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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!

A.D. Coutelas "Cuvée Louis Victor" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
I was surprised to see that I didn't already have a review for this wine since it is one of my favorite champagnes in the store! The first time I had this champagne was at a dinner with my coworkers. I was blown away by not only the story of the wine, but its concentration and complexity. I guess that is what happens when you have the best juice from over a decades worth of vintages in one barrel! While the texture screams aged champagne and some of the savory notes agree, there is a freshness that is describable.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

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!

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

Fallet-Dart "Clos du Mont" Brut Champagne (2004)
Review Date: 05-08-2018
In my review for the last bottling of the Clos du Mont, I mentioned that it was emailed before I was able to try it. A customer came to ask me questions about the wine and when I read the description Gary had written I fell in love with it before even trying. The last bottle was based on two great vintages, 1999 and 2002, this time is solely 2004. A fantastic vintage that was characterized by the dry winter and spring that brought ripeness and concentration to the grapes. The high amount of chardonnay has kept this wine vibrant, fresh and long on the finish. The barrel fermentation gives the wine it's spice and complexity while the outstanding 13 years on the lees gives nuance and texture you can't imagine. The nose is filled with limestone and each time I try this wine I am blown away by its subtle characters of this unique wine.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Baron-Fuenté "Grande Reserve" Brut Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 02-06-2018
There are many delicious Champagnes at $49, but there are very few in magnum at $49! Baron Fuente ages their magnum over a year longer than their 750s--which are aged twice as long as required--so you are getting a solid 4+ years of lees contact in the bottling. It has the same great richness and toasted brioche that we love from the 750, but being a larger format, that oxygen aging has been delayed. This brings a beautiful freshness and longevity to the wine and really makes the magnums ready for aging!

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: $34.99 Add To Cart

Piùcinque Gin 750ml
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: $39.99 Add To Cart

Gilbert Jacquesson "Cuvée Tradition" Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-05-2017
One of my favorite things about Meunier dominant Champanges is the depth, fullness and polish it adds to a wine. This brut from a new, all estate grown producer is 100% Meunier and brings that alluring full body character to the glass while inviting us into a complex, expansive and elegant experience with lots of fruit, spice and a touch of fresh earth. Another great Champagne to add to your collection!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Trudon "Rosephile" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 08-14-2017
If you've read some of my other reviews, you may have noticed my slight obsession with Meunier dominant champagne. I think the grape adds a little depth and suppleness to such high acid wines, but by no means has the driven, mouthwatering acidity been lost in the fineness of the Rosephile. More than half of the wine is from the tough, yet highly valued 2012 vintage mixed with reserve wine. It is concentrated and complex with an undertone of floral elements that interact ceremoniously with a chalky minerality that sticks to the back palate.
Price: $39.99 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 "Grande Sélection" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-13-2017
As my colleagues have said- this wine is all about the lees. 7 years give this wine an elegance of weight down the mid palate while the Pinot Noir dominance gives a tart fruit character. That small addition of high quality chardonnay brings bright meyer lemon flavor and enough acidity to keep the wine long lived on the palate. I can see this wine being extremely food friendly- a grilled swordfish or a baked chicken would be perfect pairings!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

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: $29.99 Add To Cart

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