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Staff Favorites - Jim Barr

Jim Barr


2007 Château de Montfaucon "Baron Louis" Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 07-19-2017
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We have been directly importing the outstanding Rhone Valley wines of Chateau de Montfaucon since 1995 and, although many of you know the story of this property, I think that it is still appropriate to repeat. This 85+ acre estate lies across the Rhone River from the village of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and its red and white wine grape make-up are similar to what goes into making CDPs. The problem, however, is that the river is the appellation line and Montfaucon, therefore, cannot be called CDP, and is relegated to a general Cotes du Rhone classification. My attitude is that if it smells and tastes like CdP, than treat it like CdP. With that out of the way, I can tell you that the 2007 Cotes du Rhones from Montfaucon are the best that I have tasted from this estate since we have been importing them. Produced from the older sections of their vineyard (60- to 90-year-old vines), the Cuveé Baron Louis(40% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Cinsault and 10% each Carignan, Mourvedre and Counoise) would be a great and classic CdP if wasn't for that #*&^ river. With its deep, richly appearing hue, the opulent, perfumed nose of blackberry, purple plum, white pepper spiciness, hints of smoked meats and forest floor explodes from the glass. It is concentrated and lush, with broad fruit in the mouth that is complex yet soft and round, with silky tannins, all leading to a long, warm, ongoing finish. I plan to lay this Gem down for a few years to give it additional development, but it is an amazingly wonderful wine now, particularly with decanting and airing {10/13/2009}...A K&L WINE MERCHANTS' DIRECT IMPORT... ***** 14.0% ABV ***** {RETASTED 07/13/2017: Has become absolutely incredibly delicious; comparable to any $150.00 or much more older wine available in our stores}
Drink from 2009 to 2009
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JD 91

2015 D'Archambeau, Graves
Review Date: 06-24-2017
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Great vintages, as with 2015, in Bordeaux will give you a plethora of excellent quality wines, both red and white, across the gamut that you can buy to age {and spend a great deal of money for in some cases} and to also drink near-term, which tend to be from the chateaux from the lesser growths and cru bourgeouis from all the various regions of this infamous area. This production surprised the hell out of me with its superb quality, particularly when you view the price point. It definitely reminds me of a drinkable Chateau Carbonnieux from that area, but without the need for a lot of aging. Medium-deep to deep ruby in color, the nose is pronounced and focused offering lush, yet classic Graves-like minerality of filings and gravelly notes with an opulent presentation of cassis, blackberry to blueberry fruit. In the mouth, it is round, rich, integrated, well-structured, and full of character, all of which leads to a soft, elegant finish. An amazing wine for the money and probably the best that this chateau has ever made. Rusty has asked me to bring home several cases of this Gem for our near-term consumption for the next three to five years. A DELICIOUS, WELL PRICED VALUE! …..A K&L WINE MERCHANTS’ DIRECT IMPORT….. ***** 13.5% ABV *****
Drink from 2017 to 2017

2015 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 06-14-2017
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Previous vintages of TWR Pinots that we have brought in have been excellent productions that show some real classic Pinot characteristics bordering on a cross between a really nice Pommard from Burgundy and some “new-world” qualities without going over the top. But, this 2015 production has kicked up those wonderful qualities of their previous productions threefold to a level that is absolutely superb. Medium-deep ruby in color, the opulent nose is loaded with lush floral fruit notes {rose petals to violets}, black cherry to ripe strawberry to blueberry tones, that is reinforced by creamy to wet river stone mineral qualities. In its complex, silky smooth, rich palate, this exceptional Gem is balanced, elegant, fleshy, and well-structured, has a viscous mid-range, all of which leads to a long, succulent, juicy finish that seems to go on and on, and it is only 13.0% ABV {???}. This is great New Zealand Pinot, and Rusty has ordered me to bring home cases of this exceptional Gem for our consumption over the next seven to ten years. A GREAT VALUE!!!” …..A K&L WINE MERCHANTS’ DIRECT IMPORT ***** 13.0% ABV *****
Drink from 2017 to 2017

Jean-Louis Denois "Tradition" Extra Brut Reserve
Review Date: 12-22-2015
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It is fascinating that once you get outside of the Champagne appellation and into other areas of France that produce "sparkling wines" in a similar method, the price for those wines seems to de-escalate substantially. Of course, there is the question of quality comparisons, which can be a realistic appraisal, but once in a while you will find a sparkler from those other regions that will rival its much more expensive cousins in Champagne and at one-third the price or less. Such is case with this beautifully created sparkler from the Languedoc region of Southwestern France. We have been importing Jean-Louis Denois wines for well over ten years, and have found his productions to be of superb quality in general, and when the price is taken into consideration, ridiculously ‘cheap’ vis-à-vis the outstanding quality level. Produced from equal amounts of estate grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, this lovely sparkling wine spent eighteen months on yeast (Cremant style), yet in its rich-smelling aromatics and lush flavors, this Gem behaves as if it has been on yeast for five to six years. Creamy, nutty, toasty, and pronounced both, again, on the nose and in the mouth, this finely beaded, dry, clean, and mouthwatering Gem provides tons of elegant and delicious flavors, which do defy the low price. The Bean has ordered me to bring home cases of this wonderful Gem and strongly recommends that you do the same. An Incredible Value.” ***** 12.0% ABV *****
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-14-2014
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It is remarkable to me, and to much of our wine staff, some of the unique, profoundly produced Champagnes from the small producers that Gary Westby, our Champagne Wine Buyer, has discovered over the last decade. Virtually all of these producers, including the Aristons, are making sparkling wine strictly from estate fruit from Grand Cru recognized vineyard sites, and in small lots. As with any small producer, these wines are “hands-on” creations that are given extensive individual attention and long term aging before being disgorged. The Ariston “Carte Blanche’s” exquisite, superb quality is at a mind boggling low price vis-à-vis its style and complexity. Rich and authoritative both on its nutty, doughy yeasty nose and in the mouth, the very fine mousse leads to an amazingly rich, full style brut, with a long, intense finish. Some of you will probably not enjoy this Gem, due to the fact that you have gotten use to flavorless, bulk productions from the international, well-known, simply made name “brands,” but for those of you that seek complexity and profoundness in your Champagne, you will not find one even close in quality to this Gem at this price. The Guys (Rusty, Eby, The Beaner, and Rizzo) have forcefully made this our house sparkling wine forever. Don't be afraid to age this wonderful Champagne; it will only keep getting better. ABV 12%
Drink from 2014 to 2014
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 10-17-2013
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12.0% ABV

Launois "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 05-14-2013
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Produced from Chardonnay [obviously, since it is “Blanc de Blancs”], this amazing Gem throws tons of yeasty, nutty, creamy fruit at you both in the nose and on the palate, with brilliant complexity, and a lush, broad, and rich finish. The Bean has ordered me to bring at least one case of this home for our consumption in the next one to three-plus years. I will probably bring home more than that. 12.0% ABV
Drink from 2013 to 2013
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart