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K&L Staff Recommendations
Hermanuspietersfontein's "No.3 - Bergblokke" or "Mountain Block" tends to produce pure, concentrated, fruit-driven wines presenting fine citrus, gooseberry, kiwi, litchi and melon aromas and flavors. A dash of neutral barrel fermented Semillon is added to balance the Sauv Blanc's overt nature and enhance palate texture. This is a super refreshing wine with lots of juicy fruit and zesty acidity. 2014 is another outstanding vintage. HPF is the creation of master of Sauvignon Blanc winemaker Bartho Eksteen. Bartho is known in South Africa as: "the Sultan o... Read More »
This rich South African red blend is the perfect party wine. Gaining depth and spice from Syrah, verve from Mourvèdre, and perfume from Viognier, it is easy to love--and easy to drink by the gallon! Fortunately, its price tag is friendly, too. From the winery: "Ripe blackberries and spicy pepper flavours from the Syrah driving this blend are met with a soft and supple palate. Good density with lingering flavours and a hint of oak. Soft, supple tannins makes for early, easy drinking."
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Free Run Steen Chenin Blanc has an attractive nose with fresh grapefruit and passion fruit scents that are well defined and articulate the variety with clarity. The palate is well balanced with crisp grapefruit and light honeyed tones, very harmonious with well judged acidity and a composed, quite elegant finish. This is an excellent Chenin Blanc. (NM)" (11/2015) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "We source our Chenin Blanc from selected vineyards in the Agter-Paarl region. The vineyards are all unirrigated and bush-vine (untrellised) that produce concentrated, ... Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Limestone Hill Chardonnay comes from seven- to 21-year-old vines cropped between five and eight tons per hectares. This unwooded Chardonnay has a pretty nose with apricot blossom, slate and almond-tinged bouquet that gently opens in the glass. The palate is fresh and poised with a fine bead of acidity, tensile with a focused dried apricot and lemon curd finish. This is an excellent Chardonnay from De Wetshof and at this price, you cannot go wrong. (NM)" (10/2015) Wine Spectator: "A direct version, with green apple and pear fruit, backed by a lightly candied lime p ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "They do three bottlings; this is the second and therefore a bit richer than the first. Fermented in concrete and old vats." (1/2015) Wine Spectator: "Plump and friendly, with creamed yellow apple and pear fruit flavors, backed by a hint of almond on the finish. Drink now. 12,000 cases made. –JM"
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 »
Grapes were sourced from six distinctive vineyards in Wellington, creating a blend with complexity and verve. Winemaker's notes: "On the nose distinct coffee, rich dark chocolate and baked plums. The ripe subtle tannins create a wine to be drunk very young. This unique style of Pinotage is a perfect accompaniment to salmon, roast venison and even chocolate mousse."
Now a perennial favorite with staff and customers alike at K&L, this is one of our best selling and most raved about rosés every year. Hand-picked from Biodynamically farmed, old Mourvedre vines in a cool coastal sub-region of Stellenbosch, it's a fresh, elegant wine that does a fantastic impression of Bandol (which is also predominantly made from Mourvedre) but at a fraction of the cost! Waterkloof is a stunning property working with very natural, non-interventionist methods, the wines are pure, expressive and precisely balanced. I am excited to work wi... Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 John X Merriman was blended from 17 lots that were vinified separately and sees 20 months in new French oak. It is much more closed than the 2010 despite rigorous coaxing. The palate is well-balanced with fine tannin and a little more tension than the previous vintage, gradually building in the mouth toward an intense, white pepper, savory finish. I would give this five or six years in bottle because it may ultimately out-perform the 2010. Drink 2016-2024. (NM)" (10/2013) 92 points Wine & Spirits: "This wine’s blend of five Bordeaux varieties is concentrated in cabernet sau ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 100% barrel-fermented 2013 Chardonnay has a buttery, brioche-scented bouquet that feels a little old-fashioned, but would certainly attract wide commercial appeal. The palate is well-balanced with tropical tones on the entry, hints of praline in the background, good acidity and toffee notes toward the finish. (NM)" (10/2014) Vinous: "(100% fermented and aged in barrels, 30% new): Very pale straw-yellow. Subtle oak spices lift aromas of apple and pear. Juicy, saline and bright, with brisk acidity giving shape and lift to the flavors of lemon curd and toffee appl ...Read More »
90 points Decanter: "Choose wisely and you could be happier--and better off--with sparkling wines than Champagnes on offer in the run-up to Christmas.Graham Beck Brut NV. This is classic stuff with bready, autolytic aromas, a fine mousse and distinctly savoury flavour...if you are looking for an inexpensive alternative to big-name Champagne, this is it." 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Non-Vintage Brut has pretty apricot and mango scents that are lively and vivacious. The palate is lively on the entry with crisp acidity, citrus peel on the entry with a terse but very focused finish. This is one of the be ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Wine Spectator: "A modest core of singed vanilla, plum and licorice notes is backed by a slightly firm thread of cedar on the finish. (Web-2015)"
91 points Wine Spectator: "The 2014 Shiraz has a well defined bouquet, what you might call "cool" Shiraz with mint and fennel-tinged black fruit that is precise and focused. The palate is very nicely structured with a killer line of acidity that maintains precision and poise. It's not a fruit-driven, flamboyant Shiraz, more Cornas-like with a structured, grippy finish. This is excellent, as cerebral as it is pleasurable. (NM)" (11/2015)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Non-Vintage Brut Rosé, an equal blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, has an attractive pale salmon color. The nose is light but nicely defined with rose petal and melon scents, while the palate is well-balanced with crisp acidity and generous strawberry and red cherry notes toward the finish." (10/2014) Vinous: "Very pale orange-copper color. Bright, fresh raspberry and cherry aromas, along with a light leesy nuance. Tastes sweeter than the brut, with strong red berry flavors dominating. A bit weightier and broader but not better. Sweeter and softer on the finis ...Read More »
Praise from Jancis Robinson for a previous vintage: "The only David Sadie wine I have tasted is this quite exceptional 2012 David (Sadie) Grenache 2012 made from an organic vineyard on the granite soils of the Paardeberg in the Swartland. A grand total of two barrels were produced in 2012 although production grew last year when he was able to add the produce of another vineyard and he now has a third in his sights, apparently. He employs some cold soak, a certain portion of whole bunches in the fermentation vat, with ambient yeast, daily punchdowns of th... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Secateurs Red Blend has just nudged upward in my estimation since last year. Here, it has a very well-defined, quite sumptuous bouquet with vibrant raspberry, dark cherry and mineral notes that have really opened up in the last 12 months. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannins. This is very well-balanced with great delineation on the finish. Drinking beautifully now. (NM)" (10/2014) 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good medium red. Sexy aromas of cherry, orange peel and flowers, plus a bit of leathery funk and a touch of candied fruits. An attractive sweet/spicy midweight ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 The Curator White Blend is a blend of 50% Chenin Blanc, 36% Chardonnay and 14% Semillon. It has a straight-forward, honey and beeswax-scented bouquet. The palate is easy going, quite sweet and honeyed in texture with a sumptuous citrus peel and peachy finish that will slip effortlessly down throats. This represents excellent value. (NM)" (11/2015) Vinous: "Initially dusty nose quickly cleared to show lively aromas of orange, lime, stone, anise, dusty herbs and lemon oil. Glyceral and long on personality, showing intense honeyed stone and citrus fruit flavo ...Read More »
Crystallum is a boutique winery owned by Andrew and Peter-Allan Finlayson, sons of South African wine legend Peter Finlayson. Paradisum is a Rhone style blend made from Shiraz (50%), Grenache (38%), and Cinsault (12%). The grapes are grown in three different vineyard blocks in the Paardeberg from old, non-irrigated bush vines. The nose is explosive and seductive all at once. Red fruits but intertwined with cinnamon, clove, and exotic spices. The palate is very much old-school Rhone, medium-bodied, elegant and more savoury than the bouquet might suggest. ... Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Pale ruby. Grunty and fun with funky savoury flavours. Gentle, subtle, flattering." (9/2015) K&L Notes: From the importer: "Protea Heights Farm is located in Devon Valley just 10 minutes from the center of Stellenbosch. Ginny Povall, originally from New England, cultivates 53 acres of land of which 24 acres are the protea flowers (South Africa’s national flower) and 12 acres of vineyards. Back in the late 1940s, it was the first farm in South Africa to cultivate proteas. Ginny is now making some exquisite wines from Chenin Blanc and Pinot Noir. Ginny is one of the ex... Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Healthy deep red. High-toned aromas of strawberry and spices, with a suggestion of whole-cluster fermentation. In a very ripe, easygoing style, with lovely sweetness and depth to its strawberry fruit. Not particularly complex but offers terrific sex appeal already. Finishes sweet and long, with gentle tannins." (6/2015) Jancis Robinson: "First year he made it was in 2008 and it's named after his first two (superseded) growers! Four different vineyards mainly Hemel. Different picks, 15% new oak, 10-30% whole bunch. Light ruby. Warm stones on the nose then quite sweet and fr ...Read More »
A smoking deal in Cabernet. This wine comes from Ginny Poval's farm located in the Devon Valley just minutes from the heart of Stellenbosch. Big Flower is designed to be an easy drinking wine that really over-delivers for the price point ... and boy it does just that! Juicy dark fruit, hints of tobacco, bitter-sweet chocolate. Soft texture and fine tannins. A seriously good value in everyday Cabernet.
A mineral intensive, rich, old vine Chenin Blanc with both concentration and elegance. We have been working with Ginny's beautiful Botanica wines for a few years now and the purity and depth of this Chenin continues to impress year after year. Ryan Woodhouse (K&L South African Wine Buyer)
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Cartology Bush Vines is Chris Alheit's fourth release since it blazed onto the South African scene. It comes from the same vineyards as previous vintages. Chris said this is completely unfined and unfiltered with a very healthy pH. The nose has a sense of confidence about it, racing out of the blocks with orange zest, honeysuckle, jasmine and a touch of loganberry. The palate is lightly honeyed on the entry, beautifully balanced with a fine line of acidity, gently building in the mouth towards a complex, absorbing finish of lychee, white pepper ...Read More »
According to the winery: "Traditional grape varieties (Pinot Noir 60% Chardonnay 40%) are hand-picked in the cool of the early mornings at the beginning of harvest season. Only the free run juice is used for this MCC product - ± the first 500 litres per ton - Pinot Noir adding a subtle, sophisticated salmon pink hue. Krone Rosé Brut MCC is bottle fermented and matures on the lees in underground cellars after which, prior to dégorging, the bottles are packed in wooden pupitres (turning racks) and the rémuage (the turning of the bottles) is done entirely b... Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 White is a blend of 56% Sauvignon Blanc and 44% Semillon, the fruit sourced by Duncan Savage from numerous vineyards around Kaaimansgat for the former and Villiersdorp for the latter. The wine is fermented in 500-liter used oak casks, 25% new, where it ages for 11 months. It has a very refined bouquet with scents of beeswax, honeysuckle, jasmine and touches of praline in the background. The palate is very well balanced with beautifully effervescent orange zest, guava, apricot and honeysuckle notes and a supremely focused, classy finish. Quite si ...Read More »
Thinus Krüger, CEO/President/Winemaker/Grape Crusher is the sole employee of FRAM, the source of these remarkable "wines of exploration." I recently tasted these with Pascal Schildt, the small, specialist South African importer who brings us these wines, and I was truly blown away by the quality, purity, depth and VALUE of the entire range! This unoaked Chard is sourced from a unique vineyard in Robertson that has some of South Africa's only calcium soil deposits. This gives the wine a lovely mineral undercurrent to complement the bright, ripe, yellow st... Read More »
Winemaker's Notes: "This wine is made from: Roussanne (39%) - trellised vines, 8 years old, alluvial soils. Chardonnay (23%) - dryland bush vines, 22 years old, shale and clay soils. Semillon blanc (23%) - trellised vines, 30 years old, alluvial soils. Chenin blanc (15%) - dryland bush vines 33 years old, decomposed granite soils. There’s a lot going on aromatically in this wine. The initial orange blossom, peach and burnt sugar aromas give way to more exotic wax, rosemary, caraway and sea-shore notes. It is layered and complex, and evolves beautifully i... Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Old Vine Series Skurfberg (100% Chenin Blanc) has a beautifully defined bouquet with scents of pressed yellow flowers and lanolin. The palate is very tense with deceiving weight in the mouth, almost distant at first but then those gorgeous honeycomb and citrus peel flavors crash upon the shore. Sublime. (NM)" (10/2014) 93 points Wine Spectator: "Richly layered, with Jonagold apple, white peach and mirabelle flavors, this is lined with verbena and chamomile notes and backed by a mineral-lined finish that sails on and on. Very pure and fine-tuned. Should be fun to watch this ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
90 points Vinous: "Very pale, bright yellow. Pungent, high-pitched aromas of lime, gooseberry, anise, white pepper and quinine, plus a suggestion of tropical fruits; reminded me of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. At once salty, juicy and dense; a bit closed in the middle, then opens out and builds on the finish. Suave, concentrated and adamantly dry; Sauvignon in an adult style. Distinctly dry and salty on the aftertaste. There's no rush to consume this wine: I'd wait six months. (ST)" (6/2015)
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2008 Peter Barlow undergoes a fortnight’s skin maceration with malolactic in barrel, then aged for 24 months in wood, of which 64% is new and the rest second and third fill. It has a potent bouquet of red cherries, raspberry, cigar box and leather that is nicely defined, perhaps a little old school. The palate is medium-bodied with a soft, sensual opening. The tannins feel saturated and render this a nubile Cabernet with a delicate touch of spice on the finish. Excellent. Drink now-2020. (NM)" (10/2013) Wine Spectator: "Mature but still fresh, with a savory streak run ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc comes from three vineyards, predominantly whole-bunch pressed in order to settle as clean as possible, fermentation in 300-liter used barrels where the lees can be worked and limit sulfur for six months. It has a fine, tense and slightly chalky bouquet with touches of Mirabelle coming through. The palate is crisp on the entry with a fine line of acidity. Good tension here, very nicely focused and refined with hints of almond and walnut toward the finish. Very fine." (10/2014) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Peach and straw flavors mingle with brioche and blanched ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Light ruby. Dusty nose. Real whole-bunch influence with lots of freshness. Bone-dry end." (9/2015) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "Grapes are meticulously sourced from a number of altitude and maritime vineyards around the Western Cape farmed by passionate South Africans. The small hand selected parcels of fruit receive much love and attention through the growing season with each vineyard’s unique terroir contributing in its own special way to the blend. In the cellar, minimal intervention and old large format French Oak is combined to ensure that the essence of South... Read More »
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Cool, discreet nose hints at menthol. Tightly wound and quite dry, with flavors of stone fruits, lemon oil and nut oils complemented by a touch of sweet oak (just 10% new). Very concentrated, tactile wine with excellent firming acidity. Finishes cool, dry, classic and long, with a lingering note of peach oil and a subtle saline character." (6/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 The Agnes Chardonnay, a blend of different vineyards, has quite a refined, understated bouquet that is nicely defined with touches of flint and citrus lemon coming through with aeration. The palate is f ...Read More »
This wine is sourced a single vineyard of old, bush vine Chardonnay that is tended by a sheep farmer, and made by this up-and-coming winery, founded only in 2012 by by John and Tasha Seccombe.
Jancis Robinson: "Fermented on the skins. Chris Mullineux’s private project – the three foxes are him and the Schild brothers. Old bush vines. Too dark in the room to see the colour but I suspect it is deep gold. Lovely aroma of quince, apricot and a hint of baked apple. Dry and textured without aggressive tannins – actually quite gentle on the palate but the flavours go on and on. More aromatic than some skin-fermented whites and finishes with fine freshness. Delicious." (10/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Clairette Blanche comes from a vineyard that was just about to be ripped out. It has ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Five Soldiers Chardonnay was raised mainly in Burgundy barrels and sees 74% new oak for 15 months. It has a pleasant, rounded bouquet with light peachy notes that need a little more vigor. The palate is nicely balanced with plenty of tropical fruit, toffee and peach forming the composed, harmonious finish. This is a commendable Chardonnay that just about justifies the premium. Drink now-2017. (NM)" (10/2013)
Inventory: Redwood City
The Brut Reserve is Saltare's more mature Methode Cap Classique with a minimum of 36 months on the lees, giving it a fuller and more rounded mouthfeel and warmer flavours. It is perfect for matching with a delicious meal and rich enough to stand up to a lot of foods. The wine has almonds, quince, orange peel and camomile flower aromas on the nose. There is creamed honey on the palate followed by layers of brioche, lemon thyme and yellow apple. It has a fine, delicate mousse with a long, complex, creamy, yeasty finish.
According to the winery: "Saltare's Brut Nature is a fresh wine perfect on its own anytime during the day and amazing with oysters and other seafood. It spends a minimum of 18 months on the lees and we do not add any sugar or sulphur when it is disgorged. The dates of bottling and disgorgement are printed on each label to give you the exact time the bottle has spent on the lees. The wine has aromas of sliced grapefruit and white flowers introduce the freshness of the wine, accompanied by brioche and biscuity notes. There are fresh lemon, strawberry, goos... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Aged in 60-year old foudres, the 2010 Family White Blend has a light bouquet that is missing some fruit concentration and even with constant aeration it remains tight-lipped. The palate has a light, beeswax entry but it fails to really build and the finish does not have the depth of the Secateurs Chenin Blanc or the 2009 White Blend. Tasted twice...with consistent, perplexed notes. (NM)" (12/2012) Wine Spectator: "A plump and flattering style, with creamed melon, glazed pear and dried pineapple notes laced with heather and sweetened butter hints, lingering through the fin ...Read More »
Winemaker's Notes: "58% Cinsaut, 21% Grenache and 21% Syrah. Grapes are meticulously sourced from a number of altitude and maritime vineyards around the Western Cape. The small hand selected parcels of fruit receive much love and attention through the growing season with each vineyard’s unique terroir contributing in its own special way to the blend. In the cellar, minimal intervention along with new and old large format French Oak is combined to ensure that the essence of South African terroir is captured in the wines. With the flagship Savage red selli... Read More »
95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(30% Chenin Blanc plus nine other varieties in almost equal parts; done mostly in concrete and clay amphoras, with 10% made in big wooden demi-muids): Bright, light yellow. Outstanding aromatic purity and nuance to the pungent aromas of orange blossom, minerals, clove and mint. Highly concentrated yellow fruit flavors are perfectly framed and carried by harmonious ripe acidity. This wonderfully silky white blend really expands to fill the mouth, without any loss of precision. Finishes with great rising length. Sadie whole-bunch-presses this wine on a fou ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
A stunning little rosé. Quite unusually this is made from Petit Verdot. The wine is perfectly poised, aromatic, crunchy bright fruit and floral tones, crushed rock minerality and possesses a lovely palate weight and lees driven texture / complexity. This can be quaffed without much thought or it can be pondered over for hours, so fresh and easy-drinking, but also very layered and complex. A seriously good addition to our 2015 rosé lineup.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Pale, bright watermelon-pink. Expressive aromas and flavors of red berries, flowers and spices. Nicely concentrated, fruit-driven rose with a touch of residual sugar countered by bright acidity. Offers good texture and gulpability. Not particularly complex but finishes with a subtle fruit sweetness" K&L Notes: A delicious and unique South African rosé, made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon that was fermented in stainless steel with light pressing and no oak aging for an unexpectedly fresh, lively and complex style. It exhibits red berry and savory herb aromas and fla... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Thinus Krüger, CEO / President / Winemaker / Grape crusher / Sole employee of FRAM, brings us these remarkable "wines of exploration." I recently tasted these with Pascal Schildt, the small, specialist South African importer who brings us these wines, and I was truly blown away by the quality, purity, depth and VALUE of the entire range! This Pinotage is amongst the best I have ever tasted. The grapes are from a farm in the mountains north west of Clanwilliam. Red sandy soils and struggling vines, battling for survival. Like most other living things, vin... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
The Kloof Street Chenin Blanc is sourced from three particularly fine vineyards in Swartland: one with 33 year old vines planted in the stony Shale and Schist soils of Riebeek Kasteel Mountain, and two vineyards of 40+ year old dry-farmed bush vines in the decomposed granite of Paardeberg Mountain. These vineyards render modest yields and the juice is fermented on their native yeast in a combination of stainless steel (85%) and neutral oak (15%). From the winery: "Pale straw in colour, this wine has a nose of sun ripened pears and wet granite. The palate... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
Yep, 2014 rosé! Vintage is done and dusted in South Africa and this rosé is as fresh as they come! This Rhône-style blend of Cinsault, Syrah, and Grenache is produced from some of the oldest Cinsault and Grenache vines in South Africa, planted to the granitic soils of Kalmoesfontein in the 1950s. Crisp, dry and silky on the palate. Such a refreshing glass of wine. It is a unique, complex rosé with the flavor intensity and spice to stand up to a variety of grilled meats and veggies along with dishes driven by tomato-based sauces. Perfect for summer alfres... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Kloof Street Red is a blend of 85% Syrah, 9% Carignan, 2% Mourvedre, 2% Cinsault and 2% Grenache sourced from six parcels cropped between 4-6 tons per hectare and raised in third- and fourth-fill French oak barrels and demi-muids for 11 months. It has a lovely rounded bouquet with blackberry and mulberry fruit with just a dash of white pepper. The palate is medium-bodied – quite structured at the moment with crisp acidity, touches of bell pepper coming towards the rustic finish. This continues to serve as a great introduction to the delights of ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse