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K&L Monthly Newsletter - Holiday Buying Guide - 11/27/2017 - Monthly Newsletter

Special Thanksgiving Feature Looking for the perfect gift? Or perhaps the bottle that will reward the meals you're planning the holiday season around? Perhaps the in-laws are in town. For all these and more, K&L is your one-stop shop. Here are some of our best opportunities, and don't miss the Top 10 K&L Holiday Picks detailed below.

Napa Standards
Always the go-to of any holiday season, the standards of Napa are a sure thing this time of year. Our best include:

Champagne Icons
Some of Champagne's most celebrated houses have never been better. Any wine lover would be thrilled with these, but they could each stand up to a holiday meal on their own:
Bordeaux Classics
Whether for a gift or for the table, Bordeaux is inimitable and these collectible gems exemplify just that. From the stunning 2000 Lynch to the amazing value of Cantemerle, make sure to get your hands on some of these while in-stock with ideal provenance:
Singular Spirits - K&L Exclusives
You'll only find the selections below at K&L. More importantly, they come from some of the most highly-regarded and demanded properties world-wide. Holidays or not, don't miss out on these:

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As you'll find inside our newsletter, we've compiled our top 10 selections to carry you through the holiday. These range from go-to Champagne to classic claret to K&L exclusive Napa cabernet. There is tremendous value across the board. Needless to say, we have you covered this season for your wine, spirits, and gift needs.

Vintage Item Name Retail Link
2008 Bodegas Puelles Rioja Reserva (Previously $18) Click for Price View
2014 La Massa "La Massa" Toscana $14.99 View
2016 Domaine Louis Moreau Petit Chablis $16.99 View
2015 Chateau de L'Ou "Velours Noir" Côtes Catalanes Rouge (Elsewhere $35) $24.99 View
2016 Franck Millet "Insolite" Sancerre Click for Price View
2015 Kalinda Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon $27.99 View
Four Pillars "Faultline" K&L Exclusive Gin (750ml) $34.99 View
2008 Fallet-Dart Vintage Brut Champagne $39.99 View
2015 Fromm "Quarters Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough $39.99 View
2012 Pauillac de Latour, Pauillac $69.99 View

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2008 Bodegas Puelles Rioja Reserva (Previously $18) Price: Hidden

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I was really taken by the 2008 Reserva, which is a subtle, serious and somehow closed red with insinuating aromas and very good integration of the oak. The palate might also be a little shy and austere, but it feels very balanced with great freshness, fine tannins and a polished texture. This is great value. 10,000 bottles produced and filled in the summer of 2011, so the wine has had enough time in bottle to be ready by now. (LG)" (08/2016)

K&L Notes: Jesús Puelles is one of the most talented vignerons in Rioja. Hailing from a long line of vineyard worker/owners, Puelles knows the terruño in his little slice of land in the Rioja Alta town of Abalos. Nearly all of the grapes for his red wines come from his own 26 hectares, which are generally north facing and located between 300 and 600 meters in altitude, and all within the village of Abalos. This is very rare in a region where sourcing from various villages, and even sub-zones, is more the norm. The 2008 vintage was a fresh one in Rioja, with marked Atlantic climactic influence and wines that show a great balance between generous fruit and bright acidity--it's a vintage that perfectly highlights the Puelles style, creating a Reserva that is delicious now and should improve in the cellar for at least another several years.

Staff ImageChristina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 21, 2017

This is an exceptional Rioja and an amazing value. Bodegas Puelles is known for their purity of ripe, juicy fruit, and the Reserva is just restrained enough to maintain balance of acidity, and is never over oaked. With nine years of aging, this wine is beautifully softened and ready to drink.

Staff ImageJim Barr | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 22, 2017

I believe that of all the Reservas that our Spanish winebuyer, Joe Manekin, has brought in directly from Bodegas Puelles, this 2008 may be their finest and best production to date. And that evaluation is nothing to sneeze at, for the previous vintages have been outstanding to exceptional. Medium-deep ruby in color with youthful reddish edges, the opulent, highly perfumed nose is loaded with blackberry to plumy to vanillan to anise to cedary set of overtones that are completely uniformed and complementary to each quality. Carrying over wonderfully to a broad, rich, viscous, elegant, and pure, yet totally balanced, complex palate impression at entry to finish, this is an amazing Rioja Gem with layers of flavor and a presentation that says You can drink me now, but I will get better with more aging! I have brought several cases of this Gem home at Rustys urgent demands for consumption over the next ten to fifteen-plus years, and he honestly thinks that you need to seriously do the same. AN EXCEPTIONAL NEAR-TERM/LONG-TERM VALUE. ENJOY! ..A K&L WINE MERCHANTS DIRECT IMPORT.. ***** 14.0% ABV *****

Staff ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 07, 2017

I think this is my favorite wine from all of the different Puelles we have carried. I've always like the classic feel and flavors but this wine seems more complete, it has more mid-palate fruit to go along with that savory entry. My one issue with Rioja has always been American oak but in this wine it is so well integrated it isn't even noticed. Extraordinary balance, length coupled with superb weight and a long, vibrant and lifting finish.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 03, 2017

There is no under $20 Rioja in our stock that tows as fine a line between balanced fruit expression and savoriness, modernism and classicism, all while using 100% estate grown, mature vine fruit from the single Rioja Alta village of Abalos. 2008 was a relatively cooler vintage in Rioja Alta, one that allows the tannin structure and balanced acidity to shine. That said, Puelles' Reserva does have a consistent stylistic stamp that shines year after year: focused cherry fruit, a bit dusty perhaps, with well formed, rounded tannins and a gently earthy savor that makes this such an ideal wine at table: Tuesday night with a garlicky lentil stew, good bread and Manchego, or Saturday night with lamb loin chops. Puelles is undoubtedly one of our favorites - not simply because we know and love the family and import the wines, but because the wines are delicious and are wonderfully evocative Riojas.

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2014 La Massa "La Massa" Toscana ($14.99)

91 points James Suckling: "Silky and savory red with light chocolate, cedar and berry character. Medium body, fine tannins and a flavorful finish. Subtle and pretty. Drink now or hold. Delicious." (07/2016)

90 points Wine Spectator: "Warm tones of ripe cherry, loam and sweet spice give way to a dense, muscular structure in this solid red. Succulent and long. Enjoy this while the fruit is still present. Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2020. (BS)" (03/2017)

Staff ImageMike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 09, 2017

Concentrated Sangiovese fruit with layers of subtle earth and mineral scents in a soft and forward body. Wonderful to drink now! Two Thumbs up !

Staff ImageJohn Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 30, 2017

Giampaolo Motta has continued his string of impressive wines with the release of his 2014 La Massa. Although the 2014 is finer in texture and tone than the recent vintages, it offers no shortage of concentration, length and acidity. Excellent to drink now but will hold well for several more years.

Staff ImageRachel Vogel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 25, 2017

Another fireball vintage from La Massa, while the 2013 was deeper and more lush, the 2014 is full bodied with bold acidity rivaling the bold wood structure from time in new french oak. Notes of fresh raspberries and cherry skins are chased by freshly grated baking spice and purple flowers. A great Toscana to try if you love those bold California cabs!

Staff ImageThomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 16, 2017

This wine is an absolute bullseye, every single time. The level of concentration, richness and power is totally unheard of at this price range. It makes a perfect bottle to bring over to a friends for dinner, or as an everyday house red--either way its going to impress. I found it to be beautifully aromatic, with flavors of black pepper, cherries, dark fruits and dry herbs. Totally polished, sleek and effortlessly smooth, there is plenty of acidity, making it an exceptional pairing wine, and it is also jam-packed with fruit flavors, resulting in a wine that is undeniably delicious.

Staff ImageHeather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 16, 2017

La Massa is a K&L "staple". Year after year we've found this wine to be extremely versatile, friendly, and appealing to many palates. With all the earthy/savory elements of Sangiovese and the power and richness of Cabernet and Merlot, this super tuscan has much to offer. The 2014 is no different, and at this price, you really can't go wrong. Although the wine has all the right components now, I would recommend holding onto it for another year or so to reach its peak drinking window.

Staff ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 16, 2017

You can really tell the breeding in this wine, the aromatics and flavors are so well defined and focused. The wine is a base of Sangiovese about 60% then Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Alicante make of the rest. The nose says Tuscany, wisps of leather, hints of violet the a bit of wild cherry show off the Sangiovese then the plumy richness of the Cab and Merlot squeeze in. On the palate the wine shows its richly textured body, supple mouth-feel and great drinkability while still showing that central focus one expects in Tuscan wine. On the palate the complex blend of fruit and earth come together with porcini, leather and wild cherry dominating accented with lilac, rosemary and a bit of that Tuscan dust. Agile and focused this wine is ready to drink but will easily age another 5 years, try it with your favorite pasta or like me it will be a Pork Tenderloin and roasted potatoes!

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 28, 2017

K&L is crowded with values, but this La Massa stands out. It has the supple texture to drink on its own, but also plenty of acidity for Italian cuisine. I love the mix of dark cherry fruit and authentic galestro earthiness in this modern Tuscan red. Quality like this is rare even in our fantastic Italian section at this price!

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2016 Domaine Louis Moreau Petit Chablis ($16.99)

Husband-and-wife team Louis and Anne Moreau pretty much do it all here, from the moment the grapes hit the door of their winemaking facility. Louis got his degree in enology from Fresno State and worked for several California wineries before coming home to take over the winery from his father. We have a strong trio of wines from Louis Moreau.

Staff ImageMike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 25, 2017

This Chardonnay is crisp and stylish with lovely flowery fruit and plenty of depth, energy and concentration underneath and a very long finish. Love this Petit Chablis and white Burgundies at affordable prices!

Staff ImageChristina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 29, 2017

The 2016 Petit Chablis from Louis Moreau is a Direct Import for K&L, and one of the greatest value whites carried here. Pressed from grapes from younger hillside vines, this light-bodied wine displays barely palpable waxy aromas of orange blossom and lemon, and a distinct, chalky minerality. The palate is very well balanced, with bright but well-integrated acidity, and the finish is long and tapered.

Staff ImageAlex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 25, 2017

A stellar value, the Petite Chablis is loaded with bright citrus fruit notes, wet stone and hints of seashells.

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2015 Chateau de L'Ou "Velours Noir" Côtes Catalanes Rouge (Elsewhere $35) ($24.99)

94 points Jeb Dunnuck: "In the same qualitative ballpark, the 2015 Igp Côtes Catalanes Velours Noir (100% Syrah aged 15 months in new barrels) is another full-bodied, sexy wine that shows terrific purity of fruit, as well as classic Syrah notes of pepper, violets and dark fruits. It has a touch more freshness than the Infiniment de lOu cuvee, but both are terrific wines. Its certainly far from unapproachable today, but will keep for a decade or more. (JebDunnuck.com)" (08/2017)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Also inky purple colored, the 2015 IGP Côtes Catalanes Velours Noir is a blend of 100% Syrah that possesses more than a passing resemblance to a top Hermitage. It offers a cooler climate vibe in its fresh blackberry, violets, cracked pepper and crushed rock aromas and flavors. Fresh, full-bodied, concentrated and impeccably balanced, it too will keep for a decade or more. (JD)" (04/2017)

K&L Notes: Séverine Bourrier came to winemaking through her own passion for the subject, not having the family history associated with so many winemakers. She studied oenology in school and worked in Bordeaux for a decade. After meeting her husband, they relocated to a property an hour outside of Perpignan in the Roussillon. They began restoring an old château and did some replanting, rechristening the estate L’Ou, which is Catalan for "egg." The property is in an oval-shaped valley that was used as a rest area by herd animals and likely the Knights Templar on their way to various crusades. The estate consists of three primary terroirs: the alluvial marl soils that make up the valley, and two higher-elevation sites, one made up of black schist and the other brown. Their key grape variety is Syrah but Séverine also grows the classic regional varieties like Grenache and Carignan. For white grapes, they grow Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc, Muscat and of all things, Chardonnay, which is renowned for being one of the best in the region. The "Velours Noir" comes from the black schist high above the valley.

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 29, 2017

This wine is big and lusty with mouth-filling deep dark fruit flavors. But it is more than that. The Velours Noir offers layers of flavors with the fruit balanced out with nice mineral notes and a sense of place. It will go well with hearty foods.

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 25, 2017

Derived from 100% Syrah, this wine is aged in barrel and has a beautiful, dense texture. This is reminiscent of the great wines of the Northern Rhône, and you would be hard-pressed not to think of producers like Chapoutier or Guigal while drinking it.

Staff ImageJohn Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 20, 2017

Looking out over the well-cultivated vineyards to the not too distant snow-capped Pyrenees, one can wonder that the Roussillon is regarded one of the warmest and sunniest regions in France. The efforts of Severine Bourrier and her husband Philippe are a consummation of terroir, tenacity and talent, as they bring everything to the table in the creation of their remarkable wines. The Velours Noir gathers its fruit from black schist soils higher up in the estate, and possesses arresting aromas of blackberries, blackcurrants and dark cherries, with a rich,structured palate caressed by new oak, peppery spice and hints of wild mint. Sumptuous, ageworthy Syrah that could rival many from the Northern Rhone!

Staff ImageStephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 19, 2017

Look no further for you next grilled meat pairing! This 100% Languedoc Syrah shows beautiful dark fruits, mineral, black pepper and some subtle menthol character that is balanced with mid-palate tannic structure. Although this wine is aromatic and expressive now, don't hesitate to lay it down in the cellar.

Staff ImageAnthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 19, 2017

I love Syrah when it is neither too gamey nor too thin. This one falls in the middle. The "Velours Noire" comes entirely from vines planted on the hillside on top of a black schist soil, which results in an incredibly velvety wine. The tannic profile is present, but not overwhelming, making this gorgeous bottle something to enjoy either now or a few years down the road. As for pairing, think roasted pork, duck, turkey, or BBQ lamb.

Staff ImageAndrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 14, 2017

It is never to early to start thinking of cool wines to drink as nights get longer and more and more dinners get planned. This 100% Syrah on Black Schist soil should definitely be one to keep in your back pocket. Blackberry and spice on the nose give way to a rather rich and bold wine. Dark berry and jam notes are intertwined with spice and minerality while classic syrah tannin coats the mouth and leads to a long finish. This is not a shy wine in all the best ways.

2016 Franck Millet "Insolite" Sancerre ($24.99)

One of K&L's very finest buys from France. This is a reserve cuvée, made from Millet's chalkiest limestone soils. There is a long maceration at very low temperatures to extract as much flavor and character as possible. The resulting wine is intensely charged with stone fruit and minerality, with bright citrus notes. The wines of this family domaine have been a staple here at K&L since the 1994 vintage when Franck and Betty Millet drove a long way (to Beaune!) on Easter Sunday to meet Clyde and crew to present the wines. We love these wines for their freshness, charm and affordability.

Staff ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 28, 2017

This scintillating and racy wine gushes with Melon rind, Guava, Grapefruit pith, savory herb and mouth watering minerals. This manages to be both lip smacking and serious at the same time.

Brian Fogarty | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 28, 2017

Located just 2 hours south of Paris in the village of Bué, 3rd generation vigneron Franck Millet and his wife Betty cultivate 22 hectares of beautiful, rolling vineyards together with a focus on Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Their premium Sancerre bottling Insolite (translated unusual or uncommon) brings together the most expressive old vines Sauvignon Blanc from the Domaine growing on clay-limestone soil.In the glass the wines bouquet develops with yellow flowers and a bold expression of citrus cream. A firm vein of wet stone minerality is accented by notes of fresh field herbs like thyme, bee-balm and dried grasses. A refreshing wine on its own, yet not delicate at all and would love being paired with seafood, white meats or of course local goat cheese is classic; Chevre.

Staff ImageMorgan Laurie | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 28, 2017

Back just in time for the Holidays! The grapes for the Insolite cuvée are selected from the chalkiest soils on their property in Bué. Franck and Betty (the husband and wife team behind the estate) allow the wine to macerate with the skins at close to 32 degrees to coax as much aroma and flavor as possible. On the nose the wine is fresh and racy with pronounced mineral tones, freshly cut grass, sweet green herbs and lots of fresh citrus and stone fruit. The wine has some texture, almost a creamy feel on the palate with a zippy, lively undercurrent of acidity. Considering that Dungeness crab season is in full effect, I would happily pair this with a big old plate of the good stuff, but this would work with any seafood really.

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2015 Kalinda Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon ($27.99)

We'd love to tell you all about the storied estate from which we sourced this superb, classic example of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, but we can't. For decades now, our Kalinda private label has been providing K&L customers with awesome wines at a fraction of what they'd normally pay under the producers' mainstay labels. That being said, no producer wants their wines on the market for less than what they'd usually sell for, so the trade-off is anonymity. While we have to remain quiet about the source of this beauty, we can tell you that wine from this prestigious producer sells elsewhere under the winery label at a much higher premium.

Staff ImageChristina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 21, 2017

The newest Kalinda Rutherford Cabernet is reflective of the 2015 vintage in Napa, which was defined by a warmer growing season and an early harvest. This led to low yields of very high quality fruit with great power and concentration. This elegant Cabernet is rich and condensed, with silky, dusty tannins and classic Rutherford aromas and flavors of bright Bing and black cherry, tobacco leaf and allspice. The quality and drinkability of this wine is undeniable, and finding a Rutherford Cabernet at this price point is next to impossible.

Staff ImageAnthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 20, 2017

The value here is ridiculous; I will be getting a case for myself to enjoy and see how it comes of age. This is the most fulfilling cab in this price point I have ever encountered. Absolutely delicious to the very last drop. Big, full, and structured. The only downfall being that the bottle is only 750 ml.

Staff ImageMuriel Sarik | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 19, 2017

This is an elegant Cabernet from the Napa Valley. It is smooth, balanced and just the right amount of fruit. I love those dusty tannins. This is the true mark of a Rutherford red wine.All this for $27.99!

Staff ImageSharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 19, 2017

Here is a Cabernet Sauvignon to keep handy this summer and through the rest of the year, frankly. There is plenty of juicy red fruits but the kicker for me is the freshness, the energetic acidity, sweet spices, supple tannins and overall structure that keep me reaching for the bottle. I usually lean in the opposite direction for my wines at this time of the year but it seems I've been swayed to the other side. And I love it.

Staff ImageAdam Winkel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 19, 2017

Deep color and cassis tones introduce what is an unmistakable profile in Napa terroir. Cocoa powder and soil tones fill in as the wine airs, but the virtue is that the savor is from that terroir; not the stilting of heavy new wood which can be difficult to differentiate in this day and age. But perhaps my favorite characteristic here is the focused juiciness driving into the finish that really makes you want to take another sip. As much as a wine like this could age, in its fresh voluptuousness I actually think there is plenty of virtue to drinking it young. There's an uncommon combination of concentration and drinkability to this wine that really floats my boat.

Staff ImageTrey Beffa | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 19, 2017

This is my new go-to summer red! The aromas of black cherry and cassis jump from the glass and are followed by hints of cassis, plums, mocha and blueberries. The wine is fresh and does not come across as heavy. This will pair perfect with your summertime grilling and comes across as a $50+ bottle!

Staff ImageAlex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 19, 2017

This is an outstanding rendition of Kalinda Cabernet Sauvignon! I am really glad Clyde & I waited and tasted and waited and tasted because our patience has truly been rewarded upon tasting this wine once again from bottle. Beautiful aromas of spice, baker's chocolate and crème de cassis spring from the glass while on the palate the wine feels electric with intense red and black cherry flavors as well as milk chocolate and mocha notes. Velvety tannins and a long, supple finish only add to the enjoyment this plush Cabernet Sauvignon provides. If there's a better Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for under $30 I haven't tasted it yet.

Staff ImageJim Barr | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 18, 2017

Produced by one of the oldest established Cabernet estates {and we cannot tell you who it is} in Napa Valley, which had its first crush in 1882, this absolutely astounding wine is deeply colored and offers opulent, powerful aromas of cassis, currants, blackberries, and violets, all of which is underscored by cedary, creamy, and dusty (Rutherford dust, of course!} qualities. This carries over fabulously to a broad, viscous, concentrated, yet integrated palate impression that offers excellent complexity, depth, balance, and richness. The finish is long, warm, and elegant. Although you can drink this Gem, with decanting and an hour or so of airing, currently, it will age easily another ten-plus years, which Rusty and I plan to do. Rusty wants me to bring home several cases of this amazing Gem and thinks that you need to give some serious consideration in doing the same. A GREAT VALUE! .....A K&L WINE MERCHANTS' EXCLUSIVE..... ***** 14.5% ABV *****

Staff ImageClyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 14, 2017

What a delicious Cabernet we have for all Cabernet and Bordeaux lovers. Coming from the very warm 2015 Napa harvest, this wine is quite elegant and refined already. Just the right amount of oak here and plenty of red currant aromas and flavors. Rutherford is home to some of the most famous Napa Valley producers--a few who have been around for many years (way before Prohibition). We can't tell you who made this wine, but I think if you really think about it, you may pick the right property. The old and famous Pot Luck Restaurant in the East Bay featured many of their wines on its extensive wine list. Wines back to 1893! Please decant this wine as it is a baby and enjoy it with a rack of lamb. Very similar to the fine 2003 Bordeaux wines in structure and richness.

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Four Pillars "Faultline" K&L Exclusive Gin (750ml) ($34.99)

Are you ready for the most anticipated gin of 2017? We've been talking up our project with world-renowned gin distillery Four Pillars since this past February when our spirits buyer David Driscoll flew out to Australia to team up on a new expression for the K&L house label. Now the results are finally in and the gin tastes every bit as delicious as we had hoped! For those unaware of the award-winning Yarra Valley-based gin producer, no brand has been more popular at K&L since it first launched in the States a few years back and the distillery's Rare Dry is the most successful white spirit we've ever sold in store history. Wanting to build on the clean citrus notes and the creamy texture that are the calling cards of Four Pillars, David and distiller Cameron MacKenzie put together a recipe including lemon myrtle, strawberry gum, roasted wattleseed, Tasmanian pepper, fresh kumquats, orange peels, and a heavy dose of sandalwood nuts to add an oiliness. The result is a nuanced, exotic, utterly sippable gin that still showcases the classic citrus with flavors that are exciting and fresh, adding in a symphony of savory with herbaceous exquisiteness. The gin completely stands on its own in a standard martini, but mixes beautifully into a gin & tonic or Negroni without losing its character. We think fans of Four Pillars will go mad for this new expression with its supple mouthfeel and vibrant botanicals, but any true gin lover will want to give it a spin as it's that darn good.

Staff ImageAndrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 05, 2017

I have been hearing about this gin since its inception and have been eagerly awaiting its arrival. Finally our new Faultline gin is here and it is downright delightfully delicious!! The aromatics leap out immediately, but like all of the Four Pillars Gin everything is in balance, lots of different aromas all acting in harmony with each other. There is some fantastic spice notes in here to bolster the juniper and the texture from the nuts adds a wonderful creamy layer. Finally the gin ends with a burst of lemon and spice that keeps the mouth fresh. I was planning on drinking wine tonight but I think I may do Negroni's instead.

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 05, 2017

K&L sent David Driscoll to Australia and this is what he returned with. It was well worth the trip. It is both very tasty and offers up something different.There are wonderful aromas of citrus and juniper with a kiss of spice. In the mouth there is a creamy mouth feel with complex citrus notes . Every time that I tasted it a new element came forward. Very good and wonderfully fun.

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 04, 2017

Tasting this gin made me incredibly happy! I love gin for its refreshing nature, and Four Pillars have proven to be masters of the balanced, refreshing fruit-based gin profile. This has delicious flavors that lean a little more towards fresh fruit, with citrus, strawberry and orange peel flavors, fleshed out with subtle spices and botanicals. Its amazing in mixed drinks.

Staff ImageDavid Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 03, 2017

I've been obsessed with Four Pillars gin since the very first moment I tasted it in January of 2015 when the distillery gang flew out from Melbourne for the Superbowl that year in SF. They dropped by the store unannounced, put a bottle of the Rare Dry in my hand, and the rest is history. I'd never had a gin that good before and I've still yet to have one sinceand I drink a LOT of gin. But beyond the flavor, what I respected most about Four Pillars was that they were ONLY making gin; not single malt, or vodka, or whiskey, or some other spirit to help pay the bills, but just gin. They're like gin specialists, concocting incredible flavors on their copper stills in the Yarra Valley. After two years of huge customer support, monstrous sales, and positive feedback like you wouldn't believe, I decided to head Down Under and create a special gin with distiller Cameron MacKenzie for K&L using our Faultline label. My goal was simple: make something distinct, exciting, new, but also characteristic of everything I already love about Four Pillars. I won't rehash the specs as they're all listed above, but Cam knocked this baby out of the park. Listing me on the label as the "co-distiller" is a bit misleading because I didn't do anything but taste and edit, however, I appreciate the acknowledgement. In the end, this gin is all about Four Pillars and their incredible talent. Our job is simply to put fantastic new spirits in your hands and I thi

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 03, 2017

This great bottle of gin comes across as a classic from the first sip, with poise, elegance and refreshment its main qualities. Even though it made out of a long list of exotic, only-in-Australia botanicals, the balance is still exquisite and exactly what I am looking for in my therapeutic gin and tonic. I am sure we will disappoint many customers looking for a second bottle of this after it all sells out. If you love it, make sure to get what you need quickly!

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 03, 2017

A pretty awesome collaboration between our very own Spirits Buyer David Driscoll and the folks at Four Pillars in Australia. It seems pretty crazy to travel literally half way around the world to make a single batch of Gin...but if you know how talented the guys at Four Pillars are and how much relentless energy and passion David has for finding / making great booze, then you'll understand how it made perfect sense. The result is pretty epic - exotic botanicals, balanced flavors, a texture more like an aged spirit than a brand new one; this is soft enough to sip straight but potent and unique enough to bring some new flair to your go-to drinks. If any of our previous Faultline Gins are anything to go by this will be a huge hit...and I think this one is the best yet.

Staff ImageJim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 02, 2017

I was sampling this highly anticipated gin with Andrew and joking about how many different bottles of gin are currently open in both of our homes. Turns out our "problems" are very similar: the Four Pillars empties quickly and, instead of moving on to the many other open gin bottles in our liquor cabinets, we find ourselves going back to the well and buying more Four Pillars every time! The staff members have been keen on trying this new Faultline offering from them since we heard a rumor that DD was heading out to blend a special release. It does not disappoint, with a special blend of local herbs and botanicals combining with that trademark citrus zip, I had a hard time putting the glass down. Just like the Rare Dry gin, this will work wonders in damn near every cocktail you throw it at. I can't wait to get my hands on a bottle (who am I kidding, bottles) and start experimenting!

Staff ImageAndrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 01, 2017

If you've shopped in the Redwood City store for gin in the last year you've definitely talked to me about the Four Pillars gins and heard about this bottling that is FINALLY here. A quick glance at my profile indicates my money is where my mouth is. I've purchased 7 bottles of Four Pillars gin since we started carrying them (among dozen of other gins purchased), all consumed in eager anticipation of our very own blend dropping from Four Pillars under the Faultline label. Now that I have an advance sample of the final product in my glass, I'm even more stoked. Since it's a limited run, I'm purchasing a 6 pack as soon as it lands later this week (I bought 6 of the limited St. George/Faultline #3 we did a few years back and I'm still savoring my last bottle, but never once regretted casing up). It's a spectacular blend of unique Australian botanicalsa real terroir-driven gin. And of course it smacks of the beautiful citrus that is the hallmark of Four Pillars. The most special thing about this gin is the combination of texture and liveliness. It has a sultry mouthfeel, but perks up feeling fresh and zippy at the same time. It's a fascinating combination that lends itself to savoring on its own, or in a martini (but the G&Ts and Negronis will go down real easy). Your wait, and mine, is finally over. Faultline Gin is back in a big way.

Staff ImageSal Rodriguez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 29, 2017

Wow! I try to refrain from one-word adjectives when writing a review but, WOW! The last time I was surprised by a gin was a couple years back, when trying the Monkey 47. Once again, I must have a bottle of this spirit! Extremely expressive citrus rind, orange blossom, and spiced orange candy on the nose. On the palate, it continues the refreshing citrus explosion and the slight bite on the palate begs you to mix it with a sweet vermouth if you aren't willing to drink it neat. I need this bottle and I'm going to be drinking it neat. This gin will satisfy all your gin drinking requirements and this price makes it a shoo-in for your home bar.

Staff ImageJordan Stone | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 29, 2017

I have told friends and family that we have great gin at K&L. The typical response I hear is, "I don't like gin." Then I pour a few G&Ts made with Four Pillars gin and the response changes to "This is really good." You might not know that I am a huge fan of Four Pillars. Love at first sip. We now have a K&L exclusive Four Pillars/Faultline collaboration co-distilled by our own David Driscoll. It has flavors of fresh lemon, lime and rich botanicals . The finish is dry, long and clean. I am confident that we will win over the gin skeptic as well as the fan with this one. Cheers!

Staff ImageHeather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 29, 2017

I am a big fan of Four Pillars, so of course I was excited to see this gin coming in, but what I encountered in this bottle both surprised and delighted me. Rather than jumping out of the bottle at you aromatically, this gin is a bit more subtle, highlighting sweet citrus and spruce notes and developing complexity as you let it sit on your palate. You may not think of gin in terms of sipping, but this would definitely work well for sipping with the complexity and smoothness it exhibits.

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2008 Fallet-Dart Vintage Brut Champagne ($39.99)

The blend for the vintage 2008 is 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir with aging of 72 months, minimum. It was disgorged in July, 2016. Fruit for the Chardonnay is from the "Les Maliva" vineyard. Winery is based in Charly-sur-Marne. (Scott Beckerley, SF Champagne liaison)

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 07, 2017

I consider the 2008 Fallet Dart to be the most exciting vintage Champagne that we have in stock. It comes from estate vineyards in the far west of Champagne, in the tiny hamlet of Drachy, from a family that has been growing grapes for an astounding 17 generations. This bottling is composed of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir, and most of the Chardonnay comes from one of the few "clos" sites in Champagne, the Clos du Mont. This vineyard was the first monastic site in the region and perhaps the oldest of the "clos" in Champagne, first planted around the same time as the l'eglise Drachy was built: 741! The wine has the electricity, length and mineral drive that one would expect from the great 2008 vintage. The surprise is how much body and structure comes along with the minerality, and the complex, seemingly every changing flavors of the wine. I found it to have everything from sourdough to truffles to nectarines from one sip to the next. We tasted this next to the 1999, a much softer vintage that is still going strong... This is a bottle for the ages- if you can keep your hands off of it!

Staff ImageChristina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 09, 2017

The 2008 Fallet Dart Brut Champagne is a fine example of a vintage Champagne from an incredible year. Chardonnay driven and with a fine mousse, this wine has a slightly higher acidity than some, which gives it great aging potential, and offers a refreshing note of bright green apple. There are creamy undertones as well, offered by the Chardonnay and extended lees contact, with aromas and flavors of almond meringue. The wine is very clean and offers an intense chalky minerality. This is truly a beauty.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 07, 2017

Is there such a thing as too much great 2008 vintage Champagne? Of course not! We have sold some great value bottles from this legend in the making vintage: Franck Bonville Millesime, Louise Brisson, Launois, Louis Brochet, amongst others. Delicious as those are, for fans of subtlety and balanced lees driven complexity, the 2008 Fallet Dart is your wines. Biscuity and yellow fruited aromas (70% Chard in this cuvee) lead to a palate that balances rich yet balanced autolytic qualities with loads of acid driven intensity. It's very fine now, and will only get better with age. This is a top value in the store right now, and needless to say for a wine of this quality, that will age with grace for years, from a top quality vintage...it's a steal. My highest possible recommendation for this beautiful wine.

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 06, 2017

This probably my favorite of all of the Fallet-Dart Champagnes that we have been stocking. A more Chardonnay-driven release, this formidable 2008 is dry but, retains the houses' overall rich style. Minerals, green apple and a hint of anise on the nose. On the palate, hints of golden apple, cream and caramel with lively acidity and elegant balance. A 2008 vintage at this price and quality is like seeing a winged unicorn!

Staff ImageShaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 06, 2017

Of course the 2008 vintage has given us great Champagnes, and it's no exception with Fallet-Dart. Their '08 vintage has a fantastic deep brioche like character with zesty citrus and white grape fruits sparkling over rich baked apple. The 70% Chardonnay really shines through and the long persistent finish shows a wonderful mineral component. All you would expect from this great vintage at a price that is amazingly affordable

Staff ImageAndrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 06, 2017

Spectacular champagne from a spectacular vintage, always a good combination. The fact that the Fallet Dart House has been around since the 17th century means that they have learned a few things about making champagne, fortunately for us we can directly import them and offer just a little ridiculous pricing. A creamier nose with the toasty character of Fallet Dart leads to a body showcasing both the ripeness and acid of this vintage. Hints of vanilla from the barrel aging add layers of complexity and the finish is truly magnificent.

Staff ImageAnthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 15, 2017

Beautifully unique flavor profile sure to put a smile on everyone's face. The nose boasts age with a brooding, yet not overwhelming toast and marmalade complexion that instantly pulls you in. The palate is similar in that the nuances seem unending, but in a lean and structured order. Love this.

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 13, 2017

Vivid and enticing immediately upon opening, this is a connoisseurs Champagne that is still super accessible. Gorgeously floral on the nose, hits of honeysuckle and white flowers give way to tart green apple and lusher pear fruit and a subtly creamy mouthfeel. The acid is apparent but not overpowering: just enough to showcase the colder 2008 vintages more bracing minerality. Fallet-Dart is always a budget-friendly option, but this vintage Direct Import is an especially complex, sophisticated offering at an astounding price... I can already tell I'll be turning to this powerhouse all summer.

Staff ImageSarah Covey | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 13, 2017

Such an intriguing Champagne! Spiced pear, lemon zest, flaky pie crust, mineral, dried apple, saline...and while not exactly the same, it reminds me a lot of the Krug Grand Cuvee. As it warmed in my glass, it became more weighty and lingered on the palate. I enjoyed this with my favorite shrimp tempura rolls from my local sushi spot. The toastiness of the tempura complemented the wine perfectly! The fabulous 2008 vintage is just beginning to shine here- I can't wait to see how this develops. A true worthy addition to my regular weekly Champagne ration (because yes, I have one), and most definitely worthy of my cellar!

Staff ImageStephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 12, 2017

We've got another awesome Champagne deal from one of our favorite direct import producers - Fallet Dart. From the 2008 vintage, this Champagne is not only bright and lively, but also rich with baked apple and leesy character. I would bet this bubbly will only get better in the next couple years.

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 09, 2017

This latest champagne drop has our staff and customers loudly buzzing. From one of our top grower imports and from easily the best vintage of the last couple decades, the 08 Millesime from Fallet Dart is 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir from the estates best parcels, aged 8 years on the lees! Lemon meringue, nectarine, and pear fruit flavors are intense and amplified by the vintages hallmark acidity, while beautiful and fully integrated toasty lees add depth and complexity. At sub-$40, it seems too good to be true, which means it will probably disappear pretty fast.. Grab yours!

Staff ImageCindy Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 08, 2017

While I wasn't blessed with "legs for days" - I CAN have "length for days" in this delicious champagne. The 2008 vintage has not let me down yet and this wine is no exception. Lush and complex -- the finish goes on for a mile...At sub-$40, it's a must-try!

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 08, 2017

Just one swirl and sniff of this wine and you realize how serious it is. Beautifully focused aromas of chalk, citrus peel, toasted barley and a hint of baked pear. On the palate this is a very linear, racy wine with mouth-watering acidity and boundless energy and drive. Right now it's a fantastic aperitif wine with its brightness and verve. I suspect it will settle in later life to become richer and broader like great vintage Champagne does. The youthful vivacity and exuberance of now will be replaced by complexity and depth that only time can bring. It's quite staggering to think you can buy age-worthy vintage Champagne of this quality for this price point.

Staff ImageRachel Vogel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 08, 2017

Fresh, zippy, bright--these are some of the terms you will hear us use to describe this enchanting vintage champagne from Fallet Dart, but we wouldn't be doing it justice if we didn't also describe it as complex, with spice and earth, while having depth of fruit from the 30% of Pinot Noir, and its amazing ability age. While this would be a fantastic, refreshing champagne to enjoy during these next few warm summer months, it also is filled to the brim with potential aging characteristics. The acidity will mellow, the spice and fruit will be brought forward and it will continue to be lush and complex. I say get two bottles--one to enjoy soon and one reward yourself with later! At under $40 you won't regret it!

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 06, 2017

This is an incredible value for a vintage Champagne that comes with so much complexity and aging potential. Right now this wine is zippy, mineral driven, and bright, with rich undertones and steely drive. In a few years I image the vivid acidity will mellow and the wine will become softer and even more complex while still exhibiting freshness. 2008 is proving itself to be one of the most interesting Champagne vintages in a while and at this price, I will be picking up a few bottles, both to drink now and to hold onto. Can't wait to see what this wine will exhibit in a few years!

Staff ImageSal Rodriguez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 05, 2017

Wow! Bright, crisp, and juicy. This can mean that the wine is not complex, but not here - there is enough going on to add wonderful mouthfeel, and a long creamy finish. We have a great part of the market cornered with so many great Champagnes between 30 and 40 dollars and this is right up there as one of my top 5 favorites!

Staff ImageRalph Sands | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 05, 2017

This vintage 2008 Champagne is an absolute steal! The wine is so bright and tightly focused. To me it has the intensity of fruit found in the finest 2014 white burgundies and a lovely chalky finish. I could certainly love it right now with a slice of country pate but this wine will really reward time in the cellar and at this price that is where I'm putting it.

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2015 Fromm "Quarters Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough ($39.99)

95 points Sam Kim: "Made from grapes grown on clay loam soils in the Brancott Valley, the wine offers graceful mouthfeel and texture, wonderfully enhanced by complex flavours of dark fruit, game, nutmeg, thyme and mixed spice. The wine is elegant and persistent, and offers waves of attractive fruit, spice and savoury flavours. Only 1 barrel made. At its best: now to 2024. Certified Organic."

94 points Bob Campbell: "From 16-18 year-old vines grown on an organic vineyard in the Brancott Valley. Appealing sweet fruit balanced by fine, drying tannins has produced an accessible wine with cellaring potential. Bright acidity gives the wine energy. Plum, cherry, floral, violet and subtle nutty oak flavours. Distinctive wine, a useful new addition to the range." (02/2017)

94 points James Suckling: "An impressive wine for the density and the vibrant red and dark cherry fruits it delivers on the nose and palate. Gently herbal and nicely spicy, there's an earthiness to both the aromas and the palate texture. Tannins run long and fine. Nicely groomed. Expands out to the finish. Drink now and for some years to come."

93 points Raymond Chan: "Even, dark ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, lighter edged. The nose is elegant, very soft and harmoniously presented with gently interwoven aromas of dark-red berry and cherry fruit, along with subtle notes of fresh herbs and lifted dark-red florals. Black cherry notes emerge from the core with aeration. Medium-bodied, the palate has gently mouthfilling flavours of sweet and lush dark-red berry fruits and hints of strawberries, fresh herbs and red florals. The wine has an attractive balance and flows smoothly and seamlessly with supple tannin extraction guiding the fruit. The acidity is softly ripe and integrated, and the wine carries to a gentle, light, red floral and berry-fruited finish. This is a harmonious, smooth-flowing Pinot Noir with red fruits and florals, supple tannins and structure. Match with poultry dishes over the next 6+ years. Hand-picked fruit from the Quarters vineyard, lower Brancott Valley, clones 115, 777, Abel and 5, vines 16-18 y.o., on clay and silt, destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented with whole berries to 13.0% alc., the wine spending 3 weeks on skins and aged 16-18 months in 10% new oak. Certified BioGro Organic. 300 bottles made."

K&L Notes: I'm pretty sure this is K&L's first "single barrel" exclusive wine! Fromm used the majority of the fruit from thier "Quarters Vineyard" to form the backbone of the 2015 flagship "Cuvee H" Pinot Noir named in honor of long time winemaker Hatch. However one special, distinctive barrel was kept aside for a tiny single vineyard expression destined exclusively for their New Zealand mailing list customers. During my discussions with Fromm about our direct import allocations of their highly sought after 2015 releases I managed to convince them to sell the entire barrel to us (minus a couple cases for thier own cellars and library)! So we ended up with exactly 234 bottles of this delicious wine! It's classic Fromm - balancing wild, brooding fruit with savoury earthy tones. Brambly berry fruits, freshly turned soil, clove and sage. Medium bodied with super fine tannis and a pure, lifted acid line. It's a baby so give it a good decant if drinking before 2020. (Ryan Woodhouse - K&L NZ Wine Buyer)

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 06, 2017

Single Barrel, cask strength Pinot Noir! Not sure if I've ever started a wine review like that before...but yes this is a single barrel wine that we (K&L) bought every available bottle of (234 bottles were left for us after Fromm's own wine making team took some for their own cellars)! Quarters vineyard is an organically farmed block up in the famed Brancott Valley. The soils consist of clay and fine silt giving a softness and generosity to the wines grown here. Bramble fruit, ripe raspberry, sweet wood spice. The palate is medium bodied with beautifully soft silky tannin. The fruit profile is quite exotic, with plenty of energy and flow. Warm earth notes mingle with macerated berries and sandalwood. Eminently drinkable right now with some air but an easy one to lay down for 5-10 should you desire. I'm so happy the folks at Fromm entrusted us with this tiny production, single vineyard wine - Cheers to them!

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2010 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc ($49.99)

94 points James Suckling: "A wine with blueberry and mineral aromas follows through to a full body, with fine tannins and a juicy finish. Best for years from here. Needs at least three years of bottle age to soften. Could be better than 2009 in the long run." (02/2013)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The wine needs a good 7-10 years of cellaring and should keep for 30 more years, but this is the finest Cantemerle I have encountered in my professional career of tasting young vintages (dating back 34 years now). Stunningly deep ruby/purple, with a beautiful nose of spring flowers intermixed with perfumed raspberry and blueberry notes, it exhibits a sort of cool-climate character. Broad, rich and intense on the palate, the wine has plenty of tannins, but they are sweet and well-integrated. Everything is delicately entwined into this beautiful, medium to full-bodied, dense purple wine, which shows stunning character and a prodigious potential for development. This is definitely a major sleeper of the vintage and even better than I thought from barrel. With its 2010, this classified growth located in the southern end of the Medoc may well have made a modern-day version of their legendary 1949. (RP) 94+" (02/2013)

92 points Wine Enthusiast: "A great success for this southern Médoc chateau, this is fine, elegant and perfumed. It bursts with a black fruit flavor, balanced by smooth tannins and acidity. It's a wine for medium-term aging over the next six years. *Best Buy* (RV)" (02/2013)

91 points Wine Spectator: "Offers a sappy feel, with deliciously pure notes of kirsch and blackberry preserves. Lightly toasted spice and singed anise accents lead to the long, graphite-fueled finish. Should age gracefully. (JM)" (03/2013)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good full ruby-red. Musky aromas of black cherry, blueberry, espresso, menthol and licorice, lifted by a cool floral element. Densely packed and savory, displaying sappy energy to its intense dark berry flavors. With a serious structure and no easy sweetness today, this vibrant wine will need a good five to seven years in the cellar and should last well. This may eventually merit an even higher score. (ST) 90+" (08/2013)

K&L Notes: The 2010 is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot. The vineyard is situated on deep gravel deposits in the Macau and Ludon villages of the appellation and has 9600 vines per hectare. A dense and rich yet elegant Cantemerle from a great vintage.

Staff ImageJeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 08, 2017

The very first wine I bought for my cellar from this historic 2010 vintage. The 2010 Cantemerle, Haut-Medoc embodies everything that is great about the vintage - astonishing depth of color and flavor, big fruit, profound structure. One of the rare Haut-Medoc chateaus to be included in the classification of 1855 this cinquieme cru is one of Bordeaux's great values. Don't miss a chance to add some to your cellar.

Staff ImageClyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 30, 2016

Without a doubt the best Cantemerle since the legendary 1949. Packed with cassis fruit with perfect acid balance and plenty of latent tannin to insure twenty more years cellaring. But you can drink it now with 2 hours decanting. More approachable than most 2010 Bordeaux. I love it.PS-please also look at the 2015 that is selling on futures-right up there with the 2010.

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Russell's Reserve K&L Exclusive Single Barrel #545 Kentucky Bourbon (750ml) ($64.99)

We know that Wild Turkey is producing some of the best stuff out there because we've tasted it. The brand itself has a long history of producing super high quality bourbon. The origins of the brand starts with an executive at the prominent spirits company Austin Nichols. He had pulled samples from the Old Hickory distillery, built originally in 1891, for a Turkey hunting trip and when his f starting requesting "that Wild Turkey" whiskey - he knew he'd got something special. They bottled bourbons from multiple Kentucky distillers, but most of the stocks came out of that original distillery and Austin Nichols eventually purchase the facility and renamed it the Wild Turkey Distillery. The brand garnered a reputation for quality and was one of the highest end offerings until the bourbon crash and sale to Pernod Ricard. While they moved away from the high-end offerings over the next two decades, the continued to offer some exceptional quality and old bottles from this period remain some of the best stuff out there. With the sale of the brand to Campari in 2009, a renewed commitment to the old history of bottling stupendously special bourbon is clear. They've built the Russell's brand in that image and continue to offer us some of the finest single cask bourbon on the market. This whiskey was aged right next to barrel #550 in warehouse D and highlights the incredible differences two whiskies with very similar aging environments can exhibit. It was drawn from the barrel 114.9 proof.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 04, 2017

This barrel #545 fits perfectly in between the other two barrels in terms of style. Not as austere and intense as #89, but not as sweet and soft as #550. The nose has wonderful pop of evergreen, roasted herbs, flambeed orange peel, and sweet oak. On the palate we've got tons of fruit up front, braised orchard fruits and dark cherry that build into a strong pepper and spice on the finish. The mid-palate is textured and bursting with roasted woods and exotic vanilla. This whisky isn't restrained by any means, but does need some teasing to really open up, maybe 15-20 min in the glass to really unleash the full potential.

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Fukano K&L Exclusive Single Cask #2827 Japanese Whisky (750ml) ($69.99)

When I first met Fukano-san over some very tasty Korean BBQ, her air of sophistication and elegant demeanor belied her ability to drink the entire crew under the table. While she was rather restrained that evening, but the other distillers regailed me with stories about her prowess. They had great respect for her not only because she was champion of the bar, but also because they knew her distillery is producing some of Kumamoto's finest spirit. Fukano-san is the head of one of the Kuma Valley's best producers, famous for a local Shochu called Saiba as well as sake and other liqueurs. While Saiba is her bread and butter, a certain amount of the spirit is distilled from malted rice and destined for a grander purpose -Whisky! We have a great relationship with the importer of Fukano, so when they have single casks to sell, we get pick of the litter. This only the second single cask we've managed to get out of there since the brand launched nearly 2 years ago. Our last cask sold out very quickly, not just because of the hype around Japanese whisky, but because people opened their bottle and came back for more. We still get requests for that special whisky but this one is even better. Rich and buttery oak, spiced exotic fruits, bold whole vanilla bean. Anyone who loves the smooth complexity of a great old grain whisky or the subtle soft sweetness of a Speysider will appreciate the elegant depth of this Fukano Single Cask. Aged in new French oak puncheons.

Staff ImageAndrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 29, 2017

Calling this single cask from Fukano a whisky almost places too much of a limitation on the spirit because it seems to beg to be in a category of its own. The nose gives off almost floral jasmine rice notes with vanilla bean, coconut and oak. The palate almost is a cross between an American whiskey and a brandy. The oak gives off bold vanilla and butterscotch while the texture and mid-palate has distinct brandy note with hints of mocha and dried fruit as in an Armagnac. There is a surprising amount of spice with some heat as the finish stays long and lingering on the tongue. This is a wonderful bottle and will make a lovely addition to any whisky drinker's bar.

Staff ImageMorgan Laurie | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 23, 2017

I've been super into whisky lately. I tend to order a different producer, style, etc each time I go out so that I can try new things with out amassing a huge collection of spirits at home. That may change with this incredibly delicious single cask whisky from Fukano. I'm going to HAVE to buy a bottle of this. The nose is clean, with salted caramel, creamy fruit undertones and a sweet vanilla bean note. The palate is incredibly smooth, rounded and supple with out being too rich. You could easily drink this neat, but it would be nice on the rocks or with a splash of water. The most easy drinking whisky I've had in a while.

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 19, 2017

This is a delicious and easy to drink whiskey. It begins with subtle bourbon-like aromas of caramel . In the mouth it is a wonderful and complex, both delicate and sweet with a long finish that has vanilla notes. Alone or on the rocks this is going to be very easy to drink and enjoy. Rice whiskeys are a wonderful addition to the world of whiskey because they and soft and flavorful and it is nice to be able offer a single cask expression.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 11, 2017

There's something special about Fukano that sets it apart from the other whiskies in this category. Often times I'm worried with Rice based whisky that they're trying to sell us glorified Shochu. Some brands do indeed make products that are only a tick or two away from what you might expect a high proof sake to taste like, but Fukano is in another league. I'm not sure if its the quality or intensity of the malt that is used or the distillation or perhaps the new oak Puncheons, but the depth and aromatic power that is achieved on the Fukano is simply unparalleled. The nose is a heady mix of Cola nut, dried fruit, maple wood, and bold dark spices. A bright fresh front palate of coconut and citrus fruit devolves into an incredible spiced fruit bouquet. The finish is big bold toasted Tahitian vanilla. There's something perfectly balanced about it although it's got some wild flavors and it's hard to pinpoint which category it reminds me of most. At one point, I'm thinking, "this feels like Single Malt." The next I'm drinking brandy. The fresh oak alludes to bourbon, but some of the exotic notes are distinctly rummy. Whatever you want to compare it to Fukano is producing some of the best whisky in the world right now and we're extremely lucky to get a little bit when we can.

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2012 Pauillac de Latour, Pauillac ($69.99)

90 points James Suckling: "This is so delicious and wonderful now with fresh strawberries, peppermint and flowers. Medium body, fine tannins and a crisp finish. Elegant." (02/2015)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Le Pauillac de Château Latour has a pleasant strictness on the well-defined bouquet with black fruit laced with fine mineralité for a third wine. The palate is medium-bodied with a juicy core of fruit, an almost pastille-like purity, smooth in the mouth with a caressing, quite rounded finish. It might have just put on a little weight since I last tasted it. Drink this now and over the next 7-10 years. Tasted March 2017. (NM)" (05/2017)

Jancis Robinson: "Fresh and dancing. Some great vivacity. Spice and complete and fresh. Dry end. Edge of a sweet spice reminiscent of gingerbread men. Lovely and polished. Juicy." (04/2017)

K&L Notes: Praise from Robert Parker: "The generic 2012 Pauillac de Latour (54.5% Merlot and the balance mostly the two Cabernet grapes) has consistently been one of the best-buy wines from the Latour stable for a number of years, and the 2012 comes across well. Deep ruby/purple with notes of minerality woven with blackcurrant fruit, it is medium-bodied, pure, elegant and best drunk over the next 10-12 years." (04/2015)

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 22, 2017

Tasting this today, I was floored by the breed and stateliness of this young claret. This third wine of Latour has the classic flavors of the first wine with lead pencil and cassis in perfect, classy balance. What it doesn't have recommends it even more- this is not a tannin bound wine like Latour proper would be at this age, but rather and open knit, delicious drinker. If you ever wondered what a first growth is all about, but didn't want to part with a grand, treat yourself to this!

Staff ImageRalph Sands | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 16, 2017

The 2012 Pauillac de Latour exhibits the sweet, forward fruit that is the hallmark character of the extremely underrated vintage. Nice and round with no hard tannins so it can enjoyed young with an hour decanting. Very tasty for young Latour! Ralph Sands

Staff ImageClyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 16, 2017

Yes a perfect wine for the price. 50%CS,45%M.5%PV and 100% delicious. We tasted this wine at Chateau Latour in April and were blown away by it. So spicy on the nose with red currant aromas and flavor. How could this be better than their outstanding 2009 and 2010?? Sexy and sweet and lush on the palate. No hard edges-pure fruit with a bit of tannin on the back end. A must buy!

Staff ImageJason Marwedel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 14, 2017

We were fortunate enough to visit Château Latour during our 2016 En Primeur trip and I was pinching myself from the second we stepped onto the property. I never expected to see the actual fort of Les Forts fame (the second wine of Latour) in person, let alone step foot in the tasting room of this legendary estate. Latour is one of this world's greatest winesmany people consider to be the best. As we walked inside to our appointment, at the end of the tablefollowing the 2016 line upwas the 2012 Pauillac de Latour, the estate's third wine after Les Forts. Upon tasting, I was immediately transported back to when the first 2012s were reaching US shores and arriving at K&L. This wine reminded me of how much I loved that vintage. A wonderful expression of harvest and the château, it displays lovely purity of fruit and that characteristic 2012 bright fresh acidity. A combination of complex savory, mineral tones and exotic spice dominated the seamless offering. The wine has wonderful poise and polish, with the Latour thumbprint throughout. What a treat!

Staff ImageJeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 09, 2017

An appellation wine from First Growth Chateau Latour in Pauillac. Each year, after the initial selection is made for the Grand Vin, and for the second label, Forts de Latour, some of the remaining lots are used to produce this 3rd label. Also included are grapes from some of the younger vines on the estate, as well as from outlying vineyards. The Pauillac bottling will usually include a higher proportion of Merlot and is intended for earlier consumption, requiring less aging than Latours more prestigious labels. We tasted the 2012 Pauillac de Latour at the chateau in early April. It was good enough to compare very favorably with a barrel sample of the excellent 2016. Very much in the Latour style structured, bold, black-fruited. Very generous with loads of sweet fruit and good concentration. Tannins are quite fine. Drinkable now or over the next decade. Given the pricing for First Growths these days, this wine represents one of the great bargains in Bordeaux.

Staff ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 09, 2017

The third wine of Chateau Latour is a classy, classic and affordable Pauillac to drink now or hide away for a few years. Blackberry and black currant fruit along with spice, menthol, cedar shavings and a touch of leather are present in the clean, crisp middle. This is quite approachable and already complex.

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2015 Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($79.99)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Deep purple-black in color, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon springs from the glass with lifted crème de cassis, violets and chocolate box notes plus hints of lilacs, raspberry leaves, anise and cardamom. The perfumed black fruit preserves and chocolate-laced notes completely pack the full-bodied palate, with soft, velvety tannins and just enough freshness, finishing very long and very spicy. Definitely one for hedonists seeking immediate gratification. (LPB) 94+" (10/2017)

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2006 Bollinger Rosé Champagne ($119.00)

94 points Decanter: "The excellent 2006 vintage encouraged Bollinger to create a vintage rosé to reflect the quality of the grapes, especially the Pinot Noir. The fruit comes from 84% grand cru vineyards and 16% premiers cru vineyards. The wine was barrel fermented before spending over 10 years maturing in the bottle. It has a delicious Pinot character, with mulchy red fruits, accompanied by a soft Chardonnay note of delicate bruised apple and some woody breadth. It has a delicious streak of raspberry acidity, and comes across as a finessed and structured champagne that is only at the start of its life. (JB)" (10/2017)

K&L Notes: This is a blend of 72% Pinot Noir and 28% Chardonnay, exclusively from Bollinger's estate vineyards. The color comes from 7% Ay Pinot Noir that is vinified red. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 07, 2017

Not to be confused with the pricier Grand Annee rosé, this limited edition release sourced entirely from the stellar 2006 vintage is special. Aged on the cork and 100% barrel-fermented, its leesy and subtly oxidative, with toasty richness, yet also precise with linear minerality. Pinot Noir-driven, it showcases serious berry fruit, a hit of racier orange, and a luxuriously long finish. This powerful Champagne is ready to drink now, and will work beautifully with food.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 07, 2017

This super rich, all barrel fermented Champagne from Bollinger is usually sold as "La Grande Année" Rosé for $60 more a bottle. Since the team at Bollinger does not feel that this ripe 2006 will last a generation, they decided to sell it as regular vintage- a first for them. Since it was originally made as "La Grande Année" Rosé, this wine it has been aged all the time on the lees on a cork rather than a crown cap. This is a full, toasty, powerful dry style that will thrill fans of this house, at a price that is too good to miss!

Staff ImageRachel Vogel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 14, 2017

It was such a treat to try the '06 rose from Bollinger. Aged on cork, not crown cap, the aromatics fill the nose with gentle spice and saltine cracker. Tart raspberry and that nice toasted spice dance on the palate. And while the wine was barrel fermented for elegance, a soft note of sweet lemon keeps palate elongated and making you go back for more!

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 09, 2017

When youre on the market for a rich rosé, how can you go wrong with a barrel fermented gem from the decadent 2006 vintage? This one from Bollinger is superbly executed, with notes of roses and strawberries, and oxidative richness and toast from the barrel. Spectacular stuff.

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 08, 2017

This superb Rose from Bollinger will not be arriving until this Fall but, I had the opportunity to preview it today, 8 August. It has a super interesting nose of bright strawberry, orange peel and Fino sherry. On the palate, follow-up strawberry, blood orange and almond flavors. Very dry, with fine acidity and very elegant balance. Very bright for a 2006 vintage. Not to highlight the price too much but, this one is exceptional at this level of pricing!

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2006 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac ($119.99)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Tasted at Bordeaux Index's annual 10-Year On tasting in London. The 2006 Château Pontet-Canet has an extremely pure, vivacious, perfumed bouquet with crushed violets infusing the blueberry and blackberry fruit. But it is all about the detail and precision in this wine. The palate is medium-bodied with a gentle grip in the mouth: lightly toasted black fruit, dried orange peel, cedar and a pinch of white pepper. This feels very cohesive and poised with just a touch of mint entering right on the finish. What a great wine from Alfred Tesseron and Jean-Michel Comme. (NM)" (05/2016)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Saturated medium ruby. Inky cassis, black raspberry, graphite and pungent minerality on the very ripe nose. Dense, rich and silky, with a brooding inky minerality and an almost liqueur-like dark fruit sweetness leavened by a savory peppery element. This very ripe, deep and concentrated wine boasts wonderful lushness without any undue weight thanks to its sheer energy. Like its neighbor Mouton-Rothschild, Pontet-Canet's 2006 conveys a powerful impression of soil character. Finishes with serious dusty tannins and superb lingering sweetness. Should be long-lived. (ST)" (06/2009)

93 points James Suckling: "This red is now soft and fruity with plum, berry and mineral character. Its full-bodied with fine tannins and a gorgeous finish." (07/2013)

93 points Wine Spectator: "Blackberry, currant and plum tart aromas lead to a full body, with a solid core of fruit, sweet fruit and silky tannins. Generous and round, with lovely richness for the vintage. (JS)" (03/2009)

92 points Wine Enthusiast: "At this early stage in its development, this wine shows more structure than richness. The tannins are fully developed, dark and dense. The complexity is there, but the fruit and the elegance are still to comeand that suggests good aging potential. (RV)" (03/2009)

K&L Notes: Robert Parker himself was 95+ on this wine in his initial review of the finished wine: "The 2006 is a wine to stockpile, especially for those in their thirties and forties as it needs another decade to reach maturity, after which it should keep for 30+ years. This vineyard, just south of Mouton Rothschild, has produced an opaque bluish/purple-colored 2006 with an extraordinarily pure nose of graphite, charcoal, sweet creme de cassis, and a hint of scorched earth. Incredible concentration, stunning richness, and a 60-second finish result in a wine that transcends the vintage as well as this estate’s 1855 classification. This enormously endowed, modern day classic is a legend in the making. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2050+." (Wine Advocate, 2/2009)

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1996 Caol Ila 20 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml) ($129.99)

Caol Ila's whisky can be as transitive and unpredictable as the Islay weather itself; sometimes it's light and breezy, while other times powerful and thunderous in its character. At cask strength, the salt, smoke, and peat aromas often leap out of the glass, but when tempered the creaminess and fruitiness of the spirit itself is allowed to shine, fat and unctuous in its texture. With this cask of 20 year old Caol Ila, we have the best of both worlds: a full proof, no-water-added single barrel whisky that has naturally proofed itself down to 46% after two decades in wood. The nose is an absolute dream: sweetly-tinged smoke, burning embers, with faint aromas of peach and apricot in the background. The palate is simply perfect: sweet vanilla intermixed with peat, salt, and ash, but always with a roundness of texture that's a product of the distillery's wide-necked pot stills. It's a perfect Caol Ila specimen, highlighting the strengths of the Islay distillery's personality, each with equal concentration and intensity, all in harmony and balance.

Staff ImageAndrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 22, 2017

If you are a fan of Islay whisky just buy this, seriously this is just absolutely beautiful Islay at a wonderful age. I have said on more than one occasion that Caol Ila may be my favorite Scotch once it has had a chance to age because it just always seems that somewhere right around the 20 year mark this whisky just all comes together and sings. This bottling is no exception and the price is fantastic for what you are getting. Light fruit, honey, ash and smoke on the nose lead to an incredibly balanced palate. Here an immediate strong core of just doused campfire smoke carried the young sweet fruit, honey, and seaside notes effortlessly. The balance is amazing and the finish is surprisingly soft and mild. Just delightful!

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 22, 2017

This cask of Caol Ila was a lucky find because it has so much to offer. There are pleasant smoke aromas that should please any fan of single malts from Islay. My first though when I tasted it was that this cask is really something special. There is such a nice mixture of smoke, sea like flavors and malt , and it is concentrated and intense. I tasted this with no additional water because it was 46% alc/vol. when bottled which probably helps explain the lovely concentrated flavor.

Staff ImageAndrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 22, 2017

It's my favorite time of year here at K&L. Not only are we hitting our stride in the busy season for wine, but it's finally whisky season. I wait all year to see what David has hidden up his sleeve. As the market for fine malts gets tighter and tighter we still manage to procure things like this. 20 glorious years in barrel has brought the full proof down, integrated the smoky and salt, and let the barley shine through. The end result is one of the most approachable and lovely Islay whisky's I've tasted this year. The big brash smoke of Caol Ila's youth has been tempered with age into an assertive and confident dram, the salt air of Islay permeates the glass. Fresh fruits of a distant land waft in and out. The palate is smooth and lingering. There is a touch of sweetness on the back end and a little piquant spice. This is a no brainer for the whisky lover in your life during the holidays...even if that whisky lover happens to be yourself.

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 16, 2017

This might be the deal of the holiday season in Scotch whiskeys. After tasting it, Im almost tempted to use the word perfect to describe it. It showcases the beautiful Islay brininess and smoke as a subtle undertone to the rich, sweet malt profile. The flavor punch from the full strength, single cask is incredible but balanced and fully integrated. Definitely my top pick for holiday Scotch.

Staff ImageDavid Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 15, 2017

One of my all time favorite whiskies was the old distillery edition of the Caol Ila 18 - a beautiful rendition of the Islay single malt that packed equal weight and richness of texture with all that peaty goodness. It wasn't a cask strength edition, which is what really made the difference for me. If a distillery can manage to find the sweet spot with water, I'm all for reduced spirits in bottle. The beauty of this 20 year old Caol Ila is that it's at cask strength, but has naturally reduced itself to the perfect 46% ABV (exactly where many distilleries will reduce to). The result is the closest thing I've ever tasted to that legendary 18 year bottle that is now just a memory. The nose is simply haunting; an enticing combination of vanilla, creme brulee, and campfire embers. The whisky rolls over your tongue with creaminess and texture, but it leaves a trail of peat smoke in its wake. If you want the perfect Islay whisky, this is it. It doesn't get much better than this. Buy three if you can afford it.

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2014 Montrose, St-Estèphe ($129.99)

97 points James Suckling: "Incredible aromas of currants, blackberries, slate and flowers. Full-bodied yet so tight and beautiful with superb polish and brightness. The length is fantastic. Truly superb." (02/2017)

97 points Vinous: "The 2014 Montrose is without question one of the standout wines of the vintage. Black cherry, plum, smoke, licorice and lavender are some of the many aromas and flavors that open up in the glass. But the 2014 is a much deeper wine than just a bunch of descriptors can conjure. In 2014, Montrose is a wine of exceptional finesse and polish. The late-ripening vintage allowed for perfect maturation of the tannins and resulted in a silky wine that exudes class and pedigree. The 2014 is not an obvious or bombastic Montrose, but rather a wine of sublime enchantment. Don't miss it! (AG)" (02/2017)

97 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a very fine wine showing a new level of quality at Montrose. With its almost velvet tannins inside the intense black fruits, the wine is rich, smooth and generous. Blackberry and black-plum fruits are to the fore along with the fine acidity and great structure. A wine to age for decades, it will be ready to drink from 2027. *Cellar Selection* (RV)" (02/2017)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Tasted at the château, the 2014 Montrose builds on the promise it showed in barrel with gorgeous blackberry, raspberry, cedar and orange sorbet scents that are extremely pure and refined. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, very precise acidity and layers of crisp black fruit laced with vanilla from the new oak at the moment. That will be subsumed in time. What you have here is a very precise, multi-layered, almost sensual Montrose that is going to delight many for years to come. This is highly recommended--one of the finest Left Bank wines this vintage. (NM)" (03/2017)

95 points Wine Spectator: "This is seriously built, with an admirable core of red and black currant paste and bitter plum fruit inlaid with notes of tobacco, bay and smoldering charcoal. The finish is ramrod straight thanks to an iron girder supporting everything with ease. A tremendous effort for the vintage. (JM)" (03/2017)

95 points Jeb Dunnuck: "I loved the 2014 Montrose and it has an incredible purity and elegance that sets it apart from its peers. A blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, it offers a deeper, richer profile with gorgeous cassis and currant fruits intermixed with licorice, chocolate, graphite and beautiful minerality. A spitting image of class on the palate, with fine tannin, integrated acidity, and medium to full-bodied richness, this terrific 2014 is up with the crème de la crème of the Médoc and keep for two to three decades." (11/2017)

K&L Notes: Saturated, sweet black-red fruits with hints of black licorice. Features a powerful attack of fruit, with great texture and a long finish. We love the 2014 Montrose -- more so than their 2015. A must for the serious Bordeaux collector.

Staff ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 28, 2017

The 2014 Montrose is refined, classy and substantial with balanced structure and a depth of fruit. This is one of the best Left Bank wines of the vintage and is just beginning to reveal the complexity of red and black fruits embedded in the taut and poised body. The gloriously warm Indian summer and ideal harvest conditions are evident in every sip of this sophisticated powerhouse.

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2006 Dom Pérignon Brut Champagne ($149.99)

97 points James Suckling: "This is very lively and vibrant with a dense and rich center palate. Lots of complexity and balance with pastry, sliced lemon and light dried mango. Full yet racy and intense. A beautiful center palate. Linear. Shows potential for aging but so good right now." (12/2016)

97 points Vinous: "The 2006 Dom Pérignon is a beautifully balanced, harmonious Dom Pérignon that strikes an incredibly appealing stylistic middle ground. Rich, voluptuous and creamy, the 2006 shows off fabulous intensity in a style that brings together the ripeness of 2002 with the greater sense of verve and overall freshness that is such a signature of the 2004. Bass notes and a feeling of phenolic grip on the finish recall the 2003, as the Pinot Noir is particularly expressive today. After an irregular summer that saw elevated temperatures in July followed by cooler, damp conditions in August, more favorable weather returned in September, pushing maturation ahead and leading to a long, protracted harvest. The 2006 falls into the family of riper, more voluptuous Dom Pérignons, but without veering into the level of opulence seen in vintages such as 2002. (AG)" (10/2015)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2006 Dom Pérignon comes from a very rich vintage with an early ripeness that brought a lot of aromatic maturity. The white-golden prestige cuvée contains a bit more Chardonnay than Pinot Noir and opens with a deep and seductive, pretty accessible nose with intense yet fresh fruit aromas of pineapples, with peaches and tangerines. Lively and elegant on the palate, this is a full-bodied, unusually aromatic and fruity DP with a long and tension-filled expression. (SR)" (06/2016)

95 points Wine Spectator: "A graceful, minerally version, featuring rich notes of smoke, mandarin orange peel and chalk that lead to subtle accents of crème de cassis, toasted almond, espresso and star anise on the fine, creamy mousse. Seamlessly knit, with citrusy acidity leaving a mouthwatering impression on the finish. *Collectibles* (AN)" (03/2016)

Jancis Robinson: "Bright pale slightly greenish straw. Rich, very tightly laced nose with many layers and great density on the nose. Real excitement here with some tension. Some unashamed richness underneath but excellent freshness too. Something quite electric about this. Almost unfurled. You could certainly drink this with pleasure already but there is clearly lots tucked away here for future development. Impressively long and reverberant. 18.5/20 Points" (06/2016)

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Krug "Grande Cuvée" 164 Ème Édition Brut Champagne ($159.99)

97 points Vinous: "Krug's NV Grand Cuvée 164 Edition is a total knockout. Based on the 2008 vintage, the 164th Edition shows all the crystalline tension and energy that is such a signature of the year. At times, the 164 reminds me of the 2008 vins clairs I tasted after harvest. The flavors are brisk, delineated and pulsing with energy, while the more oxidative notes that are such a signature of Krug Champagnes are not especially evident. A wine of total pedigree and class, the 164 reminds me of some of the great Grand Cuvées of the 1960s and 1970s I have been lucky to taste over the years. No Champagne lover will want to be without this spectacular, captivating wine. All that said, readers should be patient, as the 164 is painfully young, austere and in need of serious cellaring.(AG)" (07/2017)

95 points John Gilman: "The 164th Edition of Krug Grande Cuvée is absolutely brilliant and one of the bestiterations of this iconic wine that I have ever had the pleasure to taste. This is not surprising, as itis from the base year of 2008, though the team at Krug utilized reserve wines all the way back to1990 in this version. The final cépages is forty-eight percent pinot noir, thirty-five percentchardonnay and seventeen percent pinot meunier, with the wine spending eight years in the Krugcellars sur latte. The beautiful bouquet wafts from the glass in a blend of apple, white peach,fresh-baked bread, very complex soil tones, white flowers, incipient smokiness and just a hint ofthe caraway seed to come with bottle age. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied andseamlessly balanced, with a great core, utterly refined mousse, superb focus and grip and a very,very long, complex and zesty finish. The vibrancy of the exceptional base year of 2008 is verymuch in evidence here and this is destined to be one of the all-time great Grande Cuvées. 2017-2065+" (07/2017)

K&L Notes: This long awaitied edition of Krug Grande Cuvée is based on the 2008 vintage and composed of 48% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 17% Meunier.

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 10, 2017

Krug never fails to impress, and the racy 164 Ème release based on the cooler, dazzling 2008 vintage is destined for greatness, although right now is just a baby. Upon first sip, it lacks the rounded, easy accessibility of the 163rd, instead presenting sharp minerality that showcases the special chalky soil of Krugs vineyard sites. This is a bottle to cellar, and I have no doubt will reward you with the classic Krug brioche, pear fruit and almond complexity after a few more years of age. Drink the 163 Ème for your next celebration, and save this gorgeous 164th edition for the future.

Staff ImageIvan Diaz | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 07, 2017

What a treat it is to work in the wine industry and taste new bottles of Krug on a random Thursday. After tasting at work where it showed crisp, clean flavors of crunchy red apples and fresh minerality, I was lucky enough to take the bottle home where it continued to reveal all the depth and complexity expected of this legendary producer (and then some). With some air time, this wine offers ripe pears and white peaches, honeyed almonds, toasted brioche, subtly funky beeswax, and a pretty floral tone giving the impression of lithe elegance for such a full-bodied, voluptuous Champagne.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 31, 2017

The 164th edition of Krug is only the second comercial release with the edition on the front label- and what an addition it is! Based on the fantastic 2008 vintage, this spectacular Champagne is composed of 11 different vintages going all the way back to 1990. While the 163rd edition drinks better today, this great bottle of Champagne will eclipse nearly anything that a collector could buy at this price after a few years in a good cellar. Not only does this have the breadth and depth of power that we all love in Krug, it has the chalky electric energy of the 2008 vintage. This is already becoming a legend in its own time... But in a few years, look out!

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 31, 2017

Krug Grand Cuvee has long been a go-to for me when it comes to a luxury Champagne. It has the magic combination of brand recognition (aka "bling factor") but also consistently maintains exceptional quality (something that can't be said for some of it's peers). Krug is the benchmark for richer styles of Champagne. It has a crowd pleasing nutty, toasty character but also a beautiful acid line and lingering minerality. This house is also undoubtedly THE master of blending. They have a staggering amount of reserve wines from different villages, single parcels and past vintages. You might think that the mastery of this blending technique would be kept close to the chest as a proprietary secret...and yet the opposite is true! Krug has embraced full transparency when it comes to what components make up their Grand Cuvee placing an ID number on each and every bottle that details its composition. They have now started noting what "Edition" the wine comes from front and center on the label. My take is that when you do everything with the true diligence and commitment to detail that Krug does then I guess you don't have anything to hide! Finally (talk about burying the lead...) this 164th Edition of the Grand Cuvee is largely based on 2008 with reserve wines back to 1990! The focus, tension and linear nature of the legendary 2008 vintage is clear to see in this bottling. This is a seriously good and very distinctive bottling of Grand Cuvee and I believe

Staff ImageRachel Vogel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 14, 2017

While this wine is based on 2008, the oldest of the 11 vintage blend is 1990- my birth year, so I find this wine lucky from the start! 8+ years on the lees and almost half Pinot Noir, the Grand Cuvee 164 has undeniable earth undertones intermingling with a mix of tart lemon zest and sweet meyer lemon.Angular but complex, allowing this wine come into its own will be rewarding for all.

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 09, 2017

Not at all a surprise, this edition of the Grande Cuvée based on the now legendary 2008 vintage is stunning. Saffron, pears and brioche, thrilling acidity and precision rarely seen in lesser champagnes make this a must-buy for collectors and connoisseurs.

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2014 Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend ($159.99)

97 points James Suckling: "Fantastic aromatics with blackberries, blackcurrants and iodine. Licorice, too. Medium to fulll body, fine and velvety tannins and a very polished and gorgeous finish. Caressing and dialed in. Why wait? An intellectual wine here. Lovely now." (01/2017)

95 points Wine Spectator: "A remarkable effort, engagingly rich and concentrated, with a deep, firm mix of licorice-shaded blackberry, currant, graphite, dried herb and cedary oak notes. The flavors hold and gain, leading to a persistent finish that keeps echoing the core elements. (JL)" (06/2017)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Proprietary Red Wine is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec, again, showing slightly less depth than its two surrounding siblings, but beautiful pure fruit, silky, velvety tannins, a layered mouthfeel and deep blackcurrant and black cherry fruit intermixed with cedar wood, fruitcake and smoky oak. This is a terrific wine as well and it will be the fastest out of the gate in terms of evolution - drinking beautifully for the next 15+ years. Pahlmeyer certainly has one of the most consistently superb resumés for the last 30 years that any winery could desire. (RP)" (12/2016)

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 11, 2017

This is what a perfect Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend is supposed to taste like and Pahlmeyer has become my benchmark against which I measure all others. There is incredible depth and complexity in this wine, while being simultaneously velvety and soft. Most importantly, this wine is just incredibly delicious, balancing strength and elegance and present, but not jammy fruit. A phenomenal wine that I would feel privileged to drink again and I think people will find this vintage turned out much better than some expected.

Staff ImageSal Rodriguez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 11, 2017

Effortless beauty and finesse. If you're looking for an aromatically expressive Bordeaux blend that doesn't quit, that has a lovely, spicy, brightly acidic, velvety mouth-feel on the palate, then this should be at the top of your list. Loads of dry flowers, bright fruit, and graphite on the nose. Delicious fruit, light minerals, lifted acidity, and fresh herbs play well together on the palate. This is one of my favorite players in the short list of wines that have achieved cult-like status. While many others in this category are much less approachable, the Pahlmeyer Bordeaux Blend offers up lots more freshness and appeal a lot sooner. An iconic wine indeed!

Staff ImageStephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 11, 2017

The 2014 Pahlmeyer Bordeaux blend really hits the mark when it comes to luxury, elegance and balance, just what we'd expect from a high-end Napa producer. Fabulous aromatics fill the glass of black cherries, cocoa powder, licorice and cedar box. On the palate this wine is super silky and concentrated with bold flavors and balanced out with tannin and mid-palate acidity. This wine is sure to age well, but could be enjoyed young as well.

Staff ImageJoe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 07, 2017

Rich and luscious are the first words that come to mind when trying this 2014 Pahlmeyer Bordeaux Blend. Consisting of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot in decreasing percentages, each harvested and vinified separately in more than 50 individual lots. This wine also sees 85% new French oak; a selection of Seguin Moreau Icone and Taransaud barrels. Initial aromas of ripe blackberry and dark cherry are followed by a bouquet of cigar, clove, and graphite. On the palate, intense black currant, dried dark fruit, and dark chocolate permeate through the finish along with silky tannins. This wine possesses both power and elegance

Staff ImageChristina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 04, 2017

The 2014 Pahlmeyer Bordeaux is a beautifully balanced and elegant blend of all five varieties, with delicious aromas of candied raspberry and strawberry, balanced by a waft of dense spice, with anise taking the forefront. One of the wonderful characteristics of the 2014 vintage in Napa is the dark, herbaceous quality that seems to be ever-present, and it shines through in the Pahlmeyer, tempering the fruit and creating a fascinating counterpoint. With well-integrated, supple tannin and a thread of bright acid, this wine will definitely age well, but can be easily enjoyed today.

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2014 Dominus Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend (Previously $230) Price: Hidden

98 points James Suckling: "Loads of dark tobacco aromas with blackcurrants and black olives. Boysenberries, too. Full to medium body, ultra-fine tannins and lots of flavors of smoke, dried roasted chillis, black truffles, mushrooms and fruit. Bright acidity on the finish. Sexy and subtle austerity. Alluring. Very approachable now but better in 2021. *Top 100 of 2017*" (01/2017)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014s, where the production of Napanook was only 2,200 cases and Dominus slightly more than the 2015 at 4,000 cases, was another early harvest, although somewhat later than 2015. The 2014 Dominus, which is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot really struts its stuff. Moueixs belief in dry farming seems to be paying off with stronger and stronger vintages, each successive year, and the 2014 is a sexy, opulent, layered, multidimensional wine with notes of red and blackcurrant, cedar wood, tobacco leaf , spice box and licorice. The color is a dense plum/ruby/purple, much like the Napanook. This is a beauty that is already drinking gorgeously as most 2014s are and will continue to evolve for 25 or so years. (RP)" (10/2016)

96 points Vinous: "The 2014 Dominus is endowed with tons of depth, power and muscle. Black cherry, plum, smoke, menthol, licorice, chocolate, dried herbs and dark spices are all pushed forward. Deep, pliant and exquisitely layered, the 2014 possesses tons of concentration and mid-palate depth. Like so many wines in this vintage, the 2014 comes across as a hybrid of 2013 and 2012. I very much like the energy and focus in this wine. This is a fabulous wine in every way. With time in the glass, the flavors gain in brightness and focus. There is certainly much to look forward to. (AG)" (12/2016)

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2014 Joseph Phelps "Insignia" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($199.00)

97 points James Suckling: "The blackberry, dark-chocolate and walnut aromas are persuasive. Full body, a dense and fruity center palate and beautiful depth and intensity. The tannin texture is exceptional. Great wine. Drink in 2020 and onwards." (05/2017)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Bottled in January 2017, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard is a blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Malbec and was aged in 100% new French oak. It has a deep garnet-purple color and is scented of blackberries, black cherries and kirsch with nuances of dark chocolate, espresso, sautéed herbs, dusty earth and cedar. Full-bodied, big, rich and densely packed with red and black fruits, it has a wonderful frame of fine-grained tannins and great freshness, finishing long with some exotic spice notes coming through. (LPB) 97+" (10/2017)

94-97 points Vinous: "The 2014 Insignia is shaping up to be one of the surprises of the vintage. A rich, explosive Insignia, the 2014 exudes pedigree. A host of dark red cherry, plum and pomegranate notes make a strong first impression. Bright, vibrant aromatics add lift, while beams of salinity contribute to the wine's energetic personality. One of the interesting aspects of the 2014 is that there is no Merlot in the blend. (AG)" (12/2016)

96 points Wine Enthusiast: "This fine vintage of Insignia combines 87% Cabernet Sauvignon with 9% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc. Soft, supple and seamless, it offers rich but balanced cassis and milk chocolate flavors, with supportive and complementary oak. It should do well in the cellar and will be best from 2024-2034." (12/2017)

96 points Connoisseurs Guide: "Insignia has been a remarkably consistent performer over the years and always manages to find a prominent place at the head of the class, and its high standing is affirmed once again with this outstanding version from 2014. This wine is both rich and remarkably refined with a great sense of depth, and its forceful themes of currants and black cherries are framed with beautifully matched creamy oak and deft touches of sweet spice. As with past efforts, it is uncannily potent and polished at one and the same time, and the one small caveat to its enthusiastic endorsement is that, if involving now, it is years away from reaching its full potential and should be hidden away and its manifold charms ignored until reaching its tenth anniversary." (12/2017)

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2011 d'Yquem, Sauternes (375ml) ($199.99)

99 points Wine Spectator: "A lovely, creamy, tropical style, with mango, papaya and guava notes lending a caressing feel, while singed almond and warm piecrust accents blossom through the lush finish. Just when you think that's all there is, toasted coconut, fig, orange blossom and persimmon details kick in, lending length and dimension. The finish is ridiculously long. Best from 2020 through 2060. (JM)" (03/2014)

98 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Luminous golden yellow. Cool, pure aromas of white peach, honeyed mango, guava nectar, white flowers and saffron are complicated by elements of crushed stone and spicy lemony botrytis. Suave and intensely flavored, with mineral-spiced apple, mango, passion fruit and grapefruit flavors offering outstanding purity, precision, and depth. The brisk but harmonious acidity gives this great Sauternes a penetrating quality and provides a powerful spine to the very deep flavors, making it seem less opulent than it really is. This Yquem has the depth of the 2007 but boasts even greater purity and focus. Finishes bright and extremely long, with repeating suggestions of white flowers and lemony botrytis. Though it lacks the depth of the 2001 or the opulence of the 2009 at a similar stage of development, this is one of my favorite young Yquems ever: it will age spectacularly well. (ID)" (08/2014)

98 points James Suckling: "Crazy minerality to this, with lots of dried mango, pineapple and papaya on the nose. Botrytis-spice and nutmeg undertones. Full body, very sweet, with superb depth of fruit and richness. It goes on for minutes. Turns dense and concentrated on the palate. Speechless. Better in 2019." (01/2014)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Yquem 2011 has a complex bouquet, one that is very well defined with hints of petrol infusing the rich honeyed fruit, later melted wax and fresh peach coming through. The palate is well balanced with a strong viscous entry. There is plenty of residual sugar here and I would have preferred a little more acidic bite to offset that rich, decadent finish (this is despite their correct policy of blending non-botrytized berries in order to increase acidity.) Powerful, burly even, I would give this several years in the cellar to allow this Yquem to mellow and enter its stride.(NM)" (02/2015)

K&L Notes: Parker's original 2013 review: "The 2011 d'Yquem seems to be a close cousin of the 2001 and possibly the 1988. Light gold in color, restrained but pure and noble, it offers an intense bouquet of honeysuckle, caramelized apricot and white peach with a subtle hint of toasty oak. It builds slowly but beautifully to a full-bodied wine with a long finish. This vintage is about restraint and perfect balance despite the 144 grams of residual sugar. Some vintages are more exuberant or flamboyant, but 2011 is racy and compelling. Of course, these wines can be drunk young, but expect the 2011 to age for 50-75+ years in a good cellar." (Robert Parker, Wine Advocate)

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 17, 2015

It is very hard for any wine as venerated as Chateau d'Yquem to live up to the expectations that its fame creates. This 2011 delivers on all promises- it is great wine. While it is only a light straw color now, it has authoritative viscosity, full, clean botrytis sweetness and a kaleidoscope of complexity that is impossible to duplicate. Put this in your cellar and forget it for many years and it will be even better than it is now. Wow!

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2009 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne ($199.99)

97 points Decanter: "Long lingering finish. A great and supremely elegant Champagne. (ME)" (10/2016)

97 points James Suckling: "A very rich and full-bodied Cristal that harks back to 2006 or 1989 in style. It's round and rich, which underlies the ripeness of the vintage. Lots of dried-apple and pineapple character with bread dough and flan flavors. The bubbles are so fine you almost don't notice them. Very vinous style." (10/2016)

97 points Wine Enthusiast: "The latest incarnation of this famous Champagne now comes from Roderer's own vineyards, a good portion of which are run on biodynamic lines. This still-young wine has great depth and richness, a beautiful balance between ripe fruit and crisp texture that make it alive, crisp and bright. As it matures, it will deepen and become even more intense. *Cellar Selection* (RV)" (12/2016)

96 points Vinous: "Rich, creamy and radiant, the 2009 Cristal captures all of the natural generosity of the vintage while also retaining a good bit of freshness and aromatic intensity. Immediate and totally sensual in its allure, the 2009 will drink well with minimal cellaring. All things considered, at this stage, the 2009 comes across as relatively restrained for a wine from a warm year. (AG)" (07/2017)

96 points Wine & Spirits: "Cristal 2009 is supple and lovely, the vintage adding richness to the clarity and precision of its fruit, heightening the sense of purity from a wine exclusively made from chalk terroirs. Its a straight line of flavor widened by fruit notes of just-ripe white peach and deeper tones of red currant. What ornate charm this offers may be clarified by the details (60 percent pinot noir, 40 percent chardonnay, from seven grand cru villages, plus Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, where Roederer owns exceptional parcels of pinot noir, a portion of the lots fermented in barrel, none of it allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation). But this is not the kind of symphonic blend that other houses strive to produce. Young Cristal offers resonance rather than complexity, a long, gentle reverberation that lasts. Its future lies in its perfect shape, something time will address with a patina on the surface and in layers below." (12/2016)

95 points Wine Spectator: "White peach and acacia blossom aromas accent the flavors of poached apple, gingersnap biscuit, pastry cream and spun honey in this harmonious Champagne. The satiny mousse caresses the palate, while firm, focused acidity drives the lasting finish. *Collectibles* (AN)" (11/2016)

K&L Notes: For the second time in history, Champagne house Louis Roederer has chosen to release their famous Cristal out of vintage order, since the 2008 needs more time on the lees.

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 07, 2017

Theres a real purity of fruit to Cristals 2009: apple shines through, with lovely sweetness tempered by bright acid and a delicate finish. This is an easygoing vintage, so much so that Roederer pushed it ahead of the more structured 2008, and theres a lot to love about this layered release: creamy roundness, subtle leesy character, and for the first time, all organic, Grand Cru vineyard sources! 40% Chardonnay from chalky soil adds freshness, while the remaining 60% Pinot Noir lends accessibility. Cristal is always a treat, but the complex, age-worthy 2009 overdelivers.

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 07, 2017

Among the prestige cuvées in Champagne, Louis Roederers Cristal stands out for its delicacy, purity and precision. It is made entirely from mid-slope Grand Cru vines, with no malolactic fermentation and seven years of lees aging. Even in its relative youth, the 2009 displays a meticulous nature: mouth watering, fresh citrus fruit and white flower flavors with subtle underlying pastry notes that meld seamlessly with the richness from the long lees aging. This impressive vintage will last at least 30 years, so set a couple aside!

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 15, 2016

For many years now, Champagne Louis Roederer has been leading the way in progressive practices in the vineyard in the region. This approach showed in the wines at this years staff summit, and in a quite spectacular way. The wines of Roederer really have a shine to them, and the soon to be released 2009 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne exemplifies this luminescent style. Roederer has been the largest organic vineyard owner in Champagne for many years, and this is the first year that Critstal has been made exclusively from these organic, mid slope, pure chalk sites. The ripe vintage of 2009 has made for a precocious wine that is already showing much more aroma and giving much more pleasure than Cristal normally does when first released. That being said, this is a chalky, complex, detailed Champagne that has decades and decades of time to shine!

Kavalan Solist "Sherry Cask - K&L Exclusive" Cask Strength Single Barrel Taiwanese Single Malt Whisky (750ml) (Elsewhere $300) ($209.99)

After months of waiting and waiting, we finally have our very own Kavalan Solist Sherry Cask (Solist is the International name for their single cask bottlings, it doesn't appear on the label in the US, but it's from the exact same line). The ultimate sherried malt from the special King Car Distillery in Taiwan is easily a contender for whisky of the year in my book. Kavalan is well known for producing top tier single cask single malt and we've had great success with previous bottlings. Last year we secured nearly an entire cask selected by our distributor. It disappeared in minutes. Since then it has been completely out of stock. Availability has been a huge issue for this mark and when we had the opportunity to buy our own cask I jumped at the chance. I was excited, but could not have predicted the outrageous quality of the samples we received. We expect Kavalan to be explosive and powerfully flavored, ultra dense and complex, but we don't often find those qualities so perfectly in balance as we did in this special cask. Few whiskies on our portfolio achieve the incredible depth and complexity of the Kavalan Solist Sherry cask and none come anywhere close at this price point. Just one taste easily explains the brands incredible rarity and international acclaim. We're absolutely honored to have been chosen to offer this special cask. It's the ultimate holiday surprise for any whisky lover and the perfect way to finish a cold winter's night.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 28, 2017

The "Solist" line of single casks from Kavalan has taken the whisky world by storm. They're winning awards left and right. Asian Whisky of the year! Single Cask Single Malt of the Year! World's Best Single Malt! It's almost unfair. I don't know exactly what these guys are doing at that special distillery on this humid Pacific island, but I know that their whisky is easily out-classing the competition across the globe. Maybe it's because they're committed to quality in a way the Scottish distillers no longer are or maybe they're even using paxarette to season the barrels after the long voyage to the Pacific (this controversial practice was outlawed in Scotland in the '80s, but has since been deemed responsible for some of the great sherried malts of the latter half of the 20th century). It really doesn't matter to me how they do it. The whiskies are extraordinary and in a class totally on their own. This special cask is the first "Solist" Sherry we selected ourselves and will be available exclusively at K&L. It represents a huge percentage of the entire allocation of the brand for California over the next year. It's arresting and intense but balanced beyond any Solist I've yet to come across. The nose is pure Oloroso, deep dense hazelnut and pecan butters, sweet molten brown sugar, Christmas cake, stewed apricots, fig jam, dried cherries and raisins. The palate explodes with spice, yet the alcohol heat is almo

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 25, 2017

Powerhouse Kavalan Solist feels like Oloroso immediately, with caramelized sugar on the nose, black walnut notes and baking spice through the palate. This is a luxurious sherried whisky that hits a bit harder than expected on the finish, in the best possible way. There is a focus here, but the texture is decadent and the quality is undeniable. Add that to the fact that we hand-selected this barrel, and you have another Asian spirit to add to your wish list.

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2000 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac ($299.99)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Beginning to open magnificently, the still dense purple-colored 2000 reveals a blossoming bouquet of blackberries, cassis, graphite and pen ink. Full-bodied with velvety tannins that have resolved themselves beautifully over the last eleven years, this wine is still an adolescent, but it exhibits admirable purity, texture, mouthfeel and power combined with elegance. One of the all-time great examples of Lynch Bages, the 2000 is just beginning to drink well yet promises to last for another 20-25+ years. (RP)" (08/2011)

96 points Wine Spectator: "This has a dense but well-defined core of currant and fig paste flavors supported by a gorgeous graphite spine. Long and authoritative, with notes of bay, pepper, leather and juniper slowly emerging on the finish. Terrific structure and integration give this a chiseled feel. No rush here. (JM, Web-2016)"

95 points James Suckling: "Another wonderful 2000 coming out of its long sleep. Beautiful aromas of berry, tobacco, herb and spice that follow through to a full palate with round, textured tannins and lots of fruit." (04/2014)

95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Typical of Lynch-Bages in its sumptuous rich style, this is a resounding success for the team of Jean-Michel Cazes. With its sweet fruit, opulent but balanced wood and red and black fruit flavors, it is a wine that will develop relatively quickly but will certainly age. *Best of 2003* (RV)" (06/2003)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Deep ruby-red. Knockout aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, mocha and cedar complicated by scorched earth and tobacco. Big, ripe and dense, with flavors similar to the aromas and a seamless, rich texture. Though powerful and rich, with a sensual mouthfeel, it maintains a graceful, light-on-its-feet quality. Finishes with ripe, fine-grained tannins and excellent length. Still an infant, but clearly a great vintage for this property. (ID) 94+" (01/2012)

K&L Notes: 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. 94 points Neal Martin's Wine Journal: "Tasted blind at Bordeaux Index’s 2000 tasting in London. This is more taciturn on the nose than Pontet-Canet ‘00, but is well defined with some lovely savoury, chestnut and black truffle aromas developing in the glass. Touches of damp moss/lichen. The palate is full-bodied with firm tannins, gentle grip, foursquare but good weight, blackberry, graphite, leather and cedar, chewy towards the dry, structured finish. Very fine, perhaps a little broody and introverted at the moment. But great potential. Drink 2016-2040." (09/2010)

Staff ImageClyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 01, 2016

This wine is off the charts in qualityone of the great 2000 Bordeaux wines. Drink it now or cellar 20 more years.

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2014 Opus One Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend ($309.99)

97 points James Suckling: "Mesmerizing aromas of flowers, bark, currants and blackberries. So perfumed. You just want to smell it. Exquisite tension and finesse with an almost Burgundian texture, yet its Napa in its soul with ripe fruit, stones, spices and Chinese tea leaf flavors. Savory and delicious. Drinkable but better in 2020. Available on October 2017. (JS)" (06/2017)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Blended of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec, the Opus One 2014 Proprietary Red Wine sports an inky purple color and nose of crushed black and red currants, black cherries and mulberries with touches of underbrush, sautéed herbs and pencil shavings plus a waft of spice box. Medium-bodied, finely crafted and with an energetic line lifting the red and black fruits, it has a bold frame of grainy tannins and a very long, earth and spice-layered finish. (LPB) 96+" (10/2017)

95 points Vinous: "The 2014 Opus One has turned out to be a gorgeous wine. Savory, tightly wound and intensely aromatic, the 2014 is going to need time to unwind, but it looks like it will develop along the more classic vintages here. The tannins are firm but also impeccably balanced. A sleeper wine for the year, the 2014 is shaping up to be a gorgeous wine that will handsomely repay several decades of cellaring. The 2014 is not an obvious Opus One, like the 2010, 2012 or 2013, but over time, I will not be surprised if it challenges or even surpasses some of those vintages. In short, the 2014 is a wine of tension, power and grace. (AG) 95+" (12/2016)

Staff ImageJoe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 06, 2017

Another fantastic bottling from Opus One. I had the pleasure of trying the 2014 vintage at our Grand Domestic tasting this past Saturday. This was easily the dark horse winner of the ten wines we featured. Classic bouquet of black currant, plum, and dark cherry with subtler expressions of earth and graphite. The palate is where this wine really shines. Flavors of black currant are expressed once more, along with blackberry, savory qualities, clove, vanilla bean, and a touch of espresso. The tannins are silky and velvety; a luxurious mouthfeel all throughout. Decanting this wine will do wonders. Drinkable now; I would recommend holding for at least five more years. Will age gracefully for 20+ years

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2004 Dom Pérignon Brut Rosé Champagne ($329.00)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The fascinatingly copper-colored 2004 Dom Pérignon Rosé has a beautifully delicate bouquet of red fruits,and indicates a great purity and freshness. Kept on the lees for at least nine years to smooth the tannins the 2004 reveals a weightless power on the palate. It has a deep and concentrated, highly elegant Pinot character (though Chardonnay and Pinot are more or less 50/50), and is full of finesse and freshness. The 2004 is intense and vinous, yet pure, precise and extremely fine. Adorable. (SR)" (06/2016)

96 points Vinous: "The 2004 Dom Pérignon Rosé has put on remarkable weight over the last year or so. A rich, voluptuous wine, the 2004 Rosé hits the palate with stunning depth and resonance. The flavors are bold, rich and beautifully resonant from start to finish. Raspberry, cranberry, smoke, spice and crushed rocks build to the stunning, powerful finish. Vinous and ample, the 2004 Rosé will drink well for decades. The 2004 just keeps getting better with time in bottle. (AG)" (07/2015)

95 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a very fine wine with considerable bottle age. From its orange-pink color to its mature toast and almond flavors, this complex wine is much more than the fruit that has merged with the secondary flavors. Light tannins and a crisp texture are balanced by the softness that comes from the relatively high dosage. The wine, beautifully mature, is ready to drink. (RV)" (12/2015)

95 points Wine Spectator: "The smoke-tinged, minerally nose leads to well-spiced and expansive flavors of white raspberry, blood orange zest, toasted brioche and pickled ginger in this well-toned rosé Champagne. A satiny mousse and mouthwatering acidity frame the elegant finish. (AN)" (11/2016)

95 points Decanter: "A russet-red hue, thanks to a higher proportion of still Pinot Noir used. The scents and flavours are something special. Exciting freshness, tension and energy the punch of the Chardonnay is evident, yet very harmonious, building to a terrific finale of mouthfilling Pinot Noir fruits. (ME)"

Jancis Robinson: "Mid to pale orange rose (as in the flower) colour. Apparently the proportion of red wine was the highest ever, 27% of the blend. Notably opulent rose-petal nose. Very broadly fruity and deep flavoured with massive palate impact that surely has the power to mend sore throats. Beautiful smooth satin texture. We squeezed everything out of this vintage', said Richard Geoffroy, we really worked hard on it'. This is a great wine that happens to be pink. Its not remotely sweet but is beautifully round and complete. I have suggested it was probably delicious two years ago but in fact it had only just been released. 19/20 points (JR)" (01/2015)

K&L Notes: I had a chance to drink a preview bottle, and the Champagne is spectacular. The red wines used to make this rosé are the best I have ever tasted in Champagne, and composed of Pinot Noir from the Grand Crus of Bouzy and Ay as well as the 1er cru of Hautvillers, the location where the Dom's abbey is situated even today. The exact blend is proprietary, but Chef de Cave Richard Geoffroy explained to me that the spirit is about half-and-half Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for all Dom Perignon. Given that they do a short 8-10 day maceration on the red wines to reduce tannin, the percentage of red wine is very high — Jancis Robinson reports 27% — as the color is solid wild salmon pink. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer)

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 26, 2015

I had this magic Champagne with a mushroom tart that Cinnamon made. The combination of morel and brown mushrooms worked perfectly with this wine, which has always made an excellent partner to savory food You can check out past pairings of the 2002 and 2003 on the blog. I find the magic in this rose aromatically; Christmas spices, dark cherry fruit, fresh baked pie crust and a hint of chalk. This open aroma gives way to flavors that are so elegant, laid back and subtle that it would be impossible to tire of drinking it. All the virtues of the classic 2004 vintage are here; finesse and ease as well as bright acidity and near infinite minerality on the finish.

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2013 Kapcsandy Family "Grand Vin - State Lane Vineyard" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($549.99)

100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Little can be added to the greatness of the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Vin, a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. The wine (600 cases) is truly stunning in its dense, crème de cassis and blackberry-scented nose with a hint of barbecue smoke and forest floor. Tasting like a ripe vintage of Château Latour from Pauillac, the wine has amazing richness and a savory, expansive mouthfeel, but tiptoes across the palate like a ballerina. A wine of magnificent richness and intensity, but vibrancy, purity and overall equilibrium, this is a staggeringly great wine and another tribute to the Kapcsándy familys extraordinary professionalism and meticulous attention to detail in their vineyard.The Kapcsándy Family Winery, with their State Lane Vineyard on the Yountville crossroad, burst on the scene just over ten years ago and now has 20 acres planted, producing just four cuvées. The 2015s saw the earliest harvest ever at the estate, commencing and finishing before the end of September, and producing strikingly rich, intense wines that are open-knit and opulent, with sweet, well-integrated tannin. (RP)" (10/2016)

99 points Vinous: "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Vin opens with the most captivating, exquisite aromatics imaginable. A wine of arresting allure and total sensuality, the 2013 simply has it all. Today, the 2013 is a mere infant, but its personality, pedigree and overall class simply can't be denied. An exotic mélange of lavender, violet, sage, mint and wild flowers are laced into the finish. Kapcsándy moves from strength to strength with these current and upcoming releases. The 2012s continue to blossom in bottle, even though this is the lightest-bodied and most accessible vintage of the 2012-2013-2014 trio here. Things get more serious with the 2013s, wines that confirm the towering presence and profoundness they showed when I first tasted them in Spring 2014. (87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot) (AG)" (10/2015)

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2000 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac (1.5L) - 8 available ($669.99)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Beginning to open magnificently, the still dense purple-colored 2000 reveals a blossoming bouquet of blackberries, cassis, graphite and pen ink. Full-bodied with velvety tannins that have resolved themselves beautifully over the last eleven years, this wine is still an adolescent, but it exhibits admirable purity, texture, mouthfeel and power combined with elegance. One of the all-time great examples of Lynch Bages, the 2000 is just beginning to drink well yet promises to last for another 20-25+ years. (RP)" (08/2011)

96 points Wine Spectator: "This has a dense but well-defined core of currant and fig paste flavors supported by a gorgeous graphite spine. Long and authoritative, with notes of bay, pepper, leather and juniper slowly emerging on the finish. Terrific structure and integration give this a chiseled feel. No rush here. (JM, Web Only-2016)"

95 points James Suckling: "Another wonderful 2000 coming out of its long sleep. Beautiful aromas of berry, tobacco, herb and spice that follow through to a full palate with round, textured tannins and lots of fruit." (04/2014)

95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Typical of Lynch-Bages in its sumptuous rich style, this is a resounding success for the team of Jean-Michel Cazes. With its sweet fruit, opulent but balanced wood and red and black fruit flavors, it is a wine that will develop relatively quickly but will certainly age. *Best of 2003* (RV)" (06/2003)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Deep ruby-red. Knockout aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, mocha and cedar complicated by scorched earth and tobacco. Big, ripe and dense, with flavors similar to the aromas and a seamless, rich texture. Though powerful and rich, with a sensual mouthfeel, it maintains a graceful, light-on-its-feet quality. Finishes with ripe, fine-grained tannins and excellent length. Still an infant, but clearly a great vintage for this property. (ID) 94+" (01/2012)