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K&L Staff Recommendations
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "A generously fruity, just-ripe and refined wine, this offers classic notions of the appellation in a warm, welcoming vintage, from rhubarb, cranberry and cherry to cola spice and clove. Still young, it shows an intensity that should meld and mellow in the bottle in short order. (VB)" (5/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Pinot Noir from Russian River has a similar medium to deep ruby color and notes of sassafras, cola, red cherries and strawberries. It is a little more primary and fruit-driven, but remains medium-bodied and, in this case, very Côtes de Beaune-like. Drink it o ...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 »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Done in a more oxidized style, this wine shows marzipan, dried apricot, browned butter, dried pineapple and a gunmetal flint character on the nose. The palate is very focused, with flavors of preserved lemon, lime rind, sage-roasted chicken and a faint minty element. (MK)" (11/2015) Wine Spectator: "Trim and leesy, with enough richness and intensity midpalate on to sustain itself, showing a creamy touch to the fig, apricot and green apple flavors. (JL)" (7/2014)
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "From chalky soils planted on a unique rolling hillside site, this opens in wafty caramel and butterscotch, providing a decadent nose. The palate follows in luxurious, velvety waves balanced by buoyant acidity. With a mix of fresh peach and apricot, it finishes fresh, spicy and salty." (7/2016) 90 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* Creamy oak is neatly aligned to plentiful ripe apple fruit here, yet, if so forthrightly fruity in the nose as to presage a certain juicy simplicity in the mouth, this balanced and very well-crafted wine follows with continuous, surprisingly complex flavor ...Read More »
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 »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Tart aromas of sour cream, yogurt, candied lime and pressed quince show on the nose of this stylishly structured Chardonnay. The palate carries the theme forward, with pithy pink grapefruit notes, lime ade and brie rinds, showing firm tension on the tongue and bound-up energy that will keep this bottle alive for years. (MK)" (2/2016)
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a sublime, succulent and entirely rewarding white from the great vineyard site that is Durell. The vines used by this producer date back to 1994, 1995 and 2003. Richly defined, the wine is lengthy and complex in honeycomb, ginger and a powerful mix of acidity and texture, finishing in a bite of orange. (VB)" (10/2016) 92 points Vinous: "Butter, smoke, tropical fruit, apricot jam and spices meld together in the 2013 Chardonnay Durrell Vineyard. The creamy, open-knit finish only adds to the wine's considerable appeal in this attractive, classic, California barrel-ferme ...Read More »
Outlier is a fitting name for this outfit run by winemaker/owner Derek Rohlffs, who orchestrates his unique efforts from his home base in the middle of the San Francisco Bay on Treasure Island.
Wine Enthusiast: "A Zinfandel-based blend, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Syrah, Merlot and Malbec, this wine is hearty, thick and dense. It traffics in smoky char, leathery tannins and a strong taste of tobacco, finishing with a flash of red plum." (12/2015)
93 points James Suckling: "A balanced and beautiful red with chili, black currants and blackberry character. Full body, round and firm tannins and a long, long finish. A beautiful Groth. Drink or hold." (7/2015) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "***Cellar Selection*** This structured wine is lithe and ethereal in dried herb and cranberry, with a hint of pencil lead. Puckering tannins suggest aging through 2020, to draw out the more succulent layers of black cherry and plum. The wine has 12% Merlot. (VB)" (11/2015) Vinous: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is dark, powerful and authoritative. Smoke, black cherries, savory herbs, bit ...Read More »
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The straight 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon should be another outstanding vintage of this cuvee and it has full-bodied richness, beautiful concentration and lots of dark chocolate, plum and smoked herb aromas and flavors. It has more obvious structure than the 2014 did at this stage as well. (JD)" (8/2016) 90-91 points Vinous: "Dark purple. Energetic, spice-tinged aromas of dried cherry, red currant, mocha and licorice. Juicy and tightly focused, showing very good energy and lift to the bitter cherry and red berry flavors. Becomes spicier and deeper with air and finishes on a youthful ...Read More »
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.
Monterey's first winery sits atop the Gavilan Mountains and boasts vines planted in the highly-desirable granite and limestone soils found there. Perhaps this is why winemaker Robert Cook says, Chalone isn’t a label; it’s a place on earth.
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 »
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)
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 »
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 »
Richard Luftig spent 20 years as a professional wine buyer in New York before turning his focus to making wine in Sonoma. His raison d'être is to make soulful wines for affordable prices that meet his exacting standards (he'd rather scrap a whole vintage than bottle something that doesn't). Along with winemaker Clay Mauritson, he crafts a Sauvignon Blanc from two vineyards in Bennett Valley that, according to his tasting notes, has a "restrained, subtle aroma of lime and sour green apple." This is easy drinking and fresh, with a great mouthfeel.
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.
Wine Enthusiast: "This is a pretty wine in terms of floral aromatics, resplendent shocks of orange blossom and orange peel inviting in their exotic freshness. Lime and orange follow on the palate, which is bristling in acidity, the finish light and bright. (VB)" (2/2015)
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Just enough white peach and pineapple ripeness on the nose plays to the hedonistic side of the grape, but gracious notes of chalk dust and mandarin orange pith keep it intellectual. The palate is lively and citrus-driven, showing green apple, Bosc pear, salted lemons and more peach." (12/2015) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Coming from a vineyard I'm unfamiliar with, the 2013 Chardonnay Huber Vineyard was vinified in small, open-top fermenters and aged 12 months in 30% new French oak. It has a lovely, perfumed, medium+-bodied profile to go with classic apple, baked fruit tart, brioche a ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Named after William Cruess, early professor in the viticulture and oenology department at U.C. Davis, and his wife, Marie, painter whose work can be seen on the label for this wine. According to the winery: "This Pinot Noir was grown in an isolated vineyard in the hills west of Petaluma, one of Sonoma Coast's coldest and foggiest regions. The resulting wine shows structure, intensity and elegance."
Inventory: San Francisco
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. (AG)" (2/2016) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Noir SWK Vineyard, is 100% destemmed, ripe but more restrained, spicy and well-made, with good upside, but needs another 1-2 years of bottle age. Steve Kistl ...Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Tight yet inviting aromas of honeysuckle, cement and green banana show on the nose of this ready-to-drink though possible-to-age wine. It's a lively sipper, with fresh-squeezed lime and tangelo flavors laid across an incredibly chalky texture. (MK)" (9/2016) K&L Notes: From the winery: "2014 is the fifth vintage of our Holus Bolus blanc and it is our best one yet. We found a great new vineyard source for our Roussanne: the much heralded "Bien Nacido Vineyard" in Santa Maria Valley. This is a block that for the past decade has gone into Qupé’s Hillside Estate Roussann... 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."
Whole cluster fruit, native yeast fermentation, 828 Pommard Rochioli clones. Aged for 12 months in 100% French Oak Barrels, 35% new oak. From the winery: "Maryetta Wines is a boutique winery specialising in organic wines from Mendocino County. We make complex, balanced wines that are made in the vineyards. The wine is aged in French oak barrels, and sits for almost a year before it reaches bottling. Maryetta Pinot Noir is unfiltered, which allows the wine to retain many flavors and aromas that would normally be filtered out. The result is an authentic Pi... 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)
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 »
From Amy Atwood and winemaker Dan Fitzgerald, Oeno Chardonnay is made in Sebastopol, California. The aim is to make affordable, native yeast-fermented Chardonnay in neutral oak barrels. For under $20, that's a unusual find.
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."
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 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good dark red. Blueberry, cherry, menthol and tobacco leaf aromas are lifted by violet and lilac and complicated by smoky and meaty nuances. Perfumed and energetic in the mouth, with flavors of redcurrant, spices, licorice and flowers. Finishes firmly tannic but not dry, with good verve. This is made from press wine and fruit from recently replanted vines." (5/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The less expensive 2011 Endre is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with some Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc included in the blend. Slightly herbaceous with a berry-scented nose displaying h ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 praises the new era of wines from Stag's Leap Wine Cellars: "The changes that have taken place at Stags Leap Wine Cellars over the last few years are nothing less than stunning. The Antinori family bought a 15% stake in Stags Leap Wine Cellars in 2007 and was appointed technical director as part of the deal. Long time winemaker Renzo Cotarella, who oversees all of the Antinori wines in Italy plus Antica on Atlas Peak, was brought in to consult...these new and upcoming releases are compelling and merit significant attention. I can’t possibly... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Pinot Noir Zara’s Block possesses more plummy black cherry fruit without the intrusion of vegetative characteristics. (RP)" (12/2014)
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 »
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
94 points Wine & Spirits: "If you go for a hike in the Palisades above Napa Valley, this is what the summer air smells like—sage, manzanita and wild flowers. That multidimensional scent gives the wine a floral, spicy aromatic complexity rarely found in Napa Valley reds. This is a lean and muscular Zin, and though it may not have the kind of energy that sustains Storybook’s best Estate Reserves for decades in the cellar, it is tightly focused, its ripe fruit tunneling through mineral-inflected tannins and making an imprint on the palate that lasts. Perhaps its marathon-runner’s bui ...Read More »
From the producer: "The 2012 Acaibo is a very special wine to us as it represents the first vintage of our new endeavor here in California. Coming on the heels of two rather tough years, this vintage proved to be spectacular. The grapes on our estate enjoyed a long hang time with warm days and cool nights that led to a mid October pick. Through a series of tasting sessions and after much contemplation, we arrived at a final blend of 53 percent Merlot, 46 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and a sprinkling of 1 percent of Cabernet Franc to add complexity and crea... 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)"
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.
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 »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "A 100% Cabernet Sauvignon made in small amounts from multiple vineyards, including Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper in Oakville and the Somerston Vineyard on the eastern edges of the Napa Valley. Rich and concentrated in black plum and berry, this is a supple wine that's highlighted by a seasoning of dusty tannins and coconut shavings. The finish is awash in chocolate and cinnamon. (VB)" (12/2014) Connoisseurs Guide: "Never dramatic but always well-focused with a certain freshness and commendable stamina to its persistent, solidly currant-like fruit, this bottling is colored by sca ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(a 54/46 blend of merlot and cabernet franc): Medium red-ruby. Knockout perfume of raspberry, caramel, lead pencil, tobacco and licorice. Silky on entry, then vibrant and delineated in the middle palate, offering insinuating intensity to its flavors of dark berries, sandalwood and minerals. Combines a texture of liquid silk with uncanny energy and definition and a light touch. Finishes with outstanding building perfume and lift. A great and classic example of its vintage. (ST)" (5/2014)
Inventory: Main Warehouse