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K&L Staff Recommendations
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 at a much higher premium. Get it while it lasts.
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: "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 »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Once you move east out of the Southern Rhone Valley and into Provence, you hit the town of Aix-en-Provence, and you have a few producers who utilize Cabernet Sauvignon, Domaine Trevallon being the most notable. Delille's Doyenne Aix is made in this image and is always a blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2012 Doyenne Aix (60/40 Syrah and Cabernet) is a one of the finest vintages of the cuvee to date and it offers full-bodied, rich, decadent notes of blackcurrants, black raspberries, smoke tobacco, chocolate and roasted-garrigue characteristics. C ...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 »
89-90 points Vinous: "Sbragia's 2012 Merlot Home Ranch jumps from the glass with sweet dark cherries, plums, spices, new leather and menthol. A joyous, exuberant wine, the Home Ranch captures the best qualities of the 2012 vintage. Layers of deeply spiced dark red/blackish fruit inform the finish. There is a lot to look forward to here. (AG)" (2/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A bevy of wines made from Bordeaux varietals include the 2012 Merlot Home Ranch, a solidly made, plump, corpulent Merlot revealing notes of black cherries and white chocolate, medium body, a fleshy mouthfeel and a soft finish. (RP ...Read More »
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 lovely Viognier, we can tell you that it sells elsewhere at a higher premium. Get it while it lasts.
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 »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Refreshingly marked by a tangy acidity, this white is made to please, fermented entirely in stainless steel. It sings in zesty, medium-bodied layers of peach and lime that are fresh and juicy on the palate, yet it somehow maintains some unexpected complexity." (8/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Roth has produced a tasty 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, with a delicate light straw color and plenty of honeysuckle and melon fruit as well as some caramelized citrus. This is a Bordeaux style of Sauvignon, medium-bodied, but floral and effusively fruity. I liked its delineation as well. Drink it ov ...Read More »
We love this co-op, started in 1930 with 30 winemakers and now numbering 200, for their reliably delicious everyday wines. They are located in the foothills of the Languedoc's Cevennes mountains, along the Ceressou volcano, where shale, basalt, and limestone-clay soils meet an ideal Mediterranean climate for grape growing. This voluptuous blend of Syrah and Grenache is ruby red in glass with aromas of cassis and red fruits. It'd be a great accompaniment to a hearty mushroom risotto or a lamb chop.
91 points James Suckling: "A ripe, rich red with plum, violet and blackberry aromas that follow through to a full body, firm tannins and a tangy finish. Shows real nero d'avola character." (10/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of ripe plum, blue flower and baking spice lead the nose on this easy-drinking red. The chewy, straightforward palate doles out juicy black cherry, fleshy blackberry and a clove note alongside round tannins. It's made to drink young so enjoy soon. (KO)" (3/2016) Wine Spectator: "Balanced and open-knit, this creamy red offers supple tannins dressed in plum pudding, tar-tinged smoke, cassis, mocha and ...Read More »
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: "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.
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 »
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)
This is a blend of multiple vintages. It's 58% Pinot Noir, 18% Barbera, 12% Syrah, 5% Zinfandel, 4% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Petit Sirah. It's reminiscent of many old-style field blends. Aromas of red raspberry, cherry, lavender and spice spring from the glass. The juicy palate displays red cherry, blackberry and spice flavors with a silky smooth finish. This delicious red wine can pair marvelously with your typical backyard barbecue and picnic fare.
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 »
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.
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)
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 »
Named for the legendary 1909 Rolls-Royce "Silver Ghost," this opulently-styled Napa Cabernet was made from vineyard sources in Rutherford, St. Helena, and Pope Valley.
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 »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The rather young, ultra-pale 2014 Benufet is Garnacha Blanca with 5% Viognier, fermented in stainless steel and bottled unoaked to keep purity of fruit and freshness. The palate is rather simple, fresh and with faint white fruit flavors. (LG)" (6/2015)
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)
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.
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 »
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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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)
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 »
90 points Wine Spectator: "Fragrant and juicy, offering a charming mix of honeysuckle, peach, apple and lemon verbena, set on a light and effortless frame. A mouthwatering vein runs throughout. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Sémillon and Muscat Canelli. (Web Only - 2016)" (8/2016)
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 »
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)
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.
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)
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 tangy, delicious red with a soft texture and plenty of ripe fruit such as blueberries and blackberries. Hints of citric acidity. Full and savory." (10/2015) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Fragrant and fresh, this offers scents of blue flowers, wild berry, moist earth, chopped herbs and a hint of baking spice. The vibrant, supple palate doles out juicy black cherry, crushed raspberry, white pepper and star anise alongside fresh acidity. (KO)" (11/2015) 90 points Wine & Spirits: "No tasting note given." (12/2015) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Lush and juicy, boasting blackberry, black currant and sweet spice flavors. Shows tannins from oak, and r ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
90 points James Suckling: "A balanced, attractive Fiano with sliced limes, minerals and almonds. Full-bodied, fruity and delicious. A new producer for me. Try it. Drink now." (3/2015) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The pretty 2012 Fiano di Avellino represents the single wine made by Tenuta Sarno 1860. This is a fresh and clean expression of the grape with bright notes of citrus, peach, pear, white flower and honey. Sur lie aging gives the wine good tension and density in the mouth. It wraps smoothly over the palate with layers of yellow fruit and crushed mineral. Mauro and Adele Sarno run the boutique Tenuta Sarn ...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 »
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)
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 »
This Champagne is 1/3 each Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier from 25-30 year old vineyards on the Ariston estate in Brouillet.
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 »
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 »
A 50/50 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Marc estate in Fleury-la-Riviere in the heart of the Marne valley. This is aged for five years and treated with a low dosage to preserve its crisp character. The Grand Cuvée has the texture and complexity of a big house tête de cuvée and, surprisingly, also the restraint. I love the elegance of this wine--it manages to balance brioche richness with chalky raciness and do it effortlessly. If you like long finishing, subtle Champagne on the drier side, you will love this. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer... Read More »