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Special (Hidden) Pricing on Delicious Unoaked Chardonnay - 05/05/2015 - South Africa

2014 De Wetshof Estate

2014 De Wetshof Estate "Limestone Hill" Unoaked Chardonnay Robertson (Elsewhere $16+) Price: Hidden

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Limestone Hill Chardonnay has a more austere but more intellectual bouquet compared to the Bon Vallon with stony, mineral scents coming through with aeration. The palate is well-balanced with vibrant acidity, plush peach and mango notes with a refined but generous finish that offers hints of apricot and fruit salad on the aftertaste. Excellent. (NM)" (10/2014)

K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "Heavy clay soils rich in limestone allow this Chardonnay to emit optimum varietal expression in a cloak of rich complexity. An un-wooded wine, Limestone Hill has notes of citrus, ripe orchard fruit and nuts, with the complexity balanced by a nuanced elegance ending with a delicate ripeness. The grapes are picked in the coolness of morning, with the emphasis on capturing the natural complexities of the Chardonnay grape immediately for the making of this un-wooded wine."

Jim Chanteloup | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 28, 2015

De Wetshof is a South African winery that has always been a Chardonnay specialist,a d the "Limestone Hill" has long been a favorite of mine. The fruit comes from vines that are 7-21 years old with heavy clay and limestone laced soils. The wine is unoaked, bringing a purity to the fruit that is left on the lees for 4 months with weekly stirring that produces richness and a wonderful creamy texture. Notes of lemon/lime blossom mingle with peach, nectarine, pear, a touch of grapefruit and mineral accents are found in the bouquet. Good acidity supports the mid-palate weight and delivers a fine persistent finish. A great value in a interesting Chardonnay.

Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 21, 2015

What an awesome little Chardonnay. This is just such a great deal and a very versatile white wine. The fruit is fermented and matured all in stainless steel, it sees no oak. This is good news for those that don't like "oaky" Chardonnay...however, what I really like is that this wine still has richness and texture. Some un-oaked Chards can be very simple, crisp and pretty uninteresting. This Limestone Hill bottle has soft ripe fruit, subtle creamy texture, a lovely mineral inflections and juicy vibrant acidity. There is so much going on here for such a low price. This is a "house wine" in the making. Crowd pleasing, easy to drink and can match with a huge variety for foods. Exceptional value for money.

2012 Bordeaux - Making a Comeback? - 05/05/2015 - Red Bordeaux

We have several new pre-arrivals from the 2012 vintage (due in over the next 12 months) that have started heating back up due to a combination of the strengthening dollar, some price reductions, and many increases in scores/reviews. Here's a set of our favorites...

2012 Tour St, Christophe, St. Emilion (Pre-Arrival) ($27.99)

93 points James Suckling: "Incredible chalk and salt character with minerala and cocoa as well as berries. Full-bodied, tightly wound and long. So much going on. From Hong Kong’s Kwok family who also own Haut-Brisson in St. Emilion. This is the first year they made. Located next door to Barde-Haut. Better in 2017. Exciting new wine. " (02/2015)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "An attractive wine from another member of the Chinese Kwok family, the 2012 Tour Saint Christophe has a dense ruby/purple color, appealing cassis and blackcurrant fruit, medium body, foresty floral notes, wood and spice. The color is deep and the wine rich, multi-dimensional and complex. Drink it over the next 12-15 years. This is an estate to watch carefully as quality soars." (04/2015)

Wine Spectator: "A hefty, dark style, with a big dose of melted licorice and warm fruitcake flavors, followed by a core of plum sauce and blackberry confiture. A dark ganache coating holds sway on the finish. Ambitious and extracted, but seems unlikely to gain nuance or finesse with age. Drink now through 2019. " (02/2015)

2012 Clos de L'Oratoire, St-Emilion (Pre-Arrival) ($34.99)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of the von Neipperg estates, the 2012 Clos de l'Oratoire is an undeniable success story. Dense ruby/purple, with plenty of crème de cassis, roasted coffee, licorice and spice, full-bodied, opulent and sexy, it is a hedonist’s dream wine. Pure and long, it has a great finish and terrific palate presence. Drink it over the next 12-15 years. Yields were exceptionally small in 2012 – 25 hectoliters per hectare. " (04/2015)

92 points James Suckling: "Intense nose showing dark cherries, dried flowers and soft spices. Full body, ultra-fine tannins, fresh acidity and a long, spicy finish. Beautifully crafted. Drink now or in 2016. " (02/2015)

90 points Wine Spectator: "This has a ripe, fleshy feel, offering a core of plum, fig and boysenberry fruit laced with licorice, carrying through the toasty yet integrated finish. Very solidly built for the vintage. Best from 2016 through 2020" (03/2015)

Jancis Robinson: "90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. Sweet juicy red fruit. Lively and very fresh and crunchy. Fragrant and refined in aroma and structure. 60% new oak but not OTT. Tannins are super fine, giving a long finish where the fruit fragrance returns. Drink 2017-2025. 17/20 points." (04/2013)

2012 Malartic-Lagravière, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival) ($39.99)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This large estate of 131 acres has been run brilliantly by a Belgian family, the Bonnies since their acquisition a number of years ago. The quality of the white and red have soared to exceptional heights, and this is certainly still one of the more realistically priced wines of Pessac-Lèognan and classified crus. The 2012 is a beauty, with a dense ruby/purple color, a fabulously plush, opulent texture and medium to full-bodied flavors of cassis, spicy earth and blueberry. Quite rich, yet light on its feet, this is an absolutely textbook Pessac-Lèognan, with wonderfully velvety tannins. Drink it now, or drink it in 25 years. This is a brilliant wine." (04/2015)

91-93 points Wine Enthusiast: "This very dry wine shows remarkable chocolate and licorice extraction. It's currently dark, firm, concentrated and solid, but as it develops, it's sure to be a considerable force to be reckoned with." (04/2013)

92 points Wine Spectator: "Solid, with dense layers of fig sauce, plum cake and blackberry confiture, laced with graphite and warm tar details. The long finish ripples with spice hints and black fruit, leaving a mouthwatering feel despite the heft. Best from 2017 through 2022. " (03/2015)

92 points James Suckling: "Very fine and elegant with a sliced plum, chocolate and tobacco character. Full and refined with pretty texture and a long finish. This has polish for the vintage. Clearly better than 2011." (04/2013)

89-91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good ruby-red. Blueberry, mocha and flowers on the nose. Sweet, pliant and nicely balanced, with good juicy lift to the dark fruit and mineral flavors. The finish is long and brightly mineral. Hints at a savory ripeness on the back half that many Left Bank wines lack in 2012." (06/2013)

Jancis Robinson: "Very dark crimson. Smells rather leafy and Cabernet-dominated. Aromatic, then very sweet, then firm and with sandy tannins on the finish. Angular and more long term than many. Ambitious. There is great polish here. Calm finish (no heat). I admire the dryness and appetising, rather than palate-drying, tannins. Grown-up wine. 17+/20 points." (04/2013)

2012 Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival) ($49.99)

92-94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel sample. With so much spicy fruit, intensely ripe blackberry flavors and solid tannins, all the elements of excellence are here, and powered by a firm structure. This wine has weight and a fine Cabernet concentration. " (04/2013)

93 points Wine Spectator: "Well-built, with a charcoal frame that melds nicely with steeped currant, blackberry paste and dark plum fruit flavors. The long finish is riveted to a graphite underpinning. Remarkably dense, but without the austere twinge of the vintage. Best from 2018 through 2030. " (03/2015)

93 points James Suckling: "This is very muscular with blackcurrant, blueberry and mineral character. Full and tight now but this shows a serious backbone of tannins and length. Try in 2018." (02/2015)

90-92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Deep purple-ruby. Highly aromatic nose offers scents of smoky blackberry, red cherry, violet, cocoa and spicy oak. Juicy, spicy and rather deep for the vintage, with nicely concentrated sour cherry and bright blackcurrant lifted by a floral element. A peppery twist complicates the rising, almost creamy finish, which shows a restrained sweetness and sneaky concentration. One of the top two dozen wines of the vintage." (05/2013)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Always a favorite among consumers, Xavier Borie’s is a fifth-growth Pauillac that consistently performs at a much higher level. The 2012 Grand-Puy-Lacoste has the classic, tell-tale crème de cassis as well as some bluer fruits and floral notes. Medium-bodied, its ripe tannin, beautiful fruit and low acidity give it an up-front appeal. There’s no harm in drinking it now or cellaring it for another 12-15+ years. " (04/2015)

2012 d'Issan, Margaux (Pre-Arrival) ($49.99)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Château d’Issan, builds on the richness of the second wine and adds more body, structure and density. It has an inky purple color and a stunning nose of spring flowers, blueberry and blackberry fruit as well as touches of incense and graphite. Medium to full-bodied and stunningly concentrated, this 2012 is a great success in the vintage, one of the superstars. Moreover, its precociousness suggests it could be drunk in the next 4-5 years or cellared through 2025. I underrated this wine dramatically in my report of April, 2013 (Issue 206)." (04/2015)

92 points James Suckling: "Complex aromas of black cherries with hints of cedar and spices. This is a full-bodied red combining firm tannins, good acidity and a clean finish. A fascinating iron undertone. Drink in 2018. " (02/2015)

Antonio Galloni: "Bright red-ruby. Subdued but pure nose offers blueberry, violet, licorice, menthol and grilled herbs. Enters the mouth fresh and clean, then turns austere, with nicely integrated acidity framing delicate dark berry and herbal flavors. Finishes firm and fresh, with fine-grained tannins and a hint of herbaceousness. A juicy, brisk, classic Bordeaux red with no shortage of energy and lift. I'm always a big fan of Issan, but I wonder if this vintage's relatively modest quantity of ripe fruit will last. " (05/2013)

Wine Spectator: "This has a strong roasted alder note leading the way, followed by lively plum and red currant fruit. The tightly focused and energetic finish lets the sanguine and iron accents stretch out. A solid effort, with an old-school edge. Drink now through 2019." (03/2015)

2012 Canon, St-Emilion (Pre-Arrival) ($59.99)

91-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A dense ruby/purple color is followed by notes of black raspberries, blueberries, crushed rocks and spring flowers. This medium to full-bodied, well-endowed, authoritative Canon reveals some serious tannin in the finish, so 4-5 years of cellaring will be needed after bottling. It should last 15-20 years. " (04/2013)

92-94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel sample. This dense, extracted wine has dark coffee and bitter chocolate flavors that are followed by wood and tannins. The fruit is still obscured, and may need many years for its dark character to emerge. " (04/2013)

93 points James Suckling: "A very silky and elegant wine that finishes beautifully. Full-to-medium body, with well integrated tannins and a refined and pretty finish. It goes on nicely with chocolate, walnuts, hazelnuts, and delicate fruit. Very savory. Lovely texture." (04/2013)

89-92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good bright red-ruby. Coffee and chocolate scents of new oak complement deep strawberry and dark cherry aromas on the brooding nose. On the palate, sweet cassis, black plum and mineral flavors are lifted by an element of peppery herbs. Finishes youthfully dry, with building tannins and suggestions of herbs, pepper and mint. Lovely balance and precision here: Canon has really turned the corner in the last several years." (06/2013)

88-91 points Wine Spectator: "Displays a rather firm coating of chalk dust and vanilla notes, with a core of subdued plum and blackberry fruit. Verges on an extracted feel, but comes out solid and sculpted in the end." (04/2013)

K&L Notes: "Owned by the Wertheimers (also the proprietors of the enormously successful haut-couture house of Chanel), this is a pure, stylish, nicely textured, impressive effort from a superb terroir on the limestone plateau of St.-Emilion. The final blend was 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, and yields were a modest 35 hectoliters per hectare." (Wine Advocate, 4/2013)

2012 Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux (Pre-Arrival) ($59.99)

94 points James Suckling: "This is amazing for the second wine with incredible white truffle, stone and currant character. Purity of fruit on the nose. Full-bodied, silky and refined. Fantastic length. Better in 2018 but almost impossible to resist now. Incredible." (02/2015)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another brilliant example from administrator Thomas Duroux and his team, the intense second wine, Palmer’s 2012 Alter Ego (51% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Petit Verdot), offers up plenty of blackberry and crème de cassis notes along with some spring flowers, licorice and subtle background oak. Opulently textured, full-bodied and stunning, this is an outrageously successful second wine to drink over the next 12-15 years. " (04/2015)

92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Initially densely tannic, this wine quickly reveals a more velvet character that is enhanced by the blackberry fruits. Over half the production at Palmer in 2012 was of this second wine, which is already finely integrated and developing well. Drink from 2020." (05/2015)

90 points Wine Spectator: "Shows good energy, with a lively savory note, a bright iron streak and enticing damson plum, black cherry and red currant fruit. Everything knits through the finish, suggesting this should be able to handle modest cellaring. Best from 2016 through 2020." (03/2015)

Jancis Robinson: "Quite strong leafy Cabernet aromas, but lovely freshness and round tannins. Is this like Palmer of old? I don't think I would guess this was majority Merlot...Drink 2019-2027. 17/20 points." (04/2013)

K&L Notes: * 1/2 The second wine of Palmer is once again a terrific wine. Flashy ripe Merlot is in the forefront of this wine and is fresh and deep. Much softer than the first wine and will be lovely to drink young. I love the wine and like the price. (Ralph Sands, K&L Bordeaux Expert) 51% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot. 35% new oak.

2012 Larcis Ducasse, St-Emilion (Pre-Arrival) ($69.99)

95 points James Suckling: "This shows so much class and balance with blackberry and mushroom character. Some wet earth. It makes you want to drink it! Fine and ripe tannins. Gorgeous. Drink in 2018. " (02/2015)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This great terroir, long owned by the Gratiot family, has come to life under the inspired winemaking of Nicolas Thienpont and Stéphane Derenoncourt. Some recent vintages have been legendary efforts, especially 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2010. The 2012 (83% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc) is right in the competition, with an inky, opaque, bluish/purple color, gorgeously sweet, rich nose of black raspberries, black cherries and currants, and licorice. The wine hits the palate with a full-bodied, thunderous effect. This blend tips the scales at 14.5% alcohol, which is indicative of its fabulously exposed vineyard on a full, steep limestone slope with a primarily southern exposure. This is full-bodied, ripe and one of the great stars of the vintage – again. The wine has full-bodied texture, gorgeous purity, richness and length. Drink it over the next 20 years. " (04/2015)

92-94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel sample. Newly promoted to Premier Grand Cru Classé in 2012, this is a fine, concentrated wine, showing great style. It has weight and a delicious juiciness that is sustained by firm, dry tannins. Already a beautiful wine." (04/2013)

93 points Wine Spectator: "Dark and winey, with steeped currant, macerated plum and warm boysenberry coulis flavors, laced with licorice snap and roasted apple wood notes. The charcoal edge is buried on the finish, with a lingering minerality. Lots going on here. Needs time. Best from 2017 through 2027.—" (01/2015)

91-93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(83% merlot and 17% cabernet franc; 28 h/h production): Purple-ruby. Piquant notes of cinnamon, ink and white pepper perk up the red berry and cherry aromas on the captivating nose. Then sweet, suave and dense on the palate, with noteworthy precision to the red berry, mineral and floral flavors. Finishes silky and long. A marvelous wine by which to celebrate the chateau's upgrade to 1er Grand Cru Classe status." (06/2013)

Jancis Robinson: "Deep dark cherry colour. Fine and dry and so fresh. Feels like a breath of summer. But it is not particularly light - good length - just no excess weight. Drink 2017-2023. 17-/20 points." (04/2012)

K&L Notes: "A remarkable effort," to quote Robert Parker, who goes on to add: "yields were kept to 23 hectoliters per hectare by the brilliant team of Nicolas Thienpont, Stephane Derenoncourt, David Suire and Julien Lavenu. The final blend of 83% Merlot and 17% Cabernet Franc has produced a powerhouse with 14.5% natural alcohol. This team's goal is undoubtedly to elevate Larcis Ducasse to the status of Ausone, Cheval Blanc, Pavie and Angelus. They are well on their way." (04/2013)

2012 Pavie Macquin, St-Emilion (Pre-Arrival) ($69.99)

93-95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel sample. Full bodied and ripe, this wine is marked by smoky character, spiciness and full-throttle tannins. Blackberry fruits on the palate complement this serious structure. Obviously a long-term wine." (04/2013)

94 points Wine Spectator: "Offers a solid, packed feel, with dense plum sauce, licorice and blackberry preserve flavors, pushed by ganache and graphite details. Despite the dense and fleshy feel, there’s serious purity here. A violet note mingles with a lightly chalky echo through the lengthy finish. A terrific effort for the vintage. Best from 2017 through 2027.—" (01/2015)

94 points James Suckling: "There is a purity and directness to this wine with blueberry, sliced-mushroom and floral character. Full body, firm tannins and a long and intense finish. Racy. " (02/2015)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another wine made by the superstar guru Nicolas Thienpont, this well-situated property of 37 acres on the high clay/limestone plateau in St.-Emilion has produced a blend of 84 % Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. A masculine, virile style of wine with an inky deep purple color, lots of crème de cassis and crushed rock and high tannin. This is thick and powerful, with a layered mouthfeel, good purity, earthiness and spice. Forget it for 4-5 years and drink if over the following two decades. " (04/2015)

91-93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Deep purple-ruby. Penetrating notes of violet and rose complement intense, almost syrupy aromas of strawberry and red cherry. Then dense and suave in the mouth, with rich flavors of red berries and minerals complicated by vanilla and violet. Finishes very rich and long. This year, the merlot was harvested between October 13 and 18 and the cabernet on October 17 and 18. One of my top 15 wines of the vintage. Pavie-Macquin takes its name from its location in the Pavie sector of Saint-Emilion and from the grandfather Albert Macquin of the Corre-Macquin family. Since 1994, Nicolas Thienpoint has been managing the property with the consulting help of Stephane Derenoncourt." (06/2013)

Jancis Robinson: "Deep dark crimson with purple rim. Rich black cherry aroma, inviting. Some sweet oak toastiness but not too much because there's a meaty edge too. Really moreish. Bright and lively. Generous, full fruited and rounded but not in the least flabby. Lots of red fruit and fine supple tannin. Energy and length. Just enough freshness and a nice chewy finish. Pleasure without pretension. Drink 2017-2025. 17/20 points. " (04/2013)

2012 Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival) ($69.99)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The opaque bluish-purple 2012 Smith Haut Lafite offers up notes of licorice, graphite, blueberry and blackberry fruit, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, stunningly ripe, velvety tannins and a long, long finish. This is another sensational effort from the Cathiards that is perfectly balanced, complex, super-rich and pure. Drink it over the next 20-25 years. This is another great turn-around effort that dated from the acquisition of this once moribund estate in 1990, by Daniel and Florence Cathiard. They continue to do an exemplary job with both white and red. " (04/2015)

94 points James Suckling: "This is very deep and sensual for the vintage with blackberry, tobacco, chocolate, coffee and spice character. Full body, super-integrated tannins and a long, long finish. Superb for the vintage. Give it three or four years to come around but already gorgeous. " (02/2015)

92-94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel sample. Dark, extracted and dense, this is a hard-edged wine that initially lacks fruitiness. Only as the wine develops does it show its powerful density and hints of juiciness." (04/2013)

94 points Wine Spectator: "The layered fig, boysenberry and blackberry pâte de fruit notes are buttressed by ample, yet polished and integrated, ganachecoated tannins, while accents of black tea, ganache and tar course underneath. A really gorgeous display of fruit, showing terroir and cut on the finish. Best from 2018 through 2027." (01/2015)

90-92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Purple-ruby. Enticing aromas of blackcurrant, tobacco, violet and herbs. Creamy-sweet and rather powerful on entry, then brighter in the mid-palate, with lively acidity energizing dark fruit, floral and tobacco flavors. This is densely packed for a 2012, but also has a degree of finesse I haven't found in some past, bigger vintages of this wine. Finishes with building, smooth tannins and terrific persistence. A very strong vintage for this wine; this is yet another example of an estate that lowered the proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in its 2012 blend (normally it's 60% to 65%). " (06/2013)

Jancis Robinson: "Dark purple. Appetising fresh forest-floor nose. Very sweet palate entry but there is freshness here too. Just a little skinny and astringent on the finish but this is attractive modern red Bordeaux without overkill of either oak or alcohol. Very competent." (04/2013)

2012 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival) ($74.99)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The classic 2012 Haut-Bailly is staggeringly great wine, with a stunning bouquet of lead pencil shavings, blueberries, black raspberries and blackcurrants and perhaps a touch of spring flowers, followed by a medium to full-bodied wine with an almost seamless integration of wood, alcohol and tannin. It is rich, concentrated, stunningly supple, pure and a total hedonistic and intellectual turn-on. This wine defines what is meant by intensity of flavor, but it is light on its feet, à la great cuisine. It should be drinkable reasonably young, but age effortlessly for 25-30 years. One of the great shining superstars of Pessac-Léognan has been the ascent of Haut-Bailly under the ownership of Robert Wilmers, an American, and his winemaking team lead by Véronique Sanders. Readers checking the database of the Wine Advocate will note that the 2009 has been elevated to a perfect score, which is of course not surprising, since it started off with a 98-point rating." (04/2015)

93-95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Dark in structure, with a sense of austerity and dark tannins, this is a wine that will need time to develop. There's a hint of tobacco and ripe plum on the palate, and the aftertaste promises juiciness." (04/2013)

94 points James Suckling: "A beautiful red with plums and chocolate and hints of licorice. Full body, with super polished tannins. Ripe fruit with forest undergrowth, dark fruits and sweet tobacco. Goes on for minutes." (04/2013)

93 points Wine Spectator: "Well-stuffed, with thick and muscular brambly structure that easily supports the core of macerated black currant, fig and boysenberry fruit flavors. A tarry edge coats the finish. More backward than most of its peers at this early stage, but all the elements are in place. Best from 2018 through 2027.—" (01/2015)

90-92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Deep purple-ruby. Clean, fresh, very deep aromas of cassis, blackberry, minerals and smoke. Rich, dense and suave, offering intense flavors of dark cherry and blackcurrant lifted by graphite and ink. Finishes very long and pure. Estate manager Veronique Sanders plans to age this very promising Haut-Bailly for about 18 months in 50% new oak. For my money, this is one of the top 20 wines of the vintage." (06/2013)

Jancis Robinson: "Dark with a purple rim. Lifted, appetising nose. Racy and flattering even if without enormous concentration. Flattering mouthfeel. No rusticity here! Though perhaps a little alcohol on the dry, slightly angular finish. A menthol note. " (04/2013)

Clyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 08, 2014

**+ Wow! One of the best wines I tasted from 2012. 60% Cab and 40% Merlot. Silky wine with mineral undertones. The finish goes on and on. A must-buy at this low price.

Trey Beffa | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 08, 2014

The 2012 Haut-Bailly will provide pure pleasure five to seven years after release. It shows flavors of black currant and black cherries that are surrounded by hints of cedar, mineral and licorice. The tannins are present but should round out nicely by the time this wine is bottled. A solid effort in a difficult vintage!

2012 Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien (Pre-Arrival) ($124.99)

95 points Wine Enthusiast: "* Cellar Selection * This is a wine with big tannins and big fruit. You can feel the wood rather than taste it, certainly smell it initially before the black currant aromas kick in. Impressive and sumptuous, it has a solid density that layers with the smoky character of the fruit and wood. Rich and complex, it needs to age. Drink from 2025. " (05/2015)

93 points Wine Spectator: "This has an almost lavish feel, with layers of warmed fig, blackberry paste and raspberry coulis lined with ganache, anise and fruitcake flavors. Best from 2018 through 2027" (01/2015)

93 points James Suckling: "A very clean and pretty Ducru with fine tannins and a mineral floral character. Full body, yet racy and delicious. Pure and very elegant. Juicy and enticing." (04/2013)

90-93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(a blend of 91% cabernet sauvignon and 9% merlot; 5.5 g/l total acidity, 3.7 pH; IPT 70; 13% alcohol; 60% new oak): Dark ruby-red. Perfumed aromas of blackcurrant, violet, licorice and graphite, plus a whiff of minerals. The flavors of blackcurrant, graphite and minerals are delicate, pure and refined. Finishes fine-grained, suave and firm, with excellent breadth. It's also one of the longest wines of the vintage, and for my money one of the top four or five from the Left Bank in 2012. When I asked Bruno Borie how this could be, given the very high percentage of cabernet sauvignon in the blend, he mentioned the intensive work required to achieve this result: he added two sorting tables directly in the vineyards and installed an optical sorting system in the cellar. He also noted that the cabernet sauvignon vines are very precocious in his terroir (gravelly clay right next to the river, where daily temperatures can average roughly 3°C more than vineyards in Saint-Julien's interior. Moreover, he harvested between October 3 and 5 and from October 6 through 10, escaping the brunt of the rain showers. According to Borie, the 2012 reminds him of the estate's 1964, an excellent vintage for those properties that harvested before the rains. " (06/2013)

90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The color is a healthy deep ruby/purple and the wine smells beautiful, exhibiting lots of floral, creme de cassis, licorice and graphite notes. Medium-bodied but slightly deficient in the mid-palate at present, it picks up speed and finishes with serious authority and power. This 2012 should be outstanding, but it is difficult to favorably compare the 2012 to the prodigious wines produced at Ducru in 2009 and 2010. The 2012 will require 4-6 years of cellaring and should drink well for 15-20 years. " (04/2013)

Jancis Robinson: "91% Cabernet Sauvignon! Bruno Borie had a vat that represented 0.75% of the total blend and Bruno claims you could taste the difference between whether it was included. Brilliant crimson. Just a hint of green leaves. A bit of meat extract. Great texture. Transparent. Really rather delicate – more so than other St-Juliens. Chapeau! Very distinctive. Fresh and delicate. Good interpretation of the vintage. " (04/2013)

K&L Notes: Located in St Julien, the appellation between Pauillac and Margaux, The second growth Ducru Beaucaillou vineyards are gravel and stones, and overlook the estuary providing a more moderated climate than much of Bordeaux. The 2012 vintage blend is 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot. It is to spend 18 months in mostly new French oak.

Bordeaux 2014... Haut Brion and other new offerings - 05/05/2015 - Red Bordeaux

Here are a handful of the most anticipated new 2014's to hit the market. Please note these are available on a pre-arrival basis and are due to arrive in two years.

View all wines available from 2014 Bordeaux at KLWines.com

2014 Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival) ($329.99)

96-98 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. The wine is serious, darkly structured and firm in character, packed with tannins that lend a very dry feel. Fragrant fruitiness and intense acidity shine through for a very fine wine, likely to age over several decades. " (04/2015)

95-98 points Wine Spectator: "Features a youthfully muscular edge, but remains elegant despite the heft, with a core of plum, red currant and raspberry fruit, guided by supple tannins and backed by subtle tobacco and spice hints. A light bay thread chimes in on the finish, while a juniper detail adds a pleasant underpinning. Displays admirable concentration, but this will need time to soak up its élevage, as it is always one of the more backward wines of the spring tastings. Tasted non-blind" (04/2015)

94-97 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Haut-Brion is one of the truly viscerally thrilling wines of the vintage. A host of smoke, graphite, licorice and black stone fruit notes hit the palate in a towering, majestic wine of the highest level. Opulent yet also massively tannic, with pulsating acidity in support, the 2014 is absolutely impeccable. Violets, lavender, smoke and savory herbs are some of the notes that add nuance as the wine builds to a rapturous, explosive finish. Readers fortunate enough to find the 2014 can look forward to several decades of pure drinking pleasure. The blend is 50% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Cabernet Franc. " (04/2015)

95-96 points James Suckling: "Dense and tight now with blackberries, blueberries, iodine, minerals and currants. Full-bodied, firm and closed, yet there’s a persistence and length that is most impressive. Polished and very classy. " (03/2015)

93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Haut-Brion 2014 is a blend of 50% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 39% Cabernet Sauvignon picked between 11 September and 10 October cropped at 42.9 hectoliters per hectare raised in 70% new oak (Jean-Philippe Delmas has been lowering the new oak in recent vintages.) The fruit seems a little “redder” than La Mission at this stage with vibrant wild strawberry, blackcurrant and a pinch of dry tobacco, a hint of menthol developing with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, that tobacco element becoming a little stronger in the mouth, a little foursquare but like La Mission Haut-Brion, focusing upon precision rather than power. Of course, a superb contribution to the vintage, but I'd place my bets on the "Mish", at least on these barrel tastings." (04/2015)

2014 Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan (1.5L) (Pre-Arrival) ($659.99)

96-98 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. The wine is serious, darkly structured and firm in character, packed with tannins that lend a very dry feel. Fragrant fruitiness and intense acidity shine through for a very fine wine, likely to age over several decades." (04/2015)

95-98 points Wine Spectator: "Features a youthfully muscular edge, but remains elegant despite the heft, with a core of plum, red currant and raspberry fruit, guided by supple tannins and backed by subtle tobacco and spice hints. A light bay thread chimes in on the finish, while a juniper detail adds a pleasant underpinning. Displays admirable concentration, but this will need time to soak up its élevage, as it is always one of the more backward wines of the spring tastings. Tasted non-blind" (04/2015)

94-97 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Haut-Brion is one of the truly viscerally thrilling wines of the vintage. A host of smoke, graphite, licorice and black stone fruit notes hit the palate in a towering, majestic wine of the highest level. Opulent yet also massively tannic, with pulsating acidity in support, the 2014 is absolutely impeccable. Violets, lavender, smoke and savory herbs are some of the notes that add nuance as the wine builds to a rapturous, explosive finish. Readers fortunate enough to find the 2014 can look forward to several decades of pure drinking pleasure. The blend is 50% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Cabernet Franc. " (04/2015)

95-96 points James Suckling: "Dense and tight now with blackberries, blueberries, iodine, minerals and currants. Full-bodied, firm and closed, yet there’s a persistence and length that is most impressive. Polished and very classy." (03/2015)

93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Haut-Brion 2014 is a blend of 50% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 39% Cabernet Sauvignon picked between 11 September and 10 October cropped at 42.9 hectoliters per hectare raised in 70% new oak (Jean-Philippe Delmas has been lowering the new oak in recent vintages.) The fruit seems a little “redder” than La Mission at this stage with vibrant wild strawberry, blackcurrant and a pinch of dry tobacco, a hint of menthol developing with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, that tobacco element becoming a little stronger in the mouth, a little foursquare but like La Mission Haut-Brion, focusing upon precision rather than power. Of course, a superb contribution to the vintage, but I'd place my bets on the "Mish", at least on these barrel tastings." (04/2015)

2014 La Mission Haut-Brion Rouge, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival) ($199.99)

95-97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château La Mission Haut-Brion 2014 is a blend of 54% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, picked between 15 September and 8 October raised in 55% new oak. It has a very fresh and precise bouquet, not one that marches out the barrack in confidence fashion, but rather unfolds piece-by-piece in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a structured and neatly placed opening: a little masculine for La Mission Haut-Brion at this stage, linear and focused, maintaining precision rather than aiming from power and roundness. This is a sophisticated La Mission Haut-Brion in the making, one that may actually surpass Haut-Brion as it is sometimes prone to do. The 2014 is a sterling success for Jean-Philippe Delmas and his team. " (04/2015)

95-97 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. Ripe and voluptuous, this is a beautiful wine. It has acidity and a degree of freshness, although the finely textured character and rich fruitiness are its true hallmarks. The tannins will certainly allow it to age well." (04/2015)

93-96 points Wine Spectator: "This has the engaging rusticity of the estate, with a strong sappy and briary frame around a core of plum skin, dried star anise, licorice root and dark currant fruit. Solidly grippy through the finish, with a lingering tar edge and a bright pastis note. Rather backward, but rock-solid. Tasted non-blind.—" (04/2015)

93-96 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 La Mission Haut-Brion is magnificent. A dark, mysterious wine, the 2014 offers superb depth and intensity from the very first taste. The flavors are dark, bold and quite authoritative, but there is an element of sensuality laced throughout as well. Graphite, savory herbs, cherry jam, graphite and smoke add nuance to a huge, powerful finish supported by beams of salinity and energy. What a gorgeous wine this is. The blend is 54% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc." (04/2015)

94-95 points James Suckling: "Chewy and rich with blueberry, stone and mineral character. Full body, silky and intense tannins and a mineral berry aftertaste. A finely grained La Mission. " (03/2015)

2014 La Mission Haut-Brion Rouge, Pessac-Léognan (1.5L) (Pre-Arrival) ($399.99)

95-97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château La Mission Haut-Brion 2014 is a blend of 54% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, picked between 15 September and 8 October raised in 55% new oak. It has a very fresh and precise bouquet, not one that marches out the barrack in confidence fashion, but rather unfolds piece-by-piece in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a structured and neatly placed opening: a little masculine for La Mission Haut-Brion at this stage, linear and focused, maintaining precision rather than aiming from power and roundness. This is a sophisticated La Mission Haut-Brion in the making, one that may actually surpass Haut-Brion as it is sometimes prone to do. The 2014 is a sterling success for Jean-Philippe Delmas and his team. " (04/2015)

95-97 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. Ripe and voluptuous, this is a beautiful wine. It has acidity and a degree of freshness, although the finely textured character and rich fruitiness are its true hallmarks. The tannins will certainly allow it to age well." (04/2015)

93-96 points Wine Spectator: "This has the engaging rusticity of the estate, with a strong sappy and briary frame around a core of plum skin, dried star anise, licorice root and dark currant fruit. Solidly grippy through the finish, with a lingering tar edge and a bright pastis note. Rather backward, but rock-solid. Tasted non-blind.—" (04/2015)

93-96 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 La Mission Haut-Brion is magnificent. A dark, mysterious wine, the 2014 offers superb depth and intensity from the very first taste. The flavors are dark, bold and quite authoritative, but there is an element of sensuality laced throughout as well. Graphite, savory herbs, cherry jam, graphite and smoke add nuance to a huge, powerful finish supported by beams of salinity and energy. What a gorgeous wine this is. The blend is 54% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc." (04/2015)

94-95 points James Suckling: "Chewy and rich with blueberry, stone and mineral character. Full body, silky and intense tannins and a mineral berry aftertaste. A finely grained La Mission. " (03/2015)

2014 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival) ($79.99)

93-95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. A dark and smoky wine of an impressively powerful structure, this is packed with tannins and rich fruits that burst out of the glass. With this combination, the wine is likely to age well. " (04/2015)

91-94 points Wine Spectator: "Plump, fleshy and inviting in feel, with a strong plum pâte de fruit note leading the way, backed by anise, blueberry and tar flavors. Picks up lots of briary grip on the finish. Still youthfully raw, but exhibits good energy and stuffing. Tasted non-blind" (04/2015)

91-94 points Antonio Galloni: "A huge, voluptuous wine, the 2014 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion wraps around the palate with serious depth and power. The Merlot is especially opulent and concentrated. Super-ripe dark red cherry, plum, spice and leather flesh out in a wine that captures all of the richness of the dry Indian summer. Far from an easygoing wine, the 2014 Clarence is going to need time to fully come together. The blend is 80% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Cabernet Franc. " (04/2015)

93-94 points James Suckling: "Gorgeous second wine for Haut-Brion with firm and savory tannins. Full, refined and layered with meat, tobacco, dark fruit and earth. Serious. " (03/2015)

89-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Le Clarence de Haut Brion 2014 is a blend of 80% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Cabernet Franc. (There was a lot of Merlot due to a lot of deselection from the Grand Vin.) It has an immediately engaging bouquet, perhaps better definition than the Chapelle de la Mission, a little more mineralité coming through with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied, cohesive, tighter and more linear than the La Chapelle with longer persistence on the finish. Excellent. " (04/2015)

2014 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe (Pre-Arrival) ($119.99)

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." (04/2015)

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. " (03/2015)

93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Cos d'Estournel 2014 is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc picked between 25 September and 10 October at 33.7 hectoliters per hectare. The pH came in at 3.77 and an IPT of 87, quite high compared to some other properties in the northern Médoc. It has "cool" nose, by that I mean it is not a flamboyant set of aromatics like the 2009 or 2010, but rather "streamlined" and focused, very delineated with black fruit intermingling with incense and iris. It is very controlled. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, but "full" tannins in the mouth that lend this Cos d'Estournel impressive volume. There is an unerring purity here, a gradual crescendo of intensity towards a peppery finish that lingers long. This is an impressive Grand Vin - classic Cos d'Estournel. Tasted three times with consistent notes. " (04/2015)

92-95 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Cos d'Estournel brings together gorgeous textural richness and ripeness, yet retains considerable aromatic freshness. Mocha, red plum, raspberry jam and rose petals are all beautifully nuanced. I very much like the sense of translucent energy here. Sweet floral and spice notes add to the wine's racy, voluptuous personality. Today, my impression is that the 2014 Cos will reward consumers with a long window of pure drinking pleasure. The blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc. " (04/2015)

2014 Labégorce, Margaux (Pre-Arrival) ($22.99)

91-94 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Labégorce is round, supple and nicely layered. Smoke, plums, black cherries and French oak meld together in a ripe, racy Margaux built on textured fruit. Sweet floral notes add lift on the layered, sensual finish. This voluptuous Margaux should drink well pretty much upon release. There is a lot to like, that much is clear. The blend is 58% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot. Michel Rolland is the Consultant for Labégorce, which is owned by the Perrodo family. Here, the winemaking style appears to be better suited to the intrinsic personality of the wine than it is at Marquis d'Alesme - Becker. This is a fabulous wine in its class." (04/2015)

91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Labégorce 2014 is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot and matured in 50% new oak. The nose is well defined and focused, tensile blackberry and boysenberry fruit embroidered with fine mineralité. Good start! The palate is medium-bodied with supple ripe tannin, saturated black cherry and raspberry fruit with a gentle, silky finish that just needs a little more backbone. That is a minor quibble for what could be an excellent wine from this fast-improving Margaux estate. Don't be surprised if it merits a higher score in bottle. " (04/2015)

90-92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. Smoke-driven on the nose, the palate brings flavors of dark coffee and bitter chocolate. The tannins are rough and could use some time to integrate. " (03/2015)

90-91 points James Suckling: "A very classy young red with super classy tannins. Medium to full body, fresh fruit and bright acidity. " (03/2015)

87-90 points Wine Spectator: "A touch airy, with damson plum, pomegranate and violet notes, backed by a light savory whiff on the finish. Fills in a bit on the back end." (04/2015)

2014 Labégorce, Margaux (1.5L) (Pre-Arrival) ($49.99)

91-94 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Labégorce is round, supple and nicely layered. Smoke, plums, black cherries and French oak meld together in a ripe, racy Margaux built on textured fruit. Sweet floral notes add lift on the layered, sensual finish. This voluptuous Margaux should drink well pretty much upon release. There is a lot to like, that much is clear. The blend is 58% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot. Michel Rolland is the Consultant for Labégorce, which is owned by the Perrodo family. Here, the winemaking style appears to be better suited to the intrinsic personality of the wine than it is at Marquis d'Alesme - Becker. This is a fabulous wine in its class." (04/2015)

91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Labégorce 2014 is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot and matured in 50% new oak. The nose is well defined and focused, tensile blackberry and boysenberry fruit embroidered with fine mineralité. Good start! The palate is medium-bodied with supple ripe tannin, saturated black cherry and raspberry fruit with a gentle, silky finish that just needs a little more backbone. That is a minor quibble for what could be an excellent wine from this fast-improving Margaux estate. Don't be surprised if it merits a higher score in bottle. " (04/2015)

90-92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. Smoke-driven on the nose, the palate brings flavors of dark coffee and bitter chocolate. The tannins are rough and could use some time to integrate. " (03/2015)

90-91 points James Suckling: "A very classy young red with super classy tannins. Medium to full body, fresh fruit and bright acidity. " (03/2015)

87-90 points Wine Spectator: "A touch airy, with damson plum, pomegranate and violet notes, backed by a light savory whiff on the finish. Fills in a bit on the back end." (04/2015)

View all wines available from 2014 Bordeaux at KLWines.com

Great '12 Cabernet under $20 (92 points WS) - 05/04/2015 - Cabernet Sauvignon (domestic)

2012 Frei Brothers

2012 Frei Brothers "Reserve" Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.99)

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. " (04/2015)

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." (04/2015)

Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 22, 2015

Frei Brothers has long been the “Green” winery in the Gallo wine empire; in fact they were “green” way before it was cool to be “green.” Kermit the Frog may have been the only thing green that was cool when Frei Brothers began to really look at the impact wine growing had on the land that they were farming. Now everything the winery grows is fully sustainable, for every acre of vines they plant they set aside an acre of natural wildlife habitat and they even pulled out 15 acres of vines to help restore a local natural wetland. While this is the kind of stuff we can all get behind it doesn’t matter much in this context unless the wine is good, right? Frei surely has had its ups and downs with quality but I can assure you that this bottle of wine is really great for $20. It has a big bold varietal character with plenty of ripe cassis and olive spice components on the nose. Savory oak and a pretty plum and cocoa laden palate along with earthy loam notes and a slick overall feel build a wine that seems easy going and more than friendly for most California Cab drinkers. Add the nice lift found from some bright, red fruit flavors on the finish and this is a rock solid Cabernet.

Top 10 Picks - May 2015 - 05/04/2015 - Monthly Newsletter

Each month we dig through our inventory of several thousand hand-picked wines and spirits, and come up with a list of our Top 10 selections on KLWines.com

Marietta

Marietta "Old Vine Red-Lot #62" Red Blend ($11.99)

90 points Wine Spectator: "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." (06/2015)

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 into Marietta, one of Sonoma's historic wineries. (Antonio Galloni)" (01/2015)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of my perennial best buys is Marietta Cellars’ non-vintage blend of Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah, Syrah and a few other varietals. The current example, the non-vintage Old Vine Red Lot 62, is a 90,000-case cuvée that represents one of the finest value-priced wines in the United States. It exhibits excellent color, beautiful ripeness, lots of black and red fruits, earth and spice, and a savory, juicy, hedonistic mouthful of medium-bodied wine. With plenty of purity as well as character, this gorgeous blend should offer enjoyment over the next 2-3 years." (12/2014)

K&L Notes: Marietta utilizes the old vine pedigree of their fruit from across Sonoma and Mendocino counties to make a wine of substance and value that defies modern convention. This exuberantly bistro-styled wine has a dedicated following, but is also finding appeal with a new generation of savvy wine drinkers. San Francsico Chronicle writer Jon Bonné explains it best in his 2013 book, The New California Wine: "It's immediately evident how much Old Vine Red trumps mass-market competitors that cost only a couple bucks less. It tastes like classic old-fashioned California table red, robust in that Zinfandel way, but a far cry form the generic and sugary confections against which is competes."

Sarah Covey | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 30, 2015

Jake and Scot Bilbro have re-launched their father's historic winery into the future. The Marietta Old Vine Red is still an amazing value and really, really good stuff. I love that they are carrying on the tradition of deliciously drinkable, affordable, well-made juice with this wine. Always a blend of old vine Zinfandel (and a few other reds they won't tell you!). Blackberry, black currant, cassis, and spice with medium plus acidity and medium tannin. Throwing a BBQ? Hosting a graduation party? Having a wedding reception? Kicking off the summer with a block party? This is one wine that needs to be on your list!

Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 25, 2015

For years the Marietta Old Vine Red has been one of the most underappreciated values coming out of California. This non-vintage, multi-varietal and multi-appellation blend has flown under the radar of most affordable minded customers, but in our experience, one try and you’re hooked. We’ve sold it religiously over the last 7-8 years and every year I’m astonished with just how true the flavors are, how fresh the fruit is and how balanced the wine comes off overall. This blend, Lot 62, is every bit as good as any of the other blends, maybe a bit more, as a new estate vineyard has come more on board in this bottling, with pretty graphite, briary berry and a clove/nutmeg spice to the nose. Pulpy and sun-fresh, the ripe, but bone-dry, berry flavors on entry are sure to please with a persistent, bright energy and an underlying pastille spice. Plum and violet combine with a rich, coating nature on the finish to round out this tremendous value for well under $15. Simply put, this is one of the truly best wines in a category with more filler than killer.

Christie Brunick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 25, 2015

Looking for a red to drink day or night? With or without food? Not too tannic and not too sweet? Then you've met your match! This is a terrific crowd-pleaser with its ripe, juicy upfront fruit, but balanced with a fair amount of acid and not too much oak! Pizza party, burgers, chicken, it's all good!

Mahon McGrath | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 25, 2015

Bright cherry-berry fruit, with warm baking spice accents framing it, lead into a medium bodied, juicy mouthful of wine. There is only the faintest whiff of tannin here; the wine derives its freshness and structure courtesy of its vibrant acidity. There aren't many domestic wines that stand up to the best of the competition at this price point from Spain, say, but this is one that really does, and boasts an unmistakably Californian character besides. This slides easily into the roster of top, everyday-red deals!

Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 25, 2015

This Red Blend from Marietta truly over delivers year after year. Pure, fresh, and wild berry fruit with a hint of earth and spice. Rich and juicy, but never sweet, this wine can please a crowd or your pickiest friend! With the quality of fruit going into the blend, it is almost impossible to beat at the under $15 price tag.

Sal Rodriguez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 23, 2015

I like to use the term "over-deliver" for wines that I feel exhibit an incredible value at any given price. Lot #62 over-delivers on the over-delivery! I love its beautiful fruit aromas, and its sumptuous fruit and spice on the palate. This blend is as sexy, and sumptuous, and delicious as anything I've tried under $20. You'll be hard-pressed to find a better value. Period. Get yours now as I'm fairly certain this will be flying off the shelves shortly!

2014 Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon Margaret River Western Australia (Elsewhere $23)

2014 Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon Margaret River Western Australia (Elsewhere $23) ($14.99)

94 points James Halliday: "A 58% (Sauvignon Blanc) 42% (Semillon blend) machine harvested at night; most cold - fermented in stainless steel, with 7% of the blend fermented in new and used French barriques. There is an array of citrus and tropical fruit aromas and flavours, but it is the electricity of the intense palate that is the defining feature of the wine."

K&L Notes: Cape Mentelle takes a minimal approach towards this classic Margaret River blend. The aim is to preserve as much fruit intensity and regional character as possible, whilst providing a full-flavored and distinctive white wine. The style accentuates the fresh fruit characteristics of both varieties with the added complexity and palate weight offered by a small portion of barrel fermentation. Limes, apples, lychee and honeydew melon characterize the fruit flavors, which are framed by juicy acidity, providing great length.

Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 17, 2015

This racy crisp white runs more to the Sauvignon side than the Semillon, and makes a great refreshing wine for drinking on its own or with lighter fare. I love the subtle bass notes that the Semillon brings to this bright, grapefruit and lemon zest Sauvignon!

Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 14, 2015

Juicy and herbaceous. This is all about fresh cut herbs, lemon grass, cilantro and citrus rind. Lots of white flowers on the nose. The wine has some lovely savory tones, lees notes and bees wax. A denser texture than the nose might suggest with good palate weight and richness. Riper citrus notes come forward as the wine warms in the glass. Really serious wine for the money, lots going on here. We have a great price on this wine, don't miss it!

Faultline Blended Scotch Whisky 750ml

Faultline Blended Scotch Whisky 750ml ($24.99)

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-long blending process, we hammered out a profile we were happy with. Big smoke, Ardbeg-like peat flavors, and a kiss of sweet grain was our goal and we definitely achieved it in this bottle. Unlike most big brand blends, there are no coloring agents or sweeteners in the Faultline Scotch, just a pale straw colored liquid that bursts with character and, due to the heavy malt content, finishes with richness and weight. We wanted to make sure that, upon launch, there would be absolutely nothing on the market that could match the quality of flavor, price, beauty of design, and bang for the buck. After three long years, we think we've done it. For $25 you get one helluva bottle of Scotch. Smokier than Johnnie Black, more complex than Chivas, and less expensive than both of them. Plus, it's an assertive 100 proof. Try it in a cocktail, pour it over ice, add in soda water. It's the real deal. (David Driscoll, K&L Spirits Buyer)

Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 07, 2015

This is a great choice for those that want a blended Scotch with some smoke that is integrated and fun. It is soft and very easy to drink and enjoy. The Faultline Blended Scotch would be great with soda water.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 04, 2015

Perhaps our greatest triumph to date because making good whisky cheap (or should that read “cheap whisky good”) is DANG hard work. I don't know if there is a product that we sell that I've spent more time or energy on getting right. We literally went through hundreds of samples of blended whisky from multiple suppliers. I worked meticulously with the artist to create the perfect label to exemplify this special blend. Ultimately, what we chose to blend wasn't necessarily the most powerful or intense option, but instead the goddamned most drinkable thing we could find at any price. We insisted it not be colored and bottled at 100 proof because while it was tasty at 80 proof, a whole lot of this stuff was going to go into long drinks and over rocks. Nothing else on the market stands up so well in a drink -long, short, classic whatever! The added proof does wonders to improve the flavor not to mention add texture. The inclusion of the beautiful bevy of Islay, Island, and Highland single malt give it depth, but the lack of caramel coloring might be the real reason this worked so well. The color will undoubtedly scare some old school whisky drinkers–it’s really really light in color. We’ve been conditioned by the industry to think, darker is better. Producers believe (and not without reason) that consumers will taste with their eyes first and therefore the negative flavor effects of the chemical coloring are vastly outweighed by the psychological effects of the dark color – it should be noted that some believe the addition of caramel color might enhance flavor of blended whisky, I am not one of those people. It is indeed true that consumers prefer darker colored whisky even if it’s the exact same stuff. Conditioning is a powerful thing. If the light color is a problem for you, please close your eyes (figuratively) because we are indeed incredibly influenced by our visual perceptions and this whisky deserves a fair shake. Needless to say, I was personally very happy with the final product before it shipped, but we knew the true test would always be when the real whisky geeks got hold of it. You know the guys who NEVER hold their tongue, no matter how obviously important or irritating something might be to you. Love those guys. While some diehards thought it was "pretty darn good for the price,” as expected, other whisky heads just about fell out of their chairs when they tasted it. "How much of this stuff do you have? I'm gonna bunker at least 2 cases…no 3 cases. Do you have enough?" Music to my ears. For now, yes we have enough, for now…

David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 03, 2015

This whisky will eventually speak for itself. The reviews are in, the news has hit the internet, and the buzz is ablaze. You cannot beat the Faultline Blended Whisky for the money. The question now is: how much of it can you drink?

Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 20, 2015

I usually only like blended Scotch that costs more than the single malts I drink, so this was a revelation. I don't know if it is the hint of high quality peat, the extra concentration and kick from the higher proof, or the lovely sweet malty character of this blend that make it so satisfying. My father has often said that he "likes to drink expensive booze like it was cheap"- if you do too, this is a great scotch for you. It is not expensive- it just tastes like it is! For me it is the best value in Scotch in the store.

2012 Bodegas Alto Moncayo

2012 Bodegas Alto Moncayo "Veraton" Garnacha Campo de Borja ($27.99)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Their inexpensive offering is the 2012 Veraton, a 100% Grenache aged in 60% new French and 40% American oak for 17 months before being bottled without filtration. It is a powerful, full-throttle, pedal-to-the-metal red boasting a dense purple color, and a sweet blackcurrant and black cherry fruit, lavender, licorice and earth notes intermixed with a touch of new oak. Stylistically, this is a modern, massively intense, rich wine that over-delivers in many ways. However, it is not for consumers looking for shy, restrained and delicate wines. It should drink well for a decade. (RP)" (11/2014)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Brilliant ruby. Expressive aromas of cherry compote, blueberry, lavender and peppery spices. Plush, pliant, round and seamless on the palate, offering smoky blueberry, mineral and dark chocolate flavors complicated by suggestions of candied flowers and licorice. Finishes long and sweet, with soft tannins and repeating spiciness. There's a lot of wine here for the money. " (10/2014)

K&L Notes: This inky red is 100% Grenache, and it offers a heady bouquet evoking ripe red berries, anise, mocha and fresh flowers. Supple and sweet on entry, then more structured in the middle, offering deep, mineral-accented dried strawberry and cherry liqueur flavors. Takes a spicy turn on the long, sappy finish, which echoes the pure red berry qualities.

Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 17, 2015

This is a perennial customer favorite: big, ripe, red and dark fruited Grenache that has a healthy dollop of oak. Veraton is a decidedly international take on this Spanish and French grape variety.

2012 Luca Malbec Uco Valley

2012 Luca Malbec Uco Valley ($29.99)

93 points Wine Spectator: "#19 Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2014!! Very suave and polished, with ripe, pure flavors of blackberry, hoisin sauce and black pepper. Finely textured, this is packed with tar and roasted plum notes, showing plenty of licorice snap and dark chocolate accents on the powerful finish. Best after 2020." (02/2014)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: " The 2012 Malbec comes from old vineyards in La Consulta and a dash from Gualtallary in the Uco Valley. It has a mineral-like, austere feeling, with notes of peach, sour cherries, and sweet spices, a medium-bodied palate with gripping tannins, and is refined and fresh, with some creamy and smoky notes from the barrel, which should disappear with a little time in bottle. This is great Malbec. Drink 2013-2020. (LG)" (04/2014)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright ruby-red. Aromas of black cherry and bitter chocolate accented by an herbal note. Concentrated and deeply fruity, with an intense blackberry flavor complicated by a saline quality. Showing no overt sweetness but quite suave and fine-grained, finishing with firm tannins and lingering dark fruits. " (03/2014)

K&L Notes: Laura Catena, proprietor of Luca Winery, is a fourth generation vintner, who also happens to be a Harvard and Stanford educated emergency medicine physician. Following the birth of her first child, Luca, she felt compelled to create a legacy of small production Argentine wines. This Malbec is from fruit grown in the Uco Valley, and is, in typical Luca style, a big, broad shouldered, structured powerhouse of a wine.

Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 18, 2015

Laura Catena's Luca Malbec continues to bring the goods. Dark fruited, with nice barrel spice overtones and serious structure, this is a great Malbec from a very good vintage in 2012, a year that gives this wine even better bones than usual. A terrific Malbec for those who prefer reds with more body and lots of flavor.

2011 St. Clement

2011 St. Clement "Oroppas" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend (Elsewhere $50) ($34.99)

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)

Michael Jordan | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 02, 2015

The 2011 vintage of the St. Clement Oroppas is a fantastic wine that makes me have a little hope for some of the 2011 Napa Cabernet. The wine is a blend of Diamond Mountain, Howell Mountain, Mount Veeder, Rutherford and Spring Mountain fruit. They achieved some lovely extraction for such a cool vintage. Nice flavors of mocha, plum, cedar and vanilla harmonize well with the fruit and make a delicious wine for the next 5 years.

Alex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 18, 2015

This wine rocks! Wow, this is the kind of California wine I want to drink, oozing with a distinctive feel of terroir as well as rich fruit and spicy oak accents. St Clement makes 3 single-vineyard offerings that sell from $60-$100 annually but in the challenging 2011 vintage they declassified the three vineyards Paras, Armstrong and Star and blended them into the Oroppas. Always a strong offering this made the 2011 St. Clement Oroppas outstanding, easily the best I have ever tasted. The wine has a gorgeous nose of clove, volcanic rock, red berry and mocha while the palate is a seductive blend of berry, mocha, molten rock and spice. This wine has fantastic length and complexity with a long, full finish it is a testament to what can be achieved in 2011 and one of the better 2011s from Napa Valley I have tasted.

2012 Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir Marlborough (Elsewhere $50)

2012 Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir Marlborough (Elsewhere $50) ($38.99)

96 points Bob Campbell: "2012 was a fairly cool vintage in Marlborough but there is certainly no lack of ripeness in this fine, elegant pinot noir. The wine has appealing density, and a sinewy texture with red cherry, spice, mineral and a hint of dried herbs and licorice. (Bob Campbell MW - Gourmet Traveler Magazine)" (06/2014)

96 points Decanter: "Intense, sumptuous and wonderfully perfumed with dark plum, black cherry, a hint of violets and an appealing gamey, savoury palate. Long and complex, hinting at it’s potential. The texture is seductively silky, blanketing a spine of fine tannins. (BC)" (08/2014)

93 points James Suckling: "A pinot noir that is subtle and complex with dried strawberry, cedar, nut and light meat character. Full to medium body with hints of chocolate, wet earth and mushroom. Such balance and finesse here." (10/2014)

90 points Wine Spectator: "Elegant, with pure, plush raspberry coulis and cherry flavors at the core, gaining momentum as the layers of clove, pine, lavender and red licorice come in. Exhibits power on the finish." (06/2014)

K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "Appealing at once, the nose of our Pinot Noir 2012 is ripe with plum, aromatic spice and red florals. The palate is focused with a savoury architecture; bittersweet chocolate, dark fruit and spice play with leather and hints of earthiness. Chalky tannins linger on a persistent finish. We particularly enjoy our 2012 pinot noir with soy glazed bbq pork ribs and confit of duck leg. Grapes for this wine were sourced from carefully selected sites located within the southern Wairau Valley including our Mustang and Barracks vineyards. The soils have a clay base with aged alluvial gravels that provide good drainage. This soil structure allows a relatively consistent availability of water to the vines through the summer months, minimising water stress to the pinot noir vines. Our vines are all pruned and trained to a two-cane, vertically shoot positioned canopy with an average yield of 5 tonnes/hectare."

Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 20, 2015

It can sometimes be easy to overlook the most obvious brands when looking for new wines. Sure Cloudy Bay is a far larger producer than decades ago when they rose to fame...but one must consider the pedigree and vineyard holdings that an established producer like Cloudy Bay has. These guys were in the game before most people even thought you could grow grapes in Marlborough! They have some of the most revered parcels of land in the region and a 30 year track record as one of the most influential producers that helped put New Zealand on the world wine map. This Pinot Noir is a minuscule production compared with their world famous Sauvignon Blanc. The fruit was carefully selected from particular vineyard holdings in the Southern Valleys (an area quickly becoming recognized as the best sub-region for Pinot Noir in Marlborough). The vines are cropped to just two tons per acre. The wine has plenty of rich, dark fruit, leafy notes, toasted spices and a lick of French oak. The palate is mid weight with good concentration and ripe soft tannins. This is sure to please a lot of people just as it pleased the worlds top wine critics with multiple 96 point scores!

2009 Tronquoy-Lalande, St-Estèphe

2009 Tronquoy-Lalande, St-Estèphe ($39.99)

94 points Wine Enthusiast: "* Top 100 Wines of 2012 * The tannins are very fine, with rich fruitcake and smoky flavors. Red berry and black plums give a fruity character, along with delicious acidity. The wine is structured while still remaining very approachable." (04/2012)

92 points James Suckling: "Big and massive wine for this appellation. Some may say too much but loads of fruit underneath. Full and chewy. Needs two to three years to soften." (07/2014)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Tronquoy Lalande, a blend of 51% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot, is the finest wine they have yet produced. It reveals an opulent bouquet of mulberries, blueberries, raspberries and spring flowers, full body, silky tannin, low acidity and a lush, pure mouthfeel. This uncharacteristically round, generous, sumptuous wine should be drinkable early on. (RP)" (02/2012)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Deep ruby-purple. Very refined, classic Bordeaux aromas of violet, cedar and graphite; the Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon really dominate the Merlot. Sweet, ripe red berry fruit shows an almost liqueur-like creaminess, but a peppery element and good underlying minerality lend grip to the finish, which features slightly dry, mouthcoating tannins and nice cedary persistence. A very successful wine that calls for a few years of cellaring and should drink well until 2025." (06/2010)

Wine Spectator: "This is smoky and fleshy, with solid plum, baked fig and dark cherry preserves flavors, followed by hints of cedar and roasted tobacco that should emerge more with modest cellaring. Drink now through 2019." (03/2012)

K&L Notes: 1/2*V Black fruit and licorice. This wine demonstrates great complexity and length. Terrific value!

Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 20, 2014

This lush, warm and gentle wine will surprise anyone expecting classic St-Estephe firmness. Smooth, sweet, ripe chocolate cherry Merlot flavors fan out across the satin textured mid-palate before the faintest hint of fine, gentle tannins carry the long finish. Almost opulent and very easy to drink.

2010 Capanna Brunello di Montalcino

2010 Capanna Brunello di Montalcino ($46.99)

94 points James Suckling: "Lots of dried cherry and mahogany with sweet tobacco. Asphalt too. It's full body, with silky and refined tannins and a long and gorgeous finish. This is structured and layered. Firm and intense. Better in 2018." (12/2014)

Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 19, 2015

Patrizio Cencioni, Capanna’s owner, is a man of very few words, he lets his wine do the talking for him, he’s the strong, silent type, and you never quite know what’s going on behind his eyes. I wouldn’t play poker with him, yet I’d buy his wine. Capanna is a powerhouse; the nose is an array of wild cherry, chestnut, cinnamon, smoked meats, plum and cocoa. This is a wine with tannic structure yet so in balance it doesn’t really stand out and that is because it is so well balanced, all the pieces line up elegantly. On the palate the wine is a cauldron of molten fruit, spice, and leather and displays an extraordinary density. This is a powerful wine, it has everything, fruit, spice density, palate presence it is a marvel to behold, however this is a wine you’ll need to hold onto for awhile, this isn’t a pretty wine this is a stunningly gorgeous wine that will take a bit of time to take it all in. Drop it in your cellar for another 5-10 years, or if you have anyone you need to gift a Birth year wine for, this is it.

Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 09, 2015

Thus far one of the most open, expressive and forward of the 2010 Brunelli that I have tasted. The wine has a highly perfumed nose of sweet floral tones, Asian spices, ripe berries and raspberry coulis. Soft, ripe tannins, mouthfilling texture and good palate weight. There are still some terroir markers here, scorched earth, fresh leather...but they are overlain with a tad more primary fruit than most. Not a bad thing, this is showing the quality of the 2010 vintage without requiring too much patience!

2012 Famille Perrin

2012 Famille Perrin "Domaine du Clos des Tourelles" Gigondas ($59.99)

94-97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another prodigious Gigondas who’s only problem is that there’s not enough of it, the 2012 Gigondas Clos des Tourelles (95% Grenache and 5% Syrah) comes from a vineyard just outside of the village. Slightly darker in character than the Vieilles Vignes, it boasts awesome aromatics of cassis, toasted spice, licorice, ground herbs and massive minerality. This is followed by a medium to full-bodied, rich and concentrated Gigondas that has beautiful tannin structure, notable freshness and building richness that comes through on the finish. Rich and textured, as well as elegant, it’s a rock-star 2012 that will have two decades of longevity. (JD)" (10/2014)

We offer five excellent wine clubs and an exclusive Personal Sommelier Service, that allow you to sample outstanding wines from all over the world. Due to our bulk purchase power and longstanding relationships, the quality and value offered by these clubs are tremendous. Unlike winery clubs where you typically taste the same wines year after year, our clubs offer phenomenal variety that is strictly selected by our panel of buyers. See for yourself.

Bestsellers

Want to see which wines are most popular with our customers? We constantly update our lists of bestselling wines, online at: http://www.klwines.com/bestsellers.asp

Woodstock Estate... Highly Rated Trio of Reds on Sale - 05/04/2015 - Australia

2013 Woodstock Estate Cabernet Sauvignon McLaren Vale South Australia (Elsewhere $25)

2013 Woodstock Estate Cabernet Sauvignon McLaren Vale South Australia (Elsewhere $25) ($16.99)

94 points James Halliday: "*Special Value Selection* Deep crimson purple; an extravagant, wanton display of lush blackcurrant fruit wrapped up in high quality dark chocolate, spice and tannins wandering the outside, knocking on the door, but not allowed in the inner sanctum."

K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "This wine clearly expresses the classic regional characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon grown in McLaren Vale. Deep, dark red with youthful violet hues. Complex berry and cherry aromas highlighted with cedar, herb and mint notes leap from the glass, inviting you to taste. The flavour profile is underpinned by rich flavours of blackberries, chocolate and liquorice and a fleshy, savoury mid-palate. A wine tightly held together with firm tannins that will steadily integrate over time to reveal another magnificent vintage and classic Cabernet Sauvignon flavours. This big, solid Cabernet Sauvignon will benefit from a few years of cellaring to soften and lengthen in complexity and flavour...This wine was matured for just over 14 months in 13% new oak and the rest in 2 to 3 year old carefully selected American and French oak to provide softness and complexity."

Jim Chanteloup | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 14, 2015

This is another venture where the deft winemaking hand of Ben Glaetzer is being shown off, and for a modest sum compared to his Glaetzer wines and $100+ Amon Ra. The wine is bright and fresh with cassis, violet, dark cherry, blackberry, cedar and a hint of mint. These notes follow on the palate with good acidity, bittersweet chocolate notes and fine ripe tannins that lead to a long finish. A delicious Cabernet for a great price.

Michael Jordan | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 16, 2015

I'm not always the first to appreciate Australian Cabernet Sauvignon but when I tasted the Woodstock, I was impressed. Lush and vibrant dark fruit with chocolate, tobacco, cedar and vanilla wonderfully layered. The wine is big but has a good level of structure and acidity, which helps balance it out. A wonderful wine for $16.99.

Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 13, 2015

Like the other wines from Woodstock Estate, the Cabernet retains bright cherries on the finish and cedar and earth notes. It does differ a bit with a rich mid-palate laden with black fruits and cocoa. It shines in a surprising finish that lingers a bit.

Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 21, 2015

Looking for killer value in Cabernet? Look no further! McLaren Vale is a regions known for world class Shiraz...but this wine proves they can do it with Cab too! Highly aromatic Blackberries, Blackcurrant and cassis are dominant on the nose and palate. Also some tobacco, cedar, dark chocolate...all the hallmarks I look for in great Cabernet based wines. Mouth filling texture, long, fine tannins wrapped in luscious fruit, with beautifully integrated french oak nuances. Unbelievable value...this could be $50 Napa Cab...don't take my work for it..try it for yourself. One of the best sub $20 cabs I have tasted in many years.

2012 Woodstock Estate Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia (Elsewhere $25)

2012 Woodstock Estate Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia (Elsewhere $25) ($16.99)

94 points James Halliday: "*Special Value Selection* Deep crimson-purple; makes light of its alcohol, for while it is profoundly varietal and regional, it is light on its feet, and the chocolate-wrapped black fruits break free with airily juicy, yet spicy and savoury, flavours on the finish." (07/2014)

K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "The 2012 Shiraz shows a deep vibrant cerise colour with some youthful purple hues. Mint and spice aromatics belie the full but velvety smooth, lingering palate. Soft, yet powerful tannins offer the promise of a long lasting Shiraz evolving into secondary flavours with careful cellaring for up to 10 years. In 2012 we had a long, dry ripening season which led to a short harvest with great fruit concentration. After fermentation on skins for a minimum of 5 days, this Shiraz was barrel aged for up to 14 months in carefully selected French and American oak barrels. Fifteen precent is matured in new oak barrels while the rest mature in 2 to 3 year old oak for complexity without oak domination."

Jim Chanteloup | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 14, 2015

The Woodstock Shiraz like the Cabernet shows the winemaking skill of Ben Glaetzer whos Father Colin and Uncle John are highly respected winemaking pioneers in the Aussie wine world, so you know his "roots" run deep! The nose offers blackberry, blueberry, milk chocolate, leather and some meaty notes. Classic McLaren Vale mid-palate acidity ties it all together with fine balance and length.

Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 13, 2015

This wine has to be one of the best bargains in our store! It has really nice, dark plummy fruit with subtle game and roasted meat notes. The red and black fruits are integrated nicely with spicebox and earthy nuances. It will even age gracefully in the cellar for a few more years! What more could you ask at this price?

Shaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 03, 2015

Another Aussie wine pulls the strings of my wine loving heart! This wonderfully rich and powerful Shiraz from winemaker Ben Glaetzer (yep, think Amon Ra!)shows all the great deep notes of mocha, black licorice root and spicy blackberries, but not ever overwhelming or hot. It's amazing how this wine balances density and richness with complex aromatics, structure and bright highlights - all coming together with remarkable style and beauty. Maybe the best deal in Syrah in the store.

Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 21, 2015

This is a near perfect example of classic McLaren Vale Shiraz flavor profile. Plush, rich texture, power, exotic fruit, spice and that unmistakable lift and brightness that elevates the wine and balances all that perfectly ripe fruit. This is a full bodied wine that is sure to please folks who are looking for a rich saturated wines with tons of power and fruit. However, there is also and elegance and drive on the palate with ripe acidity and fine structural tannins, that draws out the wine long on into finish. An exceptional value thanks to our importer direct pricing. This wine will be a staple with me this summer when the grill comes out.

2012 Woodstock Estate

2012 Woodstock Estate "Octogenarian" Old Vine Grenache McLaren Vale South Australia (Elsewhere $28) ($18.99)

96 points James Halliday: "Made from 80-year-old Grenache vines, plus a small amount of young Tempranillo, it has good hue and depth; the bouquet is full of red fruits, and the wine takes off on the vibrant and intense palate, with an altogether singular purity and finesse." (07/2014)

K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "Bright, ruby red in colour with vibrant purple hues. A lifted nose displaying enticing aromatics of rhubarb, raspberries, plums, with hints of caraway seed, anise and subtle white pepper spice. Contrasting on the palate with rich flavoursome red cherries balanced by a bright acid structure and soft yet crunchy tannins. Medium body in style with a long lingering finish and classic Grenache texture. Cellaring will also be rewarded for 4 to 5 years as the secondary characters evolve in bottle. With good winter and spring rain, steady ripening summer days and excellent harvest conditions, 2012 resulted in one of the best vintages over the last decade. Both Grenache and Tempranillo developed bright and intense fruit characters in the vineyard. As per tradition, after fermentation, we add 15% Tempranillo to our old vine Grenache for savoury tannins, spice and complexity. The attractive berry flavours of Grenache are lengthened and enhanced by this variety, without imparting any strong oak influence."

Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 13, 2015

Rioja Baja from down under? With old vine Grenache it is too easy to draw a direct comparison with Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but really good Grenache (Garnacha) is also grown in Spain. The brightness of the fruit, the exotic spice and the good structure (not to mention it's blended with Tempranillo!) makes me this Spain not France. Dust off the grill, this wine is crying out for savory smoky goodness.

Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 13, 2015

This is a lively blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Tempranillo. It is big and rich but retains admirable acidity on the finish. Raspberry and cherry fruit with a touch of white pepper and licorice on a bright finish that lingers. Will work well with most types of food, particularly roasted chicken and barbecued pork dishes.

Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 03, 2015

Explosive nose of red florals, ripe berry fruits and sweet spices. On the palate the wine is packed full of briary, bramble fruits, exotic spice and macerated cherry. This wine has beautiful palate weight, purity of fruit and concentration of flavor. Underpinning all this exotic ripe fruit and spice is a deep and complex savory minerality from these 80+ yr old vines. I can't believe what a steal this wine is thanks to our importer direct pricing. Think really good vieilles vignes Châteauneuf-du-Pape...for a quarter of the price you would normally pay...and you arrive at Woodstock's Octogenarian.

2014 Bordeaux - New Wines - 05/01/2015 - Red Bordeaux

Bordeaux Futures - are they back after a few years of relative silence? We are seeing a little action already in the early days of the 2014 campaign. It's tough to know if it will last, but for now, we remain ready, willing, and increasingly pleased to present the latest wines to go into our database. These are all futures and due to arrive in two years.

2014 Ormes de Pez, St-Estèphe (Pre-Arrival) ($24.99)

92-94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. Ripe and structured, this has a fine combination of smoky tannins and rich black-fruit notes that mingle harmoniously. It is a balanced wine that will age well, but also be approachable at a younger age. " (04/2015)

90-93 points Wine Spectator: "Bright and pure, with a lovely beam of cassis, cherry and lilac notes racing through the focused finish. Good drive." (04/2015)

90-93 points Antonio Galloni: "A dark, sumptuous beauty, the 2014 Ormes de Pez offers up a compelling mélange of purplish and black fruit, smoke, grilled herbs and graphite, with quite a bit of density. Rich and voluptuous, the 2014 is a gorgeous Ormes de Pez that will drink well relatively early. Best of all, the 2014 may very well turn out to be one of the sleepers of this vintage. The blend is 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot " (03/2015)

92-93 points James Suckling: "This is really fabulous with weight and length. Fine and chewy tannins. Goes on for a minute or two. Tiny production due to hail storms in May and June. " (03/2015)

90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Ormes des Pez 2014 is a blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot picked from 24 September with the young Merlot and finishing around 12 October. It was cropped at 32 hectoliter per hectare. Small red cherries and kirsch form the bouquet, quite forward and perfumed with touches of lavender emerging with continued aeration. The palate is medium-bodied, the tannins succulent for Les Ormes de Pez and imparting a fleshier and more approachable texture. This is nicely balanced with a touch of graphite on the finish lending it an almost Pauillac-like personality. Don't under-estimate this Saint Estèphe. " (04/2015)

2014 Duhart-Milon, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival) - 8 available ($59.99)

92-94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. Here is a ripe and smoky wine, with a firm, tannic structure and a sense of the deep gravel terroir. The high proportion of Merlot in the blend has given richness to the wine, with a big, fat texture on the finish. " (04/2015)

90-93 points Wine Spectator: "This has yet to soak up its oak and remains a bit raw, but the juniper and alder notes should meld easily enough as the core of plum and raspberry coulis flavors is ripe and fleshy. Shows ample grip through the finish, with a prominent tobacco streak adding texture. Tasted non-blind." (04/2015)

92-93 points James Suckling: "This is very solid and muscular with dark berries and blueberries. More merlot than normal but shows a serious structure that underlines the excellence of the cabernet. Small production of cabernet here with 45% merlot in the blend. " (03/2015)

89-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Duhart-Milon 2014 is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot that was picked from 29 until 10 October and 23 until 29 September respectively. It has a more fruit-driven nose than usual, a little less tertiary and austere than the Duhart's of old perhaps. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite sappy black fruit and well judged acidity. Nicely focused as usual here with a touch of salinity coming through on the finish. I feel that it is just missing the sense of dimension and authority that a great Duhart can possess, but it retains the aloofness that I admire so much. I will remain cautious for the time being and see how it fills out during its élevage. " (04/2015)

88-91 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Duhart-Milon is a bit bombastic in this vintage. Scents of leather, smoke and tar meld into a core of intense dark fruit. Powerful and voluptuous on the palate, the 2014 shows the influence of a higher than normal percentage of Merlot in the blend. Firm yet well-integrated tannin carry the finish. The 2014 comes in at 12.8% alcohol, but feels richer and weightier than that. The blend is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot." (04/2015)

2014 l'Evangile, Pomerol (Pre-Arrival) ($119.99)

93-96 points Wine Spectator: "Tightly coiled for now, offering raspberry, bitter plum and dark currant fruit that should unwind slowly. Features charcoal and smoldering tobacco notes, with a hint of loam underscoring the finish. Always among the more muscular Pomerols, with a substantial percentage of Cabernet Franc, and 2014 is no different. Tasted non-blind." (04/2015)

92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château L’Evangile 2014 is a blend of 82% Merlot and 18% Cabernet Franc, the latter from re-planted vines that have come into the grand vin. It has a very refined bouquet, the Cabernet Franc lending a slight savory character. The palate is beautifully structured with a fine line of acidity. The black fruit is suffused with a hint of sweet coconut coming through on the finish from the oak. That will be subsumed with time. This is quite a powerful L’Evangile with fine tannins and an insistent grip. This is an impressive L'Evangile and it may warrant a higher score after bottling. " (04/2015)

91-92 points James Suckling: "Aromas of blackberries, oyster shell and black licorice. Full body and a firm and muscular backbone of tannins. Slightly austere. " (03/2015)

Jancis Robinson: "82% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc. Harvested 22 September to 4 October. Some of the Cabernet Franc vines were planted in 2006 and are in this for the first time. (Blason is 100% Merlot.) pH 3.8, TA 3.3 g/l (= 5.05 g/l expressed as tartaric). Black lustrous crimson. Fresh, transparent nose. Round and seductive. Difficult to even see the tannins. Flattering and very vibrant. Long." (04/2015)

2014 Palmer, Margaux (Pre-Arrival) ($209.99)

95-97 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. This is a beautiful, structured wine, with great fruit. Blackberries and currants lie on a bed of structured tannins and firm wood. It is rich, while still presenting ample freshness and acidity. This will age very well." (03/2015)

93-96 points Wine Spectator: "This is reserved in profile now, with crushed red and black currant fruit and lightly singed alder notes. Yet the core is coiled, showing very energetic raspberry and plum coulis flavors, with a lilting violet edge and a long, iron-fueled finish. There’s a very refined backdrop of tobacco and singed juniper, and the finish is long and suave. Tasted non-blind." (04/2015)

94-95 points James Suckling: "This has a fabulous depth of fruit with dark berries, currants, blueberries and hints of licorice and spice. Full-bodied, chewy and rich with velvety tannins and a fruity finish. The tannin backbone comes through at the end, giving the wine tension and freshness. " (03/2015)

93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Palmer 2014 is a blend of 45% Merlot, 49% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot cropped at 33hl/ha between 22 September and 14 October. There is certainly more fruit intensity on the nose compared to the Alter Ego: more density, perhaps more opaqueness in tandem with more delineation. Dark plums, boysenberry jam and mineral abound. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, edgy tannin and crisp acidity (pH 3.6), a dash of cracked black pepper enlivening the back palate with a taut, quite grippy finish. This is a more masculine Palmer in prospect, one that will deserve five or six years in bottle. (NM)" (04/2015)

91-94 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Palmer is also quite silky and polished, especially for a young wine. Dense and concentrated, but with gorgeous textural finesse, the 2014 is already quite harmonious. Dark red cherry, plum, smoke, mocha, tobacco, menthol and licorice are all pushed forward in an opulent, forward Palmer that should offer a long window of very fine drinking. The blend is 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot. (AG)" (04/2015)

Ralph Sands | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 03, 2015

A very serious and strong Palmer. Intense dark fruit with boysenberry hints, zesty and spicy. Complex, powerful, linear, and long in the mouth; this baby needs time! ** 2 Stars.

2014 Angélus, St-Emilion (Pre-Arrival) ($239.99)

96-98 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. This is a beautifully perfumed wine that shows style and elegance as well as rich, weighty blackberry fruit. The blend’s 50% Cabernet Franc gives tense, dark structure as well as aromatic character. It is a big wine, but with freshness and style. " (04/2015)

93-96 points Wine Spectator: "Features base notes of bittersweet ganache and smoldering tobacco, with dark plum, currant and fig fruit flavors. Despite the charcoal thread, this is lush and integrated, showing no aggressive edges at all. The tobacco accent chimes in at the end..." (04/2015)

93-96 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Angélus, equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Franc, boasts superb depth and textural richness. Firm tannins give the 2014 its explosive energy and overall tension. Mocha, espresso, new leather, French oak and licorice gradually open up in the glass, but with some reluctance. The 2014 will need quite a bit of time to find its more finessed side, but its there. " (04/2015)

93-94 points James Suckling: "This is dense and compacted with pretty fruits, ultra fine tannins and a pure and intense finish. The excellent quality of the Cabernet Franc really shows here. Lightly salty with Citrusy acidity. Chalky undertone. Half Cabernet Franc and half Merlot. So about 10% more Franc than normal. " (03/2015)

91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Angelus 2014, a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot was picked between 2 and 22 October over a 3-week period. It has a surprisingly bashful nose at first, not one that comes racing out of the blocks to greet you. But there is plenty of fruit here, beautifully defined, a little more introverted than usual possibly due to the higher percentage of Cabernet Franc. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, linear in style with a saline note complementing that lattice of black fruit. It gently builds towards the spicy, slightly compact finish but never fully let’s go, the Cabernet Franc lending a slight savory edge on the aftertaste. This will probably need three of four years in bottle as this is slightly harder compared to recent vintages with more backbone. Yet it still constitutes an admirable Saint Emilion even if it does not ignite the same pyrotechnics as say, Pavie or Ausone. (NM)" (04/2015)

2010 Pibarnon Bandol ($39.99) 94 points WA... "one of the top wines I was able to taste for this report" - 05/01/2015 - French Regional Wines

2010 Château Pibarnon Bandol (Pre-Arrival) ($39.99)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Moving to the classic cuvee and even more impressive (it was one of the top wines I was able to taste for this report), the 2010 Bandol, which is over 90% Mourvedre, sees partial destemming and aging in oak casks, offers both gorgeous aromatic complexity and superb richness and depth on the palate. Giving up notions of pepper, Provencal herbs, underbrush and leather, with a solid core of dark fruit, this medium to full-bodied, pure, layered and beautifully balanced effort needs another 2-3 years of bottle age, and will easily keep for a decade or more past that. Run by the Saint-Victor family since 1975, Chateau Pibarnon lies in the northern part of the appellation and consists of steep, terraced slopes and unique blue marl and limestone soils. The wines are gorgeous and offer classic examples of the appellation." (02/2014)

92 points Wine & Spirits: "Eric de Saint-Victor runs the estate his parents founded in 1975, working on 123 acres on the southern slopes of the Massif de la Sainte-Baume. His 2010 is a brooding wine, taking days to reveal its pleasures, the garrigue scents and cool, limestone minerality adding dimension to mourvèdre’s black tones. Give it a decade in the cellar, then pour with oxtail or another rich, beefy braise." (06/2014)