Staff Favorites - Chris DePaoli

Chris DePaoli


Ariston Aspasie "Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-18-2020
Warm candied oranges and fresh herbal notes make this an incredibly delicious wine that keeps you coming back for another taste. I've always loved how the greatest champagnes are process driven, and in the Aspasie Reserve you can taste the level of effort five years on the lees gets you. Yet another overachieving bottle of champagne we're directly importing; and while I love the high end bubbles of the world as much as the next person, it's so easy to forget how good these bottle can be when you look at their crazy low prices.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2018 Mt. Beautiful "12 Barrels" Sauvignon Blanc North Canterbury
Review Date: 10-19-2020
Incredible Sauvignon Blanc. Layered complexity lent by a carefully curated oak treatment offers an extraordinary nuance to this world-class bottle. Elegant and poised with the warmth and roundness of the barrel nicely integrated, this has the classic Waipara flavors pushed into a Bordeaux style body. Less tropically fruit driven than most New Zealand Sauv Blanc with an awesome orange-mango finish. Excellent.

Baron-Fuenté "Esprit" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-11-2020
This stuff is bomb. I like to tell people I'm drinking more champagne recently, but I'm really just drinking more Baron-Fuente, and this offering, aged seven full years on the lees, is my favorite of the bunch. A rich and incredibly creamy texture that carries almond cherry danish notes over lemon meringue and dusty minerality that begs you to keep drinking it. Valentine's Day is almost here, and if you already splurged on the other trappings here's a relatively affordable option that can hang with the best of them. Absolutely Fire.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Baron-Fuenté "Esprit" Brut Nature Champagne
Review Date: 02-11-2020
The no-dosage version of a K&L benchmark, the brut nature is certainly a little racier than its full dosage partner, but has a great weight and zest to it that is perfect for shellfish or most other seafood. The Lemon meringue notes with a touch of brine and a killer mouthwatering finish also match the classic fried food pairing wonderfully as well

Baron-Fuenté "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-11-2020
Putting the grand in "Grande Reserve," this is dollar for dollar one of the best value bottles we carry, not just within champagne, but K&L as a whole. The low price doesn't do justice to how good this stuff is, with broadening orchard fruit and limestone backed with Scarborough fair notes and a touch of Sandalwood. As appealing a party bubble as it is at the cost, don't avoid sitting with it for a while, as it opens up more and more as you look for more complexity.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Egrot Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-26-2019
I'm a big fan of this producer, mostly for making classic champagne with just a touch of novelty. Much in the vein of Bollinger, this is a Pinot Noir heavy cuvee and shows it in a bing cherry nose and muted raspberry. The fun part is that oft-mentioned chalkiness though, uncharacteristic for Pinot vineyards in Champagne, shows up in a big way midway through the palate and doesn't leave through the long complex finish. Solid Juice.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Trudon "Cuvée Magnificence" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-18-2019
Cream and strawberries and dough and lilac and apple pie all mixed together in a behemoth of a champagne. As rich of wine as I tasted that day, but with an incredibly interesting undercurrent of flavor that keeps developing long after you empty the glass. I'm a big fan of Trudon and this is another reason why.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Trudon "Emblematis" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-18-2019
I would have no idea that this bottle was mostly Meunier if I wasn't told, even after tasting it a second time; with so many fun, fruit-forward notes it's hard to pick out the subtle umami, mushroom give away. A deep, rich bottle of wine, with a good zip on the finish, this is tee-d up for a delicious food pairing.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club


Lanson Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 10-15-2019
A fuller, warmer wine than the exceptional "Black Label," Lanson it shares a blend with, this is a heaping offering of dried red fruit and macadamia nut with a beam of minearlity carried through the whole. An incredibly fun bottle of wine.

Lanson "Black Label" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-15-2019
A house that is just finding its groove again, The full Lanson lineup is full of killer juice and the "Black Label," cuvee is no exception. This is a clean, presise drink that's full of plusher doughy notes underneath the great acidity. An aperitivo extraordinaire, this is a great production from a historic house.

Alexandre Le Brun "Tradition" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-10-2019
This is a great bottling of Champagne that is a go-to for a mixed group. It's big and rich enough to hold up to food and pretty enough to drink alone. The perfect split of one third each Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier offers a cool comparative option for people exploring champagne styles and the price point we secure by bringing in this producer ourselves allows it to outperform all expectation.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Fallet-Dart "Grande Sélection" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-07-2019
In Champagne, the law of the land processes and a systematic 7 years aging period lets the maddeningly beautiful Pinot Noir heavy Cuvee showcase wonderful toastiness. The palette of poppyseed and plum skin is carried thru a wonderfully soft mouthfeel, only matched but a lightly sweet nose. A great bottle of bubbles at any price really but one that is ridiculous at the cost.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Inverroche "Classic" Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 04-27-2019
A fantastic bottle of gin, the "Classic" offering from Inverroche doesn't lean to heavily into its designation, with spectacular results. Bright, floral notes bracing in a clean citrus beam that goes in and around the background juniper makes this a super cool G&T candidate, but also something that a cocktail aficionado could really sink their teeth into. The limestone region the botanicals are sourced from isn't super prevalent, but does lend a curious finish that is one of my favorite components of this bottling.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2016 La Tour Léognan (Carbonnieux), Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 03-02-2019
Coco, Creme de Cassis and crushed stone bound together with finesse, going long and broadening outward as the finish progresses. Top producers make top wine, and the second wine of a great producer for 20 bucks is a steal. I've had this wine with food, but also just paired with conversation and it performed admirably in both roles. One of my favorite wines in the store for easy nights in, it's easily a by-the-case candidate.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

Laurent-Perrier "Cuvée Rosé" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 02-08-2019
A fantastic wine, gorgeously presented by a house that was established before the industrial revolution will always have a place in this world, and Laurent-Perrier's "Cuvée Rosé" is no exception. Luxuriously rich, with strong fruit notes on the nose and a light spice wrapped in creme on the palate, this is a bubbly rose for the special occasion. Pairs wonderfully with food and is a great remedy for the early spring chill!

Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-08-2019
At the moment Bollinger is my favorite big house and the non-vintage "Special Cuvee" is a big part of that position. Ripe fruit underneath a wet stone wash gives way to a sweeter, almost flan like mid-palate that finishes in a mouth watering citrus zest. A classic for a reason.

Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 02-08-2019
Don't take my word for it. Don't take everyone else's word for it. Try Billecart-Salmon's Brut Rosé and see why it's consistently touted as the creme de la creme. It's subtly full of rosewater complexity and aromatics that dance out of the glass. It's instantly appreciable. It's consistent. This is a slightly bolder style than most rose champagne, due to the red wine added, but it's still pretty enough to be on its own, and merits the attention.

Billecart-Salmon "Brut Réserve" Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
This is a true staff favorite. Billecart Salmon Brut Reserve and Lay's potato chips is among my emeritus choices for best food pairing ever, and I'm not alone in that appraisal. Light honey coated pom fruit and refreshing acidity are the understated role players in this incredibly delicate, balanced cuvee. Drink now, drink often.

Egrot Extra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
It's made to be crisp and clean, it should be crisp and clean, and it is crisp and clean, but it also is so much more than that. People ask about dosage all the time as a tell-all reference for sweetness and warmth of champagne, but even with the low dosage of 2 grams per liter, this extra brut has a nice evenness right up to the finish ,which is really where the austerity lies if anywhere. Oysters are the obvious choice here, but most seafood, particularly served cold, would work here. I'm looking forward to this and fish tacos, or even cerviche, if you try it first let me know how it is!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club


Michel Arnould "Réserve" Grand Cru Verzenay Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
This Manhattan-soaked-cherry-dipped-in-hazelnut-creme-and-turned-into-a-drink is a good time bottle, and is an excellent food pairing offering from a region not given enough attention in that arena. Cleaner than one might expect from the 3-to-1 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay ratio, it is still full bodied and ripe, but with a lingering acidity that is pretty surprising the first go around.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart