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K&L Staff Recommendations
Lovely Angeline, always a value, but never cheap... This wine comes to us via Sonoma County's Martin Ray Winery, owned by Courtney Benham (creator of the Blackstone brand). This multi-county blend of Pinot Noir has been well-received in recent years, maybe not tipping the point-scales over 90, but earning consistent praise for its solid, varietal character and good value.
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "* Cellar Selection * Though already four years old, this blend of 77% Zinfandel and 23% Petite Sirah shows lots of promise for a long-lasting wine. Complicated aromas of tobacco and ripe boysenberries become sagebrush herbs on the palate, bolstered by blueberry and elderberry fruits. The tannic grip is still strong, so drink 2018–2028." (4/2015) K&L Notes: This is an exciting new Project from Steve McClean whose family has been greatly successful with growing and making wine from their estate Norman Vineyards in Paso Robles.
94 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Oroppas brings together a gorgeous combination of silkiness and power. Mocha, espresso, plum and smoke inform a textured, expressive Cabernet long on personality. The 2011 emerges from a number of parcels, but most of the fruit is from Paras on Mt. Veeder. This is an especially luscious, inviting wine from St. Clement and former winemaker Danielle Cyrot. (AG)" (11/2013)
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "The Syrah Tous les Jours is a quintisential Santa Ynez Valley Syrah. It is simultaneously Bold and Balanced, Rich and Smooth, Fruit Forward and Earthy. It is impossibly dark and full-bodied, without ever going over the top. It is heavily inspired by Northern Rhone Syrah (Hermitage) and Australian Shiraz (Barossa Valley). The aromas and flavors are dominated by black cherry, raspberry, white pepper, forest floor and toasty oak. It is absolutely unique and special expression of Syrah. Moreover, It is a style that one can enjoy every day." (3/2015) K&L Notes: Do you eve... Read More »
The 2013 Rickshaw Pinot Noir is the fifth vintage from the team at Banshee Wines. As difficult as it is to produce excellent Pinot Noir, it is even more difficult to do so at a fine value. In their development of the Banshee label, the winemakers gained a stable of quality sources for Pinot fruit from the finest AVAs in California, and Rickshaw was born out of this bounty. The largest share of fruit is sourced from the Sonoma Coast, followed by Anderson Valley and the Central Coast. The appeal of the wine is driven by its balance of fruit and earth tones... Read More »
Antonio Galloni: "Marietta's NV Old Vine Red Lot 62 is one of the very best California wines readers will find for the money. Zinfandel plays the leading role in a hearty, racy red bursting at the seams with flavor. Sweet red cherries, flowers, cedar and new leather add the final notes of complexity. Brothers Jake and Scot Bilbro seem to have breathed new life into Marietta, one of Sonoma's historic wineries. (Antonio Galloni)" (1/2015) 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 ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Made from purchased grapes and vinified in the winery, as opposed to buying bulk wine and blending it, it is indigenous yeast-fermented, and comes across as a high-octane, delicious/yummy, big, full-bodied red with lots of pepper and meaty notes intermixed with red and black fruits, earth, and spice. I believe some of the declassified lots from the Bedrock cuvées also end up in this blend. A terrific bargain, it should drink well for several years. (RP)" (12/2014) K&L Notes: The base for this wine comes from more than 100-year-old vines from the Bedrock vineyard, and... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "The first winery to plant Syrah in the county continues to produce powerful but layered expressions. This delivers rich aromas of cherry, stewed plum and blackberry alongside sage and a wisp of vanilla. On the palate, it starts rich, until bright acidity and tannins bring balance amidst mocha and blackberry jam flavors and an oak-powered vanilla finish." (2/2015)
Great Price - Just Reduced! Last year’s Ancient Peaks/K&L Zinfandel bottling was such a hit with our staff and customers that we could have done another vintage of it and we all would have been incredibly happy. However, that would be too easy, and that is simply not the K&L way. I started talking to the folks at AP early this year when we began the discussion about doing another bottling together. We both knew that we wanted to, but I really wanted to show off the winery's incredible Cabernet vines and I didn’t know if they had enough Cab to let us have... Read More »
Bench is one of the labels of Brack Mountain Wine Company, which sources this Pinot Noir mostly from the Sangiacomo vineyard in the Sonoma Coast AVA. Great aromatics of red fruit and orange peel and a smooth finish.
From the winery website, "When we say Fossil Point rocks - we mean it! Calcareous shale and coarse sand were uplifted from the floor of an ancient ocean and then weathered into place over millennia. It became a place of deep beauty and vast potential. Fossil Point is a rugged headland with sweeping views of the coastline stretching from Port San Luis to the Guadalupe Dunes. The Point is just five miles due west of the vineyards that are its namesake. Sunny afternoons are cooled by marine breezes sweeping off the Pacific Ocean, along Fossil Point to the v... Read More »
92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(13.9% alcohol; Sangiovese, Viognier, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel, to name but a few varieties in this blend): Bright, pale red. Almost Pinot-like perfume to the aromas of red berries, minerals, gingerbread cookie and rose petal. Sweet and round but exhilaratingly tangy too, offering enticing perfume to the flavors of cranberry, raspberry, blood orange and spicecake. Lovely balance and finesse here; complex in a subtle way." (5/2014) K&L Notes: If you try to find the exact cepage on this always-fantastic red blend, you might find yourself gazing up at the heavens fo... Read More »
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Red-ruby color. Vibrant aromas of cassis, black cherry, shoe polish and oak spice. Firm, focused dark berry flavors are supported by a solid spine of acids and tannins. Very unevolved but not hard or tart. Should age slowly and well." (6/1999) Wine Spectator: "Tight and firm, with a compact focus on the chunky currant, mineral, plum and blackberry flavors, it slowly unfolds to reveal more nuances. Should reward patience in the cellar. Made by Cathy Corison." (1/2000)
From our friends at Amici in Napa Valley, this great value Pinot Noir is sourced mainly from the Russian River Valley. Last year's lovely little 2012 (we've still got some as of this release) was scored 90 points by Wine Enthusiast: "It’s rare to get a twenty buck Pinot Noir this good." And Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar agreed, scoring the 2012 90 points and calling it, "A terrific value in California Pinot." Here's the 2013, same great price, from the same great folks--and a similarly great vintage!
94 points Antonio Galloni: "Crushed red berries, mint, flowers and cinnamon lift from the glass in the 2012 Pinot Noir Estate Sta. Rita Hills. This is one of the most polished, refined and aromatically expressive wines I have tasted from Melville. What a gorgeous, radian and totally sexy wine this is." (7/2014)92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Deep, vivid red. Sexy raspberry preserve and blood orange aromas are complemented by white flowers and Asian spices. Silky and round on the palate, with tangy minerality lifting pliant red fruit preserve flavors. Balances opulence and vivacity and finishes sappy, focused an ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* This terrific Zin brings classic varietal character to the table, with a full body, robust alcohol, dryness and intensely concentrated flavors of blackberry, black currant, dark chocolate, Chinese plum sauce and black pepper. Showing a mastery of the art of blending, its grapes come from north to south in the valley, Calistoga to Atlas Peak and multiple appellations in between. This is one of the greatest Zinfandel values in recent memory." (5/2014) K&L Notes: Krutz Family Cellars souced their Magnolia Series Zinfandel from across Napa Valley and it... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "**Best Buy** Richness, depth and generosity are good traits of this full-bodied but smooth-textured Cabernet. Light oak accents don't cover up the ripe, juicy, almost jammy blackberry and cherry flavors that fill the mouth and linger on the finish. It's an all-around crowd pleaser that has everything in balance." (1/2015)
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A mind-boggling value made from Syrah, Petite Sirah and Barbera, the 2012 Rhiannon Proprietary Red is a 19,000-case offering made by the Rutherford Wine Co. Aged in French and American oak, it offers abundant red and blackcurrant fruit, sweet dark cherries, licorice and loamy soil undertones. This loaded, delicious, pure, California fruit-bomb is ideal for drinking over the next year. (RP)" (11/2014) Wine Spectator: "A juicy version, with a vibrant overtone of red licorice and raspberry to the blackberry, blueberry and cranberry flavors. Smooth, with a nice range of clove, ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This classic Napa Cabernet (with a splash of Petit Verdot) is elegant, streamlined and absolutely lovely to drink now. It’s dry and balanced in acidity and tannins, and has rich layers of cassis, mocha, plums and toast." (2/2014)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The deep ruby/plum/purple-tinged 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa offers notes of cassis, blueberries, graphite and toasty vanillin. A nicely proportioned, medium to full-bodied, seriously endowed, elegant, restrained wine with admirable purity, it can be drunk now or cellared for 10-15 years." (10/2013) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright ruby-red. Aromas of blac ...Read More »
Rickshaw Wines are made by the three talented young men from Banshee--Noah, Steve and Baron--who share a very clear vision: to make "kick ass wines at easy to swallow prices." Fortunately for everyone involved, these guys know what they're doing. The 2012 vintage in California was phenomenal, and the wine showcases the perfect weather. From the winery" In this rendition of our Rickshaw Cabernet Sauvignon we were able to pull in some stellar pieces from Napa that really provide ballast and class to the wine. Dark currant, espresso, black plum and pencil l... Read More »
A fantastic Cabernet value from the great 2013 vintage. This wine was made by Yountville's most famous property. We can say no more. Very elegant for the vintage with layers of ripe red berry fruit. Silky texture with tons of latent tannin. Serve with a rack of lamb after decanting for an hour
Antonio Galloni: "Banshee's 2013 Pinot Noir (Sonoma County) is supple, racy and flat-out delicious, especially for the money. Raspberries, crushed flowers and soft spices linger on the effortless, gracious finish. Drink this soft Pinot over the next few years. This is one of the best values readers will find in Sonoma Pinot Noir. (Antonio Galloni)" (1/2015) K&L Notes: As difficult as it is to produce excellent Pinot Noir, it is even more difficult to do so at a fine value. In their development of the Banshee label, the winemakers gained a stable of quality sources for Pinot fruit fro... Read More »
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The inky/purple-colored 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Mise en Place comes from the rocky east side of Oakville, and spent 24 months in French oak. Playing it closer to the vest than its siblings, with coaxing, it reveals some extraordinarily ripe, rich blueberry and blackberry fruit intermixed with hints of charcoal, scorched earth and wet rocks. It has tremendous upside potential, but at present it is the least flattering of the Textbook Cabernets. Full-bodied and powerful, it should turn out to be a beauty, but buyers should plan on deferring their gratifica ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This beautiful Pinot Noir is a blend of various vineyards throughout the appellation. It shows classic coastal acidity, dryness and silkiness, with appealing raspberry, red licorice, cola and pomegranate flavors, wrapped into finely ground tannins. Decant and drink now." (6/2014) Antonio Galloni: "Sweet red berries, mint, flowers, hard candy and spices all inform the 2012 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast), the only 2012 Pinot that was in bottle at the time of this tasting. The 2012 is quite a bit racier and silkier than the 2011, a wine I have enjoyed on multiple occasions. There i ...Read More »
90 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* Deep, clean-as-can-be, ripe-berry fruit is teamed with a trim bit of sweet oak in the very well-focused aromas and incisively varietal flavors of this nicely made youngster, and the wine earns higher marks yet for its exemplary structure and balance. It is at once zesty and polished with great fruity precision, and its fine fit and finish ensure that it will grow for many years." (9/2014)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Proprietary Red Three Valleys is composed of 82% Zinfandel, 12% Petite Sirah and the rest Carignan and Alicante Bouchet. This sexy wine (14.2% natural ...Read More »
Crafted by Bob Pepi, "Two Angels Cabernet Sauvignon is complex, with cherries and hints of chocolate and vanilla on the nose. It is well-structured with good weight and balance on the palate were the flavors carry through very well to a pleasing finish," notes the winery.
Just released! This is the "Special Selection" bottling, following on the heels of the regular 2012 Caymus Napa Valley bottling which (while celebrating the winery's 40th anniversary) was the most popular wine we've sold in 2015. We are awaiting reviews and scores on the wine, but given the quality of the 2012 vintage in Napa, and the fact that the regular bottling received 96 points from Robert Parker, it's a safe bet to assume this is going to be incredibly well received by the press. *please note: due to btls length this wine will need to ship in st... Read More »
A partnership between three Paso Robles families who jointly own Margarita Vineyard, the southernmost in the region, just 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Their Cabernet Sauvignon is a deep and generous wine, with black fruits, toasty caramel and cedar notes and a rich, silky palate.
From fruit grown on several sites in Anderson Valley, Tous Ensemble is an immediately appealing Pinot Noir with a crunchy and vigorous red-fruited profile. It is great introduction to the style of winemaker Wells Guthrie, who delivers cool climate terroir which isn't sullied by high alcohol or too much wood. A perfect and long growing season in 2012 saw a two week harvest extending well into October but at only a 13.6% finished alcohol level in the finished wine, which was aged for nine months in neutral French oak. From the winery: "The delicately perfu... Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Robert Craig is still one of the most consistent wineries in terms of quality and keeping pricing within realistic levels, not something frequently seen in Napa Valley. The least expensive wine is the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Affinity, the estate Cabernet Sauvignon from the foothills just south of Stag’s Leap blended with small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec. An absolutely stunning value in Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa, the wine has an inky/purple color, a big sweet kiss of créme de cassis, spice box, mocha and assorted black ...Read More »
92 points Wine Spectator: "A lively, zesty red that offers bright cherry and tarragon aromas and sleekly layered flavors of briary raspberry, nutmeg and fresh-cracked black pepper. Drink now through 2021." (12/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Zinfandel Sonoma is an exuberant, richly fruity, medium-bodied effort displaying plenty of raspberry, blueberry and cherry fruit, 14.8% natural alcohol, and a lusty personality. It should drink well for several years." (12/2014) K&L Notes: Seghesio blends Alexander Valley and Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel into the Sonoma County, with loads of dark fruit supported by brambly fla... Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* Rich and approachable, driven by layers of blackberry, wild berry, cherry and plum flavors. This is well-proportioned and maintains a fruity profile amid firm tannins. Drink now through 2022. 14,000 cases made." (8/2014) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(from Sonoma County, Monterey County and Santa Barbara fruit): Moderately saturated medium red. Aromas of raspberry, smoke and earth. Soft and easygoing, with red fruit and woodsmoke flavors offering immediate appeal. Finishes with supple tannins and a slight tartness. (ST)" (6/2014) K&L Notes: 49% Sonoma Coast, 43% Monterey County and 8... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
A joint project from your K&L domestic buying team and a high-profile winery in the Santa Barbara area. The fruit for this wine comes from a cooler vineyard site with a north-facing slope. Clone 828 is a Dijon clone that matures early and often shows lots of structure, color and complexity. In general, the clone shows great acidity, red and blue fruits and palate presence. Because of its roundness and completeness, clone 828 makes an excellent individual bottling.
Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is a picture-perfect example of the year. Dark blue and black fruits, smoke, licorice, spices, menthol and new leather flesh out in the glass. The 2012 is supple, racy and expressive, even at this early stage. This is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. (AG)" (12/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This venerable winery continues to turn out a bevy of impressive wines in both 2012 and 2013. The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, which comes from holdings throughout the valley, is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot and tiny quantities of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Fr ...Read More »
Martin Ray specializes in crafting Cabernet Sauvignon from the most esteemed sub-appellations of Napa, Sonoma, and the Santa Cruz Mountains, and offers an amazing value over what you'd usually pay for such wines. 80% of this vintage is from the Stags Leap District, and is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 6% Malbec and 4% Petite Sirah. The winery's tasting notes: "This complex but sophisticated Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from some of the most sought-after regions in the Napa Valley showcases its roots from many of its mountain sources. Featuring ent... Read More »
A great value California Pinot Noir with a solid CV: It's a second label of Belle Glos, the Pinot Noir arm of Napa's Caymus Vineyards. And it's a consistent favorite here at K&L. The 2013 Pinot Noir is sourced from coastal Sonoma County, Monterey and Santa Barbara counties--thus the California appellation.
We couldn't be more excited to bring you another installment in what hopefully will turn out to be a long, fruitful project with wineries from around the United States, working with us directly to make exclusive bottlings for our customers. The Domestic team here at K&L has spent a great deal of time kicking around the idea of approaching wineries or winemakers we love, and asking them to work with us to create exclusive wines to our specifications. Furthermore we wanted to not only promote these outstanding wines, but the wineries behind them (rather th... Read More »
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Pinot Noir Russian River possesses pretty strawberry and cherry notes along with crisp acidity and an exuberant, fresh, medium-bodied personality with excellent concentration and ripeness. It should drink nicely for 5-6 years. Combining quality with reasonable prices and estate-grown grapes, you can’t do much better than Stephen Hansel’s Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. (RP)" (12/2013)90 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Pinot Noir Estate is racy, perfumed and accessible. Sweet spices, cranberries and red cherries inform a juicy, mid-weight Pinot long on class and balance. Swee ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The outstanding 2012 Petite Sirah is a 21,500-case cuvée of 100% Petite Sirah that was aged in a combination of 60% French oak and 40% stainless steel. While surprisingly soft and civilized for a Petite Sirah, it does not lack for flavor authority or density. Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by notes of blueberries, blackberries, incense and camphor. Meaty, rich and spicy with a hint of road tar, the sweetness of the tannins and the lushness and opulence of the wine are amazing. This tastes like a $30-$40 Petite Sirah, but it's available at less th ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Savory, earthy aromas of mushrooms, black pepper, iron and cranberry arise from this blend of nine vineyards, many of which are usually featured in single-vineyard selections. Umami rules the palate, and it’s quite full for a lighter-colored wine, with brown spice, light red fruit flavors and expertly balanced acidity." (3/2015) Antonio Galloni: "Calera's 2013 Pinot Noir is quite pretty, lifted and expressive. In this vintage, savory and floral overtones dominate over some of the more overt, fruit-driven notes that are often found in this bottling. The 2013 is made from a n ...Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Proprietary Red Blend The Prisoner is a creative blend of 44% Zinfandel, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petite Sirah, as well as Syrah, Grenache and Chardonnay. This dense, full-bodied, opulent red reveals gutsy, rich, peppery, meaty, blackberry, blackcurrant and licorice notes. A savory, lusty, heady red, it begs for a grilled steak or a big, juicy hamburger. Drink it over the next 4-5 years." (10/2014) K&L Notes: A perennial favorite as a crowd-pleaser and fun Napa red, the 2013 Prisoner is a Zinfandel-based (44%) blend with the balance in Cabernet Sauvignon,... Read More »
Killer New Price! -Produced and bottled by Brewer-Clifton, the "B-C" Kessler Haak Pinot Noir is a single vineyard wine that comes from the organically farmed Kessler-Haak Vineyard. It is located off Highway 246, about 7 miles west of the town of Buellton, in the heart of the Santa Rita Hills appellation. The blend is made up of 25% Clone 667, 25% Clone 113 and 50% of Clone 115. Only 161 cases were bottled of this unique wine.
With growing elevations ranging between 1000-1600 feet above sea level, Mount Veeder Winery enjoys its distinctive location and microclimates. From the winery: "Rugged mountain conditions produce grapes with intensely concentrated fruit and big, rich tannins. Taming these tannins and preserving flavor are the high-altitude winemaker's biggest challenge. Because Mount Veeder's growing season starts late and often stretches well into November, harvest is a waiting game. But patience is rewarded with fully-developed flavors and ripe, rich tannins in the ski... Read More »
Connoisseurs Guide: "Juicy, young, mildly curranty fruit is played against touches of toasted herbs, vanilla and bit of cranberry pertness first in the nose and again in the flavors of this very steady, slightly frontal, yet consistently focused working, and, while it is never as deep or ambitious as the best of its cousins, it is a tasty, nicely made Cabernet that delivers lots of varietal bang for the buck." (8/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Always one of the best buys in Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma (85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petite Sirah, 4% Merlot and 4% Zinfandel) offe ...Read More »
93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid ruby. Sexy red berry and rose pastille aromas show very good clarity and a good dose of Asian spices. Silky, sweet and expansive on the palate, offering energetic raspberry and cherry flavors and an exotic touch of blood orange that adds a bitter edge. Pure and precise, with excellent finishing lift, cut and gentle tannins that fold into the lively red fruit. The most elegant of this set of Pinots today, and one that should age well on its balance." (5/2014)91 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Pinot Noir South Slope is likely to be the last of the 2012s to be released, and wit ...Read More »
Alexander Valley Cabs are known for their soft tannins and herbaceous notes, and this highly anticipated vintage from Silver Oak is no exception. From the winery: "Our 2010 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a vibrant, elegant expression of this classic appellation from a cooler vintage. It has a deep garnet color and an enticing nose of cassis liqueur, blueberry coulis, tobacco, tarragon and roasting coffee. The seamless palate starts with a berry-laden attack, follows with a full-bodied mid-palate, and ends with a long, savory finish with fine grai... Read More »
Olema is produced by the folks at Amici Cellars. Fruit was sourced from select vineyards around Sonoma County and blended with a splash of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.The wine was aged for more than a year in 30% new French oak before bottling.