Staff Favorites

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!

Reviews

  
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2013 Kalinda "Rawiri Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough
By: David Driscoll | Review Date: 5/6/2015 | Send Email
WOW. The best Kalinda wine to date. Your quality-to-price ratio is off the charts here. New Zealand Pinot Moir flavor can often clock in somewhere between California and Burgundy and our new Kalinda expression does just that. You get the ripe drinkability of California fruit, but with the complex, foresty, and spice-driven character of great Burgundy. Crunchy red fruits, baking spices, hints of earth and forest floor. Sign me up. This is a hot deal.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 d'Armailhac, Pauillac
By: Ralph Sands | Review Date: 5/6/2015 | Send Email
d'Armaillac- Lovely upfront sweet red fruits, very attractive, with nice thick middle fruit and good tannins. The Mouton wine you can drink young and it is a winner! 1 Star

2014 Clerc-Milon, Pauillac
By: Ralph Sands | Review Date: 5/6/2015 | Send Email
Clerc Milon- Definitely in the classic style of Mouton but with a touch more forward sweet which is nice, but is still very concentrated. Long serious wine and should be one of the great aging values. 1.5 Stars

2014 Capbern St-Estèphe
By: Ralph Sands | Review Date: 5/6/2015 | Send Email
78% Cabernet Sauvignon 100% Delicious! Loaded with deep red fruit, fine balance, serious wine and very tasty. Could be the best value of the entire vintage.

2006 Bodegas Muga "Prado Enea" Gran Reserva Rioja
By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 5/6/2015 | Send Email
This intense, dark, powerful Rioja is top quality stuff that is perfect for fans of really big wines now and a great cellar candidate for later. The Prado Enea is very young and intense in the context of other Gran Reservas with bold black fruit flavors and flashy oak. The substance is there too- I have had bottles going back into the early 80's that show these wines are capable of improving for decades!
Drink from 2015 to 2015

2012 Mas d'en Compte "Black Slate - Porrera" Priorat
By: Joe Manekin | Review Date: 5/6/2015 | Send Email
Another in the popular series of Black Slate wines from Priorat, this bottling shows ripe aromas of dark cherries and plums, which immediately grab your attention with their intensity. On the palate the wine is youthful, with loads of plump fruit and spice. It's a serious mouthful of Priorat, a decidedly Mediterranean wine that, quite naturally, shows its boisterous personality and warm, sun inflected fruit.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 93

2012 Elena Fucci "Titolo" Aglianico del Vulture
By: Mike Parres | Review Date: 5/6/2015 | Send Email
This wine shows complexity with all its layers. Rich in body and texture and structure , the wine evolves deeper and deeper in stages with every sip. Three sips tell the story. The first sip is full of white pepper and spice. The second sip shows deep, rich, ripe, black fruit and following with the third sip that glides through the palate with smooth mocha and cocoa and some tannin's, leaving the partaker wanting to explore the wine more and more.
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 94

2012 Domaine Billard-Gonnet Pommard 1er Cru "Clos du Vergers"
By: Daniel Maas | Review Date: 5/6/2015 | Send Email
A real lesson in how just enough tannin can really hold a complex wine together, this boasts baked red fruit, pepper and fig. A harmonious expression of this area’s famed soils and climate. Be sure to grab bottles while they’re still around. From a low-yielding vintage, they’re drinking beautifully and are sure to get better and better for years to come.
Price: $39.95 Add To Waiting List
BH 90 - 92

2012 Albert Bichot Côte de Nuits-Villages
By: Daniel Maas | Review Date: 5/6/2015 | Send Email
Highlights delightful notes of wild cherry, raspberry, white pepper and licorice, all in front of a smoky background. For a village level wine, I was astounded by both the great complexity and an easy-drinking quality that should make this a huge hit among our clients.
Price: $32.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Domaine Gros Frere et Soeur Clos Vougeot Grand Cru "Musigni"
By: Trey Beffa | Review Date: 5/6/2015 | Send Email
One of my favorite producers is Domaine Gros Frère & Soeur. The style of the property is pretty straightforward: Big, rich and ripe fruit with a healthy dose of new oak. In good vintages, the wines of Gros Frère are voluptuous, bordering exotic. His wines drink and show well young, which is another reason I really like this property—as patience is not one of my virtues. The 2012 Musigni is a serious wine, jam- packed with intense fruit, lots of spicy undertones, hints of bacon fat, smoke and black cherry fruit. This wine shows quite a bit of structure and power, so you might want to put it in the cellar for 5-10 years.

2012 Olivier Leflaive St-Aubin 1er Cru "Charmois"
By: Trey Beffa | Review Date: 5/6/2015 | Send Email
In the mouth this wine really shows explosive richness and depth of fruit. The round entry is balanced out with a wonderfully crisp, acidic backbone; hints of lemon, green apple and a slightly toasty edge really make this wine a pleasure to drink.
Price: $41.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Domaine Anne et Hervé Sigaut Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru "Les Sentiers"
By: Angie An | Review Date: 5/6/2015 | Send Email
A more muscular expression of Chambolle with some leather, earth and a slightly meaty quality, yet the silky and lively finish on the palate is undeniably classic of the region. A few more years in the cellar and the wine should be even more stunning!
Price: $74.99 Add To Waiting List
BH 90 - 93

2012 Domaine Anne et Hervé Sigaut Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru "Les Fuées"
By: Angie An | Review Date: 5/6/2015 | Send Email
Bright, fresh-picked cherries and wild roses with the softest touch of baking spices on the nose; a high-toned and lively personality and an elegant mouthfeel. I just love the subtle beauty of Chambolle-Musigny, and this is a great example.
Price: $69.95 Add To Waiting List
BH 88 - 91

2012 Domaine Humbert Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru "Poissenot"
By: Angie An | Review Date: 5/6/2015 | Send Email
Sweet black Bing cherry, currants and red plum are followed by vanilla, nutmeg and other baking spices. Intense and muscular on the palate, with a light, smoky finish, this bottle will certainly improve with a few more years in the cellar, and then enjoy it with some black pepper-crushed pork tenderloin for a perfect pairing.
Price: $84.99 Add To Waiting List
AG 92 BH 91

2012 Domaine Humbert Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes
By: Angie An | Review Date: 5/6/2015 | Send Email
From well-sourced old vine grapes adjacent to Griottes-Chambertin Grand Cru, this shows warm notes of ripe raspberry, rhubarb and light, white pepper spice. It’s elegant yet complex, with some mushroom and fresh leather undertones. Try pairing it with herb and citrus-marinated grilled salmon.
Price: $54.99 Add To Waiting List
AG 90

2012 Domaine Humbert Bourgogne Rouge
By: Angie An | Review Date: 5/6/2015 | Send Email
Shows good intensity and liveliness on the nose, with classic, juicy fruit aromas of cherry, strawberry and cranberry sauce; approachable, with hints of rose petal in the background. An easy-drinking wine for every occasion.
Price: $26.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Tormaresca "Neprica" Puglia
By: Andrew Whiteley | Review Date: 5/6/2015 | Send Email
Holy Smokes! For 9 bucks, this wine over delivers in a major way. The Antinori family didn’t miss a beat when they picked up this Puglia property in 1998. Considering it one of Italy’s most promising regions, they chose to showcase the area’s traditional Negroamaro grape and blend it with Primativo and Cabernet to bring us an outstanding wine for an unbelievable price. The power of this wine is immediately apparent. Before you even lift your glass the powerful scent of crushed blueberries and plums rises to meet you. Beautiful notes of cola, cassis, and chocolate give way to a fine ripe cherry finish. The finish doesn’t linger around for long, but if you miss it, you can always try again. It is only $8.99 after all.
Price: $8.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Franck Millet Sancerre Rosé
By: Eric Story | Review Date: 5/6/2015 | Send Email
This wine is in my top five of what the wife and I call “deck slammers” – the bottle that only spends about six minutes in the ice bucket and then it’s time for another. Light fresh strawberry aromatics with a touch of mineral running thru the finish and lots of juicy lift. I love this wine with a cold beet salad drizzled with a simple herb vinaigrette. Awesome with a roasted chicken!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Franck Millet Sancerre Blanc
By: Eric Story | Review Date: 5/6/2015 | Send Email
Crispy, fresh, vibrant and what I call a benchmark style of Sancerre. This is a keep in the fridge at all times kind of wine. Bright with some citrus notes running through and of course, the classic limestone minerality. Great as an aperitif and/or with a fresh summer salad sprinkled with goat cheese.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Rosé
By: Eric Story | Review Date: 5/6/2015 | Send Email
More on the soft and elegant side of the Pinot Noir rosé spectrum. I really like the subtle texture that adds to the finesse of the wine. This is a perfect wine to have with a roasted pork loin sandwich while sitting on a blanket at the beach… or park… or wherever really.
Price: $16.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Elena Fucci "Titolo" Aglianico del Vulture
By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 5/6/2015 | Send Email
Aglianico has always scared me a bit, the ultra-powerful tannins, brooding nature of these wines has always made me a bit circumspect about any near term drinking. Enter Elena Fucci. Elena’s wines are from Basilicata (the instep of Italy’s boot) on soils from an extinct volcano called Vulture. It is really a back-woodsy area, yet from this lonely outpost this wine shows such an incredible grace, such a natural flow without losing any of the powerful presence of Aglianico Elena has coaxed an inner beauty forward. Beauty is not a word I’ve ever used to describe Aglianico before but the balance, confidence and presence this wine has is just incredible. The nose is subtle, not overt; it has more of an earthy presence, wisps of smoke in the countryside, earth, stone and a savory nature. Where the wine truly shines is on the palate, it doesn’t just lay there it embraces you, a warm, close hug, supple, yet not fat or loose it seems fitted. The wine gains flavor in a slow, growing way, not in waves but more of a welling up, as flavors of stone and earth seem to bubble forth, hints of smoke, Mediterranean herbs and dried plums come forward as well. Its texture is so embracing, supple; it makes you feel in the presence of something truly important but it isn’t as if this wine isn’t Aglianico. Structure, depth and real age-ability make this Aglianico del Vulture truly something to search out.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 94

2012 Leeuwin "Prelude" Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia
By: Jim Chanteloup | Review Date: 5/5/2015 | Send Email
This is a beautiful example of Margaret River Chardonnay. The nose offers white peach, ripe nectarine, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and a floral jasmine note. On the palate the wine is lush, yet has great focus with fine acidity, a creamy texture, perfect integration of oak and a long, long finish. Really fine.

2013 Dalwhinnine "The Hut" Pinot Noir Pyrenees
By: Jim Chanteloup | Review Date: 5/5/2015 | Send Email
"The Hut" brings aromas of plum, cherry,forest floor and dried orange peel. In the mouth the wine brings a soft, supple entry with good ripeness of fruit laced with dusty cocoa powder. There is moderate acidity with fine-grained tannins and a long finish.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 94

2009 Bodegas Olarra "Añares" Reserva Rioja
By: Joe Manekin | Review Date: 5/5/2015 | Send Email
Imagine a spicy, softly textured, traditional Rioja from one of the gold standards which have over time become house favorites here, amongst staff and customers alike. You know these wines by now, no need to name 'em. Then, cut the price in half. That is basically the deal here with this excellent bottling of Añares from Bodegas Olarra. Delicious now, but will it age? I will answer on my own rhetorical with a resounding "Yes, it will!" I drank a bottle of the 1982 last year and it was fantastic.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List
ST 90

2013 Banshee Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
By: Andrew Whiteley | Review Date: 5/5/2015 | Send Email
This wine beautifully showcases the long and even growing season on the Sonoma Coast in 2013. Citrus and vanilla jump out of the glass to great you and give way to lovely flavors of baked pear and apple pie, fresh out of the oven. Aged 11 months in 90% oak (only 30% new oak) and 10% stainless steel, this Chardonnay has splendid weight and texture without being overly buttery or heavy-handed. It seems that every vintage of Banshee just gets better and better! A great value at $19.99 - This is a bottle that you can confidently bring to dinner. It's sure to please a crowd.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Neudorf "Tom's Block" Pinot Noir Nelson
By: Jim Chanteloup | Review Date: 5/5/2015 | Send Email
In 1978 Tim and Judy Finn began their vinous journey and created the Neudorf winery and became wine pioneers in the Nelson region. They remain one of the important wineries in New Zealand. The 2012 Tom's Block is simply a great value and introduction to their wines. All hand harvested and mostly from the Moutere Hills (clay over gravel soils) rather than the plains, this comes in at a fraction of their "Moutere" bottling. The bouquet offers notes of earth, black cherry, dried orange peel, some forest floor and a hint of Asian spices. On the palate, the wine is concentrated without being heavy and is framed by light fine tannins with good acidity and length. Grab one, you'll be back for more!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 93 RP 90

2010 Pieve Santa Restituta (Gaja) Brunello di Montalcino
By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 5/5/2015 | Send Email
The name Gaja is synonymous with Piedmont and the reputation for outstanding quality is known throughout the wine trade, what isn’t so well know it their property in Montalcino. In 1994 Gaja bought the Pieve di Santa Restituta estate in Montalcino and produced two Brunello wines Sugarille and Renina, and then in 2005 they released their first “classic” Brunello, hardly seen in the USA, now the 2010 vintage is the best release of this wine yet. The 2010 vintage is spectacular; the nose is full of warm, rich, wild plum character with hints of cinnamon and Tuscan bush. On the palate the wine’s fine grain tannin structure is balanced with a fresh acidity that lifts the wine in the finish. The flavors are savory, full of, roasted meat, plums, smoke, earth, spice. The finish a swirl of lustrous richness, full of the vintage hallmark savory, saltiness, highlighted by hints of spice, a really dynamic wine with a long life ahead.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $76.95 Add To Waiting List
JS 97

1990 Glenfarclas 24 Year Old K&L Exclusive Single Malt Whisky 750ml
By: Daniel Maas | Review Date: 5/4/2015 | Send Email
Listen. I'm a peat man. I like super rich, intense, smoky whiskeys. That being said, imagine my delight when I was fortunate enough to taste this 24 year old single cask that was selected specifically for us at K&L. Famed distillers Glenfarclas have once again proved their skill with this absolutely gorgeous Highland scotch. Medium plus in body, with just enough complexity and peat to please someone like me, while also proving to be quite approachable to novices, this is quite the steal. It is remarkably easy to drink, thanks to its age, and leaves a lingering finish in your mouth that will make you wish you were traversing the Highlands while possibly wearing a kilt. Grab this while it is around.
Price: $169.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 Brio de Cantenac Brown, Margaux
By: Jacques Moreira | Review Date: 5/4/2015 | Send Email
Pronounced notes of violets and dusty minerality on the nose. Black currant, cocoa and lots dark cherries on the palate, with the floral notes following along with chocolate. Excellent wine!
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 91

2009 Potensac, Médoc
By: Jacques Moreira | Review Date: 5/4/2015 | Send Email
A very complex wine from a great vintage! Enticing nose of leather, dried meat, dark fruit, cocoa and vanilla. Carrying on the palate the leather, olives, currants and cocoa. Medium+ tannins, and acidity. I would recommend decanting this beauty for about 1 hour before drinking.

2009 Lalande Borie, St-Julien
By: Jacques Moreira | Review Date: 5/4/2015 | Send Email
An incredibly elegant wine. Dusty crushed stone on the nose, along with a nice touch of herbaceousness, graphite and currant. Classic! The tannins although very much framing the black currant fruit leave a soft impression on the palate. it is round and easy, but not without poise and complexity. It will age beautifully, but a good decanting and you can enjoy it now.

2009 Barthez, Haut-Médoc
By: Jacques Moreira | Review Date: 5/4/2015 | Send Email
Nice aromatics, plums, currant and sweet fruit on the palate. Quite easy on the palate with chocolate and cherry notes. Very balanced and a very good value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Fleur Cardinale, St-Emilion
By: Jacques Moreira | Review Date: 5/4/2015 | Send Email
A pleasure to drink already. Lots of dark cherries, kirsch, vanilla, dark chocolate and a touch of meat. Needs decanting.

2012 Labégorce, Margaux
By: Jacques Moreira | Review Date: 5/4/2015 | Send Email
This is a very elegant wine, with coffee on the nose and palate, along with a savory touch, almost a dry meat note, quite delicious. Red currants and a touch of vanilla framed by a juicy acidity and firm tannins. Decanting for an hour or so will bring all its beauty out.

2012 Bois-Martin, Pessac-Léognan
By: Jacques Moreira | Review Date: 5/4/2015 | Send Email
A very classic Pessac, with dusty minerality, sweet cola, currants, a complex palate with exotic spices. A very good value!
Price: $18.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre
By: Mahon McGrath | Review Date: 5/4/2015 | Send Email
Lemon-lime, green plum, wet rock, tomato leaf on the nose leads to a focused, citric-driven palate with echoes of the aromatics that appear on the nose. Lots of vim and vigor here, and a less deep shade of green than some Sancerres get up to, this can do duty as a cocktail wine in addition to pairing well with a wide variety of foods.
Price: $17.99 Add To Waiting List

1996 du Tertre, Margaux
By: Jacques Moreira | Review Date: 5/4/2015 | Send Email
Showing development on the color and on the nose as well, which is very welcoming. Lots of minerality, black olives, leather, earth and plum, framed by an elegant touch of herbaceousness. Tannins already settled and this beautiful wine is ready to go. Very good indeed.
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 88 - 90

2009 Durfort-Vivens, Margaux
By: Jacques Moreira | Review Date: 5/4/2015 | Send Email
A beautifully classic Margaux! Figs, violets, roasted coffee along with savory notes on palate. Quite delicious and with a long finish. Not a power house, as I said it is a classic!

2009 La Salle de Poujeaux, Moulis
By: Jacques Moreira | Review Date: 5/4/2015 | Send Email
The second wine of Cantemerle from a fantastic vintage. It possess lots of fruit on the nose, with currant and dark plum. On the palate however, it's got complexity, with a quite dry finish. It is high acid and perhaps a touch grippy, but after decanting, it sings!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2006 Fourcas Dupré, Listrac
By: Daniel Maas | Review Date: 5/4/2015 | Send Email
I know what you're thinking. Bordeaux wine that is almost ten years old for only twenty bucks. How good can this possibly be, right? The answer is VERY. From the Listrac area of the Medoc, this Cabernet based wine is a lesson in the rustic, old school style that is the definition of Bordeaux wine. Medium bodied and with a velvety texture of balanced tannin and fruit, this shows lovely expressions of mocha, tobacco, and spice. From an often under-appreciated vintage, this is a wine that shows beautifully at its current age and will also continue to improve over the next ten years! Enjoy!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Lynch Bages Blanc, Bordeaux
By: Jacques Moreira | Review Date: 5/4/2015 | Send Email
A classic Bordeaux white, with some grassy notes on the nose intermingled with lanolin, beeswax, and citrous fruit. Very crisp and refreshing on the palate, with not a lot of apparent oak. Very elegant.
Price: $46.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 93

2011 Hospices de Beaune (Corcia) Volnay "Cuvée Blondeau " 1.5L
By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 5/4/2015 | Send Email
While very young for drinking now, the 2011 Hospices de Beaune Volnay "Cuvée Blondeau" showed me why these charity bottlings are so famous. The Blondeau is composed of 4.5 acres of vines spread across four different 1er crus: Champans, Tailpieds, En L’Ormeau and Roncerets. It started off the evening closed, but with air showed incredible smoky density, firm structure and incredible cut on the long finish. This will evolve into a great “blood making” Cote de Beaune in time, and I have made room in my cellar for some!
Price: $119.95 Add To Waiting List

2014 Palmer, Margaux
By: Ralph Sands | Review Date: 5/3/2015 | Send Email
A very serious and strong Palmer. Intense dark fruit with boysenberry hints, zesty and spicy. Complex, powerful, linear, and long in the mouth; this baby needs time! ** 2 Stars.

2014 Clerc-Milon, Pauillac
By: Alex Pross | Review Date: 5/3/2015 | Send Email
Definitely in the classic style of Mouton but with a touch more forward sweet which is nice, but is still very concentrated. Long serious wine and should be one of the great aging values. 1.5 Stars

2014 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac (1.5L)
By: Alex Pross | Review Date: 5/3/2015 | Send Email
Not quite up the standard of the 2000 or the 2005, this is still a very, very good wine. Deep, dark berry fruit, coffee, tobacco, hints of pencil lead--a very fine Lynch that is built to age. Score: 3-3½ stars

2014 Lynch Bages, Pauillac (3L)
By: Alex Pross | Review Date: 5/3/2015 | Send Email
Not quite up the standard of the 2000 or the 2005, this is still a very, very good wine. Deep, dark berry fruit, coffee, tobacco, hints of pencil lead--a very fine Lynch that is built to age. Score: 3-3½ stars
Price: $349.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac
By: Alex Pross | Review Date: 5/3/2015 | Send Email
Not quite up the standard of the 2000 or the 2005, this is still a very, very good wine. Deep, dark berry fruit, coffee, tobacco, hints of pencil lead--a very fine Lynch that is built to age. Score: 3-3½ stars

2014 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac (1.5L)
By: Ralph Sands | Review Date: 5/3/2015 | Send Email
Bright and floral zesty red fruits greet you, followed by direct and tightly focused spicy Cabernet fruit on the palate. Like the Baron wine, not much flesh here. * 1 Star.

2014 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac
By: Ralph Sands | Review Date: 5/3/2015 | Send Email
Bright and floral zesty red fruits greet you, followed by direct and tightly focused spicy Cabernet fruit on the palate. Like the Baron wine, not much flesh here. * 1 Star.

2014 Lake Chalice "The Nest" Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand
By: Dave Genevro | Review Date: 5/3/2015 | Send Email
This is a bargain if I have ever seen one. This lovely wine has got tons of stone fruits going on with a decent amount of weight and depth on the palate in this price range. The wine finishes on the palate with some great clean minerals and wet stones. This would make a great summer entertaining white.
Price: $10.99 Add To Waiting List

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