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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 »
Field Recordings is a small winery in Paso Robles that was started by Andrew Jones, who began his wine journey as a nursery vine grower and has stepped foot in nearly all the vineyards on the Central Coast of California. All his vineyard expertise is translated into his bottled wine, Field Recordings and Wonderwall (and also wine-in-a-can under the labels Alloy Wine Works and Fiction). Wonderwall focuses on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from extreme Central Coast vineyards.
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From the last vintage where the vineyard was managed by Wes Hagen, the 2014 Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard sports a deep ruby color as well as serious ripeness in its big, exuberant, black fruit, black raspberries, roasted herbs and overflowing spice aromas and flavors. Drink this petal to the metal, yet always balanced and still fresh Pinot Noir anytime over the coming 4-5 years. It’s always a blast to taste with Brian Loring, and these latest releases are rock solid. Brian called 2014 the best vintage since 2010, going on to say the vintage offered b ...Read More »
Named for founder Rudy von Strasser, the "Rudy" label is best known around here for top-quality, well-priced Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. Look for fine tannins that complement good acidity and rich, red fruit flavors. 2014 is the 25th vintage for the von Strasser winery, during which time they've won the "Winery of the Year" award from Wine and Spirits magazine an astonishing 12 times.
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Showing incredible depth for such an affordable wine, Andrew Murray does it again with this widely available bottling. The gamy nose shows lamb, rosemary, uncracked peppercorns, light tobacco leaf, soy sauce and a touch of tar. Purple flowers rule the palate, with lavender, violet and blossoming rosemary notes, with thyme and white pepper spicing up boysenberry fruit. (MK)" (7/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Syrah Tous les Jours is a total charmer and checks in as 100% Syrah from a bevy of Santa Ynez vineyards (all are within five miles of the winery). No ...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)
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Leading off the reds and California’s take on a quality Cotes du Rhône, the peppery, black and blue fruits and floral-scented 2014 Cuvee le Bec is plump, medium to full-bodied, rounded and beautifully textured on the palate. Drink it over the coming 2-4 years. Note, the blend here is 50% Syrah, 35% Grenache, 8% Mourvèdre and 7% Counoise, which spent 16 months in neutral oak barrels. (JD)" (8/2016) 90 points Vinous: "The 2014 Cuvée Le Bec is an absolutely delicious wine as well as a tremendous value. Supple, vibrant and impeccably well-balanced, the 2014 offers considerable n ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Light but plump red strawberry fruit mixes with sandalwood, dried sage and thyme on this nose of this estate wine from winemaker Greg Brewer. Lots of spicy herbals show on the palate, from peppercorn and cardamom to thyme and oregano, giving deeper character to the light red-fruit core. (MK)" (12/2015) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of the best values in Pinot Noir out there is Melville's 2013 Pinot Noir Estate and it overdelivers in just about every vintage. Firing on all cylinders on this occasion, with complex red fruits, rose petal and sous bois aromas and flavors all soaring fr ...Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "#6 on Top 100 *Best of 2016, Editors' Choice* Though this bottling is Peter Hunken's least-expensive Syrah, it gives his single-vineyard expressions a serious run for the money for best of vintage. Amazing aromas of chipped asphalt, smoked beef, dense boysenberry, soy, cedar, sandalwood and soy drop into a palate of peppery berry juice, beef jerky, underripe blackberry and elderberry, and pepper-crusted teriyaki beef. (MK)" (10/2016) K&L Notes: From the winery: "The 2013 Holus Bolus Syrah is sourced entirely from John Sebastiano Vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills. This wine... Read More »
We couldn't be more excited to bring you another installment in what hopefully will turn out to be a long, fruitful project with wineries from around the United States, working with us directly to make exclusive bottlings for our customers. The Domestic team here at K&L has spent a great deal of time kicking around the idea of approaching wineries or winemakers we love, and asking them to work with us to create exclusive wines to our specifications. Furthermore we wanted to not only promote these outstanding wines, but the wineries behind them (rather th... Read More »
From Monterey and Santa Barbara vineyards, the fruit is fermented in stainless steel to preserve freshness, then aged in neutral, air-dried French oak to add an element of texture. Tasting notes from the winemaker: "The nose is reminiscent of preserved Meyer lemons, wet stones and a hint of lime blossoms. The rich body and texture builds as it envelops your mouth, while layers of Kaffir lime, guava, and pineapple tantalize; followed by light, creamy texture of whipped lemon curd. The lingering finish is clean and crisp, preparing your palate for more."
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "What's becoming the flagship Syrah for the estate, the 2013 Syrah Originals Estate comes from the original planting of the estate from 1992. It offers more texture, depth, richness and elegance over the Estate Syrah and possesses beautiful notes of creme de cassis, barbecue smoke, crushed pepper and violets. Medium to full-bodied, ripe and textured, yet always pure and balanced, it will have a decade of longevity. (JD)" (6/2015) 92 points Vinous: "The 2013 Syrah Originals is developing into a highly appealing wine. Time in bottle has brought out a level of refinement the 201 ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
92 points Wine Spectator: "Fresh and lively, offering dense, complex blueberry, boysenberry and raspberry notes that fold together. Tightly focused, rich and expansive on the aftertaste, where the flavors linger. Drink now." (3/2016) 89-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The first vintage for this cuvee from Brian, the 2014 Pinot Noir Kessler-Haak Vineyard comes from a site in the Sta. Rita Hills located just to the west of Clos Pepe. It has a terrific perfume of spice, black currants, violets and the classic earthiness of the region, as well as tons of richness on the palate, a forward, sexy texture and a good finish. ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Using fruit mostly from the Bassi Ranch property he recently acquired, Mike Sinor delivers a bright, minerally wine, with aromas of scratched grapefruit skin, orange and peach juice, burned lemons, sea salt, ripe apples and nectarines and fresh-cut herbs. Flavors of salty, lime-juice nectarines emerge once sipped, with hints of butter and white flowers." (11/2015) 90 points Vinous: "Light, bright yellow. Fresh Meyer lemon, pear and jasmine scents are underscored by a zesty mineral quality. Taut, racy and precise, showing firm grip to its spicy citrus and orchard fruit flavor ...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 »
The 2015 Au Bon Climat wines have yet to be professionally reviewed.
Wine & Spirits: "Bob Lindquist’s multivineyard blend has its typical savory bent in 2014-tobacco, dried herbs, bitter chocolate, tangy acidity. It’s lean and simple, a quaffable syrah for pork chops." (10/2016) K&L Notes: Qupé (pronounced 'kyoo-pay') is the Chumash Indian word for California poppy, and for many, is also the "first word" in the Central Coast area's Rhône-style wines.
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Dark aromas of black currant and black olive meet with charred beef and supple herbs of dill and anise on this wine's excellent nose. The sip is very full and hefty in body, allied with a juicy acidity and fruity character of concentrated blackberry that's imminently appealing. More elegant touches of lavender, rosemary and incense round out the palate." (3/2017) 91 points Vinous: "The 2014 Syrah Estate is surprisingly succulent for a young Stolpman Syrah, which Peter Stolpman attributes to warmer nights and softer extractions. Dark cherry, plum, mocha and dark spices are fu ...Read More »
94-97 points Vinous: "Another highlight, the 2015 Syrah Colson Canyon Vineyard brings together so many of the elements that make Tensley's Syrahs so compelling. Intense in its aromatics and palate feel, the 2015 hits all the right notes. Sweet red cherry, rose petal, raspberry jam and a dollop of French oak are some of the signatures. Because of the low yields, the new oak is a bit high in 2015, but all the elements are very nicely married. The Colson Canyon is shaping up to be another gem from Joey Tensley. This is a superb set of wines from Joey Tensley. The 2015s are terr ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Light on the nose, this shows delicate aromas of Asian pear, honeysuckle, squeezed lemon wedge, fresh coconut flesh and a tiny bit of butter. The palate is also demure yet delicious, with lightly poached apples, squeezed lime and a chalky textural grip. (MK)" (3/2017) 91 points Wine & Spirits: "Get past this wine’s initial toasty scent of oak and you’ll find some delicious fruit; its sunny papaya flavor and salty, marine tang feel like textbook Santa Rita Hills chardonnay, capturing this high-elevation south-facing hillside vineyard with roots in marine sediments. Serve it as you wo ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Notable for the distinctive edge of sassafras and cherry cola, driven by oak and rich flavors that are pure, focused and persistent, this ends with oak and berry elements hand in hand. Drink now through 2023. (JL, Web-2017)" K&L Notes: Belle Glos is the project of Joseph Wagner, son of Caymus winemaker Chuck Wagner of "Special Selection" Cabernet fame. But this winery is devoted entirely to distinctive, single-vineyard Pinot Noir. The Clark & Telephone vineyard may be prosaically named--it's at the corner of Clark Avenue and Telephone Road--but it is unusual in that ... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Made from 45% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 8% Counoise and the rest Mourvedre, the 2013 Cuvee le Bec is a smokin’ value and savvy readers should buy a case. Giving up lots of ripe dark fruits, ground herbs, licorice and wood smoke, it’s ripe, mouthfilling and loaded with charm. Drink bottles over the coming 4-5 years. (JD)" (8/2016) Wine Spectator: "A red blend that's loaded with pepper, plus zesty flavors of black raspberry, toffee and smoky herb. Syrah, Grenache, Counoise and Mourvèdre. Drink now through 2022. 5,000 cases made." (3/2016)
93 points Vinous: "The 2013 Chardonnay Dierberg Vineyard is super-polished and finessed from start to finish. Scents of almond, lemon peel and flowers open up in this striking, effortless Chardonnay. Orange peel and slightly more tropical notes develop with air in a Chardonnay that offers superb textural depth and tons of personality, all in a laid-back, understated style that is such a signature of Santa Maria. I have high hopes for Dierberg and its sister property, Star Lane. Winemaker Tyler Thomas, who was previously at Donelan, arrived in 2013, while Charles (AJ) Fair ...Read More »
The leaner and more "Chablisiane", reminiscent of their two main Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay bottlings, White Hill highlights the unique salinity that comes through in the ancient soils of Sta. Rita Hills. This vintage - HOLY ACID BATMAN! The 2015 has by far the most acidity (as does the '15 La Hermana) of both wines to date. It is going to be a rock star, but will benefit from some time in bottle so please try and be patient with this one! But if you just have to go for it now....Expect the "White Hill" to be floral and fragrant, with fresh tangerine, b... Read More »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "There's a very appealing sense of hickory smoke to this wine, which comes from a block planted in 1973 on this historic vineyard. Red cherry, mulberry, sweet sage and cola also play into the nose. Rich sandalwood flavors show on the palate, as does cedar, thyme, smoke and tart berry elements." (2/2017) 93 points Vinous: "The 2014 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard Block Q Is a little more austere than the Block 45, with slightly finer, chalkier tannins, but tons of energy running through it. Bright red stone fruits, white pepper and expressive savory notes all flesh out nicely. ...Read More »
Palmina was founded in 1995 by Steve Clifton, one of the founding partners of noteworthy Pinot Noir producer Brewer-Clifton. Palmina focuses entirely on Italian varietals sourced from their Central Coast stomping grounds in and around Santa Barbara County, and few labels have done more to promote and develop the potential of these Italian varietals in this era of California winemaking. The 2015 Pinot Grigio is sourced entirely from the Honea vineyard in the newly established Los Olivos District AVA in Santa Ynez Valley. From the winery: "There is a brill... Read More »
Vinous: "The 2014 Pinot Noir Hometown is a refreshing, light-weight wine to drink now and over the next few years. Crushed flowers and sweet red cherry fruit are the signatures. In 2014, the Hometown is on the lighter side. As such, I would prefer to drink it sooner rather than later. In 2014, the blend includes a dollop of Valdiguie. (AG)" (9/2016)
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "One of the first releases since Charles Banks invested in Bob Lindquist's pioneering brand, this wine shows Japanese apple, lemon blossoms, lightly browned butter and a touch of tropicality on the nose. Still a bit wound up, the wine conveys potential length, with green-apple skins, nectarine flesh, cement-like minerality and a chive herb lift. (MK)" (6/2016)
Au Bon Climat winemaker Jim Clendenen has been a driving force for high-quality wines in Santa Barbara County since the early '80s. His signature style, which deftly merges Old World sensibilities with New World flair, manifests in tasty, well-crafted wines from regional blends like this one, to the most sophisticated single-vineyard bottlings. Praise for the recent releases by Antonio Galloni: "Jim Clendenen moves from strength to strength with this superb range of wines. Clendenen seems to be enjoying a sort of late career Renaissance now that he is ma... Read More »
Vinous: "Crushed flowers, sweet tobacco, dried cherries and mint are some of the notes that lift from the 2014 Pinot Noir Los Alamos Vineyard. Distinctly savory and aromatic, the Pinot is a very pretty wine. Ideally, it might have a bit more mid-palate richness to fill out its frame, but nevertheless, this is a strong debut from the Varner brothers. And the price? A steal in the realm of handmade wines. (AG)" (7/2016) K&L Notes: About the producer: "Varner Wine is devoted to the production of handmade Santa Cruz Mountains, Santa Barbara and Paso Robles wines."
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "90+ points. The medium-bodied, sweetly fruited, and perfumed 2013 Grenache Ballard Canyon has lots of kirsch, wild strawberry, dried spice and chalky minerality to go with a taut, energetic and surprisingly structured feel on the palate. While the tannin stuck out right on opening, this came together nicely with time in the glass and I love its overall balance. Made in the more pretty, mid-weight California style, give this a year in the cellar and it should impress over the following 5-6 years. (JD)" (8/2015)
Antonio Galloni praised Tatomer's 2014 vintage: "These might be the very finest wines I have tasted from Graham Tatomer. Although Tatomer has made his name with German/Austrian varieties, his first Pinot Noir is every bit as good. Then again, Tatomer spent several years making his wines at Brewer-Clifton, which is where I first met him a few years back. The top selections in this range are superb, but the entire range is strong this year." (06/2015)
92 points Vinous: "Despite its very reasonable price, the 2014 Chardonnay El Camino Vineyard delivers serious intensity, richness and nuance. Broad, ample and phenolic, the 2015 exudes all the classic Varner signatures, structure being the most obvious of these. Yellow orchard fruit, mint, candied lemon, chamomile and lightly honeyed notes are front and center. This is one of the most singular Santa Barbara Chardonnays readers will come across. The style and palate weight is more than a little reminiscent of the wines the Varners made in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The 2014 ...Read More »
90 points Vinous: "The 2014 M5 is a very pretty, lifted red Rhône blend. Sweet floral notes and red stone fruits from the Grenache are especially vivid. I would prefer to drink this mid-weight red over the next few years at most, while the flavors remain fresh. The 2014 is delineated, delicate and impeccably balanced. The blend is 41% Grenache, 37% Syrah, 14% Mourvèdre, 4% Counoise and 4% Cinsaut. (JR)" (6/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Made from 41% Grenache, 37% Syrah, 14% Mourvedre and the rest Counoise and Cinsault that spent ten months in French oak, the 2014 M5 offers classic notes of underbru ...Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Plump boysenberry and dewy sagebrush meet with a touch of wet asphalt on the nose of this bottling by Bob Lindquist, whose pioneering brand is now part of Charles Banks' portfolio. Dark purple fruits, from blueberry to blackberry, show on the palate, but with refreshing tartness, as do more complex nuances of menthol, eucalyptus and incense. (MK)" (6/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Reminding me of a quality St. Joseph from France's Northern Rhone valley, the 2012 Syrah Santa Barbara County (75% Bien Nacido Vineyard and 25% Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard) offers lots lot pepper, olive ta ...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."
2011 Sine Qua Non "Patine - Eleven Confessions Vineyard" Santa Rita Hills Tasting Lot
Bid on this 6-bottle lot of 2011 Sine Qua Non "Patine - Eleven Confessions Vineyard" Santa Rita Hills Tasting Lot (OWC), including 3-bottles of 2011 Sine Qua Non "Patine - Eleven Confessions Vineyard" Santa Rita Hills Grenache (97RP) and 3-bottles of 2011 Sine Qua Non "Patine - Eleven Confessions Vineyard" Santa Rita Hills Syrah (98RP). Of the 2011 Sine Qua Non "Patine - Eleven Confessions Vineyard" Santa Rita Hills Syrah,Robert Parker's Wine Advocate writes: "A wine that needs to be forgotten in the cellar for 5-6 years, the 2011 Syrah Patine checks in as a blend of roughly 97% Syrah and the balance Roussanne and Viognier. It too comes all from the estate's Eleven Confessions Vineyard and saw 39 months in 63% new French oak. Backward, tight, concentrated and structured, with full-bodied richness and depth, it gives up Guigal La Landonne like aromas and flavors of graphite, sweet oak, smoked meats, pepper and black raspberry and cassis-like fruit. While it shows the vintage's cooler na
This lot contains the following items:
2011 Sine Qua Non "Patine - Eleven Confessions Vineyard" Santa Rita Hills Grenache (qty: 3)
2011 Sine Qua Non "Patine - Eleven Confessions Vineyard" Santa Rita Hills Syrah (qty: 3)
End Date: Apr 28 2017 7:00PM PT
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "This 1.2-acre block is planted to the heritage Swan clone, which in this bottling unleashes fascinating aromas, from dark pomegranate, black plum, baked cherry and even elderberry to dried rose petals, violets and dusty earth. Exotic and well-integrated flavors of plum, mulberry, light clove, dried ginger and hibiscus swirl on the elegant, enticing palate." (2/2017) 94 points Vinous: "The absolutely highlight in this range, the 2014 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard Swan Block 45 showcases the unique aromatic profile of the Swan clone. Intensely floral aromatics make a strong ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
92 points Vinous: "The 2014 Chardonnay (Sta. Rita Hills) is rich and powerful in the glass, yet also shows good energy and overall translucence, especially for such an ample, broad-shouldered wine. Orange blossom, mint, spice and butter are front and center. With time in the glass, more tropically-leaning notes begin to develop. This, too, is, very nicely done. It will be interesting to see how things develop at Melville now that Chad Melville has taken over winemaking from Greg Brewer. Melville has long run vineyard operations, but this is the first time in the estate's h ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Spice, underbrush, wild herbs and assorted red fruits all emerge from the charming, medium-bodied, supple, forward 2014 Pinot Noir from the Santa Maria Valley. It's geared for drinking over the coming 3-4 years, but offers incredible quality for not much buck. Note, this is a mix from Bien Nacido, Riverbench and Solomon Hills vineyards, and spent nine months in old French oak. This Santa Maria estate is run with incredible talent and passion by Bill Wathen and Dick Doré, who have been making wine together since 1985. They completed construction on a new ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The inky colored 2013 Syrah Long Way Home comes from top sites (Bien Nacido, Larner, White Hawk and Watch Hill) in Santa Barbara County, saw 25-30% whole clusters and spent 22 months in 20% new French oak. Medium to full-bodied, fruit-loaded and forward, with tons of plum, cracked pepper and garrigue, it has notable tannin and a great, decadent and heady finish. Drink this pleasure-bent 2013 over the coming 3-4 years. Readers looking for rich, textured, character filled wines that won't break the bank need to check out these latest releases from winemake ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Coming from the Santa Ynez Valley, the 2013 Dolcetto is a juicy, quaffable, value-priced beauty that gives up lots of strawberry, black raspberry, spice and peppery herb-like aromas and flavors. Brought up all in neutral French oak (big casks), buy it by the case and drink it over the coming couple of years. (JD)" (6/2015) Vinous: "Palmina's 2013 Dolcetto is soft, open and accessible, with plenty of bright flavors to match its vinous, inviting personality. Sweet red cherry, plum, spice and tobacco abound in a pretty wine to drink now and over the next year or two. ...Read More »
92 points Vinous: "Pale gold. A lively, incisive bouquet evokes citrus and orchard fruits and white flowers, and an iodine nuance emerges as the wine opens up. Shows excellent clarity and depth to the fresh orange, pear and candied ginger flavors, which open up steadily with air. Smoothly combines power and vivacity and finishes very long and taut, with resonating mineral and floral notes. (JR)" (9/2016) 92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Daffodils, lemon rinds and yellow apples rise on the nose of this bottling like a delicate flower petal. The palate is also finely toned, light in style and easy to enjoy, w ...Read More »
90 points Vinous: "The 2015 Grüner Veltliner Meeresboden is a bit brighter and more tense in style than the Paragon. Citrus, mineral and floral notes abound in a distinctly savory Grüner that needs time to unwind from its recent bottling. My sense is that the Meeresboden is holding back quite a bit of its potential, as there is good underlying intensity waiting to emerge. Because of shatter and low yields in John Sebastiano, in 2015 most of the fruit is from Kick On Ranch. The 2015 has turned out beautifully. There are plenty of highlights in this range from Graham Tatomer ...Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard Hillside Estate offers classic cool-climate notes of pepper, green olive, leather and spice, as well as a core of ripe blackberry and raspberry styled fruit. Medium+-bodied, nicely balanced and with integrated acidity, it has outstanding mid-palate density, plenty of tannin and solid finish. Made from 100% Syrah that spent 20 months in 50-60% in new French oak, it will benefit from short-term cellaring and have 15+ years of overall longevity. (JD)" (8/2015) 90 points Vinous: "Ruby-red. Pungent, high-pitched cherry and licorice scents pick ...Read More »