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Staff Favorites - Rachel Alcarraz

Rachel Alcarraz
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Reviews

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2015 Blason Bruma Bianco Friuli
Review Date: 11-11-2018
We continually have knock-out wines from Blason, from their crowd favorite Pinot Grigio to their boxed Friulano, here is the next to sell out. The Bruma is a blend of Malvasia (not like the sweet ones you are used to) and Friulano with full textural tones form not only being fermented in barrique but aged for 12 months in barrel with lots of lees stirring. Now it may sound like a wine only for those who love domestic Chardonnay, however, it also has a stunning saline backbone and drive of minerality that will make anyone fall in love.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
DC 96

2017 Broadley Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-08-2018
In a line up of other domestic Pinot Noirs, the Broadley stood out. It is no surprise since it is made from a single vineyard on the Broadley estate that is farmed organically and that generations of the Broadley family have passed down their passion to our current wine makers. It is filled to the brim with that passion- full of red and black berries, toasted baking spices, just hints of oak and a solid backbone of structure that keeps the palate long and full. It is perfect for cheese pairing or cocktail hour, but serious enough to pair with your Sunday dinner.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2016 Farnetella Lucilla Toscano Rosso
Review Date: 10-30-2018
A lively nose of juicy red fruits and fresh herbs. The palate will hit you with power and intensity from bold fruit, high acidity, and dynamic structure. It is a great Toscana to lead you into the world of Super Tuscans or to replace those pricey bottles for a relaxing mid week glass.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2016 Fèlsina Chianti Classico
Review Date: 10-30-2018
A bold and delicious Sangiovese with more focus and complexity than the 2015. The sour cherry fruit is matched with a subtle cocoa flavor and dusty wood shavings. It is bold, juicy and waiting for you to pair it with your next dinner.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 RP 92

2012 Baricci "Nello" Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
Review Date: 10-30-2018
All Baricci wines come from the famed Montosoli Vineyard and a small selection of grapes is separated for the Nello Riserva bottling. It has a beautiful plum nose that rises off the glass. While it is still showing the brut strength of a young wine, it has a subtle gentleness in the glass associated with pretty Asian plum and leather.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart
WS 95 VN 94

Louis Roederer "Brut Premier" Champagne
Review Date: 10-10-2018
I have special memories of the Roederer Brut Champagne. Two years ago on New Years Eve, my friends and I opened a Jeroboam of this lovely wine. We enjoyed the bottle during our flavorful dinner and poured the final glasses out of the bottle just in time to ring in 2017. The richer, toasted brioche character went well with our winter dinner menu but it is also well balanced enough to easily drink on its own.

Billecart-Salmon "Brut Réserve" Champagne
Review Date: 10-10-2018
One of the great things about Grande Marque Champagnes is the consistency of house style. You know that the Billecart Salmon Brut you are opening tonight will have the same fresh and focused character you remember from before. Billecart has had a long, cold fermentation practice since the late 1950's aiding in their bright and lively personality. Over two years on the lees gives some texture to the tart apple and dry stone finish.

Jean de La Fontaine "L'Éloquente" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-10-2018
From the very Western edge of Champagne, right next to our good friends at Fallet Dart and Baron Fuente, comes the fabled wines of Jean de La Fontaine. This Brut, made from mostly Menieur (my favorite!), has subtle and elegant aromas. It is tart but textural from the three years of contact with the lees. The long, full finish has a touch of chalk giving it that much more subtle complexity.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

Jean de La Fontaine "La Flatteuse" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 10-10-2018
A new addition to our Direct Import Family. The Fontaine Rose is pretty and vibrant with notes of raspberries and a perfume of rose. The tart raspberry and citrus give focus to the medium bodied wine. A dry, but juicy mouth watering finish is there to greet you at end of each sip.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2008 Fallet-Dart Vintage Extra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-10-2018
The Extra Brut started as the same base wine as the 2008 Brut from Fallet Dart. When deciding the dosage, the wine maker liked both levels and decided to split the wine into two bottlings. The beautiful fresh, zippy, and bright characteristics we have all seen and loved in the Brut make their way into the Extra Brut wit the addition of elegant complexity. A sense of salinity and citrus carry out the personality of the dry, cool vintage (a great thing in Champagne) while the elegance shows the impressive House style.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Solemme "Ambre de Solemme" 1er Cru Brut Nature Champagne
Review Date: 10-10-2018
Solemme not only uses grapes from nearly 50 year of Meunier vines but extends their growing time as long as possible to allow full phenolic ripeness. With aromas and flavors of pink lady apple skins it is a lovely balance of texture, red fruits, sweet meyer lemon and racey acidity. Malolactic fermentation is purposely stopped so the wine's fresh integrity won't be lost.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Solemme "Nature de Solemme" Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru Brut Nature Champagne
Review Date: 10-10-2018
The tart green apple character is the star of the show while the broader notes of toasted brioche, spice, and earth pull for the front line. The wine is beautifully textural with fresh, pretty fruit. That apple character is complimented with subtle notes of ripe tropical fruits and bosque pears.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Solemme "Terre Solemme" 1er Cru Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-10-2018
Pretty and elegant aromas of white flowers and ripe yellow pears. The wine is gentle in acidity but doesn't hold stiff on the palate. The 5 years on the lees adds depth of texture and the sense the wine has some time on oak. While it is completely oak free, it is far from austere, just pure elegance form start to finish.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$34.99

2007 Alexandre Le Brun "Cuvée Fascination" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 10-09-2018
From only two rows of vines, Alexandre Le Brun has created a deep and toasty Blanc de Blanc that is entirely barrel aged. The first breath in will send aromas of freshly baked broche into your senses. The gentle spice from the oak plays heavenly with the breath and power of wine while the subtle minerality is not lost but gives the wine backbone and direction.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2009 Alexandre Le Brun "Cuvée Dilection" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 10-09-2018
I;ve rewritten this review a few times because I felt like I wasn't doing the wine justice. This is only the second time I have had the pleasure to try Le Brun's Dilection rose and both times I was saw how special this wine is. Coming from a small plot of vines that are over 100 years old, the depth and terroir of the wine is unmatched by anything else I've had. There is a slight savory element to the wine, similar to dried raspberries and cherries. The nose is elegant with aromas of rose and raspberries. It is pretty and finessed with the perfect touch of gentle citrus acidity for balance.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2012 Louis Roederer Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-09-2018
If I could think of a perfect textbook definition of Champange, I think this 2012 Roederer would be it. All vintages Roederer wines come from vineyards own by the estate since the 1770's. The original property in Verzenay makes the Pinot Noir that dominates this vintage Grand Marque. It is classic in every way- toasted brioche fills the nose and mimics on the palate while the long, focused acidity keeps it lively and defined.

2011 Michel Arnould "Memoire de Vignes" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-09-2018
Often in Gary's tastings there are bottles that make me stop and think, "Wow! This is it." Today It was the Memoire de Vignes. While you drink the balanced, gentle and nuanced wine you can forget what everyone is saying about 2011. This wine is not subdued by the negative affiliation of the vintage but instead it is unrestrained with depth of fruit (plums, anjou pear, and lemon) and a toasty, rich finish that has yet to stop.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2016 Baricci Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 10-04-2018
I was a little wary to try the 2016 Baricci because the 2015 Rosso was my favorite of the vintage, bar none, but now I can sing the praises of the new vintage. With a little more fruit on the nose and palate, the wine is filled with beautiful aromatics of red plums and violets. It is racy with great, integrated structure. It is fineness and intrigue wrapped in a perfect bottle.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2016 La Fortuna Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 10-04-2018
I stocked as many 2015 Rossos as I could get thinking that the 2016 vintage would let me down. Luckily I was completely wrong. As the new vintage has trickled into the store, not a single bottle has been less than outstanding. The La Fortuna rosso is perfumed with dried violets, soft spice and ripe raspberries. It is perfectly balanced with long, lean acidity and integrated tannins.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2015 Vigneti Massa "Costa del Vento" Timorasso
Review Date: 10-04-2018
The most pristine, I've found, of Massa's ingenious wines. The Costa Del Vento shows the character of its clay soils with beautiful, soft texture. The gentle fruit rests on your palate while a bit of spice moves into a long finish.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2015 La Massa "La Massa" Toscana
Review Date: 10-04-2018
My past two years at K&L I have seen the last two vintages of La Massa fly out the door. To say this Super Tuscan is a fan favorite would be an understatement. And now, coming from one of the strongest vintages in Italy, the full bodied but balanced Toscana outshines the rest. It is layered with nuances of toasted baking spice, cedar, and black cherry. It is upfront with its bold flavor and lingers long on the palate for an impressive energy. Silky tannins aid in structure while the ripe fruit carries you from start to finish.

2014 Amici Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 10-01-2018
A consistently outstanding, well scored Cabernet from Napa Valley that is a staff and customer favorite vintage to vintage. 2014 is the third of a trio of killer vintages from the Valley that brings quality, consistency, and early harvest for acidity and structure. You will see all three in the new vintage of Amici alongside it's sense of black berry, currants and sweet baking spices. Purity and finesse from start to finish.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 WE 91

2015 Vigneti Massa "Montecitorio" Timorasso Cru
Review Date: 09-24-2018
In my eyes Walter Massa is a genius in the wine making world. Every bottle of wine I have had from him has been nuanced, unique and terroir driven. While the Montecitorio spends 5 days with skin contact, to me it is a little less textural than some of his other whites. However, it is beautifully balanced in texture and racy acidity with notes of sweet meyer lemon juice and a touch of pith.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2015 Le Battistelle "Roccolo del Durlo" Soave Classico
Review Date: 09-24-2018
With a little more power than its delicate sister wine, the Roccolo Del Durlo does not give up its mystery or elegant character. It is a little more racy with a tough more richness on the palate. The beautiful fruit and pleasant floral character still gently intermingle with the salinity of the wine. A perfect mixture of power and beauty.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2016 Le Battistelle "Battistelle" Soave Classico
Review Date: 09-24-2018
A romantic name for one of the best daily drinking whites we have on the shelf. This Alpine white grown in volcanic soil shows you its charming character with clean, fresh acidity and pretty fruit. It is elegant and floral with just a hint of a saline quality to keep it mysterious.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2017 Cantina Terlano "Terlaner Classico" White Blend Alto Adige
Review Date: 09-17-2018
One of my favorite wines for anyone looking for a merited food pairing. A blend of Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc aged in stainless steel that just sees a touch of barrel. The Pinot Bianco gives backbone to the wine. It is filled with savory, herbal characters while the Chardonnay adds deep orchard fruit notes and the Sauvignon chimes in with fresh lemon citrus. It is balanced, textured, fresh and easily pairs with all types of food!
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2016 Silvano Follador "Cartizze" Prosecco Superiore Brut Nature
Review Date: 09-17-2018
From a hilly, single vineyard in Valdobbiadene, the Cartizze from Silvano Follador (one of our top selling Prosecco producers) is fragrant and floral on the nose with notes of fresh green apples. The first single vineyard we have carried from this producer, it is similar to its sister wine due to their lack of addition sugar (or dosage) for the second fermentation. It is dry with a beautiful backbone of minerality and that fresh apple carries through on the palate.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

Trudon "Emblematis" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-14-2018
Emblematis, which can translate as "symbolic", to Trudon expresses the house's "historical style" while featuring 70% Meunier that thrives from the Festigny soils. 60% of the wine is from the difficult yet concentrated vintage of 2012 while the rest of the wine is a reserve blend. The wine is driven with mouthwatering acidity mixed with a finesse of floral undertones and is held on the back palate with chalky minerality. An award winning champagne at an award winning price!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2013 Felsina Chianti Classico "Colonia" Gran Selezione
Review Date: 08-21-2018
A powerful Chianti with characteristics that remind me of a high end Super Tuscan. It is bold with deep and concentrated red fruits. The dusty French oak tannins mingle with the almost chewy grape tannins. A gentle acidity delicately holds the wine together while really showcasing those other bold flavors.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart
RP 97 VN 95

2017 Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio
Review Date: 08-03-2018
At the end of a long day of tasting we popped opened a bottle of this PG and it was exactly what we needed. It was complex but easy to enjoy. The floral aromatics, baking spice and green apple on the nose invited us into a layered palate. The wine had body and texture without losing the steady acidity you dream of in Pinot Grigio. I found a tension of minerality that tied the more nuanced flavors together. The beautiful floral notes lingered on the long and enjoyable finish bringing another element to the wine.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
DC 95

2017 Torti Pinot Noir Pavia
Review Date: 07-31-2018
Finding a sub $20 Pinot Noir worth any merit is difficult these days, but finding a sub $15 that is undoubtedly enjoyable is near impossible. Torti has taken a grape uncommon in Italy and made it worth while. We took their motto "No Torti, no party" to heart the other night at our staff BBQ and cracked open a bottle or two. It was fresh, lively and great with all the foods and fixings we had before us. It is smooth with juicy red plums and a hidden bit of spice from time in barrique. Easy to enjoy as your next bargain red!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Elvio Cogno Pre-Phyloxera Barbera d'Alba
Review Date: 07-16-2018
I brought this wine to our staff blind tasting last week and was not only able to stump them, I was able to impress them. The wine had some of the distinguishing marks we love in our Barbera, like high, fresh acidity, while having distinct characteristics that could attribute to the native root stock. The fruit was deep and powerful that kept half the staff thinking it was a new world wine while the undertone of savory earth had the other half guessing old world. We could all agree though that it was flavorful, accessible, and dynamic.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2015 Torti Barbera Oltrepo Pavese
Review Date: 07-16-2018
I take the Torti Family's motto to heart- "no Torti, no party!" It speaks to its Barbera which is a go-to if you are looking for a fun, fresh, and food friendly red! The full body and integrated structure make it easy to pair with anything from grilled veggies to a rustic grilled chicken dish. The ripe red plum and cherry character intermix with fresh acidity and a finish that is layered with gentle spice. The bottle will be gone before you know it!
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2015 Nozzole Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 07-10-2018
A classic but discerning nose that is filled with fresh herbs. The glass filled with rosemary and thyme gently mixed with red plums. I was greeted on the palate with lively acidity and that beautiful fruit. While the wine is inviting and easy to enjoy on its own, it is an outstanding dinner pairing!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 94 WS 93

2002 Piper-Heidsieck "Cuvée Rare" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 07-03-2018
The romance of the Cuvee Rare starts at the beginning of its reign. The first vintage came from the hot '76 vintage where the winemakers made magic by being able to balance the ripe, opulent grapes to give us a generous but balanced wine. While the 2002 vintage is the first of the Cuvee Rare I have been able to get my hands on, the story holds true. The wine is lush with lees texture and ripeness of fruit. Although the lavish wine is filled with texture it is not stagnant or heavy. A crisp apple like acidity is there to balance the longevity of the beautiful palate.

2015 Graci Etna Rosso
Review Date: 06-28-2018
An older, higher elevation vineyard than most entry-level Etna Rossos, and even at $26 this wine shows some aging potential. It is fermented and aged in cement for a clean wine that focus on the region's mineral character and the grape's natural grip. The mid-palate is filled with crushed cherry skins and spice that add to its already complex nature. Whether keeping or drinking, it would a shame not to share this wine, paired with your best Sicilian style dishes!
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart
RP 91 WS 91

2016 Planeta Etna Rosso
Review Date: 06-27-2018
While many Etna Rosso wines benefit from long aging, the Planeta is fresh and approachable soon after release. It is more supple filled with sweet cherries and medium structure. It is food friendly and maybe too easy to enjoy. Like drinking a Nebbiolo Langhe while you wait for your Barolos to age, you drink the Planeta while you wait for your single vineyard Etnas to come around!
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 WS 90

2015 Benanti Etna Rosso
Review Date: 06-27-2018
As our buyer said in the tasting "stylistically Barolo, structurally Burgundy" with a light color and concentrated nose of ripe red berries and dry stones. It's high acid balances the strong structural palate while the fresh fruit dances from start to finish. A fun wine to dip your toes into Etna Rosso.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
VN 91

2015 Graci "Arcuria" Etna Bianco
Review Date: 06-27-2018
I couldn't find a wind that stands out in the crowd more than the Graci Acuria Bianco from Mt. Etna. Its high elevation and neutral oak use make it beyond nuanced and complex. It is clean with fineness and aromatics of honeysuckle and minerals. As my cohorts have said, this wine could rival some of the best in Burgundy!

2016 Biondi "Pianta" Etna Bianco
Review Date: 06-27-2018
On a steep slope (imagine reaching up to pick your grapes!) from the South East corner of an active volcano grows Carricante and Cataratto. These two grapes come together and create a spicy, intriguing and earth focused wine. It has more skin contact than it's brother wine, the Outis, and has an almost vermouth quality to it. It is refreshing and flavorful with a strong mineral backbone. The fruit is fresh and lively while a biting back palate sets it in place.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2016 Biondi "Outis" Etna Bianco
Review Date: 06-19-2018
From the South East corner of Mt. Etna comes a concentrated and textured white from Biondi. It is ripe and full of flavor with a bit of skin contact for color, texture and character. The nose is filled with honeycomb and green apple skins. It is matched on the palate with great acidity from only seeing stainless steel. It is complex but graceful.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2016 Graci Etna Bianco
Review Date: 06-18-2018
On our tasting sheet, the price for this wine was miss-typed double the price. We all tried it and though it was amazing! The quality of the wine is obvious from smell to sip. Hailing from the Northern slopes of Mt. Etna on older vines, this blend of Carricante and Catarato only sees stainless steel. It is pure and concentrated. The focused minerality sends the palate out long and doesn't end. We were shocked when we found out it was actually only $25.99. The value of this wine is outstanding. It will also get you hooked on Etna Bianco and lead you to the producer's single vineyard that could be aged!
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
RP 91 WS 90

2016 Planeta Etna Bianco
Review Date: 06-18-2018
Etna is one of the most dynamic wine growing regions with diverse microclimates. The DOC is a semi circle wrapped around the active volcano on the Island of Sicily. The Planeta vineyards are on the northern slope at a high elevation. Its aromatics are incredible with quince, citrus, and of course great volcanic minerality. The wine has a sense of saline with a floral and fruity quality. A partial fermentation in barrique gives texture to the otherwise light bodied wine. It is simple but nuanced. A great wine to dip your feet into the whites of Etna.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 WE 92

2014 Pranzegg "Laurenc" Lagrein
Review Date: 06-18-2018
When I think of the climate of the Alto Adige, an area right near the Alps, I think of cold weather. But the valley where this Lagrein is grown, squeezed between the Alps and the Dolomites, is one of the 3 hottest cities during the Italian summer. This is great for the thick skinned Lagrein grape and great for us! The Pranzegg is filled with classic black and white pepper flavors with concentrated notes of black berries. It is biodynamic and sees lees contact giving ths wine a great texture. The acidity is not lost in the warm climate, but a balance of full bodied flavor really sets the tone for this wine.
Price: $38.99 Add To Cart

2012 Alfio Mozzi Sforzato
Review Date: 06-18-2018
The musical translation for Sforzato (the region in Valtellina from where we are getting this wine) is that a note or chord that is played with particular emphasis or with your entire heart and soul. The Sforzato from Alfio Mozzi is just that. A wine made with heart and soul. The Nebbiolo grapes are often picked a week earlier than others (traditionally due to weather conditions) and then dried on mats for a few months before pressing, just like Amarone. The wine is powerful and deep with savory cherry skin flavors and a rich nose. The Nebbiolo grape has thinner skins than those used in Amarone, so the wine isn't quite as structured leading it to be much more accessible. I couldn't think of anything better than to pair this with grilled sausages or pork chops!
Price: Hidden View Price

2015 Scerscé "Nettare" Rosso di Valtellina
Review Date: 06-18-2018
Made 100% Nebbiolo that is locally known in parts of Lombardy as "Chiavennasca." It is unlike any red you will find in Piedmont. Being barricaded between the Swiss Alps and the Adda River gives Valtellina a climate perfect for structured Nebbiolo with elegance. The Rosso from Scersce is sourced from the southern most part of the property with the youngest vines. It is spicy, floral and fruity with grit, assertiveness, and a surprising delicacy. It is perfect with fresh and earthy dishes being made this summer.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2012 Alfio Mozzi "Grisone" Sassella
Review Date: 06-18-2018
From the most prestigious region in Valtellina, Lombardy, the Sassella subregion consists of 325 acres of steep slopes with sandy limestone soils. The Grisone from Alfio Mozzi is a hand picked, single vineyard Nebbiolo that is enthusiastic in its aromatics and concentrated on the palate. It spends 18 months in small french oak barrel that balances the snap and tenacity of the wine. The fresh, red fruit is still alive and kicking while mixing with notes of savory black tea and leather. It is light to medium bodied and perfect for your next grilled dinner!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$27.99

2017 Pra "Morandina" Valpolicella Superiore
Review Date: 06-06-2018
Not your average Valpolicella. The Pra starts off with a spicy, smokey nose influenced by notes of crushed red cherries. It is lighter and fresher than most wines in the area, almost relating to a Beaujolais. The crunchy red fruit on the palate balances the black pepper spice while the freshness makes this a perfect red for summer.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2016 Quintodecimo "Exultet" Fiano d'Avellino
Review Date: 06-06-2018
Often seen as the start of the white wines in Campania, this single vinyard Fiano is elegant with long and lean acidity to carry you through. While the more characterizing note of honeycomb slowly showed after a bit of breathing, the wine had a bit more savory, exotic and mineral characteristics that contributed to its polished and refined taste.
Price: Hidden View Price
JS 93 WS 90

2016 Quintodecimo "Jaune d'Arles" Greco di Tufo
Review Date: 06-06-2018
A top producer in Campania that has three single vineyard bottlings for each of the three major white wine grapes of the region. The subregion of Tufo is known for its volcanic soils while the Greco grape is known for its deep color. The combination creates an expressive and aromatic wine with high acidity, tropical fruit character and a perfect ripeness. The wine spends 7 months on its lees with a bit of small barrel contact to balance the high acidity and create a beautiful, medium bodied texture.
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 92

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