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K&L Staff Recommendations
1963 Croft Vintage Port $249.99
Wine Enthusiast: "* Best Buy * Named after the grapes in the blend (Negroamaro, Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon), this easygoing, savory wine doles out juicy blackberry, black currant, black cherry and a hint of licorice. Soft, round tannins provide the framework." (3/2015)
90 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* A zesty red, with personality to spare, offering notes of licorice, blackberry, smoky pepper and grilled herbs. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah and mixed Italian blacks. Drink now through 2019." (6/2015) Antonio Galloni: "Marietta's NV Old Vine Red Lot 62 is one of the very best California wines readers will find for the money. Zinfandel plays the leading role in a hearty, racy red bursting at the seams with flavor. Sweet red cherries, flowers, cedar and new leather add the final notes of complexity. Brothers Jake and Scot Bilbro seem to have breathed new life i ...Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Even more remarkable is the 2012 Solanera Vinas Viejas, a blend of 70% Mourvedre, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Grenache aged 10 months in a combination of French and American oak. A custom cuvee that is only available through importer Eric Solomon, this amazing red wine displays notes of lead pencil shavings, acacia flowers, black raspberries, blueberries and black currants. This full-bodied, intense 2012 tastes like it should cost three to five times as much. Full-bodied, stunningly pure and textured, it should last for 4-5 years, possibly longer. T ...Read More »
The Union de Vingerons de l'Ile de Beaute (UVIB) is an association of growers on the island of Corsica based near the town of Aléria. Their wine the Terra Santa Rosé is 100% Sciaccarellu, a grape native to the island. It is a pale pink with crisp berry fruit notes of white raspberry and strawberry. The beauty of Corsican rosés is the intensity and texture of the wines. Discover the region with this terrific value.
98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Clos Mogador is nothing short of spectacular. They started in 1999 with some Cariñena, and they gradually increased the Garnacha and reduced the Cabernet. 2012 is possibly the vintage of Mogador with less Cabernet, as it didn't behave well in such warm year. René Barbier senior tells me it reminds him of the freshness of the 2000 that he generously uncorked for me to compare; they only have a handful of bottles for the old vintages! The nose of this 2012 is still little reticent but not reduced like many vintages in the past, slowly showing a gr ...Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another baby Priorato, the 2012 Mas Donis, a custom cuvee from Eric Solomon, is composed of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah aged nine months in both new and used French and American oak. The Grenache comes from 70-year-old vines, and the Syrah from 30-year-old vines. It is difficult to find a better value than this incredibly rich effort. The bouquet offers up a smorgasbord of aromas, including crushed rocks, spring flowers, kirsch liqueur and blacker fruits. Full-bodied with a velvety, voluptuous texture, and admirable opulence, density, purity and texture.. ...Read More »
If you try to find the exact cepage on this always-fantastic red blend, you might find yourself gazing up at the heavens for an answer, since you won't get one from the winemaker. The Pleiades might be the only super-allocated, cult California wine for under $25, and it's sure to sell out quickly, as previous vintages have. From "One of California's most iconic and mystical winemakers," says Robert Parker: "Sean Thackrey has logged in 20 or more vintages of consistently stunning wines that perhaps say it all with the simple quote on his label: -Sean A. T... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I have always loved Muga’s rose, and the 2012 Rosado (a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Viura and 10% Tempranillo aged two months in American oak vats) is delicious. Lots of strawberry and cherry notes as well as surprising body and underlying power give this a traditional, old style rose character. With both freshness and flavor intensity, this surprisingly fine effort should drink well for a year." (11/2013) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(mostly garnacha, with some viura and tempranillo): Pale orange-pink. Aromas of strawberry, white peach and rose, with a hint of cherry pit adding depth. ...Read More »
A blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara, this Valpolicella is ruby-red and super silky in texture, with the quintessential chocolate-covered cherry quality you'd expect from good Valpolicella.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Made from purchased grapes and vinified in the winery, as opposed to buying bulk wine and blending it, it is indigenous yeast-fermented, and comes across as a high-octane, delicious/yummy, big, full-bodied red with lots of pepper and meaty notes intermixed with red and black fruits, earth, and spice. I believe some of the declassified lots from the Bedrock cuvées also end up in this blend. A terrific bargain, it should drink well for several years. (RP)" (12/2014) K&L Notes: The base for this wine comes from more than 100-year-old vines from the Bedrock vineyard, and... Read More »
This is a fresh, low-alcohol, and affordable rosé for your warm summer days. "Les Ligeriens" is a blend of Gamay and Grolleau from the Anjou AOC and is aged in stainless steel to maintain the purity of the fruit. Strawberry-scented with flavors of cherry and cranberry that pop on a crisp, refreshing palate. Drink it as an aperitif or with your favorite foods off the grill. (Eric Story, Loire)
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 Antonio Galloni: "Dark bright red. Amarone-like opulence on the nose and in the mouth, with a raisiny nuance to the ripe, soft red cherry, sweet spice and herb aromas and flavors. So velvety and opulent I would have tasted it in Veneto had I tasted it blind, but it’s so well balanced and smooth that it’s pretty irresistible. Finishes long, with lush, smooth tannins and a hint of residual sweetness. I really like this wine because, for all its showy sweetness and opulence, it manages to retain a graceful quality without going over the top. Amarone lovers will score it even ...Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Proprietary Red Blend The Prisoner is a creative blend of 44% Zinfandel, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petite Sirah, as well as Syrah, Grenache and Chardonnay. This dense, full-bodied, opulent red reveals gutsy, rich, peppery, meaty, blackberry, blackcurrant and licorice notes. A savory, lusty, heady red, it begs for a grilled steak or a big, juicy hamburger. Drink it over the next 4-5 years." (10/2014) K&L Notes: A perennial favorite as a crowd-pleaser and fun Napa red, the 2013 Prisoner is a Zinfandel-based (44%) blend with the balance in Cabernet Sauvignon,... Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Penya’s 2013 Côtes Catalanes is a beauty, and the finest vintage of this cuvee I’ve tasted. Giving up lots of sweet black raspberry, spring flowers and spice, this medium to full-bodied effort has sweet fruit, a rounded, supple texture and good acidity. It’s a knockout bottle of wine to buy by the case as a house red for drinking over the coming couple of years. (JD)" (4/2015) K&L Notes: From importer Dan Kravitz, the man behind such great values as Cabirau, Syrousse and Le Cirque. Cases de Pene is a tiny village in the Roussillon region of Southern France, just 30 m... Read More »
A stunning little rosé. Quite unusually this is made from Petit Verdot. The wine is perfectly poised, aromatic, crunchy bright fruit and floral tones, crushed rock minerality and possesses a lovely palate weight and lees driven texture / complexity. This can be quaffed without much thought or it can be pondered over for hours, so fresh and easy-drinking, but also very layered and complex. A seriously good addition to our 2015 rosé lineup.
Ah, Piedmont! Home to Italy's most long-lived reds, Barolo and Barbaresco. Piedmont also lays claim to this frothy number, a semi-sweet sparkling wine that shares as much in common with Barolo as a turnip does with a root beer float. To begin with, there's the preponderance of wild strawberry fruit, and the effervescent goodness that is not totally dissimilar to Moscato, only this one is pink. Deep pink. Gulpable pink. After a certain age it is unseemly to drink cherry soda pop in public--go for Brachetto instead! No, it isn't Red Moscato, but I couldn't... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* A blend of 60% Syrah, 27% Merlot and a handful of other varieties added to the mix, this aromatically pops, with complex notes of plum, blueberry, smoke, chocolate and floral accents. It’s silky smooth in feel, with abundant chocolaty flavors that help it go down far too easy." (12/2014)90 points Wine Spectator: "Plush and generous, with blackberry and plum flavors on a velvety texture, deftly balanced with refined acidity and tannins that persist on the finish. Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Viognier and others. Drink now through 2017." (12/2014)
Negroamaro is a red wine grape variety native to southern Italy. It is grown almost exclusively in Puglia and particularly in Salento, the peninsula which can be visualised as the “heel” of Italy. Wines made from Negroamaro tend to be very rustic in character, combining perfume with an earthy bitterness. The grape produces some of the best red and rosè wines of Puglia, particularly when blended with the highly scented Malvasia Nera. While most varieties of Malvasia produce white wine, Malvasia nera is a red wine variety that is used primarily as a blendi... Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Quinta de Vargellas Port, a typical Douro blend, was aged in large French oak vats for 24 months and bottled in 2014. It comes in at 103 grams per liter of residual sugar. This opens steely and gripping, with fine acidity, firmness on the finish and enough concentration in this lighter-styled vintage. The best of the trio submitted by Taylor Fladgate this issue, it does everything well and mostly exceeds expectations. It more or less combines a bit of the initial power displayed by the Fonseca and the expressiveness of the Croft, and adds silky ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "Tangy and fruity with plenty of dark fruits and lemon undertones. Full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Lovely balance." (8/2013) Wine Spectator: "A firm, fresh and balanced red, with muscular red plum, berry and currant flavors, supported by a sturdy structure. The minerally finish reveals hints of flint. (Web Only-2014)" K&L Notes: Quinta do Vallado's entry-level Douro D.O.C. bottling is sourced primarily from younger vineyards (80%) featuring Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, and Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) plus an inclusion of old vineyards (20%) featuring those and other tradi... Read More »
Antonio Galloni: "The NV Troublemaker, a blend of 73% Syrah, 12% Grenache, 8% Petit Sirah and 7% Mourverdre, bursts from the glass with masses of dark, jammy fruit. This joyous, mouthfilling red is best enjoyed in its vinous youth. It is an excellent value. (AG)" (8/2011) James Suckling: "A wine that sneaks up on you. Full bodied, with polished tannins. This is peppery and fun but a little light in the finish. Made from 73% Syrah, 12% Grenache, 8% Petite Sirah and 7% Mourvedre." (11/2011) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A big crowd-pleasing and quaffable effort that’s a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah and ...Read More »
92 points Wine & Spirits: "There are very few Carignans like this in Chile. Made from old vines planted in the 1960s, this takes a light, fresh approach, focused on fruit rather than pushing for superconcentration. With its pure, juicy ripe cherry flavor, it could bolster a plate of grilled sausages or develop for a few years in the cellar." (6/2014)90 points James Suckling: "A spicy and balanced red with blueberries, blackberries and hints of slate. Full to medium body, fresh acidity and a clean finish. A stylish red. Drink now." (8/2014) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Dark purple. Ripe plum and blueberry on the deeply scented nose. Plush ...Read More »
Praise from the Wine Advocate: "Without a doubt, Steve Clifton is producing some of the finest examples of Italian variety wines in California. While I think you get the most bang for the buck from Steve’s more inexpensive whites and reds, his upper-tier Nebbiolos and blends certainly have unique characters and offer high quality." (JD, 08/2013) And from Antonio Galloni's Vinous: "Is there anything Palmina doesn't do well these days? In the past, this lineup of Italian-inspired wines has always had one or two slight underachievers, but not this year. Eve... Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "Powerful, with concentrated slate and mineral notes to the dark currant, dried berry and raspberry ganache flavors. Very lithe midpalate, with a long, focused finish." (5/2015) Jancis Robinson: "Deep cherry red. Pure, lifted and scented fruit with a light overlay of the Douro's dusty/mineral quality. Juicy and deliciously fresh, unencumbered by oak and just a touch spicy. Scented dark fruit on the palate. Bright, straightforward, lively and very drinkable. Definite tannins but they play a supporting role to the fruit. (JH)" (3/2015)
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One step up in sophistication and pedigree compared to the base Campofiorin is the 2010 Brolo Campofiorin Oro. The base Campofiorin is great for sitting by the fireplace with family and friends, but this is a wine of extra caliber for dinner parties and elegant company. The bouquet is tightly woven with threads of dark fruit, spice, tobacco and cola. The wine shows a thicker, more elaborate level of extraction in the mouth. It tastes more like an Amarone than a Ripasso. (ML)" (12/2014) Wine Spectator: "Though elegant overall, the supple tannins lend weight and structure to ...Read More »
This is another terrific bottling of Armas de Guerra, a rosé based from Mencía grapes in the D.O. of Bierzo. It should be delicious when paired with all the usual rosé inspired fare, as well as perhaps some more substantial foods given this wine's excellent fruit intensity and palate presence. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer)
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 »
A second label of Valle dell'Acate, the Case Ibidini range (pronounced ‘bidini) consists of varietally labeled wines from the estate intended for more casual consumption. The local name of the area where the estate is situated, Bidini, is drawn from the ancient root Bidis. This in turn referred to the name of a group of early Hellenic settlers who populated the area nearly 20 centuries ago. These wines provide a purity and authenticity reflective of the philosophy of the estate, all at an affordable price. Made from 100% Nero d'Avola grapes grown in medi... Read More »
91 points James Suckling: ""This is a very intense and rich with blackberry, dark chocolate, grilled meat and cherry flavors. Full body with ripe fruit and tannins. Layered and rich. Long finish. Merlot, Sangiovese, syrah and cabernet sauvignon. Drink now."" (10/2014)
93 points Wine & Spirits: "Sometimes less is more. This is the least ambitious wine in the Prats & Symington stable and, in 2011, it’s the most beautifully Portuguese. It starts out with spice, a slightly muddled schist scent that clarifies with air. Underneath, the wine is lithe, its flavors muscular and powerful without showing any excess alcohol, its dark and supple fruit drawing juice from the schist tannins. Buy it by the case to drink over the next several years." (4/2015) Jancis Robinson: "This is a wine made up of the offcuts from Quinta de Roriz, from grapes Prats and the team consider are n ...Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2005 Taurasi Pago dei Fusi is a huge, explosive wine. It possesses superb delineation of aromas and flavors to match its dark, brooding personality. Sweet balsamic notes develop in the glass, adding further complexity as the wine gradually builds towards a powerful close. The 2005 doesn't appear to quite have the finesse of the 2004, but it comes very close. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025. (AG)" (6/2011)90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Pago dei Fusi is an extremely mineral-driven wine that oozes with aromas of asphalt, wet river stone and crushed brimstone. There’s are touches of ca ...Read More »
Azienda Agricola Barone Cornacchia was esablished in 1577. Now organically farmed from stony calcareous soils, this 100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo displays a deep ruby color with a perfumed and plummy bouquet. The rounded and intense palate shows persistence and fine tannins, and should pair well with grilled meats, pasta, and hard cheese.
Alicante, Carignan, Grenache, Merlot and Syrah From the winery: "This area has its roots in the foothills of the Laces of Montmirail. Property of the Vulture family, Domaine Carobelle has produced pure and natural wines for generations. Cultivated with passion and rigor in organic farming, the old vines of Grenache and Syrah are now producing balanced wines, rich and complex with intense flavors of red fruits"
Inventory: Redwood City
93 points Decanter: "Open, opulent wild mint and berry fruit nose. Rich, succulent summer fruit on the palate: plums and cherries, backed by firm, stony tannins with a touch of black pepper. Bottled with a stopper cork. For drinking now and over the next two years. Drink 2014-2017." (12/2014)93 points Wine Spectator: "Focused and pure-tasting, with concentrated flavors of red plum, crushed raspberry and violet that are broad, rich and plush. Well-sculpted, offering a finish that bursts with dark chocolate and spice notes. Drink now through 2030." (2/2014)92 points Wine & Spirits: "Deep and succulent, this feels modern in its plus ...Read More »
Made from the same set of recipes since 1821, Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry has long been the benchmark for fine French Vermouth. Botanicals found in the Alpine meadows above Chambéry are added to a base wine made from regional grapes to aromatize it, imparting fresh, herbal qualities to the nose and complex flavors to palate. It is then fortified. The Rouge is ideal as an aperitif or in for a wide range of uses in cocktails. In the late 19th century, Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry won medals in Paris, London, St. Louis and Philadelphia and in 1932 earned Chamb... Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar for the 2012 vintage: "Pale orange. A wild, intensely perfumed bouquet evokes red berries, potpourri and tarragon, with smoke and mineral overtones. On the palate, sappy redcurrant and blood orange flavors are complemented by a deeper note of licorice that sneaks in on the back half. Finishes tangy and incisive, with the floral element echoing." (07/2013)
Marchione represents the efforts of Importer A.I. Selections to create outstanding value-priced wines with regional authenticity. The fruit for this wine is sourced from 15-18 year old Nero d'Avola vines located in the Argiento Hills of Sicily. The wine sees no oak and offers a fresh and smoothly textured palate of spicy black cherry and plum fruit. This is certainly an ideal daily table red and perfect for outdoor occasions as well.
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.
Thinus Krüger, CEO / President / Winemaker / Grape crusher / Sole employee of FRAM, brings us these remarkable "wines of exploration." I recently tasted these with Pascal Schildt, the small, specialist South African importer who brings us these wines, and I was truly blown away by the quality, purity, depth and VALUE of the entire range! This Pinotage is amongst the best I have ever tasted. The grapes are from a farm in the mountains north west of Clanwilliam. Red sandy soils and struggling vines, battling for survival. Like most other living things, vin... Read More »
94 points Wine Spectator: "Powerful, rich and refined, with a lithe mouthfeel and flavors of boysenberry, sandalwood, macerated cherry and damson plum. Very minerally as well, featuring loads of spicy notes on the well structured, lingering finish. Elegant. Drink now through 2022." (5/2015)93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Reserva Old Vines, Crasto's familiar brand, is easily the best intersection of price and quality in Crasto's 2012s, although that is frequently true. It comes awfully close to being the best wine, too. It is a very fine performance in this restrained year. It was aged for 18 months in ba ...Read More »
Maison Angelot is run by the brothers Eric and Philippe Angelot. Their 57 acres of vineyards are divided into about 20 different parcels, some hillside and others along the valley floor. Harvest is both manual and with machine (depending on the parcel), and their modern winery houses temperature-controlled stainless-steel and fiberglass tanks. The mondeuse is 100% destemmed and fermented through carbonic maceration preserving freshness and brightness delivering a wine similar to a Beaujolais with more spice qualities.
90 points Wine Spectator: "Plum and blackberry flavors show herb and spice accents in this firmly structured red. The tannins dominate the finish now, yet there's plenty of sweet fruit. Best from 2014 through 2022." (10/2012) K&L Notes: "Dainero" is a Super Tuscan composed primarily of Merlot, with 10% Sangiovese, and spends six months in barrel. Praise for the producer from Wine Advocate: "Massimo Ferragamo's Castiglion del Bosco shows the fruits of hard labor and major winery investments with the 2010 vintage. This stellar vintage shows us what his vineyards are capable of because the qualit... Read More »
92-93 points James Suckling: "Lots of ripe and dried fruit aromas with hints of blackberries and schist that give a flinty undertone. Full to medium body, medium sweet, very fine tannins and integrated fruit. There’s a long and plummy aftertaste too. Full of finesse and beauty for a new vintage Port. Barrel sample." (9/2014)93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Quinta da Roeda Port was bottled in 2014 and comes in at 103 grams per liter of residual sugar. Full-bodied and quite gripping on opening, it has a burnished, darker feel in flavor, plus good acidity. With air, it becomes far more elegant, seeming lighter ...Read More »
93 points Wine Spectator: "Well-crafted and suave, with refined flavors of raspberry tart, red plum and cherry pastry, matched to cardamom and savory spice notes. Plush, creamy finish. Drink now through" (5/2015)
Following in the footsteps of another one of the D.O.'s more successful Txakoli producers, Txomin Etaniz recently began producing this delicious rosé. A little bit of fiz, some crunchy red fruits, and a lot to like in this rosé! Enjoy this with charcuterie, all manner of "conservas" (oil or vinegar cured fish and shellfish), cheeses, or even just on its own as it is one delicious wine for the warmer weather. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish & Portuguese wine buyer)