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Top Ten Picks - April - 04/17/2017 - Monthly Newsletter

Each month we dig through our inventory of several thousand hand-picked wines and spirits, and come up with a list of our Top 10 selections on KLWines.com

Vintage Item Name Score Retail Link
2016 Le Coeur de la Reine Sauvignon Blanc Touraine $11.99 View
2012 Marqués de Murrieta Reserva Rioja 95 $19.99 View
2012 Salwey "Estate" Pinot Noir Baden 94 $19.99 View
2014 La Fleur Peyrabon, Pauillac 92 $24.99 View
2013 Xanadu Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia 96 $24.99 View
2015 Quartz Reef "Bendigo Single Vineyard" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic) (Elsewhere $40) 95 Price: Hidden View
2010 Anderson's Conn Valley "Eloge" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend (Elsewhere $85) 93 Price: Hidden View
2014 Roberts + Rogers "Louer Family" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 94 $59.99 View
2012 Castellare di Castellina "I Sodi di San Niccolò" Toscana 96 $64.99 View
2015 Martinelli "Bondi Home Ranch - Water Trough Vineyard" Green Valley Pinot Noir 97 $69.99 View


2016 Le Coeur de la Reine Sauvignon Blanc Touraine

2016 Le Coeur de la Reine Sauvignon Blanc Touraine ($11.99)

A partnership between Rodolphe and Ludivine Marteau, the fourth generation to make wine from their family's estate. Of their 29 acres, 20 are devoted to Sauvignon Blanc. With vines averaging 20 years and very detail-oriented farming, they harvest the best quality fruit possible. Tasting notes from the importer: "The nose offers an intense 'fruit basket' dominated by citrus scents with a note of blackcurrant bud. In the mouth, all is suppleness and elegance. The final spicy note emphasizes the freshness and the generous length of this Touraine Sauvignon.""

Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 30, 2017

I've been anxiously awaiting the new vintage, and the leaner 2016 is finally here! Sancerre-style paired with Touraine's picnic-perfect value, this customer favorite may just be a top pick for Sauvignon Blanc in the store at this price. The last vintage was a hit, but rounder and more fruit-driven, and now the fresh 2016 is just in time for summer, showing sharper but quenching minerality. Bright acid is vividly apparent, balanced by juicy citrus and ripe stone fruit: flavors shine without hiding terroir or flintiness. Plus the label is gorgeous, begging to dress up your table. Le Coeur de la Reine is ready to take along to parties, alfresco dinners and warm weather adventures.

Mike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 02, 2017

Citus aromas. Full on the palate. Tasty bright fruit - peach, citrus, and even a hint of melon. The touch of grassy flavors and pure Sauvignon fruit will give you a great idea of what the Touraine appellation is all about.

Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 13, 2017

Now our third consecutive vintage of this Touraine, the Le Coeur de la Reine remains one of the best over-delivering wines in the store. The promise of the 2016 vintage gives us a laser beam focus of passion fruit, gooseberry and grapefruit evoking the flavors you would find in a top tier Sancerre or Pouilly Fume -but at half their price. Ideal as an aperitif, lighter vegetable dishes or maybe some Indian take-out.

Olivia Ragni | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 13, 2017

Year after year, this is one of my go-to French Sauvignon Blancs. The 2016 is showing minerality and restraint. Still the same bright, juicy high acid, balanced by notes of white nectarine, lemon zest and even a little tropical fruit. The texture is rich and supple with a long, zesty finish.

Lilia McIntosh | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 11, 2017

Fresh, crunchy and clean. Full of grapefruit and pomelo with touch of lemon peel. Dry and mineral with just a hint of herbs on the nose. Tasty and easy drinking Sauvignon Blanc.

2012 Marqués de Murrieta Reserva Rioja

2012 Marqués de Murrieta Reserva Rioja ($19.99)

95 points James Suckling: "Terrific aromas of currants, berries, cinnamon and perfume. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a dense palate. Superb length and refinement. Compact. Super length. Superb quality considering the price. More delicate and refined than the 2010. Precise." (12/2016)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The blend of the 2012 Rioja Reserva is significantly different from previous vintages, with more Graciano and Garnacha. The blend was approximately 77% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha, 8% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo. After a very dry growing season, the harvest was saved by some rains at the end of September, which allowed the grapes to reach perfect ripeness. The wine also had a slightly longer upbringing, 23 months in American oak barrels and at least nine of those months were in new oak barrels. However, it seems like the oak is better integrated than in the 2011, and the fruit is fresher. The palate has one extra point in depth, with very fine tannins and especially good freshness that gives it a sense of great harmony. (LG)" (08/2016)

92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Murrietas wines have been on a good run in recent years, as evidenced by this saturated,fleshy Reserva. The nose delivers berry and cherry aromas, with ample oak. The palate is a full volumebonanza of berry flavors framed by briary spice and toasty oak. A naturally spicy, ripe finish confirms its excellence; drink 2018-2026" (06/2017)

K&L Notes: One of the two oldest Rioja bodegas, with a history dating back to the mid-19th century, Marques de Murrieta is not resting on its laurels. Rather, they continue to produce excellent wines, big hits with their customers and critics alike. They are fully self sufficient in grapes, taking advantage their large, contiguous vineyard just outside of Logrono, which boasts plenty of old vines, a variety of terroir from chalky clay to very stony parcels, and a climate that particularly favors not only Tempranillo but some of the region's finest Mazuelo. Marqués de Murrieta's 2012 Reserva is an overachiever, surpassing the overall quality of the vintage and perhaps even beating out the fantastic 2010.

Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 25, 2017

This reserva rioja is really starting to hit its stride. It is showing an explosion of well integrated flavors like cherries, redcurrant, cola berry, ripe strawberries, licorice and violets. The body is full and rounded by thick, silky tannins with a solid acid to reign everything in. 5 years in and great potential for further aging, this has edged its way to the top of my sub-$20 bang-for-my-buck category.

Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 24, 2017

Always one of my favorite values from Rioja, the 2012 Murrieta Reserva is perhaps the most compelling vintage I've ever tasted. This wine walks a perfect balance between being open and accessible, with ripe fruit, and yet being well-structured and serious in tone. On the nose the wine shows subtle blackberry fruit and plum, and on the palate a tinge of American oak spice adds to the mix of savory, earthy flavors to present a beautiful and complex whole. While this wine is built to age for the long haul, it is already showing quite well.

Shaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 24, 2017

Thank goodness sanity still reigns supreme in the pricing of some regions' wines. The 2012 Murrieta Reserva is a perfect example. They beautifully navigated the 2012 vintage to bring us this lovely sub-$20 age-worthy wine with a nod to Old World Rioja and New World purity. I've been a fan of the Marques de Murrieta for years and this shows me why. It's a wine not to pass up.

Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 18, 2017

While we certainly have come to expect increasingly great wines from the venerable Marqués de Murrieta (their 2010 Reserva was one of our best selling wines of 2016) this 2012 maybe even tops that great wine. On the nose, rich cherry compote, red fruits, saddle leather, sweet spices and hints of new oak and cedar, combine for a classic Murrieta profile. Flavors of fresh and firm, bright fruits are more poised and bright than even the beautiful nose suggests - this must be the Mazuelo and Garnacha talking! Fantastic Rioja to buy/hold, buy and drink, or ideally, to buy/drink/hold! I would load up on this one. Despite the production volume this one never lasts us nearly as long as we would like.

2012 Salwey

2012 Salwey "Estate" Pinot Noir Baden ($19.99)

94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Exotic spice and cedar notes mingle amidst plump red cherries and raspberries on the nose of this perfumed Pinot Noir. Firm tannins form a taut foundation to crisp, tart raspberry and currant flavors and savory nuances of dried herb and crushed granite. It's a remarkably elegant, squarely structured wine that should meld beautifully over the next decade. (AI)"

Jancis Robinson: "The Salwey estate has always been an absolute specialist in Pinot, be it Blanc, Gris or Noir. The style has changed somewhat in recent years, replacing an emphasis on power and opulence with greater elegance and structure."

K&L Notes: Winery Notes: "The Salwey estate from the Kaiserstuhl area of Baden is truly a family operation, but also quite different. Though the Salwey family’s viticultural roots date back to the 18th century, the winery found international fame in the 1980’s and 1990’s under Wolf-Dietrich Salwey, considered one of Germany’s most outstanding Pinot specialists, and a kind of unofficial ambassador for the unique Pinot wines of the Baden. Now beginning its third generation led by Konrad Salwey, the estate is committed to the classic Kaiserstuhl varietals; Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. Konrad is known for experimentation, to take chances with new techniques and procedures in the interest of advancing the style of vinification. The wines are always fermented completely dry and always characterized and defined by the Loess and vulcanic soil of the area. They require the absolute highest standards in tending to the vineyards. 100% of the selection is performed by hand and fermentation is done exclusively with natural yeast mostly in big oak ovals. They avoid fining of the wines and almost always bottle without filtration."

Lilia McIntosh | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 05, 2017

This is true and pure expression of classic Pinot Noir from Baden! Incredibly aromatic it opens up with savory notes of cedar, cloves, forest floor, red cherries and a touch of baking spices. On the palate it's fresh yet savory, full of cherry and spice notes with great length and bright lift at the end. What a treat for such low price!

Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 29, 2017

Pinot Noir is one of the world's most prestigious grapes but few are familiar with the versions produced in Germany. Well now, is definitely the time to get on board, as the Salwey delivers the smoky spices that I associate with the Baden region while also delivering ripe red fruit and savory spicy notes. I love cooler climate Pinots for their wilder brushy notes, and the Salwey is reminiscent of the wines of Marsannay and in riper vintages like this, maybe a meaty Pommard. This is exceptional terroir-driven Pinot that is not to be missed.

Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 29, 2017

Nimble, aromatic, rustic yet nuanced this incredibly tasty Pinot Noir from southern Germany seriously overdelivers for the price. Dark with plum fruit initially, the Salwey Estate also has subtle smoke and more obvious spice, with a lingering finish. While it drank beautifully upon first opening, this 2012 only got better with time as the considerable acidity softened and more concentrated berry fruit came forward. Lighter-bodied and focused, this shows off Badens volcanic soil but doesnt come across as sharp, just deliciously bright. I took home two bottles within days of each other, it was so good.

Olivia Ragni | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 23, 2017

German Pinot Noir is some of the most underrated Pinot in the world. Germany produces Pinot with terroir, elegance and fruit for values not seen in other regions. Most of the Salwey vineyards are planted on volcanic soils in Baden which lends itself to aromas of smoke, savory meat and violets. The palate brings through flavors of plums, game and graphite. There is beautiful acidity and a finish that never ends. Enjoy with game birds or lamb.

Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 21, 2017

This is a great value in Pinot Noir! Don't balk at it's origin! Germany has been producing fantastic Pinot Noirs that tend to slip under the radar for a long time. This lovely wine is lighter in body, with soft, very fine tannin and elegant black cherry notes. Having aged already for a few years, the Pinot is very soft and open, ready to drink without having to decant for hours. This is easily one of the best buys for Pinot in this price range from anywhere in the store.

2014 La Fleur Peyrabon, Pauillac

2014 La Fleur Peyrabon, Pauillac ($24.99)

92 points Wine Enthusiast: "A small part of Château Peyrabon (Haut-Médoc) is in the Pauillac appellation and is vinified and bottled separately. The wine delivers great fruit and equal richness. It is spice, packed with black plum and berry flavors. It is a powerful dense wine to age for several years. Drink from 2023. (RV)" (04/2017)

90 points Vinous: "The 2014 La Fleur Peyrabon is soft, supple and absolutely delicious. Although not especially complex, it offers striking purity of fruit and also drinks quite well today. Expressive floral and spice notes and a burst of red-toned fruit round things out nicely. The 2014 has turned out a bit better than I expected. Drink this gracious Pauillac over the next decade or so. (AG)" (02/2017)

Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 28, 2017

Structured dark fruits, currants and a subtle leafy savory quality all reveal themselves on this classic, built to age, value Pauillac.

Clyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 26, 2017

The big sister of Peyrabon and this wine is quite delicious right now. In the modern style, with tons of sweet red berry aromas and flavors. Sexy wine and a bit like California Cabernet. Good transfer wine from Cal Cab to Bordeaux.

Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 13, 2017

Pauillac for 25 bucks has become almost non existent but this stays true to the appellation at a great entry level price. This is surprisingly red fruited with berries, plums and good mid-palate density and a creamy mouth feel. The smooth, mineral laced finish makes this very easy to drink young.

Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 31, 2017

Chateau Peyrabon, a property designated AOC Haut-Médoc, has proven to be very popular with our customers over the years. With its location in Saint-Sauveur, just west of Pauillac, I have often touted it as a poor mans Pauillac, even noting that the estate includes five hectares of vineyards sold separately under the label La Fleur Peyrabon, Pauillac. Well, at long last here is that very wine, offered by K&L for the first time. The 2014 La Fleur Peyrabon has all of the lively acidity and the sweetness of fruit that seem to be typical of the best wines of the vintage. Additionally, there is a weight and a presence that reflects the character of the appellation. Remarkable value.

2013 Xanadu Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia

2013 Xanadu Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia ($24.99)

96 points James Halliday: "*Special Value Selection* In my mind, Xanadu has established itself as one of the greatest Margaret River winemakers. Small batch open-fermented, 35% given extended maceration, blended and matured in French oak (40% new barriques) for 14 months. Xanadu paints an unerring landscape of intense, elegant Margaret River Cabernet, with a stream of cassis fruit bordered by gravelly but fine tannins, oak insistently completing the picture. Great value. This year (2017) marks 40 years of Xanadu Wines and following decades of winemaking excellence, it has firmly cemented itself as an Australian wine icon."

94 points Decanter: "Just on the cusp of evolution with sweet toffee, graphite and intense cedar notes, followed by bright fresh horseradish and a kick of blackcurrant. Grippy tanins add dimension; this will settle into something stunning. Drink 2017-2020."

93 points James Suckling: "Classic red fruits and chocolate here, boysenberry and bright cassis too. Really upbeat and bright, with a little gravel thread. Super refined palate with smooth and fleshy texture. The tannins spread fine and even and there is plenty of red berry fruit and chocolate through the finish. Really fine. Best from 2019." (03/2016)

93 points Wine Enthusiast: " *Cellar Selection* "This is firm, dusty and seemingly built for the cellar. Toasty, cedary and chocolaty oak frames dark fruit, yet it remains fresh in character, not dried or overripe. The finish is long, tannic and reminiscent of fine Bordeaux. Try after 2020. (JC)" (02/2017)

K&L Notes: *Trophy for Best Cabernet Sauvignon - 2015 National Wine Show of Australia*

Joe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 09, 2017

2013 was a great vintage in Margaret River, evident in this Cabernet Sauvignon from Xanadu. The nose is bright and expressive. Deeply minty and herbal with some mustard grass notes. Layered with rich, supple dark fruit like cassis and boysenberry as well as hints of mocha. On the palate, big, chewy, and spicy. Dark fruit shines, with mint and herbs present in addition to a tinge of subtle chocolate. Delicious on its own or with herb-roasted lamb

Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 04, 2017

Really drinkable, rich and complex Cabernet. This wine has something for almost everyone. Polished round tannins that create rich and supple mouth feel. Bright fruit that is accented with dusty earth, and subtle oak spice and a eucalyptus high note for those that crave layers to their wines. The wine has plenty of immediate charm and enough stuffing for the collector. All for under $25, if you like Cab, you have to try it.

Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 04, 2017

Wow, the nose on this is gorgeous: with notes of cedar and wet earth, the 2013 Xanadu Estate is reminiscent of walking through a forest, but with the addition of that distinctly Australian eucalyptus hit. Fruit is on the darker side and concentrated, and while this is rich and gutsy, there is restraint, with super soft tannins on the finish. Dusty and drinkable, Xanadu feels more expensive than its price implies, making this a perfect party pick. An old world-style stunner with modern sensibility, this is a spicy, sophisticated Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon that would make Olivia Newton John proud.

David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 04, 2017

I strongly and passionately feel like Australia is the future of cabernet sauvignon, mainly because it has all the youthful drinkability that California wine lovers appreciate, but with the complexity and depth that we have generally have to wait for with Bordeaux. Because of that dichotomy, the best wines from Margaret River are often compared to the top growths of the Medoc, but as you can see with the Xanadu Estate cabernet here the prices are much, much more affordable (like a fraction of what fine Pauillac would run you). I've tasted this wine about five separate times now and each time I've been taken aback by the concentration of fruit and the subtle accents of earth, spice, and leather. The wine is silky, yet nuanced. It's polished, but in no way sweet or overtly airbrushed. It's just a slam dunk bottle of cab with style and gusto, from a serious plot of land, for a reasonable price, and with a screw cap to boot. It's everything I love about Australian wine right now: panache without pretense.

Sharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 03, 2017

My fetish for Margaret River Cab lives on, thanks to our Aussie Buyer, Ryan Woodhouse. The wines have such a distinctive nose, are not unlike Bordeaux in style and flavor, and have excellent aging potential. The Xanadu is full of notes like cassis, plum, dark cocoa and eucalyptus. There is plenty of the same on the palate, with the addition of baking spices, pepper and gentle tannins towards the finish. There is a lot going on here that makes it ready to enjoy now but it can hang in your cellar for a few more years too. Frankly, at this price you'd be crazy not to stock up with bottles for the upcoming grilling season (which is now, in Southern California) or for that milestone birthday BBQ or pot roast dinner in a few years time.

Anthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 01, 2017

Holy cow. Such an awesome expression of cabernet sauvignon in a true Margaret River style: medium + body, menthol, black fruits, cassis, a hint of white pepper, ripe tannins, and plenty of acid.

Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 01, 2017

Margaret River has been on an absolute tear with great vintages coming thick and fast. The wines often strike a stylistic balance somewhere between Napa Cabernet and Bordeaux but retain their own unique markers at the same time. The fruit is typically rich and concentrated like Oakville; the tannins and poise more reminiscent of Paulliac; the complex aromas of cedar, crushed mint and sandstone are uniquely Margaret River. The quality of these wines hasnt gone unnoticed and huge point scores are amassing! The 2013 Xanadu Estate Cabernet is a slightly more generous, lush style of Cabernet from Margaret River. Saturated dark fruits, blackcurrant, ripe plum, dark chocolate, sweet oak spice and fine broad tannins. Incredible concentration; fantastic value! We bought every case that was available to us as it was just too good to miss at this price!

Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 27, 2017

A truly delicious Cab from a hallmark Margaret River producer. This really is a great value for this complex yet highly approachable wine. It has the structure and earthiness reminiscent of Bordeaux, yet the silky mouthfeel is all courtesy of Aussie fruit. This wine exhibits fantastic balance and is absolutely drinkable now, which is dangerous given its low price point, it'd be easy to pick up a few every week.

2015 Quartz Reef

2015 Quartz Reef "Bendigo Single Vineyard" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic) (Elsewhere $40) Price: Hidden

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Medium ruby-purple in color, the 2015 Pinot Noir exudes gorgeous violets, red roses and black cherry notes with underlying Provence herbs, dusty earth and cinnamon stick hints. Medium-bodied, the palate has a firm backbone of ripe, velvety tannins with lively acid supporting the concentrated, multi-layered flavors, finishing long. Spectacular Pinot Noir! (LPB)" (12/2016)

K&L Notes: Winery Notes: "Hand-picked from our Biodynamic Demeter Certified Bendigo Estate vineyard; with a vine density of 5,000 - 8,000 plants per hectare on grafted pinot noir clones (10/5, 5, 115, 667, 777 & Abel) planted in 1998. The soils on the beautiful north facing slope are Waenga fine sandy loam with quartz and schist deposits. Each small batch was vinified separately according to clone, with a small percentage of whole bunches being retained, left for 5-7 days cold soak before indigenous yeast fermentation kicked in, peaking at 33°C. Gentle plunging throughout ferment, followed by post-fermentation maceration of up to 12 days to ensure optimum tannin balance. Ferment duration 24 days. Pressing directly into selected French oak barriques; approximately 30% new the balance older. The wine underwent natural malolactic fermentation in spring and was bottled in September 2016. The winemaking was very much in keeping with the traditional practices of the old world. The winemaker, Rudi Bauer, has combined these techniques, and his own personal understanding, to create this unique wine."

Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 29, 2017

Potentially the best-ever release of this wine. I have long admired Rudi's wines at Quartz Reef and elsewhere but this wine has the x-factor. Hailing from a single, steep, Biodynamic certified, hillside vineyard in the Bendigo sub-region of Central Otago, this wine shows the pedigree and structure would would expect from one of Rudi's wines. However its real allure is the purity of fruit and its exuberance both aromatically and on the palate. This sub-region is known for more masculine, structured wines with dark fruit and formidable tannins, but this wine is so accessible and expressive even as a youngster. The tannins are polished, the fruit is bold with perfectly judged ripeness; hints of mineral and wild thyme add a distinctive sense of place; some exotic spice notes from the French oak maturation add a final touch of class. This is a Pinot that you can WOW people with. It captures the classic elements of Central Otago Pinot (as you would expect from one of the region's founding fathers) but also has an international appeal and luxurious quality that way surpasses our stunningly low importer-direct price point.

Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 27, 2017

The wines made from this site in Bendigo always seem to be a touch richer and fleshier than other Central Otago wines. The nose is luxurious, sappy dark red fruits with a dusting of spice and earth. It is on the fuller side of Pinot on the palate with a lush round mouth feel. There is just enough tannin to pull everything back into a long finish.

Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 23, 2017

Quartz Reef's Bendigo vineyard Pinot Noir is an excellent example of the power and expression of Central Otago. In this south island region, Pinot Noir does particularly well, creating wines that are both full-fruited and bright, with great savory notes and elegant spice. This wine opens with exuberant, round blackberry fruit with plenty of structure and a medium palate weight. On the finish the wine has a long, savory note with wild mushroom and hints of exotic spice coming into play.

2010 Anderson's Conn Valley

2010 Anderson's Conn Valley "Eloge" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend (Elsewhere $85) Price: Hidden

93 points Vinous: "Grilled herbs, tobacco, menthol, licorice and plums all take shape in the 2010 Eloge. Rich, layered and expressive, the 2010 is resonant and deeply expressive throughout. Gently spiced notes appear on the finish, adding dimensions of complexity and nuance. Today the 2010 is a bit closed in on itself and a touch compact, while the aromatics aren't quite as precise as they could be. I was deeply impressed with the wines I tasted at Conn Valley this year. The wines are often terrific, but at the same time, they have also occasionally suffered from the presence of brett, something that can add character up to a certain point when it starts to mask the fruit. Under the guidance of new winemaker Robert Hunt the Conn Valley wines seem cleaner, purer and much more expressive, all great things for those of us who love these wines. Conn Valley fans will note an addition to the range with 2012, the Merlot Signature, which now sits next to the Cabernet Sauvignon Signature at the top of the lineup. It is going to be exciting to see how things develop at Conn Valley over the next few years. We may very well be at the beginning of a new chapter for this distinguished, Napa Valley estate. 93+ (AG)" (11/2013)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Eloge program has always been Andersons Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon blend. From a late harvest (through the first week of November), the 2010 Eloge is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc and the rest Merlot and Petit Verdot aged 24 months in wood. Its dark plum/ruby color does not possess the saturation of the Cabernet Sauvignon Estate. Plenty of jammy blueberry, black cherry and wild mountain berry fruit set it apart from previous vintages of this cuvee. Medium-bodied and more Euro-centric in style, it is an attractive albeit lower-keyed, down-scaled version of Eloge. It should drink well for 10-12 years. (RP)" (10/2013)

K&L Notes: Wines at the apex of their drinkability, this sort of hallowed idea is talked about sort of like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, there is a lot of people that think they have seen it but there is no way to prove it one way or another. Well, add me to that list because I felt exactly that way when I tried the 2010 Anderson's Conn Valley "Eloge" recently. This blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot was just singing, so much so that we bought all that was left in the state. We simply could not pass up letting you know about this special wine and the even better opportunity that our new price allows. (Bryan Brick, K&L)

Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 14, 2017

Subtle eucalyptus on the nose, with darker berry and plum fruit balanced by just enough acidity and structure, the 2010 Eloge is a sophisticated blend, as classically Bordeaux as Napa gets. Spicy with tobacco and pepper notes, plus elegant tannins through the finish, this is a beauty from Conn Creek at a killer price.

Sharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 14, 2017

I love the nose on this wine, with all of its ripe figs, black raspberries, violet and herbs. The palate reflects more restraint than the nose and I find myself pondering what's in the glass a lot longer than normal. This is a good thing. Velvety, great supporting acidity and a lingering finish. Run, don't walk to the store because this will not last long.

Anthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 14, 2017

Beautiful red and black fruit, feminine and not overpowering, very well supported. Long, delicate finish. I could have sat and just smelled it for hours. A Bordeaux blend perfected by Napa.

Olivia Ragni | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 14, 2017

This is an incredibly ethereal, balanced California Bordeaux blend. You will find aromas of black currents, tobacco and fresh cracked black pepper on the nose. The palate provides flavors of black plum, savory cooked meat and blackberry. There is a fruit purity with a thread of earth, loads of acidity and fine tannin structure. Simply, beautiful.

Mari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 14, 2017

Anderson's Conn Valley has always been a Napa favorite of mine but for some reason unbeknownst to me, they fell off my radar for a brief moment. But the second I tasted the 2010 Eloge Bordeaux Blend, all those warm fuzzy feelings I had about Anderson's Conn Valley came rushing back to me. This wine is freakin' amazing and is such a classic example of what makes this winery so fabulous! I was instantly hit with explosive aromatics of dark cassis, tobacco, savory spice, celery root and hints of garrigue on the nose. The palate is surprisingly chock full of a lifted saltiness and umami driven flavors that are a test to how beautifully these wines age. This wine is a must have!

2014 Roberts + Rogers

2014 Roberts + Rogers "Louer Family" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($59.99)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Louer Family hails from St. Helena. Slightly more backward and dense, this is a more substantial 2014, with a dense ruby/purple color, loads of crème de cassis, black cherry, earth and spice. It is full-bodied, rich, concentrated and impressively endowed. It is accessible enough to drink now, but promises to be better in 3-4 years and evolve for up to 15 or more. (RP)" (12/2016)

2012 Castellare di Castellina

2012 Castellare di Castellina "I Sodi di San Niccolò" Toscana ($64.99)

96 points James Suckling: "Captivating aromas of dark fruits, cedar and tobacco follow through to a full body, silky and chewy tannins and a flavorful, rich finish. Very intense and pretty. Provocative. A classic Super Tuscan. A blend of Sangiovese and Malvasia Nera. Drink in 2019." (11/2016)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "As always, this celebrated wine shows excellent results. The 2012 I Sodi di S. Niccolò (85% Sangioveto and 15% Malvasia Nera) is a young wine that needs time to flesh out. It shows bright berry flavors and fresh acidity that will benefit from more time to relax and integrate. The wine is beautifully stitched together and balanced with soft contours, and has a long, lively mouthfeel. It offers wild berry and red cherry with spice, crushed stone, pressed blue flower and scorched earth. The wine is aged in equal parts new and neutral oak. (ML)" (12/2016)

93 points Vinous: "Castellare's 2012 I Sodi di San Niccolò offers lovely depth and radiance in a silky, open-knit style for this wine. The 2012 doesn't have the explosiveness nor the depth of the very best years, but in exchange, it will drink well pretty much upon release. Polished, silky tannins wrap around the juicy, giving finish. (AG)" (10/2016)

92 points Wine Spectator: "Black cherry, black currant and plum fruit is shaded by tobacco, tar and tea notes in this densely structured red. Dusty tannins line the finish for now, but overall this is fresh, complex and needs time to reveal all its facets. Sangiovese and Malvasia Nera. (BS)" (07/2016)

Mike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 05, 2017

A few months in oak, the nose is classic ripe cherries and strawberries and a hint of coco powder. On the palate of this full-bodied wine, you will find the fruit describe above with a touch of minerals and soft tannins, which gives this wine a very lush feel to the palate and has an incredible long finish

Rachel Vogel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 04, 2017

An elegant and pure nose pours into a glass full of fresh red fruit and soft balancing acidity in this Super Tuscan. Allowing the Sodi to open up is necessary for it to become the soft and gracious wine it is. The graceful, long finish is filled with gentle earth character and that classic savory Sangiovese element. Beautiful from beginning to end.

John Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 03, 2017

"I Sodi" is one of the jewels of Tuscany and among the finest examples of Sangiovese in the region. In most vintages this wine requires some cellaring to allow it to soften and round out yet the 2012 is showing beautifully now. It's soft, supple and captures an elegant and nuanced side of Sangiovese with just the right balance of acidity. Winemaker Alessandro Cellai assured us we'd love it and he was right. We think you'll find it enchanting as well.

Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 03, 2017

At the first whiff of aromatics I was in love with this wine, it speaks of place, of seasons and history, not of barrels or winemaking. The addition of 15% Malvasia Nera takes the Sangiovese to another level, it seems to release scented waves of intense spice, wild roses, lavender, violets and iris. On the palate the wine says Sangiovese; a long linear axis is the focus yet it still shows a sweet, supple balance and now at 5 years old its youthful tannins have faded. The wine is full of flavors crushed, dried flowers, sweet wild cherry, cinnamon, leather and leaves a bit of a roasted chestnut taste in the finish. The Malvasia Nera is pure perfume, it fills the nose with an array of fragrance and yet on the palate it adds facets, highlights to Sangioveses stark structure that seem to weave themselves into the wines core. The I Sodi is supple, characterful, balanced, and expressive while having a hauntingly powerful pull on my emotions; I can feel its call. This is a superb wine, it isnt going to bowl you over it is going to entice you in, to take one sip after another and have a long engaging dialog. I love this wine.

Anthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 03, 2017

Great aromatic left lift with hints of cinnamon, strawberries, and raisins. Aromas were complimented by a fantastic texture and the classic Italian bite and acid that I look for. This wine has terroir and I love it.

2015 Martinelli

2015 Martinelli "Bondi Home Ranch - Water Trough Vineyard" Green Valley Pinot Noir ($69.99)

97 points Vinous: "The 2015 Pinot Noir Bondi Home Ranch, from Marinelli's coolest Pinot site, is another stunner. Silky, nuanced and wonderfully expressive on the palate, the 2015 possesses remarkable intensity but in a decidedly mid-weight style by Martinelli standards. Dense and compact in its center, the 2015 needs at least a few years to open up. Even today, though, it is dazzling. Early to bloom and late to ripen, Bondi Home Ranch enjoys an especially long growing season. (AG)" (03/2017)

92 points Wine Spectator: "Bold and assertive, with a rich, potent mix of dark fruit giving this a distinctive personality, veering into black licorice and anise notes. The savory, long and persistent aftertaste keeps the flavors reverberating. (JL)" (06/2017)

K&L Notes: Bondi Home Ranch is planted with Pinot Noir clones 115, 777, 667, 828, 943, and Calera. The 2015 vintage was marked by an early growing season and a reduced crop which finished with very good quality. The wine was aged in 80% new French oak for one year before bottling. From the winery: "The nose on the 2015 Bondi Home Ranch Pinot Noir is crisp black tea, boysenberry and spice box. The palate offers seamless, mouth-coating tobacco and blue fruit."

Jordan Stone | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 17, 2017

The Bondi Home Ranch is mid-weight and has a lot of subtle flavors that are refreshing and vibrant. Nice dark berry that shows some weight, cedar wood, tea and light cinnamon and cardamom. If you lay this baby down for a short nap, when it wakes up you should have a beauty on your hands.

Stephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 17, 2017

During our recent Sonoma trip, we stopped at Martinelli to check out their current releases and the Bondi Home Ranch Pinot was a true standout. Full of baking spices and herbal tea, this Pinot is a bit more savory but still has beautiful fruit components like boysenberry jam and is super silky in texture. Delicious!

Mari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 17, 2017

I poured this Martinelli Pinot Noir at a public tasting last weekend and everyone went crazy for it. The thing I love about this pinot noir is how adaptable it is to everyone's palate and preferred style. People who like a little upfront fruit will like it. People who like a touch of toastiness will like it. People who like a little bit of secondary aromatics will like it. People who like structure will like. This pinot noir fits all of the above. Loaded with beautiful exotic wood and savory spice notes, the dark brooding fruit on the palate gives way to even more savory notes and crushed floral elements on the finish. I'm always looking for a wine to go with every occasion and every crowd and I just found my wine!

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