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K&L Staff Recommendations
91 points James Halliday: "Traditional style. Little sign of oak, sweet core of fruit, deceptively assertive tannin but an overall impression of softness. It doesn't look to be an ageworthy style but it will be. Blackberry, iodine and raspberry notes. Ferrous tannin. Good length." (3/2014) 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid ruby. Intense red and dark berry aromas complicated by notes of rose, white pepper and licorice. Explosive black raspberry and cherry compote flavors are firmed by a touch of bitter chocolate and show very good depth. Dusty tannins give grip to a long, focused finish. This wine acts like a ...Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another incredible wine that's shockingly good for the price, the 2013 Tessellae Old Vines checks in as a blend of 40% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 20% Mourvedre that was aged all in concrete tank. It offers brilliant notes of black cherries, blueberry, licorice, clove and spring flowers in its medium to full-bodied, gorgeously pure profile. Showing more and more finesse and elegance with time in the glass, as well as classic Roussillon minerality on the finish, it has loads of fruit and texture yet is never heavy, cumbersome or cloying. It's hard to believe ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I have loved the wines from Domaine Lafage in the past, and this 2013 Bastide Miraflors Cotes Catalanes is one of the greatest red wine values I have tasted in the last year or so. A custom cuvee put together by Eric Solomon and Jean-Marc Lafage, it is a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache that spent one year in 80% concrete tank (Grenache) and 500-liter demi-muids (Syrah). From a Roussillon vineyard dominated by gallets roules that resembles many Chateauneuf du Pape vineyards, the wine undergoes a long maceration of six weeks. The result is an inky/blue ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Coteaux du Languedoc Prestige (which was already in bottle at the time of this tasting) is a blend of 55% Grenache and 45% Syrah aged all in concrete tank. Fresh, elegant and thrillingly pure, with first rate aromas of blackberry, fresh plum, licorice and ground herbs, it is decidedly sexy and forward, yet stays perfectly balanced, with juicy acidity and fine tannin on the finish. Easily one of the top estates in the Languedoc (if not southern France), Chateau Puech Haut lies just outside the village of Saint-Drezery and is owned and run by Gera ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A joint venture between Gassier, Philippe Cambie, and importer Eric Solomon, the 2012 Cercius Vieilles Vignes is a year in, year out ridiculous value that also drinks well past its humble price point. Comprised of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah that was aged for 6 months in concrete, it has loads of raspberry, licorice, mineral and Provencal herbs as well as a soft, supple and silky textured feel on the palate. Coming from old Grenache vines (70-90 years in age) located on the Plateau de Domazan - which lies on the right bank of the Rhone river, just west of ...Read More »
96 points Wine Enthusiast: "The 2010 Beaucastel is a tour de force, brilliantly combining espresso and black olive notes with bright raspberry fruit, while dark earthy notes provide a solid base. The feel on the palate is ample, with tannins that are a bit dusty but not tough or chewy. The long, mouthwatering finish bodes well for the future. Drink now–2030." (2/2015) 96 points Wine Spectator: "*#8 on Top 100 Wines of 2013* Dark, dense and very closed now, this has a tremendous core of crushed plum, linzer torte and blackberry confiture waiting in reserve. Ample singed cedar and mesquite, warm paving stone an ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Jancis Robinson: "*Good Value* Sweet spices, juicy red fruit, a touch of marzipan and appreciable tannic grip for Côtes du Rhône. Nicely made – more serious than most." (3/2015) K&L Notes: Just across the Rhône river from the esteemed vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this 88-acre estate is owned and operated by Rodolphe de Pins, a UC Davis graduate and former member of the winemaking staff at Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe. Montfaucon crafts their Côtes du Rhône to express the intense fruit characteristics of the appellation, blending to achieve harmony and balance.
92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Even more impressive, the estate's old vine cuvee, the 2012 Rasteau La Fontaine, is consistently one of the top 2-3 wines in the vintage. A blend of mostly tank-aged Grenache, with a splash of Mourvedre (aged in demi-muid), this gorgeous effort tastes like the essence of Rasteau. Black fruits, dried spices, garrigue and mineral-like aromas all flow from the glass and this full-bodied, concentrated and blockbuster-styled Rasteau will benefit from a year or two in the cellar, and evolve gracefully for upward of a decade. Located in Rasteau, Domaine La Coll ...Read More »
A blend of 80 percent Grenache and 20 percent Carignane from a family-run winery in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. From the winery: "Ruby red colour with purplish reflections. On the nose, red fruits, raspberry, typical of young Grenache noir. On the palate, very aromatic and fresh supported by discreet, soft tannins. Smooth, quaffing."
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Tasted out of barrel, the 2012 Languedoc Pezenas Equilibre is similar to the 2011, yet I think could be even better. Offering loads of black fruits, pen ink, licorice and toasted spice, this medium to full-bodied effort has a plush, polished texture, fantastic purity of fruit and no hard edges, with fine tannin coming through on the finish. It should have a decade of ultimate longevity." (4/2014) K&L Notes: Villa Symposia was founded in 2003, after Bordeaux vigneron Eric Prissette was passing through the Languedoc and fell in love with the region. He stopped at Aspi... Read More »
91-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A wine that blew me away was the 2014 Languedoc Les Darons by Jeff Carrel. Still in barrel, it offers thrilling notes of black and blue fruits, violets, and peppery spice to go with a medium to full-bodied, elegant, seamless profile on the palate. A blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Carignan and 10% Syrah that was fermented and aged all in concrete tank, it has striking purity, integrated acidity and a great finish. It should drink nicely on release and have 7-8 years of overall longevity. (JD)" (4/2015) K&L Notes: From the importer: "An accessible wine with loads of charac... Read More »
This rich South African red blend is the perfect party wine. Gaining depth and spice from Syrah, verve from Mourvèdre, and perfume from Viognier, it is easy to love--and easy to drink by the gallon! Fortunately, its price tag is friendly, too. From the winery: "Ripe blackberries and spicy pepper flavours from the Syrah driving this blend are met with a soft and supple palate. Good density with lingering flavours and a hint of oak. Soft, supple tannins makes for early, easy drinking."
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A new cuvee, the 2012 Baron Louis Lirac is a gorgeous Lirac that has pretty black raspberry, spice and floral aromatics, medium-bodied richness and an overall elegant, polished and layered style. It's a serious wine that will have 8-10 years of longevity. (JD)" (1/2015) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Offers a lush, flattering feel, with velvety raspberry and plum sauce flavors gliding along, carried by twinges of anise, fruitcake and singed cinnamon stick. Fresh acidity lets everything meld on the finish. Drink now through 2017. 4,100 cases made." (11/2015) K&L Notes: An 88-acre estate, Château de M... Read More »
The Verquiere estate has been passed down from father to son for many generations and is now managed by brothers Romain and Thibaut Chamfort. Following age-old traditions and as well as sustainable practices, the estate was recently certified organic. The Cotes du Rhone is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah, grown on chalky clay soils with loads of large pebbles in the vineyards. Verquiere recently returned to us after a long hiatus and we are pleased to have them back.
One of our most popular rosés, this fresh and balanced wine comes from one of our favorite co-ops in the south of France. It's a blend of Syrah and Grenache growing in volcanic soils in the heart of the Languedoc. With aromas and flavors of ripe strawberries and raspberries, this crisp, medium-bodied rosé is an ideal complement to spring green salads, light cheeses, mac and cheese, mozzarella cheese salads, goat cheese, cheese and crackers with olives and salumi...or enjoy as an evening aperitif, cheese optional.
Costières de Nîmes is at the southernmost part of the Rhône Valley, sitting on the opposite bank of Chateauneuf du Pape. One of our best new finds is Château de l'Ermitage which produces three terrific values with imminent drinkability. The estate's history traces back to the 12th century when the winery produced wine for the pilgrims of St-Jacques de Compostelle who were traveling the Santiago de Compostela. The property is now owned by the Castillon family, and today Michel and his son Jerome manage the vineyards and winemaking. The "Victor" is named f... Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Fruit cake, generous and jammy but without being hot or over-cooked. Classic red fruit and spice. Standard...well balanced and tasty." (3/2015) Wine Spectator: "Fresh and direct, with a beam of raspberry coulis and melted red licorice flavors, exhibiting a juicy feel on the finish. A solid crowd-pleaser. Drink now." (11/2015)
90 points Vinous: "Deep ruby. Smoky cherry and blueberry aromas display very good clarity and a touch of cracked pepper. Showing its Syrah component, with sappy black and blue fruit flavors sharpened by a spicy nuance. A sexy floral note comes up on a gently tannic finish that lingers with very good persistence. As usual, this wine punches well above its category and should reward at least another four or five years of patience. (JR)" (2/2015) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "A perennial favorite, it’s reassuring to see that the quality continues to remain high even from Guigal’s least expensive cuvée. Red ...Read More »
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Beautifully perfumed, the 2012 Rasteau offers a sweet bouquet of red and black fruits, pepper, underbrush, incense and spices to go with a medium to full-bodied, deep and layered profile on the palate. Possessing solid mid-palate depth, fine tannin and rocking length, it should be a no-brainer purchase and drink nicely for 7-8 years. Located in Rasteau, Domaine La Colliere is run by the talented Georges Perrot, with consulting advice from Philippe Cambie. Both of these 2012s are excellent and some of the top wines in the vintage. (JD)" (12/2013)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Praise for Mas Karolina's 2013 vintage from the Wine Advocate: "These three impressive barrel samples were made by Caroline Bonville from her small estate in the Roussillon. They all showed beautifully, with solid purity of fruit and lively, fresh profiles that made them a joy to drink."" (4/2014) K&L Notes: Mas Karolina is the project of Caroline Bonville, cousin of Olivier Bonville proprietor of one of our favorite Champagne houses Franck Bonville. Caroline originally hails from Bordeaux where much of her family still resides. Looking for her own property, she se... Read More »
92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Not yet bottled, the 2014 Châteauneuf du Pape is one of the few inky colored wines in the vintage. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated and ripe with notable tannin, it offers beautiful notes of blackberry, shitake mushrooms, licorice and pepper meats. It plays in the 2014 vintage’s forward, supple nature, but has real depth and concentration. I don’t think it will be the longest lived Beaucastel, but it will have 15-20 years of overall longevity. While 2013 and 2014 are no doubt difficult vintages, this is still a brilliant lineup of wines from the Per ...Read More »
Inventory: Special Order
Wine Spectator: "Fresh and light, showing a floral edge to the brisk core of peach pit and rose water. Shows lots of zip through the finish, but remains just a touch lean in the end." (6/2015) K&L Notes: Domaine de la Colombe is based in the village of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume, located at elevations between 900 and 1,300 feet. The terroir includes clay-limestone soils in combination with sandier soils in the valley.
I met winemaker Sophie Guiraudon this past winter at the organic wine fair Millesime Bio. It's an annual event where organic winemakers from all over the world gather to show their wines. I tasted with her and was immediately smitten with the quality of the wines. I made an appointment to visit her winery right after the fair ended. Sophie is a one woman show farming 25 acres of vines while running her humble facility in Corbieres. The region is kind of a hodge podge of soil types but Sophie's vines are planted on silty clay-limestone. Her "Les ... Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I loved the 2013 Côtes du Roussillon from Domaine Cabirau. A blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Carignan that was aged mostly in tank, it offers a voluptuous, sexy personality to go with lots of kirsch and black raspberry fruit, savory herbs, pepper and dried earth. This medium to full-bodied, complex, elegant red has a core of sweet fruit, fine tannin and a great texture, all of which come together nicely on the finish. It’s already hard to resist, and I see no reason to delay gratification. These blockbuster efforts are made by Dan Kravitz at the ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The finest rosé yet from this estate (the wine is made by the top notch team at Chateau Beaucastel), the light pink colored 2014 Cotes de Provence Rose sports a fresh and lively bouquet of wild strawberries, raspberries and white flowers to go with a supple, lightly textured, silky and seamless feel on the palate. About as gulp-able and hard to resist as they come, it's a killer rosé to drink over the coming 6-8 months." (6/2015) 91 points Vinous: "Vivid salmon-skin color. Fresh, incisive aromas of orange zest, redcurrant and white flowers, with hints of honey and lavender i ...Read More »
Domaine Dragon is located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, in southeastern France where its vineyards benefit from the kind of calcareous clay soils that are ideal for producing Rhone varietals with concentration and freshness. It consists of 60 hectares with 24 hectares under vine, planted on hillside terraces to promote perfect ripening. With delicate strawberry and peach aromas and flavors, this is quintessential Provencal rose, a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Cinsault that was fermented in stainless steel to preserve freshness of ... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Côtes du Rhône Villages Sablet is a fruity, jammy, Provençal effort that has straightforward cherry, garrigue and hints of leather to go with medium-bodied richness and depth. Drink it over the coming couple of years. (JD)" (1/2015) K&L Notes: The Verquiere estate has been passed down from father to son for many generations and is now managed by brothers Romain and Thibaut Chamfort. Following age-old traditions and as well as sustainable practices, the estate was recently certified organic. The Sablet is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre, 5... Read More »
The Verquiere estate has been passed down from father to son for many generations and is now managed by brothers Romain and Thibaut Chamfort. Following age-old traditions and as well as sustainable practices, the estate was recently certified organic. The Plan de Dieu is a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah, grown on clay-limestone soils with rounded pebbles in the vineyards. Verquiere recently returned to us after a long hiatus and we are pleased to have them back.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Moving to the reds, the 2011 Vin de Pays Terre de Bussiere is a blend of mostly Merlot, with 20% Syrah and a splash of Grenache and Cabernet. Aged all in older barrels, it exhibits meaty notes of green olives, plum and leather to go with a soft, quaffable palate. Enjoy this bistro-styled effort over the coming year or three...Located in the town of Courthezon, and covering 38 acres in Chateauneuf du Pape and 100 acres in Cotes du Rhone, Domaine de la Janasse is run by the brother/sister pair, Christophe and Isabelle Sabon. While 2011 was a difficult vint ...Read More »
An elegant salmon pink, this rosé exudes aromas of summer cherries and raspberries, with a zippy, refreshing finish.
Mas Karolina is the project of Caroline Bonville, cousin of Olivier Bonville, proprietor of one of our favorite Champagne houses Franck Bonville. Caroline originally hails from Bordeaux where much of her family still resides. Looking for her own property, she settled in the village of Maury located in the Roussillon. There, her restrained sensibilities are making some of the most pristine, clean and balanced wines in the region. A blend of Grenache Noir, Syrah, and Carignan, with intense and ripe aromatics of cherry, licorice, coconut, and chocolate.... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "A fresh and racy style, with violet-edged plum and raspberry fruit that drives through the stone-tinged finish. Grenache and Syrah. Drink now. 1,300 cases made." (9/2014) K&L Notes: Courtois is a property acquired by the Jaume family in 2003. The winery itself had fallen into disrepair but the vineyards were in remarkable condition. What distinguishes Vinsobres is its elevation, with vineyards sitting at 350 to 450 meters, and the latitude being the northernmost of the Côtes du Rhône crus.
89-91 points Vinous: "Bright ruby-red. Heady smoke- and spice-accented aromas of dark fruit preserves, mustard seed, white pepper and lavender are enlivened by a mineral nuance. Palate-coating blueberry and cherry compote flavors are lifted by smoky mineral and floral nuances. Expands and deepens on the finish, which is framed by smooth, subtle tannins. This sexy, floral wine should be appealing on the young side but it also looks like it has the depth to age. (JR)" (5/2015)
This nicely priced Rhone blend is a selection from negociant Alain Corcia of Burgundy.
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape (which tips the scales around 15% natural alcohol) is a great example of traditional Chateauneuf du Pape winemaking. A dense dark ruby color is followed by a sexy nose of raspberries, ground pepper, spice box, damp earth, kirsch and dark currants. Full-bodied, complex, elegant and already irresistible as the tannins have completely melted away, it can be drunk now and over the next 15+ years. (RP)" (1/2011) 94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Ruby-red. Highly perfumed bouquet evokes candied red fruits, potpourri and allspice, with notes of licorice and white pep ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
91 points Vinous: "The 2013 Cuvée Le Bec, Beckmen's entry-level Rhône blend, is absolutely gorgeous. Dark, sensual and inviting, the 2013 hits all the right notes. Black cherry, plum, spice, menthol and licorice blossom into the supple, deeply expressive finish. The 2013 is a bit more Syrah-heavy than in some previous years, which contributes to its personality. Best of all, the 2013 is an absolute steal. The blend is 45% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 8% Counoise and 7% Mourvèdre. (AG)" (8/2015)
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "...The 2011 Cotes du Ventoux La Terre du Petit Homme offers awesome aromas and flavors of roasted herbs, melted licorice, earth and black cherry-styled fruit in a medium to full-bodied, deep, layered and rich profile. Gorgeous all around, with excellent mid-palate depth and sweet tannin, it’s another smoking value from this producer that readers need to check out. One of the up-and-coming producers in the Cotes du Ventoux appellation, Chateau Juvenal is co-owned by Anne-Marie and Bernard Forestier, and Sebastien Alban. Building a new cellar in 2011, and ...Read More »
Wine Advocate said of the producer, "The team at Delas Frere continues to make outstanding wines from just about everywhere in the Rhône Valley." (10/2015)
Classic pink Provence blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault and 20% Syrah. Notes from the winemaker: "Light pink in color, with violet shades, this wine possesses a memorable and complex aroma. A lively wine that is smooth and possessing a certain sweetness. Very fruity, this rosé is particularly well suited as an aperitif or with salads and vegetable dishes."
If you are a fan of the gorgeous rosés of Pradeaux, you will love this enticing dry rosé from Domaine Dupuy de Lôme. Farmed organically, this is a classic Bandol rosé at Provencal price. Peachy citrus fruits with hints of berry skin and cut flowers, this is fresh, complex, and invigorating all at once. It is perfect grilled fish and seafood dishes, but balanced to take on more complex and spicy dishes too. For a traditional pairing, try it with bouillabaisse, or be more adventurous and pair it with Pad Thai or fish curry.
Wine Spectator: "A medium-bodied red, with herb and leather aromas, flanked by plum, black cherry and spice flavors. Presents a fresh core of clean minerality, supported by bright acidity and dusty tannins. Spice and floral notes show on the finish." (8/2015) K&L Notes: Château Trillol sits high in the hills of southwestern France. The vineyard is located in between two of the Corbières terroirs: Termenès and Quéribus. The local grape varieties, Grenache, Syrah and Carignan, are harvested by hand and blended to produce authentic wines that are packed with character and a strong sense... Read More »
The name of the estate is the first indication of its long, illustrious past. Located in the heart of Provence, near routes traveled by Crusaders in the early Middle Ages, the Commanderie de Peyrassol was founded by the Knights of Templar who were dedicated to protecting the Crusaders en route to, and in, the Holy Land. The first recorded harvest took place in 1256 and winemaking has continued uninterrupted throughout the centuries. When the Templars were brought down in 1311 by the King of France, who was nervous of their power and jealous of their weal... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
The 2014 rosé is a blend of 40% Grenache and 60% Cinsault. From the winery: "Powerful nose, white peach with spicy notes, evolving towards candied apricots, guava, exotic fruit. Great fullness in the mouth, a rich wine with great character, excellent aromatic length typical to the unique terroir of Château Saint Pierre. Its innate character is a perfect match for Mediterranean-style cuisine.'
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A smaller production release that comes from three separate parcels and 100-year-old vines, the 2012 Cornas Vin Noir is aged all in older barrels. Inky purple/black in color, it exhibits awesome notes of cassis, burning embers, saddle leather and that powdered rock-like minerality that you only find in wines from granite soils. Full-bodied, voluptuously textured and even decadent, yet still pure, focused and precise, this blockbuster Cornas will have two decades of longevity. Proprietor Stephane Robert continues to find gold in these recent vintages. (JD ...Read More »
Vigneron Marc Barriot has been producing wines in Roussillon since 2004. He sought out ancient vines and uses traditional practices to deliver some truly distinctive wines. Marc uses biodynamic methods, even plowing by horse, and uses minimal sulfur in his winemaking.
96 points Wine Spectator: "This gushes forth, with loads of plum, blackberry and cassis that saturate the palate, while apple wood, tobacco and perfumy incense keep everything fresh and alluring through the very lengthy finish, where a lively peppery hint leaves a mouthwatering feel. Best from 2013 through 2024." (10/2011) 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "What I tend to think of as the top cuvee, although it is not that certain when you taste these wines next to each other, is the Chateauneuf du Pape Collection Charles Giraud. The 2009, which is showing better from bottle than it did last year, is a wonderfully com ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
95 points James Halliday: "A blend of Shiraz and Grenache, old vines the source of the grapes. A fragrant bouquet speaks of the seamless union of the high-toned red fruits of the Grenache and the black fruits of the Shiraz; the role of tannins is important, that of oak less so. Will flower profusely with 2 or 3 years in bottle." (7/2014) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "The truly wondrous thing about wine is that speaks of where it comes from. All true wine has a local accent - something distinct and unmistakable that helps you place it in an instant. This old vine Shiraz Grenache is our wine of... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "The aromas of cracked peppercorns, iodine, blackberries, crushed stone, dried spices and black olives are practically intoxicating on their own. Then, on the palate, you can taste the intensity, with firm tannins that come from a patch of 50-year-old vines in Sorgues. Drink this blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre and 5% Cinsault from 2017–2025, treating it almost as if it were a mini Châteauneuf-du-Pape." (8/2015) 90 points James Suckling: "This is a blend of 60 percent grenache with syrah, mourvèdre and cinsault, fermented with its stems and without added yeasts. It’s ...Read More »