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K&L Staff Recommendations
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 »
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 »
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 »
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!
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 »
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.
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)
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 »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "The winery is making new strides by finding the best sites for its wines rather than trying to grow everything on its estate. This Chardonnay is a case in point. High in acidity and low in oak influence, it offers restrained layers of tropical mango, lemon and ginger snap." (3/2015) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Light yellow-gold. Lively citrus and orchard fruits on the spicy nose. Shows hints of sweet butter and ginger on the palate, complementing Meyer lemon and apple flavors that tighten up with air. Closes tangy and dry, with an echo of ginger and good, nervy persistence. (ST) ...Read More »
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.
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)
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.
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 »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Decadent aromas of golden pear and Tahitian vanilla rise to the top of this incredibly well-crafted wine, a blend of multiple vineyard sources, most of them single-vineyard designated in other wines. Steely minerality buoys the overall experience, with a touch of vanilla custard. The wine is rich on the aroma yet balanced in taste, with a finishing accent of orange blossom." (6/2015)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Chardonnay Russian River (nearly 14,000 cases produced) reveals leesy notes in addition to wet pebbles, white peach, delicate pineapple and caramelized citrus. Medium ...Read More »
Allen Meadows - Burghound: "(from Puligny vines on the Meursault border – vinified in stainless steel). This too is extremely fresh though with a bit more aromatic breadth to the floral, citrus, pear and apple-scented nose. The middle weight flavors possess an attractive texture and solid concentration before terminating in a balanced and lingering finish. I would suggest holding this excellent effort for 2 to 3 years though it could be approached young. Recommended." (6/2015)
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 »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A gorgeous effort that tastes like a high-end California Chardonnay, the 2013 Val de Montferrand Grand Cuvee Blanc is a blend of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Viognier, with the Chardonnay aged eight months on lees in barrel, and the Viognier seeing only tank. It offers up beautiful notes of pineapple, citrus blossom, honeysuckle and white flower nuances, all of which are framed nicely by serious flinty minerality that comes through more on the palate. Possessing rocking purity, full-bodied richness and a clean, classy style, enjoy bottles over the coming 2-3 y ...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 »
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 »
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.
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.
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Slightly better is the 2012 Chardonnay North Slope, which comes from California clones 95 and 76. Made from much smaller yields than the Cahill Lane, it sees about 40% new French oak, and reveals terrific fruit intensity along with a full-bodied mouthfeel, a good underlying wet gravel-like character, and loads of peach, pineapple and honeysuckle notes. The wine exhibits a light green hue to its color (which I always consider a positive). It can be drunk over the next 5-7 years." (12/2013)92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Pale gold. Intense aromas of nectarine, pineapple and orange zest, w ...Read More »
90 points James Suckling: "This is really delicious with sliced green apple, stone and melons. Medium to full body. Crisp finish. Focused. Drink now." (6/2015)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 ...Read More »
This Sauvignon Blanc from Touraine displays an intense, classic nose of cut grass, pepper and, believe it or not, pineapples and lemons, with plenty of minerality. Very crisp and refreshing, like a cross between a classic Touraine and a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, at an astonishingly low price! Perfect with seafood. Grown in an area located between the Loire River and the Cher River and sandwiched between the towns of Tours and Blois, the wine shows the classic characteristics of the rich clay soils that are fortified with flint and limestone. Very brig... Read More »
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 »
94 points James Halliday: "*Special Value Selection* Pale, bright quartz-green; a great example of what the Yarra Valley can give to Chardonnay by getting the picking date right, allowing the winemaking to fill a QA role, simply protecting what the vineyard(s) has given - here a wine of great purity, energy, drive and length, citrus and stone fruit (in that order) driving the engine." (2/2014)
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.
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 »
Produced from Loureiro and Pederña grapes grown in the granitic soils of the Vinho Verde region, the Santola (or as we here are calling it, "the crab wine") is a delicious, spritely and refreshing white. It doesn't get much more traditional, thirst-quenching or seasonally perfect then this wine. Delicious, low in alcohol, slightly fizzy and way too easy to drink!
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."
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.
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)
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.
95 points James Halliday: "Hand-picked, whole bunch-pressed direct to French oak puncheons for fermentation and 10 months maturation. Here the slightly richer and layered nature of Lower Yarra Valley fruit is the point of difference, although this and the '12 Guerin Vineyard both have the hallmark Yarra Valley length of flavour; white peach and grapefruit make equal contributions to the overall flavour." (12/2013)92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 J&J D’Aloisio Vineyard Chardonnay opens with aromas of apple tart, apricots and brioche with touches of cashews and mandarin peel. Medium-bodied and accented by a ...Read More »
93 points Wine & Spirits: "A captivating balancing act, this blend of fruit from the Camp Meeting Ridge estate and other coastal sites feels at once concentrated and weightless. The first impression is one of healthy, plump fruit-ripe apricot, perhaps a hint of caramelized sugar-but it hews to a clean line, the flavors growing more earthy as taut acidity pulls toward crisp, green-tinged suggestions of seashells and borage flowers. More than the flavors themselves, it’s the overall impression of satiny grace that gives this coastal white its beauty." (4/2015)92 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2013 Chardonnay (Son ...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 »
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 »
A collaboration with famed sportscaster Jim Nantz. The winery describes this white as a "classic Chardonnay was blended from select Dutton Ranch vineyards in the prestigious Russian River Valley appellation. Barrel fermentation and sur lie aging have created a rich and creamy wine with notes of stone fruit, citrus, melon, toasted nuts, and vanilla bean. Bright acidity and a long finish make this wine an excellent dinner companion."
92 points Wine Spectator: "Firm and intense, well-focused and vibrant, centered on spicy citrus, green apple and pear flavors, with hints of honeysuckle, white peach and flinty stone. Lingers on the finish, showing a pithy edge to the lemon and green stone fruit notes. Drink now through 2019. 38,900 cases made." (3/2015) K&L Notes: In 2013 the winery notes "an early harvest with beautiful, warm weather, that provided long, even ripening for our Chardonnay. The wine offers tropical aromas of citrus and melon layered with honeysuckle, perfume and toasted oak. A juicy entry transitions to a vibra... Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Chardonnay Estate, from a vineyard planted in 1976 and 1989, was aged in 38% new Francois Freres barrels, and goes through malolactic with lees stirring for about 6-8 weeks. Another terrific value, this 1,000-case beauty exhibits lots of white peach, honeyed citrus, brioche and pineapple notes enhanced by a gentle seasoning of wood spice, a full-bodied mouthfeel and loads of fruit as well as exuberance. There is a heavy underpinning of minerality running through this attractive Chardonnay. (RP)" (12/2013)91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright yellow. Potent orchard and citrus f ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "This full and ripe wine is dominated by fresh apples. A lively, mineral texture and good depth of flavor shows through in the weight of the wine. It’s a style that can age for a few more months, so drink from the end of 2015." (6/2015) K&L Notes: Translated to mean "the son of the fat sheep," this delicious Muscadet is made by Claude Branger, a committed grower who farms his 61 acres in the heart of the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine appellation completely sustainably, with an attention to detail that translates to wines of superior quality. He harvests by hand, and bottles... 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 »
Antonio Galloni: "Lemon oil, white flowers, mint and slate meld together in the 2012 Chardonnay. Racy and beautifully layered on the palate, this tank-fermented, non-malo Chardonnay delivers exceptional quality for the money. (AG)" (7/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Chardonnay Foxglove is my favorite of the bunch and gives up clean and classy white peach, apple blossom and subtle spice in its medium-bodied, juicy and delicious style. Brought up in stainless steel, it’s hard to beat at the price and should be purchased by the case for drinking over the coming year or so. (JD)" (8/2014) K&L Notes: The Var... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Crisp, tart, melon, tangerine and bubble gum-like aromas jump from the glass of this 2013 Chenin Blanc/Viognier (80% and 20% respectively). Aged totally in stainless steel, it no doubt has much of its malolactic fermentation blocked given its crisp acid profile." (11/2014) K&L Notes: Vintage after vintage, Pine Ridge's Chenin Blanc-Viognier blend has impressed drinkers and critics alike. And now, what started as an experiment in the early-1990s, has become one of the winery's most sought after wines. From the winery: "Brilliant and refreshing, this bottling of our re... Read More »
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 »
Jancis Robinson: "Grenache Blanc, Muscat and Viognier. Fragrant and aromatic – shows the Muscat influence strongly. Broad texture and dry, light finish. (RH)" (2/2014) K&L Notes: The "Champ du Roy," or field of the kin, takes its name from Coupe Rose's 3.7 acre parcel of Viognier. This wine is a blend of Grenache Blanc and Marsanne for body and richness; Viognier for acid and perfume; and a touch of Muscat for exotic aromatics. These grapes were harvested by hand from very low-yielding mountain vineyards, making for a deliciously full yet fresh wine. Cotes du Brian is a zone named aft... Read More »
This is a straightforward, refreshing version of Chenin Blanc from Vouvray. With a gold color, this wine is dry and smooth. It displays very nice citrus and fruity notes like ripe peach and green pear as well as floral aromas such as sweet acacia. The wine is round and fruity, well-balanced, and ends super fresh. A killer value! Picked from 45-year-old vines and then vinified in stainless and aged in tank for 2-3 months. Fantastic with fish dishes with an exotic flair and of course the typical meat and cheese starter plates. (Eric Story, Loire Buyer)