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K&L Staff Recommendations
2010 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac $299.99
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.
A fantastic Cabernet value from the great 2013 vintage. This wine was made by Yountville's most famous property. We can say no more. Very elegant for the vintage with layers of ripe red berry fruit. Silky texture with tons of latent tannin. Serve with a rack of lamb after decanting for an hour
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 »
The Sequillo Red is made from Syrah, Cinsault and Tinta Barocca. It is selected from multiple parcels of Eben's vines throughout the Swartland region. The fruit is carefully hand-picked and naturally fermented in 1300-gallon cement tanks. The wine spends about 6 weeks on the skins for slow, gentle extraction and is then pressed off with a small basket press. This wine hearkens back to the Châteauneuf-du-Pape of old with a perfect combination of purple flowers, exotic dark red fruits, stoney earth tones, leather, warm spices and smoked meat. The 2012 vint... Read More »
The 2013 vintage has yet to be reviewed, but the 2012 garnered 96 points from Robert Parker: "They appear to be immune to some of winedom’s less than intelligent trends and fads that we see from time to time." That bottling from the '12 vintage (which celebrated their 40th anniversary) was the single largest selling wine for us over the past year. Given that '13 is also an excellent vintage (a twin to '12), we expect lots of interest for this Napa benchmark.
One of our most popular rosés, this fresh and balanced wine comes from one of our favorite co-ops in the south of France. It's a blend of Syrah and Grenache growing in volcanic soils in the heart of the Languedoc. With aromas and flavors of ripe strawberries and raspberries, this crisp, medium-bodied rosé is an ideal complement to spring green salads, light cheeses, mac and cheese, mozzarella cheese salads, goat cheese, cheese and crackers with olives and salumi...or enjoy as an evening aperitif, cheese optional.
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The most impressive of the trio, the 2012 Vacqueyras La Cantarelle is an incredible blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah that spent 24 months all in concrete tanks. It too is a custom cuvee between Eric Solomon, Philippe Cambie and the Bernard family. Named after a house that’s located in the vineyard, it comes from 100+-year-old vines and primarily limestone soils, and there’s a scant 600 cases to go around. Inky purple in color, it gives up meaty aromas and flavors of olive tapenade, cassis, melted licorice and earth to go with a very full-bodied, volup ...Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "A beautifully layered red with dark chocolate, berry and light vanilla character. Full body plus ultra-fine tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Delicious now." (7/2014) K&L Notes: Winery history: "In 2005, the Bonnie family, owner of the renowned Château Malartic-Lagravière (Grand Cru Classé de Graves) and of the Château Gazin Rocquencourt (Pessac-Léognan), decided to leave France in search for new horizons in the world of wine. It all began with the acquisition, along with their partners, of a single 130-hectares (321 acres) block of land in the heart of the Uco V... Read More »
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)
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 »
95 points Decanter: "Very immediate on the nose, with ripe summer fruit and hints of powder puff and pot pourri. Very young and intense but still a little unsettled on the palate, with some traditional oak aromas still to be assimilated, intriguing complexity and great potential."92 points Antonio Galloni: "Readers should do whatever they can to get their hands on Monsanto's 2010 Chianti Classico Riserva, a wine that captures the full pedigree of this great Tuscan vintage, and at a reasonable price. Brisk, saline notes form the backbone, as this expressive, nuanced Riserva shows off its focus, delineati ...Read More »
The winegrowing estate of Chateau les Valentines is more than a century old. The estate originally brought their grapes to the local cooperative, but when Gilles and Pascale Pons took over in 1997, they decided to make their own wine. They built a modern winery and called the domaine "Les Valentines" after their children, Valentin and Clémentine. Château les Valentines now covers approximately 100 acres. The "Le Caprice de Clémentine" is part of the second range of wines coming from the estate. Moderately priced, it is a high quality Côtes de Provence m... Read More »
97 points James Suckling: "Candied fruit aromas with marzipan and blueberry. Spicy too. Figs and meat. Very complex. What a palate. This is so multi-layered with clove, pepper, cinnamon, berry, citrus and cedar. It's full body. Loads of tannins. Great and intriguing wine." (12/2014)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Flirting with perfection, the 2012 Dominus is composed of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. Five thousand cases were produced, a relatively modest amount from this large vineyard’s big crop. Christian Moueix told me that there was plenty of heat in 2012, but there were no excessive hot spells that can plague Napa Valley vintners during the growing season and harvest. This wine’s opaque plum/purple color is accompanied by a beautiful nose of sweet crème de cassis, a touch of background oak (only 40% new oak is used), spice box ...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 »
Wine Enthusiast: "Here’s a Prosecco Brut with a fuller, more generous personality that comes across in the form of peach, nectarine and grapefruit aromas. The wine has a light, golden color and offers frothy cream backed by a tight citrus finish." (7/2009) K&L Notes: San Venanzio has won many awards over the years. At K&L they get the coveted "Guido" award two thumbs up and three stars for value. On the nose, there are generous notes of apples, peaches, tropical fruits and pear blossom. It’s wonderfully balanced and elegant, with a pleasurable spiciness. The palate is rich and creamy,... Read More »
This Carato is a blend of 75% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot and 10% Ciliegiolo and is just delicious; full, fleshy, voluptuous, sumptuous, truly hedonistic. It spends 10 months in Slavonian and American oak barriques, and we think at this price you too will be saying wow!
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 »
100% Gamay from the heart of the Loire. A lovely pale pink color with hints of strawberry cream and spice on the nose. A very bright and cheerful style of rose with a nice crisp finish that is fantastically refreshing and easy to drink. I am seeing a lot of empty bottles of this going into my recycling bin over the next few months. (Eric Story, K&L Loire wines buyer)
90-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another stunner from the team at Charles Smith, the 2013 Substance is a Cabernet Sauvignon dominated blend that comes from the higher elevation vineyards of Goose Ridge and Frenchman Hills. Harvested in early November and aged in 40-50% new French oak, it sports gorgeous aromas and flavors of cassis, violets, pencil shavings and tobacco/herbs to go with a medium to full-bodied, layered, rich and beautifully balanced profile on the palate. Scheduled to be bottled in December, it tastes like a wine that taste 3-4 times what this is going for. It is a knock ...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 »
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 »
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)
Light in color, as is typical for Sancerre Rosé, this has lively aromas of small red fruits with soft underlying minerals and just a hint of rich citrus. Light and playful on the palate with some Mirabelle, cherry and watermelon. Although a light and fresh style of rosé, this has nice weight and texture to it on the finish and it's very easy and fun to drink while grilling and chilling with friends. 100% Pinot Noir. (Eric Story, K&L Loire Valley Wine Buyer)
95 points Decanter: "Gorgeously refined, almost French in style. Typical Vista Flores notes of violets, lavender, tobacco and black pepper on the nose. The palate is medium to full-bodied with very fine-grained, classy tannins. Fruit characters on the palate are more dried fruit than lush and primary. Lovely age-worthy Cabernet." (12/2014) K&L Notes: Antucura has proven themselves quite adept at producing purely fruited reds (both Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon) that express their Vista Flores origins, as well as a deft touch in the cellar. Their wines are expressive, extraordinarily supp... 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 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.
Wine & Spirits: "Gentle strawberry fruit fills this soft rosé, its zesty finish keeping it clean. A fine aperitif." (4/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "Full, ripe wine, layered with fruits and a dry, more mineral core. The wine has good depth of flavor, strawberries, red currants and a citrus cut that keeps the wine fresh at the end." (11/2013) K&L Notes: This delightful sparkling rosé wine comes from Burgundy. It is made of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Gamay Noir. The charming eye of the swan color comes from the addition of Pinot Noir to the wine when the lees are disgorged, following the traditional fermentation in... Read More »
This is a fresh, snappy berry-driven rose with delicate floral notes. It's bright and crisp, delicious with or without food. Domaine les Pins has been family run for five generations. They are a small artisanal producer which oversees every stage of the production from start to finish themselves. They have roughly 30 hectares of Cabernet Franc spread out through the Bourgueil and Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil regions. They practice sustainable farming and each and every vine get singular attention throughout the year. Vines of an average age of 25 years are... Read More »
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 »
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.
Wine Spectator: "Soft, delivering ginger, brioche and pear notes, with a friendly, open finish. Drink now. (Web Only—2013)" K&L Notes: A pale yellow wine with tiny bubbles, this Cremant de Loire Brut is rounded and delicate with a fine, nervy, complex nose and the freshness of Chenin Blanc, floral Chardonnay and fruity Cabernet Franc from 20- to 30-year-old vines. With its lively attack, it evolves gracefully across the palate with nice aromatic persistence in the mouth and lingering notes of fresh peaches and pear. A great opener to a memorable night! 12.5% abv. (Eric Story, Loire B... Read More »
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 »
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.
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)
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 1999 Gran Reserva has an enticing red cherry, soy and cedar-scented bouquet that is reminiscent of an old Burgundy. The palate is very well-balanced with fine acidity and edgy tannin. There are notes of fresh red cherries and orange rind interlaced by leather on the tart, highly enjoyable, zesty finish. Drink now-2018. (NM)" (8/2012) K&L Notes: Wow--this is spectacular Gran Reserva! Made in a traditional style with earthy red fruit aromas, and in this relatively cooler, damper vintage, a slightly Burgundian profile. The wine features good acidity, minerality, and... Read More »
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 »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This beautiful Pinot Noir is a blend of various vineyards throughout the appellation. It shows classic coastal acidity, dryness and silkiness, with appealing raspberry, red licorice, cola and pomegranate flavors, wrapped into finely ground tannins. Decant and drink now." (6/2014) Antonio Galloni: "Sweet red berries, mint, flowers, hard candy and spices all inform the 2012 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast), the only 2012 Pinot that was in bottle at the time of this tasting. The 2012 is quite a bit racier and silkier than the 2011, a wine I have enjoyed on multiple occasions. There i ...Read More »
95 points James Suckling: "A Brunello with so much forest floor, mushroom and dark fruits...Fascinating. It's full body, juicy and savory with a wonderful finish of dried meat, berry and dried mushroom. Drinking beautifully now but will age beautifully. Great value." (12/2014) K&L Notes: Poggiarellino is an evolving star in our Direct Import portfolio. From Montalcino, this tiny winery is making superb wines at stunning prices. We've been importing them for over a decade and their wines have simply gotten better and better. From the stunning 2010 vintage, K&L Italian wines buyer Greg St. Clair... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Lovely Angeline, always a value, but never cheap... This wine comes to us via Sonoma County's Martin Ray Winery, owned by Courtney Benham (creator of the Blackstone brand). This multi-county blend of Pinot Noir has been well-received in recent years, maybe not tipping the point-scales over 90, but earning consistent praise for its solid, varietal character and good value.
Classic pink Provence blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault and 20% Syrah. Notes from the winemaker: "Light pink in color, with violet shades, this wine possesses a memorable and complex aroma. A lively wine that is smooth and possessing a certain sweetness. Very fruity, this rosé is particularly well suited as an aperitif or with salads and vegetable dishes."
93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Still not in bottle (it will be in bottle by the time you read this), the 2013 Coteaux du Languedoc la Closerie du Pic is an incredible looking barrel sample that's made from equal parts Syrah and Grenache, with the Syrah aged in barrel (some new) and the Grenache in concrete tank. It exhibits terrific amounts of cassis and black raspberry fruit to go with additional notes of pepper, smoked meats, violets and crushed rock. Full-bodied, beautifully pure, layered and elegant, yet rich and textured, it should drink nicely on release, yet also evolve gracefu ...Read More »
As is the case with so many other great spots in Spain, Bodega Casa Juan is located opposite the village church, in the beautiful walled pueblo of Laguardia. The winery is a converted flour mill, featuring concrete tanks for fermenting and blending the wine, and for ageing, barrels that are used for up to seven years. These are traditional Riojas in elaboration and spirit, though the site specificity of their Laguardia and Villabuena vineyards confers a fruit character all its own to these wines. And what fruit! Especially in the great 2009 vintage, the ... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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)
Bench is one of the labels of Brack Mountain Wine Company, which sources this Pinot Noir mostly from the Sangiacomo vineyard in the Sonoma Coast AVA. Great aromatics of red fruit and orange peel and a smooth finish.
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. The ...Read More »
95 points James Suckling: "So much dried-lemon and orange-peel character here. Wet leaf, wet earth, stone and lightly smoked meat. Full body, integrated tannins and a savory, tangy finish. Fleshy and yummy. Fabulous deal. Drink or hold on release." (12/2014)93 points Antonio Galloni: "Bright red cherries, plums, smoke, tobacco, flowers, cedar and spices are all beautifully delineated in the 2010 Brunello di Montalcino. Vibrant and lifted throughout, the 2010 captures the freshness of the vintage in spades. Already soft and accessible, the 2010 can be enjoyed now or cellared for a decade or so." (2/2015)93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Lovely ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse