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K&L Staff Recommendations
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Les Vignes de Bila Haut offers a deep, rich and layered profile that has outstanding potential. Comprised of mostly Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, with a splash of Carignan, it’s loaded with notions of black olive, pepper, earth and assorted dark fruits. This gives way to a medium-bodied, fresh and elegant palate feel that carries solid concentration, good acidity and a clean, dry finish. It will drink well on release and have 5-7 years of evolution. (JD)" (4/2014) K&L Notes: Domaine Bila Haut is the passion project of famous Rho... Read More »
The winegrowing estate of Chateau les Valentines is more than a century old. The estate originally brought their grapes to the local cooperative, but when Gilles and Pascale Pons took over in 1997, they decided to make their own wine. They built a modern winery and called the domaine "Les Valentines" after their children, Valentin and Clémentine. Château les Valentines now covers approximately 100 acres. The "Le Caprice de Clémentine" is part of the second range of wines coming from the estate. Moderately priced, it is a high quality Côtes de Provence m... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Syrousse is composed of 70% Syrah, 20% Grenache and 10% Mourvedre. Revealing lots of blackberry, cassis, camphor and licorice characteristics as well as a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel and a long finish, it should drink well for another 2-3 years. These wines stood out as impressive examples from a cooperative in the Cotes du Roussillon, Les Vignerons de Tautavel Vingrau. (RP)" (8/2012) K&L Notes: The "Syrousse" is produced by Dan Kravitz (importer and creator of Cabirau on of our favorite Roussillon wines) and Les Vignerons de Tautavel Vingrau (VTV) the ... Read More »
From La Maison Antech, located in the Southern France region of the Languedoc, comes this beautiful example of Cremant de Limoux. Named after the grande dame of the estate, Eugenie Limouzy, this Cremant is composed of 50% Chardonnay, 40% Chenin Blanc and 10% Mauzac. It is produced along the lines of methode champenoise and spends 12 months on the lees before being disgorged. This balanced and elegant sparkling wine reveals subtle hints of citrus fruits, toast and honey. At less than half the price of a bottle of Champagne, the Cuvée Eugenie is the perfec... Read More »
Wine & Spirits: "Tariquet’s flagship, this is classic Gascogne white, lemony-bright and shot through with crisp acidity. It’s simple and palate whetting, especially with a platter of plump, briny clams." (6/2014) Wine Spectator: "Dried golden raisin and baked apple flavors are accented by sage honey and spice. Hints of dried quince emerge on the finish. Ugni Blanc, Colombard, Sauvignon Blanc and Gros Manseng." (10/2014)
Sustainably grown, certified Qualisud. Bargemone is among the foremost estates of the Coteaux d’Aix, a small fine-wine district in the larger appellation of Provence. A benchmark producer of the delicious, dry rosé for which Provence is famous, the Commanderie was founded by the Knights Templar in the 13th century, and is home to a proud viticultural tradition with more than 160 acres of sustainably grown vineyards. Offering classic aromas of wild strawberries and red currants, with a light, floral character and a crisp, bone-dry palate, this is a rosé o... Read More »
The Antech "Emotion" is a little something different: a blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Mauzac and Pinot Noir from AOC Cremant de Limoux in the Languedoc region of the south of France. It was a huge hit with our staff in 2012; now it is back, to make our evenings and dinner parties sparkle just that much more. Pale pink hue, fine bead, delicate hints of cherry and strawberry with white floral notes. A crisp, elegant sparkler made in the traditional method, spending 15 months in the bottle before disgorgement. At about half the price of a bottle of Cha... Read More »
From limestone soils of the Languedoc, Picpoul (which translates as "lip-stinger") delivers a reliably invigorating and affordable white. Picpoul de Pinet is the grape's spiritual home and varietally named AOC, where the Mediterranean breezes moderate the daytime temperature and slow the ripening. From the producer: "Crystal clear color with green highlights. A soft, delicate nose, with pleasant hints of acacia and hawthorn blossom. Delicate and fresh in the palate with and excellent acidity and structure balance."
From Josh Raynolds on the 2013 vintage: "Bright orange-pink. Lively red berry and tangerine aromas show good clarity and a hint of white pepper. Tangy and light on its feet, offering bitter cherry and rhubarb flavors and a touch of succulent herbs. Finishes slightly tart, with an echo of peppery spices." (07/2014)
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A blend of Grenache with around 20% Syrah and 10% Carignan, the Cabirau 2012 Cotes du Roussillon Malgre les Functionnaires delivers lusciously ripe black raspberry laced with sage, horehound and smoky black tea, and garlanded with heliotrope. As usual with this cuvee, there is a brightness and seed-crunching 'ping' that convey energy and invigoration to an infectiously juicy finish. Here is a stupendous value that projects distinctive Roussillon virtues including downright dynamic interactivity. I suspect that it will show well for the better part of the ...Read More »
A Rhone-style blend with 70% Grenache Gris and Grenache Noir, and the balance equal parts of Mourvèdre, Carignan, and Cinsault, this fruity and delicious rose offers up aromas and flavors of fresh-picked strawberries and cherries, with tropical fruit accents. It makes a lovely aperitif with olive tapenade on toast, but is balanced and versatile enough to pair with a variety of dishes, from stir fry veggies and grilled fish to slow-cooked lamb with Moroccan spices or roast chicken seasoned with Provençal herbs. 12.5% abv.
Wine & Spirits: "This sparkler's zingy lemon-lime flavors evolve into fuller pineapple and citrus notes, a yeasty character adding breadth and weight. The full flavors and light, cardamom-like spice suit it to the dinner table, with rich fish or roasted chicken." K&L Notes: You should always have a handful of bottles of this sparkler on hand for impromptu parties (because a sudden Tuesday night fete with your pals is, of course, better with bubbly).This wallet-friendly "Blanc de Blancs" drinks like an expensive French Champagne, with a rich yeasty nose and body to match. It's called ... Read More »
Cotes de Gascogne is primarily known for the production of Armagnac; it wasn’t until the last 20 years or so that producers began to take table wine production seriously. Traditionally, these wines would have been distilled into Armagnac. Producers found that by fermenting at lower temperatures in stainless steel, they could develop and preserve more powerful aromatics. Though yields are high, costs have stayed low and the wines are consequently some of the best bargain whites in France. Domaine de Millet is first and foremost an Armagnac producer. They ... Read More »
Alicante, Carignan, Grenache, Merlot and Syrah From the winery: "This area has its roots in the foothills of the Laces of Montmirail. Property of the Vulture family, Domaine Carobelle has produced pure and natural wines for generations. Cultivated with passion and rigor in organic farming, the old vines of Grenache and Syrah are now producing balanced wines, rich and complex with intense flavors of red fruits"
This elegant and crisp Sauvignon Blanc hails from Domaine Begude, a small family-owned property located high in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the Limoux region of the Languedoc. The long, cool growing season lends itself perfectly to the production of crisp and delicate wines, and this Sauvignon Blanc is no exception. More in the style of a Loire Valley Sancerre, with its fine, mineral-laden nose and fresh citrus fruits on the palate, this is the perfect accompaniment to grilled fish, oysters, or just by itself. Make this one your house white! Organic... Read More »
Maison Angelot is run by the brothers Eric and Philippe Angelot. Their 57 acres of vineyards are divided into about 20 different parcels, some hillside and others along the valley floor. Harvest is both manual and with machine (depending on the parcel), and their modern winery houses temperature-controlled stainless-steel and fiberglass tanks. The mondeuse is 100% destemmed and fermented through carbonic maceration preserving freshness and brightness delivering a wine similar to a Beaujolais with more spice qualities.
Château Trillol sits high in the hills of southwestern France.The vineyard is located in between two of the Corbières terroirs: Termenès and Quéribus. The local grape varieties, Grenache, Syrah and Carignan, are harvested by hand and blended to produce authentic wines that are packed with character and a strong sense of place. From the winery: "The intense colour with deep purple highlights heralds in a wine with depth and complexity. Expressive, frank nose exuding aromas of red fruit, redcurrant, blackcurrant and a hint of oak. The front-of-palate is si... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From Grenache - with a bit of Syrah and Carignan acquired via a rental agreement in order to permit classification as A.O.C. - the Cabirau 2009 Cotes du Roussillon Malgre les Functionnaires ("Despite the Bureaucrats") delivers sweetly-ripe scents and juicily-generous flavors of grenadine and black raspberry, with nips of white pepper and pleasantly astringent impressions of berry seed serving for invigoration in a palate-staining finish that preserves a distinctive sense of crushed stone and peat underpinnings. Firm and bright as it is, this outstanding ...Read More »
Built on a backbone of 60% Chardonnay, this effervescent white is the product of female hands. Francoise Antech-Gazeau leads this Limoux estate. She has worked with her father and uncle since 1996 to improve their sustainable agricultural practices in the vineyard and their quality in the cellar. This bottling references the family's six generation history of making wine.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Syrah comes from 20 to 40-year-old, hand-harvested vines. It was fermented with indigenous yeast in stainless steel, aged eight months in concrete tanks, and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Perhaps that explains its fleshy, chewy mid-core, and attractive blackberry and cassis fruit intermixed with hints of licorice and incense. This fruit-driven, substantial Syrah possesses silky tannins. Enjoy it over the next 2-3 years." (2/2014)
Antech's Brut Nature is produce with no added dosage, which translates to a super clean and crisp glass of bubbles. It is composed of 90% Mauzac, 5% Chenin Blanc and 5% Chardonnay. All harvesting is done by hand. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel, and the wine undergoes a 12 month elevage on the lees a la methode traditionelle for 12 months before being disgorged. The Brut Nature is the perfect way to start off the evening's festivities. Its fresh and crisp apple-pear flavors will pair beautifully with a wide range of finger foods and pre-dinne... Read More »
Domaine de Millet was first an Armagnac producer, now in the winemaking game. They are a fifth generation winemaking and spirit producing family with the reins now in the hands of daughter Laurence. They make incredible values for everyday white wine drinking. The Moelleux is made from 100% Gros Manseng, a variety famous in Jurancon for making richly textured whites and a small component of their dessert wines. On its own here it provides a mellow sweetness similar to a Kabinett level Riesling or demi-sec Vouvray. Exotic fruits on the nose and pala... Read More »
Say bonjour to your summertime white! Picpoul de Pinet is considered the "Muscadet of the South." Grown just meters from the oyster beds of the Bassin de Thau, the wine marries perfectly with fish and shellfish. Picpoul (also known as Folle Blanche or Gros Plant) means "lip stinger," which refers to the high acidity of its must. Great with oysters, assorted fruit de mer or grilled seafood. This wine is crisp and bright, with subtle floral and mineral notes on the nose. Bracing acidity backs up a wine with surprising breed for this price point. Château F... Read More »
The name of the estate is the first indication of its long, illustrious past. Located in the heart of Provence, near routes traveled by Crusaders in the early Middle Ages, the Commanderie de Peyrassol was founded by the Knights of Templar who were dedicated to protecting the Crusaders en route to, and in, the Holy Land. The first recorded harvest took place in 1256 and winemaking has continued uninterrupted throughout the centuries. When the Templars were brought down in 1311 by the King of France, who was nervous of their power and jealous of their weal... Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France Occultum Lapidem offers dark, mineral-laced aromas and flavors of smoked earth, licorice, wild herbs and blackcurrants to go with a firm, structured and age-worthy profile on the palate. Comprised of mostly Syrah, from schist and gneiss soils, and aged in tank and demi-muid, this superb 2012 has solid mid-palate depth, ample tannin and a beautifully focused finish. It’s a superb value that will be even better in another year or so, and have 12-15 years of ultimate longevity." (4/2014) K&L Notes: According to Jeb ... Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Both of the reds are brilliant and most likely the wines of the vintage, the 2011 Bandol comes from 30-year-old vines and is a blend of 80% Mourvedre, 15% Grenache and 5% Cinsault. Aged 18 months in foudre, it’s a dense, concentrated 2011 that offers notions of black cherry, blackberry, earth and ground herbs on the nose. This flows to a full-bodied, gorgeously put together palate that has considerable structure, superb purity of fruit and a knockout finish. Give it another 2-3 years in the cellar and enjoy it over the following 15 years or more. Created ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A blend of 50% Grenache Blanc (from vines over 100 years of age), 30% Chardonnay and 20% Marsanne (all planted on pure schist soils), the 2012 Cote d’Est VDP Cotes Catalanes was aged in stainless steel and fermented on its lees. The result is a singular, honeyed, big, lush, exotic white wine with a lot of gout de petrol, beeswax and orange marmalade notes. Medium-bodied and dry with undeniable minerality, this fruit cocktail-styled wine should be enjoyed over the next 12-18 months. An excellent joint venture between importer Eric Solomon and Jean-Marc La ...Read More »
Domaine Begude is a small family-owned property located high in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the Limoux region of the Languedoc. The long, cool growing season lends itself perfectly to the production of crisp and delicate wines. From predominantly clay and limestone soils on southeast facing vineyards, this wonderful Chardonnay value contains 14% Chenin Blanc and is ridiculously easy to love. Organic farming, low yields, and temperature-controlled stainless steel fermentation with no oak influence make it possible for the purity of fruit to really sh... Read More »
89 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Composed of 80% Grenache Blanc and 20% Marsanne, the 2012 Vieilles Vignes Blanc comes from 50-year-old vines planted in limestone and clay soils. A delightful bouquet of caramelized honeyed grapefruit, white currants and other assorted citrus jumps from the glass of this crisp, dry, medium-bodied white. With surprising length and power, it reminded me of a restrained, more laid-back top white Hermitage at a fraction of the price. Consume it over the next several years. One of the top wine values I have ever tasted is from one of the newest appellation ...Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Light orange-pink. Vibrant, mineral-accented redcurrant and strawberry aromas are complicated by notes of dried herbs, rose oil and orange peel. A saline quality underscores juicy red fruit flavors, which flesh out and deepen with air. Fresh and seamless in texture, finishing with superb clarity and length and repeating mineral and floral notes. I've had the chance to drink 30-year-old bottles of this wine, and while this one isn't quite as nervy as some other recent vintages, I'd cellar it for another seven to ten years with confidence and then decant i ...Read More »
Spontaneous fermentation. An altogether preferable scenario to spontaneous combustion, and A LOT more fun to drink. This pink, semi-dry bubbly was made by spontaneous fermentation, otherwise known as methode ancestrale. Grapes are picked by hand (not just any grapes, these are the local Poulsard and Gamay grown on mountainous slopes in the shadow of the Alps), and fermented in chilled vats just reaching 5 or 6 degrees alcohol. The young and light wine is then bottled, along with its active yeast and considerable unfermented sugars. Under pressure of the ... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Most of the wine produced in this area is fortified sweet wine, and the 2012 Kerbuccio is from the newly created appellation of Maury Sec, which is a classification above Cotes du Roussillon Villages. From pure black schist soils, this blend of 40% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre and 30% Grenache aged in concrete offers wonderful flowery notes (violets) intermixed with melted chocolate, kirsch and a hint of Provencal garrigue. Full-bodied, rich, deep and totally dry, this is a seriously endowed, fleshy, full-throttle red to drink over the next 3-4 years." (11/2013)
Château Viranel is a small family-run domaine located in the picturesque Languedoc appellation of Saint-Chinian. The domaine's rosé is perfect for an apéritif but is also ideal served throughout a meal because of its richness and volume on the palate. Pretty rose petal color. An intense nose of summer fruits (blackberry, raspberry, black currant) and a fresh and fruity attack. The finish is elegant and long. A truly gastronomic rosé from Syrah, Grenache Noir and Cinsault, made by drawing off for Grenache and Syrah. It is an extremely versatile rosé to en... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
One of our favorite white wines at K&L Hollywood, thanks to the passionate championing of it by Jacques. It comes from a property in Southern France situated beneath a behemoth limestone outcropping called Cap Canaille, and it is just 200 meters from the Mediterranean. The vineyards are cooled by a trio of winds--the Tramontane, Mistral and Gregal--plus sea breezes, and the wines, both a blanc and rosé, are reflective of all of these factors.A blend of Marsanne, Clairette and Ugni Blanc, this dry, juicy wine tastes like white fruit and ocean spray, and i... Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A blend of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Syrah that’s aged in both demi-muid and barrel, the 2011 Cabardes sports an inky purple color to go with awesome, Bordeaux-like aromas and flavors of black cherries, blackcurrant, chocolate, tobacco and wild herbs. Incredibly pure and polished on the palate, with full-bodied richness, great concentration and masses of fine tannin, this rock star effort will have upwards of a decade of longevity and should not be missed! Located in Cabardes (which wasn’t awarded AOC status until 1999), on the northwestern edge of th ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "This wine’s sultry black core shows crimson highlights at the rim. This wine has engaging aromas of peppermint, black tea, new leather and clove. The fruit comes through on the palate with black plum and black cherry, and on the medium-plus finish, quartz and slate appear. Full bodied, this wine is judiciously structured by moderate tannins, lively acidity, medium-plus alcohol and light viscosity. This is exciting now, but it should only get better in the next 12 months. Drink 2014–2017." (9/2013)
Clos Cibonne's special rosé bottling is 100% Tibouren sourced from 60+ year old vines instead of 30 years for the regular bottling. It is aged on the lees for 1 year before bottling, so it hits the market the year after the rosé wines from other estates. From the importer: "Intense color, on the nose it is spicy with hints of quince and roasted nuts. The palate is bold and fresh with a long finish."
The domaine Mas des Agrunelles was established in 2005 by Frédéric Porro (Domaine La Marèle) and Stéphanie Ponson (Mas Nicot) near Murles in Languedoc. There are 18 hectares of vineyards planted on clay and limestone soils (Jurassic limestone). Everything in the vineyards and winery is done organically and biodynamically. Their winemaking technique is deeply respectful of the the terroir, and very low sulphites are added to the wines at bottling. The "l'Indigene" is 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 15% Carignan. The Grenache and Syrah are raised in tank whi... Read More »
The domaine Mas des Agrunelles was established in 2005 by Frédéric Porro (Domaine La Marèle) and Stéphanie Ponson (Mas Nicot) near Murles in Languedoc. There are 18 hectares of vineyards planted on clay and limestone soils (Jurassic limestone). Everything in the vineyards and winery is done organically and biodynamically. Their winemaking technique is deeply respectful of the the terroir, and very low sulphites are added to the wines at bottling. The Les Mauves is made from 100% Cinsault, a grape that is traditionally used as a blending partner for Rhon... Read More »
90-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Minervois La Nine (which translates to 'young girl') is 40% Grenache, 40% Carignan and 20% Syrah that will spend 8-9 months in older barrels. Classically styled, with old school kirsch, raspberry, pepper, leather and toasted nut aromas and flavors, this medium-bodied effort has fantastic verve and energy on the palate, with juicy acidity and a clean, nicely focused finish. It will be ready to go on release and drink nicely for 4-6 years. (JD)" (4/2014) K&L Notes: A blend of 40% Grenache, 30% Carignan, 10% Mourvedre, 10% Cinsault and 10% Syrah all goblet trai... Read More »
94-97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A step up and an incredible effort, the 2013 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France Occultum Lapidem is made from a mix of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan that comes from schist and chalky soils. A serious, classically styled effort, it offers awesome aromas and flavors (blackberry, mineral and licorice), full-bodied richness and fabulous concentration that never comes across as heavy or cumbersome. Showing additional minerality and definition with time in the glass, this beauty will have 10-15 years of longevity and should not be missed. (JD) ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
From the importer: "Domaine Gaujal St. Bon is a small estate-bottled operation run with extreme diligence by the mother-daughter team, Simone and Virginie Gaujal. They are proud defenders of Picpoul, and endeavor to make the finest and truest expressions of the variety in the appellation. Yields are kept in the 40 h/h range, while 60 h/h is permitted (and often exceeded). They ferment with 'neutral' yeasts that bring out the true character of the grapes themselves without artificially accentuating specific traits. The wines are fermented in tank but held... Read More »
This light-bodied, crisp rosé is made from the Cinsault grape by winemaker Jeff Carrel, at the Espitalet des Anges domaine in Capestang, which is situated on the ruins of an ancient Roman villa. Enjoy it as an aperitif or with salads, seafood, and poultry.
Bruno Ribiere is an intellectual and fond of writing poetry. Lucky for us, he is also fond of making very intellectually deep and soulful wines in the Roussillon. He completed the conversion of his vineyards to organic viticulture in 2007 and the domaine is Ecocert certified organic. Empriente du Temps is 100% old vine Carignan, from vines averaging 135 years in age (impressive!) planted to well-drained gravelly soils. The wine is made according to traditional methods to amplify the natural character and intensity of the fruit, with only four months agin... Read More »