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K&L Staff Recommendations
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A joint venture between Gassier, Philippe Cambie, and importer Eric Solomon, the 2012 Cercius Vieilles Vignes is a year in, year out ridiculous value that also drinks well past its humble price point. Comprised of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah that was aged for 6 months in concrete, it has loads of raspberry, licorice, mineral and Provencal herbs as well as a soft, supple and silky textured feel on the palate. Coming from old Grenache vines (70-90 years in age) located on the Plateau de Domazan - which lies on the right bank of the Rhone river, just west of ...Read More »
91 points Wine & Spirits: "Artemis is SLWC’s cabernet blend from purchased grapes and, in 2012, it’s broad and juicy, emphasizing full-on depths of plum-skin flavor and richness while retaining freshness in the fruit. Generous in its creamy texture, this is a match for filet mignon." (6/2015) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Already bottled, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Artemis is similar to its siblings. It offers delicious blackcurrant fruit, not as much complexity as the Fay or S.L.V., but an attractive meaty, rich blackcurrant fruitiness, well-integrated wood, and hints of spice and oak. Fleshy and medium-bodied ...Read More »
On the border of Tuscany, Lazio, and Umbria--the area that also happens to be the birthplace of the ancient Etruscan civilization--Paolo and Noemia d'Amico have built a winery deeply embedded in tradition. The landscape is a result of a long period of volcanic erosion, and is full of deep valleys of cliffs and rock walls. Their cellar is modeled after the Etruscans, and was built underneath the vines, ensuring that temps are always ideal. This Grechetto-Sauvignon Blanc blend is, according to the winery, "well-balanced, fresh, with a good persistence. Sce... Read More »
On a high plateau in the heart of Chianti Classico, the team at Villa Trasqua lives by the "wine is made in the vineyard" ethos. They harvest grapes at their peak, and practice minimal interferance so the aromas of the terroir can shine through. Their "Traluna"—mostly Sangiovese with a touch of Alicante Buchet—is ample and generous, with deep cherry and baking spice notes.
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 »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Crisp, tart, melon, tangerine and bubble gum-like aromas jump from the glass of this 2013 Chenin Blanc/Viognier (80% and 20% respectively). Aged totally in stainless steel, it no doubt has much of its malolactic fermentation blocked given its crisp acid profile." (11/2014) K&L Notes: Last call on the 2013 Vintage! Pine Ridge's Chenin Blanc-Viognier blend has impressed drinkers and critics alike. And now, what started as an experiment in the early-1990s, has become one of the winery's most sought after wines. From the winery: "Brilliant and refreshing, this bottling o... Read More »
93 points Decanter: "Bright ruby and transparent, yet you find yourself searching the glass for a skeleton, skate-wing bones of neatly structured and delicate tannins fanning out through the fruit. Fine, focused and extremely drinkable. Drink 2015-2022" (6/2015) 92 points James Suckling: "A beautiful red with delicate but rich flavors, bright acidity and an orange-peel undertone. Medium body with fine tannins and a fresh, clean, savory, salty finish. Very Burgundian. Pure Sangiovese. Drink now or hold." (10/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "Here’s a vibrant wine that opens with pretty aromas of blue flower, rose and berry. The savor ...Read More »
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)
Wine Spectator: "Fresh and light, showing a floral edge to the brisk core of peach pit and rose water. Shows lots of zip through the finish, but remains just a touch lean in the end." (6/2015) K&L Notes: Domaine de la Colombe is based in the village of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume, located at elevations between 900 and 1,300 feet. The terroir includes clay-limestone soils in combination with sandier soils in the valley.
Wine Spectator: "A balanced white, with modest poached apple, stone, preserved lemon and graphite notes. Juicy. (Web Only—2015)" K&L Notes: Well almost Umbria, actually in Lazio but you can see Umbria from this vineyard!
97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of my favorites is the 2012 Chardonnay Upper Barn, which boasts remarkable intensity as well as lots of tropical fruit, a stony-like minerality, and a full-bodied, layered mouthfeel. This is a multi-dimensional, profound Chardonnay (as it often was when made by Helen Turley) from a vineyard planted with an Old Wente clone as well as the Hyde clone of Chardonnay. It should drink well for 5-6 years. Stonestreet’s wines continue to go from strength to strength under the direction of South African winemaker Graham Weerts. The Chardonnays are spectacular. ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The finest rosé yet from this estate (the wine is made by the top notch team at Chateau Beaucastel), the light pink colored 2014 Cotes de Provence Rose sports a fresh and lively bouquet of wild strawberries, raspberries and white flowers to go with a supple, lightly textured, silky and seamless feel on the palate. About as gulp-able and hard to resist as they come, it's a killer rosé to drink over the coming 6-8 months." (6/2015) 91 points Vinous: "Vivid salmon-skin color. Fresh, incisive aromas of orange zest, redcurrant and white flowers, with hints of honey and lavender i ...Read More »
Quarter Acre is a small project from highly acclaimed winemaker Rod Mcdonald. This tiny range of wines represent small productions for tiny vineyard parcels (hence Quarter Acre) from sites that he thinks have a unique expression of terroir. These are his most "edgy" wines that push the boundaries of non-interventionist winemaking in pursuit of purity and authenticity of place. This Sauvignon Blanc is a lovely illustration of the diversity of styles coming from New Zealand. These grapes were grown at vineyards in Maraekakaho and Tuki Tuki on terraces over... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright purple. Youthfully wound-up aromas of blackberry, mulberry and violet, plus a strong note of licorice. Deeply pitched dark fruit flavors are given an exotic character by notes of violet pastille and star anise. Supple and expansive on the firm, gripping, intensely spicy finish. This textbook syrah should age well. (ST)" (5/2011) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Syrah Estate Reserve is a peppery, meaty effort that gives up plenty of spice, ground pepper, green olive and rendered bacon fat to go with a medium-bodied, moderately concentrated and focused palate. Nicely balance ...Read More »
Domaine Dragon is located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, in southeastern France where its vineyards benefit from the kind of calcareous clay soils that are ideal for producing Rhone varietals with concentration and freshness. It consists of 60 hectares with 24 hectares under vine, planted on hillside terraces to promote perfect ripening. With delicate strawberry and peach aromas and flavors, this is quintessential Provencal rose, a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Cinsault that was fermented in stainless steel to preserve freshness of ... Read More »
This is made from 100% Pinot Noir, hand harvested and all whole cluster fermentation. This is careful, small scale wine-making, and the result is a rosé of distinction, without the usual high levels of sugar many use to mask their lower quality base wine. It has a pretty, pale color, which the French call "Oeil de Perdrix" (Eye of the Partridge) with notes of strawberries on the nose and an elegant finish. Bravo! (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy buyer)
An elegant salmon pink, this rosé exudes aromas of summer cherries and raspberries, with a zippy, refreshing finish.
90 points Vinous: "(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)
95 points Wine & Spirits: "The vines that grew this supremely elegant wine were planted in 1999 on the red volcanic loam of a hillside and benchland vineyard in the southeast corner of Alexander Valley. Douglas and Nancy Ousterhout purchased the vineyard in 2009 and hired a pinot noir winemaker, Micah Wirth of Joseph Jewel, to create this silky, delicate zin. It’s as bright as a red cherry fresh off the tree, feeling almost weightless on the palate. As the wine takes on air, the tannins provide an edgy minerality that focuses and amplifies the fruit into a sunny, ruby-red laser be ...Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Orange blossoms, nectarines, white flowers and honey all flesh out in the 2011 Chardonnay Bear Point. Another wine that manages to be both rich but not ponderous, the 2011 Bear Point blossoms in all directions as the fruit opens up in the glass. A creamy, highly expressive finish rounds things out in style. The Bear Point is made from the “Peter Michael” Chardonnay clone, which is believed to have originated on this property! Anticipated maturity: 2014-2018. (AG)" (4/2013) 92 points Vinous: "Orange blossoms, nectarines, white flowers and honey all flesh out in the 2011 Chard ...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)
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Coming from a steep granite hillside near the village of Tupin-et-Semons, just on the outskirts of Côte Rôtie, the 2012 La Rosine Syrah VDP is 100% Syrah that was brought up in mostly older barrels. It’s a beautiful wine that, unsurprisingly, bares more than a passing resemblance to a high-quality Côte Rôtie from the southern part of the appellation. Sweet raspberry, licorice, spice and crushed rock-like qualities flow nicely to a medium-bodied, sexy, supple 2012 that has outstanding purity of fruit and a terrific finish. It’s hard to resist now, but I’v ...Read More »
Classic pink Provence blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault and 20% Syrah. Notes from the winemaker: "Light pink in color, with violet shades, this wine possesses a memorable and complex aroma. A lively wine that is smooth and possessing a certain sweetness. Very fruity, this rosé is particularly well suited as an aperitif or with salads and vegetable dishes."
If you are a fan of the gorgeous rosés of Pradeaux, you will love this enticing dry rosé from Domaine Dupuy de Lôme. Farmed organically, this is a classic Bandol rosé at Provencal price. Peachy citrus fruits with hints of berry skin and cut flowers, this is fresh, complex, and invigorating all at once. It is perfect grilled fish and seafood dishes, but balanced to take on more complex and spicy dishes too. For a traditional pairing, try it with bouillabaisse, or be more adventurous and pair it with Pad Thai or fish curry.
98 points Wine Spectator: "An elegant style, full of well-spiced, juicy flavors of raspberry, boysenberry and blueberry that extend with lively acidity and well-integrated tannins. Unctuous and succulent on the finish, which oozes with molten chocolate. Best after 2025." (10/2013) 96 points Wine Enthusiast: "Red and black berries bring out the richness of the year, masking the seriously tannic structure. The wine has great spice, richness and a dark, smoky core of powerful tannins. For long-term aging, but delicious now." (10/2013) 95 points James Suckling: "Aromas of flowers and berries with hints of dried fruits. Full body, medium sweet ...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 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 are ver... 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) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "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 that l ...Read More »
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 »
The 2014 rosé is a blend of 40% Grenache and 60% Cinsault. From the winery: "Powerful nose, white peach with spicy notes, evolving towards candied apricots, guava, exotic fruit. Great fullness in the mouth, a rich wine with great character, excellent aromatic length typical to the unique terroir of Château Saint Pierre. Its innate character is a perfect match for Mediterranean-style cuisine.'
Jancis Robinson: "Vanilla-laced dark fruit. More cedary on the palate. Rich, chewy and satisfying with very soft finish." (10/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "An excellent blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, this wine offers attractive value for its superb quality. The wine has a dense ruby/purple color, nice cedary blackcurrant fruit, medium body and surprisingly soft, well-integrated tannins. This sleeper of the vintage should drink nicely for 5-8 years. (RP)" (4/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "The dominance of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend of this structured wine gives strong tannins and tight ...Read More »
Composed of primarily Tempranillo grapes and made at Covila's facility, this is dark cherry fruited Tempranillo that is unoaked and delicious. The particularly cool conditions of the 2014 growing season produced fresh, crunchy, joven style Rioja this year. Enjoy this with a slight chill to highlight the freshness of the fruit. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish & Portuguese wine buyer)
Vigneron Marc Barriot has been producing wines in Roussillon since 2004. He sought out ancient vines and uses traditional practices to deliver some truly distinctive wines. Marc uses biodynamic methods, even plowing by horse, and uses minimal sulfur in his winemaking.
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)
93 points Raymond Chan: "Bright straw-yellow colour with green-golden hues, lighter edged. The nose is full and open with lifted aromas of rich and ripe yellow stonefruits, citrus fruits and tropical fruits entwined with creamy barrel ferment and nutty oak notes. The aromatics are fresh and youthful, and still very primary. Medium-full bodied, rich and sweetly mouthfilling flavours of ripe stonefruits and citrus fruits gently flow across the palate. The mouthfeel is soft with a creamy texture from the barrel-ferment and MLF, but follows a fine and tight linear core with piquant ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A firm, silky wine with hazelnut and berry character. Medium to full body with firm tannins and a fresh, clean finish. Chewy. Give it time to soften. Better in 2016." (10/2014) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva displays a dark, brooding color with evolved aromas of dried spice, autumnal underbrush, cassis, figs and candied prune. As the wine evolves in the glass, it imparts increasingly seductive layers of licorice and dried ginger that build in complexity and momentum in quintessential Brunello fashion. There’s a tightness and firmness to the palate ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Cherry, leafy, orange peel and light smoky flavors show a traditional character in this savory red. Features light, firm tannins and a clean, slightly bitter finish. Drink now through 2017. (Web-2015)" K&L Notes: Bodegas Campo Viejo was born when two small, historic Rioja estates merged in 1959. The unusual name comes from the block of vineyard next to the original cellar, very old vines that the winemakers called "Old Friend" - Campo Viejo. This wine consists of 100% Tempranillo, aged for four months in oak barrels. While the fruit is red plum and dark cherry, the o... Read More »
Decanter: "Waterkloof follows biodynamic practices. A proportion of the grapes in this tangy yet creamy blend were co-fermented, and the final result is complex and great value, displaying notes of peach, lime and minerals" Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Circle of Life White, a blend of 56% Sauvignon Blanc, 28% Chenin Blanc, 13% Chardonnay and 3% Semillon, half of which was fermented in 600-liter barrels and left on the lees for seven months, has a lilting praline-tinged bouquet that is pure and very attractive. The palate is fresh and vibrant with crisp acidity, touches of orange peel an ...Read More »
94 points James Suckling: "This is a phenomenal white with sliced pear, apple and cream. Wonderful richness. It's full bodied, very layered and stylish. A petrol, candle-wax and dried-apricot character. Savory finish. Drink now." (12/2014) 3 points Gambero Rosso: "With its extraordinary interpretation of the Matelica DOC, Aldo Cifola's winery is the perfect exponent of the concept of terroir. He reads the potential of Verdicchio, which finds a powerful, flavorsome expression here without losing its acidic, tangy edge endowed by the area and its cool microclimate. Another magnificent verison of the Mirum, th ...Read More »
Bob Campbell: "Light Sauvignon Blanc in a reasonably grassy style with capsicum, lemon grass and toasty, savoury flavours. Still reasonably fresh but showing nice integration after a little bottle age. Good value at this price" (11/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "This Hawkes Bay wine seems to be trying to out-Marlborough Marlborough. Scents of crushed tomato leaves are aggressively green, while the acids are crisp, to say the least. That said, it comfortably rides the border between pleasure and pain, ending with notes of razor-like lime juice and soothing, dusty chalk." (7/2014) K&L Notes: A great everyday v... Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Languedoc Origine checks in as a blend of Syrah and Grenache that spent 18 months in foudre. Slightly fresher, with bright berry and purple fruits, licorice, roasted herbs and ample background meatiness, this beauty hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, impressive purity of fruit and loads of texture. It should impress over the coming 5-7 years or so, and certainly, there’s no harm in drinking now. This brilliant lineup of wines is made by Eric Prissette, of Saint-Emilion’s Chateau Rol Valentin. Both his 2011s and 2012s are supe ...Read More »
From the winery: "2012 was an abundant and ideal growing season in the Sta. Rita Hills. The grapes ripened evenly producing both high quality and quantity due to a mild spring and summer with little rain, and no frost. The moderate weather provided for low disease pressure during the growing season. Sta. Rita Hills is one of the premier AVAs for Chardonnay in California. The wines have that rare combination of power and structure that can only come from low yielding, cool-climate, coastal vineyards. This 2012 offers a bouquet of crème brulee and lemon me... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Smooth and compact, this red offers cherry, vanilla and light smoky notes, with accents of herb and licorice. A bit candied in character, but has lively acidity." (8/2014) K&L Notes: This delicious, 100% Garnacha from the Aragon "Garnacha Belt" D.O. of Campo de Borja, shows all the bright red cherry fruit you'd expect form this grape variety, with the added richness, texture and length which old vines deliver in this portion of Spain. A whole lot of value for the money.
Inventory: San Francisco
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 »
90 points James Suckling: "A clean, fresh red with dried-strawberry and lemon-rind character. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a chewy finish. Always excellent. Drink or hold." (2/2014) 90 points Vinous: "The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is a pretty wine, with good freshness and solid overall balance for the year. Sweet tobacco, dried herbs, smoke and spice meld together nicely in the glass. Although a bit compact and forward, the 2009 offers lovely drinking today and should develop nicely for the next decade or so. In 2009, Mastrojanni did not produce their flagship Brunello Schiena d'Asino; that ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Coming all from Mourvedre, and one of the best roses out there, the 2014 Languedoc Saint Drezery Tete de Belier Rose sports a light pink color to go with terrific notes of peach, strawberry and orange blossom. Medium-bodied, layered and elegant, with a full-mid-palate, integrated acidity and a great finish, drink this brilliant rose (preferably with food) over the coming year or two. (JD)" (4/2015)
Claudia Ferrero and her husband/winemaker Pablo Härri's estate is called the Podere Pascena and it sits in the southwesterly corner of Montalcino (they are bordered by Argiano and Banfi's Riserva vineyard "Poggio all'Oro"). The wines from this zone are really rich and you can feel the sun shining on these grapes, ripening, and filling them with a dense richness, while their wines show lots of black cherry, plum, chocolate with a satiny texture, round, full and broad on the palate. When we were first introduced to this winery, we thought it was so soft, f... Read More »
95 points James Halliday: "Dalwhinnie's Chardonnay is the best from the region in virtually every vintage; barrel fermentation in French oak is not carried to extremes (solids, sulphides, etc), its quality coming from its finesse and perfectly ripened stone fruit woven through the oak." (2/2014) K&L Notes: This iconic estate nestled into a natural amphitheatre 2,000 feet up in Victoria's Pyrenees mountain range produces some of the country's most highly regarded and awarded wines that have attracted very high points from the world's top critics. We are extremely happy to offer a limited alloca... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City