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K&L Staff Recommendations
93 points James Suckling: "**No. 9 on the "Top 50 Value Wines Of 2016"** A serious pinot noir with muscle and tension. Full body, spice, cedar and berry character. Long and flavorful. Layers of character. Lots of vibrant cherry, strawberry and chocolate undertones. Subtle. Drink or hold. Only 450 cases made." K&L Notes: I was really pleased to see this wine drop in at No. 9 on James Suckling's Top 50 Value Wines of 2016! I have long believed that South Africa's Pinot Noirs deserve more recognition and to see this wine breaking into Suckling's Top Ten was a revelation. The wine showcases the ty... 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 »
Wine & Spirits: "Gentle strawberry fruit fills this soft rosé, its zesty finish keeping it clean. A fine aperitif." (4/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "Full, ripe wine, layered with fruits and a dry, more mineral core. The wine has good depth of flavor, strawberries, red currants and a citrus cut that keeps the wine fresh at the end. (RV)" (11/2013) Wine Spectator: "Tea rose, ground spice and orange zest accents lace this firm rosé, with crunchy white peach and blanched almond flavors on a lively, open-knit palate." (6/2016) K&L Notes: This delightful sparkling rosé wine comes from Burgundy. It is made of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Ga... 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) 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 »
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 »
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.
Vinous: "Light, bright orange. Zesty, sharply focused citrus fruit and strawberry scents are complemented by suggestions of succulent herbs and candied rose. Juicy and gently sweet, offering pliant red fruit flavors and a touch of bitter blood orange. Clings with good, spicy tenacity, leaving a subtle rose pastille note behind. (JR)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: Light and pale in color with fresh, crunchy strawberries on the nose and chalky minerals in the background. Fresh and light on the palate with a good focus of fruit throughout. This is a very well made rosé that deserves some ... 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.
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 »
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 »
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)
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 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
92 points Vinous: "Light orange. Sharply focused red berry and tangerine scents are complicated by suggestions of allspice and cinnamon, with a hint of smokiness in the background. Sappy and minerally on the palate, offering fresh strawberry and blood orange flavors lifted by juicy acidity. Packs a serious punch but carries no excess weight and finishes stony and very long, with echoing red berry character. (JR)" (1/2015) 92 points Wine Spectator: "A pure note of wild strawberry rides the fine and creamy mousse of this mouthwatering rosé. Expressive, with flavors of ripe berry, candied ginger, pink gr ...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 »
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.
This 100% Pinot Noir rosé comes from limestone-clay soil of their Sancerre vineyards, which are located two hours south of Paris on the fringes of the Loire Valle. This is a wonderfully food-friendly wine that can stand up to Santa Maria-style tri-tip, grilled sausages or spicy Vietnamese banh mi.
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 Bob Campbell: "A blend of Pinot Noir and Malbec. Uncompromisingly dry, flavoursome Rosé with watermelon, summer berries and anise spice. A terrific wine that offers good value at this price." (12/2015) 93 points Sam Kim: "Delightfully fragrant, the bouquet shows rockmelon, citrus and floral characters with a hint of fresh strawberry. It is juicy and brightly flavoured on the palate, and offers silky mouthfeel and a fabulous crisp dry finish. Made from (mostly) pinot noir, this is so refreshing and appealing. At its best: now to 2017." K&L Notes: Winemaker's notes: "Blushing pink watermelon in appearance... 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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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.
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)
"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.
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 »
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 »
This is the same delicious Underwood Pinot Noir as the bottle, but in an easy-to-transport pop top can! No, it doesn't affect the taste--it's still packed with strawberry and pomegranate fruit, with the same supple texture, acidity and peppery spice and minerally finish. Perfect for summer sipping, for camping, boating, picnicking, beaching or rocking out at the Hollywood Bowl! From the winery's tasting notes: Cherries, raspberries, and chocolate."
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 »
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 »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Light but plump red strawberry fruit mixes with sandalwood, dried sage and thyme on this nose of this estate wine from winemaker Greg Brewer. Lots of spicy herbals show on the palate, from peppercorn and cardamom to thyme and oregano, giving deeper character to the light red-fruit core. (MK)" (12/2015) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of the best values in Pinot Noir out there is Melville's 2013 Pinot Noir Estate and it overdelivers in just about every vintage. Firing on all cylinders on this occasion, with complex red fruits, rose petal and sous bois aromas and flavors all soaring fr ...Read More »
95 points 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "It’s hard not to jump up and down about the outstanding value represented here, a wine made from Dutton Ranch fruit that’s juicy and generous in baked strawberry, earth and rose petals. A grippy structure provides weight around nuanced, spicy cherry-pie flavor and plenty of body to satisfy." (12/2016)
Outstanding sparkling wine from the Languedoc? Absolutely and resoundingly, YES! There will be those of you who scoff at the price of this wine, and claim that a sparkling wine set so low will never be worth any serious consideration. Well, those of you would be WRONG. One of the rising stars of the Languedoc, Jean Louis Denois makes exciting, world class wines that nonetheless remain amazingly inexpensive, owing to his location more than anything else. His vineyards sit in the very southwestern corner of France, at the foot of the Pyrenees, and he produ... 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 »
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 »
92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Gevrey-Chambertin Mes Cinq Terroir comes from five parcels from around the appellation and it includes 30% whole bunch and 30% new oak. It has a vibrant bouquet, a melange of blue and black fruit that lends it a Fixin-like personality. The palate is medium-bodied with tensile tannin that are filigree. This has a silky texture, perfectly judged acidity and disarming purity on the finish. This is premier cru quality—period. It is not a question of whether Arnaud Mortet's 2015 Burgundies kicked arse...but how much. I was totally blown away by the ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 »
94 points Bob Campbell: "Soft, subtle and silken Rosé, with flavours of crushed strawberry, watermelon, summer berries and a hint of rose petal. A gentle, charming wine that demonstrates considerable power through its lingering finish." (12/2015) K&L Notes: About the producer from Raymond Chan: "The GeorgeTown Vineyard label shot to fame when the 2007 Pinot Noir was awarded the Champion Exhibition Red Wine Trophy at the 2009 Air New Zealand Wine Awards. However the quantity of wine from the vineyard is tiny, as indicated by the ‘Exhibition' status of the trophy, reserved for limited producti... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Based on Pinot Noir the NV Crémant d'Alsace Rosé Brut has a very pale color with just a hint of rosé. Very delicate fruit aroma with hints of red berries and flowers on the very subtle, fresh and elegant nose lead to a full-flavored and quite expressive palate. The wine is quite powerful and fruit intense but in a discreet and elegant way. Firmly structured but provided with fine bubbles and an aromatic aftertaste there is really finesse in this very well-made and distinctive sparkling wine. Still very young though. (SR)" (9/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "Tart strawberry and fizzi ...Read More »