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K&L Staff Recommendations
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "The first winery to plant Syrah in the county continues to produce powerful but layered expressions. This delivers rich aromas of cherry, stewed plum and blackberry alongside sage and a wisp of vanilla. On the palate, it starts rich, until bright acidity and tannins bring balance amidst mocha and blackberry jam flavors and an oak-powered vanilla finish." (2/2015)
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "The Syrah Tous les Jours is a quintisential Santa Ynez Valley Syrah. It is simultaneously Bold and Balanced, Rich and Smooth, Fruit Forward and Earthy. It is impossibly dark and full-bodied, without ever going over the top. It is heavily inspired by Northern Rhone Syrah (Hermitage) and Australian Shiraz (Barossa Valley). The aromas and flavors are dominated by black cherry, raspberry, white pepper, forest floor and toasty oak. It is absolutely unique and special expression of Syrah. Moreover, It is a style that one can enjoy every day." (3/2015) K&L Notes: Do you eve... Read More »
From the winery website, "When we say Fossil Point rocks - we mean it! Calcareous shale and coarse sand were uplifted from the floor of an ancient ocean and then weathered into place over millennia. It became a place of deep beauty and vast potential. Fossil Point is a rugged headland with sweeping views of the coastline stretching from Port San Luis to the Guadalupe Dunes. The Point is just five miles due west of the vineyards that are its namesake. Sunny afternoons are cooled by marine breezes sweeping off the Pacific Ocean, along Fossil Point to the v... Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Ripe aromas of passionfruit, kiwi and nectarine rise alongside greener elements of celery stalk, wet thyme and Granny Smith apple on this promising early look at the vintage. The tongue tingles throughout the sip, with flavors of crisp apple, yellow melon and crushed chalk. Buttercream appears on the finish." (2/2015) Antonio Galloni: "Bright yellow. Ripe yellow plum and orange aromas show a touch of heat and pick up a spicy element with aeration. Fleshy and broad in the mouth, offering pliant pit and orchard fruit flavors that could use more structure. Finishes with decent ...Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* A seriously good wine, showing how well this warmish appellation can develop Sauvignon Blanc in a cool vintage. The wine is dry and lively in acidity, with subtle, complex citrus, tobacco and white pepper flavors. Very versatile at the table. Production was just over 1,000 cases, but it’s worth a search." (6/2013) Wine Spectator: "The tangy lemon-lime, melon and green apple flavors are light and refreshing, with a crisp, minerally finish. (Web-2013)" K&L Notes: The cool 2011 vintage produced a Westerly Sauvignon Blanc with crisp acidity and great minerality underlyin... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
94 points Antonio Galloni: "Crushed red berries, mint, flowers and cinnamon lift from the glass in the 2012 Pinot Noir Estate Sta. Rita Hills. This is one of the most polished, refined and aromatically expressive wines I have tasted from Melville. What a gorgeous, radian and totally sexy wine this is." (7/2014)92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Deep, vivid red. Sexy raspberry preserve and blood orange aromas are complemented by white flowers and Asian spices. Silky and round on the palate, with tangy minerality lifting pliant red fruit preserve flavors. Balances opulence and vivacity and finishes sappy, focused an ...Read More »
A joint project from your K&L domestic buying team and a high-profile winery in the Santa Barbara area. The fruit for this wine comes from a cooler vineyard site with a north-facing slope. Clone 828 is a Dijon clone that matures early and often shows lots of structure, color and complexity. In general, the clone shows great acidity, red and blue fruits and palate presence. Because of its roundness and completeness, clone 828 makes an excellent individual bottling.
Belle Glos is the project of Joseph Wagner, son of Caymus winemaker Chuck Wagner of "Special Selection" Cabernet fame. But this winery is devoted entirely to distinctive, single-vineyard Pinot Noir. The Clark & Telephone vineyard may be prosaically named--it's at the corner of Clark Avenue and Telephone Road--but it is unusual in that it was planted on its own roots, in the early 1970s, to the old "Martini" clone, and was one of the first Pinot vineyards in this cool, windy coastal valley. But the flavor profile is pure, fruity pleasure--why else would t... Read More »
Margerum Wine Company has long been a favorite of K&L. Doug Margerum, owner and director of winemaking, started out on the retail side of things. He and his family opened Wine Cask in Santa Barbara in 1981 and spent more than a decade building a fantastic wine shop and Bistro. During much of that time, Doug was also building an amazing wine company. Margerum Wines are fantastically balanced and go beautifully with food. They are pure and clean, showing off the beautiful fruit from around Santa Barbara County. We were lucky enough to get the opportunity t... 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 »
The wine is made up of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. It drinks well right now but should hold for 2-3 years. Several of the K&L staff had a chance to go down and spend a couple hours with Doug and his crew at the winery. The thought was to make a red blend from Happy Canyon, which K&L had never done before. Happy Canyon is the smallest AVA in Santa Barbara County. It lies north and west of Lake Cachuma and is home to six major vineyards: Cimarone, Grassini, Happy Canyon Vineyard, McGinley, Star Lane, and Vo... Read More »
93-95 points Wine Spectator: "Missed the 2012? This is a worthy successor and should rank among Brewer-Clifton's best, both rich and graceful, with vivid berry, high-toned plum, black cherry, anise and black licorice, finishing long and full." (2/2015)91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright ruby-red. High-pitched red berry and floral scents are sharpened by suggestions of white pepper and allspice. Juicy and precise on the palate, offering intense raspberry and bitter cherry flavors that become fleshier and sweeter with air. Fruit-driven and accessible, finishing with strong punch, repeating florality and slow-buildi ...Read More »
Arguably the most popular of the co-branded wines with our staff last year was the 2010 version of this wine so it had a lot to live up to this year. The good news is the staff is every bit as excited about it this year and we hope that enthusiasm will rub off on you. Bob Lindquist was more than happy to work with us again this year and put together this 100% Syrah bottling from certified Demeter Bio-Dynamically grown vines in the cool Edna Valley Appellation. Unmistakably Syrah from the first sniff of the nose the bold cracked black pepper, fried bacon,... Read More »
93 points Antonio Galloni: "Dierberg's 2012 Chardonnay is gorgeous. Lemon oil, tropical fruit and butter are all tempered by the cool microclimate here. The flavors remain bright, focused and nuanced in a crystalline Chardonnay that stands out for its precision. A hint of sweetness from the oak adds complexity, but overall, the 2012 is a wine built on energy. Dierberg, and its sister property, Star Lane, is in a bit of a transition at the moment. New winemaker Tyler Thomas took over with the 2013 vintage, while the 2012s were finished by assistant winemaker Jeff Connick. Thomas ma ...Read More »
Killer New Price! -Produced and bottled by Brewer-Clifton, the "B-C" Kessler Haak Pinot Noir is a single vineyard wine that comes from the organically farmed Kessler-Haak Vineyard. It is located off Highway 246, about 7 miles west of the town of Buellton, in the heart of the Santa Rita Hills appellation. The blend is made up of 25% Clone 667, 25% Clone 113 and 50% of Clone 115. Only 161 cases were bottled of this unique wine.
This is a delicious new Chardonnay made in collaboration with Talley winemaker Eric Johnson. All of the fruit comes from Talley's Oliver's Vineyard. It is a compilation of five different barrels that domestic buyer Bryan Brick chose alongside Johnson down at Talley earlier this year. Here's a breakdown of the components: Barrel #1 is the backbone of the blend; it's earthy and savory, with a wealth of complexity. It's made from the oldest block in the vineyard and the same block that goes into Talley's vineyard designated Chardonnay. Barrel #2 comes from ... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This single-vineyard selection from the Jackson Family’s Santa Maria Valley winery kicks off with scents ranging from red, blistered tomato to pomegranate reduction and mole sauce. On the palate, flavors vary from sweeter berry to tart cherry, with a savory, roasted pork element rounding out the wine." (10/2014)
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Buttered sourdough toast and a slight nuttiness kick off another excellent Chardonnay from the ever-reliable Talley. The palate is greeted with minerality that fades into an apple butter flavor alongside a pinch of cinnamon, culminating in a graceful vanilla finish." (12/2014)90 points Antonio Galloni: "Butter, pastry, honey and yellow stone fruits meld together in the 2012 Chardonnay Estate. The 2012 is generous, soft and accessible, with pretty smoke, spice and honey overtones that add complexity. The 2012 is a great choice for drinking now and over the next few years. Rincon and ...Read More »
92 points Antonio Galloni: "Light yellow-gold. Tangerine, pear skin and a hint of honey on the perfumed nose. Broad and silky on entry, offering pliant orchard and citrus fruit flavors that tighten up on the back half while picking up a touch of bitter quince. Nicely taut for the vintage, finishing with strong thrust and persistent mineral and floral flourishes. Nikki and Jeff Nelson have fully settled into their own facility just north of metropolitan Buellton. They recently took on a full-time winemaker, James Sparks, whose brother-in-law Brandon Sparks-Gillis is part of the Drag ...Read More »
90 points Antonio Galloni: "Yellow stone fruits, flowers and mint are some of the notes that meld together in the glass. There is a wonderful sense of stoniness and energy that makes the 2013 incredibly appealing. The long textured finish is impossible to resist." (7/2014)
The "M" stands for--you guessed it--Margerum, but the "5"? That's the number of grape cultivars traditional to the southern Rhône that they use to create this Chateauneuf-du-Pape style blend: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Counoise, and Cinsault. "M5 is always all about Grenache and," Margerum tells us, "as it is every year, the trick is to balance the crimson, aromatic, lean, bright, tight Grenache, Counoise, Mourvèdre, and Cinsault based components with the bombastic, dark, black, plum, tannic, bold, intense ripe, full-bodied Syrah we make. M5 is a wine t... Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid ruby-red. Red fruit preserves on the nose, with complicating notes of licorice and allspice. Lively raspberry and bitter cherry flavors show very good precision, complemented by a bright mineral quality that gains strength with air. This silky, energetic pinot finishes with strong cut, persistent sweetness and sneaky, interwoven tannins. (JR)" (12/2014)
Antonio Galloni: "(made with fruit grown in seven different vineyards; includes 5% valdiguie): Vivid red. Primary red berry and cherry skin aromas offer straightforward appeal. Tangy cherry and redcurrant flavors show good clarity and lift, with a peppery element adding bite. Finishes clean and slightly tart, with no obvious tannins and an echo of peppery spices." (12/2014)
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid ruby. Vibrant raspberry and candied cherry on the nose, with appealing spiciness and a hint of smoked meat. Energetic and focused, offering tight red berry flavors and a touch of anise that builds with air. Finishes with very good focus and persistence, leaving peppery spice and smoke notes behind." (11/2013)
90 points Antonio Galloni: "Pale red. Sexy, high-pitched aromas of wild red berries, Asian spices and white pepper, with a minerally nuance coming up with aeration. Clean and focused on the palate, offering tangy strawberry and bitter redcurrant flavors with hints of allspice and mace. Clean, spicy and precise on a finish that features silky tannins and subtle sweetness. Reminded me a lot of an energetic, fruit-driven Beaujolais from a top-notch producer. (Josh Raynolds)" (12/2014)90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid ruby. Sexy red fruit aromas show good clarity and lift, with Asian spice and floral nuances addi ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Fred Brander and winemaker Fabian Bravo study Sauvignon Blanc through several bottlings each year, but this Santa Ynez Valley appellation cuvee is an early favorite for 2013. Delicate flinty notes on the nose are bolstered with honey dew and apple. The palate leads with a lot of zing that evolves into flavors of kiwi and pear, with a slightly buttery, almost vanilla finish." (10/2014) K&L Notes: The Sauv Blanc specialists at Brander Vineyard are among the first out of the gate with the fresh 2013 vintage.
True Myth is part of the Niven Family Wine Estates, which includes Baileyana, Tangent and Cadre, among others. This is a full-bodied, oaky and tropical style Chardonnay from the Paragon Vineyard in the Edna Valley. It is fermented in 65% French oak and 35% stainless and aged in 2=38% new French oak.
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Coming from one of Ballard Canyon’s premiere vineyards, this offers aromas of black cherry, wet black loam and morning dew on sage. The mouthfeel is all silk, and flavors are savory, with elderberries, crushed sage and wild mint." (2/2015)92 points Antonio Galloni: "(made with 50% whole clusters and raised in concrete tanks): Opaque ruby. Deeply pitched black and blue fruit aromas are lifted and sharpened by cracked pepper and fresh flowers. Spicy and penetrating on the palate, with juicy blackcurrant and boysenberry flavors framed and lifted by tangy acidity. This suave, powerful, ...Read More »
91 points Antonio Galloni: "Bright yellow. Very fresh aromas of white peach, tangerine, gingery spices, jasmine and iodine. At once rich and lively, with bright acidity and firm minerality giving focus to the sappy citrus and orchard fruit flavors. The sharply focused finish echoes the floral and mineral notes and hangs on with excellent tenacity. This wine reminded me a lot of a high-quality Puligny. According to Chad Melville, his family recently sold their Verna's vineyard, north of Los Alamos and in the Santa Barbara County appellation, because they want to focus completely on ...Read More »
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(includes 2% Sauvignon Blanc; fermented and aged in 400-liter oak barrels): Light yellow-gold. High-pitched citrus and orchard fruit aromas are complicated by notes of tarragon and white flowers. Fresh and incisive on the palate, offering lively pear and lemon zest flavors that show a silky, seamless character. Finishes with resonating spiciness and good focus, leaving a refreshingly bitter pear skin note behind. This fruit was picked at a low 3.15 pH." (11/2013) Connoisseurs Guide: "Decidedly lighter than the Dierberg style has typically shown, this one features green app ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Made almost exclusively from Bien Nacido fruit, this bright, straw-colored Chardonnay displays the vineyard's wet stone minerality. Aged for 10 months in neutral French oak, it has aromas of melon and honeysuckle, flavor notes of peach, pineapple, and lemon verbena, with vibrant acidity and a smooth, creamy finish.
Inventory: San Francisco
91 points Antonio Galloni: "Qupe's 2011 Syrah is gorgeous. Dark red cherries meld into plums and violets in this gracious, impeccably balanced Syrah. Deceptively medium in body, the 2011 is all about texture and weightlessness. A long, refined finish rounds things out nicely. The 2011 is a blend of fruit from 8 different sites, roughly 75% from Santa Barbara and 25% Edna Valley." (7/2013) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A classic, straightforward and delicious Syrah that has ripe berry fruit, leather, licorice and sappy underbrush, the 2011 Syrah is medium-bodied, lively and clean on the palate. Pure, balanced and ...Read More »
Meeresboden, meaning ocean soil, is a blend of John Sebastiano, and Kick-on Ranch vineyards in Santa Barbara County all grown on ancient ocean deposit soils.
Our Kalinda private label program strikes again, hooking 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 that it sells elsewhere under the winery label at a much higher price. Get it while it lasts.
Inventory: San Francisco
Our friends at Black Sheep Finds, a project which began in 2005 when Peter Hunken (Piedrasassi/Holus Bolus) and Amy Christine (AOC Restaurant) make bottled their first Syrah under the "Hocus Pocus" label. It developed an immediate cult following and since then their production has expanded to include a small range of delicious wines that offer great value for the money. The 2012 is a blend of Syrah from two vineyards - the cool Watch Hill Vineyard in Los Alamos and warmer, sustainably farmed Harrison-Clarke Vineyard - that was aged for 12 months in one-y... Read More »
Made from Jim Clendenen's estate vineyards, the Au Bon Climat winemaker's Clendenen Family wines also get the most attention for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Nebbiolo, the noble grape of Barolo and Barbaresco, has had a very uneven record in California. But if there's any California Nebbiolo worth beginning the exploration with, it has to be one from the Central Coast, and this very renowned and talented winemaker.
Inventory: Redwood City
From Folkway Wine Co; 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, and 13% Cabernet Franc coming from 68% Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard, 27% Bien Nacido Vineyard, and 5% Black Ridge Vineyard. Using a mix of new Heavy and medium toast French oak, new medium toast American oak, and neutral barrels aged for 18 months in Barrel. A deep yet bright sanguine red, the Revelator emits flavors of kirsch, currant pomegranate, leaden pencil shavings, and molten chocolate. With moderate tannins and balanced acidity, the palate is layered with flavors of dripping-ripe bing ... Read More »
91 points Antonio Galloni: "Bright yellow. High-pitched aromas of tangerine, peach and white flowers, with a stony accent gaining strength with air. Bright and racy on the palate, with juicy acidity lifting and intensifying the flavors of white peach and fresh citrus fruits. Finishes with an appealingly light touch, lingering minerality and strong persistence. Quiet elegant for the variety, especially for a New World rendition. According to Chad Melville, his family recently sold their Verna's vineyard, north of Los Alamos and in the Santa Barbara County appellation, because they ...Read More »
From the Winery; 68% Syrah, 20% Grenache, 6% Petite Sirah, and 6% Sangiovese. This year's 2013 label is done by Kari Crist, the label’s creator & creative director of Stolpman Vineyards. Champagne, Loire, Chablis, Ballard Canyon... What do these guys have in common? Limestone. The calcium rich soil that sky rockets ordinary Vitis Vinifera into rock star status. Limestone. The soil that directed Tom Stolpman to his family’s legacy on Ballard Canyon. Limestone. The only dirt worthy of gettin’ its picture ‘on the cover of the rollin’ stone,’ no wait...excu... Read More »
Peruse any of the best wine lists in Los Angeles, and chances are you'll find something from up-and-comer Jeff Fischer's Habit wines. A "garagiste" winemaker, Jeff's wines can be found at Spago, Providence and AOC, among other top restaurants. "He's been able to achieve a balance in his wines in that they definitely speak to the area that they're from, but they're not overblown, fruity wines," Caroline Styne of AOC told the Los Angeles Times. The 495 cases of Habit Chenin Blanc comes from the Jurassic Park Vineyard, which boasts sandy loam soils perfet f... Read More »