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Staff Favorites - Alex Schroeder

Alex Schroeder

Reviews

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2018 Fromm Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand
Review Date: 07-31-2020
Fromm is a producer in the top of its class, and there is no better exhibit to that fact than this entry level Marlborough Pinot Noir. Their single vineyard bottlings are amazing too, but the value for price on this is just out of the ballpark. It has a beautiful bouquet of cranberries, cherries, currents and savory underbrush. The texture on the palate is both silky and luxurious but also firm and structured. The finish is pure, bright and long. You can't do much better for Pinot Noir for the price.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2012 Jean-Jacques Lamoureux "Alexandrine" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 07-29-2020
This is vintage grower champagne with elegance, richness, vibrancy and aging power, for an amazingly low price. 100% Chardonnay from a single vineyard, aged for at least 7 years on the lees! There's an exquisite bouquet of cream, minerals, citrus fruits and flowers, with subtle toasty autolytics and an overall sense of youth and freshness. On the palate, rich lemon, green apple and toast are lifted by great acidity for a very long, balanced absolutely delightful finish.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2006 Arnauld, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 07-22-2020
Are you kidding me!? How can this wine taste so good for so little? Every time you think you've seen as good a value as it gets, one of our directly imported aged Bordeaux shows up to keep that bar impossibly high. This has beautiful, pure, satisfying raspberry and cherry fruit core, a touch of savory leather and earth, a great acid profile and a long, steady finish. While it is priced for the mid-week meatloaf and mashed potato meal, I wouldn't hesitate for a second to pull it out for a more special occasion.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Nicolas Maillart "Platine" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 07-21-2020
Nothing gets our staff excited like a new addition to the sub-$40 Champagne category at K&L! The quality from the Premier and Grand Cru vines is unmistakable here with chalky notes, doughy autolytics and honeysuckle on the nose. The Pinot Noir shines through on the palate with rich Bing cherry and citrus flavors, toasty brioche and herbal notes, plus acidity that wonderfully balances the great fruit and rich texture. Another amazing Champagne value!

Laurent-Perrier "Cuvée Rosé" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 07-21-2020
Everything about Laurent Perrier's Cuvée Rosé is rich and seductive: the deep pink hue, the lush Pinot Noir fruit flavor, the silky texture. The fruit, entirely Grand Cru Pinot Noir, is destemmed, crushed and left in contact with the skins for an unusually long 72 hours, before being vinified and aged on the lees for four years. The result is a wine rich in the pure flavors of strawberries, raspberries, black cherries and hazelnuts with a creamy texture, crisp bubbles, and incredible length. This is a very delicious — and unique—rosé Champagne.

2019 Haut-Brisson, St-Emilion
Review Date: 06-04-2020
Maraschino cherries, vanilla and red licorice on the nose. Rich sweetness of fruit, mostly red, on the palate, with the acidity to match. The finish is impressively long! This is a richer style of St. Emilion that will be lovely in its youth, with at least 10 years of improvement potential in the cellar.

Canard-Duchêne Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-19-2020
Canard Duchêne has experienced a renaissance of sorts since being purchased from Veuve Clicquot by Champagne Thienot in 2003, more than doubling sales since the purchase. The clear reason is the higher quality of the product. Made predominantly from Pinot Noir -- they are nestled on the Montagne de Reims, after all-- the bouquet immediately offers rich apple and cherry aromas. Take a deeper whiff, and the fruit is filled in with rich, creamy, toasty undertones. On the palate, the fruit is crisp, fresh and vibrant, but beautifully balanced with rich, fully integrated autolysis. It is not easy to come across this kind of quality for the price!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2012 Bollinger "Grande Année" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-19-2020
If you are looking for one of the better deals in prestige vintage cuvées, you shouldn't pass up the Grande Annee from Bollinger. Vinified exclusively in oak from 21 meticulously selected sites, then hand-riddled and aged for 7 years on a cork (instead of the less expensive crown cap), and finally hand-disgorged for a stunning and uniquely Bollinger expression of Champagne. Notes of meyer citrus, lychee and guava, and ranier cherries intermingle with distinct minerality and subtle spices seamlessly. The texture is incredible, rich and layered but also light and crisp, buoyed by the signature 2012 acidity. The beautiful flavors last on the palate for over a minute. What a ride! Well worth the price of admission.
Price: $124.99 Add To Cart

Krug "Grande Cuvée" 168ème Édition Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-18-2020
There are not too many bottles of wine over $150 that I would describe as particularly good values. This is definitely one of them. It is made from multiple vintages spanning back to 1996, with 2012 being the base wine. It is then aged on the lees for 8 to 9 years. I would pay the money for the aromas alone, but the texture on the palate, the intermingling of age and freshness and the utter complexity of flavors make this one of the most memorable drinks I’ve tasted recently.

2007 Thiénot "Black Ball" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-01-2020
This is a rich, creamy style of vintage blanc de blancs with bright fruit notes of pear and apple, honeysuckle, toast and intriguing notes of spice. This is great champagne aged to perfection!
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2017 Jacques Bavard Bourgogne Rouge
Review Date: 02-01-2020
Jacques Bavard can do no wrong in Burgundy, and he continues his streak with this finely crafted Pinot Noir that has a mix of dark cherry, strawberry and cranberry fruit with baking spice, a hint of thyme and a satisfying balance of tannin and acid on the long, fruit-driven finish. Discover why Bavard is synonymous with quality for us at K&L.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2015 John Duval "Plexus" GSM Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 01-30-2020
This is a beautiful Rhone blend with the power of the Barossa Valley behind it, made in pure and concentrated New World style and I absolutely love it! The nose is expressive with scents of black and blueberries, cola, black pepper and mint. The fruit is rich, concentrated and juicy on the palate, riding silky tannins to a fresh acid-driven finish. It is fun to see some of the great wines other than Shiraz coming out of this superb wine-growing region.

2017 Akitu "A2" Pinot Noir Central Otago (White Label)
Review Date: 01-30-2020
There's nothing quite like the wines of Central Otago. The cool climate, high elevation vineyards benefit from a little extra UV exposure, creating beautifully fruited and fresh renditions of Pinot. What Akitu gets right is using the perfect amount of whole-cluster fermentation to add complexity and earthiness, making this one of the best Pinots for the money in the meantime. It has really nice cola, cranberry, cherry fruit with subtle whiffs of herbs and damp earth, and stellar acidity for balance and longevity.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2018 Eric Cottat Sancerre Rouge
Review Date: 01-22-2020
Is Sancerre the new Burgundy? Maybe it is just the greatness of Cottat. Seriously, I can't remember having such a great Pinot from the Loire before. The nose is stellar with cranberry, flowers, orange peel and herbs. Medium bodied with grippy tannins and perfect subtle acidity. If you like a great pinot, and especially not paying a lot for it, add this to your cart.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2016 Goulée, Médoc
Review Date: 01-22-2020
Goulée de Cos is your chance to get the superb winemaking team at Cos d’Estournel’s take on Haut-Médoc for a relatively low price. At 77% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc, this is extremely rich and soft, with silky, plush tannins, and nice cherry, dark chocolate, and mint flavors. It has deep, concentrated tannins, and great acid, so it will surely continue to age well.

2014 Prieurs de la Commanderie, Pomerol
Review Date: 01-22-2020
This is the Pomerol property managed by the team at La Dominique from St-Emilion. With 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, it has that beautiful Pomerol richness and elegance, with supple black and purple fruit framed nicely by soft, toasty notes, and acidity to match. It is rare to find a great deal like this in Pomerol!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2017 Jacques Bavard Auxey-Duresses Rouge
Review Date: 01-22-2020
Very pretty nose on this with candied cherry and strawberry, and subtle hints of thyme and other herbs. The wine is light weight and refreshing, but with serious fruit that is hoisted effortlessly by structuring acidity and tannins. This is the kind of wine you keep around for poultry dishes or ham, and that can be enjoyed year 'round. Once again, you just can't beat Bavard's Burgundy!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2018 Te Mata "Bullnose" Syrah Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 01-16-2020
For me, Te Mata is the number one producer in New Zealand, and this Syrah shows you why in a nutshell. It has a beautiful bouquet of red currants, briary fruits and violets that just keeps my nose in the glass. The new world purity-of-fruit is balanced by subtle earthy undertones on the palate, vibrant acidity and a precision and elegance that go through the long and satisfying finish. This is entirely drinkable now, but has the structure to age too!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2012 Fallet-Dart Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-12-2019
This is a rockin' vintage Champagne for under $40! Rich flavors of stone fruits, Meyer lemons, and freshly toasted brioche are concentrated and well integrated, balanced by vibrant freshness, with minerals intermingling with the fruit. The Fallet-Dart family has spent hundreds of years on this land in western Champagne and their expertise is evident. Don't miss this deal!
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Four Roses Small Batch Select Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 11-27-2019
Four Roses combined six of their popular mash bills to create a whiskey that is greater than the sum of the parts, as indicated by its Whisky Advocate recognition as Third Best Whiskey in the World. Supremely sippable at 104 proof, but packing a punch of flavor nonetheless. A perfect combination of baking spice, creamy pear and apricot richness, rye spice, and a touch of mint. At this price, it's the perfect sipping/mixing/nosing bourbon to keep at the home bar, and it's a permanent fixture at the distillery, so supply should be no problem on this one.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

1998 Orkney (Highland Park) 20 Year Old "Thompson Bros." K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-21-2019
I was just calling our Bunnahabhain 30 single cask our best whisky when Andrew plopped a bottle of this in front of me. Now I'm reconsidering. A single cask of 20-year-old Orkney Highland Park that is smooth as milk at 50% abv, with a very bright and distinct apricot, honey & apple core with a very subtle gravelly smokiness enveloping the fruit. I just can't stop nosing it. The Thompson Bros. label is big bonus, too.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

1988 Bunnahabhain 30 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-21-2019
This is probably one of the best whiskies on the shelf. Sweet core of bananas/apricots/creme brulee, with whiffs of briny algae and a subtle peatiness that isn't a distinct characteristic but a fully integrated part of the whole. The thirty years this spent in refill hogshead were years well spent.
Price: $349.99 Add To Cart

2017 Capbern, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 11-14-2019
One of our first 2017s! This Calon Segur owned property always offers outrageous quality to price ratio and this is no exception. Beautiful dark fruits, earth and a touch of spice with a round texture and great purity of fruit.

2008 Pierre Paillard "La Grand Récolte" Grand Cru Extra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-14-2019
This is my Champagne of the year. Is it any surprise? Vintage Grand Cru Bouzy from one of the best years on record. It has a rich bouquet of fruit and minerals, with laser-like precision on the palate and no signs of tiredness despite the 11 years since the fruit was picked. The balance is superb with richness, elegance, distinct fruit and brisk minerals, all while staying focused and fresh. This is a Champagne I plan to experience many times in the years to come.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2018 Matt Connell "Rendition" Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 10-30-2019
These are exciting times! We found a brand new direct-import Central Otago Pinot Noir, and if you read about the producer's pedigree above, it is no surprise that the wine is nothing short of spectacular. It is completely destemmed, and has a silky smooth profile with rich raspberry, bing cherry fruit, and a touch of baking spice from the oak. The acidity adds verve and tension, while the light grip from the tannins completes the stellar structure. If you like what's coming out of Central Otago, you should definitely try this.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2017 Quartz Reef "Bendigo Estate Single Vineyard" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 10-17-2019
The value here really can't be overstated. This is complex, seductive, easy, rich, and refreshing all at once. On the nose, red currant fruit is hoisted by forest floor, violets, a touch of scorched earth and mint. The flavors come together seamlessly on the palate with lightly gripping tannins and the perfect fruit/acid balance for a very pleasant, long finish. Dare I compare it to Grand Cru Burgundy that cost ten times as much? I do, and so should you.

2003 Glen Scotia "Malts Festival 2019 Limited Edition" Rum Cask Finish Peated Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 10-12-2019
This is the most expressive, balanced peated single malt I've tasted in a while. Aromas of bright tropical fruits like pineapple and mango mixed with honeycomb, wet gravel, toasted wheat, and scorched earth, with a rich mouthfeel and super-smooth profile. What a pleasure to sip!
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2016 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 09-24-2019
I've said it many times before, and I'll say again. There is no better value in world-class Haut-Medoc red Bordeaux than that made by Chateau Cantemerle. The 2016 is a prime example. It has a classic profile of fleshy, ripe black currant and plum fruit, graphite and spice with a perfectly balanced oak frame. Even in its youth, the tannins are refined and supple, and the acidity will take it the distance. If you collect Bordeaux, this is a no brainer.

Fallet-Dart "Cuvée de Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-05-2019
This Blanc de Noirs is one of the best-kept secrets of the Western Marne Valley. Made from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, and aged for a particularly lengthy four years on the lees, it has wonderful fresh pear, Bing cherry and apple fruit profile, a broad presence on the palate, and a crisp finish that left a nice yeasty flavor lingering for over a minute...all for under $30! If you’re on the grower-producer train, this is an essential.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Laurent-Perrier "Grand Siècle" Iteration #24 Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-09-2019
Since 1955, only 23 blends of Grand Siecle have been released until now! The latest is based on 2007 with reserve wines from 2006 and 2004, aged 11 years on the lees! The nose is an intriguing blend of pear, citrus, even tropical fruit, a hint of flinty smoke and cream, and of course vibrant minerals. This is one of the expensive bottles that is absolutely worth every penny.

2008 Lanson "Gold Label" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-09-2019
Lanson has waited until now to release its 2008 vintage Gold-Label and it’s a good thing they did! They decided not to use malolactic fermentation to soften the edges on this high acid, electric vintage, but 11 years in the bottle should do the trick! This is an incredibly fresh, delicious vintage champagne from a top house with vibrant fruit, a great mineral texture and long, very bright finish. This will continue to age beautifully.

2008 Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-09-2019
LP has finally released its much anticipated 2008 vintage champagne and it is as delicious as expected! It has beautiful floral elements on the nose, bright pear, green apple and cherry fruit notes, vibrant minerals and the bright acidity that is a hallmark of the vintage. Vintage Champagne collectors won’t want to miss out on this one!
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2015 Tongue in Groove "Cabal Vineyard" Pinot Noir Waipara Valley
Review Date: 08-07-2019
You’d be hard pressed to find a better value than this in Pinot Noir. Made from the famous Cabal Vineyard on the North facing slopes of the Waipara Valley, this has rich aromas of crushed strawberry, cherry and cola berry with a touch of savory scorched earth. It has a lovely combination of lush, soft texture and fresh, lifted, vibrant aromatics. Truly World Class Pinot at a great price!

2006 Haut-Bergey, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 08-07-2019
Yet another amazing Bordeaux bargain from legendary winemaker Helen Garcin Leveque (of Clos l’Eglise & Barde Haut fame). Beautiful cherry/red currant fruit with graphite, smoke, leather and tobacco. Limited Stock!
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2016 Greywacke Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 07-18-2019
This is a seriously impressive display of the finesse, power and complexity that can be achieved with New Zealand Pinot Noir. The nose is beautiful with fruity aromas of cherry and mulberry with lifted aromatics of lilacs and violets with a touch of smoke and earth. The palate is well balanced, with beautiful tension between the silky texture, ripe but grippy tannins and vibrant lifting acidity.

2016 l'Avocat Rouge, Graves
Review Date: 06-26-2019
This is already drinking great. It is very expressive with loads of fresh berries, cranberries and a hint of orange peel on the nose. The fruit is fresh with just a pleasant hint of vanilla from the oak. It is bright, ripe and fresh with great acidity and balance.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2004 l'Avocat "Cuvée Speciale", Graves
Review Date: 06-26-2019
This made using the painstaking “Vinification Integrale” process, where the hand-picked fruit is macerated on the skins inside the barrel for three weeks, then aged in new oak for 18 months. After 15 years, this wine is one seriously sexy sipper for $29.99. It has a rich dark fruit core framed by toasty oak, with hints of smoked meats and aged leather. The tannins are round and silky smooth, and the wine is overall still very fresh and vibrant. As the resident Bordeaux expert Ralph Sands put it after tasting it blind, “We thought it was Margaux, Margaux.”
Price: $31.99 Add To Cart

2018 Canon, St-Émilion
Review Date: 05-24-2019
This is a nicely concentrated claret, with a robust perfume of dark peppery fruit, minerals, black currants and smoke. It's elegant and velvety on the palate with firm yet smooth tannins. It has a subtle balancing acidity and a long dark fruit-driven finish framed by pleasant herbal notes.

2018 Léoville-Poyferré, St-Julien
Review Date: 05-17-2019
On the nose, very concentrated notes of dark fruit and earthy graphite. On the palate, however, very elegant and round, with great acid and nice grippy tannins. This should be a fantastic wine to age in the cellar.

2018 La Gaffelière, St. Emilion
Review Date: 05-17-2019
This was the star of St. Emilion during the 2018 en primeur campaign. The addition of excellent Cabernet Franc vines shone through with aromas of roses, peppery red fruit and graphite on the nose. The texture was very elegant already with wonderful concentration of fruit and tannin on the palate, and wonderful acidity that lends to a long, fresh and balanced finish.

2018 Malartic-Lagravière, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 05-17-2019
This is opulent with dark, purple, plummy fruit, toast and notes of licorice, mocha and herbs. The tannins are soft and elegant up front and then become more grippy on the finish, adding to the structure given by the balancing acidity. Great graphite and minerals underscore the ripe fruit.

2018 Capbern, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 05-17-2019
This is the best value in St. Estephe. Made by the same winemaking team from Calon Segur, from terroir adjacent to much more expensive properties, it has spicy black fruit, mocha, and licorice on the nose. On the palate, it is very fresh and bright while remaining dark and concentrated at its core. It has very elegant, firm tannins, with nice herbal notes on the finish.

Dérot-Delugny "Cuvée Fondateurs" Brut
Review Date: 05-15-2019
This is a very rare, and very delicious 100% Pinot Gris-based champagne. The pinot gris leaves a clean, floral, mineral-laden bouquet on the nose, but on the palate the strength and power of the fruit are striking: pear and green apple, white flowers and a touch of lemon zest are amplified by serious acidity, and a long, focused finish of minerals and lemony goodness. This is Champagne like you’ve never experienced!​
Price: Hidden View Price

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-15-2019
In a direct import program that boasts hundreds of stunning grower-producer Champagnes at incredible values, the “Authentic Assemblage” from Le Brun de Neuville belongs near the top of the list not just in terms of value for the price but in overall quality. It boasts a rich, decadent style that comes from aging on its lees for five years under cork instead of bottle cap, a practice still used by only a tiny percentage of producers in Champagne. This allows for micro-oxygenation, which gives the wine a rich, rounded texture that perfectly balances out the crisp chalky minerals and the rich flavors of nectarine, honeysuckle, brioche and clove. The fact that it is available for such a low price is a miracle.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Franck Bonville Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 05-15-2019
Olivier Bonville carries on the tradition of his grandfather, Franck, producing wines of incredible richness and complexity from his estate vines in the Grand Cru villages of Avize and Mesnil on the picaresque Cote de Blancs. It has the rich flavors of Anjou pear, Meyer lemon, white apricots and a touch of delicate spice. The real magic is in the chalky minerality and zippy acidity that the Cote de Blancs is famous for. When you consider that similar offerings from the Big Houses cost three to four times more, this becomes a must-buy for anyone who loves Champagne.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Fallet-Dart "Grande Sélection" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-15-2019
This is a value I often like to compare to one of the bigger brands in Champagne (with an iconic orange label) that has a similar grape profile. This has bright distinctively ripe citrus and apricot fruitiness, cream, flowers and toast from the seven years on the lees, and amazing texture from the chalky soils. Throw in that you actually save money for all that quality, and it's a no-brainer!
Price: $36.99 Add To Cart

2018 Brane-Cantenac, Margaux
Review Date: 05-15-2019
2018 Brane Cantenac was another favorite of our group at En Primeur week. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 0.5% Carmenere, 0.5% Petit Verdot. They produced a very elegant, sexy wine this year, with a sweet core of mocha and cola berry, silky tannins to carry the plush fruit, and overall seamless structure. This will go down as one of their greatest wines yet.

2018 d'Issan, Margaux
Review Date: 05-15-2019
2018 d’Issan is a lovely wine reminiscent of its 2016 and 2005 vintages. Made from 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, it has a beautiful bouquet on the nose of briary blackberries, plums, mint and licorice. On the palate it has supple, ripe tannins and nice freshness.

2018 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux
Review Date: 05-15-2019
2018 Malescot St. Exupery is bold, ripe and very appealing. Made from 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc, it is classically structured. It has spicy black fruit, licorice and herbs on the bouquet, with a very round silky texture from the plush tannins and ripe fruit on the palate, and nice firm tannins on the long finish. This will age beautifully.

2018 Labégorce, Margaux
Review Date: 05-15-2019
2018 Labegorce offers an outstanding quality-to-price ratio. Made from 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, it has a powerful, concentrated bouquet of black cherry, blueberry, graphite and licorice. On the palate, the powerful fruit is immediately lifted by gentle acidity and delicious, ripe mouth coating tannins.

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