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K&L Staff Recommendations
Sancerre at half the price! The Fournier family, with roots as deep as their vines in this region, seem to be related to just about everyone in some way. They've been farming and producing wines in Sancerre for generations. We are pleased to have been offered this wine, yet again, at such a great price. Soft, subtle mineral notes are wrapped up in aromatics of melon and citrus. Clean, bright and refreshing, this is a perfect little Sauvignon Blanc. Tropical fruit, citrus and spice aromas and flavors, with vibrant acidity and minerality. Perfect for goat ... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*#31 in the Top 100 Best Buys of 2014* Half barrel-fermented and half done in stainless steel, this classy effort seems to overdeliver. It starts with good fruit, but the feeling is that winemaker Jessica Munnell did everything right, and maxxed out the complexity. It’s a sensuous mix of grape and barrel, steel and butterscotch, with a lively, lingering finish." (11/2014) K&L Notes: A very warm 2013 growing season with dry harvest conditions made for a very successful Chardonnay from Mercer Canyons. Grapes were sourced from Sagemoor Vineyard in the Columbia Valley an... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is on the full-bodied side, quite ripe and tropical in style compared to its Marlborough siblings. Mango, pineapple and stone-fruit notes are all present, balanced on the finish by citrus and ginger." (7/2014) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Pale, bright yellow. Stone fruits, anise and a spicy touch of oak on the nose. The palate offers decent intensity to the soft citrus and spicy oak flavors, with a suggestion of tropical fruits emerging with air. On the lean side but has cut and freshness." (9/2013) K&L Notes: An exceptional deal in New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Lagoon Hill is sourced from a s... 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 »
A bright clean appearance with fresh lime green hues. The bouquet shows pleasing aromas of grapefruit and white peach, with a floral lift. On the palate this medium-bodied, dry wine has a refreshing and moreish character. Mouthwatering acidity is balanced by an elegant, mineral finish. Sourced from a vareity of vineyards throughout Marlborough's various subregions: Wairau, Waihopai, Dillion's Point and Blenheim. An exceptional value in classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc!
This is a charming Chardonnay from a small grower in the Macon. Lionel Rhedon-Marin is a recent graduate of the College of Viticulture in the nearby village of Davaye, where Guffens trained. All of their young-vine fruit is sold in bulk to one of the better negociants, who is pleased to have it, since Lionel is such a careful grower. But their old-vine fruit, all over 45 years of age, is kept for the Domaine wine, which is charming and elegant. This is not the super-ripe style that is suddenly popular, but is, instead, a balanced, well-made and wonderfu... Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Chardonnay Private Reserve became famous under the helmsmanship of chief winemaker Ed Sbragia, and Laurie Hook has refined it ever so slightly by somewhat backing off the oak, and maintaining the depth and richness, but with more precision and refinement. The full-bodied 2012 Chardonnay Private Reserve exhibits wonderful orange blossom, white peach and pineapple fruit, a subtle touch of vanillin and toast, and a nicely layered, pure style with terrific fruit intensity. It is a great value, especially if you compare its quality to just about any premi ...Read More »
From winemaker Rob Mondavi, Jr, the 2013 Spellbound Chardonnay displays a lively and lush tropical profile of pineapple, guava, and kiwi fruit. To contribute the rich complexity of vanilla and crème brûlée, 90% of the wine was fermented in oak barrels, with the remaining 10% fermented in stainless steel to maintan a bracing vein of freshness and acid.
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)
This Sancerre has a pale yellow color with hints of flashing green. Aromatically, it possesses a nice fruity component of crispy white peaches, melon, yellow plums and the typical presence of place notes of flinty minerals. On the palate, it has a richness and persistence which is nicely balanced with fruit texture, mineral and acidity. The excellent length gets even better as the bottle breathes. If you can get your hands on a round of Crottin de Chavignol, call it a day. Or, try this with pan roasted shellfish with just a touch of butter and a squeeze ... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The attractive, sexy 2013 Chardonnay reveals ripe fruit, tangerine oil and citrus blossom notes, medium body, a fresh style, and a delicate hint of wood. Drink it over the next 2-3 years. It is a sleeper selection. (RP)" (10/2014) K&L Notes: It's back! True, Rombauer's Chardonnay needs to take its own sweet time, fattening up for 10 months in toasty American and French oak barrels, but we could hardly wait since the popular 2012 sold out. Cool climate Carneros fruit and Rombauer's house style of élevage make this Chard a top choice vintage after vintage.
Wine & Spirits: "Ripe and sweet with honeysuckle notes on the tropical fruit, this is a summertime patio pounder. (Good Value)" (4/2015) K&L Notes: The Etz family has been in the wine business since 1898, and the estate is now in the fourth generation. With nearly 40 hectares of vineyard in production, the Etz estate prides itself on synthesizing the modern and the traditional. Their goal is to offer wines that show themselves from vineyard to bottle entirely in harmony with nature and the environment, from parcels planted around the famous wine-town Strass. Gaisberg, Galgenberg (tha... Read More »
From some of the top sites in the Kamptal. Michaela Haas is the 4th generation of this family to run the 23-hectare domaine. Fermented and aged in stainless steel and bottled with a crown cap, this is the perfect liter - fresh, light and snappy; delivering all the thirst quenching qualities you look for in a wine like this.
New Price - A Steal! A rich, but not over-the-top Chardonnay from a prominent Napa Valley winery who has also made wine under our Kalinda label. Creamy and toasty with a fine core of acidity makes for easy drinking. For those who like a full but not too full-bodied Chardonnay. (Clyde Beffa Jr., K&L Wine Merchants Co-Owner)
Aptly named and always a favorite in the rich California style, Butternut is a luxuriously textured Chardonnay. Aromas of baked apple, hazelnut, and creme brulee fill the nose and reverberate on the palate with notes of peach, fig, butterscotch, and toasty oak. Grapes for the 2012 bottling were sourced from important growing regions across California including Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, and Monterey. The result is a generous and concentrated Chardonnay that creates a statewide snapshot of the bountiful 2012 harvest.
Giovanni Blason and his wife Valentina are young producers who continuously surprise us with the price-to-quality ratio of their wines, earning them tons of kudos in Gambero Rosso and beyond. They come from the Isonzo region of Northern Italy, right up against the Slovenian border. Their Pinot Grigio is really sensational, full in the mouth, rich on the palate and extraordinarily drinkable at this price! Very aromatic, with good complexity, length and that subtle elegance that shows muscle and a long and flowing finish.
89-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A sensational effort from proprietor Denis Dubourdieu, this easygoing, richly fruity, honeyed white Bordeaux exhibits lots of fig, grapefruit and melon notes, medium body, surprising depth and terrific purity as well as complexity. Drink it over the next 1-3 years. (RP)" (8/2014) 88-91 points Wine Spectator: "Tangy and mouthwatering, with kiwi core, lemon pulp, fennel and sel gris notes. Lots of cut through the finish. Piercing. (Web-2014)" K&L Notes: Located in Beguey in the Premières Côtes de Bordeaux appellation, Château Reynon was purchased by the Dubourdieu family in 1958. Denis Dubourdieu too... Read More »
Cognizant is a new collaborative project between K&L and some of New Zealand's finest winemakers. "Cognizant" is defined as having an intimate grasp of knowledge through personal experience. This series of wines will pay homage to talented winemakers and their ability to capture the unique "sense of place" or "terroir" within their wines. The first wine being released under the Cognizant label was made by Jason and Anna Flowerday of TWR (Te Whare Ra) winery. The fruit comes from exceptional vineyards in both the Wairau and Awatere Valleys. 25% of the as... Read More »
Antonio Galloni: "Lemon oil, white flowers, mint and slate meld together in the 2012 Chardonnay. Racy and beautifully layered on the palate, this tank-fermented, non-malo Chardonnay delivers exceptional quality for the money. (AG)" (7/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Chardonnay Foxglove is my favorite of the bunch and gives up clean and classy white peach, apple blossom and subtle spice in its medium-bodied, juicy and delicious style. Brought up in stainless steel, it’s hard to beat at the price and should be purchased by the case for drinking over the coming year or so. (JD)" (8/2014) K&L Notes: The Var... 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."
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "**Cellar Selection** Made from estate-grown fruit near the chilly Sonoma Coast town of Freestone, this is a fully layered wine, expertly balanced in acidity yet offering plenty of full-figured mouthfeel and viscous pleasure. It delivers an electric mix of Meyer lemon, minerals and brioche, and will please a diverse range of palates." (9/2014)93 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Chardonnay Freestone Vineyard has turned out beautifully. Lemon oil, almonds, dried pears, spices and lightly honeyed notes meld together in an effortless, gracious wine long on personality and class. The o ...Read More »
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Delicate aromas of pear, honeysuckle and pine nut. Refined, ripe pineapple fruit with elegant minerality providing shape. Well-balanced, long and animated. (JBP)" (1/2012)90 points Wine Spectator: "There's a crunchy core of green apple and peach flavors that give this good lift. Sage, honey and cream notes linger on the fresh finish. Drink now through 2030." (2/2012) K&L Notes: Max von Kunow officially took over the von Hövel estate from his father in 2010, and now stands as the 7th generation proprietor. Weingut von Hövel is a founding member of the VDP, and the estate is now undergoing conver... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "* Best Buy * A tangy grapefruit flavor and refreshing acidity make this a good before-dinner quaff and an apt pairing with seafood. Herbaceous and citrus aromas carry through to the flavors, medium body and good balance." (11/2014) K&L Notes: Husch was founded in Anderson Valley in 1971, and is now run by some of the original Silicon Valley escapees--the family of Hugo Oswald Jr. had been farming pears in Santa Clara Valley and sold their property during the 1970s tech boom! Their Sauvignon Blanc has been a favorite with Husch fans since 1980. This wine was made from... 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 »
The 2013 Kalinda Napa Valley Chardonnay comes from one of the top domestic Chardonnay producers, but as part of our agreement to acquire the wine, we cannot divulge to you who it is. Suffice it to say, this is always among the best bargains in the store--a luscious Chardonnay that would normally sell at a much higher premium. We're guessing it won't be around for long. This Chardonnay has a slight connection to the famous Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that won the French-American tasting in 1976.
90 points Wine Spectator: "Polished, creamy and refreshingly balanced, with tobacco-accented pineapple and coconut flavors that come together smoothly and linger well. Drink now through 2016." (12/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* Screwcapped, fresh and racy, this seemingly all-stainless Chardonnay is a total lemon fest. Ripe and flavorful--not sour--it brings scents and tastes of lemon oil, lemon peel and lemon meringue into play. It’s medium-bodied, forward and generous." (12/2014) K&L Notes: Charles & Charles is a collaboration between Charles Smith (of his namesake winery and K Vintners) and Charles Bieler. ... Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "Intense golden raisin, tarragon and grapefruit flavors give this white good cut. Very minerally in the mid palate, with a luscious finish that combines candied mint and dried mango flavor. Exotic and richly spiced. Drink now through 2020." (11/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Assyrtiko is rather impressive on opening, tightly wound and showing fine grip and tension on the finish, together with earthy, minerally nuances that I liked. The acidity gives it a bright and sunny feel to it. This is a nice performance here, balanced but persistent, relatively complex yet tasty. It ...Read More »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "* Editors’ Choice * This phenomenal bottling from the winemaking team of Mike Sinor and Nathan Carlson hits the nose with a judicious touch of vanilla laced buttercream as well as scorched lemon slices and orange peels. It’s playfully lithe on the palate, with just a touch of oak warmth, racy acidity, chalky grip and a faint hint of dill. It’s great for now, but will age with nutty style thanks to the balancing tensions." (5/2015)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "In the same ballpark, the 2012 Chardonnay is a rich, soft and textured white that has classic white peach, citrus blossom, brio ...Read More »
A dry vintage and an ocean-influenced, cool climate add up to a great value in 80% barrel-fermented Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay. The winery's tasting note: "A combination of barrel and stainless steel fermentation resulted in bright and floral aromatics, with layers of pear, apple and citrus, highlighted with a hint of vanilla. The intense fruit in this wine is beautifully integrated with refreshing acidity and French oak. Sleepy Hollow's signature mineral character and creamy textures add complexity to a long, explosive finish."
Fifty-year-old, low-yielding vines planted in limestone soils are sourced for this 100% Chenin Blanc. Aromas of pear and apricot with honeyed nuance reverberate on the palate with a rounded and rich profile. Mineral notes drive the finish of this harmonious and aromatically expressive Loire blanc. (Eric Story, Loire Buyer)
95 points Decanter: "The wine's appeal is heightened by the fact that Beaujolais Blanc is new to many wine lovers. Abundant white flower aromas, hints of melon and minerals; the taut, chalky palate has a taste of the soil. Quite serious, and worthy every penny." (3/2015) Antonio Galloni: "(raised in a combination of stainless steel and concrete tanks): Bright straw. Vibrant citrus fruit and melon aromas are sharpened by a hint of quinine and pick up a smoky nuance with air. Round and seamless on the palate, offering pliant honeydew and nectarine flavors and a refreshingly bitter lemon pith qual ...Read More »
Bob Campbell: "Delicately grassy Sauvignon Blanc with grapefruit, lemon grass, green capsicum, gooseberry and an appealing thread of minerality. Quite Sancerre-like wine with subtle power and a lengthy finish." K&L Notes: "Winery of the Year 2014" Raymond Chan. As the Wall Street Journal noted in May, 2014: "An absolute stand out, Te Whare Ra’s wine has a real depth of flavor on the nose, with tropical and citrus notes. Once sipped it has a core of minerality rounded off by a vibrant, juicy acidity. Quite simply one of New Zealand’s top Sauvignon Blancs." Indeed, the 2013 vintage h... Read More »
This is a straightforward, refreshing version of Vouvray Chenin Blanc. With a gold color, this wine is dry and smooth. It displays very nice citrus and fruity notes like ripe peach and green pear as well as floral aromas such as sweet acacia. The wine is round and fruity, well-balanced and ends super fresh. A killer value in 100% Chenin Blanc. Picked from 45-year-old vines and then vinified in stainless and aged in tank for 2-3 months. Fantastic with fish dishes with an exotic flair and of course the typical meat and cheese starter plates.
Produced from Loureiro and Pederña grapes grown in the granitic soils of the Vinho Verde region, the Santola (or as we here are calling it, "the crab wine") is a delicious, spritely and refreshing white. It doesn't get much more traditional, thirst-quenching or seasonally perfect then this wine. Delicious, low in alcohol, slightly fizzy and way too easy to drink!
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Crisp, tart, melon, tangerine and bubble gum-like aromas jump from the glass of this 2013 Chenin Blanc/Viognier (80% and 20% respectively). Aged totally in stainless steel, it no doubt has much of its malolactic fermentation blocked given its crisp acid profile." (11/2014) K&L Notes: Vintage after vintage, Pine Ridge's Chenin Blanc-Viognier blend has impressed drinkers and critics alike. And now, what started as an experiment in the early-1990s, has become one of the winery's most sought after wines. From the winery: "Brilliant and refreshing, this bottling of our re... Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch looks like one of their all-time greats, and to date they’ve all been very impressive wines. The crisp tangerine, honeyed citrus, pear and white peach notes are prominent in this beautifully fruited medium to full-bodied Chardonnay that shows additional orange marmalade notes in the mouth. It’s textured, crisp acid, from having not gone though malolactic, gives it focus and zest, and the overall impression is one of brilliant richness subtly touched by smoke, but letting the fruit dominate. Year in year out, this i ...Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The least expensive Chardonnay (and it’s a heck of a value) is the 2012 Chardonnay The Meadows. Made entirely from the Hanzell clone of Chardonnay planted in sandy Goldridge soils, it sees about 40% new oak, goes through full malolactic, and is stirred on its lees. A Corton-Charlemagne look-alike (at a fraction of the price), it offers copious notes of tangerine oil, caramelized citrus, lemon rind, white peach and a stony character. The oak is kept to a minimum in this medium to full-bodied, delicious, pure Chardonnay. Enjoy it over the next 3-4 years. C ...Read More »
Brothers Yvon and Pascal Tabordet took over the family winery in 1981. Located in Sancerre, they soon branched out across the Loire river to Pouilly Fumé, where they now tend 12 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc vines planted on calcareous clay soils which are intermixed with flint. The wine is slowly fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks with no malolactic fermentation.
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 »
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 »
95 points James Suckling: "This is so dense and powerful with layers of dried white peach, green apple and lime. Minerals, too. Full-bodied and dry but bright, fruity, open and floral. Bold and upfront. Goes on for minutes. This is always a top Riesling." (1/2015)91 points James Halliday: "As honest and workmanlike as ever, well-balanced and without any technical fault whatsoever; it will grow with time in bottle, but will never set the pulse racing, doubly envious given its excellent natural acidity and low pH." (12/2014)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Delicate grapefruit, fig, melon and gravelly aromas jump from the glass of the 2013 Sauvignon Blanc. Light to medium-bodied and flavorful with zesty acidity, good crispness and focus, it can be enjoyed over the next 12-16 months." (10/2014) K&L Notes: Cakebread's Sauvignon Blanc is made in a fresh, citrus and gooseberry-driven style, with aromas that burst from the glass and mouthwatering flavors. It's a classic Napa refresher and makes a nice partner to a fresh goat cheese salad. "We source Sauvignon Blanc grapes from throughout Napa Valley, with over a third of th... Read More »
From the winery: "Grapes sourced from our preferred clones of Chardonnay provide the tropical notes folks have come to love. A slow cold primary and secondary fermenta:on on our proprietary combinaion of oak create an ethereal creaminess balanced with a vanilla finish. Fruit from our favorite cooler climates in California produce delicate aromas of baked lemons, pear, peach and apple that seamlessly evolve on the palate with a finish that is uniquely Butter!"
Pierre Meurgey, formerly the Managing Director at Maison Champy, with whom we have been working for 20 years, is now working on his own. His mother's family hails from the Mâcon, so he has particularly good connectoins with some terrific growers in this part of Burgundy. The name comes from his name, and that of his mother's family, in the time-honored Burgundian tradtion. This Chardonnay is fermented and aged only in tank to emphasize the freshness and minerality of this wine, sourced from the village of Uchizy in the northern part of Mâcon. (Keith... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Offers lime and lemon zest notes, with a hint of sel gris. Presents a fresh, bright finish. Drink now." (9/2014) K&L Notes: This Muscadet is very pure and bright, with an intense floral bouquet with overtones of spice and fruit. The richness, balance and freshness of this wine make it an excellent example of its appellation. It is enjoyable young, but will age well for several years. It is, however, unlikely you'll be able to save some--it's that good. Perfect accompaniment to fish and seafood dishes.
Inventory: Redwood City
Formerly run by Rombauer, Napa Cellars has been a Trinchero family property since 2006. Winemaker Joe Shirley introduced French oak to the Chardonnay program there, for a more finessed version of the rich, buttery (and eminently affordable) Napa Valley Chardonnay for which they've become known.
Translated to mean 'the son of the fat sheep', this delicious Muscadet is made by Claude Branger, a committed grower who farms his 61 acres in the heart of the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine appellation completely sustainably, with an attention to detail that translates to wines of superior quality. He harvests by hand, and bottles without fining or filtration. This is his entry-level Muscadet and a glorious value for the price. It is dry and fresh, with tangy lemony citrus aromas and flavors, delicate creaminess on the midpalate, and a minerally finish. You wi... Read More »
92 points Wine Spectator: "Firm and intense, well-focused and vibrant, centered on spicy citrus, green apple and pear flavors, with hints of honeysuckle, white peach and flinty stone. Lingers on the finish, showing a pithy edge to the lemon and green stone fruit notes. Drink now through 2019. 38,900 cases made." (3/2015) K&L Notes: In 2013 the winery notes "an early harvest with beautiful, warm weather, that provided long, even ripening for our Chardonnay. The wine offers tropical aromas of citrus and melon layered with honeysuckle, perfume and toasted oak. A juicy entry transitions to a vibra... Read More »