Staff Favorites - Heather Vander Wall

Heather Vander Wall
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Drappier "Carte d'Or" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 03-26-2021
I recently got to revisit this lovely Champagne, and I'm sorry to say it had been a couple of years since I tasted it last. It is more stunning than I remember. A champagne on the richer side, with great depth of nutty, lees-y character, complementing the fresh red berry fruit and bright crisp acidity. If you are a fan of classic, balanced brut Champagne that tends towards the nuttier, richer style, this is the wine for you.

Ariston Aspasie "Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-18-2020
If you ask any K&L staff member for a champagne recommendation, this is most likely the bottle they will instinctively reach for. Why? Because this is the wine that time and again has graced our own tables, marked our celebrations, and found its way, more often than not, into our weekly wine diet. This is undeniably one of the best values for true champagne that we offer. The wine is both approachable and layered, with distinctive toast and brioche notes complementing the orchard fruit on the palate. Whether you need some bubbles for your dinner tonight, you want to gift a friend with something special, or you're celebrating with your family, you really can't go wrong with this wine.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Fallet-Dart Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 02-15-2020
I recently revisited this wine, and fell in love all over again. I'm a big fan of all the Fallet Dart wines, but this rose Champagne knocks it out of the park. The palate is bursting with tangerine, clementine and a whole array of citrus fruits. On the back end you find the lovely red cherry notes and a pleasant, creamy weight. The whole is bolstered by fresh, vibrant acidity, making this stunning rose Champagne one of my absolute favorites.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2009 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 10-08-2018
It's difficult to be original in a review on such an excellent wine from such an excellent vintage, but I did want to say that this wine is all that you'd expect and more. Tasted recently, the wine is just beginning to evolve some lovely savory components. The fruit is still luscious and the tannin silky. Although it certainly has more in store for its life, it was drinking beautifully after being open for several hours. The finish is endless.

2015 Poujeaux, Moulis
Review Date: 06-01-2018
My expectations were very high on this wine--they were bound to be given the vintage and that this is one of my favorite Chateaus. I was not disappointed. The wine is big and dense, even for Poujeaux, but it is perfectly balanced. Immediate cassis, violet, cedar aromas great you, then give way to saturated black plum, cigar box, blackberry and blueberry notes on the palate, all underscored with bold tannin and acidity. This will be one for the long haul. I will be excited to check in on this in 10, 15 and 20 years.

Wiston Estate Brut West Sussex England
Review Date: 03-26-2018
As a big fan of sparkling wine generally, I am always eager to see what different regions bring to the table. Lately, I have fallen in love with the truly fabulous wines coming from England. Wiston Estate is one of the top producers there, and this NV Brut is a great example of the unique quality of English sparkling wine. The wine feels quite dry on the palate with lively acidity and heavily laden with chalky minerality. On the palate the fruit is surprisingly round, with pleasant apricot and nectarine dominating. Well worth putting a bottle or two aside for your next sparkling adventure!

Baron-Fuenté "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-02-2018
You may know that this is one of K&L's best-priced Champagnes, but more than that, it is one of the best wines at this price from any section in the store. Although I love the other wines from Baron-Fuente, I find myself coming back again and again to their Grande Reserve. It's classic Champagne: using all three varietals to achieve a perfect balance of crisp, clean minerality, toasted brioche notes, and creamy orchard fruit. This is precisely what I'm looking for when I want Champagne, and at this price, it's easy to drink Champagne regularly!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2009 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 01-05-2018
This is an excellent Bordeaux from one of the top recent vintages, but coming from an under-the-radar winery in the Haut-Medoc. Chateau Coufran tends to use more Merlot in their blend, lending the wine some silky, black-fruited elegance which nicely counters the firmer structure and earthiness of the Cabernet from this region. Truly one of our best bargains for stellar 2009 vintage!

Four Pillars "Faultline" K&L Exclusive Australian Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 09-29-2017
I am a big fan of Four Pillars, so of course I was excited to see this gin coming in, but what I encountered in this bottle both surprised and delighted me. Rather than jumping out of the bottle at you aromatically, this gin is a bit more subtle, highlighting sweet citrus and spruce notes and developing complexity as you let it sit on your palate. You may not think of gin in terms of sipping, but this would definitely work well for sipping with the complexity and smoothness it exhibits.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Antech Brut Nature Blanquette de Limoux
Review Date: 11-04-2016
I am a big fan of the Antech wines from Limoux. This bottling is one of my favorites! The Brut Nature is crisp, light, and citrus-tinged. If you are looking for a good party wine or a great appetizer/starter bottle, this is an excellent choice.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Boulard-Bauquaire "Trepail" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 10-10-2016
Don't miss the two words "Vieilles Vignes" in the name of this wine. The lovely Blanc de Blancs of Boulard Bauquaire owes much of its complexity and depth to the 70-year-old vines from which the wine is made. Like a classic Blanc de Blancs, this wine shows elegant, stony aromas that are rather austere at first, but on the palate, the depth of flavor is phenomenal. Not only is there an impression of full, rich, apricot fruit and even some red berry elements, but the drive of the acidity takes a position here very well integrated to the whole. This wine is hardly lacking in body and richness, but it is not due to the boldness of a red grape, rather it is all in the old vine power.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Fallet-Dart "Grande Sélection" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-20-2016
For those of you excited about varietal character in your Champagne, this is a great wine! Showing plenty of red fruit from the Pinot Noir dominance, this wine is richer, with nutty texture and excellent follow-through on the palate. I generally lean towards Chardonnay-based Champagnes, but this wine might be changing my mind. The elegant Pinot Noir character shows through with such purity and finesse, it easily rivals the elegance of a blanc de blancs. I will definitely be stocking up on these!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Copper & Kings "Butchertown" Reserve Casks Brandy (750ml)
Review Date: 11-10-2015
I love it when I find an unexpected spirit that changes my conception of the category. This brandy did just that for me. It is reminiscent of a fine sherry cask whiskey, but more aromatic, with livelier fruit notes. The aromas are of sweet toffee, nuts, maple and dried cherry. On the palate it has a great, rich middle with juicy fruit and spice notes. It incorporates all the fire and decadence of a great barrel-aged spirit, but with the liveliness all its own.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 02-04-2015
Lovely rose champagne from one of our favorite producers! With a pale coral color, this is a light bodied rose with hints of wild strawberry, vanilla, clove, and a gorgeous, creamy texture. Certainly one of my top rose champagne picks!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-02-2015
Elegance and complexity combine to make this an incredibly intriguing champagne. Delicate white flower and toasted almond/hazelnut on the nose give way to soft pear and a hint of vanilla on the palate. Gorgeous now, but I'm excited to see how this wine develops in the next few years!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

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