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K&L Staff Recommendations
Praise from Wine Advocate: "If you are seeking traditionally crafted Beaujolais without perhaps the airs and graces you sometimes find in northern Beaujolais, then this is the place to come. Perhaps most impressive of all was just how well both their whites and reds age. Their 2009 Beaujolais Blanc, their first to be imported into the US by Kermit Lynch, continues to sing a merry tune with freshness and complexity. Perhaps it is a shame that much of their production will not be cellared, but I certainly recommend tucking away one or two bottles. I look f... Read More »
Spontaneous fermentation. An altogether preferable scenario to spontaneous combustion, and A LOT more fun to drink. This pink, semi-dry bubbly was made by spontaneous fermentation, otherwise known as methode ancestrale. Grapes are picked by hand (not just any grapes, these are the local Poulsard and Gamay grown on mountainous slopes in the shadow of the Alps), and fermented in chilled vats just reaching 5 or 6 degrees alcohol. The young and light wine is then bottled, along with its active yeast and considerable unfermented sugars. Under pressure of the ... Read More »
According to importer Kermit Lynch: "The Côte-de-Brouilly appellation sits on the hillsides of Mont Brouilly, a prehistoric volcano that left blue schist stones and volcanic rock along its slopes. These stones yield structured wines with pronounced minerality and great aging potential. After her formal training at the viticultural school in Beaune Nicole had a brief internship in the Napa Valley, where she learned another approach to winemaking but, happily for us, gained a deeper appreciation of the traditional winemaking techniques of the Beaujolais: h... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Supple-textured, with juicy acidity, this sports plum, peach and muddled blackberry flavors. Light, dusty tannins line the spice, earth and herb accents on the finish. (Web-2016)"
89-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Côte de Brouilly has a focused bouquet and is more serious than the Brouilly, with fresh strawberry mixed with raspberry coulis and cold stone scents. The palate is medium-bodied, supple and fleshy on the entry. The acidity here is beautifully judged with a svelte and quite sensual finish. This is a fine Côte de Brouilly, not complex, but nicely detailed and overflowing with freshness. (NM)" (6/2015) K&L Notes: Long regarded as the top domaine in the Côte de Brouilly, Château Thivin is also the oldest estate on Mont Brouilly, built on an ancient volcano back... Read More »
This 100% Gamay is the domaine's most ageworthy Beaujolais, from vines grown on steep granite slopes. Aged in foudre, it's said to be a favorite at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, thus the name"Cuvée des Ambassades." The familiar label design is shared with Chateau Thivin. However, after the initial fermentation, in epoxy-lined concrete tanks, this is racked into very large, very old wood barrels (some dating back the 150+ years the domaine has been in existence) to round the tannins a bit, without imparting any new oak notes. The combination of ... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Juliénas Vieilles Vignes comes from 50- to 80-year-old vines. The fruit is clean and pure: redcurrant mixed with raspberry and Morello cherries that are nicely defined. The palate is medium-bodied with fleshy ripe red cherry fruit, a gentle grip and a long, quite silky finish. This is a harmonious, well-crafted Juliénas to enjoy over the next 5 to 8 years. (NM)" (6/2015) Wine Spectator: "This light-bodied red has a pleasant, crisp acidity that highlights the red currant, raspberry and spice flavors. Notes of violet and smoke are supported by lightly grippy tannin ...Read More »
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Fleurie “Les Moriers” has more fruit intensity on the nose compared to the 2013, with ebullient red cherries and vibrant strawberry scents. The palate is medium-bodied with a fleshy opening. There is good depth here, a fine line of acidity with quite a solid, tannic finish that really shows the terroir. Readers should look forward to this Beaujolais once in bottle. (NM)" (6/2015)
Praise from Wine Advocate: "I met young Cédric Chignard when I visited Château Thivin this year. He told me that he commenced working at the estate from 1998, initially working alongside his father Michel up until 2007. Located in Fleurie with a majority of the vines located in “Les Moriers,” four generations of the family have tended vines that cover around seven hectares. There is also a plot in Juliénas in the “Beauvernay” that was inherited from his grandmother on the maternal side of the family. Cédric picks his fruit by hand and practices a traditi... Read More »
91 points Vinous: "Bright ruby-red. Vibrant cherry and floral aromas are complicated by blood orange and peppery spices. Sappy, focused and energetic on the palate, offering juicy black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a touch of cinnamon. Clings with very good intensity and persistence on the sappy, youthfully tannic finish. (JR)" (2/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Chiroubles, which is matured in wooden vat, has an attractive nose of mulberry and crushed strawberry fruit infused with a touch of vanilla extract. The palate is fleshy on the entry, counterbalanced by edgy tannin and a s ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
This comes from a small, urban winery located in NE Portland, Oregon.
92 points Vinous: "Deep ruby with a bright rim. Intense cherry and red berry liqueur aromas are complicated by licorice and musky herbs. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering intense red and dark berry flavors and a strong jolt of smoky Indian spices. Shows excellent clarity, energy and lift on the finish, which is framed by silky, late-arriving tannins. (JR)" (2/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Côte de Brouilly Cuvée Melanie, which comes from 70-year-old south-facing vines and is matured in foudres, has a nose that is a little introspective at first – blackberry and briary mixed with a ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
The Gamary grapes for this Washington rosé were picked specifically to make rosé wine--early, with higher natural acidity. The winery's notes: "The result of our 2014 Auvegne Rosé of Gamay Noir was a vibrant and crisp rosé wine with mineral intensity and is more akin to white wine fruit components than a red varietal. We are reminded of Beaujolais rosés with aromatics that range from mixed honeydew and cantaloupe melons to peach hard candy and light early strawberry. The palate is bright and mineral rich with a kind of deliciously salty fruit salad that ... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
This comes from the little known AOC of Côte Roannaise, which was established in 1994 and sits about 50 kilometers west of Lyon in the Loire Valley. The granitic soils of this southern appellation are well-suited to Gamay, and especially to the family-owned Domaine Robert Sérol, now being run by the fifth generation. The domaine's namesake, Robert, was the first in the family to bottle the wines, and he can be still found wandering the property today, though it is his son Stéphane who has been managing their 20 hectares since 2000. The Vieilles Vignes co... Read More »
From the winery: "Kate and Tom moved to Beaujolais, more specifically the town of Julienas in the Cru Beaujolais, in the summer of 2009. Neither of them had much experience with Beaujolais wines, preferring like many enthusiasts the wines of Burgundy and the Northen Rhone. Things would change quickly and they learned of the many amazing vignerons hidden into the mountains of the Crus that were producing fantastic age worthy wines that rival the Burgundies they enjoyed so much. Flash forward to the vintage of 2011 and Tom and Kate made their much acclaime... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Côte de Brouilly comes from 50-year-old vines and is raised in barrel. It has a light raspberry and wild strawberry nose with touches of cold granite underneath. The palate is rounded in the mouth with juicy, ripe tannin, well-judged acidity and a pleasing, caressing finish that slips down the throat with ease. Lovely. (NM)" (6/2015) Wine Spectator: "Fresh cherry, plum and spice notes are supported by tangy acidity in this light-bodied red, with herb and dried floral accents, light tannins and a crisp finish. Drink now. 170 cases imported. Web Only 2016 (GS)"
Only 300 cases produced and just happens to be the first vintage of Gamay produced by Xavier. I absolutely love Gamay from this region of the world. It has a rich depth of color and fruit structure, good spicy aromatics but light and easy to drink without being overly serious. Try it with grilled sausages or an herb marinated skirt steak. (Eric Story, Loire Buyer)
The Perraud family has been farming vineyards in Beaujolais for six generations. Bruno & Isabelle took over the family vineyards in 1988 and after a decade of conventional farming, they realized they were out of sync with mother nature. They converted to organic and became certified in 2002 while also extending this focus to the cellar.
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Moulin-a-Vents Vieilles Vignes is a blend of seven parcels with loess and sandy soils, the vines ranging from 65 to 85 years in age. It has a very sensual bouquet with wild strawberry, orange sorbet and apricot scents – such brightness and luminosity here. The palate is crisp and fresh on the entry with a fine backbone and very good precision on the finish. This is a sensual Beaujolais wine with real class." (12/2013) 89-91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "Reduction flattens the nose. By contrast there is good freshness to the impressively ripe and concentrated medium-bodied flavors th ...Read More »
91-93 points Vinous: "An array of red-toned fruit, slate, crushed rocks and flowers inform the 2012 Moulin-à-Vent La Roche. Energetic and focused to the core, the 2012 impresses for its pure energy, focus and cut. The lifted, chalky style of the 2012 is hugely attractive. Today, the 2012 is tense and wiry, but it should start softening a bit over the next year or two. What a gorgeous wine this is. (AG)" (1/2014) 89-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Moulin-a-Vents La Roche comes from the titular single vineyard. It has a deep broody bouquet with scents of mulberry and strawberry, touches of apple-blossom ...Read More »
Having grown up among the vines of Domaine de Vissoux, in the Saint Vérand region of France, Pierre-Marie Chermette has endeavored to continue his family's tradition, expanding and improving upon it with the help of his wife, Martine. Among the first in the region to use sustainable agricultural practice, the wines of Domaine de Vissoux are fermented using native yeasts and bottled with minimal filtration.
Inventory: Redwood City