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K&L Staff Recommendations
Sancerre at half the price! The Fournier family, with roots as deep as their vines in this region, seem to be related to just about everyone in some way. They've been farming and producing wines in Sancerre for generations. We are pleased to have been offered this wine, yet again, at such a great price. Soft, subtle mineral notes are wrapped up in aromatics of melon and citrus. Clean, bright and refreshing, this is a perfect little Sauvignon Blanc. Tropical fruit, citrus and spice aromas and flavors, with vibrant acidity and minerality. Perfect for goat ... Read More »
This Chardonnay is produced by the three brothers Couillaud at the Château de la Ragotière, a few minutes from the Atlantic near the mouth of the Loire River, where the maritime climate is ideal for producing whites that are refreshing and bright. The Couillauds age most of this wine on its lees until bottling to add weight and texture with around 10% being barrel-fermented in French oak for the faintest touch of toastiness. Saveur magazine wrote about a previous vintage: "This value-priced Chardonnay tastes crisp and bright. It comes from the western Lo... Read More »
Invigorating and fresh, with lemony citrus aromas and flavors accented by delicate white flowers. The palate is full and fresh, with balanced acidity and minerality on the finish. This a style of wine which keeps your palate fresh and alive. Although easy to drink it has complexity and intrigue up and down the aromatic and palate. You'll be wanting another after the first one has disappeared. (Eric Story, Loire Buyer)
This Sancerre has a pale yellow color with hints of flashing green. Aromatically, it possesses a nice fruity component of crispy white peaches, melon, yellow plums and the typical presence of place notes of flinty minerals. On the palate, it has a richness and persistence which is nicely balanced with fruit texture, mineral and acidity. The excellent length gets even better as the bottle breathes. If you can get your hands on a round of Crottin de Chavignol, call it a day. Or, try this with pan roasted shellfish with just a touch of butter and a squeeze ... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "A soft sparkler, featuring cherry, peach and strawberry notes, with a pillowy finish. Drink now. (Web Only—2013)" K&L Notes: A wine with tiny, long-lasting bubbles, Deligeroy's Cremant de Loire Rosé is a lovely gleaming pink, enticing with a delicate, nervy nose and aromas of fresh red fruit. It's lively on the attack and has lovely aromatic intensity and brightness. Well-balanced in the mouth, this sparkler is enhanced by a fresh but subtle finish. The wine is stored for at least 12 months on racks in freestone cellars before disgorging to make incomparably fine bub... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Offers lime and lemon zest notes, with a hint of sel gris. Presents a fresh, bright finish. Drink now." (9/2014) K&L Notes: This Muscadet is very pure and bright, with an intense floral bouquet with overtones of spice and fruit. The richness, balance and freshness of this wine make it an excellent example of its appellation. It is enjoyable young, but will age well for several years. It is, however, unlikely you'll be able to save some--it's that good. Perfect accompaniment to fish and seafood dishes.
Fifty-year-old, low-yielding vines planted in limestone soils are sourced for this 100% Chenin Blanc. Aromas of pear and apricot with honeyed nuance reverberate on the palate with a rounded and rich profile. Mineral notes drive the finish of this harmonious and aromatically expressive Loire blanc. (Eric Story, Loire Buyer)
This is a straightforward, refreshing version of Vouvray Chenin Blanc. With a gold color, this wine is dry and smooth. It displays very nice citrus and fruity notes like ripe peach and green pear as well as floral aromas such as sweet acacia. The wine is round and fruity, well-balanced and ends super fresh. A killer value in 100% Chenin Blanc. Picked from 45-year-old vines and then vinified in stainless and aged in tank for 2-3 months. Fantastic with fish dishes with an exotic flair and of course the typical meat and cheese starter plates.
Surprisingly serious for a twelve dollar bottle of Cabernet Franc. Concentrated aromas of black and red fruits with dried herbs and hints of tobacco spice. Good earthiness but on the more on the subdued side and nice tannin on the finish. An overachieving entry level wine. (Eric Story, Loire Buyer)
Brothers Yvon and Pascal Tabordet took over the family winery in 1981. Located in Sancerre, they soon branched out across the Loire river to Pouilly Fumé, where they now tend 12 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc vines planted on calcareous clay soils which are intermixed with flint. The wine is slowly fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks with no malolactic fermentation.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a solid, firm and ripe wine. With its dry structure and still youthful tannins, it has weight and the potential to age. The smoky aromas and fragrant berry fruits are bursting out of the glass, giving a ripe wine that should be drunk after 2016." (3/2015) K&L Notes: A rich ruby red with notes of violets and red berry fruits, this Cabernet Franc is nicely layered on the palate with brightness running throughout and just a touch of smoke mixed in with some purple fruits. Soft waves of mineral with a nice soft tannin make this a true delight to drink. Domaine le... Read More »
Translated to mean 'the son of the fat sheep', this delicious Muscadet is made by Claude Branger, a committed grower who farms his 61 acres in the heart of the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine appellation completely sustainably, with an attention to detail that translates to wines of superior quality. He harvests by hand, and bottles without fining or filtration. This is his entry-level Muscadet and a glorious value for the price. It is dry and fresh, with tangy lemony citrus aromas and flavors, delicate creaminess on the midpalate, and a minerally finish. You wi... Read More »
100% Gamay from the heart of the Loire. A lovely pale pink color with hints of strawberry cream and spice on the nose. A very bright and cheerful style of rose with a nice crisp finish that is fantastically refreshing and easy to drink. I am seeing a lot of empty bottles of this going into my recycling bin over the next few months. (Eric Story, K&L Loire wines buyer)
This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc selected from multiple terroirs in the region of Saumur, in the Loire Valley. This wine has an earthy, dense nose with hints of black fruits and iron. A clean and refreshing style of Cabernet Franc, there are no weird or overwhelming notes of green pepper here! This would be fantastic with grilled and/or braised meats. It could use a little bottle age or a good 45 minutes of decanting to really show its stuff. (Eric Story, Loire Buyer)
A touch deeper in color than the "Les Rochettes" from Bourgueil along with a bit more density throughout. A broad mouth feel with a really nice silky tannin component adds to its structure and overall appeal. Lots of fleshy purple fruits and silky spring flowers. Domaine les Pins has been family run for five generations. They are a small artisanal producer which oversees every stage of the production from start to finish themselves. They have roughly 30 hectares of Cabernet Franc spread out through the Bourgueil and Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil regions. Th... Read More »
Joël Taluau is a fabulous grower in St. Nicolas de Bourgueil known for making some of the purest expressions of Cabernet Franc in the Loire, which are unmarred by the intrusion of oak. He was also the first producer in the appellation to begin domaine bottling. These days, Joel makes wines with the help of his son-in-law, Thierry Foltzenlogel. Their "Expression" comes from vines up to 35 years old, planted on a hillside with clay and limestone. The terroir is perfect for a youthful expression of Cabernet Franc that's immediately drinkable and fresh, with... Read More »
90 points Wine & Spirits: "Robust fruit drives this tight, floral Chinon, lasting on red cherry flavor. The roasted character to the aroma suggests pairing this with rustic, hearty dishes, like a salade aux gésiers, with chicken gizzards and livers, bacon, eggs and potatoes. The wine comes from 20-year-old vines grown on sand and limestone." (4/2015) K&L Notes: An extremely well-put-together cuvee that shows the lively 2013 fruit structure, with precision minerality that adds to its richness and balance. It's very sexy now and certain to continue to evolve and improve over the next few years ... Read More »
This one is showing absolutely superbly! The "Symbiose" is a selection of vines which are grown in amphibolites soils. Sharp steely minerals, up front brightness with nice reach across the palate and a good juicy length. Just a touch more density across the palate with a broader sense of texture reaching through the finish.
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Bottled in May 2014, the 2013 Muscadet de Sevre et Maine Sur Lie Clos des Briords is from a Clos in the sub-region of Chateau Thébaud where the vines have grown for 50 years in granite soils. The wine offers a delicious and brillant bouquet of rather white than yellow-fleshed fruits and a refreshing lime aroma. The palate is pure and straight, the structure firm and mineral, its aging potential enormous. Marc offered me the 1995, which he had opened recently with friends. It still had a vibrant citrus color and showed a beautifully matured aroma of dried ...Read More »
Joël Taluau is a fabulous grower in St. Nicolas de Bourgueil known for making some of the purest expressions of Cabernet Franc in the Loire, which are unmarred by the intrusion of oak. He was also the first producer in the appellation to begin domaine bottling. These days, Joel makes wines with the help of his son-in-law, Thierry Foltzenlogel.
It's unlikely you'll find a more elegant, refined pear cider than this one from famed biodynamic Loire Valley cider producer Eric Bordelet. The tiny little tear-dropped shaped fruit for this comes from a stand of 60-foot tall, 300-year-old pear trees. With a delicate bead and complex flavors that are unparralelled, this would make a stunning and surprising substitution for Champagne at your next party.
91 points Wine Spectator: "Plump, with ginger and quince paste notes out front, followed by brioche, pear and fig flavors. Stays juicy through the finish with a toasted hazelnut edge adding a flattering note. Should broaden out a bit more with modest cellaring. Drink now through 2018." (12/2014) K&L Notes: Wondering what wine to serve with all of those heartwarming winter time vegetable recipes? Impress your friends and your palate with this delightful Vouvray. Absolutely brilliant with butternut squash anything (I just had it with roasted butternut squash tacos) and will most definitely stan... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
2009 was a fantastic vintage for Cabernet Franc from the Loire and this bottling helps prove that. Coming from a selection of the estates oldest vines this has a really expressive aromatic of lush fruits and wild flowers up front with layers of balanced texture, tannin and lift. Could use a good hour of decanting. Joël Taluau is a fabulous grower in St. Nicolas de Bourgueil known for making some of the purest expressions of Cabernet Franc in the Loire, which are unmarred by the intrusion of oak. He was also the first producer in the appellation to begin ... 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 incredibly balance and energy, a true representation of the soil. A great value.
Maison Couly-Dutheil is undeniably one of the finest estates of the red wine-focused, central Loire region of Chinon, with eighty acres of prime Chinon vineyards as well as seven hectares of Saumur and Saumur Champigny. The estate's Chinon holdings are impressive indeed as they spread over three distinct Chinon terroirs: Sand and gravel along the Vienne River which produce light and fruit-driven wines, siliceous slopes and plateaus which impart a certain finesse and elegance to Chinon; and finally clay and limestone slopes which produce Chinon's most ser... Read More »
Vincent Gaudry is a traditionalist in Sancerre who has gained respect among his peers for dedication to authentic espression of Sancerre terroir. His was the first domaine in Sancerre to be certified biodynamic, and the naturally low yielding vines endow the wines with richness and volume. Mélodie de Vieilles Vignes is sourced from vines up to 90 years old, and the concentration and complexity show driving minerality and savory flavors adorned with notes of grapefruit zest and cut grass.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Pale yellow. Subtly aromatic bouquet of lemongrass, white flowers and woodsmoke. Dry, focused and pure, with the citrus and orchard fruit flavors highlighted by dusty minerals. The finish is refreshingly spicy and very persistent, calling for a dozen oysters. As this wine represents two-thirds of the estate's total production, it is a tribute to the quality aspirations of the family." (9/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "The ripe and fruity style typical of Vacheron wines is evident here. Citrus flavors are given a rich fillip by yellow fruits and a rounded, full texture. Touches of ...Read More »
This red comes from 40- to 60-year-old Gamay from a single block of vines, harvested by hand and fermented and aged in tank for eight months before release. Pure and rich, it represents an astounding value in Touraine and the Loire as a whole!
The Domaine's masterpiece, the Clos de l'Echo, lies within this calcareous clay soil and is the stuff of legend. This walled vineyard and it's castle earned it's nomenclature from the echo sent back by the castle walls. Once owned by the great French satirist Francois Rabelais and his family, the vineyard was purchased in 1952 by the Couly-Dutheil family and replanted the following year. The Clos de l'Echo is a wine of grand proportion, complex, structured, and very ageworthy. This 2002 is a legendary wine in the making, with great concentration and perf... Read More »
The nose is teeming with loads of red fruit up top and a slightly denser core of blue fruits underneath. The chalk of the soil comes through on the mid-palate while the classy fruit texture of the Pinot Noir envelops a silky tannin structure which leads into a tasty finish that lingers on the palate for quite some time. This is definitely a denser and more concentrated version of the regular Cheverny Rouge and would greatly benefit with about three years of bottle aging, or a good hour of decanting.
This is produced all in stainless steel, solely from Cabernet Franc that is grown on a limestone slope. It has a rich ruby color and excellent structure. A nice fruity style of Chinon, this value-priced wine has a subtle peppery spice, ripe dark berries and a soft, chalky mineral character that really makes the fruity core come to life. There are rich tannins on the finish and a juicy freshness throughout. I swear to you that you can actually taste the glow of the summertime sun right in this bottle. Absolutely stellar while enjoying a burger right off ... Read More »
50 year old vines planted in Amphibolite and Metagabbro soils. Light and crispy with mouthwatering minerals and a lean but very balanced finish. A fantastic fresh and vibrant white to have on hand at all times. Can be served as the perfect aperitif. But, even better with straight out of the ocean crustaceans, crusty bread and a group of good friends. (Eric story, Loire Buyer)
Maison Couly-Dutheil is undeniably one of the finest estates of Chinon with eighty acres of prime Chinon vineyards as well as seven hectares of Saumur and Saumur Champigny. The estate's Chinon holdings are impressive indeed as they spread over three distinct Chinon terroirs: Sand and gravel along the Vienne River which produce light and fruit driven wines, siliceous slopes and plateaus which impart a certain finesse and elegance to Chinon; and finally clay and limestone slopes which produce Chinon's most serious and profound wines. In the most successfu... Read More »
In the small commune of Bué, just outside of Sancerre, François Crochet and his wife farm 10.5 hectares of prime vineyards that boast all three of the main Sancerre soil type: chalk, flint, and gravelly marl. François' reputation as a producer of first class, hand-crafted Sancerrre is on the rise, and as a boutique producer with such a small production, we are lucky to get what we have. All the fruit is hand-harvested. Lithe and focused, this displays classic Sancerre lemony citrus and mineral aromas and flavors, with great energy and drive on the palate... Read More »
Located in Thoré-la-Rochette in the eastern Loire near the Atlantic ocean, father and son Jean and Benoit Brazilier farm 25 hectares of vines, ten of which are family owned (Benoit represents is the seventh generation of the Brazilier winemaking legacy here). They farm and produce appellation Coteaux du Vendômois wines from Chenin Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Pineau d'Aunis, and Cabernet Franc, and Vin de Pays from Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Gamay. They have some estate plantings of Pinot Noir. This sparkling Pineau d'Aunis Brut Rosé is absolute... Read More »
A sommelier by training, in 1992 Eric took over his family's estate and orchards. His goal was to revolutionize the cider industry and bring it into restaurants, high-end retail and export markets. A close friend of his, Didier Dagueneau, the icon wine-maker in Pouilly-sur-Loire encouraged him down the path of producing ciders from apples and pears that are like no others. Ciders that make one draw comparisons to fine vintage wine. The core of Bordelet's estate is the 1.5 hectares of antique varietal apple and pear trees that are 40-50 years old. He pla... Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "...Even better is the slightly richer, more honey and lemon-scented and flavored non-vintage Cremant de Loire. A blend of equal parts Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay aged for a minimum of 18 to 24 months in their cellars before disgorgement, this is a real beauty and a superb wine. Unfortunately, just under 100 cases are imported to the United States. (RP)" (6/2012) K&L Notes: This bubbly is very pure with fresh flowers, apples and sweet delicate spice. On the finish there is richness with underlying flavors of honey, nutmeg and vanilla which add to the well defined but ... Read More »
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 impressively energetic sparkling wine packs a more precise punch than plenty of non-vintage Champagnes." (5/2010) Wine & Spirits: "Golden in color and in its toasted lees flavors, this wine freshens up with honey and crisp apple notes. A spicy sparkler to ...Read More »
Tessier also produces a lovely blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, think white Bordeaux with a bit more snap. Sauvignon takes center stage here with typical liveliness, verve, just a hint of grassiness and tempered ever so slightly by the roundness of the Chardonnay. The persistent minerality to this is amazing!
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "From the flint soils of Les Romains, this tight wine is full of acidity, steely minerality and a promise of future greatness. It’s powerful, concentrated and rich, with yellow fruits, toast, gorgeous acidity and a long-lasting aftertaste. Drink from 2016." (10/2014)92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Light golden yellow. Seductive aromas of white flowers, pear and lemon, with an herbal kick. Offers a suave blend of fleshy orchard fruits and zestier citrus elements, with a spicy underpinning on the middle palate. A delicately pure minerality defines the long, sappy, highly focused finish of ...Read More »
A sommelier by training, in 1992 Eric took over his family's estate and orchards. His goal was to revolutionize the cider industry and bring it into restaurants, high-end retail and export markets. A close friend of his, Didier Dagueneau, the icon wine-maker in Pouilly-sur-Loire encouraged him down the path of producing ciders from apples and pears that are like no others. Ciders that make one draw comparisons to fine vintage wine. The core of Bordelet's estate is the 1.5 hectares of antique varietal apple and pear trees that are 40-50 years old. He plan... Read More »
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 vine thus keeping yields low and provoking the vine to send its roots down into the bedrock, and, when it is turned, mulches the soil with organic matter. The effect of proximity to the Layon, the... Read More »
100% Pinot Noir. This has a rich yet translucent purple color with dark cherries and blackberries filling the glass. There is a nice richness to the nose along with that classic Pinot spice. Very bright and pure on the palate with a fine tannins, sweet fruits and really nice lift on the finish. Drinking nice now with some decanting or continue to drink over the next few years. Can be served with beef dishes, lighter meats, salmon and cheese. (Eric Story, Loire Buyer)
Vines planted in primarily schist soils but with a bit of quartz and just a touch off sand as well. Quite an explosive wine. Full of ripe crunchy apple along with layer after layer of honeyed tea and roasted nuts. A definite candidate for the cellar. Or, even just having a glass a day over a week long span to see how this slow evolver will change. I put this into the Savennières powerhouse category. (Eric Story, Loire Buyer)
In the small commune of Bué, just outside of Sancerre, François Crochet and his wife farm 10.5 hectares of prime vineyards that boast all three of the main Sancerre soil type: chalk, flint, and gravelly marl. François' reputation as a producer of first class, hand-crafted Sancerrre is on the rise, and as a boutique producer with such a small production, we are lucky to get what we have. All the fruit is hand-harvested. "Le Chene Marchaund" is matured in barrel for 10-11 months, lending additional layers of depth and complexity to its focused, mineral-del... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Vouvray La Craie (chalk in French) is a clear and crisp 100% Chenin blanc under screwcap with aromas of green apples and limes on the nose and a clear and juicy, slight creamy palate. The finish is somewhat rustic but this is a good, light to medium-bodied wine to be served with seafood at lunchtime. (SR)" (10/2014) Wine Spectator: "On the soft side, with ginger, piecrust, persimmon and apple notes, backed by a lightly earthy echo on the finish. (Web-2013)" K&L Notes: This is 100% Chenin Blanc from hillside parcels ranging from 15-25 years old just outside the actual village o... Read More »
The mineral rich subsoils of this estate's vineyards promote an intense aromatic expression, supple tannins, fine balance, and a graceful long finish in the wine. This 100% Cabernet Franc is vinified traditionally, with gentle extraction following a fifteen day maceration period post-fermentation. The wine is then aged for six to eight months in tank, in the winery's underground facilities carved into the soft tuffeau hillside. Early bottling is key to preserving freshness of the wine's fresh fruit aromas and flavors. Enjoy now in the peak of its youthfu... Read More »