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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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2017 Quivira "Alder Grove" Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc
Reviwer Picture By: Blake Conklin | Review Date: 8/22/2019 | Send Email
The two years I spent working and living in Sonoma County, I got to explore a lot of fun little wine AVA's of the area. On my days off, me and my buddies would go out tasting, and one of my favorite areas to explore was Dry Creek Valley. It was there, where I discovered Quivira winery, and had a very fond memory visiting there. So when I saw that we now carry this wonderful Sauvignon blanc, I couldn't help but squee with delight. Tasting this, I picked up notes of grapefruit, citrus, and some slight grassiness, I couldn't but feel like I was transported back to Sonoma, enjoying this with my friends. This is a perfect wine for the upcoming Indian summer us Angelenos are all anticipating.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WS 93

2014 Rhys "Bearwallow Vineyard" Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
Reviwer Picture By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | Review Date: 8/22/2019 | Send Email
The winemakers at Rhys have spent years in Burgundy trying to learn the farming techniques and winemaking methodologies that result in a truly great bottle of wine, and I believe they have harnessed that knowledge in this bottling. Long a wait-list only winery, this exclusive brand is now available to the general public, and K&L is the first and largest single retailer of this producer. Experts in both Anderson Valley and Santa Cruz Mountains varietals, this particular bottling definitely carries the classic Burgundy flavor profile. Medium bodied with dusky tannin, well-incorporated minerality, and soft red fruits, this wine feels shy and so expressive at the same time. It's not punchy and in your face, but subtle and incredibly complex. One of the best Pinots I've had this year.

2015 Happy Canyon Vineyards "Piocho" Santa Barbara County Bordeaux Blend
Reviwer Picture By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | Review Date: 8/22/2019 | Send Email
This wine is incredibly bright and punchy, showcasing fresh fruit and delineated minerality. I expected something heavier and darker fruited, but found this one medium-bodied and very expressive. I know many are shying away from Melot dominant wines these days, but Merlot may be one of the most food-friendly bold reds out there, as many Bordeauxs can prove. This one is definitely worth the purchase as you get a lot of wine for your dollar.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 94

2015 Happy Canyon Vineyards "Piocho" Santa Barbara County Bordeaux Blend
Reviwer Picture By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 8/22/2019 | Send Email
A screaming deal at our market low price. This rocking Bordeaux-style blend is made for Happy Canyon Vineyards by none other than legendary Santa Barbara County winemaker, Doug Margerum! Happy Canyon Vineyard is well known as one of the premier sites in the region and their pristine fruit is coveted by many of the area's best winemakers. This packs briary, brambly, deep red fruit, with crushed rock minerality, subtle cigar box, plum, bay laurel, and graphite. Medium-plus-bodied with great structure balancing the fruit. Unbelievable value for this end-of-vintage, hidden price deal. Don't miss it.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 94

2017 Guy Farge "Terroir de Granit" Saint-Joseph Rouge
Reviwer Picture By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
The nose of this wine is deep, and it shows a bit of earthy character and some spice. On the palate the wine has a crunchy tannin, but not bitter, it’s just crunchy but followed up with a very polished, supple mouthfeel, and long. While there is a background of fruit, this wine doesn’t show overt fruit, it’s not a blackberry, raspberry vehicle it is more subdued. The finish is supple, tannins couched appropriately, long and it does have a bit more soil character, some edgy mineral character. Overall I like this wine, drinkable now but in 3-5 years much more interesting.

2017 John Duval "Entity" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Reviwer Picture By: Thomas Smith | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
This is it. This is the big one. This is the breakthrough Shiraz of the year. John Duval spent nearly 30 years as a master winemaker crafting Penfolds Grange, Australia’s most heralded Shiraz that can easily cost upwards of $800. Striking out on his own to craft the wines at John Duval, the 2017 Entity clearly puts this mastery on display. The concentration and minerality on the nose wavers between warm, detailed fruit and more mineral, graphite driven aspects that remind me of Bordeaux like Leoville Barton, with a fruit expression that has seemingly endless depth. Black raspberry, black cherry and whiffs of spice tinged smoke are all at play here. The palate has fiery dynamics, velvety tannins, and a bright whip of acidity that pushes down the palate. All in all this is stunning in its complexity, balance, and focus. It may be awhile before I see anything that even comes close to the value here. It’s no wonder that James Halliday named this No.1 on his list of best Australian Shiraz this year.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JH 99

2015 Francs Magnus, Bordeaux Supérieur
Reviwer Picture By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
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We taste this wine in April 2019 and loved it as a value red. It offers lovely depth and creaminess in a forward, fruit-driven style that reflects the ripeness of the year. This wine making team uses Hubert de Bouard as a consultant so the wine tends to be in the modern vein. Spice and black fruits abound on palate. Very nice value.
Drink from 2019 to 2019
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2017 John Duval "Entity" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Reviwer Picture By: Elsa Baez | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
Looking for a nicely layered and not too plush Barossa Shiraz?...look no further! We are lucky to carry the 2017 Duval Entity not only because it recently was rated 99 points by James Halliday, it's also a fantastic bottle of Shiraz we're all excited about here at K&L for so many reasons. Aromas of chocolate powder undertones, with dark ripe fruit nicely intertwining with the savory undertones on the palate. It's elegant and ready to be paired with your favorite beef dish.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JH 99

New Riff Bourbon Barreled Kentucky Wild Gin (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: Andrew Whiteley | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
A decent barrel-aged gin is a rare thing. An excellent one is like a unicorn - you're pretty sure it exists, but you've never seen one. I was flabbergasted by New Riff's barrel-aged gin. I've gone back to that bottle over and over again this year, nursing it down to the end until I could replenish my stocks once our for-sale product actually arrived. The color is extremely light, but the gin has spent a shocking 5-7 months in as-fresh-as-they-get bourbon barrels. Aside from the mellowing and melding of flavors achieved by the time barrel, there is a haunting, subtle sweetness and complex vanilla oak profile imparted to the gin. It's like a very dry version of Old Tom Gin. While it's great on its own, it's the perfect ingredient for a modern version of the Martinez cocktail.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2017 John Duval "Entity" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Reviwer Picture By: Cameron Hoppas | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
Absolutely delicious. Unctuous and dense core with seamless texture and freshness. Perfumed fruit aromas with warmth and classic Barossa-style spice. This wine is incredibly powerful and elegant. This wine reflects the excellence you'd expect from John Duval's storied winemaking career as chief winemaker for Penfolds for 29 years before setting out on his own in 2003.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JH 99

2015 Peake Ranch Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Reviwer Picture By: Kaj Stromer | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
Over the last two years we’ve paid serious attention to Peake Ranch, one of our favorite emerging wineries in the Sta. Rita Hills. Several recon missions to the winery confirmed our earlier suspicions; this is one serious property. Thanks to the strength of our relationship, we were able to secure the last 20 cases of their inaugural release Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay direct from the cellar. This wine turned heads upon release but has now really reached a special place. I took a bottle home over the weekend and savored it over 3 days. I was particularly impressed how well the wine had integrated. The additional time in bottle has resulted in a wine that melds the best of what these cool climate vineyards can produce when placed in the hands of incredibly talented winemaker Paul Lato. Full-bodied, rich and layered, it should drink well for several years to come. This Chardonnay should be front and center at your next dinner party.
Price: Hidden View Price
JD 94

2017 Quivira "Alder Grove" Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc
Reviwer Picture By: Kaj Stromer | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
The single-vineyard Alder Grove Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favorite offerings from Quivira. The wine is partially barrel fermented and aged in a mix of small and large French oak barrels, of which 15% is new. The remaining wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks. When blended together, the result is a rather complex wine with gorgeous aromatics, a luxurious mouthfeel, with a refreshing lift of acidity. White flowers, lemon zest, lime, and Thai basil rise from the glass. The wine is refreshing on the palate with that tell-tale body of the Musque clone. There’s just a touch of green grassiness here but it’s merely seasoning on this fruit driven, mineral inflected wine. Rightfully so, this is one of the top-rated California Sauvignons in a field of wines twice the price.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WS 93

2017 John Duval "Entity" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Reviwer Picture By: Lilia McIntosh | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
Unbelievable wine! John Duval winery has outdone itself this time! I have been a huge fan of this wine for a few vintages now, but this 2017 is off the charts. Gorgeous black fruit: mulberries, wild blackberries, polished and silky tannins. wine glides absolutely seamlessly on your palate and has long-lasting, bright, mouth-watering finish. It's a beauty and a stunner of a wine.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JH 99

2015 Chateau Ste. Michelle "50th Anniversary Edition" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L)
Reviwer Picture By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
This is a beautiful bottle in honor of the 50th anniversary of Chateau Ste. Michelle. While this is not the most complex bottling of Cabernet we have on the shelves, it is delicious and easy drinking and a phenomenal deal for this large format (especially when the winery sells it for $50). This is a great choice for a party or a weekend away. Columbia Valley is consistently producing some great Cabernets and is the place to watch for affordable, quality wines.
Top Value!
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart
DC 93

2017 Guy Farge "Terroir de Granit" Saint-Joseph Rouge
Reviwer Picture By: Kaj Stromer | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
Guy Farge, who was once exclusively a grower, has gradually withheld more and more of his fruit in order to bottle wine from the family estate. The result of which is a winery steadily gaining in esteem with critics and our customers alike. After perusing the lovely aromatics of blue fruit, dark flowers, licorice and spice I was taken by the firm grip on the palate. The wine is assertive and bold and lets you know it is to be taken seriously. But there is a charm underneath that structure that rewards the taster with flavors of blueberry pie, spice, and tar. This is a terrific representation of all that’s going right at Guy Farge as well as reminding you just how impressive the wines from Saint-Joseph can be when in the right hands.

2015 Tongue in Groove "Cabal Vineyard" Pinot Noir Waipara Valley
Reviwer Picture By: Tim Telli | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
A full-bodied single vineyard Pinot Noir from New Zealand that delivers on quality and price. It has plenty of fruit but is well balanced with a nice bouquet of savory spices on the nose with some silky tannins on the finish that lead one to think it can be drunk now or kept for another 5-8 years.

2017 Olema Sonoma County Pinot Noir
Reviwer Picture By: Scott Beckerley | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
This lively, brighter style of Pinot Noir is both lovely in texture and unusually complex, at this price point. Overtones of bright strawberries and undertones of fresh oak and clean earth add complexity along with a finish that has nice spice and a hint of minerals. Integrated tannins make it easy to drink, a little too easy. It's the best of both worlds...lush fruit and lower tannin, with the added bonus of brightness and spice. Win, win! (P.S. The Chardonnay is also very, very, good and I don't often say that about Chardonnay!).
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

2016 Bishop's Peak San Luis Obispo Pinot Noir
Reviwer Picture By: Robert Cash | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
A high-quality Pinot Noir under $20 is not easy to find, Pinot Noir not being the easiest varietal to grow. But the folks at Talley are known for their renowned Pinots, and their many years of craftsmanship and expertise are evidenced here in their Bishop's Peak offering. The nose is beautiful, with a dynamic interplay of bramble, cherries, strawberries, and a touch of white pepper. Very balanced on the palate with notes of cherry, orange rind. Smooth, balanced with medium acidity and soft tannins and good length, this is a knockout value Pinot!
Top Value!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 VN 91

2016 Alpha Estate "Hedgehog Vineyard" Xinomavro Amyndeon Greece
Reviwer Picture By: Sharon Kelly | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
EVERYONE SHOULD BE DRINKING THIS WINE. For a wine that is often described as needing time (5-10+ years) to be ready for drinking, this is highly charismatic and approachable right now. The aromas are rich with red fruit, truffle and an herbaceous whiff that reminds me of my farmers market herb vendor. The palate is layered with ripe plum, raspberry and peppery spice. The tannins wave hello and linger just long enough, the energetic acid is perfect for that rib eye waiting for me at the butcher. There is so much complexity and personality in this wine - bring this to your next grill ‘n chill gathering for a perfect match to a hearty piece of meat. This has all of the elements to make it a great tenant in your cellar for several years, too.

2018 Domaine Vincent Carême "Spring" Vouvray Sec
Reviwer Picture By: Kaj Stromer | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
My colleague Keith Mabry continues to win me over with one exceptional representation of Chenin Blanc after another. Chenin has been the “it” grape for so many years now it’s finally got the broad public appeal it always deserved. The "Spring" bottling from Vincent Careme is pure Chenin deliciousness. The peach fruit aspect of this wine along with the mineral salinity inflected nature makes you salivate after every sip and keeps you picking up your glass for more. I can see myself drinking this wine alongside a soufflé with baked goat cheese and pancetta. If you know how to make that dish, please call me, I'll bring the Chenin.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

2016 Alpha Estate "Hedgehog Vineyard" Xinomavro Amyndeon Greece
Reviwer Picture By: Illya Haase | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
So, stay with me here: What if Nebbiolo and Gamay got together and had a baby? You would probably get Xinomavro! It shares many wonderful qualities of these two distinct grapes! Wild herbs and leather with that great mineral backbone of the Nebbiolo. The Gamay side gives it that touch of light, bright red berry fruit. It all comes together with enough structure to pair with some yummy Greek fare. This is definitely a grape you need to take a look at. Alpha Estate produced one of the best expressions I have had!

2017 John Duval "Entity" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Reviwer Picture By: Tim Telli | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
Dark and rich fruit flavors on the nose. Clean fruit with no apparent oak. Well balanced sweet fruit and a nice long finish. This wine is all about the harmonious integration of fruit, oak and texture. Quite a steal at $35 that is made by an icon of the Australian wine industry with access to some exceptional fruit sources. This is classic Barossa Shiraz without the weight and oak sweetness that is all too common.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JH 99

2013 Columbia Crest "Reserve" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Reviwer Picture By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
It's hard to beat a wine that James Suckling calls "Baby Opus", especially when we have it for the lowest price in the country. Velvety and pure fruit shine through, with a layer of very fine tannin supporting the finish. This is a winner from Columbia Crest, who consistently makes some of our best-selling Washington wine. Outside of Napa, Columbia Valley is true USA Cabernet country.
Top Value!

2017 John Duval "Entity" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Reviwer Picture By: Neal Fischer | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
I'm a bit of a John Duval fan-boy, and my appreciation for this bottling is no exception. The nose starts with a little pepper, big black fruit, and heady potpourri. The palate is more robust and jammy with juicy plum and mixed dark berries. Deeper flavors emerge with more nosing and sipping such as dark cocoa, spicebox, and earthy tobacco. It stays juicy and powerful through the end with good structure and a luscious texture.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JH 99

2017 John Duval "Entity" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Reviwer Picture By: Alex Schroeder | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
This beautiful wine from a veritable master of Shiraz is a beautiful iteration of the grape from down under. It has the concentration and depth of a high-dollar, luxury Syrah while showing off its beautiful terroir with wonderful expressiveness and lift. Aromas of plums, black currants, black pepper, eucalyptus, mint, and licorice lift from the glass. It has a fantastic silky texture with ripe tannins and balancing acidity, and the finish goes on for ages.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JH 99

2017 John Duval "Entity" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Reviwer Picture By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
The critics love big, supple, decadent wines like this one for their smoky, dark fruited intensity. For me, the part that impresses the most is the lack of heat and the lack of residual sugar. This is a big boy that can dance, and a fantastic value for this style of wine.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JH 99

2017 John Duval "Entity" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Reviwer Picture By: Cameron Price | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
What a sexy bottle of Shiraz! Big, bright and juicy Shiraz that is as delicate as it is powerful. Soft and silky tannins with a light savory note are highlighted well in the wine. Do not fret about ageing this wine as it is locked and loaded and ready to enjoy now...like right now!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JH 99

2017 John Duval "Entity" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Reviwer Picture By: Miles Philippe | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
The presence of this wine certainly backs up the name of, "Entity." All encompassing dark red and black fruits envelope your palate and carry through all the way to the end of the finish. To describe this wine in a word: Sexy. With a soft and velvety texture, this wine is one to drink now, and to drink often! It's fabulous on its own, but this will also go toe to toe with any powerful meat dish that you serve this with!
Top Value!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JH 99

New Riff "Single Barrel" Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: Neal Fischer | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
Cinnamon, clove, and burnt sugar waft up from the glass on this deceptively easy to drink cask strength Bourbon. I'm pretty used to drinking high-proof whisk(e)y, but this is dang friendly and I'm not sure I would peg it as cask strength if it was handed to me blind. Spearmint and eucalyptus create a lovely relaxing balm with other herbal and medicinal notes. The palate is fairly earthy and herbal with tea notes that then go in a creme brulee direction. Adding water offers exciting changes to the whiskey with more florality emerging and snappy spices. Pepper, dark caramel, and toasted oak spice linger in the very long finish.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

New Riff Kentucky Wild Gin (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: Andrew Whiteley | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
I'm a gin guy. My wife and I probably consume more G&Ts and Martinis than any other cocktail at home. Of course when my box of New Riff samples I requested at the start of this year arrived I dug into the whiskies first, cause that's really what was going to make or break this Kentucky distillery for me, but I was thrilled to get to the gins, if not a little skeptical going in. Knowing nothing about the gin, I evaluated it first just on taste and was giddy. After diving in and learning a thing of two about the production, I was ecstatic. Built on classic gin botanicals the Kentucky Wild Gin at first blush is something of a London dry style, but harbors a few major twists. The most noticeable is the texture - there is a bit of new make rye spirit added to the neutral grain. Not only does this enhance the flavors as the herbal nature of the rye plays extremely well with the botanicals, but it adds an enormous amount of rich texture to the base. The 2nd major twist comes from the American Spice Bush. Endemic to the Ohio River Valley, the fruit of this bush has a distinct flavor that falls somewhere between all spice and mace with a hint of pepper and tea notes. It's really a perfect gin botanical. Add to that some wild local juniper to enhance the backbone and a touch of Golden Rod - Kentucky's state flower - and you've got yourself a true Kentucky Gin that drinks like a dream and makes a killer dry Martini.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart

New Riff Bottled-In-Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: Neal Fischer | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
Balsa wood, incense, and musky cologne emerge from the glass. Cinnamon, clove, and other earthy spices come to the fore and dominate the nose of this bottled-in-bond Bourbon that's woody and peppery enough to make one wonder if it's a Rye. There's just enough caramel to keep things in Bourbon territory though with freshly sliced vanilla bean and nutmeg creeping in and making the nose a bit more rich and voluptuous. It's woodier on the palate with more bold spice character as well. This is definitely a great whiskey for lovers of high-rye Bourbons.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Laurent-Perrier "Grand Siècle" Iteration #24 Brut Champagne
Reviwer Picture By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
The first Grand Siècle to be numbered with an iteration! Now we won't have to wonder which batch it is from anymore. This is Champagne at its most refined, subtle and elegant. If you like a silky style, with just the right amount of baguette toast and a whole lot of length, this is for you. The price of the 24th iteration is very fair given how much all of the other grand marques charge for their younger, higher production tête de cuvées. It is composed of the 2007,2006 and 2004 vintages.
Drink from 2019 to 2019
Price: $149.00 Add To Cart
RP 94 VN 94

New Riff Bottled-In-Bond Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: Neal Fischer | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
This bottled-in-bond no chill-filtered Kentucky Rye has a gorgeous and incredibly aromatic nose. It's so floral at the start, but not without spicy and fruity notes. This is a bit of a slow-burner rye, where you almost expect it to be a softy push-over, but rest assured that this grows bolder the more you sniff. After the fresh-cut flowers, apple and cinnamon come out strong. But for me, it's not like a friendly baked apple pie - no, this is fresh ground cinnamon powder dashed onto just-cut green apples. This is intense. There's more spice on the palate that lights you up without blowing your head off. Charred oak meets fresh cut wood with incense before getting spicy again with a dose of cooling mint to spare your tongue from the burn. This is a fun little trip of a rye.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

New Riff "Single Barrel" Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: Andrew Whiteley | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
Distilled in the fall of 2015 and bottled in the fall of 2019, barrel #15-4076 clocks in at 112.4 proof. More than one of our staff members muttered impressed profanities under their breath upon tasting this barrel. It's jammed with expanding flavors ranging from caramel, chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg, to sandalwood, mint, tangy apples, cracked pepper and varnish. The proof is high, but the heat is remarkably restrained. It's an easy sipper even at cask strength. Of course like all of their whisky - it's bottled without chill filtration. Just raw, unadulterated whiskey goodness. Selected for exceptional quality and bottled one barrel at a time, the single barrel SKU never gets old. Each one is a unique, but complete expression of the quality New Riff produces every day.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

New Riff Bottled-In-Bond Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: Andrew Whiteley | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
When you start a new distillery, it's not uncommon (for the savvy operators) to hire a longtime industry pro to make sure the setup of the facility is up to snuff. If you're really dedicated to making great whiskey, you hire the best. If you're dedicated to making great rye, that means you find the man who has a reasonable claim to having distilled more rye whiskey than anyone on earth. Larry Ebersold spent 40+ years making whiskey at what is today known as MGP - one time the largest whiskey distillery on the planet and he is responsible for making an enormous portion of the bourbon and rye available on the market today. The investment in great people has paid off in a big way for New Riff. They let Larry order up the "small" distillery of his dreams and implemented a few new ideas he had that were not in the cards at a massive facility like MGP. A bit unusual in that it is 100% rye (95% rye and 5% malted rye) this is a dissertation on why rye is such a compelling distillation grain. It's both spicy in flavor and plush on the palate. There is a small floral and grassy component that is intense but not perfumy or overly sweet. The cinnamon and pepper that is so clear in the high-rye bourbon, counterintuitively melts into the core of this 100% rye. Bottled-In-Bond, this Fall 2019 bottling is a masterpiece and rightly deserves to be where New Riff hangs their hat.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2016 Godeau, St-Emilion
Reviwer Picture By: James Bradshaw | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
Woah! This richly textured 2016 St-Emilion is jam-packed with vibrant blue and black fruit and more spice than Christmas fruitcake (in the best way possible). The more 2016s I try, the more I am impressed with the vintage, and this sterling rendition is no exception. It is supple enough to drink now, but also has the depth and tannin to warrant another ten to fifteen years in the cellar. Its St-Emilion imprint is unmistakable, which is all the more remarkable for its very affordable price. It holds its own against the big dogs of the appellation. On the hedonistic side of the spectrum, the 2016 Godeau will surely delight Napa Cab drinkers as well. It'll be a treat to follow its progression over the years.

New Riff Bottled-In-Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: Andrew Whiteley | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
The importance of what New Riff has done can't be stated in a single review. The true magnitude their accomplishments can only be understood when looking at the larger picture of the American whiskey industry and where they fit into it. As with any whiskey though - the story isn't fully told until you get it in your glass and judge for yourself. I love the combination of richness and spice in the bourbon. In particular, the high (30%) rye content really amps up the experience. While the sweet vanillans and caramels of the barrel create a base for the whiskey, it's the high toned peaks of rye aromatics that make the pour sing. Pepper and cinnamon abound, but the touch of dried alfalfa adds the savor needed to make it a complete drinking experience, not just a sweet and spice bomb. The finish lingers, both long and well rounded. Perfect at 100 proof, as required by the Bottled-In-Bond Act of 1897, you have many options for enjoying this one. Neat is never a bad idea, but the savory notes play extremely well with vermouth if you want to mix up some cocktails. There is enough punch that a little water or ice isn't going to dilute you past the point of intense aromatics and flavor either.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2015 Chateau Ste. Michelle "50th Anniversary Edition" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L)
Reviwer Picture By: Neal Fischer | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
Bold fruit without becoming jammy, this 50th Anniversary Cab rocks blueberry, blackberry, leather, and pepper on the nose. The fruit is concentrated, intense, and dark. The palate is very dry with dehydrated cherries. curry spice, and black licorice. Decanter gave this 93 points, and this wine will pair perfectly with duck, grilled meats, strong cheese, or dark chocolates.
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart
DC 93

2016 Godeau, St-Emilion
Reviwer Picture By: Ryan Moses | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
This small St-Emilion property might be off the radar for many collectors, but shouldn't be missed for those looking for a flat-out delicious Bordeaux blend. With an abundant nose of plum, graphite, and black cherry, flavors turn more to bright black and blue fruit with mouthwatering acidity that keeps the palate fresh and bright. Although this stays true to its St-Emilion roots, it will find a lot of fans from Old and New World alike. Very well done, and another great example of what the 2016 vintage has to offer.

2018 Domaine Vincent Carême "Spring" Vouvray Sec
Reviwer Picture By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
The nose on this wine really captivated me, wild, saline intrigue followed by lemon meringue…OK that doesn’t show up in most tasting notes but it really is appropriate here. On the palate the wine has vibrant acidity with a full body to accompany it, long, supple and vibrant with great lift in the finish. I really like this wine, I had sort of lost interest in Vouvray over the last few years with wines that seemed a bit too gamey, this one is buttoned up tight and is really good.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

2015 Tapiz "Alta Collection" Malbec Mendoza
Reviwer Picture By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
Let me be up front, I’ve never been a fan of most Argentinian under $20 Malbec, just not my thing, however this wine seemed to break out of that mold for me. The nose has broad, I can’t seem to get out of the music analogy, this wine has a lot of bass notes. On the palate is where I usually get put off by a sweetish, fruit character but this wine doesn’t have that overt sweetness it actually has very good balance. The finish tries to stay more Bordeaux like than new world and mostly succeeds. A good value for the price.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 94

2016 Alpha Estate "Hedgehog Vineyard" Xinomavro Amyndeon Greece
Reviwer Picture By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
I’ll be honest I am still trying to figure out Xinomavro, I’ve got the pronunciation down, but it is a wine I haven’t been able to categorize in my mind. On the nose it shows lots of leather, spice, grit and hints of fruit compote while on the palate it shows a bit of grippy tannins with a replay of the nose. The finish seems to accent the tannins, they’re not big and powerful but evident. This is a wine that you need some rich, heavy, textural food to have this with, while obviously Moussaka seems the choice I think you’re better served with a good’ol American lasagna.

2016 Domaine Durieu "Lucile Avril" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Reviwer Picture By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
The nose of this wine is deep, brooding and layered with asphalt, rosemary and wild berries. On the palate the wine has an extra layer of fruit richness, but it is framed by focused tannins. The finish softens the tannins and extends them down the tongue where it seems to go on for some time. Drinkable now with a little aeration and a hearty bowl of cassoulet! Or drop some in the cellar for another 5-7 years.

2016 Xavier Vignon "Cuvée Vieilles Vignes" Côtes du Rhône
Reviwer Picture By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
I like the 2016 vintage a lot, I liked 2015 as well but 2016 has just a little more focus and verve for my palate, it shows in the nose of this wine while showing lots of fruit aromatics it’s the garrigue that gets me, that’s that earthy, spicy smells like wild brush aromatic. On the palate breadth and balance come to mind immediately a little more of the rich fruit character comes through but balanced with good acidity and accented with that spice and wild brush. If you can buy a case and hang on for 3-4 years you will really see the greatness of this vintage.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JD 93 RP 90

2014 Leeuwin "Art Series" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Reviwer Picture By: Thomas Smith | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
Leeuwin continues to produce one of the best Australian Cabernets year after year. The 2014 Leeuwin Art Series Cab is the most elegant rendition of this wine I have had to date. Filled with soft aromas of subtle mint, faint touches of nutmeg, along with whifs of cinnamon, and vanilla. On the palate, the wine is broad and full. Bright acid pushes cassis, blackberry, and black cherry elements to the forefront. In the background there is plenty of minerality that gives the flavor palate definition. This is so well balanced and nuanced. Every minute this wine is in my glass it is getting better. So many complex elements of when you look at it closely, but an equally delicious drinking experience that anyone will love.

2017 Domained Jean-Michel Dupre "Le Grottier" Morgon
Reviwer Picture By: Sharon Kelly | Review Date: 8/19/2019 | Send Email
Yet another hit from Jean-Michel Dupre! Beautifully fragrant with wild strawberry and red cherry fruits, and a dash of pepper, this is aged in concrete for 12 months so there is a lot of spirit and freshness in this wine. M.Dupre intervenes as little as possible with the winemaking process, preferring to let the elements do their thing. The result here is pure,unadulterated Gamay. This is the ideal hot summer red to slightly chill and enjoy with a wide range of foods. Try it with anything from BBQ meats, to thai dishes to chicken gyro.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
JS 94

2017 Nortico Alvarinho Vinho Regional Minho
Reviwer Picture By: Mandana Tourani | Review Date: 8/19/2019 | Send Email
Lean, floral and ocean breeze on the nose. Creamy guava; bright, high acidity. Chalky, along with dried honeycomb, and wafting hints of white and yellow flowers. Pairs well with shellfish, especially crab and lobster.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2017 Chateau de la Maltroye Bourgogne Blanc
Reviwer Picture By: Sharon Kelly | Review Date: 8/19/2019 | Send Email
Although the outside of the bottle looks nouveau, what's happening on the inside is definitely not. This is classic Bourgogne Blanc through and through. There is beautiful concentration and complexity here, with notes of white flowers, pears, citrus,a kiss of oak and wonderfully luxurious texture. The acid here is very vibrant and the finish is perpetual. This is a fine, fine wine
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2017 Domaine de Fondrèche "Persia" Ventoux Rouge
Reviwer Picture By: Mandana Tourani | Review Date: 8/19/2019 | Send Email
you will be wowed! Mostly Syrah grapes. Cedar, Tobacco, spice, dark fruits such as Cassis and black currant. Full body, complex, long finish, chewy tannins.

2016 La Tour de Mons, Margaux
Reviwer Picture By: Mandana Tourani | Review Date: 8/19/2019 | Send Email
You can taste the Terroir in this extraordinary wine. Beautiful aromatic nose of sweet fruits, cocoa and wet soil. Candied plums and abundant textured black Currant. vivid minerality and a perfect amount of acidity.

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