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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 and Back in Stock sections)

  • 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)
    91-95 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 only, 2008) K&L's notes - One of the best of the whites in 2007. This 100% sauvignon blanc had a perfumy, slightly oaky nose. Very rich and full-bodied with citric finish. Very long on palate. 15.5% alcohol but you can’t tell. Delicious wine. Ralph: Outrageously good. White flowers. 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. Drink it from 2011 to 2022. " (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. Drink now through 2017." (08/2010)

  • 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)

  • 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 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)

Australia - 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)

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)

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)
    91-95 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 only, 2008) K&L's notes - One of the best of the whites in 2007. This 100% sauvignon blanc had a perfumy, slightly oaky nose. Very rich and full-bodied with citric finish. Very long on palate. 15.5% alcohol but you can’t tell. Delicious wine. Ralph: Outrageously good. White flowers. 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 - 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.

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)

Italy - Italy

  • 2008 Marchesi di Barolo "Madonna di Como" Dolcetto d'Alba ($11.99)
    According to the Wine Spectator: "A clean and delicately fruity red, with raspberry and lemon aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied, with a simple finish. Drink now." (12/09)

  • 2007 Marchesi di Barolo "Maraia" Barbera Monferrato ($9.99)
    One of the great names in Piedmontese winemaking, Cantine dei Marchesi di Barolo dates back as far as the 12th century, when the land-owning Falletti family of Piedmont’s Barolo district was granted titles of nobility. Today the estate owns about 100 acres of vineyard in the Langhe, including some of the finest vineyards in the district. This Barbera comes from Marchesi di Barolo's finest hillside vineyards in the communes of Nizza Monferrato, Agliano d’Asti, Rivalta Bormida and Cassine in the provinces of Asti and Alessandria. Fresh and intense on the nose, this wine is infused with scents of wild berries and hints of vanilla. Medium to full bodied on the palate it expands into a warm, robust flavor that is attractively assertive and well-balanced. Maturation in small American oak barrels lasts about a year, enhancing smoothness and balance and leading to a bouquet of pronounced finesse.

  • 2006 Marchesi di Barolo "Ruvei" Barbera d'Alba ($11.99)
    One of the great names in Piedmontese winemaking, Cantine dei Marchesi di Barolo dates back as far as the 12th century, when the land-owning Falletti family of Piedmont’s Barolo district was granted titles of nobility. Today the estate owns about 100 acres of vineyard in the Langhe, including some of the finest vineyards in the district. Charming, with hints of woodland berries and appealing vanilla overtones on the nose, this red is lively, full-bodied and well-rounded. Maceration lasts about 7-8 days 70% of the wine is aged for about one year in Slavonian oak barrels, while the remaining 30% is aged in American oak, to enhance suppleness, balance and the wine’s bouquet of pronounced finesse

New Zealand - New Zealand

  • 2007 Tarras Vineyards "The Steps" Pinot Noir Central Otago New Zealand ($29.99)
    Wine Club Price: $22.99.

    According to Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Moderate complexity on the nose: soft and plumy on the palate ... very smooth on the finish. Slips down the throat easily. Drink now-2013." (09/09) "Winemaker Carol Bunn, who spent time working at Dry River and Martinborough Vineyards on the north island as well as a stint at Amity Vineyard in Oregon, is responsible for making this and many wines coming out of Central Otago these days and had the two Pinots she made in 2002 at Akarua rank #1 and #2 by Cuisine magazine. The 2007 Estate has a bouquet that is bright and lifted with notes of plum, strawberry and cherry along with hints of earth and minerals. On the palate, the wine is elegant with excellent balance, smooth silky tannins and a long persistent finish. Enjoy this lovely wine with salmon, roast chicken or some grilled lamb chops." Jim Chanteloup K&L New Zealand Wine Buyer

Other International - Rum

  • Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 Premium Dominican Rum 750ml - 4 available ($44.99)
    Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 Super Premium Rum is distilled by a family that has been making rum since 1820. They founded one of the first rum distilleries in Cuba. Cask 21 was reserved for their very finest rum, which was intended for the governors of Cuba. Since 1960, they have produced their rum in the Dominican Republic, the island with climate and soil most similar to Cuba's. Vizcaya VXOP uses sugar cane harvested by hand and freshly pressed for its juices. Once pressed, the juice is fermented and distilled in small batches and aged in selected oak barrels that formerly held bourbon. This process, known as ‘methode agricole' is the superior distilling method that embodies Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 Super Premium rum its exquisite bouquet, smoothness and delicately refined taste.

Spain - Spain and Portugal

  • 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. Drink it from 2011 to 2022. " (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. Drink now through 2017." (08/2010)

  • 2007 Bodegas El Nido "El Nido" Jumilla ($119.99)
    This is a highly collectible wine, with scores from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate typically coming in in the 97- to 99-point range. Will Aussie winemaker extraordinaire Chris Ringland rack up another perfect 100 pointer, his first from Spain? Only time will tell. 70% Cabernet, 30% Monastrell. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer) 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Its stable-mate, the 2007 El Nido, is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Monastrell from the same vineyard sites and it received the same elevage. It, too, has a splendid, nearly ethereal perfume, a full-bodied, voluptuous personality, and unrestrained power. It is a bit more structured than the Clio bottling and will offer a drinking window extending from 2013 to 2025, perhaps longer although these wines have no track record of longevity." 95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Glass-staining ruby. High-pitched, complex aromas of raspberry, blackberry, minerals, smoked meat and spices, plus a hint of gingerbread. Rich, round and very sweet; packed with black and blue fruit preserve, Asian spice, candied violet and mineral flavors. Velvety tannins add support to the expansive, palate-saturating fruit flavors. The floral and spice notes come on strong on the finish, which is strikingly fresh and very long. Offers a great combination of depth and vivacity." (Sept/Oct '09) Estimated arrival: February 2010

United States - Domestic Cabernet Sauvignon

  • 2007 Melka Cellars "CJ" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($47.99)
    90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A good bargain (Napa speaking) is the 2007 CJ, a 1,300-case blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest equal parts Merlot and Petit Verdot. This seductive, hedonistic, dense ruby/purple-colored offering exhibits plenty of black currant, licorice, smoke, and earth characteristics along with an outstanding texture, good plushness and opulence, and 7-10 years of life ahead of it. " (12/2009) Wine Spectator: "Rustic, rough-hewn, dry and cedary, firm, intense and full-bodied, this delivers a mix of earthy currant, herb, dried flowers and mineral notes, ending with gritty tannins. Best to decant. Best from 2011 through 2017. (Web-2010)"

United States - Domestic Cabernet Sauvignon - Old and Rare

  • 2002 Godspeed Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon - 10 available ($27.99)
    Godspeed Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are 100% estate grown at Godspeed Vineyards, Mount Veeder, Napa Valley. The hillside vineyard faces predominantly East, Northeast and are located at an average elevation of 1500 feet above the valley. Temperatures are usually 10-12 degrees cooler than the valley, and the vineyard is generally above the morning fog, giving longer days of sunshine, which normally allows for an earlier harvest. This 2002 is a European style red, elegant and even lean, with firm tannin and notes of black fruit and tobacco.

  • 2001 Jordan Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon 1.5L (Was $149.99) ($99.99)
    According to the Wine Spectator: "A rich, elegantly styled Cabernet, with generous ripe plum, black cherry, herb and fresh earth notes that are vibrant and complex. Excellent balance, finishing with a long, clean aftertaste. Drink now through 2010." (11/05)

  • 2004 Kuleto "India Ink" Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (Was $80) ($49.99)
    92 points Wine Spectator: "A classy wine, elegant and stylish. Firm, intense and concentrated. Sleek and full-bodied, with cedary currant, loamy earth and tight-knit tannins. Best from 2009 through 2015." (12/2008)

  • 2004 Kuleto "Villa Vista" Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (Was $80) ($49.99)
    93 points Wine Spectator: "Full-bodied, ripe, intense and fleshy, with layers of currant, black cherry and blackberry fruit that's spicy and well-structured, ending with a long, deeply flavored finish. Best from 2010 through 2016." (12/2008)

United States - Domestic Old Misc.

  • 2006 Argyle Brut Rosé - 9 available ($39.99)
    91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2006 Brut Rose is a blend of 65% Pinot Meunier and 35% Pinot Noir. Light salmon pink in color, it is round, ripe, and concentrated. Full-flavored and palate-coating, it has excellent depth and a long finish. While the focus of this report is on 2006 Pinot Noir, it is undeniable that Argyle Winery is producing among the best sparkling wines made in the USA and they cannot be ignored." (10/08) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Pale coral in color, with spicy strawberry and cacao aromas and flavors that linger effortlessly on the fine-bubbled finish. Outstanding for its finesse. Drink now. 500 cases made." (12/08)

United States - Domestic Pinot Noir

  • 2008 Brewer-Clifton Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir ($34.99)
    93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A great introduction to their style is their largest production Pinot, the 2008 Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills. Beautiful floral, raspberry, and blueberry notes with hints of spice box and underbrush are present in this full-bodied, supple-textured, perfumed wine, which also possesses terrific purity and depth. I even liked it as much or better than some of the single vineyard wines. It can be drunk now (which is an anomaly for many of the Brewer-Clifton Pinots) but should evolve for 8-10 years. It is a stunning blend from many different vineyards in their portfolio." (08/2010) 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright ruby. High-pitched, floral-accented aromas of red cherry, Asian spices and minerals. An enticingly sweet, sappy midweight, with very good lift and spice to its red berry and floral pastille flavors. Lovely pinot noir, finishing with fine-grained tannins and very good length. This is an excellent entry-level wine." (12/2010) K&L Notes: Always some of the best, most characterful, moderately priced Pinot Noir from the Central Coast. The 2008 combines fruit from the exceptional and diverse vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills, creating a wine that has fresh plum, tangy cranberry and perfumed orange zest notes and a medium-bodied palate with flavors of strawberries and figs. Wonderfully structured with a nutty note to the tannins on the finish.

  • 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."

  • 2008 Lioco Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($29.90)
    90 points from Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright red. Enticing tangy aromas of raspberry, bitter cherry, Asian spices and game. Then suave and creamy in the mouth but with excellent energy and spicy lift toward the back thanks to tangy minerality. Mounts impressively, without giving any impression of weight. The fine-grained tannins contribute to an impression of finesse. Twenty percent whole clusters were used here, according to O'Connor." (May/Jun '10) A selection of sites in Sonoma County compose this wine. The goal is to clearly express the character of the region, which is strongly influenced by maritime variations. Warm days and cool nights, tempered by consistent oceanic fog, yield full and rich Pinot Noir balanced by brisk acidity and tannin. Outstanding with duck or salmon.

  • 2008 O'Reilly's Oregon Pinot Noir ($16.99)
    One of Oregon's great budget wines. This wine is made by Owen Roe, and it shows everything that the 2008 vintage is all about: brilliant, juicy fruit with great balance. Unbelievably, this wine is already just about sold out at the winery, while the '09 is still in fermenters. That should give you an idea of how sought-after this wine is!

United States - Domestic Syrah and Petite Sirah

  • 2007 Sean Thackrey "Sirius" Petite Sirah - 12 available ($44.99)
    Finding information to share about Sean Thackrey's wines is about as challenging as locating Thackrey's Bolinas property, which is located an hour north of San Francisco in western Marin County. Thackrey's rustic winery-in-a-eucalyptus grove is only accessible via a twisting road that ends at the Pacific's edge, according to the Wine Spectator. The highly-allocated results are made in Thackrey's distinctive style: powerful and intense with rugged tannins using methods culled from ancient texts, mostly translated (Thackrey reads seven languages). Sticking to the celestial theme seems appropriate for Thackrey's ethereal vinous creations.

United States - Domestic Zinfandel

  • 2008 De Loach Estate Russian River Zinfandel - 12 available ($14.99)
    There are many Zinfandels out on the market that cost a good deal more than DeLoach's Estate Zin, but there are precious few that offer so much pleasure and dark berry fruit. A nice dose of up-fruit blackberry jam is joined by pepper spice and a nutty quality. Supremely appealing with or without food.

  • 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)

United States - Other Spirits

  • Clear Creek Marc de Gewürztraminer (375ml) - 5 available ($23.99)
    Stephen McCarthy has done it again - he's made a marc that shows off Old World influences, all while remaining totally true to his Pacific Northwest location. Made in the classic Alsatian style, this uses pure Gewürztraminer pomace from Tyee Winery in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Its nose is remarkable, floral and earthy at once, Punchy, yet finishing clean, this spirit is a great way to end a meal.

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(items we've carried in the past that have just arrived again)

Argentina - Argentina and Chile

  • 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 - Australia

  • 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 "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)

France - Burgundy - Red

  • 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)

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) 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 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 character on the nose. Full-bodied, with plenty of ripe fruit flavors and hints of black pepper. Chewy. Needs time. Best after 2010." (09/07) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Marchesi di Barolo has turned out a lovely wine in the 2003 Barolo Cannubi. It offers outstanding concentration and depth in its suggestions of sweet roses, raspberries, spices and dark fruit. Made in a plush, accessible style, it will be even better in another few years once the tannins have had a little more time to settle down. It would be nice to see this chronically underachieving estate pursue the level of quality in its other wines of which it is clearly capable. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2019." (10/07)

  • 2007 Suavia Soave ($10.99)
    Listed in the Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2008. 90 points and a Smart Buys designation from the Wine Spectator: "Lots of lemon, white peach and mineral character, with hints of orange peel and dry almond. Medium-bodied, with good acidity and a crisp finish, leaving a lingering citrus aftertaste. Racy, nervy and delicious. Minerally, almost flinty. Drink now. 6,000 cases made." (08/08) According to Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Suavia's 2007 Soave Classico shows the complexity and character of this hillside site in its ripe yellow fruits, smoke, earthiness and minerals. The wine was very closed and reticent at the outset so I recommend opening it 30 minutes before serving to give it some air. Alternatively a quick double-decant should do the trick. This is a generous, full-bodied style of Soave that is sure to find many fans. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2010." (08/08)

United States - Bourbon and Rye

  • Black Maple Hill, Small Batch Bourbon 750ml ($32.99)
    We only get a small allocation of this lovely little bourbon! This is a blend of different vintages, ssssssshhhhhhh...it's a secret recipe!

United States - Domestic Cabernet Sauvignon

  • 2005 Kathryn Kennedy "Small Lot Cabernet" Santa Cruz Cabernet Sauvignon ($35.99)
    Kathryn Kennedy's long history and deep knowledge of the Santa Cruz Mountains allowed this great estate access to grapes from superior small vineyards. These growers include residential homeowner whose grapes arrive at the crush pad in very small lots. Warmer growing conditions on the inland side of the coast range have proven to yield superb Cabernet. Limited to 600 cases this wine was vinified using the same small scale techniques we employ for our other great wines. In the hands of a seasoned Cabernet specialist like Marty Mathis, the results are extraordinary.

  • 2007 Khroma Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($15.99)
    This is a rich, fruit forward wine with moderate tannins and a fragrance reminiscent of blueberry preserves. Moderate oak and rich fruit make this wine attractive for early consumption, although it will age well for several years. Of course it will go well with all the usual Cabernet pairings, but will be especially delicious with a steak grilled over an oak fire with a reduced balsamic vinegar sauce. For your vegetarians friends, great with blue-cheese, honey, pears, marcona almonds and curly endive salad.

United States - Domestic Cabernet Sauvignon - Old and Rare

  • 2000 Jordan Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon ($49.99)
    The continued addition of fruit from Jordan's hillside vineyards is in part responsible for the well integrated increase in the aromatics, depth of color and flavor and mid-palate feel in this 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon. The bouquet offers subtle notes of cassis, black cherry currants and chocolate. It is a richly textured wine with lush (the cepage includes 20% merlot), ripe flavors of blackberry, Bing cherry, cassis and raspberry. Slight earthy notes of tobacco and cedar and a subtle framework of oak complete this delicious wine. Aged in 65% French and 35% American small oak barrels for twelve months and in large oak cooperage for an additional six months. Sourced from Sonoma County (78.2%) and Mendocino County (21.8%).

United States - Domestic Old Misc.

  • 2007 Chasseur "Green Acres Hill" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay - 3 available ($44.99)
    95 points and a "Highly Recommended" designation from Wine Spectator: "A mouthful of Chardonnay. Bold and richly flavored, with a mix of exotic tropical fruit, pineapple and grapefruit, with a buttery texture and aftertaste. Despite its size, this is extremely well-balanced and elegant, ending with a delicate mix of mineral and dried apricot. Drink now through 2014. 234 cases made." (Nov. 15, 2009) 95 points and three stars from the Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine: "If not the most complex of the new Chasseur Chardonnays, yet certainly competing for that exalted title, it is also a wine with plenty of zesty fruit, this time with a fairly round palatal feel complete with plenty of oily glycerin and more than enough supportive acidity to complete the balanced picture. Its stunning combination of depth, balance and richness continues all the way to the end, and if it drifts a touch more towards the big and dramatic than some of its mates, it never loses faith with expected Chasseur classiness." (Nov. 2009) 92 points Robert Parker: "The 2007 Chardonnay Sangiacomo Green Acres Hill, made from an old Wente clone, exhibits abundant notes of brioche, lemon, citrus oil, poached pears, and honeysuckle as well as subtle spicy oak, and elegant, crisp acids buttressing a medium to full-bodied, beautifully concentrated wine displaying freshness as well as vigor. It should drink nicely for 4-5 years or longer. All of these Chardonnays see about 60% new French oak." (02/10)

  • 2007 Chasseur "Lorenzo Vineyard" Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($49.99)
    95 points Robert Parker: "Another stunning effort...from an old Wente clone planted in the early seventies. Orange blossom, nectarine, citrus oil, and white peach notes along with abundant minerality and flesh characteristics emerge from this expressive, exotic white. Full-bodied with elegance, crisp acids, and a large, broad, expansive mouthfeel, it can be enjoyed now and over the next 5-8 years." 95 points and three stars from the Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines: "No shrinking violet by any means, "Lorenzo" nonetheless leans to a slightly more refined end of the spectrum while still offering all of the great depth of fruit and richness common to this lovely group of wines. Its creme brulee, lemon custard, leesy, ripe pear personality is both mouthfilling and balanced, and the acid that rises perceptibly in the latter palate is nothing more than the bit of bracing vitality that pulls this picture together. It is very good now, but it will achieve real grandeur if allowed to grow with a few years of cellaring." (November 2009) 94 points from Tanzer's IWC: "Pale yellow. Intense iodine and mineral scents add urgency to ripe pear and apple on the nose, with a sexy floral note building in the glass. Stains the palate with deep, powerful citrus and orchard fruit flavors and shows a strong iodine quality. This is about minerality as much as fruit. The finish leaves nervy mineral and lemon/lime notes behind, eventually. I couldn't get this off my palate." (May/June '09)

  • 2007 Godspeed Estate Mount Veeder Chardonnay ($21.99)
    The vines were planted in 1987 using the Spring Mountain Clone. Burgundian in style, the wine is made from 100% hand harvested estate fruit.The grapes are whole cluster crushed and barrel fermented. No malolactic is done and only 25% of the oak is new. A crisp and refreshing wine with a tropical nose and a citrus back that drinks very well now but will age for several years. Pairs beautifully with Southwestern and Asian cuisine.

  • 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)

United States - Domestic Pinot Noir

  • 2007 Chasseur "Freestone Station Vineyard" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir - 8 available ($54.99)
    94 points from Wine Spectator: "Fresh, clean and lively, with firm, vibrant raspberry, blueberry and blackberry fruit that has a nice floral and anise edge, gaining depth, richness and complexity on the long, full-bodied finish. Ends with a great minerality. Drink now through 2013. 295 cases made." (Sept. 30, 2009) 93 points Robert Parker: "The string of brilliant wines from Bill Hunter continues with his 2007 Pinot Noir Freestone Station. A lush, sexy, seductive wine, it exhibits abundant notes of raspberries, wild strawberries, exotic flowers, and Chinese black tea in its aromatic, upfront personality. Broad, full-bodied, plush, and the most lush, succulent of these Pinots, it is irresistible at this stage of its evolution. It should continue to drink well for another 4-5 years." (02/10) 92 (+?) points from Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright red. Youthfully restrained aromas of redcurrant and wild strawberry, with a strong mineral underpinning. Racy and finely etched, with lively red berry flavors and a bite of bitter cherry skin. The mineral quality builds with air and carries through the long, nervy finish. This will benefit from patience." (May/Jun '09)

  • 2007 Dutton Estate "Karmen Isabella" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($36.99)
    95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Easy to like a lot now for its terrifically rich flavors of cherries, raspberries, pomegranates, mocha and smoky sandalwood flavors that take over and dazzle the palate. Also shows a silky, airy mouthfeel. But it’s way too young now, an obvious ager, and in fact demands time in the bottle. Stash this beauty. Best 2011-2013, possibly longer." (12/09) The Karmen Isabella vineyard is located in the Green Valley sub-appellation of the Russian River and expresses itself with red fruit character. This isn't one of those over-the-top Pinots you might confuse with Syrah - it is filigreed, with a lush texture and hints of mineral on the finish.

  • 2006 Willakenzie Estate "Pierre Leon" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir - 3 available ($36.99)
    90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2006 Pinot Noir Pierre Leon is mostly Dijon clone also aged for 14 months in 50% new French oak. It exhibits a similar friendly personality with plenty of plush, tasty black fruits and good length. It,can be enjoyed over the next 6-8 years." (10/09) The Pierre Leon is a complex, balanced Pinot Noir that belies the challenges of the 2006 vintage in Oregon. Earthy on the nose with mouthwatering hints of applewood smoked bacon that is a wonderful counterpoint to the ample black fruit that carries over to the palate. Firm structure with ample acidity, the wine finishes with a hint of caramel and white pepper. Food-friendly and fresh enough to enjoy now with bigger fare, it promises to age gracefully as well. 89 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright red. Smoky red and dark berries on the nose. Chewy blackberry and cherry flavors are firmed by dusty tannins and complemented by a subtle note of candied flowers. Leaves musky underbrush and floral notes behind on the long, chewy finish. This could handle richer red meat dishes." (May/June '09)

United States - Vodka

  • Charbay Blood Orange Vodka 750ml - 11 available ($28.99)
    A unique family-run winery better known as the "still on the hill" where master distiller Miles Karakasevic and his son Marko handcraft unusual wine, port and spirits. These handcrafted vodkas from Charbay are of excellent quality and drink beautifully on the rocks or neat - though they make for great cocktails too. The Blood Orange Vodka is made using tree-ripened blood oranges from Central California. Marko and Miles then crush the oranges, skins and all, and then the flavor and color are extracted over a period of three months. The fruit extract is added to Charbay's award-winning Clear Vodka, made in a smooth sipping style. Try the Blood Orange in Charbay's "Pink Lemonade" 2 oz. Charbay Blood Orange Vodka, 1 oz. Cointreau, 2 oz. sweet and sour, ½ oz. cranberry juice. Shake until well-chilled; serve in a martini glass with a lemon twist (Recipe by Becky Graziano at the Hotel Victor’s Vix, South Beach)

  • Charbay Vodka 750ml ($30.99)
    96-100 points Wine Enthusiast: "Opening nosing passes detect subtle toasty, charcoal aromas. Entry is off-dry to sweet and properly oily; sweet graininess dominates the midpalate. Aftertaste is long, bittersweet and delectably oily. Fashioned more in the plump, sweet style of Holland than eastern Europe (thick, hearty) or Scandinavia (light, flowery)." (04/03)

There are now several K&L email lists, where wine enthusiasts like yourself can sign up for categories that interest you. Visit https://www.klwines.com/secshopper/emailprefs.asp to find out more.

Have you used our latest tool to help you find your favorite wines? Our waiting list "keyword matching" program sends you an email when a wine matching your individual keywords comes into our inventory. Find more information or get started with your waiting list for keywords in the My Account section of our site.

From the home page of our site you can view a listing of all New Arrivals as well as items that are Coming Soon. In addition right there in the middle of the home page there is a link to our Best Sellers.

We offer five excellent wine clubs and a new exclusive Personal Sommelier Service, that allow you to sample outstanding wines from all over the world. Due to our bulk purchase power and longstanding relationships, the quality and value offered by these clubs are tremendous. Unlike winery clubs where you typically taste the same wines year after year, our clubs offer phenomenal variety that is strictly selected by our panel of buyers. See for yourself.

January 19, 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 and Back in Stock sections)

  • 2003 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe ($159.99)
    98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The prodigious, fantastic 2003 Cos d’Estournel is a candidate for 'wine of the vintage.' A blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon (unusually high for this chateau), 30% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc, 17,500 cases were produced from low yields. An inky/blue/purple color is accompanied by a compelling perfume of black fruits, subtle smoke, pain grille, incense, and flowers. With extraordinary richness, full body, and remarkable freshness, elegance, and persistence, this is one of the finest wines ever made by this estate. The good news is that it will be drinkable at a young age yet evolve for three decades or more. Kudos to winemaker Jean-Guillaume Prats and owner Michel Reybier." (04/2006) 97 points Wine Spectator: "Gorgeous aromas of blackberry, spice and mineral. Full-bodied, with ultrafine tannins and a long, long finish. This is first-growth quality. Best after 2012." (03/2006) 95 points Wine Enthusiast: "With its aromas of new wood, spice and black fruits, this promises from the start to be a powerful, polished wine. It is dense, very ripe (from the high percentage of Merlot in the blend), but still packed with tannins. It’s a massive wine, bringing together the heat of 2003 with the big tannins of Saint-Estèphe." (05/2006) 94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Red-ruby. Knockout nose combines currant, espresso, earth and exotic spices. Wonderfully round and sweet, with outstanding volume and density. A spherical, seamless wine that saturates the entire palate. The huge but lush tannins coat the teeth. This is accessible now but has the sheer material for long aging." (06/2006) Jancis Robinson: "Dark bricky garnet. Rich and spicy with dried-fruit aromas but also a leafy note. Fine-grained, dry but not at all drying. More elegant than many. Lively and harmonious and attractively dry. Finesse and decent freshness to the end. 17.5/20 points." (03/2013)

  • 1999 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe ($99.99)
    89 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Red-ruby. Wild aromas of redcurrant, minerals, leather, gunflint and game; developing faster than either of the more recent vintages are likely to do. A wine of modest density and fat, and currently rather austere, but possesses very good vinosity and length. Tannins are slightly dry but fine." (06/2002) Wine Spectator: "Tobacco and coffee aromas, with hints of fruit. Full- to medium-bodied, with fine tannins and a fruity finish. A bit short for Cos, but delicate and refined." (03/2002) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The dark ruby-colored 1999 Cos is a supremely elegant effort. The wine offers notes of dried Provencal herbs, smoke, licorice, black cherries, and cassis. This medium to full-bodied St.-Estephe is cerebral, intellectual, and refined, but lacking soul and hedonism. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2018." (04/2002) K&L Notes: Shows a lot of mineral and oriental spice in the nose, and those scents really opened up after a few minutes in the glass. The terroir shines through. When asked to compare it to wines from previous vintages, Mr. Prats mentioned it reminds him of the 1985 though not quite as fat. Superb length. The wine shows its Cabernet tannins, but they’re well integrated. 65% cabernet sauvignon, 35% merlot in the vineyard, and in the blend. 55% new oak. Only 40% of the crop went into the grand vin.

  • 2003 Mouton-Rothschild, Pauillac (Was $350) ($249.99)
    95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Backward, powerful, and extremely tannic, the dense purple-colored 2003 Mouton-Rothschild, a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot, fashioned from yields of 28 hectoliters per hectare, with a finished alcohol of 12.9%, improves dramatically with aeration. With full-bodied, meaty, powerful, dry flavors as well as a huge finish, this high class wine should be at its finest between 2012-2040+. During its sojourn in barrel, it reminded me of a hypothetical blend of the 1982 and 1986 Moutons, but since bottling, it appears different, and even more tannic than those two vintages. (95+)" (04/2006) 94 points Wine Enthusiast: "This wine is dominated by new wood, which goes right through the big, dark fruit flavors and tannins. Very ripe cassis flavors are under this wood, waiting likely for many years before the wood flavors subside. This is very much in the modern, polished style of Mouton today, made even more pronounced by the heat of the 2003 vintage." (05/2006) 94 points Wine Spectator: "Blackberry, cherry and currant with just a hint of toasted oak. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a lovely combination of ripe fruit and vanilla character. Goes on and on. Long and very stylish. Balanced and refined. Best after 2011." (03/2006) 94 points James Suckling: "A beautiful intensity to this wine, flowers, plums, and freshness on the nose. Full and rich, with round ripe tannins and a medium finish. Flavors of fresh herbs, flowers, and tobacco on the palate. A lovely wine right now, but give this some more time. Pull the cork in 2014." (04/2011) 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good medium ruby. This is downright exotic on the nose: mocha, coffee, graphite and coconut, lifted by sandalwood and cinnamon spice. Then dense, supple and fine-grained without coming across as heavy. Suggestion of aromatic tree bark. A seamless wine that spreads out horizontally on the back end and finishes with very fine tannins. A bit less extreme than the average 2003, but the 2005 Mouton has more class. I suspect this is on the verge of shutting down in bottle." (06/2006)

  • 2005 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe (Was $250) ($179.00)
    98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Made from an unusually high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (78%) and the balance mostly Merlot with a tiny dollop of Cabernet Franc, this superb effort requires plenty of time in the bottle. It boasts an inky/purple color as well as a glorious perfume of licorice, Asian spices, creme de cassis, blackberries, and toasty oak. This full-bodied St.-Estephe is exceptionally powerful, pure, and dense with a layered mid-palate that builds like a skyscraper. While there are massive tannins, they are remarkably velvety and well-integrated in this big, backstrapping effort that should enjoy an unusually long life." (04/2008) 98 points Wine Spectator: "(#28 on the Top 100 of 2008) Black in color, with aromas of orange peel, new leather, currant, berry and Christmas pudding. Full-bodied, with layers of velvety tannins and a long, long finish of fruit and spices. The cashmere texture is all there. 2003 plus 2000 equals 2005." (03/2008) 97 points James Suckling: "Loads and loads of roses and tobacco with red fruits on the nose. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and juicy flavors of plum, currants, cherries, and raspberries. I am loving the texture, precision, and powerful all around. Give this a little time." (05/2012) 97 points Wine Enthusiast: "Saint-Estèphe has a reputation for tannins, and this 2005 Cos lives up to that. But it does much more, because the tannins add richness along with intensely ripe black fruits, dark plums and figs. The dense tannins are finely balanced with fresh acidity, and a long-lasting aftertaste. Impressive." (06/2008) 96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good ruby-red. Knockout nose combines currant, plum, minerals, licorice and graphite. Wonderfully sweet, rich and deep, but with near-perfect balancing acidity to frame the wine's lush fruit. This superb 2005 has it all. Finishes with noble, sweet tannins and palate-saturating persistence. On my most recent visit, Prats told me he considered 2005 to be superior to the 2003, and that the '05 may be 'our best wine ever.'" (06/2008)

  • 2005 Gruaud-Larose, St-Julien ($54.99)
    94 points Wine Enthusiast: "This tastes of great Cabernet Sauvignon, with its black currant, cedar and herbs and fresh, juicy acidity. It is as fresh as it is rich, but it has a structure of dense tannins that balances the wine. This is one of the best wines from Gruaud-Larose for several years. " (06/2008) 91 points Wine Spectator: "Aromas of blackberry, meat and earth follow through to a full body, with velvety tannins and a rich finish. Decadent, balanced and very approachable already. I thought it would have been a little better than this. Best after 2014. " (03/2008) 91 points Wine & Spirits: "Licorice spice and tough black tannins form tight boundaries around this wine. Within them, sweet red fruit lends a gracious impression, gentle and refined. Age will allow the wine to expand as the tannins relent, but this offers impressive drinking now, particularly if decanted with steak." (10/2008) 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good red-ruby. Redcurrant, leather and game on the expressive if slightly rustic nose. Sweet and concentrated but a bit youthfully aggressive, and not showing the refinement or definition of the 2006. Strong nutty oak component. Finishes with substantial tannins that are a bit richer and more fully buffered by the wine's middle-palate material than those of the 2006. It will be interesting to compare these two vintages in ten years or so. " (06/2008) K&L Notes: From barrel: Toasty oak aromas and flavors. Some tobacco. Good mouthfeel and texture. A bit tannic at the back. (Clyde Beffa, K&L Bordeaux buyer)

  • 2005 Rayne Vigneau, Sauternes ($29.99)
    92 points Wine Enthusiast: "While this wine is not powerful, it has elegance to go with the ripe fruit, fresh honey, lemon flavors and a core of dense dryness. With this vintage, Rayne Vigneau seems to be back where its vineyard, next to Yquem, suggests it should be." (06/2008) 92 points Wine Spectator: "right aromas of lemon, spice and honey follow through to a full body, with loads of dried apricot, honey and nutmeg. Very sweet and very lively. An intense wine. The best from this estate in a long time. Best after 2012." (03/2008) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2005 Rayne-Vigneau displays superb levels of botrytis on the complex bouquet – dried honey, dried quince, apricot blossom and minerals. The palate is very well-balanced with a little more race than the 2004. It is not a powerful or ambitious Sauternes, but it is well behaved with an almost understated, pure, mellifluous finish. This is very seductive, though it should reward cellaring for several years. Drink now-2028. Tasted April 2013. (NM)" (06/2013) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Full yellow-gold. Strong nuts and marzipan on the nose. Very sweet, even a bit exotic, on the palate, with rather suave flavors of yellow fruits and nutty oak. Still a bit youthfully wound-up on the back end, but this moderately rich wine has the balance to evolve positively in bottle. 89(+?) points." (07/2008) K&L Notes: Barrel tasting: Cinnamon aromas that follow to the palate. Mid-weight on the palate. Nice. 1/2* (Clyde Beffa, K&L Bordeaux buyer)

  • 2005 Rieussec, Sauternes ($59.99)
    96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "No tasting note given." (04/2008) 96 points Wine Spectator: "Shows enticing aromas of toffee, cream, dried apricot and caramel. Full-bodied, very sweet and thick, with honey and caramel flavors. Long and rich, oozing with sweet, ripe fruit, this is like liquid candy. Best after 2016." (06/2008) 94 points Wine Enthusiast: "You get both apricots and honeyed botrytis aromas that are followed through by a dry core, very full-bodied with richness, the sweetness of the yellow jam fruits, apricots and mangoes gliding over the palate. Delicious, and certainly ageworthy. " (06/2008) 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Full yellow-gold. Expressive aromas of pineapple, coconut, sweet vanillin oak and spices. Then wonderfully thick, fat and sweet, with the exotic coconut character carrying through in the mouth. Finishes saline and powerful, with palate-staining flavors of pineapple, coconut and spicy oak. Conveys a strong impression of solidity." (08/2008)

  • 2006 Domaine Antonin Guyon Gevrey-Chambertin (Was $50 Elsewhere) ($27.99)
    89 points Wine Spectator: "Though silky in texture, this red also has ample tannins. This sets the stage for the cherry, berry and mineral flavors. Earth and tobacco accents complete the picture. Best from 2011 through 2018. 160 cases imported." (Web only, 2009)

  • 2007 Federico Tinto Roble Ribera del Duero ($14.99)
    This is not only my early front runner for Ribera del Duero value of the year, but Tempranillo value of the year as well. It is the best Spanish value I sampled in all of 2009, though since I tried it at the end of the year when we had plenty of wine in stock, I knew it would have to wait until 2010. At only 12.5% alcohol, there is a whole lot of flavor and Tempranillo character in this wine, an unbelievable value that should appeal to Spanish wine drinkers and many others as well. If you have heard of the famed Pesquera winery, then you should know that owner Alejandro Fernandez's brother owns Federico. In fact, while the Pesquera name went to Alejandro, the family's terrific, original vineyard holdings all went to Federico. The quality of the wine shows: savory dark cherry flavors show a meaty quality, combined with a spine of stern acidity and effortless balance that I rarely see in young Ribera del Duero at any price, let alone $15. Buy this one by the case; it's ready to drink now but will surely improve for up to five years in the cellar. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer) According to Stephen Tanezr's International Wine Cellar: "Deep ruby with a bright rim. Cherry, blackberry and vanilla on the nose, with hints of Indian spices and cracked pepper adding complexity. Sweet red and dark berry flavors are braced by tangy minerality. Smooth and very easy to drink, with good finishing sweetness and an echo of spices." (Sept/Oct '09)

  • J. Bookwalter "Subplot #23" Red Columbia Valley ($10.99)
    An amazing value this Washington red from the Columbia Valley is a blend of 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 14% Syrah, 13% Malbec, 9% Petite Verdot, 4% Barbera and 3% Cabernet Franc. Intense aromas of choke cherries, red and black currants mixed with a bit of cola and sweet spices. The wine enters the palate sweet, has a medium to broad fruity mid-palate and coats the mouth with flavors of plums, maraschino cherries, baker's chocolate, all spice and nutmeg. The finish is long and elevated by the bright acidity and with time will age beautifully given the concentration and power of the fruit coupled with the natural acidity and tannins in the wine. Best from 2009-2018. (Alex Pross, K&L Wine Club Director)

  • 2006 Beaulieu Vineyard Napa "Tapestry" ($29.99)
    93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2006 Proprietary Red Wine Tapestry Reserve (a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot) is the finest example of this cuvee I have ever tasted. Flowery, licorice-infused, cassis notes intermixed with forest floor and lead pencil shavings are followed by a layered, impressively built wine with real opulence, lots of red and black fruits, low acidity, and lush tannin. It should drink well for 15+ years. " (12/2009) 92 points Wine Enthusiast: "A terrific wine, delicious and classic in structure. Shows the beauty of the blend, which consists of five Bordeaux varieties. Rich in cherries, blackberries, red currants, chocolate, anise and sandalwood, it has a gentle, elegant mouthfeel, and is thoroughly dry." (06/2010) 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good deep red. Expressive, claret-like aromas of strawberry, raspberry, currant, cherry, tobacco, menthol and spices. Supple and sweet, with good floral lift to the berry and tobacco flavors. Firm acids and rather suave tannins will not get in the way of enjoying this wine now. Winemaker Stambor is doing a lot of the malolactic fermentation of this wine in barrel, and does some stirring of the lees for the cabernet lots." (12/2009)

  • 2007 Snowden "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($69.99)
    97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The dazzling 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve (86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Cabernet Franc) requires 2-5 more years of bottle age, but should evolve for three decades. Its dense purple color is accompanied by a thrilling bouquet of espresso roast, smoked herbs, licorice, creme de cassis, blackberries, and ink. The wine hits the palate with a blast of fruit, a full-bodied mouthfeel, and tremendous purity, definition, and length. The sensational purity and exquisite balance between all its elements are impressive as well as noteworthy." (12/2009) 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good full medium ruby. Expressive aromas of cassis, graphite and spices. Lush and sweet on entry, then much more complex in the middle palate than the Ranch bottling, with spicy red and darker fruit flavors complemented by chocolate and loam. Finishes very broad, with sweet, pliant tannins and excellent persistence." (05/2010)

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

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

  • 2006 Cullen Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon Margaret River (Originally $35) ($21.99)
    95 points from James Halliday's Australian Wine Companion: "Equally clean, but a more expressive palate thanks to the higher percentage of sauvignon blanc (80%) and more oak, though it (the oak) is totally integrated and balanced. Very different from Mangan Vineyard. Screwcap." (11/06) 12% alc. 90 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Cullen’s vineyards are certified biodynamic. In Margaret River’s cool climate, their white wines are the stars, the 2006 Sauvignon Blanc (80%) Semillon (20%) being a prime example. Fermented with native yeasts, it exhibits a superb bouquet of mineral, citrus, and lemon-lime. Dry, crisp, and vibrant on the palate, it has layers of ripe fruit, superb balance, and a long, intense finish. Drink it over the next 1-2 years." (11/07)

  • 2009 Frisk "Prickly" Riesling-Muscat Gordo Victoria ($9.99)
    This delightfuly refreshing wine is a blend of 83% Riesling, sourced from vines grown in the King Valley at the base of the Victorian Alps, and 17% Muscat Gordo that is from old vines in the Riverland. The fruit is chilled, crushed, pressed and fermented very cold and very slowly, then chilled to pull up the ferment and trap a small amount of natural carbon dioxide. Loosely based on an older German style, the wine is bright and lively with a slight sweetness and palate cleansing acidity. The nose sings with lime, apricot and peach that follow on the palate with a touch of a "prickly" texture. Also, as the weather warms up, this 8.7 % ABV wine will prove a classic summer sipper. Pair this with some young cheeses or spicy Asian food and you're good to go. (Jim Chanteloup, K&L Australian wine buyer) According to Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Pale yellow, with a bubbly haze. Citrus rind, peach, smoke and ginger on the fragrant nose. Plump, ripe and sweet but almost shockingly lively, with very good clarity and cut to the flavors of pit fruits, spices, smoke and quinine. Tactile and energetic but also a touch sweet, finishing long and sappy. This singular wine is 8.7% alcohol, with a pH of 3.21 and 35 g/l of residual sugar. It is also an outstanding value and would be extremely flexible with spicy foods." (Jul/Aug 10)

  • 2009 Frisk "Prickly" Riesling-Muscat Gordo Victoria 375ml ($6.99)
    This delightfuly refreshing wine is a blend of 83% Riesling, sourced from vines grown in the King Valley at the base of the Victorian Alps, and 17% Muscat Gordo that is from old vines in the Riverland. The fruit is chilled, crushed, pressed and fermented very cold and very slowly, then chilled to pull up the ferment and trap a small amount of natural carbon dioxide. Loosely based on an older German style, the wine is bright and lively with a slight sweetness and palate cleansing acidity. The nose sings with lime, apricot and peach that follow on the palate with a touch of a "prickly" texture. Also, as the weather warms up, this 8.7 % ABV wine will prove a classic summer sipper. Pair this with some young cheeses or spicy Asian food and you're good to go. (Jim Chanteloup, K&L Australian wine buyer) According to Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Pale yellow, with a bubbly haze. Citrus rind, peach, smoke and ginger on the fragrant nose. Plump, ripe and sweet but almost shockingly lively, with very good clarity and cut to the flavors of pit fruits, spices, smoke and quinine. Tactile and energetic but also a touch sweet, finishing long and sappy. This singular wine is 8.7% alcohol, with a pH of 3.21 and 35 g/l of residual sugar. It is also an outstanding value and would be extremely flexible with spicy foods." (Jul/Aug 10)

France - Bordeaux - Red

  • 2007 La Croix de Beaucaillou, St-Julien ($36.99)
    90 points Wine Enthusiast: "A structured wine, with generous ripe and rich fruits, spice and tannins. It has elegance, but also good concentrated bitter chocolate, black berry juice and final refreshing acidity." (04/2010) Wine Spectator: "Faint aromas of currant and sultana lead to a medium body, with delicate tannins and a medium finish." (03/2010) K&L Notes: This wine was quite sweet on the palate. Lots of black fruit flavors even though it has quite a bit of cabernet in the blend. This is a very good second wine. Toasty oak aromas lead to the palate. Clyde loves this wine's Asian spice aromas and flavors.

  • 2005 Prieur de Meyney, St-Estèphe ($12.99)
    This is the second wine from the workhorse estate of Ch. Meyney (which got 90 points from the Wine Spectator for the 2005). A great red with structure and finesse for drinking now and over the next five years.

France - Bordeaux - Sauternes

  • 2007 Carmes de Rieussec, Sauternes - 10 available ($29.99)
    A super value for Rieussec's second wine. The second wine of Château Rieussec is selected according to the same standards as the first wine.

  • 2005 Suduiraut, Sauternes ($49.99)
    97 points James Suckling: "What a wine for the vintage, with spices and furniture wax undertones, then dried citrus fruit. Great intensity in this, powerful stuff. Perhaps the best 2005." (03/2013) 96 points Wine & Spirits: "Bright gold. Perfectly balanced. Not sweet, and yet explosively sweet with flavors of fresh nectarine, scents of jasmine and honeysuckle. The sweetness pours out of the freshness, so it's impossible to taste them apart. The flavors last, perhaps because it's the kind of wine you'll want to roll around in your mouth over and over. Glorious." (10/2008) 94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Picked over a period of eight weeks, this wine shows the class and care resulting from such efforts. Citrus and white flower aromas lead to a wine that is not overtly rich, with subtle shades of botrytis and orange marmalade flavors. The acidity is vibrant, fresh, a great balance. " (06/2008) 93 points Wine Spectator: "Shows dried pineapple, honey, pear, caramel and piecrust aromas. Full-bodied and very sweet, with spice, coconut, tropical fruit and apple tart flavors. Long and dense, yet lively. Best after 2013. " (03/2008) 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Medium yellow-gold. Incredibly sweet aromas of apricot, acacia honey and marzipan. Supersweet, round and fat, but with enough ripe acidity to leaven the wine's huge impression of volume. A powerfully fruit-driven Sauternes with superb depth, but it's almost too rich today. Finishes with palate-staining sweetness and length and surprisingly fresh acidity (I suspect the actual acid number is low). I'd give this 15 years in the cellar. This is carrying a high 165 grams per liter of residual sugar, and the percentage of new oak was raised from a normal 35% to 65% for this vintage, and yet the wine does not come across as woody." (08/2008)

France - Burgundy - Old and Rare

  • 2008 Domaine Bernard Millot Bourgogne Blanc ($17.99)
    This Chardonnay, harvested 100% manually, is situated on gravel-rich soil, Traditional aging in oak barrels for one year helps to produce this fresh though fleshy, robust white. It comes form a single well-situated vineyard in Meursault, and it's drinking terrifically. But the 2009 is coming any day, so we have a super deal to offer you on the last few bottles of 2008! (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer)

  • 2006 Domaine Bruno Colin Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru "Vergers" (Elsewhere $60) ($44.99)
    92 points Wine Spectator: "A round, buttery style, yet feels more restrained than some of its peers. The oak is toned down, and there's a mineral streak along with lime and peach flavors. The finish is fresh." (08/2009) 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Musky aromas of orchard fruits and lime lifted by minerals. Sweet and laid-back, with a high pitch to its lemon and lime flavors. Distinctly finer than the Chenevottes, with an almost Puligny-like texture and structure. Less expressive and more linear today, but also longer on the aftertaste. This rather tight wine could use three years of patience." (10/2008) Allen Meadows - Burghound: "A subtle hint of pain grillé sets off a nose redolent of straw, peach, pear and crushed rosemary hints that continue onto the round, supple and very forward, indeed almost soft though the finish tightens up so that focus is maintained on the persistent finish. Again, this is attractive..." (07/2008)

  • 2006 Domaine Philippe Colin Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru (Elsewhere $250.) ($124.99)
    93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Aromas of pineapple, ginger, crushed stone and vanillin, spicy oak. Wonderfully sweet on entry, then stony and tactile in the mid-palate, with penetrating stone fruit and quinine flavors and a very long, palate-dusting back end. This youthfully taut grand cru needs a good five years of patience." (10/2008) 92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "Soft wood toast highlights an elegant, pure and ultra refined nose of primarily white flowers and subtle spice and mineral hints that are also reflected by the round, rich and unusually generous flavors, at least in the context of a young Chevalier, that are perhaps a bit less precise than usual but more powerful as well, all wrapped in an intensely sappy and palate staining finish. If it weren't for the intense minerality, this would frankly be more in the character of a fine Bâtard than a cut from the cloth Chevalier. Either way, it should reward 5 to 7 years of cellar time." (07/2008)

  • 2006 Louis Latour St.-Veran "Les Deux Moulins" (Was $17 Elsewhere) ($11.99)
    According to the Wine Spectator: "A mix of oak spice and maturing beeswax and nut aromas and flavors mark this distinctive white. A hint of bitterness marks the finish. Drink now." (06/09)

  • 2007 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru, Cailleret, Domaine de Montille - 8 available ($135.99)
    94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The de Montille 2007 Puligny-Montrachet Caillerets delivers a haunting nose of white peach, fresh lemon, honeysuckle, and narcissus. Alive with energy and citric brightness yet also subtly creamy in texture and saturating the palate with liquid flowers and almond paste, it finishes with cut, clarity, refreshment, vibratory intensity, and a wealth of ineffable mineral nuances. This is both ultra-Caillerets and ultra-2007, and that is an impressive combination likely to resonate even a decade from now. (DS)" (12/2009) 94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Knockout nose combines pineapple, smoke, violet and menthol. Tightly wound and densely packed, with superb intensity to the pineapple, lemon and powdered stone flavors. Wonderfully silky and fine-grained wine with racy acidity providing precision and detail. Really saturates every millimeter of the palate and excites the taste buds. This is just 12.8% alcohol, but who needs more? " (10/2009) 94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Very mineral, very fresh, bright, with intense citrus and pear skin flavors. This is a delicious wine, taut and at the same time bright. It dances easily, with great layers of crisp flavors." (11/2010) 93 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "*Outstanding* A reserved, even cool but supremely elegant and equally high-toned green fruit and spiced pear nose is in perfect keeping with the precise, intense and racy mineral-infused medium full flavors that possess excellent mid-palate density and the ample dry extract coats the palate and buffers the firm acid spine on the wonderfully long finish. This is classy juice with a really wonderful mouth feel." (07/2009)

France - Burgundy - Red

  • 2006 Beaune 1er Cru, Clos du Roi, Tollot Beaut (Was $58.99) ($34.99)
    Allen Meadows writes: "As one would expect given the precocious nature of Clos du Roi, this is notably riper with a mix of red and dark berry fruit elements, earth and a hint of underbrush that is followed by rich, full and very generous medium-bodied flavors that are delicious if somewhat less complex than the Chenevery, all wrapped in a mouth coating and naturally sweet finish. While this is by no means heavy, it lacks the energy of the best in the range. To enjoy young." (04/08)

  • 2006 Beaune 1er Cru, Greves, Tollot Beaut (Was $59.00) ($34.99)
    Allen Meadows writes: "This is both fresher and more elegant with earthy yet airy red pinot fruit that merges into vibrant, round and nicely detailed middle weight flavors that possess good punch and balance on the persistent finish. This is very Grèves in character as the finale is youthfully austere though it should round out quickly. Very good quality here." (04/08)

  • 2006 Domaine Antonin Guyon Chambolle-Musigny (Was $50 Elsewhere) ($30.99)
    According to Allen Meadows: "A pure extract of red pinot fruit nose is in keeping with the equally pure, supple and round middle weight flavors that are very forward and possess slightly better phenolic ripeness than the Les Cras. In sum, this is delicious and very Chambolle in character." (Tasted: Apr 01, 2008)

  • 2006 Domaine Antonin Guyon Gevrey-Chambertin (Was $50 Elsewhere) ($27.99)
    89 points Wine Spectator: "Though silky in texture, this red also has ample tannins. This sets the stage for the cherry, berry and mineral flavors. Earth and tobacco accents complete the picture. Best from 2011 through 2018. 160 cases imported." (Web only, 2009)

  • 2006 Domaine Blain-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Rouge (Elsewhere $30) ($23.99)
    "Outstanding Top value" from Allen Meadows: "A very high-toned nose of red cherry and raspberry nuanced with a hint of pepper leads to relatively light weight flavors that are pretty, detailed and utterly delicious that culminate in a frank and direct finish of moderate length. This is a wine of pleasure and one that could easily be drunk now or tucked away for 1 to 3 years first. And as I mentioned in the intro, this would make an excellent choice for a lower end restaurant wine." (Tasted: Apr 01, 2008)

  • 2007 Domaine de Montille Beaune 1er Cru "Les Greves" - 12 available ($63.99)
    90(+?) points Stephen Tanzer: "Medium red. Spicy redcurrant, raspberry, minerals and subtle earth tones on the inviting nose. Then rather reticent and firmly built, with good energy and lift to frame the red berry and spice flavors. Precise, juicy wine with very good aging potential. This is a modest 12.5% alcohol with a rather low 3.4 pH, according to Etienne de Montille." (March/April 10) 89-91 Points Allen Meadows: "Light ruby. An earthier and more deeply pitched nose that is also perhaps a touch riper features airy and pure red and blue pinot fruit that introduces detailed, intense and equally pure medium-bodied flavors that possess solid power on the mouth coating finish. This appears to offer a notable step up in quality." (Burghound 04/09)

  • 2007 Domaine de Montille Bourgogne Rouge ($27.99)
    Outstanding! from Allen Meadows: " A high-toned nose of raspberry and cherry fruit aromas tinged with a bit of warm earth leads to nicely sappy and utterly delicious mouth coating flavors that offer fine length for a wine of this level. The only nit here is a touch of warmth. Worth a look." (Burghound, 04/09)

  • 2007 Domaine de Montille Clos Vougeot Grand Cru - 6 available ($129.95)
    90-93 points Allen Meadows: "A subtle touch of wood sets off an unusually elegant and very pinot nose interlaced with spice, violet and warm earth notes that can also be found on the complex and youthfully austere flavors that possess really lovely finishing balance and outstanding length. Like a number of wines in the range, this is not a bruiser or overly dense, indeed it could accurately be described as a Clos de Vougeot of finesse, which is not an adjective that gets used with this appellation all that often." (Tasted: Apr 01, 2009)

  • 2007 Domaine de Montille Corton Grand Cru "Clos du Roi" - 5 available ($109.95)
    91-93 points Allen Meadows: "A completely different nose presents itself as the nuances to the red berry fruit and floral aromas circle around intense game and underbrush hints that also suffuse the rich, full and powerful flavors that like the Rugiens are not especially concentrated or massive but rather there is excellent focus and superb length. This is a very tightly constructed wine at present but I suspect that it will be ready within a decade." (Tasted: Apr 01, 2009)

  • 2007 Domaine de Montille Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru "Les Thorey" - 12 available ($69.95)
    89-91 points Allen Meadows: "An almost invisible touch of wood sets off lightly spiced and exceptionally pretty and high-toned red pinot fruit aromas that are elegant, airy and cool with a hint of minerality that is transferred to the delineated, intense and vibrant flavors that are delicious and focused on the linear and persistent finish. This is on the light side but the balance is impeccable." (Tasted: Apr 01, 2009)

  • 2007 Domaine de Montille Volnay 1er Cru "Brouillards" - 12 available ($72.99)
    89-92 points Allen Meadows: "Here the stems are quite evident as this possesses the most floral aromatic profile to this point with rose petal and violet notes adding nuance to the largely red berry fruit that complements perfectly the exceptionally pure and intensely mineral suffused middle weight flavors that display terrific finishing energy, indeed to the point where I would describe the finish as explosive. A classic Volnay." (Tasted: Apr 01, 2009)

  • 2007 Domaine de Montille Volnay 1er Cru "Taillepieds" - 12 available ($89.95)
    93 points Stephen Tanzer; "Bright, full red. Highly complex, pretty aromas of raspberry and flowers hint at the sweetness of the vintage. Lively, nuanced and deep, with a sappy minerality that would have had me guessing Cote de Nuits. Really resounds on the broad, sweet, very long finish. This has delivered on its early potential and is an outstanding effort for the vintage." (March/April 10) Sweet spot Outstanding and 91-93 point Allen Meadows: "As intensely mineral driven as the '07 Mitans is, the Taillepieds is the stoniest wine in the range by a fair margin as the phrase 'extract of liquid limestone' applies. Here the nose is also intensely floral but it's even more tightly integrated with the cool, pure and airy red berry fruit aromas that introduce superbly detailed middle weight flavors that are built on a base of chalk and stone while culminating in a driving and youthfully austere finish that is akin to rolling small pebbles around in your mouth. A classic Taillepieds built to age." (Tasted: Apr 01, 2009)

  • 2007 Domaine de Montille Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru "Malconsorts" - 6 available ($164.99)
    93 points Stephen Tanzer: "Bright medium red. Raspberry, crushed stone, mocha, underbrush and a whiff of porcini on the nose. Silky, sweet and very intensely flavored, with compelling inner-mouth perfume of red fruits, minerals, smoke and dried flowers. This really opens out on the back end and finishes lush, sweet and extremely long, with a lingering smoky quality. Built for a slow evolution in bottle." (March/April 10) 91-94 points and "Don't miss!" from Allen Meadows: "Interestingly, this is more restrained aromatically than the Cuvée Christiane with a red berry fruit and earth nose liberally laced with floral notes that complement classy, pure and well delineated flavors that possess a taut muscularity on the driving, firm and balanced finish. This is not a big wine but the purity and harmony are impeccable and it should age well." (Tasted: Apr 01, 2009)

  • 2007 Domaine de Montille Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru "Malconsorts-Cuvée Christianne" - 5 available ($210.00)
    91-94 points and "Don't Miss!" from Allen Meadows: "A slightly more expressive and notably spicier nose of primarily red berry fruit aromas that also carry ample floral and earth influence over to the rich and full flavors that somewhat surprisingly do not possess the same degree of complexity, at least not at this very early juncture, while culminating in a serious, powerful and long finish that is a bit denser. I very much like the vibrancy and completeness. A qualitative choice though the Christiane is a bit more firmly structured." (Tasted: Apr 01, 2009)

  • 2006 Domaine Pierre Gelin Gevrey-Chambertin (Was $35 Elsewhere) ($26.99)
    According to Allen Meadows: "...fans of the domaine will note that I have remarked in a number of the tasting notes how much finer the tannins relative to what I have typically found here in the past. I first noticed this aspect in 2005 and when I saw it again in 2006, I asked Gelin if there was a reason. He explained that beginning in 2005 he modified his vinification somewhat by adopting a cold maceration step of up to 8 days, which he credits with the softer and finer tannins. Those readers that are leery about the rusticity often coming from Fixin might want to give a fresh look to the Gelin wines because the style has clearly changed, and for the better in my view." "Gelin has taken full advantage of the natural elegance of the '06 vintage in crafting really pretty wines at the villages level and this one is in complete accord with its pretty red berry fruit nose with a touch of depth coming in the form of underbrush, herbal and warm earth notes that can also be found on the supple, forward and sweet flavors underpinned by relatively fine tannins though the finish lacks the depth of the nose and as such, this comes across as a bit simple" (Tasted: Jan 01, 2008)

  • 2006 Domaine Tollot-Beaut Aloxe Corton 1er Cru "Vercots" ($55 Elsewhwere) - 3 available ($34.99)
    According to Allen Meadows: "This is the first wine to display any noticeable wood treatment as it frames slightly somber but fresh, earth and serious dark berry fruit aromas that are followed by supple, round and admirably pure medium full flavors that are dusty, long and sweet ..." (Tasted: Apr 01, 2008)

  • 2006 Domaine Tollot Beaut Aloxe-Corton (Was $49 Elsewhere) ($24.99)
    According to Allen Meadows: "This is even fresher with lively aromas of relatively high-toned red berry fruits, particularly currant and cranberry that complement well the delicious, punchy and detailed flavors that possess an attractive mouth feel and a dusty, long and sweet finish that offers good persistence if less overall depth. Still, this is a lovely villages."

France - Rhone Valley

  • 2007 Clos Saint-Jean "Vieilles Vignes" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (375ml) - 6 available ($29.99)
    96 points Robert Parker: "The special selection for American importer Peter Weygandt, the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes, ratchets up the level of succulence, juiciness, and opulence. It is a fabulous, compelling effort of multiple dimensions. Classic aromas and flavors of licorice, kirsch liqueur, balsam wood, and lavender are found in this enormously full-bodied wine along with unreal concentration and perfect balance. This astonishing effort should drink well for 20+ years." (10/09)

  • 2007 Domaine Contant-Duquesnoy Vinsobres ($22.99)
    90-92 points Robert Parker: "Another terrific discovery in the southern Rhone, this blend of 65% Grenache and 35% Syrah from the cool-climate village of Vinsobres possesses an inky/ruby/purple color as well as black cherry, black currant, underbrush, forest floor, and crushed rock-like aromas and flavors. It is medium to full-bodied and pure with good acidity and a long finish. Enjoy it over the next 5-7 years." (02/09) 15% abv.

Germany - German - Old and Rare

  • 2008 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Gold Capsule 375ml - 12 available ($45.99)
    96 points Wine Spectator: "A concentrated style, yet racy and intense, marshaling its jellied lime, peach, ripe apple and slate flavors to a long conclusion. So balanced and harmonious it seems ethereal and almost gossamer in texture. Enjoyable now, but will be even better in time. Best from 2015 through 2035. 50 cases made." (04/10) 95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Golden yellow. Flamboyantly rich aromas of pear preserves, wild honey and clove are embedded in smoky botrytis. Rich and creamy, with a candied apricot flavor studded with lime peel-and brown spices thrown in for good measure. This wonderfully elegant wine is certainly one of the finest ausleses of the vintage." (Jan/Feb 10) The Haag estate to those in the know is perhaps the one of the, if not the, most respected names in German fine wine. Quality is always the focus at this estate, and quantity is extremely limited. The very steep vineyards with grades up to 73%, are planted on slate rock, and are among the most difficult vineyard sites in the world to cultivate. Like "solar collectors", they too are extremely efficient in absorbing every available ray of sunshine. Hence, even in off-vintages the Brauneberger wines from the hillside vineyards are usually successful.

  • 2008 Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Riesling Auslese ($48.99)
    93 points Wine Spectator: A rich, creamy white, boasting peach, black currant and vanilla flavors. Hard not to drink this now, but the vibrant structure will allow this to age gracefully. Drink now through 2032." 150 cases made. –BS A denser core of iron and a deeper sense of slate and stone than the Spatlese. At first it comes off as a bigger style of Spatlese but then the intensity of its true being reveals itself with yellow stone fruit, hints of cassis, raspberry and lime, crushed iron and a touch of almond paste on the finish. A real showcase of what happens in this very unique terroir! According to Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Pale golden yellow. Ripe aromas of yellow plum, cherry and acacia blossom. Supple, fresh and enticing, with subdued candied pineapple fruit complemented by a touch of honey. Perhaps not stunning, but a very nice wine to quaff on a summer afternoon on the patio." (Jan/Feb 10)

  • 2008 Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Riesling Spätlese - 12 available ($34.99)
    90 points Wine Spectator: "Lime, apple and grapefruit notes collaborate with the vibrant structure and weightless profile, leaving a vivid impression on the palate. A racy Riesling, with a mouthwatering mineral finish. Best from 2011 through 2025." 500 cases made. And, according to Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Pale yellow. Delicate aromas of white peach, persimmon and lemon oil. The palate offers a subtle play of ripe apricot fruit and subdued minerality, with just enough fresh acidity to give it shape. Nicely balanced on the satisfying finish." (Jan/Feb 10)

  • 2008 Schloss Lieser Niederberg Helden Riesling Spätlese "EL" ($27.99)
    91 points Wine Spectator: "Broad strokes of apple, pear and grapefruit flavors are allied to a rich texture, with lively acidity underneath and a salty, minerally aftertaste. Drink now through 2020." 500 cases made. –BS The nose is a little tight, but it does reveal some earth and citrus tones, it will open considerably with time. On the palate it really shows itself to be special. The wine is ethereal, so ghostly, yet so powerful. It morphs from classic Spatlese profiles in the front and mid palate, to a rush of more tropical pineapple fruit on the finish. Weingut Schloss Lieser was established around the turn of the century. It was one of 99 holdings under the control of Baron von Schorlemer, Germany's Secretary of Agriculture. His ancestral seat was in his castle (Schloss) in the town of Lieser. At one time the Lieserer vineyards were quite highly regarded, but then followed years of neglect. In 1992, a very successful real estate broker from Cologne, Wolfgang Reichel, acquired the estate. His goal - make wines that live up to the potential of the Lieser vineyards. As manager and cellar master he hired Thomas Haag. Thomas was a recent graduate from Geisenheim and son of Wilhelm Haag, proprietor of the Fritz Haag estate. In 1997 Thomas Haag bought the estate. Thomas Haag's winemaking philosophy is quite closely aligned with that of his father. The vineyards are maintained to yield quality not quantity.

  • 2006 Schloss Schönborn Hattenheimer Pfaffenberg Spätlese (was $29) ($14.99)
    This is a rich style of Spatlese. Big aromatics of ripe peach and a soft touch of mint really shine through. A coating texture leads you into a soft mouthwatering finish.

Italy - Italian - Old and Rare

  • 2008 Gianni Russo Prosecco ($13.99)
    You might recognize the name of this brand from such famous films as Godfather. Yep, the intense Italo-American actor Mr. Russo is now behind a wine as well as a pasta sauce line. Perhaps the most surprising thing about this is that the wines are really good! This is an elegant straw colored sparkling wine with aromas of wild flowers and notes of green apple. It has tiny bubbles with a frothy feel on the palate. It is excellent as an aperitif or with any appetizer featuring fish or shellfish.

  • 2008 Marisa Cuomo Ravello Bianco - 12 available ($21.99)
    Marisa Cuomo is fortunate in that she calls one of the most beautiful places in the world home, and that is the Amalfi coast. And in this painfully picturesque spot, she fashions equally beautiful wines that have a real affinity for the local cuisine, especially fish. This blend of 60% Falanghina, 40% Biancolella gives off floral hints of honeysuckle and fresh cut daisy. Generally light in body, but not lacking structure, its freshness and excellent acidity make it a shoe in for fish and crustaceans.

  • 2007 STELLA Pinot Grigio - 10 available ($8.99)
    Leonardo LoCascio, owner and CEO of Winebow Inc., realized that as the popularity of many Italian varietals increased in the United States, so did their prices, often without a comparable increase in quality. Thus, wanting to provide the American wine lover with high quality Italian varietal wines that remained reasonably priced, Winebow designed Stella (star in Italian) to offer consumers a complete line of excellent value wines, perfect for everyday drinking and unmistakably Italian in style. All grapes used in the production of this delicious Pinot Grgio come from vineyard owners with whom Leonardo has developed a close and trusting relationship over the years in order to guarantee the highest level of quality. All practices in the vineyards follow strict guidelines, and only the most modern equipment is employed in the cellars. Though inexpensive in the extreme, this Pinot Gigio exhibits true varietal character aside from being pretty much impossible to like!

  • 2006 Valle dell'Acate Bidis (chardonnay/inzolia) ($28.99)
    According to the Wine Spectator: "Apple and ripe melon on the nose, with floral and piecrust notes, following through to a full-bodied palate... Chardonnay and Insolia. Drink now. 500 cases made." (Web only, 2009)

Italy - Italy

  • 2006 Bruno Rocca Barbaresco - 6 available ($49.99)
    93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Beautiful concentration and opulent richness open the way for ensuing aromas of black cherry, leather, tobacco, blackberry and spice. Bruno Rocca is a tireless advocate of Barbaresco. His base wine is soft and plush with lingering tones of allspice, clove, smoke and ginger that ride over solid tannins. Drink after 2012. (ML)" (04/2009) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2006 Barbaresco is like drinking a village Burgundy from a world-class producer. Nothing in particular stands out - just the wine's impeccable balance and class. Sweet, open aromatics meld into an expressive core of fruit, with soft, well-integrated tannins and lovely overall balance. This is a great choice for drinking over the mid-term. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2016. " (10/2009) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Medium red with an amber rim. Reticent aromas of red cherry, dried flowers and chestnut. Sweet on entry, then quite tight in the middle, hinting only at a floral perfume. Finishes with granular, slightly drying tannins and good length. " (12/2009)

  • 2006 Bruno Rocca Barbaresco "Rabaja" - 12 available ($94.99)
    93(+?)points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Nov/Dec 09: "Good medium red. Complex, highly perfumed nose combines cherry liqueur, dried rose, camphor and wild herbs. This very ripe, broad wine has a texture of liquid silk, but also plenty of tannic structure to support the flavors of raspberry, red cherry and rose petal. Finishes with a suave dusting of tannins and lovely finesse. Really resounds on the juicy, sweet aftertaste. A very classy wine with energy that comes from limestone." 92 points Robert Parker: "The 2006 Barbaresco Rabaja is a decidedly approachable, medium-bodied version of this wine. Sweet roses, raspberries and spices emerge from the Rabaja but the sheer muscle and layered quality that informs the finest vintages seems missing. Still, this is a very pretty, harmonious, if delicate, Rabaja relative to the finest vintages. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2021." (10/09)

  • 2007 Bruno Rocca Barbera d'Alba ($31.99)
    90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Nov/Dec 09: "Good deep ruby-red. Black cherry, blackberry, violet and dusty brown spices on the nose, with a hint of reduction. Sweet and deep but with real barbera sap and energy: nothing overdone about this 2007. There's a cool medicinal reserve to the ripe red and black fruit flavors. Finishes long and elegant. This was aged entirely in used barriques."

  • 2007 Bruno Rocca Barbera d'Asti ($24.99)
    According to the Wine Spectator: "A soft, fruity wine, with berry, chocolate and vanilla aromas and flavors. This has good fruit and a friendly finish. Drink now. 670 cases made." (12/09)

  • 2008 Bruno Rocca Dolcetto d'Alba "Trifole" ($19.99)
    89 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Nov/Dec 09: "Good bright, dark red. Lovely perfume to the aromas of red cherry and violet. Juicy, pure and firmly built, even youthfully tight. I find this lively, floral wine a bit pinot-like. Finishes juicy and pure, with firm tannins. From 40-year-old vines."

  • 2007 Gianni Russo Chianti ($8.99)
    This wine has a generous bouquet with a fruity, floral flavor with hints of morello cherry and violet and a dry, well-balanced flavor.

  • 2008 Gianni Russo Merlot del Veneto ($8.99)
    You might recognize the name of this brand from such famous films as Godfather. Yep, the intense Italo-American actor Mr. Russo is now behind a wine as well as a pasta sauce line. Perhaps the most surprising thing about this is that the wines are really good! This Merlot is intense and elegant with aromas of plums and berries. On the palate it is velvety and round with a full-bodied palate impression and a hint of green pepper. Try with pasta in red sauce!

  • 2007 Gianni Russo Montepulciano d'Abruzzo ($8.99)
    You might recognize the name of this brand from such famous films as Godfather. Yep, the intense Italo-American actor Mr. Russo is now behind a wine as well as a pasta sauce line. Perhaps the most surprising thing about this is that the wines are really good! This one is both fruity and floral with flavors of violets, raspberry, and cherry with soft supple tannins. Just the thing for cheese filled pastas.

  • 2006 Gianni Russo Super Tuscan Maremma ($49.99)
    You might recognize the name of this brand from such famous films as Godfather. Yep, the intense Italo-American actor Mr. Russo is now behind a wine as well as a pasta sauce line. Perhaps the most surprising thing about this is that the wines are really good! This blend of Sangiovese, Syrah and Merlot (made with partially dried grapes, that is the "passito" wine making process) is intense with evident signs of cherry, sour cherry and preserves of red fruits. To the taste, it has a notable structure that: makes it particularly soft, with strength and savory-ness, as well as a fine equilibrium.

  • 2006 Gianni Russo Super Tuscan Monteregio ($34.99)
    You might recognize the name of this brand from such famous films as Godfather. Yep, the intense Italo-American actor Mr. Russo is now behind a wine as well as a pasta sauce line. Perhaps the most surprising thing about this is that the wines are really good! This is Sangiovese (90%) and Merlot aged for 12 months in Barriques. On the nose it reveals spicy traces recalling a fruity dried plum scent. To the taste, it is full and intense with a good equilibrium of alcohol, acidity and tannins. Try this impressive red with barbecued meats and game. It is also excellent with seasoned cheeses.

  • 2007 Querciabella Chianti Riserva (5L) - 1 available ($249.00)
    According to Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "In recent years the Querciabella has established itself as one of Tuscany's top Chianti Classicos, as it is again in 2007." (08/09)

  • 2009 Saracco Moscato d'Asti ($15.99)
    90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Saracco's 2009 Moscato d'Asti is like cashmere on the palate in its impossibly fine mousse. Beautifully articulated varietal aromas and flavors come together, showing exceptional elegance and pedigree. Paolo Saracco is one of the reference-point producers of fine Moscato. I always make sure to have at least a few bottles on hand at the house." (08/10)

Other International - Other Misc. Imports

  • 2006 Teliani Valley Khvanchkara, Lechkhumi, Republic of Georgia - 8 available ($21.99)
    This semi-sweet red hales from the Lechkhumi appellation of the Republic of Georgia. Sure, it's not easy to pronounce the wine. But drinking it down is another story! It is made from the indigenous varietals Aleksandrouli and Mujuretuli. We're guessing you have no idea what that means in terms of aroma and flavor, right? Well, this ripe and super friendly wine serves up lots of Ranier cherry and raspberry with a velvety smooth texture.

Spain - Spain and Portugal

  • 2007 Federico Tinto Roble Ribera del Duero ($14.99)
    This is not only my early front runner for Ribera del Duero value of the year, but Tempranillo value of the year as well. It is the best Spanish value I sampled in all of 2009, though since I tried it at the end of the year when we had plenty of wine in stock, I knew it would have to wait until 2010. At only 12.5% alcohol, there is a whole lot of flavor and Tempranillo character in this wine, an unbelievable value that should appeal to Spanish wine drinkers and many others as well. If you have heard of the famed Pesquera winery, then you should know that owner Alejandro Fernandez's brother owns Federico. In fact, while the Pesquera name went to Alejandro, the family's terrific, original vineyard holdings all went to Federico. The quality of the wine shows: savory dark cherry flavors show a meaty quality, combined with a spine of stern acidity and effortless balance that I rarely see in young Ribera del Duero at any price, let alone $15. Buy this one by the case; it's ready to drink now but will surely improve for up to five years in the cellar. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer) According to Stephen Tanezr's International Wine Cellar: "Deep ruby with a bright rim. Cherry, blackberry and vanilla on the nose, with hints of Indian spices and cracked pepper adding complexity. Sweet red and dark berry flavors are braced by tangy minerality. Smooth and very easy to drink, with good finishing sweetness and an echo of spices." (Sept/Oct '09)

United States - Domestic Cabernet Sauvignon

  • 2006 Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon ($74.99)
    95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is big, dark and juicy. There is an element of wildness that runs through the wine. Graphite, licorice, tar and smoke are just some of the nuances that add complexity. The 2006 boasts superb purity from start to finish. Elements of fleshiness give the impression the 2006 might drink well relatively early, until the massive tannins set in. Floral notes add freshness on the finish. This is another fabulous wine from Randy Dunn. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2036." (12/2011) 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright full medium ruby. Expressive nose offers cassis, blackberry, black raspberry and leather scents lifted by a minty nuance. Lush and fine-grained but with a firm edge of acidity and menthol and minty nuances energizing the rich dark berry flavors. Finishes with civilized tannins but still needs a few years to harmonize its acidity. Like the Napa Valley bottling, this is suppler than many past releases of this wine. (92+?)" (06/2010)

  • 2005 Eponymous Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - 3 available ($36.99)
    From Wine Spectator: "Clean, ripe, pure black cherry and red currant flavors are elegant and stylish, with a burst of tart berry fruit and firm tannins evident on the finish." (Barrel Tasting, Aug. 31, 2006)

  • 2007 Ilaria Napa Cabernet Sauvignon - 12 available ($64.99)
    93 points Robert Parker: "The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon (94% Cabernet Sauvignon and rest Petit Verdot) is a limited production cuvee offering a dense opaque purple color, beautiful black currant, charcoal, and smoky aromas, a gracious, elegant, well-balanced style, medium to full body, beautiful concentration, and an endearing texture and length. There is nothing out of place in this supple, already appealing Cabernet. It should last for 15+ years." (12/09)

  • J. Bookwalter "Subplot #23" Red Columbia Valley ($10.99)
    An amazing value this Washington red from the Columbia Valley is a blend of 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 14% Syrah, 13% Malbec, 9% Petite Verdot, 4% Barbera and 3% Cabernet Franc. Intense aromas of choke cherries, red and black currants mixed with a bit of cola and sweet spices. The wine enters the palate sweet, has a medium to broad fruity mid-palate and coats the mouth with flavors of plums, maraschino cherries, baker's chocolate, all spice and nutmeg. The finish is long and elevated by the bright acidity and with time will age beautifully given the concentration and power of the fruit coupled with the natural acidity and tannins in the wine. Best from 2009-2018. (Alex Pross, K&L Wine Club Director)

United States - Domestic Cabernet Sauvignon - Old and Rare

  • 2004 Colgin "Herb Lamb Vineyard" Napa Cabernet Sauvignon - 3 available ($339.00)
    95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "There are 188 cases of the 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard. This inky/purple cuvee exhibits a scorched earth, flowery, blueberry, and blackberry-scented bouquet with hints of barbecue spices, pain grille, licorice, and espresso roast. Full-bodied, opulent, and dense, with considerable tannin lurking underneath all the extract and structure, it needs 2-3 years of cellaring and should age nicely for 20-25 years." (12/2006) 94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Ruby-red. Highly aromatic nose offers black raspberry, black cherry, minerals and gravel. Dense, lush and sweet, with spicy black raspberry, dark chocolate, violet and licorice flavors complemented by oak. This is wonderfully rich (15.5% alcohol) but retains plenty of energy. Finishes very long, with firm but ripe tannins. Impressive." (06/2007) K&L Notes: Highly sought after and always in short supply, Colgin Cellars is a California wine collector's dream producer. Sold by the winery directly at release, we are often able to obtain these wines from selected private cellars. If you're not lucky enough to be on the Colgin mailing list, here's your chance to live like you are!

United States - Domestic Old Misc.

  • 2007 Ceritas "Porter Bass Vineyard" Russian River Chardonnay - 9 available ($46.99)

  • 2006 Chalone Monterey Chardonnay ($8.99)
    According to Wine Spectator: "Sleek and focused, with subtle pear, melon and honeysuckle notes that are medium-weight, ending with a burst of flavor and a touch of minerality. Drink now through 2012. 15,900 cases made." (02/09)

  • 2007 Chateau St Jean "La Petite Etoile" Sonoma Fume Blanc ($13.98)
    89 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The flagship offering, the 2007 Fume Blanc La Petite Etoile, is more muted aromatically, but there is a lot going on in this wine, especially on the palate. It is more promising in the mouth than in its shy aromatics, but those will emerge if my instincts are correct. Fresh, lively, fig, melon, flint, and a hint of freshly mowed grass, medium-bodied flavors, zesty acidity, no evidence of wood, and a long finish suggest it can be drunk over the next several years." (12/08)

United States - Domestic Other Misc. Red

  • 2007 Ilaria "Traveling Roo" Napa Valley Red Blend - 12 available ($39.99)
    90 points Robert Parker: "The 2007 The Traveling Roo, an innovative blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Petit Verdot, offers peppery, blueberry and blackberry fruit intermixed with notions of violets, incense, and graphite. Enjoy this soft, round red over the next 5-7 years." (12/09)

  • 2008 Steele Shooting Star "Blue Franc" Washington Blaufrankisch ($13.99)
    Unlike other Steele and Shooting Star red wine bottlings, our Blue Franc receives little, or no, oak aging. Some liken our Blue Franc, depending on vintage, to Pinot Noir in lighter years and Zinfandel in the riper vintages. Sometimes it is totally akin to a top-flight Gamay from Beaujolais. The wine is clean, crisp, and unpretentious with tons of fruit, including warm berry pie, complementing the traces of pepper, almond, cherry and cinnamon. Our Shooting Star Blue Franc has soft tannins, medium body, great color and is the perfect red wine to enjoy over the summer with any festive occasion. It is excellent with appetizers, cheeses, BBQ, and picnics. Recently we had the opportunity to try the Blue Franc on the deck with a toasted sandwich of smoked chicken, grilled onion, and avocado – quintessentially quaffable! Jed Steele

United States - Domestic Pinot Noir

  • 2006 Cambria "Julia's Vineyard" Estate Santa Maria Pinot Noir (375ml) - 12 available ($11.99)
    93 points, an Editors' Choice and the Wine Enthusiast's #1 wine of the year in their Top 100 of 2009: "This is the best Pinot Noir at this price on the market. Easily. It's picture-perfect cool climate, absolutely dry and silky, with complex flavors of cherries, Mandarin orange, cola, pomegranates, licorice and cinnamon sice, made even richer by smoky oak. Just lovely, and gets even better as it breathes in the glass." (02/09) 4 stars from Restaurant Wine Magazine (Ronn Wiegand)... "A fine Pinot Noir. The Julia's is finely flavored and full bodied with excellent balance. It is moderately intense in character (red currant, cherry, toast, violet), and long on the finish." This wine is named after the daughter of Cambria's owner, Barbara Banke.

  • 2007 Steele Carneros Pinot Noir ($19.99)
    The Carneros Pinot Noir has always been produced as a classically-styled “Pinot-lover’s Pinot”, with moderate oak, high-tone fruit flavors, a rich nose, juicy palate and long finish. After fermentation the wine is aged for nine months in a combination of French, Oregon and Hungarian barrels.

United States - Domestic Syrah and Petite Sirah

  • 2007 Ilaria Napa Syrah - 12 available ( Price: Hidden )
    91 points Robert Parker: "The 2007 Syrah, from the cool climate Coombsville area, exhibits classic blackberry, bacon fat, and peppery notes, medium to full body, supple tannins, and a fleshy mouthfeel. Drink it over the next 5-6 years." (12/09)

  • 2006 Two Angels High Valley Petite Sirah - 9 available ($17.99)
    90 points from Wine Enthusiast: "If you’re a Petite Sirah fan you’ll love the richness and power of this one, from an appellation in Lake County. It’s dry and softly tannic, and notable for an explosion of blackberries, cassis, plums, chocolate, anise, black pepper and sandalwood." (8/1/2009)

United States - Domestic Zinfandel

  • 2008 Brown Estate Napa Zinfandel ($34.99)
    This 2008 Napa Valley Zinfandel boasts the classic exotic nose of its hallmark lineage while displaying a delicate clear rim surrounding beautifully clear garnet color with a touch of blue. Nose opens to give way to hibiscus flower, Chinese five spice, dried kumquat and a touch of early morning bakery. Full-bodied with a juicy mouthfeel and expressive sweet black raspberry, pomegranate, and black currant, this wine is also exuberant with sweet citron, fleshy fruit, cinnamon toast, and deep dark jam. Briary asphalt and a touch of hillside dust impart a complexity that will take your enjoyment to new heights. This classic old-school Napa Valley zinfandel is exceptionally well-balanced with a long expressive finish. Robust enough to pair with big game and hearty pappardelle with rabbit ragu, or classic roast chicken with root vegetables.

United States - Other Spirits

  • Kuchan Indian Blood Peach Eau De Vie 375ml - 6 available ($35.99)
    From newly established Old World Spirits in local Belmont, CA, Croatian-born master distiller Davorin Kuchan has brought his family tradition of craft spirits to the Bay Area. All the fruit in this brandy comes from Placerville's Apple Hill and are all Indian Blood peaches - a variety that is difficult to sell as produce because it splits easily. However, the Indian Blood peaches are incredibly flavorful and as the base for fermentation, they really come through in the spirit. The aromas are delicate, but unmistakably peachy and the pure flavor carries over to the flavor on the palate as well. This is very good eau de vie. (David Driscoll, K&L Spirits Buyer) From the Beverage Tasting Institute: "93 Points. Clear with a silvery cast. Effusive, dimension, and earthy dried peach aromas and flavors with a satiny fruity-yet-dry medium-full body and a long, smooth, peach blossom, limestone, and honey yogurt accented finish." (11/2011)

  • Kuchan Juglans Nigra Black Walnut Liqueur 375ml - 4 available ($28.99)
    From newly established Old World Spirits in local Belmont, CA, Croatian-born master distiller Davorin Kuchan has brought his family tradition of craft spirits to the Bay Area. This liqueur has no perceptable sweetness whatsoever, so it's more like a walnut-macerated brandy - it is unlike anything you've ever tasted. The California black walnuts are crushed and then macerated in the Zinfandel-based brandy for over nine months! At the end a bit of cinnamon and vanilla is added, as well as organic tapioca. This is a tradition that has been in Kuchan's family for generations and is part of the Croatian tradition of planting a walnut tree in front of the house where a baby has just been born. Both the tradition and the spirit are beautiful. The color is a brown-amber and the flavors are nutty, as the brandy intermingles with the natural oils in the walnuts. (David Driscoll, K&L Spirits Buyer)

  • Kuchan Poire William Pear Eau De Vie 375ml - 5 available ($35.99)
    From newly established Old World Spirits in local Belmont, CA, Croatian-born master distiller Davorin Kuchan has brought his family tradition of craft spirits to the Bay Area. The pear brandy has a lovely nose that jumps right out of the glass, and the entry is softer than most other fruit eau de vies. The difference according to Kuchan is the yeast he uses during fermentaion - a trade secret he keeps to himself. He also ferments the fruit for over a month, letting the slow process really give the spirit character. The result speaks for itself - these are amazing products that we are very excited to see in our store. (David Driscoll, K&L Spirits Buyer)

  • La Sorcière Absinthe Supèrieure Verte 750ml - 6 available ($72.99)
    The La Sorcière Absinthes are made by Old World Spirits a new distillery in Belmont, California established Croatian-born master distiller Davorin Kuchan. The Verte is a brandy-based absinthe distilled from wine made by local California growers, macerated with wormwood, fennel, anise, star anise and other herbs before distillation. Then the spirit gets a second maceration where the chlorophyll from the herbs imparts a green color. The aromas are not as bold as some of its contemporaries, partly because Kuchan tones down the proof to 100, but the concentration is beautiful. The anise really shines and the flavors are clean and focused. This is an absinthe I would like to drink straight, with no water added. La Sorcière has gotten rave reviews from the Wormwood Society, and from us here as well. (David Driscoll, K&L Spirits Buyer)

BACK IN STOCK...
(items we've carried in the past that have just arrived again)

Argentina - Argentina and Chile

  • 2007 Fabre Montmayou Malbec Gran Reserva Mendoza ($18.99)
    92 points Wine Advocate: "The 2007 Malbec Gran Reserva was sourced from 60+-year-old vineyards in Vistalba. It was aged in French oak for 10 months. Opaque purple-colored, it delivers an expressive perfume of pain grille, mineral, scorched earth, violets, and black cherry. On the palate it is medium to full-bodied with layers of savory dark fruit, ripe tannin, excellent balance, and an elegant personality. Give this outstanding effort 2-3 years in the cellar and enjoy it from 2011 to 2023. Fabre Montmayou is owned by Domaine Vistalba with startup in 1992. A vineyard that was planted in 1908 was purchased in the Vistalba region of Mendoza. In addition, Paul Hobbs has just been signed on as a consultant." (12/08) This is truly special, noteworthy Malbec. It resonated even with one of our most jaded, experienced tasters' (and winemakers') palates. I'll give you a few clues as to who that person is... if you're local to our Redwood City store let's just say that he has a moustache, has been selling wine professionally for a while, enjoys riding bikes, and his name rhymes with Tim Carr. Moving away from personalities and back to a wine that's full of personality, the '07 Fabre Montmayou shows rich, well structured, plummy Malbec fruit. There is an appealing mineral core to the mid-palate, as well as some tasty roasted coffee bean flavors. Pure, intense and long, this is a classic, big yet elegant rendition of one of our favorite grape varietals.

Australia - Australia

  • 2007 d'Arenberg "Laughing Magpie" Shiraz-Viognier ($18.99)
    92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Shiraz-Viognier blends have become quite the ticket in recent years (what to do with all that so-so Viognier) but one of the first and still one of the best is the Laughing Magpie. The opaque purple-colored 2007 The Laughing Magpie Shiraz (90%)-Viognier (10%) offers up an expressive bouquet of smoke, mineral, violets, and wild blueberry. Medium-to full-bodied on the palate, it has tons of ripe blue fruits, spice notes, and enough structure to evolve for 2-3 years. This lengthy, pleasure-bent effort will be at its best from 2010 to 2020." (02/09) 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Sep/Oct 08: "(shiraz with 5% viognier) Deep, bright-rimmed ruby. Exotically perfumed, sexy bouquet of blackberry and mulberry, along with fresh flowers and incense. Pliant dark berry flavors coat the palate, picking up a suave candied floral quality with air. Leaves a trail of Asian spices behind on the long, juicy finish. Already complex enough to drink."

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

  • 1994 Penfolds Grange Hermitage - 1 available ($249.00)
    96 points Wine Spectator: "A magnificent edifice of a wine, elegant and refined in structure but dripping with flavor--a virtual cascade of plum, black cherry, blackberry, anise, pepper and exotic spices that lingers on the finish; this just doesn't quit." (11/1999) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This is the first vintage where Grange went to a bottle with laser-etched identification numbers to preclude the possibility of fraudulent bottles. The wine, a blend of 89% Shiraz and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, shows some toasty oak mixed with notes of root vegetables, damp earth, blackberry liqueur, prune, and licorice. The wine is dense, full-bodied, not terribly complex in the mouth, but layered and rich. I would not be surprised to see the rating on this wine improve as this youthful Grange continues to evolve. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2020." (12/2002) K&L Notes: Penfolds Grange has been Australia's premier wine offering for decades, and has won numerous accolades. Highly sought after by collectors, their vintages go back to the 1950s. It's even listed as a "Heritage Icon of South Australia" .

France - Alsace/Loire - Old and Rare

  • 2004 Domaine Chatelain "Les Vignes de St. Laurent L'Abbaye" Pouilly-Fumé (Was $22) ($4.99)
    90 points Wine Spectator: "Very juicy, with vibrant lemon, straw, peach and mineral flavors that crackle through a bright, tangy finish. Lengthy too. Drink now through 2006." (10/06)

France - Armagnac and Cognac

  • Cognac Park Borderies Single Vineyard 750ml (was $60) - 10 available ($44.99)
    Following a decade working in the London wine trade for Corney & Barrow, Berry Bros. & Rudd and then his own business, Dominic Park decided in the early 1990s to move to France and create a new Cognac house. Maison Cognac Park was born to make straightforward, unadulterated Cognacs presented in simple packaging. In essence, the idea was to offer an alternative to the stereotype of over-caramelized brown Cognacs sold in flamboyant crystal decanters or frosted glass bottles. It was a fortunate period to enter the Cognac market when prices of eaux-de-vie were at their lowest. Dominic started by acquiring a bedrock of unblended spirits aged between two and 60 years in Tronçais oak casks. He housed these eaux-de-vie in cellars on the banks of the River Charente, on the outskirts of the town of Cognac, where the 80% relative humidity is ideal for storage. Borderies is often thought of as the third tier of Cognac regions. While it is the smallest cru, it isn't actually lower in quality, it's simply made in a different style. Eau-de-vie from Borderies tend to have enhanced richness, savory character and a distinctive floral quality. Be sure to try this before the trend changes. Average blend age 8-12 years. Presented in the traditional Cognaçaise bottle. (David Othenin-Girard, K&L Spirits buyer)

France - Beaujolais

  • 2006 Domaine Ruet Brouilly Cru Beaujolais Vieilles Vignes ($16.99)
    The Ruet family estate, which is set on the remarkable terroir of Voujon in Cercié-en-Beaujolais at the foot of Mont , has been fuelled by a passion for Beaujolais wine and land for six generation since 1926. Ruet's Brouilly Vieilles Vignes is quite delicate, with fruity scents of raspberry and blackberry in harmony with licorice aromas and a mineral note at the end. It is long, ample and full-flavored in the mouth. According to Wine Enthuisast: "With the exta maturity, this wine has a fine, rounded character. It has depth of plum berry and spice flavors to go with the dusty, soft tannins. There's a fine velvet quality as the wine fills out." (11/09)

  • 2006 Domaine Ruet Cote de Brouilly Cru Beaujolais ($16.99)
    Absolutely classic Cote de Brouilly from a small, dedicated grower. This has bright Gamay spice, a very long finish, and nice complexity. No simple carbonically macerated wine, but a serious, grown-up, lovely wine with a nice snap. Terrific value! (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer)

France - Bordeaux - Old and Rare

  • 1970 Beychevelle, St. Julien (high to mid shoulder fills, oxidized capsules) - 8 available ($129.00)
    90 points Wine Spectator: "Deep garnet; tight, cedary nose, with minty nuances and tar emerging; full, firm, dusty texture; spicy, almost rich in flavor; fully evolved; stylish." (05/1993) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Fully mature with a spicy, plum-like bouquet, and some caramel aromas, the 1970 Beychevelle is round, fruity, quite silky and soft, and nicely concentrated. It lacks complexity and the depth of the best 1970s, but is still quite attractive." (01/1998)

  • 1999 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien ($49.99)
    89 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 1999 Branaire is from an under-rated estate. This is a beautifully perfumed effort revealing scents of graphite, lead pencil shavings, blueberries, raspberries, and black currants. The wine is rich, layered, medium-bodied, pure, and elegant. It is a complex St.-Julien with good flavor depth, soft tannin, and unobtrusive acidity. Drink it now and over the next 12-15+ years." (04/2002) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Ruby-red. Aromas of smoky oak, chocolate, tobacco leaf, mint and earth. Flavors generally cooler than those of the 2001 and 2000, ranging from red fruit liqueur to less-ripe leafy and minty notes. Offers an attractive fruit/acid balance, but there's less stuffing here to support the somewhat less ripe tannins, giving the finish a faint dryness." (06/2002) Wine Spectator: "Pretty raspberry, spice and floral aromas to this red. Medium-bodied, with fine tannins and a slightly astringent finish. A bit hollow in the midpalate. Give it some time in the bottle." (03/2002)

  • 1970 Calon-Ségur, St-Estèphe (High to top shoulder fills, slight signs of seepage) - 11 available ($69.95)
    Michael Broadbent: "Fragrant and fruity in cask. Evolving pleasantly through the 1980s. Most recently, a good mature colour, distinctly sweet, sound, drinking well. Last noted at an office tasting at Christie's, June 1998. 3 stars." (Michael Broadbent's Vintage Wine, pg 80)

  • 1970 Clerc-Milon, Pauillac (some top/high shoulder fills, some slightly oxidized capsules) ($69.99)
    1970 was an excellent all-round vintage for Bordeaux, and wines from 1970 typically display lots of structure when young along with lots of fruit. 1970 just happened to be the year that the fifth growth Clerc Milon was purchased by Baron Philippe de Rothschild, a watershed occasion for the estate, which had been an underachiever in decades past. Strange that the wines weren't always spectacular, if you consider that the vineyards of Clerc Milon lay sandwiched between Mouton and Lafite.

  • 1966 Cos d'Estournel (Mid shoulder fills) - 2 available ($129.00)
    Four Stars Michael Broadbent in Vintage Wine: "From the start a splendid wine, the start being February after the vintage, so it was probably de Luze jumping the gun again. Ten consistently good notes through the 1970s and 1980s, hitting a high (5-star) spot in 1990. Since then just a couple of notes. A bottle recorked in 1988, bought at one of Christie's auctions in 1996 and served at my Bordeaux Club dinner in 1998. I see that I gave it a lot of air, drawing the fork at 4pm, decanting at 6pm and pouring at 8.20pm. It was really worth it for the bouquet was wonderfully fragrant, cedary, tea-like; sweet, delicious, easy and charming yet with a sustaining core…Claret at its best."

  • 2003 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe ($159.99)
    98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The prodigious, fantastic 2003 Cos d’Estournel is a candidate for 'wine of the vintage.' A blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon (unusually high for this chateau), 30% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc, 17,500 cases were produced from low yields. An inky/blue/purple color is accompanied by a compelling perfume of black fruits, subtle smoke, pain grille, incense, and flowers. With extraordinary richness, full body, and remarkable freshness, elegance, and persistence, this is one of the finest wines ever made by this estate. The good news is that it will be drinkable at a young age yet evolve for three decades or more. Kudos to winemaker Jean-Guillaume Prats and owner Michel Reybier." (04/2006) 97 points Wine Spectator: "Gorgeous aromas of blackberry, spice and mineral. Full-bodied, with ultrafine tannins and a long, long finish. This is first-growth quality. Best after 2012." (03/2006) 95 points Wine Enthusiast: "With its aromas of new wood, spice and black fruits, this promises from the start to be a powerful, polished wine. It is dense, very ripe (from the high percentage of Merlot in the blend), but still packed with tannins. It’s a massive wine, bringing together the heat of 2003 with the big tannins of Saint-Estèphe." (05/2006) 94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Red-ruby. Knockout nose combines currant, espresso, earth and exotic spices. Wonderfully round and sweet, with outstanding volume and density. A spherical, seamless wine that saturates the entire palate. The huge but lush tannins coat the teeth. This is accessible now but has the sheer material for long aging." (06/2006) Jancis Robinson: "Dark bricky garnet. Rich and spicy with dried-fruit aromas but also a leafy note. Fine-grained, dry but not at all drying. More elegant than many. Lively and harmonious and attractively dry. Finesse and decent freshness to the end. 17.5/20 points." (03/2013)

  • 1999 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe ($99.99)
    89