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K&L Staff Recommendations
91 points Wine & Spirits: "Artemis is SLWC’s cabernet blend from purchased grapes and, in 2012, it’s broad and juicy, emphasizing full-on depths of plum-skin flavor and richness while retaining freshness in the fruit. Generous in its creamy texture, this is a match for filet mignon." (6/2015) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Already bottled, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Artemis is similar to its siblings. It offers delicious blackcurrant fruit, not as much complexity as the Fay or S.L.V., but an attractive meaty, rich blackcurrant fruitiness, well-integrated wood, and hints of spice and oak. Fleshy and medium-bodied ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Crisp, tart, melon, tangerine and bubble gum-like aromas jump from the glass of this 2013 Chenin Blanc/Viognier (80% and 20% respectively). Aged totally in stainless steel, it no doubt has much of its malolactic fermentation blocked given its crisp acid profile." (11/2014) K&L Notes: Last call on the 2013 Vintage! Pine Ridge's Chenin Blanc-Viognier blend has impressed drinkers and critics alike. And now, what started as an experiment in the early-1990s, has become one of the winery's most sought after wines. From the winery: "Brilliant and refreshing, this bottling o... Read More »
95 points Wine & Spirits: "The vines that grew this supremely elegant wine were planted in 1999 on the red volcanic loam of a hillside and benchland vineyard in the southeast corner of Alexander Valley. Douglas and Nancy Ousterhout purchased the vineyard in 2009 and hired a pinot noir winemaker, Micah Wirth of Joseph Jewel, to create this silky, delicate zin. It’s as bright as a red cherry fresh off the tree, feeling almost weightless on the palate. As the wine takes on air, the tannins provide an edgy minerality that focuses and amplifies the fruit into a sunny, ruby-red laser be ...Read More »
92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright purple. Youthfully wound-up aromas of blackberry, mulberry and violet, plus a strong note of licorice. Deeply pitched dark fruit flavors are given an exotic character by notes of violet pastille and star anise. Supple and expansive on the firm, gripping, intensely spicy finish. This textbook syrah should age well. (ST)" (5/2011) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Syrah Estate Reserve is a peppery, meaty effort that gives up plenty of spice, ground pepper, green olive and rendered bacon fat to go with a medium-bodied, moderately concentrated and focused palate. Nicely balance ...Read More »
97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of my favorites is the 2012 Chardonnay Upper Barn, which boasts remarkable intensity as well as lots of tropical fruit, a stony-like minerality, and a full-bodied, layered mouthfeel. This is a multi-dimensional, profound Chardonnay (as it often was when made by Helen Turley) from a vineyard planted with an Old Wente clone as well as the Hyde clone of Chardonnay. It should drink well for 5-6 years. Stonestreet’s wines continue to go from strength to strength under the direction of South African winemaker Graham Weerts. The Chardonnays are spectacular. ...Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Orange blossoms, nectarines, white flowers and honey all flesh out in the 2011 Chardonnay Bear Point. Another wine that manages to be both rich but not ponderous, the 2011 Bear Point blossoms in all directions as the fruit opens up in the glass. A creamy, highly expressive finish rounds things out in style. The Bear Point is made from the “Peter Michael” Chardonnay clone, which is believed to have originated on this property! Anticipated maturity: 2014-2018. (AG)" (4/2013) 92 points Vinous: "Orange blossoms, nectarines, white flowers and honey all flesh out in the 2011 Chard ...Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(34% grenache, 33% mourvedre and 33% zinfandel; 15.2% alcohol): Bright purple. Ripe raspberry and blueberry on the nose and in the mouth. Juicy, spice-accented berry compote flavors show an appealingly silky quality and pick up a floral nuance with air. Closes on a gently sweet note, with lingering blue fruit and spice qualities. No shortage of fruit here." (11/2012) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Lothario is another of the more restrained wines in this lineup from Kukkula. It shows good depth and persistence, with pretty notes of tobacco, wild flowers and dried cherries that l ...Read More »
From the winery: "2012 was an abundant and ideal growing season in the Sta. Rita Hills. The grapes ripened evenly producing both high quality and quantity due to a mild spring and summer with little rain, and no frost. The moderate weather provided for low disease pressure during the growing season. Sta. Rita Hills is one of the premier AVAs for Chardonnay in California. The wines have that rare combination of power and structure that can only come from low yielding, cool-climate, coastal vineyards. This 2012 offers a bouquet of crème brulee and lemon me... Read More »
From the winery: "Rich and dense, the 2013 Brunswick Petite Sirah is a beautiful expression of a world class vineyard. Aromatics of fresh black cherries, blueberry cobbler, and dark chocolate, the wine hits the palate with a rush of accompanying flavors. The wine crosses the mid palate and fills the mouth with balanced acid and tannins to match the wines' density. Enjoy with grilled anything, or on a cool autumn evening on the patio. Pack a toothbrush!"
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Brilliant ruby-red. High-pitched red berry and peppery spice aromas show very good clarity and a hint of candied rose. Silky and refreshingly tangy on the palate, offering vibrant redcurrant and bitter cherry flavors that put on weight with air. Closes spicy and long, with a hint of blood orange adding bite and refreshing bitterness. There's something vaguely Pinot-like going on here." (12/2014)
Chateau la Grande Roche is the second label from noted winemaker Ric Forman.
A perennial value-based favorite, Ravenswood's Vintners Blend Shiraz packs big punches full of mulberry, dark chocolate and roasted meats. Made by one of California's iconic producers.
94 points Vinous: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the more fascinating, nuanced wine of the vintage. Graphite, herbs, tobacco, cedar and incense are some of the many notes that add dimension in a firm, dark Cabernet Sauvignon full of complexity. The firm tannins need time to soften, but there is a lot to look forward to. Hints of iron, cedar and red stone fruits linger on the close. Finesse and subtlety are the signatures of the Dyer Cabernets. This small estate on Diamond Mountain remains one of the best kept secrets in Napa Valley. The Dyer Cabernets are typically ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
91 points Wine Spectator: "A stylish effort, with ripe, juicy pear, melon, citrus and mineral notes. Medium- to full-bodied and long, lingering on the finish. Drink now." (7/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Even better is the 2013 Chardonnay Carneros. Both are 100% Chardonnay, but the Carneros does seem to show slightly more melon fruit, better overall freshness and balance, in a nice, medium to full-bodied, luscious style with tropical fruit. Both should be drunk over the next 12-18 months. It’s hard to find value in Napa Valley, although great wines there are plentiful. That said, Buehler Vineyards, ownin ...Read More »
This Sonoma County bottling from Martin Ray is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the Dry Creek, Alexander and Sonoma Valley appellations. The wine was aged for 18 months in a mix of both French and American oak, both new and previously filled. From the winery: "The blend of these different appellations adds a wonderful complexity to this wine, which shines through as savory spices, woodsy earth tones and sweet, baked cherries alongside wild boysenberry jam. This medium-bodied but full Cabernet has a rich front and mid-palate, which is concentrated by ... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
Vinous: "Peay's 2013 Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast) is quite pretty. Apricot, orange blossoms, honey and chamomile open up nicely in the glass. Mid-weight and expressive, the 2013 is all about texture and understated nuance. (AG)" (1/2015)
Jancis Robinson: "Slightly grassy creamy citrus aroma. Very creamy texture, almost unctuous even with such crisp acidity. Likely to be QGV (Quite Good Value). (JH)" (9/2015) Wine & Spirits: "Leesy richness gives this wine’s jasmine aroma a toasty counterpoint. The texture is cool, with pear skin astringency." (8/2015) K&L Notes: From Central Coast winemaker Stephen Ross.
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Opaque ruby. Ripe cherry and black raspberry aromas are complicated by notes of licorice, cola and smoky herbs. A sexy floral nuance comes up with air, adding lift to weighty berry and espresso flavors. Takes a brighter turn on the long, sappy finish, featuring raspberry compote and floral pastille qualities." (5/2014) Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* This may be the ripest of the new Ravenswood lot, but it does not go the way of chocolaty heaviness, and it delivers a fair bit of bright, slightly raspberry-like fruit. It is fleshy, big-bodied and a bit hot in the bargain, and i ...Read More »
92 points Vinous: "Light yellow-gold. Displays intense mineral- and ginger-tinged aromas of pear and Meyer lemon, with a subtle leesy quality in the background. Fleshy and seamless on the palate, offering juicy orchard and citrus fruit flavors and a touch of honey. Blends power and elegance smoothly and finishes on a spicy note, with excellent clarity and mineral-laced persistence. (JR)" (12/2014)
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Paul Hobbs has a long and a strong relationship with the Beckstoffer family for their first-growth-quality vineyards. He also works with other sites as well from the cool Coombsville sector of Southern Napa Valley from which emerges the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Nathan Coombs. A lot of minerality and wet rocks in addition to copious quantities of blackberry and blackcurrant fruit, beautiful purity, a full-bodied mouthfeel, sweet tannins and adequate acidity, make for a beautiful, opulent Cabernet Sauvignon to drink over the next two decades. (RP)" (10/2014) ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Saturated ruby. A sexy, highly perfumed bouquet evokes spicy black and blue fruits, violet and woodsmoke. Varietally expressive flavors of densely packed cassis and boysenberry flavors, with suggestions of olive and spicecake. Dusty tannins give a firm structural underpinning to the long smoky, floral finish." (12/2014) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Deep and rich aromas of blackberry syrup and wet slate kick off this excellent, approachable representation of Santa Barbara County’s new Ballard Canyon appellation. It’s both juicy and tannic once sipped, tasty with blackberry and slight c ...Read More »
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The flagship, black-labeled 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Fortis Napa Valley is truly a brilliant wine. Everything is perfectly proportioned: wood, acidity, alcohol and tannin. Notes of black cherry, blackcurrant and blueberry soar from the wine’s aromas. A touch of wood, lead pencil shavings and spring flowers are also present. The wine is full-bodied, but delicately strung together, à la high fashion. This is a real beauty – full-bodied, yet stylish. While drinkable now, it promises to continue to age well and possibly evolve for another 12-15+ years. (RP) ...Read More »
93 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*Two Stars* Although mildly minty, framed with sweet oak and hinting ever so slightly at a bit of dusty dry earth, this very deep and confident, young Cabernet Sauvignon is directed first and foremost by its incisive, keenly varietal, blackcurrant fruit. It is fleshy and quite supple on entry with an early inclination to roundness, but ample structural tannins then make their mark even if they are fairly refined and far from abrasive. The wine's lack of toughness means that it will be approachable soon, but this one has the kind of careful balance and de ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Syrah So Serine smells as if it were co-fermented with Viognier given its uplifted nose of apricot marmalade, crème de cassis, blackberry and spring flowers. A gorgeous, sexy, full-bodied, voluptuously-textured wine with 15.2% alcohol, in many ways it is a lighter cuvée for Jeff Cohn. While it is hard to resist at present, this delicious Syrah should last for 8-10 years. Jeff Cohn makes a dizzying array of wines, all of which have enormous appeal and character. (RP)" (12/2014) Wine Spectator: "A ripe, generous style, with up-front flavors of fleshy plum and black ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "This is a slightly grassy, green white wine that fans of this style may enjoy; others not so much. Light in alcohol, it has medium body and crispness." (7/2015) K&L Notes: From the winery: "Napa Valley's complex and varied soil types are the result of volcanic activity, ocean incursions and mountain water run-off that have occurred over millennia. Our Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from vineyards that are blessed with the ideal soil and weather conditions to create delicious fruit with concentrated flavors, ideally balanced acidity and rich, aromatic qualities. Cool ferm... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "From budwood brought over from South Africa, the owners’ home country, this coastal Pinotage is earthy and dry, its personality leaning toward gamy black pepper and herb." (2/2015) K&L Notes: Fort Ross Vineyard is set on a sunny coastal ridge just a mile from the Pacific Ocean. Here, South African ex-patriots Lester and Linda Schwartz grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay--naturally--but also a little bit of something different: Pinotage. This curious grape was first developed in South Africa in 1925 by crossing Pinot Noir with Cinsault. Not often found outside its native c... Read More »
Made famous by Ravenswood's Zinfandel bottling, the Bucklin's Old Hill Ranch also includes six acres of Cabernet planted in 1983. By the way, although Old Hill was named after the original grape grower, a fellow named William McPherson Hill who planted Zinfandel here in the 1850s, the Cabernet is actually planted on a hill, and can be seen from California Highway 12, near B.R. Cohn Winery. This part of Sonoma Valley is often called the "banana belt" of the valley, because of its warmth--ideal for Cab. The winery's vintage notes: "The 2012 Cab has fruit a... Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This innovative effort from Claus Janzen is made with the assistance of Nils Venge’s winemaker son, Kirk Venge. Concentrated, serious, and complex is the 2003 Proprietary Red, a combination of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Sangiovese, Petite Sirah, and Syrah. In contrast to the leaner, more austere and streamlined 2002, the 2003 is an exuberant, flamboyant, dense ruby/purple-colored effort offering a rich, sumptuous nose of black raspberries, spice box, cedar, subtle Provencal herbs, and earth. Full-bodied, expansive, and beautifully textured, this ...Read More »
From the winery: " Redolent of Mediterranean herbs, smoked meat, pepper and black olive, the 2012 showcases the best of old world aromatics and new world muscle. While it may be our largest scale Las Madres to date, it remains our most savory Syrah. Very little new oak was employed and we upped the whole cluster fermentation to 75% to accentuate the distinctive black olive tapenade character we love so much."
Inventory: Redwood City
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 »
94 points Vinous: "Wonderfully layered and sensual in the glass, the 2012 Pinot Noir Comptche Ridge is all about texture, silkiness and polish. Dark red cherry, plum, licorice, smoke and star anise are some of the many notes that grace the palate in this exquisite, layered Pinot. The 50% whole clusters add lift, but are also beautifully integrated" 89 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid red. Ripe red berries and cherry on the deeply scented nose and in the mouth. Round and velvety in texture, with elements of licorice and cola that pick up steam with aeration. Closes supple and broad, its finish shaped by h ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
91 points Vinous: "Bright red. Blackberry, dried cherry, licorice and woodsmoke on the pungent nose. Chewy, sharply focused bitter cherry and dark berry flavors stretch out and deepen with air, picking up a peppery nuance on the back half. Nicely balanced, precise Pinot Noir with no excess fat. Finishes with very good thrust and persistence and dusty tannins that add grip." (6/2015) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Brilliant red. Musky red berries, cherry pit, dried flowers and underbrush on the fragrant nose. Bitter cherry and redcurrant flavors show good depth and...flourish. Closes with good focus and fi ...Read More »
According to the winery: "Crisp green apples highlight our Sauvignon Blanc with lively citrus and balanced acidity. It’s deliciously vibrant with a lingering finish, delivering an abundance of evolving aromatics and flavors that continue to change with every mouth feel."
Inventory: Main Warehouse
From the winery: Fermented to dryness, this rare classic has a robust aromatic structure and an even more intriguing palate."
Inventory: San Francisco
This unique international blend was bottled in March of 1995 after two years of cellar aging. It is 67% Sangiovese from the classic Chianti region of Tuscany, Italy and 33% Cabernet Sauvignon from Dalla Valle Vineyards, Napa California.
Inventory: Main Warehouse
98 points James Suckling: "*Top 100 Wines of 2014* Compelling aromas of black fruits such as brambleberries, plus blueberries and fresh mushrooms. Asphalt, too. Forest fruits. The tannins just melt into the wine as you taste it. Aristocratic and regal in style and length. A powdery, fascinating texture. From biodynamically grown grapes. Drink now, but better in 2017." (5/2014) 96 points Vinous: "Araujo has long made some of the more restrained Cabernets in Napa Valley. The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard is one of the more Left Bank inflected wines in the estate's distinguished history. Beauti ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Tart acidity and a crisp, elegant personality, with more smoky, herbal notes and a decidedly cool climate style characterizes the 2002 Pinot Noir Bondi Home Ranch Water Trough Vineyard. This wine is well-made, but a completely different expression of Pinot Noir from a cooler area. It is remarkable how the 2002 is so different from the explosive 2003. (RP)" (2/2005) 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Saturated ruby. Very dark aromas of wild plum, bitter chocolate and nutty oak; lightly syrupy and roasted notes, along with a faint dusty quality, detract from the wine's clarity. Then thick and ...Read More »
98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Of the three Beckstoffer Vineyards, it’s pretty much a joyride as to which one readers may prefer. The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane moves more toward the wet rock, blueberry, raspberry fruit spectrum, but still stays dark and foreboding, very concentrated and full-bodied. The great terroir comes through and the wine is distinctive, singular, opulent and rich. Another fabulous success from Paul Hobbs and one more showcase wine for this great vineyard. Anticipated maturity: now-2032." (10/2014) 92 points Vinous: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Cra ...Read More »
According to Robert Parker: "The dark ruby-colored 1998 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard offers a moderately intense bouquet of earth, spice, pomegranate, and ripe cherries. Medium-bodied, pure, and concentrated with vibrant acidity, this wine should be drunk over the next 4-5 years." (12/2000)
Inventory: Redwood City