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K&L Staff Recommendations
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "In bottle, the 2013 Vignes de Bila Haut checks in as a blend of 40% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 20% Carignan, from a combination of schist and limestone soils, that spent 12 months in a combination of concrete and stainless-steel tanks. It has great aromatics of dark berry fruits, bouquet garni, pepper and lots of minerality, medium+-bodied richness and depth, and a soft, seamless and even elegant fell on the palate. It’s ready to go now, and will drink nicely for 4-5 years. (JD)" (5/2015) K&L Notes: Domaine Bila Haut is the passion project of famous Rhone/Hermitage prod... Read More »
From La Maison Antech, located in the Southern France region of the Languedoc, comes this beautiful example of Cremant de Limoux. Named after the grande dame of the estate, Eugenie Limouzy, this Cremant is composed of 50% Chardonnay, 40% Chenin Blanc and 10% Mauzac. It is produced along the lines of methode champenoise and spends 12 months on the lees before being disgorged. This balanced and elegant sparkling wine reveals subtle hints of citrus fruits, toast and honey. At less than half the price of a bottle of Champagne, the Cuvée Eugenie is the perfec... Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A blend of Grenache with around 20% Syrah and 10% Carignan, the Cabirau 2012 Cotes du Roussillon Malgre les Functionnaires delivers lusciously ripe black raspberry laced with sage, horehound and smoky black tea, and garlanded with heliotrope. As usual with this cuvee, there is a brightness and seed-crunching 'ping' that convey energy and invigoration to an infectiously juicy finish. Here is a stupendous value that projects distinctive Roussillon virtues including downright dynamic interactivity. I suspect that it will show well for the better part of the ...Read More »
The Antech "Emotion" is a little something different: a blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Mauzac and Pinot Noir from AOC Cremant de Limoux in the Languedoc region of the south of France. It was a huge hit with our staff in 2012; now it is back, to make our evenings and dinner parties sparkle just that much more. Pale pink hue, fine bead, delicate hints of cherry and strawberry with white floral notes. A crisp, elegant sparkler made in the traditional method, spending 15 months in the bottle before disgorgement. At about half the price of a bottle of Cha... Read More »
Antech's Brut Nature is produce with no added dosage, which translates to a super clean and crisp glass of bubbles. It is composed of 90% Mauzac, 5% Chenin Blanc and 5% Chardonnay. All harvesting is done by hand. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel, and the wine undergoes a 12 month elevage on the lees a la methode traditionelle for 12 months before being disgorged. The Brut Nature is the perfect way to start off the evening's festivities. Its fresh and crisp apple-pear flavors will pair beautifully with a wide range of finger foods and pre-dinne... Read More »
From limestone soils of the Languedoc, Picpoul (which translates as "lip-stinger") delivers a reliably invigorating and affordable white. Picpoul de Pinet is the grape's spiritual home and varietally named AOC, where the Mediterranean breezes moderate the daytime temperature and slow the ripening. From the producer: "Crystal clear color with green highlights. A soft, delicate nose, with pleasant hints of acacia and hawthorn blossom. Delicate and fresh in the palate with and excellent acidity and structure balance."
Wine & Spirits: "This sparkler's zingy lemon-lime flavors evolve into fuller pineapple and citrus notes, a yeasty character adding breadth and weight. The full flavors and light, cardamom-like spice suit it to the dinner table, with rich fish or roasted chicken." K&L Notes: You should always have a handful of bottles of this sparkler on hand for impromptu parties (because a sudden Tuesday night fete with your pals is, of course, better with bubbly).This wallet-friendly "Blanc de Blancs" drinks like an expensive French Champagne, with a rich yeasty nose and body to match. It's called ... Read More »
Built on a backbone of 60% Chardonnay, this effervescent white is the product of female hands. Francoise Antech-Gazeau leads this Limoux estate. She has worked with her father and uncle since 1996 to improve their sustainable agricultural practices in the vineyard and their quality in the cellar. This bottling references the family's six generation history of making wine.
This elegant and crisp Sauvignon Blanc hails from Domaine Begude, a small family-owned property located high in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the Limoux region of the Languedoc. The long, cool growing season lends itself perfectly to the production of crisp and delicate wines, and this Sauvignon Blanc is no exception. More in the style of a Loire Valley Sancerre, with its fine, mineral-laden nose and fresh citrus fruits on the palate, this is the perfect accompaniment to grilled fish, oysters, or just by itself. Make this one your house white! Organic... Read More »
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 of place. From the winery: "The intense colour with deep purple highlights heralds in a wine with depth and complexity. Expressive, frank nose exuding aromas of red fruit, redcurrant, blackcurrant and a hint of oak. The front-of-palate is si... Read More »
A Rhone-style blend with 70% Grenache Gris and Grenache Noir, and the balance equal parts of Mourvèdre, Carignan, and Cinsault, this fruity and delicious rose offers up aromas and flavors of fresh-picked strawberries and cherries, with tropical fruit accents. It makes a lovely aperitif with olive tapenade on toast, but is balanced and versatile enough to pair with a variety of dishes, from stir fry veggies and grilled fish to slow-cooked lamb with Moroccan spices or roast chicken seasoned with Provençal herbs. 12.5% abv.
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Slightly more ripe, voluptuous and textured than the more Syrah-dominated l’Esquerda, the translucent purple-colored 2013 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France Occultum Lapidem comes from the schist soils around the village of Latour de France. A blend of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 10% Carignan that was harvest on September 15 and aged all in concrete tanks, it’s a fabulous wine that offers elegant notes of red and black raspberries, roasted herbs, pepper, melted licorice and asphalt. These flow to a medium to full-bodied 2013 that has a full, l ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Syrah comes from 20 to 40-year-old, hand-harvested vines. It was fermented with indigenous yeast in stainless steel, aged eight months in concrete tanks, and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Perhaps that explains its fleshy, chewy mid-core, and attractive blackberry and cassis fruit intermixed with hints of licorice and incense. This fruit-driven, substantial Syrah possesses silky tannins. Enjoy it over the next 2-3 years." (2/2014)
From Josh Raynolds on the 2013 vintage: "Bright orange-pink. Lively red berry and tangerine aromas show good clarity and a hint of white pepper. Tangy and light on its feet, offering bitter cherry and rhubarb flavors and a touch of succulent herbs. Finishes slightly tart, with an echo of peppery spices." (07/2014)
This light-bodied, crisp rosé is made from the Cinsault grape by winemaker Jeff Carrel, at the Espitalet des Anges domaine in Capestang, which is situated on the ruins of an ancient Roman villa. Enjoy it as an aperitif or with salads, seafood, and poultry.
Say bonjour to your summertime white! Picpoul de Pinet is considered the "Muscadet of the South." Grown just meters from the oyster beds of the Bassin de Thau, the wine marries perfectly with fish and shellfish. Picpoul (also known as Folle Blanche or Gros Plant) means "lip stinger," which refers to the high acidity of its must. Great with oysters, assorted fruit de mer or grilled seafood. This wine is crisp and bright, with subtle floral and mineral notes on the nose. Bracing acidity backs up a wine with surprising breed for this price point. Château F... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From Grenache - with a bit of Syrah and Carignan acquired via a rental agreement in order to permit classification as A.O.C. - the Cabirau 2009 Cotes du Roussillon Malgre les Functionnaires ("Despite the Bureaucrats") delivers sweetly-ripe scents and juicily-generous flavors of grenadine and black raspberry, with nips of white pepper and pleasantly astringent impressions of berry seed serving for invigoration in a palate-staining finish that preserves a distinctive sense of crushed stone and peat underpinnings. Firm and bright as it is, this outstanding ...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.
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "This wine’s sultry black core shows crimson highlights at the rim. This wine has engaging aromas of peppermint, black tea, new leather and clove. The fruit comes through on the palate with black plum and black cherry, and on the medium-plus finish, quartz and slate appear. Full bodied, this wine is judiciously structured by moderate tannins, lively acidity, medium-plus alcohol and light viscosity. This is exciting now, but it should only get better in the next 12 months. Drink 2014–2017." (9/2013)
A blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Clairette and Grenache Blanc from 25-50 year old vines.
Inventory: Main Warehouse
The domaine Mas des Agrunelles was established in 2005 by Frédéric Porro (Domaine La Marèle) and Stéphanie Ponson (Mas Nicot) near Murles in Languedoc. There are 18 hectares of vineyards planted on clay and limestone soils (Jurassic limestone). Everything in the vineyards and winery is done organically and biodynamically. Their winemaking technique is deeply respectful of the the terroir, and very low sulphites are added to the wines at bottling. The Les Mauves is made from 100% Cinsault, a grape that is traditionally used as a blending partner for Rhon... Read More »
89 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Composed of 80% Grenache Blanc and 20% Marsanne, the 2012 Vieilles Vignes Blanc comes from 50-year-old vines planted in limestone and clay soils. A delightful bouquet of caramelized honeyed grapefruit, white currants and other assorted citrus jumps from the glass of this crisp, dry, medium-bodied white. With surprising length and power, it reminded me of a restrained, more laid-back top white Hermitage at a fraction of the price. Consume it over the next several years. One of the top wine values I have ever tasted is from one of the newest appellation ...Read More »
This delightfully classic Minervois is a blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Mourvèdre. It has aromas of blackberry, currants, black olives and notes of lilacs and garrigue. There is an underlying sauvage character that says, "I am old school and not afraid." Tremendous buy for under $12. (Keith Mabry, French Regional Buyer)
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A blend of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Syrah that’s aged in both demi-muid and barrel, the 2011 Cabardes sports an inky purple color to go with awesome, Bordeaux-like aromas and flavors of black cherries, blackcurrant, chocolate, tobacco and wild herbs. Incredibly pure and polished on the palate, with full-bodied richness, great concentration and masses of fine tannin, this rock star effort will have upwards of a decade of longevity and should not be missed! Located in Cabardes (which wasn’t awarded AOC status until 1999), on the northwestern edge of th ...Read More »
Domaine Begude is a small family-owned property located high in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the Limoux region of the Languedoc. The long, cool growing season lends itself perfectly to the production of crisp and delicate wines. From predominantly clay and limestone soils on southeast facing vineyards, this wonderful Chardonnay value contains 14% Chenin Blanc and is ridiculously easy to love. Organic farming, low yields, and temperature-controlled stainless steel fermentation with no oak influence make it possible for the purity of fruit to really sh... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Most of the wine produced in this area is fortified sweet wine, and the 2012 Kerbuccio is from the newly created appellation of Maury Sec, which is a classification above Cotes du Roussillon Villages. From pure black schist soils, this blend of 40% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre and 30% Grenache aged in concrete offers wonderful flowery notes (violets) intermixed with melted chocolate, kirsch and a hint of Provencal garrigue. Full-bodied, rich, deep and totally dry, this is a seriously endowed, fleshy, full-throttle red to drink over the next 3-4 years." (11/2013)
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Senat’s 2012 Minervois La Nine is gorgeous, and I think a step up over his 2013. Giving up complex saddle leather, peppery herbs, garrigue and sweet red and black fruits, it’s medium-bodied, focused and elegant, with solid tannin giving some cut and length on the finish. It will be better in a year, and drink well through 2022. (JD)" (4/2015) K&L Notes: A blend of 40% Grenache, 30% Carignan, 10% Mourvedre, 10% Cinsault and 10% Syrah all goblet trained vines. Grapes are fermented in whole cluster without sulfur and fining or filtration. (Certified Organic, Practicin... Read More »
The domaine Mas des Agrunelles was established in 2005 by Frédéric Porro (Domaine La Marèle) and Stéphanie Ponson (Mas Nicot) near Murles in Languedoc. There are 18 hectares of vineyards planted on clay and limestone soils (Jurassic limestone). Everything in the vineyards and winery is done organically and biodynamically. Their winemaking technique is deeply respectful of the the terroir, and very low sulphites are added to the wines at bottling. The "l'Indigene" is 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 15% Carignan. The Grenache and Syrah are raised in tank whi... Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Penya’s 2013 Côtes Catalanes is a beauty, and the finest vintage of this cuvee I’ve tasted. Giving up lots of sweet black raspberry, spring flowers and spice, this medium to full-bodied effort has sweet fruit, a rounded, supple texture and good acidity. It’s a knockout bottle of wine to buy by the case as a house red for drinking over the coming couple of years. (JD)" (4/2015) K&L Notes: From importer Dan Kravitz, the man behind such great values as Cabirau, Syrousse and Le Cirque. Cases de Pene is a tiny village in the Roussillon region of Southern France, just 30 m... Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Côtes Catalanes Empreinte du Temps Carignan is a beauty, with textbook purple fruits, black cherry, old leather, violets and wild-herb characteristics giving way to a medium-bodied, pure, elegant red that has bright acidity and fine tannin. Coming from 136-year-old Carignan vines and aged in older barrels, this is a brilliant rendition of Carignan that will evolve nicely for over a decade. (JD)" (4/2015) K&L Notes: Bruno Ribiere is an intellectual and fond of writing poetry. Lucky for us, he is also fond of making very intellectually deep and soulful wines i... Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Cotes Catalanes Grenache D66 is a blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 10% Carignan that was brought up in small barrels, 30% being new. Full-bodied, rich, sexy and yet still with solid focus and length, it has fabulous kirsch, dried herbs, licorice and chocolaty nuances all soaring from the glass. Long, heady and hedonistic, enjoy this beauty over the coming 4-5 years. (JD)" (4/2015) K&L Notes: Orin Swift's "D66" blends Grenache with Syrah and Carignan for a Rhone-style offering that is full-bodied and packed with fruit, just like what you would expect from... Read More »
From the importer: "Domaine Gaujal St. Bon is a small estate-bottled operation run with extreme diligence by the mother-daughter team, Simone and Virginie Gaujal. They are proud defenders of Picpoul, and endeavor to make the finest and truest expressions of the variety in the appellation. Yields are kept in the 40 h/h range, while 60 h/h is permitted (and often exceeded). They ferment with 'neutral' yeasts that bring out the true character of the grapes themselves without artificially accentuating specific traits. The wines are fermented in tank but held... Read More »
The "Lo Petit" is comprised mostly of Carignan with just enough Syrah and Grenache to make the wine legally Corbieres. After a carbonic maceration, vinification is done in cement without sulphur using indigenous yeast. (Organic, No Sulfur Added)
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. The "l'Original" is made with 100% Macabeu (aka Macabeo/Viura in Spain) from 70+ year old vines. It also sees two weeks of skin contact adding tremendous texture and weight to the wine. (Practicing Biodynamic, Certified Organic, Minimal Sulfur, Vegan, Natural Wine, Orange Wine.)
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Barriot's 60% Grenache 2010 Cotes du Roussillon Les Quilles Libres - sourced from Maury, Estagel and Latour-de-France, and incorporating small amounts of Syrah and Carignan - offers sappy strawberry fruit seasoned with sage, salt, Keemun tea and white pepper for a refreshing and invigorating performance on a glossy, polished palate. At 14.5% alcohol, this is high by estate (though not, of course, by regional) standards yet that doesn’t at all get in the way of textural allure or freshness, and the finish here proves quite exhilarating. Other than a smidg ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Since 2004, Marc Barriot has been working with superb terroir and ancient vines. His biodynamic methods, including plowing by horse and the near absence of sulfur in the wine making, reward wine lovers with excellent quality and value. His excellent wines come from diverse soils and microclimates from no fewer than five villages: Calc, Maury, Estagel, Montner and Latour de France.
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Getting a big 'Wow' in my notes and one of the most southern Rhone-like in the lineup, the 2009 Coteaux du Languedoc Saint Drezery Cante Lebre is a spectacular blend of mostly Grenache (aged in tank), with smaller components of Syrah and Mourvedre that were aged all in new oak barrels (of which the wine shows no trace). In addition, this cuvee wasn't made in 2011, with the bulk of the juice going into the Tete de Belier bottling. Gorgeous all around, with ample blackberry, kirsch, spice box, garrigue and melted licorice notes, it flows onto the palate wi ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Moving to the Serge & Nicolas cuvee, this cuvee is mostly Grenache (from 60-year-old vines and brought up all in tank), with smaller components of Syrah and Carignan (which are brought up in 500-liter demi-muids). Looking first at the 2012 Maury Sec Serge & Nicolas, it exhibits an inky purple color to go with decadently styled notes of cassis, black raspberry, spice box, licorice and ground herbs. Medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with a fabulous texture, it should have 5-7 years of longevity. As always, these efforts by Dan Kravitz, whic ...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. The village of Maury was most famous for producing rich dessert wines made in a fortified wine style similar to port. Generally one of the warmest regions in France, it is ideally suited for producing said dessert wines. Marc originally wasn’t interested in producing sweet wine but his ... 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 ploughing by horse, and uses minimal sulfur in his winemaking. The "Le Trouble Fait" is made with 100% Muscat and sees 3 weeks of skin contact adding tremendous texture and weight to the wine. (Practicing Biodynamic, Certified Organic, Minimal Sulfur, Vegan, Natural Wine, Orange Wine.)
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "More exotic and perfumed, the 2009 Coteaux du Languedoc Saint Drezery Bosc Negre (same blend/elevage as the 2011) is another massive wine from this producer that stays brilliantly balanced and light on its feet, with no apparent heaviness or weight. Exhibiting notions of cassis, flowers, citrus blossom and orange peel, with full-bodied richness and depth on the palate, it should continue to impress through 2021. (JD)" (4/2014)
Jancis Robinson: "Grenache Blanc, Muscat and Viognier. Fragrant and aromatic – shows the Muscat influence strongly. Broad texture and dry, light finish. (RH)" (2/2014) K&L Notes: The "Champ du Roy," or field of the kin, takes its name from Coupe Rose's 3.7 acre parcel of Viognier. This wine is a blend of Grenache Blanc and Marsanne for body and richness; Viognier for acid and perfume; and a touch of Muscat for exotic aromatics. These grapes were harvested by hand from very low-yielding mountain vineyards, making for a deliciously full yet fresh wine. Cotes du Brian is a zone named aft... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Almost as good, and certainly in a similar vein, the 2009 Coteaux du Languedoc Saint Drezery Recantou thrills with its over-the-top decadence and richness. Licorice, chocolate, toasted spice, graphite and a similar minerality all show here, and it is full-bodied, gorgeously textured and decadent on the palate. Not for those craving delicacy or lightweight aromas or flavors, it's a superb, character-filled beauty to enjoy over the coming decade or so. (JD)" (4/2014)
Inventory: Main Warehouse