Staff Favorites - Blake Conklin

Blake Conklin

Reviews

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2017 Abbazia di Novacella Schiava Alto Adige
Review Date: 10-19-2018
The Abbazia di Novacella Schiava may easily be the Italian Steal of the Century. Aromatic and complex, this blend reminds of Gamay if gamay wanted to be a little earthier. This is another wine I would love to add to an epic thanksgiving lineup. There's so much going on in this blend, that you're getting way more bang for your buck under 15 dollars.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2017 Torti Pinot Noir Pavia
Review Date: 10-19-2018
As a self proclaimed Pinotphile, I'm always on the hunt for a new pinot that's coming from another region or country that I don't tend to have much pinot from. The Torti from Italy is a fantastic buy, and it's such an easy sipper too. I can easily see this part of my lineup for a big thanksgiving haul. And for being under 15 dollars, you seriously can't go wrong... Worth a whirl in every sense of the word.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2009 Bellevue, St-Emilion
Review Date: 09-23-2018
While I had no reason to doubt this wine, I was pleasantly surprised at just how good it was. 2009 is definitely one of my favorite vintages, and with 9 years of bottle age, the Chateau Bellevue is easily an outstanding wine and a definite crowd pleaser under $100. This is definitely a Bordeaux blend I will be drinking when it gets closer to the holidays.

2017 Domaine la Clef du Récit Sancerre
Review Date: 09-20-2018
2017 for Sancerre is really starting to show nicely, and the new vintage of Domaine La Clef Du Recit is beyond exceptional. With a fine balance of minerality and acidity, it's never overbearingly flinty, or acidic. It hits the right notes sip after sip, and it reminds me of why I fell in love with Sancerre in the first place. Fantastic terroir, limestone soils, that's all I need.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

2016 Mas de Sainte Croix "Tendresse d'un Climat" Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Valréas
Review Date: 09-20-2018
Mas De Saint Croix will always have a special place in my heart, as it was one of the first direct imports I tried when I first started working at K&L and fell in love with. I mean high quality Cotes Du Rhone Villages for under 15 bucks, what's not to love? The 2015 vintage of Tendresse was fantastic, and the 2016 vintage is nothing short of fantastic. With savory notes of creamy licorice and strawberries, this bottle is a solid every day winner.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Sesta di Sopra Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 09-20-2018
Now here's a Rosso that stands out and feels like it's in a league of it's own. For real though, I never thought I'd find such a fantastic quality rosso, and it really shows in every sip, with it's chewy tannins, medium body, and various flavor for days. If you're already a fan of Sesta Di Sopra, you already know there is quality in this bottle.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

2016 Nicolas Idiart "1911" Vin de France Rouge
Review Date: 09-20-2018
For the price, and what you're getting, this bottle is fantastic! If you're looking for a very approachable easy going every day red for under 20, look no further. The vineyard all 14 varieties are sourced, is over 100 years old, and you could really taste the quality in this wine. Steal of the century, I think so...
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2016 Clos de l'Anhel "Lolo de l'Anhel" Corbieres
Review Date: 09-17-2018
The Lolo is back, bigger, and dare I say better? Clos De L'Anhel has always been one of my favorite producers as far as our French Regional direct imports go, and this bottle is such a fantastic deal, and the perfect gateway wine into getting yourself into what the Languedoc has to offer... Definitely worth every whirl and sip.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine Jean-Michel Giboulot Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-17-2018
When it comes to red burgundy for under $20, I don't think you will find a better bang for your buck. Easily drinkable with a subtle tangy finish, this bottle of pinot is an absolute blast. Treat yourself.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Fallet-Dart "Grande Sélection" Brut Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 09-11-2018
As far as our portfolio of direct imports go, I'm personally a huge fan of everything Fallet Dart has released, and the Grande Selection is definitely one of my all time favorites. If you need a good house champagne, look no further. Grande Selection delivers on so many levels. It's well balanced, the acidity is damn near perfect, and it has a nice toastiness to it like no other. Try it with pizza. Trust me.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine de l'Amandine Côtes du Rhône-Villages Seguret
Review Date: 08-29-2018
Being an avid buyer of Cotes Du Rhone Village blends for under 15 dollars, I had to get my hands on this particular blend as well. With 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache making up the blend, the Seguret is very approachable with enough structure, body, and fruit that make it an easy dinner wine. Definitely worth a whirl.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2013 Thistledown "The Great Escape" Chardonnay Adelaide Hills
Review Date: 08-23-2018
Now here's an outstanding value for the Chardonnay lover. With only a touch of 20% new French oak, and no secondary malolactic fermentation, the Thistledown prefers to focus on the acidic citrus notes that I tend to love in a Chardonnay. Not quite a Chablis, and definitely not a California chardonnay, the Thistledown is in a league of it's own, and it shows that the winemakers from down under clearly know what they're doing, and at an outstanding value.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2016 Fromm "La Strada" Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 08-22-2018
I never expected to enjoy the La Strada as much as I did. This clearly isn't your typical New Zealand sauvignon blanc... The flavor profile closely resembles a Sancerre, yet it has a personality of it's own... For under 20 dollars, you really can't go wrong with this one.

2017 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre
Review Date: 07-18-2018
To no surprise, the new vintage of Sancerre from Domaine Des Cotes Blanches is awesome. With what seems to be constant consistency, the 2017 has well balanced acidity, and a fine touch of minerality. While it would be a perfect summer sipper, I'm okay with drinking this year round and probably eating a butt load of oysters on the side. Definitely worth a whirl.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2016 GeorgeTown Pinot Noir Rosé Central Otago
Review Date: 07-12-2018
I poured this at a rose tasting recently, and this bottle was definitely pleaser with the crowd. Not only is the price point fantastic, but this is a great quality pinot noir rose for under 20 bones. It's crisp, the acidity is well balanced, and it's just a great bottle of sipping on a hot summer day.
Price: Hidden View Price

Mumford Brewing / Run the Jewels "Legend Has It" Dry Hopped Pilsner, California (16oz cans)
Review Date: 07-12-2018
As a big fan of RTJ and Pilsner beers in general, this beer was obviously right up my alley. However the flavor profile was more different than I expected, which isn't a bad thing. I'm generally more use to drinking pilsners from Germany, and this Pilsner is definitely a true California style pils, which is fine by me. Fantastic beer for the summer!
Price: $4.99 Add To Cart

2015 Lutum "Gap's Crown" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-12-2018
Being a fan of the Gap's Crown vineyard., I am happy to say I was extremely pleased with this chardonnay. A touch of oak and a touch of mild creaminess, the flavors are never fuller bodied than it needs to be, and to me, this is what California Chardonnay should taste like, not the oaky butter bombs that California tends to be known for. This beast is easily one of my favorite wines all year.
Price: $46.99 Add To Cart
VN 94 WE 93

2017 Palafox Rosé Baja California
Review Date: 07-05-2018
While this weird and unique rose may not be for everyone, I like weird stuff and I particularly really dug this bottle of Palafox from Baja California. The grape variety is 100% Mission varietal, which is the oldest cultivated grape in the Americas, if that alone doesn't peak your interests, I don't know what will. This wine definitely falls on a fuller body flavor profile, and the acidity is more mellow than most, the finish is a lot like a cider, and it definitely makes for a fascinating treat. If you want to try something off the beaten path, you should totally give this bottle a whirl. This is easily one of my favorite roses of 2018.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

2017 Stolpman "Para Maria" Santa Barbara County Rosé
Review Date: 07-04-2018
Now here's a rose that really threw me off guard. After reading the blend (50% syrah, 25% cabernet sauvignon, 25% cabernet franc) my expectations for this rose were really low. I was expecting a very bright fruit bomb with little character, but what I got was definitely more complex than my expectations. While there is a touch of fruit on the back of the palate, it's never overbearing, the acidity is well balanced, and overall, the Para Maria Rose is an easy sipper for a nice summer day.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2017 Veronique Anne Perret Vin de Savoie Apremont
Review Date: 06-21-2018
Another stellar vintage from one of my all time favorite white wines that we carry in the store. Floral and very aromatic, not only is this a fantastic wine for the summer, overall, it's a great treat to have all year long. Jacquère is very underrated, and I hope one day, more people will catch on to how delicious it makes a wine.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2017 Chateau Les Valentines "Le Caprice de Clementine" Cotes de Provence Rosé
Review Date: 06-21-2018
When it comes to a fantastic rose for under 20 bucks, the Le Caprice easily takes the cake for me... Crisp, elegant, bright acidity, this is definitely my first choice for a summer rose I should be drinking all day. Preferably in a swimming pool.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2013 Rymill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra South Australia
Review Date: 06-14-2018
There's a reason why Cabernet Sauvignon is the most planted varietal in the Coonawarra region of South Australia, and the Coonawarra Cabernet is beyond exceptional for the 20 dollar price point. The flavors of black currant and cherries leave on long lasting impression that keeps you asking for more... Could this cab be the steal of the century? I think so. :-)

2016 Clos du Gaimont Vouvray Sec
Review Date: 05-21-2018
When I first tasted this wine, I wasn't completely sure what to think of it, but with a reasonable amount of time, I revisited, and it has potential to be heavenly nectar from the gods... for only 16 bucks. The Clos Du Gaimont has fantastic subtle minerality, and perhaps maybe even a little bit of honeydew and mellow acidity on the palate.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
W&S 92 WE 91

2015 Guy Farge "Harmonie" Cornas
Review Date: 05-14-2018
I love Syrah. Especially Northern Rhone syrah... and the Guy Farge is very exceptional syrah. I've had more than several dozen wines from the 2015 vintage in the Rhone valley, and while I haven't had a bad bottle yet, there are definitely some I know will age beautifully within time. With proper decanting, or proper ageing, the Guy Farge can be an incredible bottle, and for a $40 dollar price point, it really is a steal, when you consider it being Northern Rhone. Here's a bottle for the Syrah lover.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JD 94 RP 91

2016 Les Terres Blanches "Ancestrale Blanc" Petillant Natural Brut (Natural)
Review Date: 05-14-2018
The Les Terres Blanches is a bottle of pure delicious funk, and I'm saying that in the best way possible. There's so many different flavors going on in this blend, and a beautiful chalky minerality as well. If you're looking for something different and want an awesome natural sparkling, I highly recommend this. This sparkling chenin blanc is definitely a game changer.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine de Pallus "Messanges" Chinon
Review Date: 05-04-2018
As I grow and continue to educate myself more about wines from the Loire Valley, I've come to realize that Chinon has to be one of my top favorite AOC's in the Loire and the Messanges from Domaine de Pallus is just another reminder of why I dig Chinon so much. With very fine pepper notes, well structured minerality, and solid acidity, this great bottle of cabernet franc is an absolute steal for under 20 bucks.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2014 Domaine de la Begude Bandol Rouge
Review Date: 04-30-2018
My relationship with Mourvèdre has always been an off again on again love affair. Some bottles I loved, and some bottles I loved more than others... the Domaine De La Begude is one of those bottles I loved more than others. Peppery, complex, and overall a perfect evening bottle among friends, this Bandol Rouge slays!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2015 Domaine Saint-Damien Côte du Rhône-Villages Plan de Dieu Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 03-15-2018
2015, Vieilles Vignes, Cote Du Rhone Villages, $16.99? Need I say more? In so many ways, this bottle can easily sell itself to any hardcore Rhone fan. I initially bought this to see if this could be a new every day red for me to keep in the house whenever I have guests over. After trying it out a couple nights ago after a really nice dinner date, I'm completely convinced this is the best quality Cote-Du-Rhone you can buy for under 20 bucks. With 80% Grenache and only 20% Mourvèdre, this blend is rustic, mildly fruit forward, and a crowd pleaser. Novices and Rhone fans will definitely enjoy :-)
Price: Hidden View Price
JD 90 RP 90

2016 Walsh & Sons "Felix" Syrah Margaret River
Review Date: 03-15-2018
While the label may look a little goofy, the Felix from Walsh & Sons is a serious bottle of wine. Peppery, lean, and packaged with a nice touch of old world flavor, the Felix is a great representation of what Maragaret River has to offer in the already rather complex world of Syrah.
Price: Hidden View Price

2013 Fable Mountain "Night Sky" GSM Coastal Region
Review Date: 03-15-2018
As most people know, I definitely have consumed a plethora of Rhone wines from all over the Rhone valley, if I haven't heard of or tried a particular village or appelation, I jump on it as soon as possible. The letters G, S, and M tend to be my favorites these days Wanting to switch things up for a bit, I decided to try Night Sky from Fable Mountain. I don't normally drink South African wine, but I figured, for 20 bucks, hey, why not? Let's do some exploring! If you're a fan of GSM blends coming from Paso Robles or even Santa Barbara County, the Night Sky from Fable Mountain is most likely up your ally. And at the price point we sell it at, it's a steal! This blend is a little more fruit forward than I expected, but it's extremely approachable, and I'm sure it will please the Novice wine drinker. Definitely worth a whirl.
Price: Hidden View Price
JS 90 VN 90

Compass Box "No Name" Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-08-2018
My first thought on No Name was simply: "Peaty AF" and if you're a big fan of smaller batch heavily peated Scotch, then this limited edition of Compass Box is one for you to definitely check out. A slow sipper, this bottle definitely packs a lot of heat, with extremely subtle flavors of fruity sweetness, and bonfires in Autumn on the nose, the No Name is definitely one complex bottle of scotch.
Price: Hidden View Price

2015 M et S Bouchet Grolleau "Fleur Bleue" VDF Rouge (Natural)
Review Date: 03-08-2018
The moment I found out that M & S Bouchet were one of the pioneers of biodynamic farming practices, I had to buy myself a bottle and check it out. I wasn't very familiar with the grape variety Grolleau, so I wasn't completely sure what I was getting myself into... If you're looking for more approachable lighter bodied reds from France, this bottle is right up your ally. This wine has spice, subtles flavors of cherry and little no influence of oak, thankfully because M & S Bouchet is known for letting their wine age in large neutral oak casks for several years. Definitely worth a whirl!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine de Courcel Pommard "Les Vaumuriens"
Review Date: 03-01-2018
After working in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast for several years, I felt like I knew everything about pinot, but of course, I was wrong. There's very few bottles I can call a game changer and the Pommard Les Vaumuriens from Domaine De Courcel is one of those bottles. Surprisingly more tannic than I would have expected, this is definitely a bottle I want to revisit in a couple more years and see just how much it will change. While it's completely rocking in flavor right now, I do feel like it needs some time. Definitely one worth cellaring.

2015 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Christophe" Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 02-12-2018
The Cuvee Christophe from Domaine Des Remizieres is one outstanding bottle of syrah. The flavor profile is dark fruited, robust, yet still kicking with a nice amount of acidity and structure. It's a perfect example of what syrah should taste like. Definitely worth a whirl, especially at the price point.

2016 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Christophe" Crozes-Hermitage Blanc
Review Date: 01-26-2018
Floral and slightly fruity on the nose, the Cuvée Christophe is well rounded, and perfectly balanced with great minerality and acidity. The 2016 vintage definitely carries the very essence of what a Rhone white should taste like. I couldn't help but think of how many oysters I wanted to eat with this wine. Here's to another fantastic year in the Rhone Valley with the 2016 vintage.

2016 Domaine de Marcoux Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 01-18-2018
Domaine De Marcoux is slowly turning into one of my favorite Southern Rhone producers, and their 2016 Cotes Du Rhone is an outstanding Southern Rhone blend. Mildly zesty, and subtle flavors of strawberry twizzlers on the palate, this wine delivers a good mouthfeel, mild tannins, and great structure. Dinner party wine for sure.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2010 Domaine Dugois Vin Jaune Arbois (620ml)
Review Date: 01-18-2018
If you're a lover of vin jaune (yellow wine) like myself, then you are definitely in for a treat with Domaine Dugois's 2010 Arbois Vin Jaune. Funky and all over the place, like any classic wine from Jura, this vin jaune is an untamed beast, and I mean that in the best way possible. The flavor profile is salty, mushroomy, and carries subtle notes of caramelized onions. If you love sherry or you're feeling adventurous, and want a fantastic funky white wine, this may be the wine for you.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Fallet-Dart "Grande Sélection" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-04-2018
As far as our portfolio of direct imports go, I'm personally a huge fan of everything Fallet Dart has released, and the Grande Selection is definitely one of my all time favorites. If you need a good house champagne, look no further. Grande Selection delivers on so many levels. It's well balanced, the acidity is damn near perfect, and it has a nice toastiness to it like no other. Try it with pizza. Trust me.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2015 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 01-04-2018
Every previous vintage of Patz & Hall I've had has always delivered on a level of consistency like no other, and the 2015 Sonoma Coast Pinot is no exception. This bottle delivers a bright level of acidity, and mellow subtleties of strawberry, raspberry and slight bell pepper. Did this wine go through a little bit a whole cluster fermentation? I'm not sure, but if it did, great! The 2015 Sonoma Coast Pinot is fantastic regardless.
Price: $39.95 Add To Cart
WE 93

2015 Domaine Lafage "Bastide Miraflors" Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 10-05-2017
I think I just found my new favorite every day drinking red. Seriously, the Bastide Miraflors is spectacular. The nose is packed with aromas of blueberry, cherries, and dark chocolate. The wine finishes smoothly with a great mouthfeel and well balanced acidity. For the $13 dollar price point we sell it, this blend of old vine Grenache and Syrah is definitely one of the best bangs for your buck that we have to offer. Trust me when I say you don't want to miss out on this one.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2014 Taken Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 09-28-2017
The 2014 Red Blend from Taken Wine Company is a bold, yet well balanced red with nice flavor profiles of dark stone fruit, and tobacco. The finish is smooth and velvety. A fantastic buy for the red blend lover.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2015 Shafer "Red Shoulder Ranch" Carneros Chardonnay
Review Date: 08-25-2017
For nearly four decades, Shafer has proven time and time again that it's quality over quantity. This Chardonnay is rich, well balanced, and filled with notes of apple, spice, and apricot. This is honestly one of the best quality California Chardonnays I've ever had.

2016 Pascal Berthier "Esprit de Séduction" Saint-Amour
Review Date: 08-18-2017
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This beaujolais is killer. Easy drinking, fruit forward, and best served chilled. This beaujolais makes a great party wine or even an every day night cap. I love this bottle.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
VN 91

Laurent-Perrier "La Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-11-2017
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Nice subtle sweetness, and overall a fun bottle of Champagne.

Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-10-2017
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Quite possibly the driest of the dry, I've had when it comes to champagne. The Ultra Brut from Laurent Perrier is unique in it's own right and worthy of a try to the Champagne lover.

Trudon "Rosephile" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 08-10-2017
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I love how this champagne is Pinot Meunier dominant, as I feel this bottle is a perfect expression of how tasty and greatly fruit forward this grape variety could be in a nice bottle of Champagne. Worth a try, especially if you're a single varietal nerd like myself.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Baron-Fuenté "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-10-2017
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You probably won't find a good quality champagne at this price anywhere else, and on top of that, this champagne is actually fantastic! You want to bring champagne to a party, celebration, or dinner party, but don't wanna spend more than 25 bucks? Then this is the champagne for you!
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JG 90

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-10-2017
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The primary presence of chardonnay leaves this champagne with a creamy texture, bright acidity and subtle flavors of apple and pear on the finish. I absolutely love this bottle, not only is it a great value for Champagne, it's also just a genuinely good bottle as well.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WS 90

2015 Domaine du Petit Coteau Vouvray Sec
Review Date: 08-03-2017
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Don't let the cartoony frogs on the label dissuade you. This Chenin Blanc from Vouvray is beyond exceptional. Crisp, clean, bright, and acidic, this Chenin makes a perfect summer white. You want a nice white to have with oysters? Look no further. This wine is great!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2016 Cicada by Chante Cigale Méditerranée
Review Date: 08-03-2017
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What a fun wine, and perfect price point for the every day consumer. This blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Carignan really shows just how tasty and easily approachable Rhone blends can be. Bring to a party, or share amongst friends, I'm sure no one will be disappointed.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$9.99

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