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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 »
96 points Bob Campbell: "*Five Stars* From a clay and fragmented limestone soils of a vineyard in North Waipara. Around 35% whole-bunches were used to give structure and intensity. An impressively complex wine, with a mix of cherry, plum and chalky/mineral flavors, with a more savory, baked earth, dried herb character. Nicely structured so the wine is accessible but promises to age well." (1/2015) 95 points Decanter: "Wonderfully complex and enticing bouquet of limestone like mineral, ripe red berry fruits, distinctive oak and spice moments. Highly textured, complex, dry, ripe berry flavors, layers of ...Read More »
92 points Decanter: "**Highly Recommended** Alongside bright cherry notes, there is a compelling core of minerality that sits effortlessly on the palate. Pure, evocative pinot character that is enticing and rich. Floral and earthy finish." 91 points Sam Kim: "The inviting bouquet shows red cherry, plum and violet aromas with nuances of mixed spice and almond. It is silky, rounded and flowing on the palate, and offers elegance and refinement. The wine is stylish and restrained, and finishes beautifully long and appealing. At its best: now to 2020." K&L Notes: 90 points Tasting Pannel Magazine : "Cherry fruit; ... 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 »
93 points James Suckling: "Aromas of blueberries, bark and berry character. Medium to full body, chewy tannins and a fresh finish. A more structured and tannic 2014. Give it time to soften. Better in 2019." (11/2016) 92 points Wine Spectator: "**#68 In Wine Spectator's Top 100 of 2016** Polished, expressive and deftly balanced, this is generous with its baby powder-accented cherry, lingonberry and floral flavors. Remains open and inviting through the long finish. Drink now through 2022. 9,950 cases made." (12/2016)
96 points James Suckling: "The quality on offer here is striking, marrying the best of attractive ripe red and dark fruit characters with earthy spice and more savoury complexity, some blue fruits too, really engaging. The palate is wrapped together with fine even tannin and holds a wealth of perfectly ripe sweet cherry and mulberry flavoured fruit flesh. Fine texture, long and precise, it frames the finish up beautifully, leaving a gently toasty, precise and juicy impression." K&L Notes: Josef Chromy's story is a remarkable one. In short, he fled the Soviet occupied Czech Republic at the age ... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* This new sister label from Elk Cove offers 100% Willamette Valley Pinot Noir at an everyday price. Fresh cranberry and raspberry fruit is framed by herb-tinged tannins. The immaculate craftsmanship and clean direct flavors are light years beyond budget Pinot Noir from most other regions. This is your perfect salmon wine. (PG)" (8/2016)
A good example of what we can do when a producer doesn't mind us using their name under the Kalinda moniker is the 2015 Kalinda Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. On our recent trip to the Willamette Valley, we spread the word that we were looking for a 2015 Pinot Noir to bottle under our private label. We asked numerous wineries that we know and trust, and a lot of them sent us a lot of really great wine. We already knew 2015 was shaping up to be an outstanding vintage, but we felt that that the bottling we tasted from Chehalem was the best on the table. As ... Read More »
92 points Bob Campbell: "Bright, fresh and reasonably concentrated Pinot Noir with strongly varietal plum and cherry flavours. Nice purity and a fine-grained texture. The wine has an honesty and vinosity (as opposed to "fruitiness") that I like. Excellent value at this price. SRP $17.99" K&L Notes: Exceptional value in Pinot Noir. This wine from Mt. Hector is truly one of the best value reds we have in store. Given that it's Pinot Noir (a notoriously difficult / expensive grape variety to cultivate) the quality for price ratio is even more astounding! Master of Wine Bob Campbell (NZ's most p... 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 »
Made from 20-year-old Pinot Noir planted in chalk and clay soils, vinified entirely in stainless steel, this is a super fresh and fun style of Pinot. It has everything you want in a Pinot--a touch of spice, pretty red and blue fruits, light tannin and a fresh, juicy finish.
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 »
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 »
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)
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 »
90 points Wine & Spirits: "This is a simple Pinot Noir with fresh flavors of cherries and raspberries, delicious in its vibrant freshness. Bring it on your next beach vacation or drink it well chilled by the pool." (6/2014) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Cherry and raspberry aromas are clean and varietally pitch perfect. Plenty of lifting acidity and freshness accompany earthy, spicy flavors of raspberry and red plum that finish peppery, dry and with a note of toasty oak. (MS)" (11/2014) K&L Notes: Matetic is a pioneer in the production of cooler climate grape varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir in Chile's coasta... 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) K&L Notes: Olema is produced by the folks at Amici Cellars. Fruit for their 2014 Pinot Noir is 50% Russian River Valley, 25% Sonoma Coast, and 25% Sonoma County. The wine was aged in 35% new French oak barrels before bottling. From the winery: " A burst of fresh black cherry, ripe strawberry and cola spice on the nose lead to deep flavors of red fruits with hints of earth, warm spice and vio... 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 »
96 points James Suckling: "There's impressive clarity and depth here, and this is nicely struck. Ripe-dark-cherry and plum fruit aromas abound, along with a subtle spice and fragrant layer, too; this is gently herbal, flinty and complex. The palate is immaculately cast in the form of the tannins that ride side by side with crunchy, dark-cherry-fruit flesh and flavors. This is a super-even, impressively balanced and elegantly powerful wine. One of their finest and purest Pinots to date. The structure is mesmerizing." 95 points Bob Campbell: "Impressively complex Pinot Noir with reasonably intense plum, raspb ...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.
93 points Sam Kim: "Youthful yet harmonious and engaging; lovely lifted aromas of dark cherry, raspberry, clove and toasted almond lead to a succulent palate that is silky and elegant. The wine shows excellent fruit purity and persistency, and offers layers of fine texture and delightful fruit flavours. At its best: now to 2018." 91-92 points Raymond Chan: "The nose is full and up-front with ripe dark red berry and plum fruit aromas, along with raspberry jam and fruit pastille confectionary lift, indicating whole berry fermentation. The fruit is quite primary and youthful, building in depth with time in ...Read More »
"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: "**#52 in the Enthusiast 100 of 2016** and an *Editors' Choice* A sensational value, this is a Pinot lover's wine, beginning with the gorgeous color of a deep red/orange sunset. Cherries, chocolate, and a light touch of orange peel elevate the aromatics and inform the well-integrated midpalate. The wine lingers gracefully through an immaculate finish." (8/2016) 90 points Vinous: "Vivid red. Mineral- and spice-accented aromas of fresh red berries and candied rose take on hints of succulent herbs and rhubarb with air. Shows very good clarity and lift to the zesty strawberry and ...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 »
91 points Vinous: "Lurid red. Vibrant, sharply focused scents of ripe red berries and candied flowers are complicated by suggestions of cinnamon and allspice. Lithe and appealingly sweet on the palate, offering intense raspberry, cherry and spicecake flavors that deepen and spread out with air. The floral note comes back strong on the clinging, spice-laced finish, which is given shape by harmonious, slow-building tannins. This wine delivers outstanding value and is an auspicious inaugural offering for this project, which is owned by the proprietors of California Pinot Noir ...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.
Maison Jacques Bavard is a tiny negociant producer in Puligny-Montrachet. He comes from a long line of wine-growers, and is dedicated to working with organic and biodynamic growers. We found him a few years ago on a tip, and found the purity of his wines to be most impressive. Thanks to importing his wines directly, we have them available at a very modest price. This exciting Pinot Noir comes from the picturesque village of Monthelie, located next to the more famous village of Volnay.
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.
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A blend of three clones - Dijon clones 114 and 115, as well as Rochioli material - the 2013 Pinot Noir Cahill Lane has a dark ruby color and a fragrant style with floral and earth tones intermixed with strawberries and black cherries. The sweetness of the tannin as well as the heady glycerin and lushness make for a hedonistic and intellectually satisfying Pinot Noir to drink over the next 7-10 years. 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 Han ...Read More »
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.
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A partial amount of whole clusters were used in the fermentation of the 2014 Terroir Único Pinot Noir. It fermented in cement vats with indigenous yeasts. The aim with the Terroir Único line is to show the expression of the chalky soils of Gualtallary through the naked varietal so the wines never see any oak. The blend comes from three different vineyards with different soils and altitudes (1,00 to 1,450 meters) that each ripen at different times. Light ruby-colored, with aromas of roses and raspberries, this is very pure, perfumed and intoxicating. The ...Read More »
Jean-Michel took over the family business in 1982, and his wines are known as great values out of Burgundy's Savigny-les-Beaune appellation. On the palate this wine shows a soft, medium body with ripe tannin and good acidity giving shape to it. Although this wine is showing beautifully right now, you can look forward to checking in on it in five years to see how it progresses.
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 »
93-94 points Raymond Chan: "Full, even, dark ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is full, powerful and well-concentrated with aromas of black cherry and berry fruit harmoniously entwined with dark herbs, spices, liquorice and subtle stalk and minerally whole bunch complexities. Medium-full bodied, the palate is elegantly concentrated with flavours of black cherries and dark red berry fruits, along with nuances of thyme herbs, whole bunch stalk elements and black minerals, with hints of reductive complexities. The fruit is underlined by fin ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Pretty is the word that comes to mind upon sniffing and sipping this wine, with its beguiling strawberry and cherry fruit. It gathers strength in its core, while maintaining an elegant, well-structured acid/tannin frame. It's an outstanding value in Oregon Pinot from a top producer. (PG)" (4/2016)
Inventory: San Francisco
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 »
95 points Bob Campbell: "Dense wine with plum, dark cherry, spice and licorice/anise flavors. Complex and classy Pinot Noir with quite strong, savory tannins giving the wine obvious cellaring potential." (3/2014) 95 points Sam Kim: "The wine shows seductive complexity on the nose displaying dark cherry, floral, game with hints of cedar and spice. It's concentrated and plush on the palate with excellent mid palate weight, beautifully supported by polished tannins. A delectable Pinot showing a symphony of gorgeous flavors. Best now to 2020." 94 points Raymond Chan: "Predominantly clone 5 fruit with significant portions of 777, 6 ...Read More »
92-93 points Raymond Chan: "Moderately dark, even ruby-red colour, with a lighter edge, youthful in appearance. The nose is elegantly and firm with softly concentrated aromas of dark-red berry fruits lifted by red florals , unfolding subtle layers of thyme herbs. Some spice and liquorice notes emerge, and the nose builds in depth and concentration in the glass. Medium-full bodied, the palate features bright, juicy and sweet soft red berry and cherry fruit flavours, entwined with thyme herbs, spices and liquorice notes. The fruit forms an elegantly concentrated line with fine, grain ...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.
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 »
95 points Bob Campbell: "An elegant pinot noir with gentle cherry, violet, raspberry and spicy oak flavours. Light in colour but not lacking power, as evidenced by its lengthy finish. Lovely purity. An ethereal wine that is a delight to drink now but will age well." 93-95 points Raymond Chan: "Light ruby-red colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. This has a tight and elegantly expressed nose with ethereal aromas of dark-red berry and cherry fruits entwined with subtle layers and nuances of dark herbs that form a core with depth and brooding density. Notes of liquorice, earth and minerals emerge with a ...Read More »
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 »
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
92 points Bob Campbell: "The 2009 vintage of this wine offered outstanding value although the subsequent vintages were slightly less of a bargain. This vintage is a truly excellent buy at this price. Dark cherry, black-fleshed plum, spice and floral flavours with a silken texture. Classy wine at a great price." (1/2014) 92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editor's Choice, Top Value Pinot Noir* This shows the immediate appeal of Central Otago's 2013 vintage. Yes, the acids and tannins stick out a bit, but they're cushioned by loads of ripe berry fruit. Hints of dried bracken and chocolate add complexity, while the f ...Read More »
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 »