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K&L Staff Recommendations
2014 Marc Brédif Vouvray $17.99
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Free Run Steen Chenin Blanc has an attractive nose with fresh grapefruit and passion fruit scents that are well defined and articulate the variety with clarity. The palate is well balanced with crisp grapefruit and light honeyed tones, very harmonious with well judged acidity and a composed, quite elegant finish. This is an excellent Chenin Blanc. (NM)" (11/2015) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "We source our Chenin Blanc from selected vineyards in the Agter-Paarl region. The vineyards are all unirrigated and bush-vine (untrellised) that produce concentrated, ... Read More »
From a classic producer in the Loire Valley (est. 1893), this Chenin Blanc hums with acidity while showing stone fruit notes on the medium-bodied palate. The finish is just a touch sweet, though its electric acidity provides a delicious yin-yang effect. Pair with creamy cheeses for palate nirvana.
Jancis Robinson: "They do three bottlings; this is the second and therefore a bit richer than the first. Fermented in concrete and old vats." (1/2015) Wine Spectator: "Plump and friendly, with creamed yellow apple and pear fruit flavors, backed by a hint of almond on the finish. Drink now. 12,000 cases made. –JM"
Wine Enthusiast: "A concentrated wine, its pear and lemon character segueing into a tight, wound-up structure, very dry, very crisp." (6/2011)
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A consistent, big-time winner in the value sweepstakes, the 2014 Chenin Blanc / Viognier is a blend of 80% Chenin Blanc and 20% Viognier (145,000 cases produced) is aged totally in stainless steel, has malolactic blocked, and offers what consumers love – big, flowery, fresh honeysuckle and tropical fruit, a light to medium-bodied mouthfeel, beautiful purity, texture and a long finish. Drink it over the next year." (8/2015) K&L Notes: Grapes for this perennial summertime value were sourced from Clarksburg, in California's Central Valley. Seriously quaffable but not to... Read More »
Chidaine's estate-grown Vouvray is produced from parcels throughout the great vineyards of the Clos Baudoin property. Les Argiles is normally vinified dry. Notes of honey, citrus, pear and apple are present in the nose with just a hint of caramel. Full-bodied in the mouth, but fresh with lively acidity, this is world-class Chenin at an unbeatable price.
François Chidaine is a biodynamic producer in the Loire Valley specializing in Chenin Blanc. Rated 94+ John Gilman: "François Chidaine’s Clos de Breuil bottling is always a bit exotic in a lineup of other Montlouis cuvées, as this vineyard’s flint soils (like Pouilly-Fumé) give the wine a very unique personality. The 2014 is another absolutely stellar wine, delivering a complex and vibrant nose of quince, apple, orange zest, gorgeously refined silex soil tones, a hint of rhubarb, citrus peel and a discreet topnote of the lanolin to come with bottle age. ... Read More »
The Champalou family farms 22 acres in Vouvray, making the Cuvée des Fondraux from 45-year-old Chenin vines grown in the area's prized clay, limestone and flint soils. Like all of their wines, it is distinctive, with incredible balance and energy ... a true representation of the soil. A great value.
This affordable, semi-dry white comes from Domaine Sylvain Gaudron, a family-owned domaine in Vouvray. Made entirely from Chenin Blanc grown in the region's famed clay and limestone soils, this version is fresh and elegant, with delicious quince and apple aromas and flavors and is an ideal partner for spicy Morroccan tagines and Southeast Asian curries.
Established in 1890, the Domaine Sylvain Gaudron is now run by the third generation of the Gaudron family. It comprises 59 acres spread out over 50 little plots. The soils are limestone-clay on a sub-layer of tuffeau. This is an incredibly affordable Vouvray that belies its meager price, delivering honeycomb, jasmine and quince aromas. In the mouth it's explosive, with crisp apple, Mirabelle plum, minerals and honeysuckle flavors. Zesty acidity and a clean finish make a tight package, perfect for seafood, salads and your favorite curry.
Maison Huet is a leading force in the Vouvray appellation. Founded in 1928, the estate now covers 35 hectares, which are divided up between three properties: Le Mont, Le Haut-Lieu and Le Clos du Bourg - all of which have been farmed in the biodynamic method since 1990. Stretching over 9 hectares, Le Haut-Lieu provides extremely deep limestone and brown clay soils. Due to the heavy soils the wines from this site tend to have a richer, rounder character, with deep nuances of stone fruit, and finish off with a mouthwatering, juicy finish.
96 points Wine Spectator: "Unctuous, concentrated and refined, this holds a large core of quince, creamed Anjou pear and white ginger notes in reserve for now, while heather, chamomile, orange blossom and white peach flavors take the lead. When the reserves stretch out and catch up with the floral accents, this will be a pure, precise stunner, with a long life. Best from 2018 through 2035." (8/2013) 94 points Wine & Spirits: "Glistening in golden hues, this chenin draws you in with its broad, luscious fruit then pounces with searingly fresh acidity and grape skin spice. Luxurious as a young wine, this integra ...Read More »
Maison Huet has been a leading force in the Vouvray appellation for quite sometime now, and today is regarded as one of the premier producers of Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley, if not the world. Founded in 1928, the estate now covers 35 hectares, which are divided up between three properties — Le Mont, Le Haut-Lieu and Le Clos du Bourg — all that have been farmed biodynamically since 1990. These wines are stunning and are worth being in your cellar. In addition to its famous vineyard-designated wines, Huet also produces this delightful sparkling Pétill... Read More »
93 points Wine & Spirits: "Le Mont is often the most elegant of Huet's wines in its youth, and this 2005 is no exception. Succulent and refined, it takes time to open, slowly unfolding with vibrant apple, Asian pear and apricot flavors, strikingly balanced and pure." (4/2007) 92 points Wine Spectator: "Plump and juicy, with stone fruit, brown spice, humus, powdered ginger and acacia notes that run through the bright, well-defined finish, where the acidity kicks in. Drink now through 2018. 980 cases made." (3/2007) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2005 Vouvray Demi-Sec Le Mont smells of pink grapefruit and orange blossom, quince and honeysu ...Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Light but distinctive nose, honey and lemon character. Gentle, soothing sort of character, and genuinely dry (even at 12%). Very subtle, and pretty short, but a great lunchtime option, with a lovely savoury finish. (RH)" (10/2013) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright gold with a frothy mousse. Pear and white peach on the nose, with complicating floral and spice qualities and a hint of orange zest. At once fleshy and dry, offering tangy citrus and orchard fruit flavors and slow-building spiciness. The finish repeats the orange note and leaves a strong spicy quality behind. This impressi ...Read More »
100% Chenin Blanc from Chinon. Purity and depth is what this wine is all about. Fantastic Chenin perfume with chalky minerals bouncing in and out. Nicely weighted on the palate while keeping the finish lively and fresh with juicy acid and mineral lift.
Inventory: San Francisco
Jancis Robinson: "Golden orange colour. Unusual nose: chamomile, hay and apricots. Honeyed and gorgeous on the palate. I'd love to try this with some hard cheeses. Silky texture, viscous but no heaviness." (10/2014) K&L Notes: Les Rouannières, perhaps the finest, firmest, slowest-to-evolve and longest-lasting of all Papin's moelleux, is from very meagre, superficial soil whose base is the volcanic rock spilite. The soil is so superficial it cannot be plowed: it would erode and disappear. So instead, the Papins plant grass, which serves to keep the soil from eroding, competes with the ... Read More »
From the importer: "For a young man from the north of France, Xavier Weisskopf has an impressive track record in the world of wine. He went to school in Chablis, where his winemaking ambitions took flight and led to the wine school in Beaune. After earning a degree in viticulture and enology, he went to work for Château de Saint Cosme in Gigondas. It doesn't hurt that he cuts an impressive profile as a tall, handsome young man with the skills and the determination to make wines exactly as he sees fit. This determination, along with his love for the Cheni... Read More »
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Light gold with tiny bubbles. Subdued aromas of orange zest, lemon, dried pear and honeysuckle. Broad but energetic citrus and orchard fruit flavors are complemented by anise and honey, giving the wine an impression of richness as well as vivacity. The persistent finish repeats the honey and floral notes and clings nicely. This is weighty enough to handle richer fish dishes." (5/2010) K&L Notes: A petulant child might pout over dinner, refusing to eat and then throw a temper tantrum at bedtime, causing no end of anxiety, sleeplessness and stress to her parents. A Pét... Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "The aromas draw you in with notes of kiwi, pineapple and mango. Brown sugar and tropical fruit flavors are intensely sweet and rich, with an unctuous feel." (11/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The dessert-styled 2014 Red Mountain Chenin Blanc (which was harvest from frozen grapes on the vine) has lots of overt sweetness in its white peach, apricot and honeyed bouquet. This gives way to a pure, clean and well-made dessert wine that comes up a little short on acidity, and I liked the first sip better than the last. It is good, but best consumed over the coming year. (JD)" (6/2015)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Savennières Les Petites Gorgees ("pg de Damien“) is a full-bodied, aromatic, ripe and elegant Chenin Blanc that is rich and salty and nicely balanced, displaying attractive honey aromas as well as refreshing lime flavors in the delicate finish. It is a clear, fruity-mineral, well-balanced and accessible wine for early consumption, but it can also age for several years. (SR)" (10/2014) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright yellow. Smoky aromas of hazelnut, linseed oil and crushed white pepper on the nose. Fresh, clean and tightly wound, with firm acid structure giving focus to t ...Read More »
A mineral intensive, rich, old vine Chenin Blanc with both concentration and elegance. We have been working with Ginny's beautiful Botanica wines for a few years now and the purity and depth of this Chenin continues to impress year after year. Ryan Woodhouse (K&L South African Wine Buyer)
The Bretons have been farming their eleven hectares biodynamically since 1994. Pierre is the primary cellar master, but the wines under the "Dilettante" label are the pet projects of Catherine. This Vouvray sec is grown on 40 year-old vines, and treated with exquisite care: hand harvested, native yeast, low sulfur, low yields. From the winery: "Dry white wine, fresh and ripe from a ground of clay with flints. The happy medium of the minerality of the terroir, the acidity of the wine and the grape's ripeness."
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Cartology Bush Vines is Chris Alheit's fourth release since it blazed onto the South African scene. It comes from the same vineyards as previous vintages. Chris said this is completely unfined and unfiltered with a very healthy pH. The nose has a sense of confidence about it, racing out of the blocks with orange zest, honeysuckle, jasmine and a touch of loganberry. The palate is lightly honeyed on the entry, beautifully balanced with a fine line of acidity, gently building in the mouth towards a complex, absorbing finish of lychee, white pepper ...Read More »
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid gold with an aggressive bead. A complex bouquet of ripe apple, pear and quince, with honey and beeswax nuances. Distinctly chenin blanc in character, offering dried orchard fruit and bitter lemon qualities and a strong mineral undertone. A touch of marzipan adds depth to the dry, stony, precise finish. This will be very flexible with rich fish or poultry dishes." (5/2010) Wine Spectator: "Alluring, with ginger, quince and maple hints allied to a soft, brioche-filled palate. The friendly, open-knit finish has an off-dry hint. (Web-2010)" K&L Notes: Produced from Chidaine's biodyn... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
92 points Vinous: "Golden yellow. Rich, smoky aromas of yellow plum, quince, apple blossom and sweet herbs. Sumptuous nectarine texture with a bright, salty minerality. At once generous and juicy, showing an herbal crispness on the long finish. (JP)" (12/2012) K&L Notes: We are so very, very pleased to have this opportunity to offer you this Vouvray from one of the premier producers of Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley, if not the world. Maison Huet has been a leading force in the Vouvray appellation for quite sometime now. Founded in 1928, the estate now covers 35 hectares, which are ... Read More »
Light sweetness is balanced superbly by acid, fruit, and age that will only continue to improve. This rigidly traditional, authentic Chenin Blanc of Moulin Touchais has produced a "must-have" wine for admirers of Loire wines.
Clos de l'Elu is an older property which was taken over in 2008 by Thomas Carsin and Gregoire du Bouexic. It is located in the small village of Saint Aubin de Luigne not too far from the city of Angers. Under the inspiration of growers such as Jo Pithon they have converted all of their holdings over to biodynamic farming and continue to acquire vineyards and convert as they grow. These wines are at the higher end of what the all too often Anjou region can do. They are pure, driven and from start to finish produced with the utmost integrity for the land a... Read More »
Maison Huet is a leading force in the Vouvray appellation. Founded in 1928, the estate now covers 35 hectares, which are divided up between three properties: Le Mont, Le Haut-Lieu and Le Clos du Bourg - all of which have been farmed in the biodynamic method since 1990. These wines are stunning and are worth being in your cellar. Legends in the making here! Le Mont is an eight hectare site which runs along the slopes of the Loire Valley. The soil structure is one of pebbles and green-colored clay and silica which produce sleek wines with elegance and a so... Read More »
Antoine Foucault (yes, son of Chalry Foucault of Clos Rougeard) and Caroline Boireau found the estate in 1999. Located in the village of Breze their 6 hectares of vineyards (Chenin Blanc & Cabernet Franc only) are farmed on the biodynamic principals and are given nothing but optimum attention all the while letting Mother Nature do her thing. The wines are all fermented and rested barrel, of various ages and types, for two to three years and only bottled when the wine is ready. Domaine du Collier represents hard work and simplicity at its finest. These ar... Read More »
Some would call this pétillant naturel méthode ancestrale, which is loosely the same thing: a sparkling wine made in bottle with its native yeast and without any sugar additions (no chapitalization during initial fermentation, no sweet yeast liquor added for secondary in bottle, and no sweet dosage at disgorgement the bottles are simply topped off with the same wine and corked). Indeed, Originel is made without any additions or modern interventions of any kind. It is absolutely natural, a requirement enshrined by its makers and, as of 2007, by law for Pé... Read More »
Are you "over" over-alcoholic, over-priced, over-oaked wines? Then you must get to know the wines of Pascal Janvier. His Coteaux du Loir Blanc is 100% Chenin Blanc, from 15 year-old vines planted to predominantly clay soils. It is crisp and vivacious, with lots of fruit upfront and a fleshy core that leads to a long mineral-kissed finish.
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Praise from Antonio Galloni for this vintage: "I was quite taken with the wines I tasted from Lieu Dit this year. Lieu Dit is a partnership between former sommelier Eric Railsback and winemaker Justin Willett that focuses on Loire-inspired wines." (08/2015) From old Chenin vines planted in the early eighties on very sandy soils in the Foxen Canyon district of the Santa Ynez Valley. The varied micro-climates and marine based soils of Santa Barbara County are ideally suited to this set of grapes. Lieu Dit centers on Sauvignon Blanc and more limited bottlin... Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Old Vine Series Skurfberg (100% Chenin Blanc) has a beautifully defined bouquet with scents of pressed yellow flowers and lanolin. The palate is very tense with deceiving weight in the mouth, almost distant at first but then those gorgeous honeycomb and citrus peel flavors crash upon the shore. Sublime. (NM)" (10/2014) 93 points Wine Spectator: "Richly layered, with Jonagold apple, white peach and mirabelle flavors, this is lined with verbena and chamomile notes and backed by a mineral-lined finish that sails on and on. Very pure and fine-tuned. Should be fun to watch this ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
A family owned and operated business since 2007, Revolution Wines is devoted to the notion that the expression of place, terroir, is an important pursuit. Their mission is to locally produce wine and food that is the best expression of Sacramento Terroir.
Inventory: San Francisco
Certified made from organically grown grapes, from a small winery run by Nicolas Bertin & Geneviève Delatte, who aim to practice minimal input, "natural" winemaking.
Proprietor Michèle de Jessey's great-great-grandfather was the Chamberlain and Chief Memorialist to the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. She inherited the estate in 1961 when her aunt, Madame du Closel, the former proprietor/winemaker, searched for a successor throughout her extensive family. Madame de Jessey was chosen for her love and respect for the wine, vineyards, and traditions of Savennières. This love that is evident in her wines. She went on to become much respected for her technical expertise and served as the first woman in France to be President o... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Vinous: "Golden yellow. Discreet nose displays honeydew melon, dark spices and tarragon. On the palate there's good breadth, depth and length, with very soft acidity barely providing shape. Sweet papaya notes linger on the finish." (12/2014)
Maison Huet is a leading force in the Vouvray appellation. Founded in 1928, the estate now covers 35 hectares, which are divided up between three properties: Le Mont, Le Haut-Lieu and Le Clos du Bourg - all of which have been farmed in the biodynamic method since 1990. Stretching over 9 hectares, Le Haut-Lieu provides extremely deep limestone and brown clay soils. Due to the heavy soils the wines from this site tend to have a richer rounder character, with deep nuances of stone fruit and finish off with a mouthwatering, juicy finish.
From the winery: "Our Chenin Blanc was 100% whole cluster pressed and fermented in stainless steel and French barrels. Beautifully balanced, the wine is medium bodied, with a delightful and racy acidity and great finish. Delicious as an aperitif, this Chenin Blanc also goes very nicely with everything from melon and prosciutto to chicken salad, Thai curries and spicy Mexican dishes."
Inventory: Main Warehouse
This "new California" Chenin Blanc was listed in the San Francisco Chronicle's "Top 100 Wines: The Best of the West Coast in 2014." Since-departed wine critic Jon Bonné explained this wine's appeal in this tasting note: "Winemaker Craig Haarmeyer preaches 'Sacramento terroir,' and this taps nearby Clarksburg’s best-known grape for a profound barrel-fermented Chenin. Austere on one side, almost like crushed oyster shells, but then revealing the grape’s full, funky apple-pulp side, with maitake mushroom and green olive accents, and a wonderful fullness to ... Read More »
92 points Vinous: "Very pale peach skin color. Fresh melon and nectarine aromas are complicated by cream, lanolin and honey. Fleshy and smooth, showing a pure, bright orange quality and toasted wood nuances and then picking up nervier lime notes on the back of the palate. Suavely blends depth with vivacity and finishes with excellent clarity, balance and mineral persistence. While this property has long belonged to the Counts of Colbert, it was only with the arrival of Arnaud Lambert that the reputation of Château de Brézé began to rise. After studying in both Bordeaux and ...Read More »
Aged in amphora for seven months and then bottled. But, don't let that make you think that this is an "orange wine", it is not. Clos de l'Elu is an older property which was taken over in 2008 by Thomas Carsin and Gregoire du Bouexic. It is located in the small village of Saint Aubin de Luigne not too far from the city of Angers. Under the inspiration of growers such as Jo Pithon they have converted all of their holdings over to biodynamic farming and continue to acquire vineyards and convert as they grow. These wines are at the higher end of what the all... Read More »