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K&L Staff Recommendations
90 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* A zesty red, with personality to spare, offering notes of licorice, blackberry, smoky pepper and grilled herbs. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah and mixed Italian blacks. Drink now through 2019." (6/2015) 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 i ...Read More »
93 points Wine Spectator: "A creamy-textured, charming style that’s easy to drink yet is deceptively complex and layered, with a mix of vanilla-scented oak and vibrant peach, nectarine, honeydew and apricot flavors. Long on the finish. Drink now." (5/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The attractive, sexy 2013 Chardonnay reveals ripe fruit, tangerine oil and citrus blossom notes, medium body, a fresh style, and a delicate hint of wood. Drink it over the next 2-3 years. It is a sleeper selection. (RP)" (10/2014) K&L Notes: It's back! True, Rombauer's Chardonnay needs to take its own sweet time, fattening up for 10 months in ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "* Best Buy * Named after the grapes in the blend (Negroamaro, Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon), this easygoing, savory wine doles out juicy blackberry, black currant, black cherry and a hint of licorice. Soft, round tannins provide the framework." (3/2015)
90-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another stunner from the team at Charles Smith, the 2013 Substance is a Cabernet Sauvignon dominated blend that comes from the higher elevation vineyards of Goose Ridge and Frenchman Hills. Harvested in early November and aged in 40-50% new French oak, it sports gorgeous aromas and flavors of cassis, violets, pencil shavings and tobacco/herbs to go with a medium to full-bodied, layered, rich and beautifully balanced profile on the palate. Scheduled to be bottled in December, it tastes like a wine that taste 3-4 times what this is going for. It is a knock ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon emerges from a vineyard situated adjacent to one of the famous vineyards utilized to produce Spain’s greatest red wine, Vega Sicilia. Made from relatively old vines, the 2012 Pruno is a sexy, opulent, voluptuously textured effort that spent 12 months in two-year-old French oak barrels. Reminiscent of a baby Vega Sicilia, it possesses a dense ruby/purple color as well as notes of high-class, unsmoked cigar tobacco, creme de cassis, licorice, graphite and spice box. Full-bodied, deep, velvety texture ...Read More »
The winegrowing estate of Chateau les Valentines is more than a century old. The estate originally brought their grapes to the local cooperative, but when Gilles and Pascale Pons took over in 1997, they decided to make their own wine. They built a modern winery and called the domaine "Les Valentines" after their children, Valentin and Clémentine. Château les Valentines now covers approximately 100 acres. The "Le Caprice de Clémentine" is part of the second range of wines coming from the estate. Moderately priced, it is a high quality Côtes de Provence m... Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(raised entirely in concrete): Brilliant ruby. Pure, high-pitched aromas of redcurrant, strawberry, blood orange and fresh rose, plus a bright mineral overtone. Vibrant and precise on the palate, offering sappy red fruit and floral pastille flavors lifted by spice and mineral nuances. Closes spicy, nervy and long, with silky tannins making a late appearance. Finding a wine with this much clarity and precision is a tough job at double and even triple the price of this one." (9/2014)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Made from vines planted in 1915, the 2013 Garnacha Negra comes from the vil ...Read More »
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 »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is on the full-bodied side, quite ripe and tropical in style compared to its Marlborough siblings. Mango, pineapple and stone-fruit notes are all present, balanced on the finish by citrus and ginger." (7/2014) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Pale, bright yellow. Stone fruits, anise and a spicy touch of oak on the nose. The palate offers decent intensity to the soft citrus and spicy oak flavors, with a suggestion of tropical fruits emerging with air. On the lean side but has cut and freshness." (9/2013) K&L Notes: An exceptional deal in New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Lagoon Hill is sourced from a s... Read More »
95-96 points James Suckling: "This has fascinating aromas already with blackcurrants and cassis. Hints of spices. It’s full-bodied with ultra-fine tannins and a long, focused finish. Muscular but toned and beautiful." (3/2015) 94-96 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. Pure Cabernet flavors are right at the front of this wine. It has fragrant fruitiness, with layers of black currant and fresh, juicy acidity on the palate. It's a bright wine, with just a touch of smoky wood flavors at the end." (4/2015) 93-96 points Wine Spectator: "Offers lovely weight and feel, with a big core of plum, blackberry and black currant fruit that manages to show re ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Deep red. Raspberry, cherry and spicy oak on the fragrant nose. Spicy, sweet red fruit flavors are complemented by vanilla, mocha and licorice, with a smoky note sneaking in on the back half. Finishes with an echo of vanilla, soft tannins and very good persistence." (9/2013) Jancis Robinson: "Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo, Graciano. This winery dates back to 1973 and they work with vineyards from Baja and Alavesa zones to produce their wine. Cold maceration, 21 days of alcoholic fermentation, 18 months in American and French oak. The wine is a blend from at least four diff ...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 »
Jancis Robinson: "Dark glowing crimson. Grunty, very concentrated. Arguably the miracle here is to find a wine from Jean-Hubert Delon under £20. And one you could actually think of drinking too. This should certainly appeal to classicists—especially those knowledgeable enough to know it’s related to the most expensive super second of all, Léoville Las Cases." (9/2011) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A soft, cedary, herbaceous, but pleasant, round, elegant style of wine, with berry and red currant fruit, and a smooth finish... (R)=P)" (4/2000) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good ruby-red. Smoky aromas of plum and leather. Lush, smooth and ...Read More »
95 points Bob Campbell: "Tight, pure, mineral-laced Sauvignon Blanc with citrus flavours infused with a faintly floral/wild flower character. The net effect is energy and precision. A backbone of steely acidity drives a lingering finish." (1/2015) 92-93 points Raymond Chan: "Bright pale straw colour with slight green hues, light edged. The nose is tightly bound and elegantly presented with fresh, pure, white stonefruit, citrus and herb aromas that unfold white floral and minerally nuances. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate features refined white stonefruit and floral flavours along with fresh herbs ...Read More »
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)
As is the case with so many other great spots in Spain, Bodega Casa Juan is located opposite the village church, in the beautiful walled pueblo of Laguardia. The winery is a converted flour mill, featuring concrete tanks for fermenting and blending the wine, and for ageing, barrels that are used for up to seven years. These are traditional Riojas in elaboration and spirit, though the site specificity of their Laguardia and Villabuena vineyards confers a fruit character all its own to these wines. And what fruit! Especially in the great 2009 vintage, the ... Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Even more remarkable is the 2012 Solanera Vinas Viejas, a blend of 70% Mourvedre, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Grenache aged 10 months in a combination of French and American oak. A custom cuvee that is only available through importer Eric Solomon, this amazing red wine displays notes of lead pencil shavings, acacia flowers, black raspberries, blueberries and black currants. This full-bodied, intense 2012 tastes like it should cost three to five times as much. Full-bodied, stunningly pure and textured, it should last for 4-5 years, possibly longer. T ...Read More »
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.
From some of the top sites in the Kamptal. Michaela Haas is the 4th generation of this family to run the 23-hectare domaine. Fermented and aged in stainless steel and bottled with a crown cap, this is the perfect liter - fresh, light and snappy; delivering all the thirst quenching qualities you look for in a wine like this.
One of K&L's very finest buys from France. This is a reserve cuvée, made from Millet's chalkiest limestone soils. There is a long maceration at very low temperatures to extract as much flavor and character as possible. The resulting wine is intensely charged with stone fruit and minerality, with bright citrus notes. However, due to the amazingly warm vintage, it's quite soft, with layers of rich fruit.
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 1999 Gran Reserva has an enticing red cherry, soy and cedar-scented bouquet that is reminiscent of an old Burgundy. The palate is very well-balanced with fine acidity and edgy tannin. There are notes of fresh red cherries and orange rind interlaced by leather on the tart, highly enjoyable, zesty finish. Drink now-2018. (NM)" (8/2012) K&L Notes: Wow--this is spectacular Gran Reserva! Made in a traditional style with earthy red fruit aromas, and in this relatively cooler, damper vintage, a slightly Burgundian profile. The wine features good acidity, minerality, and... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*#31 in the Top 100 Best Buys of 2014* Half barrel-fermented and half done in stainless steel, this classy effort seems to overdeliver. It starts with good fruit, but the feeling is that winemaker Jessica Munnell did everything right, and maxxed out the complexity. It’s a sensuous mix of grape and barrel, steel and butterscotch, with a lively, lingering finish." (11/2014) K&L Notes: A very warm 2013 growing season with dry harvest conditions made for a very successful Chardonnay from Mercer Canyons. Grapes were sourced from Sagemoor Vineyard in the Columbia Valley an... 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.
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Chardonnay Private Reserve became famous under the helmsmanship of chief winemaker Ed Sbragia, and Laurie Hook has refined it ever so slightly by somewhat backing off the oak, and maintaining the depth and richness, but with more precision and refinement. The full-bodied 2012 Chardonnay Private Reserve exhibits wonderful orange blossom, white peach and pineapple fruit, a subtle touch of vanillin and toast, and a nicely layered, pure style with terrific fruit intensity. It is a great value, especially if you compare its quality to just about any premi ...Read More »
Mas Codina is a 40 hectare estate in Penedès which dates back to 1681. This Brut Reserva Cava was hand-harvested from 20 to 30-year-old vines and estate bottled. Though it does not say it on the label, the current disgorgement is based entirely on the 2010 harvest. Vines are planted in calcareous and sandy clay soils which keep the wine minerally and lively. The wine undergoes secondary fermentation in the bottle, and is aged on its lees for a minimum of two years before disgorgement. Varietals include Macabeo, Xarel-lo, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. 100% ... Read More »
92 points Wine Spectator: "Combines firm, dark fruit and chewy tannins with a measure of finesse and refinement. Ends with gripping, cedary tannins, bolstered by good length and depth. Drink now through 2024." (4/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "This chewy, still-tight Cabernet is full-bodied on the palate, revealing savory, herbaceous characteristics. Made in a robust style, it’s approachable and enjoyable now." (4/2015)
New Price - A Steal! A rich, but not over-the-top Chardonnay from a prominent Napa Valley winery who has also made wine under our Kalinda label. Creamy and toasty with a fine core of acidity makes for easy drinking. For those who like a full but not too full-bodied Chardonnay. (Clyde Beffa Jr., K&L Wine Merchants Co-Owner)
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 »
Poggiarellino is an evolving star in our Direct Import portfolio. From Montalcino, this tiny winery is making superb wines at stunning prices.
From estate vineyards just south of Chielly-lès-Maranges. The 2012 Bourgogne has a very pretty nose with notes of red cherries and raspberries. On the palate it shows quite a bit more weight and structure. This is, despite its modest price, concentrated serious wine that still manages to remain charming and most attractive in character. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer, 03/2014)
Cognizant is a new collaborative project between K&L and some of New Zealand's finest winemakers. "Cognizant" is defined as having an intimate grasp of knowledge through personal experience. This series of wines will pay homage to talented winemakers and their ability to capture the unique "sense of place" or "terroir" within their wines. The first wine being released under the Cognizant label was made by Jason and Anna Flowerday of TWR (Te Whare Ra) winery. The fruit comes from exceptional vineyards in both the Wairau and Awatere Valleys. 25% of the as... Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "A smoky note of roasted nut is subtly woven with the baked apple, lemon meringue and fennel seed flavors in this vibrant Champagne, with a refined, creamy mousse. Drink now through 2020." (11/2014)90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(roughly 50% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier; Lot 14009913): Light gold. Musky orchard fruits and dried fig on the mineral-accented nose. Fleshy and broad on the palate, offering smoky pear and nectarine flavors and a hint of honey. Finishes on a gently spicy note, with very good cling and a touch of bitter lemon pith. Things have definitel ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Crianza is produced with 100% destemmed Tempranillo grapes fermented in inox and aged for one year in barriques (50% French, 50% American) is a little closed in the nose, seems like a serious wine, with a mix of red and black fruit and the wood well-integrated in the wine. Round in the palate, with clean flavors, supple, balanced, very Rioja. It grows on you as it also improves with air and gets more focused. 30,000 bottles were produced. A great value Crianza to buy by the case! Drink 2014-2018." (8/2012) K&L Notes: A K&L Direct Import! Jesús Puelles is one... 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)
95 points James Suckling: "This is so dense and powerful with layers of dried white peach, green apple and lime. Minerals, too. Full-bodied and dry but bright, fruity, open and floral. Bold and upfront. Goes on for minutes. This is always a top Riesling." (1/2015)91 points James Halliday: "As honest and workmanlike as ever, well-balanced and without any technical fault whatsoever; it will grow with time in bottle, but will never set the pulse racing, doubly envious given its excellent natural acidity and low pH." (12/2014)90 points Bob Campbell: "Dry, delicate Riesling with gentle lime/citrus and subtle floral flavours underpinned by ...Read More »
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 »
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.
95 points James Suckling: "A Brunello with so much forest floor, mushroom and dark fruits...Fascinating. It's full body, juicy and savory with a wonderful finish of dried meat, berry and dried mushroom. Drinking beautifully now but will age beautifully. Great value." (12/2014) K&L Notes: Poggiarellino is an evolving star in our Direct Import portfolio. From Montalcino, this tiny winery is making superb wines at stunning prices. We've been importing them for over a decade and their wines have simply gotten better and better. From the stunning 2010 vintage, K&L Italian wines buyer Greg St. Clair... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
97 points James Suckling: "Candied fruit aromas with marzipan and blueberry. Spicy too. Figs and meat. Very complex. What a palate. This is so multi-layered with clove, pepper, cinnamon, berry, citrus and cedar. It's full body. Loads of tannins. Great and intriguing wine." (12/2014)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Lanessan's 2001 is a consistent overachiever in Haut-Medoc. This wine nearly rivals the outstanding 2000. It is a seriously-extracted, dark ruby/purple-colored offering with ripe cassis fruit, notes of leather and earth, and a hint of truffles. It is medium-bodied, pure, and savory, with copious tannin. It will age well for 10-15 years." (4/2002) K&L Notes: Over 10,000 bottles sold over the years. A perfect drinking wine right now. So delicious and mineral driven. Sweet core of fruit. Buy cases. (Clyde Beffa (K&L Bordeaux Buyer and Co-Owner)
Catherine and James Kinglake bought the domaine in 2003 and have since organically harvested their 29 hectares, creating excellent natural wines that truly express the terroir of Limoux. From the website, the 2014 rosé of Pinot Noir is "delicate and refined with wild strawberry and cranberry."
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)
For three long years, David Othenin-Girard and I have been trying to create an inexpensive, delicious, value-driven, yet simultaneously interesting expression of blended Scotch whisky that we could feature under our Faultline label. There were many times when we thought we were close, but either the quality of the whisky or the cost of the barrels proved prohibitive. We didn't want to make a $25 bottle of whisky just for the sake of it. If we were going to do it, then we were going to it right. Finally, after working on and off with the Laings for a year... Read More »
The 2013 Kalinda Napa Valley Chardonnay comes from one of the top domestic Chardonnay producers, but as part of our agreement to acquire the wine, we cannot divulge to you who it is. Suffice it to say, this is always among the best bargains in the store--a luscious Chardonnay that would normally sell at a much higher premium. We're guessing it won't be around for long. This Chardonnay has a slight connection to the famous Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that won the French-American tasting in 1976.
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
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good dark red. Musky aromas of redcurrant, cherry, coffee, plum and cedar, plus hints of game and leather. Supple and on the soft side, with good texture and a hint of rusticity to the broad plum and leather flavors; more red fruits than black. Finishes with a touch of sweetness and easygoing tannins." (3/2014) K&L Notes: Pascual Toso is based in Maipú, an historic, sun-drenched winegrowing region just southeast of the city of Mendoza. Their Malbec is a standby of the section for its supple, juicy red and dark fruits - solid Malbec for a very solid price!
95 points Decanter: "Gorgeously refined, almost French in style. Typical Vista Flores notes of violets, lavender, tobacco and black pepper on the nose. The palate is medium to full-bodied with very fine-grained, classy tannins. Fruit characters on the palate are more dried fruit than lush and primary. Lovely age-worthy Cabernet." (12/2014) K&L Notes: Antucura has proven themselves quite adept at producing purely fruited reds (both Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon) that express their Vista Flores origins, as well as a deft touch in the cellar. Their wines are expressive, extraordinarily supp... Read More »
96-98 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. A very firm, dark structure sustains the ripe, bold flavors of black plums and rich berries. The wine has a structured, concentrated background that shows a new, more subtle direction in contrast with the winery's previously showy style." (4/2015) 96-97 points James Suckling: "I love the style of this Cos with so much Indian spices constituting the aromas and flavors here. Full body, fine tannins and an ultra-long finish. Excellent structure and length yet this maintains finesse." (3/2015) 92-95 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Cos d'Estournel brings together gorgeous textural richness and ripeness, ye ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Bourgogne Blanc is an outstanding value at $23.00 a bottle, and the good news is that there are 500 cases imported into the United States. A completely naked example of Chardonnay, almost all of it from the Cote Chalonnaise and the Maconnais area, this wine is aged totally in tank and goes through malolactic, but displays delicious honeysuckle, apple blossom, delicate pineapple and white peach notes as well as excellent texture, gorgeous purity, and no oak whatsoever. Drink this beauty over the next several years. (RP)" (12/2014)