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K&L Staff Recommendations
2015 Eric Cottat Sancerre $18.99
95 points Decanter: "Platinum Medal - Trophy for Best In Show: Sauvignon Blanc at DAWA 2016: Fresh and powerful throughout with an enticing nose of fresh citrus garnished by hints of white flowers and white peach. To taste, it's very clean with a broad texture, ending on an intense, zippy finish; delicious!" 90 points Bob Campbell: "Pure, zesty Sauvignon Blanc with guava, lime zest and subtle herbal flavours. Nice purity and an ethereal texture. Refreshing wine with good varietal characters" (11/2015) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "This wine is zesty and vibrant, with a base of rich tropical fruit, kaffir lime, le... Read More »
According to the importer: "This new Loire Valley project is a partnership with Rodolphe and Ludivine Marteau, who took over their family’s estate in 2010 (they are the 4th generation) The 29 hectare property is located on South bank of the river Cher, on siliceous-argilo (clay and flint) soils. Of the 29 hectares of estate vineyards owned by the Marteau family, 20 are planted to Sauvignon Blanc. These vines average 30 years in age and are meticulously tended by the family. Short-cane pruning, selective ploughing, spring debudding, deleafing, grass cover... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Francois and Jean-Marie Cherrier with father Pierre produce steely and citrus-driven Sancerre from fine parcels of Sauvignon Blanc planted in Sancerre's silex (flint) and chalky soils. Yields are kept low and harvest is done strictly by hand before fermenting in 100% stainless steel. Vibrantly aromatic and mineral-driven, this is quintessential Sancerre.
One of K&L's very finest buys from France. This is a reserve cuvée, made from Millet's chalkiest limestone soils. There is a long maceration at very low temperatures to extract as much flavor and character as possible. The resulting wine is intensely charged with stone fruit and minerality, with bright citrus notes. However, due to the amazingly warm vintage, it's quite soft, with layers of rich fruit.
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. (LPB)" (3/2016)
94 points Raymond Chan: "Bright, very pale straw colour with light golden-green hues, pale on rim. The nose is very elegantly presented, tightly bound with pure, mouthwatering aromas of passionfruit entwined with lime fruit, fresh herbs, subtle notes of white florals and stonefruits and thirst-quenching minerals. The aromatics show finesse, intensity and cut. Medium-full bodied, the palate is tightly constructed but has lusciously rich, bright and juicy, lively fruit flavours of passionfruit, gooseberries, herbs and minerals, lifted by fragrant white stonefruits and florals. The ...Read More »
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 is a perfect little Sauvignon Blanc. Tropical fruit, citrus and spice aromas and flavors, with vibrant acidity and minerality. Perfect for goat ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Based in Bué, one of the top villages of Sancerre, this producer has made a ripe, crisp and nervy wine that comes from chalk soil. Tangy with a mineral texture, it offers rich currant and lime flavors and full-throated final acidity. (RV)" (5/2016) K&L Notes: We love these wines for their freshness, charm and affordability, and this is easily our best value Sancerre in the store. From soils of clay and chalk in the village of Bue near the Domaine. The Millet keeps you coming back for more. It is vinified entirely in stainless steel to preserve the wonderful citrus an... Read More »
This Sancerre has a pale yellow color with hints of flashing green. Aromatically, it possesses a nice fruity component of crispy white peaches, melon, yellow plums and the typical presence of place notes of flinty minerals. On the palate, it has a richness and persistence which is nicely balanced with fruit texture, mineral and acidity. The excellent length gets even better as the bottle breathes. If you can get your hands on a round of Crottin de Chavignol, call it a day. Or, try this with pan roasted shellfish with just a touch of butter and a squeeze ... Read More »
We love these wines for their freshness, charm and affordability, and this is easily our best value Sancerre in the store. From soils of clay and chalk in the village of Bue near the Domaine. The Millet keeps you coming back for more. It is vinified entirely in stainless steel to preserve the wonderful citrus and slightly grassy aromatics and gentle mineral finish.
Wine Enthusiast: "Still young, this wine is showing intense herbaceous characteristics that need to soften. Plenty of fruit between the texture needs to fill out. Hints of apples, pears and quince are all there. Drink from 2016. (RV)" (9/2015) K&L Notes: 85% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Semillon
From the winery: "True to the style of Sauvignon Blanc we’ve honed over the past 40 years, our 2015 rendition boasts beautifully fresh, fragrant aromas of honeydew melon, grapefruit and guava, with a slight floral note. Full-bodied and concentrated on the palate, with a silky texture, its vibrant melon, citrus and gooseberry flavors are perfectly balanced, leading to a long, succulent finish boasting bright citrus and mineral tones. Enjoy this classic Sauvignon Blanc over the next 3-5 years with your favorite salad, seafood, poultry and vegetarian dishes... Read More »
A special price on "The Brothers Reserve" bottling from Giesen. Sourced from the estate's top parcels across both the Wairau and Awatere valleys. Absolutely quintessential "Marlborough Sauv Blanc"...packed full of juicy, gooseberry, citrus, tomato leaf, and stony minerals. Tons of flavor, great mouthwatering acidity, and a clean mineral finish. This bottle really shows the high quality of the 2013 vintage. (Ryan Woodhouse, K&L NZ Wine Buyer)
93-94 points Raymond Chan: "Bright, very pale straw-green colour, near colourless on the edge. The nose is very fresh with intense, vibrantly fragrant aromas of ripe passionfruit with bright lime and citrus notes, gooseberries, lifted florals and subtle minerally elements. This is delicately detailed and exudes vitality. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, bright and elegantly concentrated flavours of sweet tropical fruits and gooseberries are entwined with passionfruit and mineral notes. The mouthfeel is refreshing and refined, with very fine textures and a crisp, poised palate line. ...Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "Fragrant and succulent, with melon, lime and passion fruit flavors accented by spice and orange sherbet hints. Features a smooth, supple frame and juicy accents. Drink now." (8/2016) K&L Notes: 79% Sauvignon Blanc, 21% Sémillon Aromas of passion fruit, papaya, ginger and star fruit leap from the glass, along with layers of grapefruit and melon. A lovely Sémillon-driven silkiness provides delicate weight to this wine, while crisp, refreshing acidity and vibrant citrus flavors draw the wine to a lingering finish with notes of Meyer lemon and Kaffir lime.
Cognizant is a collaborative project between K&L and some of New Zealand's finest winemakers. The word "Cognizant" means to have an intimate grasp of knowledge through personal experience. This series of wines will pay homage to talented winemakers and their ability to capture the unique "sense of place" or "terroir" within their wines. The 2015 Cognizant is made specifically for us by TWR (Te Whare Ra). The wine is a blend of three different blocks with a considerable (20%) barrel fermented component. It captures the quintessential flavors of Marlboroug... Read More »
This blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon is a stellar value from Bordeaux. Grapes are hand-harvested and the juice undergoes a cold soak before 75% of it is barrel fermented and the other 25% is fermented in stainless steel. Crisp and mineral with vanilla tones on the nose, the palate is nicely rounded and full with citrus and tropical fruit. It is delicious with lighter foods and also quite refreshing on its own.
Invigorating and fresh, with lemony citrus aromas and flavors accented by delicate white flowers. The palate is full and fresh, with balanced acidity and minerality on the finish. This a style of wine that keeps your palate fresh and alive. Although easy to drink, it has complexity and intrigue up and down the aromatic and palate. You'll want another after the first one has disappeared. (Eric Story, K&L Loire buyer)
There is perhaps no better match for a dozen oysters than minerally Sancerre from one of the best producers in the region. This release is always a cut above textbook Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc, with bright acidity, smoke, citrus and grassiness. Hippolyte Reverdy's family has been making wine in the charming village of Verdigny, a commune of Sancerre in the eastern Loire, for many generations--perhaps as far back as 1600. Traditional in nature, the farm was planted to multiple crops, and the Reverdys raised goats and made small quantities of wine from ... Read More »
Domaine Begude is a small, family-owned property located high in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the Limoux region of the Languedoc. The long, cool growing season lends itself perfectly to the production of crisp and delicate wines, and this Sauvignon Blanc is no exception. More in the style of a Loire Valley Sancerre, with its fine, mineral-laden nose and fresh citrus fruits on the palate, this is the perfect accompaniment to grilled fish, oysters or just by itself. Make this one your house white! Organically certified by Ecocert.
Vinous: "Groth's 2015 Sauvignon Blanc is bright, focused and nicely delineated throughout. I would prefer to drink it over the next year, while the lemon and grapefruit flavors retain the vivacity. (AG)" (8/2016)
Wine Spectator: "Lemon, melon and peach flavors are fleshy and juicy. Mouthwatering on the intense finish. (MW-Web-2016)"
94-95 points Raymond Chan: "Bright, pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, lighter on edge. The nose is intense with penetrating aromas of ripe gooseberries, greengages, limes and green stonefruits, fresh herbs and a subtle layer of nutty oak. The aromatics are youthfully fresh and tightly bound. Medium-bodied, the fruit is tight and firmly concentrated, and slender in presentation, still to unfold in richness. The flavours of green stonefruits, herbs and citrus fruits are vibrantly youthful, refreshing and steely, and the palate is slippery and racy, quite mouthwatering ...Read More »
92 points Bob Campbell: "Made from seven separate hand-picks over an eight-day period. Juicy, fruity sauvignon blanc with ripe nectarine, mango, tropical fruits and a hint of lime zest. A silken-textured wine, with concentration and a perfect balance of sweetness with fruity acidity." 91-92 points Raymond Chan: "Fruit from seven different hand-picks from the Te Awanga vineyard, WBP and indigenous yeast cool-fermented in stainless-steel. The wine aged 6 months on lees. Bright, very pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, near colourless on the rim. This has a finely concentrated and tightly packed no ...Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This wine delivers just about everything you'd possibly expect from the variety and the region—grassy aromas, a bountiful mix of herb and tropical fruit flavors, ample weight and texture, and a long finish built around a solid core of grapefruit. (JC)" (7/2014) Raymond Chan: "This is an elegant and tightly bound, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc with passionfruit and gooseberry flavours and a minerally finish." Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* Tangy Key lime, white grapefruit, mango and bergamot flavors are aromatic, vivid and intensely juicy, with a squirt of fresh lemon juice on a light and refre ...Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "A wine that is full of excitement, showing an array of grapefruit, lime and lemon citrus as well as gently nettly herbal notes, really fresh. The palate carries juicy white peach and nectarine flavor, very attractive wine, acid holds crunch and balance is nigh on perfect." (1/2016) 92 points Vinous: "Pale, bright yellow. Sexy musky aromas of white peach, ginger and quinine. Ripe, broad stone fruit and spice flavors display more body than most Marlborough Sauvignons while maintaining a captivating piquancy. Really dusts the palate and carries on the aftertaste. Delivers an im ...Read More »
93 points Connoisseurs Guide: "One of our favorites from down under, and a wine we have enjoyed on lots of occasions, this is one of the few in this tasting from the North Island of New Zealand. Its growing area is a bit warmer than Marlborough on the South Island and finds a touch of extra richness while not giving up any of the bright, crisp character expected of New Zealand SBs. At the same time, it exhibits more melon and layered sophistication than most and earns high commendation for its depth and straightforwardly delightful drinkability." (8/2016) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* As usual, the ...Read More »
This 100% Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from Mason Vineyard in Lake County's Kelsey Bench, where it picks up its signature grapefruit characteristics. A long, cold fermentation in stainless steel showcases the aromatic intensity of the wine with vibrant fruit flavors. Mouth-watering brightness is found in the tropical fruit flavors with plenty of citrus zest.
Salvatore Emmolo immigrated from Italy to Rutherford in 1923 and planted vines. Emmolo was a leading supplier to Napa vintners until Cheryl, the third generation, launched Emmolo Wines in 1994. Today, it's in the fourth generation's hands, with fruit still grown on their grandparents' property. The 2014 Sauvignon Blanc shows fresh citrus notes and lively minerality, making it infinitely sipple.
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Jean-Dominique Vacheron's white 2015 Sancerre shows a very clear and elegant white fruit aroma with elderflowers on the nose. Full-bodied, very elegant and fruit intense, but also with mineral and phenolic grip, it has a long and powerful finish. This is remarkably good, perfectly balanced Sancerre. The 2015 reflects the warm and sunny vintage as well as the elegant and complex Vacheron style. The aromatic aftertaste reveals a nice mango aroma, as well as cassis and refreshing mineral flavors." (10/2016) K&L Notes: The estate wine comes from plantings which are embed... Read More »
Robert Parker writes: "It is always obligatory when I taste or drink Ferrari-Carano’s Fumé Blancs to reference my mother. This was her favorite wine, and it was the only one where, with prodding, we could get enough in her to become euphoric. Why she liked it so much I never can be sure, but certainly every time I have had it, I can understand its popularity. It basically says one thing, “I am delicious.” In many ways, there is no need for a wine critic or any wine jargon if a wine can make that point quickly."
The Sauvignon Blanc program at Matanzas Creek may not be new, but it may be producing some of the most exciting wines from the estate. It's an obsession for winemaker Marcia Monahan-Torres, who vinifies dozens of small lots of Sauvignon Blanc in order to hit just the right, delicate notes in the final blend. The wine is aged in 17% neutral oak barrels, rounding out a little of the stainless steel fermented portion's keen edge. The winery's tasting note: "Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc blends a handful of select clones planted across 35 individual blocks a... Read More »
89 points Wine Spectator: "This white is precise, showing mango, lemon verbena and lime sherbet flavors that are fragrant and juicy. A hint of honeysuckle lingers on the finish. Drink now." (11/2016)
Picked as a "Best Buy" by Wine Spectator in the 2014 vintage, Honig's Sauvignon Blanc regularly gets a good word from Wine Advocate, as well. Through a variety of trellising options, yeast selection, and mostly stainless steel aging (just 8% in neutral oak tanks, Honig dials in a balance between zingy grapefruit acidity and tropical fruit. The blend is 95% Sauvignon Blanc and 4% Semillon, sauced up with just 1% Muscat.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Refreshingly marked by a tangy acidity, this white is made to please, fermented entirely in stainless steel. It sings in zesty, medium-bodied layers of peach and lime that are fresh and juicy on the palate, yet it somehow maintains some unexpected complexity." (8/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Roth has produced a tasty 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, with a delicate light straw color and plenty of honeysuckle and melon fruit as well as some caramelized citrus. This is a Bordeaux style of Sauvignon, medium-bodied, but floral and effusively fruity. I liked its delineation as well. Drink it ov ...Read More »
Another of the fine wines of Dominique Robin, Le Blanc de la Graside is sourced from a vineyard three miles south of Libourne that is planted with 60-year-old Sauvignon Blanc vines. Grapes are harvested at full maturity and aged in casks to round out the wine's generous profile, while it retains a mineral-driven finish. Superb buy.
This Sauvignon Blanc from Touraine displays an intense, classic nose of cut grass, pepper and, believe it or not, pineapples and lemons, with plenty of minerality. Very crisp and refreshing, like a cross between a classic Touraine and a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, at an astonishingly low price! Perfect with seafood. Grown in an area located between the Loire River and the Cher River and sandwiched between the towns of Tours and Blois, the wine shows the classic characteristics of the rich clay soils that are fortified with flint and limestone. Very brig... Read More »
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Château Reynon Blanc has a crisp Granny Smith apple and limestone-scented bouquet that is linear and focused, yet bounding full of energy. The palate is medium-bodied with a lively, citrus-driven entry backed by hints of pineapple and guava. Harmonious from start to finish and with impressive substance, this is a great Reynon Blanc from Denis Dubourdieu. (NM)" (4/2016) 89-91 points Vinous: "Denis Dubourdieu's 2015 Reynon is absolutely delicious. Rich, creamy and inviting, the 2015 captures striking richness and plenty of nuance. Peach, apricot, jasmine and candied lemo ...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.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Made in a style that will appeal to fans of both creamy, fruity richness and more austere notes of fresh grass, this wine is dry, herbal and juicy. It offers accents of vanilla and white plum, as well as the aforementioned fruitiness of peach and pear." (9/2016)
95 points Bob Campbell: "Weighty, concentrated Sauvignon Blanc, with a mix of gooseberry and red capsicum together with riper nectarine, tree fruit flavours plus a seasoning of nutty yeast lees character. Textural, satisfying wine in quite a complex style." (10/2015) 91-92 points Raymond Chan: "Very pale and clear colour. This has soft, gentle ethereal aromatics, showing a subtle amalgam of gooseberries, fresh herbs and white florals, fresh and balanced, quite harmonious. Dry with soft depth and density, and considerable palate presence. Lovely concentration with thirst-quenching soft textures. Subtle, but p ...Read More »
Vincent Gaudry is a traditionalist in Sancerre who has gained respect among his peers for dedication to authentic espression of Sancerre terroir. His was the first domaine in Sancerre to be certified biodynamic, and the naturally low yielding vines endow the wines with richness and volume. Mélodie de Vieilles Vignes is sourced from vines up to 90 years old, and the concentration and complexity show driving minerality and savory flavors adorned with notes of grapefruit zest and cut grass.
Case in point of a wine that just floored us during our spring 2016 Napa trip, the Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc is so intense, powerful and completely “domestic” in style that its charm overwhelmed all of us. Made mostly in stainless steel, with some new and used French oak and one concrete egg, this is full of brisk aromatics of passion fruit, wet stone and subtle, sweet vegetal qualities like fresh English peas in the pod. Oily and a touch resinous, this is a Sauvignon Blanc that sticks around for a long, long time on the palate and has plenty of intens... Read More »
Made from Sauvignon grapes from both Touraine and Anjou. The wine sees no oak and has a dry, lively nose of white flowers and blackcurrant. The palate is dry, with flavors of passion fruit, lychee and hints of talc along with zippy acidity. Great with fish or cheeses, this lively white wine will perk up any meal.
90 points Vinous: "Bright, pale lemon-yellow. White nectarine, minerals and dusty nutmeg on the nose, complicated by a floral nuance and a leesy quality. Supple, spicy and generous, conveying an attractive touch of sweetness and subtle saline complexity to its pure flavors of apple and nectarine. Finishes slightly phenolic, dry and long. A concentrated, spicy, floral fruit bomb with real lift. (ST)" (5/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "With an earthy / stony nose of wet pebbles, moss and chalk dust over lemon juice and green bean notes, the 2014 Sauvignon Blanc has a relatively delicate palate of gentl ...Read More »
90 points Connoisseurs Guide: "John Williams and his team farm their certified-organic vineyards without irrigation, and maintained that regimen in 2015 despite a protracted drought. The result is a refreshing and clean wine with tight flavors of grapefruit and lime-like acidity. The citrus-blossom scents last along with the tart fruit. Chill it for Hog Island oysters." (6/2016)
93 points James Suckling: "This is very underground sauvignon blanc from Napa from old head pruned vines at the top of Spring Mountain. Full body, yet fresh and lively with sliced dried apple, pear and lemon. Pretty length too. This is a serious white. 185 cases made. Drink now." (6/2016) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This light, bright and remarkably floral white from the Musqué clone impresses in its balance and lingering mouthfeel. Subtle flavors of nectarine and peach invite one in and become more pronounced in the glass over time, providing refreshment and elegance." (12/2016) Wine Spectator: "Crisp and linear, with lime zest ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
Wine Enthusiast: "Baked pineapple and mango rise to the fore in this nutty, slightly grassy and herbal wine. It's lightly bodied and creamy in texture. (VB)" (11/2016) Wine Spectator: "The Key lime, citrus zest, honeydew melon and green apple flavors are juicy and lively, with a refreshing finish. (MW)" (11/2016)
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The beautiful wine, the 2014 Sauvignon Blanc Illumination, is actually a cross-county blend, with 62% coming from Napa and the rest from Sonoma. This wine is stunningly aromatic, with fragrant notes of orange blossom, caramelized grapefruit, mango and melon. It is medium-bodied but juicy, with a terrific texture and a long, authoritative, dry finish. Drink it over the next several years. (RP)" (10/2015)