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K&L Staff Recommendations
Third-generation family domaine owned by Franck and Betty Millet in the village of Bué. This rosé of 100-percent Pinot Noir is a blend of pressed juice and saignee juice, and matches beautifully with Asian food. From the winery: "Nice light rosé, salmon-coloured with a pleasant fruity aroma. Sancerre Rosé is a well-constituted wine due to its semi-tannic structure."
Inventory: San Francisco
Lovely Angeline, always a value, but never cheap... This wine comes to us from 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.
96 points Bob Campbell: "Produced from four Pinot Noir clones on Greystone’s hillside estate featuring predominantly calcareous clay soils with sand stone and grey limestone. The wine spent 30 days in the skins before being pressed to French oak barrels (30% new). Rich, weighty and flavoursome Pinot Noir with dark-fleshed plum, dark cherry, liquorice and subtle spicy flavours. More concentrated that usual with a silken and almost luscious texture. Lots of power as evidenced by the wine’s lengthy finish. Very impressive. (Gourmet Traveller)" (4/2014) 95-96 points Raymond Chan: "Very dark, deep, black-hued rub ...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 »
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.
The 2013 Rickshaw Pinot Noir is the fifth vintage from the team at Banshee Wines. As difficult as it is to produce excellent Pinot Noir, it is even more difficult to do so at a fine value. In their development of the Banshee label, the winemakers gained a stable of quality sources for Pinot fruit from the finest AVAs in California, and Rickshaw was born out of this bounty. The largest share of fruit is sourced from the Sonoma Coast, followed by Anderson Valley and the Central Coast. The appeal of the wine is driven by its balance of fruit and earth tones... Read More »
Light and pale in color with fresh crunchy strawberries on the nose and chalky minerals in the back ground. Fresh and light on the palate with a good focus of fruit throughout. This is a very well made rosé and deserves some more time in the bottle or, even a couple of hours in a decanter. Will go well with pretty much any style or type of food you can throw at it. (Eric Story, Loire Buyer)
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 »
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 »
Catherine and James Kinglake bought the domaine in 2003 and have since organically harvested their 29 hectares, creating excellent natural wines that truly express the terroir of Limoux. From the website, the 2014 rosé of Pinot Noir is "delicate and refined with wild strawberry and cranberry."
From the winery website, "When we say Fossil Point rocks - we mean it! Calcareous shale and coarse sand were uplifted from the floor of an ancient ocean and then weathered into place over millennia. It became a place of deep beauty and vast potential. Fossil Point is a rugged headland with sweeping views of the coastline stretching from Port San Luis to the Guadalupe Dunes. The Point is just five miles due west of the vineyards that are its namesake. Sunny afternoons are cooled by marine breezes sweeping off the Pacific Ocean, along Fossil Point to the v... Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "Crushed ripe strawberries with blackberries. Some mineral undertones too. Full body, firm tannins, and a fresh and racy finish. Shows some granite and slate as well. Balanced, fruity style." (7/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "This fruity, friendly Pinot opens with ripe berry aromas mixed with touches of minerality and latex. It feels fresh and sturdy, with black cherry and raspberry flavors. A pure, sweet, lightly chocolaty finish wraps things up." (8/2015) Wine Spectator: "A juicy and savory red, with touches of richness to the cherry and crushed red plum flavors. Notes of bergamot linger on the le ...Read More »
Antonio Galloni: "Banshee's 2013 Pinot Noir (Sonoma County) is supple, racy and flat-out delicious, especially for the money. Raspberries, crushed flowers and soft spices linger on the effortless, gracious finish. Drink this soft Pinot over the next few years. This is one of the best values readers will find in Sonoma Pinot Noir. (Antonio Galloni)" (1/2015) K&L Notes: As difficult as it is to produce excellent Pinot Noir, it is even more difficult to do so at a fine value. In their development of the Banshee label, the winemakers gained a stable of quality sources for Pinot fruit fro... Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Pinot Noir Cuvée Alyce, a blend of clones 115 and 777 grown in heavy clay soils, was made from tiny yields of one ton of fruit per acre. There are 1,125 cases of this stunning Pinot. Aged in 60% new French oak and the rest one-year-old barrels, the wine exhibits beautiful, sweet black raspberry and black cherry fruit, a touch of graphite and subtle wood, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, and an opulent, sexy personality. Consume this beautiful Pinot Noir over the next decade or more." (12/2014)92 points Antonio Galloni: "Hansel's 2012 Pinot Noir Cuvée Alyce is a blend of c ...Read More »
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 »
96 points Sam Kim: "This engaging Pinot comes from the dark side of the most seductive places. Gorgeous aromas of dark fruit, game, spice and truffle fill the nose with subtle background notes of bouquet garni. It is concentrated and expansive with velvety texture and layers of delicious flavours. Tannins are fine, chalky and in abundance, providing classic structure to this compelling wine. At its best: now to 2025." (4/2015)95 points Bob Campbell: "Dense and moderately concentrated Pinot Noir from a renowned Marlborough hillside vineyard. Classy wine with mineral, cherry, violet and subtle spicy f ...Read More »
Wine & Spirits: "In 2012 the dry-farmed vines at Hallberg gave a simple, welcoming pinot noir with dark fruit that suggests black plum and blueberry. The plump texture finds its balance against juicy acidity, ready for a pork chop roasted with a sprig of rosemary." (4/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "This is a high-toned, structured wine with vibrant acidity that is layered in earth, spice, raspberry and black tea. After a medium-sized weight to the midpalate, it finishes soft and round." (2/2015)
This is the same delicious Underwood Pinot Noir as the bottle, but in an easy-to-transport pop top can! No, it doesn't affect the taste--it's still packed with strawberry and pomegranate fruit, with the same supple texture, acidity and peppery spice and minerally finish. Perfect for summer sipping, for camping, boating, picnicking, beaching or rocking out at the Hollywood Bowl!
92 points Wine Spectator: "Offers an exciting interplay of berry, oak, earth and spice notes. This is rich yet medium-weight, with subtle edges to the blueberry, raspberry, mocha and fresh-turned earth flavors, ending with a tasty melted black licorice aftertaste. Drink now through 2020." (5/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "This has a very deep-red color with a reddish-purple rim, followed by very ripe, jammy aromas like boysenberry jam with spicy, smoky oak accents. Flavors are ripe, effusive and nearly sweet, as the wine goes for broke in terms of well-ripened grape flavors and generous helpings of sweet-sp ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* This is an impressive effort, especially considering it is the winery’s mass-production cuvée. All in proportion, it’s built upon an acid/mineral base, with tangy, just-ripe berry fruit. It feels quite delicate, yet has the persistence and structure of a more substantial wine. Aged for 10 months in one-quarter new French oak, it’s worth tucking a few bottles away for a long-term look." (12/2014)92 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* Taut, tart and surprisingly generous, blooming with juicy, cranberry-accented blackberry, cherry and spice flavors that linger easi ...Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "Presents a lively, refreshing, complex mix of snappy wild berry and raspberry flavors, firm and vibrant, ending long, clean and complex. Drink now through 2020. 6,000 cases made.—J.L." (6/2015) K&L Notes: From our friends at Amici in Napa Valley, this great value Pinot Noir is sourced mainly from the Russian River Valley. Last year's lovely little 2012 (we've still got some as of this release) was scored 90 points by Wine Enthusiast: "It’s rare to get a twenty buck Pinot Noir this good." And Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar agreed, scoring the 2012 90 point... 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.
93 points James Suckling: "Lovely, sultry black- and dark-berry fruits on the nose, with deep spice, a touch of undergrowth and deep, earthy tones. Lovely shape on the palate as the dark, spicy fruit flows forth. Plenty of spice and meaty notes with an aura of leaf litter and forest floor surrounding the fruit charcters. Perfectly poised on the finish. Give this a good decant and settle in. Drink in 2015." (10/2014)91 points Raymond Chan: "Dark, deep ruby-red colour with a black-hued heart and lighter garnet on rim. The bouquet is gentle and even with ethereal perfumes of dark red berry fruits and fresh re ...Read More »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Delicious aromas of ripe cherry pie and black cardamom are quite sexy. The palate is far more complicated and layered, with the tartness of plum skins, richness of strawberry, balsamic reduction and spiciness of black sage." (7/2015)90 points Antonio Galloni: "(made from fruit grown in the Bien Nacido, Riverbench and Solomon Hills vineyards; no new oak): Bright red. Highly perfumed scents of spicy redcurrant, raspberry, fresh flowers and smoky minerals. Juicy red berry flavors pack a solid punch but come off as lithe. Brisk red berry skin and white pepper qualities dominate a long, ...Read More »
Allen Meadows - Burghound: "There is just enough wood to notice framing the pretty mix of both red and dark berry fruit and soft earth aromas. The middle weight flavors possess good volume and a lovely sense of energy before terminating in a clean and dry, in the best sense, finish that displays a touch of youthful austerity. This should drink well young." (4/2014) K&L Notes: Lovely cherry fruit. This is done in 15% new oak. It is made from a mixture of estate-grown fruit and purchased grapes from a grower in Santenay with whom they work each vintage. It is bright, rich and open, with good co... Read More »
95 points Sam Kim: "A hugely promising pinot, it's finely scented and impressively complex showing notes of dark cherry and game, with a touch of dried herb, elegantly dressed by spicy oak. The palate is concentrated and refined with poise and harmony, leading to an extremely long, delicately dry finish. The wine is multi-dimensional and complex but hasn't lost the varietal purity, indicating the wine will evolve gracefully to show even greater depth and breath. Grapes were grown on Te Whare Ra vineyard in Renwick and Rawiri in Omaka. At its best: 2016 to 2023."94 points James Suckling: "This is a sup ...Read More »
Here at K&L we love dry rosé. We especially love rosé from France, and we really love French sparkling rosé. But we really, REALLY love French sparkling rosé that sells for less than $20! This is quality, too. Made in the traditional methode (Champenoise) from 100% Pinot Noir. Wonderful strawberry fruit and a crisp, flowery tang. Just the thing on a romantic evening that just happens to fall on a regular old Tuesday.
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Savory, earthy aromas of mushrooms, black pepper, iron and cranberry arise from this blend of nine vineyards, many of which are usually featured in single-vineyard selections. Umami rules the palate, and it’s quite full for a lighter-colored wine, with brown spice, light red fruit flavors and expertly balanced acidity." (3/2015) Antonio Galloni: "Calera's 2013 Pinot Noir is quite pretty, lifted and expressive. In this vintage, savory and floral overtones dominate over some of the more overt, fruit-driven notes that are often found in this bottling. The 2013 is made from a n ...Read More »
$11.99 for California Pinot Noir? Yes, you read correctly. Under the Four Bears label, Sean Minor consistently produces solid, easy-drinking values that are balanced, food-friendly, and generously overdeliver for the price. According to the winery: "Our Central Coast Pinot Noir is a medium bodied wine which displays aromas of floral components, red fruit and dark cherries. On the palate, the Pinot offers luscious flavors of dark cherry, strawberry and violets, combined with subtle layers of spice. The integrated bright acidity and sweet oak nuances provi... Read More »
92-93 points Raymond Chan: "Fruit from a single site, hand-picked, destemmed and fermented to 13.2% alc., the wine spending 16 days on skins and aged 10 months in 1 y.o. French barriques. Dark, deep, ruby-red colour, lighter on rim. The nose is fulsome with near robust fruitiness, showing ripe dark berry fruit with plums and subtle earthy and herb complexities, and spicy oak notes. Medium-light bodied, this has a soft, plush and mellow mouthfeel with flavours of dark plums and berry fruits infused with subtle herb and earth notes, all seamlessly interwoven. The tannin extraction is ...Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "Shows off ripe plum and wild berry flavors, with firm, grippy tannins. Gains depth and richness, adding a touch of dried herb. Needs time. Drink now through 2022." (4/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "Burgundian in its earthy, feral aromas, yet simultaneously jammy in flavor, this boasts gamy undertones and a soft texture. The producer recommends decanting an hour minimum before serving, and this will most likely help to blow off the wine’s rustically wild side." (8/2014) K&L Notes: The 2012 Carpe Diem Anderson Valley Pinot Noir displays admirable power, depth and density with deep aromas of blac... Read More »
From the winery: "Red fruit aromas (blackcurrant, raspberry, cherry) with spicy scents of underbrush. Its long finish and round tannins will continue to amplify with age."
92 points Antonio Galloni: "Light orange. Sharply focused red berry and tangerine scents are complicated by suggestions of allspice and cinnamon, with a hint of smokiness in the background. Sappy and minerally on the palate, offering fresh strawberry and blood orange flavors lifted by juicy acidity. Packs a serious punch but carries no excess weight and finishes stony and very long, with echoing red berry character. (JR)" (1/2015)92 points Wine Spectator: "A pretty rosé, harmonious and lithe, with flavors of dried strawberry and smoke carrying on a fine bead and intermingling with the accents of toasted almon ...Read More »
The Mercurey Clos Rond comes from a single vineyard in Mercurey. The name means "the walled vineyard in that brambly area," derived from the local word "Ronde" instead of the more usual French "Ronce," meaning brambles. In a land where ownership is usually splintered, this vineyard is a rare case where the entire vineyard is under one owner, Domaine Faiveley. It lies on a gentle slope, with rich red-brown soil, a fairly high clay content and buried limestone beneath. The result is a Pinot Noir displaying rich, round fruit, both red and black, and just a ... Read More »
Bishop's Peak is a second label of Talley Vineyards representing the greater Central Coast region. The fruit is sourced from the McCullough, Stone Corral, C-Bar, Las Ventanas, East Rincon, and Marcam Vineyards. From the winery: "Brilliant garnet in color, the 2013 vintage of Bishop’s Peak Pinot Noir bursts with aromas of strawberry and raspberry complimented with subtle notes of earth and soil. This medium bodied wine has elegant flavors consistent with its aromas, soft tannins and refreshing acidity. Enjoy a glass with a wedge of Fontina cheese or garl... Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid ruby-red. Red fruit preserves on the nose, with complicating notes of licorice and allspice. Lively raspberry and bitter cherry flavors show very good precision, complemented by a bright mineral quality that gains strength with air. This silky, energetic pinot finishes with strong cut, persistent sweetness and sneaky, interwoven tannins. (JR)" (12/2014)
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editor's Choice* his 7,000-case effort retained the quality for which the winery’s limited-production wines are known. The fruit-laden 2012 vintage helps, and the wine beguiles from first sniff to last sip. Cherries, chocolate, sandalwood and saffron interweave. The mouthfeel is soft and supple, and the delicate balance of fruit, acid and barrel never lets you down." (2/2015)90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Brilliant ruby-red. Intense raspberry and cherry aromas are complemented by white pepper, allspice and smoky minerals. On the palate, juicy, sharply focused red fruit flavors stret ...Read More »
Founded in 1983 by Claiborne (Clay) Thompson and Fredericka Churchill, former teachers at the University of Michigan (Clay specialized in Old Norse Languages and Literatures and Fredericka taught German), the winery focuses on Alsatian varietals in the first straw bale winery in California. Grapes are purchased from premium growers around the cool Edna Valley, with 2/3 of the production being Dry Riesling and Dry Gewürztraminer. At Claiborne & Churchill, traditional European winemaking techniques prevail, including extensive use of barrel-fermentation an... Read More »
From the winery: "With a gorgeous hue of pale pink, our 2014 Rosé jumps out of the glass with crisp red fruit flavors. The supple texture is backed by a vibrant freshness and appealing acidity, making this a wonderfully versatile food wine. The 2014 vintage started dry but abundant February rain came just in time to break the winter draught. Warm spring temperatures encouraged an early budbreak that kept vineyard development ahead of schedule through the entire season. Our harvest was condensed beginning September 3rd and concluding on September 24th. Fo... Read More »
96 points Bob Campbell: "2012 was a fairly cool vintage in Marlborough but there is certainly no lack of ripeness in this fine, elegant pinot noir. The wine has appealing density, and a sinewy texture with red cherry, spice, mineral and a hint of dried herbs and licorice. (Bob Campbell MW - Gourmet Traveler Magazine)" (6/2014)96 points Decanter: "Intense, sumptuous and wonderfully perfumed with dark plum, black cherry, a hint of violets and an appealing gamey, savoury palate. Long and complex, hinting at it’s potential. The texture is seductively silky, blanketing a spine of fine tannins. (BC) ...Read More »
Allen Meadows - Burghound: "An attractively fresh nose of distinctly earthy red and dark currant aromas leads to precise, intense and utterly delicious middle weight flavors that possess better than average depth, length and balance for a wine at this level. Worth considering plus it should reward a few years of cellaring too if desired." (4/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "This fresh wine is all about fruit. Soft tannins and attractive strawberry flavors are lightly cut with acidity. Coming from vines between 50 and 60 years of age, it has some extra concentration. Drink this fragrant wine now." (7/2015) K&L Notes: Nicola... Read More »
96 points James Suckling: "A sense of real depth, soothing dark cherry notes, some forest floor and deeply knitted oak. The palate has noble tannins and the sort of structural complexity and completeness that is the envy of most other NZ Pinot Noir makers." (5/2015)95 points Bob Campbell: "Full-flavoured Pinot Noir with plum, spice, glazed cherry, floral/violet and a hint of savoury and mineral character. Mouth-filling wine with obvious power and a lengthy finish. A consistently top wine that shows the benefit of vine age." 94-95 points Raymond Chan: "Dark, even ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, youthful in appearance. The bouqu ...Read More »
95 points Bob Campbell: "Reasonably dense Pinot Noir with attractive sweet fruit including plum, dark cherry and violet plus a seasoning of spicy oak. Very accessible and appealing but with he potential to develop well." (4/2015)94 points James Suckling: "This follows on from the nicely refined 2012 version of this wine, attractive fragrance and perfume on offer with a musk edge, chocolate, ripe red and purple cherry fruits, a whiff of fresh cut herbs and nicely integrated spicy oak. The palate has impressive smooth creamy flesh, tannins read clearly and build handy shape, flavours are tangy in the red and ...Read More »
Look for bright red fruits and spice in this wine: Pomegranate, Bing cherry and raspberry with Earl Grey tea highlights, according to the winemaker's notes: "The vintage delivered both a richly textured and vibrant wine--a character one obtains from such cool climate regions as the Santa Lucia Highlands."
Coming from one of the top producers of Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir) this "entry level" Pinot is a spicy treat. With the chalky soils in the area, Becker produces some of Germany's finest Pinot Noir. Full of spicy strawberry and bright cherry fruit, just a hint of tobacco and a dusty earthiness and layers of subtle textures tell you that you paid way too little for this offering. Delicious on its own, but also complements heavier seafood, poultry and fine cuts of beef or game.
Antonio Galloni: "The 2013 Pinot Noir is a tasty, fruity red to drink over the next year or two, while the fruit retains its juiciness. Hints of rose petal and cinnamon add attractive layers of complexity. The 2013 is 70% declassified Peay juice and 30% fruit purchased from nearby properties. Peay does an excellent job with Cep, their sister label of budget-friendly wines. All of these current releases are tasty. The Syrah is the standout, as it is made up of declassified barrels of the two Peay vineyard designate, Syrahs, while the other wines are conceived from the out ...Read More »
If there was a boutique producer in New Zealand that resonated with the micro-production, experimental, semi-hipster, natural, "culty" wines that have taken California by storm in the last few years, Sato would be it. Yoshiaki Sato and his wife Kyoko have quickly made a name for themselves producing some of the most highly talked about and sought after wines in NZ. While travelling in NZ last year many other winemakers I met were really quite jealous that I had managed to pry a few cases of each wine away from Yoshi (whose wines have very quickly become ... Read More »
96 points Bob Campbell: "More intense with a greater range of flavours than Greystone’s (consistently attractive) regular Pinot Noir. Plum, dark cherry, leather, spice/anise, wood smoke and toasty flavours. Complex wine with a great, mouth-filling and silken-smooth texture." (11/2013)95 points James Suckling: "A more fragrant nose here, with a wine that delivers a different take on the earthy, deep spiced-cherry and plum style. It carries a fine, pure, fragrant clarity on the nose that sets it apart from the regular Greystone pinot from 2012. The palate has fine-cut tannins that still carry the regional st ...Read More »