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K&L Staff Recommendations
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(raised entirely in concrete): Brilliant ruby. Pure, high-pitched aromas of redcurrant, strawberry, blood orange and fresh rose, plus a bright mineral overtone. Vibrant and precise on the palate, offering sappy red fruit and floral pastille flavors lifted by spice and mineral nuances. Closes spicy, nervy and long, with silky tannins making a late appearance. Finding a wine with this much clarity and precision is a tough job at double and even triple the price of this one." (9/2014)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Made from vines planted in 1915, the 2013 Garnacha Negra comes from the vil ...Read More »
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 »
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 »
This Prosecco offers delicate flavors of pear and hints of nutmeg, all in a well balanced sparkling wine. Montechiara is an Extra Dry bubbly, like most Prosecco, which gives it a more determined palate presence, good acidity and a bright freshness that make it seem more like a Brut while lengthening the finish. Try it for your holiday parties or just knocking the dust off a long day at work! (Greg St. Clair, K&L Italian wine buyer)
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 »
The Elsa Malbec comes from Valentin Bianchi's Doña Elsa estate in the cool reaches of San Rafael, Mendoza. With just a kiss of French oak, the rich fruit dominates this easy-drinking red, which has barely-there tannins. Invoke your inner-Argentine and drink this alongside grilled flank steak with a garlicky chimichurri. Many previous vintages recommended by Wine Enthusiast as a "Best Buy."
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)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Wolftrap Red is a blend of 66% Syrah, 32% Mourvedre and 2% Viognier that is fermented in stainless steel with natural malolactic in French barrique where the wine ages for nine months. It has a pleasant blackberry and cassis-scented bouquet with light wet rock scents from the Mourvedre. The palate is medium-bodied with finer tannins that I have noticed on previous vintages. This is well balanced with good acidity, plenty of blackberry and blueberry fruit with a pleasing texture toward the finish. (NM)" (10/2014) Wine Spectator: "A soft, friendly style, with a ligh ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Always one of the better values and ageworthy wines from the Haut-Medoc, Lanessan’s 2003 possesses lots of cedarwood, creme de cassis and forest floor notes, outstanding ripeness, low acidity, and a round, generous mouthfeel with no desiccation or flaws. (RP)" (8/2014) Spirit Journal: "Dense crimson. Delicate scent. Complete if not exactly subtle. A bit brutal with lots of acidity. And those dry tannins, and some rasping greenness on the end. (15/20 points)" (10/2010) Wine Spectator: "Aromas of plum, spices and cherry follow through to a medium-bodied palate, with stewed fruit and a light fi ...Read More »
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)
From the brewery: "Bell's Two Hearted Ale is defined by its intense hop aroma and malt balance. Hopped exclusively with the Centennial hop varietal from the Pacific Northwest, massive additions in the kettle and again in the fermenter lend their characteristic grapefruit and pine resin aromas. A significant malt body balances this hop presence; together with the signature fruity aromas of Bell's house yeast, this leads to a remarkably drinkable American-style India Pale Ale."
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.
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The basic offering from proprietor Ramon Castano Santa, who owns a whopping 1,000 acres in Yecla, is the 2012 Hecula, which is sourced from a non-irrigated, single vineyard planted with 100% Monastrell. Aged in both tank and French oak, it comes from 60-80-year-old vines planted in limestone soils at a relatively high elevation of over 1,600 feet. Its opaque purple color is followed by copious aromas of blueberries, black raspberries, camphor, licorice, white flowers and a chalky limestone/dusty character. Full-bodied, rich and well-balanced, it is an in ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "* Best Buy * Named after the grapes in the blend (Negroamaro, Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon), this easygoing, savory wine doles out juicy blackberry, black currant, black cherry and a hint of licorice. Soft, round tannins provide the framework." (3/2015)
Wine Spectator: "A gentle, perfumy style, with black tea and sandalwood notes leading the way, followed by black cherry and plum fruit. (Web-2014)" K&L Notes: Wine Advaocate reviewer Jeb Dunnuck commented in 2013 that Delas " is producing no nonsense, extremely high quality efforts that are near the top of each of their respective appellations."
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Inky purple. Spicy cherry and dark berry aromas are deepened by notes of bitter chocolate, vanilla and espresso. Peppery, sharply focused cherry and blackberry flavors show a slight bitterness but possess good energy. Finishes with a strong cherry skin quality and good length." (9/2012) K&L Notes: The Eguren family is a well-known name in Spain, having made successful reds at everything from the $5 level on up to collectible Riojas. Produced from a 25-year-old Cabernet vineyard in the Vino de la Tierra de Castilla appellation (a large swath of land in the autonom... Read More »
Based in the Rioja Alta village of Badarán, Martínez Alesanco is a truly original bodega producing tasty, characterful wine for laughably low prices. They are entirely self reliant in grapes, all of which are grown in their home village of Badarán, one of the coldest zones of Rioja Alta. The vineyards are closer to the Sierra de la Demanda mountains, a range whose elevation and visible snow covered peaks are even more dramatic than the Sierra Cantabria range to the north. Martínez Alesanco's Rosado is made from Garnacha and white Viura grapes in a typic... Read More »
Anchor Steam? The perenially popular beer brewed in San Francisco since 1896 derives its name from 19th century slang. 'Steam' was a widely used nickname for beer brewed on the west coast, and this Bay Area brew epitomizes NorCal charm. Made with an all-malt mash in a copper brewhouse, the beer has a malty nose with a hint of red fruit and caramel. Smooth and enjoyable.
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 »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Yields for the 2013 Monastrell (100% Monastrell aged six months in neutral French oak barrels, concrete and foudres) were 16 to 25 hectoliters per hectare, which is about half of that permitted in Burgundy. An amazing value, this wine boasts a dense blue/purple color as well as a sumptuous nose of blueberries, blackberries, scorched earth, licorice and forest floor. Stunningly pure and medium to full-bodied with oodles of fruit, this is a remarkable value to drink until the cows come home. Consume it over the next 2-3 years. Considered by many observers ...Read More »
A Gold medal winner at the 2013 L.A. International Commercial Beer Competition. Brewer's notes: "Brewed in the centuries-old Belgian tradition, our White Ale features the complex flavors of the classic witbier, including orange peel and coriander--all brewed with pure Icelandic water that delivers a cool smoothness that is flavorful and refreshingly drinkable."
Inventory: Redwood City
This has been the #1 selling Italian wine for more than a decade at K&L! You can't get that kind of continued success without a supremely fantastic quality to price ratio. The south Tuscan coast is a breadbasket of wine making, stable temperatures, solid history of quality yet no fame and fortune. Incredible price bargains that come out of the region, and the proof is in the bottle. This wine is wonderful, soft, forward and easy to drink Sangiovese with an enticing mixture of cherry, plum and earth. Imminently drinakable.
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "**Best Buy** Richness, depth and generosity are good traits of this full-bodied but smooth-textured Cabernet. Light oak accents don't cover up the ripe, juicy, almost jammy blackberry and cherry flavors that fill the mouth and linger on the finish. It's an all-around crowd pleaser that has everything in balance." (1/2015)
Based in the Rioja Alta village of Badarán, Martínez Alesanco is a truly original bodega producing tasty, characterful wine for laughably low prices. They are entirely self reliant in grapes, all of which are grown in their home village of Badarán, one of the coldest zones of Rioja Alta. The vineyards are closer to the Sierra de la Demanda mountains, a range whose elevation and visible snow covered peaks are even more dramatic than the Sierra Cantabria range to the north. This is made from Tempranillo grown in iron rich clay soils. In fact, this red tin... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "A soft and charming style, with a perfumy edge around the lightly steeped plum and cherry fruit. Lingering sandalwood and tea notes line the finish, which shows good persistence. Drink now through 2015. (Web-2014)"
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)
90 points James Suckling: "Nicely balanced with refined tannins. Full-bodied but stylish. One of Tuscany's great-value wines. Drink now." (10/2014) Wine & Spirits: "Juicy, light, airy and clean, this wine’s extract takes it toward dark tannins with Sangiovese’s dry austerity. It’s simple and balanced, for any roast meats." (4/2014) Wine Spectator: "A fruity style, offering bright cherry, tobacco and black pepper flavors, backed by moderate grip. Firms up on the finish. Sangiovese. Drink now through 2015." (4/2014)
Inventory: Redwood City
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 »
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"
94 points James Halliday: "*Special Value Selection*...this is a seriously attractive medium-bodied, cool-grown wine with cedary tannins woven through the cassis and plum of the long palate. Outstanding value. Larry Cherubino has had a particularly distinguished winemaking career...the range and quality of his wine is extraordinary, the prices irresistible." (7/2014) K&L Notes: Larry Cherubino is one of the most highly regarded winemakers in Australia in fact he was recently voted (by his peers, the other top flight winemakers) into the current Top Ten Most Talented winemakers in the nation. H... Read More »
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)
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!
From the brewery: "Bell's Oberon is a wheat ale fermented with Bell's signature house ale yeast, mixing a spicy hop character with mildly fruity aromas. The addition of wheat malt lends a smooth mouthfeel, making it a classic summer beer."
These glasses ship in cases of six only; price is per stem. For generations, traditional crystal glasses were made with lead to fortify them. Schott Zweisel replaces the lead with titanium and zirconium, creating a crystal glass that is incredibly durable and brilliant. The glasses are then reinforced at the rim and at both ends of the stem, where breakage most frequently occurs. Scratch resistant, even in the dishwasher. The Forte series Bordeaux glasses are 8 3/4" tall and hold 21.1 ounces.
From the brewer: "Probably our single most requested beer in the tasting room. The chocolate & coffee of Black House makes an awesome base for intemperate quantities of coconut & cocoa nibs, which make the whole thing taste like a ridiculously decadent chocolate bar, but drier and more like beer."
A perennial staff and customer favorite, this Vinho Verde continues to deliver the goods, the fizzy, citrus-drenched, delicious goods. If you're looking for a poolside, picnic or patio sipper, this wine never disappoints. Grapes in this wine typically include Trajadura, Alvarinho, and Arinto.
From the folks at Achor Bewing: "Anchor Steam's roots go back to the Gold Rush, long before icehouses and modern refrigeration made traditional lagers a viable California option. In 1876, thanks to an ice pond in the mountains and a belief that anything is possible in the Golden State, a little brewery named Boca created California's first genuine lager. Anchor California Lager is our re-creation of this historic beer. Made in San Francisco with two-row California barley, Cluster hops (the premier hop in 19th-century California), and our own lager yeast,... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
In the great beer producing country of Belgium, some brewers have made it a tradition to give their beers an unusual name. Sometimes the name is curious, now and then it is diabolical and other times it is just plain silly. Damnation is an interpretation of a Belgian style Strong Golden Ale. It has extraordinary aromas of banana and pear with mouth-filling flavors of sweet malt and earthy hops. The lingering finish is dry and slightly bitter but very, very smooth. 7.0%ABV / 1.068 O.G / 25 BUs
Surprisingly serious for a twelve dollar bottle of Cabernet Franc. Concentrated aromas of black and red fruits with dried herbs and hints of tobacco spice. Good earthiness but on the more on the subdued side and nice tannin on the finish. An overachieving entry level wine. (Eric Story, Loire Buyer)
Lora is a blend of certified organic Tempranillo and Syrah from one of the cooler parts of La Mancha (high up on the plateau not too far from the UNESCO heritage city of Cuenca). This is a delicious red - full of fresh fruited drinkability, but surprising structure from the minerality and balanced acidity. The winemaker and person who carefully sources this great organic fruit is none other than our friend Miguel Merino Navajas, son of Miguel Merino of Rioja fame! (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer)
From the brewery: "Revel in the best U.S. varieties of hops, in their natural, whole flower form, as they bring a vital, pungent reality to the soul of a wild element in our dangerously satisfying DirtWolf Double IPA. This dangerously delicious recipe features often subtle, but sometimes assertive signatures of American hop varieties. Look for: Citra: heavy citrus aroma, fruity flavor; Chinook: grapefruit, resinous pine; Simcoe: dry, piney; and Mosaic: earthy and mildly floral, with notes of sweet citrus and spice. Food Pairings: Burgers, BBQ and hard ch... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Côtes du Ventoux Le Paradou is an awesome value! Made from 100% Grenache (75-year-old vines) and aged 7 months in concrete tank, it offers up a naked expression of Grenache with meaty black cherry, pepper, dried Provencal herbs and earth all soaring from the glass. Medium to full-bodied, brilliantly pure and fresh, it has enough tannin to allow it to evolve gracefully for 3-4 years. It’s a knockout value and this crowd-pleaser should not be missed! Easily one of my favorite estates from the up-and-coming Ventoux region, Chateau Pesquie is run ...Read More »
The product that put Fever Tree on the map. Their tonic water is crystal clear with a citrus perfume that carries over to the palate to balance the natural bitterness of quinine. It's also got lots of bubbles, making it a refreshing complement to brighten the taste of your favorite cocktail. About Fever Tree: "Following a 'tonic tasting' in 2000 to find the best on the U.S. market, Charles Rolls--who had built his reputation running Plymouth Gin--joined forces with Tim Warrillow, who had a background in luxury food marketing, to analyze the composition o... 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
"Double IPA with Tangerine & Blood Oranges and Maui cane sugar. The deep red hue is a result of the blood orange juice and specialty malts. The unique hop profile is made up of Azacca, El Dorado and Sorachi Ace. This beer is delightfully bitter and aromatic with noes of tropical fruit and, of course, orange."
92 points James Halliday: "*Special Value Selection* Simple stainless steel fermentation at a relatively low temperature has thrown all the emphasis on the very attractive array of fruit aromas and flavours spanning snow pea, citrus and passionfruit, and doing so without assaulting the senses." (12/2013) K&L Notes: Mount Trio was named one of James Halliday's Top 10 "Dark Horses" of up-and-coming wineries for 2014. This small family estate owned and managed by veteran winemaker Gavin Berry and his wife. Together they make wines from their own lovingly hand-tended 20 acres in the Porongurup su... Read More »