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K&L Staff Recommendations
2010 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac $299.99
2000 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac $149.99
Second wine of Chateau Carignan.
Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc blend from enologist Michel Dietrich, southeast of Bordeaux. According to Matt Kramer: "This delightful dry white wine is meant to be drunk young, cool and fresh. It delivers striking scents of lime and lemon rind, whiffs of honeydew and even a hint of seashells. And no taste of oak to be found, just “pure play” dry white. This wine could easily become your house white- it’s that good."
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Always one of the better values and ageworthy wines from the Haut-Medoc, Lanessan’s 2003 possesses lots of cedarwood, creme de cassis and forest floor notes, outstanding ripeness, low acidity, and a round, generous mouthfeel with no desiccation or flaws. (RP)" (8/2014) Spirit Journal: "Dense crimson. Delicate scent. Complete if not exactly subtle. A bit brutal with lots of acidity. And those dry tannins, and some rasping greenness on the end. (15/20 points)" (10/2010) Wine Spectator: "Aromas of plum, spices and cherry follow through to a medium-bodied palate, with stewed fruit and a light fi ...Read More »
From the outstanding 2009 vintage comes an absolute killer Bordeaux value. The blend contains about a quarter Cabernet Sauvignon, lending dark fruit and structure to the base of juicy Merlot fruit, with a dollop of Cabernet Franc for aromatic lift. Aged for 18 months in approximately 20% new barrique.
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 »
88-91 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Les Grands Maréchaux is a bit rustic and rough around the edges, but also quite pleasing. Dark red cherry, tobacco, smoke, cedar and dried herbs flesh out in a succulent, generous wine endowed with notable complexity and nuance. There is a lot going on in the glass. My preference would be to drink the 2014 in its youth, while the fruit is vibrant. The 2014 should be a steal. The blend is 91% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc. (AG)" (4/2015) 90-91 points James Suckling: "Solid core of fruit to this wine with fine tannins, fresh acidity and a savory finish. Good start here." (3/2015) 87-90 points Wine Spectator: "T ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Wine Enthusiast: "Rich and dense, the wine has the fruitiness of the vintage along with a core of firmer tannins. Its black currant and berry flavors are right up front adding perfume to the acidity. Drink from 2016." (12/2013) Wine Spectator: "Light, with modest grip framing the dark cherry, tomato and tobacco notes." (12/2013)
89-90 points James Suckling: "A firm and dense wine for the appellation with chocolate, mineral and berry character. Medium to full body. Long finish." (3/2015) Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Gigault Cuvée Viva offers lovely depth, density and volume. Super-ripe dark cherry, plum and smoke meld together. The style is ripe and extracted, with considerable oak influence that does cover the fruit to some extent and leaves the wine with a bit of wood tannin, at least at this early stage. Still, it is, this warm site on gravel and limestone soils is clearly capable of making interesting wines. The blend is 96% M ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Wine Enthusiast: "The wine is sweet, very rich and smooth. Firm tannins are cushioned by the ripe berry and red plum fruits to give a spicy wine with touches of wood, finishing with pepper from the alcohol. Drink from 2017." (10/2014) K&L Notes: A lovely wine from the Cotes de Blaye. Plenty of sweet blackberry fruit. Elegant and delicious now. Will cellar well for five plus years. Along the same lines as the 2009, but with more strength on the palate. Superb value.
Château Bois-Malot is located in Saint Loubes and situated on the shoreline of the Dordogne River. The soils are clay and light limestone with a subsoil of red pebbles and clay. The blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 20% Cabernet Franc. It is aged for eighteen months in large vats and then an additional six months in oak.
88-91 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Belle Coline is rich, boisterous and super-expressive. Inky black fruit, smoke, tobacco, licorice and incense are laced together in the glass. The style is racy, supple and fruit-forward, all of which add to the wine's early appeal. Even with all of its obvious richness, the 2014 finishes with terrific energy and minerality. The blend is 91% Merlot and 9% Malbec. (AG)" (4/2015) 89-90 points James Suckling: "Another red with pretty concentration and depth of fruit. Full body, firm tannins and a fresh finish. Best ever from here?" (3/2015) Wine Spectator: "Fresh, with damson plum and sanguine note ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
This is the second wine from Château d'Aiguilhe, in the far east of Bordeaux. Proprietor and winemaker Stephan von Neipperg is also responsible for the greatness that lies in each bottle of Château Canon-La-Gaffelière, Clos l'Oratoire, Château Peyreau and La Mondotte. The cepage is overwhelmingly Merlot, with a small percentage of Cabernet Franc. The property dates back to the 12th century and is linked to the Knights Templar. The current château, a "fortified farmhouse," was built in the 13th century. The Right Bank terroir, with its clay-limestone soil... Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A red with plum and berry character, plus lots of hazelnut. Chalky. Full body with chewy tannins and a fresh finish. This is always excellent. Drink in 2015." (2/2014) Wine Spectator: "Bouncy blueberry and cherry fruit flavors are backed by toasted spice. Open knit and fresh." (4/2012) K&L Notes: One of our favorites from the value regions on the right bank. Cotes de Blaye region now referred to as Cotes de Bordeaux. This wine is 90% Merlot and has a lot of blackberry fruit flavors. Decant one hour and serve with a pot roast.
Haut Charmes is a very special Sauternes bottling, made from the younger vines of the region's most legendary château. While we aren't allowed to actually reveal the source, it's safe to say its location in the Ciron Valley exposes the Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon fruit to conditions perfect for the development of botrytis. Charming, elegant and an exceptional value for what's in the bottle. A rich wine with fine acidity, the 2010 has wonderful pineapple and coconut aromas that carry through onto the lush palate. A stunning wine just like its big broth... 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)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "There are 100,000 bottles of this beautiful sleeper of the vintage, which offers terrific value. The proprietor is the son of Bernard Magrez, who has crafted a blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc. Fruity and Bordeaux-like, with notes of tobacco leaf, blueberries, black raspberries and incense, this explosively fruity, delicious, complex wine is relatively easy to consume yet should continue to drink well for 7-8 years, if not longer. (RP)" (2/2013) Wine Spectator: "A forward, flattering style, offering quite lush raspberry and plum sauce ...Read More »
A superb value--delicious. Full-flavored, sweet, lush and sexy.
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This reminded me of a really well-made, top-notch Cotes du Rhone. Why? Lots of kirsch, lavender, roasted herbs and earthy notes as well as hints of pepper and spice jump from the glass of this dark ruby/purple-tinged wine. Seductive, round and extremely attractive, it is everything a Cotes de Bordeaux should be, at a realistic price. For the statisticians, it is a blend of 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc. Drink it over the next 3-4 years. (RP)" (2/2012) K&L Notes: This Bernard Magrez wine is a great value. Plenty of structure and grip o... Read More »
90 points James Suckling: "Aromas of plums and bitter chocolate follow through to a full body, with chewy tannins and a medium toasted oak aftertaste. Lots of wood now but shows excellent structure." (3/2013) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright red-ruby. Inviting nose offers black raspberry, mocha and a whiff of chocolatey oak. Sweet, supple and nicely concentrated, with harmonious acidity giving shape to the dark berry flavors. With its rather suave tannins and good length and lift, this elegantly styled wine already gives pleasure." (8/2013) Wine Enthusiast: "While this shows its youthful tannins, it also bears blackberry fru ...Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "Solid, with a direct, open-knit core of apricot, toasted almond, piecrust and white peach flavors that meld through the creamy, ginger-tinged finish. Drink now through 2018. (Web-2014)" K&L Notes: The second wine of Château Guiraud and made by Xavier Planty, Château Guiraud's oenologist since 1982. It is a modern style with a high proportion of Sauvignon Blanc (approximately one third), made from a blend of lots fermented in stainless steel (for minerality and freshness), and new French oak barrels, which promote the development of richness, body, and intensity of fl... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Offers direct bitter plum and black cherry fruit, with light chalk and toasted vanilla notes guiding the finish. A touch shy on depth for the vintage, but remains charming enough. (Web Only--2013)" K&L Notes: This property is situated north of commune of Lussac. We tasted this delightful wine with Dominque Robin and his daughter Pauline on our 2008 buying trip. : The 2010 is a blend of 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon for this wine which is very well balanced with no excess tannins. Nice toasty oak aromas and flavors with blackberries showing t... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Aromas of licorice, tar and some blackberry lead to a medium body, with light tannins and a fruity, delicate finish." K&L Notes: Château La Prade, just four and a half hectares, was purchased by the Thienpont family in 2000. Despite the tiny size, part of the vineyards are on the limestone plateau and the rest are on a south-facing slope rich in iron. This somewhat unique terroir results in a rich Merlot-dominated blend with great structure. We tasted this wine on our April 2014 Bordeaux trip and bought it on the spot. Delicious, fruit-forward wine to enjoy for th... Read More »
We loved this wine on our April 2012 Bordeaux trip. A 2010 with lots of sweetness and forward fruit. Blackberries abound here. Great value. (Clyde Beffa, K&L Co-Owner and Bordeaux Buyer) It comes from the miniscule St-Georges St-Emilion Appellation, which is located within the boundaries of Montagne-St-Emilion. The vineyards of Château Divon have a specially privileged terroir. They face straight south. Always a plus in this uncertain maritime climate!
Bordeaux's trade blog identifies this red as a terrific value, noting that it's "a robust, fresh red that pairs well with pork."
89-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A sensational effort from proprietor Denis Dubourdieu, this easygoing, richly fruity, honeyed white Bordeaux exhibits lots of fig, grapefruit and melon notes, medium body, surprising depth and terrific purity as well as complexity. Drink it over the next 1-3 years. (RP)" (8/2014) 88-91 points Wine Spectator: "Tangy and mouthwatering, with kiwi core, lemon pulp, fennel and sel gris notes. Lots of cut through the finish. Piercing. (Web-2014)" K&L Notes: Located in Beguey in the Premières Côtes de Bordeaux appellation, Château Reynon was purchased by the Dubourdieu family in 1958. Denis Dubourdieu too... Read More »
L'Avocat is in the small commune of Cerons, which is located just north of Barsac and Sauternes in the southern Graves appellation. At 300 feet above the Garrone River, the vineyards have stunning views of the lovely Côtes de Bordeaux. The vineyard's soil is loaded with different color gravel that imparts textbook minerality to both their whites and reds. L'Avocat's white is fresh and citrusy from the Sauvignon Blanc, and the addition of barrel-fermented Semillon rounds out the palate. This is a great all-around white for cocktailing or with salads, fis... Read More »
From the winery: "Since 2004, Château Haut-Bailly has produced a ‘rosé de saignée’ when the conditions allow. A few hours after the start of the maceration process, part of the wine is extracted from the vat in order to increase the natural concentration of the red wine. The fermentation takes place in barrels and in vats, at low temperature to bring out the fruit aromas. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon rosé, lively and seductive, is sold under the name ‘Rose de Haut-Bailly.’"
This is the second wine of Château Malleret, generally only available in Hong Kong and Europe. A great value from this age-worthy but early drinking vintage. Dominated by Merlot, this comes from the youngest vines on the property, aged for a year. Winemaker notes: "Beneath its purple roble and fruity nose, the Château Barthez 2009 reveals soft, supple tannins which ensure a long finish with subtle wood notes. A real pleasure with a good steak or a roast dinner."
Inventory: Redwood City
91 points James Suckling: "A young red with a solid core of fruit with blueberry and light chocolate character. Full body, with slightly chewy tannin structure and well-framed palate. Very well done for this estate. This shows nicely now but will be better in two or three years." (3/2013) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A relatively soft, round, generously endowed wine with oodles of sweet kirsch fruit, a hint of black currants, herbs and loamy soil notes, this blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc was cropped at 35 hectoliters per hectare. Just over 1000 cases were made, and it tips the scales at 14.5% alcoh ...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)
Ch. L’Avocat’s vineyard location, just a few hundred yards from the Garonne River are in a perfect spot for their grapes to catch the morning mist that will infect the grapes and allow “boytrytis” to flourish, creating a lush wine of great sweetness. The bouquet is of citrus, apricot and pineapple fruit; on the palate it has the hallmark quality of lively acidity with fruit flavors of marmalade, pineapple and lemons. Good complexity and concentration with a fresh finish. An impressive value in sweet wine! (Ralph Sands, K&L Bordeaux Expert)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another sleeper of the vintage, this elegant 2010 offers up notes of cedar, loamy soil, black currants and black cherries. Medium-bodied and complex already with supple tannins as well as a nicely layered mouthfeel and finish, it should be consumed over the next decade." (5/2011) Wine Spectator: "This delivers a good, direct beam of cassis and blackberry fruit, with licorice and warm stone notes framing the finish. Rather direct but nicely put together. Drink now through 2016." (3/2013) K&L Notes: One of the best tasting under $20 Bodeaux 2010s in the store. Quite lush for such a conce... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
94-97 points Wine Spectator: "Offers a bold, spicy profile, with nectarine, ginger, hazelnut and pineapple notes. Shows lots of energy, brimming with spice and focused acidity through the finish. A great showing." (4/2015) 95-96 points James Suckling: "A solid wine with dried fruits, spices, dried mushrooms and medium sweetness. Full-bodied, sweet and intense." (4/2015) 94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Doisy-Védrines 2014 is a blend of 85% Sémillon and 15% Sauvignon Blanc, a modest 134 grams per liter residual sugar and a pH of 3.55 (a figure that might be a little lower than recent vintages.) It has a fragrant bouquet that is actually q ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A decent effort in this tough vintage for some of the Médoc wines, Lanessan’s 2012 has some nice suppleness to the tannin, cranberry and black cherry fruit, plum and blackcurrants. It is medium-bodied with earth, herbs and spice. Drink it over the next decade. (RP)" (4/2015) K&L Notes: * A very fruity and tasty style. Another great value from what Robert Parker calls a "consistent property that turns out wines that are often very close to classified-growth quality."
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "All fresh blackberry juice with sweetness and power. The wine has richness, along with considerable charming freshness." (3/2011) Jancis Robinson: "36% of production. 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot. Very rich and sweet on the nose. Easy and sweet and quite delicate. Very dry on the finsh but utterly charming and flattering until you get to that slightly drying finish." (4/2010) Wine Spectator: "Chocolate and berry character on the nose and palate. Medium-bodied, with a soft tannin structure and light finish. (Web-2010)" K&L Notes: This wine is stunning. The little brother of Tronquoy Lalande and owne... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Revealing abundant minerality as well as a leaner, tighter style than the 2010's with less mass, extraction and power, this elegant, medium-bodied 2008 exhibits raspberry and black currant fruit, cedar, loamy soil and a hint of spice box. It should be consumed over the next 3-4 years. (RP)" (5/2011) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright, dark red. Redcurrant, tobacco and menthol on the nose. Broad, sweet and fairly full in the mouth, with a fine grain to the flavors of currant, tobacco, herbs and earth. Not especially complex or structured but nicely made. The finish features broad, ri ...Read More »
90-92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel sample. Attractive and fruity, a wine that has soft texture with light touches of botrytis. It's warm and rich, with a fine final texture of dryness and acidity." (4/2013) 89-92 points Wine Spectator: "Quite lively, with a floral edge to the white peach, pineapple and heather notes. Good freshness and definition." (4/2013) Jancis Robinson: "Pure fruited: citrus and a touch of pineapple and ripe apple. Delicately honeyed. Sour/fresh on the palate. Lively and bright if not yet complex." (4/2013) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Doisy-Vedrines has a typically forthright, honeyed, nectarine-scented bouquet that does not quite p ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "This spicy, full-bodied effort shows the generosity of 2009. It has firm tannins, but they are matched by the full blackberry and black currant flavors. The dry core from wood aging is likely to soften over the next 2–3 years." (2/2013) Wine Spectator: "Tar and tobacco notes frame a core of currant fruit in this muscular red. A bit earthy, but has good concentration and a smoky finish. Best from 2012 through 2020. (Web-2012)" K&L Notes: L'Avocat is in the small commune of Cerons, which is located just north of Barsac and Sauternes in the southern Graves appellation. I met Nicola Alliso... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
90-93 points Wine Spectator: "Pure and direct, with a textbook beam of cassis and bitter cherry notes, laced with lilac and iron hints. The racy, unencumbered finish lets the mineral edge shine. Lots of improvement here recently. This may be the best value play in the vintage." (4/2015) 90-92 points Antonio Galloni: "A delicious, mouth filling St. Estèphe, the 2014 Capbern captures the personality of the year in the northern Médoc in spades. Hints of smoke, tobacco, licorice, mocha and earthiness wrap around a core of dark fruit in an exuberant wine loaded with pure textural richness. The 2014 finishes with notable ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
93 points James Suckling: "Nicely taut, with a mix of damson plum, bitter cherry and red currant fruit racing along, carried by a bright iron note and picking up floral and bergamot notes on the sleek finish. Drink now through 2016." (2/2013)90 points Wine Spectator: "Nicely taut, with a mix of damson plum, bitter cherry and red currant fruit racing along, carried by a bright iron note and picking up floral and bergamot notes on the sleek finish. Drink now through 2016." (3/2013) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "An impressively opulent wine for its price point, the 2010 exhibits notes of vanillin intermixed with spice box, licorice, Provencal ...Read More »
91-92 points James Suckling: "This is a very serious and structured wine from here. Best ever? Full, chewy and structured. Plenty of fruit. Chewy." (3/2015) 90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Lilian-Ladouys 2014 is a blend of 55% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot cropped at 44hl/ha. Aged in 30% new oak from several cooperages, it veers towards fleshy red berry fruit on the nose with hints of dried herbs and sous-bois lending personality, something to talk about. The palate is medium-bodied with tobacco infused black fruit, masculine in style with good backbone and impressi ...Read More »
95-96 points James Suckling: "This is really dense and powerful with loads of dried botrytis fruits and flavors. Full body, medium sweetness and a long finish. Impressive." (3/2015) 93-95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. Opulent honey notes dominate the flavor of this super-rich wine. A dry core of botrytis gives an almost mineral character to the wine. Full bodied, a blend of apricot and crisp pear notes are generous and concentrated." (4/2015) 92-95 points Wine Spectator: "Unctuous pineapple, nectarine and mango flavors pump along, backed by good ginger and orange zest notes. Solidly built." (3/2015) 92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Clos Haut-Peyraguey 2014 is ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse