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|If you’re going to have Robert Parker or Stephen Tanzer over for dinner, selecting a wine they’ve rated highly will be a nice choice. However, when you’re buying wines for yourself, we’d love to see you find wines that match up your unique palate and pocketbook. We have a large staff of friendly and knowledgeable wine professionals that taste hundreds of wines each week. They can put you in touch with bottles that you are likely to love, often at a much lower cost than the highly-rated gems that often see a run-up in price and frequent availability issues. Like any great group of opinionated professionals, our staff has varied tastes themselves. Often our customers will find a particular staff member with a style that corresponds to their own. That concept works extremely well in our retail stores, and this section is our effort to bring you the same online. Don’t get us wrong, we love the highly rated wines from the press and will continue to offer them, but we think you’re missing out if you’re not augmenting those selections with picks from our excellent staff. Here are their favorites. (Click on a name to see their other selections - or to drop them a line.) Cheers!|
Paul Giraud VSOP Cognac 750ml
The great deal in Cognac at the moment. We managed to work out a deal for this grower/producer brandy straight from the source, making this unmanipulated and elegant spirit one HOT deal. It's a lighter, cleaner, less sweet, and more fruit-forward Cognac from the finest of all terroirs in the region. Don't miss this deal.
Mezcalero Release #10 Sierra Negra Mezcal 750ml
A rare combination of power and suave in the mezcal category. Big spice, lotes of spice, but a mouthfeel that is creamy and smooth in texture. A wonderful and very limited batch of agave spirit from the people at Danzantes and Germain-Robin.
Casa Dragones Sipping Tequila 750ml (Ships as a 1.5L due to bottles shape)
One of the truly great luxury products out there--and there aren't that many of them. Casa Dragones is worth the extra money if you want prestine beauty and are willing to pay for it. Clean, fresh, elegant, and smooth on the finish. A true masterpiece.
Auchentoshan 18 Year Old Lowland Single Malt Whisky 750ml
I LOVE this whisky. This is my new Glenmorangie 18. A classic sweet barley and vanilla flavor, but with extra viscosity and more weight on the palate. It's thick and chewy. You can almost bite into it. The Glasgow distillery is becoming relevant once again. Watch out other distilleries!
Springbank 15 year old, Distillery Bottling Single Malt Whisky 750ml
All the great richness and weight of the 10 with more sherry and more spice cake. A true classic.
Germain-Robin XO Brandy 750ml
The king of California spirits. There's nothing else out there this good and this old with this type of heritage and history. A must try before you die type of bottle.
Springbank 10 Year Old Campbeltown Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Does it get any better than Springbank 10? I don't know. It's still my favorite whisky all these years later. There's nothing out there that combines the peat, richness, and oily nature of the Springbank spirits. There's also no other distillery that still does every step of the process from scratch.
Ardbeg 10 Year Old Islay Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Still the best deal for 10 year old whisky. Still the best deal for peated whisky. Still the best deal in whisky--period. I'm never without a bottle on my bar. A true classic of the single genre. You're never too cool, too rich, too knowledgeable, or too refined for Ardbeg 10.
Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth 1L
The classic sweet vermouth. THE one. End all. Be all. Period.
Laphroaig 10 year old Original Cask Strength Islay Single Malt Whisky 750ml
All the classic flavor of Laphroaig 10 but with the punch dialed up to max volume. Gotta love it!
Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey 750ml
Four Roses makes this lovely little number for the boys at Bulleit. It's still a great bargain for a light, easy drinking, mixing Bourbon.
Caol Ila 12 year old Islay Single Malt Whisky 750ml
The most classic and most reliable of the Diageo "classic" malts. God bless Caol Ila and its peaty goodness with a rich, round, fruity core of flavor to balance it all out. I'm never without a bottle.
Glenmorangie 12 year old Lasanta Extra Matured Range Sherry Cask 750ml
This is the original 10 and 2 whisky--10 years in Bourbon casks, with 2 years finishing in sweet sherry wood. Glendronach, Balvenie, and Aberlour all do it down, but Glenmorangie did it first and they're still the best at it. Lovely spice cake and dark toffee notes round out the finish.
Basil Hayden's Bourbon 750ml
The best and the most classic of the Beam Bourbon portfolio. Big oak flavor, smooth and rich on the palate, and a finish that brings baking spices and vanilla goodness. YUM!
Laphroaig "Quarter Cask" Islay Single Malt Whisky 750ml
All the peat and power of Laphroaig, put into smaller barriques for extra richness and vanilla flavor.
Paul Beau VS Cognac 750ml
Simply put, the best deal we currently have in Cognac. Soft on the palate, round in the mouth, and long on the finish. All made from estate-grown fruit and no coloring added. The total package.
Anchor "Genevieve" Genever-Style Gin 750ml
A gin in the style of Belgium and Holland; more like white whiskey than the herbacious and flavorful London dry gin we're mostly familiar with. The Anchor version is quite malty and beer-like in flavor. For those who love the real Genever, not for those looking to make a classic martini.
Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum 750ml
A classic darker rum that offers richness and bold vanilla flavor, but without the sweetness and added caramel that many big brands offer. A true insider's rum if there ever was one.
Guillon Painturaud Hors d' Age Cognac 750ml
This is just a stunning bottle of booze. It's a bottle that makes you stop, analyze where you are, and take note of the moment. Dark burnt sugar, rich rancio flavors, and a finish that goes on for an hour. If you're going to splurge for a bottle of Cognac, this is the one.
Glendronach 15 year old "Revival" Distillery Bottling Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Big rich sherry flavor for those who like their single malt dark like coffee.
Guillon Painturaud VSOP Cognac 750ml
This is still my go-to VSOP Cognac. IN fact, it might be the best Cognac we carry for the money. Textural, oily, and round on the palate with a viscious mouthfeel and rich vanilla flavors. All estate-grown fruit, all estate-distilled brandy, and nothing addded on the back end. No caramel, no boise, all natural. What's not to love here?
Paul Beau Hors d' Age Cognac 750ml
An outstanding Cognac of the highest quality; regardless of the price. The estate of Paul Beau distills all its own brandy from its own ugni blanc vineyards, then ages in the finest oak barrels for a soft and rich flavor; deep vanilla, concentrated fruit, and a bit of creme brulee on the finish.
1998 Domaine d'Esperance 14 Year Old Bas Armagnac 750ml
Dark fruited and full of rich oak and spice. This is serious brandy from one Armagnac's most hands-on producers.
Domaine d'Esperance XO Bas Armagnac 750ml
A beautiful, full-bodied, rich and spicy Armagnac from the small Esperance domaine in France's Gascony region. A great starter bottle for those looking for something classic in flavor, but unique from the standard pack.
1995 Domaine d'Esperance 17 Year Old Bas Armagnac 750ml
Big Bourbon like flavor from this 17 year old brandy. Esperance is putting their Armagnac into new wood, so the oak is powerful and the spices bright and lively on the finish.
Nikka 15 Year "Yoichi" Old Japanese Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Nikka's northern distillery on the island of Hokkaido makes a slightly peated style of whisky; more along the line of Talisker, however, rather than Lagavulin. It's rounded and supple on the palate as well, making it one creamy, and slightly smokey delight.
Darroze Les Grand Assemblages "20 Year Old" Bas-Armagnac 750ml
The great Armagnac we carry at the moment. A marriage of 20 year old brandies from various properties, distilled by Marc Darroze, and packaged at one hot price. Bourbon drinkers might want to take note. This smokes Pappy 20 any day of the week.
Bulleit 10 Year Old Bourbon Whiskey 750ml
Bulleit 10 offers big spice and rounded oak flavors to Bourbon fans looking for polished and balanced nuance rather than power and high proof. Good stuff.
Faultline Straight Bourbon Whiskey 750ml
Every batch of Faultline Bourbon that John Little blends for us here at K&L gets better and better each time. The more we do this, the better we get at doing it. We're putting out the softest, richest, more delcious Bourbon on the market and it's only for K&L customers at a fantastic price. If you haven't bought a bottle yet, you're really missing out.
Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve Canadian Whisky 750ml (ships as 1.5L due to bottle shape)
Forty Creek boss John Hall planted an entier forest just to make sure he had enough wood for the special Canadian oak barrels he planned on aging his whisky in. Just that fact alone makes me want to get a bottle.
Bulleit Rye Whiskey 750ml
Of all the LDI-distilled bargain ryes on the market, the Bulleit has reigned supreme due to its low price and high quality of flavor. It's hard to justify buying more Templeton when Bulleit is the same stuff for almsot 10 dollars less.
Bank Note Blended Scotch Whisky 1L
Still the best bang for you buck in the world of blended whisky. Still a ridiculous deal for $19.99
Nikka 17 Year Old Taketsuru Pure Malt Japanese Whisky 750ml
Nikka 17 is the lightest and least heavy of the small portfolio the Japanese distillery has sent stateside. It's still packed with flavor, albeit more nuanced and less obvious than some of their other expressions. It's a concentrated palate of toasted almonds, soft vanilla, creme brulee, and sweet barley. One of the great whiskies of the world, let alone Japan.
Midleton Very Rare Irish Whiskey 2014 Release 750ml
The tete de cuvee from Jameson: an elegant, refinded, and classic version of Irish whiskey from Midleton Distillery. If you like Redbreast, Green Spot, or just plain old Jameson Irish Whiskey, this is the king of them all.
Bellussi Prosecco di Valdobbiadene
The wine offers intensity and precision with focused attention on acidity and freshness. A great party pleaser.
2013 Don Cataldo Rosato Salento Puglia
here is lots of zippy acidity and a little bit of strawberry at the tip of the tongue and then you feel the rocky soil and limestone of Puglia on the really long finish. A great wine for your 4th of July picnic’s or just summer sipping.
2008 Launois Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
This simply great blanc de blanc is 100% Chardonnay from mid-slope parcels on the Launois estate. Rich, yet clean and crisp with the trademark Launois creamy texture. This is a fantastic vintage for Champagne, so don't miss out! It will age in the cellar extremely well.
2010 Acumen "Mountainside" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2010 Acumen Cabernet is a brooding jewel. Composed of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Atlas Peak AVA this bottling is broad-shouldered and highly structured. An aromatic nose gives way to a velvety black-fruited mid-palate with an exceptionally granular tannic depth and lengthy finish. This gem strikes a balance between austerity and expression, structure and form, fruit and dryness. This is a classy and classic mountain fruit Cabernet that well exceeds its price point. Acquire for both current and long-term usage.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
2013 Von Strasser "Rudy" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
A perennial favorite at K&L, the 2013 from Rudy Von Strasser has the dark currant flavors and mountain Cab structure that will make even the high-end Cab drinker smile. This wine is a value on the world stage- it is a rare thing to find this kind of complexity and power in a wine under $20. To find it in Cabernet in Napa is unbelievable!
2014 Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon Margaret River Western Australia
This racy crisp white runs more to the Sauvignon side than the Semillon, and makes a great refreshing wine for drinking on its own or with lighter fare. I love the subtle bass notes that the Semillon brings to this bright, grapefruit and lemon zest Sauvignon!
2006 Drappier "Grande Sendrée" Brut Champagne
This was the star of the show at the Ordere Coteaux Champenois dinner at the Ritz! This is one of the most special single vineyard Champagnes that I have ever had, and shows the blending is not the only way to achieve balance... Sometimes it is just all there in the site, waiting to be coaxed out with great vineyard management and careful winemaking! This wine has both incredible nutella on brioche richness and scintillating chalky minerality. It also has a peacocks tail finish that goes on so long that I feel like I am still tasting it today... 12 hours later! If you want to treat yourself to one of the best bottles in the whole Champagne region, you have found a great example!
Drink from 2015 to 2015
2013 Von Strasser "Rudy" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Ripe plum, gravel, charcoal, and an ethereal vanilla note all feature in the profile of the 2013 Rudy Cabernet Sauvignon. Medium bodied and juicy, this vintage has slightly higher tannins than the previous one, but is still remains moderate overall. A light cedar note rounds out the roast plum that comes out on the finish.
2010 Villa Poggio Salvi Brunello di Montalcino
Love this very user-friendly 2010 Brunelli. Here is a wine to stock up on, and you can drink this bad boy now and for the three to five years (it will help you keep your hands off some of your trophy 2010 Brunellos). Rich with ripe dark fruit, very smooth with soft acidity, the tannins are soft as well and the length on the finish will bring you in to tomorrow. Yum
Amaury Coutelas "Cuvée Louis Victor" Brut Champagne
This FANTASTIC release of the Cuvee Louis Victor from Damien and Angelique Coutelas is based on the 2012 harvest with vintages from 2007 on up blended in. It has a wonderful butterscotch nose and is rich but, not sweet on the palate. It has a creamy texture and brioche and golden apples notes. Simply delicious! It has a lingers and very lovely finish. This is the best champagne that I have tasted in recent weeks.
2012 Bucklin "Old Hill Ranch Ancient Field Blend" Sonoma Valley Red Blend
It's primarily estate Zinfandel, then throw in the kitchen sink for the rest. But, what great grapes in that sink ! I refer to dry-farmed and certified organic, for one of the most unique red wines in the store . Think of great dark purple hue in the glass, nose of spice box and raked leaves ; much softer than expected on the palate, with a burst of blackberry compote and fantastic acidity. There is a grip of tannins though that finishes this wine . This is truly a one of a kind wine!
2013 Joseph Swan "Ritchie Vineyard" Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc
What a lovely Sauvignon Blanc! I would put this up against any old world style Sauvignon Blanc's. The nose hits you with pretty herbal notes of lemon grass and lime. Think of great balanced acidity and a surprising weight on the mid-palate. This is a one of a kind wine you will only find in the Ritchie vineyard. Do yourself a favor and get one.
2013 Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay
If you like the quintessential style of Napa Valley Chardonnay, this is your go-to wine. Ripe citrus, hints of wood and very creamy. It goes quickly.
2012 Bench Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
I think this is one of the best Cabernet Sauvignon coming out of the Alexander Valley. I have tasted many wines twice the price that don't come close to this wine. Dark blue and black fruit nicely hinted with cedar, spice and chocolate. The tannins are big and soft. This wine is ready to roll.
2010 Ladera "Reserve" Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
I can't stop drinking this wine. I'm a big fan of Howell Mountain wines and this wine is one of the reasons why. A rich, deep wine with black fruits, cocoa, mint and vanilla. Tannins are apparent but soften with aeration. Great acidity runs throughout the wine balanced beautifully with the lush fruit. Drink now, drink later. It is a real pleasure.
2013 Hanzell "Sebella" Sonoma Valley Pinot Noir
A second wine from this legendary Pinot Noir producer. This is a blend of the younger fruit on the Estate which is a little more accessible right away. This is a great opportunity to see the genius of Hanzell without waiting the years it usually takes for the wines to mature. A winery like no other. A true California treasure.