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K&L Staff Recommendations
93 points James Suckling: "A fresh, clean red with balsamic and chocolate character, plus fresh cherry. Full body, firm tannins and a juicy finish. Ripe, generous fruit. Always outstanding from here. A polished Super Tuscan. Drink or hold." (10/2014) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Giampaolo Motta’s 2012 La Massa wraps clean around the palate, imparting sassy tones of Mexican spice, tobacco and dark berry fruit. The blend is 60% Sangiovese with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Alicante. The wine shows luscious dark concentration with equal billing to both the dark fruity component of the wine and its spicy, oak-driv ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "*Good Value* Sweet spices, juicy red fruit, a touch of marzipan and appreciable tannic grip for Côtes du Rhône. Nicely made – more serious than most." (3/2015) K&L Notes: Just across the Rhône river from the esteemed vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this 88-acre estate is owned and operated by Rodolphe de Pins, a UC Davis graduate and former member of the winemaking staff at Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe. Montfaucon crafts their Côtes du Rhône to express the intense fruit characteristics of the appellation, blending to achieve harmony and balance.
The 2013 Franck Millet "Vieilles Vignes" Sancerre Blanc is a vineyard selection of older vines, roughly 40 years old and bottled specifically for us. It shows nice concentration throughout along with the precision and drive of the limestone rich soils. Done entirely in stainless steel to retain its freshness and verve but, also was allowed some extra lees contact to add more middle complexity. Drink now and over the next 3-5 years. Pair it with an earthy cheese such as a drier style of goat and also fantastic with an assortment of fresh ocean going critt... Read More »
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 »
Does Jean-Louis Denois ever fail to impress us? So far, this talented winemaker has an exceptional track record with K&L customers and staff alike. Denois' latest offering is this nifty little red that seriously over-delivers in the price-quality ratio department. The 2013 "Les Garrigues" is composed of Syrah, Grenache, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. It exhibits a gorgeous pomegranate color, with fresh aromas of small red berry fruit and delicate hints of spice box. Subtle notes of tobacco leaf and licorice provide extra dimension that be... Read More »
Our customers know us for delivering great finds in everyday, value wines, as well as for perfectly aged, old Bordeaux. And affordable, aged Bordeaux from a Pauillac-based château for less than $12? Oui.
We can tell you this much: our Kalinda private label hooks you up with awesome wine at a fraction of what you'd otherwise pay for this exact same wine under its normal label. While we have to remain quiet about the source of this beauty, we can tell you that it sells elsewhere under the winery label at a much higher premium. Get it while it lasts.
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Beautifully perfumed, the 2012 Rasteau offers a sweet bouquet of red and black fruits, pepper, underbrush, incense and spices to go with a medium to full-bodied, deep and layered profile on the palate. Possessing solid mid-palate depth, fine tannin and rocking length, it should be a no-brainer purchase and drink nicely for 7-8 years. Located in Rasteau, Domaine La Colliere is run by the talented Georges Perrot, with consulting advice from Philippe Cambie. Both of these 2012s are excellent and some of the top wines in the vintage. (JD)" (12/2013)
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The winery’s flagship is called Poesia and is a blend of 60% Malbec and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. It too is sourced from an 80 year old vineyard in Lujan de Cuyo. The 2005 Poesia was barrel-fermented and aged for 18 months in 100% new French oak. Opaque purple-colored, it has a high-class aromatic array of pain grille, violets, spice box, black cherry, and blueberry. Smooth-textured, ripe, and sweetly-fruited, this elegant wine is beautifully balanced, nicely concealing enough structure to permit 5-7 years of evolution. It should drink well through 2030. A ...Read More »
Though the 2014 vintage has yet to be reviewed, Wine Spectator praised the 2013: "Juicy, with a twinge of yellow apple skin framing the green plum, white peach and lemon curd flavors. A stony hint on the finish adds freshness." (2014) Wine Advocate said of the producer, "The team at Delas Frere continues to make outstanding wines from just about everywhere in the Rhône Valley." (10/2015)
As of press time, the 2014 has not yet been reviewed, but the 2013 vintage garnered praise from Robert Parker: "Delicate grapefruit, fig, melon and gravelly aromas jump from the glass of the 2013 Sauvignon Blanc. Light to medium-bodied and flavorful with zesty acidity, good crispness and focus." (10/2014)
From a classic producer in the Loire Valley (est. 1893), this Chenin Blanc hums with acidity while showing stone fruit notes on the medium-bodied palate. The finish is just a touch sweet, though its electric acidity provides a delicious yin-yang effect. Pair with creamy cheeses for palate nirvana.
90 points James Halliday: "Pepper-laden shiraz. Meaty, mid-weight style. Cherry-flavoured fruit. Has enough interest, flavour and form to satisfy. Chewy finish. Toasty/spicy oak tops it off nicely." (2/2014) K&L Notes: All estate fruit from Oakridge Estate in Yarra Valley. The wine shows lovely perfumed notes of red currant, raspberry and toasted spices. The palate is medium bodied with great vibrant energy and fine soft tannins. Flavors of ripe red berries with some darker richer fruit emerghing, exotic spices, a little lick of classy french oak, and some warm earth notes in the finish. Great... Read More »
The appellation of Picpoul de Pinet covers about 3000 acres just off the coast of the Mediterranean. It is famous for two things, oysters and this wine of origin Picpoul. Picpoul itself is the grape and means "lip stinger" and it has been a running joke in our Hollywood store. Whenever we taste a new Picpoul we ask each other if it "pics your poul?" We want to know if it has the vibrancy and minerality that are the hallmarks of the region. That brings us to the Montmassot which is produced at the local cooperative in the village of Florensac. It i... Read More »
90 points James Suckling: "A pretty and refined white with lemon meringue and sliced apples. Medium to full body, with fresh acidity and a clean finish." (4/2012) Wine Spectator: "Offers a plump core, with notes of chamomile, citrus rind and white peach, showing good zip on the tangerine-tinged finish. Drink now through 2015. (Web Only - 2013)"
I met winemaker Sophie Guiraudon this past winter at the organic wine fair Millesime Bio. It's an annual event where organic winemakers from all over the world gather to show their wines. I tasted with her and was immediately smitten with the quality of the wines. I made an appointment to visit her winery right after the fair ended. Sophie is a one woman show farming 25 acres of vines while running her humble facility in Corbieres. The region is kind of a hodge podge of soil types but Sophie's vines are planted on silty clay-limestone. Her "Les ... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Moving to the reds, the 2011 Vin de Pays Terre de Bussiere is a blend of mostly Merlot, with 20% Syrah and a splash of Grenache and Cabernet. Aged all in older barrels, it exhibits meaty notes of green olives, plum and leather to go with a soft, quaffable palate. Enjoy this bistro-styled effort over the coming year or three...Located in the town of Courthezon, and covering 38 acres in Chateauneuf du Pape and 100 acres in Cotes du Rhone, Domaine de la Janasse is run by the brother/sister pair, Christophe and Isabelle Sabon. While 2011 was a difficult vint ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "A refined, complex red with blackberry, blueberry and light chocolate character. Medium body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Lots of black licorice. Delicious now but better in 2015. Excellent value. 50% Sangiovese and the rest Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon." (10/2014) 91 points Vinous: "Sweet tobacco, bright red fruit, underbrush and cedar are some of the many notes that come together in the 2013 Rosso di Notri. Precise, delineated and beautifully layered in the glass, the 2013 is striking in its purity and juiciness. The late harvest produced a gorgeous wine loade ...Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "From Michael Mondavi’s portfolio, this affordable Cabernet is concentrated in red berry and savory leather, a nod to the small amounts of Syrah and Petite Sirah that are included in the blend. French oak provides a hint of vanilla and cardamom, while the medium-bodied palate and attractive finish is washed in coffee." (12/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The two Bordeaux reds from Oberon are competent and above-average quality wines that are reasonably priced, especially coming from Napa Valley. The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa is aged 14 months in about 45% new French oak and ...Read More »
91 points Wine & Spirits: "Delicate scents of heather and elegant citrus notes carry a kiss of sweetness through this wine. The flavors are all withheld, the finish quiet and pretty, focused on mineral and floral notes. This should develop well over the next several years." (4/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The cherry-colored regular 2012 Chinon Cabernet Franc has a lovely clear and fresh acerbic cherry aroma mixed with raspberries. It is a light to medium-bodied, fruit-driven, silky textured, refreshing red wine with a brisk acidity, ideal for a summer lunch at high noon or with some snacks in the afternoo ...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.
This nicely priced Rhone blend is a selection from negociant Alain Corcia of Burgundy.
Le Brun was named Champagne Producer of the Year, 2015 International Wine & Spirit Competition. This Champagne is made in the Seazanne, a terroir within Champagne whose product is rarely seen in the U.S. It is composed of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir and is aged for five years on the lees. This sur-lee aging is done on a cork rather that a crown cap, a process usually reserved for much more expensive wines, most famously Bollinger vintage. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "...The 2011 Cotes du Ventoux La Terre du Petit Homme offers awesome aromas and flavors of roasted herbs, melted licorice, earth and black cherry-styled fruit in a medium to full-bodied, deep, layered and rich profile. Gorgeous all around, with excellent mid-palate depth and sweet tannin, it’s another smoking value from this producer that readers need to check out. One of the up-and-coming producers in the Cotes du Ventoux appellation, Chateau Juvenal is co-owned by Anne-Marie and Bernard Forestier, and Sebastien Alban. Building a new cellar in 2011, and ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Redolent of ripe peaches and cream, this features lightly spiced notes of dried apricot and pear. Pastry accents grace the soft finish. (Web Only—2013)" K&L Notes: Max von Kunow officially took over the von Hövel estate from his father in 2010, and now stands as the 7th generation proprietor. Weingut von Hövel is a founding member of the VDP, and the estate is now undergoing conversion to organic viticulture under Max. With the quality of their vineyard holdings never in doubt, the von Kunows have spent many seasons putting forth a strong effort to push the quality o... Read More »
NYC's NoMad Hotel Restaurant was named one of the Top 100 Wine Restaurants in 2013 by Wine Enthusiast, and its bar manager was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers. They teamed up with the renowned Billecart-Salmon Champagne house to create a cuvée that has truly become a destination bottle for the restaurant. A blend of 40% Pinot Meunier, 35% Pinot Noir, and 25% Chardonnay, with zero dosage.
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 »
90 points Vinous: "Good deep red-ruby. The nose combines a port-like black cherry note with scents of violet and bitter chocolate. Despite an initial suggestion of stewed black fruits, the very ripe palate is spicy, juicy and vibrant, showing very good density and concentration as well as a light touch. The most concentrated and structured of these single-vineyard Malbec bottlings, with the flavors of spicy red and black fruits carrying well on the back end. A terrific value. (ST)" (2/2015) Wine Spectator: "Fruity aromas and flavors of raspberry and blueberry dominate this fresh, focused red ...Read More »
Coming from a single, small tank of press wine from their Casablanca Valley vineyards, located close to the coolin influence of the Pacific, this is delicious Pinot Noir! Brightly fruited, and bolstered by firm tannins that provide structure without distraction, I would be hard pressed to think of a tastier, more honest expression of Pinot, especially if what you are after is a highly drinkable wine that does not aim to be the biggest, the most fruity or the most highly awarded. This is a great deal in everyday Pinot! (Joe Manekin, K&L Chilean wine buyer... Read More »
Medium to medium-deep ruby red in color, this lovely Sonoma Coast production from this great vintage offers distinctive dried rose petal to strawberry fruit aromas with chalky, slate-like mineral notes in the nose which carries over nicely to a well-balanced, well-integrated set of flavors. Good complexity, excellent structure and acid backbone, this Gem is integrated, deep in flavor, and long on the finish. Rusty has ordered me to bring home several cases of this Gem for our near-term consumption over the next four to seven years. This is a Great Value ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Soft and fruity in black cherry and plum, this wine offers a solid foundation of cinnamon spice atop a mountain of blackberry. The acidity is well measured and the finish medium in length and breadth." (11/2015)
93 points Wine Spectator: "Impeccably focused and distinctive, with floral cherry, mineral and fresh sage aromas and flavors that combine subtle power with lively acidity, offering notes of raspberry and spicy herb. Drink now through 2024." (10/2015) K&L Notes: From a top Sonoma County Zinfandel producer, and sourced from near the top of Sonoma County, high above Dry Creek Valley in the stony, thin-soiled Rockpile AVA, this Zinfandel displays spicy aromas, with "intense flavors of currant, candied apple and Zinfandel’s briary essence. Soft entry with focused acidity and an extremely long finis... Read More »
According to Parker's Wine Advocate: "Cascina Morassino is located in Barbaresco, and the wines reflect the somewhat ethereal, elegant and graceful qualities that are the hallmarks of the wines from this part of the region." (10/09)
For four generations, the Gangemi family has been devoting itself to viticulture and to the improvement of autochthonous Sicilian vines from the area surrounding Mt. Etna. The Alke is 100% Nero D'Avola, featuring a soft and balanced elegance with notes of red fruits, spice, and subtle hints of vanilla.
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "The wine balances acidity and full fruitiness. These show in the lively, fresh character as well as the rich apple and pear flavors. The end shows more youthful texture, offering the chance to hold this wine until 2015." (10/2014)
Paolo Calì is a pharmacist who began making wine in 2003. In the hot climate of southerneastern Sicily, Calì's grows Nero D'Avola and Frappato in the island's only DOCG, Cerasuola di Vittoria. His Frappato is fresh and aromatic, with notes of strawberries, lavender, and orange zest. He ferments in stainless steel to preserve the brightness of the grape. This wine is a boon companion to any summer picnic--put a slight chill on it and serve it with prosciutto, fried chicken, or pizza.
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..."
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Revealing abundant minerality as well as a leaner, tighter style than the 2010's with less mass, extraction and power, this elegant, medium-bodied 2008 exhibits raspberry and black currant fruit, cedar, loamy soil and a hint of spice box. It should be consumed over the next 3-4 years. (RP)" (5/2011) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright, dark red. Redcurrant, tobacco and menthol on the nose. Broad, sweet and fairly full in the mouth, with a fine grain to the flavors of currant, tobacco, herbs and earth. Not especially complex or structured but nicely made. The finish features broad, ri ...Read More »
From the winery: "The grapes used to produce this wine come from the best vineyards in Belvedere Ostrense and San Marcello in the province of Ancona. Ruby red colour. Distinguished floral scent, of rosehip and spices. Full, elegant, medium bodied flavour, which enhances aromas."
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright red. Tightly wound but not dry or edgy, showing a distinctly medicinal cast to the red cherry and flint aromas and flavors. Showing limited complexity today but has the juicy acidity and spine, along with firm supporting tannins, to gain in nuance with a couple years of cellaring." (12/2014) Vinous: "Generous black stone fruits, smoke, tobacco and menthol are some of the notes that emerge from the estate's 2012 Rosso di Montalcino. The style is rich, ample and intense to the core." (5/2014)
This Champagne is 1/3 each Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier from 25-30 year old vineyards on the Ariston estate in Brouillet.
This comes from the producer of one of our favorite summer rosés. It's a fresh and easy-drinking blend of Syrah and Grenache. Perfect for a week night BBQ!
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 »