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K&L Staff Recommendations
2010 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac $279.99
94 points James Halliday: "*Special Value Selection* Pale, bright quartz-green; a great example of what the Yarra Valley can give to Chardonnay by getting the picking date right, allowing the winemaking to fill a QA role, simply protecting what the vineyard(s) has given - here a wine of great purity, energy, drive and length, citrus and stone fruit (in that order) driving the engine." (2/2014) K&L Notes: Made by 20+ year veteran Yarra Valley winemaker David Bicknell. David is considered by many as one of the best Chardonnay producers in all of Australia. The Over The Shoulder label is basicall... Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "A beautifully layered red with dark chocolate, berry and light vanilla character. Full body plus ultra-fine tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Delicious now." (7/2014) K&L Notes: Winery history: "In 2005, the Bonnie family, owner of the renowned Château Malartic-Lagravière (Grand Cru Classé de Graves) and of the Château Gazin Rocquencourt (Pessac-Léognan), decided to leave France in search for new horizons in the world of wine. It all began with the acquisition, along with their partners, of a single 130-hectares (321 acres) block of land in the heart of the Uco V... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "All fresh blackberry juice with sweetness and power. The wine has richness, along with considerable charming freshness." (3/2011) Jancis Robinson: "36% of production. 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot. Very rich and sweet on the nose. Easy and sweet and quite delicate. Very dry on the finsh but utterly charming and flattering until you get to that slightly drying finish." (4/2010) Wine Spectator: "Chocolate and berry character on the nose and palate. Medium-bodied, with a soft tannin structure and light finish. (Web-2010)" K&L Notes: This wine is stunning. The little brother of Tronquoy Lalande and owne... Read More »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Brambly and spicy red and black fruit mark this mighty Cabernet, sourced from the famed To Kalon Vineyard in the heart of Oakville. Despite its name it offers only Good Times, a well-composed, unabashedly hedonistic taste of juicy ripe Napa fruit and overtly lush tannins." (10/2014)93 points James Suckling: "A soft, pretty Cabernet with currant, berry and lemon-peel character. Full body with fine tannins and a fruity finish. Fresh and clean." (5/2014)92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Good Times, Bad Times from the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard reveals a glorious floral nose of creme de ca ...Read More »
Allen Meadows - Burghound: "(from Puligny vines on the Meursault border – vinified in stainless steel). This too is extremely fresh though with a bit more aromatic breadth to the floral, citrus, pear and apple-scented nose. The middle weight flavors possess an attractive texture and solid concentration before terminating in a balanced and lingering finish. I would suggest holding this excellent effort for 2 to 3 years though it could be approached young. Recommended." (6/2015)
95 points Bob Campbell: "Deliciously restrained Sauvignon Blanc with mineral, citrus/pink grapefruit, and nutty lees/brioche characters. It has a great almost ethereal texture and plenty of weight and yet boasts tantalising purity. Very sophisticated Sauvignon Blanc with concentration and power. Tasted in a vertical line-up going back to the first vintage in 2004. This vintage earned top rating with 2013 although the earlier vintage is a an overtly fruitier and more accessible style. 2014 is probably a better food wine." (11/2014)93 points Raymond Chan: "Bright, pale straw-yellow colour with slight green ...Read More »
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 »
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)
One of our most popular rosés, this fresh and balanced wine comes from one of our favorite co-ops in the south of France. It's a blend of Syrah and Grenache growing in volcanic soils in the heart of the Languedoc. With aromas and flavors of ripe strawberries and raspberries, this crisp, medium-bodied rosé is an ideal complement to spring green salads, light cheeses, mac and cheese, mozzarella cheese salads, goat cheese, cheese and crackers with olives and salumi...or enjoy as an evening aperitif, cheese optional.
Sancerre at half the price! The Fournier family, with roots as deep as their vines in this region, seem to be related to just about everyone in some way. They've been farming and producing wines in Sancerre for generations. We are pleased to have been offered this wine, yet again, at such a great price. Soft, subtle mineral notes are wrapped up in aromatics of melon and citrus. Clean, bright and refreshing, this is a perfect little Sauvignon Blanc. Tropical fruit, citrus and spice aromas and flavors, with vibrant acidity and minerality. Perfect for goat ... Read More »
93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Still not in bottle (it will be in bottle by the time you read this), the 2013 Coteaux du Languedoc la Closerie du Pic is an incredible looking barrel sample that's made from equal parts Syrah and Grenache, with the Syrah aged in barrel (some new) and the Grenache in concrete tank. It exhibits terrific amounts of cassis and black raspberry fruit to go with additional notes of pepper, smoked meats, violets and crushed rock. Full-bodied, beautifully pure, layered and elegant, yet rich and textured, it should drink nicely on release, yet also evolve gracefu ...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 »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Cropped from a vintage deemed almost perfect, the 2005 Viña Ardanza Reserva follows the same varietal mix found in the last vintages; 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha. The grapes are always sourced from the same vineyards, 30-year-old Tempranillo from Fuenmayor and Cenicero in Rioja Alta and Garnacha from Tudelilla in Rioja Baja. In the case of the 2005, it was racked six times during its elevage. The one bottle I tasted first was a bit evolved with plenty of cigar ash, incense and leather along with hung game (woodcock came to mind). But the palate was ...Read More »
Classic pink Provence blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault and 20% Syrah. Notes from the winemaker: "Light pink in color, with violet shades, this wine possesses a memorable and complex aroma. A lively wine that is smooth and possessing a certain sweetness. Very fruity, this rosé is particularly well suited as an aperitif or with salads and vegetable dishes."
A bright clean appearance with fresh lime green hues. The bouquet shows pleasing aromas of grapefruit and white peach, with a floral lift. On the palate this medium-bodied, dry wine has a refreshing and moreish character. Mouthwatering acidity is balanced by an elegant, mineral finish. Sourced from a vareity of vineyards throughout Marlborough's various subregions: Wairau, Waihopai, Dillion's Point and Blenheim. An exceptional value in classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc!
This Chardonnay is produced by the three brothers Couillaud at the Château de la Ragotière, a few minutes from the Atlantic near the mouth of the Loire River, where the maritime climate is ideal for producing whites that are refreshing and bright. The Couillauds age most of this wine on its lees until bottling to add weight and texture with around 10% being barrel-fermented in French oak for the faintest touch of toastiness. Saveur magazine wrote about a previous vintage: "This value-priced Chardonnay tastes crisp and bright. It comes from the western Lo... Read More »
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 »
The 2013 vintage has yet to be reviewed, but the 2012 garnered 96 points from Robert Parker: "They appear to be immune to some of winedom’s less than intelligent trends and fads that we see from time to time." That bottling from the '12 vintage (which celebrated their 40th anniversary) was the single largest selling wine for us over the past year. Given that '13 is also an excellent vintage (a twin to '12), we expect lots of interest for this Napa benchmark.
94 points James Suckling: "A carmenere with lots of mineral and mint aromas plus hints of dark fruit such as blackberries. Full body, firm tannins and an elegantly austere finish. Very fine. Made from 70 year old vines. Drink now or hold." (8/2014)92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Saturated ruby. Pungent, intensely perfumed aromas of black and blue fruit preserves, licorice and vanilla, with slow-building spiciness and a smoky overtone. Broad, palate-staining blackcurrant and mulberry flavors are given spine by juicy acidity and pick up a bitter chocolate nuance with air. Shows very good energy on the oak-spiced fi ...Read More »
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 »
Third-generation family domaine owned by Franck and Betty Millet in the village of Bué. This rosé of 100-percent Pinot Noir is a blend of pressed juice and saignee juice, and matches beautifully with Asian food. From the winery: "Nice light rosé, salmon-coloured with a pleasant fruity aroma. Sancerre Rosé is a well-constituted wine due to its semi-tannic structure."
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Slightly better is the 2012 Chardonnay North Slope, which comes from California clones 95 and 76. Made from much smaller yields than the Cahill Lane, it sees about 40% new French oak, and reveals terrific fruit intensity along with a full-bodied mouthfeel, a good underlying wet gravel-like character, and loads of peach, pineapple and honeysuckle notes. The wine exhibits a light green hue to its color (which I always consider a positive). It can be drunk over the next 5-7 years." (12/2013)92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Pale gold. Intense aromas of nectarine, pineapple and orange zest, w ...Read More »
96 points James Suckling: "Fabulous aromas of oranges, peaches and mahogany follow through to a full body with rich, chewy tannins and a long, flavorful finish. This is dense, tight, powerful, compressed and incredibly structured. Needs four to five years of bottle age to come out of its dormancy." (1/2015)94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is a ripe and fruit-forward expression that bursts with energy and red fruit intensity even at this young stage in the wine's life. Thick layers of cherry, blackberry, cassis, vanilla and cinnamon give the wine a bold, opulent personality. The tann ...Read More »
At first we couldn't believe our mouths. We knew that Cut Spike single malt had just taken Double Gold honors at the 2014 San Francisco Spirits competition (the highest possible honor), so obviously other people thought it was good, too. But after tasting so many mediocre American attempts at single malt whisky, we had become accustomed to the idea that the Scottish style of distillation would never be recreated here at home. There would be spin-offs, and experimental grasps at greatness, but that supple, malty profile would simply be something we needed... Read More »
Costieres de Nimes is at the southernmost part of the Rhone Valley sitting on the opposite bank of Chateauneuf du Pape. One of our best new finds is Chateau de l'Ermitage which produces three terrific values with imminent drinkability. The estate's history traces back to the 12th century when the winery produced wine for the pilgirms of Saint Jacques de Compostelle who were traveling the Santiago de Compostela. The property is now owned by Castillon family and today Michel and his son Jerome manage the vineyards and winemaking. The "Victor" is named ... Read More »
Wine & Spirits: "Ripe and sweet with honeysuckle notes on the tropical fruit, this is a summertime patio pounder. (Good Value)" (4/2015) K&L Notes: The Etz family has been in the wine business since 1898, and the estate is now in the fourth generation. With nearly 40 hectares of vineyard in production, the Etz estate prides itself on synthesizing the modern and the traditional. Their goal is to offer wines that show themselves from vineyard to bottle entirely in harmony with nature and the environment, from parcels planted around the famous wine-town Strass. Gaisberg, Galgenberg (tha... Read More »
96 points James Halliday: "Spent 20 months in high quality French, Hungarian and American oak barrels made in Yalumba's own onsite cooperage. This is one of the richest and most opulent vintages of The Signature in the 41 years since the first was made. While the blackcurrant and blackberry fruit flavours dominate the oak, the wine has a certain elegant juiciness that offers drinking at any stage over the next 20+ years, as the tannins are supple and fine, the overall balance perfect." (5/2015)95 points James Suckling: "A balanced, complete red with currant, spice, meat and berry character. Full body with po ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
We love these wines for their freshness, charm and affordability, and this is easily our best value Sancerre in the store. From soils of clay and chalk in the village of Bue near the Domaine. The Millet keeps you coming back for more. It is vinified entirely in stainless steel to preserve the wonderful citrus and slightly grassy aromatics and gentle mineral finish.
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.
Lovely Angeline, always a value, but never cheap... This wine comes to us from 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.
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 »
This Carato is a blend of 75% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot and 10% Ciliegiolo and is just delicious; full, fleshy, voluptuous, sumptuous, truly hedonistic. It spends 10 months in Slavonian and American oak barriques, and we think at this price you too will be saying wow!
Wine & Spirits: "Gentle strawberry fruit fills this soft rosé, its zesty finish keeping it clean. A fine aperitif." (4/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "Full, ripe wine, layered with fruits and a dry, more mineral core. The wine has good depth of flavor, strawberries, red currants and a citrus cut that keeps the wine fresh at the end." (11/2013) K&L Notes: This delightful sparkling rosé wine comes from Burgundy. It is made of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Gamay Noir. The charming eye of the swan color comes from the addition of Pinot Noir to the wine when the lees are disgorged, following the traditional fermentation in... Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Bright ruby. Minty, refreshing nose. Juicy and with just a hint of wet fur but basically good for a wine with this amount of bottle age. Dry finish. Good energy here. (16.5/20 points)" (10/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Elegant, spicy, tobacco, cranberry, and red cherry characteristics emerge from this finesse-styled, sweet, flavorful, medium-bodied wine. Already delicious as well as complex, it is best consumed over the next decade. (RP)" (4/2001) Wine Spectator: "Plenty of cherry, tobacco and mineral aromas. Medium- to full-bodied, with fine tannins and a medium finish. Best after 2004. 3,330 case ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
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 »
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.
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 »
96 points Bob Campbell: "Produced from four Pinot Noir clones on Greystone’s hillside estate featuring predominantly calcareous clay soils with sand stone and grey limestone. The wine spent 30 days in the skins before being pressed to French oak barrels (30% new). Rich, weighty and flavoursome Pinot Noir with dark-fleshed plum, dark cherry, liquorice and subtle spicy flavours. More concentrated that usual with a silken and almost luscious texture. Lots of power as evidenced by the wine’s lengthy finish. Very impressive. (Gourmet Traveller)" (4/2014) 95-96 points Raymond Chan: "Very dark, deep, black-hued rub ...Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "Vibrant, with nicely packed raspberry, fig and blackberry fruit carried by mouthwatering acidity and well-embedded structure. Lots of anise, spice and tar frames the finish. Stéphane Derenoncourt consulting here. Best from 2012 through 2019." (3/2012) K&L Notes: The blend for the 2009 Château Maison Blanche is 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Cabernet Franc. The Cabernet Franc is usually not included in this wine, but was in 2009 because it came in so perfectly. This is stunningly delicious...blackberries and toasty oak abound. Will cellar well for five-pl... 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
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 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 »
91 points Antonio Galloni: "Vivid ruby. Deeply pitched dark berry, licorice and violet scents show very good clarity and complicating notes of smoky minerals and botanical herbs. Fleshy and broad in the mouth, with juicy blackberry and bitter cherry flavors gaining sweetness with air. Rich yet lively Beaujolais with excellent finishing clarity and cling and smooth tannins that come in late. (JR)" (2/2015) K&L Notes: This comes from 75-year-old vines on the Haute Ronze hill at 320 meters of elevation in sandy and granitic soils, with favorable south and south-east exposures. Aged 9 months in co... Read More »
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 »
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 »
Francois and Jean-Marie Cherrier with father Pierre produce steely and citrus-driven Sancerre from fine parcels of Sauvignon Blanc planted in Sancerre's silex (flint) and chalky soils. Yields are kept low and harvest is done strictly by hand before fermenting in 100% stainless steel. Vibrantly aromatic and mineral-driven, this is quintessential Sancerre. (Eric Story, Loire Buyer)
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A gorgeous effort that tastes like a high-end California Chardonnay, the 2013 Val de Montferrand Grand Cuvee Blanc is a blend of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Viognier, with the Chardonnay aged eight months on lees in barrel, and the Viognier seeing only tank. It offers up beautiful notes of pineapple, citrus blossom, honeysuckle and white flower nuances, all of which are framed nicely by serious flinty minerality that comes through more on the palate. Possessing rocking purity, full-bodied richness and a clean, classy style, enjoy bottles over the coming 2-3 y ...Read More »
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.
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The most impressive of the trio, the 2012 Vacqueyras La Cantarelle is an incredible blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah that spent 24 months all in concrete tanks. It too is a custom cuvee between Eric Solomon, Philippe Cambie and the Bernard family. Named after a house that’s located in the vineyard, it comes from 100+-year-old vines and primarily limestone soils, and there’s a scant 600 cases to go around. Inky purple in color, it gives up meaty aromas and flavors of olive tapenade, cassis, melted licorice and earth to go with a very full-bodied, volup ...Read More »