannins at the end. Refinement and beauty likely lie out of its reach regardless of how long it is held, but four or five years of patience should bring it at least a little of each." (11/2014) Wine Spectator: "Racy, if rather dry and tannic, with accents of dried cherry, c ...Read More »