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Staff Favorites - Joe Bruno

Joe Bruno


2016 Hartford Court Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-27-2018
A classic style from the folks at Hartford Court that will be sure to please the California Chardonnay palate and surprise the white Burgundy drinker. Aromas of lilies, baked orchard fruit, candied citrus, starfruit, and baking spice. Quite a precise nose. The palate exudes a richness that is expected, along with ripe golden apples, lemon peel, toast and brioche. While this wine is opulent, it is also incredibly fresh and lively on the palate. A pleasing minerality on the finish as well. This would be a fantastic choice for a California Chardonnay that is made quite classically but is vivacious and bright enough to attract fans of richer styles of white Burgundy.

2014 Cristom "Estate" Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-24-2018
One of my favorite Pinot Noirs I’ve had the chance of trying recently. Hailing from Oregon, the 2014 vintage was warmer than typical, and that is reflected in the aromas of the wine. Ripe berries and cherries are the first notes expressed. A bouquet of rose petal is also present on the back end. On the palate, the wine shows ripe red fruit, especially cherry, along with a firm structure that leads into silky tannins. All the while, there is a pleasant juiciness and bright acidity that cuts through the ripeness of the fruit. Hints of spice on the finish. A layered and complex Pinot Noir that while priced under-$40 drinks as if it were $50 or more

2009 La Rioja Alta "904" Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 07-24-2018
La Rioja Alta does it again with another spectacular offering, this time their ‘904’ bottling from the 2009 vintage. Classic aromas of dried cherries and leather, along with American oak bouquet of dill and vanilla. Great acidity on the palate, with a pleasant balance also between the tannin structure and fruit. Quite well integrated, this wine will continue to improve with cellar time, but at just shy of 10 years old, it is drinking nicely at the moment. A fantastic wine with a variety of food offerings. I would recommend this to go with lamb roast. Pork chops or game bird would be also great pairing options
Drink from 2019 to 2019

2016 Mas Codina Xarel-lo Penedes
Review Date: 07-24-2018
Mas Codina has become one of our favorite Spanish wine producers for sparkling wine here at K&L. Their new venture into red and white wines has proved to be hits as well. In particular, this Xarel-lo is in my opinion one of the best values that we are currently offering. The aromas initially are marked by minerally and chalky notes, followed by unripe orchard fruits and lemons. On the palate, unripe apple flavors play with notes of white flower, bitter almond, and citrus zest and pith. This wine’s structure, and especially its racy acidity, make it wine so particularly pleasing. One of the best white wines company-wide for under $20
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Frog's Leap "Estate" Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-07-2018
One of my favorite Cabernet Sauvignon wines in store, especially for under $50. Aromas of black currants, dried herbs, and barrel spice. On the palate, flavors of intense and layered dark fruits play with firm but silky tannins. Lovely Rutherford dust minerality on the finish as well. Tasting well now, but certainly will improve immensely with time. A true Napa Valley classic that possesses the power, finesse, and grace to last 20 years and further.
Price: $49.95 Add To Cart
VN 94 W&S 91

2016 Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel
Review Date: 07-07-2018
One of the best Zinfandels in store pound for pound. Aromas of ripe berries, plums, and dark cherries. The palate expresses quintessential ripe dark fruits and subtle stone fruits. Along with balanced acidity, this is everything you come to expect from Sonoma Zinfandel and done fantastically at such a great price.
Top Value!
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart
WS 93

2017 Zudugarai "Amats" Getariako Txakolina
Review Date: 06-25-2018
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A perennial favorite here at K&L, and back just in time for summer. Citrus and granny smith apple notes play with a salty sea breeze quality. On the palate, the wine is zesty and spritzy, perfect for any summer party. Lemon and grapefruit flavors are present along with mineral and savory tertiary characteristics. This is a quintessential seafood wine; try with oysters, clams, or mussels. And at a $15 price point? Easily one of our best values in store. Delicious!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Bodegas Abanico Hazaña Viñas Viejas Rioja
Review Date: 06-18-2018
Fantastic Rioja wine for the sub-$15 price point. Aromas of ripe dark and red cherries and spiced plums. Subtle oak spice notes as well, like vanilla. On the palate, wine is juicy and fresh, with great elevated acidity. An earthy component is present as well, nicely countering the dark fruit flavors on the finish. This Rioja packs quite the respective punch, and all for only $11? Estoy vendido!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
JD 91

2016 Castro Candaz "Finca El Curvado" Ribeira Sacra
Review Date: 06-18-2018
A delicious and unique offering from Ribeira Sacra. Fresh and bright on the nose, with aromas of plums, cherries, and berries. A bouquet of wild herbs and flowers, with a noted black pepper note. On the palate, the wine's freshness comes through again, with crunchy dark and red fruit at the forefront. The wine's elevated acid comes through, as does the granitic minerality. A great food wine as well; pairing nicely with various white meats and tomato-based dishes
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart
W&S 95 WS 92

2016 Castillo de Vinas Rosado Rioja
Review Date: 06-12-2018
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Recently had the pleasure of trying this wine. Easily one of our best rosé offerings in Spain, if not in the entire store. This clarete style of rosado has aromas of fresh red berries, blood orange, and melon. There is a saline and slightly toasty quality to the wine as well. Overall, quite clean and pretty on the nose. The palate is fresh, and juicy, with flavors of peaches and strawberries giving way to crisp, mineral flavors on the finish. While possessing more weight than some typical rosé wines, this rosado is both lively on the palate and quite refreshing. It can be enjoyed on its own or accompanied by a wide variety of food options. A truly versatile food wine with various Mediterranean cuisines, ranging from Spanish to Italian, French, or even Levantine. A fantastic rosado made in the classic Rioja style; two thumbs up!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Mas Codina Brut Rosé Cava Penedes
Review Date: 06-05-2018
This is one of our perennial favorites here at K&L. Due to the warm climate in Catalonia, the Pinot Noir grapes used in production are picked in early August to preserve the acidity and freshness of the wine. Light strawberry flavors and a crisp, mineral finish make this rosé bubbly hard to beat - and especially at the under-$15 price point! Enjoy on its own or with a wide array of cheeses and charcuterie
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2017 Vignoble Dragon Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire Rosé
Review Date: 05-30-2018
Another classic from the folks at Vignoble Dragon. Aromas of light red fruits like strawberry and watermelon. Hints of fresh cut herbs and flowers, like rosés and lilies. The palate expresses lean red fruit notes and possesses a fresh and crisp mouthfeel. Distinct minerality on the finish. One of my favorite provençal rosé wines in store
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2016 The Burn "Borne of Fire" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-27-2018
Easily one of the best red wine values in store at the moment. Lively aromas of mulberries and dark currants are accented by a nicely balanced palate. Not overly ripe, robust flavors of dark berries present, and silky tannins. A pleasant savory quality on the lengthy finish. A great introduction to Washington state Cabernet Sauvignon, and currently one of the best price points for domestic red wine in store
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 96 W&S 91

2015 Domaine Jean-Michel Giboulot Savigny-lès-Beaune
Review Date: 05-18-2018
One of the best value red Burgundies in store. Aromas of dried red fruits and earth. On the palate, cranberry and strawberry flavors, along with rocky mineral notes. There is a pleasant zippy acidity to the wine, making it very food friendly. Can be enjoyed on its own or with various culinary offerings like salmon or roast chicken
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2013 Maysara "Cyrus - Momtazi Vineyard" McMinnville Pinot Noir (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 05-06-2018
In my opinion, one of our best Pinot Noir offerings in store for under $30. Aromas of red cherries and dried raspberry intermingle with subtle and nuanced tertiary notes of soy sauce, leather saddle, dried flowers, and potpourri. The palate is juicy and possesses mid-palate weight that is complemented by relatively low alcohol. Flavors of dried red fruits like cherries come to the forefront along with savory notes of porcini mushrooms and an earthy minerality that lingers on the finish. Decant this wine for 30 minutes and this will shine beautifully as food pairing option for selections like duck confit or cedar plank salmon. Delicious!
Top Value!

2016 Brezo Mencía Bierzo
Review Date: 05-06-2018
I have always been a big fan of Mencía wines from Bierzo, and this offering from the producer Brezo furthers affirms that sentiment. Aromas of juicy, ripe berries on the nose, along with a classic bouquet of savory herbs and spices. On the palate, flavors of red berries, dark plum, and pomegranate are complemented by dried thyme and fresh cracked black pepper. The fresh, vibrant acidity and ripeness of fruit make this wine very drinkable on its own, or a perfect complement to everything from burgers, pizza, or grilled meats. A perfect choice to serve at your next dinner party or BBQ cookout!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2015 Telmo Rodriguez "Dehesa Gago" Toro
Review Date: 05-06-2018
A fun food wine from the Toro region in Spain. Layered aromas of black cherries, dates, figs, stewed plums, and vanilla spice. The palate proves to be dry, with flavors of blackberries and unripe pluots present. This is definitively a delicious wine to accompany your next weeknight meal, preferably one where roast pork loin is on the menu
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
JD 92

Caves Messias Santola "Crab Wine" Vinho Verde
Review Date: 04-30-2018
A light, fresh, and juicy white from Portugal that will be sure to please. Aromas of lemon, grapefruit, and orchard fruit. Hints of white flowers additionally. Flavors of bright citrus and green apple. I love the slight fizziness the wine exhibits as well. This is a summer-sipper staple; be sure to grab some for your next get together!
Top Value!
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart

2015 Smith Story "Pickberry Vineyard" Sonoma Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-27-2018
Initial aromas of cassis and blackberries, along with leather, lavender, and spice. There is also a distinct nose of eucalyptus and mint as well. On the palate, flavors of plums and blackberry once more are accented by clove and sage. The wine is pleasantly juicy and lively on the palate while also striking a balance with regards to the ABV. A fantastic option when looking for wines that are reminiscent of old-school California Cabernet Sauvignons.
Price: Hidden View Price
VN 95

2014 Bodegas LAN Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 04-08-2018
I had the pleasure of trying this wine last week and was quite impressed. Relative to the under-$15 price point, this wine delivers a great value for the quality of wine in bottle. Aromas ripe and dark fruits, along with a bouquet of old leather, sweet pipe tobacco, and dried dill. On the palate, this wine is light and fresh, with flavors of cherries, plums, and berries lingering on the finish. If you’re looking for a fresh and juicy Rioja that won’t break the bank, this is a great choice
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine des Rémizières Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 03-30-2018
A great Northern Rhône Syrah that delivers tremendous value. Aromas of dark fruits, pepper, violets, and baked earth. On the palate, rich, unctuous currants and blackberries move towards tart black cherry, soy sauce, and mineral notes. A marked spice note on the finish as well. While the fruit quality is ripe, there is a contrast against this with a pleasant freshness and silky tannin structure. This would be a nice choice with various food options, especially roasts. Fantastic quality with respect to the under-$20 price point
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2017 Marietta "Old Vine Rosé" California Rosé
Review Date: 03-26-2018
A bright and fresh rosé that strikes a lovely balance between ripeness of fruit and acidity. Sourced from old vine fruit across multiple California appellations, the varietals are composed of Syrah, Grenache, and Grenache Gris. Aromas are initially of lilies, peaches, red cherries, and light red fruits. On the palate, flavors of watermelon, fresh herbs, and mineral notes on the finish. Texturally, the wine is lifted by an elevated acidity that both crisp and refreshing but also accented by ripe red fruit notes. A truly delightfully fresh and vibrant wine that will be sure to be a customer favorite!
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
JD 90

2013 Site Wines "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Syrah Santa Maria Valley
Review Date: 03-04-2018
I am a huge fan of this wine. Aromas start right off with classic notes grilled dark fruits and black pepper. As you dive deeper, other notes reveal themselves like soy sauce, teriyaki, and sweet beef jerky. The palate, the aforementioned grilled dark fruits veer more towards a dried characteristic, along with a noted meaty, umami flavor as well. There is a distinct stony minerality that lingers on the finish additionally. This wine is both opulent but in balance. A great example of Central Coast Syrah
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
RP 94 VN 92

Billecart-Salmon "Sous Bois" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-13-2018
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I had the pleasure of trying this Champagne about a week ago along with a couple other Billecart-Salmon offerings. This was my favorite, for its inherent richness. The aroma was very reminiscent of a white Burgundy; dried orchard fruit, custard, and chalky minerality. On the palate, creamy fruit, lemon juice, and pear flavors play with an elegant toast and round mouthfeel. Acidity is still elevated; the chalkiness also comes through. This Champagne's power and balance come together wonderfully; worth every penny!

2014 Amapola Creek "Monte Rosso Vineyard" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 02-13-2018
A delicious Zinfandel that pays homage to California wines of old. Sourced from the Sonoma Valley Monte Rosso vineyard that is over 125 years old, the quality is thusly reflected in the wine. Aromas of berry medley, plum, peach preserves, and vanilla extract. On the palate, unripe peach, ripe pluots, boysenberry, black cherry, and bay leaf on the palate. Lighter and less weighty on the palate than other California Zinfandels I’ve tried recently. A fantastic option for grilled chicken and other light BBQ fare
Price: $34.95 Add To Cart
RP 94 JD 90

2014 Miguel Merino Mazuelo de Quinta Cruz Rioja
Review Date: 01-30-2018
A great example of a cool climate mazuelo (a.k.a. carignan / cariñena) from Spain. Both on the nose and on the palate, fresh, crunchy dark & red fruits are expressed; think plum and dark cherries. A hint of spice accents this quite nicely, as does the earthiness on the finish. A fantastic choice in a food pairing applications to accompany grilled fish or game meats
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2014 Viña Real Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 12-09-2017
This 2014 Crianza primarily consists of 90% Tempranillo, with the remaining 10% comprising of Garnacha, Graciano, and Mazuelo. The oak influence in this wine draws from multiple sources: the oak barrels used in fermentation are French Oak barrels and the barrels used in the 13-14 month aging process are American. Dominant fruit aromas of ripe blackberries and raspberries, macerated cherries, and plum. Bouquet of vanillas, balsamic, cedar, and dill. Warming spices as well, underlying. On the palate, dried berries and cherries play with a wonderful lively acidity. Tannins are there, but certainly not overwhelming. The mouthfeel and acidity lend it to being a great option with food pairings: think roast chicken and bell peppers or pork chops
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 VN 90

2011 Viña Real Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 12-04-2017
This wine stands out in the 2011 vintage with more liveliness and bright fruit than typically seen that growing season. An expansive nose of dark cherries, plum, and dates followed by caramel, oak barrels, and spice notes. The flavor profile on the palate evolves seamlessly with prunes, both dark and red cherries, and strawberries. Cocoa powder flavors play with silky tannins and the aforementioned elevated acidity. This wine is built for the long haul; drinking nicely now but another 4-6 years would put this in a really fun place. Pair with paella; preferably of the fennel sausage and rabbit variety!

2015 Cune Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 12-04-2017
An easy-going, tasty Crianza. Initial aromas of red cherries and plum, along with a bouquet of herbs, dust, and cedar. On the palate, a pleasant and lively elevated acidity, along with flavors of both dried and ripe cherries. Some plum and vanilla on the finish. A quintessential wine pairing with a plethora of various tapas choices; think Serrano ham or Manchego cheese
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

Valdespino "Tio Diego" Amontillado Jerez
Review Date: 12-01-2017
A classic and quintessential example of Amontillado sherry from the folks at Valdepsino. Tio Diego has quite an expansive nose, with aromas of bruised yellow apple, green fig, and preserved lemon. Equally as compelling is the bouquet of black walnut, bitter almond, burnt sugar, and oolong tea. On the palate, notes of dried orchard fruit, dried apricot, brazil nut, and toffee. There are both rich and saline notes that make it a perfect accompaniment to various food options. Would be perfect with whole grilled prawns, brick-cooked chicken, or even a Portuguese seafood stew

2016 Au Bon Climat/K&L Wine Merchants "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-28-2017
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Really, really impressed by this recent collaboration with Au Bon Climat. The grapes for this wine are sourced from the famed Bien Nacido vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley. After some time decanting (preferably at least 30 minutes), this wine shines with the best of what California Pinot Noir has to offer. Aromas of tart bing cherries and red currants are accented by a bouquet of mulling spices, wet leaves, and balsam fir. On the palate, tart cranberries, bright red cherries, pomegranate, and fresh herbs dance on the palate with a wonderfully pleasant elevated acidity and crunchy texture. This is showing exceptional right now, but an additional 2-5 years could put this wine in a really special place. A great food pairing option with cedar plank salmon
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Opus One Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 11-06-2017
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Another fantastic bottling from Opus One. I had the pleasure of trying the 2014 vintage at our Grand Domestic tasting this past Saturday. This was easily the dark horse winner of the ten wines we featured. Classic bouquet of black currant, plum, and dark cherry with subtler expressions of earth and graphite. The palate is where this wine really shines. Flavors of black currant are expressed once more, along with blackberry, savory qualities, clove, vanilla bean, and a touch of espresso. The tannins are silky and velvety; a luxurious mouthfeel all throughout. Decanting this wine will do wonders. Drinkable now; I would recommend holding for at least five more years. Will age gracefully for 20+ years

Miquel Pons Cava Brut Penedes
Review Date: 11-06-2017
Talk about a deal for the upcoming Holidays! Beautiful orchard fruit on the nose accompanied by notes of lilies and sea spray. On the palate, it checks all the boxes for quality sparkling: clean, ample fruit, and a dry, crisp finish. Notes of red delicious apple and pear play with a light brioche toast and saline qualities. Easily one of the best under-$10 sparkling we are currently offering company-wide
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2014 Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 08-07-2017
Rich and luscious are the first words that come to mind when trying this 2014 Pahlmeyer Bordeaux Blend. Consisting of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot in decreasing percentages, each harvested and vinified separately in more than 50 individual lots. This wine also sees 85% new French oak; a selection of Seguin Moreau Icone and Taransaud barrels. Initial aromas of ripe blackberry and dark cherry are followed by a bouquet of cigar, clove, and graphite. On the palate, intense black currant, dried dark fruit, and dark chocolate permeate through the finish along with silky tannins. This wine possesses both power and elegance

2005 Bodegas Puelles Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 06-09-2017
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Hailing from a great vintage in Rioja, this delivers a whole lot of wine for under $20. Prunes, tomato jam, blackberry, and cherry intermingle with hints of vanilla, leather and red licorice. Dried red fruit and lengthy, plush savory notes are accompanied by a long finish. Texturally, this wine is rich but possesses a lively acidity that dances on the palate. Complex as it is crowd pleasing, this wine is perfect for your next dinner party with friends and family.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

RP 90