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$10 off of Highly-Rated Aussie Cab - 06/30/2008 - Australia

Welcome to the latest in a series of "you've got to be kidding me" bargains we've seen in the last several days. Here's a Grade-A Cabernet, radically reduced in price, beloved by the press, enjoyed by our tasting panel and Aussie buyer, and hugely popular with the customers that have been lurking on our site the last few days since this new deal showed up. We sold this a while ago and just got offered a huge discount from a supplier that apparently wanted to clear out some space in the warehouse. Jump while it's here...

2002 Leeuwin

2002 Leeuwin "Art Series" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River (was $40+) ($29.99)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(77% cabernet sauvignon, 14% petit verdot and 9% malbec) Saturated ruby color. Flat-out gorgeous aromas of bitter cherry, cassis, graphite, cedar, Cuban tobacco, dark chocolate and dried flowers. On the palate, juicy dark and red fruit flavors play off musky, almost decadent underbrush and tobacco, with precise but understated Asian spice notes adding even more complexity. This boasts remarkable balance and compelling intricacy of fruit, spice and earth qualities on the long, suave finish, picking up notes of violet and fresh rose on the back. For the money, this is a no-brainer in outstanding, ageworthy cabernet." (Jul/Aug 06) 92 points and an Editors' Choice, Wine Enthusiast: "Perhaps better known for its Chardonnay, Leeuwin also makes an Art Series Cabernet that takes a back seat to no one. The 2002 still boasts youthful scents of fresh mint and cassis, then slowly unfolds on the palate to reveal a rich, full-bodied wine with a distinctly ripe, creamy texture. Long and powerful on the finish, with 10 or so years ahead of it." (02/08)

The out-of-this-world Leeuwin Artist Series Chardonnay is also in stock, on our site for those that know how to find it. It's perhaps the greatest Chard coming out of Australia.

Malbec Lover's House Red - 06/28/2008 - Argentina

Just in case you still enjoy ridiculously good red wines in the $10 price range...

2007 Altos Las Hormigas Malbec Mendoza, Argentina

2007 Altos Las Hormigas Malbec Mendoza, Argentina ($10.99)

If you loved the 2006, you will be seriously enthused about this latest release from Las Hormigas. Last year's vintage got 90 points in the Wine Advocate, and this review: "The 2006 Malbec is a prime contender for the top value in Malbec. Purple-colored, it has an excellent nose of violets, spice box, blueberry, and black cherry. Medium to full-bodied, it offers a creamy texture, layers of flavor, excellent balance, and a long, fruit-driven finish. Although this outstanding Malbec may well evolve for 1-2 years, there is no reason to defer gratification. It is a fantastic value." Like its predecessor, the 2007 was vinified in stainless steel, aged for nine months in a combination of stainless steel and oak, then bottled without any form of stabilization or filtration, the Altos las Hormigas Malbec shows jobs of pure fruit pretty much in its natural, unadulterated state. Shows lots of wild cherry, red berries, anise and tropical spices, as well as nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon.

1995 Krug Clos Ambonnay Champagne ($3500) - 06/27/2008 - Champagne

Value hunters can just go ahead and delete this email now. The Clos Ambonnay is the incredibly rare bottling from Krug, and what we had a couple months ago sold out in a matter of minutes. Unlike anything else you'll find on the market...

1995 Krug Clos Ambonnay Champagne

1995 Krug Clos Ambonnay Champagne ($3,500.00)

98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 1995 Clos d’Ambonnay has only recently become expressive. It emerges from the glass with endless layers of fruit, vibrant minerality and a big, building finish." (06/2011)

95 points Wine Spectator: "Full-bodied and deep, featuring graphite, toast, leather and spice notes augmented by citrus and mineral. This is dry and backed by a racy structure, with a long, structure-driven finish, replete with spice and citrus accents. A Champagne for food or contemplation. (2009)"

K&L Notes: This single vineyard Champagne is the rarest (and most expensive) in the world. Produced from just one and one half acres (1/3 the size of the Clos de Mesnil) of Pinot Noir within the village itself of Ambonnay there were only 3000 bottles made from 11 tiny 200 liter Krug casks. The Clos itself has been around since the year 1700, and the Krug family has been getting the grapes from here for three generations. In 1994 they bought the vineyard and changed the pruning methods and made their first single vineyard wine from the Clos the following year- the 1995. The wine has an encyclopedia of descriptors on its very complex nose; chalk, fine mineral infused black cherry fruit, and brioche. The aroma is so seamless and integrated that it quickly becomes clear that the wine is on the highest possible level. It is compact and layered, with none of the heaviness that one would expect from a 100% Pinot Noir, barrel fermented 13 year old offering. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Clos de l'Oratoire - The Sequel - 06/25/2008 - Rhone Valley

"For anyone interested in experiencing Rhone Valley wines at their most elegant and finely tuned best, the 2006 vintage should not be missed." - Mulan Chan, K&L Rhone Valley Wine Buyer

2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Clos de l'Oratoire

2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Clos de l'Oratoire "des Papes" ($27.99)

91 points Wine Spectator: "Deliciously ripe, with plump-textured plum sauce, fig and red currant fruit flavors backed by bright minerality and shades of vanilla, cedar and cocoa. Underlying juiciness rides throughout. Drink now through 2018." (06/08) 91 points Wine Spectator: "Deliciously ripe, with plump-textured plum sauce, fig and red currant fruit flavors backed by bright minerality and shades of vanilla, cedar and cocoa. Underlying juiciness rides throughout. Drink now through 2018." (06/08) This wine follows the enormously successful 2005 Clos de l'Oratoire, one of the most popular CDP's we've ever sold in our history. Gorgeous Châteauneuf under $30? What more could you ask for? For anyone interested in experiencing Rhone Valley wines at their most elegant and finely tuned best, the 2006 vintage should not be missed. 14% abv.

Save 30% on fantastic Sparkling Rosé - 06/24/2008 - Australia

Our quest to find great affordable sparkling wines often takes us out of that one particularly famous region in France. Here's a great one we found from Australia, and we loved it so much we secured a large batch and negociated a huge price break.

Taltarni Brut Rosé

Taltarni Brut Rosé "Tache" Sparkling Wine (was $20 elsewhere) ($13.99)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate for this sparkling wine from Victoria and Tasmania: "The Non-Vintage Brut Tache is a delightful, well-priced sparkling wine composed of 52% Chardonnay, 41% Pinot Noir, and 7% Pinot Meunier. A dash of red wine liqueur is added to the finished tirage wine at disgorgement to create the salmon pink color. The nose offers rose petal, peach, apricot, and wheat thin scents leading to a sparkler with a steady, persistent stream of small bubbles and red berry and nutty flavors. On the palate the wine is dry and refreshing, with a long, clean finish." (10/07) According to Wine & Spirits: "The bubbles look tiny but they power the strawberry and cherry fruit in this light pink sparkler, a brisk cut that leaves the finish clean. For rustic country pâté." (10/07) According to the Wine Spectator: "Pale pink in color, this dry, creamy-textured sparkler shows pretty watermelon and toast flavors. Drink now." (11/06) Taché is a French word meaning ‘stained’ and refers to the rare winemaking method used since 1985 at Taltarni to create this fine rosé-colored sparkling wine. Its delicate salmon pink color is achieved by adding a dash of red wine liqueur to the finished tirage wine at disgorgement. Crafted from a traditional blend of chardonnay (54%), pinot noir (36%) and pinot meunier (10%), Taltarni Brut Taché is bottle fermented and matured for a minimum of 18 months according to traditional ‘Mêthode Champenoise’ practices. Delicious!

Khroma Cabernet ($15.99) - No Points, Just Greatness - 06/23/2008 - Cabernet Sauvignon (domestic)

We sometimes joke that a wine that received 95 points from Robert Parker is a great option if you're having him over for dinner. Instead of always looking for point scores, however, we urge you to look for wines that appeal to your own individual palate and pocketbook. We feel that's the main area where we can add value... helping to recommend things that coincide with your personal tastes. It's why we love having you visit our stores (if you live in California), or developing a relationship with one of our phone staff members. You'll find dozens of wine professionals who taste hundreds of wines each week, with a commitment to help you enjoy more wines that fit your tastes. Coming soon on our site is a "staff reviews" section that we love because it introduces our in-store and phone staff, and their individual favorites. Our hope is that it will lead you to follow the advice of a particular staff member whose tastes are similar to your own. The highly-rated wines are often great, yet they often command higher prices and availability issues because of their high points.

Here's one such example of an "under the radar" red wine that has been tremendously successful in our stores, purely based on staff recommendations. We love this wine.

2006 Khroma Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2006 Khroma Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($15.99)

A new release from Sandy Garber and Ralph Meyer's Topanga Vineyards, the 2006 Khroma Cabernet comes from select premium Alexander Valley vineyards, blending 10% syrah and 5% malbec for a complex and truly unique wine. "We crush; we ferment; we dance around the tanks to scare away any bad Juju," joke the winemakers. The wine smells like homemade blueberry preserves and tastes like a mouthful of dark fruit with hints of vanillin and oak spice. Drinking well now, it's structured enough for some time in your cellar, unless, of course, you've got some juju of your own you'd like to scare away! Try it with a juicy burger piled with blue cheese or pizza with oven-roasted tomatoes and brie.