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K&L Staff Recommendations
93 points Wine Spectator: "A creamy-textured, charming style that’s easy to drink yet is deceptively complex and layered, with a mix of vanilla-scented oak and vibrant peach, nectarine, honeydew and apricot flavors. Long on the finish. Drink now." (5/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The attractive, sexy 2013 Chardonnay reveals ripe fruit, tangerine oil and citrus blossom notes, medium body, a fresh style, and a delicate hint of wood. Drink it over the next 2-3 years. It is a sleeper selection. (RP)" (10/2014) K&L Notes: It's back! True, Rombauer's Chardonnay needs to take its own sweet time, fattening up for 10 months in ... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "The nose on this wine from nine vineyards ranging from Santa Clara to Santa Barbara reflects much of what the large appellation offers, but in subtle ways: touches of Golden Delicious apples, grilled pineapple, toasted coconut and chalk. The flavors surround a Meyer lemon zest tension, with apple flesh fruits and a zesty acidity that holds throughout without biting." (3/2015)90 points Antonio Galloni: "Calera's 2013 Chardonnay (Central Coast) is absolutely stunning in this vintage. Peach, apricot, wild flowers, honey and spices all meld together in a supple, generous Chardonnay that ...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 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Bourgogne Blanc is an outstanding value at $23.00 a bottle, and the good news is that there are 500 cases imported into the United States. A completely naked example of Chardonnay, almost all of it from the Cote Chalonnaise and the Maconnais area, this wine is aged totally in tank and goes through malolactic, but displays delicious honeysuckle, apple blossom, delicate pineapple and white peach notes as well as excellent texture, gorgeous purity, and no oak whatsoever. Drink this beauty over the next several years. (RP)" (12/2014)
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 »
95 points Bob Campbell: "Tight, pure, mineral-laced Sauvignon Blanc with citrus flavours infused with a faintly floral/wild flower character. The net effect is energy and precision. A backbone of steely acidity drives a lingering finish." (1/2015) 92-93 points Raymond Chan: "Bright pale straw colour with slight green hues, light edged. The nose is tightly bound and elegantly presented with fresh, pure, white stonefruit, citrus and herb aromas that unfold white floral and minerally nuances. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate features refined white stonefruit and floral flavours along with fresh herbs ...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 »
Wine & Spirits: "Ripe and sweet with honeysuckle notes on the tropical fruit, this is a summertime patio pounder. (Good Value)" (4/2015) K&L Notes: The Etz family has been in the wine business since 1898, and the estate is now in the fourth generation. With nearly 40 hectares of vineyard in production, the Etz estate prides itself on synthesizing the modern and the traditional. Their goal is to offer wines that show themselves from vineyard to bottle entirely in harmony with nature and the environment, from parcels planted around the famous wine-town Strass. Gaisberg, Galgenberg (tha... Read More »
A bright clean appearance with fresh lime green hues. The bouquet shows pleasing aromas of grapefruit and white peach, with a floral lift. On the palate this medium-bodied, dry wine has a refreshing and moreish character. Mouthwatering acidity is balanced by an elegant, mineral finish. Sourced from a vareity of vineyards throughout Marlborough's various subregions: Wairau, Waihopai, Dillion's Point and Blenheim. An exceptional value in classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc!
One of K&L's very finest buys from France. This is a reserve cuvée, made from Millet's chalkiest limestone soils. There is a long maceration at very low temperatures to extract as much flavor and character as possible. The resulting wine is intensely charged with stone fruit and minerality, with bright citrus notes. However, due to the amazingly warm vintage, it's quite soft, with layers of rich fruit.
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 some of the top sites in the Kamptal. Michaela Haas is the 4th generation of this family to run the 23-hectare domaine. Fermented and aged in stainless steel and bottled with a crown cap, this is the perfect liter - fresh, light and snappy; delivering all the thirst quenching qualities you look for in a wine like this.
Domaine Begude is a small, family-owned property located high in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the Limoux region of the Languedoc. The long, cool growing season lends itself perfectly to the production of crisp and delicate wines, and this Sauvignon Blanc is no exception. More in the style of a Loire Valley Sancerre, with its fine, mineral-laden nose and fresh citrus fruits on the palate, this is the perfect accompaniment to grilled fish, oysters, or just by itself. Make this one your house white! Organically certified by Ecocert & NOP.
Wine Spectator: "Lip-smacking lemon and lemon zest flavors are bright and refreshing in this crisp, light-bodied wine, showing a hint of lemon thyme on the finish." (10/2014) K&L Notes: Joel Gott's California Sauv Blanc is fresh and fruity, like a tropical breeze with a squeeze of lime. Always a solid value.
From winemaker Rob Mondavi, Jr, the 2013 Spellbound Chardonnay displays a lively and lush tropical profile of pineapple, guava, and kiwi fruit. To contribute the rich complexity of vanilla and crème brûlée, 90% of the wine was fermented in oak barrels, with the remaining 10% fermented in stainless steel to maintan a bracing vein of freshness and acid.
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 »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Chardonnay Private Reserve became famous under the helmsmanship of chief winemaker Ed Sbragia, and Laurie Hook has refined it ever so slightly by somewhat backing off the oak, and maintaining the depth and richness, but with more precision and refinement. The full-bodied 2012 Chardonnay Private Reserve exhibits wonderful orange blossom, white peach and pineapple fruit, a subtle touch of vanillin and toast, and a nicely layered, pure style with terrific fruit intensity. It is a great value, especially if you compare its quality to just about any premi ...Read More »
90 points James Suckling: "A crisp and lively Sauvignon Blanc with lemon peel and hints of mineral character. Medium body, bright finish. Where are the oysters? Drink now. Screw cap." (8/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc comes from different vineyards in the cool Casablanca valley from an extremely cold vintage, which has its own character. Looking more like a Loire in texture, but with the ripeness and volume of the New World, it is clean and fresh, zesty, easy to drink, with notes of citric fruit and peach that makes you salivate and have the next sip, thanks to its salinity and high ...Read More »
We love these wines for their freshness, charm and affordability, and this is easily our best value Sancerre in the store. From soils of clay and chalk in the village of Bue near the Domaine. The Millet keeps you coming back for more. It is vinified entirely in stainless steel to preserve the wonderful citrus and slightly grassy aromatics and gentle mineral finish.
95 points James Suckling: "This is so dense and powerful with layers of dried white peach, green apple and lime. Minerals, too. Full-bodied and dry but bright, fruity, open and floral. Bold and upfront. Goes on for minutes. This is always a top Riesling." (1/2015)91 points James Halliday: "As honest and workmanlike as ever, well-balanced and without any technical fault whatsoever; it will grow with time in bottle, but will never set the pulse racing, doubly envious given its excellent natural acidity and low pH." (12/2014)90 points Bob Campbell: "Dry, delicate Riesling with gentle lime/citrus and subtle floral flavours underpinned by ...Read More »
This Sancerre has a pale yellow color with hints of flashing green. Aromatically, it possesses a nice fruity component of crispy white peaches, melon, yellow plums and the typical presence of place notes of flinty minerals. On the palate, it has a richness and persistence which is nicely balanced with fruit texture, mineral and acidity. The excellent length gets even better as the bottle breathes. If you can get your hands on a round of Crottin de Chavignol, call it a day. Or, try this with pan roasted shellfish with just a touch of butter and a squeeze ... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*#31 in the Top 100 Best Buys of 2014* Half barrel-fermented and half done in stainless steel, this classy effort seems to overdeliver. It starts with good fruit, but the feeling is that winemaker Jessica Munnell did everything right, and maxxed out the complexity. It’s a sensuous mix of grape and barrel, steel and butterscotch, with a lively, lingering finish." (11/2014) K&L Notes: A very warm 2013 growing season with dry harvest conditions made for a very successful Chardonnay from Mercer Canyons. Grapes were sourced from Sagemoor Vineyard in the Columbia Valley an... Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "A hint of thyme and chive perks up the melon and grapefruit flavors in this crisp white. ending with a mouthwatering finish." (4/2015) Antonio Galloni: "Apricot, yellow stone fruit, slate and savory herbs are laced together in the Chablis Champ Royaux. The combination of soft, radiant fruit and persistent stony, saline notes makes for a highly appealing Chablis to drink now and over the next few years. The Champs Royaux is a blend of equal parts estate and purchased fruit. (AG)" (8/2014) Allen Meadows - Burghound: "A slightly riper nose of both white and yellow fruit displays a top note of citrus. There ...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)
Cognizant is a new collaborative project between K&L and some of New Zealand's finest winemakers. "Cognizant" is defined as having an intimate grasp of knowledge through personal experience. This series of wines will pay homage to talented winemakers and their ability to capture the unique "sense of place" or "terroir" within their wines. The first wine being released under the Cognizant label was made by Jason and Anna Flowerday of TWR (Te Whare Ra) winery. The fruit comes from exceptional vineyards in both the Wairau and Awatere Valleys. 25% of the as... Read More »
Domaine Begude is a small, family-owned property located high in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the Limoux region of the Languedoc. The long, cool growing season lends itself perfectly to the production of crisp and delicate wines, all organically certified by Ecocert & NOP. This is a zippy and bright Chardonnay, with citrus, apple, and pear notes underlined by a refreshing minerality.
94 points James Halliday: "A 58% (Sauvignon Blanc) 42% (Semillon blend) machine harvested at night; most cold - fermented in stainless steel, with 7% of the blend fermented in new and used French barriques. There is an array of citrus and tropical fruit aromas and flavours, but it is the electricity of the intense palate that is the defining feature of the wine." K&L Notes: Cape Mentelle takes a minimal approach towards this classic Margaret River blend. The aim is to preserve as much fruit intensity and regional character as possible, whilst providing a full-flavored and distinctive white win... Read More »
Francois and Jean-Marie Cherrier with father Pierre produce steely and citrus-driven Sancerre from fine parcels of Sauvignon Blanc planted in Sancerre's silex (flint) and chalky soils. Yields are kept low and harvest is done strictly by hand before fermenting in 100% stainless steel. Vibrantly aromatic and mineral-driven, this is quintessential Sancerre. (Eric Story, Loire Buyer)
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* From 20-year-old, Dijon clone estate vines, this substantial, tongue-gripping Chardonnay has intense depth of flavor. A luscious mix of grapefruit, apple, melon, spice and mineral elements, it drives down through the palate and never quits." (4/2015)93 points Wine & Spirits: "Another fine study in chardonnay by the esteemed family from Beaune, this wine’s voluptuous ripeness makes it more demonstrative and plump than the Edition Limitée. Its ripe pineapple and pear accents are buoyed by mouthwatering, mouthfilling acidity and a leesy textural grip. Give it some ag ...Read More »
The 2013 Kalinda Napa Valley Chardonnay comes from one of the top domestic Chardonnay producers, but as part of our agreement to acquire the wine, we cannot divulge to you who it is. Suffice it to say, this is always among the best bargains in the store--a luscious Chardonnay that would normally sell at a much higher premium. We're guessing it won't be around for long. This Chardonnay has a slight connection to the famous Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that won the French-American tasting in 1976.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Pale bright yellow. Lemon, honey and a suggestion of redcurrant on the nose, along with a note of oyster shell. Larger-scaled and broader than the regular village offering, with subtle stone fruit flavors deepened by underlying minerality. This rather round village wine finishes with persistent stone fruit flavors. (ST)" (7/2014)
Aptly named and always a favorite in the rich California style, Butternut is a luxuriously textured Chardonnay. Aromas of baked apple, hazelnut, and creme brulee fill the nose and reverberate on the palate with notes of peach, fig, butterscotch, and toasty oak. Grapes for the 2012 bottling were sourced from important growing regions across California including Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, and Monterey. The result is a generous and concentrated Chardonnay that creates a statewide snapshot of the bountiful 2012 harvest.
94 points Raymond Chan: "Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, pale on rim. The nose is slender, taut and tightly bound, and delicate in its intensity, with aromas of passionfruit, white flowers, minerals and nettles forming a very fine and intricate array on bouquet. Dry to taste, tightly bound, penetrating flavours of lifted, vibrant and juicy passionfruit, lime and white flowers are enlivened by bright, softly ripe acidity and balanced by chalky mineral textures. The palate has excellent linearity and drive, the mouthfeel possessing vitality and raciness with ...Read More »
Pierre Meurgey, formerly the Managing Director at Maison Champy, with whom we have been working for 20 years, is now working on his own. His mother's family hails from the Mâcon, so he has particularly good connectoins with some terrific growers in this part of Burgundy. The name comes from his name, and that of his mother's family, in the time-honored Burgundian tradtion. This Chardonnay is fermented and aged only in tank to emphasize the freshness and minerality of this wine, sourced from the village of Uchizy in the northern part of Mâcon. (Keith... Read More »
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.
Formerly run by Rombauer, Napa Cellars has been a Trinchero family property since 2006. Winemaker Joe Shirley introduced French oak to the Chardonnay program there, for a more finessed version of the rich, buttery (and eminently affordable) Napa Valley Chardonnay for which they've become known.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Delicate grapefruit, fig, melon and gravelly aromas jump from the glass of the 2013 Sauvignon Blanc. Light to medium-bodied and flavorful with zesty acidity, good crispness and focus, it can be enjoyed over the next 12-16 months." (10/2014) K&L Notes: Cakebread's Sauvignon Blanc is made in a fresh, citrus and gooseberry-driven style, with aromas that burst from the glass and mouthwatering flavors. It's a classic Napa refresher and makes a nice partner to a fresh goat cheese salad. "We source Sauvignon Blanc grapes from throughout Napa Valley, with over a third of th... Read More »
An rich Swartland blend of Chenin Blanc, Clairette, Verdelho, Viognier and Palomino. Then fruit for this wine comes from multiple parcels of Eben's vineyards throughout the region. Many vines are very old, own-rooted, all are dry-farmed bushvines toiling against the elements in this rugged yet inspiring place. 2013 was a cooler vintage so freshness and brightness of fruit was preserved throughout. The other important aspect of this wine is that Eben co-fermented all of the different components together, creating a more integrated and harmonious blend. Th... Read More »
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 »
Wine Enthusiast: "* Best Buy * A tangy grapefruit flavor and refreshing acidity make this a good before-dinner quaff and an apt pairing with seafood. Herbaceous and citrus aromas carry through to the flavors, medium body and good balance." (11/2014) K&L Notes: Husch was founded in Anderson Valley in 1971, and is now run by some of the original Silicon Valley escapees--the family of Hugo Oswald Jr. had been farming pears in Santa Clara Valley and sold their property during the 1970s tech boom! Their Sauvignon Blanc has been a favorite with Husch fans since 1980. This wine was made from... Read More »
95 points Decanter: "The wine's appeal is heightened by the fact that Beaujolais Blanc is new to many wine lovers. Abundant white flower aromas, hints of melon and minerals; the taut, chalky palate has a taste of the soil. Quite serious, and worthy every penny." (3/2015) Antonio Galloni: "(raised in a combination of stainless steel and concrete tanks): Bright straw. Vibrant citrus fruit and melon aromas are sharpened by a hint of quinine and pick up a smoky nuance with air. Round and seamless on the palate, offering pliant honeydew and nectarine flavors and a refreshingly bitter lemon pith qual ...Read More »
From one of the top sites in the Kamptal, Michaela Haas is the 4th generation of this family to run the 23 ha domaine. Previous vintages recommended by Wine Enthusiast Buying Guide.
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 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 »
Domaine Begude is a small, family-owned property located high in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the Limoux region of the Languedoc. The long, cool growing season lends itself perfectly to the production of crisp and delicate wines, all organically certified by Ecocert & NOP. The "Exotique" is 100% Gruner Veltliner, a grape not authorized for cultivation in France. James Kinglake, owner of Begude, wanted to experiment so he sought out cuttings from his friend Markus Huber of Huber winery located in the Traisental region of Austria. The experiment suc... Read More »
90 points Antonio Galloni: "Very pale bright yellow. Subtle perfume of lime, gooseberry, white pepper and minerals, along with a hint of tropical fruits. Then surprisingly sweet in the mouth following the rather austere nose, showing excellent concentration and lift to the lime and kiwi flavors. Really lovely ripeness and intensity of fruit here, and consistent from start to finish." K&L Notes: A lovely, pure expression of Hawke's Bay Sauvignon Blanc. The fruit is picked from Elephant Hill's stunning vineyards right on ocean shore at Te Awanga looking out over Cape Kidnappers. The wine shows ju... Read More »
A dry vintage and an ocean-influenced, cool climate add up to a great value in 80% barrel-fermented Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay. The winery's tasting note: "A combination of barrel and stainless steel fermentation resulted in bright and floral aromatics, with layers of pear, apple and citrus, highlighted with a hint of vanilla. The intense fruit in this wine is beautifully integrated with refreshing acidity and French oak. Sleepy Hollow's signature mineral character and creamy textures add complexity to a long, explosive finish."