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Staff Favorites - Anthony Russo

Anthony Russo

Reviews

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Westland K&L Exclusive "#2479" Single PX Sherry Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-13-2018
This is A LOT of whisky packed in a 750 ml bottle... I love the effect of the PX hogshead as it hits the senses twice: once on the nose, where the hazelnut rounds out the richness of soft, silky, caramel, and again on the lingering finish, where walnut and pecans sit around your tongue for a long time. The whisky is deliciously full bodied, but not cloying, round, and super flavorful. Put one in your cart or stop in for a Holiday sipper!
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

2000 Velier Caroni 17 Year Old "High Proof" Trinidad Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 11-13-2018
Distilled from molasses, I was expecting something a bit bigger on the palate, but I was way wrong. This rum drinks like a fine whiskey, but is distinctly its own beast; beautiful, full bodied nose, yet lighter and super elegant on the palate. The nose has a unique cigar tobacco scent to it, which I had never smelled before. Must have something to do with the 17 years of ageing in a tropical climate. This rum is insane.
Price: $199.99 Add To Cart

2017 Stolpman "Para Maria" Santa Barbara County Red Blend
Review Date: 11-05-2018
Genuinely impressed by this one-two punch of a wine. This is a Syrah-driven blend, a good portion of which gets fermented semi-carbonically. This results in an incredibly balanced wine: bright red fruit aromatics that jump out of the glass, soft and silky tannins (from the traditionally fermented Syrah), blueberries and strawberries on the palate, finishing with a hint of plums from the Petit Verdot. My favorite part is how you can get all of this; a beautiful, local, and mindfully crafted wine, for less than twenty bucks.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
VN 92 - 95

2008 Tullibardine 10 Year Old "Sovereign" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-03-2018
Great softness combined with a sweet malty flavor profile makes for a phenomenal everyday whiskey. With hints of almonds and dried peaches, there is no shortage of complexities in this approachable (price and flavor) whiskey. Great for lovers of Speyside who want to try something a bit more intense.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2010 Caol Ila 7 Year Old "Sovereign" K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Finished Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-03-2018
A gorgeous and powerful expression of one of my favorite whiskys. Youth combined with sherry butt ageing make this cask strength bottling an explosion of Islay flavor that goes way beyond its price point. The peat intensity is more subdued on the nose than on the palate, where it combines with the alcohol to create an apparent sweetness that makes your mouth water for more.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2006 Craigellachie 12 Year Old "Sovereign" K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-03-2018
Its richly dark color is completely natural and due to its delicious 12 years in sherry oak. The near 60% ABV is barely detectable on the nose, which is instead replaced by dried apricot and cooking spices. After a few drops of water, the flavors truly appear and the liveliness of this whisky shows itself. With the new 12 year standard price hanging around $70, it is unique to have something this interesting at this age/cask strength. Great find!
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

2014 Ramey "Platt Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 10-31-2018
If I understood correctly, this is the final vintage of this product. Sadly. It is Ramey's leanest, most mineral driven, most stainless steel, least-oaked Chardonnay in their line up and it's pretty mind blowing. The minerality they achieved is gorgeous. Something like a high-end Chablis: lean, mineral, full of bright structure, yet texturous. Love this stuff. My first thought upon drinking this was "I wish I could buy cases of this stuff and see how it changes over time."
Price: Hidden View Price
RP 95 WE 93

1969 Strathclyde 48 Year Old "Sovereign" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 10-31-2018
This is one of those high-price bottlings that is actually well worth each penny. I couldn't think of anything when I first nosed it, so I said "WOAH" out loud. Like counting the rings on a tree, it almost seems as though you can smell each year of its long ageing in bourbon barrels. Cask Strength at 48%, the whisky is soft, rustic, beautifully concentrated, amazingly complex. Make it your own Christmas gift to yourself.
Price: $299.99 Add To Cart

2014 Hirsch Estate "San Andreas Fault" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-31-2018
I have a lot of respect for a wine label that actually delivers on their statement, and the key word here is "balance." Make no mistake about it, this is an ultra-high end Sonoma Pinot that eloquently balances fruit flavor, terroir, and structure. Enough fruit to be approachable, the structure to support it/age it, and the terroir to let you know there's nothing else like it. Customers sometimes worry about receiving something "too soft and juicy" in this price range, but Hirsch presents the ideal balance.
Price: $54.95 Add To Cart
W&S 95 VN 92

Domaine du Manoir de Montreuil Calvados Pay d'Auge (750ml)
Review Date: 10-31-2018
I first discovered Calvados here at K&L; being from Vermont and a big fan of its apple products, I had to try this distillate for myself. I was instantly drawn to this spirit. Domaine du Montreuil only furthers its positive impression: smooth, "fresh" apple flavor, and just enough seriousness to let you know you're drinking a masterfully crafted eau de vie from a region with a long history in its production. Perfect as an afternoon aperitif or after a large meal, yea worth a try in your cooking recipes as well!
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2013 Andrew Will "Sorella" Horse Heaven Hills Red Blend
Review Date: 10-09-2018
Worth every bit of the price, especially when scrolling through the "Domestic Cabs" section, this predominantly cabernet blend from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA of Washington shines with its high-toned purity and aromas. Without lacking depth on the palate, the smells fill your nostrils with plums, red licorice, roses, and a blast of elegantly candied red fruits that would make you steal them from a baby.

2017 Tablas Creek "Patelin de Tablas" Paso Robles Rhône Blanc
Review Date: 09-04-2018
Such an incredibly well balanced white blend for the price; when talking about big names, quality fruit, and revered winemaking, not much can come close. Led by Grenache Blanc, this wine contrasts a supple mouthfeel with a perfect drop of acidity. Floral and fruity, this is your new weeknight sipper, either as a cocktail or with a plate of hummus and pita.

2015 Tablas Creek "Patelin de Tablas" Paso Robles Rhône Blend
Review Date: 09-04-2018
A Rhone-style blend that really highlights the capability of Paso Robles soils. Syrah, the leading grape, provides dark fruit flavors and a touch of depth. Grenache and Mourvedre contribute the meatiness and roundness. The secret weapon here is a touch of Counoise, which provides structure and complexity. At this price, enjoy this bottle with a wide range of foods, from chicken to steak, and your favorite TV show.

2017 Tablas Creek Paso Robles Vermentino
Review Date: 09-04-2018
Vermentino done in a mineral-driven fashion that is pointed, balanced, light on its feet, and shows a wide range of complexities. If you're looking to try something different and a bit more obscure, this is a great route to go because it is not too fruity, but approachable, and structured enough to surprise even the most serious wine drinker. Pair with slightly more acidic foods.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 RP 90

2015 Liquid Farm "Golden Slope" Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 08-21-2018
If you poured this Chard in the middle of a white Burgundy tasting, I bet most people would not be able to pick it from the lineup. Soft, perfect acidity, rounded edges, with a hint of vanilla oak, this bottle is super food-friendly and super delicious.
Price: $49.95 Add To Cart
VN 93 RP 90

2016 Liquid Farm "La Hermana" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 08-21-2018
I find La Hermana to be a touch riper than the White Hill; that is, the fruit flavors are a touch more tropical. They border on peaches and bruised red apples with a light lime zest. This bottling is soft and silky, perfect for having as a cocktail or with a spicier dish.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JD 95

2016 Liquid Farm "White Hill" Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 08-21-2018
This Chardonnay from Liquid Farm is gorgeously bright; lifted, lean, and delicate, it features just a touch of well integrated oak.Touches of pear and red apples make this the perfect Chard to compliment lighter meals.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JD 93 RP 91

2016 Eden Rift "Estate" Cienega Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-21-2018
I really like the nose on this Pinot; SUPER delicate with soft red cherries and hints of wax. It is soft and silky, but has a touch of tannin, lending the wine some "sriousness." Really opens up and unfolds with loads of delicious complexities on the palate. This is your summer time, relaxing evening wine.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 VN 90

2016 The Crusher California Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-21-2018
If I grabbed this bottle of pinot for $10 and did not what to expect, I would be more than pleasantly surprised by the quality level. It is juicy, fresh, and contains a mixture of red and dark fruit flavors, all without overwhelming the palate. Glad to have an affordable Pinot that I can confidently recommend to anyone.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-14-2018
Starting with the obvious: a single vineyard Cabernet for a killer price! Lush with ripe plums and black fruits, this deliciously built Cabernet fires on all cylinders. The darkness of the juice is balanced by the bright aromas on the nose and its integral structure keeps all of the flavor elements in balance while letting you know it is (already at 5 years of age) good to drink now or save for a few years down the road.

2016 Silvano Follador "Cartizze" Prosecco Superiore Brut Nature
Review Date: 08-06-2018
This is "next level" Prosecco! Extremely elegant and lean on the nose; it would throw off anyone tasting blind. Classic and delicate flavors of baked pears, cinnamon covered apples, and oranges on the palate make this Prosecco wildly versatile. Good as a cocktail, alongside a salad topped with blue cheese, or with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Bonus points for achieving all of this while being "Brut Nature" (no residual sugar).
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

2017 Villa Poggio Salvi "Caspagnolo" Chianti Colli Senesi
Review Date: 07-23-2018
Bright aromas of strawberries and black cherries with a touch of tobacco and smoke. This wine really opens up with a bit of air and definitely tastes far beyond what the price would suggest. Great structure, balance, and loads of complexities for a killer price.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

Domaine Pacory 15 Year Old "K&L Exclusive" Domfrontais Calvados (750ml)
Review Date: 07-23-2018
Oh yes, big time! One HUNDRED percent pear Calvados, single cask, from the best region there is. Versatility is the word here, use it as any brandy base in cocktails or pour yourself a glass after a big meal.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2017 Union Sacré "La Gitane" Paso Robles Rosé
Review Date: 07-23-2018
I sometimes find myself getting sick of rose due to the acidity, then I remember this bottle. Sixty-five percent Carignan and 35% Pinot Noir, this wine is raised in neutral oak, which softens the tannin and acidity while retaining it's spice and floral notes. I'm also always a sucker for well-priced domestic wines that turn everybody's heads.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2015 Lutum "Gap's Crown" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-23-2018
Sebastopol's finest. Bright and crisp with good acid, the touch of new oak on this chard gives it a uniquely satisfying texture that highlight its special terroir. The real draw of this wine is the mineral spice that gives it so much backbone. You have to try it to believe it!
Price: $46.99 Add To Cart
VN 94 WE 93

2016 Fort Ross Winery Sea Slopes Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-23-2018
When people want a recommendation for a crisp, not-too-oaky chard for a good price, this is what I hand them. The wine is bright and has the slightest bit of well-integrated oak; the kind that lifts the wine and improves it without masking any flavors. Bring this bottle to a friend's house and drink as a cocktail or pair with Thai food.
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 92

2016 MaidenStoen "Lafond Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Riesling
Review Date: 07-23-2018
This was the first wine we tried at a recent staff training and definitely kicked things off right. This is a single vineyard, cool climate Riesling that highlights the versatility of California's wine regions. Although it smells texturous, the wine has some good "zip" to it, showing a riveting bouquet of honey, flowers, and limes. This is a must try for Riesling fans and will convert those who believe the grape belongs solely in Germany.
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 93

2015 Nicolas-Jay Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-23-2018
I was blown away by this Burgundian-style pinot; soft and silky fruit with just the right "pop" of brightness. Dark notes and a touch of sweet spice linger on the palate long after the wine is gone to remind you of the quality behind this label.

2014 Spottswoode "Lyndenhurst" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-23-2018
Tobacco, cocoa, and bruised, peppered plums supported with just the right amount of structure. This is Spottswoode's younger vine bottling, and at this price point, makes for a fantastic option for a high-end selection without breaking the triple digits barrier.

2015 Pike Road Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-23-2018
Roasted berries on the nose, with soft, plush cherries on the palate. This wine sits somewhere between light and medium bodied, is not overly acidic, and can hold up beautifully as a cocktail glass or light dinner pour.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2015 Stack House Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-23-2018
This is a great example of a more "toned back" Napa cab; it flaunts the rich flavors that this warm region offers, but with a touch more restraint of fruit on the nose and palate. Lots of finesse and depth, reminiscent of Bordeaux, with edgy tannins and light berry fruit notes.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JD 91

2014 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Merlot
Review Date: 07-23-2018
Summer BBQ wine! Super deep, smoky vanilla, with blackberries and coffee notes. The dark aromas seem to wrap around your nose and pull you down into the glass. Balanced by structure and solid acidity, this is ideal from grilled meats, turkey burgers, really anything with a char! Don't forget about it once cooler temps arrive, either...
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

A. Smith Bowman "Isaac Bowman" Port Barrel Finish Virginia Straight Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 06-18-2018
If you've never had a "Port barrel finished" bourbon, this is a great place to start. If you love whiskey and want to try something new, look no further. What begins as a fantastic bourbon on its own spends the last bit of it's ageing period in ex-Port barrels. Take a big whiff and you'll immediately see the influence: red apple skins, gentle, dried raisins, and fresh cut flowers. On the palate, it is full of complexities, like a layered onion. Just add an ice cube and you're rocking!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 Gemstone "Estate - Heritage Selection" Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-11-2018
Super deep wine, yet full and round enough to keep every taste bud interested. Loaded with cigar paper, soft tannins, and the soft flavors of oak, this bottle will age beautifully, but can definitely be enjoyed immediately.
Price: Hidden View Price
WS 94 RP 93

2014 Lagier Meredith Mount Veeder Syrah
Review Date: 06-11-2018
This is the Syrah for your BBQ; peppery strawberries , depth of blueberries, all supported by the brightness of Mt Veeder. A touch of smoked meat on the finish to keep the party going.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WS 94 RP 92

2016 Ojai "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-11-2018
Not what I was expecting from a California chard; this wine is light, balanced, and elegant. Gentle fruit notes on the palate make this Chardonnay one to try for Chablis lovers.

2008 Tobermory 8 Year Old "John Milroy - K&L Exclusive" Single Refill Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 06-10-2018
Super fruit forward, almost coconutty, with a touch of oak flavor. I love this bottling because it is simple, yet so fruity. A great summer Scotch or the perfect bottle for the Speyside love who wants to try something new.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

2016 Clos du Gaimont Vouvray Sec
Review Date: 05-21-2018
Vouvray can easily get quite expensive; this bottle makes for a fantastic stepping stone into the wonderful world of French Chenin Blanc! A pretty nose of honeyed table grape followed by a round, slightly oily, and wonderfully balanced palate, this wine is wildly versatile. It's got just the right amount of acidity to pair with slightly acidic foods without clashing. Or enjoy it by itself! The biggest sacrifice between this and a bottle that costs 3x more is a touch of mineraility... I'll take 3 of these over 1 of those all day.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
W&S 92 WE 91

Jefferson's "Special Wheated Mashbill" Ocean Voyage #15 Aged at Sea Very Small Batch Straight Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 05-21-2018
Been dreaming of a vacation? Maybe some sort of Caribbean cruise? Why spend thousands on tickets when you can get a little taste of the salty sea air, literally, with this fabulous whiskey. Jefferson's Ocean Voyage 15 is all you need for a little stay-cation. Almonds, vanilla, weathered wood, lemon peel, and, of course, delicious brine, all come through in full force on the nose. Smooth and round on the palate, beautifully balanced by a sharp edge, this bourbon feels alive on the taste buds. The wheated recipe, unique to this edition, make for a slightly fruitier and maltier flavor profile. As for the barrels themselves, they are stored on a ship, which exposes them to much more heat and movement (and salty sea air) than they would in a traditional, boring, and immobile warehouse. The result is increased wood to juice contact, creating a full-bodied gem worth going over-board about! And with almost 17 drinks worth in each bottle (according to the standard 1.5 oz shot), you can make the feeling of vacation last!
Price: $82.99 Add To Cart

2013 Castello di Bossi "Berardo" Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 05-14-2018
Depth and intensity of a high end Chianti Classico at a better price point. Deep black cherries, rich earth, and polished leather on the nose let you know instantly. This is a must try for Chianti lovers who want something to stock up on in order to both drink and age.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2015 Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 05-07-2018
Deep earth, black berries, plum, wood, and a touch of leather polish jump out on the nose. The palate is all elegance; the wine has good structure, but these components don't get in the way of all of the complexities. This is one bottle you can pop open and carefully sip and explore for hours.

2015 La Fleur de Boüard, Lalande-de-Pomerol
Review Date: 05-07-2018
What an incredible Bordeaux at this price. Tons of roasted coffee grinds and chocolate on the nose to let you know you've got something special. The wine is a touch softer on the palate, revealing more typical dark fruits like plum. Although still young, the wine is incredibly drinkable. If you have the patience (or space), it will turn into something even more special.

2014 The Paring (Jonata) Red Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 05-07-2018
You know the wine will be awesome just from the aromas... Big name flavor at a fraction of the price, this blend is super well balanced. Big on the palate and seamless as it his the taste buds, a little bit of white pepper stands out to give a nod to those looking for "food friendly" options. Rounded and smooth, this is truly a great bottle. Get one to try and a case to lay down!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2016 Joël Taluau "Expression" Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil
Review Date: 04-23-2018
This is a pretty cool Cab Franc. The nose has much more intensity than the palate, which makes for such an interesting contrast. With a few sniffs, I got chocolate covered raspberries and a touch of rhubarb. On the taste buds, however, the wine is very medium bodied (more of what you'd expect out of the grape), and has just the right amount of tannin to uphold the fruit flavors without being crunchy.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2017 Julien Braud "Forty Ounce" Rosé (1L)
Review Date: 04-23-2018
Frequently, when something has a very cool, "novel" packaging, it is usually to make up for the lack of quality in a product. Not in this case, however. This is a fun bottling of rose that is equally delicious as it is playful. The nose and flavors are very Provence-esque (delicate, pretty, elegant) and the texture itself is very dry and serious. Is it super yummy? Yes. Can you serve it to guests and have a laugh at the packaging, yet truly enjoy the contents? Yes. Am I going to play Edward 40 Hands with it this summer? You bet.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2016 Jacky Preys "Cuvée de Fié Gris" Touraine Blanc Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 04-23-2018
If you're thinking "What the heck is Fie Gris?" don't worry, so was I. Turns out it is another name, often used in the Loire Valley, for Sauvignon Gris. Sauvignon Gris is what Smith Haut Laffite refers to as their "secret weapon." In a blend, this darker-skinned mutation of Sauvignon Blanc adds a little "wildness" to the flavors, a bit of grapeyness, and an intense perfume. Super delicious, but you've got to try it for yourself: intense nose, touch of grapey/leechee flavor, great texture, and perfect supporting acidity. This is a really cool wine to try different food pairings with since it has a similar profile to Sauvignon Blanc, but more texture and intensity.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2014 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-12-2018
Although technically somewhat of a Bordeaux blend (touches of Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Cab Franc), this vintage of Freemark Abbey is amazingly balanced and shows all the beauty of a well made Napa cab. Clove, cocoa, tobacco, blackcurrant; the complexities go on and on and on. Almost 4 years old now, this bottle makes for something great to open with dinner tonight or to hold for years down the road.

Knob Creek K&L Exclusive Single Barrel #5851 Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 04-02-2018
A rye to be reckoned with. This barrel found a great balance of dry spice, proof, and texture. Not too sweet with lots of almond flavor, this would make an absolutely outstanding old fashion.
Price: $47.99 Add To Cart

Compass Box "No Name" Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-13-2018
Here we go, peatier than the Peat Monster. More like a citrus-y peatiness, like throwing an orange into a campfire. Fruity and oily on the palate with some good strength. This would be a great bottle for the fan of Compass Box or someone who swears by the traditional single malts and wants to try something new in the same style.
Price: Hidden View Price

H by Hine Cognac (750ml)
Review Date: 03-05-2018
Dried raisin, vanilla, cherry, an absolutely gorgeous bouquet. Incredibly smooth, no heat at all, which allows the chocolate notes to go on, and on, and on...
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

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