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K&L Staff Recommendations
Just across the Rhône river from the esteemed vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this 88-acre estate is owned and operated by Rodolphe de Pins, a UC Davis graduate and former member of the winemaking staff at Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe. Montfaucon crafts their Côtes du Rhône to express the intense fruit characteristics of the appellation, blending to achieve harmony and balance.
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A joint venture between Gassier, Philippe Cambie, and importer Eric Solomon, the 2012 Cercius Vieilles Vignes is a year in, year out ridiculous value that also drinks well past its humble price point. Comprised of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah that was aged for 6 months in concrete, it has loads of raspberry, licorice, mineral and Provencal herbs as well as a soft, supple and silky textured feel on the palate. Coming from old Grenache vines (70-90 years in age) located on the Plateau de Domazan - which lies on the right bank of the Rhone river, just west of ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "A fresh and racy style, with violet-edged plum and raspberry fruit that drives through the stone-tinged finish. Grenache and Syrah. Drink now. 1,300 cases made." (9/2014) K&L Notes: Courtois is a property acquired by the Jaume family in 2003. The winery itself had fallen into disrepair but the vineyards were in remarkable condition. What distinguishes Vinsobres is its elevation, with vineyards sitting at 350 to 450 meters, and the latitude being the northernmost of the Côtes du Rhône crus.
Proprietor Jean-Marc Autran is the fourth generation in his family to grow grapes in the Rhone village of Sablet. He produced his first wine in 1985. With his family, he cultivates 30 hectares of vines with 3.5 in Gigondas, 12.5 in Sablet and 14 in Côtes du Rhône. The domaine has a variety of soil types for the vineyards including: sandy decalcified red clay, flint, clay, silt, chalk and gravel. The vine age ranges between 20 and 45 years old and everything is hand harvested. All the reds, with the exception of the Cotes du Rhone, are bottled unfined and... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "A gentle, perfumy style, with black tea and sandalwood notes leading the way, followed by black cherry and plum fruit. (Web-2014)" K&L Notes: Wine Advaocate reviewer Jeb Dunnuck commented in 2013 that Delas " is producing no nonsense, extremely high quality efforts that are near the top of each of their respective appellations."
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Youthful purple color. Ripe dark berry and cherry-cola scents are enlivened by a peppery quality and a hint of violet. Round and fleshy on the palate, offering gently sweet blackberry and cassis flavors and a zesty spine of acidity. Finishes long and spicy, with building sweetness, soft tannins and a hint of smokiness." (3/2014) K&L Notes: 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah.
96 points Wine Enthusiast: "The 2010 Beaucastel is a tour de force, brilliantly combining espresso and black olive notes with bright raspberry fruit, while dark earthy notes provide a solid base. The feel on the palate is ample, with tannins that are a bit dusty but not tough or chewy. The long, mouthwatering finish bodes well for the future. Drink now–2030." (2/2015)96 points Wine Spectator: "*#8 on Top 100 Wines of 2013* Dark, dense and very closed now, this has a tremendous core of crushed plum, linzer torte and blackberry confiture waiting in reserve. Ample singed cedar and mesquite, warm paving stone an ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
90 points Antonio Galloni: "Deep ruby. Smoky cherry and blueberry aromas display very good clarity and a touch of cracked pepper. Showing its Syrah component, with sappy black and blue fruit flavors sharpened by a spicy nuance. A sexy floral note comes up on a gently tannic finish that lingers with very good persistence. As usual, this wine punches well above its category and should reward at least another four or five years of patience. (JR)" (2/2015)90 points Wine Enthusiast: "A perennial favorite, it’s reassuring to see that the quality continues to remain high even from Guigal’s least expensive cuvée. Red ...Read More »
From the winery: "This white wine is made in the same spirit as Baron Louis and with a lot of delicacy. All the grapes (Marsanne, Viognier, Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Picpoul) are picked by hand in 20 kg cases and pressed directly. I let the juice settle naturally for ten to twenty hours before racking it into oak barrels where the wine ferments naturally without temperature control. The idea is to respect the natural expression of the vineyard with minimum intervention. The wine ages eight months in barrels before bottling."
Jancis Robinson: "Dark and ripe with some savoury character. A cool finish and both very round and mineral. Interesting wine!" Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The straight Châteauneuf du Pape (65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre and 5% Cinsault) comes mostly from rolled-pebble terroir, yet also has a fair chunk from sandy soils as well. A beautiful traditional cuvee, it gives up notions of sweet black cherries, leafy herbs, olive and underbrush to go with a medium-bodied, elegant and textured mouthfeel. Leaning more toward the pretty, finesse-driven end of the spectrum, it drinks beautifully today, but ...Read More »
Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault and Mourvedre make this lush and fruity CdR a reward for what the winery calls, a "vintage of patience." Demeter certified Biodynamic®.
94-97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another prodigious Gigondas who’s only problem is that there’s not enough of it, the 2012 Gigondas Clos des Tourelles (95% Grenache and 5% Syrah) comes from a vineyard just outside of the village. Slightly darker in character than the Vieilles Vignes, it boasts awesome aromatics of cassis, toasted spice, licorice, ground herbs and massive minerality. This is followed by a medium to full-bodied, rich and concentrated Gigondas that has beautiful tannin structure, notable freshness and building richness that comes through on the finish. Rich and textured, a ...Read More »
David, started Domaine Givaudan in 2001 when he purchased 20 hectares of vineyards around the village of Cavillargues specializing in Cotes du Rhone and "Vin de Pays" appellations. He has chosen to acquire vigorous vineyards with very specific terroirs (clay & limestone), and generous sun exposure producing grapes rich in aromas and texture. The Cotes du Rhone is named "La Bete" after a mythical Rhone beast "Givaudan" that terrorized the Rhone Valley. (Importer Notes)
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Coming from the sandy, clay soils of the La Louisianne lieu-dit, the 2012 Gigondas Louisiane is made from 80% Grenache and 15% Mourvèdre and 5% Syrah and Cinsault that was vinified in concrete tank and aged 12 months in older foudre. Medium to full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, ripe and textured, it gives up terrific kirsch, blackberry, toasted spice and cured meat-like aromas and flavors. Of the three Gigondas releases, this was my favorite in 2012, but all of these releases are superb. (JD)" (1/2015) 91-93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Saturated ruby. Assertive aromas of raspberry, ch ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "What tremendous scent! Wow -- this gives astonishing flavour for the price: meat, smoke, pepper, chocolate, coffee. Charismatic, gregarious and compelling -- wins you over by sheer force of personality. *Very Good Value* 17/20 points. Drink 2015-2025. (RH)" (2/2015)
According to the importer, Paris Wine Company: "The wines of Domaine de la Jaufrette are resolutely old-fashioned, as the domaine has refused to change the winemaking style since the André and Paulette Chastan moved to Orange in the 1950s. The couple both came from winemaking families in the Southern Rhone (André from Vaqueyras, Paulette from Gigondas), but they wanted to create their own doamine, so as a young married couple, they purchased land just on the edge of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and planted 5 hectares of Cotes-du-Rhone. Over the next decades, the... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Côtes du Ventoux Le Paradou is an awesome value! Made from 100% Grenache (75-year-old vines) and aged 7 months in concrete tank, it offers up a naked expression of Grenache with meaty black cherry, pepper, dried Provencal herbs and earth all soaring from the glass. Medium to full-bodied, brilliantly pure and fresh, it has enough tannin to allow it to evolve gracefully for 3-4 years. It’s a knockout value and this crowd-pleaser should not be missed! Easily one of my favorite estates from the up-and-coming Ventoux region, Chateau Pesquie is run ...Read More »
92-94 points Antonio Galloni: "Inky ruby. Highly complex, exotic aromas of black raspberry, cherry-cola, blueberry, potpourri, minerals and woodsmoke. Suave, lush and seamless, offering concentrated, palate-staining flavors of black and blue fruits and lavender pastille are braced by tangy acidity. Finishes with supple tannins, an echo of candied flowers and outstanding persistence." (4/2015) K&L Notes: The blend for the "Cuvée Réservée" is ususally 80% Grenache, fermented in cement vats and aged in large oak barrels for two years. Domaine du Pégaü has been on a roll and this wine is a increasing... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Slightly more fresh and focused than the 2012, the 2013 Condrieu la Doriane (aged 9 months in 100% new French oak) exhibits a vibrant bouquet of white flowers, white peach, tangerine and bitter citrus. This is followed by a medium to full-bodied, pure, elegant Condrieu that has terrific depth and richness to go with vibrant acidity, a focused texture and a great finish. It will be better next year and drink nicely through 2018. The father/son team of Marcel and Philippe Guigal continue to keep their estate at the top of the hierarchy in the Rhône Valley ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A blend of 100% Viognier that spent 5 months in tank, the value-priced 2012 Cotes du Ventoux Le Paradou Blanc comes from the hills just north of the town of Montpellier. Beautifully fresh and classic Viognier, it offers notions of lychee nut, white peach, flowers and big minerality (especially for a wine at this price point) to go with a rich, pure, supple palate. Decidedly gulpable and easy drinking, it’s a superb white for mid-week drinking. Enjoy it over the coming 1-2 years. Easily one of my favorite estates from the up-and-coming Ventoux region, C ...Read More »
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The cream of the lineup, the 2012 Hermitage le Meal offers sensational notes of creme de cassis, chocolate, licorice and violets. Coming from the cooler parts of the the Meal lieu-dit, it has a full-bodied, decadent, thick and powerful texture, sweet tannin and a great finish. This beauty will benefit from short-term cellaring and have 20+ years of longevity. Falling under the Chapoutier umbrella, the quality at this tiny estate continues to soar. Readers looking for solid bang for the buck, as well as classic, textbook characters from each of the appel ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Cornas Premices knocks it out of the park with its chocolaty dark fruits, leather, crushed rock and licorice aromas and flavors. Dense, full-bodied and concentrated, with a hedonistic, voluptuous slant, drink it over the coming 6-7 years. Another brilliantly run estate in the Northern Rhône, Eric and Joel Durand have made rich, concentrated and textured 2012s that show the vintage nicely. These should drink nicely on release yet evolve gracefully. Their 2013s follow suit, with their top cuvee, the Cornas Confidence, being the only wine that wil ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc is a fine white that’s made from equal parts Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc and Clairette. Aged 30% in barrel and 70% in tank, it has classic apple, citrus blossom and edgy minerality in its fresh, focused, downright racy style. I love the purity here. It should flesh out well with another year in bottle and drink nicely for 2-3 years. (JD)" (10/2014) Wine Spectator: "This white features a lively edge, with blanched almond and jicama notes framing a core of heather, white peach, yellow apple and melon rind flavors. A quinine hint ...Read More »
90-92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Youthful purple. Spicy, highly perfumed dark berry and Indian spice scents show very good clarity and pick up a smoky nuance with air. Densely packed but lithe too, with juicy black and blue fruit flavors and a touch of lavender adding lift. Dusty tannins shape the finish, which clings with impressive tenacity and subtle spiciness. According to Marc Perrin, the vines that provide the fruit for this wine are now over 80 years old." (4/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A juicy, forward and textured example of this cuvee (especially when tasted next to the 2013), the 2012 Coudoulet de B ...Read More »
99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Cote Rotie Chateau d’Ampuis is an off-the-hook effort that easily competes with the more expensive single-vineyard releases. Seamless, gorgeously pure and seriously concentrated and full-bodied, it’s an insanely gorgeous Syrah offers layers of creme de cassis, vanilla bean, creamy licorice and smoked meat aromas and flavors. Still a baby, it needs to be forgotten for 4-5 years, at which point it should offer another two decades or more of longevity. Don’t miss this beauty! (JD)" (8/2014)97 points Wine Spectator: "Rock-solid, offering dark currant and blackberry paste flav ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "It is unquestionably one of the great Chateauneufs of my lifetime...Wow, what potential complexity, mind-boggling richness, and compelling flavor profile are apparent. It is a sublime expression of the art of winemaking as evidenced by its dense purple color and big, sweet kiss of kirsch, framboise, blackberries, licorice, roasted herbs, and smoked meat. It hits the palate with a fascinating combination of substance, power, full-bodied authority yet extraordinary freshness, elegance, and precision. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring, and watch it unleash its ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Even better and one of the top two to three wines in the vintage, the 2011 Hermitage Les Bessards (100% Syrah that spent 16 months in 70% new French oak) possesses an inky purple color to go with a fabulously rich, pure bouquet of smoked earth, ground pepper, underbrush and licorice that’s supported by awesome black raspberry and cassis-styled fruit. Full-bodied, seamless and layered, with masses of sweet tannin and notable structure, this beauty bucks the vintage stereotype and will need short-term cellaring to become approachable. It will have 2-3 deca ...Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "Sleek, featuring pure black cherry and black currant fruit, with a lovely graphite frame and a lingering black tea note on the perfumy finish." (9/2013) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Lovely, soft berry fruit intermixed with lavender and other Provencal herbs, damp earth and spicy pepper notes give way to a medium-bodied, soft, complex, easygoing red to drink over the next 2-3 years." (6/2012) K&L Notes: This is a blend of half Grenache and half Mourvedre, 15.5% alcohol. Philippe Cambie and Gilles Ferran run the show here.
98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Cornas of the vintage is Clape’s 2012 Cornas. An incredible effort, its inky purple/black color is followed by spectacular aromas and flavors of black raspberry, graphite, beef blood, iron, cedar and white pepper (among other things). This is Cornas at its finest, with insane aromatics, full-bodied richness and massive concentration, yet at the same time staying elegant, seamless and gorgeously pure. It’s more approachable than the 2010, but should still need 3-4 years of cellaring and have two decades of longevity. While it doesn't get any more Corn ...Read More »
89-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "An impressive 2013 that comes from the lieu-dit Guilherand, the inky colored 2013 Saint Joseph Guilherand has lots of minerality in its blackberry, cracked black pepper, bacon fat and wild-herb bouquet. This is followed by a medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated effort that has vibrant acidity, good underlying structure, and a clean, classical feel on the finish. Give it a year or so and drink bottles through 2023. (JD)" (2/2015)
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "What I think might end up being the best Beaucastel since the 1990 or 2001, the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape offers a full-bodied, decadent style to go with awesome black and blue fruits, garrigue, licorice, crushed flowers and violets. The purity here is truly something, and it has fabulous mid-palate concentration, building tannin and massive texture. Given all of the fruit and texture here, it will no doubt drink well in its youth, but it should still be alive and kicking after two decades as well. (JD)" (10/2014) 92-94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Brilliant ruby. Powerful aromas of candied ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
91 points Antonio Galloni: "Bright purple. Energetic black raspberry, cherry, Asian spices and olive paste on the seductively perfumed nose. Fleshy and expansive in the mouth, offering juicy red and dark berry liqueur flavors and a suave note of candied violet. Picks up spiciness and smokiness with air and finishes on a sweet dark berry note, with good nervy cut and floral persistence. Maxime Graillot told me that this wine is made from a site in Chassis that was planted 45 years ago and has never been treated with any chemicals. -- Josh Raynolds (JR)" (2/2015)
93-95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Brilliant ruby-red. Sexy, expressive aromas of raspberry preserves, cherry compote and potpourri, with a smoky overtone. Lush and pliant, offering juicy red fruit and lavender pastille flavors that become spicier with air. Silky tannins add grip and shape to the long, spice-accented finish, which shows superb clarity and thrust. (JR)" (1/2014)93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A step up over the traditional cuvee, the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is made from 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre, all destemmed, that was aged 60% in demi-muid and 40% in tank. One of the ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Leading off the 2012s, the Saint Joseph les Coteaux is a solid value that offers classic saddle leather, ground herbs, pepper and sweet blackberry and raspberry fruit. It’s medium-bodied, supple and elegant, with plenty of fruit. Drink it over the coming 4-5 years. (JD)" (12/2014)91 points Wine Spectator: "A fresh, racy style, with bright chalk and violet notes highlighting the damson plum, cherry and black currant fruit. Savory and white pepper details run through the energetic finish. Drink now through 2019" (9/2014)
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Moving to the releases in barrel, the 2012 Gigondas (60% Grenache and the balance mostly Mourvedre, with some Syrah) has plenty of potential, with juicy black raspberry, sweet spice, licorice and toasty notes as well as medium to full-bodied richness and depth on the palate. Nicely balanced, it shows the purity of the vintage, as well as a relatively approachable style that should allow it to drink nicely on release." (10/2013) 90-92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Inky ruby. Powerful, deeply pitched aromas of black and blue fruits, garrigue and licorice, with a spicy topnote. Densely packed ...Read More »
95-97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The smoking good 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape La Combe des Fous (60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and the rest Muscardin, Vaccarese and Cinsault) is a structured, serious wine that gives up notions of blackberry, currants, melted licorice and assorted meaty nuances that flow to a full-bodied, seamless wine that has terrific fruit intensity, masses of fine tannin and a blockbuster finish. Give it 3-4 years in the cellar and drink it through 2032. Drink 2016-2032. Always one of the highlight visits during my time spent working in the Southern Rhone, Clos Saint-Jean, ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "An up-and-coming estate, brothers Benjamin and David Duclaux own approximately 13 acres of vines in the Cote Blonde sector of the appellation, near Tupin. They utilize about 20% new oak as well as 100% destemming. Approximately 5% Viognier is co-fermented with the Syrah. The superb, opaque purple-hued 2003 Cote Rotie boasts a big, sumptuous bouquet of bacon fat, honeysuckle, litchi nuts, and jammy black cherries and cassis. Dense and full-bodied, with abundant fruit and glycerin as well as a plush, opulent, voluptuous texture, it will provide plenty of p ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
This small domaine in the village of Beaumes de Venise is run by two brothers, Patrick and Vincent Soard, fourth-generation vignerons. The organically-farmed vineyards are spread out among seven nearby communes. This wine is a blend of 50% Cinsault, 40% Grenache and 10% Syrah that get their pale pink color from saignee. Floral and fruity, this is a fresh, delightful pink to help you beat the summer heat.
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The entry level Cornas that gets some young vines, the 2012 Cornas Renaissance is just like the straight Cornas, only slightly softer and more approachable. Cassis, black raspberry, leather, crushed rock and liquid mineral-like qualities all give way to a full-bodied, concentrated, yet elegant and thrillingly pure Cornas that can be enjoyed anytime over the coming decade or more. While it doesn't get any more Cornas than Clape, these wines also speak just as loudly of the domaine as they do of the steep granite slopes of the appellation. There's always s ...Read More »
92-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Made from older vines and a tank-aged blend of roughly 85% Grenache and the balance Mourvedre and Syrah, the 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes has additional levels of kirsch, garrigue, ground herbs and black raspberry as well as a full-bodied, decadently textured profile on the palate. Despite the richness level here, it remains gorgeously fresh and even elegant. Enjoy it over the coming 10-12 years. Drink now-2024. Always one of the highlight visits during my time spent working in the Southern Rhone, Clos Saint-Jean, which includes over 100 ac ...Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Gigondas Vieilles Vignes is a gorgeous effort that’s made from 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre that comes from three terroirs, the Louisianne, La Moutte and the Souteyrades lieux-dits, all of which are located on the lower plateau near the estate. It offers impressive kirsch, blackberry, toasted spice and licorice to go with a medium to full-bodied, sexy, supple and hard to resist style on the palate. Readers need to buy this by the case and drink it over the coming decade. (JD)" (1/2015) 90-92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Saturated ruby. Ripe plum and cherry on the nose, along wit ...Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 1993 Cuvee de l'Oree has developed more nuances, offering up liquid granitelike aromas combined with honey, smoke, and flowery scents. There is even a hint of overripe peaches. The wine possesses great fruit, a layered, viscous texture, huge quantities of alcohol and glycerin, and a blockbuster finish. It is an utterly massive example of white Hermitage, exceeded in size, glycerin level, and intensity only by the 1992 Ermitage Cuvee de l'Oree. Anticipated maturity: now-2012. Last tasted 6/96." (1/1997)
92 points Antonio Galloni: "Deep red. Potent cherry, redcurrant and floral scents are given a musky, earthy touch by a hint of rhubarb. Sappy, sweet and broad on entry, then tighter in the mid-palate, offering bitter cherry and raspberry preserve flavors and a touch of licorice. The clinging finish is shaped by silky, even tannins and given bite by a hint of cracked pepper." (4/2015) 90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape appears to be a beautiful wine, although perhaps not at the level of the 2007 or 2010 (which will not be released for another two years). The elegant, medium to full-bodied 2 ...Read More »
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "There’s 5,000 bottles of the sensational 2012 Cornas Granit 60 Vielles Vignes. Completely destemmed and aged 18 months in 2- to 8-year-old barrels, its purple/black color is followed by an incredible nose of black raspberry, kirsch, crushed rock and violets. Possessing more tension and depth than the Granit 30, it’s full-bodied, thrillingly rich and has solid underlying acidity and tannic structure. Give it a couple years and drink bottles through 2025. An up and coming superstar of Cornas, Vincent Paris manages his roughly 20-acre estate to produce thr ...Read More »
According to the importer, Paris Wine Company "The wines of Domaine de la Jaufrette are resolutely old-fashioned, as the domaine has refused to change the winemaking style since the André and Paulette Chastan moved to Orange in the 1950s. The couple both came from winemaking families in the Southern Rhone (André from Vaqueyras, Paulette from Gigondas), but they wanted to create their own doamine, so as a young married couple, they purchased land just on the edge of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and planted 5 hectares of Cotes-du-Rhone. Over the next decades, they... Read More »