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January 26, 2010 New Arrival Email

The following is a list of new arrivals that have come into our inventory within the last seven days, with at least one bottle in stock at the time of this email. We've split the list into three sections. First we show a limited number of our top picks for the week. Next, we display all new arrivals coming into our inventory for the first time. Finally, there is a list of old wines and items we've sold previously that have just returned to our inventory.

TOP PICKS...
(a handful of our favorites also listed in the New Arrivals section)

  • 2008 Alamos Malbec Mendoza ( $8.99)
    90 points Wine Spectator: "The Malbec added just the right touch of richness, spice and complexity to give the dinner another dimension. I rated it 90 points, non-blind, and drank another glass the next day for lunch with a slice of leftover lasgana. It held up nicely." (12/09) And, according to Stephen Tanzer: "Bright, dark ruby-red. Subdued but very ripe aromas of blackberry, cassis and licorice, with complicating suggestions of chocolate, herbs, shoe polish and leather. Rather suave on entry, then ripe and smooth in the middle, with a subtler sweetness than the chunkier 2008 Alamos cabernet. The very fine, broad tannins dust the palate and teeth. This refreshing malbec is very easy to drink." (Jan/Feb '10) I was impressed by the fresh quality of this Malbec: bright red plum flavors show good acidity, balance and lots of authentic Malbec character. (Joe Manekin, K&L South American wine buyer)

  • 2007 Pavillon Blanc, Margaux ( $159.00)
    95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Rated only." (04/2010) 91-94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Very pale color. Pungent, complex nose offers candied lemon peel, white peach, a note of honey and piquant mineral lift. Extremely powerful on the palate, with flavors of white peach and minerals and a chewy impression of extract. Boasts incredible volume and explosive fruit but today I am aware of the wine's high alcohol. Perhaps most impressive on the extraordinarily tactile finish: this struck me as one of the longest wines of any color or type that I tasted on my spring Bordeaux tour. " (06/2008) 91-94 points Wine Spectator: "This is superracy and stylish, with mineral, lemon, lime, pineapple and papaya. Full, yet balanced and fresh, crisp and long. Wonderful. (Web-2008)" Jancis Robinson: "Very pale straw. Luscious, sweet nose. Sleek, greenish notes but lovely depth too. Fine and delicate but also rich on the palate. 15.5% but not at all evident. Very cool yet rich. Total acidity 4g/l, pH 3.35. Not at all heavy or oily. Good whole. Racy, powdery and so clean and racy! Great stuff!!! Strict selection. 18/20 points." (04/2008) K&L Notes: One of our favorite 2007 whites. This 100% Sauvignon Blanc has a perfumy nose of white flowers. Very rich and full-bodied with citric finish. Very long on palate. 15.5% alcohol but you can’t tell. Outrageously good. Super elegant.

  • 2007 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien (1.5L) ( $119.99)
    94 points and a Cellar Selection, Wine Enthusiast: "This is a great success for the year, a wine that is dense, characterized by balance between sweet fruit and solid tannins. Spice from the finely judged wood aging adds extra complexity, as do the plum and berry fruits. For aging." (04/10) 92 points Wine Spectator: "This has a wonderful nose for the vintage, with blackberry, currant and cigar box. Complex and full-bodied, with layers of ripe, polished tannins and a very long finish. Juicy, yet refined and agile. Best after 2014." (03/10) 90 points Stephen Tanzer's IWC: "Ruby-red. Perfumed aromas of cassis, licorice and herbs; showing more fruit today than the Langoa. Then tight but pliant, with an enticing restrained sweetness and a light gamey nuance to the currant and black cherry fruit fla vors. Finishes persistent and floral, with dusty tannins that spread out to saturate the palate. Lovely claret." (Jul/Aug 10) K&L's notes - Tastes much better at Joanne than at property. Stunning wine. Elegant up front, firm. I love this wine. At the property, the wine was closed up on the nose at first and then came out after airing. Lots of blackberry. At UGC it was spot-on. Lush, sweet with good backbone. Tannic finish but tannins are polished.

  • 2007 Montrose, St-Estèphe ( $84.99)
    91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of the stars of the vintage, the 2007 Montrose boasts a deep blue/purple color as well as a sweet bouquet of creme de cassis, crushed rocks, and spring flowers. Dense and opulent with silky tannins, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, a long finish, and no hard edges, this beauty should drink well for 15+ years. " (04/2010) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright ruby-red. Currant, cherry, smoke, tobacco and camphor on the nose, with peppery and floral nuances emerging with air. Juicy, spicy and dry, with a silky texture to the red berry and spice flavors. Perhaps a tad undernourished, but offers a subtle hint of sweetness and finishes with suave tannins and nice length. " (08/2010)

  • 2006 St-Hilaire, Médoc ( $16.99)
    This is new-world Bordeaux with enough forward fruit and body to please a California-cab palate. Owned by Mr Uijttewaal since 1982, this property has seen tremendous improvements over the past ten years. Only 8000 cases a year from this small estate located 80 km north of the city of Bordeaux in a village called Jau Dignac et Loirac in the north Médoc. Deep gravely soil along with a clayey-chalky subsoil provides this value-priced Bordeaux red with plenty of stuffing. The blend is 50% cabernet sauvignon, 45% merlot and 5% cabernet franc, vinified in stainless steel and aged for one year in oak (1/3 new each year). A fantastic wine to have on hand for strip sirloin on the grill, steak fajitas or burgers. The famous Mr Boissenot is the consultant here.

  • 2006 Trebiac, Graves ( $14.99)
    You need look no further than Graves for a screamingly good example of ready-to-drink value-packed Merlot-based red. Tobacco, oak notes and black currant aromas and flavors have fine Bordeaux written all over them. This tastes like a $30 bottle of wine, which comes in handy at dinner parties!

  • 1999 Perrier Jouët "Fleur de Champagne Belle Epoque" ( $84.99)
    92 points Wine Spectator: "Round and expressive, offering caramel, apricot and vanilla pastry aromas and flavors on an elegant frame. On the soft side, this is a voluptuous, inviting Champagne that's easy to sink into, with a long, nutty finish. Drink now through 2018." (11/08)

  • 2007 Bodegas El Nido "Clio" Jumilla ( $44.99)
    94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2007 Clio is made up of 67% old vine Monastrell sourced from a vineyard planted in 1944 and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon from a vineyard planted in 1979. The alcoholic fermentation is in oak followed by ML in new barrels and aging for 26 months in new French and American oak. A glass-coating opaque purple color, it displays an in-your-face bouquet of wood smoke, underbrush, incense, blueberry, and black currant. Dense, chewy, packed and stacked, the fruit quality is superb, the balance impeccable, and the finish lasts for nearly a minute. It will be controversial with those who prefer low alcohol and finesse in their wines. Those who like unrestrained power and richness will adore it quite aside from the fact that it over-delivers for its relatively modest price. (JM)" (04/2010) 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "A pungent, smoky bouquet displays rich dark berry preserves along with notes of licorice, violet, cured meat and black pepper. Brighter red fruits on the palate, which is surprisingly energetic for such richness. Tangy cracked pepper and mace notes build with air and carry into the finish. Leaves sweet red and dark berry notes behind on the very long, sappy and sweet finish. This energetic wine is already delicious." (09/2009) 92 points Wine Spectator: "Lithe and balanced, this fresh, modern red brims with black cherry, licorice, smoke and black pepper flavors. The tannins are firm but well-integrated, the acidity is lively and the wine sings through the vibrant finish." (08/2010)

  • 2005 J Vineyards "Nicole's Vineyard" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (Was $40) ( $19.99)
    92 points from Wine Enthusiast: "This is a complicated young Pinot; and while the parts are all pretty and polished, they haven’t knitted together. Voluptuous flavors of cherries, cola, spices and cedar are wrapped into silky tannins, and the acidity is fine and brisk, but as good as the wine is, it seems unfinished, like the score to a symphony that has yet to be played. Give this until mid-2008, and it should be terrific for the next four years."

  • 2007 Neyers Carneros Chardonnay ( $24.99)
    93 points and one of the Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2009: "Complex aromas of smoke, fig and citrus fold over to the palate. Full-bodied, with fine structure and acidity, along with flavors that end up giving this a delicate feel. The aftertaste is delicious. Drink now through 2012." (10/08) 90 points Robert Parker: "There are 5,000 cases of the gorgeous 2007 Chardonnay Carneros, also an attractive buy. Aged on its lees in 30% new oak, it offers aromas of ripe tropical fruit, lemon zest, and hints of orange, white peach, and brioche. Fresh natural acidity as well as a beautiful texture result in a delicious Chardonnay to drink over the next few years." (12/08) Bruce Neyers is a crafty wine business vet and a proponent of balance, above all else, and his wines show it. The 2007 Carneros Chardonnay is a stunning example of this, with its richness completely counter-balanced by refreshing acidity and varietal character. Aromatically this wine is very complex, with a bouquet of fresh figs, quince, smoke and laces of vanilla and caramel, where the latter two components take on more of a spicy tone than a layer of sweetness as one may expect. Added to this aromatic complexity is a wealth of richness and character on the palate, with a dense, chewy feel and flavors of pit fruit, flaky, buttery pie crust and more of that bright fig. It is hard for me to fathom a domestic chard that is simply more delicious and crowd-pleasing as this. (Bryan Brick, K&L)

  • 2007 Valley of the Moon Sonoma Coutny Zinfandel ( $10.99)
    91 points, two stars and a "Good Value" designation from the Connoisseurs Guide to California Wine: "Very nicely focused blackberry fruit filled out by notes of sweet spice and hints of blueberry pie start this full-bodied, balanced offering out in the right direction, and its somewhat fleshy, full and rich flavors keep it going. It is relatively open for a wine of the vintage, and while it can certainly benefit from a few years of bottle aging, it does not demand it. Tasty and versatile, it will be equally at home with pastas and with pork roasts." (02/10) And from the Wine Enthusiast: "A nice, smooth, rich Zinfandel that shows classic flavors at a fair price. It's fully dry, with rich, fine tannins and ripe falvors of berries, currants, dark chocolate, cola, cedar and lots of peppery spices. Good now with broiled steak, beef tacos, juicy burgers and Thai beef dishes." (02/10) This Zinfandel is simply one of the most delicious I've tasted in early 2010. Full of unrestrained, briary berry fruit with a mild dusting of white pepper and sage, the aromatics sing of Zinfandel. The nose made me think of a wild blackberry patch in late summer, heady and inviting, but without all the thorns. The palate is dominated by its juicy sensibilities, nothing obtrusive, nothing standing in the way of the pure raspberry, blackberry pie-like fruit. Far from sweet and miles away from oaky, this is a perfect wine to celebrate the populist charm of Zinfandel. (Bryan Brick, K&L)

NEW ARRIVALS...
(items coming into our inventory for the first time)

Argentina - Argentina and Chile

  • 2008 Alamos Malbec Mendoza ( $8.99)
    90 points Wine Spectator: "The Malbec added just the right touch of richness, spice and complexity to give the dinner another dimension. I rated it 90 points, non-blind, and drank another glass the next day for lunch with a slice of leftover lasgana. It held up nicely." (12/09) And, according to Stephen Tanzer: "Bright, dark ruby-red. Subdued but very ripe aromas of blackberry, cassis and licorice, with complicating suggestions of chocolate, herbs, shoe polish and leather. Rather suave on entry, then ripe and smooth in the middle, with a subtler sweetness than the chunkier 2008 Alamos cabernet. The very fine, broad tannins dust the palate and teeth. This refreshing malbec is very easy to drink." (Jan/Feb '10) I was impressed by the fresh quality of this Malbec: bright red plum flavors show good acidity, balance and lots of authentic Malbec character. (Joe Manekin, K&L South American wine buyer)

  • 2007 Clos de los Siete Mendoza ( $15.99)
    91 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "There may be no finer red wine value in Argentina than this superb blend of 48% Malbec, 28% Merlot, 12% Syrah, and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is aged for 11 months, two-thirds in 100% new French oak and the balance in vat and bottled without fining or filtration. Opaque purple-colored, the wine coats the glass while offering up a superb bouquet of toasty oak, violets, mineral, black currant, blueberry, and black cherry. This is followed by a layered wine with gobs of ripe fruit, a plush texture, outstanding balance, and several years of aging potential (not that many buyers will be laying this down). This lengthy effort over-delivers and then some. Located right at the foothills of the Andes in a magnificent setting, this Michel Rolland project is off to a flying start." (12/08) Wowing aromatics of pencil lead, black olive, red peppercorns are all apparent but the march is led by a sweet layer of blackberry coated in sweet roasted fennel and lavender. Full weight and full flavored this Malbec based blend is both sweet and savory at the same time. Walking a tightrope between the lush, ripeness of wild berry, cassis, milk chocolate and blueberry and the savory notes of dill, warm clay, finely ground pepper and licorice this has a little bit for everyone. Lengthy and lasting this is a great wine that will appeal to fans of Domestic Meritage, Bordeaux and yes, even fans of Argentina. Stock up you'll be sorry if you don't.

Australia

  • 2008 Gemtree "Uncut" Shiraz Mclaren Vale South Australia ( $18.99)
    91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2008 Uncut Shiraz spent 16 months in 100% new, predominantly French oak before bottling without fining or filtration. Captivating aromas of sandalwood, smoked meat, incense, lavender, blueberry, and chocolate lead to a layered, full-bodied, succulent Shiraz with excellent grip and length. Enjoy this pleasure-bent effort over the next 8-10 years." 95 points James Halliday's Wine Companion: "Deep, dense colour; regional licorice and dark chocolate overtones to the blackberry fruit of the bouquet leap from the glass, the medium- to full-bodied palate providing more of the same, with 16 months in French oak doing little more than rounding off the tannins." As I've said before, from the first time I tasted the wines from Gemtree, they have shown impressively for their quality and value. They are also leading the way with organic/biodynamic viticulture and are sponsoring the "greening" of Australia with their donations, and have been noted by James Halliday as one of the "dark horse" Australian wineries.This wine that is unfined and unfiltered is sourced from a 40 year old vineyard on Tatty Road Block in McLaren Vale that displays a nose of dark plum, blueberry, black berry, licorice and notes of mocha and toffee. On the palate, the wine shows classic McLaren Vale acidity with seamless balance, fine silky tannins, a juicy mouth-feel, and very fine length. This is a superb wine at a knockout price. (Jim Chanteloup)

Australia - Australian/NZ/South Africa - Old and Rare

  • 2005 Clarendon Hills "Brookman" Syrah - 1 available ( $64.99)
    95 points Wine Spectator: "Ripe, supple and beautifully balanced, with a pretty violet tinge to the rich aromas of blackberry and cherry. Supported by super refined tannins, this rockets over the palate, hinting at smoky spice and cream as the finish lingers effortlessly. Best from 2009 through 2020. " (10/2007) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Brookman Vineyard offers aromas of pain grille, spice box, black currants, and blackberry liqueur. Made in a forward style, it has layers of spicy fruit, soft tannins, and impeccable balance. It can be enjoyed near term but will provide pleasure through 2020. (JM)" (10/2007) 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Opaque violet. Blueberry, cassis, vanilla and molasses on the nose, with slow-building tar and black cardamom qualities. Sappy, velvety, deeply concentrated kirsch and dark berry liqueur flavors boast palate-saturating sweetness. Chewing tobacco and candied licorice add complexity to the long, sweet finish. I suppose that there are tannins here but the sweetness seems to have left them for dead." (10/2007) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* This firmly tannic wine starts off with aromas of leather and blackberry more than cassis, then follows up with flavors of sweet-tasting ripe fruit and caramelized oak, hints of bacon and brown sugar. Give it until about 2010 for the tannins to soften, then drink through 2020. " (10/2008)

  • 2005 Clarendon Hills "Liandra" Syrah - 6 available ( $49.99)
    94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2005 Syrah Liandra Vineyard was sourced from 100-year-old vines. It is a glass-coating, deep crimson color with aromas of smoke, grilled meat, tar, and blackberry. Full-bodied, opulent, and layered, it neatly conceals its structure. This lengthy Syrah merits 6-10 years of cellaring but can be enjoyed in its youth." (10/07) 93 points Wine Spectator: "Firm and focused, this is rich with plum, blueberry and exotic spices, finishing with a tarry note that plays against amazingly persistent fruit. The tannins are fine. Best from 2010 through 2020." (10/07) 93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Full of dense chocolate and plumcake aromas and flavors, this is a full-bodied, creamy, rich wine, perked up by hints of orange zest and spice. It's mouthfilling and round, yet promises to reveal more complexity with several years in the cellar. Drink 2015-2025." 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Dark purple. Exuberant black and blue fruit aromas are complicated by fresh and dried flowers, minerals and anise. Vibrant, nicely focused mulberry and blueberry flavors are firmed by youthful tannins and sharpened by zesty minerality. Gains a spicy quality on the long, juicy finish." (Sept/Oct 2007)

Chile - Argentina and Chile

  • 2007 Kingston Family Vineyards "Lucero" Syrah Casablanca Valley - 11 available ( $19.99)
    92 points Wine & Spirits: "Grown on the clay and granite hills of lower Casablanca, in the coldest part of the valley, Lucero is spicy and herbal up front, then warmer in the minerally finish. Sharp acidity tones and extends the sweet cherry flavor. To drink over the next five years." 90 points Wine Spectator: "Rich, but light on its feet, with racy violet, blackberry, raspberry and sweet spice notes that race through the mineral-tinged finish. Offers fine length and grace. Drink now through 2010. 700 cases made." (05/09)

  • 2007 Kingston Family Vineyards "Alazan" Pinot Noir Casablanca Valley - 11 available ( $29.99)
    90 points from Wine Spectator: "Surprisingly juicy, with really solid black cherry and cassis notes layered attractively with spice and toast shadings. A hint of wet earth on the finish adds length and complexity. Drink now through 2010. 645 cases made." (02/09)

Chile - Misc. Import - Old and Rare

  • 2007 Kingston Family Vineyards "Cariblanco" Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Valley - 10 available ( $15.99)
    91 points from Wine & Spirits Magazine: "From a vineyard in the coolest southwestern sector of the Casablanca Valley, this sauvignon is marked by a sharp acidity that frames juicy citrus flavors and a creamy texture. Great with grilled skate." (10/08) 90 points and "An Editors' Choice" from Wine Enthusiast: "For Chilean Sauvignon Blanc with character, style and panache, Kingston Family’s Cariblanco is a perennial pace-setter. There’s mineral, sea air and tropical fruit aromas to get it going. Next in line is a flush palate of passion fruit and green apple. Finishes long and stylish, with elegance." (11/15/2008) From Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2007 Sauvignon Blanc Cariblanco is medium straw-colored with a fragrant nose of fresh grass, grapefruit, and gooseberry. This is followed by a crisp, clean wine with ripe citrus flavors, good balance and a sprightly finish. Drink it over the next 12-18 months." (Oct. 2008) From Wine Spectator: "Delivers nice nervy lime and grass notes, with a chalky, bracing finish. Drink now. 1,385 cases made." (Aug. 31, 2008)

Croatia - Croatia and Lebanon

  • 2007 Dingac Winery "Peljesac" Plavac Mali, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia - 6 available ( $10.99)
    We're guessing you aren't yet expert in the field of Croatian wine. Here's what Jon Bonné, of the San Francisco Chronicle, had to say about a previous vintage of the Peljesac: "The village of Dingac, on the Adriatic Sea, makes Croatia's most famous red wine - strong, heady stuff grown on precipitous seaside slopes from a grape known as Plavac Mali, a close relative of Zinfandel. Here, it's the same grapes, different wine. Consider this an anti-blockbuster: Not even 12 percent alcohol, it has the juicy, smoky red berries of a Zin but the body of a Beaujolais. It's beautifully uncomplicated."

France - Alsace/Loire - Old and Rare

  • 2007 René Muré Pinot Blanc ( $17.99)
    The excellent situation of the hillsides around the village of Rouffach and the surrounding area has attracted winegrowers since the Roman era. Located about 10 miles south of the city of Colmar, this favored growing region is sheltered by the highest summits of the Vosges Mountains. The presence of the mountains explains the exceptionally warm, dry climate that the Rouffach region enjoys. The low precipitation rates naturally keeps yields lower, and with the long periods of sunshine fruit is ripened to great concentration. The Murés have been working for years with a few top growers located on the hillsides of Rouffach. They pick the fruit by hand allowing the whole clusters to be pressed. Fermentation takes place in temperature controlled tanks. This supple and fruity, classical Pinot Blanc is rich with butter and hazelnut aromas. It has a delicate, floral nose and excellent roundness.

France - Armagnac and Cognac

  • Paul Giraud Cognac Napoleon 750ml - 11 available ( $56.99)
    The Paul Giraud cognacs are all about hands-on production. The family has been working the same vines since 1650 and they specialize in authentic, rustic-styled brandies. All of their fruit is from Grande Champagne amd their 35ha vineyard is in the heart of the appellation. The Napoleon is a light golden color with absolutely gorgeous fruit on the aromatics. The palate is full of spice and packs plenty of power for such an elegant flavor profile. The barrel notes of vanilla really come in on the mid-palate and the spirit finishes with baking spices and a long rich caramel note. This is exciting Cognac that we are happy to add to our shelves.

  • Tariquet Bas Armagnac Classique Armagnac 750ml - 10 available ( $33.99)
    This is our newest Armagnac and it's going to be our best deal on brandy of any kind. It is outrageously smooth and supple, to the point that I can't imagine anyone truly not enjoying it. The fruit is all handpicked and the Grassa family has been making it in a pot still since 1911. It spends only three years in barrel, which seems impossible when you feel its velvety texture in your mouth. The aromas are very delicate with dried apricots and caramel sifting gently in. The palate is lush with rich barrel flavors of baking spice. The finish has gobs of fruit, to the point that you'd think this is Cognac, not the normally spicy Armagnac. Made of 60% Ugni Blanc and 40% Baco, I'm expecting this bottle to fly of the shelf once people taste it. It's such a deal. (David Driscoll, K&L Spirits Buyer)

France - Bordeaux - Old and Rare

  • 2007 Pavillon Blanc, Margaux ( $159.00)
    95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Rated only." (04/2010) 91-94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Very pale color. Pungent, complex nose offers candied lemon peel, white peach, a note of honey and piquant mineral lift. Extremely powerful on the palate, with flavors of white peach and minerals and a chewy impression of extract. Boasts incredible volume and explosive fruit but today I am aware of the wine's high alcohol. Perhaps most impressive on the extraordinarily tactile finish: this struck me as one of the longest wines of any color or type that I tasted on my spring Bordeaux tour. " (06/2008) 91-94 points Wine Spectator: "This is superracy and stylish, with mineral, lemon, lime, pineapple and papaya. Full, yet balanced and fresh, crisp and long. Wonderful. (Web-2008)" Jancis Robinson: "Very pale straw. Luscious, sweet nose. Sleek, greenish notes but lovely depth too. Fine and delicate but also rich on the palate. 15.5% but not at all evident. Very cool yet rich. Total acidity 4g/l, pH 3.35. Not at all heavy or oily. Good whole. Racy, powdery and so clean and racy! Great stuff!!! Strict selection. 18/20 points." (04/2008) K&L Notes: One of our favorite 2007 whites. This 100% Sauvignon Blanc has a perfumy nose of white flowers. Very rich and full-bodied with citric finish. Very long on palate. 15.5% alcohol but you can’t tell. Outrageously good. Super elegant.

France - Bordeaux - Red

  • 2007 Clerc-Milon, Pauillac ( $44.99)
    Wine Spectator: "Sweet plum and peach aromas follow through to a medium body, with fine tannins and a solid core of fruit for the vintage. A little short now, but will open nicely with age. Best after 2012" (03/2010) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This impressive effort reveals more layers of flavor than most 2007s. Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by notes of black currants, coffee, and white chocolate, medium to full body, surprising density and purity, and a very good finish. Drink it over the next 10-12 years. (RP)" (04/2010) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good deep red. Expressive aromas of currant, licorice, graphite and chocolatey oak complicated by hints of iron, leather and game. Broad, ripe and lush but quite dry; this tightened up in the glass. Offers very good texture for the vintage, though, finishing with substantial supple tannins that turned a bit tougher with aeration. I'd lay this down for a few years." (07/2010) Wine Enthusiast: "A concentrated wine, relying on its generous black currant juice fruit rather than the more reticent tannins. The wine is dominated by Cabernet juiciness, a burst of fruit in the glass. " (04/2010)

  • 2007 Clos du Marquis, St-Julien (1.5L) ( $79.99)
    89 points Robert Parker: "A classic Medoc with a dark ruby/purple-tinged color, sweet black cherries, cassis, and wood smoke aromas, medium body, and a ripe, generous style, this 2007 is drinking exceptionally well already, and should continue to do so for a decade or more." (04/10) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Definite tannins here, a wine that shows ripe fruits, richness and a solid core. It is not huge, but does have structure, biter chocolate, sweetness. It's worth aging this wine 3-4 years." (04/10) According to the Wine Spectator: "Black licorice and currant aromas lead to a medium body, with a good core of fruit, fine tannins and a delicate finish. Balanced and fine. Drink now." (03/10) K&L's notes - Tasted at Las Cases, this wine had a deep vibrant purple color. A minty aroma and very round palate. Black fruits abound and some tannin at back. Quite nice.

  • 2007 Fleur Morange, St-Emilion ( $69.99)
    92 points Robert Parker: "A more serious effort, the 2007 La Fleur Morange (70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc) is one of the vintage’s top wines. Its dense ruby/purple color is accompanied by notes of raspberries, incense, Christmas fruitcake, and spice box. Surprisingly full-bodied (13.5% alcohol) with good density and richness, this is a big yet velvety textured wine to drink over the next decade or more." (04/10) 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good bright ruby-red. Cool aromas of blueberry, kirsch, licorice and sexy oak. Broad, sweet and intense in the mouth, with excellent calcaire energy giving the wine a light touch. Less exotic and more penetrating than the Mathilde, finishing with sweet tannins and very good juicy persistence. This showed a bit more greenness with extended aeration but comes across as a rather serious wine for the vintage." (Jul/Aug 10) K&L's notes: * Though it is 70% Mmerlot, it has a red fruit flavor profile. Sweet and a bit brambly on the palate. Some mineral and a bit of iron on the finish. Three acres and 100 year old vines.

  • 2007 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan (1.5L) ( $129.99)
    90 points Robert Parker: "An extremely complex bouquet..." 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "A dense wine, very much in the line of powerful wines from Haut-Bailly. Flavors of bitter chocolate, sweet berry fruits and richness are dominant, the acidity a fine balancing act to give a burst of freshness." (04/10) 91 points Wine Spectator: "Shows complex aromas of dark fruits, with bitter chocolate and floral notes. Full-bodied, with silky tannins. Very well-integrated and long. Builds on the palate. Best after 2013." (03/10) 89 points Stephen Tanzer: "Good deep ruby-red. Primary, high-pitched aromas of crushed berries and spices, with a whiff of artificial flowers. Juicy, pure and intense, with lovely cut to the raspberry and spice flavors. Finishes with good length and lift and a lightly herbal character." (Jul/Aug 10) K&L's notes - Good entry...sweet middle. Aristocratic. Very good. At the UGC the wine was full and ripe. Big wine on palate and sweet mid-palate impression. Tannic finish. At the property the wine exhibited a deep purplish color and fine red berry aromas and flavor. On the bigger side. 50 hectoliters per hectare here which is normal. 70% cabernet and 26% merlot with the rest cab franc.

  • 2007 l'Eglise Clinet, Pomerol - 8 available ( $129.99)
    94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "nquestionably the Pomerol of the vintage, the dense purple-colored 2007 l’Eglise-Clinet offers an astonishing display of rich, licorice and caramel-infused kirsch, black raspberry, and cassis fruit. Rich, full-bodied, and pure, with low acidity and ripe tannin, it is already offering delicious drinking, and should continue to do so for 15-20 years. Having just had the 1997, which is not as strong a wine as this 2007, that wine, from a very mediocre vintage, is still young. Kudos to proprietor Denis Durantou." (04/2010) 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright ruby-red. Black raspberry, licorice, mocha and a whiff of sweet butter on the nose. Wonderfully intense and juicy, with sappy flavors of dark berries, violet and minerals. Combines lovely sweetness with terrific verve. Perhaps best today on the broad, sweet, impressively long finish, which features very fine-grained tannins. Not the richest or most powerful version of this wine, but a beauty. " (08/2010) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Shows gorgeous aromas of ripe blackberry, tobacco box and flowers. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a milk chocolate, toasty oak and berry aftertaste. So attractive now. Wonderfully crafted for the vintage. Best after 2012." (03/2010) K&L Notes: *+ Blackish color. Sweet and lively. Fine structure and excellent harmony here. Not pushed - pure! Supplies are extremely limited. Do not delay!

  • 2007 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien (1.5L) ( $119.99)
    94 points and a Cellar Selection, Wine Enthusiast: "This is a great success for the year, a wine that is dense, characterized by balance between sweet fruit and solid tannins. Spice from the finely judged wood aging adds extra complexity, as do the plum and berry fruits. For aging." (04/10) 92 points Wine Spectator: "This has a wonderful nose for the vintage, with blackberry, currant and cigar box. Complex and full-bodied, with layers of ripe, polished tannins and a very long finish. Juicy, yet refined and agile. Best after 2014." (03/10) 90 points Stephen Tanzer's IWC: "Ruby-red. Perfumed aromas of cassis, licorice and herbs; showing more fruit today than the Langoa. Then tight but pliant, with an enticing restrained sweetness and a light gamey nuance to the currant and black cherry fruit fla vors. Finishes persistent and floral, with dusty tannins that spread out to saturate the palate. Lovely claret." (Jul/Aug 10) K&L's notes - Tastes much better at Joanne than at property. Stunning wine. Elegant up front, firm. I love this wine. At the property, the wine was closed up on the nose at first and then came out after airing. Lots of blackberry. At UGC it was spot-on. Lush, sweet with good backbone. Tannic finish but tannins are polished.

  • 2007 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac (1.5L) ( $156.99)
    93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Rich, impressively ripe fruit, the fruit dense and black, with juicy black plum flavors followed by dusty tannins. The wine is chunky, powerful for the year, the dryness smoothed by new wood." (04/10) 89 points Parker: "A big, fruity effort, the 2007 Lynch Bages offers lots of creme de cassis, damp earth, and subtle background oak. It is a deep, layered, lush, forward, evolved wine that will offer hedonistic drinking over the next decade." (04/10) According to the Wine Spectator: "Berry and currant on the nose and palate, with medium body, fine tannins..." (Web only, 2008) According to Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Full ruby-red. Aromas of cassis, blackberry, licorice and minerals. Juicy and tightly wound but essentially pliant, with smooth black fruit and licorice flavors complicated by leather and fresh herbs. Classically dry and very Pauillac. Finishes with supple but firm tannins." (Jul/Aug 10) K&L's notes - Tasted at UGC, it was sweet and lush on the palate. Fine balance. At the property it was sweet and sexy. Lots of cassis and currant flavors. Very silky on the palate. Will be very good in only a few years. Ralph: Round and sweet, very good and consistent. Completely ripe and sweet.

  • 2007 Montrose, St-Estèphe ( $84.99)
    91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of the stars of the vintage, the 2007 Montrose boasts a deep blue/purple color as well as a sweet bouquet of creme de cassis, crushed rocks, and spring flowers. Dense and opulent with silky tannins, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, a long finish, and no hard edges, this beauty should drink well for 15+ years. " (04/2010) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright ruby-red. Currant, cherry, smoke, tobacco and camphor on the nose, with peppery and floral nuances emerging with air. Juicy, spicy and dry, with a silky texture to the red berry and spice flavors. Perhaps a tad undernourished, but offers a subtle hint of sweetness and finishes with suave tannins and nice length. " (08/2010)

  • 2006 St-Hilaire, Médoc ( $16.99)
    This is new-world Bordeaux with enough forward fruit and body to please a California-cab palate. Owned by Mr Uijttewaal since 1982, this property has seen tremendous improvements over the past ten years. Only 8000 cases a year from this small estate located 80 km north of the city of Bordeaux in a village called Jau Dignac et Loirac in the north Médoc. Deep gravely soil along with a clayey-chalky subsoil provides this value-priced Bordeaux red with plenty of stuffing. The blend is 50% cabernet sauvignon, 45% merlot and 5% cabernet franc, vinified in stainless steel and aged for one year in oak (1/3 new each year). A fantastic wine to have on hand for strip sirloin on the grill, steak fajitas or burgers. The famous Mr Boissenot is the consultant here.

  • 2006 Trebiac, Graves ( $14.99)
    You need look no further than Graves for a screamingly good example of ready-to-drink value-packed Merlot-based red. Tobacco, oak notes and black currant aromas and flavors have fine Bordeaux written all over them. This tastes like a $30 bottle of wine, which comes in handy at dinner parties!

France - Bordeaux - Sauternes

  • 2006 Climens, Barsac ( $92.99)
    96 points and one of Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2009: "Beautiful aromas of orange zest are followed by gingerbread, caramel and creme brulee flavors. This is a beautiful, rich, smoothly dense wine with a core of botrytis, spice and vivid fresh citrus acidity. Cellar Selection." (03/09) 94 points Wine Spectator: "This offers lots of honey and toffee aromas, with lemon, orange peel and apricot character. Full-bodied, very sweet and rich. Thick and flavorful, with vanilla, spice and cream character as well. Builds on the palate. Best after 2012." (03/09 Vines have been planted at the incomparable Château Climens since the end of the 16th century and was granted First Growth status in the classification of 1855. The current proprietor, Bérénice Lurton, has steered the great château's destiny since 1992, producing wines of complexity and elegance vintage after vintage. 18+ Jancis Robinson: "If Yquem was a big step above the rest, Climens was at least half a step above the rest. Very complete and dense with wonderfully smooth texture if in some cases a little lighter than some years with a distinctly green tang to some lots. Still some astringency but very fine tannins. Good concentration and good acidity too. Drink 2012 to 2030."

France - Burgundy - Old and Rare

  • 2005 Emile Chandesais Mercurey 1er Cru "Clos du Roy" (Was $30 Elsewhere) ( $23.99)
    Pretty cherry notes, with a lush mid-palate, followed by an interesting mineral note. Very rich and round on the palate, but not at all heavy. Charming wine from a great vintage, at a great price! (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer)

France - Champagne - Old and Rare

  • 2000 Bollinger Grande Année Champagne ( $114.99)
    95 points Wine Enthusiast: " ***Top 100 Wines of 2010*** Full, creamy and soft, this is a rich Champagne, very much a food wine. It has great ripe swathes of peach and pineapple flavors, rounded by toast. While 2000 is not a vintage for aging, this opulent Champagne may be the exception." (12/2010) 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Light, bright gold with an energetic bead. Precise lemon zest and orange aromas are complemented by deeper notes of pear skin, honey, almond and chamomile, with a subtle mineral quality gaining strength with air. Youthful and surprisingly lithe for a wine from this house, with spicy citrus and orchard fruit flavors joined by smoky minerality and nuttiness on the back end. The honey note returns on the long, spicy sappy finish. I like this wine's balance and cut." (12/2009) 92 points Wine Spectator: "A full, robust Champagne, delivering plenty of gingerbread, toast and citrus aromas and flavors. Balanced in an extroverted way, with a fine texture, this is approachable now. Should continue to develop. Drink now through 2020. " (11/2010) 90 points Wine & Spirits: "Rounder and softer than a traditional Bollinger vintage, this 2000 is filled with citrus flavors and darker tones of toasted nuts. The richness of the wine suggests pairing it with salmon in a beurre noisette, or the milk-poached poussin at The Modern in NYC, served with linden flower sauce, wood ear mushroom compote and mustard greens." (12/2009) Jancis Robinson: "Light gold. Very full on and open, even verge-of-oxidized on the nose. Very broad and a little oaky. Lots of mass on the palate but no sweetness. Bone dry and admirably distinctive. Very fine, dense, tiny-beaded wine with layers. Demands attention. Real tingle on the finish. Though it's not desperately long..? Some people might find this a little bit too much. (17.5/20 points)" (03/2010)

  • 1999 Perrier Jouët "Fleur de Champagne Belle Epoque" ( $84.99)
    92 points Wine Spectator: "Round and expressive, offering caramel, apricot and vanilla pastry aromas and flavors on an elegant frame. On the soft side, this is a voluptuous, inviting Champagne that's easy to sink into, with a long, nutty finish. Drink now through 2018." (11/08)

France - French Regional Wines

  • 2007 Château Coupe Roses "Cuvée Vignals" Minervois ( $17.99)
    Françoise Le Calvez and her enologist husband Pascal Frissant (a.k.a. The Poet from the Loire) work their domaine with passion and acumen high in the Mediterranean hinterlands. Their vineyards are in Le Causse and Le Petit Causse, names referring to exposed rock and garrigue and designating the two highest zones in the Minervois appellation. At 750 to 1,350 feet above sea level, these zones have relatively cool nights and the growing season is the longest in the AOC (domaines down on the plain often begin harvesting a full two weeks earlier). The wines from Coupe Roses have excellent acidity and freshness, without any plodding, overripe character. Vignals is based on Syrah (roughly 60%), and filled out with Grenache (30% +/-) and then Carignan. Made entirely in tank. Deliciously medium-weight, fresh, spicy, long, and infused with garrigue. You should buy some. 13.5% abv.

  • 2007 Domaine Richeaume "Cuvée Tradition" Côtes de Provence ( $22.99)
    Fifteen miles east of Aix is Domaine Richeaume, snug up against the jagged limestone flank of Mont Sainte-Victoire. The domaine was founded in 1972 by Henning Hoesch, an historian and classical cellist with an environmental bent, and from the beginning he farmed along strict organic principals. Hoesch was also one of the first in the region to plant Cabernet Sauvignon. Some 35+ years later organic farming is all the rage and Cabernet Sauvignon is now a staple in Provence. The domaine is now run by Henning's son Sylvain, who worked and learned along Paul Draper at Ridge Winery in 1996 and again in 2000. The domaine encompasses 200 acres of land, devoted to the vine, olive orchards, grains and pasture area for sheep. Manure from the sheep is composted with other organic material grown on the farm, then spread in the vineyards and orchards. The Cuvée Tradition is composed of roughly equal parts Cabernet and Grenache, and sometimes a touch of syrah. The idea behind this now classis blend is to combine the masculine austerity of Cabernet with the feminine opulence of Grenache. The resulting wine is dark an rich (the Cabernet notes soar) with lovely aromatics, and full sumptuous flavors. 13.5% abv.

  • 2007 Mas des Dames "La Dame" Côteaux du Languedoc ( $14.99)
    Mas des Dames translates a Farm of Ladies. It was christened by its current owners Lidewij and Adrien Kuijper-van Wilgen of Holland upon learning that their three young daughters were the third generation of daughters to be raised on the Mas in recent memory (the farm dates from 1750). Lidewij and Adrien abandoned the world of advertising in Amsterdam in favor of the French countryside in 2002. Mas des Dames is a forgotten medieval village with narrow, circular streets that sits on a point of high ground in the hinterland behind the Mediterranean city of Béziers. On their hillside they have 22 little vineyard parcels surrounding the house, comprising 32 acres. Cuvée "La Dame" is considered the domaine's flagship, and is based on Grenache, with Syrah and Carignan. It is a fresh, supple and classy wine, one rich with Languedoc's thyme nuances.

France - Rhone Valley

  • 2007 Domaine Charvin Châteauneuf-du-Pape (1.5L 3 bottle limit) - 6 available ( $179.99)
    97 points Robert Parker: "I believe the 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the finest wine ever made at Charvin. Their wines never achieve a lot of color, but this is one of the most saturated ones they have produced. The blend from the 45- to 50-year-old vines is 85% Grenache and the rest equal parts Syrah, Mourvedre, and Vaccarese, all aged in cement tanks prior to being bottled unfiltered. A terrific nose of kirsch, lavender, licorice, forest floor, and spice box soars from the glass of this full-bodied effort. With fabulous density, a multidimensional mouthfeel, and a 45+-second finish this brilliant, elegant, feminine-styled wine is loaded with concentration and intensity. Like many 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the extraordinary fruit level makes it hard to resist. However, it will be even better in 3-5 years, and should last for 15-20." (10/09) 92-95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright ruby. A strikingly complex bouquet of red and dark berries, kirsch, Asian spices and garrigue Very pure, fresh raspberry and blackberry flavors supported by a sexy undercurrent of tangy minerals. A candied floral quality builds on the finish, which refuses to let go. Impresses with elegance and clarity rather than brute force." (02/09) 95 points Wine Spectator: "...This has ample grip, but it's extremely graceful - a deft act in this vintage. Best from 2010 through 2030." (04/10)

  • 2006 Domaine Giraud "Les Grenaches de Pierre" Chateauneuf-du-Pape - 12 available ( $79.99)
    95 points Robert Parker: "A candidate for wine of the vintage is the 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Grenaches de Pierre. The essence of kirsch liqueur in that Rayas/Chateau Lafleur style, this wine has great intensity, full-bodied power, a seamless, silky integration of acidity and tannin, and a massive but light to the touch mouthfeel, this stunningly brilliant wine tastes like the Musigny of Chateauneuf du Pape. Drink it over the next 12-15+ years."-WA #179, Oct 2009. 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Opaque ruby. Sexy, hugely fragrant bouquet evokes raspberry, blackberry and kirsch, with a suave floral quality adding complexity. Very sweet flavors of red and dark fruit liqueur lead to silky tannins and a long, sappy finish. This is awfully seductive right now." (Jan/Feb 08)

Germany - German - Old and Rare

  • 2008 Schäfer-Fröhlich Bockenauer Felseneck Riesling Spätlese ( $32.99)
    94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Pure bouquet of honeydew melon, magnolia and sweet lime. The velvety sweet fruit and salty acidity give this wine an exotic kick. Pure and impeccably balanced, with a lively, elegant finish. Spatlese is seldom better in its youth than this beauty." (Jan/Feb 10) 94 points Wine Spectator: "A swath of saline and mineral flavors and racy acidity define this complex white, which is cool, yet not reserved, with layers of black currant, herb, peach, persimmon and stone elements that play out on the long aftertaste. Best from 2012 through 2024. 165 cases made." (03/10) An abundance of fresh strawberries and orange fruit on the palate is only enhanced by aromatics of white peaches and lemon grass. The vines are planted on a bed of blue slate, loem and loess which add to its high-toned racy structure and mouth-watering zip.

Hungary - Austria and Hungary - Old and Rare

  • 1993 Chateau Pajzos Tokaji Esszencia - 1 available ( $127.99)
    99 points Wine Spectator: "One of the world's finest dessert wines. Sensational, ultrasweet Tokay, yet with a lovely citrus underpinning that keeps it from being heavy. Like melted honey, with lime and pineapple, this is one of those marvelous gems that makes you swoon in delight. Tempting now into the 21st century. A collector's item to drink in small portions, by itself, to celebrate life. 165 cases made." (12/1997) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "This took three years to reach 4.8% alcohol, leaving behind 434 grams/liter of residual sugar! Peach preserve and new leather in the nose. Pure, creamy and rich in the mouth. Flavors of fresh nectarine, peach and quince jelly. A little like a cross between a great Quarts de Chaume and Scharzhofberger TBA, but very unevolved. (And future evolution might require charting by the decade rather than from year to year!) Elegant, pure and long, quite amazingly hiding its sweetness. Around 6,000 bottles were produced." (09/1999) K&L Notes: "The most luxurious Tokay of all is made only from the juice that aszù berries naturally exude as they are waiting to be crushed. This Essencia is up to 60% sugar and will hardly ferment at all. Of all the essences of the grape it is the most velvety, oily, peach-like and penetrating. Its fragrance lingers in the mouth like incense. No age is too great for it. What it is like at 200 years (some of the great Polish cellars kept it that long) only the Tsars can tell." - Hugh Johnson

Italy - Italian - Old and Rare

  • 2003 Banfi "Excelsus" Sant'Antimo (Was $80) ( $39.99)
    According to Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2003 Sant’Antimo Excelsus is a similarly-styled blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. A medium to full-bodied red, it is packed with sweet dark fruit, its inner plumpness buttressed by tannins that are well-integrated considering the vintage. The wine possesses excellent length..." (04/08)

  • 2007 Broglia Gavi di Gavi "La Meirana" *(elsewhere $19.99) ( $14.99)
    89 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The delicious 2007 Gavi di Gavi from La Meirana possesses lovely balance and inner perfume in its honeyed apricots, flowers and spices. It is a generous, medium-bodied Gavi made in a richly-textured, yet crisp style. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2010." (08/08) Gavi, for me, has always been a delicate, clean, refreshing wine to go with grilled calamari brightened by a squeeze of lemon, but I don't generally look to it for complexity, intrigue or depth. I have to admit upon tasting this 2007 Broglia Gavi di Gavi "La Meirana" I was really shocked by the burst of complexity, the finesse, elegance and mouthfeel. This isn't a wine with a simple, one-dimensional fruit character, this has pizzazz, sparkle and life. The nose hints of spice, cardamom and nutmeg, and those aromas follow through onto the palate and add structure. There is even a slight tannic grip that gives dimension to the wine. These flavors linger gracefully and turn more complex with the heat of your mouth. The wine has medium weight on the palate and carries through into the finish. Just a wonderful experience, you should try this! (Greg St.Clair, K&L Italian wine buyer)

  • 2008 Corte Gardoni Bianco di Custoza ( $10.99)
    From the very beautiful shores of Lake Garda comes this apple-scented blend of Garganega (40%), Trebbiano Toscano (20%), Trebbianello (15%) and others local grapes. With a very brief maturation in stainless steel, this lively little number is dry and cool with great acid and fruit balance and a smooth finish. Ideal with freshwater fish! An L.A. Times Wine of the Week: "Corte Gardoni Bianco di Custoza blends Garganega, Trebbiano, Trebbianello and other local grapes to make a fresh, light wine. Pale gold in color, it is fresh and dry, with a lovely scent of apples and lime, very similar to a Soave in character. It's delicious as an aperitif and also excellent with antipasti such as frittata or tuna with white beans. I like it with pasta e fagioli, spaghetti with clams, and a nice piece of grilled fish." (01/28/10)

  • 2003 Marchesi di Barolo Barolo Cannubi 1.5L *ships as a 3L - 6 available ( $99.99)
    91 points Wine Spectator: "There's lots of blackberry and plum charac