Staff Favorites - Anthony Russo

Anthony Russo

Reviews

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2016 Clos du Gaimont Vouvray Sec
Review Date: 05-21-2018
Vouvray can easily get quite expensive; this bottle makes for a fantastic stepping stone into the wonderful world of French Chenin Blanc! A pretty nose of honeyed table grape followed by a round, slightly oily, and wonderfully balanced palate, this wine is wildly versatile. It's got just the right amount of acidity to pair with slightly acidic foods without clashing. Or enjoy it by itself! The biggest sacrifice between this and a bottle that costs 3x more is a touch of mineraility... I'll take 3 of these over 1 of those all day.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
W&S 92 WE 91

Jefferson's "Special Wheated Mashbill" Ocean Voyage #15 Aged at Sea Very Small Batch Straight Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 05-21-2018
Been dreaming of a vacation? Maybe some sort of Caribbean cruise? Why spend thousands on tickets when you can get a little taste of the salty sea air, literally, with this fabulous whiskey. Jefferson's Ocean Voyage 15 is all you need for a little stay-cation. Almonds, vanilla, weathered wood, lemon peel, and, of course, delicious brine, all come through in full force on the nose. Smooth and round on the palate, beautifully balanced by a sharp edge, this bourbon feels alive on the taste buds. The wheated recipe, unique to this edition, make for a slightly fruitier and maltier flavor profile. As for the barrels themselves, they are stored on a ship, which exposes them to much more heat and movement (and salty sea air) than they would in a traditional, boring, and immobile warehouse. The result is increased wood to juice contact, creating a full-bodied gem worth going over-board about! And with almost 17 drinks worth in each bottle (according to the standard 1.5 oz shot), you can make the feeling of vacation last!
Price: $82.99 Add To Cart

2013 Castello di Bossi "Berardo" Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 05-14-2018
Depth and intensity of a high end Chianti Classico at a better price point. Deep black cherries, rich earth, and polished leather on the nose let you know instantly. This is a must try for Chianti lovers who want something to stock up on in order to both drink and age.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2015 Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 05-07-2018
Deep earth, black berries, plum, wood, and a touch of leather polish jump out on the nose. The palate is all elegance; the wine has good structure, but these components don't get in the way of all of the complexities. This is one bottle you can pop open and carefully sip and explore for hours.
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 VN 92

2015 Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico
Review Date: 05-07-2018
Bright, peppery "pop" of raspberry up front with a touch of candied fruit hiding just behind. The wine has a long, gentle finish that lets you really savor it for quite some time. The tannins are not very aggressive and give way to good acidic support.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2015 Villa Cerna "Primocolle" Chianti Classico
Review Date: 05-07-2018
Deeply peppery at first, which softens out as the wine receives a bit of air. Behind this spice is good layer of strawberry fruit. On the palate, you can taste a bit more of the oak again, softening the ripe tannins and revealing the good balance of acid. Medium finish.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

2015 La Fleur de Boüard, Lalande-de-Pomerol
Review Date: 05-07-2018
What an incredible Bordeaux at this price. Tons of roasted coffee grinds and chocolate on the nose to let you know you've got something special. The wine is a touch softer on the palate, revealing more typical dark fruits like plum. Although still young, the wine is incredibly drinkable. If you have the patience (or space), it will turn into something even more special.

2014 The Paring (Jonata) Red Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 05-07-2018
You know the wine will be awesome just from the aromas... Big name flavor at a fraction of the price, this blend is super well balanced. Big on the palate and seamless as it his the taste buds, a little bit of white pepper stands out to give a nod to those looking for "food friendly" options. Rounded and smooth, this is truly a great bottle. Get one to try and a case to lay down!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2016 Joël Taluau "Expression" Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil
Review Date: 04-23-2018
This is a pretty cool Cab Franc. The nose has much more intensity than the palate, which makes for such an interesting contrast. With a few sniffs, I got chocolate covered raspberries and a touch of rhubarb. On the taste buds, however, the wine is very medium bodied (more of what you'd expect out of the grape), and has just the right amount of tannin to uphold the fruit flavors without being crunchy.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2017 Julien Braud "Forty Ounce" Rosé (1L)
Review Date: 04-23-2018
Frequently, when something has a very cool, "novel" packaging, it is usually to make up for the lack of quality in a product. Not in this case, however. This is a fun bottling of rose that is equally delicious as it is playful. The nose and flavors are very Provence-esque (delicate, pretty, elegant) and the texture itself is very dry and serious. Is it super yummy? Yes. Can you serve it to guests and have a laugh at the packaging, yet truly enjoy the contents? Yes. Am I going to play Edward 40 Hands with it this summer? You bet.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2016 Jacky Preys "Cuvée de Fié Gris" Touraine Blanc Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 04-23-2018
If you're thinking "What the heck is Fie Gris?" don't worry, so was I. Turns out it is another name, often used in the Loire Valley, for Sauvignon Gris. Sauvignon Gris is what Smith Haut Laffite refers to as their "secret weapon." In a blend, this darker-skinned mutation of Sauvignon Blanc adds a little "wildness" to the flavors, a bit of grapeyness, and an intense perfume. Super delicious, but you've got to try it for yourself: intense nose, touch of grapey/leechee flavor, great texture, and perfect supporting acidity. This is a really cool wine to try different food pairings with since it has a similar profile to Sauvignon Blanc, but more texture and intensity.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2014 Charles Joguet "Les Varennes du Grand Clos" Chinon
Review Date: 04-15-2018
This is a bold cab franc, I like it. The nose is very serious, loaded with black cherries, black tea, and subtle touches of vanilla and coffee. The structure on the palate is what really caught me off-guard: all of the pieces that would make this wine age-able are there. Pre-loaded with almost 4 years already, this is the bottle of Chinon to open at dinner and "wow" your friends with.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart
W&S 94 WS 92

2014 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-12-2018
Although technically somewhat of a Bordeaux blend (touches of Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Cab Franc), this vintage of Freemark Abbey is amazingly balanced and shows all the beauty of a well made Napa cab. Clove, cocoa, tobacco, blackcurrant; the complexities go on and on and on. Almost 4 years old now, this bottle makes for something great to open with dinner tonight or to hold for years down the road.

Wathen’s Private Barrel #59 "K&L Exclusive" Single Barrel Straight Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2018
The smell reminds me of the crispy center of a Butterfinger bar: peanut-y, butter-y sweetness. Bright and high toned, this bourbon does not feel as "rich" as some others, great for people who want something more elegant than the more "syrupy" spirits. Add a bit of water and the nuttiness pops a bit more, making this super interesting bottle even more intriguing. Delicious!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Knob Creek K&L Exclusive Single Barrel #5851 Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 04-02-2018
A rye to be reckoned with. This barrel found a great balance of dry spice, proof, and texture. Not too sweet with lots of almond flavor, this would make an absolutely outstanding old fashion.
Price: $47.99 Add To Cart

Old Forester K&L Exclusive Single Barrel #3650 (7th Floor, Warehouse B) Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-02-2018
Old Forester magic striking gold again. More vanilla char/texturous aroma on this one, reminds me a bit of my favorite bourbon (it starts with a "B". Tons on burnt caramel. Initial brightness when it hits the taste buds softens into a pretty sweetness. Ninety proof, so totally drinkable neat. Love this.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2011 Bocale Sagrantino di Montefalco
Review Date: 03-24-2018
Fans of balanced Cali Cab look no further! Sometimes you try a wine and you can't help but blurt out "holy (..)!" This is one of those wines that is worth every penny, even in just aroma alone. The Sagrantino grape is pretty tannic, but all of the other attributes round it out beautifully. Lots of deep, brooding fruit in its depth. Ready to drink now or cellar-able.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Compass Box "No Name" Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-13-2018
Here we go, peatier than the Peat Monster. More like a citrus-y peatiness, like throwing an orange into a campfire. Fruity and oily on the palate with some good strength. This would be a great bottle for the fan of Compass Box or someone who swears by the traditional single malts and wants to try something new in the same style.
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart

Four Roses K&L Exclusive OESK (9 Years Old, 7 Months) Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 03-13-2018
The first of three bottles of the new single barrel batch and the lowest ABV, coming in at 55.5%. More floral than fruity on the nose, but the slightly spicy complexity from the yeast strain definitely kicks in and adds a nice touch. The palate is a bit more fruity. A splash of water really brings out the touch of rusticity as well as more banana, peach, and vanilla flavors.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

H by Hine Cognac (750ml)
Review Date: 03-05-2018
Dried raisin, vanilla, cherry, an absolutely gorgeous bouquet. Incredibly smooth, no heat at all, which allows the chocolate notes to go on, and on, and on...
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Nikka Coffey Still Japanese Grain Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-05-2018
Light and fruity, slight oily texture, like those fruit cocktail packs you used to get in your lunch in elementary school. A bit of red apple skin, incredibly smooth in the mouth, like a fluffy rum cake, but with a more whisky-like caramel sweetness. Delicious, an awesome intro to Japanese whisky.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WA 92 WE 90

Medley Bros. Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 03-05-2018
77% corn for great balance of sweetness and elegance, clove and butterscotch on the nose for rusticity. These guy source, but are extremely particular about what goes into their bottles. So much care is taken on these, the value to quality is extremely high. As far as the palate goes, it tastes just like it smells, classic, with a long and warm finish. Super versatile.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

Old Overholt Bottled In Bond Straight Rye Whiskey 750ml
Review Date: 03-05-2018
Heck yeah! A delicious, versatile, and AFFORDABLE rye to be taken seriously. Freshly baked sugar cookies, celery salt, kitchen herbs, and wintergreen on the nose. Great palate spice, very dry finish, makes a killer Old Fashioned. Trust me.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

Redemption Wheated Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 03-05-2018
Ideal for someone new to Bourbons or for the classic drinker who wants something a little more refreshing. Fresh cut flowers, under ripe bananas, a touch of vanilla, and orange zest on the nose. Soft sweetness on the palate, super smooth, like drinking a banana smoothie on a hot day. Love it.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

Lost Spirits "Abomination - The Sayers of the Law" Peated Malt Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 03-04-2018
Smells like someone just slapped some BBQ sauce on a charred piece of meat and shut the BBQ lid. So good. Pot pourri, freshly extinguished candle, toasted almonds, and good strength to keep the finish long and complex. For the fans of bigger, but not necessarily "juicier" spirits.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Writer's Tears Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 03-04-2018
An Irish whiskey that stands wayyy apart from the others. Surprisingly fruity and floral, like chewing on mango gum next to a bunch of sunflowers. Super smooth on the palate with hints of lemon rinds and apple cider. It even smells smooth with a touch of vanilla from the charred oak. Perfect for the bourbon drinker who wants to branch out or the casual drinker who wants to try something new.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Highland Park 17 Year "The Dark" Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-04-2018
For starters, its not THAT dark; don't expect the intense coffee/flat cola color of some heavily sherried whiskeys. What struck me was how nicely balanced the peat and sweetness factors were. Lots lf dried apricots and peaches soaking in a touch of salty brine. Very smooth, touch of delicious spice on the tongue, and an awesome, long, and complex roasted coffee bean finish. Impressive bottling.
Price: $259.99 Add To Cart

2015 Mount Veeder Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 03-04-2018
A killer Napa cab at a killer price. Good to go now with its ripe, juicy tannin, leather, and layers of tobacco notes. The density of the deep, dark fruit notes are mouthwatering. If you like cabs that have a personality and swagger, this is for you.
Price: $28.99 Add To Cart
VN 93 JD 90

2012 Baricci Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 03-03-2018
This Brunello is so unique and awesome. It wafts out of your glass with an intense smoked meat/beef jerky quality and an intense black cherry core. With lively tannins and a plummy finish, you'll definitely want some lamb or a steak.

El Tesoro "K&L Exclusive" Single Barrel #158 Reposado Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 02-28-2018
This is truly one of the most unique and delicious tequilas I've gotten to taste so far in my first year here at K and L. Since having access to a more curated selection, I've been obsessed with finding soulful, artisanal, aguave spirits and this bottle easily makes its way right into this category. What is remarkable here is the balance; a touch of spice, with the ageing process timed perfectly. The mellow barrel notes swoop right in to create a super smooth tequila. The grassy/citrus notes are just as delicate, making this sipper one to be best enjoyed on its own. Yet, at the price point, I wouldn't feel bad making a mean Margarita.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2010 Domaine de Montbourgeau Vin Jaune de l'Etoile (620ml)
Review Date: 02-26-2018
I wish I could post a photo of my handwritten tasting notes here so that people could see exactly how excited I was about this wine. A+. This is wildly delicious, a perfect example of how I want all my Vin Jaunes to taste. Super savory on the palate with brilliant salinity, this bottle is a little less nutty on the finish than some others I've had, but this comes with added "freshness" to the wine that makes it feel so balanced and tasty. I think this also opens up more pairing options as the wine isn't as extreme as some other Vin Jaunes can be.
Price: $76.99 Add To Cart
RP 97

2014 Galerie "Pleinair" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 02-26-2018
Of the two releases from Galerie, this is the bottle to put in the back of your cellar and revisit in 12 years' time. It is much more floral on the bouquet than the Knight's Valley with some dusty and bright aromas. The tannins are a touch grippier, making some bottle age beneficial to the juice. Grab 3 bottles: one to decant now, one to visit after a few years, and the last to open when you remember how much you liked the second bottle.

2014 Galerie "Latro" Knight's Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 02-26-2018
An awesome "drink now" (or soon) bottle from one of my favorite AVA's. It is Knight's Valley at it's finest: a peppery and concentrated cassis core, with dark berry notes. 2014 is, as I'm writing this, almost 4 years old, but what really makes this wine so drinkable are the juicy, chewy, ripe and silky tannins. Grab a big 'ol burrito from your local taco truck and pour yourself a tall glass of this.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

Springbank 10 Year Old Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 02-26-2018
The younger aged statement of my absolute favorite whisky, the 10 year shows a mind-boggling amount of flavor that'll make your head spin in delight. Super complex, everything in harmony in balance, and you can truly taste everything down to the malty goodness. This age statement feels a bit briny-er than the 15, with a bit more of an orange zest and tropical hue to it. Super smooth, medium-rich texture, like a mouthful of sunshine. No wonder people cant decided between the 10 and the 15...
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2016 Chateau Vitallis Macon-Fuissé
Review Date: 02-21-2018
Mouthwatering acidity, honeyed/spicy fruit, mineral driven, with just a tiny, subtle touch of light oak. This estate is known for its old vines, some well over 65 years old. The vineyards sit 750-900 ft above sea level, allowing the grapes to retain acidity, aroma, and freshness. Stainless steel fermented and aged in a mix of old and new oak barrels, but always as a light touch. Great Chardonnay!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2014 Banshee Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 02-20-2018
A heavyweight Napa cab at an outstanding price. The fruit is sourced from Howell Mountain (brightness, minerality), Calistoga (distinct aromas), St. Helena (fleshy texture), and Rutherford (depth of flavor), which are some of the most sought-after regions in Napa. It is rich with blackberries and cassis, so make sure to decant it for a couple of hours and watch it unfold. Cellar it for up to 20 years, so brag a few!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
W&S 90

Montechiara Prosecco
Review Date: 02-20-2018
The perfect bubbles to pop for any occasion without breaking the budget. "Extra Dry" is the minimum level of dosage to create the secondary fermentation, so no excess sweetness on this Prosecco. Fresh fruit flavors, zippy acid, and a dry mouthfeel, what more could you want for the price?
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2009 Valentons Canteloup "Cuvée Excentrique" Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 02-20-2018
Easily (in my opinion) the best sub $20 Bordeaux I've tasted so far. The label itself could use a bit of work, but as soon as you taste the juice, you quickly forget about the cosmetics and focus on how the flavors speak so much louder than the price point. Its classic Bordeaux spice and woody notes stand out on the nose and the palate is simply covered in light fruit teamed up with earthy/savoury-ness. Awesome vintage, awesome wine.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Andrew Murray "Tous les Jours" Santa Ynez Valley Syrah
Review Date: 02-20-2018
An affordable and complex wine for any weeknight's meal, the Andrew Murray "Tous Les Jours" Syrah packs a lot of complexities in a small price point. Black and red cherries, plums, and mulberries make up most of the bouquet. On the palate, the wine has a slightly chewy texture, a touch of Earthy black fruit, and leans toward the fuller bodied side.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2013 Bersano "Mantico" Barbaresco
Review Date: 01-31-2018
If you're looking for something fantastic to have with your pasta/risotto tonight or diving into the world of Barbaresco/Barolo, make this your first stop. A great expression of Nebbiolo that gives you an idea of what the region is all about, but in a more "ready to drink" style. A touch juicier, but with all of the structure Barbaresco is known for.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 JS 90

2013 Silverado Vineyards Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 01-24-2018
Glad to see another well made and super interesting Napa Cab come in at under $40! Toasted mocha, burnt caramel, and chewy tannins give this wine tons of complex, interesting, and satisfying flavor and mouth feel. The acidity is balanced, making this a perfect dinner pairing for a protein, especially one covered in a sweeter sauce, whether it be BBQ or fruit-based.

2014 Bonny Doon "A Proper Claret" Red Blend
Review Date: 01-16-2018
This is going to be a knockout with K&L fans; highly regarded by Wine Enthusiast with the quality to show for. The fruit make up on the nose along with the woodsy spice is very reminiscent of Bordeaux, but with a California touch. On the palate, the core shows beautifully and is very well balanced with a good support of acid and supple texture from the soft tannins. Full bodied, good fruit, lots of complexity, and, again, incredibly well balanced.
Price: Hidden View Price
JS 90

2015 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 01-10-2018
For fans of Aubert who want to spend a fraction of the money! Seamless, round and ripe fruit glide right along the palate. Cherries, cola, and a touch of stone make this Pinot very Burgundian at heart, but with a California flare. Grab a bunch and put it away; the core of flavor will be amazing in 5-8 years.
Price: $36.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2016 Stolpman "Para Maria" Santa Barbara County Red Blend
Review Date: 01-10-2018
Deep purple color and sleek, ripe, purple fruit greet the nose with a slight rustic prickle. Just the right amount of richness on the palate with a touch of tannic grip and lively acidity. This is a wonderful wine with loads of character for a great price; no wonder it made the Wine Enthusiast's "Top 100" list.

2014 Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva
Review Date: 01-09-2018
Warm, baked fruit paired with soft and supple tannins make this an easy week night drinker. The solid structure will go along with a lot of different meal pairings, so grab some pizza and enjoy!
Price: $8.95 Add To Cart

2014 Barter & Trade Red Mountain Merlot
Review Date: 01-09-2018
Deep and fleshy dark fruits alongside warm cocoa and a hint of vanilla is sure to reel in anybody looking for a bold wine. The palate shows come roasted coffee, a touch of anise, and a long, complex, and interesting finish. Before i knew the price, i pinned it to be a higher price point.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2014 Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 01-06-2018
Best winery in Napa, year after year, and this is yet another perfect example as to why. Energetic aromas of plum, wild blackcurrant, pencil shavings, and mint jump out of the glass. On the palate, this Cabernet has plenty of structure: balanced acid, ripe tannins, and lively, but not forward, fruit flavors. All crucial parts of the equation that lead to a beautiful, balanced wine with lots of terroir that will age delicately. All this for one of the more competitive prices for the area.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
VN 92

2015 Yves Cheron "Les Dentelles" Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 01-03-2018
Delicious aromas of soft, bruised fruit with a violet edge, this wine has great concentration and a lot of flavor without being too heavy. I would consider this wine to have a touch more body than a lot of catch-all Cotes-du-Rhones, which makes it super fun and versatile.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

FiftyFifty Brewing Company "Session 267" IPA, California (16oz cans)
Review Date: 12-30-2017
Light citrus burst on the aroma and gentle bitterness on the palate with a medium mouthfeel. At 4.7%, this is easily my new go-to for "more than 1 or 2 in a sitting." Finally, a flavorful Session for the session.
Price: $3.49 Add To Cart

Modern Times "City of the Sun" IPA, California (16oz cans)
Review Date: 12-30-2017
Such a solid IPA when the craving strikes. Medium bitterness and the weight falls somewhere in between and East and West coast IPA. Very crowd friendly.
Price: $2.79 Add To Cart

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