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Staff Favorites - Jeff Garneau

Jeff Garneau
Jeff Garneau  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
Jeff has been a member of the sales staff in our Redwood City store for the past four years. His first introduction to wine was as a waiter in an upscale Italian restaurant in Hanover, NH more years ago than he likes to admit. He slowly made his way west to wine country, working his way across the US as a graduate student in geography, a public sector researcher in regional economic development, and briefly, in the wake of the Anderson-Enron scandal, a records management coordinator for one of the remaining Big Five accounting firms. Finally, surrendering to the inevitable, he accepted a position in the wine business here at K&L. His goals for the next four years include drinking more wines from Italy and France and trying to limit the number of open bottles on the dinner table on any given night to fewer than six.


Reviews

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2014 Barde-Haut, St-Emilion
Review Date: 10-31-2017
Our visit with Hélène Garcin at Chateau Barde-Haut in St-Émilion back in April was meant to be a brief one. It had been a very long day of tasting 2016 barrel samples on the Right Bank, and we had two more appointments still remaining. We tasted samples of all the wines in the portfolio: the two new properties – Chateau d’Arce from the Côtes de Castillon and Poesia in St-Émilion, the fabled Clos l’Eglise from Pomerol, and of course Barde-Haut. In for a penny, in for a pound, and when we were offered barrel samples of the same wines from the excellent 2015 vintage we nodded our assent. The third time’s the charm, so when corks were pulled on the newly bottled wines of the 2014 vintage we held out our glasses once again. It is very difficult to say no to Hélène, and impossible to say no to her wines. The 2014 Barde-Haut, the second vintage produced since its elevation to Grand Cru Classé status, is very much in the Garcin mode, exquisitely polished, the epitome of refinement and grace. Tons of dark fruit, generously seasoned with spicy new oak, and with sufficient structure to more than adequately reward a brief period in the cellar.

2009 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 08-18-2017
Chateau Coufran lies just north of St-Estèphe in the village of Saint-Seurin-de-Cadourne. There are 76 hectares of vineyards planted entirely on gravel soils close beside the Gironde River. Atypically for a Left Bank property, the grape varieties planted are almost entirely Merlot (85%), earning Coufran the nickname “the Pomerol of the Médoc”. I had the good fortune to taste a barrel sample of the 2009 Coufran at the chateau in 2010. The owner, Eric Miailhe, confided at that time that he considered it the finest wine he had ever made. Now, five years after bottling, the wine truly shows the strength of the outstanding ’09 vintage – very fresh with lively acidity and very fine, but still firm tannins. There is plenty of sweet fruit here with notes of fresh picked blackberry and damson plum. A terrific value from one of the great vintages of the decade.

2012 Pauillac de Latour, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-09-2017
An “appellation” wine from First Growth Chateau Latour in Pauillac. Each year, after the initial selection is made for the Grand Vin, and for the second label, Forts de Latour, some of the remaining lots are used to produce this 3rd label. Also included are grapes from some of the younger vines on the estate, as well as from outlying vineyards. The “Pauillac” bottling will usually include a higher proportion of Merlot and is intended for earlier consumption, requiring less aging than Latour’s more prestigious labels. We tasted the 2012 Pauillac de Latour at the chateau in early April. It was good enough to compare very favorably with a barrel sample of the excellent 2016. Very much in the Latour style – structured, bold, black-fruited. Very generous with loads of sweet fruit and good concentration. Tannins are quite fine. Drinkable now or over the next decade. Given the pricing for First Growths these days, this wine represents one of the great bargains in Bordeaux.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart
JS 90
Limit of 24 per customer

2016 Pichon-Baron, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-08-2017
A classic in the making, the 2016 Pichon Baron is the very definition of Pauillac – powerful, concentrated, focused. One of the latest harvests ever at the chateau, this is a vintage for Cabernet lovers, one that rivals even 2009 and 2010. At 85% of the blend, this Deuxiéme Cru attains nearly the level of Cabernet Sauvignon in most First Growths in 2016. Superbly structured with great underlying acidity and fine tannins, this will make a great addition to any cellar. I have no doubt the 2016 will eventually take its place among the great vintages of this century.

2016 Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 06-08-2017
This tiny viticultural enclave, consisting of a mere 5 hectares of vineyards, lies fully within the city of Bordeaux, immediately north of its more famous neighbor, Chateau Haut-Brion. The property takes its name from the order of Carmelite nuns who held it for more than two hundred years, from the late 16th century to the time of the French Revolution. With its 19th century chateau and sculptured gardens, there is still a sense of the cloister about the place, a remarkably peaceful oasis in the heart of a bustling metropolis. The holy sisters would likely be greatly startled however by the new Philippe Starck designed winery, which rises like a leviathan from the spring fed stream that bisects the property. The new cellars and winemaking facility are part of a comprehensive program of investment initiated by new owner Patrice Pichet since acquiring the property in 2010. The 2016 Les Carmes Haut Brion is a vindication of his efforts to realize the full potential here. It is a breathtaking expression of the unique terroir of the northern Graves, at once intensely mineral and extraordinarily concentrated. The blend includes an astonishing 41% Cabernet Franc, supported by 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 39% Merlot. Perfectly ripe, with lively acidity and firm, fine tannins. Deeply colored and very aromatic, with a savory/spicy character, very much in keeping with the vintage. A superb effort, not to be missed. This is a property to keep an eye on. Great things are happening here.

2016 Brane-Cantenac, Margaux
Review Date: 06-06-2017
It’s hard for me to be completely objective about the wines of Brane-Cantenac. It’s one of my favorite properties from the appellation and my “go to” wine when I really want to drink Margaux. I have quite a few vintages in my cellar starting with 2000 and it seems to me that the wines just keep getting better and better with each passing year. The 2016 Brane-Cantenac may be one of the best I have ever tasted. Classically floral with generous ripe, sweet fruit. There is good depth here. Layered, complex, with firm, fine tannins. Still a relative bargain for a Deuxième Cru as the improvement in quality continues to outpace any increase in price.

2016 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 06-06-2017
Year on year, Leoville Barton continues to deliver wines that are firm, structured, and uncompromisingly tannic in their youth. The 2016 is very much on point with substantial, though very fine, tannins. What is particularly striking is the sheer intensity of the color, from palate-staining purple to nearly inky black. Loads of black fruit here as well. Superbly ripe with notes of fresh blackberry and hints of richer cassis. Like many of the Left Bank wines in 2016, Cabernet Sauvignon very much takes the lead here. Patience will be required but this ought to age magnificently.

2014 Brown Rouge, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 05-30-2017
A cool summer followed by warm, nearly perfect autumn weather in 2014 yielded a wine with lively acidity combined with generous ripe, sweet fruit. Loads of red and black fruits here – raspberries and cherries – with a deft touch of spicy oak (40% new). Nicely mineral in expression. Terrific value. Very well-priced. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot.

2016 Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 05-30-2017
The 2016 Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan would seem to be swimming against the current. In a vintage where most wines are dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, it is instead Merlot (at 56% of the blend) that takes the lead here. Cabernet Sauvignon is the junior partner at 37.5% of the blend. Cabernet Franc makes up the remainder at 6.5%, though this grape did less well in 2016 and mostly went to the second labels. Very lively and fresh in keeping with the vintage. The tannins, too, here are quite firm. Overall this is reserved in style, quite powerful in its own way, but marked by restraint. Very fine indeed.

2016 Duhart-Milon, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-16-2017
The 2016 Duhart Milon is ripe and concentrated, dense, dark and black-fruited. Plays to the strengths of the vintage with a blend of two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon to one-third Merlot. Tannins quite fine here. Deceptively easy to taste. Terrific effort here in 2016. A great success.

2016 Pape Clément Blanc, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 05-15-2017
Remarkably bright and fresh with terrific focus and intensity. Sweet, ripe fruit adds richness supported by admirable underlying tension and length. A balanced effort worthy of the cellar.

2016 Montrose, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 05-15-2017
The 2016 Montrose is a marvel—intense, concentrated and brooding. Inky, dark, palate-staining color. Wildly aromatic nose with notes of lavender and oolong tea. A big, powerful wine with perfectly ripe, sweet fruit. Solid, structured, with vibrant acidity and ultra-fine tannins. This is Montrose as it is meant to be, at its very best, a wine of precision and refinement rather than blunt force. Unequivocal quality here. Not to be missed.

2016 Meyney, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 05-15-2017
Consistently one of the best values in Saint-Estèphe. Situated on the Gironde River immediately north of Chateau Montrose. Typically black fruited in style with perhaps a bit more richness than its peers. That difference has been accentuated with the arrival in 2013 of consulting oenologist Hubert du Boüard, owner of Chateau Angelus in Saint Emilion. A worthy successor to the excellent 2014 vintage, the 2016 Meyney is lushly textured with ripe, sweet fruit and very fine tannins. Still too early perhaps to see how Boüard’s influence will affect the winemaking here. If greater consistency can be achieved without sacrificing typicity, the potential here is enormous. This is a property well worth keeping an eye on.
Top Value!

2016 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 05-11-2017
Chateau Cantemerle was classified a Cinquième Cru in 1855, one of only five chateaus designated “Haut-Médoc” to be awarded cru classé status. With nearly 100 hectares of vineyards it is one of the largest estates on the Left Bank, and all I can say is, thank goodness. Even with yields slightly above average, I worry there won’t be enough of the 2016 vintage to go around. 2016 is a remarkable vintage in many respects, but one of its most compelling features is the tendency to bring out in the very best wines something quintessential, a perfect expression of terroir. I think the 2016 Cantemerle is one such. It brings together all of the best aspects of the vintage – an extraordinary intensity of color, wildly expressive aromatics, lively acidity and very fine tannins. And the fruit? As a child, I used to spend the summers in Maine, and I used to go blackberry picking with my grandmother. She preferred to go early in the morning before it got too hot. The berries would still be cool with a bit of the morning dew still upon them. Even under my grandmother’s watchful eye, not every berry made its way into my pail. I still remember quickly popping them into my mouth and that astonishing all at once burst of tartness and sweetness. Tasting “fresh-picked blackberry” in this wine made me smile with the memory it evoked. And I have no doubt that 2016 will be remembered as one of the great vintages for Cantemerle. 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot. Tasted twice with consistent notes.

2016 d'Arce, Côtes de Castillon
Review Date: 05-11-2017
Côtes de Castillon continues to be a source for some of the best values on the Right Bank. Many top producers in Saint-Emilion and Pomerol have invested in properties within this neighboring appellation, making wines which are nearly equal in quality to their best labels at a fraction of the price. Hélène Garcin, owner of Chateau Clos l'Église in Pomerol and Chateau Barde-Haut and the new Poesia in St-Emilion, now owns Chateau d’Arce in Côtes de Castillon. 2016 is only her third vintage, but certainly the best vintage yet. The quality is already apparent here. Loads of bright, sweet fruit. Very fresh with fine tannins. Terrific balance. Exceptional value.

2016 Clerc-Milon, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-11-2017
A very successful vintage for Clerc Milon, this 2016 simply exudes class and character. Classic Pauillac, with great presence and weight. Ripe, sweet fruit. Very lively and fresh. Lush in texture with very fine tannins. A supremely polished effort. Superb. Tasted three times during en primeur week with consistent notes.

2016 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien
Review Date: 05-09-2017
Chateau Branaire-Ducru is consistently one of the best values in Saint Julien. I love it for its elegance and for its classic appeal. I confess I have quite a few bottles in my cellar from various vintages. I plan to add a few more from this remarkable 2016 vintage. Patrick Maroteaux and his team really outdid themselves, producing one of the best wines from this appellation. Wildly aromatic and deeply colored. Bright, fresh, and very lively with fine tannins. Perfectly ripe, sweet fruit. Balanced. Precise. Complete.

2016 Lilian Ladouys, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 05-05-2017
A near neighbor of Chateau Lafon-Rochet, this is a property that in the past few years has become a customer favorite due to its combination of quality and price. The 2016 Lilian Ladouys will no doubt both delight existing fans of the wine as well as win over many new Bordeaux lovers with its generous fruit and overall balance and character. Beguilingly aromatic, a bit floral and a bit spicy. Good underlying structure – lively acidity and firm, fine tannins. Top quality, and very true to the vintage.

2016 d'Armailhac, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-04-2017
My personal favorite among the wines we tasted at Chateau Mouton-Rothschild this year, possibly the finest d'Armailhac I have ever tasted. The wine makes an immediate impression in the mouth, demonstrating obvious class and polish. It is rich and lushly textured with generous ripe, sweet black fruits but retains great freshness and a very moderate 13.4% alcohol. Cabernet Sauvignon takes the lead here at nearly two-thirds (62%) of the blend. The remainder is mostly Merlot (28%), with smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc (8%) and Petit Verdot (2%). In 2016, the extremely dry conditions that prevailed throughout the mid to late summer and early fall yielded a crop of small, thick-skinned berries. Fair but cooler weather in autumn with warm days and cool nights meant that the grapes could be picked at the peak of ripeness and maturity. The result is a wine of great intensity and depth of color, and tannin levels that rival even the vaunted 2010 vintage but are much finer overall. This is classic Pauillac, as good as it gets – big, brash, self-assured – but with a warm and friendly manner that puts you immediately at ease. If this wine were running for office, it would definitely have my vote.

Cappelletti "Sfumato Rabarbaro" Amaro (750ml)
Review Date: 05-03-2017
This wonderful Amaro from Cappelletti is smoky and earthy, sweet and classically bitter. Try it on its own as a digestivo to end a hearty meal or get creative with some of your favorite cocktails. Personally, I am a huge Negroni fan. I have been looking for some time for an Amaro I could pair with Mezcal. As soon as I tasted the Sfumato Rabarbaro Amaro I knew I had found the secret ingredient for my Negroni Sfumato (I thought “Smoke & Mirrors” would be a fun title as well but the rest of the staff seem set on "Smoky Negron"). Try equal parts Sfumato Rabarbaro Amaro from Cappelletti, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, and your favorite mezcal. I used the Mezcalero "Los Nahuales" Special Edition Sierrudo-Cuishe Mezcal from Los Danzantes. Amazing!
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2016 Labégorce, Margaux
Review Date: 05-03-2017
Chateau Labégorce is unapologetically swimming against the tide in 2016 with a blend that is majority Merlot in a vintage dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon. 52% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot. The Merlot adds a bit more mid-palate breadth here and perhaps a bit more sweetness of fruit, but at a mere 13.5% alcohol the wine is by no means over-ripe. It is, quite decidedly, perfectly ripe. Precisely so, in fact, and in perfect balance with the lively acidity and ultrafine tannins which this 2016 Labégorce shares with the best wines of the vintage. Perhaps the best ever from this estate, and unquestionably one of the great bargains in Margaux today.

2016 Les Grands Chenes, Médoc
Review Date: 04-25-2017
From the stable of Bernard Magrez, owner of Pape Clement in Pessac-Leognan. This cru bourgeois from the Medoc is made in the signature Magrez style, ripe and forward with a notable generosity of fruit. Very sweet with notes of kirsch and creme de cassis. Good underlying structure with lively acidity and firm tannins.

2016 Doisy-Daëne, Sauternes
Review Date: 04-25-2017
One of the top wines from Barsac in 2016 and a close second behind the great Chateau Climens. The wine makes a powerful and immediate impression. A wine of quality and class, striking that essential balance between freshness and opulence. Wonderfully rich with notes of citrus and spice. Complex botrytis character. Extraordinary length and persistence here as well. Superb.

2016 Doisy-Védrines, Sauternes
Review Date: 04-25-2017
Always reliable, and consistently one of the best values in Barsac. While perhaps just a step or two behind the best of the recent vintages from here - 2011 and 2014 come to mind - this is very good. Honeyed and rich with brighter notes of candied citrus peel and lovely botrytis development. A notable effort.

2016 Les Pagodes de Cos, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 04-25-2017
Technically similar to the Grand Vin, but with half the new oak and considerably less Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend, closer to 50/50 Cab and Merlot with a very small addition of Petit Verdot and a soupçon of Cabernet Franc. Intended for more immediate consumption but will still require some patience.

2016 La Patache, Pomerol
Review Date: 04-22-2017
From a total of 3.18 hectares spread over nine plots west and north of the main plateau of Pomerol on clay and fine gravel soils. Six parcels around the Chateau itself near Chateau Rouget, Clinet and Latour à Pomerol, and an additional three near Chateau Montviel and Clos René. The 2016 vintage is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. Very sweet fruit, ripe and richly textured. A full-bodied effort, at the higher end for the vintage at 14.5% alc. 30% new oak adds a bit of spice. Fine tannins frame the finish. Terrific value.

2016 Tour St-Christophe, St-Emilion
Review Date: 04-12-2017
From 20 hectares of terraced vineyards on clay limestone soils in the commune of Saint-Christophe-des-Bardes near Chateau Barde-Haut. 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Harvest quite late here in 2016 beginning on October 5th with the Merlot and finishing on October 23rd with the last of the Cabernet Franc. Fruit very sweet and ripe and a bit forward at 14.8% alc. Still, a supremely balanced effort overall sure to please many palates. Tannins are quite firm though very fine in keeping with the vintage. Quality is very high here with no expense spared. Very polished effort. Excellent value.

2016 Enclos Tourmaline, Pomerol
Review Date: 04-11-2017
From a mere 1.2 hectares of vineyards in three small parcels in the very heart of the Pomerol plateau – one near l’Église Clinet, one near La Fleur Petrus, and the third lying midway between Trotanoy and Le Pin. Made entirely of Merlot and aged in 100% new oak barrels. There is incredible intensity here. The wine is deeply colored and wildly aromatic. Very rich in style with ripe, sweet fruit. A bit riper than the vintage on average at 14.7% alcohol but you would never guess. The wine remains very fresh with lively acidity and fine tannins.

Michel Arnould "Reserve" Brut Verzenay Champagne
Review Date: 02-28-2017
One of the remarkable things about our direct import program in Champagne and the many small grower producers with whom we work is the opportunity to taste wines from a specific region of Champagne, wines that reflect the particular terroir of one village or another. Upon first sip, I absolutely fell in love with the wines of Michel Arnould. In places like Verzenay and Bouzy in the Montaigne de Reims, Pinot Noir is king. These are big, bold, black fruited Champagnes that really deserve to be drunk out of a Burgundy glass and paired with a meal. The Michel Arnould Verzenay Reserve Brut Cham[pagne is a great introduction to the region, and a steal at this price.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

2009 Peyrabon, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 02-25-2017
Delighted to see that the 2009 Peyrabon, Haut-Médoc is now back in stock. Bordeaux veterans will recall this Haut-Médoc bargain is happily situated on the border with Pauillac near Château Bernadotte. The strength of the exceptional '09 vintage really shines through here. The wine is remarkably fresh, with textbook blackberry and cassis notes and fine tannins. While it may be difficult to resist drinking this wine immediately, it will only continue to improve over the next 3 to 5 years.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-25-2017
La Maison Le Brun de Neuville is one of the top producers in the Côte de Sézanne. This lesser known region of Champagne is sometimes dismissed as merely a southward extension of the Côte des Blancs, but to do so is to ignore the unique character and exceptional quality of these wines. The Le Brun de Neuville Authentique Assemblage is aged under cork for five years, a practice that requires manual disgorgement using a centuries old technique. The result is Champagne that is rich in style with an ultra-fine bead, opulent yet focused, creamy in texture yet very fresh and lively. Rarely available in the US. Don’t miss your chance to sample the best of this remarkable region.

2013 Fuenteseca Huerta Singular "El Maguey" Blanco Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 02-03-2017
When David Driscoll, our spirits buyer, shouts “grab a glass, Jeff, I need you to taste something” as he heads for the tasting bar with an open bottle of booze in his hands, I waste no time in doing as he says. I have learned through good experience over the years that whatever he is pouring is going to be amazing. Today he surprised me with the new Fuenteseca Huerta Singular El Maguey Blanco Tequila. I have been an admirer of Enrique Fonseca ever since we started offering his anejos and extra-anejos. His masterful marriage of agave spirit and wood opened my eyes to the possibilities of the anejo style. And yet suddenly here I was with a glass of his Blanco in my hand. But this was no ordinary tequila. This was unlike any I had tasted before. I have had great blanco tequilas made from agave grown at higher altitudes that had impressive concentration and a sweet, fruity character. I have had blancos made from agave grown at lower altitudes that were wildly aromatic with a more savory quality. This new Fuenteseca Blanco seems to combine the best of both along with a slightly roasted note that somehow brings the whole thing together. There is more concentration and depth here, more sheer complexity, than I have ever tasted in a blanco-style tequila. If you believe that only wood-aged tequilas are worthy of sipping on their own, it’s only because you have yet to try the Fuenteseca Huerta Singular El Maguey Blanco Tequila.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Luxardo Bitter Bianco (750ml)
Review Date: 01-06-2017
Like many cocktail aficionados and lovers of all things Italian, our staff members here at K&L just can’t get enough of the amazing selection of Amaros that David Driscoll has been stocking our shelves with. One of the most exciting recent arrivals is this Bitter Bianco from Luxardo. This is the perfect Campari substitute for making a Negroni Bianco. We have been playing around with different recipes, but my current favorite is equal parts Luxardo Bitter Bianco, Bordiga White Vermouth, and Berry Bros & Rudd "No. 3" London Dry Gin. Shake with ice and serve up in a martini glass with a twist of orange.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2009 Priban, Haut-Medoc
Review Date: 12-31-2016
If you are looking for great values in Bordeaux there are certain vintages that offer exceptional quality at entry level prices. 2009 is one such vintage. Nearly perfect weather conditions yielded a large crop of very high quality fruit. The wines are universally lively and fresh with ripe, sweet fruit and fine, silky tannins. The 2009 Priban, Haut-Medoc is typical of the vintage, with perhaps even a bit more ripeness of fruit and richness of texture. A hedonistic pleasure and a great wine to enjoy over the near term.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Siembra Valles "Ancestral" Blanco Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 11-21-2016
Already got the final draft of your liquor "bucket list" completed? Well I hope you left room at the bottom because you are going to need to pencil in one more name - the new "Ancestral" Blanco Tequila from Siembra Valles. For true fans, this is not so much a tequila as a "proto-tequila", an honest and fearless exploration of the historical roots of the agave spirit. Painstakingly handcrafted, this is a unique and powerful expression offering bright citrus and savory spice notes interwoven with layers of earth and smoke. Truly one of a kind, with flavors so concentrated and pure that it's hard to go back from here. Once you've tasted this, where else can you go?
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart

2000 Brane-Cantenac, Margaux
Review Date: 05-13-2016
2000. The millennial vintage. Cooler, wetter conditions earlier in the year eventually gave way to warm, sunny weather in August and September, allowing for good ripening of the grapes and a harvest under ideal conditions. Notwithstanding, at Brane Cantenac in order to produce the best possible wine for the vintage a much stricter selection than usual was made for the first wine (less than 30% of total production) and a higher proportion of Merlot was used (55%). A little more than 15 years later the results speak for themselves. The 2000 Brane Cantenac, Margaux is typical of the best wines of the vintage with generous ripe, sweet red and black fruits and admirable mid-palate weight. The wine offers a rich, sensuous texture with good underlying structure – lively acidity and firm, fine tannins. The wines from this 2000 vintage are beginning to diverge in terms of their development. Some are ripe and forward and ready to drink. Others can be enjoyed now but clearly have a long life ahead of them. Others still remain largely closed and will require additional cellaring before their full promise is revealed. Fortunately, the 2000 Brane Cantenac falls into the middle category. Though some signs of bottle age have begun to emerge, the wine is perhaps five to ten years away from the peak of maturity. Drink now or hold.

Mas Codina Cava Brut Reserva Penedès
Review Date: 02-29-2016
Everyone loves a good value in sparkling wine. We would all love to drink Champagne every night, but sometimes you want to spend a little less without compromising quality. For that reason, our buyers here at K&L strive to provide a broad range of alternatives at affordable prices. Over time certain of these have become so popular among our customers and staff that they have achieved an almost iconic status, the kind of wine people buy by the case – among others the Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne "Perle d'Aurore" Brut Rosé, the Deligeroy Cremant de Loire Brut, and the Mas Codina Cava Brut Reserva Penedès. This classic Spanish cava combines traditional grape varieties like Xarello and Macabeo with those more likely to be found in Champagne like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. 24 months on the lees adds richness and weight. At this price you can treat yourself whenever you like.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$9.99

Alexandre Le Brun "Tradition" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-31-2015
From one of our newest grower-producers. On the drier side, but with remarkable richness and weight. A light toast complemented by ripe pear and apple notes and a hint of cinnamon spice. A terrific introduction to the wines of this exciting young winemaker.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

San Venanzio Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore Brut
Review Date: 11-10-2015
While the classic Italian Prosecco is "Extra Dry", with just a touch of sweetness on the finish, this charming sparkling wine from San Venanzio is made in a "Brut" style more familiar to American palates. At a mere 11.5% alcohol and at the very attractive, direct import price of $12.99, it's easy on both your palate and your wallet. Crisp, bone dry, refreshing. Low in alchohol. Low in price. An ideal aperitif you can enjoy every day.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
DC 91

2011 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 02-18-2015
Tasted blind in a recent K&L weekly staff tasting along with the 2000 Pontet Canet. Thank god Clyde decided to taste us blind on this 2011 Pontet Canet or I likely would have allowed my feelings about the vintage as a whole to color my perceptions. The class and breed of the exceptional terroir at Pontet Canet along with the incredible work done by the Tesseron family over the past twenty years really shines through here in a wine made under very challenging conditions. Youthful character, remarkably sweet fruit, and firm but not astringent tannins. And what length! Quite possibly the wine of the vintage.
Top Value!

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-31-2014
The current disgorgement of the Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne is perhaps a little firmer, a little less open knit than previous bottlings. But the tradeoff is more focus, more purity, and more length. Quite dry, but with remarkable sweetness of fruit and a light toast that adds depth and character. The ideal New Year's Eve companion - complex enough to be interesting but not so serious as to dominate the conversation.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Dewatsuru Kimoto Junmai Sake 720ml
Review Date: 12-29-2014
This exceptional Junmai (no added alcohol and a seimaibuai of 65%) is made in the original, or "kimoto" style. It is more painstaking, labor-intensive, and time-consuming than using more modern techniques, but the result is a creamier, more complex, more savory style of sake that pairs well with robust dishes like fried foods, grilled meats, or aged cheeses. This semi-dry sake is nutty and creamy with hints of oyster mushroom and roasted chestnut. If you have never tried the kimoto or yamahai style, this is a superb introduction.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 11-29-2014
Always my favorite rosé champagne here at K&L. Drank it with Thanksgiving dinner this year. Quite dry with a pronounced red fruit character - crisp red apple and tart cherry. For die hard Pinot fans - 50/50 Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-02-2014
I think the Ariston Aspasie Carte Blanche Brut was one of the first grower-producer Champagnes I ever purchased from K&L. It remains to this day our best value in Champagne, and a superb introduction to the grower producer (RM) Champagnes. If your usual Champagne experience is Veuve Clicquot or Moet & Chandon, you owe it to yourself to try the Carte Blanche from Paul-Vincent Ariston. With roughly equal parts of the three classic Champagne grapes, and a retail price comfortably south of $30, this is a no-brainer. Open a bottle for no reason in the middle of the week. You'll feel like royalty.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2010 Brewer-Clifton "Mt. Carmel Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-27-2013
The Mount Carmel Vineyard's cool, windswept site and old vine fruit produce taut, powerful wines with great potential for aging. This is a massive Pinot Noir with tons of red fruits wrapped around a firm, mineral core. Intensely spicy with fine, firm tannins that argue for a decade or more in the cellar.

Bruno Michel "Assemblée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-29-2012
For longtime fans of Moet White Star or Veuve Cliquot this is the perfect introduction to grower producer Champagnes. A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier from Pierry south of Epernay, the Bruno Michel "Cuvee Blanche" offers lightly toasty, classic "brioche" character, a creamy texture, and crisp, ripe apple notes supported by a firm mineral backbone. This is superb Champagne at a great price.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2009 Smith-Haut-Lafitte Rouge, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 09-26-2012
A standout at both the château and the UGC. Exotic spice and very sweet red fruits. Fine-grained tannins.

Franck Bonville "Belles Voyes" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 08-17-2012
When most people talk about "value for money" they are thinking of a great $10 red. At $67.99 this is our best "value" in Champagne, easily the equal of wines selling for many hundreds of dollars. This wine was featured in our last staff Champagne tasting and elicited a collective moment of silence in sheer appreciation. If you think you can't appreciate a great Champagne, try tasting this alongside the Franck Bonville "Brut Selection" Blanc de Blancs Champagne at $32.99 - excellent in its own right - and you will see what I mean.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
WS 91 WE 90

Fluteau Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 06-24-2012
Yes, this is a rosé Champagne, and yes, it is so deeply colored that its appearance in the glass will shock you. This is a saignée style bottling very typical of the southernmost part of Champagne, the Côte des Bar, or Aube. The extra skin contact adds both color and flavor, enabling the wine to express more clearly the character of the Pinot Noir grape. Ripe, red cherry fruits, lightly floral with just a hint of licorice, this excellent grower producer Champagne is a rare treat that can be enjoyed on its own or with food.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2009 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 03-07-2012
Tart berries and spice. Bright and lively. Superb weight and texture.

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