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K&L Staff Recommendations
We couldn't be more excited to bring you another installment in what hopefully will turn out to be a long, fruitful project with wineries from around the United States, working with us directly to make exclusive bottlings for our customers. The Domestic team here at K&L has spent a great deal of time kicking around the idea of approaching wineries or winemakers we love, and asking them to work with us to create exclusive wines to our specifications. Furthermore we wanted to not only promote these outstanding wines, but the wineries behind them (rather th... 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)
Great Buy - Just Reduced! On our recent trip to Oregon this summer we certainly found plenty of great wines and met with a multitude of amazingly talented people. Many of the wines we found on that trip have already come in and sold out mostly due to our sheer excitement about the quality of wines we found. One of the most exciting opportunities from that trip was to work closely with our friends at Bethel Heights to put together a Pinot Noir exclusive to K&L as part of our burgeoning Co-Branded project. This 2013 Bethel Heights/K&L Wine Merchants Eola-A... Read More »
Great Price - Just Reduced! Last year’s Ancient Peaks/K&L Zinfandel bottling was such a hit with our staff and customers that we could have done another vintage of it and we all would have been incredibly happy. However, that would be too easy, and that is simply not the K&L way. I started talking to the folks at AP early this year when we began the discussion about doing another bottling together. We both knew that we wanted to, but I really wanted to show off the winery's incredible Cabernet vines and I didn’t know if they had enough Cab to let us have... Read More »
99 points James Suckling: "Super fresh, this is striking given the 10 years in the cellars; it has a fine citrus nose - plenty of lemon, grapefruit, yellow chalky notes, some lighter floral elements too. The palate is super dry (dosage at 3-4g) and there's a silky, sherbet-like texture, smooth, fine and long. The citrus flavours give way to the driving surging acidity, thunderous acidity, really driving and powerful. The finish twists very slowly through to light-toasted cashew fruit flavours, but lemon citrus prevails. This is thrilling Champagne. Disgorged 22nd October, 2013. Dr ...Read More »
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 »
Killer New Price! -Produced and bottled by Brewer-Clifton, the "B-C" Kessler Haak Pinot Noir is a single vineyard wine that comes from the organically farmed Kessler-Haak Vineyard. It is located off Highway 246, about 7 miles west of the town of Buellton, in the heart of the Santa Rita Hills appellation. The blend is made up of 25% Clone 667, 25% Clone 113 and 50% of Clone 115. Only 161 cases were bottled of this unique wine.
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Bisceglia’s 2008 Aglianico del Vulture Gudarra is one of the very best wines readers will find in this price range. Layers of expressive dark fruit cover every inch of the palate in a vivid, textured Aglianico that impresses from start to finish. Hints of mocha, grilled herbs and rosemary add complexity over time. The dazzling, racy Gudarra is best enjoyed over the next few years. It is another superb value. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018. (AG)" (2/2013) Wine Enthusiast: "This is a generous and powerful expression of Aglianico, with angular edges, tight tannins and a lasti ...Read More »
93 points James Halliday: "Matured in American and French puncheons for 18 months, it has very good shape and drive to its medium to full-bodied palate, with black cherry, bramble and fruitcake flavours, the mocha oak in balance." (3/2014)92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "92+ Deep garnet-purple colored and just gorgeous on the nose, with intense floral and black fruit notes plus some menthol and dusty earth nuances, the full-bodied and rich 2012 Estate Shiraz offers concentrated flavors supported by a good backbone of medium to firm, rounded tannins and refreshing acid. It finishes long. Drink now to 2024+. (LPB) ...Read More »
94-96 points Raymond Chan: "This has layers of interest and an excellent clarity and freshness of expression... The mouthfeel is beautifully succulent and lusciously fine-featured, showing delicate phenolic textures alongside mouthwatering acidity. The poise, tension and balance is striking and delicious, and the palate leads to a very long and sustained finish with aromatic fruit and herb nuances. This is a beautifully refined, succulent and poised oak-influenced Sauvignon Blanc with complex detailing." Winemaker's Notes: "Complex nose of fresh garden herbs, lemon, lime and mango ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "So broadly delicious now, it hardly seems worthwhile to age this wine, but don’t let it fool you. The blackberries, currants, dark chocolate, minerals and oak will only transform into something seamlessly complex with 8-10 years in the cellar. The winery’s Reserve bottling has established itself as one of the most consistently fine, ageable Cabs in Napa Valley." (12/2013)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Composed of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve ratchets up the quality level displaying more wood and tannin. Medium to full-bodied ...Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "Intense golden raisin, tarragon and grapefruit flavors give this white good cut. Very minerally in the mid palate, with a luscious finish that combines candied mint and dried mango flavor. Exotic and richly spiced. Drink now through 2020." (11/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Assyrtiko is rather impressive on opening, tightly wound and showing fine grip and tension on the finish, together with earthy, minerally nuances that I liked. The acidity gives it a bright and sunny feel to it. This is a nice performance here, balanced but persistent, relatively complex yet tasty. It ...Read More »
Decanter: "Lean but pure blackcurrant nose with attractive touch of mint. Ripe tannins, discreet, fine acidity, balanced and graceful. Drink 2008-14." (10/2007) Wine Spectator: "Shows currant and hints of dried flowers on the nose. Medium-bodied, with velvety tannins and a medium finish. Slightly hollow midpalate, but clean. Best after 2008." (3/2007) K&L Notes: This wine is flat-out delicious. Enjoy right now with a juicy hamburger. (Clyde Beffa Jr., K&L)
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)
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)
Wine & Spirits: "Lively and fresh, this flavorful sparkling wine is packed with ripe lemon and quince fruit. Its mousse is a bit foamy, its aroma a bit grassy. Balanced for the richness of a lobster roll." (10/2011) K&L Notes: From Chardonnay grown in the Maconnais region of southern Burgundy, this lovely sparkling wine is fresh and floral with apple and pear notes, lots of tiny bubbles and a crisp finish. A remarkable value!
Inventory: San Francisco
This can legally come from many of the villages in the Cote de Beaune. In this case, it comes from some vineyards quite near each other. One is in Chorey-les-Beaune, just below Aloxe-Corton, in a lovely organically and biodynamically farmed vineyard called "Les Champs Long." Other fruit comes from Savigny-les-Beaune and Pernand-Vergelesses. The result is a lovely wine, with bright and charming fruit, a lovely mid-palate and a soft and pretty finish. This is what the British would call more-ish, as in I'll have some more, please! (Keith Wollenberg, K... Read More »
This a new acquisition of one of the family's historic vineyards in Santenay from his brother Vincent who left the wine business to farm cereal grains west of Paris. It shows a very pretty thread of minerality running through it, which comes from the relatively shallow topsoil of this site, located above the more well-known Santenay Gravières. This has that combination of energy, focus and a relatively open texture on the palate that makes it very easy to like. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer, 03/2014)
97-100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The spectacular 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23 appears to be the finest Cask 23 since the glory years of the mid-eighties. It boasts a dense purple color, complex notes of spice box, Christmas fruitcake, blackcurrant jam, mulberries and spring flowers, as well as a full-bodied, opulent personality. It is a profound example of this iconic wine that went through a period of mediocrity in the mid- to late-1990s prior to being sold. Drink now-2038. (RP)" (10/2014)
The bounty of the 2012 vintage is certainly showing its stuff. The Kirkham Peak Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir was made for us by a very notable Central Coast winery (we can't tell you who), and this bottling is the real deal at a fraction of the price. The winery who (for contractual reasons) needs to remain nameless, has a long list of highly-rated wines from various critics. And with the perfect raw materials in 2012, they've fashioned another winner. This has a profile of bright fruit--lovely raspberry and strawberry aromas that reverberate on t... Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "Aromas of tar and asphalt combined with strawberries follow through to a full-bodied, juicy Barolo with fine tannins and a beautiful acid/fruit balance. Long on the finish, and although a bit oaky now, this will be excellent in 2016." (8/2014) K&L Notes: Started by Angelo Germano in 1908, this estate has been run by the fourth generation of Germanos--Davide--since the 1990s. (Davide's first complete vintage was 1998.) This is sourced from the Rué Vineyard. The vineyard's soils are sandy marl, and the vines are farmed naturally, using Integrated Pest Management techn... Read More »
In the southeast of Spain sandwiched between Jumilla and Alicante, wines from Yecla have most prolifically come from what happens to be the largest co-op in Spain. However the Castaño family stands as the most important and ambitious privately owned winery in the D.O., and they have gone to great lengths to push the quality from the often coarse wines for which this region was previously known. Their four prime estate vineyards now comprise 10% of the vine acreage in Yecla, and their ambition is only matched by their commitment to quality. Their organica... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
This batch of the Blason Brut sparkling wine is made from 100% Ribolla Gialla grapes and is produced in a "long Charmat" method, meaning that it spend six months in tanks. Blason is from Isonzo in Italy's north easternmost region, called Friuli, which borders Slovenia.
In the southeast of Spain sandwiched between Jumilla and Alicante, wines from Yecla have most prolifically come from what happens to be the largest co-op in Spain. However the Castaño family stands as the most important and ambitious privately owned winery in the D.O., and they have gone to great lengths to push the quality from the often coarse wines for which this region was previously known. Bodegas Castaño started small and has nurtured their old vine plantings, which has done much for their Yecla renaissance. Their four prime estate vineyards now co... Read More »
Allen Meadows - Burghound: "This possess a deep color for a Chorey along with an attractive nose of kirsch, plum and earth nuances. Here too there is good volume to the medium-bodied flavors that have a suave and very round mouth feel, all wrapped in a mildly rustic finish that delivers fine depth and length for what this is. Worth considering for value." (4/2014) Jancis Robinson: "A touch of farmyard here, plus some bright, tasty herbal notes. Leathery and dark to finish. Good density, and the first funkiness on the nose doesn’t dominate. (RH)" (1/2014) K&L Notes: Labeled as simply Chorey Les Beaune, this is esta... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "**Cellar Selection** An outstanding Reserve, this opens with potent aromas of spice and cacao, which lead onto a muscular, sleek and stylish palate that shows terrific depth of black fruits. The wine has exceptional structure, and it remains nuanced, with details of earth and stem." (4/2013)91 points Wine Spectator: "Bright and focused, showing a sandy accent to the spicy cassis and thyme flavors, with a polished texture on the harmonious finish. Offers complexity and depth. Best from 2014 through 2019." (11/2012)
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "A minty aroma wafts from this wine, fresh and herbal, intermingled with the smell of sun-warmed tomato leaves. In taste, cranberry and savory black tea surround soft layers of well-built acidity and subtle red cherry fruitiness. It’s an intriguing wine that gets better in the glass." (10/2014)90 points Wine Spectator: "The plum, black cherry and raspberry flavors are pure and intense, showing some finesse, with star anise, clove and black pepper details that crescendo on the finish. Drink now through 2018." (9/2013)
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Opaque ruby. Ripe cherry and black raspberry aromas are complicated by notes of licorice, cola and smoky herbs. A sexy floral nuance comes up with air, adding lift to weighty berry and espresso flavors. Takes a brighter turn on the long, sappy finish, featuring raspberry compote and floral pastille qualities." (5/2014) Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* This may be the ripest of the new Ravenswood lot, but it does not go the way of chocolaty heaviness, and it delivers a fair bit of bright, slightly raspberry-like fruit. It is fleshy, big-bodied and a bit hot in the bargain, and i ...Read More »
The vineyards of Villa Montefiori are located at the entrance to the Valle de Guadalupe, where breezes from the Pacific help keep vines cool and promote ideal conditions for grape-growing. Importer notes: "Fragrant nose of red cherry, cranberry, and crushed olives. Medium bodied on the palate, with layers of ripe berry notes. Finishes with cleansing acidity and plenty of grip. Impressively balanced, this blend proves how far winemaking in Mexico has progressed in the past five years."
Inventory: Main Warehouse
James Halliday: "Special Value Selection: Clear, vivid red; the fragrant, aromatic bouquet leads into a light to medium-bodied palate, full of juicy red fruit flavours tailor-made for early drinking, although there are enough fine tannins on the finish to sustain it for a couple of years in the bottle, or match it with hearty food. Excellent value." K&L Notes: A unique blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Tempranillo that all do extremely well in the warm Swan Valley climate. This wine captures the richness and power of Swan Valley fruit, while retaining lots and freshness and spice. A medi... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Wine Spectator: "Full, soft and fruity, with lots of wild raspberry and blackberry aromas and flavors and a soft texture." (6/2007) K&L Notes: The Teroldego wine is an indigenous varietal of Trentino which finds its ideal environment in the Piana Rotaliana. Teroldego seems to derive from "Tiroler Gold," the name that indicated this wine at the Court of Vienna under the Austro-Hungarian empire. From this name came the Tiroldico and finally Teroldego. Among the Trentino wines it is certainly the most famous and rightfully called the royal wine of Trentino.
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This is one of the most riveting examples of Valandraud Jean-Luc Thunevin has made over the last fifteen years. Thunevin and his partner, Murielle Andraud (who has much of the responsibility for their brilliant Margaux, Marojallia), exhibit impeccable attention to detail, resulting in an inky/blue/purple-colored 2005 Valandraud boasting a sweet nose of melted chocolate, licorice, graphite, espresso roast, and copious quantities of black cherries and blackberries. Pure, layered, and full-bodied, with gorgeous integration of acidity, tannin, alcohol, and w ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A rich and fruit Chardonnay with apple pie and milk aromas and flavors. Full and fruity, with lots going on. Always excellent." (12/2011)90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good, medium yellow color with gold highlights. Bright, pure aromas of tropical fruit, lime and white pepper. Dense, supple and fresh, offering bright orchard fruit, butter and pineapple flavors that gain depth and spiciness with air. In an exuberant, in-your-face, fruit-filled New World style, but avoids coming across as an over-the-top caricature. Serious unoaked chardonnay with impressive purity." (10/2011) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Cha ...Read More »
We've been big fans of Gus Gamba's old vine estate Zinfandel, and the now near-cult status Moratto (Starr Road) Vineyard old vine Zin, for years. "Family Ranches" is sourced with the help of a few neighboring vineyards in this slightly elevated, well-drained area that's been a "sweet spot" for Russian River Valley Zinfandel for over a century. Aged in American oak, it's 15.9 abv but hardly showing it through supple, rich layers of toasty cocoa and brambleberry fruit.
Inventory: Redwood City
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "White golden in color, the 2011 Vouvray Sec Tendre starts with slightly greenish walnut and lees aromas that lead to a rather dulcet, light to medium-bodied, versatile, mineral-structured Chenin with a delicate though somewhat dry finish. (SR)" (10/2014) Wine Spectator: "High-toned, with green almond and green plum notes, showing a hint of chamomile on the slightly off-dry finish. (Web Only—2013)" K&L Notes: With just a touch of sweetness on the entry, Domaine du Viking's "Tendre" is impeccably balanced; showing round fruit up front, but sliding into the classic minerality and earthy f... Read More »
The 2012 Abtei Muri Sudtirol "Weiss" is a blend of 70% Pinot Bianco and 30% Pinot Grigio grown in the village of Appiano/Eppan in a southeast facing vineyard with predominantly gravelly limestone soils at elevations from 1500 to over 2000 feet, with vines aged 20-30 years. The wines from this area exhibit a persistent saltiness to go along with the excellent acidic balance. Winemaker Christian Werth ferments in stainless steel and then ages it for 15 months in large wooden casks with a weekly lees stirring. This wine can age easily for another 5-8 year... Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "As with Pinot, there is no "Summum" bottling from selected rows or barrels this year, so Evening Land’s 2011 Chardonnay Seven Springs La Source reflects all of their best vines and lots. White peach and citrus dominate a luscious, creamy yet vibrantly juicy palate whose sense of richness and sheer density go beyond that of the "regular" Seven Springs bottling, yet without sacrificing clarity, or sheer juicy refreshment - though in buoyancy and mouthwatering salinity that ostensibly "lesser" wine holds the edge. There are more piquant elements incorporate ...Read More »
Vincent Gaudry is a traditionalist in Sancerre who has gained respect among his peers for dedication to authentic espression of Sancerre terroir. His was the first domaine in Sancerre to be certified biodynamic, and the naturally low yielding vines endow the wines with richness and volume. Mélodie de Vieilles Vignes is sourced from vines up to 90 years old, and the concentration and complexity show driving minerality and savory flavors adorned with notes of grapefruit zest and cut grass.
92 points Wine Spectator: "A mix of opulence, bright acidity and berry fruit tantalizes the taste buds, with light earth and spice notes chiming in as this winds down gracefully on the long and mouthwatering finish. Ends with a mineral edge. Best from 2015 through 2026. 25 cases imported." (8/2014) K&L Notes: Located on the border with Gevrey Chambertin, kitty-corner from Charmes Chambertin, Grands Cru. Much more open at present than the Crai gillon, with lovely red fruit on the entry, followed by a tighter structure. Finishes with substantial fine-grained tannins. Lots of volume, and a lovel... Read More »
93 points James Halliday: "Bright crimson-purple hue, although not deep; a 30/37/24% blend; particularly attractive wine in the context of '11, with abundant sweet dark berry fruit without any Turkish delight/confection flavours; there is a seamless flow of flavour from the first sip right the way through to the aftertaste." (7/2013)91 points Wine Spectator: "Smooth and expressive, brimming with coffee-accented blackberry and purple plum flavors, tumbling through the open-textured finish. Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre." (5/2014) K&L Notes: Sons of Eden is a new project from two guys who really know what they're doing. W... Read More »
A blend of 60% Garnacha (25 year-old vines on extremely windy, sandy vineyards) and 40% Cariñena (30 year-old vines on a warmer site) that are farmed organically and co-fermented, this is a fun new addition to our Catalan section. Young winemaker Francesc Ferre may only be 26 years old, but the wine he makes in Corbera d'Ebre is delicious and already at a high qualitative level. Medium weight aromas of cherries and red fruits show a slightly earthy character, and lead to a clean palate of equal parts red and dark skinned fruits. There is a lively, juicy ... Read More »
91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "More clean and classy than the straight Santa Lucia Highlands, the 2013 Chardonnay Rosella's Vineyard has beautiful citrus blossom and ripe orchard fruit to go with building vanilla bean, toast and spice-like nuances. This is a stunner that has loads of classy in its medium to full-bodied, pure and beautifully focused profile. It should drink nicely on release and over the following 2-4 years. (JD)" (11/2014)92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Brian Loring’s bottling does this excellent vineyard justice, offering aromas of pear, apple and white peach laced together with buttercream and crus ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
Made to the same set of recipes since 1821, Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry has long been the benchmark for fine French Vermouth. Made with fine wines of the region and botanicals found in the alpine meadows above Chambéry, together they impart a fresh and elegant nose, with a subtle and complex palate. Ideal as an aperitif or in cocktails. In the late 19th century, Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry won medals in Paris, London, St. Louis and Philadelphia and in 1932 earned Chambéry France's only Appellation d’ Origine for Vermouth.
94 points James Halliday: "Good colour; an impressive wine at all points along the way, with a peacock's tail display of black cherry, spice and licorice embraced by warm, fine tannins, oak playing a largely unseen role. Will cellar well, but there's no reason not to drink it today, having flourished over the past 18+ months." (11/2013) K&L Notes: Mount Trio was named one of James Halliday's Top 10 "Dark Horses' of up-and-coming wineries for 2014. This small family estate is owned and managed by veteran winemaker Gavin Berry and his wife. Together they make wines from their own lovingly hand-... Read More »
If southern Catalunya's Terra Alta D.O. is increasingly on the map for producing some of Spain's best values, then Xavier Clua would have to be on my short list of producers in this region who really hit the $15 and under price point with some emphatic values. This is our first time working with the rosado, a blend of Garnacha and Syrah. Given the beautiful, relatively paler pink color and fresh flavor profile, it would seem that the maceration is on the shorter side for this rosé, emphasizing juicy red fruit flavors and hints of watermelon. Though the f... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Predicador is a blend of 93% Tempranillo and 7% Garnacha cropped between October 7 and 14. The nose was suffering some bottle shock, but it certainly demonstrates intense floral aromas coupled with vibrant cassis fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine, structured tannins that, even at this premature juncture, are obvious. Taut, tense, and supremely well-focused, this should turn out to be a superb wine when it is released later this year. Drink 2015-2022." (8/2012)91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(96% tempranillo, 3% garnacha and 1% viura; aged for 16 months in one-ye ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Monforte d’Alba. Quite deep ruby with narrow orange rim – oak? Very closed and reluctant on the nose, with only a hint of bacon. Succulent fruit with a muscular tannic structure and multilayered finish, but not nearly ready. (17/20)" (6/2014) K&L Notes: Started by Angelo Germano in 1908, this estate has been run by the fourth generation of Germanos--Davide--since the 1990s.
Allen Meadows - Burghound: "This is much more reserved with hints of earth and spice to the mostly red pinot fruit aromas. This is also quite fleshy with slightly better phenolic maturity to the delicious, round and acceptably persistent finish. This should drink well young if desired." (1/2014)
Inventory: Redwood City