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K&L Staff Recommendations
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 Wine Enthusiast: "**Best Buy** Richness, depth and generosity are good traits of this full-bodied but smooth-textured Cabernet. Light oak accents don't cover up the ripe, juicy, almost jammy blackberry and cherry flavors that fill the mouth and linger on the finish. It's an all-around crowd pleaser that has everything in balance." (1/2015)
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.
This is the second label for Amador County's Sobon Estate, and always a K&L fave for affordable, fruit-filled and balanced Zin. Their 2012 "Special Reserve" release adds a small amount of Syrah and Grenache, and the whole lot is aged in small barrels for nine months. Winemaker notes: "The wine is full bodied and only moderately tannic with beautiful structure and strong fruit. The flavors are complex, and the finish is long and satisfying. This wine is extremely versatile, light enough to accompany any lunch fare, yet a perfect companion to pastas, roast... Read More »
89 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This is a beautiful Zinfandel and the good news is there are over 30,000 cases of it. Coming from three of Gallo’s top Zinfandel vineyards, Stephani, Frei Ranch and Chiotti, most of them in Dry Creek, this blend of 98% Zinfandel and 2% Petite Sirah tips the scales at a lofty 14.8% natural alcohol. The wine has a deep ruby color, and a seductive, peppery, meaty, Côte du Rhône-type nose revealing lavender and roasted herb characteristics. No hard edges are found in this medium to full-bodied, fleshy, nicely concentrated Zinfandel. Drink over the next 2-3 y ...Read More »
From the Winery; "This is your porch slammer but don't be scared to take it seriously. It's like a strawberry cream soda, kiwi, guava, watermelon and rose petals. Finishes like sour patch kids and bubbly. 70% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 10% Black Muscat
From the winery: "Dark purple in color, this 2012 Mambo Red Blend showcases some earthy mushroom and sweet leather aromatics that take a turn to sweet plum and dark blackberry fruit with hints of Herbs De Provence and toasted cedar. In the mouth, the wine has a rich and wonderful depth showcasing flavors of black currants, molasses, tart black cherry, plum sauce, and hints of preserved orange rind, toasted dill, and blackened marshmallow. Our 2012 Hey Mambo red blend brings wonderful rich color and a layered decadent wine to your table. You can see eleme... Read More »
89 points Wine Enthusiast: "**Best Buy** There was no oak used on this stainless steel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc, but it does contain a splash of Viognier. It’s dry, crisp in acidity and savory in lime, orange, kumquat and vanilla flavors that finish long and clean. It will pair with everything from bruschetta with olive tapenade to fried chicken, Chinese food and sushi." (6/2014) K&L Notes: A varietal character-driven Sauvignon Blanc that combines the grape's grassy/herbal characteristics with its mineral, citrusy ones, for a fresh, easy-to-drink wine that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. The f... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This winery deserves kudos for their remarkable cuvées of Fumé Blanc, all of which qualify as values. A fabulous bargain, the 2013 Fumé Blanc Sonoma (25,000 cases produced) is not put through malolactic, 70% is aged in stainless steel and 30% in older oak. It offers flowery, perfumed, melony, caramelized grapefruit and citrus notes, medium body, exuberant, fresh, lively fruit, and outstanding purity as well as texture. An incredible value, this beauty can be drunk over the next year or so. This winery deserve kudos for their remarkable cuvées of Fumé B ...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 »
Inventory: Redwood City
Wine Enthusiast: "This stainless study shows crisp and ripe yellow apple flesh, with white rock and slate minerality. Apples, from Golden Delicious to red, also dominate the flavor profile, which is straightforward and accessible, though not complex." (5/2015) Wine Spectator: "This offers a mix of citrus-infused green apple, pineapple and mango notes, presented in a fresh, snappy style, with flavors that linger on the finish. Drink now through 2019." (6/2015)
Willowbrook is a largely under-the-radar label from Joe Otos, winemaker at Owl Ridge Wines in Sebastopol. We've got some great Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from choice vineyards from Willowbrook in the past, and now this Syrah. It comes from the Altes Vineyard, located in the Rincon Valley area in the middle of Sonoma County--not far from the hot Kick Ranch vineyard.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Chardonnay Charm Acres is an exuberantly fruity effort displaying hints of tropical fruits, white peaches, no evidence of oak, and crisp, fresh, pure flavors. While not particularly complex, it will provide satisfying drinking over the next several years. It should be immensely popular among consumers." (12/2013) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Tasting Notes: "A big impressive Chardonnay with toasty oak, bread dough, lemon curd and lime zest. Rich with lively acid and great weight, mineral-laden and hints of lychee and pear on its long finish."
From the Winery; Aromatic and Crisp, white peaches, green mango and honeydew served with greek yogurt. Touch of goose-berry salt taffy and lime sorbet. Think of Camphor candies. 86% Pinot Gris, 7% Chenin Blanc, 4% Sauvignon Blanc, 3% Malvasia Bianca.
Wine Spectator: "A zesty little Zin, with just enough dried cherry, plum, toasty herb and spice flavors to keep this fun and interesting. Drink now through 2018." (6/2014)
Wine Enthusiast: "Flowery and electric in high-toned grapefruit and peach, this is a crisp, clean white from a consistent producer. Medium-bodied, it holds small percentages of Sémillon and Muscat. The finely hewed texture benefits from 10% of the wine having been aged in neutral oak." (9/2014) K&L Notes: Honig sources fruit primarily from their sustainably farmed vineyard in Rutherford along with some other nearby vineyards. From the winery: "A crisp, fresh Sauvignon Blanc created in the classic Honig style. Peach, lemon grass, hints of jasmine and pea shoot are balanced by grapefrui... Read More »
A 17 barrel production of Alsatian inspired Gewurtz from Dan Tudor at Tudor Wines.
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Sure, now everyone's doing it, and it's not such a big deal. But Folie à Deux are really good at it, and that's saying something--given how popular they've got because of it. The "Menage à Trois" Red Blend was one of the early cork-finished, 750ml wines that offered a sexy spin on an old California favorite pastime--a hearty red blend based on Zinfandel (formerly a jug wine standard). "Menage à Trois" also includes Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the smooth, sure-fire casual dinner party blend--while a lot of the newer, popular "red blends" include a hi... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Richard Jennings (rjonwine.com) "Very light yellow color; focused, tart peach, nectarine nose; tasty, tart nectarine, light peach, yellow cherry palate; medium finish 87+ points." (9/2011)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Wine Enthusiast: "An easy drinking Merlot that’s a little sweet, but not too much. It has oak and cherry-chocolate flavors, and the tannins are smooth and polished. (SH)" (3/2005) Wine Spectator: "Plum, chocolate and toasty cedar notes are pleasant with modest depth and a plush frame. Drink now. 5,000 cases made. (Web 2005)"
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Wine Enthusiast: "A good example of how well the Central Coast can make Chardonnays that satisfy even without oak barrel aging. The wine is clean and brisk in acidity, with ripe flavors of limes, kiwis and green melons." (6/2013)