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K&L Staff Recommendations
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 »
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: "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)
Jancis Robinson: "Pleasant floral bouquet, mingled with red cherries, red currants, and sweet spices. Firm but ripe tannins giving illusion of sweetness. Beautifully balanced. Not short of finesse at all." (9/2012) Wine Enthusiast: "This is a mint- and licorice-flavored wine, with its wood aging prominent at this stage. Full bodied, rich and concentrated, it shows strong signs of extraction that give it a bitter finish. Age this tannic wine for 2-3 years or more." (3/2013) Wine Spectator: "Primal and direct, with blueberry and loganberry notes backed by a charcoal edge which lingers through the finish. Shows l ...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 »
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 »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Bisceglia’s 2008 Aglianico del Vulture Gudarra is one of the very best wines readers will find in this price range. Layers of expressive dark fruit cover every inch of the palate in a vivid, textured Aglianico that impresses from start to finish. Hints of mocha, grilled herbs and rosemary add complexity over time. The dazzling, racy Gudarra is best enjoyed over the next few years. It is another superb value. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018. (AG)" (2/2013) Wine Enthusiast: "This is a generous and powerful expression of Aglianico, with angular edges, tight tannins and a lasti ...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!
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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 »
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)
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 »
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 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
The Tralivio is made in a clean crisp style from some of Sartarelli's oldest vines. Antonio Galloni says, "When the mood strikes for Verdicchio, Sartarelli is often one of my go-to houses. The wines are loaded with varietal character, while the different bottlings are usually nicely differentiated and articulated."
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.
94 points Wine Spectator: "Floral and slate aromas and flavors are accented by lime and peach in this delicate yet concentrated Riesling. The balance is impeccable. Finishes with a juicy aftertaste of lime and mineral. A terrific expression of place. Drink now through 2026. 100 cases imported. –BS" (12/2008)92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Haart 2007 Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Spatlese smells of lightly caramelized peach, nut brittle, grilled pineapple, and sassafras. Vivid fruit skin tartness and juicy citrus and a sense of crushed stone suffusion offer a satisfying foil to the caramelized, toasted, an ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "White peach, apricot, and quince make for a lusciously fruity impression that is in turn wreathed in honeysuckle and heliotrope; laced with brightly juicy, enlivening lime and orange; bedded on a silken, creamy pillow; and suffused with saliva-liberating salinity in a long, lip-smacking, 'could we please do that again!' finish. And this is from young vines (albeit, note, of considerable clonal diversity)! Of course, Dominique Lafon knows a thing or two about Chardonnay. And I have every reason to believe in the special talents of both Isabelle Meunier an ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
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 »
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 »
The bounty of the 2012 vintage is certainly showing its stuff. The Kirkham Peak Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir was made for us by a very notable Central Coast winery (we can't tell you who), and this bottling is the real deal at a fraction of the price. The winery who (for contractual reasons) needs to remain nameless, has a long list of highly-rated wines from various critics. And with the perfect raw materials in 2012, they've fashioned another winner. This has a profile of bright fruit--lovely raspberry and strawberry aromas that reverberate on t... Read More »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 »
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)
91 points James Suckling: "A rich and fruit Chardonnay with apple pie and milk aromas and flavors. Full and fruity, with lots going on. Always excellent." (12/2011)90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good, medium yellow color with gold highlights. Bright, pure aromas of tropical fruit, lime and white pepper. Dense, supple and fresh, offering bright orchard fruit, butter and pineapple flavors that gain depth and spiciness with air. In an exuberant, in-your-face, fruit-filled New World style, but avoids coming across as an over-the-top caricature. Serious unoaked chardonnay with impressive purity." (10/2011) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Cha ...Read More »
Aged in 1/3 new French oak, this has bright red fruit and good acidity. There are lots of very, very fine tannins on the finish. It will need time in bottle, but will be excellent. It is elegant and bright and terrific, with focused and linear character. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "As with Pinot, there is no "Summum" bottling from selected rows or barrels this year, so Evening Land’s 2011 Chardonnay Seven Springs La Source reflects all of their best vines and lots. White peach and citrus dominate a luscious, creamy yet vibrantly juicy palate whose sense of richness and sheer density go beyond that of the "regular" Seven Springs bottling, yet without sacrificing clarity, or sheer juicy refreshment - though in buoyancy and mouthwatering salinity that ostensibly "lesser" wine holds the edge. There are more piquant elements incorporate ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "The entry-level wine from Sting and Trudie Tyler's estate in Tuscany. A blend of Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Colorino which doesn't see any oak. Quite pale, very bright ruby. Bright aromas too - cough sweets and aniseed balls and sweet-sour cherry. Slightly raw fruit on the palate. Chewy tannins. Plenty of fresh acidity and no specious sweetness of fruit but without tremendous depth, and short on the finish. Cheerful, though." Wine Spectator: "A rich, fruity style, exuding cherry, raspberry, licorice and spice flavors. Finishes with a solid grip of tannins. Drink now through ...Read More »
93 points Bob Campbell: "Intense, ripe Sauvignon Blanc with nectarine, apple, lemon grass and grapefruit flavours. Full-flavoured wine with good fruity acidity giving a mouth-tingling finish. Excellent food wine." Wine Spectator: "Light and crisp, offering plenty of lime juice, fresh-cut grass and green apple flavors, with a vivid, mouthwatering finish. Drink now." (7/2014) K&L Notes: 94 points Wine Orbit: "This is packed with gorgeous aromas - peach, passionfruit, feijoa and fresh herbs. It's concentrated and lush on the palate showing excellent intensity, backed by lovely texture and bright acidity. The wine... Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "So broadly delicious now, it hardly seems worthwhile to age this wine, but don’t let it fool you. The blackberries, currants, dark chocolate, minerals and oak will only transform into something seamlessly complex with 8-10 years in the cellar. The winery’s Reserve bottling has established itself as one of the most consistently fine, ageable Cabs in Napa Valley." (12/2013)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Composed of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve ratchets up the quality level displaying more wood and tannin. Medium to full-bodied ...Read More »
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.
The 2012 Abtei Muri Sudtirol "Weiss" is a blend of 70% Pinot Bianco and 30% Pinot Grigio grown in the village of Appiano/Eppan in a southeast facing vineyard with predominantly gravelly limestone soils at elevations from 1500 to over 2000 feet, with vines aged 20-30 years. The wines from this area exhibit a persistent saltiness to go along with the excellent acidic balance. Winemaker Christian Werth ferments in stainless steel and then ages it for 15 months in large wooden casks with a weekly lees stirring. This wine can age easily for another 5-8 year... Read More »
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 "l'Indigene" is 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 15% Carignan. The Grenache and Syrah are raised in tank whi... Read More »
92 points Antonio Galloni: "Dark red cherries, game, menthol, smoke, tobacco and licorice take shape in the 2011 Pinot Noir Upper Picnic. Here the style is decidedly gamy. Licorice, earthiness and smoke add complexity as the wine fleshes out on broad-shouldered, intense, savory finish. This is a rare 2011 Pinot that needs more time in bottle to fully unwind. With time in the glass, some of the wilder notes blow off, so readers should plan on giving the Upper Picnic a good bit of air." (7/2014)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "There are a scant 146 cases of Varner's 2011 Pinot Noir Picnic Block Spring Ridge Vineyard, ...Read More »
From a newly planted vineyard in its second leaf, the Muska is a new addition to the Pinot lineup at Brooks. Like this winery, with an amazing story of people coming together to continue the vision of well-liked, late winery founder Jimi Brooks, this will be one to follow in the coming years.