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Staff Favorites - William Beare

William Beare
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Reviews

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George Dickel "K&L Exclusive" 9 Year Old Single Barrel #L8269K1006 Tennessee Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 01-19-2019
Sweet flower petals and potting soil. The nose of this bourbon definitely gave me flashbacks to tagging along with mom to the garden center where intoxicating smells abound. Rich peaty soils, chopped lumber, and fragrant floral notes swirl around my head as the whiskey swirls in the glass. On the palate, ultra-dark chocolate, softened by a creaminess that is surprisingly delicate after the intensity of the nose. There's fruitiness here too, like a spiced apple compote. Where many bourbons put me in mind of a rich desert, this one puts me in mind of a hearty breakfast. So...drink this for breakfast? Perhaps not. But I can't think of a better pairing than waffles for dinner and a nice dram of this single barrel.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

George Dickel "K&L Exclusive" 9 Year Old Single Barrel #L8263K1002 Tennessee Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 01-18-2019
Well coat me with sea salt and honey and call me "shortbread." This is some fine-drinking Bourbon. The nose is explosive, with a thread of saline, ocean brine cutting through the sinuses in more single-malt-fashion, bolstered by shortbread cookie and caramel candy (on the nose and palate). The first few moments of the palate keep up this fun whiskey-ruse, until the familiar bourbon qualities finally join the party. Chai spices start to emerge as the whiskey begins to feel more texturally complex (chewy, if you will). The finish is long, clean, and goes out on a savory, cedar note.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2015 Château du Hureau "Tuffe" Saumur-Champigny
Review Date: 01-18-2019
This is a beautifully brawny and bold. Strength and grace intermingle well in the world of Loire Valley Cabernet Franc, and this is no exception. The nose is an intense experience, bunches of earthy flowers give a rich perfume, followed up with a slow burning, peppery palate, and finished off with a sharp dose of the limestone minerality that gives the "Tuffe" its name.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
JG 92

Dérot-Delugny "Cuvée Fondateurs" Brut
Review Date: 01-12-2019
I refer to this champagne as "liquid silk." It is a texturally magnificent (and not to mention wildly unique) champagne, and the only of its kind that I have ever been able to get my hands on. And when it comes to champagne...I'm handsy. But even if you are not a hardcore collector of bubbles, this is not a bottle you want to miss. The nose is restrained and subtle, but take a moment to let it wash over you and you will be rewarded with vibrant waves of chalky mineral, tropical melon and tangerine. This wonderful panoply of flavors and smells carries through to the palate (joined by pineapple and papaya), earning the liquid silk nickname with an effortless mousse that slips across the tongue with cat-like grace. If you're quick enough to beat me to the punch-- I highly recommend stocking up.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine des Escaravailles "La Ponce" Rasteau
Review Date: 01-12-2019
One whiff and this wine clamors for your attention-- and deservedly so. Tapenade, pepper, and wild berry fruit tumble forth, with that fruit taking the lead onto the palate with a wonderful silky texture. Graphite and earth on the close, with some herbal qualities (sweet anise) that linger through the finish. Fantastically well-balanced for a sub $30 red!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JD 95 RP 93

2016 Guy Farge "Harmonie" Cornas
Review Date: 01-08-2019
The nose of this wine is powerful. Dark and brooding, like the cozy excitement of being inside during a crazy mountain storm-- wind whipping and branches scratching at the windows. This is a wine that sidles up to the drinker in seductive fashion, but it comes from a place of true wildness. That bewitching stranger at the bar you feel at once drawn to and wary of. On the front end, there is more bright fruit than the nose would suggest, lots of ripe tart cherry and blueberry, and there is some fantastic spice on the finish. I re-visited the '15 release recently for comparison-- the bacon fat and smoked meat elements from the previous vintage are extremely subtle (probably due to the perfect ripeness of the 2016 harvest disguising it), but will likely emerge more after a few years as the acid quiets. I am very excited to finish my first bottle with something rich and meaty, and even more excited to open the rest of them after a bit of time in the cellar.

2017 Domaine de la Janasse Cotes du Rhone Blanc
Review Date: 01-06-2019
Oh boy! This is some top value Southern Rhone white. The purity and elegance on display here puts me in mind more of Chateaneuf-du-Pape Blanc-- understandable since the winery also produces fabulous white and red C.d.P., and the grapes for the entry-level white are grown just a hair outside the Chateaneuf appellation. 50% Grenache Blanc, 15% each of Clairette and Bourboulenc, and 10% each of Viognier and Roussanne. The presence of the Viognier is kept wonderfully subtle-- waves of grapefruit oil and white flowers on the nose, but no bitterness on the palate. The soft sandy soils lend some background minerality to a palate full of creamy peaches and citrus. Clean, refreshing, and immensely drinkable, I would serve this up with some simple grilled trout with lemon and herbs.

2017 Fratelli Barale Langhe Nebbiolo
Review Date: 01-06-2019
I love this Langhe! It is an absolute steal for the price, and probably my favorite lighter-style Nebbiolo in the store right now. Grown organically on calcareous soils facing East for maximum daytime sun exposure. The result is a perfectly ripe Langhe with a powerfully perfumed nose, a graceful body full of red fruit, and earthy tobacco on the finish. The wine sees 12 months in large format european oak, but has fresher qualities more reminiscent of stainless steel Nebbiolo. A classic expression of the region in just about every way, and perfect as company to pizza, bolognese, or creamy risotto. Friendly and approachable now, but will keep for several more years.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2016 Grandes Serres "Carius" Cairanne
Review Date: 01-04-2019
Look up photos of the Cairanne village and try your best not to fall in love. This quaint little town on a hill is picturesque-- and produces some truly terrific wines to boot. The Grandes Serres is intense, yet friendly. Complex, yet approachable. Full of dark, rich fruit and touches of citrus up front, yet the finish is dominated finish by phenomenal pepper spice. Texturally smooth, with plush tannin. The balance and integration here between that fruit, spice, and oak is incredible for a 15 dollar Southern Rhone. I finished my first bottle as an accompaniment to Beef Bourguignon (as the back label of the wine suggests) and it was fabulous.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
DC 96

2015 Domaine Aubai Mema Grenache "Lunatico" Vin de France Rouge
Review Date: 12-16-2018
The nose captivates instantly, filled with strawberries, black raspberries, herbs, and sweet & spicy earth. Though only three years old, the wine sees two years in large french oak vats before release, giving it the qualities of a more refined, aged Grenache, with smoothed out tannin and well-integrated fruit. Grapes are hand-sorted, but not destemmed. The peppery, earthy qualities in the nose persist through the finish, providing a nice counter-point to the ample ripe fruit.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Pierre Mineral Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-16-2018
This wine should be a go to for crowd-pleasing, over-performing party bubbles. It far surpasses it's friendly price-point, and is incredibly well-balanced between refreshment and richness. The bottle I took home went down disappointingly quickly-- so maybe keep an extra bottle on hand! Acid is well controlled, there is bright lemon meringue and white peach on the palate, while the nose is filled with deliciously flowery aromatics.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

1984 Caol Ila 34 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-11-2018
Attention lovers of peat: line up and hold out your glasses! Drinking this beautifully aged Caol Ila is like stepping in to a meat smoker for a light nap. The age here is not so much adding the overt sweetness found in other well-matured peaters, but instead a savory, meaty richness to the healthy dose of smoke you get right at the front of the palate. The salinity comes in similar barbeque fashion-- like a salt-cured rack of pork ribs, lightly coated in a sweet and spicy honey glaze. In the typical line-up of Islay scotches, this Caol Ila stands out in a beacon of light. Fascinating, exotic, and deeply pleasing to drink.
Price: $375.00 Add To Cart

2016 Chateau de L'Ou "Infiniment" Côtes Catalanes Rouge
Review Date: 12-10-2018
What a fabulous winter-weather cuddle-buddy! This is a great bottle of Syrah that plays to both sides of the aisle. Sophisticated, yet friendly and inviting. Concentrated, without being weighty or sluggish. Right out of the gate big, bold layers of warming black fruit and clove spice burst forth. The pepper and earth that linger through the finish, however, will keep the more old-world Syrah enthusiasts engaged. An all-around crowd-pleaser at a great price.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JD 94

2015 Domaine de la Janasse Côtes-du-Rhône Reserve
Review Date: 12-07-2018
This is another absolutely smashing Rhone value! One of the most immediately engaging and pleasing Cotes-du-Rhones I have tried from the 2015 vintage (and if you've been drinking along with me-- you know this is saying A LOT). Right from the opening, this wine welcomes you with arms wide open. Creamy and silky-smooth on the palate, with an awesome bundle of sweet herbs on the finish. The fruit is dominated by fleshy, not-too-sweet strawberry (and a bit of tart cherry) with very light traces of that classic pepper. When that vibrant fruit and soft spice meet, it gives the impression of aerosolized strawberry-pepper preserve-- a beautiful mist you want to live and drink in forever. Grapes are all sourced from a single plot just East of Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
JD 92

2016 Château de L'Ou "Secret de Schistes" Côtes Catalanes
Review Date: 12-04-2018
My original draft of this review was simply the word "wow" jotted down on a piece of paper surrounded by telltale wine stains. I thought it might be prudent to add more specificity, but I maintain that "wow" is a very apt reaction. This is some seriously tasty old-world Syrah with a bit of new-world flair. The name literally translates to "Shale's Secret," an homage to the mineral-laden terroir. Vines grown on shale (or "schist") must work long and hard to dig through layers of the metamorphic rock, providing the structure and elegance on display here. Dusty and spicy in the nose with traces of leather and dark chocolate. On the palate the wine has incredible dimension, and has a long finish full of fragrant pepper and earth.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JD 95

2006 Glenturret 12 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-03-2018
This scotch is absolutely bursting with flavor. At under a hundred bucks you'd think this whiskey had something to prove-- so incredibly smooth and dark in color for it's fairly young age statement, proving once again that it is far more important what sort of barrel you choose than how long you leave the juice to rest. The nose on this is delightfully light and inviting (especially given that it's cask strength). Lots of savory wood flavors along with a very healthy dose of rancio sherry. The finish is dusted with a pinch of finely ground coffee and masala chai spice.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

2005 Highland Park 12 Year Old "K&L Exclusive" Refill Sherry Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-01-2018
Oh my goodness! I first put my nose near this fabulous nectar whilst in the middle of a conversation with a colleague. Mid-sentence, I simply stopped speaking, emitted a strange noise that came from somewhere deep within, and went in for another deep whiff. This is some damn fine scotch, deep and dark in both color and flavor. The sherry hogshead gave up all it had to give for this wickedly tasty single malt- imparting rich, savory, tangy flavors to a backbone of sweet maple. It clocks in at a devilish 129 proof, so consider adding a dash of spring water.
Price: $159.99 Add To Cart

2016 Malmont Côtes du Rhône Villages Séguret
Review Date: 12-01-2018
One of our more elegant Seguret options-- the Malmont bottling has a nose of fragrant flower petal, ground pepper and forest floor. It has considerably more depth than Malmont's basic Cotes du Rhone. Both have rich ripe fruit, but the Seguret balances that better against the more savory elements-- light traces of oak and just a whisper of smoke. After a significant decant, the fruit flavors soften and become creamier. Where the basic Cotes du Rhone showed cherry and cranberry, the Seguret is all ripe and ready raspberries. What a delight!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2015 Cave de Tain "Grand Classique" Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 12-01-2018
The most striking thing to me about this all-around superstar Crozes-Hermitage was the minerality. Soft white rock slices through the palate, so clean and well-balanced against a gorgeous bouquet of black and purple fruits, and a very rustic helping of savory toasted herbs and sweet spices. This was a joy to drink on its own, and took off running once I introduced some slow-cooked lamb shank to the party. Ready now, but will only improve over the coming years. Decant.

2017 Domaine de Bila Haut "Les Vignes de Bila Haut" Côtes du Rousillon Rouge
Review Date: 12-01-2018
The "Vignes de Bila Haut" comes to us from the Agly valley, grown on soils of gneiss and schist. Mainly Syrah and Grenache, and the remainder Carignane, grapes are hand-harvested, entirely de-stemmed, punched down, macerated 2-4 weeks and brought up in vats. Far more formidable than the price might suggest, this wine has serious dimension-- very velvety layers of dark fruit brightened by white pepper and herbs. A rich, medium-full body and a finish dominated by those herbal, more savory characters.

Old Forester K&L Exclusive Single Barrel #0755 (Warehouse H, Floor 7) Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-30-2018
Aromatic, spicy, with an awesome dry finish lacquered with delicious cedar richness and piney freshness. I want to put shoes on this whiskey and take it for a mountain hike. It drinks like a dream-- winter spice (clove and anise) on the nose, excellent texture on the palate, and a third act that cuts the sweetness in half and replaces it with dusty, earthy tones that bring this well-priced bourbon firmly into the big leagues.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Westland K&L Exclusive "#2479" Single PX Sherry Hogshead Single Cask Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-30-2018
This American Single Malt is so good I think I just felt an uncommon rush of patriotism. Could we as a country finally be entering the single-malt big leagues? Probably not. But Westland is! This does not feel in any way like a bastardization, nor does it feel like a lesser copy. This is something new. It is innovative-- but at the same time remains a whiskey that clearly respects its history. The first wave of flavor packs candied chestnuts, cigar box spice, and the exotically piquant elements we love sherry for bringing to the table. Lining that illustrious flavor-profile is the incredible aroma of the roasted malt, adding layers of chicory coffee and chocolate.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

Kilchoman "Machir Bay" K&L Exclusive Bottling Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-27-2018
It amazes me how such a slight edit to the cask influence can create such a different scotch!! I have long been a fan of the Machir Bay, and did not expect this exclusive bottling to have so much unique personality. The slight shift towards sherry influence in an otherwise bourbon-dominated finish brings so many exotic notes back to the table, while retaining the rich backbone of fruity & vanillin bourbon influence. Here the nutty, buttery texture shines much brighter, and the salty Islay sea-breeze wafts in to the picture. When I close my eyes I feel as though I'm in a Scottish barn with a peat fire burning outside. Still not for the faint of heart, this is a must-have for the serious peated whiskey aficionados who have come to share our love for Kilchoman. Slainte!
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine de la Réserve d'O "Hissez O" Terrasses du Larzac
Review Date: 11-27-2018
On the initial approach, the classic white pepper lights up the taste buds, followed by a helping of crushed wild strawberries and black fruit flavors. The nose is mostly garrigue-- keeping the spicy, fruity tastes to come a delightful surprise. The aromatics are transportive-- whisking you off to the stony, windswept plateaus and terraces of Larzac. Finishes long with very silky tannin and a touch of leather. And organic to boot!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
RP 92 - 94

2006 Croftengea 12 Year Old "Hepburn's Choice" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-26-2018
"Peat and roses!" It works as a description or an exclamation, and either would apply here. This is a surprisingly complex peated scotch right from the get-go. I always taste whiskey out of a wine glass so as not to leave any notes left behind-- but this can be tough with high proof peaters that breathe fire through the sinuses. With this beauty, the sting fades away after the first few breaths. It smells like a handful of smoky earth and fragrant flower petal. The taste is rich and full, without any overwhelmingly medicinal qualities (hard to find in a well-priced peated scotch). Instead, there are big savory doses of chipotle pepper and candied almonds hiding in the wings of each sip.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Aubaï Mema "Liverna" Gard Rouge
Review Date: 11-26-2018
Aubai Mema is a fascinating undertaking-- marrying old world techniques and truly ancient surroundings (settlements at Aubai pre-date the Roman Empire), with organic, new world farming practices and innovations to the regional blending styles. A unique combination of Cabernet Sauvignon (65%) Grenache (25%) and Carignane (10%), the wine unfolds quite a bit over the first few hours opened. It starts with very vibrant fleshy plum and a youthful energy that eventually matures into deeper aromatics and leathery tannin. The three grapes are vinified separately-- the Grenache and Carignan are de-stemmed but the Cabernet is left whole-cluster. I really enjoyed this wine, and plan to forget a few bottles for another year or so (though they might not make it before I drink them).
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

1995 Blair Athol 23 Year Old "Old Malt Cask" K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-25-2018
It's a cold and blustery evening here in Redwood City as I take my first few sips of the Blair Athol 23. The days are getting shorter, and the winds are picking up. But in a large, deep glass, just the nose on this feels like a space heater for my soul. There is a small handful of fire in each inhale, but such a seductive, sweet fire that you feel dared to keep breathing deeper. The palate is filled with sweet honeycomb wax-- unbelievably textural with a healthy dose of orange zest and a nutty finish. Well worth the price tag, and way too easy to drink for your own good.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine des Rémizières Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 11-25-2018
A super fresh, bright Crozes with an awesomely lively core of wild fruit, pepper and a hit of the bright minerality that is such a distinctive calling card for the region. The first inhale is full of that terroir--wet clay and limestone, morning dew and fresh herbs. On the palate, dark, lightly tart fruit and more fragrant herbs-- sweet sage and lavender, with some woody earth on the finish owing to the twelve months the wine spends in large oak foudres. A delicious Crozes that out-preforms its price point. Approachable and pleasing now, but could certainly be squirreled away for a few years for a bit more maturation.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2017 Château Saint Jacques d'Albas "Domaine d'Albas" Coteaux de Peyriac Blanc
Review Date: 11-24-2018
What a fabulous blend! I was immediately curious to try this as the blend is atypical (though promising), and oh boy did it deliver! The blend is 45% Vermentino, 45% Viognier, and 10% Roussanne. The Vermentino gives the whole package a light, fresh and crisp demeanor, and definitely takes first chair. But the presence of Viognier is what most impresses me-- and what elevates this into more serious wine. It adds a spice and textural richness that is incredibly well-integrated (Viognier can be a tricky collaborator). The Roussanne brings up the rear bringing creamy qualities that tone down the acidity. A multi-faceted wine at a stunning value.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

Savage & Cooke "Second Glance" K&L Exclusive Cask Strength American Whiskey
Review Date: 11-23-2018
‚ÄčThe nose on this whiskey is absolutely intoxicating, rich, sweet elements from the Zinfandel, light fruity and aromatic notes from the Grenache, and a zesty, vibrant core to keep things bright and in harmony. On the palate-- the first bundle of flavor lands with a shot of smokiness and a viscous texture, that then bursts open with sweet cream accents and a silky finish. This is high energy stuff, lively and fun. This is however a cask-strength expression, so a dash of water greatly aides the accessibility.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine de Bila Haut "L'Esquerda" Côtes de Roussillon-Villages Lesquerde (1.5L)
Review Date: 11-20-2018
This wine is a behemoth! And even better out of a magnum. Rich layers of black and purple fruits, sweet spice, and a heavy dose of tannin that grabs, grips, and takes you on a very pleasant ride. I tasted this wine several times over the course of 48 ours, and I kept proclaiming too early that the wine had hit it's peak. Flavors continue to evolve through the decanting process, giving this wine solid cellaring potential (at least 5 years). That being said, I certainly wouldn't say no to a glass now. Lots of earthy vanilla, wood tones, and a crazy long finish. Only 10% of the juice sees time in oak cask, which just makes the richness of the wine all the more impressive.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
RP 94 - 96

2008 Mortlach 10 Year Old "Signatory" K&L Exclusive 1st Fill Bourbon Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-19-2018
This scotch is nuts! And by that I mean it's amazing, and tastes like nuts. I get multiple kinds here-- toasted pine nuts and olive oil on the nose, with nutmeg and pecan pie on the palate, rounded out by some citrus patch aromas (the skin and the blossoms). There is a somewhat youthful spiciness lingering here, but the additions brought to the party by a first fill bourbon cask are on full display here, rounding out the heat and bringing everything to a very harmonious and smooth close.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

Ground Breaker Brewing (Gluten Free) "IPA No. 5" Dry Hopped IPA, Oregon (16oz) cans
Review Date: 11-19-2018
‚ÄčI was excited to try this new truly gluten free addition to the beer lineup, but I had my doubts. It's a difficult (and expensive) proposition to create such a product, which is why the category is largely underserved. On top of that, several beers geared towards the gluten free crowd offer "gluten removed--" which is different than truly gluten free, and leaves the Celiac afflicted still at risk for exposure to the gluten molecule. The Ground Breaker line is crafted in a dedicated gluten free facility with a creative mix of substitutions, and oh boy does it deliver! Rich copper color, pleasant malt sweetness that doesn't overpower the dry, light-hopped finish. A full bodied IPA that offers a genuine beer experience for the strictly gluten free.
Price: $3.49 Add To Cart

McKenzie Bottled-in-Bond Wheated Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 11-18-2018
"Why don't I drink more wheated Bourbon?" I ask myself, as I sit gleefully tasting this delicious spirit. The answer is complicated by brands like Pappy lending an unreasonable premium on anything in the category, but it does mean that talented distillers are doing fascinating things in the wheated style. The absence of rye in the mash leaves the corn a lot more room to shine through. Aromas of ground and roasted maize come tumbling forth, softened by creamy, almost butter-scotch like tones-- like moist cornbread and honey butter. The higher proof is perfect here-- it keeps the sweetness from overwhelming the panoply of complex cereal flavors.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2017 Guy Farge "Bouquet de Syrah" Ardeche Rouge
Review Date: 11-18-2018
This is a really fun bottle of Syrah. A perfect choice for the California drinker looking to explore some older-world styles of Syrah-- or for a longtime lover of the Northern Rhone looking for something fresh and easy for the dinner table. There is a unique interplay on the palate between the intense rich ripe qualities of the fruit that fill the nose, and the light, lifted freshness that first strikes the palate. Deep reddish purple color. A very smooth, all too-easy to drink wine with soft plum and cassis notes, with some ground green peppercorn and earth to balance the equation.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2010 Domaine de la Jaufrette Vacqueyras
Review Date: 11-18-2018
Far and away one of my favorite Vacqueyras offerings in the store right now, the 2010 Jaufrette is a stand out wine. It certainly doesn't hurt that the vintage was fabulous across the board for France, but the attention to detail here is not to be overlooked. This is a very mineral and terroir-driven Vacqueyras. The nose is filled with roasted herbs and light calfskin leather, showing all the rustic qualities expected from a region so heavily affected by the famous Mistral (the strong Mediterranean winds that blow through the Rhone valley). The finish is long, with bramble, pepper, and light touches of ripe raspberry. Wonderful now, but given the longevity of the vintage and the amount this wine opened up over 24 hours, I would be very interested to revisit a few years down the line.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

1997 Hector Macbeth (Glenfiddich) 21 Year Old "Hepburn's Choice" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-18-2018
Smells like it rained scotch all over my mom's nice flower patch. Read-- delicious! The nose on this beauty is packed with soft flowers, sweet, wet earth. I'm reminded of the rich smell of a garden nursery-- soft leathery smells marrying flower petal and earth aromas. On the palate, this is a creamy delight, with notes of soft caramel candy and saltwater taffy.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

1997 Macduff 21 Year Old "Hepburn's Choice" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-18-2018
The nose on this single malt is a new experience for me-- the familiar layers of sherry are bulked up by malty, sweet wood spice and loads of raw honey. Familiar flavors swap with exotic ones, and then back again. On the palate, it is a robustly smooth scotch, with controlled spiciness, mouth coating waxiness, with some elegant savory notes that show up late to the party-- but stick around for a long, obsession-inducing finish.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine la Garrigue "Cuvée Romaine" Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 11-13-2018
I first tasted this awesome little Rhone moments after the bottle was opened, and was immediately impressed. Over the following hour, it only gained more depth and character. The nose is an intensely herbal experience, brambley, with notes of black tea and wild mountain fruit. I smell breeze wafting through a dew-covered Southern Rhone countryside-- wet earth, fragrant sage and lavender. The finish is long and pleasing, with silky, well-integrated tannin. This is an absolute stunner for under 15, and a far more serious wine than your average entry-level Rhone blend.
Top Value!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
JD 93 RP 90

2014 Château Bouscassé Madiran
Review Date: 11-11-2018
This tannat-driven wine goes on for days. It has all the tanic intensity typical of a Madiran, but softened and balanced in this case by the presence of both varieties of Cabernet (20% apiece). The nose is dominated by dry earth, intoxicating and reminiscent of leather and old books. On the palate, considerable fruit lies waiting to reward the adventurous drinker who picks up a bottle-- rich plum and blackberry with a hit of coffee grounds on the finish. It has me wanting sweet glazed short ribs.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

Four Roses K&L Exclusive OBSQ (9 Years Old, 4 Months) Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 11-09-2018
This whiskey has a smoothness that defies any expectation you might have based on its high rye content (35% of the bill) and extra-potent ABV. The nose has some high-proof heat, but almost instantly gives way to a very flowery, earthy profile. Think rose petals in the dirty hands of a hard-worked farmer. That garden perfume is the main event here, balanced by some nice rye spiciness.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-09-2018
Oh, how I love Bollinger. It's like an old friend that I don't see often enough, and every time we reconnect all these wonderful memories come rushing back. A champagne for the lovers of the toasty, rich bubbles-- packed with honeyed brioche, warm hazelnut, and a long, refreshing finish. All of Bollinger's champagnes (regardless of format) are aged in magnum-- a pricey undertaking-- all in service of providing a truly luxurious drinking experience. 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay & 15% Pinot Meunier.

Louis Roederer "Brut Premier" Champagne
Review Date: 11-06-2018
A beautiful, textural, classic champagne for all audiences. Plenty of crisp refreshment, balanced by a rich, yeasty undercurrent from long, patient time spent aging on the lees. Organic and biodynamically farmed-- always good to see the big houses set precedent for such trends. Creamy and broad on the palate, with notes of lemon curd, and a pleasant mineral finish.

Laurent-Perrier "La Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-06-2018
Founded in 1812, the Laurent Perrier house has been a pioneer of the use of stainless steel in champagne production. For those who remember an era before the "La Cuvee" brand-- the differences in their entry-level release are subtle, but important. Six months was added to the lees time (for a glorious total of 42 months), in addition to moving the cepage towards Chardonnay (50 Chard, 30 Pinot Noir, and 20 Pinot Meunier). The final product has 9 grams per liter of residual sugar, and is phenomenally well-balanced, delightfully racy champagne. Traces of white peach, citrus blossoms, and sweet grapefruit peel.

1982 L'Encantada 35 Year Old "Del Cassou #187" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 11-06-2018
Hail to the chief! Tasting through the L'Encantada line is an exercise in accrued pleasure. Each one seems unbeatable until the next, and the ones that came before never lose their luster. By design, each Encantada Armagnac is a butterfly-- unique, captivating, and beautiful. The 35 year Del Cassou is as smooth as can be, showing no hint of the tannin that can sometimes overwhelm very old brandy (a product of successive cask ageing). The nose is full of flamed muscovado sugar, clove spice, with some light floral notes on the edges. It slides across the tongue in an almost sneaky fashion-- open, inviting, and dangerously easy to drink. A rich enough drinking experience for even the most die hard Cognac fan, but all the supple mellowness Armagnac lovers demand.
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart
Limit of 12 per customer

1997 L'Encantada 20 Year Old "Bellair #36" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 11-06-2018
Tasting l'Encantada Armagnac is always like a mini vacation for me. These spirits are so uniquely terroir driven and personality laden that each one takes you on a journey through the Gascony countryside. The Bellair '97 is an immediately friendly, warming presence-- the ABV hides subtly in a foundation of dank cedar aromatics. This quickly gives way to layers of waxy honey, candied orange peel, and almond. An Armagnac for those who like to stray away from the dessert-substitutes that often dominate Cognac and Armagnac selections. This is a bracing, fire-in-the-belly, sparring-partner of a digestive spirit with a deep, rich color that puts any artificially colored spirits to appropriate shame.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart
Limit of 12 per customer

1987 L'Encantada 30 Year Old "Del Cassou #14" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 11-06-2018
What a classic Armagnac!! And I'm still just smelling it. Nose of graham cracker pie crust, toasty, with malted honey and golden-delicious apple. Okay. I've tasted it now. Spoiler alert-- it holds up. The three decades of age are really showing on this beauty-- creating a more viscous texture that coats the mouth in a warm blanket of complex flavor. The first half of the experience is ultimate luxury, waves of soft, almost maple-ey caramelized sugar, but it shifts about mid-way through on the palate to pleasantly bitter apple skins and the rustic woodiness of the Gascony Oak casks used. This Armagnac would very much like to make friends with your finest cigar.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart
Limit of 12 per customer

2015 Domaine L'Ostal "Grand Vin" Minervois La Livinière
Review Date: 11-06-2018
This is a wonderfully bold Minervois-- the Syrah certainly steals the show with big doses of pepper, dark, richly tart fruit and mild hints of candied orange (blossom aromatics with a hint of bitter peel on the finish). The rest of the blend is Grenache, with Carignane and Mourvedre bringing up the rear. Tanins are strong but smooth, lasting well through the finish. A textural Languedoc blend that stand out from the pack. Try with pot roast and hearty root vegetables!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$19.99
WS 91

1990 L'Encantada 27 Year Old "Domaine le Parre #18" Tenarèze Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 11-05-2018
It breaks my heart to review something this delicious with the knowledge hanging over my head that each sip taken further depletes stores that will never again be replenished. The Parre estate saw its last distillation in 1995 (this offering is from 5 years previous), from vineyards that were made up of Baco and Ugni Blanc. The resulting 27 year old Armagnac is pure aromatic pleasure, from the nose all the way to the last lingering notes on the tongue. Fruity and spicy, it begins with a soft nose of citrus blossoms and a rich caramel that carries into the palate, joined by savory baking spices (cardamom and nutmeg). A gorgeous and delicate offering sure to impress you and any guests that might be lucky enough to share in it with you. At a steal of a price!
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine Clos de Sixte Lirac
Review Date: 11-04-2018
What a fresh little beauty!! Lirac has become a go to for me for "baby chateaneuf" offerings. They tend to be approachable young, full of bright red fruit backed up by sweet spice aromatics, and the 2016 Clos De Sixte is a perfect representation of that value (no real surprise there given the 2016 will go down in history as one of the greats). It is lighter in body than it's big brothers across the river, with a bit of crunch, plenty of pepper, and touches of savory, earthy cedar.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 JD 92

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