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K&L Staff Recommendations
According to the winery: "With the color of freshly cut cantoulope, our 2015 “Tous Ensemble” Rosé evokes distinct aromas of racy citrus fruits and delicate white flowers. On the palate, juicy watermelon and fresh strawberries are supported by lively acidity to give this gorgeous wine a food friendly structure. The 2015 vintage will be remembered for high quality and lower yields. The growing season started out with unseasonably warm temperatures in late winter and early spring. Cooler temperatures in May caused some uneven fruit set that contributed to s... Read More »
92 points Wine Spectator: "The subtle intensity builds and gains depth, holding focus and delivering a mix of dusty wild berry, plum, black licorice and cassis notes. Impressive on the finish. (JL)" (6/2015) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a taut and trim wine, but with plenty of toasted oak aromas and rich maple and cherry flavors to fill out its firm frame. Flavors combine cinnamon, cardamom, plum and Bing cherry. The texture is moderately tannic and firmly crisp for an attractive, lip-smacking quality. (JG)" (12/2015) K&L Notes: If it looks like a duck, that's because Goldeneye is indeed part of the Duckhorn Vineyar... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* The fruit flavors are apparent, fresh and lively in this medium-bodied, beautifully balanced brut. Light pear and pineapplearomas are followed by richer pear and citrus flavors, and subtle hints of baking spices, almonds and a nice earthy touch emerge." (12/2015) 91 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buy* Sleek and charming, with yeasty apple torte and floral cherry aromas and rich, crisp flavors of lemon curd, spicy vanilla and fresh ginger." (10/2015) Connoisseurs Guide: "As always a very bright and vital wine and, in this case, one that emphasizes freshness more than yeasty complexity, th ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This lovely Mendocino sparkler, crafted from two-thirds Chardonnay and one-third Pinot Noir, has lilting apple and honey aromas buoyed by a thick head of mousse. There is a pleasing follow-through from aroma to flavor and a core of ripe apple. Dry, soft with a long finish, this is a hard-to-resist food-friendly wine ready to pair widely." (12/2013) 90 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*Good Value* Long on autolyzed richness with a very keen sense of vigorous young fruit in the nose and following with long, impressively layered flavors of citrus, minerals and rich yeast, this exceptionally we ...Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Unusually dry and crisp, this gives up tangy green apple, kiwi and lemon flavors backed by electric acidity, rather light body and a touch of enervating astringency that’s unusual in a white wine. Fresh oysters, please." (2/2015) Connoisseurs Guide: "Bright and brisk from the outset and a wine that reins in ripeness without sacrifice of keen Chardonnay fruit, this tangy offering is true to the racy Carpe Diem style and sports plenty of acid yet never wanders into lemony austerity. It shows a nice sense of polish and is complete without being big and bold, and it will make a fi ...Read More »
Toulouse’s scenic vineyard is established as a proven site that has produced 94 point wines. Their fruit is purchased by some of the most renowned winemakers in Anderson Valley, such as the McPhail Family Wines, Phillips-Hill Estates, and Baxter Winery.
91 points Decanter: "Stern cherry nose, underlaid by sweet oak. Rich and fleshy with good concentration and typicity and a lively, spicy finish. Assertive and long but not heavy. (GH)" (8/2015) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Red-cherry and strawberry aromas meld with rich fruit and warm baking-spice flavors to make this full-bodied wine hard to resist. The style is in the ripe, pastry shop mode, and soft tannins and acidity complete the picture." (8/2016)
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* A complex and complete wine with everything in place, this tastes delicious from the first whiff to the lingering finish. It has fresh-baked bread and light peach aromas and white-cherry flavors. Well balanced, it’s layered on a subtle level and harmonious." (12/2015) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Floral aromas of raspberry and white chocolate open to crisp, festive flavors of graham cracker, spice and red apple." (11/2014) Wine & Spirits: "This captures the frank, delicious energy of Anderson Valley pinot noir (60 percent of the blend) in tones of red raspberry, orange peel and cherry ...Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*#36 in Wine Enthusiast's "The Enthusiast 100 of 2015"* Very fruity and fresh in aroma, this elegant wine has light, crisp apple and lemon flavors, fresh-baked bread accents and lively acidity. A layered texture seems to blend in accents of almond and vanilla, increasing complexity with each sip. It’s one of California’s bluechip bubblies." (12/2015) 93 points Wine Spectator: "*#60 on the Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2015* Impeccably refined and elegant, with floral aromas of fresh brioche, baked apple and roasted hazelnut. The flavors are layered and well-focused, showing notes of min ...Read More »
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Light peach skin color, with a slow bead. Musky orange peel and herb aromas, with a hint of white chocolate. Fleshy, weighty and smooth in texture, offering ripe citrus and pit fruit flavors and a touch of green cardamom. Slightly loose-knit but packs a punch, finishing with an echo of candied orange and lingering sweetness." (5/2012) Wine Enthusiast: "A rounded texture, layered flavors of raspberry and baking spices and an almost sweet finish make this rosé very tempting. It strikes a good balance between acidity, fruit flavor and effervescence. Made from 57% Pinot Noir an ...Read More »
Banshee changed things up a bit in 2015, and for the first time sourced their rosé from Mendocino County when they found some exciting new vineyard sources. Banshee takes their rose production very seriously, and employs hand-harvesting and whole cluster pressing of Pinot Noir grapes designated for rosé from the beginning, rather than bleeding some runoff juice of a wine destined to be a red. The primary new vineyard source for this aromatic and bright rose is biodynamically farmed, and the attention to detail from start to finish shows through in the bo... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* 0 The fruit flavors are apparent, fresh and lively in this medium-bodied, beautifully balanced brut. Light pear and pineapple aromas are followed by richer pear and citrus flavors, and subtle hints of baking spices, almonds and a nice earthy touch emerge. (JG)" (12/2015) 91 points Wine Spectator: "Sleek and charming, with yeasty apple torte and floral cherry aromas leading to rich, crisp flavors of lemon curd, spicy vanilla and fresh ginger. (TF)" (12/2015) Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* As always a very bright and vital wine and, in this case, one that emphasizes freshness more than ye ...Read More »
90 points Vinous: "The 2013 Syrah Tous Ensemble is fabulous. Inky dark blue/purplish fruit, smoke, licorice, grilled herbs jump from the glass. A dollop of whole clusters adds gorgeous aromatic/savory overtones. Drink this juicy, lifted Syrah over the next few years. This is a terrific showing from Copain, not to mention a tremendous value. (AG)" (1/2015) Wine Spectator: "Offers lively acidity and a tight focus, with accents of cherry and cranberry plus spice and herb. Crushed stone notes underscore the dry tannins. Drink now through 2023. 1,680 cases made." (3/2016)
Zac Robinson, the third generation of the Oswald family, who runs Husch these days, told us that the Nash Mill Pinot is their newest experiment with the varietal. The vineyard, which was planted by and used to be owned by K&L's very own Jim Barr, speaks of the area's logging past. Jim says it took him two years to clear the four-acre hillside to which he then added a total of 150 tons of crushed limestone before he planted the vineyard to three French Dijon clones of Pinot Noir in June 2003.
93 points Wine & Spirits: "The Husch family planted the first pinot noir in Anderson Valley in 1971, before selling the winery to the current owners, the Oswalds, in 1979. Vineyard manager Al White has farmed the firm’s grapes since 1974. That wealth of experience and history pays dividends in this bright, refreshing pinot noir from five vineyards, including the Husch estate in Philo and Ferrington in Booneville. The wine is sunny and red-fruited, with a crisp structure, moderate ripeness and a lovely floral aroma that lasts: pure Anderson Valley." (12/2015)
The 2014 vintage had early rains, a warm spring, and an early harvest. Once the grapes were gently pressed, the wine was fermented in a combination of stainless steel and neutral oak. All of this resulted in a ripe, balanced Chardonnay with elegance and a lively lemon zestiness. Look for aromas of green apples and honeysuckle, then pair this delectable offering with a chilled cucumber and cream soup.
93 points Vinous: "The 2014 Pinot Noir Savoy Vineyard exudes Anderson Valley intensity. Beams of tannin and acidity give the Savoy its length, energy and vibrancy. The Savoy is not an especially obvious wine, but it sure is delicious. Give the 2014 a few years to soften. This is another fabulous Pinot from Failla. The firm, structured style will appeal most to readers with more classically leaning palates. Pomegranate, sweet red cherry/plum and wild flowers add the closing shades of nuance. My tasting at Failla was one of the highlights of the two weeks I spent in Sonoma e ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
From the producer: "The nose reminds us of fall, with bright ripe cranberry notes, hints of forest, brown sugar, golden brown marshmallows, and cinnamon. This Zinfandel has a dominant presence right when it hits the front palate, which leads into a broad mid palate and enjoyable mouthwatering finish. The acidity perfectly balances out the bright fruit from the core and makes this wine perfect for food pairings or enjoying on its own."
89-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Coming from the northern edge of California, the 2014 Pinot Noir Oppenlander was harvested October 1 and saw 30% whole clusters and 25% new French oak. it has a deeper ruby color to go with classic Pinot Noir notes of black cherries, forest floor, violets and incense. Medium-bodied, supple, elegant and beautifully textured, it has good acidity and some chewy, rustic tannin on the finish. It should be relatively approachable on release, yet benefit from short term cellaring and have 8-10 years of longevity. It's a rock-solid Pinot Noir. Paul Gordon and w ...Read More »
Wine & Spirits: "From a collection of vineyards in Anderson Valley’s cool Deep End, this is tight at first, with flinty earth tones and tart chokecherry acidity, the oak feeling a bit raw. With air, the fruit gains some suppleness, and it may turn out to be a layered, complex wine with some additional time in bottle." (4/2016) K&L Notes: Praise from Wine Advocate: "Paul Gordon and winemaker Scott Shapley (who also makes the wines for Roar in the Santa Lucia Highlands) continue to make superb, Northern Rhone-inspired wines from the Mendocino and Yorkville Highlands regions of Californ... Read More »
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 »
Whitethorn Winery is a small, family-owned winery devoted to capturing the essence of Mendocino's terroir by making high-quality single-vineyard Pinot Noir. From the winery: "Located just 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the vines for this Pinot Noir were planted in 1982, on both southwest and northwest facing gentle slopes, and include fruit from the the Pommard #5 and Martin Ray, sometimes called “Romanee Conti,” #37 clones. Soil is former upland pasture, dense sandy loam and fractured sandstone from the Franciscan Formation."
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "**Editor's Choice** Somehow this wine is bold, full bodied and superripe—yet balanced, sleek and structured. Tart, vibrant fruit aromas like raspberry and cranberry are followed by rich, almost sweet strawberry and red cherry flavors. A layer of fine tannins adds grip to the mouthfeel, and firm acidity keeps everything from being heavy. (JG)" (12/2015) Wine Spectator: "Tart and zesty, with notes of red plum, tomato leaf and smoky spice. Drink now through 2020. 2,200 cases made. (TF) Web Only-2016"
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)
91 points Wine Spectator: "Focused and vibrant, with aromas of creamy apple, cinnamon and hazelnut leading to complex, layered flavors of lemon custard, mineral and almond. The finish lingers." (9/2013) 90 points Wine & Spirits: "Roederer Estate’s Brut is reliably open and delicious, this year’s cuvée bursting with concentrated apple flavor. It’s clean and dry with a long, delicate finish enhanced by the barrel-aged reserve wines that winemaker Arnaud Weyrich blends in. Its bold flavors and vinous texture would be great with cracked crab." (12/2014) Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* Taking its usual place among the better basic Bruts ...Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright ruby. Heady aromas of red and dark berry liqueur, lavender and incense are sharpened by a zesty mineral quality. Offers vibrant boysenberry and cola flavors and a hint of licorice, along with a suave floral character. Acts a lot like an elegant northern Rhone syrah, but with pinot's delicate touch. Closes with strong sappy persistence and a sweetening vanilla nuance." (5/2014) 91 points Vinous: "A gorgeous wine, the 2012 Pinot Noir Demuth is all about balance. Here, the more favorable growing season yielded a Pinot long on class and elegnace. Bright cranberry, flowers ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
92 points Vinous: "The 2014 Sativa, 100% old-vine Carignan from Mendocino County, is one of the most striking wines in this range. A host of inky blue and purplish-hued fruits, mint, spices and leather make a strong first impression. The 2014 boasts fabulous energy that gives the wine its sense of freshness and vitality. This is another strong showing from Lioco, not to mention a wine reader will not want to miss. (AG)" (2/2016)
Producer notes: "Complex and delicate, sophisticated and focused, the inaugural vintage of Moonglow Pinot Noir features an immediate drinkability but yet has the structure to improve with short term aging. Velvety tannins surround a perfectly ripe, plummy core; with wild berry and dusty herb flavors in reserve. Enjoy with a wide variety of cuisine."
Wine Enthusiast: "This is a big, dry Rhône-style wine with a medium color. It offers aromas of wild berry, earth and oak, along with clove and pomegranate-juice flavors and a firm, tannic texture. It’s not what you’d call a cocktail wine, but it should be versatile at mealtime with meats and pastas. (JG)" (12/2015)
The three friends behind Antill Farms met while working at Williams-Selyem after various stints as cellar rats across the country, so they have California Pinot in their DNA. In 2004, they opened up Anthill Farms to pay homage to small growers by producing single-vineyard Pinots (and one Syrah). They also produce two appellation wines, and this alluring bottle showcases the cool, coastal terroir of Mendocino County. From the winery: "With this Pinot, we look to create a food-friendly, nuanced wine that represents the unique character of the Anderson Vall... Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Coming from the cool-climate Theopolis Vineyard in the Yorkville Highlands, the 2013 Petite Sirah Tierra is a blend 100% Petite Sirah that was aged in 25% new oak barrels before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Its inky purple color is followed by lots of black and blue fruits, violet, pepper, graphite and hints of underbrush on the nose. Medium to full-bodied, supple, pure and polished, it's a beautifully civilized, if not elegant, expression of Petite Sirah that will have 10-15 years of longevity. Paul Gordon and winemaker Scott Shapley (who also ...Read More »
93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid red. Strong raspberry and cherry-cola aromas, with suave floral and Asian spices adding complexity. Silky and very fresh, with impressively focused red fruit flavors and a building note of rose pastille. The persistent, gently tannic finish emphatically repeats the red berry and floral notes and lingers with bright, spicy intensity." (5/2013) 91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "This is less obviously floral than the Alpine but slightly more aromatically complex with its elegant aromas of violets, plums and red currants. There is really lovely intensity to the delicious middle weight ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Wine Enthusiast: "This easy-to-enjoy wine from the family of Silver Oak has lots of vanilla and fruit flavors and a broad but soft mouthfeel. Hints of cinnamon and red cherries come out on the palate and linger on the finish." (1/2016) K&L Notes: From two outstanding Anderson Valley vineyards, the estate-owned Monument Tree Vineyard and the Ferrington Vineyard, here's a lovely expression of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir from the makers of Silver Oak. The winery's vintage notes: "Our 2013 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir is a full-bodied wine in which the ripe berry character of the Ferrington ... Read More »
Proprietor Paul Gordon's main focus is Rhone-style wines, but the Silicon Valley tech officer turning vintner makes Anderson Valley Pinot on the side, according to the San Jose Mercury News: "The 2014 Wenzel Vineyard Pinot Noir, from the Anderson Valley, is spicy and elegant, with raspberry, rhubarb and good structure." (8/17/2015)
Inventory: San Francisco
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Lighter, leaner flavors like cranberry, rhubarb and tart cherry light up this wine from the first sniff through the tangy finish. Balanced on the fresher, crisper side of the spectrum, it has firm tannins, an appetizing dry texture and medium body. The focused fruit flavors and light spicy accents make it distinctive. (JG)" (10/2015) Wine & Spirits: "This is simple and approachable, with a soft red cherry flavor that ends with spark of alcohol, the fruit accumulating just enough sandy grip to hold everything together." (4/2016) Wine Spectator: "Well-focused on a narrow mix ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Winemaker Zach Rasmuson did not produce a Narrows Vineyard bottling in 2005. Instead, those grapes went into the regular Goldeneye, to its great benefit. The wine is particularly rich and powerful in cherry pie filling, black raspberry, mocha, Dr. Pepper and smoky oak flavors, with a gorgeous, mouth-filling texture that's dramatic on the finish." 91 points and two stars from the Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine: "Rich oak combines nicely with equally rich cherry-like fruit and suggestions of dried flowers in the nose of ... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
90 points Vinous: "The 2013 Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley) is quite floral, lifted and delicate in style. Raspberry, crushed flowers and mint are some of the notes that grace this pretty, entry-level offering from Knez. Today, the 2013 comes across as a bit ethereal, with plenty of influence from the 50-60% whole clusters. The wine's mid-weight personality leads me to think it is best enjoyed sooner rather than later. The 2013 is approximately 2/3rds Cerise and 1/3rd Demuth fruit. (AG)" (1/2015)
Wine Spectator: "The plum and black cherry flavors are plush and velvety, showcasing a minerally edge. Dried floral details emerge on the spicy finish. Drink now through 2030." (5/2016)
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The beautiful 2006 Syrah Alder Springs The Terraces is blend of 97% Syrah co-fermented with 3% Viognier. Explosive aromas of blueberries, black raspberries, cassis, camphor, and flowers are followed by a dense, full-bodied, gorgeously layered fruit bomb with surprising complexity, minerality, and laser-like focus. (RP)" (12/2008)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Noted winemaker Pax Mahle sought to return to traditional methods for his Pax label (while his Wind Gap label is geared toward more esoteric varietals.) Working with distinctive organically farmed cool-climate sites, Mahle's focus is on small production, minimal-intervention winemaking, with native-yeast fermentations, and no fining or filtering. He seeks to let the terroir and the vintage speak through the wine. Alder Springs is a high-elevation, sandstone vineyard with a long, cool growing season.
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The impressive line-up of 2004 Syrahs includes the 2004 Syrah Broken Leg Vineyard. An exotic, nearly over-the-top perfume of acacia flowers, blueberries, and blackberries is followed by a wine boasting huge body, terrific structure, and vibrant underlying acidity. With abundant ripeness, purity, and texture, it should age gracefully for a decade or more." (12/2005) 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(includes 5% co-fermented viognier; vinified with 75% whole clusters) Bright deep ruby. Perfumed, complex aroma of raspberry lifted by a suggestion of exotic flowers. Musky, peppery and ripe; fi ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "No tasting note given. (RP)" (6/2005) K&L Notes: From an earlier tasting note by Robert Parker: "From the steep slopes (some as steep as those in Cote Rotie with a 60% gradient) of Anderson Valley, the 2003 Syrah Broken Leg Vineyard (which enjoys a full southern exposure) includes 3% Viognier as well as 50% stems. Its deep purple color is accompanied by sweet aromas of ground pepper, tapenade, blackberries, and cassis. A meaty character in the mouth, tremendous body as well as density, and loads of pure, concentrated fruit suggest it should be consumed over the next ... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Wine Spectator: "Lemon, melon and peach flavors are fleshy and juicy. Mouthwatering on the intense finish. (MW-Web-2016)"
Bolinas-based Sean Thackrey has made a Petite Sirah from the Eaglepoint Ranch since 1997, and are we glad he has! This is a wine to put away in your cellar (or closet) for however long you can stand it! When you do get around to opening it, watch it explode from the glass and change over the hour or two it takes for you two drink the bottle, offering such an array of aromas and flavors it is impossible to catalog them here. Sean Thackrey is one of the most influential people in the Bay Area Food & Wine community, and has been for nearly three decades. Al... Read More »
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Dark red. Complex smoky, roasted aromas of black raspberry, cherry, cola, mocha, leather and minerals. Round and fat on the palate; not yet showing its sweetness but already quite seamless. Finishes with fine tannins and excellent persistence." (6/2001) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Delicious, with ripe cherry and raspberry jam flavors that are rich and polished, deep and complex. Finishes with a long, intricate aftertaste." (5/2002)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 »
89 points Robert Parker: "With the exception of the Heritage Clones cuvee, Rosenblum Cellars’ Petite Sirahs are all inky/purple-colored. The Rhodes Vineyard is a wine of unbridled richness, huge tannins, massive fruit, earth, purity, and loads of blackberry, blueberry, incense, and graphite characteristics. The 2005 Petite Sirah Rhodes Vineyard is excruciatingly tannic at present, but there is plenty of density. It was the most difficult cuvee to evaluate because of its high tannin and closed personality." (Aug 2008)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
96 points Wine Enthusiast: "A pretty, perfumed Pinot Noir, with gorgeous streaks of kir and vibrant blackberry and cherry. It’s subtle and structured, with a pronounced layer of earthy forest floor on the finish. With sprinklings of spice, it dazzles from beginning to end." (4/2014) 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(made with 30% whole clusters): Deep ruby. Highly expressive aromas of blackberry, Asian spices, cola and lavender, with a touch of licorice adding depth. Penetrating and precise, with energetic dark berry and bitter cherry flavors staining the palate. Chewy tannins add grip and structure to the very long ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse