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K&L Staff Recommendations
94 points James Halliday: "Once again it applies the blowtorch to the value equation. It's varietal, complex-enough and quite exquisitely well composed. Its like a set of well-chosen words. Sweet-sour cherry, cranberry, dried herbs, sap. Oak aids texture and polish more than flavour, though oak spice through the finish is hard to resist. The words fleshy and fresh are apt here." (1/2015)
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors’ Choice* Husch is one of the original Anderson Valley wineries and has not been a particular Pinot Noir star, but this fantastic 2014 may start a trend. Fresh and alive, the wine is medium bodied but packs lots of tangy cherry and almost jammy plum flavors into a smooth but lightly tannic texture that provides great structure. Simply delicious, it’s balanced well enough to enjoy time after time." (3/2017) K&L Notes: Husch, founded in 1967, is the oldest winery in the Anderson Valley appellation which over the last decade has become one of the hotbeds of Amer... Read More »
In 2003, Yves Girardin, a 10th generation grower in Santenay (and brother of Vincent Girardin) acquired this property and built a new winemaking facility. More recently, after completing technical training, Yves's son Benoit has joined him, representing the 11th consecutive generation of the family to grow wine in Santenay. Working in their new cellars, they have really improved quality a tremendous amount in the last few years, and we are excited to import their wines directly.
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) Wine & Spirits: "This wine’s scents of cola spice and red cherry take on a pipe-tobacco spiciness with air. The wine’s plush cherry flavor lasts in a texture that’s gripping and firm." (8/2016) Wine Spectator: "Light-footed, this is re ...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 »
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 »
93 points Wine Spectator: "Firm and refined, with baby powder—like tannins around the raspberry, strawberry, peach skin and hibiscus notes. Comes together harmoniously on a sleek and transparent frame, finishing long. Best from 2018 through 2024. (HS)" (2/2017) 92 points James Suckling: "Aromas of strawberries, flowers and watermelon follow through to a medium to full body, fine tannins and a bright and fruity finish. A beauty" (11/2016) K&L Notes: From the winery: A laudable glimpse of the Willamette Valley's finest offerings, our Reserve Pinot Noir is truly a celebration of balance. All three of our vineyards are based ... 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.
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 »
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)
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Medium ruby-purple in color, the 2015 Pinot Noir exudes gorgeous violets, red roses and black cherry notes with underlying Provence herbs, dusty earth and cinnamon stick hints. Medium-bodied, the palate has a firm backbone of ripe, velvety tannins with lively acid supporting the concentrated, multi-layered flavors, finishing long. Spectacular Pinot Noir! (LPB)" (12/2016) K&L Notes: Winery Notes: "Hand-picked from our Biodynamic Demeter Certified Bendigo Estate vineyard; with a vine density of 5,000 - 8,000 plants per hectare on grafted pinot noir clones (10/5, 5, 115... 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) 94 points James Suckling: "I like the florals to this dark, burgundy-colored pinot such as the rose and violet perfumes as well as crushed roses. This is a pinot with some earthy nuances too and a very attractive ...Read More »
"Year in and year out one of our best values in 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, earning consistent praise for the solid varietal character it delivers at a modest price.
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 »
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 »
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." (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 and flavor ...Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "The nose of this wine is quite shy at first, and it takes patience to pull out aromas of plum, crushed berries and a touch of charcoal. The palate opens up more quickly, showing elderberries and elderflowers, plus rose hips and a touch of fennel. (MK)" (11/2016) 90 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* Strikingly rich and complex, with a dense core of dark berry, black licorice, earth and cedar flavors that hold their own, easing up on the finish. Drink now." (9/2016)
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 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 »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "This wine has smoky wood and rich fruit already well in balance. It offers ripe acidity from its strawberry and red-currant fruits along with a rich texture. The wine is already delicious although it will develop much further. Drink from 2019. (RV)" (10/2016) K&L Notes: In 2003, Yves Girardin, a 10th generation grower in Santenay (and brother of Vincent Girardin) acquired this property and built a new winemaking facility. More recently, after completing technical training, Yves' son Benoit has joined him, bringing to 11 the consecutive generations of the family to gr... Read More »
92 points Wine & Spirits: "Haydon Good makes this wine from vines growing on two different soils: the volcanic soils of the Banks Peninsula and Glasnevin gravel in the Cabal Vineyard. It's a bright, coastal red, spicy, light and glowing with delicate red-berry fruit. Hints of flowers and cedar perfume the finish, clean and refreshing." (4/2016) Wine Spectator: "This red blends cherry, raspberry and cranberry flavors with toasted spice and dried herb notes, all on an elegant frame. Anise, caraway and forest floor details lend a subtle savory element. Drink now through 2027. (MW)" (10/2015) K&L Notes: A fantastic ... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
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 »
90 points Wine Spectator: "*** Smart Buy *** Offering gorgeous floral scents of lavender, plum, smoke and raspberry, this casts a wide net of red and dark fruit, veering toward toasty oak on the finish. A nice ride from beginning to end. Drink now. (JL)" (8/2016)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 »
Entirely sourced from Edna Valley in San Luis Obispo County, Fossil Point is named for the headland area along the rugged coastline. The marine breezes have a distinct influence on the Edna Valley terroir that is itself uplifted, ancient sea floor. Pinot Noir grapes grow in small clusters and Fossil Point vinifies traditionally in small lots before the wine is aged in neutral and once-used French oak barrels. The wine displays floral aromas with bright and vibrant cherry and berry fruit, leather, and vanilla.
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.
93 points Sam Kim: "A delectably appealing pinot, the fragrant bouquet shows dark cherry, plum, vanilla and floral characters with a hint of spicy oak. The palate offers excellent fruit concentration and weight, enhanced by velvety texture and supple tannins. A wonderfully expressed wine delivering loads of delicious flavours, and finishes smooth and persistent. At its best: now to 2019." 91-92 points Raymond Chan: "Dark ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. This has a full, soft and up-front nose of ripe, dark-red berry and plum fruit with gentle nuances of liquorice and spice, along with viole ...Read More »
93 points Vinous: "(35 percent new oak) Limpid ruby-red. Powerful red berry and Asian spice aromas, along with suggestions of smoky minerals and incense. Sweet, seamless and penetrating on the palate, offering vibrant raspberry, cherry and spicecake flavors and a subtle touch of blood orange. Silky tannins emerge slowly and fold smoothly into the vibrant fruit on the long, nervy finish, which leaves notes of five-spice powder and red berries behind. (JR)" (8/2016) 92 points Wine Spectator: "Light and savory, with meaty, peppery overtones to the cherry and floral flavors, finishing gracefully. Has laye ...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 »
The Mercurey Clos Rond comes from a single vineyard in Mercurey. The name means "the walled vineyard in that brambly area," derived from the local word "Ronde" instead of the more usual French "Ronce," meaning brambles. In a land where ownership is usually splintered, this vineyard is a rare case where the entire vineyard is under one owner, Domaine Faiveley. It lies on a gentle slope, with rich red-brown soil, a fairly high clay content, and buried limestone beneath. The result is a Pinot Noir displaying rich, round fruit, both red and black, and just a... Read More »
Elegant and Burgundian in style, organically and dry-farmed, Evesham Wood's wines are simply gorgeous examples of Oregon Pinot.
2015 Cognizant Pinot is made specifically for us at K&L by one of the top producers in NZ - Te Whare Ra (TWR). This is the second release of Cognizant Pinot Noir after the last one sold out in a hurry after TWR's Pinot was rated the highest in NZ by Decanter Magazine. This is a beautifully fresh, fragrant, pure fruited, silky Pinot Noir. The fruit comes from TWR's home block in Renwick and a neighboring hillside block called "Rawiri Vineyard". Only 112 cases of the stunning little Pinot were made. Floral, lifted, exotic spice notes dominate the explosive... 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 »
Located in Gevrey-Chambertin, Frédéric Esmonin has winemaking in his blood. His father, Andre, produced the grand cru Mazis-Chambertin for the Hospice de Beaune, and his cousin Sylvie is also well regarded. From the Prince of Pinot: "Judicious use of oak, excellent concentration at every level and early bottling maintaining freshness make Esmonin's wines very attractive and finely structured red Burgundies. They are among the first Burgundies from each vintage to arrive on our shores and they are very reasonably priced considering the pedigree of the vin... Read More »
In 2003, Yves Girardin, a 10th generation grower in Santenay (and brother of Vincent Girardin) acquired this property and built a new winemaking facility. More recently, after completing technical training, Yves’s son Benoit has joined him, bringing to 11 the consecutive generations of the family to grow wine in Santenay. Working in their new cellars, they have really improved quality a tremendous amount in the last few years, and we are excited to import their wines direct.
97 points Vinous: "The 2015 Pinot Noir Bondi Home Ranch, from Marinelli's coolest Pinot site, is another stunner. Silky, nuanced and wonderfully expressive on the palate, the 2015 possesses remarkable intensity but in a decidedly mid-weight style by Martinelli standards. Dense and compact in its center, the 2015 needs at least a few years to open up. Even today, though, it is dazzling. Early to bloom and late to ripen, Bondi Home Ranch enjoys an especially long growing season. (AG)" (3/2017) K&L Notes: Bondi Home Ranch is planted with Pinot Noir clones 115, 777, 667, 828, 943, and Cale... Read More »
95 points Bob Campbell: "From an 11-ha pinot noir-dedicated vineyard in Wanaka that produced its first wine in 2012. Made using 20% whole bunch. Quite a concentrated pinot noir, with a very appealing and rather perfumed aroma. Cherry, plum, spice and anise fruit flavours. The wine has a wonderful purity. Quite Burgundian." (2/2017) 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 ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Enthusiast 100 of 2016, 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. (PG)" (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 floral pastille ...Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*#9 on the Enthusiast 100 of 2016, 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. (MK)" (12/2016) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Sporting a deeper ruby color, the 2013 Pinot Noir ...Read More »
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 »
Inventory: San Francisco
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 »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Bringing together multiple sites in one wine, this provides a fine example of the sum equalling more than the parts. Well balanced and crafted, it offers aromas of sandalwood and smoked meat that contrast with more exuberant, textured layers of black cherry and citrus peel. (VB)" (2/2017) 90 points Wine & Spirits: "Sourced from vineyards throughout the Russian River Valley, including Hallberg and Galante in the cooler Green Valley AVA, this is a refreshing and mouthwatering pinot noir with the crunchy, tart flavor of blackberries growing in the shade. Open a bottle ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Pinot Noir North Slope is fabulous, has a huge upside to it and probably will benefit from several years of bottle age. All of these were scheduled to be bottled in 2015. This is 100% clone 115 and Stephen Hansel says it’s the most fruit-forward of the wines. It is certainly seductive, hedonistic, with a dense ruby/purple color, beautiful black raspberry and black cherry fruit, a big medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, loads of glycerin and hedonism. It should turn out to be exceptional, but I do think it needs some time after it’s bottled to start ...Read More »
90 points James Suckling: "A firm and chewy red with plum and berry character. Medium to full body and plenty of juicy fruit. Shows the structure of the vintage. Muscular and lively." (11/2016)
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 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Medium ruby-purple in color, the 2011 Te Muna Road Vineyard Pinot Noir has a pretty cherry, red berry and lavender nose scented by some underbrush and toast. Medium-bodied the good core of fruit is framed with crisp acid and low to medium levels of very finely grained tannins before finishing long. 92+ (LPB)" (4/2013) 90 points Bob Campbell: "Elegant, perfumed Pinot Noir with floral/violet, red/black cherry, mineral and anise/spice flavours. A poised and delicate wine that is extremely food friendly. Ethereal rather than blockbuster but not lacking in power or length." (12/2012) 90 points James Suckling: "Ver ...Read More »
96 points James Halliday: "Hand-picked, destemmed, whole berry, 14-day ferment, matured for 11 months in French oak. Willowlake is the oldest Upper Yarra vineyard, and always has that little bit extra in fruit complexity - both red and black fruits, even if red is still the leader - fine tannins and oak totally in balance." (9/2015) K&L Notes: Another fantastic single vineyard Pinot from Oakridge, this time it's the Willowlake Vineyard Pinot Noir. Oakridge's wines re-define what many people think of Australian wines...they're the polar opposite of the over-ripe, over-extracted, "Fruit Bombs" p... Read More »