Staff Favorites - David Driscoll

David Driscoll
David Driscoll  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
David Driscoll likes to drink alcohol when he is not working at K&L. His main interests include wine, beer, and distilled spirits. Before he worked here he went to college at a decent school, got a masters degree from an OK school, worked as a waiter and taught elementary school in Chinatown. He decided to get into the wine business after reading a few books about wine and realizing that one cannot seriously learn about wine solely through reading. His career goals include: trying to convince K&L customers that he does know something despite his youthful appearance, and learning everything about everything about every single wine ever made.


Reviews

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Highland Park "Valkyrie" Isle of Orkney Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 06-09-2017
Highland Park's new Valkyrie edition, much like its previous releases, is long on viking mythology and short on specifics, but that doesn't mean it doesn't taste good. I did a side by side comparison with the 12 and 18 year this week and felt that—as a middle ground between the two—the whisky holds up quite well for the $70 price. More importantly, it tastes like the best parts of both. While the 12 year is light and fruity, the classic 18 year is remarkedly more sherried. With the Valkyrie, you get the malty, lightly-peated texture of the 12 with some of the rancio, cakebread, and richness of the 18. From what I understand, about half of the barley used in the Valkyrie was peated, which is higher than what's used in the 12 and 18. That extra kick helps to mask any rawness from the whisky's younger components and was clearly a good move. What I appreciate most here is that the Valkyrie delivers its finest work on the nose and the finish, rather than on the mid-palate. These are two elements of whisky appreciation I appreciate more as I get older: how it teases my nostrils and how it comes together as a unit on the back end. There's a robust sherry aroma right out of the bottle, and sweet, concentrated hit of Oloroso richness on the finish that dries out a bit with the smoke, but clearly makes itself known. While Highland Park went heavier on Orkney's viking heritage this time around, they didn't do so at the expense of the whisky.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2014 Laventura Viura Rioja
Review Date: 05-31-2017
I'm not sure how to express this sentiment without seeming hyperbolic, but here goes. Simply put, this is among the best K&L direct import white wines I've ever tasted in my ten year career with the company. Not only does this viura wine (viura is the white varietal in Rioja) deliver textural richness, minerality, complexity, and fineness of flavor, it does it all for a price that I can't seem to wrap my head around. Pound for pound, I would put this wine up with some of the $40 St. Aubin chardonnay wines we see from Burgundy and some of the leesier Chablis wines from Grand Cru sites. It's a shocking wine, one that tastes at least double the price, if not triple. There is a simple grace to the Laventura, one that finishes with layers of soft stone fruit, mineral notes, and the absolute perfect balance of acidity. It's the kind of wine I would buy cases of cases of, while continuing to sell cases and cases to my best customers. Ultimately, I'm someone who get's more excited about a great deal than a great wine. In this case, you're getting both. Dollar for dollar, I'm not sure we've ever carried a better white wine for the price. My highest possible recommendation.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2005 Bodegas Puelles Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 05-31-2017
I must have sold over 300 bottles of the 1999 Puelles Gran Reserva Rioja myself, back in the day. At twenty bucks, that was one of the best crossover "mature" red wines we've ever carried as a company. The flavors had evolved into a rich and earthy character I usually associate with the finest Bordeaux wines, so I made sure to send all of my best Bordeaux drinkers in that direction. Enter the 2005 Puelles: the same wine from a more recent vintage, at the same price, that I think might even be BETTER than that legendary 1999. Tasting this with Joe Manekin, our Spanish buyer, I was practically jumping up and down. The wine pours over the palate with a soft and silky core of fruit, but not the ripe and juicy red berry fruit you see in a young Rioja. After 12 years in the bottle, there's a rancio character and a fineness to the tannins that one can only experience with older wine. The problem with recommending old wine to the general populace is that it's usually expensive! Not in this case, however. Here with this 2005 Puelles you're getting serious, serious quality and a fine look at how great red wine matures for a price that's almost too good to be true. Load up. Load up big.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$16.99
RP 90

2013 Trinity Hill "The Gimblett" Bordeaux Blend Hawke's Bay (Black Label)
Review Date: 05-27-2017
The term "Bordeaux blend" is entirely apropos here because the new Trinity Hill "Gimblett" is very much like a restrained and elegant Pessac-Leognan, but for a smashing price of $19.99. There's a deepness and richness of black fruit from the Cabernet, a faint mineral note from the stony soils (a la the Graves), and a plushness from the Merlot that rounds out the finish. It's a finely balanced blend, and one that showcases the potential of Hawke's Bay as a serious destination for claret. Try this on your next steak night and see what you think.

2015 Jax Vineyard "Y3" Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 05-17-2017
Jax is our local winemaker of choice here at K&L with the owners living nearby our Redwood City store and the tasting bar just down the street from our SF store. The wines have always represented top quality for the money, and the Y3 Chardonnay is another example of how Jax is sourcing serious fruit, making serious wine, and turning up the heat on other California producers in this price point with knock-out expressions. The 2015 is a perfect balance between classic CA richness and the fresher, cleaner style foodies tend to look for today. There's a ripeness of fruit, but a clean and refreshing finish. I'm so happy to see these guys taking off because no one deserves it more.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2014 Le St-Estèphe de Montrose, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 05-16-2017
Since the "Dame" is the official second label of Montrose, I guess that makes "Le St. Estephe" the the third wine, but pound for pound I think it's right there with the great lady. Considering most properties generally use their youngest vines for their second and third label expressions, you can really see just how much effort Montrose put into revitalizing their vineyards with this release. The "Le St. Estephe" is a gorgeous and precise claret, one that seamlessly weaves delicate fruit, dry earth, and soft tannins into a medium-bodied, old school style. Far from a fruit bomb, the wine never lacks ripeness or roundness, but it's beautifully integrated into the other elements here. 2014 is not only a great vintage for the grand vin, it's a great vintage to demonstrate just how deep the quality runs at Montrose today since the new owners took over in 2006.
Price: Hidden View Price

2015 Jean-Michel Dupre "1935" Morgon
Review Date: 04-27-2017
Of all the Beaujolais wines we tasted from the fantastic 2015 vintage, the Dupre 1935 was the best, boldest, and most delicious. It's like magic in a bottle for a price that makes volume purchasing an attractive option. The deep and concentrated fruit flavors come from the ancient vines, upon which only small quantities of gamay grapes continue to grow. The juiciness and pureness of that red and blackberry fruit explodes on the palate and the wine is balanced by buoyant acidity. If you've never had real "cru level" Beaujolais before, make this your first and see what the fuss was about. If you're already a fan of the style, then go deep on this. This is as good as Beaujolais gets, in my opinion.

2014 Jim Barry "Cover Drive" Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra South Australia
Review Date: 04-20-2017
Yeeesssssss.......pure-fruited, elegant, low alcohol (13.5%) cabernet from Coonawarra for fifteen bucks! As a passionate Bordeaux drinker, I have to say I've become a bit smitten with the cabs of Australia over the last year, mainly because they offer many of the subtle nuances and earthy undertones that I enjoy from the Medoc wines. The Barry "Cover Drive" is a great example of that crossover potential. There's fruit, but it's layered with spice and notes of brush, so it's never overtly ripe or too supple. The finish is lean and mean--none of that new oak nonsense and clean with elegant tannins. It's a whole 'lotta wine for the money. Grab a few for the mid-week and save your Pichon-Baron for a fancier weekend dinner.
Price: Hidden View Price
W&S 91 WE 91

Lagavulin 8 Year Old Limited Edition Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-06-2017
This 8 year version of Lagavulin is even more quintessentially Islay than the 16. It's fresher, livelier, peatier, and simply more dynamic on the palate. I also love that Lagavulin paid homage to the classic whisky travel book "The Whisky Distilleries of Scotland" by Alfred Barnard, a writer who visited all 150 active distilleries in the UK back in the late 19th century. He specifically mentions an "exceptionally fine" Lagavulin 8 year expression, and it's clear from tasting the modern rendition why he felt so strongly. It's a lovely whisky and it very much speaks to the strength of what may be Scotland's top producer.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2015 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay
Review Date: 04-05-2017
I was completely shocked by this wine, but in a good way! They've really scaled back the oak this year at Ridge and allowed the crisp and clean acidity of quality Santa Cruz Mountain fruit to shine through. There's still richness there, but it's more akin to something like Chassagne-Montrachet rather than Napa. It's an elegant wine from front to back and that vibrant acidity makes me want more, and more, and more with each sip I take. Top notch stuff.

2014 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-05-2017
I've been buying this wine every year since I first started working at K&L and this 2014 edition might be my favorite edition thus far. It's absolutely lovely. There's plenty of plush plum and dark berry fruit, but with that acidity and earthy spice that make Santa Cruz Mountain cabernet what it is. It's full and supple on the palate, but again that weight doesn't overwhelm or throw off the balance in any way. This is a great mid-range bottle of serious CA cabernet.

2015 Les Frères Perroud "Amethyste" Brouilly
Review Date: 04-05-2017
Of all the Beaujolais producers we've begun working with directly over the last year, I'm most smitten with the Perroud bothers. Not only is their portfolio a dynamic and diverse one, all of their wines seem to simply burst with freshness, concentration, and simple charm. The "Amethyste" is a plump and dark fruited Beaujolais that really speaks to the quality of the Perroud family's Brouilly hillside vineyards and the organic and sustainable viticulture they practice. Put this side by side with any other "cru" Beaujolais in the same price point and I think the difference is pretty clear. The "Amethyste" is deeper, darker, denser, and more complex than just about any of its peers. This is quite the find for our Burgundy department.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 VN 90

2011 Bodegas Muga "Selección Especial" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 03-06-2017
When I think back to the first great red wines I tasted in my early twenties - the wines that would ultimately shape my palate and send me into the wine business - the reserva Riojas from Muga might have been the most influential. Not only were the flavors rich, robust, textural, and complex, they were within reach of my limit budget back then. There was no way I could ever splurge on a $150 bottle with my elementary school teacher salary at the time, but I did find a way to scrape together thirty bucks or so for the Muga, a wine that I think represents the essence of what makes Spanish reds so attractive: their quality-to-value ratio. The 2011 Especial Reserve is the best of two worlds, in my opinion. It has fine tannins, a bit of earth, and a rusticity that should please Bordeaux lovers, but it has lush fruit, hints of oak, and a fleshiness that should appeal to those who like riper California reds. More importantly, it's a wine that extends over the party lines and unites all drinkers under one umbrella. I'd be hard-pressed to find a cab or merlot lover who didn't enjoy immensely the character of the tempranillo-dominated Muga. It's so versatile and friendly in so many ways. The point, however, is that I think Muga is a gateway wine. It's a wine that expands horizons and opens doors to exciting new worlds. Without Muga, I never would have found my way to K&L, that's for sure.

2016 Kalinda Reserve North Coast Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 03-01-2017
I've tasted a lot of Kalinda wines over the years (there have been many memorable vintages), but I've never been personally more excited to drink this year's North Coast sauv blanc. While the wine was produced in Napa (and some of the fruit hails from there), over 50% of the crop is from Lake County where it didn't get nearly as hot, so the wine is fresh, crisp, and clean on the palate. Rather than the grassy notes of New Zealand, the minerality of Sancerre, or the richness of white Bordeaux, the Kalinda brings something uniquely Californian to the mix: a perfect palate of fresh stonefruit. This nose is bursting with nectarines. Everything about it makes me yearn for summer and the warm months ahead. There's a ripeness of fruit, but there's plenty of acidity and the wine finishes clean and dry. My colleague Ralph Sands and I were trying this together in the tasting bar, looking at one another in delight, and envisioning Giants baseball on a Sunday afternoon with a few bottles of this in the ice bucket. This is a home run for our Kalinda label.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$14.99

2015 Helen's Hill "Ingram Road" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 02-27-2017
I've seen great pinots from the southern hemisphere for under twenty bucks over the last year, but not estate-grown pinot noirs. The fruit at Helen's Hill is meticulously cared for by Allan Halder, a guy who is as passionate about viticulture as anyone I've ever met. The Ingram pinot is not only full of pure pinot flavor, it's fresh and lively on the palate in a way that I wish more Bourgogne rouge value options were. If you're looking for that great bottle of village level Burgundy but don't feel like spending $20+ for an unknown, this is as close to a sure thing as I've ever seen at K&L. I'm thrilled to be working directly with Helen's Hill and I think were on the verge of something very big with this initial release.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JH 94 BC 90

2014 Powell & Son Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 02-24-2017
As an advocate for all alcoholic specialties, I'm a big believer in understanding the essence of any particular style before criticizing it. I have to admit that I thought I understood the nature of all Barossa Valley shiraz years ago after getting hit over the head with high alcohol, big jammy fruit, and loads of sweetness. "This wine just isn't for me," I remember thinking. My colleague Ryan Woodhouse, our buyer for Australia, has enlightened me over the last few years however and forced me to rethink some of my former prejudices. The Powell & Son Barossa shiraz is definitely big and powerful, but at no point is it out of balance of heavy-handed. In fact, it's deeply-concentrated, explosive, and lush on the palate with gorgeous aromatics and plenty of meaty undertones. "This is what REAL Barossa shiraz should taste like," Ryan would go on to say. Now I've changed my tune completely. The Powell & Son wines offer bold flavors and incredible complexity to any wine drinker. Fans of zinfandel or smoky syrahs will want to grab a few of these. They're at the apex of the category in my humble opinion.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-23-2017
This a fantastic new entry to our DI Champagne program that offers fresh and clean flavors balanced and buoyed by riper apple notes. It's both refreshing as an aperitif and satisfyingly full on the palate like I would expect from a fine cuvee. What's most important to note, however, is that the Neuville "Authentique" stands out from the pack of K&L selections I've grown accustomed to drinking over the years. It's snappier than the Aspasie Carte Blanche, fruitier than the Bonville Blanc de Blanc, and more complex than the Baron Fuente Grand Reserve; generally my three go-to bottles. I'm now adding the Neuville into that line-up as the fourth horseman as it's just so versatile. Also intriguing is the wine's origin from Sezanne; a part of Champagne I know nothing about, so it scratches an intellectual itch as well. A great find by Gary.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WS 90

Old Forester "1920 Prohibition Style" Kentucky Bourbon Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 02-03-2017
This was my favorite single Bourbon release of 2016 and I'm thrilled we were able to get another large allocation of it. Regardless of whether you want to get wrapped up in the story about how this was based on the Prohibition era recipe, there's no doubt about it: this is a delicious bottle of American whiskey and it easily stands out from the crowd of currently available options. There's a weight and a richness that coats the palate and the 115 proof brings plenty of punch with a flurry of baking spices. I love the graham crackery goodness as well. I don't taste a lot of Bourbons these days that really have a deeply concentrated flavor of dark grains. This has it in spades. Add this to your short list of new and exciting Bourbons right now.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2014 David & Nadia "Aristargos" White Blend Swartland
Review Date: 02-02-2017
For fans of the Sadie wines (like myself), consider this blend of white varietals a similar pleasure at a very reasonable price. The textural richness from the South African chenin blanc is on full display here with flinty, rocky, and stony flavors permeating that core from the terroir of the heavy granite soils. There's still plenty of lift from the acidity on the finish, which is simply wonderful. White wine enthusiasts like myself need to be drinking more white blends from South Africa--period. This wine is exhibit A.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
RP 92 VN 91

2013 John Duval "Plexus" SGM Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 01-20-2017
This is not the jammy Shiraz from Barossa you had from that bottle of Yellowtail back in 2002. Far from it. This is a dark, brooding, dense, and intriguing expression from John Duval that showcases the intensity and the vigor of what the best parcels in the Barossa Valley can bring to a wine, but without any of the sweetness or the overpowering alcohol. The black and blue fruits are pronounced, yet restrained. There's a meatiness there, but it's merely an undercurrent. The finish is ripe, but simultaneously earthy with soft tannins. I love it when we offer wines that break from the mass market expectations. This is Barossa like you've never tasted it. It's a wine that makes you stand up and take notice.

2015 D'Arce, Côtes de Castillon
Review Date: 01-20-2017
I love this wine from the Garcin family, the folks behind Barde-Haut and L'Eglise on Bordeaux's Right Bank. It's a perfect expression of everything I enjoy about the 2015 vintage in Bordeaux. The flavors are delicate and fruit-driven, but they're pretty rather than punchy. The red fruits are pure, accented with mineral notes and a core of clean acidity, and the tannins are elegantly structured. We tasted this with Helene Garcin at the property this past Spring and I loved it then, but the wine is really showing its splendor right now. Not only is it delicious, it's also versatile. It's rich enough to pair with beef, but juicy enough for chicken and pork as well. It's a wine I could drink everyday for the price, yet also one that tastes serious enough to bring to a dinner party. It's the type of Bordeaux I never want to be without and it's a fantastic preview of what's to come from 2015. For those of you who want to get your feet wet in the genre, this is a classically-styled wine that delivers serious bang for the buck.

Jacques Esteve Petit Champagne Hors d'Age Cognac (750ml)
Review Date: 12-20-2016
We're previously focused on Esteve's 25 year and older Cognacs (to great success!), but this time around we wanted to find something more reasonable and accessible for everyday drinking. This Hors d'Age edition has the clean and lean character of our other caramel-free Cognacs, but with a bit more oak spice and richness on the finish. It's the picture of grace with its lithe flavor profile of stonefruit and subtle vanilla notes. I think we'll have people coming back for this again and again.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

2012 Villa Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 12-06-2016
It's been a while since I've tasted Chianti that balanced the softness of the wild cherry with the savory, meatier flavors this well. Everything about the Antinori Riserva's profile is harmonious and fluid in its flavor. It's equal parts old school and new school, equal parts fruit and leather, equal parts structure and suppleness. It's a complex Chianti, one that expands beyond the simple table wine elements we adore so much and blooms into a more expansive experience. I could drink this with pasta, with a steak, with pork tacos, or just on its own after a long day at work. You can cellar it, or you can decant it and enjoy it now. This is a can-do Chianti.

Siembra Valles "Ancestral" Blanco Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 11-22-2016
For serious agave nuts, this is as close as Tequila will ever get to mezcal in that David Suro's team used many Oaxacan production methods to make this spectacular expression. In fact, in order to help consult on the project Suro brought up a number of Oaxacan distillers to help explain the process to the Tequileros. He said to me, "It brought a tear to my eye; seeing mezcaleros and Tequileros working side by side." This is a historic Tequila, but it's also an unbelievably delicious one. Huge notes of roasted agave, citrus, and spice coat the palate. At 50.1% there's a little kick on the finish as well. This isn't for people who want smooth. It's for people who want maximum flavors at all costs. In this case, David Suro paid the costs for that flavor. He spared no expense.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart

2014 Ancient Peaks/K&L Wine Merchants Paso Robles Zinfandel
Review Date: 11-08-2016
Every now and again I ask myself: why don't I drink more zinfandel? Then I buy a bottle of something that's too ripe, too sweet, and too high in alcohol and I remember. But tasting this beautifully balanced offering from Ancient Peaks, I'm reminded of all the things I really love about zin: the juicy, mouthwatering fruit, the fleshy berries that coat my palate, the supple and soft mouthfeel that washes down the finish. It's all happening here in this K&L cuvee, but all the elements are harmonic. It's a zinfandel you drink again and again.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$19.99

2014 Zorzal "Terroir Unico" Pinot Noir Tupungato Valley
Review Date: 10-21-2016
This is an affordable Old World-style Pinot Noir from the New World, and one that stresses Old World values like terroir. Fans of Bourgogne rouge with that cooler climate fruit and hint of minerality will be thrilled. The Zorzal drinks like something from a rustic French bistro, yet it was made in Argentina! It tastes real and honest without that overtly fruity, un-Pinot-like character that many sub-$20 Pinot Noirs carry. It's clearly Pinot, and it's real, un-manipulated, pure Pinot. I'm getting thirsty just thinking about it.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

Baron-Fuenté "Esprit" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-07-2016
This is a tremendous wine and one that I think fully conveys the thought and the effort that goes into our direct import Champagne program. For the price of a standard grade big house-blended cuvee, you're getting a single vineyard, single varietal expression of incredible beauty and depth. There's a nuttiness on the palate from the extended lees aging (keeping the spent yeast in the bottle) and a crispness that comes from the cool weather in this particular vineyard site. All in all, it's a fascinating bottle with unique spice and character for a price that still comes in less than the entry-level Veuve Clicquot!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$34.99
WE 92 WS 92

2015 Siran, Margaux
Review Date: 08-31-2016
2015 will not only be remembered as the vintage that brought sanity back to Bordeaux pricing, it will be remembered by enthusiasts as the year Margaux dominated the communes. Just about every wine we tasted from the region was balanced, beautiful, and elegant. When the combination of great pricing and great quality comes together, it only adds to our initial excitement. Just like the Malescot before (a Margaux wine we sold TONS of), the Siran showcases everything we loved about the vintage but at an even lower price. The difference here is the Merlot dominance, but the grace is still there under all that dark fruit. The wine is alive and kicking, plush on the palate, and loaded with drive and panache. It's also less than thirty bucks. I'd say: go for it.

2015 Fromm "La Strada" Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 08-05-2016
It's pretty clear that our NZ buyer Ryan Woodhouse is trying to put Sancerre out of business. The K&L staff loves the mineral-rich, crisp and clean flavors of French sauvignon blanc, but it's tough to justify spending $25-$30 when Ryan brings something incredible like the Fromm La Strada SB for $16.99 and it scratches that same itch. This wine is absolutely delicious, piercing with acidity and food-friendly flavor. It's a sauvignon blanc I would put in a top tier category, but our direct import pricing makes it seem like an every day deal. Don't be fooled, however. Serve this at an upscale dinner or a special occasion, but save some serious cash.

2015 Montrose, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 06-13-2016
With the weather in St. Estephe a bit rainy and wet compared to other Left Bank appellations, the cabernet-heavy 2015 Montrose doesn't show any signs of waterlog. This is easily the best Montrose I've tasted in my young career and the most lush on the palate. The black fruits are rich and mouthcoating, the structure firm and foreboding. An old school claret worthy of second-growth status.

2015 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-13-2016
One of the best wines of the vintage for me. Gorgeous aromatics, lush fruit, finesse and beauty through and through. A wine that holds up great vintages of the past.

2015 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 06-08-2016
The 2015 Haut Bailly was another serious stunner from a property whose star seems to shine brighter each vintage. The minerality of Pessac Leognan was wholly perceptible underneath gorgeously lush fruit and fine tannins that cloaked the wine with elegance and finesse. Finesse is a word you'll hear a lot when describing 2015 Bordeaux because the wines are so pretty. It applies entirely and perhaps most applicably to the Haut Bailly.

2015 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-08-2016
The 2015 Lynch Bages was the first wine we tasting on the morning of the third day in Bordeaux, so our palates were fresh and ready. The aromas were full of dark fruit and oak, the fruit was ripe on the palate with plenty of power as a counterweight. Behind that power was finesse on the finish; the iron fist in a velvet glove analogy we like to use so often. This is one of the more powerful wines I tasted from the 2015 vintage, easily capable of long-term maturation.

2015 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien
Review Date: 06-07-2016
One of my favorite wines of the vintage--period. This wine was supple and rich on the palate with seductive fruit and a finish that just went on forever. I left the property with a skip in my step, bugging my colleagues with: "Wasn't that wine just incredible?" I'll be buying plenty of this for myself.

2015 Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 06-03-2016
I consider anything above fifty bucks to be a splurge bottle, but with Bordeaux anything that drinks as well as the 2015 SHL for less than a hundred dollars is a hot deal! This wine was right there with the Pape Clement for me personally. It's a complex wine--all about the relationship between the fruit and the potent minerality. The tannins are soft and round on the palate and the wine is silky on the finish. Finesse is a word you'll hear a lot when describing the 2015 Bordeaux vintage. There are few better examples than this wine here.

2015 Larcis Ducasse, St-Emilion
Review Date: 06-03-2016
We tasted this wine multiple times at the chateau on our trip and every sip just got better and better. There's a pop of plump fruit on the initial sip and then it moves into beautiful notes of violets and dark earth before enveloping itself in its own tannic structure. This is a great cellar wine and one of my favorites from our St. Emilion selections.

2015 d'Issan, Margaux
Review Date: 06-03-2016
Always one of my favorite properties, the 2015 Chateau d'Issan is classic Margaux flavor for a hot price. The nose is brimming with pretty aromatics, the wine soft on the palate, and the finish is long and elegant. I've bought plenty of Issan in the past as a slam dunk value for the relative vintage and 2015 won't be any different. Highly, highly recommended.

2015 Malartic-Lagravière, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 06-03-2016
One of the most complete "value" wines we tasted during our recent trip to Bordeaux, a few of us have been waiting with baited breath for this wine to release. The 2015 Malartic Lagraviere showcases the fresh, pretty, and elegant fruit of the vintage along with supreme balance of Graves minerality with added complexity from spice and earth on the finish. Alex and I had this in our top ten of the vintage. The price should get you very, very excited.

Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin 750ml
Review Date: 05-28-2016
The Navy Strength gin is not simply a higher proofed version of the Rare Dry from Four Pillars, but rather an entirely different formula. This one uses finger limes for a different citrus tone, but the balance of spice and botanicals is what ties both gins together. This is a bolder, brighter, more intense experience, but it's obviously made by the same team because the same attention to detail is prevalent. This is a world class gin of the highest quality, pure and simple.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 05-28-2016
Bow down to the new king of gin: Four Pillars. A group of gin crazy Aussies put together one of the most focused and high-quality gin distilleries in the world in the Yarra Yarra Valley and now we're fortunate to get a taste of that goodness here in the U.S. The Rare Dry gin simply explodes with citrus, a burst of fresh orange, but it still packs a lovely balance of juniper and spice with the most delicate and graceful of mouthfeels. This is high quality gin, pure and simple. It tastes like it was fussed over, formulated and retooled until it was perfect. I can't stop talking about it nor drinking it. I'm just so happy we have it.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$29.99
WE 92

2015 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-18-2016
This is a dark and decadent wine with lush black fruits and oak influence that turn into earthier elements and tannic structure on the finish. It's also a powerful wine with a massive finish compared to its 2015 counterparts. There's a flurry of pepper and herbs on the finish that come out to play once the fruit fades away. Could be the wine of the vintage for those in search of big, structured, cellar-worthy wines.

Launois "Veuve Clemence" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 05-17-2016
This is gorgeously lush wine made from hillside grapes and the top and bottom of the slopes. The nose is yeasty and voluptuous with a richness on the palate that maintains its elegance under the weight. Truly a fine wine.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2015 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux
Review Date: 05-10-2016
This is an absolutely beautiful wine with a nose of chocolate and cherries, followed by a lush fruit on the palate and a graceful run to the finish. There are plenty of firm tannins on the back end, meaning the wine should have great potential for the cellar, but it tastes so darn good right now I think most people would have a tough time keeping their hands off of it. The Malescot sums up the 2015 Margaux vintage perfectly: it's a wine of beauty, finesse, and elegance. For the price, it may be the best value we see from the appellation. I'm expecting this and Issan to be the vintage's top bargains for those who (like me) cannot afford to buy wines like Chateau Margaux proper.

2015 Pape Clément, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 05-09-2016
We all said to each other at the chateau while tasting this: "If Pape Clement comes out under $100 it will be one of the best values of the vintage." Sure enough we're under $90 now for the pre-order price and that means grab it while it's here. The 2015 Pape Clement is an elegant and refined marriage of 56% Cabernet and 40% Merlot (with 4% Franc) that is incredibly pleasant from the first sip. The fruit is fresh and concentrated, the tannins are fine and supple, and the finish is long and graceful. Some of us had this as a top 10 wine from the entire 2015 Bordeaux vintage. It might be one of the only that comes in under $100.

2015 Berliquet, St-Emilion
Review Date: 05-04-2016
Soft and sweet-fruited with lush cherry and other red berries notes. This will probably taste great no matter when you open it!

2015 Fleur Cardinale, St-Emilion
Review Date: 05-04-2016
This wine showcases all that silky, soft St. Emilion fruit on the initial entry, but turns into a structured and tannic tour de force on the finish. This is a great cellar candidate from the Right Bank. I think five to ten years should pay huge dividends.

2015 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 05-04-2016
Just a gorgeous wine both on the nose and on the palate. There's a ruby red core of sweet fruit and secondary flavors of rose petals and mineral notes that add complexity to that ripeness. A stunner and another notch in the ever-lengthening belt of Cantemerle's successes. Sure to be the staff favorite once the wine arrives two years from now. Make sure you get in early.

2015 Poujeaux, Moulis
Review Date: 05-04-2016
A fine, elegant, well-balanced claret from a producer that has become the darling of the K&L staff. Along with Cantemerle, this is a wine I've started buying almost every vintage since 2009. The 50% of cabernet adds full-bodied structure, but the 40% of merlot gives a soft-fruited texture and finesse to the wine. Another fantastic value from Poujeaux and another wine I'll be buying at least a case of.

2015 Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Sauternes
Review Date: 05-04-2016
This Lafaurie Peyraguey is like a classic semillon wine with more sweetness. There are white flowers and classic stone fruit flavors like you would find in a drier version of the wine, but with just enough sweetness to bolster it into the Sauternes category. Those looking for something more refined and elegant should give this a whirl. I thought it was a refreshing respite from some of the stickier stickies!

2015 La Tour Blanche, Sauternes
Review Date: 05-04-2016
The tropical notes are concentrated in the La Tour Blanche, but the mouthfeel is leaner and more fresh than some of the richer wines we tasted. There was a lovely freshness of acidity and the wine finished with a nice little zip. Quite charming.

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