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K&L Staff Recommendations
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)
This is the second label for Amador County's Sobon Estate, and always a K&L fave for affordable, fruit-filled and balanced Zin. Their 2012 "Special Reserve" release adds a small amount of Syrah and Grenache, and the whole lot is aged in small barrels for nine months. Winemaker notes: "The wine is full bodied and only moderately tannic with beautiful structure and strong fruit. The flavors are complex, and the finish is long and satisfying. This wine is extremely versatile, light enough to accompany any lunch fare, yet a perfect companion to pastas, roast... Read More »
89 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This is a beautiful Zinfandel and the good news is there are over 30,000 cases of it. Coming from three of Gallo’s top Zinfandel vineyards, Stephani, Frei Ranch and Chiotti, most of them in Dry Creek, this blend of 98% Zinfandel and 2% Petite Sirah tips the scales at a lofty 14.8% natural alcohol. The wine has a deep ruby color, and a seductive, peppery, meaty, Côte du Rhône-type nose revealing lavender and roasted herb characteristics. No hard edges are found in this medium to full-bodied, fleshy, nicely concentrated Zinfandel. Drink over the next 2-3 y ...Read More »
Willowbrook is a largely under-the-radar label from Joe Otos, winemaker at Owl Ridge Wines in Sebastopol. We've got some great Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from choice vineyards from Willowbrook in the past, and now this Syrah. It comes from the Altes Vineyard, located in the Rincon Valley area in the middle of Sonoma County--not far from the hot Kick Ranch vineyard.
This reliable Cabernet value is back with a particularly strong 2012 vintage which featured a warm and even growing season. Grapes were sourced from AVAs around the Columbia Valley including the Cold Creek, Canoe Ridge Estate and Indian Wells vineyards. The wine was aged in 1/3 new oak (both French and American) and blended with 10% Merlot, 4% Syrah, and 2% of each Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Mourvedre. This Cabernet is very tough to beat for under $10.
Sure, now everyone's doing it, and it's not such a big deal. But Folie à Deux are really good at it, and that's saying something--given how popular they've got because of it. The "Menage à Trois" Red Blend was one of the early cork-finished, 750ml wines that offered a sexy spin on an old California favorite pastime--a hearty red blend based on Zinfandel (formerly a jug wine standard). "Menage à Trois" also includes Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the smooth, sure-fire casual dinner party blend--while a lot of the newer, popular "red blends" include a hi... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Wine Enthusiast: "Jammy, extracted cherry and raspberry fruit gives an almost sweet edge, augmented by caramelized oak. It’s a simple, hearty wine, meant for simple, hearty food." (7/2014) K&L Notes: XYZ is something of a pet project of Zin-lover Ondine Chattan, winemaker at Geyser Peak Winery. If you got a chance to explore the "vine age" series of Zinfandel wines, which offered a year-by-year horizontal of Zin from 10-year-old, 50-year-old, and 100-year-old vines, you might appreciate Chattan's assiduous efforts to promote education and enjoyment of this great, historically Californ... Read More »
This comes from the Wallula Gap in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA, on the border of Oregon and Washington. The NxNW Red Blend combines 56% Syrah, 31% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Malbec. The result is an affordable, luscious red for everyday drinking.
Wine Enthusiast: "An easy drinking Merlot that’s a little sweet, but not too much. It has oak and cherry-chocolate flavors, and the tannins are smooth and polished. (SH)" (3/2005) Wine Spectator: "Plum, chocolate and toasty cedar notes are pleasant with modest depth and a plush frame. Drink now. 5,000 cases made. (Web 2005)"
Inventory: Main Warehouse