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K&L Staff Recommendations
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 »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon shows little Cabernet character, yet has good fruit and an up-front, straightforward feel in its red currants, licorice and spice. Medium-bodied and well made, it should be consumed in its first 3-5 years of life. (JD)" (8/2014) K&L Notes: From Niven Family Wine Estates and their SIP (Sustainability in Practice™ certified vineyards, this good value Paso Cab is typically bold and rich, "loaded with blackberry jam, cherry, black currant, exotic spices and cola, with notes of caramelized oak," according the winery's note.
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I think the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon will be even better, and it has more depth and texture, with gorgeous blackcurrants, violets, licorice and smoked earth all emerging from the glass. The texture here is really something, and this should be a smoking value. Made from 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and the balance Malbec and Petit Verdot, it will have 10-12 years of longevity. (JD)" (8/2014)
A partnership between three Paso Robles families who jointly own Margarita Vineyard, the southernmost in the region, just 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Their Cabernet Sauvignon is a deep and generous wine, with black fruits, toasty caramel and cedar notes and a rich, silky palate.
Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star & Good Value* Although its somewhat juicy, sweetly oaked aromas of ripe cherries send a signal that this is a wine that could and should be enjoyed soon, it turns out to show a little more structure once past its early plumpness and is one on which it would be wise to wait. It has the right fruity pieces in place to commend four or five years of keeping, and it delivers far more than do most at its price level." (11/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "This vineyard from the Santa Margarita Ranch at the southern end of the appellation produces a wine with blackberry, mint, sla ...Read More »
Great wines at very good prices. That is what you get from Foxglove. This is a side project from Bob and Jim Varner, who bring us the great wines from the Varner and Neely labels. The Foxglove Cabernet is amazingly well balanced. Beautiful berry and cassis fruits with nicely integrated tannins and just a hint of earthy tannin. Tremendous value.
From the winery: "Aromatic with ripe black cherry, blackcurrant and berry fruit with vanilla, cinnamon and subtle dried fall leaf accents. Classic cabernet with moderate plus blackcurrant and cherry fruit and baking spice flavors on the entry. Sweet tobacco and savory herbal notes arrive on the mid palate, along with beautifully balanced tannins that provide a structure that supports the wine through its perfectly balanced, clean finish."
From the winery: "The 2014 Sauvignon Blanc exhibits a vivid varietal characteristic that is rooted in our estate Margarita Vineyard. It is showing vibrant aromas of gooseberry, guava, and grapefruit with a hint of jasmine. A rounded texture offers tropical flavors of pineapple and melon, all seamlessly woven with complementary citrus notes. Suggestions of lime zest and mineral linger on a crisp, focused finish. This Sauvignon Blanc is a fine match for oysters, crab cakes, pan-seared Dover sole, lemon-herb chicken and grilled corn salad."
From the winemakers: "Cane & Fable is a collaboration between winemakers Curt Schalchlin and Andrew Jones. Curt, owner and vintner of the heralded winery, Sans Liege, is known for his critically acclaimed, yet affordable wines. Andrew, winemaker of Field Recordings spends his days planning and planting vineyards and has stood foot in just about every vineyard on the Central Coast. Together, they produce Cane & Fable, a collaboration that gives special attention to the craft and story behind each wine. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon 81%, Merlot 7%, Tempran... Read More »
92 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Côtes de Tablas is wonderfully lifted and floral in the glass. Sweet red-toned fruit, crushed flowers, mint and anise are some of the notes that inform a weightless, feminine wine built on silkiness. The 2012 is impeccably balanced and classy to the core. The 2012 is quite a bit brighter and more floral than the 2011, partly the result of the higher percentage of Grenache in the blend, but also a reflection of the year. The blend is 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 10% Counoise and 5% Mourvèdre. Once again, Tablas Creek has turned out a mind-bending nu ...Read More »
91 points Antonio Galloni: "Lurid reddish-pink. Ripe cherry, raspberry and rose pastille on the nose, along with suggestions of blood orange and Asian spices. Sappy, concentrated and sharply focused, offering intense red fruit and bitter orange pith flavors that spread out on the back half. Combines power and vivacity smoothly and finishes with excellent clarity, lift and floral persistence. This fleshy but energetic rosé clocks in at 14.3% alcohol, which puts it on the high side for pink wines; I'd serve it as I would a lighter red, alongside strong cheeses, assertively seasoned p ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "* Cellar Selection * Though already four years old, this blend of 77% Zinfandel and 23% Petite Sirah shows lots of promise for a long-lasting wine. Complicated aromas of tobacco and ripe boysenberries become sagebrush herbs on the palate, bolstered by blueberry and elderberry fruits. The tannic grip is still strong, so drink 2018–2028." (4/2015) K&L Notes: This is an exciting new Project from Steve McClean whose family has been greatly successful with growing and making wine from their estate Norman Vineyards in Paso Robles.
Wine Enthusiast: "Tobacco and boysenberry scents make for a pleasing if not complex nose on this wine from the Santa Margarita Ranch area on the southern part of the appellation. There are a lot of tannins, with expected flavors of blackberry and cedar." (2/2015) K&L Notes: Ancient Peaks is a family-owned estate winery that produces wine from a single site, the Margarita Vineyard, which was first planted to vines by Franciscan missionaries in 1774. Situated in the Santa Lucia Mountain Range, the Margarita Vineyard is the most southerly site within the Paso Robles appellation, where it... Read More »
90 points Antonio Galloni: "A broad, deeply expressive, generous white, the 2013 Côtes de Tablas Blanc is all about volume and texture. The flavors are bright, savory and mineral, but at the same time all the elements are shaped by the warm, dry growing season. This is a decidedly big, creamy wine for the year, yet all the elements are in balance. Still I would give the 2012 at least a few more months to settle down. The blend is 39% Viognier, 29% Grenache Blanc, 20% Marsanne and 12% Roussanne." (7/2014)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another delicious white (and one that’s almost always a super value), the 2013 C ...Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Moving to the 2012s from bottle, the 2012 Estate Blend is flat out gorgeous, with layered black raspberry, spice, crushed flowers and licorice all present in its full-bodied, seamless profile. Made from 45% Syrah, 24% Mourvedre, 20% Grenache and 11% Tempranillo, it’s perfectly balanced, has juicy acidity, and chewy tannin that emerges on the finish. While it’s a full-bodied effort, elegance and refinement are the name of the game here. Enjoy it over the coming 4-5 years. (JD)" (8/2014)92 points Wine Spectator: "A powerful expression of dark fruit, fresh earth, herb and cedar flavor ...Read More »
From the winery: "The fruit for our 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon was selected from three of our estate vineyards in Paso Robles. It was handpicked and sorted in the early morning to ensure quality and uniformity of ripeness. Afterwards, the fruit was destemmed and gently crushed into temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Pump-overs took place regularly to enhance color and help extract tannins from the skin. After pressing, the wine was racked into barrels to complete malolactic fermentation. While the majority of wine was aged in French oak, we also ... Read More »
The Benito Dusi Ranch in Paso Robles is the only vineyard that Ridge uses south of the San Francisco Bay area. Originally planted by Sylvester and Caterina Dusi in 1923 after emigrating from Italy, these old vines produce phenomenal fruit. With excellent Zinfandel-growing temperatures and rocky toils, the Dusi Vineyard wines are known for their juicy bramble fruit and velvety tannins. According to the winery, these are wines that "consistently show deep, juicy bramble fruit on the palate, along with notes of black cherry, gravelly earth, and rich chocola... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This grape is obscure for California but excels in this bottling, with intriguing aromas of yellow melon, crushed white rocks and an array of citrus, from tangerine peels to kumquats. The palate is a lime shade of green, featuring flavors of lime blossoms, Key lime pie and kaffir lime leaves, but also shows limestone minerality and a hint of passion fruit." (9/2015)
With its savory notes and structure, "Justification" is aimed at paying homage to Right Bank Bordeaux producers of Cabernet Franc-dominated wines, with a juicy Paso twist. The blend is 58% Cabernet Franc, 42% Merlot. From the winery's tasting notes: "Bright with a beautiful dark purple ruby core and medium concentrated rim. Aroma: Red and black cherry, black currant, and ripe strawberry fruit with cola, coffee, dark licorice and vanilla spice accents. Full bodied with currant, cherry, and strawberry along with dark black currant on the entry. Sweet tobac... Read More »
89-91 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2013 Patelin de Tablas is quite a bit darker and richer than is typically the case. Syrah is center stage in a deep, almost brooding wine endowed with notable richness and intensity. Hints of tar, smoke, leather and black stone fruits are layered into the finish. Once again, Tablas Creek has turned out a mind-bending number of fabulous wines, from delicious entry-level whites and reds all they way up to the top selections, which remain very reasonably priced considering the quality. General Manager Jason Haas describes 2012 as a vintage with generou ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
From the winery: "While robustly fruited in its youth, Broadside Cabernet Sauvignon is graced with an underlying framework of subtle tannin and acidity that ensures a bright future in the cellar as well. Black currant and berry compote highlight a brightly wound core of berry fruit and spice. Finishes dry with a sleek vein of minerality."
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another great 2012, the 2012 Beautiful Earth (78% Syrah, 14% Grenache and 8% Mourvedre) has an inky purple color that-s followed by ample blackberry, blueberry, pepper, earth, mineral and hints of violets. This full-bodied, layered and seamless effort has awesome intensity and richness, notable purity of fruit and a big finish that stays focused and clean. Aged 16 months in 50% new French, give it a year and drink through 2024. McPrice Myers continues to churn out outstanding, singular and age-worthy wines under his McPrice Myers label. Both of his late ...Read More »
Isosceles is Justin's flagship wine, a full-bodied, luscious ode to Bordeaux varietals grown in California's Central Coast. The 2012 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc is aged in 100-percent new French oak for 18 months. From the winery: "Intense aromas of ripe black cherry and blackcurrant with classic baking spice elements, sweet tobacco, cocoa, coffee, cedar and subtle mint. Full-bodied with concentrated ripe black cherry, cassis and boysenberry jam on the entry, layered with toasted vanilla, cinnamon, and licorice spice. Classic ... Read More »
From the Winery; The Power of 4 – this Paso blend is more delicious than the sum of its parts. It combines grape varieties mainly from our prestigious Huerhuero Vineyard, located in the rolling hills of Paso Robles. Here, warm afternoons and cool evening breezes influence the grapes to perfect ripeness. The grapes were picked at cooler morning temperatures and cold soaked for two days prior to fermentation. Variable pump-over techniques were implemented during progressive stages of fermentation to enhance fruit extraction and balance out the tannin struc... Read More »
From the winemaker: "Mountain Zinfandel is an aggressively fruity, dark, rich wine. Jammy aromas of raspberry and plum are balanced by floral lavender and violet. A lush, round mouth of plum and cherry flavors lead to a finish that is long and satisfying. This wine is bold enough to accompany spicy fare brilliantly - try it with spicy sausage like Andouille or Opolo's own Cevap Cici!"
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Looking at the 2011s from bottle, and always a rock-solid bottle of wine and a great entry into the style here, the 2011 Estate Blend offers up plenty of ripe plum, licorice, crushed flowers and violet-like nuances as well as a medium to full-bodied, balanced profile in the mouth. Showing the cooler vintage with its overall freshness and focus, it’s beautifully done and should drink nicely for 3-5 years, Drink now-2018. An estate that continues to go from strength to strength, Epoch is owned by Bill and Liz Armstrong, with the wines made by Jordan Fiore ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
93-95 points Antonio Galloni: "A big, explosive wine, the 2012 Esprit de Tablas is warm and ample on the palate, very much in the style of the year, yet there is plenty of power lying in reserve. In 2012, Syrah plays a larger role than in both the 2010 and 2011, which is felt in the wine broad, expansive personality. This is going to be a fascinating Esprit to follow over the coming years." (7/2014) 91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "While the 2010 and 2011 had plenty of Grenache, the 2012 Esprit de Tablas incorporates additional Syrah to compensate for the forward, supple nature of the vintage. A blend of 40% Mourvedre, ...Read More »
Jeff Runquist helped to introduce Syrah to the program at J. Lohr Winery when he worked there in the early 1990s. "At the time we were unfamiliar with Syrah, and so we spent quite some time exploring the various styles and flavors this grape produced," according to Runquist. Despite appreciating the "terroir-driven character" of Old World Syrah, with its earthy, flinty, and dusty aromas and flavors, he was smitten with deeply flavored old vine Syrah from McClaren Vale and the Barrosa Valley of South Australia, which he attempts to emulate with his Paso R... Read More »
92-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Optimus is the estate’s entry level blend, yet it always drinks well above its price point and is a perfect example of the style of the estate. Decadent black and blue fruits, graphite and smoky nuances all show here, and it has full-bodied richness, sweet tannin and terrific length. It should be another superb vintage for this cuvee, and it should shine on release and evolve for upward of a decade. (JD)" (8/2014) 91-93 points Antonio Galloni: "Blackberry jam, cloves, cassis, new leather and spices burst from the glass in the 2013 Optimus. Today, the tannins are a bit firm, but ...Read More »
New to K&L from Topanga Vineyards, the Chroma Cab is sourced from Paso Robles' Bootjack Vineyard and is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is varietally correct with fine, supple integrated tannins and great texture on the palate. Its juicy rich fruit is well-balanced by its suprising Paso acidity and the wine is superbly food friendly. If you're looking for your next weeknight red for under $20, then look no further. This will deliver the goods! (Christie Cartwright, Hollywood Buyer)
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Fresh-squeezed apple juice, grapefruit spritzer and nearly sweet cherry aromas sit atop minerality on the nose of this blend of 46% Viognier, 19% Verdelho, 19% Vermentino and 16% Sauvignon Blanc. There’s a lot of tart acidity, with a lingering apple flavor." (12/2014)
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The inky-colored 2011 Intrepid checks in as a blend of 100% Syrah that spent 22 months in 50% new French oak barrels. It's another smoking effort from this estate that gives up classy framboise, black licorice, chocolatey oak and toasted spice to go with a full-bodied, layered and thrillingly pure profile on the palate. Top class all the way, it will be better in another year and have upward of a decade of longevity. Located high up on the west side of Paso Robles, at an elevation of 1,950 feet, Law Estate is run by Don and Susie Law and the wines are ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
From the winery: "The Endpost label, made by Adelaida Cellars, showcases local Paso Robles’ vineyards in a wine style the reflects regional character of our mountainous terrain, warm to cool marine influence, and the unique geology of the soils, complexed with million year old ocean sediment. This year’s “model” of End Post Cabernet benefited from the addition of over 20% Viking fruit, Adelaida’s much awarded Estate Vineyard. 2012 was a welcome return to a warm, sometimes hot summer, following 2 years of cool temperatures. These ideal conditions led to ... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
The Other One is a barrel selection of the most site specific and mineral driven barrels of Glenrose Mourvedre in our cellar. The Mourvedre from the upper and lower terraces was picked within three days of each other during the first week of October. 100% whole cluster and aged in 85% neutral oak and 15% new French oak, The Other One has plenty of black cherry fruit with notes of sagebrush, roasted meats, and mouthwatering minerality.
Aromas of lemon zest, kumquat, lemongrass, and ruby red grapefruit. Although it displays some restraint at first, it soon opens up to notes of honeydew melon, white rose and fresh herbs. The palate is light on its feet, with lean, zippy acid holding together a core of flavors that span honey mandarin, lemon curd, and green apple. The finish stays tight and clean, with a kiss of agave nectar and wet stone. Aiming to preserve the intense fruit and aromatics of these varieties, this blend was fermented and aged in 100% stainless steel. Hand-picked in the ea... Read More »
The Roussanne fruit was harvested very mature, however at lower sugar levels than expected. The wine was cold fermented in stainless steel tanks to fully express its true varietal characteristics of honey dew melon, stone fruit and crushed white flowers. Apricot and mineral notes highlight the palate leading to a rich, creamy body reminiscent of a nutmeg spiced lemon meringue. A well balanced finish features approachable acidity highlighted by flavors of Pommello fruit and wild clover honey.
Opolo aims for a decadent, spicy, pomegranate, fig and cranberry flavored Zin, with jammy raspberry and savory butterscotch overtones, with plenty of vanilla, pepper, and cinnamon spice in between.
A blend with 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petite Sirah, 6% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Syrah, 1% Cabernet Franc and 2% other red. Aged 12 months in Missouri and Minnesota American oak barrels, with toasted heads. Winemaker's notes: "The 2012 J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon is red-purple in color with a bright hue at release. Fruit aromas are black cherry, plum and blueberry accented with a barrel bouquet of toasted pastry, dark caramel and vanilla. Sturdy tannins strike the palate and finish with the high-toned fruit signature typical of the Paso Rob... Read More »
92 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Esprit de Tablas Blanc is sublet, floral and lifted. Flowers, mint, lemon and spices meld together in a gracious, impeccably refined Roussanne-based white Rhône loaded with class and style. The 2012 Esprit is 75% Roussanne, 20% Grenache Blanc and 5% Picpoul Blanc." (7/2014)92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Green-hued yellow. High-pitched aromas of tangerine, green apple and white flowers, with a gingery nuance adding complexity. Sappy, spicy and penetrating, offering intense citrus and orchard fruit flavors that put on weight with air. Firm and dry on a finish showing excellen ...Read More »
From the Winery; The Ranch is an 83-acre farm located in the El Pomar area of Templeton, which is within the Paso Robles American Viticulture Appellation (AVA). Following daily warm temperatures, the Ranch is cooled nightly by Pacific Ocean breezes flowing through the Templeton Gap. The 83 acre ranch was planted to 44.5 acres of wine grapes in 2008, with their first vintage release in 2010. In the Puglia region of Italy, Zinfandel is known as Primitivo, which could translate to original, wild, or even savage. What ever it means, the weather in Paso Roble... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "A zesty red, modest in scale, with enough black cherry, spice and toasted herb flavors to stay interesting. Drink now through 2018." (6/2014) K&L Notes: With the aim of creating a "rowdy and rustic" Zin to drink by the campfire, Four Vines blends 78% Paso Robles old vine Zinfandel with Petite Sirah, Grenache, Primitivo and other red varietals, aging it in American and Hungarian oak for 14 months.
According to the winery: "The Cabernet Sauvignon is selected from well drained vineyards on cool rolling hills in Paso Robles. The vineyards receive plenty of mid-day heat and cool evening breezes to produce balanced grapes. The California Karma Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich and full wine with youthful, juicy fruit aromas. This wine finishes off balanced with soft tannins and a fleshy mouth feel. Enjoy this Cabernet along with some grilled meat or your favorite pasta dish."
Russell From is the man behind Herman Story Wines, a Central Coast phenomenon since 2001. Unpretentious, unmanipulated, and undeniably good wines. 92 points Wine Spectator for the 2010 vintage of Late Bloomer: "Offers perfumed red berry scents, with rich red fruit saturating the palate, expanding to red and black licorice notes and ending with gripping tannins that hold the flavors in place. Drink now through 2024." (03/2014)
Inventory: Main Warehouse