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K&L Staff Recommendations
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)
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 »
Great Price - Just Reduced! Last year’s Ancient Peaks/K&L Zinfandel bottling was such a hit with our staff and customers that we could have done another vintage of it and we all would have been incredibly happy. However, that would be too easy, and that is simply not the K&L way. I started talking to the folks at AP early this year when we began the discussion about doing another bottling together. We both knew that we wanted to, but I really wanted to show off the winery's incredible Cabernet vines and I didn’t know if they had enough Cab to let us have... Read More »
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good deep red with ruby highlights. Expressive aromas of raspberry, violet and tea leaf on the perfumed, Sangiovese-dominated nose. Dense and sweet, boasting lovely depth and plenty of framing energy to its blueberry and sour red cherry flavors. Building but polished tannins coat the palate on the long, bright finish. Very impressive Montefalco Rosso." (3/2013)90 points Wine Enthusiast: "The entire line-up from Arnaldo Caprai has been very successful this year. This blend of Sangiovese, Sagrantino and Merlot delivers a smooth mouthfeel and ripe fruit flavors, with background tone ...Read More »
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)
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 »
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 »
91 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills is beautiful. Dried pear, almonds, orange peel and spices meld together in a textured, resonant Chardonnay laced with gorgeous depth and balance. Never content to stay put, Greg Brewer and Steve Clifton continue to push the envelope on quality in the Sta. Rita Hills. Over the years, Brewer and Clifton have had an enormous impact on the region, both directly and indirectly, in giving advice to newly arrived owners and developing a number of vineyards they no longer farm. The most recent development at Brewer-Clifton is ...Read More »
Great Buy - Just Reduced! On our recent trip to Oregon this summer we certainly found plenty of great wines and met with a multitude of amazingly talented people. Many of the wines we found on that trip have already come in and sold out mostly due to our sheer excitement about the quality of wines we found. One of the most exciting opportunities from that trip was to work closely with our friends at Bethel Heights to put together a Pinot Noir exclusive to K&L as part of our burgeoning Co-Branded project. This 2013 Bethel Heights/K&L Wine Merchants Eola-A... Read More »
93 points James Halliday: "Matured in American and French puncheons for 18 months, it has very good shape and drive to its medium to full-bodied palate, with black cherry, bramble and fruitcake flavours, the mocha oak in balance." (3/2014)92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "92+ Deep garnet-purple colored and just gorgeous on the nose, with intense floral and black fruit notes plus some menthol and dusty earth nuances, the full-bodied and rich 2012 Estate Shiraz offers concentrated flavors supported by a good backbone of medium to firm, rounded tannins and refreshing acid. It finishes long. Drink now to 2024+. (LPB) ...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 »
Located in the town of Roa, which is part of the Burgos district, Lambuena is a producer of D.O. Ribera del Duero wines and is one of our newest Spanish direct imports. Ideally situated in the central growing region of the Ribera del Duero, in an area known for the very high quality of its chalky clay soils and its extreme continental climate, Lambuena makes big, generously fruited, yet structured and ultimately classic Ribera del Duero wines (these days, this is very difficult to find in this D.O.) Though the wines consist primarily of Tempranillo ("tin... 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 »
In the southeast of Spain sandwiched between Jumilla and Alicante, wines from Yecla have most prolifically come from what happens to be the largest co-op in Spain. However the Castaño family stands as the most important and ambitious privately owned winery in the D.O., and they have gone to great lengths to push the quality from the often coarse wines for which this region was previously known. Their four prime estate vineyards now comprise 10% of the vine acreage in Yecla, and their ambition is only matched by their commitment to quality. Their organica... Read More »
Wine & Spirits: "Lively and fresh, this flavorful sparkling wine is packed with ripe lemon and quince fruit. Its mousse is a bit foamy, its aroma a bit grassy. Balanced for the richness of a lobster roll." (10/2011) K&L Notes: From Chardonnay grown in the Maconnais region of southern Burgundy, this lovely sparkling wine is fresh and floral with apple and pear notes, lots of tiny bubbles and a crisp finish. A remarkable value!
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)
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 batch of the Blason Brut sparkling wine is made from 100% Ribolla Gialla grapes and is produced in a "long Charmat" method, meaning that it spend six months in tanks. Blason is from Isonzo in Italy's north easternmost region, called Friuli, which borders Slovenia.
89 points Wine Enthusiast: "In recent years, Villa’s Chardonnays have dominated the New Zealand show circuit, but this is a reminder that the company can make some darn good Sauvignon at a darn good price. Tomato leaf and white grapefruit aromas and flavors are the order of the day, easing into a long, mouthwatering finish. Rock solid." (7/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc presents aromas of green apples, lemongrass and chopped herb notes with touches of bell peppers and pea pods. Medium-bodied with mouth-filling vegetal and herb flavors, it has a lively backbone of acid and ...Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "A terrific base-level wine from these masterful Sauvignon makers, this has a neat, flinty edge, ahead of fresh, fleshy, tropical and lime fruit, with some grapefruit. The palate has bright, composed and tangy lime citrus flavor and great balance. Crisp and tidy. Drink now." (10/2014)90 points Decanter: "Peppery, earthy aromas and green apple, kiwi fruit and passion fruit flavours. Refreshing acidity with a rounded mouthfeel in a well-proportioned wine."90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This vintage of Dog Point is unabashedly green without being overwhelming so. There’s plenty of fig and melon fruit to provide ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Bacio Divino, a project of Claus Janzen and his son, offered three vintages of their single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons and a couple generic bottlings, plus other assorted bottlings from their terrific value-priced wines, such as Pazzo. There are also a couple of Burgundy-styled wines made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Dutton Ranch, which I decided to include since they’re the only Sonoma County wines from Bacio Divino. Speaking of Janzen’s terrific value, the 2012 Pazzo rocks. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Sangiovese, it’s a very ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Remelluri Reserva aims at showing the character of Remelluri, as this is the first modern vintage that does not have grapes purchased from external suppliers. These grapes are now in the Lindes range of wines, but in the past they were blended with the estate grapes. The cool Remelluri vineyards behave very well in warmer years. This 2009 is very clean with predominant aromas of earthy red fruit intermixed with notes of vanilla and cinnamon, a satin texture with round, fine-grained tannins and quite classical and very well-proportioned style. Th ...Read More »
Joël Taluau is a fabulous grower in St. Nicolas de Bourgueil known for making some of the purest expressions of Cabernet Franc in the Loire, which are unmarred by the intrusion of oak. He was also the first producer in the appellation to begin domaine bottling. These days, Joel makes wines with the help of his son-in-law, Thierry Foltzenlogel.
This is our most recent find for great value Sauvignon Blanc, not surprisingly from one of the world's best spots for value SB these days, Chile's cool Casablanca Valley. Juicy melon, peach and citrus fruit flavors combine to create one delicious, fresh tasting value Sauvignon Blanc! Compared to many other inexpensive Sauvignon Blancs out there from Chile and further afield, this one has a nicely rounded mid palate, with very good purity and a lovely finish.
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Surprisingly dry, this has richness rather than sweetness, and intense, powerful botrytis. The honey is intensely perfumed, along with baked apples and spice. Certainly a long-aging wine." (6/2008)92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "92+ points. (no tasting note given)" (4/2008)91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright golden yellow. Cool, pungent nose offers hints of orange, marzipan, sexy brown spices, parsley, grass and eucalpytus. Sweet, thick and powerful but with its fat fruit flavors cut by strong acidity. At once densely packed and vibrant, finishing with superb lingering sweetness and a mineral element. This needs pat ...Read More »
A touch deeper in color than the "Les Rochettes" from Bourgueil along with a bit more density throughout. A broad mouth feel with a really nice silky tannin component adds to its structure and overall appeal. Lots of fleshy purple fruits and silky spring flowers. Domaine les Pins has been family run for five generations. They are a small artisanal producer which oversees every stage of the production from start to finish themselves. They have roughly 30 hectares of Cabernet Franc spread out through the Bourgueil and Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil regions. Th... Read More »
This can legally come from many of the villages in the Cote de Beaune. In this case, it comes from some vineyards quite near each other. One is in Chorey-les-Beaune, just below Aloxe-Corton, in a lovely organically and biodynamically farmed vineyard called "Les Champs Long." Other fruit comes from Savigny-les-Beaune and Pernand-Vergelesses. The result is a lovely wine, with bright and charming fruit, a lovely mid-palate and a soft and pretty finish. This is what the British would call more-ish, as in I'll have some more, please! (Keith Wollenberg, K... Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid red. High-pitched red berry and cherry aromas are complemented by white pepper and allspice. Silky and seamless in texture, offering energetic redcurrant and bitter cherry flavors that slowly gain sweetness as the wine opens with air. Closes on a subtly smoky note, with very good clarity and fine-grained tannins." (7/2014)91 points Wine & Spirits: "The Eola-Amity Hills excels in this sort of smoky, mineral-driven red, a Pinot with brooding density. While marked by lavish oak, that doesn’t take away from the vibrancy of its fruit. For the moment it’s exhibiting mostly structur ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
94 points James Halliday: "Pale straw-green; the voluminous and complex bouquet sets the scene for the palate, where citrus and apple flavours grapple with crunchy acidity. Just when you think the acidity wins the argument, the lingering aftertaste reveals the fruit once more. Its Porongurup heritage guarantees its long future." (7/2013) 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 is owned and managed by veteran winemaker Gavin Berry and his wife. Together they make wines from their own lovingly hand-... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "**Cellar Selection** An outstanding Reserve, this opens with potent aromas of spice and cacao, which lead onto a muscular, sleek and stylish palate that shows terrific depth of black fruits. The wine has exceptional structure, and it remains nuanced, with details of earth and stem." (4/2013)91 points Wine Spectator: "Bright and focused, showing a sandy accent to the spicy cassis and thyme flavors, with a polished texture on the harmonious finish. Offers complexity and depth. Best from 2014 through 2019." (11/2012)
In the southeast of Spain sandwiched between Jumilla and Alicante, wines from Yecla have most prolifically come from what happens to be the largest co-op in Spain. However the Castaño family stands as the most important and ambitious privately owned winery in the D.O., and they have gone to great lengths to push the quality from the often coarse wines for which this region was previously known. Bodegas Castaño started small and has nurtured their old vine plantings, which has done much for their Yecla renaissance. Their four prime estate vineyards now co... Read More »
What a delicious wine. Soft and supple with tons of spicy fruit on the nose and palate. Semi-new wave, but fine structure and balance. Excellent value. Another find on our 2012 Bordeaux buy trip. Organically cultivated. (Clyde Beffa, K&L Co-Owner and Bordeaux Buyer)
94 points James Halliday: "Good colour; an impressive wine at all points along the way, with a peacock's tail display of black cherry, spice and licorice embraced by warm, fine tannins, oak playing a largely unseen role. Will cellar well, but there's no reason not to drink it today, having flourished over the past 18+ months." (11/2013) 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 is owned and managed by veteran winemaker Gavin Berry and his wife. Together they make wines from their own lovingly hand-... Read More »
Edelzwicker fans will love this wine from Charles Baur (and love the price, too!). Made from 50% Pinot Blanc, 40% Sylvaner and 10% Gewurztraminer, it is pale yellow in color with exotic fruit and white flower on the nose. A superb freshness enhances the complex fruit flavors of this seductive white wine from Alsace.
93 points James Halliday: "Bright crimson-purple hue, although not deep; a 30/37/24% blend; particularly attractive wine in the context of '11, with abundant sweet dark berry fruit without any Turkish delight/confection flavours; there is a seamless flow of flavour from the first sip right the way through to the aftertaste." (7/2013)91 points Wine Spectator: "Smooth and expressive, brimming with coffee-accented blackberry and purple plum flavors, tumbling through the open-textured finish. Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre." (5/2014) K&L Notes: Sons of Eden is a new project from two guys who really know what they're doing. W... Read More »
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Opaque ruby. Ripe cherry and black raspberry aromas are complicated by notes of licorice, cola and smoky herbs. A sexy floral nuance comes up with air, adding lift to weighty berry and espresso flavors. Takes a brighter turn on the long, sappy finish, featuring raspberry compote and floral pastille qualities." (5/2014) Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* This may be the ripest of the new Ravenswood lot, but it does not go the way of chocolaty heaviness, and it delivers a fair bit of bright, slightly raspberry-like fruit. It is fleshy, big-bodied and a bit hot in the bargain, and i ...Read More »
94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good medium red. Less expressive on the nose than the Briccotto, hinting at ripe, musky plum, black raspberry, menthol and tobacco. Then smooth and sweet in the mouth, but with terrific energy keeping the red fruit and tobacco flavors fresh and primary. Sweeter and more elegant in style than the 2009, but this fine-grained, firmly tannic wine really shut down in the glass. Outstanding potential here." (12/2013)93 points James Suckling: "A solid wine for the vintage with pretty fruit such as cherry and plum, as well as a light minerality. Full body with chewy tannins and a polis ...Read More »
Please join us in welcoming the return of the Meeker Chardonnay. From 1984 through 1995, this fun, idiosyncratic Sonoma County winery released a Dry Creek Valley Chardonnay, but then it was kicked out of the teepee (Meeker winery's tasting room used to be a teepee on their Dry Creek property), i.e. discontinued in favor of an all "Big Red" wine format. Founders Molly and Charlie, however, report that they missed the "sur lie" style Chardonnay that they formerly produced, and such reminiscences led to the reappearance of the Dry Creek Chardonnay with the ... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Cuvee La Gargone (14% alcohol) exhibits an opaque ruby/purple color, abundant notes of sweet blueberries and black raspberries and significant density and richness. A major sleeper of the vintage, this blend of 60% Merlot, 20% Malbec, 18% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon should drink well for 3-5 years." (4/2014) James Suckling: "This shows lots of excellent fruit, with spices, chikies and chocolate. Full and dense. Fruity finish. Drink in 2016." (2/2014)
Vincent Gaudry is a traditionalist in Sancerre who has gained respect among his peers for dedication to authentic espression of Sancerre terroir. His was the first domaine in Sancerre to be certified biodynamic, and the naturally low yielding vines endow the wines with richness and volume. Mélodie de Vieilles Vignes is sourced from vines up to 90 years old, and the concentration and complexity show driving minerality and savory flavors adorned with notes of grapefruit zest and cut grass.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Chardonnay Charm Acres is an exuberantly fruity effort displaying hints of tropical fruits, white peaches, no evidence of oak, and crisp, fresh, pure flavors. While not particularly complex, it will provide satisfying drinking over the next several years. It should be immensely popular among consumers." (12/2013)
With roots extending back to the 13th century in the far western reaches of Spain, just before the Portuguese border, the Marques de Valdueza family continues to produce superlative olive oil while exploring the possibilities of their terroir for vine growing as well. Here Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grow on 40 hectares of land near the town of Merida in the autonomía of Extremadura. This is a rich, generous wine, with red and dark fruit flavors, that also manages to retain wonderful freshness.
Inventory: Main Warehouse
This a new acquisition of one of the family's historic vineyards in Santenay from his brother Vincent who left the wine business to farm cereal grains west of Paris. It shows a very pretty thread of minerality running through it, which comes from the relatively shallow topsoil of this site, located above the more well-known Santenay Gravières. This has that combination of energy, focus and a relatively open texture on the palate that makes it very easy to like. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer, 03/2014)
Allen Meadows - Burghound: "This possess a deep color for a Chorey along with an attractive nose of kirsch, plum and earth nuances. Here too there is good volume to the medium-bodied flavors that have a suave and very round mouth feel, all wrapped in a mildly rustic finish that delivers fine depth and length for what this is. Worth considering for value." (4/2014) Jancis Robinson: "A touch of farmyard here, plus some bright, tasty herbal notes. Leathery and dark to finish. Good density, and the first funkiness on the nose doesn’t dominate. (RH)" (1/2014) K&L Notes: Labeled as simply Chorey Les Beaune, this is esta... Read More »
Reserved and closed in character. Very nice lenght on the finish. This has lterrific fruit, but the structure will require q bit of patience. (Keith Wolenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer, 06/2013)
We've been big fans of Gus Gamba's old vine estate Zinfandel, and the now near-cult status Moratto (Starr Road) Vineyard old vine Zin, for years. "Family Ranches" is sourced with the help of a few neighboring vineyards in this slightly elevated, well-drained area that's been a "sweet spot" for Russian River Valley Zinfandel for over a century. Aged in American oak, it's 15.9 abv but hardly showing it through supple, rich layers of toasty cocoa and brambleberry fruit.
"One of California's finest value wineries, Marietta Cellars has been receiving favorable reviews in this publication for many years," says Robert Parker. "My fondness for the non-vintage blend of many vintages and grapes goes back to when I first reviewed the Old Vine Red Lot 14. Production has soared since then, but the consistency in quality has remained remarkably high. These are terrific offerings from this value-priced winery." We couldn't agree with Parker more. Marietta's Red Blend is always a favorite at K&L, and this, their 61st release of this... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 »