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K&L Staff Recommendations
Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star, Good Value* No matter that this unoaked bottling treds a direct, green apple line with few complex adjuncts in its makeup, such is the way of Chardonnays of its ilk, and this one makes a pretty good stab at capturing lively, somewhat juicy fruit. There is a not unexpected bit of fresh, slightly candied fruit here and little in the way of the rich, buttery side of the variety to be sure. Yet, all in all, this wine is both easy to take and easy on the wallet." (7/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "This stainless-steel take shows lime juice, golden apples and white pepper on t ...Read More »
93 points Vinous: "Grilled herbs, tobacco, menthol, licorice and plums all take shape in the 2010 Eloge. Rich, layered and expressive, the 2010 is resonant and deeply expressive throughout. Gently spiced notes appear on the finish, adding dimensions of complexity and nuance. Today the 2010 is a bit closed in on itself and a touch compact, while the aromatics aren't quite as precise as they could be. I was deeply impressed with the wines I tasted at Conn Valley this year. The wines are often terrific, but at the same time, they have also occasionally suffered from the pre ...Read More »
We were so happy with the 2013 Kalinda Napa Cabernet that we went back to the same well for the 2014. From another exceptional year for Napa Cabernet, this wine is lush and quite rich with tons of cassis on the nose and palate. Still quite young and showing some rounded tannins, I would cellar this beauty for five years minimum, but if you must drink it, decant one hour at least and serve with a hearty meat course. One hint: the property whence the grapes came is located quite close to a town that really does not have a wine shop in it. - KL Staffer Dri... Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "*** Smart Buy *** Offering gorgeous floral scents of lavender, plum, smoke and raspberry, this casts a wide net of red and dark fruit, veering toward toasty oak on the finish. A nice ride from beginning to end. Drink now. (JL)" (8/2016)
94 points Wine & Spirits: "Jay Heminway got his start in Bordeaux as a college student in the 1960s, working a summer with Alexis Lichine. He founded Green & Red in the eastern hills of Napa Valley in the 1970s, focused on zinfandel. This wine grows at the highest vineyard on the estate, topping out at 1,800 feet, where he planted a northeast-facing slope in the late 1990s. It’s a fruit-driven zin, the freshness and sunny aspects pointed up by his team’s work at the new sorting table installed in 2013. All that fruit seems to glow from within, surrounded by scents of bay and wild ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Tolosa uses the same vineyard blocks for their No-Oak Chardonnay that they do for their barrel fermented Chardonnays. These are the best sites and clones from the estate's sustainably farmed Edna Ranch. They are found mostly in the older plantings a few miles south of the winery. They include the oldest block in the vineyard. They are a mix of field selected "Heritage" clones and more recently introduced Dijon selections. All are hand farmed with an almost obsessive attention to perfecting each block each vintage.
Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* There are family resemblances between this wine and its mate above in their appley focus and supporting oak, but this wine is tight both in aroma and across the palate and comes with acidity that sticks out a bit. It is nearly equal to its mate in ripeness while lacking some of that wine's greater depth and richness, and it is recommended for service with pan-grilled trout, cracked crab and other lighter preparations." (10/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Chardonnay from White Rock Vineyards offers attractive minerality, hints of pineapple and orange rind, medium ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Fresh orange blossoms and jasmine spring from a chalky backbone on the nose of this clean and crisp semisweet bottling that also shows tangerine pith, lemon-lime soda and a touch of quinine. Though a bit sweet on the sip, it is far from cloying and remains refreshing throughout. (MK)" (12/2016) K&L Notes: 85% Riesling with 15% Gewürztraminer blended in. It has a low alcohol level--12.5%. This juicy, tasty white has aromas of jasmine and honey with flavors of citrus, peach, mandarin orange and wet stone. Zippy and bright with an ever-so-slight tinge of sweetness, it's... Read More »
92 points Rhone Report: "The 2008 Martinelli Syrah Hop Camp Vineyard 'Gravel Lens' (Grave lens refers to the rare soil characteristic of alluvial soil layers interleaved with layers of gravel) is a big, beautifully fruited Syrah that possess touches of northern Rhone like qualities mainly on the nose. Blackberry, cracked pepper, mineral, and hints of chocolate all emerge, and this fleshes out over the evening and gains floral and violets characteristics, as well as notable complexity and a layered profile. This full-bodied, beautifully textured Syrah has an overall seamless feel ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Chardonnay Holly's Cuvee is a big, rich and sexy white that nevertheless manages to stay fresh, livey and pure. Possessing lots of tropical fruits, flower oil, honeysuckle and a hint of peach, it's already hard to resist, and I don't see any need to delay gratification either. I suspect this will be the last vintage made by Jim and Bob Varner, who no longer works with the fruit from the Spring Valley Vineyard. (JD)" (10/2016)
As the name indicates, this Pinot Noir is vinified entirely in stainless steel. After hand sorting and destemming, the berries are fermented a style similar to carbonic maceration, resulting in a very aromatic, bright wine.
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "The two-family winery produces a lovely and layered wine, with aromas of blueberry extract, wet black tobacco, cinnamon roll, smoked oak and aromatic herbs. Purple flowers of violet and lavender come alive on the palate, with licorice in the midpalate and tartness on the finish. (MK)" (2/2015) Wine Spectator: "Sleek and ripe, with appealing flavors of raspberry, caramel and spice. Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre. Drink now through 2020. (TF, Web-2015)" K&L Notes: Blend: 80% Syrah, 15% Grenache, 5% Mourvedre.
French Colombard is the secret Chenin of Sonoma County. Once a ubiquitous variety used in making wines like California "White Burgundy," where no Chardonnay was available, FC enjoys a very small but refreshing revival in the hands of small producers like Woodenhead. This winery also produces a fantastic sparkling wine from old-vine French Colombard! Notes from the producer: "Medium gold in color, you'll first notice aromas of grass, honeysuckle, delicate green apple, and lemon meringue pie. Like a golden Sonoma County field, you're invited in to enjoy a... Read More »
97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Coming all from Manfred's Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills and a blend of 77% Grenache, 22% Syrah and 1% Viognier (fermented with 25% whole clusters), the 2011 Grenache Patine spent a full 33 months in almost all neutral oak, with just 11% being new. It offers perfumed and spice-laced notes of white pepper, black raspberry, blackberry and ground herbs that flow to a full-bodied, elegant, nicely concentrated 2011 that has nicely integrated acidity, no hard edges and a terrific finish. It's certainly one of the fresher, more elegant Grena ...Read More »
97 points James Suckling: "*#30 in The Top 100 Reds of Napa Valley 2016* Subtle aromas of crushed berries and tile. Mushrooms. Almost dusty. Full to medium body, powdery tannins and mouthfeel. Bright acidity that gives the wine beautiful and enticing freshness. Gentle and ethereal red. The first vintage of the new wine from the owners of Dominus. The vineyard is located in Oakville near Vine Hill. Drink or hold." (1/2016) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Ulysses (800 cases) is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest other Bordeaux varietals. A structured, dense purple wine that displays plenty of cedar wood, c ...Read More »
94 points Vinous: "Dense, meaty and powerful to the core, the 2013 Syrah Hawkes Butte is a wine built on structure. The contours are a bit angular, but there is nevertheless plenty of depth, resonance and pure power. This is one of the more massive wines in the range, but there is quite a bit to admire in the wine's dark, mysterious personality. The 50% whole clusters are nearly buried by the intensity of the fruit and firm tannins that need at least a year or two to soften. I was quite taken with the wines I tasted from Copain and proprietor Wells Guthrie this year. The T ...Read More »
97 points Vinous: "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is simply stunning. A real head-turner, the 2013 possesses superb density and tons of pure power. The flavors are deep, powerful and explosive. Mocha, new leather, and licorice wrap around a core of dark, sumptuous fruit. This dense, powerful Cabernet Sauvignon will require considerable patience, but it is super-impressive. And then some. Chris Carpenter crafted the 2013 from an assortment of parcels, most of them mountain sites on Diamond Mountain, Mt. Veeder and Howell Mountain. This is a real stand out. (AG)" (10/2015) 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A bril ...Read More »
Proprietor Blair Pence teams with winemaker Sashi Moorman to produce the Pence Ranch wines in Santa Barbara. Pence says, "We strive for honesty and elegance in our wines, reflecting the beautiful landscape where our grapes are grown, the richness of the clay soils feeding their roots, and the abundant sunshine that provides life’s energy. The colors, aromas, and flavors in each bottle are the pure manifestation of our vineyard and our efforts to support it."
91 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*Two Stars* Completing a trio of very fine Pinots from Eric Kent, the Sascha Marie bottling shows an extra measure of fruity richness while still showing its maker's graceful hand. It exhibits exceptional varietal purity even as it inclines ever so slightly more to ripeness, and it has the supple, near-silky feel that marks the best Pinot Noirs. Even if so nicely polished that it will be hard to resist in its youth, it has the depth and the balance to evolve effortlessly for another five or more years." (10/2016) K&L Notes: Sourced mainly from the Roberts Road Vineya... Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A California version of Corton-Charlemagne, the 2013 Chardonnay Lolita Ranch, which comes from old Wente clone, shows lemon meringue pie, a hint of crushed rock, and ripe apple and peach blossom notes. The wine has terrific fruit and should continue to drink well for another 5-8 years. One of the great families of Northern California, and of course, one of the highest quality producers, the Martinellis - and rather remarkably so - only estate-bottle 15% of their production from over 300 acres of beautifully situated vineyards in the Russian River Valle ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Mise En Place, from Oakville, shows loads of licorice, Christmas fruitcake, sweet black fruits and a touch of oak in a medium to full-bodied, pure, concentrated style that is in keeping with the epic style of this vintage. Drink it over the next 12-15 years. (RP)" (12/2015) Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* Ripe and yet nervy/vital at the same time, this young Cabernet manages to find emerging generosity within its slightly reluctant first nose, and its palatal impacts reflect similar tension between the black cherry, somewhat curranty flavors and a h ...Read More »
90 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* Here is a genuinely elegant offering that manages to be brilliantly fruity while holding pushy ripeness at bay, and, while a somewhat lighter wine than "The Pianist" from the same maker, it sacrifices nothing in the way of varietal interest. It is comparatively low in alcohol -- only 12.9% according to its label -- but it does not so much as glance in the direction of greenness and is instead lithe and quite refined in feel with a trim touch of acidity making an enlivening, eleventh-hour appearance. Mark it for service with lighter meats and m ...Read More »
Andrew Jones learned to make wine from the ground up. He started as a vine nursery fieldman, planting and planning vineyards for wineries all over California. This gave him firsthand knowledge of nearly every vineyard on the Central Coast and a knack for finding "diamonds in the rough." Meanwhile, he was building friendships with some great California growers, who'd often offer him small lots of their best grapes on the side. From these beginnings he has built a catalog of delicious, affordable wines that hum with personality.
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A blend of all Grenache and McPrice’s take on a Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the 2010 Grenache L’Ange Rouge is semi-opaque in color and offers up a perfumed, complex array of garrigue, sweet cherries, pepper and licorice that flows to a full-bodied, textured and lively palate. Quite fresh, with a solid core of acidity, as well as ripe tannin, it should be given another year or two in bottle and then consumed over the following 4-6 years. Drink now-2019. 91+ (JD)" (8/2013) 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Opaque ruby. Spicy red and dark berry aromas are complicated by lavender and rose, with a se ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
An old school, vinyl themed fun and fruity California Chardonnay from Chris Blanchard, Master Sommelier and former music biz whizz who released his first 12 inch single "That's The Way Girls Are" and toured with top rap acts. He recommended pairing with "Popeye’s fried chicken, salty tater tots, truffle mac and cheese."
92-94 points Vinous: "The 2013 Chardonnay Seascape Vineyard is quite a bit richer and oilier than the Jennifer's. Mango, pineapple, spices, butter and French oak blossom in a wine that captures a striking interplay of intense fruit allied to bright, piercing acidity. This is another impeccable, absolutely beautiful Chardonnay from Hartford Court. It’s hard to know where to start with this superb set of new and upcoming releases from Don Hartford and Jeff Stewart. The Chardonnays and Pinots get most of the attention, but the Zinfandels, most of which emerge from 100 year-old ...Read More »
91-94 points Vinous: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon comes across as quite polished and nuanced, with lovely brightness, tension and energy. Dark red and bluish fruit, spices, mint, licorice and sweet spices are some of the signatures. Today, the 2014 is quite impressive. (AG)" (10/2015) 91-93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright medium ruby. High-toned, very primary aromas of blueberry, licorice and menthol. Densely packed but not yet particularly sweet, with sexy mineral lift to the black fruit flavors. The largest-scaled of these three vintages and evolving quite slowly. The fruit comes from western St. Helena an ...Read More »
90 points Wine & Spirits: "Situated at the northwestern border of Anderson Valley, the Wendling Vineyard is among the coolest in the appellation. Winemaker Wells Guthrie draws on 15 acres of vines planted in 2008. The 2013 is a tightly wound wine, emphasizing dark fruit flavor and gripping texture, like blueberry and plum skin. For all its tannic density, it has forward propulsion, a mouthwatering brightness that gives the dark flavors energy. Decant it for pork chops. (600 cases)" (4/2016)
96 points Vinous: "The 2013 Pinot Noir SWK Vineyard is the most tannic and structured of these Pinots from Occidental. As such, it is going to need at least a few years in bottle to unwind. Beams of chalky tannin underpin a deeply expressive Pinot endowed with intensely mineral and savory overtones. Vivid and beautifully sculpted throughout, the 2013 is impressive, even in the early going. 96+ Points (AG)" (2/2016) 91 points Wine Spectator: "A charming expression of vibrant, delicate Pinot Noir, with juicy acidity and supple blackberry, plum and wild berry flavors that subtly reverberate. Ends with a ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Dark golden in color, this celebration of the Chinese zodiac opens with fresh-squeezed lemon and saline, a a saltiness that's inviting and imaginative. Medium in body, this is fleshy, juicy and bright, a complement of ripe apple and banana, a perfumed floral quality and spicy minerality." (7/2016) Wine Spectator: "Tangy lemon-lime citrus flavors are at the core of this medium-weight effort, where the flavors are fresh and lively, turning simpler and more elegant on the finish. Drink now. 80 cases made. (Web Only, 2016)"
Wine Enthusiast: "***Editors' Choice*** More immediately accessible and affordable than the producer's great estate bottling, this wine invites the nose with petrol, smashed white flower, wet chalk, lemon curd and pink-grapefruit aromas. The acidity is finely pointed on the refreshing and bitter sip, with lime skin, mandarin-orange pith, quinine and pink grapefruit flavors. (MK)" (6/2016)
Robert Parker writes of Martinelli: "One of the great families of Northern California, and of course, one of the highest quality producers, the Martinellis – and rather remarkably so – only estate-bottle 15% of their production from over 300 acres of beautifully situated vineyards in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. No doubt Helen Turley, who worked at Martinelli and mentored its winemaking team, left a profound influence on the quality of the Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, Syrahs and Zinfandels, a fact that can’t be overstated. The Chardonnays all ... Read More »
93 points Vinous: "(made from fruit grown in the White Hawk, Bien Nacido and Stolpman vineyards): Bright purple. Heady black and blue fruit aromas are complicated by woodsmoke, candied violet, black cardamom and licorice, with a hint of white pepper adding vibrancy. Broad and palate-staining, with sappy, spice-tinged cassis and blueberry flavors displaying liqueur-like intensity but surprising vivacity as well. Smooth, slow-building tannins give shape to the long finish, which hangs on with echoing floral and spice notes. (JR)" (12/2014)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
90 points Wine Spectator: "A refreshingly clean and vibrant mix of tangerine, nectarine, white peach and zesty citrus notes keeps the flavors alive and snappy." (2/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Chardonnay Reserve reveals crisp orange skin and caramelized citrus and a subtle touch of oak in a medium-bodied, well-made, clean style. The color is light straw with a greenish hue. This medium-bodied Chardonnay should drink nicely for 5-6 years. (RP)" (3/2016)
91-93 points Vinous: "Butter, pastry, almonds, pears and apricots inform Hartford's 2012 Chardonnay Three Jacks Vineyard. The Three Jacks is silky, layered and impeccable from start to finish. (AG)" (2/2014) 92 points Wine Spectator: "Splits the difference between pure and well-oaked fruit, with a structured beam of vibrant green apple and pear flavors. The result is a deftly balanced, deeply nuanced, rich and layered wine of notable vibrance and edginess. (JL)" (7/2015) 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright gold. Exotic perfume of nectarine, poached pear and orange, with a buttery undertone. Juicy, broad and concentrated, offering ripe ...Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "I like the blueberry, lilac, violet and nut aromas to this. Full-bodied, tight and reserved with fine tannins and a silky finish. Very delicious. Better in 2019." (5/2016) 92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*CELLAR SELECTION* A whiff of yeasty baked bread opens the bouquet of this 100% varietal wine that's plenty juicy and drinkable right now. Plum surrounds integrated tannins and a powerful midpalate, suggesting an ability to age. The finish is all about mocha. Cellar through 2022." (12/2015) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Amici produces three single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons. From Rutherford, the dense ruby/purple-col ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
The 15-acre Toboni Vineyard is located off Olivet Lane in Santa Rosa and is planted with Dijon 115, 667, 777 and Pommard 5 clones.
Inventory: Main Warehouse
This is the pet project of Peter and Cathy Seghesio (yes, that Seghesio), as they aim to produce great wines from their San Lorenzo Winery property with the help of their sons.
Jancis Robinson: "Aromatics of exuberant blossoms and fresh fruit. The palate brings out more crushed rock and earth notes on a body of dark fruit and earth dust. Dusty tactile tannins and moderate acidity. Oak has not yet fully integrated and shows as cocoa and spice with hints of caramel. A bit short through the finish in terms of flavour though persistent in terms of palate stimulation. (ECB)" (6/2016)
Become a wine maker for a day! A fun kit letting you make your own red wine blend using fantastic boutique Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc components from Napa. Each kit will include the following items: Three (3) 100% pure varietal wine sourced from an award-winning boutique Napa Valley winery (2013 vintage: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon) One (1) empty wine bottle to bottle and serve your own custom blend One (1) glass graduated cylinder to precisely measure your variations One (1) glass beaker to precisely measure you... Read More »
The fruit for this wine is sourced from Cathy and Frank Dotzler's True Vineyard in Napa's Howell Mountain AVA. Notes on the site from the winemaker: "The site is nine acres and was literally carved out of volcanic bedrock. It presents an entirely different feeling than the endless rows of vines that carpet the valley floor and lower hillsides. The oaks and pyres of excavated rock that surround the site instill a feeling of intimacy. The site and the wines that emerge from it are incredibly specific."
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Chardonnay Graton’s Choice offers up scents of peach marmalade, honeyed citrus and a hint of almond paste in its medium to full-bodied, refreshing personality. There are approximately 100 cases of this 2012 Chardonnay. Drink it over the next 5-6 years. (RP)" (12/2014) Wine Spectator: "A tart expression of Chardonnay, tilting toward lemon-citrus flavors, with green apple and pear notes giving this a juicy, mouthwatering texture. (JL, Web-2015)"
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Located at the base of the Mayacamas mountains, the Anomaly winery has been devoted to top-quality Cabernet Sauvignon since their first vintage in 1997. Their three estate vineyards are primely suited to growing Cab, with very gravelly cobbly sandy loam over an alluvial creek wash, all completely organically farmed. The Designation blend is their homage to perfection, in which a small selection of only the finest barrels in their cellar are used. According the the winery, the 2009 vintage was ideal: "Hardly any frost in the spring led to a few late sprin... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Robert Parker writes: "A new project, and an impressive one at that, Casa Piena is owned by former lawyer and football executive for the San Francisco 49ers, Carmen Policy. None other than Thomas Brown is the winemaker at this facility, which is situated at the crossroads of Silverado Trail and the Yountville Crossroad, a pretty classy neighborhood, considering that Cliff Lede and Kapcsandy are also nearby. The wine at Casa Piena is aged 20 months in 80% new French oak casks and is virtually 100% Cabernet Sauvignon."
Inventory: San Francisco
From the producer: "Almost every year, when we sit down at the blending table to taste through each of the barrels, we see wines that seem so tightly coiled in their barrels that I am compelled to allow them to rest and evolve for an additional year in barrel and to produce a small cuvee from these wines. This has been the case since my very first vintage and every subsequent vintage save 2010. These used to be bottled in the nameless blue/not blue label that only served to confuse everyone. That was not, in any way, my intention. These wines have now b... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
92 points Wine Spectator: "Dark, ripe and complex, with a pretty array of plum, cherry and wild berry flavor that's rich and concentrated. Finishes with pretty spice and mineral notes. Delicious now, but worthy of short-term cellaring. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. 180 cases made. (JL)" (12/1997)
Inventory: San Francisco