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K&L Staff Recommendations
Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star, Good Value* No matter that this unoaked bottling treds a direct, green apple line with few complex adjuncts in its makeup, such is the way of Chardonnays of its ilk, and this one makes a pretty good stab at capturing lively, somewhat juicy fruit. There is a not unexpected bit of fresh, slightly candied fruit here and little in the way of the rich, buttery side of the variety to be sure. Yet, all in all, this wine is both easy to take and easy on the wallet." (7/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "This stainless-steel take shows lime juice, golden apples and white pepper on t ...Read More »
An outstanding value white from a reliable source, the Alain Corcia is a hit with K&L staff.
91 points James Suckling: "This is really refined and fresh with sliced apple and lemon aromas. Hints of stone too. Medium to full body, an almost salty undertone. Medium finish. Bright and tangy. Gorgeous limey undertone." (6/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "#1 in "Best of 2016: Robert Parker, Top 3 Greatest Value Wines of the Year"...The 2014 Chardonnay Olema at $15.00 from Sonoma is a heck of a bottle of wine, with honeysuckle, lemon blossom and a touch of white peach all present in this wine that offers clean, pure fruit, medium body and a distant hint of wood. This is a terrific value and sleeper selecti ...Read More »
This Chardonnay is produced by the three brothers Couillaud at the Château de la Ragotière, a few minutes from the Atlantic near the mouth of the Loire River, where the maritime climate is ideal for producing whites that are refreshing and bright. The Couillauds age most of this wine on its lees until bottling to add weight and texture with around 10% being barrel-fermented in French oak for the faintest touch of toastiness. Saveur magazine wrote about a previous vintage: "This value-priced Chardonnay tastes crisp and bright. It comes from the western Lo... Read More »
Grown in the hills above the Sonoma Valley on well-drained, volcanic soils, this Chardonnay is known for its elegance and balance. About Kistler's winemaking from Robert Parker: "This winery has long featured some of the finest terroirs on the Sonoma Coast and Russian River for Chardonnays, and their approach has clearly been very Burgundian, with full malolactic fermentation, no acid adjustments and letting the vineyard and clonal material push its personality to the forefront. Perhaps the biggest change of all has been the shift to 100% indigenous yeas... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
This spectacular Champagne is one of the most sought-after in France, and Launois' cult status made it very difficult for us to make a purchase. We lucked out, and now we buy it directly, passing massive savings on to you. This house is from Mesnil, the southernmost Grand Cru in Champagne and home to Salon and Krug's Clos de Mesnil. This Champagne is all Chardonnay and all Grand Cru from the villages of Mesnil, Oger, Cramant and Avize--a roll call of the finest crus for Chardonnay in all of Champagne and all Veritas-certified for sustainable agriculture.... Read More »
The 2015 vintage was a great one for Rombauer--warm weather and low yields translated to exceptional fruit: ripe, concentrated, and full of all the voluptuous pizzazz that is Rombauer's signature. The cool Carneros region, where San Pablo Bay meets both Napa and Sonoma valleys, provides beautiful, fresh acidity and the key sense of balance for these fan-favorite wines. Tasting notes from the winemaker: "Enticing aromas of ripe apple, bright citrus and melon are layered with creme brulee, baking spices and a touch of butter. Vibrant flavors of tropical fr... Read More »
95 points Decanter: "An exuberant, complex nose packed full of exotic fruits, asparagus and elderflower with well integrated oak. The palate has a very strong fruity expression with an oily depth and harmony and very impressive length.. All the pieces of the Chablis puzzle are in place here." (6/2016) 92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "As is usually the case this is more elegant, particularly on the floral and white orchard fruit suffused nose that is nuanced by plenty of classic Chablis elements and in particular mineral reduction. There is also a bit more volume to the caressing, intense and voluminous flavor ...Read More »
Domaine de Biéville was established by Jean-Jacques Moreau in the village of Viviers in the 1970s. The contiguous, 65-hectare vineyard was selected for its textbook truffières soil terroir and south/southwest exposure which resembles the premier cru classified vineyards of Chablis. Now with 45+ year old vines, Domaine de Biéville produces a textured and classically styled Chablis which shows its old vine pedigree on a complex and mineral-driven finish.
90 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "Once again there is plenty of smoky reduction to the citrus and floral-suffused nose that is so transparent that you can easily sense the minerality. There is excellent intensity to the racy, stony and energetic flavors that are bit finer and more complex and this really shows on the lingering finale." (10/2015)
Without a doubt, this is one of the best Champagnes that we carry at any price. Made from two plots of 65-year-old vines, one in the grand cru of Oger called the Chenys and one in Mesnil called the Derriere Maison, this is among the ultimate expressions of Chardonnay that we have to offer. The wine shows the paradox of 2008 perfectly with great ripeness and scintillating acidity. Add in the richness and complexity of old massal-selected from grand cru, mid-slope sites and you have a must buy for any Champagne lover! Unfortunately, because of the shape of... Read More »
Once in a great while you find wines from the Mâcon so good that tasting them blind you are forced to apply some much higher (and more expensive) appellation to it. Often, such a wine comes from hillside vineyards, with better drainage and cooler nights. This is such a wine, from the slopes below the giant monolith of rock that is Solutré. Domaine Renaud is a small operation, making Mâcon, Pouilly-Fuissé and St. Veran from 12 hectares of estate vineyards. Their cellar is modern, and they use upright ovals for many of the wines, and stainless for others. ... Read More »
We can tell you this much: our Kalinda private label hooks you up with awesome wine at a fraction of what you'd otherwise pay for this exact same wine under its normal label. While we have to remain quiet about the source of this beauty, we can tell you that it sells elsewhere at a much higher premium. Get it while it lasts.
Franck Bonville today is run by Olivier Bonville, the great grandson of Franck who acts as the proprietor of his family's estate. With 20 hectares of vineyards in the villages of Avize, Oger, Cramant and Mesnil, Bonville's wines are made entirely from Grand Cru-level Chardonnay and therefore labeled as Blanc de Blanc. Their wines always have a wonderful richness balanced by an incredibly chalky minerality that pierces through the Chardonnay flavor. The standard Grand Cru Blanc de Blanc is one of the most popular and successful wines in the history of K&L... Read More »
From winemaker Rob Mondavi Jr, Spellbound is one of the most popular California Chardonnays we carry every year, and the 2014 was also a hit with K&L staff. Value priced, it typically lacks for nothing in lush, tropical fruit and acidity. A blend of barrel-fermented and stainless steel-aged Chardonnay.
91 points Decanter: "Nose a little closed at first, followed by some vivacious fresh fruit and engaging savoury flavors. A concoction of lemon and lime that has satisfying concentration and some drive" (12/2016) Allen Meadows - Burghound: "There is enough reduction present to render the nose impossible to properly assess. Otherwise there is good freshness and intensity to the middle weight flavors that possess an attractive mouth feel and enough depth and length to be interesting. Note that this should drink well immediately upon release." (6/2016) Jancis Robinson: "Soft and round. Without quite the edge of the Aligoté! So ...Read More »
96 points Decanter: "Fresh and complex aromatics built around green tea, lime, mango and passion fruit with almonds and fresh butter on the side. Nice complexity and density, yet delicate with perfectly integrated wood stretching out to a very impressive long finish. A mightily impressive wine." (6/2016) K&L Notes: Located in the center of Savigny-les-Beaune, the cellars of Henri de Villamont are some of the most impressive in Burgundy and date back to the 1880s. Today the property is owned by the Swiss company Schenk and holds a number of prestigious contracts with local growers, in add... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "From the heartland of Chardonnay in Champagne comes this rich, creamy, apple-flavored wine. It has lively acidity, balanced with some sweetness from the dosage. It has weight and a crisp aftertaste. (RV)" (12/2012) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Lightly floral, this creamy crowd-pleasing Champagne shows good balance, with a lively mix of Honeycrisp apple, passion fruit and smoked almond. Drink now through 2018. (AN)" (12/2015) Jancis Robinson: "100% Chardonnay from Oger, Cramant and Avize. From a 50-ha estate. Olivier Bonville is the third generation to make wine here. Super-clean fresh nose, smells like ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Tart aromas of sour cream, yogurt, candied lime and pressed quince show on the nose of this stylishly structured Chardonnay. The palate carries the theme forward, with pithy pink grapefruit notes, lime ade and brie rinds, showing firm tension on the tongue and bound-up energy that will keep this bottle alive for years. (MK)" (2/2016)
Allen Meadows - Burghound: "A subtle but not invisible touch of wood sets off the pretty and fresh aromas of various orchard fruits, and in particular white peach and pear. There is fine volume for a wine at this level to the round and seductively textured flavors where a hint of citrus adds a bit of lift to the acceptably complex and persistent finale." (6/2016) Wine & Spirits: "Warm and leesy, this has the textural weight and body of a Rhône wine and some musky green flavors. Serve it well chilled with boudin blanc." (4/2016) Wine Enthusiast: "This is a ripe and soft wine with pure apple and citrus fruit. It is crisp, ...Read More »
Vinous: "Very pale yellow. Ripe aromas of pear, stone fruits and spices. A step up in clarity from the basic village offering but still with a slight alcoholic warmth to its restrained yellow fruit flavors. I wanted more flavor authority and cut. Very much a wine of its vintage. (ST)" (7/2016) K&L Notes: Gerard Tremblay is officially en retrait, although his retirement is like that of many growers in that he continues to work, both in the vineyards and the cellar. His son Vincent Tremblay has now taken over the reins. They farm an impressive 35 hectares (about 90 acres) of vi... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Done in a more oxidized style, this wine shows marzipan, dried apricot, browned butter, dried pineapple and a gunmetal flint character on the nose. The palate is very focused, with flavors of preserved lemon, lime rind, sage-roasted chicken and a faint minty element. (MK)" (11/2015) Wine Spectator: "Trim and leesy, with enough richness and intensity midpalate on to sustain itself, showing a creamy touch to the fig, apricot and green apple flavors. (JL)" (7/2014)
95 points Decanter: "A fresh, fruity nose brings out notes of white flowers, golden apples and a certain touch of oak. This leads into a round, savoury palate loaded with new oak characteristics, hints of butter and butterscotch, a touch of apple and peach and a long finish." (9/2016) 95 points James Suckling: "Extremely complex white showing dried apples, toasted oak, smoke and toffee and lime undertones. Full-bodied, dense and layered with superb texture and tension. A vibrant Napa chardonnay that combines both intensity and tension. Complex and long. Drink or hold." (1/2017) 92 points Wine Spectator: "The fruit is ripe and juicy ...Read More »
Allen Meadows - Burghound: "The citrus and floral-infused nose flirts with a trace of reduction though I doubt that it will last for long. The clean, intense and well-detailed middle weight flavors exude a subtle salinity on the sleek, balanced and notably complex and persistent finale. This is really a very good Bourgogne and worth considering." (6/2016)
91 points Wine Spectator: "A fresh white, with a quinine edge giving the core of green fig, yellow apple and white peach flavors extra zip through the floral-edged finish." K&L Notes: Another fantastic value from this K&L perennial pick. Juicy, rich, fruit forward but un-oaked Chard with subtle mineral tinges and clean bright acidity. Just so easy to drink and a crowd pleaser for sure. Has the richness and texture that many Chardonnay drinkers love but without the heavy oak flavors that can be so off putting. De Wetshof has been making high-quality wines in South Africa since the 1970s and the... Read More »
91 points Vinous: "Pale gold. Pungent aromas of poached pear, peach and honey take on a hint of buttered toast with air. Broad and fleshy on the palate, offering lush orchard and pit fruit flavors accented by a refreshingly bitter pear skin nuance. Finishes smooth and round, leaving sweet butter and peach notes behind. One of the pioneering wineries in the region, Talbott’s first vines were planted in 1982 at the Diamond T Vineyard. By the end of the ‘80s the Talbott wines were already on most wine lovers’ short lists of top California Chardonnays. The vineyards are plante ...Read More »
Banshee started in 2009 when three wine industry buddies made a gamble and bought eight barrels of Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir--a gamble that paid off when they were able to sell all the wine within five weeks. Since then, they've developed relationships with some of the best growers in the area and have been producing beautiful wines with winemakers Ross Cobb (Hirsch, Flowers, Williams-Selyem) and Katy Wilson (Larue, Flowers). The 2015 coastal Chardonnay comes from Charles Heintz Vineyard, Wildcat Mountain Vineyard in Petaluma Gap and Bohemian Green Valley.... Read More »
92 points Decanter: "Sweet spices and preserved lemons on the nose; memories of a weekend in Marrakech. A mineral palate with restrained oak, nice grip and lots of character. Long and very complex with a full body and promise of more to come." (5/2016) 92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Josh Jensen’s appellation blend is arguably the best American white wine for the price. This vintage offers squeezed tangerine, fleur de sel, lily, apple blossom, apple fritters and a touch of tropicality on the nose. The palate is more steely in structure, with chalk and concrete minerality followed by grapefr ...Read More »
Domaine Renaud is a small operation, making Mâcon, Pouilly-Fuissé and St. Veran from 12 hectares of estate vineyards. Their cellar is modern, and they use upright ovals for many of the wines, and stainless steel for others. This value is a great alternative to California Chardonnay and an entry into white Burgundy.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The wine does not go through malolactic fermentation, and the aim is to produce pure varietal fruit with virtually no oak in the formula. The 2013 is a beauty with notes of flowers, white peach, honeysuckle and a touch of tropical fruit. It is crisp, elegant, medium-bodied and, as promised, very pure. (RP)" (10/2015) Vinous: "The 2013 Chardonnay is a fabulous wine for the money. Lemon oil, white flowers and white pepper are all laced together in an impeccably balanced, layered Chardonnay long on class and personality. The 2013 is a blend of fruit from vineyards in ...Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Dark yellow in color, this wine shows tangy green apple and a richer, more concentrated element of applespice cake, with supportive, balanced acidity. With a bright, lifted finish, this less-expensive offering compared with many of the producer’s single vineyard designates never lets up on complexity or deliciousness." (2/2017) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Features a tight mix of leesy, pithy citrus, pineapple skin and blood orange rind flavors. Complex, with a long, sustained finish. (JL)" (12/2016) Wine & Spirits: "Drawn from seven Russian River vineyards, including pedigreed sites like Rochioli and A ...Read More »
La Chablisienne is a renowned producer in the region we started working with directly last spring. With an impressive portfolio consisting of some of the best vineyard sites in Chablis, we'd been eager to do business with these guys from years. Now that our first container has arrived and the bottles are finally hitting the shelves, it's safe to say there may not be a more exciting selection of white wines at K&L right now. The 2014 La Chablisienne Bourgogne Chardonnay has it all there: minerality, fruit and acidity, in perfect harmony and balance. It st... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Chablis la Sereine has a crisp, mineral, gypsum-scented bouquet that unfurls nicely in the glass but remains rather aloof. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity, rounded in texture, but still fresh with a hint of clear honey and peach towards the long finish. This is quite stylish, if just missing a little complexity compared to its peers. (NM)" (8/2016) K&L Notes: This 2014 La Chablisienne “La Sereine” Chablis represented the greatest value of all the wines we tasted on our visit to this excellent co-operative. Loaded with pretty melon notes along ... Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "From chalky soils planted on a unique rolling hillside site, this opens in wafty caramel and butterscotch, providing a decadent nose. The palate follows in luxurious, velvety waves balanced by buoyant acidity. With a mix of fresh peach and apricot, it finishes fresh, spicy and salty." (7/2016) 90 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* Creamy oak is neatly aligned to plentiful ripe apple fruit here, yet, if so forthrightly fruity in the nose as to presage a certain juicy simplicity in the mouth, this balanced and very well-crafted wine follows with continuous, surprisingly complex flavor ...Read More »
92 points Decanter: "Ripe lemon and apple crumble with a real sense of minerality. A bright and energetic palate with fine fruit persistence and weight and an overlaying mineral presence. An elegant and accomplished wine." (7/2016) 91 points Wine Spectator: "#47 Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2015!! A textbook flinty aroma gives way to green apple, lemon and mineral flavors in this white, which shows fine depth and richness, offset by vibrant acidity. Excellent length. Drink now through 2020." (11/2015) Allen Meadows - Burghound: "This was initially backward and required a bit of swirling to open the nose to reveal a softly fruit ...Read More »
What a delicious thoroughly attractive wine, for an equally delicious price! What attracted us to this wine instantly were the white flower notes on the nose. On the palate it is fine and elegant in structure. Nothing big or fat in character, but this is unmistakably poised and elegant, with nice minerality and a most attractive finish. If you like subtlety in your white burgs, this is for you. It comes from a single estate vineyard just below the Premier Cu "Les Chaumées
After working as the vineyard manager for Newton Vineyards for over 30 years, Lupe Maldonado bought a 10-acre piece of land in the cool southern tip of Napa (in Jamieson Canyon), and planted vineyards in the dark, gravelly clay soil. He brought in Jean Hoefliger from Newton as his consulting winemaker. Winemaker notes: "Clean and light with aromatics of white nectarine, citrus and orange blossoms... Fermented in Stainless Steel.
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "The producer pulls from its estate Su'skol Vineyard for this wine, which opens in an aromatic flirtation of sweet honeysuckle, revealing the site's abundance of musqué clone. Crisp on the entry and midpalate, it shows a full-bodied style as it opens—notes of pear and fig are wrapped between spicy nutmeg and a viscous bite of oak on the finish. (VB)" (3/2017) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Readers looking for one of the big-time sleepers of the vintage, and a great value, need look no further than the 2014 Chardonnay Estate Napa. This is 100% Chardonnay from Napa and it sells for a song ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Dried lemon, sliced pineapple, ripe yellow apples and a squeeze of lime show on the light nose of this bottling from the Gallo family. The palate is juicy and showy, but not overbearing, with sliced apples, a pinch of salt and nectarine flavors trending toward tropical edges. (MK)" (4/2016) Wine Spectator: "Simple and easy-drinking, with light-weight fig, melon and butterscotch flavors. (JL)" (6/2016)
92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "This too is quite floral yet at the same time manages to be more elegant with its wafting nose of iodine, apple and oyster shell hints. There is terrific energy to the refined, detailed and saline-inflected medium-bodied flavors where an intense minerality adds lift to the clean, dry and overtly austere finish. This is classier than the Fourchaume though not more complex or persistent." (10/2016) 90-92 points Vinous: "Subtle, pure, scented nose combines stone fruits, crushed rock, spices and a touch of flinty minerality. Big and rich in the mouth but still a bit youthfully comp ...Read More »
Allen Meadows - Burghound: "A fresh and relatively airy nose is comprised by notes of ripe apple, pear and just enough Chablis typicity to distinguish this from being say from the Côte d'Or. There is excellent richness to the very round, supple and succulent flavors that possess solid mid-palate density before terminating in a refreshing if slightly warm finish. Drink: 2018+" (8/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Chablis Villages has a simple, but effective yellow flower scented bouquet with hints of peach skin developing in the glass. The palate is well balanced with a pleasant fatness and weight on th ...Read More »
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Proprietary White Mannequin, which draws fruit from diverse regions of Northern California such as the Carneros Basin and the Sonoma Coast, is actually a blend of 76% Chardonnay, 8% Viognier, 6% Marsanne, 5% Grenache Blanc, 3% Muscat and 2% Roussanne. This is amazing wine, a gorgeous, full-throttle, honeyed wine with a light-gold color, oodles of tropical fruits including pineapple and mango, rose petal and floral notes, and beautifully integrated oak (aged in 40% new French oak on its lees for 11 months). This full-throttle wine is completely d ...Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "Round, with vibrant, underlying acidity and abundant apple, melon and lemon flavors. Reveals hints of stone and seashore as the finish lingers. (BS)" (7/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Chablis Villages, bottled two weeks prior to my visit, has a light grassy bouquet, quite simple, but clean and defined. The palate is nicely defined with a slightly resinous entry, a keen line of acidity and a twist of sea salt on the finish. (NM)" (8/2016)
Allen Meadows - Burghound: "A hint of petrol combines with notes of white orchard fruit and lemon zest. There is a lovely sense of energy to the citrusy middle weight flavors that offer just enough depth and length on the attractively crisp finish to be interesting." (6/2016)
Wine & Spirits: "The aromas are dark in tone, with red cherry scents over cool lees. It finishes a touch sweet, for pâté or charcuterie." (4/2007) Wine Enthusiast: "Rounded and rich, this Blanc de Blancs has both a smooth texture, delicious white fruits and an intense line of acidity. It's clean, fragrant, very fresh. (RV)" (11/2013) Wine Spectator: "This lively version is balanced and lightly mouthwatering, with hints of yellow pear, creamed almond and ginger. (AN, Web-2016)"
Wine Spectator: "Shows a strong, pithy lemon peel bitterness that subsides a bit but dominates the core fruitiness. (JL)" (6/2015)
90 points Wine & Spirits: "Sourced from a number of coastal vineyards, including Flowers’ mature vines at Camp Meeting Ridge, this is as bright and fresh as it is creamy, its almond-like richness lifted by a pretty orange-blossom scent and lemony acidity. It’s a textural pleasure for filet of sole." (4/2016) K&L Notes: In 1989 Walt and Joan Flowers, with great expertise in agriculture and nurseries, turned their attention and passion to the beautiful Sonoma Coast and its perfect position for growing both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Their success in this venture is quite well known in the wine c... Read More »
This is one of the most exciting small-estate Champagnes that we have found recently. It is composed of 100% Pinot Noir with a 2011 base wine blended with 2009 and 2010 vintage, 50% of which is reserve stocks. This is a clean style of Pinot Noir with fine acidity and a small bead. Frothy and just plain lovely! Watch the bubbles go on and on and on when it is in the glass. Initially, there are baked apple flavors followed a mid-palate of grapefuit and nectarine leading to a creamy finish. A very small 15,000 bottle production. Winemaker Vivien Lamoureux i... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Situated in a side valley away from the main Serein river, this cool vineyard produces crisp, cool, stylish wines. This one is fresh and bright, all fruit without wood aging. Touches of melon back up the red-apple flavors. The aftertaste is still young, so this wine will be best from 2017. (RV)" (5/2016) 90 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "There is reasonably good Chablis character to the fresh aromas of iodine, oyster shell and green apple. The nicely vibrant middle weight flavors possess solid cut and ample minerality on the delicious, intense and lingering finish that is ...Read More »
A benchmark California Chardonnay from vineyards located in the cool region of Coombsville, which enjoys unique protection from wind by the hills east of the city of Napa. Its gravelly loam and volcanic ash soils provide excellent drainage and produce elegant Chardonnay fruit. Tasting notes from the winery on the 2015 vintage: "The 2015 Far Niente Chardonnay presents fresh and bright aromatics of tropical fruit, melon and hints of fig. This vintage is beautifully balanced by lightly toasted oak. A silky entry develops into a smooth and rich midpalate. De... Read More »