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K&L - A Year in Review - 12/30/2017 - Monthly Newsletter

Vintage Item Name Score Retail Link
Four Pillars "Faultline" K&L Exclusive Gin (750ml) $34.99 View
Kavalan Solist "Sherry Cask - K&L Exclusive" Cask Strength Single Barrel Taiwanese Single Malt Whisky (750ml) (Elsewhere $300) $209.99 View
Enmore 25 Year Old "Golden Devil" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Guyana Rum (750ml) $199.99 View
Fukano K&L Exclusive Single Cask #2827 Japanese Whisky (750ml) $69.99 View
2016 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux (Pre-Arrival) 99 $59.99 View
2016 Pape Clément, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival) 98 $89.99 View
2016 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival) 99 $136.99 View
2015 Domaine Taupenot-Merme Grand Cru Mazoyeres-Chambertin 96 $199.99 View
2015 Domaine des Chezeaux (Ponsot) Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru 95 $229.00 View
2015 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru 96 $329.99 View
2015 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival) 97 $69.99 View
2016 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival) 97 $69.99 View
2016 Château Beaucastel Roussanne Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Vieilles Vignes (Pre-Arrival) 100 $139.99 View
2016 Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc Wairau Valley Marlborough 96 Price: Hidden View
2014 La Massa "La Massa" Toscana 91 $14.99 View
2015 Helen's Hill "Ingram Road" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley Victoria 94 $14.99 View
2015 Chateau de L'Ou "Infiniment" Côtes Catalanes Rouge (Elsewhere $35) 94 $19.99 View
2009 Coufran, Haut-Médoc 92 $19.99 View
2015 Fattoria Le Pupille "Saffredi" Maremma Toscana (Pre-Arrival) 99 $79.99 View
2015 Petrolo "Galatrona" Toscana (Pre-Arrival) 99 $79.99 View
2015 Tua Rita "Redigaffi" Toscana (Pre-Arrival) 100 $239.99 View
2008 Baron-Fuenté "Grand Millesime" Brut Champagne $29.99 View
Franck Bonville Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne 91 $34.99 View
2008 Launois "Spécial Club" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (750ml - ships as 1.5L) $59.99 View
2007 Alexandre Le Brun "Cuvée Fascination" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne $69.99 View
2010 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan 6-Pack in OWC (Pre-Arrival) 98 $1,075.00 View
2009 Certan de May, Pomerol 12-Pack in OWC (Pre-Arrival) 96 $1,140.00 View
2009 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac 6-pack in OWC (Pre-Arrival) 100 $1,699.99 View
2010 La Rioja Alta "Viña Alberdi" Reserva Rioja 95 $19.99 View
2008 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Rioja 95 $29.99 View
2014 Mas Doix "Salanques" Priorat 98 $39.99 View


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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 that add a sense of oiliness. The result is a nuanced, exotic, utterly sippable gin that still showcases the classic citrus The flavors are exciting and fresh, leaning on savory notes with a herbaceous backbone. 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 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 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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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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Enmore 25 Year Old "Golden Devil" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Guyana Rum (750ml) ($199.99)

Enmore was once the home of El Dorado's famed wooden coffey still, but the distillery was closed in 1993 and all of the equipment was eventually moved to DDL's main Diamond site where all the former Guyana distilleries are now consolidated. This single barrel edition, distilled in 1992, represents one of the last runs at the former site and for serious rum fans these lost distillates are as collectable as can be. This particular rum, however, comes not from the wooden coffey still at Enmore, but rather a single pot still, potentially the wooden pot moved there from the defunct Versailles distillery before eventually landing at the Diamond site where it sits today. Guyana's pot distilled rums are valued by blenders and other experts as a source of very heavy bodied, very flavorful, and deeply aromatic rums. Dark in color and earthy on the nose, the flavors are rich and expansive with molasses, burnt sugar, roasted coffee, and cocoa on the finish. For many collectors, Enmore is the Port Ellen of rum, yet its price points are still well within reach considering its rarity and value on the market. Bottled at 63% cask strength, this Golden Devil single barrel edition is a true gem of magnificence and a valued piece of rum's long and ever-evolving history.

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 08, 2017

This 25-year rum is lively and delicious. In the nose if offers sugar and floral aromas. In the mouth it is round and lush with deep dried fruit and dark chocolate flavors. There is a creamy mouthfeel. A beautiful expression of a mature rum. I tasted it with with a splash of water.

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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, the other distillers regaled 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 the pick of the litter. This is only the second single cask we've managed to get out of there since the brand launched nearly two 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 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.

2016 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux (Pre-Arrival) ($59.99)

98-99 points James Suckling: "This is a superb wine. I didnt think it could be better than the 2015 but indeed it is. Full, layered and sexy. It goes on for minutes with dense fruit, yet its also vivid and showcases sublime tannins and acidity balance. Great finish." (04/2017)

94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Malescot-St-Exupery has an opulent, lavish and pure bouquet with billowing black cherry and blueberry fruit, a touch of mint and graphite emerging with time. I love the delineation to this Margaux. The palate is very well balanced, sensual and voluptuous in style, but that does not detract from the fine structure here and the precision towards the finish. Everything seems to be in its right place here; it is one of the best Malescot-St-Exupery that I have tasted and it is wonderful. (NM)" (04/2017)

92-95 points Vinous: "The 2016 Malescot Saint Exupéry is superb. Powerful, virile and inviting, yet with tremendous balance for such a young wine, the 2016 captivates all the senses. Smoke, licorice, incense and a host of more soil-driven notes give the wine its signature aromatic profile. Malescot Saint Exupéry is a decidedly muscular Margaux, but the extraction also seems a bit dialed back. (AG)" (04/2017)

92-95 points Wine Spectator: "A layered, ripe style, with warm ganache and tobacco notes set over a lovely core of plum sauce and blackberry fruit. A licorice edge on the finish rounds this off. Enticing and polished, with a sanguine hint adding range. (JM)" (04/2017)

93 points Decanter: "Some coffee bean smudges across the nose give this a sexy, appealing edge right off the bat, followed up by chewy tannins that manage to hold the by rich, deep, beautifully extracted fruit without smothering it. This is one of the fuller expressions of the vintage, no question. (JA)" (04/2017)

Staff ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 02, 2017

This is full, rich and almost extravagant but held in check by the integration of powerful structure, wonderful proportion and a finish of fine, ripe tannin. From an appellation that was a roaring success in 2016 this is a relative bargain.

Staff ImageRalph Sands | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 31, 2017

Noon at Ch. Malescot One wine to taste with Jean Luc Zugar. 55%CS 37M 6CF 2PV The 2015 was a 3 Star beauty and the 2016 is again a fabulous 3 Star wine. Perfectly extracted ripe grapes and great tasting, fine blance, tannins and long finishing. 3 Stars and also by FAR the greatest value for great Margaux wine.

Staff ImageClyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 31, 2017

Another standout with fantastic berry fruit, bakers chocolate and super-silky tannins with that unmistakable Margaux feel. This was the biggest seller we had for the 2015 Bordeaux offering. This wine is vying with it for the crown of best in store. Bright and lively.So lush and ripe. Jean Luc Zuger has fashioned another top wine for 2016. This wine is a bit more precise than the 2015.

Staff ImageJason Marwedel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 17, 2017

There is nothing better than a wine that houses two seemingly opposite characteristics under the same cork. In the case of Malescot, its all about poise and power (the hallmark of GREAT Bordeaux). Malescot has fast become one of my favorite properties in Margaux, with the 2016 offering even furthering the case. Whether a Bordeaux neophyte or devotee, you are going to love this wine! Wonderful layers of ripe blue and red fruits are offset by savory complexity and long refreshing mineral tones. You will be hard pressed to find a more palate-pleasing wine at this price anywhere in the world.

2016 Pape Clément, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival) ($89.99)

97-98 points James Suckling: "This is phenomenal with a density and finesse that are hard to remember for this wine. Full-bodied, tight and polished. Seamless texture and salty undertones. Goes on for minutes. Truly great. What a barrel sample." (04/2017)

95-97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Pape Clement is a blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon this year, picked from 30 September until 19 October at 48 hectoliters per hectare. The first bottle that I tasted with Bernard Magrez and his team felt a little overdone, but I had a strong suspicion that it was not a representative bottle. A second bottle was more restrained on the nose with blackberries, red plum, a touch of cloves and a light iodine influence. I love the delineation and detail here. The palate is medium-bodied with a graphite-infused entry, plenty of black fruit, saline in the mouth with great depth and cohesion on the long and tender finish. It continues Pape-Clement/Bernard Magrez' move towards a more classic style compared to the previous decade. Tasted four times, once as I mentioned, unnecessarily richer in style, but the other three consistent. (NM)" (04/2017)

95-97 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a serious, structured wine with fine tannins as well as acidity. There is a depth of flavor in this elegant wine, with black currant fruit and great structure. A wine for the long haul. (RV)" (04/2017)

94-97 points Wine Spectator: "Intense, with vivacious cassis, blueberry and boysenberry confiture notes, while tar, anise and warm fruitcake flavors pulse underneath. Offers seriously flashy toast at the end, but has the density to soak it up. A big wine. (JM)" (04/2017)

93-96 points Vinous: "The 2016 Pape Clément exudes class and is one of the raciest, silkiest wines I have ever tasted here. The purity and intensity of the flavors is striking. Dark cherry, chocolate, spice and leather open up first. The full range of aromatics has not developed yet - that will come with time. Today, it is the wine's balance that is most remarkable. (AG)" (04/2017)

94 points Decanter: "Pape Clément retains its customary oak and black fruit impact on the nose in 2016, but without doubt they have sculpted the body. This has thrillingly bright dark berry fruits and a sharp shot of vitality that takes you through from beginning to end. Beautiful touches of minerality on the powerful palate, wrought into an elegant style without losing its texture and sense of depth. This is a step-change in many ways from the vintages where Pape Clément went all-out for power. (JA)" (04/2017)

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

Love it! 2 stars for now and possibly 3 for Pape Clement Rouge (Very impressive all 3 times tasted. Layers of dark grapey fruit all in good focus and with nice freshness, fine tannins,lenght and great taste!).

Staff ImageJeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 15, 2017

One of the great properties in Pessac-Léognan, historic, renowned, a near neighbor of Chateau Haut-Brion. In recent years, the estate has been moving towards a more terroir-driven style, taking full advantage of its exceptional position in the northernmost part of the appellation. The 2016 Pape Clément is a nuanced effort, complex and layered with good concentration and length. Deeply colored, intense. Lovely weight with perfectly ripe, sweet fruit and fine tannins. Deftly seasoned with spicy oak that enhances rather than overwhelms the wine. Very well done.

Staff ImageClyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 15, 2017

Another winner for Bernard Magrez and his team. His 2015 was one of our best selling wines and 2016 is just as good. Earthy elements in the nose and on the palate. Quite spicy and some fine tannins on the finish. This wine will need some time even though it is lush on the palate. They released 20% less than normal this year because they were severely affected by the late April frost. Just a warning to he who hesitates-you know what happens.

2016 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival) ($136.99)

98-99 points James Suckling: "Vivid and full of energy with blackberry, currant and salt. Full body, intense and long. Harmony. Purpose. Classicism. The mineral and currant character is all year. A seamless tannin texture. Great wine. You want to drink it now!" (04/2017)

96-99 points Vinous: "The 2016 Pontet-Canet has been absolutely brilliant on the three occasions Ive tasted it so far. Exotically ripe, powerful and voluptuous, it brings together the richness of the 2009 with the structure of the 2010. There aren't too many other 2016s where that is the case, but it is undoubtedly true here. The 2016 is a spectacular wine by any measure, while Pontet-Canet confirms its rarefied place as a true original in Bordeaux. Technical director Jean-Michel Comme added that Cabernet Sauvignon plays a slightly lesser role in the blend because the berries had less juice than normal at harvest. Comme also bumped up the new oak slightly, to 55 percent. The rest of the wine was aged in neutral oak (10 percent) and amphora (35 percent). In a word: Superb. (AG)" (04/2017)

97-99 points Wine Enthusiast: "This wine is so dense and concentrated, with magnificent fruit. The tannins are velvety, but, at the same time, the wine has a dry side that will allow it to age so well. Juicy blackberries and great tannins work in harmony. The estate is in its seventh vintage certified biodynamic. (RV)" (04/2017)

95-97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Pontet-Canet is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petit Verdot and 39% Merlot, less Cabernet this year because of the size of the berries. I tasted the wine on two visits to the property around two weeks apart, plus additional tastings at négoçiants. It has an intense bouquet with layers of blackberry, sloes and fresh mint, just a hint of black truffle in the background. It is certainly a little more opulent compared to its peers. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin, a little spicier than I expected (in a positive sense) with gentle grip in the mouth. It fans out with confidence, a voluminous Pontet-Canet with an extremely persistent aftertaste, and a saline and balsamic finish. This is an extravagant Pauillac for the vintage that will age over many years. (NM)" (04/2017)

97 points Decanter: "This is richly layered with seductively ripe fruit. The quality and texture of the brambled blackberries, cassis and bilberries is striking. There is a sense of lightness and juiciness but also depth and flesh - you can feel the joy of that contrast at every step as the wine stretches out in front of you, hard to resist. 2016 is another vintage where they are up at 95%+ of grand vin, this year aged in 55% new casks, 10% in one year old casks and 35% in amphorae. Feel the effects of biodynamics make Pontet Canet stand out for its energy and lush tannins, even with the concentration of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. (JA)" (04/2017)

95-97 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2016 Pontet Canet from Alfred Tesseron and estate manager Jean-Michel Comme saw a touch more new oak than normal (55%) and is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It also had 35% of the blend brought up in amphora. Showing the now hallmark purity and elegance of the estate in its crème de cassis, violet, and spring flower-laced bouquet, this beauty is full-bodied, has bright acidity, and sensational purity of fruit. Its going to be for those with patience and cold cellars, however, and I wouldnt touch bottle for at least 7-8 years." (11/2017)

Staff ImageRalph Sands | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 10, 2017

Huge ripeness on the nose. Perfect, sweet deep purple fruit of blueberry and blackberry, silky and plush. Impossible not to love as it is fantastic tasting wine with a long, dry finish full of fruit and minerals." Delicious and 3 Stars! Ralph Sands

Staff ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 26, 2017

Pontet Canet, Mouton and Pichon-Lalande were the 3 most voluptuous Pauillacs we tasted the first week of April and the Pontet comes in as #1. This is ripe, dark and concentrated with huckleberry jam, raspberry fruit, vanilla, spice oak and more on a powerful and creamy yet classy frame. The tannins are sweet, ripe and rounded on this ultra rich wine of almost exotic proportion that still manages to come off as bone dry. I suspect someone will score this 100 points.

2015 Domaine Taupenot-Merme Grand Cru Mazoyeres-Chambertin ($199.99)

94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Mazoyeres Chambertin Grand Cru has a very intense bouquet with lifted redcurrant, raspberry, spice box and quite a noticeable marine influence coming through with time. The palate is medium-bodied with tensile tannin. This is very focused, almost athletic in terms of tension and somehow "nimble" in the mouth, no heaviness here (a great attribute in such a warm growing season). This is one of the best Mazoyeres Chambertin that I have tasted. (NM)" (12/2016)

95 points Vinous: "Good bright, dark red. Explosive nose combines raspberry, plum, mocha, tobacco, earth and smoky underbrush. Wonderfully silky and sweet but with surprising verve and tension to its red berry, spice and salty mineral flavors. This compellingly rich, deep wine finishes with fully ripe, smooth tannins, outstanding length and terrific spicy lift. I underestimated this wine in late 2016; it now displays exceptional class for Mazoyères--and all the elements to make a great bottle. (ST)" (01/2018)

94 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "Once again there is ample sauvage character to the underbrush, humus and earth nuanced dark currant and floral-scented nose. The mouthfeel of the big-bodied flavors is quite interesting in that its at once succulent yet powerful with plenty of punch to the imposingly-scaled, firm and impressively persistent finish. This too is excellent but like the Corton, its going to require at least 8 to 10 years of patience first and last for decades thereafter. In a word, terrific." (01/2018)

94 points John Gilman: "The 2015 Mazoyères-Chambertin from Domaine Taupenot-Merme is every bit as promising as the Charmes-Chambertin, delivering a superb bouquet of sweet dark berries, dark chocolate, lovely floral tones, roasted venison, vanillin oak and a distinctive topnote of currant leaf. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, sappy at the core and supremely elegant in profile, with lovely focus and grip, fine-grained tannins and lovely backend energy on the long finish. Fine, fine juice. 2025-2075." (01/2017)

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2015 Domaine des Chezeaux (Ponsot) Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru ($229.00)

92-95 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "A wonderfully spicy, elegant and fresh nose blends notes of red and dark cherry with those of cassis, plum, violet and discreet earth nuances. The intense and tautly muscular middle weight plus flavors are even more refined if perhaps not quite as mineral-driven while delivering superb length on the balanced but markedly austere finish where a touch of cherry pit emerges. This is also very clearly built-to-age and I wouldn't dream of touching a bottle for at least 10 years and it should easily reward 20." (01/2017)

K&L Notes: This is a Chambertin of elegance, indeed of understatement with impeccable balance. This wine is the same wine as that sold under the Ponsot label, except for the paper sticker on the bottle. Oh, and the price - a fraction of that under Ponsot's own label. Such are the joys of share-cropping.

Staff ImageHeather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 25, 2017

The Domaine de Chezeaux wines are one of the best values in Burgundy. Considering that they also produce the Ponsot wines, you can hardly go wrong with any of their selections. I was most impressed with their 2015 Griotte Chambertin. The wine, of course, is built to age with a ponderous structure, but the fruit and spice elements are also in perfect balance. Even at this young stage, the wine is elegant, with refined wild cherry, clove, and a savory element that I can only attribute to the soil of the vineyard. All in all, a wine well worth investing in.

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2015 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru ($329.99)

96 points John Gilman: "The 2015 Clos des Lambrays includes ninety-five percent whole clusters this year and isa stunning wine in the making. The bouquet is deep, pure and very expressive out of the blocks, soaring from the glass in a blaze of black plums, sweet cassis, espresso, woodsmoke, gamebird, raw cocoa, a great base of dark soil tones and a nice framing of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with laser-like focus, great balance and grip and a very long, fine-grained and vibrant finish. This will take at least a decade to blossom, but it will be a great wine in the fullness of time. 2025-2075+." (01/2017)

96 points Wine Spectator: "Aromatic, offering hints of lavender, menthol and orange peel, but on the palate this becomes an immutable block, with a kernel of cherry, black currant, licorice and mineral flavors locked within. The tannins have the upper hand now, but this should develop well. (BS)" (02/2018)

93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Clos de Lambrays Grand Cru contains 95% whole cluster fruit, part of the crop with thicker skins deprived of their stems according to winemaker Thierry Brouin. It is being aged in 50% new oak. It has dusky black fruit on the nose, earthier than I was expecting given the growing season, the stem addition lending a subtle undergrowth and moss-like scent. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin and offers succinctly judged acidity. It is certainly harmonious in the mouth with a generous dash of black pepper on the finish, a pleasant prickle in the mouth after the wine has departed. Whilst not the purring engine that is Clos de Tart since it is more rough-hewn perhaps, this Clos des Lambrays has a charm of its own. (NM)" (12/2016)

93-95 points Vinous: "(made with 95% whole clusters; Brouin destemmed 5% of the fruit owing to the thick skins of '15): Healthy dark red. Subdued but complex, sexy scents of raspberry, mocha, brown spices and earth: a real essence of this distinctive grand cru. Sappy and wild, conveying terrific intensity and precision to its red berry and spice flavors. Tactile, savory, dense and very long, finishing with lovely energy and peppery lift and a lingering element of salty minerality. Beautifully integrated ripe tannins suggest that this will be an outstanding and long-lived vintage for Clos des Lambrays. The pH here is 3.6, which Brouin described as normal. Brouin added that potential alcohol levels following the sorting were around 12.5% in 2015, and that the finished wines will be between 13% and 13.2%. (ST)" (01/2107)

94 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "(produced from two large parcels of differing vine age - one that is approximately two-thirds of the blend and is now 50+ years of age and a second, smaller group of vines that is approximately 25+ years of age; made with 100% whole cluster). Here too the nose is quite ripe yet very fresh with its layered array of spicy and markedly floral-inflected black cherry and plum scents that are trimmed in both discreet wood and menthol nuances. There is impressive size, weight and power to the more mineral-driven and refined medium-bodied flavors that are shaped by a distinctly firm tannic spine on the wonderfully persistent and mildly austere finale. This is first-rate and one serious wine in 2015 and thus be prepared to allow it at least 10 to 12 years first. 2027+" (01/2018)

K&L Notes: Tracing their history back to 1365, Domaine des Lambrays holds nearly all of the famous Clos des Lambrays vineyard. Ownership of the domaine has changed hands many times since the French Revolution. Although the vineyard was given premier cru classification in 1936, the wines have long been hailed as legendary by critics, and the vineyard was promoted to grand cru in 1981. Winery notes: "The Clos des Lambrays is full-bodied, rough and supple, 'a hand of iron in a glove of velvet.' With flavors of black fruits (blackberries and blueberries), it is powerful and elegant with round and noble tannins."

2015 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival) - -436 available ($69.99)

97 points James Suckling: "All 13 grapes. This has a dark fruited, blueberry and blue plum nose with wide swinging tannins. Some white peppery elements, violets, brooding dark spices, blue fruits and dark plums. Builds from the ground up. Dark stones. Impressive, powerful wine. Drink from 2025. *Top 100 of 2017*" (08/2017)

97 points Wine Spectator: "A stunner from the get-go, with waves of thoroughly seductive boysenberry, plum, blueberry and raspberry reduction forming the core, while roasted apple wood, rooibos tea, bergamot, and anise notes flash throughout. Has plenty of bass, with a Turkish coffee accent and a hint of alder driving underneath. Everything moves in lockstep through the seriously long finish. Best from 2020 through 2045. (JM)" (09/2017)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Bottled in late July, the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape is an amazing effort, especially when one considers the production volume. Loaded with black cherry fruit and cola-like spice, this full-bodied, richly textured wine never seems heavy or warm, while exotic Indian spice notes linger on the finish. It should drink well for at least 20 years. (JC)" (10/2017)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape checks in as a blend of 30% each of Mourvèdre and Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise and the rest a mix of permitted varieties, and theyre more and more keeping the stems with Syrah component. This is a beauty that offers more depth and richness than just about every other wine in the vintage. Blackberry, black raspberries, garrigue, spice and hints of saddle leather all flow to a full-bodied, rich, layered 2015 that has a stacked, concentrated mid-palate, ripe, sweet tannin and an undeniable opulence thats missing from too many 2015s. Marc Perrin compared this cuvée to 2001, and I cant disagree with him. Drink this blockbuster beauty anytime over the coming two decades. The Perrin family continues to knock it out of the park and have produced some of the wines of the vintage in 2015. 96+ points." (10/2017)

93-95 points Vinous: "Brilliant ruby. Spice-accented aromas of ripe red fruits, candied flowers, earth and smoky minerals; a zesty white pepper quality emerges with aeration. Sweet, expansive and energetic on the palate, offering intense raspberry, spicecake and lavender flavors and a subtle touch of smoke. Completely stains the palate and shows outstanding clarity on the strikingly long, focused finish, where smooth tannins make a late appearance. (JR)" (03/2017)

95 points Decanter: "Depth and detail on the dark-fruit nose. Stylish, balanced and very persistent, delivers crunchy, spicy fruit. Drinking Window 2020-2044. (JL)" (04/2017)

Jancis Robinson: "Superb juiciness and bramble fruits. Some blackcurrant notes on the palate, a very savoury cigar and cedar character and a gentle Provençal herby note. Loads of breadth and complexity. (RH)" (10/2016)

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 09, 2017

A recent visit to Beaucastel for some barrel tasting definitely showed us why this is consistently one of the best producers in the region. The 2015 has all of the beautiful rich undertones of classic CDP with the fresh lifted quality of the vintage. Copious fruit, spicebox nuances and an impeccably balanced palate of sweet tannins and underlying acidity. A wine that will drink well in its youth and evolve gracefully for 15-20 years.

2016 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival) ($69.99)

94-97 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Moving to the reds, I was able to taste all of the components of the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape and this will unquestionably be another terrific vintage from this estate. All of the samples had inky, purple colors, classic aromatics, good acidity and freshness, and balanced profiles. The Mourvèdre, in particular, was beautiful." (10/2017)

95-97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "No surprise, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape takes the quality of the Coudoulet and ratchets it up a notch (or two!). I tasted the preliminary blend from foudre and was blown away by its potential. At 35% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 10% Counoise, 5% Cinsault and 10% other permitted varieties, it shows amazing purity in its scents of dark fruit and licorice, richness and weight without any excess of alcohol and a finish that goes on and on. (JC)" (10/2017)

96 points Decanter: "The nose is tightly wound for now, but shows fresh black fruits and an underlying herbal seam. It's full-bodied but immediately lifted and fresh on the palate, with powerful fruit and a dense lattice of ripe tannins. It is beautifully textured, very straight in style, with great length and energy. It's already very well integrated and balanced. Tight, refreshing, mineral and intense. A truly excellent Beaucastel. (MW)" (10/2017)

93-95 points Vinous: "Deep bright-rimmed ruby. Cassis, cherry pit, licorice, garrigue and an intense mineral overtone on the deeply perfumed nose. Intense, palate-staining bitter cherry and dark berry flavors show outstanding depth and become sweeter and more lively with aeration. Picks up a spicy quality on the youthfully tannic finish, which shows superb clarity and dark-fruit-driven persistence. (JR)" (07/2018)

2016 Château Beaucastel Roussanne Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Vieilles Vignes (Pre-Arrival) - -151 available ($139.99)

100 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Also bottled two weeks ago, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Roussanne Vieilles Vignes is utterly killer and is as good as it gets. Huge notes of orange blossom, peach, tangerine, honeysuckle, and caramelized citrus flow from this insanely good, unctuous, heavenly textured white that possesses full-bodied richness and power, yet stays light, graceful and perfectly balanced on the palate. Drink bottles anytime over the coming 4-6 years, or cellar for a decade or more. Robert Parker once famously called this the Montrachet of the Rhône, and I wholeheartedly agree with him. Dont miss this wine!The Perrin family continues to knock it out of the park and have produced some of the wines of the vintage in 2015. In addition, Ive included the Famille Perrin Gigondas releases here as well." (10/2017)

98 points Decanter: "100 year old Roussanne vines giving very small yields and harvested two weeks after the younger vines. It's deeply vinous, with aromas of quince, pineapple and apricot. Very full-bodied, it is languorous and opulent in texture. It glides across the palate, down the throat and lingers on. The oak is used well, adding rather than detracting. A very powerful, regal wine. (MW)" (10/2017)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 500-case production of this wine comes from a three-hectare parcel of Roussanne planted in 1909. The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Roussanne Vieilles Vignes takes the quality of Beaucastel's traditional white and raises it another level. Caramelized pineapple sounds sweet and cloying, but it isn't when it's backed by amazing texture, citrus zest and a briny sensation on the never-ending finish. As this was the last wine of my visit to the estate, I found it especially hard to spit out. (JC)" (10/2017)

Jancis Robinson: "Nutty, buttery, rich, resplendent stone fruit with layers of richness and pithy texture on the palate. Long, fragrant, succulent finish with a seriously savoury length and loads of chewy texture. A marvel! (RH) 17.5/20" (10/2017)

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2016 Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc Wairau Valley Marlborough Price: Hidden

96 points Bob Campbell: "Flavoursome and very appealing Sauvignon Blanc with gooseberry, lime and citrus flavours together with a seasoning of nutty lees characters. Concentrated wine with great purity that's emphasised by a backbone of bright, fresh acidity. A high energy Sauvignon that gives a nod in the direction of Sancerre."

96 points Decanter: "This is an intense, pure and appealing Sauvignon with lime, citrus, gooseberry and a subtle, nutty lees character supported by lovely acidity. Reminiscent of a very good Sancerre in style and elegance...This wine has everything; wild ferment characters, lees, mineral...and lovely pristine fruit flavours. It's layered and wild, lengthy and lively...pulled together effortlessly creating a wonderful wine. (Decanter Panel - MB/BC/CD)"

K&L Notes: Winemaker's Noyes: "Aromas of fresh grapefruit and passion fruit follow through on the palate. There is a typical zesty Marlborough acidity combined with pronounced fruit characters and a long, mouth-watering finish. The Wairau Valley, in the heart of the Marlborough winegrowing region, is our home. Shallow, stony and fast-draining soils perfectly suit Sauvignon Blanc and other varietals, providing distinctive, flavourful fruit characters."

Staff ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 05, 2017

Rich and focused with an array of yellow fruit flavors and citrus blossom and verbena aromas. As this warms up tropical notes emerge leaning toward mango, lychee, guava with a pronounced note of earthy musk melon. This is very complex and compelling for the price.

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 01, 2017

One of the few Wairau Valley specific bottlings we have for Sauvignon Blanc, this is a great example of regionality. Wairau is considered warmer than the Awatere Valley just to the south, but the bright juicy acid in this wine will bring to light what a cool climate site NZ really is. This wine is a great alternative for lovers of Greywacke ad Cloudy Bay, as it exhibits those notes that thrust NZ into the Savvy spotlight, including tropical fruit, slight herbaceousness, and stunning minerality.

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 30, 2017

Soft and pretty nose, not your typical aggressive New Zealand Sauvy. Soft tropical notes, sweet citrus fruit tones, a delicate vanilla note and a mild herbaceousness. The palate is crisp but not tart, with soft tropical and a mild lemon curd notes.

Staff ImageGary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 29, 2017

This is a lovely little NZ Sauv Blanc that is just brimming with freshness and vibrancy. Imparting aromas of white peach, lychee, grapefruit, lime peel and minerals - this is one to purchase by the case. You don't often find this much concentration and character from a wine at this price point - quite the opposite in fact.

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 29, 2017

A classic take on Marlborough Sauv Blanc. Snappy, fresh, citrus fruit, gooseberry, nettle. Super refreshing and palate cleansing. River stone minerals and flinty elements add complexity that exceeds this wine very modest price point. A punchy, zesty style. Easy to see how this stood out from the crowd in Decanter's Panel Tasting of premium NZ Sauv Blanc earning itself 96 points. Thanks to our special pricing this is a serious value and is sure to move quickly.

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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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2015 Helen's Hill "Ingram Road" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley Victoria ($14.99)

94 points James Halliday: "Once again it applies the blowtorch to the value equation. It's varietal, complex-enough and quite exquisitely well composed. Its like a set of well-chosen words. Sweet-sour cherry, cranberry, dried herbs, sap. Oak aids texture and polish more than flavour, though oak spice through the finish is hard to resist. The words fleshy and fresh are apt here." (01/2015)

90 points Bob Campbell: "Good depth and hue of colour, the wine sweetly ripe and clean, fragrant and attractive in bouquet and flavour. The palate has weight and depth, good soft tannins in abundance, and charmingly aromatic red cherry and floral nuances. (HH - The Real Review)" (12/2016)

K&L Notes: 90 points Wine Front: "Helen’s Hill and it’s Ingram Road label are low-key but always worthy of investigation. The wines are routinely very good, or better. Prices are reasonable too. This release is for quaffing now - and for that, it’s just the ticket. It’s juicy, perfumed, adorned with red cherry and strawberry flavour, and laced with spice/undergrowth. Essentially though it’s just juicy and fragrant and good tuck into. Not too heavy/not too light/accessible form and flavour.

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 07, 2017

Back in stock and even more delicious than before! This is a rockin' deal in Yarra Pinot Noir. The second label of our Direct Import partner Helen's Hill - this estate grown wine delivers more at $15 than many Pinots at twice that price. Juicy, dark red fruits, warm earth, truffle, a lick of exotic spice. It has such a silky texture on the palate from the exceptional growing conditions of the 2015 vintage. This wine is super quaffable on its own but also has great natural acidity that makes it very versatile and food friendly. This wine sold out very fast on our previous Helen's Hill offering...luckily the winery held us back some cases so we can now offer it again.

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 24, 2017

Cherries, wild strawberries, subtle spice with a lovely dusting of earth on the nose. Round ripe fruits greet you immediately on the palate, all ripe red berries. A dusting of oak and spice on a clean and easy finish. Way more expressive than any CA Pinot at the same price point.

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2015 Chateau de L'Ou "Infiniment" Côtes Catalanes Rouge (Elsewhere $35) ($19.99)

94 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Starting out with the 2015s, the 2015 Côtes Catalanes Infiniment de l'Ou comes from vines around the estate and is distinctly different than the two releases from the Agly Valley, offering a ripper, rounded style as well as ample dark fruit, graphite, tobacco and scorched earth. Made from 100% Syrah brought up all in barrel, this big, richly textured 2015 is going to continue drinking beautifully for a decade. (JebDunnuck.com)" (08/2017)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Just bottled three weeks ago, the 2015 IGP Cotes Catalanes Infiniment de l'Ou is the finest vintage of this cuvee to date. Made from 100% Syrah vinified and aged in barrel, its deep black/purple color is followed by a fabulous bouquet of cassis, smoked herbs, graphite and cured meats. Ripe, sexy, unctuous and layered, with moderate acidity and sweet tannin, drink this hedonistic beauty anytime over the coming decade. Even at 30 bucks, it's a killer value. (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 "Infiniment" Côtes Catalanes comes from the marl and alluvial soils. Made from 100% Syrah, it has a powerful nose with copious, rich, ripe fruit and spice box aromas. On the palate it is refined, delivering its power in waves, so as not to overwhelm. Excellent now or for a few years in the cellar. (Keith Mabry, K&L Wine Merchants)

Staff ImageSal Rodriguez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 20, 2017

Impressive, Intense, Focused. For me, this was a shining star at our recent tasting and if you like pleasant, fragrant, mineral driven, Syrah, then this will shine for you as well! This version of the de L'Ou, Rouge adds an amazing depth, and intrigue to the already delicious "regular" version and for just a little more money, this is the one to grab!

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 19, 2017

Some of our best new relationships often come through referrals from other producers with whom we have already long established relationships. Our sparkling wine producer from Limoux, Françoise Antech, has made many great recommendations over the last few years through her association with the Vinifilles, a group of women wine growers that work together to share information, work events together and co-market their wines. Some of these referrals have included Domaine de la Reserve dO and Clos de lAnhel, both of which have been great successes with our staff and customers. WhenFrancoise said, you must try my friend Séverine Bourriers wines fromChâteau de LOu, we listened. I first tasted the wines at a Vinifilles event in Montpellier (the same event at which I met Marie Chauffray of Reserve d'O). There was a food and wine pairing of 2011 Secret des Schistes and a partridge galantine wrapped in cabbage. The cabbage made for a tricky pairing but in my notes, I declared it one of the two best pairing of the night. (The other was the Reserve d'O with a boudin noir (blood pudding)). Each element from the wine to the food ingredients elevated the combination to something quite remarkable. Though this event was a couple of years ago, the wines were always in the back of my mind. When you're establishing a new program in a category like our French Regional, you sometimes need to crawl before you run. Tasting the wines a few more times ove

Blake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 14, 2017

The nose is very approachable, with subtle notes of Raspberry licorice. The Infiniment's palate is dense, yet packed with a perfect silky tannic structure that delivers with a nice subtle oomph. It makes a perfect entry level bottle for people who want a good quality Syrah from France. Great to have with red meat, or even by itself. You will not be disappointed with this bottle.

Staff ImageThomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 12, 2017

I looked at my K&L purchases the other day and no big surprise--it's almost all Syrah. Needless to say, when the L'Ou wines arrived, I was extraordinarily excited. The Infiniment, Velours Noir, and Secret de Schistes are all focused on specific terroirs, each one showcasing a different site and soil type. The Infiniment is 100% Syrah grown entirely on Alluvial Marl, and the wine shows much more accessible fruit than its counterparts. Rich without being syrupy, and aromatic without lacking concentration I was surprised that this was my favorite of the L'Ou Syrahs and better yet, it has the best price of the three. This is the kind of Syrah that I am always looking to buy and comes along so rarely: it has an expression of place, exceptional value, and is downright delicious Syrah.

Staff ImageRyan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 12, 2017

For those who love Syrah or full, rich, but deftly made wines from anywhere need to have a few bottles of this around. Many producers would love to be able to have this kind of depth, concentration, and detail in their flagship $60 Syrah, much less something you can have on the shelf at under $20 (not that you'll find it anywhere else at this price). This is perhaps one of most exciting direct import wines right now at K&L, and it only takes one taste to see why. This is a beauty that will reward a decant now but will be gorgeous in five years and probably drink well for another 10 to 15 after that.

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2009 Coufran, Haut-Médoc ($19.99)

92 points James Suckling: "The quality of the fruit and tannins are very pretty here. Its full-bodied, with round velvety texture and a delicious finish. Very impressive. Drink or hold." (07/2014)

90-92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Firm tannins, but also ripe, sweet fruits, with a fine balance. While the wine is on the light, fresh side, it does have a good, final structure. (RV)" (04/2010)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This Merlot-dominated wine displays a dense ruby/purple color, soft berry fruit intermixed with mocha, and hints of white chocolate, herbs, and spice. It should drink well for up to a decade or more. (RP)" (04/2010)

Jancis Robinson: "Rich dark plum fruit but also meaty and savoury - a wine with attitude. Smooth and pretty dense, just about fresh. Drink 2014-2023. (JH)" (10/2011)

K&L Notes: At the very top of the Haut-Médoc, embedded in a sea of gravel just next to the Gironde River north of St-Estèphe, sits the anomaly of the Left Bank: Château Coufran, the "Pomerol of the Médoc," so called for its high propensity of Merlot vines in a region where Cabernet reigns supreme. While practically all of its Left Bank neighbors are making structured and powerful clarets, Coufran continues to make softer, silkier, classically tailored Right Bank-style wines. Owned by the Miailhe family since 1924, the wine has been prized by those in the know for its early approachability and fantastic value, which is part of the reason it’s been a staple of K&L’s Bordeaux department for decades. Not only does the wine historically drink well at a younger age, it evolves beautifully over a five to ten year period. The 2009 is currently in a gorgeous spot only eight years after the vintage, showing secondary development and complexity beyond the primary fruit of its youth.

Staff ImageHeather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 05, 2018

This is an excellent Bordeaux from one of the top recent vintages, but coming from an under-the-radar winery in the Haut-Medoc. Chateau Coufran tends to use more Merlot in their blend, lending the wine some silky, black-fruited elegance which nicely counters the firmer structure and earthiness of the Cabernet from this region. Truly one of our best bargains for stellar 2009 vintage!

Staff ImageJeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 18, 2017

Chateau Coufran lies just north of St-Estèphe in the village of Saint-Seurin-de-Cadourne. There are 76 hectares of vineyards planted entirely on gravel soils close beside the Gironde River. Atypically for a Left Bank property, the grape varieties planted are almost entirely Merlot (85%), earning Coufran the nickname the Pomerol of the Médoc. I had the good fortune to taste a barrel sample of the 2009 Coufran at the chateau in 2010. The owner, Eric Miailhe, confided at that time that he considered it the finest wine he had ever made. Now, five years after bottling, the wine truly shows the strength of the outstanding 09 vintage very fresh with lively acidity and very fine, but still firm tannins. There is plenty of sweet fruit here with notes of fresh picked blackberry and damson plum. A terrific value from one of the great vintages of the decade.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 18, 2017

We have a few house favorites when it comes to Bordeaux here at K&L, and the 2009 Coufran, Haut-Médoc confirms why we love this property. For the Haut-Medoc, this wine has a huge proportion of Merlot at 85% and just a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon at 15%. In its youth, the wine had a big, ripe, plumy nose, but was still very elegant in the mouth. It reminded me very much of old fashioned Pomerol; medium bodied, pure, racy Merlot without the extraneous sugar and oak. At the price, too much of this wine was probably consumed too young, but the patient will now be rewarded with a great experience at a very small price.

Staff ImageClyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 12, 2015

Old school property making more modern wines these days. Good value.

2015 Fattoria Le Pupille "Saffredi" Maremma Toscana (Pre-Arrival) - -321 available ($79.99)

99 points James Suckling: "I love the currant and rosemary character of this wine. Some sage, too. Complex aromas that draw you in. Full body, extremely tight and chewy with a long and intense finish. The tannins are fantastic - so polished. Focused and beautiful. Mineral undertone with ash and hot stone highlighting the dark fruits. It goes on for minutes. Needs three or four years to come together. But a serious red all the way. *Ranked #9 on Top 100 of 2017*" (08/2017)

97 points Vinous: "The 2015 Saffredi is a total head-turner. Bold and explosive, the 2015 captures all the magic that Le Pupille is capable of. Crème de cassis, lavender, mint, licorice and truffle are some of the notes that give the 2015 is decidedly exotic, racy personality. Even with all of its abundant richness, the 2015 possesses terrific supporting structure and phenomenal balance. In a word: magnificent! I can't wait to see how the 2015 ages. (AG)" (04/2018)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Saffredi is a sultry and velvety wine from the Tuscan Coast. The blend is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot that sees 18 months in new and neutral oak. The textural richness is of the highest caliber, and the bouquet produces a long succession of black fruit, exotic spice and savory tobacco flavors. There's a touch of mocha chocolate and toasted espresso bean as well. The wine delivers great length and power. It promises not only to age but to improve as it spends more years in the cellar. (ML)" (11/2017)

Staff ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 22, 2016

I tasted a barrel sample of this wine last September and I was blown away! Saffredi is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot but grown along the Tuscan coast. The hallmark of the 2015 vintage for me is the sweet fruit purity is totally evident, the fruit just sings, ripe yet focused, complex and really engaging. On the palate the wine is bold, rich yet not fat, it has superb balance and length, the fruit character is so complex yet open at the same time a revelation. The finish is fresh, lifted and just seems to go on forever, a hint of toastiness now but that will age out by the time the wine is bottled and released, a fabulous wine!

2015 Petrolo "Galatrona" Toscana (Pre-Arrival) - -563 available ($79.99)

99 points James Suckling: "Terrific aromas of violets, roses and raspberries with hints of strawberries and brown sugar. Full body. Phenomenal layers of focused fruit and polished velvety tannins. This is the Galatrona that everyone has been waiting for. It's the vintage that shows depth and power yet wonderful finesse and focus. Best ever. Drink from 2023 but already electrifying. *Ranked #2 on Top 100 of 2017*" (08/2017)

97 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2015 Galatrona is another gem from this estate. Made from a single vineyard and 100% Merlot brought up in one-third new French oak, its vibrant purple color is followed by a heavenly bouquet of crème de cassis, black cherries, leafy herbs, crushed rock, and violets. Incredibly pure and finesse-driven on the palate, yet still concentrated and powerful, its building tannin and integrated acidity all point to a very long life." (03/2018)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Galatrona is one of the best Merlots made in Italy (definitely in the top five) and this vintage keeps the banner flying high. The 2015 Galatrona is luscious, soft, soothing and ever-so intense. The wine wraps thickly over the senses and the palate with lasting flavors of dark fruit and spice. Specifically, you get black cherry, pressed blackberry, toasted spice and bitter chocolate or fragrant espresso. The wine shows depth and length, width and soaring heights. It's young now, so put the bottle at the back of your cellar. (ML)" (10/2017)

95 points Vinous: "Ample and voluptuous on the palate, the 2015 Galatrona (Merlot) is terrific. Dark plum, licorice, leather, tobacco, smoke and savory herbs fill out the wines frame effortlessly. At times quite powerful while in other moments more restrained, the 2015 offers a super-appealing push and pull of aromas, flavors and textures that is compelling. The 2015 needs time to be at its best, but it is a terrific example of the current style at Petrolo captured at its very best. (AG)" (01/2018)

Staff ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 10, 2016

I visited Luca Sanjust at his winery Petrolo in September 2015 and got to taste his 100% Merlot Galatrona as it was being racked off the skins--it was its first breath as a wine. I knew immediately that this was a tremendous wine: the aromatic purity, saturated flavors, exceptional length just screamed greatness. Even at such a young stage its palate presence was remarkable, such balance, and as the finish approached it just seemed to lift off your tongue at the back; superb length, yet it was a newborn and needed time. Fast forward to September 2016, I was able to taste at James Sucklings first-ever Tuscan en primeur barrel tasting where I tasted close to 50 Super Tuscans from 2015. The 2015 Petrolo Galatrona didnt disappoint. If youve never had Galatrona before and arent a fan of California styled Merlot, youve not experienced a Merlot like this. The nose, while still evolving, was exceptionally complex, with layers of earth, spice, leather, and bolder berry flavors, but what was most exciting was the floral component: wisps of dried violet and lavender came in at the finish. On the palate the wine was elegant first, so in line, no extra fat; it was sinewy, long, more like a swimmers body, supple, long, yet you can sense the power and direction. The flavors were still nascent, yet the fruit was preparing to burst forward. The finish was highlighted by elegance, restrained power; I could feel the tension of evolution that was preparing for the next stage of develop

2015 Tua Rita "Redigaffi" Toscana (Pre-Arrival) ($239.99)

100 points James Suckling: "This is an extraordinary merlot with such purity and focus. Flowers such as violets and hints of orange peel. It is full-bodied yet incredibly energetic and structured. The finish goes on for minutes. Seamless texture. Fresh yet dense. Contrasty. Best Redigaffi ever. Hard not to drink now but a wine for decades. *Top 100 of 2017*" (08/2017)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "No surprise, Tua Rita delivers yet another unbelievable edition of its legendary Merlot from Coastal Tuscany. The 2015 Redigaffi is a blockbuster, a beautiful and expressive blockbuster at that. This vintage delivers a unique level of intensity and power that is very much linked to the easily ripened fruit obtained in this warm and sunny vintage. Despite that inner bulk and power, the wine reveals an elegant sense of harmony and depth. Etched mineral or graphite notes segue to black fruit, spice, leather, mocha and toasted espresso bean. The wine is structured and firm in terms of mouthfeel. (ML)" (11/2017)

95 points Vinous: "Just bottled a few weeks ago, the 2016 Redigafi is rich, powerful and explosive, with serious depth and volume in all of its dimensions. A host of chocolate, mocha, espresso, licorice and smoke overtones give the wine nuance to match its intense, super-ripe purplish and black-fleshed fruit. (AG)" (04/2018)

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2008 Baron-Fuenté "Grand Millesime" Brut Champagne ($29.99)

Baron-Fuenté is a négociant that owns almost 90 acres of vines and purchases another 90 acres "sur pied," meaning that they pick the grapes. This is an important distinction since many négociants buy "sur lattes," meaning in bottle! The Grand Millésimé is a blend of 45% Chardonnay, 40% Meunier and 15% Pinot Noir that spent more than seven years on the lees.

Staff ImageMorgan Laurie | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 10, 2017

A vintage Champagne for $29.99, from a highly lauded vintage no less?! Yes, you read that right. This wine is drinking excellently now but is also a bottle you could lay down for years to come. It's showing some delicious toasty, creamy qualities on the palate while maintaining mouth-watering acidity and freshness. It has an almost creme fraiche like note on the nose along with freshly pressed apple juice, caramel covered almonds, and butterscotch cheesecake. Just a spectacular showing and a bottle I'd like to see evolve over time. And while I'm waiting, I'll just have to grab a couple of bottles to drink in the meantime.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 05, 2017

This is a very special bottle of vintage Champagne. For many years now, the Baron Fuente Millesime has been one of the greatest values in the entire category. The 2008 is certainly the very best vintage we have had from them.. Even better than the great 1996! Like past vintages, this has great richness and toast from a nice long rest on the lees, and fine power from their great estate vineyards. The great 2008 vintage has added an electric length and profound minerality to this wine that is rare in Champagne at any price, and almost unheard of at this price! Take a case... You won't regret it!

Staff ImageRachel Vogel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 17, 2017

I have been lucky enough to try the few 2008 vintage Champagnes we have in the store, and all have impressed me with their exceptional quality and their ability to cellar. The 40% of Pinot Meunier also makes me love this bottle! I always find PM adds elegant aromatics and suppleness to champagnes which molds well into the high acid of the 2008 vintage. A small bit of Pinot Noir adds extra body and texture while the majority of Chardonnay brings those fresh green apple and citrus notes. The mid palate is long and lean while the black fruit adds weight and texture to the side palate. Elegant and impressive.

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

This Champagne offers richly concentrated flavor and power, with aromas of toasted hazlenut, dried golden apple and sultanas. The palate is bright and dry, with lively flavors of meyer lemon and chalky mineral, but the real surprise is in the luscious finish! Suddenly cocoa and baking spices take the forefront. It is thrilling to become acquainted with the Grand Millesime, and even more thrilling under thirty dollars.

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

Yet another direct import 2008 vintage Champagne for a laughably low price, the Baron Fuente is not only from a great vintage, but also consists of 100% estate grown fruit (for added context, you are likely to pay at least 2.5x as much for a larger grande marque's vintage wine, consisting of large amounts of purchased fruit). Big, bright, golden fruit along with brioche/challah dough nuances combine for a delicious Champagne that should please lots of folks for drinking now, though with a recent disgorgement and at just 9 years young, it should drink well for quite some time.

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 07, 2017

Vintage Champagne can be difficult to come across as it accounts for less than 5% of production, so when you find a vintage bottling this delicious, that makes it all the more special. K&L Champagne buyer Gary Westby introduced me to Baron Fuente and it was a light bulb moment in how complex and interesting vintage Champagnes can be. This bottling is a unique blend of estate fruit (which is rare for a house this size) made of 45% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Meunier, and 15% Pinot Noir. This is a delicious balance and a great value for a vintage Champagne.

Staff ImageSal Rodriguez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 06, 2017

It's not easy to purchase a bottle of vintage Champagne for anywhere near this price! Baron Fuente, a small producer we've been highly focused on for many years, has offered up some of the best values in Champagne-dom. Lots of intensity on the nose, full of baking spice and apple skins. Lovely intensity and wonderfully creamy on the palate. Although it's dry it has a round, medium weight body and presence that is not typical for Brut. The finish has hints of fresh spiced mango. What a tremendous value!

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

I probably don't have to tell you that the '08 vintage is one of the best lately, and I think my favorite for this Champagne ever. It shows a lovely nutty and leesy nose and a rich stone fruit palate - lovely balance and a fantastic wet stone note. Full and rich and balanced with a fantastic crisp finish, it's a credit to its vintage!

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 10, 2016

Baron Fuentes latest vintage release is causing excitement among K&L staffers! It displays the opulent rich ripeness afforded by the warm, dry finish to the growing season, but with a vibrant freshness that animates the wine! Mineral driven with lively citrus and stone fruit flavors, it has classic Champagne balance and structure that I plan on revisiting as many times as possible given its remarkably low price-point!

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 09, 2016

I just tasted a sample bottle of this last night (9/8/2016) and it is magnificent! It is clean and crisp with a long finish and a core of apples, cream and notes. Lemon meringue and nectarine on the finish. This is a SUPER bargain, so don't miss it. One of the BEST vintages since 1996. It is on its way folks, so please be patient! One of the benefits of tasting a preview bottle. It will sell out quickly!

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 24, 2016

Another stupendous value from the magicians at Baron Fuente, this magically little bottle should embarrass most grand marque producers releasing lesser wine for 2 or 3 times the price. The nose has fresh nuts, strong stone fruit and yellow flowers (honeysuckles!). The palate shows exceptional balance with extreme focus revolving around citrus and stone fruits again, but with a freshness that can't go unnoticed. Supremely drinkable, but still taught hinting at wonderful potential in the cellar. Early proof that 2008 was truly the special vintage that was promised.

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Franck Bonville Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($34.99)

91 points Wine Enthusiast: "From the heartland of Chardonnay in Champagne comes this rich, creamy, apple-flavored wine. It has lively acidity, balanced with some sweetness from the dosage. It has weight and a crisp aftertaste. (RV)" (12/2012)

90 points Wine Spectator: "Lightly floral, this creamy crowd-pleasing Champagne shows good balance, with a lively mix of Honeycrisp apple, passion fruit and smoked almond. (AN)" (12/2015)

Jancis Robinson: "100% Chardonnay from Oger, Cramant and Avize. From a 50-ha estate. Olivier Bonville is the third generation to make wine here. Super-clean fresh nose, smells like a health scrub. Vigorous mousse. Crisp edges and a creamy middle, streaked with verbena. More green than lemon, and just slightly sour. Quite weighty and substantial yet with a cutting edge, like prow of a ship. *Good Value* (TC)" (12/2014)

K&L Notes: All Champagne producers should be judged on their entry-level wine, and Olivier's is as good as they get. This is always the fastest non-vintage Champagne to sell out--so get it while we have it! The nose is effusive, with baguette, white flowers, and a nice salinity, while the flavors have a fine balance of white fruit, cream, and precise Avize chalk. Don't miss this. The Underground Wine Letter also rates this wine Outstanding Plus: "This is a terrific Champagne with great balance, flavor, and style, and it is a real value. Pale yellow in color, the wine has a lovely perfume with hints of peach and citrus and faint floral nuances accented by a kiss of vanilla. Creamy and very flavorful, this is a Champagne that is very harmonious showing subtle hints of peach, citrus, and spice. Elegant and long on the finish this is gorgeous to drink now or keep for many years." Our current release has a primary blend from 2014 and 2015 and is dosed at a very low 5g/L.

Staff ImageChristina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 09, 2018

This wine is made from 100% Grand Cru fruit from Avize, Cramant and Oger. The palate is clean and subtly floral, but is fairly robust and has hints of under-ripe tropical fruit, a testament to the warmer vintage. With a dry, soft finish, this is an elegant wine sure to please the most discerning.

Staff ImageJordan Stone | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 08, 2018

Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Champagne for just $ 34.99! Lively and rich with flavors of apples some bready notes with a touch of saline and vanilla. Crisp and clean with persistent bubbles. This is a favorite at my house

Staff ImageRachel Vogel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 06, 2018

The Franck Bonville Blanc de Blanc was the first Champagne I bought on the first night I worked at K&L, and it will always have a special spot in my heart. What makes it so special is the care and quality Olivier Bonville pours into his wines. Based on 2015, the Blanc de Blanc is half reserve wine from all estate fruit. Some time in barrel gives this Chardonnay a creamy, sweet citrus character, like that of a Meyer lemon or pink grapefruit. The chalky soil is not lost in this wine, either. A soft structure of dry white chalk elongates the palate and adds an extra level of complexity. It is a wine that never disappoints.

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 11, 2018

Olivier Bonville carries on the tradition of his grandfather, Franck, producing wines of incredible richness and complexity from his estate vines in the Grand Cru villages of Avize and Mesnil on the picaresque Cote de Blancs. It has the rich flavors of Anjou pear, Meyer lemon, white apricots and a touch of delicate spice. The real magic is in the chalky minerality and zippy acidity that the Cote de Blancs is famous for. When you consider that similar offerings from the Big Houses cost three to four times more, this becomes a must-buy for anyone calling themselves Champagne enthusiasts.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 20, 2017

This is one of K&L's best selling Champagnes for a very good reason. The Bonville family has some of the best terroir imaginable for growing Chardonnay--every acre that they own is super chalky, east-facing Grand Cru on the Cote des Blancs. They have been making their own Champagne here since the 1920s, and growing here for many generations before that. This is their entry level bottling, and what a way to start! It is made of at least half reserve wines, giving it not only the dry, chalky drive that makes this area famous, but also giving the wine toasty, creamy, delicious drinkability. A must-try for any Champagne lover.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 27, 2016

This is basically the non-vintage champagne that everybody wants, everybody needs, and everybody can have! It checks every box. It suits any occasion. It fits nearly any budget. It delivers in every single way. Perfect blanc de blancs nose, vibrant soft white fruit, fresh crisp apples and citrus, slight saline, and that grand cru chalkiness that you can't miss. Lively, pointed and open - it slips from the glass like a slithering snake, just disappears. Where did it go? I don't know. Buy another.

Staff ImageMari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 18, 2016

The Franck Bonville Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs is crisp, refreshing and vibrant with just the perfect balance of green apple and lime on the nose and palate. This cuvee sets itself apart from other Blanc de Blancs with how the Bonville family is able to create a creamy, full-bodied palate in conjunction with the bright and zesty flavor profile. They were able to achieve the harmonious balance between the acidity, the elegance, finesse and balance in this entry level cuvee.

Staff ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 07, 2011

When it comes to Champagne this is probably our all time staff favorite. The fact that it is a direct import and sells for less than half what it would if it went through the same distribution system as the big name brands doesn't hurt either. Fresh and ripe Chardonnay flavors, intense mineral notes and hints of earth leap from this vibrant and full-textured bubbly.

Staff ImageJim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 30, 2011

This is another outstanding, easy to like champagne from Bonville. 100% estate chardonnay from three vintages, this bottle intertwines clean citrus and crisp apple with solid, chalky minerality to create some seriously great bubbles. Refreshing alone on a warm summer day or paired with some of your favorite seafood appetizers, this champagne is sure to please.

Staff ImageJason Marwedel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 26, 2010

Made from all estate fruit from Bonvilles Grand Cru vineyards in Avize, this champagne displays ripe citrus and apple fruit on the nose, followed by a rich mid palate and a snappy mineral finish. The Bonville Prestige has everything I am looking for in a Blanc De Blancs at an extremely reasonable price!

Staff ImageIllya Haase | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 29, 2010

For me, one of the best finds at our recent Champagne tasting! It's off-dry, with beautiful fruit and a nice toasty nose. All this from third generation winemaking family whose holdings consist of 15 hectares of Grand Cru vineyards. The winemaking here is all about elegance and finesse and allowing the terroir to speak for itself and it shows.

Staff ImageJeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 09, 2010

This may be the best deal in Champagne that K&L offers. 100% Chardonnay. 100% Grand Cru fruit from some of the best vineyards in the Côte des Blancs. Don't write this wine off because you didn't pay more for it! This is an outstanding Champagne at an unbelievable price. It will delight you with its rich, creamy texture. Ripe pear and chalky mineral notes give way to toasty, fresh baked apple tart on the mid palate. The wine finishes with a crisp, zingy citrus note of Meyer lemon. Enjoy this wine alone, as a refreshing aperitif or together with chilled, cracked Dungeness crab.

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 02, 2009

What a great producer Franck Bonville is! This excellence shows in the Brut Selection Blanc de Blanc. When one opens the bottle and pours some of this Champagne into a glass, beautiful aromas are the first teasing impression. The Champagne is dry and crisp with clean delicate flavors. Great alone or with lighter foods.

Staff ImageJacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 20, 2009

If there is such a thing as a Champagne for everyday use, well this has to be it. Not because of the price, but for its quality and poise. Very crispy, citrousy end elegant. Perfect for hors d'oeuvres, seafood, egg dishes, guacamole, goat cheeses, and "fantastic" with caviar!

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 06, 2009

Very easy to like - soft textured, citrus and cream flavors. Plump, round and delicious. For someone who usually goes for a bit lean and austere, I'm always surprised I like this as much as I do. It's just delicious stuff.

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 27, 2008

There is simply no better Blanc de Blanc in the store at this price! Classic Avize minerality with crisp apple-y fruit, lemons, limes and wet stone aspects. A wonderful Chamnpagne with caviar or baked Brie. Too good of a value to pass up. We can also go for months without having this sparkler in stock. Also available in 375ml and magnum. It also comes in a gorgeous 2002 vintage as well!

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2008 Launois "Spécial Club" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (750ml - ships as 1.5L) ($59.99)

Without a doubt, this is one of the best Champagnes we carry at any price. Made from two plots of 65-year-old vines, one in the grand cru of Oger called 'Chenys' and one in Mesnil called 'Derriere Maison,' this is among the ultimate expressions of Chardonnay that we have to offer. The wine shows the paradox of 2008 perfectly with great ripeness and scintillating acidity. Add in the richness and complexity from old massal-selected, grand cru, mid-slope sites and you have a must-buy for any Champagne lover! Because of the shape of this 750ml bottle, it must ship in a magnum box. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer)

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 05, 2017

This is one of the most profoundly great young vintage Champagnes that I have ever had, and I bought a case for my own cellar. The 2008 vintage is a historic one, and either the greatest or tied for the honor in this young century. The Champagne that Bernard Launois was able to make from his two oldest Mesnil plots in this great year promises to be equally historic. The only problem is that it tastes far to good now... And I know that it will do nothing but improve. I will put this case at the bottom of a tall corner stack in my cellar! This Champagne has not only the richness of a 2002, but also the laser minerality of the best 2004's. It has it all!

Staff ImageJeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 28, 2017

I first purchased Champagne Launois Special Club bottling with the 2000 vintage at the urging of our Champagne buyer, Gary Westby. I was so impressed I made sure to buy at least a few bottles of every subsequent release the 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006. The only regret I ever had was not buying more. Now we have in stock the 2008 Launois Special Club, and it is unquestionably the finest vintage of this wine I have tasted to date. It combines exceptional richness with superb focus and intensity. Very precise with admirable persistence. This is showing remarkably well now but will really shine with a few years in the cellar.

Staff ImageCindy Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 28, 2017

Looking back, my last Launois Champagne review was for the 2005 Special Club. Now we are on to the 2008 and they are very, very different wines! The 2008 is a classic example of Mesnil's bright, chalky terroir and that electric backbone of minerality. Letting it warm up just a bit provides hints of future enjoyment with lemon curd and graham cracker crumbs. A prime candidate for ageing, you will wish you'd bought twice as much!

Staff ImageMuriel Sarik | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 28, 2017

This is a perfect champagne! I tasted this with our closing staff last week and we were wowed! We were all looking at each other then our glass then each other. I don't know if we were in awe or just pure bliss.This is a must have for champagne lovers......

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 28, 2017

This is one of those special bottles that has a je ne sais quoi" that is difficult to put into words. You know that a Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs from the best parcels of Launois old Chardonnay vines on the Cotes de Blancs in Mesnil is going to be special. Indeed, this has beautiful, rich flavors of meyer lemons, fresh nectarine and acacia blossom, with subtle hints of minerals, nutmeg, coriander and walnuts, all perfectly blended and balanced, and amplified by the stellar 2008 acidity. The juicy flavors stick to your palate for over a minute, and leave you shaking your head in disbelief at just how good a Champagne can be. Tasting this could almost be described as an epiphany moment for me, and I am certain it will only improve with age.

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 27, 2017

I was extremely fortunate enough to go through a tasting of the Launois Quartz with some fellow staff members the other day, which markedly demonstrated the undeniable benefits of letting that Champagne sit for a year before popping it open. I have been told to follow the same principle with this Launois and if the extra aging time improves it, I can only image that this will be one of my favorite wines of all time. It is phenomenal now, but because it contains that backbone of acidity, it can age for decades and will unbelievably only get better. Like Gary Westby, I am going to have to hide it to keep from opening it tomorrow, but I know it will be so worth it when I do.

Staff ImageLilia McIntosh | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 27, 2017

Have you ever tasted wine that is so perfect you would not take or add anything extra to it?! Well, this is what 2008 Launois Special Club is! If I had to choose one word to describe it that would be "pristine". Its pure and fresh acidity marries precisely with roundness and richness of the fruit, creating absolutely perfect (I am not afraid to use this word, because that's what it is!) Champagne. Hats off to Launois for making such beauty and to Gary Westby for finding it and bringing it to us!

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 27, 2017

This top tier champagne from our beloved Launois is one of my very favorites of the last 10 years. While the 2006 had a quite rich and round character, the 2008 is more structured, with higher acidity and brightness. As per usual, the textbook Launois creaminess is present, with more chalk-driven minerality than previous, citrus fruit, green apple, white floral notes, and background nuts and toffee. This bottling should age extremely gracefully over the next decade plus. My previous favorite was the 2004, with its laser-like acidity, which I bought in the magnum. I may actually like this one a little bit more for its added richness! Please, please, please, ship those mags soon, Severine!

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2007 Alexandre Le Brun "Cuvée Fascination" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($69.99)

Alexandre le Brun is a young, ninth generation winemaker in Monthelon in the Ardenne (Marne) region of Champagne. His family established themselves in Champagne in 1750 and their cellars were built in 1822. We were very pleased to meet him and are very excited to carry his wines.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 11, 2018

The only problem with this great Champagne is the production- it is only one press load so we can't get very much! This Champagne is all Chardonnay from two long rows in the Monts Aigu parcel of the Grand Cru of Chouilly- right across a small path from Cramant. If you love the high class toast of Taittingers Comte de Champagne, this is a bottling that you dont want to miss. The Chardonnay in this bottle has top notch concentration and texture as well as a complex array of flavors; baguette, succulent nectarine and bright chalk. This wine is labeled as Extra Brut since the dosage is very low, but while it is quite dry, it is not overly austere. It has one of the longest finishes of any type of wine that we carry- truly top notch!

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

The perfect celebratory Champagne! A special 2007 release from staff favorite producer Alexandre Le Brun, the "Cuvée Fascination" Blanc de Blancs is an investment well worth it, especially as a gift for more sophisticated palates. Sharp nectarine fruit and chalky minerality sing together through the palate, and the super low dosage makes for a dry yet lingering finish. This is high-quality Chardonnay, taut and linear but still approachable, with electric acid and biscuity leesiness. Were down to just a few bottles, so get it while you can.

Staff ImageLilia McIntosh | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 03, 2016

One of the loveliest Champagnes I have tasted recently. Precise and exquisite. Blanc de Blancs is my favorite type of Champagne and "Fascination" has everything I love: fresh and bright aromas with hints of brioche and white flowers. Dry, very focused palate with deep, rich flavors of citrus fruit and little bit of toastiness, beautifully balanced with a long mineral finish.

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 21, 2016

This 100% Chardonnay is organic and has an excellent, clean character. There is some richness mid-palate for complexity and elegance. One of my favorite Champagnes at present!

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 07, 2016

Young Alexandre Le Brun has to be one of the most exciting winemakers in Champagne right now. His wines have wowed staff and customers alike here at K&L. This wine is hand selected from just two individual rows of Grand Cru Chardonnay vines. The fruit is pressed in one single press load and received 8 long years resting on the lees. As with all of Le Brun's wines there is a knife edge balance of power and delicacy. The textures are fine, the clarity and precision of this wine is simply breathtaking. Compared to some big house, advertising driven, "luxury product" Champagnes the quality here is embarrassingly good for the modest price point.

2010 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan 6-Pack in OWC (Pre-Arrival) - 2 available ($1,075.00)

98 points James Suckling: "Great aromas of crushed blackberries with flowers and stones that follow through to a full body, with super silky tannins and a long, long finish. It fills your mouth with beautiful fruit and velvety tannins yet shows tension and form. This lasts for minutes on the palate. Structured and superb. Don't touch until 2020." (11/2013)

98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Deep plum/purple, Haut-Baillys 2010 required some coaxing to appreciate its subtle notes of barbecue smoke, lead pencil shavings and creme de cassis as well as its touches of pomegranate and forest floor. The oak is pushed far into the background and the tannins are extremely silky, but the intensity of the wine is profound and the finish lingers for close to 55 seconds. This wine is ripe yet delicate, powerful yet stylish, and essentially resembles a remarkable fashion design from a house of haute couture. This wine needs a good 7-8 years of bottle age and should keep for 40-50+ years. This quintessential example of pure finesse, elegance, harmony and delicacy is combined into a wine that lingers intensely with near-perfect poise and character. Haut-Baillys ethereal character is virtually unmatched in Bordeaux. Normally, general manager/winemaker Veronique Sanders fashions a blend that approximates 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc. That was the exact blend of her 2009, and I doubt the 2010 deviates significantly from that." (02/2013)

K&L Notes: PLEASE NOTE: This product is 6 bottles in its Original Wooden Case (OWC), sold only as a 6-bottle case to protect ideal provenance. If the wines must be shipped, they will be sent in pulp shippers to protect the bottles, with the wood case shipped separately. Will call or local delivery orders can be handled as intact OWCs. Please detail any special handling requests at checkout online, or call us with specific instructions.

2009 Certan de May, Pomerol 12-Pack in OWC (Pre-Arrival) - 2 available ($1,140.00)

94-96 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel sample. Wonderful concentration here, the wine has the most powerful wood spice, ripe and mineral tannins. It is impressive in every way, showing the total richness of the vintage." (08/2010)

95 points Vinous: "Deep purple-ruby. Knockout nose of black cherry, minerals, coffee liqueur and violet offers uncommon depth and complexity. The flavors of blackberry, black plum and minerals are complicated by a note of iron and given wonderful clarity and cut by harmonious, vibrant acidity. Finishes very long and pure, with distinctive balsamic nuances. There's lots of sweet fleshy fruit here but the wine comes across as amazingly refined and graceful thanks to its vibrant acidity, which really extends the flavors at the back. The best young Certan of the last 12 or 15 years. (ST)" (07/2012)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A bruising, black/purple-hued, full-bodied wine, the 2009 Certan de May displays notes of charcuterie, smoked game, herbs, black truffles, roasted meats, cassis and black cherries. This backward, robustly-styled Pomerol is loaded with tannin as well as extract. Give this full, powerful 2009 a decade of cellaring and drink it over the following 30+ years. (RP) 93+" (02/2012)

K&L Notes: This product is 12 bottles in its Original Wooden Case (OWC), sold only as a 12-bottle case to protect ideal provenance. If the wines must be shipped, they will be sent in pulp shippers to protect the bottles, with the wood case shipped separately. Will Call or Local Delivery orders can be handled as intact OWCs. Please detail any special handling requests at checkout online, or call us with specific instructions.

2009 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac 6-pack in OWC (Pre-Arrival) - 3 available ($1,699.99)

100 points Jeb Dunnuck: "A wine Ive been lucky enough to have numerous times since release, the 2009 Pontet Canet is one of those magical efforts that wine lovers encounter far too infrequently. From one of the greatest vintages for the region ever, this deep, saturated purple-colored effort offers an incredible bouquet of crème de cassis, blackcurrants, lead pencil shavings, damp earth, and graphite. This gives way to a full-bodied, powerful Pauillac that carries a massive amount of sweet fruit yet stays light and beautifully balanced on the palate. With ripe, sweet tannin, an expansive texture, and awesome mid-palate depth, as well as incredible purity, freshness, and delineation, its as good as wine gets and can be enjoyed anytime over the coming 4-5 decades. Hats off to proprietor Alfred Tesseron and the team at Pontet Canet!" (02/2018)

99 points Wine Enthusiast: "98-100 Barrel sample. A superb wine, with the purest fruit, great freshness and ripeness. It is certainly structured with dry tannins, but the blackcurrant freshness is all there. The wine has a great limpid, flowing feel, but also power. (RV)" (08/2010)

98 points James Suckling: "Stunning aromas of fresh flowers, with blueberries, blackberries and currants that follow through to a full body, with super balance and finesse. The tannins are super polished. Such class here. Best ever from here. From biodynamically grown grapes. Try in 2018." (03/2012)

98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Tasted blind as a vintage comparison at the Valandraud vertical, the 2009 Pontet-Canet is a wine that I have tasted several times throughout the year. Here, it is clearly bestowed a very powerful and intense bouquet with raspberry jam, boysenberry, graphite and cold, wet limestone aromas - very well defined and focused, the oak seamlessly integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, crisp acidity, in a funny way more like a 2010 towards the finish thanks to its structure. It still feels quite backward and with much more to give, a sense of coiled up energy conveyed upon the extremely persistent finish. It remains a deeply impressive Pauillac with decades ahead of it. Tasted December 2016. (NM)" (02/2017)

96 points Wine Spectator: "This is amazingly expressive now considering how huge it is, with stunning espresso and warm fig confiture aromas followed by lush layer after layer of blackberry paste, cassis and plum sauce. A terrific loam underpinning strides in on the finish, which is weighty but sports serious cut. Equal parts fruit and earth. (JM)" (03/2012)

96 points Vinous: "Bright, full ruby. Pure, vibrant aromas of cassis, blackberry, blueberry, licorice, graphite and leather. Like liquid velvet on entry, then energetic and sharply delineated in the mid-palate, with penetrating minerality intensifying the pristine dark berry flavors. Most impressive today on the extremely long, perfumed finish, which shows suave, noble tannins and a magically light touch for such an intense wine. This wine is remarkably tastable today but it's also built for 30+ years of aging. (ST)" (07/2012)

K&L Notes: PLEASE NOTE: This product is 6 bottles in its Original Wooden Case (OWC), sold only as a 6-bottle case to protect ideal provenance. If the wines must be shipped, they will be sent in styrofoam to protect the bottles, with the wood case shipped separately. Will call or local delivery orders can be handled as intact OWCs. Please detail any special handling requests at checkout online, or call us with specific instructions. Robert Parker's initial 100-point review after the wine's release: "An amazing wine in every sense, this classic, full-bodied Pauillac is the quintessential Pontet Canet from proprietor Alfred Tesseron, who continues to reduce yields and farms his vineyards biodynamically a rarity in Bordeaux. Black as a moonless night, the 2009 Pontet Canet offers up notes of incense, graphite, smoke, licorice, creme de cassis and blackberries. A wine of irrefutable purity, laser-like precision, colossal weight and richness, and sensational freshness, this is a tour de force in winemaking that is capable of lasting 50 or more years. The tannins are elevated, but they are sweet and beautifully integrated as are the acidity, wood and alcohol (which must be in excess of 14%). This vineyard, which is situated on the high plateau of Pauillac adjacent to Mouton Rothschild, appears to have done everything perfectly in 2009. This cuvee should shut down in the cellar and re-open in a decade or more. Anticipated maturity: 2025-2075." (2/2012)

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2010 La Rioja Alta "Viña Alberdi" Reserva Rioja ($19.99)

95 points James Suckling: "Ripe and intense aromas of strawberries and blackberries with hints of black ink. Savory notes, too. Full-bodied, chewy and focused with linear fruit and character. Very finely crafted. Drink or hold." (12/2016)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Viña Alberdi is a Tempranillo blend from different vineyards from what they consider an extraordinary vintage. This wine is matured in American oak barrels built by their own coopers, the first year in new barrels and the second one in third-year barrels with four manual rackings. This is the younger of their wines, with even some red berry aromas and spicy oak, quite harmonious. The palate is lively, balanced and polished, with tasty flavors and bright acidity. Delicious. (LG)" (08/2016)

Wine & Spirits: "A rich vintage of Viña Alberdi, this packs a lot of blackberry and black cherry flavor into its long, juicy finish. The wine is warm and gamey, and a little hard edged with bitter oak, but it should stand well with food, especially lamb sausages." (12/2017)

K&L Notes: Founded in 1890, La Rioja Alta is one of the most experienced and universally respected wineries in Rioja. Viña Alberdi is La Rioja Alta's juiciest, most approachable Rioja to drink on the younger side. That said, it still is one of the standard bearers of great quality, affordable, traditional Rioja, aged for two full years in barrels produced on site by the company's own coopers. Based on 100% Tempranillo, this is always quite tasty, but in a vintage as strong as 2010, it elevates itself to top value category.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 28, 2017

Upon first whiff, the 2010 Viña Alberdi is spicy, with the cedary oak notes nearly stealing the show. There are of course baking spices and pretty fruits as well, which both become more evident on the palate, where they combine with the oak for a nicely balanced, "bien clasico" expression of Rioja. This level of quality and traditional craftsmanship at under $20 makes this a must in your regular rotation!

Staff ImageJoe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 18, 2017

The 2010 vintage in Rioja was an exceptional one, and this Viña Alberdi Reserva is a great expression of the respective year. Comprised of 100% Tempranillo, this wine is aged for 2 years in American Oak barrel. The first year of aging is in new oak and the second year is in older aged barrels. The wine was manually racked four times by the light of a candle. Ripe red fruit aromas intermingle with notes of vanilla, dill and seasoned leather. Medium body, with silky tannins on the palate. Juicy ripe cherry, spiced plum, and tomato jam qualities reveal themselves on the finish. This wine is a quintessentially approachable Rioja. A fantastic choice to accompany various pasta dishes and meat-based paellas

Staff ImageAndrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 18, 2017

I tasted this bottle after it had been opened for our staff for 2 days (the good stuff always seems to get opened on my weekends...). It is still tasting great. The lovely nose is full of cedar box and deep dark blackberries. There is a strong mineral component to the lithe body. Somewhat unusual for being 100% Tempranillo, this is a perfect wine to explore the classic markers of the famous Spanish grape for those who wish to study. At under $20 bucks, its the perfect wine to enjoy any day you need a great bottle of red without fail.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 17, 2017

If you like medium bodied, earthy reds that go with food, this is a wine to buy a case of. Last night, Cinnamon and I had the Vina Alberdi from La Rioja Alta with a winter beef stew that I made. It was a stunning wine and a great combination. The savory dark Tempranillo fruit had just the right amount of rose like aroma to contrast its frame of cake like American oak and plenty of good acid to cut the rich stew. We found the 750ml size a bit small for something so easy to drink!

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 15, 2016

Pours a beautiful deep brick red color, and offers dense aromas of raspberries, ripe strawberries, and aged leather with a hint of salinity. On the palate, robust but fully integrated and silky tannins combine with a vibrant acidity for overall outstanding structure, underlined by the slight influence of vanilla and spice notes from the oak. A powerful and well-balanced Rioja from an outstanding vintage.

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2008 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Rioja ($29.99)

95 points Decanter: "The best classic style of Grenache and Tempranillo pulling together joyful fruit expression and serious depth. In the mouth it is amazingly complex and so unique. A benchmark Rioja blend. SJE: A rich, sweet and savoury Reserva style with all the red cherries and a strong Grenache influence. It is somewhat old-fashioned, in a good way, with plentiful integrated oak and a fine rasp of tannin. PM: This has a wonderful oxidative style, giving it a superb savoury nose of leather. It is a perfect combination of mellowness versus vigour, and at the same time exudes great finesse." (12/2016)

94 points James Suckling: "Aromatic nose of dried strawberries and flowers follows through to a full body, soft and velvety tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Opulent and delicious yet refined." (12/2016)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Vintages for Viña Ardanza seem to be going fast. It seems like yesterday that the 2001 was released and now the 2008 Viña Ardanza is already here. This is the first vintage when they have been able to use the fruit from their new Garnacha vineyards in the village of Tudelilla (Rioja Baja), La Pedriza, which represents 20% of the blend complementing the majority of Tempranillo. The wine was put in barrel in March 2009, separately; the Tempranillo was in four-year-old barrels for 36 months with six rackings, and the Garnacha in second and third use barrels for 30 months with five rackings. Vintages might go fast, but the wine does not feel too young, which was my fear. There are notes of stewed meat, cured leather, cloves, other spices and an overall balsamic character. The palate feels solid, consistent, nicely built, with abundant tannins and good balancing acidity. This should stand up to food and be able to develop in bottle. No less than 600,000 bottles are produced. I tasted from a bottle from March 2013. (LG)" (08/2016)

Jancis Robinson: "80% Tempranillo, 20% GarnachaMushroom, farmyard, milk chocolate and soft red berries. Ever-reliable, with its expert balance of rounded tannin and fresh acid. Lovely liquorice notes to finish. 17+/20 points (RH)" (10/2017)

K&L Notes: La Rioja Alta's Viña Ardanza has been our most popular Rioja for several years. It is no wonder, as this is the gold standard for traditional bodegas: a winery that ages their wines the old fashioned way, meaning three years in barrel with two rackings a year, followed by three years in bottle. According to the winery, the blend is "80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha. The Tempranillo grapes come from 30-year-old vines planted in our Viña Ardanza vineyards in Fuenmayor and Cenicero. The Garnacha grapes come from old, goblet-pruned vines planted at an altitude of 600 m above sea level in Tudelilla (Rioja Baja), in plots adjacent to our Finca La Pedriza estate."

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 05, 2017

Its hard not to gush about any release from favorite producer La Rioja Alta, but the 2008 "Viña Ardanza" Reserva is especially gorgeous. Cherry fruit, reminiscent of the most classic Tempranillo, shines from the glass immediately, with hints of smoke and heady spice followed by leather notes. Theres lifted acid indicative of the colder vintage and brighter-than-expected red fruit, but this still drinks with all the deeper, old world elegance of serious Rioja. Its both focused and luxurious in texture, and will age beautifully. Perfect for the holidays and well beyond.

Staff ImageAndrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 28, 2017

There is a wonderful freshness to the 2008. The nose is full of ripe cherries, pungent herbs, a little tobacco and spice, but most of all, a clean bright fresh scent. It's almost floral, but I can't place what flowers it would be. There is a great balance of acidity on the palate. It meshes perfectly with the toasty American Oak and notes of baker's chocolate. The body is full, but silky smooth. The tannins are very refined. I'm pleased to drink this bottle now and put a few in the cellar for future aging. A splendid way to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Vina Ardanza!

Staff ImageJoe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 23, 2017

This bottling of Viña Ardanza marks the first vintage where the Garnacha (20%) was sourced from the La Pedriza vineyard in Rioja Baja. The remaining majority of the blend is composed of Tempranillo (80%) sourced from their 30-year-old La Cuesta and Montecillo vineyards. An expressive nose of dark and red cherries, plum, and boysenberry; supplemented with notes of vanilla, clove, leather, and tangerine. The palate possesses well-integrated oak, elevated acidity, and silky tannins. Also has a marked freshness for being almost 10 years old. Dried cherries and mixed berries move into tertiary notes of earth, leather, and a noted vanilla and spice characteristic. An age-worthy Rioja that is showing quite nicely at the moment, but will only get better as time goes on. Can easily go for another 10-20 years in the cellar. All this for under $30? Done!

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 08, 2017

One of the new Spanish releases I look most forward to tasting every year is La Rioja Alta's Vina Ardanza. The 2008, celebrating the 75th anniversary of this iconic bottling, is absolutely delicious. In this colder vintage, the red fruit not only seems to have more cut than usual, but more intensity as well. Focused and refined, this bottling is the first featuring Garnacha from La Rioja Alta's Pedriza vineyard, where vines are planted in a bed of pure stones - there is no visible topsoil here. As usual, when this wine is on, we are truly hard pressed to think of a more delicious - or more ageworthy - red in the store for under $50.

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2014 Mas Doix "Salanques" Priorat ($39.99)

98 points Decanter: "65% Garnacha, 25% Cariñena, 10% Syrah. Tasting notes: Intense, mineral nose with vivacious black cherry, wild thyme and black pepper. Dense, concentrated, lively, fruity palate of black cherries with a perfumed finish. The high alcohol is well integrated." (05/2017)

92 points Wine & Spirits: "Mostly old-vine garnacha and cariñena, this blend includes ten percent syrah off younger vines, all grown around Poboleda. Its a youthful wine, wild in black-cherry and gooseberry flavors, spices and herbs. It feels firm, yet theres enough room for a lovely acidity to make its way through, refreshing the palate. Tight and powerful right now, it needs beef tamales." (10/2017)

Jancis Robinson: "25% old Carignan, 65% Garnacha, 10% Syrah. Bright crimson. Very smart, proper, complex wine. Lovely completeness great combination of ripeness and definition. A licking-llicorella sensation. Very vibrant. 17/20 Points (JR)" (09/2017)

Chantel Carroll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 01, 2017

Yes, it is true what Joe said in the earlier review of this wine. I was impressed - very impressed. There is something so special about the Priorat region, truly an area that expresses great terroir. You get generous fruit combined with unique minerality from the soils. On the nose I got ripe black cherry, plum, black pepper and licorice. On the palate concentrated lush black and red fruits, dried flowers and a balance of minerality that only Priorat offers.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 28, 2017

This is Priorat!! My colleague Chantel and I tasted the 2014 Mas Doix Salanques earlier today and were both impressed - very impressed. While we come to expect rich fruit and structured tannins in Priorat at this price, what made both of us take notice was the extraordinary energy and freshness of the wine, combined with a tactile feel of minerals. While I don't go around licking Llicorella (Catalan dialect for slate) this wine has the feel of a richly fruited Mediterranean red with a tight mineral core. I love it because it's so generous and delicious now, with loads of lively black cherry and raspberry flavors and sweet violet florals lingering on the palate as well. A phenomenal Priorat.