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Staff Favorites - Christie Cartwright
Christie Cartwright | Send Email | Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
I was first introduced to the fabulous world of California wine in Napa where I spent weekends bike riding and wine tasting with my parents up and down the Silverado Trail. Growing up in the East Bay Area it was only a hop...skip...jump away from wine country where my family would venture to relax and play every possible moment. It wasn't until my senior year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo that I realized I had a passion for the wine industry. My first encounter with the working world of wine was my volunteer internship at Edna Valley Winery where I traveled to a number of tasting events with the marketing manager for the winery and realized I needed to get in the business. I added a minor in wine and viticulture to my communications studies major and ended up writing my thesis on the differences in wine marketing throughout a choice number of Paso Robles wineries. My first "real job" in the wine industry was at the smallest tasting room with the biggest personality in Paso Robles named Four Vines Winery. I worked there for almost three years while going to school and fell in love with not only central coast wines, but also with the business of sales and all those who loved, appreciated, and enjoyed our fruitful product. After graduation in 2007 I loved the central coast so much I decided to make a go for it and stay in this blissful paradise of beach and vines. I became fond very fond of making trips to Los Olivos and Santa Ynez valley quite often and in the mean time also became employed at Tolosa Winery in San Luis Obispo and 15 degrees wine bar in Templeton. In the summer of 2009 I decided to take a chance and move to Hollywood for more opportunity. Being from northern California I wanted to expand my horizons and see what the LA lifestyle was all about. I knew this was where I belonged the moment I stepped into this oasis of wine and cuisine. Never had I been to a place where I could find so many restaurants, bistros, wine bars, and the like within a 4 mile radius, and I don't have to get on the freeway! I'm in heaven. When I walked into the infamous K&L Hollywood Store it was love at first sight! I'm thrilled to be working here doing what I love, and love the incredible people here who share this passion and commitment with me.
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2012 Niepoort "Docil" Loureiro Vinho Verde
Review Date: 3-9-2014
I'm very excited for this newest addition to our Vinho Verde family! In LA, where we have Vinho Verde weather all year round, it couldn't have come any sooner. Unlike your typical VV, this one is more vinous on the palate, with less crazy spritz and more of a elegant zing or fizz if you will. This is mouthwateringly refreshing with zippy acidity and wonderful texture. I'm getting a case before it disapears!!!
Bruno Michel "Rebelle" Extra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 3-8-2014
This extra Brut will surprise and seduce your palate. Aromas of baked stone fruits of apples, pear, and pie crust. The palate is focused and intense but gives way to its lovely biscuity notes with piercing minerality and acidity on the finish. For an extra Brut I would say this has more flavor and texture than most, especially at the price!
2012 Kalinda Santa Ynez Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 2-13-2014
Now I tried my hardest to weasel an answer out of the owners about where this Kalinda Sauv Blanc fruit is from but they are holding tight! This is classic Santa Ynez style SB with lots of bright juicy acid that dances on your tongue and plenty of citrus on the palate and a touch of sweet herb on the finish. Super refreshing and mouthwatering! I will be drinking A LOT of this!
2010 St. Supery "Elu" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 2-7-2014
If you're looking for a plush, velvety, smooth, ready-to-drink red that will deliver all your hopes and dreams, then you should try the Elu Bordeaux Blend. Lots of purple fruit and black undertones here. Really polished and elegant on the palate with just the right amount of structure. Anyone you pour this for should love it!
Henriot "Souverain" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 2-4-2014
Amazingly bright and moussey. Pure golden honey in color, and clean yet luxurious minerality on the palate. Boy would this pair well with sushi! This is an uber value and a superbly elegant classic style of Champagne!
2012 Pali Wine Company "Charm Acres" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 2-4-2014
Pale golden yellow in the glass, with stone fruit and nectar aromas of white peach and Fuji apple coming through. The palate is a bit more intense with loads of flavor and even a touch of baking spice. Bright, with balanced acidity, this flavortown-packed Chardonnay is a kicker for any $30-$40 Chardonnay on the rack. If you place this in a blind tasting it will beat some of your favorite big brand Chards! Absolutely awesome!
2011 Jacques Bavard Saint-Romain Blanc "Sous le Château"
Review Date: 2-3-2014
This is my perfect white Burgundy! Its extremely layered with lots of crunchy minerality, and leesy rich creamy undertones. The fruit bright yet ripe, that really lingers on the finish and is balanced with great acid as well. I want to drink this every day! (Christie Cartwright, K&L Hollywood buyer)
2010 Jenner Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 1-20-2014
If you're a Chardonnay drinker and looking for the "Steal of the Year," well here it is! The 2010 Jenner Sonoma Coast Chardonnay takes the cake. Drinking perfectly now, this wine is a golden pale hue in the glass with aromas of tropical fruit, pineapple, white nectarine and peach, with a touch of creme brulee and caramel apple. This wine is easy to drink and food-friendly, with just the right amount of acid and a clean, yet lingering finish. K&L received an exclusive deal on this for taking all that was left of the vintage from the winery at price that should be illegal! This is normally around a $20 Chardonnay that were selling for under $10!! It's ludicrous really...but I'm not complaining. (Christie Cartwright, K&L Hollywood buyer)
2010 Etude "Estate Grown" Carneros Chardonnay
Review Date: 1-17-2014
Amazingly elegant, restrained, with hints of white flowers, stone fruit, and a touch of honeyed toast on the finish. Drinking perfectly now and has enough acid to stand up for a while longer too.
2012 Rancho Zabaco "Heritage Vines" Sonoma County Zinfandel
Review Date: 1-14-2014
If you're a Zin lover and are always looking for that next bargain, well here it is! Classic aromas of dried black and purple fruits, slightly jammy on the palate but not sweet, with juicy acidity and a clean finish. This is perfect for anyone with a Zin palate!
2012 Kalinda "Cuvée Reserve" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 1-14-2014
I have to be honest, the 2011 Kalinda Willamette Valley Pinot was a bit lean and green for my taste. But here comes the 2012 vintage that is soaring high with flying colors! I absolutely love 2012 Oregon Pinots because they have so much more stuffing for the price. It was a nearly perfect vintage, and the fruit shows it. The Kalinda is still classic enough in style, but there's much more fluff and ripe fruit to go alongside its elegance.
2009 Evening Land Vineyards "Blue Label" Bourgogne Chardonnay
Review Date: 12-15-2013
If you're looking for a crossover Chardonnay to get your California Chard lovers on to the amazing world of Burgundy, look no further! Evening Land has found new roots in France, but being from Oregon, has always had more of an Old World style of approach. This wine is perfect for almost any level of wine drinker. With its richness balanced by firm acidity, and solid amount of integrated French oak, this will fit right in at any party. Super food-friendly and drinkable on its own. Just in time for the holidays! (Christie Cartwright, Hollywood Domestic buyer)
Michel Loriot "Theodorine" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 12-6-2013
New Package, new look, same amazing Rose Champagne from Michel Loriot. They have always been a personal favorite of mine bringing us great values for their amazing juice! Definitely under the radar in the Champagne world and I hope it stays that way, because this is a steal! Gorgeous light pink salmon in the glass, delicate bead, bright minerals and slightly wild berry fruit flavors with a clean yet decadent finish. Enjoy with a loved one
2012 Failla Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 11-25-2013
The 2012 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay fruit comes from 1/3 Olivet Lane vineyard, 1/3 Keefer Ranch, and 1/3 Floodgate. This is a lifted style of Chardonnay with great apple and stone fruit notes with aromatic spice, great texture with juicy acid and minerality. The oak is well integrated using 50% barrel fermentation, 5% new, 25% concrete, and 25% stainless. Simply tremendous!
2012 Château Font-Mars Picpoul de Pinet
Review Date: 11-25-2013
Everything you want in a Picpoul! Lots of zingy, zippy acid, bright, refreshing, crispy, and soo easy to drink. I will be consuming lots of this on my deck throughout the Indian summer:) Great for parties, perfect cocktail wine, great with food too. This is an amazing value from a little-known varietal that stands up to you Sauv Blanc/Pinot Grigio drinkers. Out with the old and in with the new!
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