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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 »
In the region of Cariñena, the Garnacha grape variety seems to find a lovely expression, one which is less high octane and lighter on its feet than in some of the neighboring regions. And, as ever, this is a terrific red wine bargain for anyone looking for an inexpensive house red or wine for any party, wedding, or other event.
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 »
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 »
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. This is made from Tempranillo grown in iron rich clay soils. In fact, this red tin... 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 »
Lora is a blend of certified organic Verdejo and Sauvignon Blanc grapes from one of the cooler parts of La Mancha (high up on the plateau not too far from the UNESCO heritage city of Cuenca). Bright citrus fruits combine with stone fruits and hints of melon, with crisp mineral tones and loads of personality. 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)
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Vina Zaco changed labels and profile to a more modern style a few years ago and displays a darker shade of cherry color, ripe notes of red and black berries, flowers and a meaty palate where the wood is perfectly integrated with the fruit, which finally feels more classical than what the label makes you think. It is very good value. Drink 2014-2017. (LG)" (12/2013) Wine Enthusiast: "Ripe, welcoming berry, smoke and floral aromas lead the bouquet of this modern Rioja. This is no wallflower; there’s kick to the palate, lots of oak, then robust black cherry and plum f ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 »
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)
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 Blanco is made entirely from Viura in iron rich clay soils. In ... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Crianza displays a bright ruby color and a somehow shy nose of red cherries with a touch of fennel. The palate is soft, with sweet tannins. A nice everyday wine. What is remarkable is that they produce 2.4 million bottles of this wine, so it should be readily available. (LG)" (12/2013) Wine Spectator: "Aromatic, with berry, floral and spice notes, this silky, light-bodied red offers raspberry, candied cherry and vanilla flavors that show a hard-candy character yet remain fresh and appealing." (2/2014) K&L Notes: LAN produces as consistent a value crianza as anyone in Rioja. Th... Read More »
92 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* This round white has texture and grip, with rich and focused flavors of apple, almond, green olive and brine. Offers plenty of fruit, but remains grounded thanks to the briny character. Expressive and balanced. Drink now." (11/2012)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The NV La Guita Manzanilla has always had a very strong and marked character of brine, green olives and mustard seeds, with an overall sweet sensation. The medium-bodied palate is precise, very dry and intense, with some brine and rancio flavors and great length. The quality of this wine has increased notably in th ...Read More »
A blend of 60% Garnacha (25 year-old vines on extremely windy, sandy vineyards) and 40% Cariñena (30 year-old vines on a warmer site) that are farmed organically and co-fermented, this is a fun new addition to our Catalan section. Young winemaker Francesc Ferre may only be 26 years old, but the wine he makes in Corbera d'Ebre is delicious and already at a high qualitative level. Medium weight aromas of cherries and red fruits show a slightly earthy character, and lead to a clean palate of equal parts red and dark skinned fruits. There is a lively, juicy ... Read More »
Always a bargain, the Las Rocas Garnacha comes from an excellent co-op in Spain's Calatayud region. Aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels for 10 months. Hearty, medium-bodied with boisterous dark fruit and an undercurrent of cocoa and vanilla spice.
Sarasola Sagardoa is a traditional Basque cider from a cider house located in the apple growing hills of Astigarraga. Since Basque cider is 'natural' and not sparkling, the cider is poured by holding the bottle up high above the head and pouring into a glass that is held just below waist level. Pouring from elevation allows the cider to pick up some natural carbonation when it hits the glass. Unfiltered and unpasteurized, it is a wonderful accompaniment to tapas, especially those involving cod and red peppers.
Inventory: San Francisco
a natural, dry, unfiltered Spanish cider. A traditional cider with fruity aromas and the characteristic acidity of the Spanish and French apples. Pair with cured cheese and meats
Sweet but never cloying Sherry from one of the better known brands. This is great to have on hand for cooking, or just for warming up with in front of the fire on cold nights.
Inventory: Redwood City
Inventory: Redwood City
This delicious, SOUR cider is wildly popular in San Sebastian, where locals down it by the glass with pintxos (tapas). Redolent of apples (no surprises there) on the nose, the palate is tangy, very slightly fizzy (think txacoli or Vinho Verde fizz, not sparkling wine fizz), only 6% ABV and a joy to drink. That having been said, it's really quite tangy, and not for everyone. However, if you are a fan of either A) hard cider B) geuze, fruit lambics or flemish sour ales or C) any naturally made, local specialty product then I think you have a winner on you... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Smooth and compact, this red offers cherry, vanilla and light smoky notes, with accents of herb and licorice. A bit candied in character, but has lively acidity." (8/2014) K&L Notes: This delicious, 100% Garnacha from the Aragon "Garnacha Belt" D.O. of Campo de Borja, shows all the bright red cherry fruit you'd expect form this grape variety, with the added richness, texture and length which old vines deliver in this portion of Spain. A whole lot of value for the money.
"The brewers at Ca L’Arenys have come up with a fantastico new offering, NO SUCKS. Before everyone racks their brain trying to uncover the hidden meaning here, we’ll let the Guineu fox out of the bag and tell you it’s a subtle Catalonian play on the words “no Saccharomyces” - indicating, of course, a wild yeast beer made instead with Kluyveromyces! Per the great tradition at Ca L’Arenys, this is a low abv (3.3%) ale that’s packed with flavor & character-just the kind of beer we love to drink in moderate excess. We sampled this magnífica brew for the firs... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
From the brewery: "Unfiltered pilsner with malty notes and just the right touch of hop bitterness, which makes it a nice easy drinking beer that keeps you coming back for more. Bottom fermented. MALTS: Pils, Caramalt. HOPS: Hallertau Tradition, Saaz."
Inventory: Redwood City