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K&L Staff Recommendations
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A smokin' effort, as well as a terrific value, the 2014 Pinot Noir Hahn SLH (mostly from the Smith Vineyard) offers classic notes of forest floor, toasted spice, licorice and tons of Pinot Noir fruit in its medium-bodied, textured and layered profile. At 30 bucks, I'm hard pressed to come up with a better value in Pinot Noir. Drink this pleasure bent beauty over the coming 4-5 years. An estate that has hit another level of quality over the past few vintages, Hahn Family Wines focuses on estate vineyards in both the Santa Lucia Highlands and the Arroyo Se ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* This amazing wine can match up against wines double the price. Brawny red berries and wild cherries mix with cut sagebrush, eucalyptus and crushed graphite on the nose. The palate combines bright red, acid-driven raspberry fruit with the darker structure of elderberry. Throw in thyme and bay leaf for the complete package. (MK)" (12/2016) Connoisseurs Guide: "*Good Value* Very proper, nicely ripened, red cherry fruit is joined by subtle notes of tobacco and sweet oak in both the mid-density aromas and flavors of this measured middleweight, and, while never an ...Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*#12 in Wine Enthusiast's The Enthusiast 100 of 2015, Editors' Choice* This might be one of the best values on the market, given the quality. Equal parts pretty and funky, it’s a tightly wound, savory, fruity wine that’s elegant and compelling. The tannins and oak are lightly imprinted around strawberry-rhubarb and fresh-cut rose, and the texture seductively silky. This is a delicious treat of a wine that should also age. (VB)" (12/2015) Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* Perhaps, because it is not quite so severe, we like this bottling a tad better than its mate below. It is, of ...Read More »
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 »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* This is such a good offering at this price, or many other prices, that it would be a worthy house wine to stock for regular consumption. Richly luxurious and softly layered, its texture stands out among well-integrated jolts of earth, black tea and strawberry-rhubarb." (6/2016)
91 points Vinous: "Translucent red. High-pitched red berry, cherry and rose pastille scents are lifted by blood orange and mineral nuances. Silky, weightless and focused on the palate, offering juicy raspberry and bitter cherry flavors that become deeper and sweeter with air. Shows impressive depth of flavor but comes off lithe, even delicate. Clings with serious tenacity on the gently tannic finish, which strongly echoes the red fruit and floral notes. Talley's side project, which is not exactly a second label as the wines may include fruit that is sourced from outside Ar ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a gorgeously light coastal offering, a subdued expression of the variety that unravels its layers slowly and methodically. Red cherry, lavender and blueberry are revealed on the palate as perfumed shocks of rose and salty air permeate the nose. Vibrantly crisp, it has a slight grip to the velvety texture." (2/2017) 90 points Wine & Spirits: "This iteration of Flowers’ multi-vineyard blend from western Sonoma is a bit lush compared to some other vintages, perhaps due to the warmth of the 2014 growing season, yet it’s stitched together by brisk coastal acidity and the tannins ...Read More »
Vinous: "The 2014 Pinot Noir (Sonoma County) is a pretty, attractive wine to drink now and over the next few years. Sweet red cherry and floral notes grace the mid-weight, feminine finish. This is a very pretty, understated appellation Pinot that delivers a compelling combination of quality, value and production. The Sonoma County is a blend of declassified barrels and some purchased fruit. (AG)" (2/2016) K&L Notes: As difficult as it is to produce excellent Pinot Noir, it is even more difficult to do so at a fine value. In their development of the Banshee label, the winemake... Read More »
James Suckling: "A bright and fresh pinot noir with sliced lemon, strawberry and flower character. Medium body, crisp and clean. Light tannins and clean and fresh finish. Drink now." (6/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another undeniable value is the 2014 Pinot Noir Olema, a Sonoma cuvée that would qualify as a sleeper as well. Pomegranate, allspice and clove intermix with sassafras in this medium-bodied, deliciously fruity, round seductive Pinot Noir to drink over the next several years. Even the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Olema offers plenty of value in an elegant, tasty, cedary, blackcurrant-scented ...Read More »
Wine & Spirits: "Made by Banshee, one of W&S’s 2015 Wineries of the Year, this contains declassified barrels of their Sonoma Coast wines as well as fruit from Anderson Valley, Monterey and Santa Barbara. It’s aged almost exclusively in used wood, resulting in a balanced Pinot Noir with clean, bold dark-cherry flavors and tangy acidity that drinks far above its humble price." (4/2016) Wine Enthusiast: "A smooth texture and ripe, inviting black cherry flavors make this medium-bodied wine easy to drink and enjoy. Light spicy accents give it extra interest and moderate tannins help build the su ...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.
"Year in and year out one of our best values is Pinot Noir. If you don't believe me, just ask any K&L customer." (Illya Haase, K&L Staff Member) This wine comes to us from Sonoma County's Martin Ray Winery, owned by Courtney Benham (creator of the Blackstone brand). This multi-county blend of Pinot Noir has been well-received in recent years, maybe not tipping the point-scales over 90, but earning consistent praise for the solid varietal character it delivers for a modest price.
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 »
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.
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "**#9 in the Enthusiast 100 of 2016** and an *Editors' Choice* While this wine’s Mount Eden sister bottling may better stand the test of time, the Domaine Eden is what most people will most like to drink right now, and it’s cheaper too. Aromas of dried violets, uncrushed boysenberries and pencil lead make for an ethereal nose that seems to hold secrets one must uncover. Precise tannins on the palate offer floral yet savory flavors of black sesame, nori, violet and mulberry. It’s mellow yet mysterious." (12/2016) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Sporting a deeper ruby color, the 2013 Pinot ...Read More »
A small Santa Barbara winery specializing in single-vineyard Pinot Noirs. The Scarlett is a silky, balanced wine that shows bright red berry aromas--strawberries, raspberries, and dried cranberries--plus an earthy hint of forest floor.
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.
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "As for the late-released Pinot Noirs, the 2013 Pinot Noir Cahill Lane is made from Dijon clones 114 and 115, along with Rochioli material. This is a beauty, a classic Russian River Pinot Noir with notes of strawberry, black cherry, rose petal, dusty/loamy soil notes and foresty aromas. Rich with plenty of berry fruit on the palate, the wine is full-bodied, pure and well-balanced. This should drink well and last for at least a decade or more. All of these Pinot Noirs are bottled unfined and unfiltered just like the Chardonnays. This is an enviable winery ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Noir Sea Slopes gets its name from overlooking the Pacific Ocean at an elevation of 1,200 to 1,700 feet. The wine spent nine months in 10% new French oak prior to being bottled unfined and unfiltered. This wine offers loads of Chinese black tea, pomegranate, floral notes and a hint of raspberry in a medium-bodied, fresh, lively, Côte de Beaune style. Drink it over the next 5-7 years. Early - Drink 2016-2023" K&L Notes: From Fort Ross Vineyard's estate property, the Sea Slopes bottling sources Calera, Pommard, Swan, and Dijon clone vines. The wine was ... 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 »
Wine Spectator: "An enticing if weighty mouthful, rich and deeply flavored, anchored by tiers of blackberry, blueberry, wild berry, cherry and raspberry flavors. Round and smooth on the palate. Long finish. Drink now. 750,000 cases made." (11/2016) K&L Notes: Ruby hued with aromas of fresh strawberry and jammy fruits. Boysenberry, blackberry and dark cherry envelop the palate with a supple and silky texture.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Editors’ Choice 0 Another stunning deal on this annual bottling, this wine is jammy and fruity on the nose with buttered cherries and berry jam, yet layered with baking spice and wet clay minerality. Dried strawberries, black cherries and plums show on the palate, enhanced by a toasted clove, graphite, juniper and forest floor mintiness. (MK)" (8/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Moving to the reds, the 2014 Pinot Noir Huntington comes from various vineyards in Santa Barbara County and saw ten months in 30% new French oak. It’s a rock solid value that offers lots of spice box, cherry ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The polished, elegantly styled 2014 Pinot Noir Sta Rita Hills gives up lots of black cherry, crushed flowers, leather and spice aromas and flavors to go with a medium-bodied, supple and nicely textured profile on the palate. This fresh, nicely focused 2014 has nicely integrated acidity, very polished tannin and the balance and depth to keep for 5-6 years. As I commented last year, there have been significant changes at Brewer-Clifton recently and Steve Clifton is no longer involved at the estate. However, Greg Brewer remains the driving force here, and ...Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Readers looking for a classic, incredibly well made Pinot Noir to buy by the case should look no further than Josh's 2014 Pinot Noir from the Central Coast AVA. Supple, sexy, seamless and elegant, with classic Calera notes of raspberries, mulled cherries, spice and dried soil, it has no hard edges, a core of sweet fruit and a beautiful finish that keeps you coming back to the glass. I'm sure it will keep for 4-5 years (probably longer), but there's no need to delay gratification. Don't miss this fabulous effort and bravo to the Calera team for delivering ...Read More »
92 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*Two Stars* More than once we have found a great deal to like in the straight appellation bottlings of top-notch Pinot producers, and here is just such an example that rivals and even surpasses several of its pricier cellarmates with respect to balance, fruity depth and real varietal beauty. It is moderately full, slightly fleshy in feel and very well-balanced, and, while it impresses as a Pinot of many parts, it impresses at least as much for the way in which those parts are seamlessly joined. It is no stretch to see richness and refinement intersecting ...Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* This lower-priced Pinot from the Center of Effort team punches way above its weight in the vintage, showing light cherry-blossom and black-cherry aromas mixed with gamy meat and wet slate. Blackberry pie is cut with orange rind on the sip, with an earthy grip showing flavors of juniper, crushed clove and pipe tobacco." (10/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I found the 2014 Pinot Noir Fossil Point to be straightforward and a touch simple, but at 19 bucks, who can argue. Medium-bodied, well made and with pretty notes of sweet cherries, framboise and spice, this value ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
The Seabold Pinot Noir is sourced from two sites in Monterey County. The first is located in the Carmel Valley. Only six miles from the ocean and 1000 feet in elevation, the grapes from this cool, windswept vineyard with vines rooted in loamy topsoils over an ancient seabed provide the structure and backbone of the finished wine. The second location lies further inland in the foothills of the Santa Lucia Highlands. There, an old vine block provides concentrated grapes that contribute an intense fruit character, balancing out the structure. The winery pro... Read More »
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 »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "There's a very candied red-cherry quality to the nose of this wine from a vineyard that the winery will cease using with this vintage, along with sexy aromas of violet, lilac, clove, cola, peppercorn and rose. A sage-driven character emerges once sipped, giving spice to bright red, slightly sour cranberry fruit. (MK)" (12/2015) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Coming from the estate Verna's Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills and 60% destemmed, the 2013 Pinot Noir Estate Verna's Vineyard was fermented in 1.5 ton open-top stainless-steel fermenters before aging 11 months all in neutral oak. It ...Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "Intense and flavorful, with earth-scented anise and red berry themes built on fine-grained tannins that impart structure, focus and persistence. Drink now." (9/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "While their generic cuvée, the 2014 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast, comes from multiple cool-climate sites, the wine offers Burgundian, earthy forest floor notes, with hints of red cherries, pomegranate, raspberry, a touch of earth, underbrush and forest floor. Vibrant red fruits dominate in this elegant, medium-bodied style. This is their largest cuvée of Pinot Noir at 11,300 cases. Drink it over th ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Savory, earthy aromas of mushrooms, black pepper, iron and cranberry arise from this blend of nine vineyards, many of which are usually featured in single-vineyard selections. Umami rules the palate, and it’s quite full for a lighter-colored wine, with brown spice, light red fruit flavors and expertly balanced acidity." (3/2015) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Coming from a number of vineyards spread throughout the Central Coast (30% from Laetitia Vineyard, which is the largest component), the 2013 Pinot Noir Central Coast spent 11 months in 10% new French oak prior to bottling. It has a ...Read More »
91 points Vinous: "Brilliant ruby. Vibrant, highly perfumed red and dark berry and floral scents show very good clarity and suave spicecake and cola nuances. Sweet, seamless and energetic on the palate, offering intense black raspberry and rose pastille flavors supported by a spine of juicy acidity. Finishes sappy and quite long; smooth tannins provide frame for the lush berry fruit. (JR)" (7/2016) K&L Notes: Producer notes: "The 2014 Luli Pinot Noir has a beautiful combination of aromatics and texture. Deep ruby in color, the wine starts out with an exuberant display of wild strawberr... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Simple but classy aromas of red currant and raspberries show on the nose of this bottling from an all-star team of the appellation. The palate is light and easy, with tart cranberry and a large boost of tannic grip, a surprise for how light it feels. (MK)" (12/2015)
92 points Wine Spectator: "Sleek and expressive, with floral strawberry and spicy vanilla aromas and delicately layered flavors of apple and lemon zest, accented by hints of ginger and spice. (TF)" (12/2016) 91 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*Two Stars* Its youth deals this wine a lively hand, but underneath those first whiffs of strawberry-like fruit, there is complexity in the form of slightly toasty, slightly vanillin yeastiness with a distinct roasted cream edge. Strong and insistent in its mousse with smaller bubbles than its age would suggest, the wine is firm, a bit tight and yet polished all at the same time ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Noir Cuvée Alyce, which is made from a field blend of Dijon clones 115 and 777, is also backward and restrained. I can totally understand Stephen Hansel’s statement that the 2013 Pinots are very European with their reserved character. This is a big wine, dense, ruby in color, with terrific fruit intensity, but the tannins still dominate, and the wine has good acidity and a backward personality. It’s not austere by any means and should blossom fully with another 1-2 years of bottle age. It could turn out to be a low- to mid-90 pointer. It’s ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Pinot Noir is a bright ruby color and exhibits nice, straightforward cherry and strawberry notes as well as medium body, good purity and ripeness. (RP)" (3/2016)
Inventory: Redwood City
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 »
Grapes from sites throughout Central Coast were harvested at optimal maturity, then de-stemmed and gently placed into open-top stainless steel fermenters and cold soaked for 3 days prior to initiating fermentation. During fermentation, each tank is punched down two to three times per day. The fermented wine then was racked to oak for aging. During the aging process the wine lots were tasted throughout and blended back together.
Deep, dark ruby in color, this wine offers aromas of ripe fig, pumpkin seed and strawberry coulis. The palate is tightly focused with flavors of bright currant, cola and a hint of pungent, wild mushroom. The mouthfeel is supple yet structured with well integrated tannins that provide the integrity for this charming wine.
92 points Vinous: "The 2014 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) is a fabulous wine at this level. Sweet spices, rose petal, mint and succulent cherry/plum notes all lift from the glass. Supple and beautifully layered throughout, the Sonoma Coast hits all the right notes. A final burst of fruit rushes across the palate on the refreshing, inviting wine. There is so much to like. (AG)" (2/2016) 91 points Wine & Spirits: "The nine vineyards that go into this wine range from Olivet in the middle of the Russian River Valley to Bohan and Hirsch on the far-coast ridges. It’s inviting, with plump red fruit and tangy aci ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* A very light-colored wine made from dark grapes, this is a detailed and multilayered beauty. Fresh ginger, cinnamon and brioche aromas lead to an elegant texture and vivid fruit flavors like white cherry and raspberry that energize the palate and linger long on the finish. (JG)" (11/2016) 90 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* Mildly creamy yeast is met by energetic fruit in both the nicely autolyzed aromas and flavors of this lively, fairly youthful and complete Blanc de Noirs, and, if the wine comes across as being slightly juicy, it does not cheat to sweetness an ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Noir Estate, made mostly from Rochioli clonal material and a small portion of the so-called Swan clone, is a beautiful Pinot Noir, very Burgundian, with notes of forest floor, loamy soil undertones, sweet black cherries and Asian plum sauce. It is dark ruby, lush, medium to full-bodied and ideal for drinking over the next decade. Some of the best values in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir emerge from Stephen Hansel’s winery in the Russian River Valley. He also has the wonderful Walter Hansel Wine & Bistro on Guerneville Road in Santa Rosa... The ...Read More »
95 points Vinous: "The 2013 Pinot Noir Three Blocks is closest in style to the Upper Picnic. In fact, it is stylistically not that different, it just has more of everything. A rich, phenolic wine, the 2013 offers notable depth, with silky, creamy tannins that wrap around a core of dark red cherry and plum fruit. Today, the 2013 offers notable finesse as well as potential. The Three Blocks is essentially the Pinot that would have been sold under the Neely label, but this last wine is being sold under the Varner label now that the two families have stopped working together. ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "***Cellar Selection*** A suggestion of minty eucalyptus makes itself quietly known on the entry of this wine, followed by soft, seamless layers of rich red cherry. Floral and bursting in elegance, it's a vibrant, worthy representation of the vineyard. Sadly, this is the last vintage from this producer from this site. Drink now through 2020. (VB)" (4/2016) Wine Spectator: "Complex, if on a modest scale, with graceful plum and raspberry fruit, shaded by fresh earth and spice notes. Holds focus and gains depth on the finish. Drink now through 2022. (JL)" (9/2014) K&L Notes: Winemaker Rod ... Read More »
A member of Jackson Family Wines, Hartford Court is an award-winning producer of appellation-designate and single-vineyard Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and old vine Zinfandel from low-yielding vineyards in prime regions throughout Sonoma County.
93 points Vinous: "The 2014 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) is terrific. Bright, nuanced and savory, the straight Russian River Pinot has all the attributes of this strong vintage. Sweet floral notes round out a Pinot that is understated and silky. This is a rare appellation-level Pinot that could use another few years in bottle to fully flesh out. Paul Hobbs describes 2013 as a consistently warm, dry year but without excesses. I remember stopping by in January of that year, and being quite surprised when Hobbs told me he was likely to start irrigating imminently, which ...Read More »
Wells Guthrie received his winemaking training in France and built up his Copain brand over the years before selling to Jackson Family Wines in 2016. Guthrie has stayed on as winemaker and continues to explore new sites for his small-lot wines.