K&L Wine Merchants - Header

New Arrival and Back in Stock Highlights - February 20th, 2018 - 02/20/2018 - Preferred Customer Alerts

Whether it is a new allocation or old favorite, below you will find our most recent additions to the diverse selection at K&L Wine Merchants. We receive new opportunities weekly from direct imports to local distributors to carefully inspected back-vintage collections - you'll find the best of our new discoveries below.

Vintage Item Name Score Qty Retail Link
2016 Amalaya Malbec Salta 90 >100 $10.99 View
2015 Jean-Michel Dupre "1935" Morgon 94 >100 $14.99 View
2016 Luck Rock Wine Co. "County Cuvee" Pinot Noir >100 $16.99 View
2015 Mas Karolina Côtes du Roussillon Villages 91 >60 $16.99 View
2016 Poggiarellino Rosso di Montalcino >60 $16.99 View
2016 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre 90 >60 $17.99 View
2016 Fratelli Barale Langhe Nebbiolo >60 $17.99 View
2015 La Fortuna Rosso di Montalcino >60 $17.99 View
2015 Les Frères Perroud "Amethyste" Brouilly 91 >100 $17.99 View
2015 Fèlsina Chianti Classico 94 >60 $19.99 View
2016 Jean Reverdy "La Reine Blanche" Sancerre 91 >60 $19.99 View
2014 La Chablisienne Chablis 1er Cru "Vaillons" 97 >100 $24.99 View
2013 Fratelli Barale Barolo >48 $29.99 View
2012 Poggiarellino Brunello di Montalcino 93 >48 $29.99 View
2008 A.D. Coutelas Vintage Brut Champagne 91 >48 $34.99 View
2012 La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino 93 >48 $34.99 View
2013 Fratelli Barale "Castellero" Barolo 93 >48 $39.99 View
2015 Domaine Paul Jaboulet Aine "Domaine de Thalabert" Crozes-Hermitage (Pre-Arrival) 97 >100 $44.99 View
2015 Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 94 >48 $44.99 View
2015 Ornellaia "Le Serre Nuove" Bolgheri 94 >36 $59.99 View
2016 Domaine de Cristia Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes (Pre-Arrival) 99 >36 $79.99 View
1997 Highland Park 20 "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) >36 $199.99 View

2016 Amalaya Malbec Salta ($10.99)

90 points Decanter: "This wonderful label has a knack of translating the breathless altitude, rugged landscape and fierce sun of the Calchaquí Valley into intense yet balanced wines. Tons of roasted dark fruit, with hints of coffee and chocolate. Intense, grounded and long. Drink 2018-2023. (PR)" (01/2018)

90 points Wine Spectator: "A creamy and lush-tasting red, with vibrant crushed red fruit flavors. The peppery finish has good cut and length, showing plenty of juiciness. Drink now through 2020. (KM)" (12/2017)

K&L Notes: Amalaya is another bottling from Colome, the Salta project which put this parched, high-altitude region on the map for the quality of its Malbec and Torrontes. Where as the Colome-branded bottlings are single-grape varieties, Amalaya is a Malbec blend, historically blending in a tiny percentage of Tannat. Soils in these high-lying vineyards are often times calcareous and granitic, which lends a sense of minerality seldom seen in a sub-$12 wine from anywhere, let alone from a grape known for the fruitiness and generosity of its wines. Terrific value, year in and year out.

Staff ImageIvan Diaz | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 01, 2018

This Malbec from Salta, the highest-elevation wine growing region in the world, is a noted departure from its cousins from Mendoza. From the rugged, parched foothills of the Andes comes a medium-bodied, vividly fruited bottling with a touch of Tannat lending a bit more backbone. Great black fruits, cocoa, minerality, bright acidity, and a hint of smokiness make for one of the best red wine values in the store.

Chantel Carroll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 17, 2018

It's so great to find a value wine with so much complexity. This wine has such beautiful ripe fruit layered upon savory elements and a streak of minerality. I suppose that comes from growing at a high elevation. The tannins are silky and well integrated, with balanced acidity. The finish is long lasting, with fresh ripe blueberries and a hint of smokieness.

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 14, 2018

Add this to your list of unfathomable values in everyday wine. This shows silky smooth, dark fruit with a hint of smoke and graphite. The tannins are supple and plush with a great balancing acidity. Take advantage while it lasts!

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 14, 2018

It is not everyday that I am lucky enough to taste a real terroir wine from Argentina. It is far rarer for it to come at such a value price. The Amalaya Malbec comes from staggeringly high altitude vineyards, and that location shows through beautifully in the bottle. Not only does it have the full bodied, spicy, dark fruit character that makes Argentinian malbec so popular with our customers, it also has minerality and depth that are almost never found at this price range. This exciting bottle has surprising complexity and lift to balance its rich power. A must try for any Malbec fan!

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 14, 2018

This wine is ready to unseat all of K&L's traditional best buy Malbecs, any regular in store customers will known which ones I am talking about. This is more than just a simple everyday red. There is depth of flavor here; dark fruits, a subtle savory note, a touch of that Malbec spice/earth all backed by rounded easy tannins. This is a great everyday red.

Staff ImageJoe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 13, 2018

I had the pleasure of tasting this Malbec at our staff tasting today. A dark horse winner for me, as the intensity of flavors and overall balance of the wine is nicely juxtaposed with a price point of under $12. Aromas of dark and blue fruit compliment a bouquet of mocha and violets. On the palate, this wine is fresh and bright, with flavors of dark berries, blueberry, espresso powder, vanilla, and bay leaf. A great option for dinner parties or as a weekday wine selection

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 13, 2018

Our staff just tasting this little gem today and it is both classical and elegant. Classical in that it has that rich, quite extracted, deep red fruit that you expect from Argentinian Malbec and yet, there are some savory notes and a fairly good dose of minerality and spice on the finish. This rounds out the character better than most and at this price, it is an unexpected treat.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 06, 2018

Every now and then, I come across wines that are not merely tasty, well made, or solid values, but are consistently best in class. Given its back-to-back showing in 2015 and 2016, I'm tempted to place Amalaya in this category. We have spread the word on both the Torrontes and Malbec blends for two consecutive vintages, and I can tell by the enthusiastic hand-selling of my colleagues, as well as your orders/re-orders, that the message has been sent and received! The 2016 Amalaya Malbec has dark fruit, showing a savory and mineral quality, along with a balanced, slightly smoky aspect. The savoriness of this wine seems to be a stylistic hallmark. While we have plenty of year to go, I'm tempted to place Amalaya among our top red wine values going for those who like a medium to full-bodied wine with plenty of fruit, but not at the expense of structure or character.

Staff Image

2015 Jean-Michel Dupre "1935" Morgon ($14.99)

94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Planted in 1935, this single vineyard wine is rich and structured. At this stage, it is dominated by firm tannins as much as by the perfumed juicy black fruits. As the wine softens with age, this generous fruitiness will comet through to give a deliciously ripe wine. Drink from 2019. *Cellar Selection* (RV)" (12/2016)

92 points Vinous: "Deep ruby. Expressive aromas of red fruit liqueur, allspice and minerals develop a sexy floral nuance in the glass. Sappy, appealingly sweet and precise, offering intense raspberry and boysenberry flavors that tighten up slowly on the back half. Deftly blends power and finesse and finishes very long, smooth and sappy, displaying lingering florality and a hint of spicecake. (JR)" (01/2017)

91 points John Gilman: "As I have noted in the past, the Morgon 'Vignes de 1935' bottling from Jean-Michel Dupré hails from the lieu à dit of Grand Cras at the base of the Côte du Py. These old vines celebrated their eightieth anniversary in 2015 and offer up a eally superb bouquet of red and black cherries, dark soil tones, a touch of cola, wood-smoke, fresh thyme and just a touch of balsam bough in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, ripe and gently chewy, with a superb core, fine focus and grip, moderate tannins and very good length and grip on the quite pure, albeit youthful finish. Like many of the most successful 2015s, this has a bit of tannin to resolve, but is focused and shows only a whisper of sur maturité. I suspect this will have a gently roasted personality at full maturity, but it is fine juice in need of just a bit more bottle age to blossom. 2018-2040. 91+" (03/2016)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Morgon Vignes de 1935, aged for 6 months in concrete vats, has an uncomplicated raspberry, crushed strawberry and slightly tertiary bouquet. The palate is medium-bodied with fleshy, ripe red fruit, well balanced and perhaps less outgoing than many other Morgon 2015s. Yet the restraint pays off because there is great freshness and delineation here - a harmonious Morgon with a lovely touch of brown spices towards the finish. This is very satisfying and it should age well over 5-7 years. (NM)" (08/2016)

Staff ImageThomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 07, 2017

I absolutely love this producer. The 1935 is super aromatic and totally gamey. Lots of big fruit driving acid, and every-so-slightly structured tannin. Clean, delicious and at a price point that I can never say "no" to. An incredibly awesome value.

Staff ImageDavid Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 27, 2017

Of all the Beaujolais wines we tasted from the fantastic 2015 vintage, the Dupre 1935 was the best, boldest, and most delicious. It's like magic in a bottle for a price that makes volume purchasing an attractive option. The deep and concentrated fruit flavors come from the ancient vines, upon which only small quantities of gamay grapes continue to grow. The juiciness and pureness of that red and blackberry fruit explodes on the palate and the wine is balanced by buoyant acidity. If you've never had real "cru level" Beaujolais before, make this your first and see what the fuss was about. If you're already a fan of the style, then go deep on this. This is as good as Beaujolais gets, in my opinion.

Staff ImageAlex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 06, 2017

From vines planted in 1935 this beautiful Beaujolais from Cru vineyards in Morgon is terrific. Aromas of white raspberry, earth and bitter chocolate flow to a palate of dark fruits and subtle spice notes. Good length and fine balance make this a wonderful drinking Morgon.

Staff ImageDulcinea Gonzalez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 03, 2017

$15 Morgon? Wow, this is just an amazing bargain and value that comes from some of the regions finest terroir! Showing off a very pretty nose of ripe berries and plum, the wine exhibits depth with a mix of crowd pleasing fruit flavors, spice, structure and voluminous body. Buy a case, drink some now and hold some for later. You won't be sorry!

Staff ImageHeather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 17, 2016

This Morgon far out-strides its price-point! If you are looking for a serious, cru Beaujolais with great structure and integrity, you need look no farther! Dark, brooding fruit contrasts nicely against the solid tannin structure and rich heft of the wine. Yet the whole is kept in balance with a good strain of acidity and minerality running through the backdrop. This would be a great wine to age for a couple of years, or to drink with a bigger meal.

Staff ImageTrey Beffa | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 14, 2016

The 1935 Morgon shows a concentration and depth that you would not expect from the Gamay grape at this price. It is well balanced, deep and shows hints of graphite and pepper!

2016 Luck Rock Wine Co. "County Cuvee" Pinot Noir ($16.99)

Fruit from: 48% San Benito, 37% Sonoma, 15% Monterey. Winemaker's Notes: "On the nose are cherry and earth notes, dusted with hints of graham cracker crust, vanilla and pomegranate seeds. The palate explodes with ripe red fruits, and toasty oak - all while maintaining the balance we strive for in this wine."

2015 Mas Karolina Côtes du Roussillon Villages ($16.99)

89-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Cotes du Roussillon Villages is another winner from Mas Karoline that offers lots of blue fruits and floral notes to go with full-bodied richness, solid mid-palate depth and a ripe, sexy and fun style that just begs to be drunk. Made from Grenache, Carignan, and Syrah aged in 300-liter barrels, its absolutely worth the going rate. (JD)" (04/2017)

Staff ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 22, 2018

This spicy and almost jammy wine will remind you of a well made Zinfandel with its bold flavors of spiced berries and ripe cherries. There is a touch of earth to go with all that juicy fruit and this never borders on heavy or over extracted. Here is a well priced and bold Old World wine with New World crossover appeal.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 21, 2018

If you are a fan of the big wines like Amador Zinfandel and other Roussillon's like the Lafage, this is a must try. The Mas Karolina is super rich, powerful and sweet fruited dark red wine. This is a glass of "le soleil" from the south of France!

2016 Poggiarellino Rosso di Montalcino ($16.99)

Staff ImageChristina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 17, 2018

Classic Sangiovese from Montalcino, the 2016 Poggiarellino exhibits stunning minerality and bright bing cherry notes, possesses energetic breadth on the palate, and finishes very clean with soft, but present tannins. This Rosso is the perfect wine to accompany any meal and suit your social needs.

Staff ImageMike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 28, 2018

Woohooo !!2016 !! O.K., I LOVE this wine, I think the best they ever made ( I say that every year and every year it gets better). This is old world Rosso, leather, spice, cranberry and lots of minerals and Tuscan dust and soft tannins on the very long finish.At fifteen bucks this will go fast, you are fairly warned!!!

Staff ImageJohn Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 26, 2018

This is one of the earlier 2016 Rossos to arrive on our sales floor and if it's any indication of things to come, this vintage shows great promise. Poggiarellino's 2016 is pleasantly aromatic, concentrated and a bit lower in alcohol than most of late. It's definitely an excellent wine to pair with food as it trades a bit more acidity for slightly less forward fruit and offers plenty of length as well. Great to open today with ample aeration yet wil cellar nicely for a couple of years.

Staff Image

2016 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre ($17.99)

90 points Wine Spectator: "A tangy, herb-infused version, with lots of thyme and chive notes and hints of asparagus and fleur de sel. Offers a brisk, bony finish. (JM)" (07/2017)

K&L Notes: Domaine Côtes Blanches was first established back in the 1930s by Bernard & Pierre Millet. In 1980 it was time for the second generation to take the reins, so François & Monique expanded the estate to 21 hectares of vines (15 Sauvignon, 6 Pinot Noir). After returning from his studies in Beaune five years ago, Nicolas (son of François & Monique) joined the family-run estate and brought a new energized passion. The family is dedicated to the land and the environment by which they are surrounded. All farming is done organically, harvest dates are dictated by nature rather than the calendar, and only gravity systems are used in the winemaking--no pumps--and all wines are allowed to rest 6-8 weeks in bottle, before release.

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 01, 2017

This wine goes through all stainless steel tanks during its fermentation, preserving freshness and vibrancy. It is a gorgeous Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of pomelo, grapefruit peel and lemongrass. This delightful white will pair beautifully with some smoked trout or grilled sea bass over a bed of greens and citrus.

2016 Fratelli Barale Langhe Nebbiolo ($17.99)

Monica Larner writes: "One of the oldest estates in the Langhe, Fratelli Barale was founded in 1870, shortly after the Barolo denomination was created with the help of Marchesi Falletti and founding father of modern Italy, Count of Cavour, Camillo Benso. Sergio Barale and his daughters manage the estate today. The various expressions of Barolo are all aged from two to three years in botte grande."

Staff ImageAndrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 07, 2018

I have been anxiously awaiting the return of the Barale line to our stores. Not only do I love this entire line from Sergio, but they represent some of the best deals we carry from this part of Italy. What makes this year even more exciting for the Langhe Nebbiolo is the magic of the 2016 vintage. The wine opens up with generous bright cherry and spice notes complementing layers of wild herb. Carried by bright acid and layers of integrated tannin this wine is a perfect food wine and at the price is definitely worth stocking up on.

Staff ImageSharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 24, 2018

Barale is back! This is soft and accessible and chock full of red cherry fruit and wild herbs. Nicely structured with tannins and acidity which makes it especially fantastic with any dish that includes mushrooms and red meat. Give this about 45 minutes of air.

Staff ImageJohn Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 19, 2018

Barale's 2015 Langhe Nebbiolo was one of our most popular Italian red wines this past year and customers and staff alike have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of their 2016. This latest release is both soft and generous with a medium-bodied palate of spiced red fruits backed by mild tannins and bright acidity. More often than not, good Langhe Nebbiolo sells for over $20 per bottle, especially those aged in oak like this one. While this is perfect to open and drink now, the price is irresistible.

2015 La Fortuna Rosso di Montalcino ($17.99)

Monica Larner provides the following update on La Fortuna: "Today, the estate counts 18 hectares of vines, of which 12 hectares are located in the northern area of the appellation. Another six hectares are located in the Castelnuovo dell'Abate sub zone. Wines are made from a blend of fruit from these two sites. The northern vineyard is found at 250 to 300 meters above sea level with limestone clay soils and marine fossils. The other parcel shows warmer average temperatures and soils mixed with Galestro stones. Angelo Zannoni says La Fortuna recently acquired an additional two hectares of Brunello from a neighbor. This newly purchased plot is called La Campana."

Staff ImageMike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 15, 2018

Most of the 2015 Rossos have come and gone by now, but we save a few of our favorites to carry us into 2018.Woo-hoo! La Fortuna's is back in town! Ever time I raise a glass of this wine to my lips; it brings me back to Montaclino. Why? because there is so much Montaclino in the glass. This Rosso reveals perfumed ripe fruit of plum, cassis and kirsch, some leather and cassis, mid- pallet and earthiness that meld into ripe strawberries, spices and minerals on the long finish. ( Warning !!! this will sell out quickly and yes, I am going to put some down).

Staff Image

2015 Les Frères Perroud "Amethyste" Brouilly ($17.99)

91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This rich wine is full bodied, structured and, for a bottling from this appellation, packed with tannins. At the same time, the fruit shines through the wines dry core, giving black plum and cherry flavors as well as acidity. The wine will develop further, so drink from late 2018. *Editors' Choice* (RV)" (03/2018)

90 points Vinous: "Deep ruby. Powerful red and blue fruit and candied violet scents, along with allspice and licorice notes. Densely packed, chewy and energetic on the palate, offering concentrated blackberry, boysenberry and floral pastille flavors that become sweeter as the wine opens up. Shows smooth, seamless character on the gently tannic finish, which lingers with very good tenacity and repeating florality. (JR)" (12/2017)

K&L Notes: In addition to collaborating on four acres of fruit in Brouilly, Michel and Robert Perroud took over their father's winemaking estate in Colgny, a family tradition that goes back seven generations all the way to the French Revolution! Over time they've made a few changes to that family legacy, investing in new rootstock, planting additional varietals like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Viognier, as well as making a committed effort to organic and sustainable farming. All their young vines are either organically farmed or under organic conversion, and all the older vines are farmed sustainably. The Amethyst is located on the southern slope of the Saburins hill in the village of Quincie, one of the six villages of the Brouilly appellation. Amethyst wine is aged for one year in neutral oak barrels and offers freshness to lovely dark fruit flavors with balanced acidity.

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 03, 2018

Such a pretty nose on this one! Fragrant, dark raspberries, violets and fresh turned earth. Richer on the palate, with boysenberry, black cherry and more earth. Plump and rich, but, not sweet. As noted in other reviews, it can be a good choice for cellaring and at this price point, why not buy some to enjoy now and some to enjoy later?

Staff ImageChristina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 14, 2017

Why the name "Amethyste" for this Cru Beaujolais from Les Frères Perroud? The answer is in the Amethyst strewn soils of the southern slope of the Saburins hill in the village of Quincie, where the Gamay is grown. The wine Itself is beautifully balanced, with expressive notes of black cherry and redcurrant and earthy undertones, but It's sparkling minerality reflective of terroir is the real gem.

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

There is a layer of amethyst crystal underground giving to the wine each year a unique typicity and distinctive minerality to this vineyard, hence the name. This wine has serious structure and incredible depth for Gamay. I would have certainly mistaken it for true Burgundy in a blind tasting. It's full of earthy dark red cherry fruit with notes of forest floor. This is a wine you can age for another 5 years easily, but in meantime enjoy this powerful and balanced Beaujolais with duck confit or leg of lamb.

Staff ImageTrey Beffa | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 05, 2017

The quality of 2015 Beaujolais is really something special. These are wines that we all should be buying and not only drinking but cellaring as well. The Amethyste is a dark and broad wine that has a bit more structure and depth than the Vieilles Vignes. This is the perfect Beaujolais to put a case in your cellar and enjoy over the next 5 years.

Staff ImageDavid Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 05, 2017

Of all the Beaujolais producers we've begun working with directly over the last year, I'm most smitten with the Perroud bothers. Not only is their portfolio a dynamic and diverse one, all of their wines seem to simply burst with freshness, concentration, and simple charm. The "Amethyste" is a plump and dark fruited Beaujolais that really speaks to the quality of the Perroud family's Brouilly hillside vineyards and the organic and sustainable viticulture they practice. Put this side by side with any other "cru" Beaujolais in the same price point and I think the difference is pretty clear. The "Amethyste" is deeper, darker, denser, and more complex than just about any of its peers. This is quite the find for our Burgundy department.

2015 Fèlsina Chianti Classico ($19.99)

94 points James Suckling: "Very focused and firm with chewy tannins and bright black cherry character. Medium body, dense center palate and a fresh finish. Solid. Fantastic wine. Drink or hold." (10/2017)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Chianti Classico Berardenga is a tight and elegant wine with bright berry notes followed by mineral tones of clay and chalky soil. You really taste those Castelnuovo Berardenga signatures here on the bouquet. The finish carries forward with grace, elegance and determination. (ML)" (10/2017)

92 points Vinous: "Stunning and beautifully expansive, the 2015 Chianti Classico Berardenga is a wine to buy by the case and savor over the next 20 or so years. All the natural richness of the 2015 vintage comes through in a creamy, voluptuous Chianti Classico that hits all the right notes. This is quite frankly a remarkable level of quality for Fèlsina's entry-level offering. (AG)" (01/2018)

92 points Wine Spectator: "Dense yet rich, this red offers black cherry, earth and graphite aromas and flavors. Needs a year or two to find balance, yet the lingering, tobacco-inflected finish and refined tannins indicate the potential here. Best from 2019 through 2028. *Smart Buys* (BS)" (11/2017)

Staff ImageAnthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 03, 2018

A very pretty and "high toned" example of Chianti Classico, which to me, means it has plenty of brightness and aromas that keep the nose incredibly interesting. Bright berries, red cherry, great supporting acid and ripe tannin make this bottle a perfect partner for turkey burgers, grilled chicken, and vegetarian stuffed peppers. With some patience and bottle age, this will very much evolve into something more savory to pair with a juicy steak.

Staff ImageMike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 28, 2018

This is drinking GREAT right now!!! and will over the next couple of years (but only if you can keep your hands off it and keep some in the cellar). Here is a wine that packs a wallop and lots of bang for your buck all in one! Give this Chianti about an hour to open up and stand back, on the palate you will find strawberries and black cherries, a little bitter coco and some toasty oak, fine tannins and a hint of Tuscan dust on the long finish.

Staff ImageSharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 27, 2018

The first sniff of this wine transported me right back to the time I was lost in the hills of Chianti while driving a rental car without GPS. Once I found my vacation apartment I rewarded myself with a slab of meat and a bottle of Chianti Classico at one of the small, local restaurants. Tart cherry fruit, leather, herbaceous notes, focused tannins and a clean finish make this wine an absolute must with food. Like a Fiat without its GPS, it's a bit lonely on it's own but with some lamb or steak it's going places.

Staff ImageJohn Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 27, 2018

It's never difficult for us to go long on Felsina in any vintage but their 2015 deserves attention. The vintage is already turning heads in Tuscany and the Felsina Chianti Classico is definitely one of the stars. It captures the signature Berardegna berry fruit with subtle highlights of dried florals, cedar and minerals. This medium-bodied gem manages to deliver elegant fruit with perfectly balanced tannins and acidity. A very fine Chianti Classico we highly recommend.

Staff ImageRyan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 27, 2018

If you're looking for quality that outperforms a price-point, just look for Felsina on the label (especially for a vintage like 2015). Another homerun in the Tuscan value category, this Chianti Classico shows a classic Chianti character while borrowing from the robust nature of the vintage, adding a beautiful brightness and refinement. It is first a food wine with focus, acidity and tannin. It does have enough fruit, however, that it can stand on its own if need be. It'll be hard to keep your hands off now since it can drink effortlessly with a quick decant, but it'll be fun to follow for the next 5-10 years for those with a bit more patience. Either way, another superb vintage for Felsina's flagship Chianti Classico.

Staff ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 27, 2018

The nose is full of wild cherries, leather, earth and you can sense the richness, and on the palate the wines weight and concentration make a bold statement but never drift out of balance. The flavors are saturated, complex and filled me with awe, a dazzling array of spice, concentrated wild cherry, leather, porcini that seem so well integrated even at this wines young age. There is power here, a real depth of structure but never does the wine get out of balance, there is a harmony and for fans of Felsina this is a classic. This is a wine you can easily drink now but it will age well for 10-15 years from the vintage, a real winner and at this price a ridiculously good bargain.

2016 Jean Reverdy "La Reine Blanche" Sancerre ($19.99)

91 points Wine Spectator: "**Smart Buy** A bright, herbaceous style, with flint, thyme and chive notes bouncing off one another, carried by crackling acidity through the racy finish. A chalky echo adds length. Drink now through 2019. (JM)" (11/2017)

K&L Notes: This picturesque 12 hectare Domaine is located in the village of Verdigny, one of Sancerre's best areas. The family estate dates back to 1650 and has a long history of wine production. Christophe Reverdy, son of the late Jean Reverdy, overseas all aspects of cultivation and vinification. The vineyards are planted on the three classic soils, Terres a Silex (flint-clay), Caillottes (limestone pebbles) and Terres Blanches (the calcareous white clay). Reverdy's wines are classic examples showing the purity of fruit and minerality that are the hallmarks of Sancerre.

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 02, 2018

There is an ocean of Sancerre out there and one of my favorite jobs at K&L is to swim through it all and find the real standouts. In this instance, we came across a particularly inviting wine from one of our suppliers that has a long history in the appellation and delivers on its promise of all things classic and wonderful from this region. Domaine Jean Reverdy is a hallmark producer and this wine is from a benchmark vintage. The wines of 2016 have beautiful nerve and tension and the Reverdy delivers that with its perfume of grapefruit, fresh cut grass and chalky minerality. Where 2015 as a vintage had more exotic and borderline tropical nuances, people who have been drinking Sancerre long before it became "a thing" will be whisked back to the golden age when vibrancy and minerality were the first things you noticed in a great bottle from the region. Rejoice in the classic nature of this wine and its promise of other great things to come from the region.

Staff ImageMorgan Laurie | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 26, 2018

The Jean Reverdy La Reine Blanche is a classic Sancerre from Verdigny, one of the top villages in Sancerre. The estate dates back to 1650 and has been in the Reverdy family for 10 generations. This single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc is vinified in all stainless steel with no usage of oak and no malolactic fermentation, keeping this crisp, sharp and focused. Chalky, limestone minerality, white peach and lime zest lead into a fresh, elegant palate. Perfect for seafood based dishes.

Staff ImageJacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 26, 2018

This beautiful Sancerre reveals itself with a touch of tangerine/citrus notes followed by a round, crisp palate. Although not flinty it has plenty of minerality. I can think of nothing better to pair with a sautéed salmon with a creamy fresh herb sauce!

Staff ImageHeather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 19, 2018

Tasted in a lineup of other white wines, this little Sancerre immediately stood out to me. Not only is this one of my favorite regions, but this wine has achieved near perfect balance of fruit and minerality. It remains light and crisp, as is classic in Sancerre, with striking aromas of white flowers, honeydew and lemon curd. On the palate it is taught and focussed, but with a nice rounded fruit presence that works seamlessly with the bright acidity and chalky mineral components.

Staff Image

2014 La Chablisienne Chablis 1er Cru "Vaillons" ($24.99)

97 points Decanter: "Pure expression of mineral, flint, chalk, oyster shell, flowers and herbs. Creamy, well-structured and textured palate with pronounced cleansing acidity, power and energy, yet not without finesse. Bravo." (05/2017)

93 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a rich wine with a warm character. It comes from vines in the heart of Chablis, facing the Grand Cru vineyards on the opposite side of the river. It's full bodied and ripe, with plenty of acidity to partner its yellow fruit. Drink from 2019. (RV)" (06/2017)

90 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "Notes of white pepper, white flowers, mineral reduction and a hint of spice can be found on the airy nose. There is excellent intensity to the stony and racy flavors that terminate in a moderately austere finale. This is not an elegant Vaillons; indeed it is distinctly old school in style." (10/2016)

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 18, 2017

One thing you've got to love about Chablis is that it does not take too much money to be drinking premier cru wines. Here is a perfect example, the Vaillons 1er Cru from La Chablisienne, a winery whose history in the region, scale and large land ownership combine to make this one of the best French white wine values in the store. Refreshing flavors of lemon and tea show nice cut and an appealing linear quality. Dungeness crab, oysters, any of the terrific washed rind cheeses from around Burgundy...any of these delicacies would pair well with this Chablis now and heading into the holidays.

Staff ImageAndrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 17, 2017

This Co-op that we began working with last year has given us some of the best Chablis in their respective price points and the Vaillons is one of my favorites is one of my favorite offerings from them. Showcasing the amazing 2014 vintage the Vallions offers lovely citrus and floral notes on top of minerality and acid drive. There is a lovely balance at play between the fruit and minerality that are swept along and finished with the acid. Surprisingly complex, yet easy to enjoy this is really a fantastic wine.

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 06, 2017

This an excellent example of clean and pure Chardonnay. All of the elements of nice bright fruit, mineral undertones and a clean crisp finish all come together.This wine offers complexity and value. It should pair well with seafood and grilled chicken.

Staff ImageShaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 30, 2017

As with all the 2014 Chablisienne Chablis I've tried, the Vaillons has a lovely rich and ripe character - somewhat bold for a Chablis but entirely delightful. Notes of citrus blossom and white spice linger on the surface and lots of the typical mineral qualities we expect from Chablis.

Staff ImageDavid Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 30, 2017

The 1er cru offerings from La Chablisienne is where we begin to move from simple purity and deliciousness into the realms of serious complexity. The 2014 Vaillons offers the full gambit of textbook Chablis flavor from front to back: flint, lemon, oyster shell, crushed rocks, salt, and a bit of flowers on the finish. Buckle up because it's quite the ride!

Staff ImageAlex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 28, 2016

The 2014 vintage in Chablis might be the greatest since 2002 and the 2014 La Chablisienne Vaillons 1er Cru Chablis is the perfect example of this. It is almost unbelievable to think you can get Premier Cru fruit for under $20 and from a top vintage no less. Great cut and energy along with zesty citrus and mineral notes this pure Chablis is drinking wonderfully now and is one of the top values I have tasted from Chablis this year.

Staff ImageHeather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 26, 2016

It may begin to sound like a broken record, but 2014 is an incredible vintage for white Burgundy. Combine that with the superior quality of wines coming from the La Chablisienne co-op, and the verve of excellent fruit from the Vaillons vineyard, and you have a recipe for stunning Chablis. This bottle did not disappoint: fresh, pretty, and intensely aromatic, the wine already possesses layers of flavor with both tropical and orchard fruit, and a lingering finish.

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 25, 2016

Delicate straw yellow in color, with a faintly floral notes and zippy lemon fruit, this is a quenching, high-quality Chablis thats already drinking beautifully now. A great option for the holidays, the 2014 La Chablisienne Vaillons will pair well with turkey and easily win fans with its racy but approachable style.

2013 Fratelli Barale Barolo ($29.99)

Staff Image

2012 Poggiarellino Brunello di Montalcino ($29.99)

93 points James Suckling: "Aromas of plums and fresh thyme follow through to a medium to full body, chewy tannins and a lightly austere finish. Needs time to soften. Drink in 2020." (11/2016)

93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Underbrush, leather, sun-baked soil and chopped herb aromas emerge from this structured red. Loaded with personality, the palate delivers juicy layers of ripe Morello cherry, crushed raspberry, baking spice and pipe tobacco flavors, framed by firm, chewy tannins. It's a full-bodied wine that will reward several more years of cellaring. Drink 20192032. *Cellar Selection*" (01/2017)

Staff ImageThomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 14, 2017

There is something charmingly special about Poggiarellino. Ive tasted these wines back to 1997 vintage and Ive always found these wines to be true Brunello, through and through. Theres the beautiful acid line, the cherry liqueur notes, savory undertones, and that deadringer mocha tone that only Poggiarellino has. The 2012 continues to express all these elements, with additional touches of earthiness and rustic tannins. The 2012 is totally approachable in the near term and an exceptional complement to food. Poggiarellino continues to be my favorite Brunello producer and the 2012 has only served to reaffirm the exceptional quality of this traditional producer.

Staff ImageMike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 06, 2017

This user friendly 2012 has big and bright fruit that hit you first, black cherries cassis and ripe strawberries and then the terroir takes on the rest of this wine, giving it a long finish that lingers long on the palate. Drinks very well young and will over the next couple of years.

Staff ImageJohn Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 28, 2017

We've been anxiously awaiting the arrival of this wine ever since our memorable visit to the estate in 2016. Although we loved the 2011 for it's ripe fruit and immediacy, the 2012 delivers more on all fronts. The wine's hallmark Sangiovese aromas of earthy red fruits, sandalwood and dried florals burst from the glass while rich extract of red fruit and plum abound on the palate with smooth tannins and fresh acidity that carry it to a long finish. It possesses just the right balance of ripeness and structure that's impossible to resist.

Staff ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 23, 2017

Poggiarellino is a tiny estate, this years total wine production is 583 cases, yes thats tiny and it is only by chance and spending a lot of time in Montalcino on the ground that chance meetings can happen. Thats why K&L is so unique we bring tiny gems that would be lost to the market or somewhere else at 50% more expensive. In the 2012 vintage there is a powerful statement of place and for Poggiarellino and that is manifested in the marasca cherry that wild and gamey Italian cherry that sends surreal aromatics, it's haunting, inviting, and seductive, its that incredibly complex aroma that you adore it in your Manhattans. On the palate you sense the ripeness of the vintage, not over-ripe but definitely with a hint of chocolate and plums it is a dense aromatically and like the vintage that richness is balanced by excellent structure underneath, this vintage shows far more complexity, layers of spice, distinct mineral components and a truly dramatic and long-lasting finish where the spice and mineral go on forever than the really drinkable 2011. In the mouth the wine is electric- it has a real, vibrant core that drives the wine the length of your palate with a lush, dense coating yet it never hesitates to be forceful and compelling. This is a wine that is capable of aging 15-20 years easily yet balanced and rich enough to drink now!Drink from 2017 to 2030

Staff Image

2008 A.D. Coutelas Vintage Brut Champagne ($34.99)

91 points Wine Enthusiast: "A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, this wine has great fruit and a soft texture. The flavors of ripe bitter orange and apples are now moving towards maturity, with the toastiness coming through. (RV)" (12/2016)

K&L Notes: Angelique and Damien have 17 and one half acres, mostly in Villers sous Chatillon, but also in Ambonny, Bouzy, Vitry la Francois, and Troissy. Their family has been growing since 1809 and started making their own Champagnes in the '20s. This Champagne is composed of half each Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the premier cru of Dizy. These vineyards are from the "A" for Angelique side of the AD Coutelas family estate, while the "D" for Damien vines are more in the Western part of the Marne. The wine is vinified in stainless steel and finished with only six grams per liter of dosage. It is a very full-bodied wine, with super power in the middle, yet refreshing on the finish. This great new (but only new to the US!) producer is one to notice! (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 09, 2018

Another hit from the steely vintage that keeps on giving! While the 2008 Coutelas is already drinking beautifully now, this racy release is primed for ageing as well. Lemony brightness soars up front but the fruit shows more apple through the palate, with just enough creaminess to smooth out the solid backbone of acidity. Everything from fan (and staff!) favorite Coutelas feels at once complex and somehow easy drinking. The 2008 in particular is perfectly balanced between rich texture and earthy, spicy tertiary notes that will only intensify with time. Plus the value is incredible.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 08, 2018

Amongst all of our inventory, 2008 vintage, DI champagnes are undoubtedly the best value, sure shot bets for your cellar. While I have intimated as much before, I think it is important to explicitly make that statement while we roll out another beauty from this terrific vintage (once or twice in a decade will you have a vintage this great). Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in equal parts form the basis of this dry, powerful, intense and expressive show stopping Champagne. It's an affordable luxury for drinking now, though man o man, I can't wait to see how this drinks another 2, 5, 10+ years from now! I suggest you stash away as many of these as you have room to cellar.

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 06, 2018

I've been a big fan of the Coutelas wines since we started bringing them in several years ago. The Cuvee Victor was always one of my favorite to recommend to enthusiasts who wanted their Champagne with a little more esoteric edge since it undergoes a bit of a solera processing with all the reserve wines married together in perpetuity. The Victor is always a real complex stunner for the money. You'll notice it is also one of the most consistently well reviewed wines by our staff. So what about a single vintage bottle from Coutelas? Superb as well. The tension in the vintage shows through with beautiful apple and pear aromas and hints of ginger on the palate. The weight is there for sure but the structure of acidity is focused and pure. I love the low dosage too as the wine has beautiful body so it doesn't warrant any rounding out. A great Champagne for now but a few years would do no harm here and just add a few new layers of complexity, if your'e into that sort of thing. It just so happens that I am.

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 06, 2018

This absolutely beautiful 2008 vintage Brut is another great release from the Coutelas family. It has the linear, chalky aspect one expects of this vintage but, there is also a golden apple, lemon meringue and toasted hazelnut aspect that adds interest and uniqueness. Light toast rounds it all out and the finish lingers. Probably the greatest value of the 2008 vintage that I have tasted to date. Damien and Angelique have given us yet another gem!

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 03, 2018

The Coutelas have made a great 2008 with this bottling, and although it drinks great now, it should continue to improve for a decade. This all 1er cru Vintage Champagne comes from vineyards in the village of Dizy, just north of Epernay and east of Ay. I love the balance and poise of this half each blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; it has complex intrigue from the savory, nearly truffle like Pinot Noir and great cut and minerality from both the Chardonnay and the character of the great 2008 vintage. The real kicker for me is the creamy texture- I don't know how they get this kind of elegant velvet into a wine that is still so lively and long. This performs way above its price tag!

2012 La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino ($34.99)

93 points James Suckling: " Ripe and and dense red with meat and berry character. Some cedar and chocolate undertones. Full body, velvety tannins and a savory finish. Drink in 2019." (12/2016)

92 points Vinous: "Vivid red. Perfumed aromas of violet, rose and red cherry on the bright nose. Then dense suave and juicy, with enticing red cherry and spicy flavors that linger nicely on the vibrant finish. Lovely balance and sneaky concentration here. (ID)" (03/2017)

92 points Wine Spectator: "A dense, lush red, this delivers cherry, leather and spice flavors, with accents of earth and tar. Stays solid and long on the finish, the spice and earth elements echoing. Best from 2020 through 2033. (BS)" (06/2017)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The La Fortuna 2012 Brunello di Montalcino is an evolved and savory Tuscan red with a slightly gritty and rustic personality. The wine shows true grit and charisma, thanks to a non-conventional approach and philosophy. The fruit is presented as candied cherry and black currant with tar, licorice and cola at the back. This Brunello is aged in large Slavonian oak for a long 40-month period and that slow oxidative process accounts for some of the evolved notes you get today. The warm vintage has also contributed to those mature fruit flavors. Tobacco and spice give the wine a greater sense of dimension. (ML)" (02/2017)

2013 Fratelli Barale "Castellero" Barolo ($39.99)

93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Made with organically cultivated grapes and fermented with wild yeasts, this boasts alluring scents of rose, perfumed berry, dried herb and dark culinary spice. Youthfully austere but loaded with finesse, the firm palate delivers red cherry, cranberry, pipe tobacco and licorice set against a backbone of vibrant acidity and taut, refined tannins. Give it time to fully blossom. Drink 20232043. *Cellar Selection* (KO)" (03/2018)

92 points James Suckling: "This a tight and powerful red with solid tannins and lots of stone. Full body, chewy and polished. Very long and powerful. Impressed with this length and class. Needs two or three years to come around but beautiful." (10/2017)

Staff ImageJohn Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 19, 2018

Castellero is an important Barolo for the Barale's as the vines are grafted from the original old clones of Nebbiolo on their property. The 2013 is especially complex with lots of spice and potpourri on the nose and a layered and structured palate with wonderful density, ample acidity and grippy tannins on the finish. This will certainly gain stature with a bit of time in the cellar yet is quite expressive if opened now. Ideal with roasts, meats and heartier meals.

2015 Domaine Paul Jaboulet Aine "Domaine de Thalabert" Crozes-Hermitage (Pre-Arrival) ($44.99)

97 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The finest vintage to date, better even than the stellar 2010, the 2015 Crozes-Hermitage Domaine De Thalabert is a gorgeous, deep, layered, and incredibly satisfying Crozes. Blackcurrants, olive tapenade, truffles and earthy notes all emerge from this full-bodied, gorgeously textured and seamless 2015. With fine tannin and no hard edge, it can be drunk today or cellaring for 15-20 years." (01/2018)

92-94 points Vinous: "(made from vines that range from 40 to 60 years old; raised for a year in oak barrels, 20 percent of them new) Youthful violet. Powerful mineral- and spice-accented blue fruit liqueur and violet aromas are complemented by suggestions of licorice and white pepper. Concentrated and expansive on the palate, offering intense blueberry, cherry and spicecake flavors and an exotic Indian spice quality that builds on the back half. Shows excellent clarity and lift on the finish, which is framed by velvety, harmonious tannins that fold smoothly into the juicy dark fruit." (04/2017)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert is a super effort, packed with savory notes of black olives and crushed stones. It's full-bodied and rich, with a hint of cedary oak, but there's plenty of fruit and ripe tannins on the lingering finish. Like some of those fine Thalabert vintages of the past, it should drink well for a couple of decades. (JC) 93+" (12/2017)

2015 Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($44.99)

92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A barrel sample, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is deep garnet-purple colored, with a decadent cassis, baked blackberries and plum preserves-scented nose, plus hints of spice cake, cedar and Marmite toast. Full-bodied, rich, concentrated and wonderfully spicy in the mouth, it has velvety tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long. (LPB)" (10/2017)

Staff ImageStephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 07, 2018

The 2015 offering from Faust is powerful and bold with fruit from estate vineyards in Coombsville and Rutherford as well as sourcing from Atlas Peak, Mount Veeder and Howell Mountain. This is a real bargain considering the fruit sourcing from these highly acclaimed Napa sub-regions. If full-bodied, intense Napa Cabernets are your thing, I would't pass up Faust's Cab.

2015 Ornellaia "Le Serre Nuove" Bolgheri ($59.99)

94 points James Suckling: "Plenty of blackberry and rust with tile and stone undertones. Full body, tannic and structured. A big and flavorful red. Better in 2020 when it is a little softer." (08/2017)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This is a stunning and exuberant wine that drinks with beautiful intensity and personality. The 2015 Bolgheri Rosso Le Serre Nuove dell'Ornellaia is made with fruit from the estate's young vines. Fruit from the older vines is instead directed to the top-shelf expressions. If this wine is any indication of what we can expect from the next vintage of Ornellaia to hit the market, we are in for a very special treat. This is a complete and richly concentrated expression that drinks with seamless intensity. It pits power against elegance with confidence and grace. (ML)" (10/2017)

93 points Jeb Dunnuck: "A blend of 64% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 9% Petit Verdot, the 2015 Le Serre Nuove comes from slightly younger vines and was aged in 25% new oak. It offers a deeper, richer, more Cabernet-like character in its cassis, black cherry, graphite, licorice, and scorched earth aromas and flavors. The second wine of the estate, it has medium to full-bodied richness, beautiful purity of fruit, fine, fine tannin and a great finish. It will cruise for at least a decade in the cellar." (03/2018)

92 points Wine Spectator: "Lush and modern, this evokes black cherry, blackberry, plum and light earth and iron flavors. A dusty swath of tannins girds the finish, but this should come together nicely in a year or two.Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2020 through 2028. (BS)" (03/2018)

2016 Domaine de Cristia Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes (Pre-Arrival) ($79.99)

96-99 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Even better (although in a very different style), the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes comes all from very old Grenache vines planted all in sandy soils. This behemoth offers awesome notes of blueberries, plums, violets and spring flowers, with hints of sandy/loamy/soil notes developing with time in the glass. Full-bodied, fat, unctuous and hedonistic, it stays balanced lively and fresh on the palate, with no weight. Sign me up." (10/2017)

94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I didn't taste the straight Chateauneuf du Pape from 2016, but the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes certainly looked special out of a one-year-old demi-muid. It's a big, plush, dark-fruited wine, with some chocolate notes and a velvety feel. At Domaine de Cristia, the estate has been certified organic since 2008, but now Baptiste Grangeon is changing up the winemaking. "The 2015 is the last year made the way I always did," he said. In 2016, he used more whole clusters and a touch of oak, looking for more complexity in his wines. Most of the domaine's wines are located in the lieu-dit Cristia, which has mainly sandy soils well suited to Grenache. Grangeon is also responsible for the winemaking of the Chapelle St. Theodoric wines, a joint venture with American importer Peter Weygandt. (JC)" (10/2017)

1997 Highland Park 20 "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($199.99)

Highland Park is truly a product of its environment. The distillery lays just a few degrees outside the bounds of the Arctic Circle on an island devoid of trees and ravaged by wind, yet relatively mild in temperature swings. This unique location coupled with the extra effort of floor malting their own barley on site are some of the components that lead to an awards list a mile long. This list includes many Gold and Double Gold medals for the distillery and its various bottlings. The barley is malted with local peat from Hobbister Moor, dense in heather, and providing an unusually floral characteristic to the smoke. The gale force winds carry the salt sea air through the barrel houses giving the whisky a salty tanginess that is all together different than the iodine characteristics of Islay. Weighing in at 53.1% alcohol and well below the $550 price tag of the 25 year old distillery bottling, this 20 year old Old Particular cask really struts the salt air and delicate floral smoke. Charged from a refill hogshead.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 20, 2018

Easily the best modern release of Highland Park I've ever tasted. HP is always great, but a lot of their special releases/cask strength offerings are overpriced and underwhelming. But this amazing cask of Highland Park delivers something that we just haven't seen since the old days. What I'm talking about it balanced sherry, Orkney peat and tons of character. Even tasting the high marks 25 & 30, which have refinement and nuance, they lack the complexity and depth of character that this special whisky exhibits at 5-10 times less the price. You'll kick yourself if you wait to taste this stuff before we sell out. If you can afford it, buy 3.

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 16, 2018

A wonderful single cask from Highland Park. This cask offers both balance and harmony, with all aspects working together to create a delicious treat. I tasted both with water and without. Without water it is more intense and round. With a touch of water the nose opens up some showing pretty and delicate smoke and floral notes. This leads to a flavors that are complex , layered and subtle. There is a nice dry finish.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 15, 2018

I was blown away by this cask strength Highland Park from the first little sniff. After adding a few drops of water, it only got better. This has it all: rich, almondy nuttiness, sweet and savory sherry depth and more than a hint of Orkney smoke on the super long finish. With supplies of great distilleries like Highland Park disappearing from the stocks of specialty bottlers, this extraordinarily fine 20 year old is looking like a value, even if it is not inexpensive. If you are looking for profound, old, sherry influenced malt from one of the great island distilleries, you have found it!

Staff ImageDavid Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 15, 2018

If you look at the label of the new Highland Park 20 exclusive K&L cask, all it tells you about the barrel is it was a "refill hogshead." That being said, all you need to do is look at the color and take a small sip to know that hogshead was most definitely re-coopered from a sherry butt. I've been sipping on a sample all morning long, letting the sweet, raisiny flavor coat my palate, while chewing on the subtle smoke that permeates the finish. I was thinking about how one of Scotland's most famous distillers (one that I won't name since he works for a rival company) once told me: "Highland Park is the king of all malts." There are numerous single malt fanatics who consider Highland Park the world's best whisky, right along side Macallan at the top of the food chain (both are owned by Edrington as well, if you didn't know). This 20 year single cask, full proof expression should help to bolster that case. It's rich, textural, utterly complex, and runs the gambit from sweet to peat with incredible nuance. While $200 isn't exactly what I'd call a "value," let me contrast this price with the 12 year old distillery-direct sherry hogshead I purchased from Highland Park this past January (due in later this year). That full proof edition should come in somewhere between $150 -$170 per bottle. That's the added premium that a distillery-bottled expression carries. Nevertheless, I bought it because it was one of the

Staff ImageAndrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 14, 2018

This is one of the most complex Old Particular casks we have ever bottled. The nose is at first full of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies sprinkled with a touch of cracked rock salt but gives way to the much more delicate aroma of stone fruits and tree blossoms. The palate is dense with dried figs, caramel, brioche, Christmas spices, and the savory notes of lightly smoked meats. The barley itself seems take center staged for a moment before fleeing into the background leaving behind a wisp of orange and smoke, like a hip bartender flashing the citrus oil before dropping the garnish peel into your Old Fashioned. The finish is particularly lengthy here and changes slightly with each sip. Every sampling leaves you with a different impression than the one before, but each contributes to building the complete picture of what 20 long years of age does for one of the world's greatest distilleries.