Staff Favorites - Rachel Alcarraz

Rachel Alcarraz
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Reviews

Laurent-Perrier "Cuvée Rosé" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
Laurent Perrier has been one of my favorite Grand Marquee producers since I had the pleasure of writing about their La Cuvee when it first appeared on the scene. Their rose is impressive with a combination of vineyards all given Grand Cru status. The 100% Pinot Noir is more feminine with lovely notes of sweet summer berries that bounce along a richly texture palate.

Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
One of the best priced Grand Marque Champagnes we have on the shelf, especially when taking account the quality of the wine. More than one third of the wine is barrel fermented and more than one third is reserve wine aged for a minimum of 10 years in magnums before blending creating possibly one of the most complex champagnes I have tasted yet. Some cracker or fresh brioche aromas mixed with fresh yellow apples draw you into a textured yet lively palate that doesn't stand still!

Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
There is a reason the Billecart Salmon rose is one of the top selling rose's in the store. The darker pink color comes from the Premier Cru Pinot Noir grapes that also impart the wonderful aromas and flavors of sweet cherry and strawberry. A polished style champagne with a long finish filled with summer berries!

Billecart-Salmon "Brut Réserve" Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
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.

Egrot Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
Based on the impeccable 2008 vintage with reserves of 2006 and 2007 as well, the Egrot has a pretty weighted mid palate with a richness of toasted brioche and cinnamon. Like their extra brut, all notes about this wine will say it is aged for 3 years on the lees (already twice the legal minimum), but it is usually much more- sometimes up to 8! The textural palate is still focused with a long, mineral driven finish which to me, shows the power of the 2008 vintage.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Michel Arnould "Réserve" Grand Cru Verzenay Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
One of the longest running Direct Import champagnes at K&L is Michel Arnould. Their reserve is a beautifully composed, rich style champagne that is bold with toasted brioche matched by a beautiful, lengthy, citrus driven acidity. The ripeness of Pinot Noir comes from the Northern facing hills of Verzenay and is balanced with just 25% Chardonnay. A round, textural palate with a long lasting finish.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Baron-Fuenté "Esprit" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
The Esprit is Baron Fuente's next step from their top-selling "Grand Reserve." The 100% estate fruit spends 7 years on the lees, much like their esteemed "7" and is equal parts Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Meunier. The toasty nose has notes of fresh lemon leaves that leads into a medium bodied wine the depth and texture. The brioche character broadens the flavor of the wines while the hints of lemon peak up every now and then keeping the longevity of the wine.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Baron-Fuenté "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
With twice as much aging on the lees then required, the Grand Reserve has a rich toasted nose with scents of brioche and broad inviting earthiness. Mostly Meunier brings soft elegance and fineness along side deep fruit characters by adding depth and complexity to the wine. A bit of red apple fruit and fresh sweet citrus carry the warm palate from start to finish.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Nicolas Maillart Grand Cru Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 01-30-2019
Imagine taking a big whiff of a freshly baked raspberry tart on a summer's day and when it cools down, adding fresh whipped cream to take a big bite. The bite is creamy and toasty with loads of baking spices from the crust and cream. The raspberries are sweet but tart in the middle, making all the flavors pop. That is how I experienced my first sip of the Maillart rosé. A rich, creamy, spice filled nose and palate is heightened by tart red summer berry flavors. Brambly, but rich with hints of orange zest and classic chalky minerality.
Price: $49.99 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: $34.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$29.99

Franck Bonville Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 02-06-2018
The Franck Bonville Blanc de Blanc was the first Champagne I bought on the first night I worked at K&L, and it will always have a special spot in my heart. What makes it so special is the care and quality Olivier Bonville pours into his wines. Based on 2015, the Blanc de Blanc is half reserve wine from all estate fruit. Some time in barrel gives this Chardonnay a creamy, sweet citrus character, like that of a Meyer lemon or pink grapefruit. The chalky soil is not lost in this wine, either. A soft structure of dry white chalk elongates the palate and adds an extra level of complexity. It is a wine that never disappoints.
Price: $53.99 Add To Cart

Gilbert Jacquesson "Cuvée Eugénie" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 02-06-2018
As I mentioned in my review for the Jacquesson Blanc de Noir, one of my one of my favorite things about Meunier-dominant Champagnes is the depth, fullness and polish it adds to a wine (and there are a lot of things I LOVE about Meunier-dominant Champagnes!). This rosé is 100% estate-grown Meunier that is specifically pressed for rosé with skin contact for flavor and color. Abundant aromas of white and red cherries, fresh raspberries and flowers are repeated on the palate with elegant balance in this medium-bodied wine. The finish of the wine is unexpectedly flavorful and never-ending.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Gilbert Jacquesson "Cuvée Prestige" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-06-2018
A bit different than the other Gilbert Jacquessons we have in house, the Cuvee Prestige is a blend of all three varieties and has some barrel contact. While his other bottlings are elegant and medium-bodied, this Champagne is bold and powerful! Concentrated yellow apples and dry wood stand firm on the palate while a savory, almost smoky character sneaks onto the finish--just enough for you to wonder what is it. I would be super interested to pick up a few bottles to cellar and see how they age!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Billecart-Salmon Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-06-2018
I've often skipped over the any of the Billecart Salmon Champagnes that weren't their Brut Rose, thinking they were a one trick pony. Today I was proven wrong. We tried five of their bottlings that we carry in store and each one was elegant and complex in its own right. However, this Blanc de Blanc really stood out to me. ​A richer style for the house, this 100% Chardonnay goes through partial malolactic fermentation to bring a creamy citrus character, almost like lemon meringue pie (just without the nutty, pastry aspect you may find in oaked Blanc de Blanc as this doesn't see any oak). That richness is elegantly balanced with long lived acidity that keeps each sip active on the palate. An undertone of chalky minerality from the Grand Cru soils adds just the right amount of depth needed to complete the wine. 10 minutes after tasting, I bought myself the magnum!

Piùcinque Italian Gin (700ml)
Review Date: 01-09-2018
What intrigued me most about this Italian gin is the elegance and soft sense of presence it has from nose to palate. This not due to lack of flavor by any means! The gin is boosting with Italian botanicals- 10 in total, that create a unique and unmatched flavorful gin, but it is not overwhelming in its presence. It is clean, clear and comforting in it's perfect approachability. The use of bergamot gives you the freshness of lemon but the sweetness of orange while the addition of sage gives a slight savory herbal note. A wonderful gin to sip on it's own, mix with tonic, or create a wonderfully aromatic cocktail!
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Canard-Duchêne Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 10-06-2017
One of my favorite characteristics of great rosé Champagne is the complementing flavors of sweet red berries and minerality. The Canard-Duchene Rosé beautifully encompasses those classic qualities with a mixture of fresh strawberries and raspberries intertwined with limestone structure while keeping its personality with texture and floral character. Absolutely delicious.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Canard-Duchêne Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-06-2017
One of my favorite things about working at K&L is hanging out after close and drinking great champagne. The other night I had the pleasure of sharing a bottle of the Authentic Brut with my coworkers. It is fresh and textured with flavors of sweet meyer lemon and brioche. An undertone of dry stone and earth makes this a great (stinky) cheese or mushroom dish pairing (in my world, the stinkier the cheese the better!); and a long, refreshing finish keeps you going back for more!
Price: $37.99 Add To Cart

Laurent-Perrier "La Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-06-2017
Sometimes change it difficult, sometimes it is good, very good. The change we see from Laurent Perrier as their Brut label moves into their La Cuvee comes from the addition of Cote de Blanc vineyard sites to their already impressive holdings. The Cote de Blanc, located in the Marne, is known for growing almost exclusively Chardonnay and doing it well (as seen by the 6 Grand Cru villages!) With many options at their fingertips, LP decided to create the La Cuvee as their new entry level label with more, higher quality Chardonnay than the Brut and an extra six months on the lees to keep the texture we know and love. Elegant aromas of yellow apple and baking spice mirror that of the Brut while notes of sweet meyer lemon and hints of anise show this new label's complex nature. The grace and softness of palate from both the lees aging and blend of Pinot Noir and Muenier is not lost from the additional Chardonnay but a soft acidity lifts it slightly while carrying the wine to a long, delicate finish. And as always, Laurent Perrier is bringing all this at an incredible price!

Fallet-Dart "Cuvée de Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-10-2017
Most often Pinot Meunier is the backup dancer to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Champagne, but Fallet-Dart has taken the chance to bring it center stage in their Grand Reserve! I fell for PM-heavy Champagnes last year when I had one from Michel Loriot, and they continue to stun me with their suppleness, bold aromatics and concentration while still being fresh, long lived, and elegant. The Grand Reserve checks off all those desired characters and is extremely food-friendly. My fiance and I enjoyed this with a rotisserie chicken, fresh bread and cheese—absolutely delicious! It is weighted enough to stand up to the rich meal while the unanticipated acidity refreshes the palate. With that said, I think the wine is extremely versatile and could be paired with lighter dishes such as sautéed white fish with a white bean and tomato salad or even a grilled chicken salad. Either way, I will be drinking it again soon!
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart