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New Arrival and Back in Stock Highlights - December 5th, 2017 - 12/05/2017 - Preferred Customer Alerts

Whether it is a new allocation or old favorite, below you will find our most recent additions to the diverse selection at K&L Wine Merchants. We receive new opportunities weekly from direct imports to local distributors to carefully inspected back-vintage collections - you'll find the best of our new discoveries below.

Vintage Item Name Score Retail Link
2014 Tilia Malbec Mendoza 90 $7.99 View
2014 Domaine Lafage "Tessellae" Côtes du Roussillon Old Vines (Previously $13) 90 Price: Hidden View
2017 Stratum Sauvignon Blanc Waipara Valley $9.99 View
2016 Domaine Lafage "Novellum" Chardonnay Pays d'Oc 92 $10.99 View
2013 Famille Perrin "Les Cornuds" Vinsobres (Previously $20) 90 $12.99 View
2015 La Cour d'Argent, Bordeaux 90 Price: Hidden View
2015 Layer Cake California Cabernet Sauvignon 90 $12.99 View
2015 Picard,Lussac Saint Emilion $12.99 View
2015 Château Saint Roch "Kerbuccio" Maury Sec 94 $17.99 View
2014 D'Arce, Côtes de Castillon 91 $18.99 View
2015 D'Arce, Côtes de Castillon 92 $19.99 View
2014 de Birot, Côtes de Bordeaux Price: Hidden View
2016 Quartomoro Di Sardegna Orriu $21.99 View
2015 Domaine des Bosquets Gigondas 94 $24.99 View
Gilbert Jacquesson "Cuvée Tradition" Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne $24.99 View
2015 Godeau, St-Emilion 93 $24.99 View
2015 Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas "Les Souteyrades" (Pre-Arrival) 97 $29.99 View
2013 Fattoria Le Pupille "Poggio Valente" Morellino di Scansano Riserva 95 $29.99 View
2016 Labégorce, Margaux (Pre-Arrival) 96 $34.99 View
Launois "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne $34.99 View
2011 Viña Real Gran Reserva Rioja 95 $34.99 View
Launois Brut Rose Champagne $39.99 View
2005 Lopez de Heredia "Viña Tondonia" Reserva Rioja 96 $44.99 View
2015 Poesia, St-Emilion 94 Price: Hidden View
Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne 93 $59.99 View
2008 Launois "Spécial Club" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (750ml - ships as 1.5L) $59.99 View
Four Roses K&L Exclusive OBSV (8 Years Old, 8 Months) Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) $64.99 View
Four Roses K&L Exclusive OESK (10 Year Old) Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon (750ml) $64.99 View
Four Roses 8 Year 9 Month Old "K&L Exclusive OESQ" Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon (750ml) $64.99 View
2015 Occidental (Kistler) Freestone-Occidental Pinot Noir 94 $64.99 View
Franck Bonville "Belles Voyes" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne 91 $69.99 View
2014 Justin "Isosceles" Paso Robles Bordeaux Blend 93 $69.99 View
2008 Pol Roger Vintage Brut Champagne 94 $89.99 View
Oban 18 Year Old "Limited Edition" West Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Elsewhere $150) 91 $119.99 View
2008 Perrier Jouët "Belle Epoque" Brut Champagne 94 $124.99 View
2015 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival) 98 $139.99 View
2014 Léoville-Las Cases, St-Julien 98 $149.99 View
Kavalan Solist "Sherry Cask - K&L Exclusive" Cask Strength Single Barrel Taiwanese Single Malt Whisky (750ml) (Elsewhere $300) $209.99 View
2014 Angélus, St-Emilion 97 $249.99 View
1999 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars "Cask 23" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 96 $279.99 View
2007 Gaja "Costa Russi" Langhe Rosso (Pre-Arrival, Elsewhere $400) 98 $349.99 View
2009 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Rosé Champagne 97 $499.00 View
2007 Margaux, Margaux 95 $499.99 View
2007 Mouton-Rothschild, Pauillac 95 $549.99 View
2007 Latour, Pauillac 95 $579.99 View
2001 Margaux, Margaux 97 $599.99 View
2005 Mouton-Rothschild, Pauillac 1-pack in OWC 99 $799.99 View

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2014 Tilia Malbec Mendoza ($7.99)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The grapes of the 2014 Malbec were harvested very early and 70% of them fermented using carbonic maceration. The freshness is so impressive that I had to look at the alcohol level, which is half a degree lower than in the fresher 2013 vintage! There are some herbal aromas (think raspberry leaf), bright cherries and flowers, even lilies. The palate is very tasty, with some subtle bitter flavors, fine tannins and very good acidity. This is a triumph over the vintage. Bravo! This should be readily available, as they produced 500,000 bottles of it. And it's one of the best values in Argentina too! (LG)" (08/2015)

Vinous: "Bright dark red. Inviting aromas of crushed blackberry, sandalwood and bitter chocolate lifted by a violet note. Juicy acidity enlivens the dark berry and spice flavors. A wine of moderate depth but this Malbec boasts good energy for the year and avoids the green excesses of 2014. Finishes with a firm dusting of tannins, a peppery nuance and decent length. The brisk, nicely integrated acidity of the current set of Tilia wines gives them lift and juicy drinkability. (ST)" (03/2016)

Wine Enthusiast: "Floral blackberry aromas are concentrated. The saturated palate is somewhat narrow in breadth, while boysenberry and minty oak flavors rank as dark. A wiry but juicy finish is lasting and offers a note of chocolaty oak. *Best Buy* (MS)" (10/2015)

Staff ImageDulcinea Gonzalez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 06, 2018

Here's a great entry point wine into the wonderful world of Mendoza. With dark spicey aromas on the nose, the wine is smooth and juicy on the palate with dense black fruit and hints of tobacco and chocolate. This is a super contender in the under $10 weeknight category!

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 06, 2017

This is a great everyday drinker, even better a party wine, it is simple, charming and very drinkable. Dark cherry and dark berry fruit with a spicy compote note and a hint of well worn leather on the nose. Medium bodied, round fruit entry with soft tannins that gently expand on the palate. Charming dark cherry fruit with a real subtle spice note on the palate.

Staff ImageJoe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 04, 2017

A quality sub-$10 Malbec from Mendoza. This Argentine red draws you in with aromas of boysenberry, açaí, and blue fruit. Underlying tones of espresso powder chocolate, and leather. On the palate, this wine is notably lighter than your typical Malbec. Silky tannins accented by berry medley and milk chocolate flavors. Elevated acidity as well. Two thumbs up for this value South American red!

Staff ImageRyan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 30, 2017

I've always had a soft spot for this over-delivering Malbec, but perhaps never more so than for the 2014. It's a ton of wine, especially for our sub-$8 price and it probably won't be long for our shelves at that. The color is a deep ruby, but the aromas are lined with blue and red fruit. The palate is fresh and vibrant, exceptionally balanced, and concentrated without being heavy. The style almost has me thinking $25 Côtes du Rhône. Either way, an easy-going bottle that begs to be shared and one you won't have to think twice about opening at a modest $7.99.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 29, 2017

I would urge anyone reading this to not be turned off by the low price of this wine, since it: a.) is delicious and b.) drinks at least as well or better than many of the $10-$15 reds in our already highly curated selection. Tilia is pure, plummy Malbec, but with loads of freshness and drinkability. There is a much drier and more serious palate impression than what one may expect for under $10 red. A naturally occurring 13% ABV thanks to a cooler vintage, this is fantastic wine for any and all value seekers. Just might be the value red of the year for me - don't be shy about the price, you will love this wine. Added bonus: Tilia continues to be made from organic grapes.

Staff ImageHeather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 13, 2015

This is a steal. We all know Malbec is a bargain, but this wine has it all. Gamey, dark fruit with a pleasantly plump body and bright acidity with chewy, ripe tannins: this wine is a no-brainer. Perfect for parties, or as your new house red!

Staff ImageGary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 11, 2015

It's inky, lush, and plummy - three components that I adore about Malbec. This is an easy-drinking, full-bodied wine that bursts on to the palate with notes of dark cherry, mocha, black currant and baking spice to finish. A very, very nice Malbec that drinks well above its $8.99 price point.

2014 Domaine Lafage "Tessellae" Côtes du Roussillon Old Vines (Previously $13) Price: Hidden

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A stunning bargain from Lafage is the 2014 Tessellae Old Vines, a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre, all aged in concrete. Much of it comes from 70-year-old vines planted in limestone and clay soils. A delicious, dense ruby wine with notes of red and black cherries, earth, spice, pepper and a touch of Provençal garrigue. Fresh vibrant acidity is also present, and the wine is uncomplicated, but rich, fleshy and very well balanced. Drink it over the next 2-3 years. This estate, which has created these custom cuvées with its importer Eric Solomon, has been on fire, producing gorgeous wines, whether they be white or red. (JD)" (07/2015)

K&L Notes: The Tessellae is a joint venture between importer Eric Solomon and winemaker Jean-Marc Lafage. The Tessellae wines are old vine vineyard sources farmed by Lafage to his exacting standards. The Old Vines GSM is a blend of Grenache Syrah and Mourvedre from vines averaging 65 years of age on primarily schist soils. All grapes are hand harvested and the winemaking is done in concrete tanks to preserve the vibrancy of the fruit. Year after year, wine after wine, Lafage delivers the goods.

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 12, 2017

Shouting it from the rooftops - "Jean-Marc Lafage produces southern France's greatest values." Critical press aside, Jean-Marc's wines pinch the nerve that get people to buy and rebuy his wines over and over. The Bastide Miraflors was one of our greatest success stories this year and it's not just all press. You (and we) as consumers just love drinking these wines. There is a hedonistic pleasure in all of them and I think this overlooked gem is the perfect representation of that notion. The "Old Vines" is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre but it is at once greater than its parts. Rich red fruit flavors of candied strawberry and red cherry are surrounded by supple tannins and ripe long finish. It is pure pleasure in a glass. Since the supplier is ready to move onto a new vintage we have an outstanding price on this. This wine is sure to please all comers from holiday gift giving to Christmas parties and of course your everyday drinking needs.

2017 Stratum Sauvignon Blanc Waipara Valley ($9.99)

Produced by the famed Sherwood Estate, the Stratum Sauvignon Blanc is made from grapes grown in the Wairau Valley in the heart of Marlborough and some from estates in Waipara further south on the South Island's east coast. Harvested in the cool of the night to protect the grapes, the fruit was cool fermented over the course of four weeks to retain freshness and aromatic fruit characteristics.

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2016 Domaine Lafage "Novellum" Chardonnay Pays d'Oc ($10.99)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A sensational wine that will compete with wines five times the price, the 2016 Novellum Chardonnay is the real deal and actually reminded me of a Chardonnay from Mark Aubert in California's Sonoma County. White peach, crushed rocks, spice and brioche notes all emerge from this medium to full-bodied Chardonnay that has depth, layered texture and length. Buy it. (JD)" (04/2017)

Staff ImageGary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 20, 2017

Hands down, this is one of the best pound-for-pound Chardonnays in the store right now. Boasting notes of grapefruit, white nectarine, chamomile and a touch of oily richness - there is no reason that this value white should not be featured on your Thanksgiving dinner table. It's the perfect dinner companion for any occasion really, but especially those coming up in the next few months!

Staff ImageAlex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 17, 2017

Easily one of the best white wine values I have tasted this year, the 2016 Domaine Lafage Novellum is the epitome of what the Languedoc/Roussillon is capable of producing. This rich, textured and complex white is layered in tropical fruit notes and baked apple flavors. The wine unfolds with a seamless feel as fruit note after fruit note blends with soft oak nuances. This is an outstanding value that pretty much blows away anything from California that is even remotely close to its price.

2013 Famille Perrin "Les Cornuds" Vinsobres (Previously $20) ($12.99)

90 points Vinous: "Brilliant violet. Fresh red and blue fruits, white pepper and succulent flowers on the nose, slowly developing a hint of licorice. Plush and broad on the palate, offering sappy boysenberry and floral pastille flavors and a touch of allspice. In an ample but lively style, finishing sweet, smooth and long, with gentle tannins sneaking in late. (JR)" (06/2016)

90 points Wine & Spirits: "From a vineyard at the northern edge of the southern Rhône, this evokes cooler climes in its lean, peppery red fruit. And yet the wine feels substantial, a firm minerality lending it breadth and length. Pair it with a juicy, rare steak." (02/2017)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Borderline outstanding, the 2013 Côtes du Rhône Villages Vinsobres les Cornuds is a beautiful wine, and in this vintage it is a big success. Offering lots of jammy blackberries, spring flowers, peach pit and hints of white pepper, its medium-bodied, elegant and nicely focused. It has good acidity, as well as plenty of fruit, and should drink well for 5-7 years. (JD)" (10/2015)

K&L Notes: About 20 miles north of Châteauneuf-du-Pape lies the beautiful village of Vinsobres. The soils are made up of gravel and sandy marl (a high calcareous soil). It is also one of the highest appellations in the southern Rhône, with vineyards planted at around 1000 feet above sea level. It is an ideal place for Syrah and marries well with the cooler climate style of the region. The Cornuds is a blend of Grenache and Syrah that is vinified in a mix of wooden and stainless steel tanks. The Syrah component is aged partially in oak barrel before the blend is completed. Showing the essence of both grapes, there are beautiful aromas of violets, blackberries, cherries and chocolate. It is silky and smooth and an ideal pairing for veal, lamb and slow cooked braises.

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 24, 2018

Even keeled yet satisfyingly peppery, this balanced red blend is bursting with blue violet aromatics up front, followed by subtle earthiness and dark red fruit through the palate and a soft finish. Combine that with the pedigree of Rhones legendary Perrin family and you have a great versatile red for a steal.

Blake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 23, 2018

If you're looking for a steal of the century Rhone blend, look no further and check out the Vinsobres from Famille Perrin. This blend is absolutely fantastic. Heavier in flavor profile with notes of blackberry, licorice and pepper, this beast is subtle and easy drinking. Definitely my brand new every day red. Get it while you can.

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 12, 2017

Vinsobres is one of those Cru appellations that is still earning its bones much like Gigondas or Vacqueyras were 10 years ago. Once a Cotes du Rhone Village it was elevated to Cru status because of its beautiful terroir and exposition. Sitting towards the north end of the Southern Rhone, this is a much cooler climate compared to Chateauneuf du Pape and Gigondas. Also, Syrah plays a much more important role in the blends here. What you get are more aromatic and perfumed Rhones that have higher spice notes and more supple fruit. The Perrin family has such an amazing eye for detail as well and they would be the ideal candidate to suss out the best that this region has to offer. They are of course the family behind Chateau de Beaucastel, probably the most iconic of all the Chateuneufs. All fruit is farmed organically, all winemaking is top-notch and it all shows in the finished product. The 2013 vintage was challenging to say the least. Grenache was afflicted with collioure, where flowering doesn't occur properly and you are left with bunches of berries with lots of fruit missing. This means lower yields overall but not bad fruit. In fact quite good fruit. Not as concentrated as in vintages like 2010 or 2012 but definitely classically styled flavors. To finish the story, the supplier was a little long on the 2013 vintage, so of course they made us an offer and we made a counter-offer and we were able to land this normally $20+ wine for $13. A Cru wine for a Villa

Staff ImageIllya Haase | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 09, 2017

If you have ever been in the LA Store and spoken with me, you would know I like anything under $15.00 that can claim to be amazing. This Rhone Red fits the bill. I am speaking of an ideal party-pleasing wine that anyone, no matter the palate, will enjoy. The nose is great with floral and spice. The taste combines round mouthfeel and a surprising minerality, which leads to a plush, subtle finish. Reach for this as a perfect pick for any holiday party or late night taco truck.

Staff ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 06, 2017

Another fantastic deal from the Perrin family of Beaucastel fame. This has dark, meaty flavors of plums, cherries and spice but with great freshness due to the vintage. Hearty, but not heavy, this is a complex and food-friendly bottle that drinks well above its price.

2015 La Cour d'Argent, Bordeaux Price: Hidden

90 points James Suckling: "Impressive depth and rather polished dry tannins for this humble appellation, then quite a bold, long finish. Already very attractive, but no hurry to drink this." (02/2018)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 de la Cour d'Argent is medium to deep garnet-purple in color with a nose of crushed plums, mulberries and black cherries with a touch of sage. The medium-bodied mouth is firm with grippy tannins and a racy line, finishing on an herbal note. (LPB)" (02/2018)

K&L Notes: This is a Bordeaux Superior that delivers incredible quality for the price point. Winemaker Denis Barraud chooses to ferment this 100% Merlot wine in stainless steel before aging it in older oak.

2015 Layer Cake California Cabernet Sauvignon ($12.99)

90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Smoky, meaty aromas meet concentrated, fully developed blackberry and cassis flavors in this full-bodied nicely oaky wine. It has a lot of spice and swagger for the price, along with polished tannins, a hint of sweetness and a good mouth-filling texture. *Editors' Choice* (JG)" (12/2017)

2015 Picard,Lussac Saint Emilion ($12.99)

This great value comes from Lussac-Saint-Emilion, which is located just north of St-Emilion and adjacent Saint Georges-St-Emilion.

Staff ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 03, 2018

Both red and dark fruit as well as a snap of licorice fill the middle of this crisp and easy bargain. Plenty of ripe fruit and no hard edges make this a perfect bottle to open most any night or even with a light lunch. Amazing value!

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 25, 2018

This was the best value at our quarterly staff Bordeaux tasting. It has bright, red fruit with good minerals, great acidity and a slightly earthy edge. It has smooth, quaffable tannins and is really quite nice for the price. If you are looking for a good mid-week dinner wine, grab a couple of these.

Staff ImageClyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 10, 2017

Here is your Tuesday night hamburger wine, but it will also do well with Thursday night pork roast dinner. Sweet black fruit aromas and flavors goes down easily. Great wine for California Cabernet lovers. Enjoy young and fruity.

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2015 Château Saint Roch "Kerbuccio" Maury Sec ($17.99)

94 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Sporting a deep, inky color, the 2015 Maury Sec Kerbuccio is fabulous stuff, as well as a smoking value. Blackberry jam, roasted herbs, black licorice, tapenade and saddle leather give way to a rich, concentrated, seamless red that has moderate acidity, sweet tannin and a great finish. The blend is 80% Grenache and 20% Carignan, aged in 50% new demi-muids, and as I said when I tasted it from barrel, its heavenly juice that tastes like it cost three times its price." (12/2017)

92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A more serious, structured wine than the Vieilles Vignes, the 2015 Maury Sec Kerbuccio is 80% Grenache and 20% Carignan that was brought up in 50% new demi-muids. Deep, rich, concentrated and full-bodied, yet always light on its feet and graceful, it offers fabulous southern France notes of roasted herbs, pepper, licorice and assorted dark fruits. Its heavenly juice that tastes like it cost three times the price. (JD)" (04/2017)

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 12, 2017

Maury is the deep dark flip side to Spain's Priorat. The regions are part of what used to be (any may one day be again) Catalon. They sit on opposite sides of the Pyranees (Priorat in Spain, Maury in France) with a shared cultural heritage which is where the joint characteristics begin. Each region sits on the desirable black-brown slate/schist soils which make the terroir special, both revere the grapes Grenache and Syrah and both regions produce deeply concentrated wines of power and depth. The big distinction though is many of the Priorat wines have reached price points higher than the elevations of their vineyards. Not so much in Maury though. Longer known more for dessert wine production, Maury is still establishing its footing with regards to pricing which has kept costs depressed. That's to our benefit as consumers though because we get so many incredible dry wines for less than $30. Now, throw Jean-Marc Lafage into the mix, who has established himself as one of the great value producers in the whole south of France and you have one of the most exceptional Catalonian buys this year. The Saint Roch property really allows Mr. Lafage the freedom to let his vineyards fully express themselves. The "Kerbuccio" is supple, rich and full of blackberry, currants and fig flavors. The palate is sweet with fruit but has underlying slate notes and structure. There is also an intriguing garrigue (coastal herbs surrounding the vineyards) note that really

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 01, 2017

Chateau Saint Roch have become a dependable, affordable go-to wines here at K&L. Never short on fruit, power, and concentration. However this is no simple fruit bomb. Coming from 50+ year old, organically farmed vines, this wine has good structure and minerality to underpin its bold black and blue fruit. Aged in mostly neutral large oak and concrete so there is very little barrel influence to be tasted here and it's not missed one bit. The wine has good purity and depth and is a faithful expression of what this lesser known corner of the wine world can produce at razor sharp prices.

Staff ImageAlex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 01, 2017

In the Languedoc-Roussillon there is a sub-region called Maury Sec-Remember this name. This is the "hot" region where the best wines are currently hailing from. The quality of wines coming out of the Maury Sec for the cost is mind-blowing and a great example is the 2015 Chateau Saint Roch "Kerbuccio" Maury Sec. A blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Carignan this tastes like a fine Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Loaded with spice, mineral and gorgeous berry fruit notes this is a wine that punches way above its weight. I think I have just found my new house red wine!

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2014 D'Arce, Côtes de Castillon ($18.99)

91 points James Suckling: "Very pretty and floral with blueberries and blackberries. Medium body and firm and silky tannins. Delicious finish. Drink now." (02/2017)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 D'Arce has a lovely, very pure bouquet with tightly wound red cherries and crushed strawberry that gain intensity in the glass, hints of brown spice emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin. Dark berry fruit laced with Earl Grey tea and a pinch of white pepper, this is a well balanced and just delicious Côte de Castillon from the Garçin-Leveque family that should offer 6-7 years of drinking pleasure. (NM)" (03/2017)

Vinous: "The 2014 d'Arce is soft, pliant and fruity, all qualities that are best enjoyed sooner rather than later. The flavors are bright, nuanced and nicely articulated. Sweet red cherry, kirsch and sweet floral notes abound in this attractive, giving Côtes de Castillon from the Garcin family. (AG)" (02/2017)

Wine Enthusiast: "Taking its name from the Chevaliers d'Arce who guarded this land in the 12th and 13th centuries, the small property is now under the watchful eye of Sylviane Garcin-Cathiard. This wine is still young and just balancing out. Firm tannins are shot through with ripe berry fruits and with crisp acidity. It is a wine that will mature well, so drink from 2019 and consider this property a rising star. (RV)" (12/2016)

Wine Spectator: "This shows a bright tobacco note out front, followed by a mix of red currant, cherry and plum notes. Has a rounded edge but maintains good energy, with a savory detail chiming in on the finish. This has filled out nicely since the barrel tasting. Drink now through 2021. (JM, Web Only-2017)"

K&L Notes: A great find we made on our April 2016 Bordeaux tasting trip. Our appointment was at Château Barde-Haut with the very energetic Hélène Garcin-Lévêque, one of the owners of this beautiful Château and also Clos Eglise, Pomerol among others. During a light lunch Hélène pours us a wine. This was a blind tasting. After a bit, all of us ask what are we drinking? The wine is vivid, bright and lively. It has firm tannins and a blueberry flavor, fine density and a nice lingering finish. It has a toasty impression, from 30% new oak. And here it is: 2014 Château d’Arce. We all liked it so we bought it on the spot. This wine can be enjoyed now with a nice chicken dish or pork roast. Decant it at least an hour ahead of time. It will cellar well for five to ten years.

Staff ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 05, 2018

This is bright, approachable, aromatic and a delicious bargain. The soft entry of red fruit flavors leads to a fresh and balanced middle hinting at darker fruit and a lively and lingering finish. A stylistic surprise for the appellation.

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 29, 2018

Soft and approachable with lots of bright fruit backed with tobacco and earth. Medium-full with just enough tannic grip. This wine will charm you with its lifted aromatics and its surprising complexity.

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2015 D'Arce, Côtes de Castillon ($19.99)

90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Château d'Arce is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc and it was picked earlier than usual, at the end of September, in order to preserve the Merlot aromas. No SO2 was used apart from two grams just after the malolactic, using CO2 to preserve the wine. It has a plush cranberry, black cherry and licorice scented bouquet. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, caressing in the mouth, hints of cedar and bay leaf, gentle and elegant with a sustained, light grip on the finish. This is very fine and elegant. Tasted twice with consistent notes. (NM)" (04/2016)

88-91 points Wine Spectator: "Marked by a plush, light toasty frame around a core of plum and raspberry coulis flavors, this should be an open and inviting wine in bottle. Shows solid depth through the finish. (JM, Web Only-2016)"

90 points James Suckling: "A ripe and juicy red with plum and berry character. Some spices. Full-bodied, round, soft and juicy. Drink now or hold." (02/2018)

Vinous: "The 2015 d'Arce is an attractive, forward wine to drink now and over the next few years. Succulent red cherry, tobacco, mint, spice and dried flowers add shades of nuance to this very pretty, understated Côtes de Castillon. Silky tannins and midweight structure add to the wine's immediacy and appeal. The blend is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. (AG)" (02/2018)

Wine Enthusiast: "This wine is soft, open and full of fruit. It has a tang of acidity as well as rich berry flavors and a supporting layer of tannin. Fine, smoky and structured, it will be easy to drink from 2019. (RV)" (12/2017)

K&L Notes: A new property in the Cote de Castillion for the Garcin-Leveque family, of Barde-Haut fame, that has been given the same treatment as their other outstanding estates. Planted to 90% merlot and 10% cabernet franc, the vines are farmed oragnic and sustainably and the fruit is all handpicked each vintage. 2014 was the first vintage for the husband and wife team of Hélène Garcin-Lévêque and Patrice Lévêque, and the 2015 improves upon the great success they acheived with D'Arce right off the bat. The wines represent an outstanding value both for short term cellaring and drinking. This is a hot property to keep an eye on.

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 28, 2018

Very accessible young Bordeaux and a perfect example of the much acclaimed '15 vintage. Ripe red fruits backed by moderate tannins, a savory note and a touch of fine oak.

Staff ImageMike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 12, 2017

Classic 2015. Don't let the low price scare you away. This reminds me of the 1997 Cantemerle: it drinks great young, but will age (if you can keep your hands off it.) Wild spicy berry and floral character. Full-bodied, with soft tannins. Two Thumbs up !!!

Staff ImageJacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 22, 2017

Another great chance to try the fantastic 2015 vintage. The d'Arce is a pleasing, juicy wine with elegant notes of coffee, cherries, plums, with very velvety tannins.Very versatile and completely drinkable from the get go.

Staff ImageSharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 22, 2017

The 2015 vintage produced plenty of charming, easy to like wines but heres one that is easy to love. This is primarily Merlot, so it's soft and supple, full of deep red fruits, velvety tannins and energetic acidity. It's structured and balanced, the grapes are hand picked, organic, sustainable and no SO2 was added to preserve the wine. With all this for just $15.99, what's not to love?

Staff ImageJeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 20, 2017

A very recent addition to the stable of Right Bank properties owned and managed by Helene Garcin-Leveque yet her influence is already felt in this charming 2015 Bordeaux blend from the Cotes de Castillon. Quality to rank among the best in the appellation. Sweet ripe fruit and a lush texture in a well-balanced, crowd-pleasing style that will make for superb near to medium term drinking. On y va!

Staff ImageClyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 19, 2017

What a great discovery on that eventful Saturday afternoon at Château Barde Haut with Helene Garcin Leveque. D'Arce is a new property for Helene:7.5 hectares in nearby Castillon planted to 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. The wine emanates with meaty aromas and smoky bacon undertones. The palate is full of sweet black cherry fruit, lush on the finish. The wine tastes so good right now, but it will cellar well for several years. You can have it both ways with the 2015 D'Arce.

Staff ImageGary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 05, 2017

It's certainly a more modern iteration from Bordeaux, but full of pretty red fruit and blueberry notes. The palate is lush and soft with a lot of fruit up front; it then moves into licorice, dark currant and dried herbs. The finish is elegant with touch of grip on the back end. Great little weeknight sipper.

2014 de Birot, Côtes de Bordeaux Price: Hidden

From the fine 2014 vintage comes an absolute killer Bordeaux value. The blend contains about 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, lending dark fruit and structure to the base of juicy Merlot fruit, with some Cabernet Franc for aromatic lift. We last carried their 2009.

Staff ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 01, 2018

This has plenty of hearty dark fruit and a husky profile that doesn't seem heavy thanks to the wonderful balancing acidity from the 2014 vintage. The middle shows layers of ripe, earthy blackberry and cherry and a crisp, sweet finish of fine tannin.

Staff ImageClyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 09, 2017

From the fine 2014 vintage comes an absolute killer Bordeaux value. The blend contains about 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, lending dark fruit and structure to the base of juicy Merlot fruit, with some Cabernet Franc for aromatic lift. We last carried their 2009.

2016 Quartomoro Di Sardegna Orriu ($21.99)

Cannonau is the Sardinian name for Grenache. As a wine-producing region, Sardinia lingered for years in anonymity, but it’s had a renaissance in quality starting with just a few wineries, and it’s growing. Piero Cella, who started his tiny Quartomoro label as a side job, is part of that renaissance. An enologist, he has worked all over Sardinia, in almost every region, spending years documenting soil types and grape varieties. While he reeks of the scientific method he has much more of an emotional bond with the people he works with. He buys grapes from different growers and they work together on how to grow, all organically, and he also listens to their visions for their grapes. He has an interesting expression—he wants to mix Sardinia-ness with Continent-ality. You won’t find those words in the dictionary but basically he is trying to use the classic continental methods without losing local origins. The Quartomoro Di Sardegna “Orriu” is an example of Piero’s dream. The wine is classically Sardinian, without the over-ripe flavors one can find in Cannoanu. It’s produced from a vineyard in granitic/sandy soil at about 2.3 tons per acre. The wine is super clean, full of fruit and with layers of complexity that add spice and earth. Every time I think of Sardinian food the name Bottarga comes into my head, but for this wine I’m thinking grilled leg of lamb! (Greg St. Clair, K&L Italian wine buyer)

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2015 Domaine des Bosquets Gigondas ($24.99)

92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Looking at the classic cuvee, the 2015 Gigondas is a wine that readers should buy by the case. A blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and the balance Mourvèdre and Cinsault, it offers up gorgeous notes of black raspberry, fruit tart, spice and incense in a medium to full-bodied, ultra pure, seamless style that just begs to be drunk. It will keep for over a decade. Readers wanting to get a hold of the best of the 2015 vintage need to latch onto these wines from Domaine des Bosquets. This estate has been brought up to the pinnacle of Gigondas, and the Southern Rhône, by the talent and drive of the Brechet family, namely the young Julien Brechet, and consultant Philippe Cambie... Their traditional cuvee is a normal blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and the rest Mourvèdre and Cinsault, from all the estate parcels, and its aged in concrete tanks and older barrels. (JD)" (12/2016)

93 points Wine Spectator: "This drips with lush raspberry and boysenberry coulis flavors, inlaid with anise, black tea and violet accents. The long finish is silky and very persistent, with a light chalky thread for contrast. Drink now through 2030. (JM)" (11/2017)

90-92 points Vinous: "Vivid ruby. Highly perfumed red fruit, potpourri and peppery spice scents show very good clarity. Sappy and precise on the palate, offering sweet raspberry and floral pastille flavors and a hint of spicecake. Closes on a smoky mineral note, displaying silky tannins and strong, floral-driven persistence. (JR)" (09/2017)

91 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Moving to the 2015s, the classic 2015 Gigondas offers a charming, elegant, yet nicely textured personality to go with lots of black raspberries, spice, incense and dried flower aromas and flavors. Its a beautiful, classic Gigondas that has sweet tannin and a decade or more of prime drinking. The blend is 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 7% Mourvèdre and the balance Cinsault, mostly destemmed and aged in a mix of foudre, barrels, and tank. (JebDunnuck.com)" (10/2017)

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Gilbert Jacquesson "Cuvée Tradition" Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne ($24.99)

This all estate grown Champagne is pure Meunier from vineyards in Troissy. It is on the richer side of Brut, and full of exotic spice, fruit, and even some toasty, chanterelle-like notes. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)

Will Blakely | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 23, 2018

An easy pick for any fan of Blanc de Noirs, the Cuvée Tradition presents opulence at a beyond reasonable price. The smell alone conveys the Pinot Meunier's richness exuberantly. Unctuous flavors of dried fruit and candied almonds envelop the palate but finish cleanly. Instantly appealing for anyone who wants more body in their bubbles, this makes a strong case for being one of the best values in Champagne right now.

Staff ImageMorgan Laurie | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 21, 2018

What a delightful Champagne for $25! This 100% Pinot Meunier Champagne is made with over 30% reserves and spends 3 years on the lees. This is fresh, crisp and light on the palate, surprisingly so given the amount of lees contact. The nose has great fruit, freshly sliced apples and lemon drops with lovely seashell minerality and a slight biscuity aroma. Outstanding value!

Staff ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 14, 2018

This is a new producer for K&L and a great bottle for those who like their bubbly in a darker and richer style. 100% Pinot Meunier give this volumes of sweet red fruit flavors along with a touch of spice and hints of marzipan, maple, apricot and dark plum. A bottle of Champagne this flamboyant and exotic for only $25 is hard to believe.

Staff ImageJordan Stone | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 09, 2018

A most intriguing Champagne. Nice lifted fleshy fruit with small bubbles and a smokey mineral character with a long finish that reminds me of fuji apples. Fascinating enough to recommend trying something new and exciting!

Staff ImageChristina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 06, 2018

Made from 100% Meunier grapes harvested from Troissy, the Cuvée Tradition is uniquely creamy and refined on the palate. Aromatics of red apple skin and walnut highlight the personality of the delicately spicy and red-fruited varietal. With three years on the lees, the bubbles are fine and soft.

Staff ImageSal Rodriguez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 06, 2018

An elegantly textured Champagne with good weight that's still bright and lifted in profile. This all-Pinot Meunier Champagne just shines! Bright, juicy red fruits, with a nice hint of baking spice in the background make this a versatile wine with food, or without. Refreshing? Check! Zesty? Check! Complex? Check! Inexpensive? CHECK!! You're going to want to put this on your list of bubbles to try.

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 06, 2018

This earthy, leesy 100% Pinot Meunier is everything that I love about the varietal. Rich, yellow fruits, hint of mushroom and baked caramel. The difference between this one and most others is that it has a clean finish with a nice hint of minerality. Lovely! Vive la difference!

Staff ImageRachel Vogel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 05, 2017

One of my favorite things about Meunier dominant Champanges is the depth, fullness and polish it adds to a wine. This brut from a new, all estate grown producer is 100% Meunier and brings that alluring full body character to the glass while inviting us into a complex, expansive and elegant experience with lots of fruit, spice and a touch of fresh earth. Another great Champagne to add to your collection!

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 21, 2017

Made from only Pinot Meunier, this Blanc de Noirs carries aromas of Bing cherries, red apple and Asian pears, with a hint of lees on the back end to create the cherry pie experience with just a hint of spicy herbs. Its very dry with incredible acidity.

2015 Godeau, St-Emilion ($24.99)

93 points Vinous: "The 2015 Godeau is just as impressive from bottle as it was from barrel. Inky, deep and intensely aromatic, it makes a strong first impression. Although the 2015 is decidedly sumptuous, it also has quite of tannic bite and overall verticality. Readers will want to cellar this explosive Saint-Émilion for at least a few years. (AG) 93+" (02/2018)

91 points Wine Spectator: "This is packed with boysenberry, fig and raspberry pâte de fruit notes, backed by solid, brambly grip that gives this needed energy, ending with licorice and roasted apple wood accents on the finish. Best from 2020 through 2030. 1,625 cases made. (JM, web only, 2018)"

91 points James Suckling: "Because its packed with ripe black fruits and bitter chocolate, the first impression this gives is of softness and easy drinking. Yet the finish reveals itself in a rather serious tannin structure." (02/2018)

89-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Château Godeau has a stately, simple, but clean and fresh blackberry and wild hedgerow-scented bouquet. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin, structured and dense in the mouth, yet maintaining pleasant freshness and focus all the way to the grainy finish. Give this 3-4 years in bottle and you should have a fine Saint Émilion. (NM)" (04/2016)

Staff ImageClyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 09, 2017

This is the last to arrive of our April 2017 tasting trip finds for value. Vinous scores it 90-93 and we agree. Black raspberries abound on the nose and palate. A sort of new wave entry, but fine acid balance is a hallmark of this wine. First time for K&L to carry this beauty-it won't be the last I am sure.I am loving these 2015s.

2015 Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas "Les Souteyrades" (Pre-Arrival) ($29.99)

97 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The most opulent and voluptuous of the 2015s, the 2015 Gigondas Les Souteyrades is heavenly juice that, again, drinks well past its humble price point. Just loaded with notions of strawberries, framboise, spring flowers, dried orange peels and spice, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a thick, unctuous texture, sweet tannin and a great, great finish. This cuvee is the normal 80/20 split of Grenache and Mourvèdre, aged all in foudre, and theres just 750 cases made." (10/2017)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Like the La Louisiane, the 2015 Gigondas les Souteyrades spent a year in foudres prior to bottling. It a similar blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre, but grown on north-facing gray clays. There's more pepper and herb here, still wonderfully ripe raspberries but less chocolate. Full-bodied, it's still silky and refined, with tremendous length on the finish. At Domaine Saint Damien, there are four Gigondas cuvées, although the Clovis Saurel isn't bottled every year. It's a small, family domaine with the magnificently mustachioed Joël Saurel at the helm, although son Romain is increasingly confident in the winery. This is a reference point for traditional Gigondas, but the family also owns a small portion of Côtes du Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu. We finished up with a handful of older wines, which I noted for readers who may have cellared them.(JC)" (10/2017)

92-94 points Vinous: "Full ruby. Ripe black raspberry, violet, incense and peppery spices on the highly fragrant nose. Palate-staining red and blue fruit and floral pastille flavors show impressive energy, and a minerally topnote gains intensity as the wine opens up. Rich yet energetic in style, showing serious closing thrust, harmonious tannins and a suave, lingering floral quality. (JR)" (01/2017)

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2013 Fattoria Le Pupille "Poggio Valente" Morellino di Scansano Riserva ($29.99)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "95+: The 2013 Morellino di Scansano Riserva Poggio Valente is a breakthrough wine for Fattoria le Pupille and its talented winemaking team. This is a complete and balanced expression that shows its best side to all the senses: its appearance is richly saturated and bright; the bouquet is intense and complex; and the mouthfeel shows elegance and power. In all, this wine tastes and feels much younger than it really is and I have high hopes for its future aging ability. It shows a great sense of inner energy and liveliness that makes it a pleasure to drink in the near term as well. Soft flavors of black cherry, spice and grilled herb wrap thickly over the palate. (ML)" (01/2017)

94 points James Suckling: "A fascinating pure Sangiovese with gorgeous blackberry and fresh mushroom character. Hints of spices. Full body yet bright and refined with a velvety tannin structure. Lovely complexity and savory character." (11/2016)

92 points Vinous: "Le Pupille's 2013 Poggio Valente Riserva represents a clear stylistic departure from the past. Powerful, expressive and also dense, the 2013 nevertheless presents a super-classic interpretation of structure. Far from an easygoing wine, the 2013 is going to need at least a few years to come into its own. This is the second vintage aged in 500-600L barrels, a choice that has given the Poggio Valente a much more classic feel. The 2013 has only recently been bottled, but it is pretty impressive just the same. I can't wait to see how it ages. (AG)" (11/2016)

2016 Labégorce, Margaux (Pre-Arrival) ($34.99)

94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Labegorce is a blend of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 52% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot picked between 4-21 October and matured in 45% new oak. What I like about the bouquet is that it is quintessential Margaux--it could not come from anywhere else. Crushed violets infuse black cherries, blueberry and iodine. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, very well-judged acidity, an elegant and very charming Margaux with pencil lead and a touch of spice on the long finish. What a brilliant wine from a Margaux estate that has really upped its game. (NM)" (04/2017)

94-96 points Wine Enthusiast: "This wine is dry and firm, with ample tannins and density. It also has a rich side, which comes from ripe black fruit. Acidity at the end freshens the wine and provides balance. (RV)" (04/2017)

94-95 points James Suckling: "This may be the best Labégorce ever. Full-bodied and dense yet vivid and energetic. Greatness in the making." (04/2017)

91-94 points Wine Spectator: "Fresh, featuring a racy edge of mesquite that melds with the energetic plum and boysenberry fruit flavors. Stays focused through the finish, picking up alluring spice notes. (JM)" (04/2017)

93 points Decanter: "Deep, rich extraction, black cherry in colour with very well controlled aromatics of damson and creamy cappuccino. This is a gorgeous wine and there are going to be many many fans of the contemporary but utterly controlled and well judged flavours on display here. Luscious and big, but everything has a reason for being where it is, nothing superfluous. One of the best ever from this property. (JA)" (04/2017)

Staff ImageTrey Beffa | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 19, 2017

Dare I say one of the best wines ever from this Chateau? Lovely freshness, juicy fruit, lots of complex mineral flavors mixed in with a ton of fresh bright fruit, this wine is still a value.

Staff ImageJason Marwedel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 04, 2017

We were fortunate to taste the 2016 Labegorce three times during our En Primeur trip, and the single adjective that stood out from each of my tasting notes was - WOW! Its hard NOT to fall in love with this wine and the team at Chateau Labegorce. Tremendous passion, proficiency and enthusiasm translate to a wine that will not disappoint. Notes of Asian spice, flowers, bay, cedar and minerals leap from the glass, leading to supple and sweet palate impression. This wine displays great follow through, given its perfect balance of fine tannin and fresh acidity. Incredibly complex for the price, the 2016 Labegorce is sure to please.

Staff ImageClyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 03, 2017

A perfect score from me considering the low price. One of my top 5 from the Margaux region and that says a lot with the neighborhood that includes Palmer and Margaux. We had this wine three times and it was off the charts good every time. 52% Merlot which is high for the property. Such an intense nose of Asian spice and black cherry. Violets on the palate. Very feminine style-so precise. SO DELICIOUS. A must buy-it will sell out quickly. As good as it gets for any wine from anywhere for this price.

Staff ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 03, 2017

The best this property has ever achieved and possibly THE value of the appellation. This is thick and full with a powerful presence and a long, fine structure. It is flowery, sweet, smooth and the picture of elegance with the violets, cherries and boysenberries blending effortlessly on the gentle finish.

Staff ImageJeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 03, 2017

Chateau Labégorce is unapologetically swimming against the tide in 2016 with a blend that is majority Merlot in a vintage dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon. 52% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot. The Merlot adds a bit more mid-palate breadth here and perhaps a bit more sweetness of fruit, but at a mere 13.5% alcohol the wine is by no means over-ripe. It is, quite decidedly, perfectly ripe. Precisely so, in fact, and in perfect balance with the lively acidity and ultrafine tannins which this 2016 Labégorce shares with the best wines of the vintage. Perhaps the best ever from this estate, and unquestionably one of the great bargains in Margaux today.

Staff ImageRalph Sands | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 03, 2017

There is absolutely no doubt that the dynamic ownership of Natalie Perrodo and her team of winemaker Marjolaine de Coninck and director Delphine Kolosa have turned Ch. Labegorce and sister estate Ch. Marquis d'Alesme into the hottest values in all of Margaux wine. We tasted this wine 3 times and showed great each time. 2016 Ch. Labegorce is 52% Merlot 38CS 6CF 4PV a big wine with deep juicy fruit with nice richness, good zesty mineral finish. Super Value, 1 Star.

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Launois "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($34.99)

This 100% estate grown, Grand Cru blanc de blancs is made entirely with old Chardonnay selections from Mesnil, Cramant, and Oger. This is our number one most re-purchased Champagne, and it is often sold out!

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 31, 2018

Crisp and linear with an incredible, almost creamy, texture, the nuanced Launois Cuvée Réserve overdelivers every time. This Champagne is magical: Grand Cru Chardonnay from chalky soils shows minerality, but that racy backbone is balanced by moussy elegance. There's a sparkly acidity that will impress Blanc des blancs connoisseurs while still pleasing a crowd. I've even paired it with weeknight takeout and it's been perfect.When we say buy as much as you can now, we mean it: this sells out quickly! I am so proud to support Séverine Launois and her family's tradition of exceptional wines - do not miss this value-driven stunner.

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 28, 2018

This stands front and center as the undisputed staff and customer favorite of the K&L Champagne portfolio. Made entirely from the Grand Cru Chardonnay grown on the Cotes des Blancs outside Mesnil, this is the pinnacle of quality-to-price value in Blanc de Blancs Champagne. It has a zesty, floral bouquet brimming with chalky minerality, bright citrus and melon fruit, creamy richness and a subtle nutty toast. Only Launois gives you this level of richness and balance for such a low price, which is why it sells out so quickly.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 27, 2018

The benchmark wine from this wonderful producer makes big-house Champagne look stupid. Sure there are some fabulous offerings from the great names in Champagne, but none come close to this magical bottle even at a $20 premium. This has everything you want in a Blanc de Blancs. Exquisite structure and vibrant creamy texture. Gorgeous aromatics filled with nuanced mineral, citrus and stone fruit flavors. There's no wonder this is one of our best-selling wines of any kind, but I'm still shocked more people don't stockpile it. Also, these do amazingly in the cellar if you want to put a few years on there.

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 27, 2018

Yikes! I just found that after working here since 4 B.C., I have never written a review for this Champagne. It's very strange because I love it so! In any case, this one of my perennial favorites. It exudes classic Mesnil citrus (lemon/lime) and also has the additional "house style" cream and cantaloupe scents. On the palate, oranges, green melons and (you guessed it!) vanilla cream. The small bubbles give away its Launois origins, as they are renowned for this (and the familiar "bomb" bottle). This particular cuvée should please almost anyone and I suggest buying a magnum and having a dinner party!

Staff ImageShaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 23, 2018

There's not a lot more to say about this one, it a no-brainer! Grand Cru Champagne of this quality at this price is just not to be missed.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 23, 2018

We are very fortunate to be the importer for this great cult producer of blanc de blancs in the famous village of Mesnil. Launois is the only Champagne that I have sold to someone from Champagne to bring back to Champagne with them! It is that sought after! All grand cru, estate grown Champagne doesn't get better than this, but it is almost always more expensive. This is a wine of depth, finesse and intrigue and yet is about as easy as it gets to drink without engaging the grey matter at all. When we get it, it is always snapped up in a hurry... Don't wait and get disappointed!!

Staff ImageMike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 14, 2011

This is one of the best Champagnes in our entire stock, all Chardonnay and all Grand Cru from the villages of Mesnil, Oger, Cramant and Avize. Buy now, it will be gone soon !

Staff ImageJeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 09, 2011

I am embarrassed to admit that before I met Gary Westby, our Champagne buyer, I was not a drinker of Champagne. I probably had had one or two bottles of mediocre, bulk-produced sparkling wine (not Champagne) and dismissed all sparkling wines on that basis. Then Gary introduced me to grower-producer Champagnes like the Launois "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne. The quality--the authenticity--of the wines was a revelation. And the great prices made possible through our direct import program made it impossible not to try as many as I could. If you want to learn about the Côte des Blancs--the home of the finest Chardonnay in Champagne--about Grand Cru sites like Mesnil and Oger, then this is a tutorial in a glass. Fine bead. Clean. Crisp. Wonderfully mineral in its expression, while still rich in texture. Try it on its own as an aperitif or, better yet, with our local Dungeness crab.

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 09, 2009

It is hard to miss this wine with its great packaging, but more importantly it is the juice between the bubbles. Ever since I started working for K & L, first bottle I took home was this wine!, I have been a big fan. Broad rich on the palate with a great bead. The flavors lean towards white Burgundy, what's not to like?

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2011 Viña Real Gran Reserva Rioja ($34.99)

95 points James Suckling: "This is very driven and structured with blackberry, stone, floral and mushroom aromas. Full body, firm and polished tannins. Finish goes on for minutes. Needs two or three years of bottle age." (01/2018)

92 points Wine & Spirits: "A selection from CVNE's vineyards in Alavesa, Viña Real is ripe and chocolate-rich in 2011. Aged in both French and American oak, the influence of the oak is prominent at the moment, but there's plenty of ripe raspberry warmth to fill it. The wine tastes like a savory version of chocolate-dipped raspberries, and it's hard to argue with its deliciousness, especially if there's a seared duck breast nearby." (07/2017)

90 points Wine Spectator: "A polished texture carries flavors of black cherry, licorice, tea and underbrush in this harmonious red. Well-integrated tannins and balsamic acidity give this a balanced structure. Drink now through 2021. (TM)" (12/2017)

Staff ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 06, 2017

This beguiling wine is rich, smooth, wonderfully dry and crammed with cherry, raspberry and dark plum fruit. There are hints of cedar, leather, mineral and mushroom embedded in the fine grip of the long finish. A serious and complex wine that is delicious now and has a long life ahead of it.

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 05, 2017

If I could pick the perfect food wine, this one would be pretty much there. An incredible blend of fruit and savory notes lead this bottling to enhance almost anything you choose to pair it with. There is good base structure that is overlayed with deep fruits and slight minerality, which definitely makes this wine approachable now.

Staff ImageRachel Vogel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 05, 2017

The time in new French and American oak brings a beautiful richness and baking spice to this superb Rioja. A touch of Graciano in the wine adds graceful aromatics and the bit of Mazuelo brings a beautiful deep color and texture to the wine. A great vintage with mellow, integrated tannins and long lasting acidity makes this a wine easily enjoyed now with the expectation of a great tomorrow.

Staff ImageChristina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 05, 2017

The Viña Real Gran Reserva Rioja from Cvne is crafted with a balance of modernity and tradition in mind. The 2011 is a beautiful expression of that philosophy, with classic aromas of stewed raspberry, red apple skin, dill and spice, but with a pronounced minerality on the palate. A bit lighter and more energetic than you might expect from a Gran Reserva Rioja, this is an elegant, modern interpretation.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 05, 2017

Often times listed as "Cune Vina Real," Vina Real may be under the Cune corporate umbrella, but it functions as its own independent winery (an architecturally award winning one at that) with its own unique fruit contracts in Rioja Alavesa which lend its bright, fruit forward style to the wine across the board. It is also made in smaller quantities than the large sized production of wines such as Cune Crianza, for example. In 2011, the Vina Real GR style is one that I can best refer to as "generosity, defined." As in, the fruit is generous, perhaps even flirting with lush, but clearly defined by a thread of acidity that leads to a wonderfully fresh finish and points towards great drinking for years to come, or at least (conservatively) 7-8 additional years. Savory, meaty notes are only just beginning to emerge, with tell-tale notes of sweet baking spices flirting with the fruit, though ultimately it is the beautiful mixed berry fruit which carries the wine. Expect lots of deliciousness, endless pairing possibilities, and a nicely drawn out drinking window for this fairly priced, iconic Rioja.

Staff ImageJoe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 04, 2017

This wine stands out in the 2011 vintage with more liveliness and bright fruit than typically seen that growing season. An expansive nose of dark cherries, plum, and dates followed by caramel, oak barrels, and spice notes. The flavor profile on the palate evolves seamlessly with prunes, both dark and red cherries, and strawberries. Cocoa powder flavors play with silky tannins and the aforementioned elevated acidity. This wine is built for the long haul; drinking nicely now but another 4-6 years would put this in a really fun place. Pair with paella; preferably of the fennel sausage and rabbit variety!

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Launois Brut Rose Champagne ($39.99)

When I first asked Séverine Launois if we could have the Launois Brut Rose Champagne for the Champagne club, she replied with a simple "No, thank you," but when I placed an order for the cases, she let me have them. I don't know if we'll ever be able to get this 100% Pinot Noir Champagne from them again, but at least we have it now! This is an unusual offering from Launois, as everything else that we have ever carried from them is all Chardonnay. The grapes are harvested from their estate in the Sézanne, a chalky piece of Champagne isolated from the rest by miles of cow grazing land. It is full bodied and loaded with fruit, and perfect for pairing for the bounty of an Indian food dinner. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer)

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2005 Lopez de Heredia "Viña Tondonia" Reserva Rioja ($44.99)

96 points Decanter: "Traditional Rioja at its ageworthy best, the Tondonia red is a cuvée of Tempranillo with 20% Garnacha and 5% each of Graciano and Mazuelo. Leafy, gamey and sweet, with tangy acidity and a volatile lift. (TA)" (10/2017)

94 points James Suckling: "Lovely depth of fruit to this mature red with chocolate, dark tea and bark. Purple flowers and violets. Full and very silky and refined. A beautiful traditional wine to get to know." (07/2017)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2005 Viña Tondonia Reserva is a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacho, 5% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo from their vineyards in the meander of the Ebro River, where they have some 100 hectares of vineyards. The wine fermented in the original oak vats that are now some 140 years of age. There is no temperature control and malolactic was also in the vat. The wine was transferred to oak barrels where it slowly matured in their deep, humid caves for no less than six years. After this, it was bottled unfiltered after being fined with egg whites. I think the quality gap between the Reserva and Gran Reserva has been getting smaller since the 2001 vintage and this 2005 is nothing short of exceptional. It's clean and complex, with more freshness. The wine is very spicy and with a palate that feels very balanced, livelier than in the past. It has a long finish where the flavors are clean. Easy to drink and very pleasurable. (LG)" (08/2016)

93 points John Gilman: "The 2005 Viña Tondonia Reserva from López de Heredia is a beautiful example ofclassical Rioja, with the developing aromatic and flavor complexity of a thirteen year-old wine that is, in reality, just beginning its vinous journey. The bouquet is pure, old school and stellar, jumping from the glass in a mix of black cherries, raspberries, Rioja spices, a refined base of soil elements, incipient notes of cigar smoke, fresh nutmeg and a lovely bass-line of coconutty, old American oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and already nicely velvety on the attack, with a fine core, lovely soil signature, modest tannins and a long, tangy and still fairlyprimary finish. This is very easy to drink already, but will be so much better with another five to ten years worth of bottle age. A very fine example of why one does not have to focus exclusively on Gran Reservas to get the best of Rioja! 2018-2055+." (05/2018)

Jancis Robinson: "Deep fox red. Similar to the 2004 but perhaps more open, richer and more intense with also more marked freshness -- less subtle but more forceful. Still all that lovely complexity and still many years to go because the tannins are even now pretty firm and chewy. (JH) 17.5/20" (06/2017)

K&L Notes: Lopez de Heredia has a well-earned reputation as the stalwart traditionalist of Rioja, along the lines of Mascarello in Barolo, Mayacamas in Napa Valley, or de Montille in Burgundy. What is arguably lost in all the attention paid to traditional winemaking, wine ageing and craft, is that Lopez de Heredia pioneered the single vineyard wine in Rioja, a tradition they still honor with each of their wines. These wines hail from single vineyards -- well-sited, glorious single vineyards. Viña Tondonia Reserva is always the most claret-like, with a sense of reserve and structure that really allows it to shine equally well right now at the table, or after some time in the cellar.

2015 Poesia, St-Emilion Price: Hidden

94 points James Suckling: "Aromas of currants, dried black tea and some cigar box. Full body, round and velvety tannins and a flavorful finish. Wet earth and dark fruits on the finish. A dense and long wine. Fascinating really. Try in 2021." (02/2018)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Poesia opens with gorgeous kirsch, black cherry compote and baked plums notes with hints of blueberry pie and spice box plus a touch of rose hip tea. Full-bodied, the palate delivers lovely savory layers that are well-framed by chewy tannins and wonderful freshness, finishing long and layered. (LPB)" (04/2018)

K&L Notes: 92 points from Jeff Leve, The Wine Cellar Insider: "Mineral driven on the nose and on the palate, this wine blends sweet, elegant, silky fruits with ripe tannins and good purity of fruit in the finish. The wine is structured to age and develop and will need some time in the bottle before it's fun to drink. From a blend of 30% Cabernet Franc and 70% Merlot, the wine is aging in 80% new, French oak barrels." (4/2016)

Staff ImageClyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 09, 2017

Do not confuse this beauty with the Argentinian Poesia. An April 2017 discovery at Barde Haut. Tons of fruit with some earthy, mineral aromas. Very ripe on the mid palate and soft,lush, lingering finish. Much better than their 2014. Decant one hour and enjoy.

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Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne ($59.99)

93 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "There is lovely complexity to the distinctly yeasty nose that combines high-toned green apple, pear, white flowers and gentle citrus nuances. The clean and sleek flavors are supported by a crisply firm but fine mousse where the finish is medium dry and lingering. It's not all that often that I suggest that readers cellar NV Brut but this is an example that absolutely cries out for it. I suspect that the texture will materially change for the better (i.e. become creamier) and better depth will be in the offing as well. Put it this way: this is a perfectly good Champagne right now but with 4 to 7 years of bottle age it could be first-rate and I would suggest buying it only if you're going to cellar it for at least a few years first. Note further that my rating assumes that the wine will be cellared. *Outstanding*" (01/2015)

93 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Bollingers NV Special Cuvée knocks it out of the park. Made from 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and the rest Pinot Meunier, with 30% of the blend brought up in barrels, it boasts a rich, deep, medium to full-bodied style as well as terrific notes of lemon curd, crème brûlée, caramelized stone fruits, and hints of toasty nuttiness that develop with time in the glass. Its a big, rich Champagne that stays balanced and pure. Beautiful stuff. 2018-2028." (03/2018)

93 points Wine Spectator: "Lovely aromas and flavors of ripe black cherry and currant fruit, graphite, toast and candied Meyer lemon zest are set in this racy Champagne, with a refined, finely detailed mousse. The mouthwatering finish is long and spicy. (AN)" (08/2017)

92 points James Suckling: "Looking the part with a keenly struck trade-off between freshness and complexity, there's plenty of pinot-derived red fruit on the nose, as well as biscuity, mellow, sweet spices and fragrance. The palate takes a similar path, with some grilled cashews and citrus, too. Nicely crafted texture, with cherry and peach fruits. Drink now." (10/2017)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Bollinger's NV Brut Special Cuvée is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier, and the grapes are mostly (more than 85%) sourced in Grand Cru and Premier Cru villages. The majority of the Special Cuvée is reserve wines, part of which have been aged in magnums for five to 15 years. The disgorgement I tasted in May 2018 displays an intense golden-citrus color and has a refreshing, concentrated bouquet of citrus fruits, sweet cherries, ripe apples, white flowers, toast, walnuts, ripe apricots and peaches, with just a touch of brioche. On the palate, this is an intense, very elegant and refined cuvée with a very long, refreshing, intense, aromatic and salty finish. This is an excellent Champagne with a beautiful chalky texture in the aftertaste. (SR)" (06/2018)

90 points Vinous: "Pale yellow. Toasty aromas of apple and pear nectar are complemented by hints of toffee, honey and orange zest. Full and expansive on the palate, offering ripe orchard and pit fruit flavors and an undercurrent of smoky minerals and buttered toast. Smooth and gently spicy on the clinging, nicely focused finish. (JR)" (01/2015)

Wine & Spirits: "Generously enriched by reserve wines, Bollingers current release of Special Cuvée is broad and earthy, with a mushroomy undertone to its flavors. A structured, pinot noirdominant Champagne to serve with steak tartare." (12/2016)

K&L Notes: A Pinot Noir-dominated blend that always includes a generous proportion of reserve wines. The biggest and boldest of the big house non-vintages, this is still made from mostly estate fruit. All of the reserve wines are aged in magnums under natural cork, and a large percentage of the fruit is still barrel fermented. In an age where a lot of the big houses are concentrating more on marketing and less on the product, Bollinger continues their tradition of quality. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 12, 2018

This is magically rich champagne, as about 30% spends time in barrel, and is made from 50% reserve wines that are actually painstakingly aged in magnum sized bottles. The result is a plush, complex profile of dried apricots, pears, peaches and honeyed almonds that are balanced wonderfully by vibrant acidity. The long, arduous production method means that it requires the relatively low dosage of 9g/L to balance out the rich profile.

Cameron Price | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 11, 2018

Bollinger forever to me has been elegant champagne that shows true class. 30% of Bollingers wines are aged in wood and all of their reserve wines that make up their very special cuvee are aged in magnums which is pretty well agreed upon between all the growers and champagne houses that this yields the most complex aromas. That is what you get with Bollinger, complexity. Wonderful balanced richness with piercingly fresh acidity with just the right amount of richness making this champagne one of my favorites.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 03, 2018

Bollinger has a sterling reputation in Champagne for stalwart quality for a great reason. They do the hard work to make great Champagne, and there Special Cuvee is the standard barer for their range. Along with Krug, Bollinger is the only grand marque to refuse to give up their barrels, which they still ferment the wine in to this day. They are located in the village of Ay, famous for being the chalkiest terroir for Pinot Noir in all of Champagne, and Ay is the soul of this blend. It is one of the fullest, most powerful non-vintages from the grand marques, and also one of the driest. If you are a fan of Champagne and haven't tried this classic lately, you should!

Staff ImageRachel Vogel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 17, 2017

One of the best priced Grand Marque Champagnes we have on the shelf, especially when taking account the quality of the wine. More than one third of the wine is barrel fermented and more than one third is reserve wine aged for a minimum of 10 years in magnums before blending creating possibly one of the most complex champagnes I have tasted yet. Some cracker or fresh brioche aromas mixed with fresh yellow apples draw you into a textured yet lively palate that doesn't stand still!

Staff ImageChristina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 09, 2017

The Bollinger Special Cuvee is a Champagne for the connoisseur, as it is created painstakingly from up to forty percent reserve wines, which are stored in Magnums, under half pressure, and hand disgorged before bottling! This is a Champagne of exceptional quality and small production, created from grapes grown on Chalky, south facing soil. Aromas of lightly toasted nuts lead to a broad, very dry palate, with a dominant, chalky minerality and a slightly creamy roundness.

Staff ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 08, 2017

This family owned and independent House still makes one of the best and most reliable oak aged Champagnes on the market. 3 to 4 years ageing on the lees has filled this with notes of caramel, toast, ripe apricot and touches of oak in a bold and chalky style. This is big, full bodied bubbly that is filled with richness and tension.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 07, 2017

Oh man, is this good, soooo good! We have to be careful around here about picking favorites in the Champagne category, because the fact is that we all love Champagne and our current favorite may be bested by yet another delicious bottling before long. That said, for many of us, Bollinger is a long-time favorite amongst the grande marques, a true original and - without going into detail - a process that is ridiculously labor intensive, manual and expensive even for their Special Cuvee. With aromas of loquat, and a slightly savory, Beurre Blanc like note, the current bottling immediately drew me in in. It may be the 1/3 barrel fermented aspect of the base wine, the presence of 10-20 year old reserve wine, or my experience with the other great chalky soil based wine region of Europe, but I detected just a passing resemblance to Manzanilla here! A bright, delicious, complete and complex palate seals the deal and Bollinger continues to be one of my absolute faves.

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 07, 2017

I find this to be one of the most interesting Champagnes we have on the shelves right now because of how many different notes and tastes it possesses. While Bollinger is one of the larger houses in Champagne, they are absolutely one of the best. The amount of care and work they put into their Champagne is unreal and the dedication to quality is beyond almost all others. The average age of the wine in this bottle is ten years old and one third of it is barrel fermented, which is far less common in Champagne. Topping wine in this house is kept in magnum bottles, separated by cru and vintage, which means they have to pop every single one when it comes time to add dosage to the bottles. This painstaking work results in an unbelievable wine and one I would be happy to have anytime.

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 06, 2017

This Champagne is crazy good! Crazy because its primary fermentation is 1/2 done in barrel and crazy because the 1/2 of the wine is aged in magnum at 1/2 pressure (3 fathoms) and then disgorged and blended in. Two hundred and fifty-thousand magnums hand-disgorged and tested for cork taint as the mags are aged on the cork, not crown cap. Who does this?! The Special Cuvée is bright and lively on the initial taste but, fleshes out and the trademark Bollinger golden fruits and caramel come into play. Super, super long finish! Still a family-owned Champagne house!

Staff ImageSal Rodriguez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 06, 2017

You don't get this fine of a wine without putting in a lot of effort! If I had to give a gift and it needed name recognition, and it had to be epic, and it had to be less than 100 dollars - This is it!! Intense, spicy musk, with a serious presence. Lots of weight and complexity to explore. Great minerality and plenty of apple flavors to enjoy. A perfect bottle of bubbly!

Staff ImageShaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 06, 2017

Who doesn't love Bolli! 007, The gals from Ab Fab, and us! Seriously this has always been a favorite, likely due to its generous use of reserve wines and meticulous winemaking, the bold rich and nutty presence and light zesty lemon peel highlights are truly hard to resist.

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 18, 2015

Beyond the fact that this is 007 prefered glass of fizz...I must admit I love Bollinger. It is unashamedly a rich style, barrel fermented, round, toasty, packed full of Pinot Noirs red fruited richness. The wine contains 40% older reserve wines and it shows in the wines depth and persistence on the palate. 3-4 years on the lees gives a lovely autolytic presence to the wine along with a lick of oak barrel spice that lingers long in the finish. I can see why Mr. Bond is partial to this...it's powerful and sophisticated.

Staff ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 15, 2015

Do I really have to encourage you to buy this? Wow... one of the few barrel fermented Champagnes left. So good, focus, texture, etc., etc. Damn, that's good.

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2008 Launois "Spécial Club" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (750ml - ships as 1.5L) ($59.99)

Without a doubt, this is one of the best Champagnes we carry at any price. Made from two plots of 65-year-old vines, one in the grand cru of Oger called 'Chenys' and one in Mesnil called 'Derriere Maison,' this is among the ultimate expressions of Chardonnay that we have to offer. The wine shows the paradox of 2008 perfectly with great ripeness and scintillating acidity. Add in the richness and complexity from old massal-selected, grand cru, mid-slope sites and you have a must-buy for any Champagne lover! Because of the shape of this 750ml bottle, it must ship in a magnum box. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer)

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 23, 2018

I was extremely fortunate enough to go through a tasting of the Launois Quartz with some fellow staff members the other day, which markedly demonstrated the undeniable benefits of letting that Champagne sit for a year before popping it open. I have been told to follow the same principle with this Launois and if the extra aging time improves it, I can only image that this will be one of my favorite wines of all time. It is phenomenal now, but because it contains that backbone of acidity, it can age for decades and will unbelievably only get better. Like Gary Westby, I am going to have to hide it to keep from opening it tomorrow, but I know it will be so worth it when I do.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 05, 2017

This is one of the most profoundly great young vintage Champagnes that I have ever had, and I bought a case for my own cellar. The 2008 vintage is a historic one, and either the greatest or tied for the honor in this young century. The Champagne that Bernard Launois was able to make from his two oldest Mesnil plots in this great year promises to be equally historic. The only problem is that it tastes far to good now... And I know that it will do nothing but improve. I will put this case at the bottom of a tall corner stack in my cellar! This Champagne has not only the richness of a 2002, but also the laser minerality of the best 2004's. It has it all!

Staff ImageJeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 28, 2017

I first purchased Champagne Launois Special Club bottling with the 2000 vintage at the urging of our Champagne buyer, Gary Westby. I was so impressed I made sure to buy at least a few bottles of every subsequent release the 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006. The only regret I ever had was not buying more. Now we have in stock the 2008 Launois Special Club, and it is unquestionably the finest vintage of this wine I have tasted to date. It combines exceptional richness with superb focus and intensity. Very precise with admirable persistence. This is showing remarkably well now but will really shine with a few years in the cellar.

Staff ImageCindy Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 28, 2017

Looking back, my last Launois Champagne review was for the 2005 Special Club. Now we are on to the 2008 and they are very, very different wines! The 2008 is a classic example of Mesnil's bright, chalky terroir and that electric backbone of minerality. Letting it warm up just a bit provides hints of future enjoyment with lemon curd and graham cracker crumbs. A prime candidate for ageing, you will wish you'd bought twice as much!

Staff ImageMuriel Sarik | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 28, 2017

This is a perfect champagne! I tasted this with our closing staff last week and we were wowed! We were all looking at each other then our glass then each other. I don't know if we were in awe or just pure bliss.This is a must have for champagne lovers......

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 28, 2017

This is one of those special bottles that has a je ne sais quoi" that is difficult to put into words. You know that a Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs from the best parcels of Launois old Chardonnay vines on the Cotes de Blancs in Mesnil is going to be special. Indeed, this has beautiful, rich flavors of meyer lemons, fresh nectarine and acacia blossom, with subtle hints of minerals, nutmeg, coriander and walnuts, all perfectly blended and balanced, and amplified by the stellar 2008 acidity. The juicy flavors stick to your palate for over a minute, and leave you shaking your head in disbelief at just how good a Champagne can be. Tasting this could almost be described as an epiphany moment for me, and I am certain it will only improve with age.

Staff ImageLilia McIntosh | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 27, 2017

Have you ever tasted wine that is so perfect you would not take or add anything extra to it?! Well, this is what 2008 Launois Special Club is! If I had to choose one word to describe it that would be "pristine". Its pure and fresh acidity marries precisely with roundness and richness of the fruit, creating absolutely perfect (I am not afraid to use this word, because that's what it is!) Champagne. Hats off to Launois for making such beauty and to Gary Westby for finding it and bringing it to us!

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 27, 2017

This top tier champagne from our beloved Launois is one of my very favorites of the last 10 years. While the 2006 had a quite rich and round character, the 2008 is more structured, with higher acidity and brightness. As per usual, the textbook Launois creaminess is present, with more chalk-driven minerality than previous, citrus fruit, green apple, white floral notes, and background nuts and toffee. This bottling should age extremely gracefully over the next decade plus. My previous favorite was the 2004, with its laser-like acidity, which I bought in the magnum. I may actually like this one a little bit more for its added richness! Please, please, please, ship those mags soon, Severine!

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Four Roses K&L Exclusive OBSV (8 Years Old, 8 Months) Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) ($64.99)

If you're fixin' for some Four Roses going into the holiday season, we've got you covered with two new potent potions that I picked out at the distillery this past September. The single casks from Cox's Creek warehouse are always some of the most coveted we bring in directly, and with allocations on lockdown from the distillery, our demand for cask-strength, single-barrel Four Roses has never been higher! The OBSV is a 60.8% ABV beast, but it never feels that big on the palate. It's a strong one, but there's loads of cinnamon, clove, oak spice, and vanilla to temper that storm. Bottled at 8 years and 8 months, it's not quite as rich as some of the 9-10 year olds we've bottled in the past, but it makes up for that lack of maturity with precocious punch and intensity. (David Driscoll, K&L buyer)

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 30, 2017

It is always fun to see the difference between two different single casks from the same distillery. This lovely single cask is soft and round with rich and juicy caramel flavors . It is full and tasty. I tasted this single cask with a splash of water.

Four Roses K&L Exclusive OESK (10 Year Old) Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon (750ml) ($64.99)

The final barrel from our April 2017 trip. Bottled on October 18th, it's just reached the magical 10 year old number. Now this whiskey was just as stupendous when it was 9 years old, but it is nice to see that nice round 10 on the bottle once again. The OESK is quickly becoming a favorite of ours, it has intensity and spice that some of the other yeast strains do not exhibit. The low rye mashbill at Four Roses is actually really a high rye bourbon, but the added corn balances out the intense spice of the K strain perfectly. The nose goes directly into the spice drawer opening up with pink pepper corn, cinnamon, clove, sweet bay and lacquer. Behind the strong spice is the tiniest hint of bananas flambé. The palate is surprisingly sweet and textural with the corn really coming through. Big notes of roasted orange peel, dark sweet oak and sweet grains balance the building spice on the back end. Definitely drinks like it's 110 proof, but in the best way possible.

Staff ImageAnthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 29, 2017

Another single barrel home run that pulls you in like 100 against 1 tug-o-war. Sweet fruits on the nose are balanced by the lightly spiced "K" yeast strain. A touch of salinity, fresh cigar box with tobacco spilling out, and a bit of candle wax. This one is gonna go fast.

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Four Roses 8 Year 9 Month Old "K&L Exclusive OESQ" Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon (750ml) ($64.99)

If you're fixin' for some Four Roses going into the holiday season, we've got you covered with two new potent potions that I picked out at the distillery this past September. The single casks from Cox's Creek warehouse are always among the most coveted bottles that we bring in directly, and with allocations on lock down from the distillery, our demand for cask-strength, single-barrel Four Roses has never been higher! The moderately proofed OESQ is a 53.9% ABV specimen for those who enjoy a bit of banana in their bourbon. The nose is a mix of bananas foster and pencil shavings with accents of baking spices in the background. There's more banana on the mid-palate and the more peppery oak spices come out for the finish. It's a balanced bourbon from front to back, with equal parts fruit, oak, and savory/sweet spices. At 8 years and 9 months of age, it's in a lovely spot. (David Driscoll, K&L Spirits Buyer)

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 30, 2017

I like the single cask selections because it is nice to see how different individual casks are from one another. With Four Roses there is the extra dimension that they have different mash bills. The OESQ offers an expressive and delicate nose.In the mouth it is complex with spice undertones and a nice mouth feel. There is a nice finish with a subtle vanilla nuance.I tasted this single cask with a splash of water.

2015 Occidental (Kistler) Freestone-Occidental Pinot Noir ($64.99)

94 points Vinous: "The 2015 Pinot Noir (Freestone Occidental) is superb. Rich, dense and inviting, this Occidental's appellation wine captures the essence of the vintage in its radiant, enveloping personality. Dark red cherry, plum, lavender, licorice and spice notes abound in this exuberant, alluring Pinot. The 2015 shuts down very quickly with air, so I would not open it in advance. Ideally, though, readers should be prepared to hang onto these wines for at least a few years. The Occidental appellation wine now carries the Freestone Occidental designation. It is the same wine I previously reviewed as the estate's Sonoma Coast Pinot. Most importantly, though, it is fabulous. (AG)" (04/2018)

K&L Notes: Lisa Perrotti-Brown writes: "Steve Kistler’s pioneering spirit and pursuit of world class Pinot Noir took him to Occidental/Freestone and beyond, with vineyards extending right out to the Bodega Headlands, practically within spitting distance of the Pacific Ocean. The vineyards for his Occidental Wines label were planted in the early 2000s, when few were even considering this now sought-after 'extreme' coastal area. When I asked Steve about the clones he planted, he replied with a secretive grin, 'It’s mostly Calera and some suitcase stuff that is very proprietary.'"

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Franck Bonville "Belles Voyes" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($69.99)

91 points Wine Spectator: "Richly spiced, with ground anise, clove, ginger and cardamom, this offers a lively bead, fresh acidity and flavors of quince, honey, pastry dough and golden raisin. Offers a soft, creamy finish. (AN)" (12/2012)

90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This has finesse and elegance, with a thin stream of bubbles and crisp, dry apple flavor. It is taut with a cool feel. (RV)" (12/2012)

K&L Notes: This is one of the best Champagnes we carry, regardless of price. Made from the one-and-three-quarters-acre Belles Voyes vineyard in Oger, this is Bonville's top of the line Champagne. The vines were planted in the late twenties or early thirties and the vineyard is ideally located in the mid slope of this Grand Cru village. The wine is made entirely from the 2012 harvest and is all Chardonnay. Olivier Bonville ferments and ages the juice in old oak casks before bottling. The only wine I can compare it to is the Clos de Mesnil from Krug. It is the perfect Blanc de Blancs, rich and taut at once and any words that I use to describe it will not do it proper justice. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 02, 2018

Once the bottle is opened, a nose of lemon curd, citrus and brioche wafts up at you, immediately letting you know that there is a lot going on with this wine. Nutty background notes lend interest and make this a memorable Champagne. In the mouth, apricot, pineapple and cream are the primary flavors with Granny Smith apples and hazelnuts in the background. The citrus aspect of the chardonnay really comes out on the finish and lends a bit of zippiness to the overall impression.Update: 2012 vintage (8/23/2018). This bottling still retains all that I expect from the Belles Voyes vineyard. Rich and round, with scents of fresh pastry, lemon meringue, oak, and baking spices. Also rich on the palate, with round yellow fruits, baked caramel and tropical fruit. Looooooong finish! As expected, great acidity on the finish that is creamy AND lingering. This beauty won our customer tasting in August of champagnes solely from the 2012 vintage.

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 22, 2018

One of the most memorable wines I tasted when I began my tenure at K&L over a decade ago was the "Belles Voyes" based primarily on the 2002 vintage. Each time I taste a new release, I am transported back to that original bottling. It has never disappointed. The newest iteration is as equally spectacular as that original taste showing roasted apple, toasted bread and dried ginger notes. It is expansive on the palate and finishes long. I expect this to hold as much sway over me as the other wine did 10 years ago. This is a keeper for sure.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 25, 2016

This spectacular wine is word class in every way. IN our recent tasting, although it was much younger, this was closest in style to the $350 Dom Perignon P2 that we tried, but it's just SO much better! The massive richness and complexity of the grapes works perfectly in this style, small barrel ageing. If you're going to oak your wine, you better make sure that you're putting the very best grapes in there or you're gonna have a bad time. The ultra complex style is as seamless as it is sexy. Truly the perfect Tete-de-Cuvee and would be a steal at twice the price. But then again we sell out of this one every time, so not sure if I'm doing anyone any favors with this one...

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 31, 2015

Easily outshining exponentially more expensive Champagne, Belle Voyes shows apple brightness, intense aromatics, plus complex lees-y brioche notes and a heady elegance. It almost feels ridiculous to call a $69 bottle value-priced, but for the quality, Franck Bonville is a steal. A perfect celebratory investment.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 03, 2015

I almost find it embarrassing to drink this 3000 bottle production single vineyard Champagne as often as I do... But I get over it every time Cinnamon and I open a bottle. Like a great white Burgundy it has terroir, and the flavors are inimitably cotes de blancs Champagne. It has the complexity and the detail for the fussy wine person in me, but it is also shockingly easy to drink. The Belles Voyes always grows in my memory after having it. One of the most memorable bottles I drank of it was with a bib on, eating fresh king crab legs, but it is just as appropriate for the aperitif. Take advantage of our unfairly large allocation of this tiny production Champagne and treat yourself to a bottle!

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 13, 2013

I don't think there is anything I can say about this wine that Gary or my colleagues haven't already said yet I feel compelled to review it. Hands down my favorite Champagne in the store. Even when you take much more expensive wines into account it's hard to say that considerably more cash gets you any improvement in quality.

Staff ImageJeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 17, 2012

When most people talk about "value for money" they are thinking of a great $10 red. At $67.99 this is our best "value" in Champagne, easily the equal of wines selling for many hundreds of dollars. This wine was featured in our last staff Champagne tasting and elicited a collective moment of silence in sheer appreciation. If you think you can't appreciate a great Champagne, try tasting this alongside the Franck Bonville "Brut Selection" Blanc de Blancs Champagne at $32.99 - excellent in its own right - and you will see what I mean.

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 13, 2010

This could be the best Direct Import Champagne that we bring in! Depending on the day and my mood, it absolutely is! Old vine, single vineyard Chardonnay that spend some time in old Burgundy barrels, what is not to love about this?! It is great now, long complex and tasty, it get even better with bottle age (I had one from the first batch we brought in OM!@@#@$G!)

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2014 Justin "Isosceles" Paso Robles Bordeaux Blend ($69.99)

93 points Wine Enthusiast: "This flagship bottling is still a whopper of a wine. This vintage, a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and 12% Merlot, offers barely ripe black cherry, green peppercorn and charred fennel on the nose. The palate is loaded with both savory and ripe flavors, from roasted black plums and charred beef to oregano and dill. Very complex and chalky in texture. (MK)" (04/2018)

93 points Wine Spectator: "Shows a measure of finesse and restraint given the size, which is big and expressive, offering notes of plum, blackberry, baking spices and cedary oak. (JL)" (12/2017)

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2008 Pol Roger Vintage Brut Champagne ($89.99)

94 points James Suckling: "Attractive red berries, nectarines and biscuity notes with a hint of spice, too, and a sweet-smelling freshness to it. The palate delivers a very attractive and concentrated array of yellow stone fruit flavors. Smooth and creamy, sorbet-like finish. Drink now or age." (10/2017)

92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "A fresh, bright and overtly citrusy nose reflects plenty of yeast and floral characters. There is really lovely vibrancy to the refined and ultra-pure flavors where the supporting effervescence is equally fine. The lingering and well-balanced finish is drier than the reported dosage level would suggest and overall, this is lovely and still quite young." (10/2017)

90 points Vinous: "Pol Roger's 2008 Brut Vintage is bright and energetic, but also tightly wound and not fully expressive today. There is good energy to the orchard fruit and citrus driven flavors, not to mention plenty of acid-driven persistence. I would prefer to cellar the 2008 for at least a year or two to see what happens. (AG)" (07/2017)

90 points Wine & Spirits: "Focused on pinot noir (60 percent) and supported by chardonnay, this wine has crunchy green-olive notes and autumnal red fruit. It shows the cool vintage in its salty mineral tang and firm mousse, a lifted Champagne to pour with rich fall dishes, like poached lobster over butternut squash purée." (12/2017)

K&L Notes: The long awaited 2008 Pol Roger is here! And here is a note from the importer: "Family owned since 1849. Pol Roger owns 200 acres of vineyards and has cellars that extend over 4 miles on 2 levels and is one of only a few Grande Marque Champagne houses that remains family owned and operated. The cooler than normal cellars "slows the second fermentation, encouraging a finer mousse." Pol Roger owns close to 50% of the vineyards used for their Champagne production and grapes are sourced exclusively from 1er and grand cru vineyards that rate at an average of 95 points on the Champagne classification system."(Frederick Wildman, www.frederickwildman.com, NY, NY).

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Oban 18 Year Old "Limited Edition" West Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Elsewhere $150) ($119.99)

91 points Whisky Advocate: "Drier, less toffee and fruit, more dried spice and oak when compared to the standard Oban 14 year old. A beautiful combination of rich, nutty toffee balanced by polished oak, salt, pepper, seaweed, distant smoke, and dried fruit. Somewhat oily in texture. Wonderful depth, too! An improvement on what is already the biggest-selling Diageo single malt scotch in the U.S. Very exciting and dynamic. (JH)" (12/2008)

K&L Notes: Always tough to find--this is a limited-edition bottling for the U.S. only. As the distillery states: "only so much can be made, it is never enough."

2008 Perrier Jouët "Belle Epoque" Brut Champagne ($124.99)

94 points Wine Spectator: "This finely knit and lithe Champagne is smoky up front, opening into a lovely range of pastry, glazed apricot, lemon curd and candied ginger notes in the glass. Vibrant acidity drives the satinlike finish. Drink now through 2030. (AN)" (12/2017)

93 points Decanter: "Perrier Jouët Belle Epoque 2008 reminds me somewhat of the grace of the exceptional 1995, Cellarmaster Hervé Deschamps first solo vintage and still one of his best. Though the two vintages 13 years apart share the same grace and class, the 2008 is more mineral, reflecting a quite sunless summer season. Only the return of warmer weather at the start of September imbued the vintage with a freshness of great Chardonnay in tune with the subtly restrained power of Pinot Noir and a soupçon of rounded Meunier that final little touch making the wine more pleasurable to drink soon, unlike other wines from the Champagne 2008 vintage, which need a lot more time. Chardonnay is from Cramant, Avize, and Mesnil, Pinot Noir from Ay and Ambonnay in the Montagne de Reims, and Pinot Meunier from Dizy. Shimmering pale gold with green lights, radiant clarity; persistent tiny bubbles: riot of white flowers scents, hawthorn, then more stone-fruit than citrus, reine claude (greengage) and elderflower. Vibrant mouthfeel, invigorating, expansive perfect with saline fruits de mer. (ME)" (01/2017)

93 points James Suckling: "A strong Belle Epoque from 2008, this has an almost sultry air about it with deeply spicy glacé stone fruits and fresh bready notes. The palate has sleek, composed and well-weighted fruit and acid balance. Stone fruit pastry flavors run even and hold well into the finish." (10/2017)

93 points Wine Enthusiast: "The latest release in this series of wines with its Belle Epoque bottle is, as always, a blend dominated by Chardonnay. So although the dosage is relatively high, that is balanced by fine acidity and minerality. It is a stylish wine, ripe and with the maturity to drink now. (RV)" (12/2017)

K&L Notes: The highly anticipated 2008 has finally arrived!

2015 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival) ($139.99)

98 points Decanter: "The aromatic complexity of this wine strikes you from the very first moment - this has got to be one of the greatest Haut Baillys I have ever tasted. The 2015 has a touch of Petit Verdot for the first time (not including the mixed fruit from the century-old grapevines that Haut Bailly always uses), from three year old vines. This has a balance and grip that lifts from underneath the fruit, with incredibly precise tannins. Slate, pencil lead and curls of tobacco lead the persistent waves of flavour coming at you, expressing a lightness than deceives you until you feel the layers begin to deftly build up over the course of the tasting. This is utterly delicious, showing all the complexity that you expect from a great wine, together with the supreme confidence that they don't need to trick you with a push of oak (they use 50% new barrels). (JA)" (03/2018)

98 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2015 Haut Bailly checks in as a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot that comes from the gravelly soils of the Graves region, just southeast of Bordeaux. Its an incredibly beautiful, classy 2015 that offers a sexy bouquet of crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, tobacco leaf, and exotic spices. Deep, full-bodied, and voluptuously textured, with ultra-fine tannin and building richness that never takes away from its incredible elegance and purity, its another heavenly 2015 thats going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and just sing for 2-3 decades. Hats off to winemaker Véronique Sanders this might end up rivaling the out of this world 2009. 98+" (02/2018)

98 points James Suckling: "This is an incredible young red with precision and focus that is second to almost none. Full body with a ultra-fine tannin drive that is seamless as it is endless. It ends with such power. Try in 2024 but already impressive to taste." (02/2018)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Haut-Bailly offers up a tantalizingly savory nose of smoked meats, chargrill, tapenade, unsmoked cigars and black truffles with a core of black currants, black cherries and wild blueberries plus wafts of iron ore and bouquet garni. Medium to full-bodied, very firm and yet wonderfully plush with a powerful core of fruitthis vintage is truly an iron fist in a velvet glove. The finish goes on and on with persistent earthy/minerally notes and savory/sweet fruit. Although it is tempting and indeed delicious right now, the wine still possesses many restrained layers and should handsomely reward the patient. (LPB) 97+" (02/2018)

97 points Vinous: "Once again, I am absolutely stunned by how vivid the 2015 Haut-Bailly is. Bright, red-toned fruit and floral overtones convey freshness. Deep and unctuous in the glass, with tremendous concentration, the 2015 has more than enough clout to age well for several decades. It will need at least a few years in bottle to be truly enjoyable. (AG)" (02/2018)

95-97 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. This wine is finely balanced with its ripe, dusty tannins contrasted by bold blackberry fruits. This is an impressive wine that has great structure, showing the quality of the Cabernet in the vintage. (RV)" (04/2016)

95 points Wine Spectator: "Fresh and pure, with cassis and cherry preserve notes streaming through, guided gently by singed vanilla, tobacco and dried star anise details. Roasted apple wood accents drape the finish for now, but the fruit should soak that up easily with cellaring. Shows some sneaky depth here, only obscured by the freshness. Better to wait this one out. Best from 2020 through 2040. (JM)" (03/2018)

K&L Notes: 95 points Neal Martin: "The 2015 Haut-Bailly has an intense bouquet with raspberry preserve, blackberry and briary scents intertwined with cedar and hints of truffle. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins and superb acidity (more tensile than I remember it in barrel). I adore the focus and the class of this wine, the manner in which it gently fans out toward the finish. Classy and sophisticated, this is an outstanding Haut-Bailly. To repeat my sentiment from barrel, this 2015 is up there with the 2009 and 2010. Anticipated maturity: 2021 - 2045." (02/2018)

Staff ImageAlex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 08, 2016

Possibly one of the wines of the vintage the 2015 Haut Bailly is a showstopper. For under $100 this wine is one of the 2015 Bordeaux's you need to snatch up. Rich, full-bodied and with great delineation this wine has pure red fruit, spice notes as well as hints of red cinnamon and stone. The finish is long and smooth with fruit and mineral notes slowly fading into the ether.

Staff ImagePhilip Bohorfoush | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 07, 2016

**One of the wines of the vintage** Black cherry and dark fruits, spice, anise, and mineral. The purity of this wine is amazing. Elegant, deep, and lifted with fine acidity and lovely aromatics. Intense and complex with old vine character. The Grand Vin includes fruit from four hectares of old vines, some of which are over a hundred years old. A truly inspired Claret.

Staff ImageRalph Sands | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 13, 2016

Haut Bailly- Classic claret! Strong dark fruit with great drive, followed by great freshness and elegance without a hint of over ripeness. 2 Stars! Ralph Sands

Staff ImageTrey Beffa | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 04, 2016

Another one of the top wines from the vintage, this is an elegant, sweet and fleshy Haut Bailly. It is loaded with a wonderful core of red fruits which is complemented with hints of minerals, cedar and graphite. It is well structure and balanced and should be a good candidate for cellaring.

2014 Léoville-Las Cases, St-Julien ($149.99)

98 points James Suckling: "I love the nose of blackberries, blueberries, flowers and citrus. Hints of stones and wet earth. Full body and ultra-fine tannins that are so long and seamless. Incredible length. A wine that you want to drink now." (02/2017)

97 points Wine Enthusiast: " This is a great wine. It has all the elements in place to produce a wine that will last for years: powerful fruit, rich tannins and a structure that is built to last. This is elegant, impressive and concentrated. Almost entirely Cabernet Sauvignon, the grape gives the wine its fruit and its tannins. *Cellar Selection* (RV)" (04/2017)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Leoville-Las Cases is a blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, with Cabernet Franc and Merlot, cropped at 33 hectoliters per hectare and matured in 85% new oak. There is 6.8% vin de presse this year. Picked between 30 September and 13 October over 12 days. It has a delectable bouquet with very precise, mineral-rich black fruit infused with oyster shell, which appears to be a leitmotif of Jean-Huber Delon's 2014s! The palate is medium-bodied with wondrous purity and tension, the acidity beautifully poised and imparting the palpable sense of energy from start to finish. Where it really excels is on the finish: exquisite structure, very complex with enormous persistence that lingers for more than a minute. Surely the wine of the appellation, ditto one of the best Left Bank 2014s. (NM)" (03/2017)

95 points Vinous: "Readers will have to be patient with the 2014 Léoville-las-Cases, as it is not likely to show well for a number of years. Tightly wound but also medium-bodied and classic in its construction, the 2014 is going to need quite a bit of time to come together. Léoville-las-Cases is so often a wine of power, but here the refined site of the vintage is very much in evidence. The 2014 is a Las Cases built on finesse. (AG) 95+" (02/2017)

95 points Wine Spectator: "*Top 100 Wines of 2017* Densely packed, with cassis, steeped plum and blackberry coulis notes that are compressed with layers of cold charcoal and graphite. Very pure, giving this a long, sleek and racy feel, while an iron underpinning drives the finish. Best from 2020 through 2040. (JM)" (03/2017)

K&L Notes: Another powerhouse of a wine that could be the best of the non-firsts in the Médoc. A little backward now, but will blossom and soften up in the cellar. Age it a minimum of 10 years.

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Kavalan Solist "Sherry Cask - K&L Exclusive" Cask Strength Single Barrel Taiwanese Single Malt Whisky (750ml) (Elsewhere $300) ($209.99)

After months of waiting and waiting, we finally have our very own Kavalan Solist Sherry Cask (Solist is the International name for their single cask bottlings, it doesn't appear on the label in the US, but it's from the exact same line). The ultimate sherried malt from the special King Car Distillery in Taiwan is easily a contender for whisky of the year in my book. Kavalan is well known for producing top tier single cask single malt and we've had great success with previous bottlings. Last year we secured nearly an entire cask selected by our distributor. It disappeared in minutes. Since then it has been completely out of stock. Availability has been a huge issue for this mark and when we had the opportunity to buy our own cask I jumped at the chance. I was excited, but could not have predicted the outrageous quality of the samples we received. We expect Kavalan to be explosive and powerfully flavored, ultra dense and complex, but we don't often find those qualities so perfectly in balance as we did in this special cask. Few whiskies on our portfolio achieve the incredible depth and complexity of the Kavalan Solist Sherry cask and none come anywhere close at this price point. Just one taste easily explains the brands incredible rarity and international acclaim. We're absolutely honored to have been chosen to offer this special cask. It's the ultimate holiday surprise for any whisky lover and the perfect way to finish a cold winter's night.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 28, 2017

The "Solist" line of single casks from Kavalan has taken the whisky world by storm. They're winning awards left and right. Asian Whisky of the year! Single Cask Single Malt of the Year! World's Best Single Malt! It's almost unfair. I don't know exactly what these guys are doing at that special distillery on this humid Pacific island, but I know that their whisky is easily out-classing the competition across the globe. Maybe it's because they're committed to quality in a way the Scottish distillers no longer are or maybe they're even using paxarette to season the barrels after the long voyage to the Pacific (this controversial practice was outlawed in Scotland in the '80s, but has since been deemed responsible for some of the great sherried malts of the latter half of the 20th century). It really doesn't matter to me how they do it. The whiskies are extraordinary and in a class totally on their own. This special cask is the first "Solist" Sherry we selected ourselves and will be available exclusively at K&L. It represents a huge percentage of the entire allocation of the brand for California over the next year. It's arresting and intense but balanced beyond any Solist I've yet to come across. The nose is pure Oloroso, deep dense hazelnut and pecan butters, sweet molten brown sugar, Christmas cake, stewed apricots, fig jam, dried cherries and raisins. The palate explodes with spice, yet the alcohol heat is almo

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 25, 2017

Powerhouse Kavalan Solist feels like Oloroso immediately, with caramelized sugar on the nose, black walnut notes and baking spice through the palate. This is a luxurious sherried whisky that hits a bit harder than expected on the finish, in the best possible way. There is a focus here, but the texture is decadent and the quality is undeniable. Add that to the fact that we hand-selected this barrel, and you have another Asian spirit to add to your wish list.

2014 Angélus, St-Emilion ($249.99)

97 points Wine Enthusiast: "Effectively half-and-half Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this is a tremendous wine. With very fine tannins, spice from a touch of wood and swathes of ripe fruits give this wine its concentration and its huge potential. The wine has weight and a dark, dense structure that will allow it to age for many years. Drink from 2027. *Cellar Selection* (RV)" (04/2017)

96 points James Suckling: "Wow. This is really decadent and fascinating with forest flowers, chocolate, tea and currants on the nose, which follows through to a firm and silky palate with lots of fruit and balance. Very long and beautiful. Citrusy undertones. Needs five or six years of bottle age to show it all." (02/2017)

96 points Vinous: "The 2014 Angélus is now really beginning to blossom. It has an outstanding bouquet with plush but delineated black cherry and cassis fruit, crushed violet and just a hint of pencil lead. There is wonderful focus here. The palate is medium-bodied with tightly knit black fruit, graphite and spice. There is weight and presence, but it is effortlessly counterbalanced by the freshness and acidity, whilst the finish if extraordinarily long. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting. (NM)" (03/2018)

95 points Decanter: "Hubert de Boüard's 30th vintage. 50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Franc from 60-year-old vines. Fine, racy nose of violet notes. Velvety texture. Ample tannins but precise, fine and long. Again, real precision in this wine. Structured, seductive and long ageing. Drinking Window 2022 - 2040 (JL)" (04/2015)

95 points Wine Spectator: "This has a dense, muscular core of warm blackberry, black currant and fig paste flavors, shrouded under a cloak of tobacco and loam. Not shy on toast and balanced by a hefty ganache edge, this isn't heady at all, just a terrific expression of the muscular, loamy style. Best from 2026 through 2040. (JM)" (03/2017)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Angelus has developed with some panache during its barrel maturation and now in bottle, it conveys attractive blackberry, briary and vanilla pod aromas, the oak neatly integrated. It is not the most powerful bouquet that Hubert de Boüard de Laforest has ever overseen, though it offers precision and focus. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, a crisp line of acidity, quite compact and linear in the mouth with a subtle oyster-shell note that tinctures the black fruit towards the persistent finish. It is no showstopper, yet there is craftsmanship and terroir-expression here and it should drink well for two decades. (NM)" (03/2017)

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1999 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars "Cask 23" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($279.99)

96 points Connoisseurs Guide: "How do you spell controversial? With one of the few split scores ever given by Connoisseurs' Guide. Most tasters loved the power, loved the tightly focused black cherry, slightly dried currant fruit, loved the boldness and the way there is a sense of polish developing in the background, loved the structure that promises to keep the wine going for a couple of decades yet. The dissenting voice questions whether the higher alcohol and the slight bit of stalkiness at the edges will eat into the wine's aging potential. It is still a baby and we are going to wait the better part of the next decade before opening our next bottle." (04/2010)

92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Restrained for a '99, this wine hides its potential in a youthful cloak of oak and tannin. Cellar this while you're drinking your cult Cabs, and come back to it in 2009. (SH)" (02/2003)

2007 Gaja "Costa Russi" Langhe Rosso (Pre-Arrival, Elsewhere $400) - 12 available ($349.99)

98 points Vinous: "The 2007 Langhe Costa Russi combines richness and focus to a degree that has seldom been seen here. This insanely beautiful wine boasts a breathtaking bouquet, explosive, generous fruit and an absolutely eternal finish. Layers of dark red fruit, minerals, flowers and spices saturate every corner of the palate as this mind-blowing Costa Russi struts its stuff. This is a towering effort from Angelo Gaja. The wine should be accessible fairly early and age for decades. (AG)" (02/2010)

97 points Wine Spectator: "Very supple, this red oozes seduction and class. Cherry, raspberry, violet and spice flavors are accented by licorice and mineral notes. An intense wine, but always shows tension and focus. There's a firm structure for support, and this is almost racy on the long mineral aftertaste. Best from 2014 through 2035. (BS)" (03/2011)

2009 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Rosé Champagne - 9 available ($499.00)

97 points Vinous: "A wine of sublime delicacy and finesse, the 2009 Cristal Rosé is simply magnificent. The 2009 is surprisingly refined, silky and nuanced for a wine from a warm vintage. The red and floral-infused overtones are quite attractive, but it is the wine's exceptional balance that places it among the best new releases of the year. Over the years, I have had the chance to taste many vintages of Cristal Rosé, a Champagne that needs bottle age to be at its very best. I suspect that will be the case here as well. Don't miss it. (AG)" (07/2017)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Cristal Rosé is a rich and intense expression of Roederer's Cristal. Due to roughly 55% of old-vines Pinot Noir from Aÿ's calcareous clay soils and the sunny vintage, it has super luscious fruit with a velvety, caressing and powdery-chalky texture and great depth that gives it very good potential to age. There is also remarkable purity, finesse and tension in the energetic 2009, which cellar master Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon compares with the 2012 and the enchanting style of Vosne-Romannée. The 2009 Cristal Rosé is like a laser beam on the palate, very straight, sharp and precise yet elegant, intensely fruity and chalky. Very fine wild red fruit flavors feature on the nose, with crystalline freshness on the chalky palate. This is a gorgeous Cristal and another great 2009. In contrast to the 2009 white Cristal, the Rosé is perfect to drink now, perhaps only for a few months before it shuts down to start its real life in a couple of years. 96+ points. (SR)" (06/2018)

95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Still young but already impressive, this new vintage of Cristal Rosé is dry and perfumed, packed with fruit and tightened by acidity. It features red fruit, zesty blood orange and ripe apple flavors. Because it is young and because it is dry, the wine needs to age. Drink from 2019. (RV)" (12/2016)

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2007 Margaux, Margaux ($499.99)

95 points Decanter: "All of the Left Bank firsts are tasting excellent, but Margaux stands out for the tightness and clarity of its sweet cherry and cassis fruit expression, the menthol grip on the finish, and the perfume that runs through the palate. This is a vintage that could almost be ready to drink with a good carafing, but the layers of graphite and the finesse to the tannins suggest it could also go longer. A great example of the subtle crafting possible in 2007. (JA)" (02/2017)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright, dark red. Knockout nose combines redcurrant, blackberry, spices, flowers, tobacco and sexy sweet oak tones; complex and aristocratic. Then sweet, suave and seamless, with lovely inner-mouth perfume and noteworthy finesse to the flavors of blackberry, cherry and flowers. Finishes long and sweet, with noble tannins for the year. Not a big wine but one of the classiest examples of the vintage. (ST)" (08/2010)

93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Silky wine, fresh and light, balanced with high acidity cutting through black berry fruits. The structure has some substance, but this is a light, aromatic wine, developing fast, already delicious, and only for medium-term aging. (RV)" (04/2010)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Tasted at BI Wine & Spirits' 10-Years-On tasting, the 2007 Chateau Margaux was just missing a little intensity on the nose compared to the other First Growths: scents of incense and iris, blackberry and tobacco, perhaps just missing the floral nature of other vintages. The palate is well balanced with supple black fruit laced with graphite and tobacco, fully matured but clearly with sufficient substance to last another 15-20 years. (NM)" (06/2017)

Jancis Robinson: "Mid garnet with red rim. Notable for the oak spice still dominating the aroma, giving it a youthful spring in its step, and a leafy touch. Oak showing in chocolate on the palate. Theres enough fruit to carry that oak but it is distinctive in this line up for that oak-derived chocolate sweetness and texture and then definite acidity on the finish. Seems less integrated than some, persistent nevertheless. 17/20 points (JH)" (02/2017)

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2007 Mouton-Rothschild, Pauillac - 8 available ($549.99)

95 points Wine Enthusiast: "The wood element is important here, but it is based on a firm Cabernet Sauvignon structure, dry but rich tannins. The wine is a great success for the vintage, giving sweetness, ripe fruit that only shows light extraction, and dark plum and berry flavors. The feeling is of polished fruit and wood, rounded but always dense." (04/2010)

94 points James Suckling: "This Mouton is starting to show the complexity of an aged Mouton with truffles, dried strawberries and cherries. Full body, firm tannins and flavors of sous bois and mushrooms, which make this really quite sexy. Better in a year or two but so complete now." (10/2015)

94 points Vinous: "The 2007 Mouton Rothschild is a gorgeous wine, especially within the context of the vintage. Open, expressive aromatics and forward fruit make the 2007 an excellent choice for drinking now and over the next two decades or so. Although the 2007 is not an epic Mouton, it is without question one of the best recent vintages for current drinking. Smoke, tobacco, cedar and licorice add the closing shades of nuance. Warm weather resulted in an unusually early start to the growing season. Summer was not especially warm, but a hot, dry September pushed the raisins through the final phase of ripening. The blend is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Merlot. Harvest took place between September 26 and October 11. (AG)" (05/2016)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Tasted blind at the 2007 Bordeaux horizontal in Southwold. The Mouton-Rothschild 2007 is very reserved on the nose with graphite and sous-bois: good definition, quite aristocratic and stoic. The palate is medium-bodied with a touch of spice on the entry, supple tannins with good weight, quite juicy towards the finish (less chewy than previous bottles) with notes of boysenberry and wild strawberry, then a gentle but firm grip on the dry finish. This needs time but if is very commendable given the challenges of the growing season. (NM)" (11/2011)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good deep red-ruby. Plum, currant, graphite, dark chocolate and potpourri spices on the sexy nose. Dense, sweet, suave and deep, with insidious intensity to the complex flavors of blackberry, tobacco leaf and graphite. Wonderfully silky and sweet for the vintage, finishing with very fine-grained tannins and lingering lead pencil and tobacco leaf flavors. The 2007 vintage doesn't get any better than this. (ST)" (08/2010)

92 points Wine Spectator: "Focused and rich, showing blueberry, blackberry and dark licorice aromas, with hints of mineral and flowers. Full-bodied, with a seamless core of fruit and tannins. Long and caressing on the finish." (03/2010)

Jancis Robinson: "Paler than most first growths. Lovely complete raciness almost in a Lafite idiom its so transparent. Super classy. Just a little chewy on the end still. (18.5/20 points)" (03/2015)

Staff ImageClyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 18, 2010

At the property this wine had an earthy nose and good sweetness on the palate. A bit short at end, but overall quite tasty. Should be drinkable way before their 2004, 2005 and 2006. 81% cabernet sauvignon and 19% merlot.

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2007 Latour, Pauillac - 8 available ($579.99)

95 points Wine Enthusiast: "A big and powerful wine, with tannins that are compact and dense. The dryness of the tannins go right to the core, surrounded by chocolate, sweet fruit and dark berry flavors. The wine is well structured, big and bold, with plenty of firmness promising aging. (RV)" (04/2010)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Tasted at BI Wine & Spirits' 10-Years-On tasting, the 2007 Latour was late-released last year, and I reviewed it at that time. This bottle reaffirmed my remarks from a few months ago albeit here within the context of all the other First Growth. I noticed that it has slightly more intensity than the Lafite-Rothschild, a touch of menthol infusing the black fruit, certainly more exotic than the Lafite or Mouton with that subtle hint of black olive. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin. There is good muscle and weight to this Latour, with impressive tension and energy on the saline finish. It will drink well over the next 15 years, possibly longer. (NM)" (06/2017)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good bright ruby-red. Rather backward nose hints at cassis, black cherry, shoe polish, graphite, minerals and spices. Sweet, broad and rich, but with enticing fresh minerality giving energy to the rather full-bodied middle palate. The wine's cassis fruit is complicated by an almost decadent floral element. Finishes perfumed and very long, with wonderfully lush, supple, fine-grained tannins. (ST)" (08/2010)

90 points Wine Spectator: "Offers floral and berry notes, with currant and licorice. Full-bodied, with a sweet core of fruit. There's silky tannins and a fresh, fruity finish. Reserved and balanced. (JS)" (03/2010)

Jancis Robinson: "Dark core with a wide, soft brick rim. Intense, fragrant, dark-red fruit. Savoury and almost dusty in a rocky minerality. Even a sour note on the palate, more elderberry than blackcurrant, tight and long. The tannins are very very fine, paper-fine and theres terrific freshness in a more austere, dark style yet with a scented supple finish. 18.5/20 (JH)" (02/2017)

Staff ImageClyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 16, 2010

Tasted at the property. This wine looks to be a cross between 1999 and 2004. Not a monster, but 91% cabernet sauvignon and 9% merlot. 16% press wine in blend...quite high. About normal yields here. This wine has earthy aromas and red fruits on the palate. Good weight on the palate and very smooth. Quite forward for Latour. Pure and not over-extracted. An elegant Latour! 11,000 cases.

Staff ImageRalph Sands | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 16, 2010

Strong and crisp at front end. Elegant cranberry on palate. Spicy and fresh finish.

Staff Image

2001 Margaux, Margaux - 12 available ($599.99)

97 points Wine Enthusiast: "'For me, this vintage is what makes Margaux special,' says Margaux winemaker Paul Pontallier. He is right: With its denseness, spice, flavors of black currants layered with dryness and fresh acidity, this is a huge and impressive wine that never forgets that it is Margaux. It is still young, and the dry tannic aftertaste, which lasts for many minutes, shows this. (RV)" (06/2005)

95 points Wine Spectator: "Suave from the start, with beguiling tea, singed sandalwood and lilac notes backed by alluring, gently steeped red and black currant fruit. The long finish has an alder edge that stays in lockstep with the fruit, ending with a minerally echo. Drink now through 2030. (JM, Web Only-2018)"

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Performing well from bottle, Chateau Margaux's 2001, which is somewhat reminiscent of both the 1985 and 1999, is an elegant, seamlessly constructed effort with a deep ruby/purple color, and a beautiful nose of flowers, creme de cassis, blackberries, and cedar. A blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, and 4% Cabernet Franc, this forward, opulent beauty can be drunk now or cellared for 15-20 years. This is one of the most elegant wines of the vintage. (RP)" (06/2004)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Enticing aromas of boysenberry, cedar, espresso and roasted oak. Sweet, lush and broad in the mouth, with sappy berry and espresso flavors. This boasts the pliant texture and near-perfect balance of the vintage's best examples. Finishes with a fine dusting of tannins. (ST)" (06/2004)

K&L Notes: Reserved nose with some sage nuances. Sweet and dense on the palate. Not as big as Latour or Lafite, but very elegant. Pure with finesse and elegance. Great Petit Verdot this year that was picked before the Cabernet. Lovely wine in the classic Margaux style. And, 95 points Neil Martin's Wine Journal: "The 2001 Chateau Margaux continues to evolve in impressive fashion. The nose feels sensual, veering towards red rather than black fruit, with disarming purity and perhaps showing more floral/violet character than the 1999. Both display tremendous precision and delineation. The palate is medium-bodied, edgy and tensile with crisp acidity, so fresh and vital in the mouth. Tasted next to the 1996 Château Margaux, it is clear to see that the 2001 is several steps behind, yet the way it fans out with such confidence and brio on the finish assures that this has a prosperous future. Tasted May 2016."

2005 Mouton-Rothschild, Pauillac 1-pack in OWC - 6 available ($799.99)

99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2005 Mouton-Rothschild has developed magnificently, and is even better than I remember. The final blend was 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc. Stunning notes of crème de cassis, melted asphalt, roasted espresso and cedarwood are present in this young, full-bodied, powerful, concentrated Mouton. Just beginning to enter its adolescence, it should hit full maturity in 10-15 years and last for 50 or more. The greatness of this vintage is increasingly apparent as the wines throw off their cloaks of tannin. 99+. (RP)" (12/2014)

98 points Vinous: "One of the highlights in this vertical, the 2005 Mouton Rothschild is exceptional. Dark, powerful and explosive on the palate, the 2005 is endowed with magnificent depth and richness. Just at the early part of its drinking window, the 2005 is sure to drink well for many years from here, especially if it is given a little bit of air. The 2005 is a stunning Mouton, but it needs time to fully blossom. Harvest took place between September 21 and October 6. The blend is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and just 1% Cabernet Franc. 98+. (AG)" (05/2016)

98 points James Suckling: "This accelerates on the palate with incredibly ripe tannins and finesse. Full body, roasted fruit, leather and grilled meat. Dried flowers, too. It shows superb tannin backbone and polish. Tight and youthful. Just starting to open. Currant and berry undertones with lead pencil are impressive. Better in 2018 but so delicious now." (11/2015)

K&L Notes: PLEASE NOTE: This product is 1 bottle in its Original Wooden Case (OWC), sold only as a 1-bottle case to protect ideal provenance. If the wines must be shipped, they will be sent in styrofoam to protect the bottles, with the wood case shipped separately. Will Call or Local Delivery orders can be handled as intact OWCs. Please detail any special handling requests at checkout online, or call us with specific instructions.