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K&L Staff Recommendations
90 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* A zesty red, with personality to spare, offering notes of licorice, blackberry, smoky pepper and grilled herbs. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah and mixed Italian blacks. Drink now through 2019." (6/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of my perennial best buys is Marietta Cellars’ non-vintage blend of Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah, Syrah and a few other varietals. The current example, the non-vintage Old Vine Red Lot 62, is a 90,000-case cuvée that represents one of the finest value-priced wines in the United States. It exhibits excellent color, beautiful ripeness, ...Read More »
91 points Wine & Spirits: "There’s intriguing complexity to this firmly structured rosé, a meaty wine that’s dry without feeling tannic. The mousse is finely integrated into the flavor, set to lift the flavors of duck confit or roast quail." (8/2012) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Loxarel 999 Rosat is made up of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Trepat. Salmon pink in color with persistent small bubbles, it is a tasty wine best used as an aperitif." (5/2011) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Orange-pink. Musky red fruits, herbs and flowers on the nose, along with a hint of underbrush. Taut redcurrant and bitter cherry flavors are braced by gentle acidit ...Read More »
Does Jean-Louis Denois ever fail to impress us? So far, this talented winemaker has an exceptional track record with K&L customers and staff alike. Denois' latest offering is this nifty little red that seriously over-delivers in the price-quality ratio department. The 2013 "Les Garrigues" is composed of Syrah, Grenache, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. It exhibits a gorgeous pomegranate color, with fresh aromas of small red berry fruit and delicate hints of spice box. Subtle notes of tobacco leaf and licorice provide extra dimension that be... Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Fascinating aromas of dried fruits, orange peel, earth, pomace and meat. Full body with soft and tangy fruit plus a long, flavorful finish. It's decadent and citrusy on the finish besides the opulent and delicious red fruits." (3/2015) Wine Spectator: "Blackberry, loamy earth, spice and tea leaf notes mix in this balanced red, with light tannins on the aromatic finish. Drink now through 2018." (3/2015)
92 points Wine & Spirits: "There are very few Carignans like this in Chile. Made from old vines planted in the 1960s, this takes a light, fresh approach, focused on fruit rather than pushing for superconcentration. With its pure, juicy ripe cherry flavor, it could bolster a plate of grilled sausages or develop for a few years in the cellar." (6/2014) 90 points James Suckling: "A spicy and balanced red with blueberries, blackberries and hints of slate. Full to medium body, fresh acidity and a clean finish. A stylish red. Drink now." (8/2014) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Dark purple. Ripe plum and blueberry on the deeply scented nose. Plush ...Read More »
If you try to find the exact cepage on this always-fantastic red blend, you might find yourself gazing up at the heavens for an answer, since you won't get one from the winemaker. The Pleiades might be the only super-allocated, cult California wine for under $25, and it's sure to sell out quickly, as previous vintages have. From "One of California's most iconic and mystical winemakers," says Robert Parker: "Sean Thackrey has logged in 20 or more vintages of consistently stunning wines that perhaps say it all with the simple quote on his label: -Sean A. T... Read More »
95 points Bob Campbell: "Dense and decadent red with dark berry, plum, chocolate/vanilla, liquorice and a suggestion of spicy oak. Very impressive wine from an outstanding vintage where Merlot was the star, at least at regional level. Fruit flavours are supported by soft, chewy tannins. Approachable now but with obvious cellaring potential. Great value at this price." 95 points Sam Kim: "This is impressively fruited on the nose displaying dark plum, blueberry, mixed spice, smoked meat and cedar notes on the nose, followed by a dense palate that is focused and silky with abundance of ripe fruit flavou ...Read More »
A blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara, this Valpolicella is ruby-red and super silky in texture, with the quintessential chocolate-covered cherry quality you'd expect from good Valpolicella.
Wine & Spirits: "Fragrant with bright scents of strawberries, this offers layers of smoky black tannins and notes of saddle leather. Round but not thick, it’s distinctly southern refreshment with anything off the grill." (6/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "Firm and savory, this opens with aromas of ripe berry, clove and graphite. On the palate, notes of clove and black pepper add depth to ripe Morello cherry and crushed raspberry flavors. Supple tannins offer support." (3/2015) Wine Spectator: "*Best Value* Juicy flavors of ripe wild strawberry and red licorice mark the start to this light- to medium-bodied red, with ...Read More »
Shebang! is inspired by the Bedrock Vineyard, which was founded in 1854 by business partners and then-Californians William Tecumseh Sherman and Fightin' Joe Hooker, who were trying their hand at the wine country life--until troubles back east pulled them back into government service. Later, it was replanted by Senator George Hearst. Vintner Morgan Twain Peterson makes this field blend styled wine from 55% Zinfandel, with Carignane, Petite Sirah, Mourvedre, Alicante Bouchet, Grenache, Syrah, Barbera and a few aromatic white varieties. Many of these source... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "BEST BUY: This elegantly structured wine opens with aromas of black plum, mocha, Mediterranean herbs and a hint of scorched earth. The round, enveloping palate doles out ripe black cherry, blackberry, cinnamon and white pepper, while firm, silky tannins provide the framework. A fantastic wine, it’s already enjoyable and will offer fine drinking over the next few years. — K.O" (10/2015) K&L Notes: From the producer: "Made from bush-trained Carignano grapes grown in the coastal area between Capo Teulada and the Iglesiente mountains. The nose offers residual vinous sen... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
This is a fresh, low-alcohol, and affordable rosé for your warm summer days. "Les Ligeriens" is a blend of Gamay and Grolleau from the Anjou AOC and is aged in stainless steel to maintain the purity of the fruit. Strawberry-scented with flavors of cherry and cranberry that pop on a crisp, refreshing palate. Drink it as an aperitif or with your favorite foods off the grill. (Eric Story, Loire)
On the border of Tuscany, Lazio, and Umbria--the area that also happens to be the birthplace of the ancient Etruscan civilization--Paolo and Noemia d'Amico have built a winery deeply embedded in tradition. The landscape is a result of a long period of volcanic erosion, and is full of deep valleys of cliffs and rock walls. Their cellar is modeled after the Etruscans, and was built underneath the vines, ensuring that temps are always ideal. This Merlot-Sangiovese blend is full-bodied and bright-toned, with notes of violets and fresh cherries.
Made from the same set of recipes since 1821, Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry has long been the benchmark for fine French Vermouth. Botanicals found in the Alpine meadows above Chambéry are added to a base wine made from regional grapes to aromatize it, imparting fresh, herbal qualities to the nose and complex flavors to palate. It is then fortified. The Rouge is ideal as an aperitif or in for a wide range of uses in cocktails. In the late 19th century, Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry won medals in Paris, London, St. Louis and Philadelphia and in 1932 earned Chamb... Read More »
From the importer: "Les Hautes Noëlles fun loving rouge! To enjoy slightly chilled with grilled meats, fish, and heartier (think duck) salads. Gamay imparts fresh, crunchy red fruits, while the Grolleau Noir lends a touch of pepper and spice. The traditional vinification and addition of Cabernet Franc provides just the right amount of structure on the finish. A great wine to say hé ho! Gamay & Grolleau Noir are vinified via carbonic maceration. Cabernet Franc is destemmed and follows a traditional fermentation with 5 days maceration in stainless steel ta... Read More »
92 points Vinous: "The 2014 Frappato Vittoria opens up with an irresistible fresh red fruit cocktail quality on the nose, followed by very spicy and floral notes, with juicy red berry and cherry. Finishes long and clean with a bright floral echo. A stellar Frappato that makes it impossible to put the glass down. (ID)" (11/2015) 91 points James Suckling: "This shows aromas of blueberry, forest fruit and salt. Medium to full body, bright acidity and a mineral finish. Goes on for minutes. Tangy and savory. Drink now." (10/2014) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Fragrant and fresh, this luminous wine opens with aromas of red berry, blueberr ...Read More »
93 points Wine Spectator: "#16 Wine Spectator's top 100 Wines of 2015. Dense and rich, with amply spiced flavors of ripe dark plum and cherry compote. Mineral notes emerge midpalate, leading to a lush, chocolate-filled finish. A fresh and engaging style. Drink now." (9/2015) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Ripe and fruity, this is a rich, smoothly textured wine. It has dense blackberry fruit flavors, smooth tannins and just a light touch of acidity. Raspberry jelly and a touch of tannic structure at the end, give a fresh taste." (12/2015) Jancis Robinson: "Excellent deep purple colour. Lifted, silky nose. Great, broad, luscious sprea ...Read More »
Here is a Priorat that is not at all shy or trying to hide its Mediterranean origins, a richer, fuller bodied style especially considering its modest price. This is on the darker-fruited side, generous and slightly savory, a well-balanced, tasty blend of Garnacha, Carignane, and just a tiny amount of Cabernet Sauvignon. Try this with your favorite recipe for braised or stewed lamb. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish & Portuguese wine buyer)
98 points Wine Spectator: "An elegant style, full of well-spiced, juicy flavors of raspberry, boysenberry and blueberry that extend with lively acidity and well-integrated tannins. Unctuous and succulent on the finish, which oozes with molten chocolate. Best after 2025." (10/2013) 96 points Wine Enthusiast: "Red and black berries bring out the richness of the year, masking the seriously tannic structure. The wine has great spice, richness and a dark, smoky core of powerful tannins. For long-term aging, but delicious now." (10/2013) 95 points James Suckling: "Aromas of flowers and berries with hints of dried fruits. Full body, medium sweet ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Lightly spiced and aromatic, with floral and loamy earth notes, this light- to medium-bodied red offers easy-drinking flavors of crushed black cherry, baked plum and cocoa powder. (Web Only—2015)"
90 points Wine Spectator: "#74 Wine Spectator's Top 100 2014: The up-front mulberry and plum fruit is ripe and fleshy in this balanced red, with polished tannins. Notes of licorice string, graphite, tarry smoke and grilled mushroom push through midpalate and on the finish. Drink now through 2021. 8,500 cases made. (AN)" (4/2014)
Ah, Piedmont! Home to Italy's most long-lived reds, Barolo and Barbaresco. Piedmont also lays claim to this frothy number, a semi-sweet sparkling wine that shares as much in common with Barolo as a turnip does with a root beer float. To begin with, there's the preponderance of wild strawberry fruit, and the effervescent goodness that is not totally dissimilar to Moscato, only this one is pink. Deep pink. Gulpable pink. After a certain age it is unseemly to drink cherry soda pop in public--go for Brachetto instead! It's low in alcohol, with a touch of sw... Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(34% grenache, 33% mourvedre and 33% zinfandel; 15.2% alcohol): Bright purple. Ripe raspberry and blueberry on the nose and in the mouth. Juicy, spice-accented berry compote flavors show an appealingly silky quality and pick up a floral nuance with air. Closes on a gently sweet note, with lingering blue fruit and spice qualities. No shortage of fruit here." (11/2012) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Lothario is another of the more restrained wines in this lineup from Kukkula. It shows good depth and persistence, with pretty notes of tobacco, wild flowers and dried cherries that l ...Read More »
James Suckling: "A wine that sneaks up on you. Full bodied, with polished tannins. This is peppery and fun but a little light in the finish. Made from 73% Syrah, 12% Grenache, 8% Petite Sirah and 7% Mourvedre." (11/2011) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A big crowd-pleasing and quaffable effort that’s a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel, the latest N.V. Troublemaker is loaded with sweet blackberry, charred meat, tobacco and vanilla. Full-bodied, rich and loaded with fruit, it is a straightforward party wine... (JD)" (8/2013) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(...made from a blend of wines from the 2010, 2011 an ...Read More »
This wine used to be called Testarossa, but though the name on the bottle has changed, the quality of the wine in the bottle has not. It is consistently one of the benchmarks for wine from this mountainous and remote region, smack in the middle of Italy but somehow forgotten by time and tourists.
94 points Wine Spectator: "A plush and generous blend that also shows excellent structure and focus. Brooding dark boysenberry and smoky mocha aromas combine with layered flavors of blackberry, graphite, nutmeg and brown spice. The tannins are burly, but ripe and fleshy. Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2027." (10/2015)
Negroamaro is a red wine grape variety native to southern Italy. It is grown almost exclusively in Puglia and particularly in Salento, the peninsula which can be visualised as the “heel” of Italy. Wines made from Negroamaro tend to be very rustic in character, combining perfume with an earthy bitterness. The grape produces some of the best red and rosè wines of Puglia, particularly when blended with the highly scented Malvasia Nera. While most varieties of Malvasia produce white wine, Malvasia nera is a red wine variety that is used primarily as a blendi... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Fresh earth and leather accents are layered with a snappy note of cherry and hints of pekoe tea and dried cranberry in this tangy red. Medium-bodied, with an aromatic, herbal finish. Drink now through 2023. 3,700 cases made. (Web Only - 2015)"
For four generations, the Gangemi family has been devoting itself to viticulture and to the improvement of autochthonous Sicilian vines from the area surrounding Mt. Etna. The Alke is 100% Nero D'Avola, featuring a soft and balanced elegance with notes of red fruits, spice, and subtle hints of vanilla.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* A blend of 60% Syrah, 27% Merlot and a handful of other varieties added to the mix, this aromatically pops, with complex notes of plum, blueberry, smoke, chocolate and floral accents. It’s silky smooth in feel, with abundant chocolaty flavors that help it go down far too easy." (12/2014) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Plush and generous, with blackberry and plum flavors on a velvety texture, deftly balanced with refined acidity and tannins that persist on the finish. Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Viognier and others. Drink now through 2017." (12/2014)
From 100% estate biodynamically farmed vines, this is a very promising wine. Known primarily for making some of the greatest white wines in the Loire region, Chidaine has been farming these vineyards for several years. Good dark concentration of fruit where neither varietal dominates, but rather complements the others. The faintly mineral nose shows notes of pepper melded with the red fruit and leads into a wine with medium tannins, good concentration and length. Not a heavy wine, it has plenty of character, and bright acidity, which makes it a classic f... Read More »
91 points Wine & Spirits: "Mencía at its best can be sweetly ripe while still tasting as vibrant and juicy as this wine does. It's full of crisp red fruit and nuanced spice-eminently drinkable. In fact, there's little better to accompany charcuterie." (10/2014) 90 points Vinous: "Bright violet color. Lively and focused on the nose, displaying scents of red berries, cherry pit, licorice and fresh flowers. Tangy redcurrant and bitter cherry flavors show very good depth and put on weight with aeration. Clean, minerally and precise, with strong closing thrust and lingering spiciness." (9/2014) K&L Notes: Based in the ... Read More »
Amats is both the brand name of the Txakoli as well as one of Zudugarai's vineyards. It's a beautiful vineyard, a sandy substrate covered in naturally growing green cover between the rows, with the Cantabrian Sea in full view to the north. Produced from Hondarribi Beltza grapes, this rosé shows a lovely balance between fresh red berries, hints of watermelon, a very subtle, pleasant bitterness and fizzy quality. It's delicious with cured cheeses (something slightly smoky like Idiazabal works really well), charcuterie, anchovies or your favorite cured ham ... Read More »
Grapes were sourced from six distinctive vineyards in Wellington, creating a blend with complexity and verve. Winemaker's notes: "On the nose distinct coffee, rich dark chocolate and baked plums. The ripe subtle tannins create a wine to be drunk very young. This unique style of Pinotage is a perfect accompaniment to salmon, roast venison and even chocolate mousse."
91 points James Suckling: "A red with plenty of ripe fruit and hints of shaved chocolate and walnut character. Full body, velvety tannins and a clean, fresh finish. Drink now." (7/2014) 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(57% Malbec, 18% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Syrah; aged in second- and third-use French oak barrels): Bright red-ruby. Aromas and flavors of blackberry, cassis, blackcherry and dark chocolate. Dense, creamy and sweet, conveying an impression of elegance for all its volume. A very sweet, spicy blend with harmonious tannins and noteworty length. Year after year, this wine from Michel Rolland ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The entry-level 2013 Etna Rosso unfolds to beautiful notes of wild berry, sour cherry, spice, grilled herb and volcanic ash. It shows elegant simplicity and a balanced level of intensity that is both genuine and bright. There are no rough edges to this Nerello Mascalese. The mouthfeel is silky and long with more fruit flavors to come. This is a well-made expression born in volcanic soils." (9/2015)
If you love the liter bottles of Allram's Grüner, then you have to try the 2012 Zweigelt--it's the red wine equivalent: fresh, uncompromising, juicy wine for everyday drinking. Can be served slightly chilled, and make sure you have a good sized glass, you'll save yourself the initial trip of having to get up and get more.
94 points Wine Spectator: "Powerful, rich and refined, with a lithe mouthfeel and flavors of boysenberry, sandalwood, macerated cherry and damson plum. Very minerally as well, featuring loads of spicy notes on the well structured, lingering finish. Elegant. Drink now through 2022." (5/2015) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Reserva Old Vines, Crasto's familiar brand, is easily the best intersection of price and quality in Crasto's 2012s, although that is frequently true. It comes awfully close to being the best wine, too. It is a very fine performance in this restrained year. It was aged for 18 months in ba ...Read More »
Paolo Calì is a pharmacist who began making wine in 2003. In the hot climate of southerneastern Sicily, Calì's grows Nero D'Avola and Frappato in the island's only DOCG, Cerasuola di Vittoria. His Frappato is fresh and aromatic, with notes of strawberries, lavender, and orange zest. He ferments in stainless steel to preserve the brightness of the grape. This wine is a boon companion to any summer picnic--put a slight chill on it and serve it with prosciutto, fried chicken, or pizza.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Rosé Padeiro Dom Diogo comes in semi-dry at 11.8 grams per liter of residual sugar. It has 12% alcohol and a bit of fizz. Despite the listed sugar, this wine's acidity balances it out very well, allowing it to seem only a bit fruity, while projecting a crisp finish with surprising tension as it warms. Fresh and focused, this also seems rather solid for the type, but there is one quibble–a touch of smoke on the nose, which I presumed to be somewhat reductive. That may get better in time; it doesn't destroy the wine even now. As it aired out, it m ...Read More »
A blend of 80% Gamay and 20% Pinot Noir. The complexity of the Pinot Noir shows up front with lots of spicy red fruits with a backing of mineral. On the palate the gamy shows its juicy fun side and adds to the juicy texture. I really like the blend of these two grapes and think they play perfectly together. Really fun and cheery everyday style of Rosé. Côteaux du Giennois is a fairly new AOC, established in 1997, and is situated just north of Pouilly Fumé. Only three varieties are allowed to be grown under the AOC designate: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir a... Read More »
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Inky ruby. An emphatically fruity bouquet evokes fresh black and blue fruits, violet and cracked pepper, with a hint of smokiness in the background. Silky and seamless on the palate, offering juicy blueberry and boysenberry flavors that are given spine and focus by tangy acidity. Approachable already but the wine's density and freshness suggest that it has material to burn. Closes smooth and gently sweet, with very good energy and supple tannins. (JR)" (6/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Cuvee Colchagua Carmenere blends Carmenere grapes from different vineyards in Colchagua ...Read More »
From the winery: "Dark purple in color, this 2012 Mambo Red Blend showcases some earthy mushroom and sweet leather aromatics that take a turn to sweet plum and dark blackberry fruit with hints of Herbs De Provence and toasted cedar. In the mouth, the wine has a rich and wonderful depth showcasing flavors of black currants, molasses, tart black cherry, plum sauce, and hints of preserved orange rind, toasted dill, and blackened marshmallow. Our 2012 Hey Mambo red blend brings wonderful rich color and a layered decadent wine to your table. You can see eleme... Read More »
The Santoleri vineyards date back to 1968, though the same family has been farming the property since 600! Located at the base of the 2,000 foot Maiella Mountain in the Apennines. Its altitude and proximity to the Adriatic Sea are ideally suited for growing grapes. The vineyards are farmed without the use of pesticides, mineral fertilizers and other invasive products. From the importer: "Ruby red robe with violet hues. Intense aromas with notes of black cherry, balsamic and licorice. Fresh and vigorous on the palate, typical of a young Montepulciano, wit... Read More »
In 1973, Daniel Dugois bought 2 hectares of vineyard and a house equipped with wine cellars in a village called Les Arsures, where he was born. He cultivated the vineyard and sold his production primarily to Henri Maire, one of the most prominent producers in Jura at that time. In 1982, Daniel made his first harvest in his own cellars and began to sell his wines to consumers. His first ever harvest earned him his first Gold Medal for his Chardonnay at the Jura Wine Contest. Daniel and his wife Monique have continued to work on the quality of their wines... Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Lots of fruit and new wood yet it's floral and attractive. Full body, soft tannins and a flavorful finish. Clear and bright." (7/2015) Vinous: "Bright ruby. Smoky red and dark berries on the nose, with a hint of orange zest adding lift. Tangy and wound up on the palate, offering slow-to-open bitter cherry and blackcurrant flavors that show a slightly tart edge. Sweetens up on the finish, which features silky tannins and a touch of medicinal herbs. Give this one an hour or so in a decanter if you're drinking it any time soon. (JR)" (6/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "Initially, this Carmenère ...Read More »
From the importer: "Henri Le Roy farms a few tiny parcels of vineyards in the Cotes du Jura – an area just west of the Swiss border and Lac Léman (Lake Geneva), and just east of Burgundy. He’s an intense man – driven, and smart. In fact, his original career was as a Biologist, in Paris. He was drawn to the Jura by its incredible terroir, with ancient stones and seashells from its Jurassic period namesake. He’s pretty new at this – his first vintage was 2005 – but the results speak for themselves. Unlike many of his counterparts in Jura, he abhors oxidati... Read More »