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Staff Favorites - William Beare

William Beare
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Reviews

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Tom's Foolery Cask Strength Single Barrel #121 Ohio Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 02-25-2019
Lift up a glass, inhale deeply, and first enter the wood-shop. Cedar and sandalwood come tumbling out, chased away by candied sugar, puff pastry and apricot jam. Now we're in the kitchen, foraging for treats, and as the whiskey hits the palate-- said treats are found. Some bitter candied citrus, and a dark chocolatey semi-sweetness give the whole thing a tangy-mole vibe (would likely pair well with a mole chicken burrito). Finishes long, and leaves the mouth fully coated. This is a unique, well-crafted Bourbon that should not be missed.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

Aberlour Casg Annamh "Batch #1" Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 02-25-2019
Such a great example of integrating different types of oak into one glorious whiskey. The sweetness of the Oloroso and the spicier, more savory elements from the American Oak marry well here. Sherry, candied nuts and winter spices on the nose, and on the palate lots of bracing wood kicks things into a higher gear. It certainly does not lack intensity, but has a gentle finish that brings you back in for more.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Tom's Foolery Bottled in Bond "K&L Custom Blend" Ohio Straight Applejack (750ml)
Review Date: 02-25-2019
This is a seriously good deal, for some seriously well-made applejack. Wonderfully rich and spicy on the nose, this is a full-bodied dram that leans towards the apple pie side of things, while being pleasantly dry on the back palate and finish. Tom's Foolery adds no sugar or color to their applejack, and distills each batch from several varieties of fresh, whole apple. The result is high-end appley goodness in a bottle that wont break the bank. One could come up with all sorts of amazing punches and cocktails with this, but at the moment I'm thoroughly enjoying drinking the stuff neat. If you need inspiration though, try this in a classic Jack Rose recipe.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Arkansas 21 Year Old Apple Brandy (750ml)
Review Date: 02-23-2019
The aromatics of this applejack are off-the-charts-fantastic. I want to put it into a dropper and use it as cologne. The French oak influence is incredibly elegant, wafting the crisp, concentrated, lively apple vapors into every corner of the sinuses, settling behind the cheekbones in truly enticing fashion. The palate is refined and subtle -- more like a fine Calvados than any applejack I've come across. The fruit is not over-powering, and the finish adds some bitter apple skin to contrast the tangy fruit in the nose.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart
WE 95

Laird's "Single Cask Selection" Barrel 14E15#1 Cask Strength Single Barrel Apple Brandy (750ml)
Review Date: 02-23-2019
Awesome single barrel selection! The arrival of these offerings from Laird was an unexpected surprise -- the classic Laird's is a constant bar staple for me, but I've never thought about what more might be out there. Well, now I have my answer, and consequently a recommendation to give: buy some. This was my favorite between the two, with a nose full of spicy clove, pepper, and baked apples and pears. There is a savory intensity, that of dried apple slices and sandalwood, both in the nose and palate. A very interesting and unique addition to a serious drinker's home collection. I would happily drink this straight, or in a simple, old-school cocktail.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Laird's "Single Cask Selection" Barrel 14E15#4 Cask Strength Single Barrel Apple Brandy (750ml)
Review Date: 02-23-2019
It's always amazing to me the stark differences between any two given single barrels. They are, for all intents and purposes, the same thing, aged in the same way, for the same amount of time in a space that might seem too small to have "micro climates" of any degree. But distilling is just as much sorcery as it is science, so I'll accept what I cannot fully understand and just get to drinking. The second barrel from Laird is higher-toned than #1, with a nose that shows a bit more of the alcohol, as well as some clean, cider aromatics. The palate though is richer, more viscous than #1, with less overall fruit and an awesomely dry finish that shows more wood influence than its companion.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

1988 Cambus 29 Year Old "Sovereign" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 02-22-2019
What a bright and lively nose for such an old-timer. There is a ton of tangy fruit and a spun-sugar sweetness hiding in the wings that come out quite a bit more noticeably after your nose has had a moment to adjust. There is also a savory edge to these candied qualities -- for which we can thank long and patient aging in refilled barrels (minimizing the influence of foreign flavors and preserving the personality of this unique whisky). Even the color shows restraint-- a pale gold the shade of honey-syrup. It is incredibly smooth on the palate, showing big ripe orange, and dries to a beautiful finish with mild, warming spices.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

1987 Invergordon 31 Year Old "Sovereign" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 02-22-2019
Incredible. Can't get enough! The nose is a big dollop of fresh, homemade, gooey caramel candy. So vividly so that my first inhale made my mouth water. Palate is very fruity, and a generous helping of sea salt that begins in the nose and continues through onto the tongue, joining the continued caramel candy profile. Those lightly saline notes in the nose are a consistent balancing agent for this scotch, it keeps the sugar and the fruit from overwhelming at all (much the way a good homemade caramel candy would). I wouldn't call this a "sweet" Scotch even though the nose is absolutely packed with beautiful creamy caramel and vanilla. Finish dries out really nicely. A very classy and elegant finish.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

1990 Port Dundas 28 Year Old "Sovereign" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 02-18-2019
Coconut cream pie with candied grapefruit peel! Big coconut on the nose, and the rich, slightly bitter candied grapefruit coming front-palate. I'm quite instantly captivated-- and I think I've found my favorite of our impressive selection of aged single grains. Every bit as smooth as it's cohorts, this expression has far less savory and woody traits, instead serving as an ode to tropical fruit (this would be a perfect whiskey to drink on a South-American beach). The finish is harmonious-- tied together nicely with some notes of red rooibos tea.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

1987 Strathclyde 30 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 02-16-2019
Have you ever had a friend in your life that just made you feel good? Full of optimism and affirmation? I sincerely hope that you have, because we should all get to have that experience. However-- if you haven't-- I offer this 30 year Strathclyde as a surrogate for that feeling. It's just so damn-well balanced. The nose is rich and warming, showing some savory cedar, some spice, and baked orchard fruit. The palate is remarkably light for a thirty-year spirit, but any flavors that might initially seem too hot or intense are smoothed out notes of browned-butter oatmeal cookie dough, leaving you with a pleasant little fire in the belly. Smashing value for what you get!
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart

2014 Saint Jean du Barroux "l'Argile" Ventoux
Review Date: 02-15-2019
A seriously well-made wine if I've ever had one. This cuvee from Saint Jean du Barroux is awesome-- both highly enjoyable to drink and incredibly complex. It is a wine deeply connected to it's place of birth-- Mont Ventoux, and to the clay soils upon which the grapes were grown. The nose is full of mineral and earthy fruit-- the sort of clean, pure smell that comes to a forest with the first few rains of spring. The palate is restrained, fruit balanced by pepper and another big dose of clay minerality on the finish. This could easily stand up to the old-school big boys of the southern Rhone. Great value!
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

1988 North British 30 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 02-11-2019
Have you ever been sprayed in the face with citrus oil? Neither have I. But I imagine it's an experience that shares a decent amount in common with putting your nose into a glass of this whiskey. It smells as though someone rubbed a generous piece of orange skin all around the edges of the glass. That bittersweet citrus quality mingles really well with big cedar-y spice, and the combination makes me think of orange-glazed savory foods cooking over an open fire (and of certain famous Patagonian chefs, but that might just be me). The palate is clean and bright for a 30 year whiskey, there is real elegance to the lighter, more floral flavors that balance and justify the sweet backbone of honey syrup.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart

2015 St. Jean du Barroux "La Source" Ventoux
Review Date: 02-11-2019
The cuvées of Saint Jean Du Barroux are each named after an element of the surrounding terroir-- whichever element winemaker Philippe Gimel feels is best represented in the given wine. "La Source" translates to "the spring," named not for the season but for the natural clean water springs around Mount Ventoux. As the aromatics hit you, this name feels apt-- there is a clean, mineral freshness to this wine that is immediately enticing. Fragrant flowers and herbs start to take over after an hour or so of decanting, and on the palate supple cherry and baking spice, and the finish brings back a heavy dose of the same sliced stone minerality that started the party. Killer value-- sure to impress!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
JD 93

Bapt & Clem 8 Year Old "Alcoholes Finos Dominicos" Dominican Rum Armagnac Finished (750ml)
Review Date: 02-08-2019
A marriage we all desperately needed but hadn't ever thought of before-- rum and ex-Armagnac casks! The nose on this spirit is utterly delicious( forgive my impartiality). It smells like clove, cardamom, cinnamon and ginger marinating in honey and orange blossom water. A few more inhales and creamy notes waft in, with softly savory sandalwood on the finish. The more rum-like flavors come in almost unexpectedly, adding a lot more soft summer fruit and smokey earth tones. All of the Bapt & Clem rums have aromatics that belie their palate-- the experimental nature of their production means that the spirits smell like things they aren't (by nature of the long journey they took to get where they are), and this is no exception.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Bapt & Clem 5 Year Old "Foursquare Distillery" Barbados Rum Finished at Darroze in Late Harvest Jurancon Barrels (750ml)
Review Date: 02-08-2019
One of the most unique rums on our shelves-- this Foursquare selection from Bapt & Clem has been on my mind ever since my first sip a few days ago. It is an awesome contradiction of terms. The nose is all Jurançon-- tropical notes of mango juice and slightly fermented pineapple, and initially I was worried about how sweet of a dram I was in for, but these are just the aromatics, and this rum can't wait to hit you with more. The youthful spirit retains energy and attitude-- balancing the tropical nose with a rich, earthy palate that finishes with an exotically oily texture and flashes of raw pink peppercorn (spice with a touch of tart red fruit).
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Bapt & Clem 12 Year Old "Savanna Distillery" Réunion Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 02-08-2019
It's painful learning about this historic distillery and the many transcendent products they put out as I drink through my first and likely my last little sample of Savanna's inimitable talent. This is some magical rum-- more like a sugarcane-based bourbon than any rum I have ever tasted. It is by pure coincidence though that the island used to be called "Île Bourbon--" for its integral role in the early Vanilla trade (the island is a bit south of Madagascar). There is serious complexity on display here, and phenomenal integration of the natural sweetness of the spirit and the savory influences of the barrel. The marriage of exotic agricole rum and ex-cognac barrels creates a spirit that embodies a hot summer night-- energetic, wild, perfumed with richly grassy notes, sweet on the front with a wonderfully dry finish.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

A.D. Coutelas "Cuvée Louis Victor" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-08-2019
This is such an interesting champagne. I don't know of a single other like it. The entire production comes out of one giant barrel. Each year, the best selections are added to it to replace what comes out-- so production is limited to 2,000 liters per year. How it manages to be one of our most affordable options in the store boggles my mind. It has a deep, sourdough bread richness, with notes of fresh green olive and white roses. The "Louis Victor" provides a refined, aged champagne-drinking experience (there is wine in the barrel as old as 2007), and it will only continue to evolve in the coming releases. This is a good NV to hold on to, carefully marking which year the bottles were released to taste them against the new.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

Laurent-Perrier "Cuvée Rosé" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 02-08-2019
I try to resist the big houses of champagne. I don't succeed very often. Products like this have me inevitably circling back. This is a phenomenal blend of sourced grapes from many different villages (though all grapes used are grand cru). 100% Pinot Noir, this champagne is like a fruit salad on a summers day. Refreshing and crisp, with heaps of strawberries, bing cherries and raspberries mid-palate and a drying finish.

Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 02-08-2019
A wine shop's best friend-- the Billecart Salmon Rose consistently defends its title as one of the best-selling products (not just within champagne) in any wine store. It is composed of all premier cru grapes-- 40% Pinot Noir, 40 Chardonnay and 20 Pinot Meunier, but the pretty light red hue comes not from controlled skin contact with the red grapes, but rather by blending Pinot Noir fully vinified red with the rest of the blend that sees zero skin contact. This Pinot Noir comes exclusively from one very old plot, meaning that the overall production of this wine is strictly capped. The result is a wonderfully complex nose with some earth as well as very elegant red fruit.

2011 Egrot (formerly Elisabeth Goutorbe) Grand Cru Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-08-2019
I love tasting so-called "off vintages" from producers so tuned in to their craft and to their vineyards that they are seemingly immune to these "off years." It confirms the soft voice in the back of my head that likes to doubt the major critics. "Trust your instincts and your palate," the voice says. And I encourage you to do the same. This is an awesome example of a more subdued champagne. Delicate fruit notes are teased out from a vintage that did not achieve high ripeness, the result is subtle cherry blossom and loquat fruit with a current of bright acid running underneath.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Egrot (formerly Elisabeth Goutorbe) Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-08-2019
The "brut" from Egrot could not be more different than the "extra brut," but for the fact that they are both very well-made champagnes. while the later sees long lees contact, the former is aged "sur lie" for even longer (over five years), expanding the toastiness and adding dark fruit character-- sweet cherry and black raspberry. A perfect party champagne-- this has clean and refreshing elements as well as a wonderful brioche richness that will suit any tastes.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Egrot (formerly Elisabeth Goutorbe) Extra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-08-2019
This is another producer whose pedigree for grape growing goes far beyond their own label. Egrot sells most of what they grow to larger producers, keeping a small amount for their own production. As is often the case in situations such as these (think Alexander Le Brun), the resulting wines are smashing values with true wine-making mastery behind them. The extra-brut is an excellent food-champagne. Dosed at two grams of sugar per liter, it is an honest-to-god extra brut-- no sweetness whatsoever, but a toasty richness from patient contact with the lees that rounds out the racey qualities. Loads of minerality. Begging for shellfish!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-08-2019
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 nuttiness (hazelnut and almond), 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. As our champagne buyer is fond of saying-- this is "crazy craft!" 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay & 15% Pinot Meunier.

Billecart-Salmon "Brut Réserve" Champagne
Review Date: 02-08-2019
A powerful champagne from a powerhouse producer! The Brut Reserve is incredibly consistent-- which makes a lot of sense given that they commit to using as much reserve wine as necessary (at times up to 50%) to create a steadily delicious product. It has incredible structure, a gorgeous nose of rich honey and fragrant white flowers, and a soft, elegant finish.

2012 Franck Bonville "Pur Oger" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 02-08-2019
These three single-village champagnes from Franck Bonville are such fabulous examples of how expressive terroir can be. The nose of the "Oger" takes me back to Grandma's lessons on peach cobbler. Crushed stone fruit and baking spices, citrus zest and sweet cream waft out in tantalizing fashion. This seems to be the richest of the three, but is not unbalanced in any way. This is a sultry champagne, it feels like it sashays across the palate before you quite have a chance to take it all in. There is a flash of grapefruit blossom on the finish.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart
RP 94 WE 93

2012 Franck Bonville "Pur Mesnil" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 02-08-2019
These three single-village champagnes from Franck Bonville are such fabulous examples of how expressive terroir can be. The "Mesnil" is a very impressive and unique cuvee-- unsurprising given that Mesnil-sur-Oger is inarguably one of the greatest chardonnay growing regions in all of champagne. The nose on this one is more restrained, with a very clean freshness, like the crisp smell of a snowy alpine morning. Then the fruit explodes onto the palate, expanding out to every corner-- powerful and direct. This shares the same lightly saline qualities as the "Avize" but here it comes across a bit more spicy, creating an exhilarating and long-lasting finish.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart
WE 94 RP 93

2012 Franck Bonville "Pur Avize" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 02-08-2019
These three single-village champagnes from Franck Bonville are such fabulous examples of how expressive terroir can be. The "Avize" bottling is one of the most elegant champagnes I have ever tasted. The nose is pure floral aromatics-- inhaling deeply feels like awakening springtime. Six years aging on cork gives it a richness that belies the extra brut classification. Sweet brine, nectar, and flower petals on the front end, and a beautifully mineral-laden finish. You'll want to buy these three as a set, but I think the "Avize" might be my favorite in a close race of phenomenal wines for texture alone-- it is one of the most lusciously creamy champagnes I've had the pleasure of tasting.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart
WE 94 RP 92

Michel Arnould "Reserve" Brut Verzenay Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
Pinot Noir grown on slopes that don't face south? How could it be? Maybe because an ancient meteor crashed into the hillside years ago, forever changing the soil composition to create ideal growing conditions. Probably because of a strange warm air current that winds around Arnould's slope and breathes life back in to fragile vines of Pinot Noir. The result is a very delicate blanc de noirs that doesn't feel as muscular as others, but still has all the elements that I love from red grape champagne. It retains brightness, while having wonderfully concentrated fruit and a rich nuttiness, and a core of strong acid that make it a great contender for a NV to put away for a bit of time.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

Baron-Fuenté "Esprit" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
Another absolutely smashing value from Baron Fuente- the undisputed king of the K&L direct import program. This champagne sees a full seven years on the lees- he honest and true way to obtain that ultra-classy texture most champagne drinkers associate with a very high price tag. The nose is wonderfully toasty, and reminds me of baked apple pastry in whole wheat pie crust. There is a soft beaded minerality to the finish, clean and creamy crushed rock balance out that rich fruit and dough beautifully.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 92 WE 91

Baron-Fuenté "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
Enough good things simply cannot be said about Baron Fuente. I first took home a bottle not long after starting with K&L to experiment with champagne cocktails. It seemed an easy choice-- being the most affordable champagne on a price/quality scale. I found a small panel of friends compassionate enough to sit down and accept free booze, and we began by tasting the champagne on its own before mixing. Not much was accomplished in the way of mixology that night-- because we all sat, gob-smacked, discussing the sheer elegance and drinkability of this top value bubbly. Candy apples, golden delicious cider, and a touch of wild sour-cane fill the nose and palate. And if this is a deal-- the magnum offering (priced with no large-format premium) is an absolute steal, and the clear choice for your next large gathering.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JG 90 W&S 90

Bapt & Clem 18 Year Old "Oliver and Oliver" Dominican Republic Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 02-05-2019
There is a wafting medicinal quality to this rum that I am becoming quickly obsessed with. Waxy, smoked honey aromas give way to earthy spice on the palate. This is a really elegant rum, and one that I think serious single-malt drinkers should take note of. The lack of any added sugar (happens in Rum more than you might like to know) leaves purer, more complex elements of the spirit open for appreciation-- exotically savory (almost nutty) qualities and generous fruit pick up weight through a long and satisfying finish.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2010 Caol Ila 8 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-29-2019
This Caol Ila bottling from Douglas Laing is a fun and refreshing change of pace from what I've come to expect from Caol Ila-- namely, the monstrously peaty reputation that precedes it. The nose is full of savory vegetal characteristics that follow on to the palate-- bell pepper both green and yellow spring to mind, along with some spicy sweet notes that remind me of a pepper-jelly. Very light traces of pear and smoke mingle on the finish.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2009 Talisker 8 Year Old "Old Particular - K&L Exclusive" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-29-2019
Step forward, and give yourself to the embrace of the ocean. Shake hands and mingle with Leviathans, Krakens and cthulus, while you share in this mystically wonderful sea-sprayed scotch. The nose of the 8 year Old Particular Talisker single barrel is a powerful melding of seaweed and pepper, with some rich, smoked fish pâté both on the nose and the edges of the palate. Touches of candied citrus rind (more bitter than sweet), with another big dose of smashed peppercorn on the finish. I love Talisker, and found this to be a serious treat, not to mention a re-affirmation of the truly special quality on display at this distillery.
Price: $72.99 Add To Cart

2016 Mas Karolina Côtes du Roussillon-Villages
Review Date: 01-25-2019
This is not a wine short on character! The Cotes du Roussillon AOC produces some spectacularly bold and spicy reds, and this 2016 release from Caroline Bonville (cousin of K&L champagne legend Olivier Bonville) does not break from this trend. The wine is aged for 12 months in barrels of varying sizes (3,4, and 500 liter), 15% new oak. Grapes are organically farmed and fertilized, on soils of red marl, granite, and schist. It's a big, layered wine with a good helping of vanilla and baking spice, great, earthy texture, and very silky tannin. Another great example of more modern wines coming out of the Languedoc-Roussillon. Long decant recommended.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

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

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.

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: Hidden View Price

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 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: Hidden View Price
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

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