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K&L Staff Recommendations
From some of the top sites in the Kamptal. Michaela Haas is the fourth generation of this family to run the 23-hectare domaine. Fermented and aged in stainless steel and bottled with a crown cap, this fresh, light, and snappy wine is the kind you want to drink by the liter. This food-friendly thirst quencher will be MVP at your next picnic.
92 points James Suckling: "A rich and earthy red with orange peel and plum character. Full body and tangy with lots of jammy flavors. It becomes bright and fresh with air. Thoroughly delicious. Drink or hold." (1/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Campo di Marzo opens to smoky notes of ash and pencil shaving that segue slowly to dried cherry, savory spice and used leather. Give it a few minutes and the wine opens nicely to show blue flower, pressed violet and dark rose. The complexity on display is a pleasant surprise especially compared to the lackluster 2009 vintage. Il Valenti ...Read More »
Negly's La Cote is a "CGSM," or 30% Carignane, carbonically macerated, with Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Aged in 50% oak and 50% concrete tanks, it promises a toasty, opulent aroma with cassis and licorice, and a palate fit for a T-bone.
95 points Wine & Spirits: ""David Jeffrey’s estate, in the hills east of the Russian River Valley, tends to give a cool, taut expression of the Bordelaise grapes, thanks to maritime influence and the vineyard’s sandstone and shale-based soils. This merlot-based blend includes cabernet sauvignon, franc, petit verdot and malbec; in 2012, the wine’s flavors are vigorous and cohesive, with hints of black plum and mint, though the overall impression is primarily mineral, the refreshing glints of fruit completely tied to the structure. It evolves slowly over several days of air, barely ...Read More »
90 points Vinous: "The 2012 Pinot Noir Bench Break is a classic Cambria wine with exuberant fruit, deep color and exotic spice overtones. Lavender, menthol and cloves add complexity to the dark red and blue-toned fruit. The firm tannins could use another year or two to soften. (AG)" (7/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Better, with a deeper, richer color, the 2012 Pinot Noir Bench Break offers a straightforward, subtle bouquet of black fruits, cherry blossom, underbrush and pretty floral notes to go with a medium-bodied, nicely concentrated profile. Aged 10 months in 40% new French oak, it can be enjoy ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Giving up lots of white cherry, underbrush and spring flower notes, the light pink colored 2015 Cotes de Provence Esprit Gassier Rose is medium-bodied, nicely balanced and has good acidity that comes through on the finish. It's another high quality rose from this estate that's well worth drinking. (JD)" (5/2016) Wine Enthusiast: "Produced in vineyards close to Mont Saint-Victoire in the west of the Provence vineyards, this perfumed, floral wine has crisp acidity along with orange and citrus flavors. The wine is light, very fruity and bright at the end. (RV)" (5/2016) Wine Spectator: "Fresh an ...Read More »
Praise from the Prince of Pinot for the winemaker: "Gary Farrell is considered by many the father of Russian River Pinot Noir. Since the 1980s, his wines have been among the best from the Russian River Valley." Winemaker's tasting notes: "Many of the vineyard lots used to make this cuvée sat on skins for about a week after fermentation. My intention was to increase the tannin to add more complexity in the mouthfeel after some cellaring. This wine is quite approachable and crowd pleasing and I recommend opening the bottle about 15 minutes before drinking ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Muted scents of orchard fruit and a touch of almond lead the nose. The vibrant palate offers pear, citrus zest and mineral accompanied by bracing acidity." (4/2016)
91 points Vinous: "Dark ruby. Bright and energetic on the nose and the palate, displaying intense red fruit and floral pastille qualities and a hint of smoky minerality. Sappy and precise, picking up hints of licorice and succulent herbs as the wine opens up. Dusty tannins build slowly on a very long, penetrating finish that emphatically echoes the mineral note." (8/2016) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Floral and peach aromas line the ripe strawberry and cherry flavors in this concentrated, harmonious red. Backed by plenty of spice and juicy acidity, this eases into a lingering, spice- and mineral-infused ...Read More »
Salvatore Emmolo immigrated from Italy to Rutherford in 1923 and planted vines. Emmolo was a leading supplier to Napa vintners until Cheryl, the third generation, launched Emmolo Wines in 1994. Today, it's in the fourth generation's hands, with fruit still grown on their grandparents' property. The 2014 Sauvignon Blanc shows fresh citrus notes and lively minerality, making it infinitely sipple.
Although I’ve always liked Soave, I never really "got" what was going on until I visited for four days in September 2014. I toured the Soave Classico region, which is a different DOC from "regular" Soave, and was just blown away by the stunning vineyards and the incredible soils of the extinct volcano that encompasses it. One of the most unique producers we visited there is Le Battistelle, a very small winery that’s been growing grapes for generations but has only begun to bottle its own wine in the last decade. (Greg St. Clair, K&L Italian wine buyer) V... Read More »
91 points Vinous: "Deep red. Fresh, mineral-tinged red and dark berry scents are given depth by suggestions of licorice and cola. Sappy raspberry and boysenberry flavors show very good depth and pick up a suave lavender pastille nuance on the back half. Concentrated yet lively, delivering strong thrust and smooth, even tannins that build steadily through a long, floral-dominated finish. (JR)" (4/2016) Jancis Robinson: "Bright crimson. Firm and substantial with more obvious tannin than most but sufficient (just) fruit too. Not that sweet. Racy, food wine. Cool overall." (10/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Showing nicely ...Read More »
Seventh generation winemaker Joan Sangenis has found an incredible niche in the village of Porrera, one of the eleven villages within the Priorat D.O. Making wine here since 1875, the Sangenis are one of the oldest grower families in the region, literally producing wines from vines planted by Joan's great grandfather. Mas d'En Compte is one of the few revered Catalan properties whose wines are actually consumed in other regions of Spain.
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* This wine is quite an accomplishment in flavor and complexity given the vintage and the price. From high-altitude vineyards atop the Mayacamas, it delivers peppercorn, herb and fine, well-integrated tannins, with mellow oak. Graphite and cedar also figure into the mix, with a shock of black cherry and cassis weaved within. Drink now through 2019." (12/2015) K&L Notes: Praise for the producer from Robert Parker: "Stonestreet’s wines continue to go from strength to strength under the direction of South African winemaker Graham Weerts. The Chardonnays... Read More »
Made from Sauvignon grapes from both Touraine and Anjou. The wine sees no oak and has a dry, lively nose of white flowers and blackcurrant. The palate is dry, with flavors of passion fruit, lychee and hints of talc along with zippy acidity. Great with fish or cheeses, this lively white wine will perk up any meal.
Wine Enthusiast: "This is the main non-vintage wine from this southern Champagne Aube-based producer. It’s a cuvée based around the producer’s specialty of Pinot Noir. With fresh acidity over rich white fruits, apples and pears, it is balanced, fragrant and ready to drink." (9/2015) Wine Spectator: "A modest version, with a smoky undertow and a tangy palate of kumquat, melon and lemon curd. Drink now. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 5,980 cases made. (Web Only - 2015)" K&L Notes: This all Pinot Noir Champagne is a blend of many small plots on the Josselin estate in Gye-Sur-Seine. It is aged for thr... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The entry-level 2015 Bolo wants to showcase Godello at its purest, and therefore is fermented in stainless steel and bottled early without bâttonage to preserve the primary character of the grape. 2015 saw an early harvest because of a warm and dry summer, with some rains in the middle of the harvest, which allowed the remaining vines to reach a better phenolic ripeness. The grapes come from the O Bolo zone, both purchased and from their own vineyards. The wine is quite expressive after bottling, a touch reductive, but with powerful aromas of bay leaf an ...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 »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Absolutely amazing wine from vineyards near the Priorat village of Gratallops, which is in the heart of Priorat. This 2011 D'Iatra is made from 44% Carignan, 36% Grenache, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 4% Syrah aged 12 months in French oak. All the vines are farmed biodynamically and range in age from 60 to 80 years. The wine is a beauty, dense ruby/purple color with notes of raspberry jam mixed with notes of kirsch and blacker fruits. It has fresh acids, crushed rock minerality and floral notes make for sensational and complex fragrant introduction. Once ...Read More »
Second label of Alysian Wines. Led by the Hambrecht family in partnership with esteemed winemaker Gary Farrell, they are committed to sourcing from the best vineyards in the Russian River Valley. From the winery: "In keeping with the tradition of second label wines, which originated in the cellars of 18th century Bordeaux, ours is a collection of barrels that do not quite fit the philosophy of Alysian. This flexibility in the cellar allows us to select and blend barrels of small lot wines from exceptional and off the beaten path vineyards and craft an ap... Read More »
We were so happy with the 2013 Kalinda Napa Cabernet that we went back to the same well for the 2014. From another exceptional year for Napa Cabernet, this wine is lush and quite rich with tons of cassis on the nose and palate. Still quite young and showing some rounded tannins, I would cellar this beauty for five years minimum, but if you must drink it, decant one hour at least and serve with a hearty meat course. One hint: the property whence the grapes came is located quite close to a town that really does not have a wine shop in it. - KL Staffer Dri... Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "Lots of dried berry, apple and lemon aromas and flavors. Medium to full body, outstanding acid tension and a long and flavorful finish." (10/2015) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Barbera d'Alba Bricco dei Merli is a dark and generous wine that is loaded tight with bright fruit flavors. The Cogno family describes it as having the exuberance of the 2011 vintage and the elegance of 2012. It's true that 2013 marches to the beat of its own drum with pretty fruit contours surrounded by a fringe of spice and light leather. It ages in large oak casks for 12 months and rests on the lees ...Read More »
This is the second label of Russian River Valley's beloved DuMOL, made from younger fruit with an eye toward value and food-friendliness. The wine is aged in French oak for ten months before release. Notes of cola, cranberry and cherry harmonize on the rich palate and bright finish.
Wine Enthusiast: "Simple but classy aromas of red currant and raspberries show on the nose of this bottling from an all-star team of the appellation. The palate is light and easy, with tart cranberry and a large boost of tannic grip, a surprise for how light it feels. (MK)" (12/2015)
93 points James Suckling: "Aromas of dried tangerines and plums with hints of flowers. Full body with ultra-fine tannins and a delicious balsamic, dark-fruit and plum character. Savory and delicious. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold." (10/2014) 92 points Wine Spectator: "Reinforced by beefy tannins, this black cherry- and plum-filled version offers floral and spice accents. In a modern, fruity style, yet not oaky, this stays lively and persistent through the long aftertaste. Best from 2016 through 2027. 15,000 cases made. (BS)" (10/2014) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I am always impressed by the wines of Fontodi. The 2011 Chiant ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Lighter, leaner flavors like cranberry, rhubarb and tart cherry light up this wine from the first sniff through the tangy finish. Balanced on the fresher, crisper side of the spectrum, it has firm tannins, an appetizing dry texture and medium body. The focused fruit flavors and light spicy accents make it distinctive. (JG)" (10/2015) Wine & Spirits: "This is simple and approachable, with a soft red cherry flavor that ends with spark of alcohol, the fruit accumulating just enough sandy grip to hold everything together." (4/2016) Wine Spectator: "Well-focused on a narrow mix ...Read More »
This classic blend of Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara was vinified according to tradition for the Amarone Riserva style and aged for a minimum of four years in oak casks. It is characteristically bold in flavor, with a rich, silky midpalate and lingering taste of chocolate and dried cherries. A full-bodied wine, this pairs well with rich dishes like red meat, game, and strong cheeses. It is also a nice treat to enjoy after dinner on its own or with cheese or chocolate. Decanting or opening the wine at least a half hour before consuming is recommended i... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "A Zinfandel-based blend, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Syrah, Merlot and Malbec, this wine is hearty, thick and dense. It traffics in smoky char, leathery tannins and a strong taste of tobacco, finishing with a flash of red plum." (12/2015)
91 points James Suckling: "This is very aromatic with dried-berry, mineral and floral character. Full body with firm tannins and a juicy finish. Lots of tannins but polished and chewy." (3/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "Blue flower, ripe black fruit, black pepper and cedar are just some of the aromas offered by this blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Sagrantino. The palate features ripe black cherry, coffee, espresso, vanilla and grilled sage alongside bracing tannins. Drink after 2016." (2/2015) Wine Spectator: "A fresh red, offering fragrant herb and smoke notes, with flavors of tangy raspberry, wild strawberry, salumi and spi ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "For the 100% Chardonnay, about one-third of the 2014 Chardonnay Novellum is aged three months in Burgundian barrels and the rest in stainless-steel tanks, but an interesting twist is that the 70% that was aged in tank was aged on Viognier lees–obviously trying to give it more of a floral character. The wine is just lovely, with plenty of tropical fruit, such as peach, honeysuckle, apricot and pineapple that jump from the glass of this wine, which offers clean, fresh acids, a medium-bodied mouthfeel and delicious mineral underpining. This is quite impress ...Read More »
Winner of the Bronze Medal in the 2013 International Wine Challenge. From the winery: "Garnatxa Blanca Old Vines is for those who seek a bit of extra body and richness in white wines. Vineyards located in the Albera Nature Reserve Area. This wine is aromatic, showing notes of apricot, vanilla, aniseed and fennel. The mouthfeel is round, rich and mouth-coating. For those who know that youth isn't everything..."
Domaine de Fontbonau is a partnership between the president of Chateau Latour, Frédéric Engerer, and Jérôme Sarda Malet. This blend of Grenache and Syrah is sourced from vines aged 30-70 years. Though the 2012 vintage has yet to be reviewed, Wine Spectator praised the 2011 bottling: "The core of juicy raspberry and blackberry fruit has melded with briary tannins and a backdrop of pepper, tobacco and anise in this late-release. Solid." (Web Only—2015)
91 points James Suckling: "A red with lots of iodine, stone, currant and spice character. It's full-bodied, chewy and juicy. I like this slightly better than the Estate Bottled in 2010. Needs a least three or four years to soften: better in 2016." (5/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon’s dark ruby/purple color is followed by clean, pure aromas of black currants and underbrush, medium body, excellent purity and an alluring texture. This delicious, accessible Cabernet Sauvignon should also drink well for 7-8 years. Moreover, the pricing is realistic for Napa. (RP)" (10/2013) Wine & Spirits: "This is a new ...Read More »
90 points Wine & Spirits: "Bold, supple blue fruit gives this cabernet an impression of simple, healthy richness, while that exuberance is held in check by a tannic grip that seems to come from fruit skin as much as oak. It’s already accessible, but may gain additional dimension with a few years in bottle. Well-priced and smartly crafted, it’s a wine for roast beef." (12/2015)
Wine Enthusiast: "A field blend with defined amounts of Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet, this wine is perfumed and light bodied, exhibiting soft, persistent waves of black pepper and crisp red fruit that give it a cool-climate edge of approachability and intrigue. (VB)" (4/2016)
Though it's relatively unusual to find Italian Malbecs, the grape, in fact, is very well suited to the climate and soils of Maremma, the region best known for producing famed Super Tuscans such as Sassicaia and Ornellaia. Its tufo soils are so revered that they inspired the name Vie Cave, which is a nod to the early Etruscan roads carved into this volcanic rock. The 2009 vintage started wet and mild, but by harvest time, the grapes were beautifully ripe and balanced. The resulting Malbec is luxurious, but maintains a nice core acidity to make it food fri... Read More »
This is 85% Riesling with 15% Gewürztraminer blended in. It has a low alcohol level, 12.5%. This juicy, tasty white has aromas of jasmine and honey with flavors of citrus, peach, mandarin orange and wet stone. Zippy and bright with ever so slight a tinge of sweetness, this white is perfect for enjoying on the deck, with a plate of cheeses and meats or on its own when you just want an easy, quaffable white wine.
This Champagne is 1/3 each Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier from 25-30 year old vineyards on the Ariston estate in Brouillet.
Stephen Vincent Wines is a partnership between Stephen Vincent Situm, (marketing guru behind such brands as Mondavi, J. Lohr, and Louis Roederer) founder of La Crema, Bob Goyette, vineyard manager Hossein Namdar, and sales and marketing master Stephen Vincent Situm III. Together these men have 100 years of experience in different facets of the wine business and they seek to use that experience to create exceptional wines at super-attractive prices.
90 points Wine Spectator: "Leans toward the firm side, offering raspberry, strawberry, leather, earth and tobacco flavors. Elegant overall, with fine length. (BS)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: There were many highlights during our recent spring travels in Italy, and our visit to Poggio Salvi remains among the fondest. The winery is nestled in a picturesque forested area on the south side of Montalcino where the combination of clay soils and Tyrrhenian Sea breezes create ideal terroir for their outstanding Sangiovese. The estate has been owned and operated by Pierluigi Tagliabue since 1979, with a very ... Read More »
This is a joint venture by three vinous powerhouses: Rhône négociant Michel Tardieu, his winemaker Philippe Cambie, and importer Eric Solomon. Though the 2013 has yet to be professionally reviewed, the 2012 earned praise from Wine Spectator: "Tar and dried herb flavors mingle with cherry and roasted plum notes in this lean and firm red. Despite grippy tannins, fresh acidity keeps the finish lively." (Web Only—2015)
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Also superb, as well as a fantastic value, the 2012 Volcae Cuvee Speciale (a custom cuvee made specifically for the U.S. market) checks in as a blend of 40% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 20% Carignan that spent 12 months in barrel (Grenache all in tank). Hedonistic, up-front and voluptuously textured, with medium to full-bodied richness and depth, it offers loads of kirsch, raspberry, spice box, incense and hints of flowers on the nose. Possessing no hard edges and a forward personality, it can be consumed anytime over the coming 4-5 years, and given its balan ...Read More »
94 points Decanter: "This wine could also be in my 12 greatest Riberas. Delicious, complex, finely sewn, open. Top quality, and at a bargain price. (PBT)" (1/2016) 92 points Vinous: "Opaque purple. Exotic aromas of black and blue fruit preserves, cherry-vanilla, licorice and peppery spices. Plush and open-knit, offering deeply concentrated dark fruit flavors and hints of candied flowers and spicecake. Supple tannins build with air and add shape to a very long, supple finish that leaves cassis and mocha notes behind. This suave wine has the depth to age but drinks very easily now; it was aged for ...Read More »
This all-estate Champagne is composed of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir, with 8 grams per liter of dosage. It has a very pale color for a wine of this age and an almost minty, white nectarine aroma. While it is very generous and textural on the palate, it is also quite focused on the finish, with a long, dry, chalk-infused finish. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
This estate has been in Michel Loriot's family for 12 generations, since 1675. From the winery: "Michel has inherited two passions from his family: music and vines, as well as the family’s pioneering spirit. The music, which is played in the vineyards and the cellars, has a real effect on the vines and on the yeast in the wine. Thanks to this the Champagne is enriched with more complex and more refined aromas. The Apollonis estate covers 7 hectares in Festigny and has been awarded HVE (High Environmental Value) certification in recognition of the care an... Read More »