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K&L Staff Recommendations
Wine Enthusiast: "Here’s a Prosecco Brut with a fuller, more generous personality that comes across in the form of peach, nectarine and grapefruit aromas. The wine has a light, golden color and offers frothy cream backed by a tight citrus finish." (7/2009) K&L Notes: San Venanzio has won many awards over the years. At K&L they get the coveted "Guido" award two thumbs up and three stars for value. On the nose, there are generous notes of apples, peaches, tropical fruits and pear blossom. It’s wonderfully balanced and elegant, with a pleasurable spiciness. The palate is rich and creamy,... Read More »
An rich Swartland blend of Chenin Blanc, Clairette, Verdelho, Viognier and Palomino. Then fruit for this wine comes from multiple parcels of Eben's vineyards throughout the region. Many vines are very old, own-rooted, all are dry-farmed bushvines toiling against the elements in this rugged yet inspiring place. 2013 was a cooler vintage so freshness and brightness of fruit was preserved throughout. The other important aspect of this wine is that Eben co-fermented all of the different components together, creating a more integrated and harmonious blend. Th... Read More »
A perennial staff and customer favorite, this Vinho Verde continues to deliver the goods, the fizzy, citrus-drenched, delicious goods. If you're looking for a poolside, picnic or patio sipper, this wine never disappoints. Grapes in this wine typically include Trajadura, Alvarinho, and Arinto.
Wine Spectator: "Soft, delivering ginger, brioche and pear notes, with a friendly, open finish. Drink now. (Web Only—2013)" K&L Notes: A pale yellow wine with tiny bubbles, this Cremant de Loire Brut is rounded and delicate with a fine, nervy, complex nose and the freshness of Chenin Blanc, floral Chardonnay and fruity Cabernet Franc from 20- to 30-year-old vines. With its lively attack, it evolves gracefully across the palate with nice aromatic persistence in the mouth and lingering notes of fresh peaches and pear. A great opener to a memorable night! 12.5% abv. (Eric Story, Loire B... 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 »
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 »
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.
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 definitely begun to turn around for this bottling, which had been lagging behind the winery's vintage offerings for some time." (12/2013)90 points Wine Enthusiast: "One of the most familiar of Champagnes, the Yellow Label is finely ma ...Read More »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Such an elegant, ethereal wine, this orange-pink wine is dry and crisp with fruity raspberry flavor at the fore. This particular bottling could improve for a year, but makes a great food Champagne now." (12/2013)92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(roughly 50% chardonnay, 35% pinot noir and 15% pinot meunier; L344234): Light orange. Vibrant strawberry and orange zest aromas are complicated by notes of tea rose, smoky lees and chalky minerals. Bright, incisive red fruit flavors pick up a toasty nuance with air. Fresh, incisive and refreshingly tangy, with impressive finishing clarity and ...Read More »
Produced from Loureiro and Pederña grapes grown in the granitic soils of the Vinho Verde region, the Santola (or as we here are calling it, "the crab wine") is a delicious, spritely and refreshing white. It doesn't get much more traditional, thirst-quenching or seasonally perfect then this wine. Delicious, low in alcohol, slightly fizzy and way too easy to drink!
91 points Wine Spectator: "Elegant and mouthwatering, this shows fine balance and texture, supporting a subtle range of peach, blanched almond, biscuit, mineral and light spice. Drink now through 2020." (12/2012)90 points James Suckling: "I like the tangerine. Very citrusy and delicious with sliced apples. Bright fruit and fine texture at the finish." (3/2013) Antonio Galloni: "Light gold. Fresh melon, orange and peach on the fruity nose and in the mouth. Supple and broad on the palate, showing a hint of warmth on the back half. In an easygoing style, finishig with gentle cut and good length. (JR)" (1/2015) K&L Notes: Baron Fuente is a nego... Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "I drink this regularly and always enjoy it. Wonderful aromas of light dough, fresh flowers, and sliced pears and peaches. Full-bodied yet agile and fresh, it shows layers of marvelous light tropical fruit and cream with hints of dough on the finish. Mostly 2011 with some reserve wines. From 47% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay and the rest Pinot Noir. Bottled April 2012." (9/2014)91 points Wine & Spirits: "This is a graceful, vinous Champagne with dramatic high notes of roses and red fruit, finishing clean with a grounding of pale earthiness. It’s a lovely prediction of what Champagne ...Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "Lightly floral and fresh, this offers pretty notes of ripe Gala apple and glazed apricot, layered with subtle hints of almond paste, piecrust, honey and ground spice. Shows fine balance and a lively mousse, leading to a lingering finish. Drink now through 2018. Tasted twice, with consistent notes." (11/2013) Connoisseurs Guide: "If never as far reaching and complex as those bottlings allowed extra time on the years, Feuilllatte's basic Brut is a complete and carefully crafted Champagne of fine balance and brightness. Its lightly yeasty elements are nicely matched by a trim bit ...Read More »
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 »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Crisp, tart, melon, tangerine and bubble gum-like aromas jump from the glass of this 2013 Chenin Blanc/Viognier (80% and 20% respectively). Aged totally in stainless steel, it no doubt has much of its malolactic fermentation blocked given its crisp acid profile." (11/2014) K&L Notes: Vintage after vintage, Pine Ridge's Chenin Blanc-Viognier blend has impressed drinkers and critics alike. And now, what started as an experiment in the early-1990s, has become one of the winery's most sought after wines. From the winery: "Brilliant and refreshing, this bottling of our re... Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "A deliciously ripe wine, full of fruit as well as a great mineral texture. It completely expresses the exceptional 2008 with all its structure. Still young, it’s all fruit and freshness that promise serious bottle aging. Drink this complex, serious wine from 2017." (12/2014)93 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2008 Brut races across the palate with gorgeous depth and resonance. Dried pear, spice, mint, anise and wild flowers meld together in the glass. Broad, ample and voluptuous, the 2008 possesses fabulous richness in all dimensions. Beams of acidity and minerality give the 2008 much o ...Read More »
The appellation of Picpoul de Pinet covers about 3000 acres just off the coast of the Mediterranean. It is famous for two things, oysters and this wine of origin Picpoul. Picpoul itself is the grape and means "lip stinger" and it has been a running joke in our Hollywood store. Whenever we taste a new Picpoul we ask each other if it "pics your poul?" We want to know if it has the vibrancy and minerality that are the hallmarks of the region. That brings us to the Montmassot which is produced at the local cooperative in the village of Florensac. It i... Read More »
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 »
A pretty green-gold color, this refreshing white combines crisp acidity with a full, rich floral nose. A lovely Gavi di Gavi perfect for sipping with scallops.
93 points Wine Spectator: "This is firm and tightly knit, with a backbone of steely acidity, showing a fine, creamy texture that imparts an overall sense of finesse to the layers of poached apple, mille-feuille, black currant, kumquat and honey, showing hints of ground spice and smoky mineral. Drink now through 2020." (11/2013)92 points Wine Enthusiast: "The classic Bollinger nonvintage is, as always, rich and firmly structured. With the roundness that comes from aging the wines in wood before blending, it has a ripe, smooth edge. Underneath, the texture is solid, with hints of apple and pear and mature acidi ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Laurent-Perrier’s dry style is reflected in this crisp, elegant and fine Champagne. The character is mineral, taut, with a great burst of citrus and white fruit acidity. The ensemble creates a delicious food-friendly wine." (12/2011)90 points Wine Spectator: "Balanced and fresh, with an airy mousse carrying flavors of crunchy pear, piecrust, apricot and ground ginger, all underscored by a hint of smoky mineral. Drink now through 2017. 20,000 cases imported." (12/2014) Antonio Galloni: "Light gold. Aromas of ripe citrus and orchard fruits, with suggestions of green tea and honey in the background. Supp ...Read More »
94 points James Suckling: "Pale, watery color with a slightly green tinge. Cherry blossom with stony green apple peel on nose. Crisp, dry but elegant tropical-fruit character, saltiness and tannins offer focused structure. Fresh, elegant finish. An amazing Friulano." (9/2014)
Lora is a blend of certified organic Verdejo and Sauvignon Blanc grapes from one of the cooler parts of La Mancha (high up on the plateau not too far from the UNESCO heritage city of Cuenca). Bright citrus fruits combine with stone fruits and hints of melon, with crisp mineral tones and loads of personality. The winemaker and person who carefully sources this great organic fruit is none other than our friend Miguel Merino Navajas, son of Miguel Merino of Rioja fame! (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer)
91 points Wine Spectator: "Granny Smith apple, toasted almond, currant and whole-grain toast flavors are fresh and well-meshed, structured by bright acidity and a lively bead. Offers a creamy finish, with hints of smoke and honeycomb. Drink now through 2018." (11/2013) Antonio Galloni: "Light yellow-gold. Pungent aromas of orange pith, dried apple and toasty lees, with a hint of chamomile in the background. Fleshy and broad on entry, then tighter in the middle, offering bitter pear skin and quinine flavors and a touch of blood orange. Finishes with good grip and cut, leaving a subtle smoky note behin ...Read More »
97 points Antonio Galloni: "This tasting only serves to highlight just how great the 2004 Dom Pérignon is. A wine that has totally blossomed in bottle, the 2004 is firing on all cylinders right now. Rich, ample and beautifully nuanced, the 2004 has it all; expressive aromatics, deep fruit and more than enough structure to age well for decades. I have been tasting the 2004 since before it was released and it just keeps getting better and better. Today, it is stunning. It is amazing to consider that in 2004, yields were the largest ever recorded in Champagne. (AG)" (5/2014)96 points James Suckling: "A return to ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A great vintage for whites, the 2013 Cotes du Rhone Blanc (mostly Viognier) has outstanding notes of white peach and tangerine to go with an elegant, seamless style on the palate. (JD)" (12/2014) Antonio Galloni: "Ripe peach and melon aromas are complemented by honey and ginger, with a hint of white pepper adding urgency. Sappy and broad on the palate, showing good lift to its juicy orchard and pit fruit flavors. Ample but not at all heavy, finishing with good sappy persistence and lingering spiciness. (JR)" (2/2015) Jancis Robinson: "Round and fresh. Really big mouthful. Big and ready. Honey ...Read More »
From the importer: "A certified organically farmed vineyard on the island of Santorini, Sigalas is producing some of the most sought after white wines in Greece. These intensely aromatic whites, based on the indigenous Asirtiko grape, are grown in the volcanic soils of Santorini, consisting of cinders, rust, lava and pumice stone. These wines have excellent structure, good acidity and a long, full flavored finish. With a unique growing method, whereby the vines are trained into a cylindrical shape, the fruit ripens gently within the basket to protect it ... Read More »
From the winery: "This white wine is made in the same spirit as Baron Louis and with a lot of delicacy. All the grapes (Marsanne, Viognier, Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Picpoul) are picked by hand in 20 kg cases and pressed directly. I let the juice settle naturally for ten to twenty hours before racking it into oak barrels where the wine ferments naturally without temperature control. The idea is to respect the natural expression of the vineyard with minimum intervention. The wine ages eight months in barrels before bottling."
This grower-producer in Verzenay only produces vintage Champagne from their oldest vines in the most exceptional years. According to the winemaker, the 2008 Carte d'Or is "discreet and subtle with aromas of fresh breadcrumbs and apricots. The attack is soft and smooth giving this wine a certain delicacy. In the mouth, we notice aromas of English sweets combined with notes of lemon. The finale is avid and winey with a subtle impression of iodine giving this wine balance and subtlety." "If you have enjoyed the wines of Lallement, Bollinger and Krug in the... Read More »
Jesús Puelles is one of the most talented vignerons in Rioja. Hailing from a long line of vineyard worker/owners, Puelles knows the terruño in his little slice of land in the Rioja Alta town of Abalos. Most of the grapes for his red wines come from his own 20 hectares, which are north-facing and located at 600 meters in altitude, affording the visitor with one of the most dramatically beautiful views of Rioja's main mountain ranges: the Sierra Cantabria mountains immediately to the north and the Sierra de la Demanda mountains to the south. This white win... Read More »
Produced from younger estate grapes from Carballal's 15 hectares of vineyards, as well as purchased fruit, this Albariño is always hand harvested from carefully grown grapes, organic whenever possible, with treatments used only when absolutely necessary. Very refreshing, with nice bracing acidity, there are hints of exotic fruits as well as stone fruits. A wine to sip with warm weather fare as well as the absolute perfect match with fish and shellfish, the mainstay of coastal Galician cuisine. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish Wine Buyer)
91 points Wine Spectator: "Intense golden raisin, tarragon and grapefruit flavors give this white good cut. Very minerally in the mid palate, with a luscious finish that combines candied mint and dried mango flavor. Exotic and richly spiced. Drink now through 2020." (11/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Assyrtiko is rather impressive on opening, tightly wound and showing fine grip and tension on the finish, together with earthy, minerally nuances that I liked. The acidity gives it a bright and sunny feel to it. This is a nice performance here, balanced but persistent, relatively complex yet tasty. It ...Read More »
This 2014 release is too new to have already been professionally reviewed, but the 2013 bottling garnered 90 points from Antonio Galloni. In the context of another previous vintage, Galloni writes: ""Paolo Saracco remains the reference point producer for Moscato d’Asti, with perhaps one or two close peers, and that is it. I have seen Saracco’s vineyards, and they are great sites, but they aren’t the only top Moscato vineyards, so I am perplexed why no one else can make wines at this level. But the truth remains that very few can, or are willing to make t... Read More »
Always a bargain from one of K&L's favorite direct imports. The 37-acre Blason property in Gradisca d'Inzonzo, owned by Giovanni and Valentina Blason, is just a few miles from the Slovenian border. Their Friulano is always rich and complex, but balanced, with round frut, minerality and hints of savory herbs.
96 points Connoisseurs Guide: "***Three Stars*** Elegant and fruity at the same time with a quick invitation from bright, pure cherryish notes and then filled out handsomely by whiffs of chalky soils and well-integrated, rich and uplifting yeast-driven scents, this wine manages to be both vigorous and layered at one and the same time. Its bubbles are insistent, finely carved and add to the early sensations of lightness and energy yet also carry the wine long into a balanced, refined finish. And its latter palate grip is exactly what one should expect from the genre. While service with ...Read More »
Ameztoi produces some of the tastiest, most representative and classic txakoli: the delicious, bright, slightly petillant (fizzy), low alcohol wines which are consumed like water in Spanish Euskadi (Basque Country). Vineyards are a stone's throw from the ocean, full of verdant, green cover throughout the year. Predominantly Hondarribi Zuri, with 10% Hondarribi Beltza from 20- to 25-year-old vines, fermented in stainless. Briny and bright, the Ameztoi refreshes with juicy lime fruit and txakolina's characteristic spritz. Delightful.
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "The style of Piper-Heidsieck’s nonvintage Champagne is getting more and more refined. It is drier than in the past while also full of ripe white fruits. There is a tight structure, a hint of toast from bottle age and fresh acidity at the end. Ready to drink." (12/2014)90 points Wine Spectator: "By far the best Piper Brut we’ve tasted in years, this is a full-bodied, oxidative, savory wine that would stand up to red meat. There’s some sulfur when the wine is first poured, but once that dissipates, the richness of the texture takes over with bold, juicy lemon and ginger flavor. ...Read More »
If you have enjoyed the wines of Lallement, Bollinger and Krug in the past, I think you will very much enjoy Michel Arnould. They are bold, masculine Champagnes with plenty of toasty flavor. This is a blend of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay, entirely from estate vineyards in the Grand Cru of Verzenay. This is a great party Champagne, since it is full of flavor yet refreshing and moreish. The hazelnut Pinot character so unique to the village of Verzenay is pronounced in this wine, and many good tasters have mistaken it for barrel fermented (it is actua... Read More »
90 points Decanter: "Choose wisely and you could be happier--and better off--with sparkling wines than Champagnes on offer in the run-up to Christmas.Graham Beck Brut NV. This is classic stuff with bready, autolytic aromas, a fine mousse and distinctly savoury flavour...if you are looking for an inexpensive alternative to big-name Champagne, this is it."90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Non-Vintage Brut has pretty apricot and mango scents that are lively and vivacious. The palate is lively on the entry with crisp acidity, citrus peel on the entry with a terse but very focused finish. This is one of the be ...Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "Firm and focused, this structured version offers a well-meshed range of dried apricot, almond biscotti and cassis flavors, showing a clean chalkiness to the texture. Drink now through 2026." (3/2014) K&L Notes: Baron Fuente is a négociant that owns almost 90 acres of vines and purchases another 90 acres "sur pied," meaning that they pick the grapes. This is an important distinction since many négociants buy "sur lattes," meaning in bottle! The Grand Millésimé is a blend of 45% Chardonnay, 40% Meunier and 15% Pinot Noir that spent more than five years on the lees. -Ga... Read More »
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Pale yellow. Lemon curd, quince, white flowers, honey and vanilla on the fragrant nose. Taut, refreshingly bitter citrus pith and toasty lees flavors give way to richer melon and peach with air, with honeysuckle and ginger notes adding complexity. A pungent, waxy note carries through the smoky expansive finish." (12/2012) Wine & Spirits: "There’s precision to the minerality of this wine, a serious streak of limestone under bright, candied fruit. It’s a full, generous style, ready for poached prawns." (12/2012) Wine Enthusiast: "Alain Thiénot’s non vintage is ripe, rich and full-bodied—a de ...Read More »
Although not labeled as vintage, this Champagne is entirely 2008, and made from the oldest plots on the estate. Curiously, Paul-Vincent thinks that old vines should never be used to make vintage dated wine, because they tell more of the story of the land than of year, with deep roots protecting the plant from the vagaries of the weather. It is composed of 50% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir and 25% Meunier and has a powerful, concentrated character that goes very well with charcuterie and other rich appetizers. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer)
We started importing the wines of this small family-owned winery in Colli Orientali de Friuli (not far from the Slovenian border) with the 2001 vintage. Back then they were far better known in Italy, where they have continuously garnered accolades from Gambero Rosso, but these days they have quite a following here at K&L, too. Vintage after vintage the wines from the brothers Ermacora (Dario and Luciano) sell out very quickly. And they still adhere to the motto: Do little, in order to do better. Their 2013 Friulano is no exception. The 2012 scored 90 poi... Read More »
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright straw. Musky, mineral-accented aromas of pear and nectarine, with a floral nuance gaining power with air. Taut and nervy on entry, then fleshier in the middle, offering juicy orchard and citrus fruit flavors and a hint of bitter quinine. Closes on a spicy note, with lively mineral cut and an echo of white flowers." (9/2014) K&L Notes: Produced by a 25-grower cooperative located in the Condado do Tea sub-zone of Rias Baixas, this is crisp, citrus and yellow fruited Albariño from a challenging, but ultimately rewarding, cooler and damper vintage. The results are... Read More »
This 100% Falanghina is wonderful, it's fermented in stainless steel, and then kept on its lees for two months before being bottled. The nose is a complex perfume of elderflowers and white peach, with a bit of crushed stone that is couched in a med-full body, and it has a long and decidedly refreshing finish. (Greg St.Clair, K&L's Italian buyer)
Angelique and Damien have 17 1/2 acres, mostly in Villers sous Chatillon, but also in Ambonny, Bouzy, Vitry la Francois and Troissy. Their family has been growing since 1809 and started making their own Champagnes in the '20s. The majority of their vines are over 60 years in age, and all the work in the vineyards and cellar is done by hand.
This rosé bottling is 100% Grand Cru Pinot Noir. The wine is made by assembling multiple vintages and red Coteaux Champenoises sourced from old vines. This lovely Rosé Champagne offers hints of raspberry, strawberry and red currant. It is refined on the palate where the berry notes unfurl into subtle notes of grenadine.
93 points Wine Spectator: "This deftly woven Champagne is all about finesse, offering a rich vein of smoky minerality and vivid acidity. The power is cloaked in a silky texture and notes of creamed pear, lemon confit, almond biscotti and fresh ginger. Drink now through 2021." (12/2014)92 points Antonio Galloni: "Light yellow-gold. Smoky citrus and orchard fruits on the deeply perfumed, mineral-tinged nose. Offers broad, toasty orange and pear skin flavors with an undercurrent of dusty minerals. Picks up floral and ginger nuances with air, along with hints of iodine and tarragon. Rich yet lively blanc de blanc ...Read More »