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May 5, 2015 New Arrival Email

The following is a list of new arrivals that have come into our inventory since our last email a week ago, with at least one bottle in stock at the time of this email. We've split the list into four sections. First we show a limited number of our top picks for the week. Next, we display all new arrivals coming into our inventory for the first time. Then there is a list of old wines and items we've sold previously that have just returned to our inventory. Lastly, we list the new (live) auction lots from the past seven days. For complete tasting notes for every wine listed below, view the Email Archive page on KLWines.com

TOP PICKS...
(a handful of our favorites also listed in the New Arrivals and Back in Stock sections)

  • 2014 Alkoomi Estate "Old Vine - Black Label" Riesling Frankland River Western Australia ($16.99)
    97 points James Halliday: "*Special Value Selection* Estate-grown 40yo vines, and only free-run juice, gives the wine a flying start. Its intensity is exceptional, driving along the palate with high speed, the Bickford's lime juice flavours running unabated through the finish and well into the lingering aftertaste. An exceptional wine."

  • 2013 Amelia Park Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon Margaret River Western Australia ($13.99)
    95 points James Halliday: "**Special Value Selection** "Light straw-green; a complex blend with considerable presence and attitude from the first whiff to the conclusion of the long, multi-flavoured and multi-textured palate; a small left field component was wild-fermented in stainless steel barrels. It is the overall intensity of the wine that really grabs attention, engineered by the way the flavours build across the palate."

  • 2012 Amelia Park Shiraz Frankland River Western Australia ($16.99)
    94 points James Halliday: "**Special Value Selection** Deep crimson; it has a rich and vibrant bouquet of black fruits, spice and pepper; the 12 months it spent in oak also makes its presence felt, joining with the tannins on the medium-bodied palate to provide excellent texture and structure." (03/2014) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "This wine has great richness of flavour, aromas of spicy cherry and plum and a soft fruit-driven palate delivering dark berries, liquorice and subtle tannins. The wine is approachable but will continue to develop and improve with cellaring. We source a single vineyard in the Frankland River region for this wine. This region is well suited to producing many red and white varieties due to its continental climate combined with low vigour and moderate ripening conditions. We have chosen this vineyard for its ability to produce typical Frankland River Shiraz, which as a result of being a cool climate, is intense in colour with ripe flavours yet is elegant in style and structure. Picked during the cool of the night, the grapes were crushed and destemmed into static fermenters. Techniques for pumping the juice through the skins, and getting air into the ferments under relatively cool temperatures, were used to extract as much colour and flavour as possible. Once primary ferment was complete, the wine was pressed from the skins and then sent to a selection of French hogshead and American barrique barrels to complete malolactic fermentation. Matured in oak for 12 months before being carefully blended prior to bottling.

  • 2013 Dalwhinnine "The Hut" Pinot Noir Pyrenees ($24.99)
    94 points James Halliday: "An opulent, full-bodied pinot noir, flexing its muscles from the bouquet through the palate and the finish in particular; it is the finish that saves the wine from the 'dry red' description, the ultimate insult to a pinot noir; here there is a vibrant and intense line of dark cherry and plum that is pure pinot. It will age very well indeed." (07/2014) K&L Notes: Wine writer Huon Hooke says, "Sit back and watch, as Dalwhinnie etches a name for itself, not only among the great wines of Australia, but the world."

  • 2012 Duane Coates Syrah McLaren Vale South Australia ($19.99)
    94 points James Halliday: "Medium-bodied, it has both intensity and complexity to its melange of sooty black fruits, spice and licorice, giving an attractive savoury/foresty cast to the wine." (08/2014) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "Deep crimson red in colour. Vibrant aromas of mulberry and black cherry accompanied by mocha, roasted spice and subtle forest floor notes. Plush and softly textured on the palate with rich black fruits interwoven with earth, anise and game nuances. The lingering finish is supported by layers of soft velvety tannin. Drink now to 2025. 300 cases made. The fruit is sourced from two vineyards that range from 30 to 80 years in age. Incorporation of Syrah from the sandy soils of Blewitt Springs provides perfume, spice and a strong natural acid backbone with the dark soils of Willunga adding mulberry and anise. The natural acidity from the deep Blewitt Springs sands adds a good counterpoint to the lower acid grapes from the heavier Willunga soils. Syrah grapes were fermented for two weeks on skins using natural yeasts. Maturation in 30% new French coopered barriques (Seguin-Moreau, Nadalie, Marsannay, Remond, Darguad & Jaegle) and 70% used French and Russian barrels provides a hint of savoury oak character whilst allowing the Syrah varietal and regional characters to be expressed unhindered. Two rackings and regular topping are the only time the wine is disturbed after a naturally induced malolcatic fermentation with 24 months spent in barrel.

  • 2012 Oakridge Estate 864 Single Block "Willowlake Vineyard Block A6" Chardonnay Yarra Valley Victoria ($39.99)
    98 points James Suckling: "This is a scintillating wine that fuses concentrated fruit presence and power with assertive structure and bracing acid drive. The nose has chalky notes with fresh hazelnut and a flinty, attractive reductive edge, plus stone fruits and citrus intermingled. The palate has commanding weight, neatly crafted shape and impressive length, with winding white peach and an array of citrus fruit flavors long into the finish. Enlivening, modern Aussie Chardonnay at its finest." (02/2015) 97 points James Halliday: "An exceptionally complex Chardonnay both in terms of texture and flavour; hand-picked and whole bunch-pressed direct to French oak for wild fermentation and 9 months' maturation; has the funky aroma, stature and flavour of top-end White Burgundy, with layer-upon-layer of white flesh stone fruits and natural acidity." (09/2014) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 864 Single Block Release Chardonnay is a little closed at this youthful stage though provides delicate peach blossom, jasmine and yuzu zest scents with hints of cedar, struck match and marzipan. Medium-bodied, the palate is subtle yet sophisticated with white peach and citrus flavors backed-up by racy acidity and judicious use of oak, finishing long and creamy. (LPB)" (02/2015)

  • 2013 Oakridge Estate "Over the Shoulder" Chardonnay Yarra Valley ($13.99)
    94 points James Halliday: "**Special Value Selection** Pale, bright quartz-green; a great example of what the Yarra Valley can give to Chardonnay by getting the picking date right, allowing the winemaking to fill a QA role, simply protecting what the vineyard(s) has given - here a wine of great purity, energy, drive and length, citrus and stone fruit (in that order) driving the engine." (02/2014)

  • 2012 Oakridge Estate "Over the Shoulder" Shiraz Yarra Valley Victoria ($14.99)
    90 points James Halliday: "Pepper-laden shiraz. Meaty, mid-weight style. Cherry-flavoured fruit. Has enough interest, flavour and form to satisfy. Chewy finish. Toasty/spicy oak tops it off nicely."

  • 2013 Oakridge Estate Single Vineyard Series "Guerin Vineyard" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley ($19.99)
    96 points James Halliday: "From the east-facing Guerin Vineyard in the Upper Yarra Valley; open-fermented whole berry fermentation and maceration for 3 weeks, followed by 11 months maturation in French oak. The flavours positively dance in the mouth, red fruits glistening in a superfine web of slinky tannins. Lovely now, and in 5 years' time." Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Pale ruby in color with a hint of purple, the 2013 Local Vineyard Series Guerin Vineyard Pinot Noir has an earthy nose of mossy bark and damp loam with a good core of redcurrants and red cherries and just a touch of cloves. Light to medium-bodied, it is just a tad lean in the mouth with some astringency to the tannins and a tart edge to the otherwise pleasant, earth-laced finish. (LPB)" (02/2015)

  • 2010 Dalwhinnie "Moonambel" Cabernet Sauvignon Pyrenees Victoria ($39.99)
    95 points James Halliday: "Classic Dalwhinnie style with abundant aromas, fruit on the fore-palate likewise; tightens up on the finish with tannin grip that will relax as the years go by." (12/2011) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2010 Moonamble Cabernet Sauvignon offers a nose of cassis, wild blueberries, toasty oak and yeast extract with subtle suggestions of pencil lead and chocolate. Full-bodied with a nice backbone of medium to firm, grainy tannins and very crisp acidity, it has a long savory finish. Delicious in this youthful stage, it should develop gracefully and drink to 2022+. 92+ (LPB)" (06/2012) K&L Notes: This iconic estate nestled into a natural amphitheatre 2,000 feet up in Victoria's Pyrenees mountain range produces some of the country's most highly regarded and awarded wines that have attracted very high points from the world's top critics. We are extremely happy to offer a limited allocation of these wines exclusively for K&L customers. The vineyard was established in 1976 and is the highest and most remote in the Pyrenees region. All the vines are dry farmed and naturally low yielding due to the very poor rocky soils. The elevation of the site means that they experience dramatic diurnal swings in temperature, the cool nights drawing out the growing season and preserving excellent natural acidity in the wines. The slow gradual ripening process results in more complex flavor development and bestows the wines with exceptional longevity. Winemaker's Notes: "Vibrant dark purple-black. A stunning varietal bouquet. Initial aromas of cedar, camphor, mint and violets. The overall impression is of ripe pure Cabernet Sauvignon blended with rich dark chocolate. The initial mouth-feel is concentrated with luscious full, rich fruits. The mid palate is sweet blackberry fruit followed by fine sandlewood grainy tannins. The flavour profile of dark berry fruit are persistent. A very powerful and beautifully structured wine. It has the elegance to drink after a few years of bottle age and will keep for 15 years plus with the correct cellaring conditions."

  • 2010 Dalwhinnie "The Pinnacle" Shiraz Pyrenees Victoria (Elsewhere $70) ($49.99)
    97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Very deep purple-black colored, the 2010 The Pinnacle Shiraz has aromas of creme de cassis, violets, bruchetta, yeast extract and roasted nuts with whiffs of mocha, menthol, potpourri, aniseed and cloves. Medium to full-bodied and packed with taut, muscular black berry and savory flavor layers, it has a firm structure of grainy tannins and lively acid, finishing very long. 97+. (LPB)" (06/2012) 96 points James Halliday: "Slightly deeper colour than Southwest Rocks, with a touch more purple; plum joins the blackberry fruit, and the multifaceted palate is medium- to full-bodied, with balanced, but substantial, tannins. Here power is the key, although it doesn't threaten the balance of the wine. While the two wines are significantly different in style, they can't be separated in terms of quality." (07/2012) K&L Notes: This iconic estate nestled into a natural amphitheatre 2,000 feet up in Victoria's Pyrenees mountain range produces some of the country's most highly regarded and awarded wines that have attracted very high points from the world's top critics. We are extremely happy to offer a limited allocation of these wines exclusively for K&L customers. The vineyard was established in 1976 and is the highest and most remote in the Pyrenees region. All the vines are dry farmed and naturally low yielding due to the very poor rocky soils. The elevation of the site means that they experience dramatic diurnal swings in temperature, the cool nights drawing out the growing season and preserving excellent natural acidity in the wines. The slow gradual ripening process results in more complex flavor development and bestows the wines with exceptional longevity. This single block wine is from their highest, steepest parcel on the estate. It is a world-class Shiraz with power and elegance. Winemaker's Notes: "Dark purple-black colour. The nose, savoury peppery notes are obvious, the predominant fruit is plum and rhubarb, also some beautiful floral notes, leaning towards rose petal with spice also evident. On the palate sweet juicy dark stone fruit evident on the palate. Once again a medium weighted wine and beautifully balanced. The attack is quite expressive initially then tightens up into a nervy unctuous Shiraz. The length is impressive with a musky dry herb and pepper finish. Very Rhone-like.

  • 2012 Oakridge Estate Single Vineyard Series "d'Aloisio Vineyard" Chardonnay Yarra Valley (Elsewhere $35) ($19.99)
    95 points James Halliday: "Hand-picked, whole bunch-pressed direct to French oak puncheons for fermentation and 10 months maturation. Here the slightly richer and layered nature of Lower Yarra Valley fruit is the point of difference, although this and the '12 Guerin Vineyard both have the hallmark Yarra Valley length of flavour; white peach and grapefruit make equal contributions to the overall flavour." (12/2013) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 J&J D’Aloisio Vineyard Chardonnay opens with aromas of apple tart, apricots and brioche with touches of cashews and mandarin peel. Medium-bodied and accented by a tart acid line, it has great flavor intensity and a long refreshing finish. Approachable now, it should drink best 2014 to 2018+. (LPB)" (08/2013) K&L Notes: Hand picked fruit from the d'Aloisio vineyard in the lower Yarra Valley. Whole bunch pressing and wild fermentation in 500-600L French oak Puncheons. As with almost of all of David Bicknell's Chardonnays it does not go through Malo. He strives to attain a more focused, pure, linear style of Chardonnay. This wine shows crunchy orchard fruit, some firm peach or nectarine, hints of spicy oak and lees character and that subtle signature match wood Oakridge character. Underneath the fruit there is a complex layer of mineral and stone flavors all stretched out on the palate by the wines phenomenal linear drive and length.

  • 2014 Labégorce, Margaux (Pre-Arrival) ($22.99)
    91-94 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Labégorce is round, supple and nicely layered. Smoke, plums, black cherries and French oak meld together in a ripe, racy Margaux built on textured fruit. Sweet floral notes add lift on the layered, sensual finish. This voluptuous Margaux should drink well pretty much upon release. There is a lot to like, that much is clear. The blend is 58% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot. Michel Rolland is the Consultant for Labégorce, which is owned by the Perrodo family. Here, the winemaking style appears to be better suited to the intrinsic personality of the wine than it is at Marquis d'Alesme - Becker. This is a fabulous wine in its class." (04/2015) 91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Labégorce 2014 is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot and matured in 50% new oak. The nose is well defined and focused, tensile blackberry and boysenberry fruit embroidered with fine mineralité. Good start! The palate is medium-bodied with supple ripe tannin, saturated black cherry and raspberry fruit with a gentle, silky finish that just needs a little more backbone. That is a minor quibble for what could be an excellent wine from this fast-improving Margaux estate. Don't be surprised if it merits a higher score in bottle. " (04/2015) 90-92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. Smoke-driven on the nose, the palate brings flavors of dark coffee and bitter chocolate. The tannins are rough and could use some time to integrate. " (03/2015) 90-91 points James Suckling: "A very classy young red with super classy tannins. Medium to full body, fresh fruit and bright acidity. " (03/2015) 87-90 points Wine Spectator: "A touch airy, with damson plum, pomegranate and violet notes, backed by a light savory whiff on the finish. Fills in a bit on the back end." (04/2015)

  • 2014 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival) ($84.99)
    95-96 points James Suckling: "This has fascinating aromas already with blackcurrants and cassis. Hints of spices. It’s full-bodied with ultra-fine tannins and a long, focused finish. Muscular but toned and beautiful. " (03/2015) 94-96 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. Pure Cabernet flavors are right at the front of this wine. It has fragrant fruitiness, with layers of black currant and fresh, juicy acidity on the palate. It's a bright wine, with just a touch of smoky wood flavors at the end. " (04/2015) 93-96 points Wine Spectator: "Offers lovely weight and feel, with a big core of plum, blackberry and black currant fruit that manages to show refinement, while ample charcoal and warm stone notes flow underneath. This is displaying terrific depth and purity today." (04/2015) 92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Lynch Bages 2014 is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot matured in 75% new oak. Yields were a respectable 40 hectoliters per hectare, although that figure is less than Jean-Charles Cazes predicted earlier in the season. The nose is well defined with veins of graphite infusing the black fruit: quite strict for Lynch Bages, a little reserved at this early stage. The palate is medium-bodied with chalky tannin, racy acidity although the pH is around 3.7, linear and a little austere on the finish. This is tightly coiled at the moment, gritty in the mouth but I like the Pauillac typicité here – not a million miles away from Grand Puy Lacoste in style. This deserves respect and I suspect it will age with the style of Jean-Charles's father, who turned 80 on the day of my visit. (NM) " (04/2015) 90-93 points Antonio Galloni: "A huge, dense wine, the 2014 Lynch-Bages rips out of the glass with layers of intense fruit. Huge swaths of tannin provide the framework for a decidedly extroverted, boisterous Pauillac. Hints of dark red and purplish-hued fruit, spices, new leather and cedar gradually open up, but it is the wine's explosive personality that speaks most loudly at this stage. I don't quite see the finesse of the very best Pauillacs. It will be interesting to see if that develops in the coming years. The blend is 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. At present, the 2014 is aging in 75% new barrels." (04/2015)

  • 2014 Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival) ($329.99)
    96-98 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. This is a highly aromatic wine, with a superbly dense structure and firm, brooding tanning. On top of the drying tannins are finely polished fruit, followed by a fresh, vibrant finish. Overall, it boasts a great combination of structure and fruit." (04/2015) 95-98 points Wine Spectator: "This captures the pure, distilled essence of Cabernet Sauvignon, with a racy core of red and black currant fruit that almost struts alone, but there's ample roasted apple wood and iron deeply buried in the background, which should emerge with time. The finish has terrific delineation, with a mouthwatering edge despite clearly abundant tannins. The focus on purity in this wine is what's most impressive over the last several vintages. Tasted non-blind.—" (04/2015) 96-97 points James Suckling: "This is incredibly minerally with a maritime character as well as red iodine, algae, currants and great intensity. Some saltiness. Almost like a pearl in an oyster shell. This is a true wine of the soil for Mouton. Full body, racy tannins and lingering. Excellent. Unique. 81% cabernet sauvignon, 16% merlot and 4% cabernet franc. " (03/2015) 94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Mouton-Rothschild 2014 contains more tannin than the 2010 according to winemaker Philippe Dhalluin, although he stressed that this does not imply that they were finer tannin. The blend is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc and it will of course, be matured in 100% new oak. The alcohol level just tops 13%, the first time since 2010. It has a classic Mouton nose, the slightly higher percentage of Merlot lending a little flamboyance and flair with scents of blackberry, warm gravel and cigar box scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, armed with powerful core of quite rich black fruit interlaced with tobacco and allspice. There is very good structure here, a fine edginess towards the white pepper infused finish. There is almost a nuttiness to this wine, to wit, a fascinating maze-like Mouton in the making and perhaps a more cerebral Mouton compared to recent vintages. Tasted twice, almost two weeks apart, with consistent notes. " (04/2015) 93-96 points Antonio Galloni: "Dark and enveloping to the core, the 2014 Mouton Rothschild opens with beguiling scents of violet, new leather, dark spice and plum. There is plenty of tannin lurking beneath, but the overall impression is of fleshiness and seamlessness, with the 100% new oak also beautifully balanced for such a young wine. Layers of flavor build to the effortless, concentrated finish in a sexy Mouton that is likely to reward consumers with many years of fine drinking. I very much like the sense of balance here. (AG)" (04/2015)

  • Daniel Bouju K&L Exclusive Cognac Fines Saveurs 750ml ($39.99)
    Francois Bouju is the man running the show these days at Bouju Cognac. He's incredibly nice, knows a lot about distillation, taught us a great deal about the region and its wines, and impressed us beyond any expectation we had going in to our appointment. His vines are planted in the best soils: rich limestone which helps to preserve acidity in the fruit, and he is a stickler for detail. The reason the Grand Champagne region makes what is considered the best Cognac is because the soil creates grapes that are fully ripe with high acidity levels and low alcohol. This is important because distillation is about concentrating the flavor of a base substance. If you've got a wine sitting in a tank oxidizing, you're going to have an oxidized flavor in the Cognac. High acidity levels help prevent oxidation while distillation is taking place and prevent the need for stabilizing sulfur (none of us want to taste a distilled fart). At the same time, you need wine with a low alcohol level as to not overpower the flavor of the fruit. Full ripeness is also necessary to have any flavor at all. You can't simply pick early to preserve acidity because your wine will taste terrible. The resulting flavor of the Fines Saveurs is a higher acid, fruit-forward style of Cognac. This is zingy, expressive brandy that exemplifies the quality of Bouju's base wine. More of a mixer, or rocks drink, than a supple sipper, Bouju is the perfect bottle for your French 75 or Sidecar cocktail. A hot deal.

  • 1996 Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac - 5 available ($999.99)
    100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Tasted three times since bottling, the 1996 Lafite-Rothschild is unquestionably this renowned estate's greatest wine...This massive wine may be the biggest, largest-scaled Lafite I have ever tasted. It will require many years to come around, so I suspect all of us past the age of fifty might want to give serious consideration as to whether we should be laying away multiple cases of this wine. It is also the first Lafite-Rothschild to be put into a new engraved bottle (designed to prevent fraudulent imitations). The wine exhibits a thick-looking, ruby/purple color, and a knock-out nose of lead pencil, minerals, flowers, and black currant scents. Extremely powerful and full-bodied, with remarkable complexity for such a young wine, this huge Lafite is oozing with extract and richness, yet has managed to preserve its quintessentially elegant personality. This wine is even richer than it was prior to bottling. It should unquestionably last for 40-50 years. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2050. The wine of the vintage? (RP)" (04/1999) 96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Full, deep ruby, by far the darkest of these vintages. Knockout nose of great precision: cassis, black cherry, lead pencil, licorice, dried herbs and mint. Densely packed and extremely unevolved; a powerfully structured wine with uncanny precision and penetration. Finishes with powerful, firm tannins and exceptional mounting persistence. An infant, but a great Northern Medoc '96 in the making." (08/2002) 95 points Wine Spectator: "Gorgeous aromas of currant, berries and licorice. Full-bodied, with supersilky tannins and a long, caressing finish. Still holding back.People talk about this as one of the greatest Lafites ever, but I don't think so.--'95/'96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2008. (Web-2007)" K&L Notes: Additional comments from Robert Parker: "...As I indicated last year, only 38% of the crop was deemed grand enough to be put into the final blend, which is atypically high in Cabernet Sauvignon (83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot)." (04/99)

  • 2005 Lafite-Rothschild, Pauillac (1.5L) - 2 available ($2,399.99)
    100 points James Suckling: "An incredible nose, so subtle with red fruits, mint, minerals, and all sorts of flowers give way to Cohiba cigar tobacco. The palate has such freshness and density, with perfectly polished tannins. Slightly leathery, like a wonderful Hermes bag. What a wine, please leave this for another ten years. Pull the cork in 2020. " (02/2011) 99 points Wine Enthusiast: " *Cellar Selection* Initially dense, almost black enough to be attacked with a knife. But then it becomes apparent that this is a beautifully integrated, balanced wine, bringing together power, with the hallmark Lafite style and poise. In the end, you have a wine that promises an impressive aging potential along with delicious black currant fruits, acidity and a layer of striking tannins. Imported by Domaines Barons de Rothschild and multiple U.S. importers." (06/2008) 98 points Wine Spectator: "Delivers blackberry, dried porcini, tobacco and licorice aromas. Full-bodied, with layers of velvety tannins and loads of dark chocolate, cigar box, currant, berry and mineral. The finish is long, with a coffee, almost meaty, aftertaste. Very beautiful and balanced. Best after 2013." (03/2008) 98 points Wine & Spirits: "Lafite is the most elegant of the firsts in 2005; it also may be the most romantic. The wine's heady scent of new oak rises in harmony with the succulent red fruit. Then the tannins come on with a gentle roar, layering the perception of flavors in subtle shadings. There's not a trace of the hyperintensity that so many young 2005s wear as if required for their longevity. The stones of Lafite grow something more numinous than that, a wine with the power to strike an emotional chord through taste. This will be one of the longest lived wines of 2005." (10/2008) 97 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright medium ruby. Knockout nose combines black- and redcurrant, minerals, graphite, licorice and lavender. Wonderfully suave and seamless, but with great purity and precision of flavor and terrific inner-palate perfume and lift. This dances over every square millimeter of the palate. Almost painfully young today, with an impression of fresh acidity serving to intensify the wine's flavors. About as austere a wine as I tasted from this vintage in April and yet it's not hard. Finishes with substantial dusty tannins and a whiplash of minerally perfume. I'd forget about this one for about 15 years." (06/2008) 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "While the 2005 is another brilliantly classic Lafite Rothschild, for my taste, it comes in slightly behind their extraordinarily opulent 2003 as well as the dramatically powerful 2000. A blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Merlot, the 2005 boasts a dark ruby/purple color in addition to that exceptional Lafite perfume of graphite, spring flowers, crushed rocks, and sweet black cherry and black currant fruit that exudes class and nobility. The wine is medium-bodied with extremely high levels of tannin in addition to sensational purity, length, and overall harmony. However, it is exceptionally backward, and even more tannic than either the 1995 or 1996. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2050+. (96+) " (04/2008) Jancis Robinson: "Very dark with lots of minerals. Very dry and racy and not sweet!! Pure and fresh with great zest. (18/20 points) " (06/2009) K&L Notes: Barrel tasting: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and .5% Petit Verdot. Concentrated nose of cassis, tobacco, and mineral aromas explode from the glass. Creamy texture. Layers of sweet, ripe fruit. Seductive upfront and broad on the mid-palate. Regal wine. **1/2+ (Clyde Beffa, K&L Bordeaux buyer)

  • 2012 Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru (Pre-Arrival) - 3 available ($1,699.99)
    96-98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru is being matured entirely in new wood as usual. That comes through strongly on the nose but there is sufficient fruit to absorb that after one more winter in barrel. The palate is extremely well balanced with that hint of licorice present right from the entry. The acidity is superbly pitched and it effortlessly glides to a long, lightly spiced, candied finish that Frederic himself commented reminded him of "Zan" (a French confectionary). This is a cerebral Clos de Beze that will deserve a decade in the cellar. (NM) " (12/2013) 97 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "A highly spiced and exceptionally fresh, ripe and airy nose mixes a wide variety of mostly red berry fruit aromas though there are background notes of plum, cassis, lavender and oak. The broad-shouldered flavors possess a seductive texture thanks to the copious amounts of dry extract that push the very firm tannic spine to the background. I very much like the concentration here as well as the vibrancy and this is very, very dry in the best sense of the term, indeed it is presently almost crisp yet the very dense supporting tannins are clearly quite ripe. This should be a fantastic Bèze in time and eventually the 2012 could rank among the great vintages for this storied wine." (01/2015) 93-95 points Antonio Galloni: "Layers of blue/blackish toned fruit, cloves, smoke and licorice from the backdrop for Rousseau's 2012 Chambertin Clos de Beze. There is plenty of Beze explosiveness and structure in the glass to match the wines' brooding personality and persistence. " (01/2014) 95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Healthy deep red. Black raspberry, cherry pit, crushed stone and smoky minerals on the almost liqueur-like nose. Large-scaled, very ripe and palate-staining, with creamy flavors of bigarot cherry, coffee and sweet oak dominating. More classically 2012 in style than the tauter Clos Saint-Jacques, finishing with substantial ripe tannins and superb length." (03/2015)

  • 1999 Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne (1.5L) - 5 available ($849.99)
    98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of the finest Champagnes I have ever brought to my lips, the 1999 Cristal bursts from the glass with fresh hazelnut and apple scents. Elegant, deep, and silky-textured, this medium to full-bodied beauty is immensely concentrated, pure, packed with apple flavors, and astoundingly long in the finish. Louis Roederer does not display a disgorgement date or consumer friendly lot number on its non-vintage Brut. This is regrettable as it has consistently been one of the finer bottlings in this category. (PR)" (12/2005) 97 points James Suckling: "From the family collection, disgorged ten years after harvest, slightly lower than original dosage. A warm year, the hottest since 1959 at the time, this has high ripeness and plenty of spice, a touch reductive, gentle citrus peel and some candied tropical fruits, clear chalk, dried honey and brioche too. The palate has a compression to it, smooth and finely layered texture here, some flesh and some succulent texture, generous dried red cherry fruit flavours pressed together with layers of more savoury autolysis. Complex and textural Champagne. (NS)" (07/2014) 95 points Wine & Spirits: "The precision of the flavors in this vintage of Cristal is riveting. They feel substantial, complete, youthful and extremely long even as their aromatic intensity remains subtle, layered in scents of fresh apple, brioche and yellow plum. But the integration is such that rather than emphasizing individual elements, the wine brings to mind words like brisk, elegant, refined. A beauty to drink now, though it will have more to offer with age." (12/2006) 95 points Wine Enthusiast: "A powerful Cristal, which has all the richness of the 1999 vintage. The aromas of white flowers and cocoa lead to a palate that is rich, intense, concentrated, but restrained. It is already drinkable, but should mature well. " (11/2006) K&L Notes: Champagne always tastes best out of magnum!

  • 2012 Domaine Cabirau "Serge & Nic" Maury Sec ( Price: Hidden )
    91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A step back from the 2013, but still superb, Dan Kravitz’s 2012 Maury Sec Serge & Nicolas is a rock star in this, at times, erratic vintage. A blend of 60% Grenache, 28% Syrah and the rest Carignan, that was fermented in tank aged in demi-muid (the Grenache is brought up all in tank), this medium to full-bodied beauty has terrific ripeness in its sweet blackberry, black cherry, truffle, peppery herbs and spice-driven aromas and flavors. Concentrated, rich and structured, with rocking levels of fruit, it will drink nicely for 5-6 years. (JD)" (04/2015)

  • 2012 Ferraton Pere et Fils "Le Meal" Hermitage (Pre-Arrival) ($89.99)
    95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The cream of the lineup, the 2012 Hermitage le Meal offers sensational notes of creme de cassis, chocolate, licorice and violets. Coming from the cooler parts of the the Meal lieu-dit, it has a full-bodied, decadent, thick and powerful texture, sweet tannin and a great finish. This beauty will benefit from short-term cellaring and have 20+ years of longevity. Falling under the Chapoutier umbrella, the quality at this tiny estate continues to soar. Readers looking for solid bang for the buck, as well as classic, textbook characters from each of the appellations, need to check out these wines. " (12/2014) 95 points Wine Spectator: "This smolders beautifully already, with charcoal, bay and tobacco notes wafting up from the core of mulled currant, fig and blackberry fruit. The long finish lets a ganache accent course through, revealing a tarry underpinning. Best from 2017 through 2028." (04/2015) 93 points Antonio Galloni: "Opaque ruby. Deeply pitched cherry and blackcurrant aromas, with hints of candied plum and licorice in the background. Shows brighter red fruits on the palate, with a sexy floral pastille note building slowly in the glass. Blends concentration and vivacity deftly, showing no discernible rough edges. Closes with emphatic spicy thrust and excellent focus and length, leaving black raspberry and violet pastille notes behind. (JR)" (02/2015)

  • 2010 Innocenti Brunello di Montalcino (Pre-Arrival) ($36.99)
    94 points James Suckling: "Beautiful aromas of blueberries and blackberries with hints of spices. Full-bodied, very lively with loads of fruits and iron undertones. Peppery and salty. Better in 2016. " (01/2015)

  • 2012 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico ($23.99)
    90 points Antonio Galloni: "Rich and explosive in the glass, the 2012 Chianti Classico is a beauty. Dark red stone fruits flesh out in a round, sensual wine built on pure texture. This fleshy, supple Chianti Classico offers tons of near and medium-term appeal. All the elements are in the right place. (AG)" (09/2014) 90 points James Suckling: "Aromas of blueberry and chocolate character follow through to a full body with fine tannins and a tangy finish. Fresh and balanced with a delicious fruit/acid balance. Drink now." (10/2014) 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good medium red. Smoky, musky aromas of red berries, flint, tea leaf and game. Sweet, fresh and round, with a hint of dried herbs adding interest to the red cherry and flinty plum flavors. Good vinosity here, and a persistent finish featuring fine-grained tannins and explosive repeating flavors of musky red berries. (ID)" (12/2014)

  • 2009 Bodegas Olarra "Añares" Reserva Rioja ($14.99)
    90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Deep red. Raspberry, cherry and spicy oak on the fragrant nose. Spicy, sweet red fruit flavors are complemented by vanilla, mocha and licorice, with a smoky note sneaking in on the back half. Finishes with an echo of vanilla, soft tannins and very good persistence." (09/2013) Wine Spectator: "Bright and lively, yet firmly structured, this modern red offers tart cherry, red plum, toast and light balsamic flavors. Shows balance and intensity, yet it's approachable." (10/2012) Jancis Robinson: "Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo, Graciano. This winery dates back to 1973 and they work with vineyards from Baja and Alavesa zones to produce their wine. Cold maceration, 21 days of alcoholic fermentation, 18 months in American and French oak. The wine is a blend from at least four different villages. Rioja integrated style. Complex and very clean nose, where all aromas are well balanced, showing oak, red fruits and cinnamon. Medium intensity flavours but very elegant. The texture on the palate is expressive, vinous with quality chalky tannins. Overall the wine is still fresh despite its age and has already developed a bouquet. " (03/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Anares Crianza is a blend of 90% Tempranillo, 5% Mazuelo and 5% Garnacha that is aged for 14 months in oak casks. It has a ripe dark plum, red currant and pomegranate bouquet with a touch of vanilla emanating from the oak. The palate is medium-bodied with a zesty entry: supple red-berry fruit laced with black pepper and citrus peel. The finish is nicely composed and delineated. This Crianza represents good quality for the price. Drink now-2016. " (08/2012)

  • 1992 Screaming Eagle Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - 3 available ($5,999.99)
    99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon is exceptionally impressive. The wine's opaque purple color is followed by a sensational nose of jammy blackcurrants and subtle toasty oak. As stunning as the aromatics are, the wine reveals even greater richness and intensity on the palate, offering up layers of stunningly proportioned, ripe, intense fruit, full body, great purity, and an inner-core of sweet, creamy, highly extracted blackcurrant/cassis fruit. The tannin is nearly concealed behind the massive extract and richness. All the component parts are brilliantly focused and in balance. The finish is awesome! This is a spectacular debut release that should age effortlessly for 20 years." (12/1995) 96 points Wine Spectator: "At this stage, the wine of the vintage, with an amazingly dark, rich, plush core of currant, spice, black cherry and blackberry. Deliciously elegant, with supple, subtle flavor nuances and extra flavor dimensions. Shows no sign of fatigue; the debut vintage was no fluke." (05/2003)

NEW ARRIVALS...
(items coming into our inventory for the first time)

Australia - Australia

  • 2014 Alkoomi Estate "Old Vine - Black Label" Riesling Frankland River Western Australia ($16.99)
    97 points James Halliday: "*Special Value Selection* Estate-grown 40yo vines, and only free-run juice, gives the wine a flying start. Its intensity is exceptional, driving along the palate with high speed, the Bickford's lime juice flavours running unabated through the finish and well into the lingering aftertaste. An exceptional wine."

  • 2013 Amelia Park Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon Margaret River Western Australia ($13.99)
    95 points James Halliday: "**Special Value Selection** "Light straw-green; a complex blend with considerable presence and attitude from the first whiff to the conclusion of the long, multi-flavoured and multi-textured palate; a small left field component was wild-fermented in stainless steel barrels. It is the overall intensity of the wine that really grabs attention, engineered by the way the flavours build across the palate."

  • 2012 Amelia Park Shiraz Frankland River Western Australia ($16.99)
    94 points James Halliday: "**Special Value Selection** Deep crimson; it has a rich and vibrant bouquet of black fruits, spice and pepper; the 12 months it spent in oak also makes its presence felt, joining with the tannins on the medium-bodied palate to provide excellent texture and structure." (03/2014) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "This wine has great richness of flavour, aromas of spicy cherry and plum and a soft fruit-driven palate delivering dark berries, liquorice and subtle tannins. The wine is approachable but will continue to develop and improve with cellaring. We source a single vineyard in the Frankland River region for this wine. This region is well suited to producing many red and white varieties due to its continental climate combined with low vigour and moderate ripening conditions. We have chosen this vineyard for its ability to produce typical Frankland River Shiraz, which as a result of being a cool climate, is intense in colour with ripe flavours yet is elegant in style and structure. Picked during the cool of the night, the grapes were crushed and destemmed into static fermenters. Techniques for pumping the juice through the skins, and getting air into the ferments under relatively cool temperatures, were used to extract as much colour and flavour as possible. Once primary ferment was complete, the wine was pressed from the skins and then sent to a selection of French hogshead and American barrique barrels to complete malolactic fermentation. Matured in oak for 12 months before being carefully blended prior to bottling.

  • 2012 Dalwhinnie Moonambel Chardonnay Pyrenees Victoria ($24.99)
    95 points James Halliday: "Dalwhinnie's Chardonnay is the best from the region in virtually every vintage; barrel fermentation in French oak is not carried to extremes (solids, sulphides, etc), its quality coming from its finesse and perfectly ripened stone fruit woven through the oak." (02/2014) K&L Notes: This iconic estate nestled into a natural amphitheatre 2,000 feet up in Victoria's Pyrenees mountain range produces some of the country's most highly regarded and awarded wines that have attracted very high points from the world's top critics. We are extremely happy to offer a limited allocation of these wines exclusively for K&L customers. The vineyard was established in 1976 and is the highest and most remote in region. All the vines are dry farmed and naturally low yielding due to the very poor rocky soils. The elevation of the site means that they experience dramatic diurnal swings in temperature, the cool nights drawing out the growing season and preserving excellent natural acidity in the wines. The slow gradual ripening process results in more complex flavor development and bestows the wines with exceptional longevity. Winemaker's Notes: The 29th vintage of Dalwhinnie Moonambel Chardonnay and what a wine! The colour has light straw hues and a shiny clear surface. On the nose there is an amazing ripe pear character intertwined with spice and vanilla coming from the Vosges Burgundy oak. The palate is telling a beautiful story of the warmer season giving texture and mouth-feel to a fuller and richer style compared to what we have produced in the past. Ripe pear and peach fruit dominate with an intriguing barley sugar finish. A beautifully well-balanced wine.

  • 2012 Dalwhinnie "Moonambel" Shiraz Pyrenees Victoria ($39.99)
    95 points James Halliday: "The deep purple-crimson colour semaphores serious intent, thoroughly intimidating when you realise this is the fourth tier of Dalwhinnie's Shiraz releases; the intimidation continues with a black fruits, tar and licorice bouquet of what is an unashamedly full-bodied Shiraz needing to be left alone until '20." (07/2014) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2012 Shiraz Moonambel offers a gorgeous perfume of violets, aniseed and dark chocolate over a core of cassis, ripe blackberries and cedar plus a hint of spice box. Medium-bodied, fine, elegant and tightly wound on the palate, the youthful black berry and spice flavors have a great backbone of firm, ripe tannins and refreshing acidity, finishing long if still very primary. It should reward cellaring." (02/2015) K&L Notes: This iconic estate nestled into a natural amphitheatre 2,000 feet up in Victoria's Pyrenees mountain range produces some of the country's most highly regarded and awarded wines that have attracted very high points from the world's top critics. We are extremely happy to offer a limited allocation of these wines exclusively for K&L customers. The vineyard was established in 1976 and is the highest and most remote in the Pyrenees region. All the vines are dry farmed and naturally low yielding due to the very poor rocky soils. The elevation of the site means that they experience dramatic diurnal swings in temperature, the cool nights drawing out the growing season and preserving excellent natural acidity in the wines. The slow gradual ripening process results in more complex flavor development and bestows the wines with exceptional longevity. These wines whilst being remarkably good young will be excellent prospects for a decade plus in the cellar. Winemaker's Notes: "Our 33rd vintage of this wine is an intense purple-black colour. The complex bouquet displays raspberry and dark cherry fruit, a savoury black olive note and an exotic graphite element. The weight is medium but the attack is immensely powerful and persistent. Wonderful juicy sweet-sour dark fruit is framed by fine ripe tannins. This is a wine to decant and enjoy now or keep for the long term. A breathtaking wine."

  • 2013 Dalwhinnine "The Hut" Pinot Noir Pyrenees ($24.99)
    94 points James Halliday: "An opulent, full-bodied pinot noir, flexing its muscles from the bouquet through the palate and the finish in particular; it is the finish that saves the wine from the 'dry red' description, the ultimate insult to a pinot noir; here there is a vibrant and intense line of dark cherry and plum that is pure pinot. It will age very well indeed." (07/2014) K&L Notes: Wine writer Huon Hooke says, "Sit back and watch, as Dalwhinnie etches a name for itself, not only among the great wines of Australia, but the world."

  • 2013 Duane Coates Chardonnay Adelaide Hills ($19.99)
    Winemaker's Notes: "Mid straw in colour with a hint of green to the hue. The aroma shows citrus fruits in the company of exotic tropical notes of pineapple and guava, accents of spice and wood smoke add to the complexity. The palate is in the medium to full-bodied style, an initial burst of lemon and white peach flavours is followed by savoury oak and hints of brioche and shortbread. The palate provides a lingering length of persistence supported by a supple acid backbone. The fruit is basket pressed with an early press cut to remove any harder edged flavour and textural components. After a short settling period to remove the coarsest of the grape solids, the cloudy juice was transferred into French oak and allowed to undergo fermentation with natural yeasts. Our oak selection was 100% French barriques with 70% new (Troncais and Allier wood from the Remond and Marsannay cooperages in Burgundy). Fermentation took six weeks to complete to dryness, and malolactic was completed in spring when the wine was then sulphured for the first time. At this point each barrel was topped but left alone on full yeast lees (stirring is not undertaken) until late May 2014 when the barrels were assembled into the final blend and prepared for bottling in July 2014. Total production 170 dozen."

  • 2013 Duane Coates Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc Adelaide Hills South Australia ($15.99)
    94 points James Halliday: "A 70/30% blend, the grapes picked at different harvest times, but held in stainless steel at low temperatures to settle and combine prior to fermentation on fine solids in new and 1-year-old French oak, held on lees for 9 months. The oak cost, combined with the ultra-low extraction rate through basket pressing (less than half the extraction through a pneumatic press, at around 320l per tonne) make this a very expensive wine to produce, further insult to injury through the small bottling run of 200 dozen." (03/2014) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "Light straw in colour, the nose shows restrained tropical fruits accompanied by lemongrass and a hint of brioche. A lithe palate with plenty of citrus zing with guava and delicious toast notes leading into a long, crisp finish. The current release from 2013 is the results of the tweaking of winemaking style and vineyard locations as we constantly seek to build better balance and complexity into our wines. The fruit is sourced from two vineyard blocks in the Kuitpo region of the Adelaide Hills (which is where the Coates winery based). A cool climate location ensures that the grapes have an elegance of flavour and good natural acidity that we seek to preserve in the finished wine. Our winemaking style is traditional with a gentle basket press of the grapes to yield the softest fruit characters. This basket pressing gives very little juice per ton of fruit but the quality yielded is excellent. The Semillon (70%) and Sauvignon Blanc (30%) were picked and pressed at different harvest times then the juice combined in tank to cold settle. The Sem Sav juice was natural yeast fermented with fine solids in new and one year old Seguin-Moreau French barrels then aged on lees for nine months.

  • 2012 Duane Coates Syrah McLaren Vale South Australia ($19.99)
    94 points James Halliday: "Medium-bodied, it has both intensity and complexity to its melange of sooty black fruits, spice and licorice, giving an attractive savoury/foresty cast to the wine." (08/2014) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "Deep crimson red in colour. Vibrant aromas of mulberry and black cherry accompanied by mocha, roasted spice and subtle forest floor notes. Plush and softly textured on the palate with rich black fruits interwoven with earth, anise and game nuances. The lingering finish is supported by layers of soft velvety tannin. Drink now to 2025. 300 cases made. The fruit is sourced from two vineyards that range from 30 to 80 years in age. Incorporation of Syrah from the sandy soils of Blewitt Springs provides perfume, spice and a strong natural acid backbone with the dark soils of Willunga adding mulberry and anise. The natural acidity from the deep Blewitt Springs sands adds a good counterpoint to the lower acid grapes from the heavier Willunga soils. Syrah grapes were fermented for two weeks on skins using natural yeasts. Maturation in 30% new French coopered barriques (Seguin-Moreau, Nadalie, Marsannay, Remond, Darguad & Jaegle) and 70% used French and Russian barrels provides a hint of savoury oak character whilst allowing the Syrah varietal and regional characters to be expressed unhindered. Two rackings and regular topping are the only time the wine is disturbed after a naturally induced malolcatic fermentation with 24 months spent in barrel.

  • 2012 Duane Coates Touriga Nacional Langhorne Creek McLaren Vale ($19.99)
    Winemaker's Notes: "Inky crimson red in colour. The lifted aromas show bergamot and fruit pastille notes amid perfume, mulberry and savoury oak. The generous palate displays ripe red and black fruit notes along with hints of sous bois and a dash of mocha. Soft, velvety tannins support the long finish. Drink now to 2025. 140 cases made. The Touriga grapes were picked in late March and fermented for two weeks on skins using natural yeasts. Maturation in 30% new French oak utilised a mix of barriques and puncheons. Two rackings and regular topping are the only time the wine is disturbed after a naturally induced malolcatic fermentation with 24 months spent in wood. Bottling date is determined when the tannin and oak balance feel right, with a further 6 months spent in bottle prior to release."

  • 2012 Oakridge Estate 864 Single Block "Willowlake Vineyard Block A6" Chardonnay Yarra Valley Victoria ($39.99)
    98 points James Suckling: "This is a scintillating wine that fuses concentrated fruit presence and power with assertive structure and bracing acid drive. The nose has chalky notes with fresh hazelnut and a flinty, attractive reductive edge, plus stone fruits and citrus intermingled. The palate has commanding weight, neatly crafted shape and impressive length, with winding white peach and an array of citrus fruit flavors long into the finish. Enlivening, modern Aussie Chardonnay at its finest." (02/2015) 97 points James Halliday: "An exceptionally complex Chardonnay both in terms of texture and flavour; hand-picked and whole bunch-pressed direct to French oak for wild fermentation and 9 months' maturation; has the funky aroma, stature and flavour of top-end White Burgundy, with layer-upon-layer of white flesh stone fruits and natural acidity." (09/2014) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 864 Single Block Release Chardonnay is a little closed at this youthful stage though provides delicate peach blossom, jasmine and yuzu zest scents with hints of cedar, struck match and marzipan. Medium-bodied, the palate is subtle yet sophisticated with white peach and citrus flavors backed-up by racy acidity and judicious use of oak, finishing long and creamy. (LPB)" (02/2015)

  • 2013 Oakridge Estate "Over the Shoulder" Chardonnay Yarra Valley ($13.99)
    94 points James Halliday: "**Special Value Selection** Pale, bright quartz-green; a great example of what the Yarra Valley can give to Chardonnay by getting the picking date right, allowing the winemaking to fill a QA role, simply protecting what the vineyard(s) has given - here a wine of great purity, energy, drive and length, citrus and stone fruit (in that order) driving the engine." (02/2014)

  • 2012 Oakridge Estate "Over the Shoulder" Shiraz Yarra Valley Victoria ($14.99)
    90 points James Halliday: "Pepper-laden shiraz. Meaty, mid-weight style. Cherry-flavoured fruit. Has enough interest, flavour and form to satisfy. Chewy finish. Toasty/spicy oak tops it off nicely."

  • 2013 Oakridge Estate Single Vineyard Series "Guerin Vineyard" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley ($19.99)
    96 points James Halliday: "From the east-facing Guerin Vineyard in the Upper Yarra Valley; open-fermented whole berry fermentation and maceration for 3 weeks, followed by 11 months maturation in French oak. The flavours positively dance in the mouth, red fruits glistening in a superfine web of slinky tannins. Lovely now, and in 5 years' time." Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Pale ruby in color with a hint of purple, the 2013 Local Vineyard Series Guerin Vineyard Pinot Noir has an earthy nose of mossy bark and damp loam with a good core of redcurrants and red cherries and just a touch of cloves. Light to medium-bodied, it is just a tad lean in the mouth with some astringency to the tannins and a tart edge to the otherwise pleasant, earth-laced finish. (LPB)" (02/2015)

  • 2012 Oakridge Estate Single Vineyard Series "Whitsend Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon Yarra Valley ($19.99)
    Winemaker's Notes: "Bright, vibrant purple reds. Fragrant, ripe Cabernet - cassis, blackcurrant and violets underpinned by redcurrant, chocolate and pencil lead. The presentation is of a fine, elegant medium bodied claret style that has weight and firmness yet retains its refreshing line and length. It will cellar well over 10+ years."

  • 2012 S.C. Pannell Grenache McLaren Vale ($29.99)
    97 points James Halliday: "Hand-picked grapes were open-fermented and hand-plunged before spending 14 months in used French puncheons; Pannell recommends decanting several hours before drinking. Medium crimson colour introduces a wine that is eager to display its fragrant red fruits on the bouquet and on entry to the palate before persistent, fine-grained tannins make their presence felt. They are fundamental to both the present and future character of the wine, which will change with age, but in absolute terms be neither of higher or lesser quality than it is now." (07/2014) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "Grenache is the variety that I am most fond of making and passionate about in McLaren Vale. Given our warm, Mediterranean climate, it grows as well here as any of the most revered Grenache wine regions of the world including the Southern Rhône of France, Priorat in Spain and Italy’s Sardinia. It is unusual and rare to find 100% Grenache wines in the world, as most of the time it is blended. I have been making a 100% varietal Grenache from McLaren Vale for the past 19 years and I can now provocatively state that I think it ages more gracefully than McLaren Vale Shiraz. This Grenache is sourced from a single vineyard of 70+ year-old vines that are simply managed, without pesticides, to ensure optimal expression of the fruit. 2012 was an exceptional year in McLaren Vale with a milder summer and consistent growing conditions. The fruit was hand-harvested, crushed and traditionally vinified in small open top fermenters, with no additions other than cultured yeast to optimise flavour extraction during fermentation. The wine aged for 14 months in old French oak puncheons. This is an extraordinary, highly perfumed wine with an assortment of heady aromas of musk, red fruits, Turkish delight and dried woody herbs. On the palate it is a succulent, juicy medium-bodied wine. The palate is long and consistent with integrated varietal sandy/gritty tannins that provide for a balanced finish, and a synergy with food.

  • 2014 S.C. Pannell Sauvignon Blanc Adelaide Hills ($14.99)
    Winemaker's Notes: "The Adelaide Hills is recognised as one of Australia’s finest Sauvignon Blanc growing regions: the altitude, soils and weather patterns seem to draw the best from this variety and in 2014, I was lucky enough to take fruit from one of the finest Sauvignon Blanc vineyards in the region. The 2014 Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc is exceptional. The warm, dry vintage was perfect for this variety and has resulted in a wine with intense flavour concentration, complexity and a great natural acidity. This is one of the finest Sauvignon Blancs we have made.

  • 2013 S.C. Pannell Syrah Adelaide Hills ($29.99)
    97 points James Halliday: "Winner of the Jimmy Watson Trophy '14. Seductive from the first drop to the last. Spice-shot berries, black and red, a coating of nuts and cream giving the flavours a sheen. Amaro-like infusions. Sophisticated and yet generally accessible. Beautiful, grainy, peppery length, seamed by ultra-fine tannin. Poster child of savoury-accented Australian red wine." (10/2014) 94 points James Suckling: "This vin de soif-style red is packed with juicy spunk. It’s a lively, medium weight syrah with bright red purple color that leads the way for modern cool-climate Australian style. The nose is super fresh with pepper-dusted mulberry and plum, some redder fruits too; there's a dark stony edge, haunting and soulful, all graphite and spice. The palate makes a juicy, deep and sapid impression, delivering plenty of fresh red and dark cherry flavor. There's more plum here too, plus lots of liquorice, pepper and dark chocolate coated citrus through the finish. Sweeping, lively and bursting with spring-loaded tannins, this is one refreshing and dangerously drinkable red." (02/2015) K&L Notes: Winner of the 2014 Jimmy Watson Trophy! Winemaker's Notes: "This cool climate Syrah was sourced from Echunga, 410 metres above sea level in the Southern Adelaide Hills. The fruit is grown on well-drained, granitic soil, my preference for Syrah. I call this wine Syrah instead of the traditional Shiraz to stop confusion and pay homage to the style of wine it makes in the Northern Rhone Valley of France where it originates from. I’ve been champing at the bit to release this wine and am very excited about its quality. I think its one of the best wines we have released under our label to date. I love making and drinking cool climate Syrah, and believe it has an enormous future in the Adelaide Hills. This Syrah is juicy, elegant and refined but importantly, still has an underlying sense of power and depth of flavour, and beautiful tannins. The Syrah fruit, along with 2% Viognier, was hand-harvested and traditionally vinified in small open-top fermenters with 15-20% whole bunches. Fermentation took 12 days and during this time the cap was hand-plunged and pumped over. Maturation took place in large format French oak vats and puncheons, 25% of which are new for 12 months. The wine is highly perfumed, vibrant and complex with prominent black forest fruits, fresh peppercorns, dried herb and hints of sarsaparilla. On the palate There is a lovely tension between the power and control of palate with heaps of juicy black fruits and a measure of peppery spice."

  • 2012 S.C. Pannell "The Vale" Shiraz-Grenache McLaren Vale South Australia ($29.99)
    95 points James Halliday: "A blend of shiraz and grenache, old vines the source of the grapes. A fragrant bouquet speaks of the seamless union of the high-toned red fruits of the grenache and the black fruits of the shiraz; the role of tannins is important, that of oak less so. Will flower profusely with 2 or 3 years in bottle." (07/2014) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "The truly wondrous thing about wine is that speaks of where it comes from. All true wine has a local accent - something distinct and unmistakable that helps you place it in an instant. This old vine Shiraz Grenache is our wine of place and it couldn’t come from anywhere else but ‘The Vale’. The blend is something altogether more than the sum of its two parts - it is the Vale in essence, taste and character. The Shiraz and Grenache were harvested and crushed together in an 8 tonne open top fermenter. This co-fermentation results in a much improved integration and marriage of the two varieties rather than blending post fermentation. It is key to the quality of this wine. Fermentation lasted for 13 days, during which time it was pumped over up to 6 times a day. For maturation the wine was settled in tank for 4 months where it underwent malolactic fermentation. It was then transferred to large 500 litre The flavour profile is defined by rich black fruits and spice of the Shiraz, lifted by, and married with, the perfumed musk and red fruits of the Grenache. On the palate these two varieties unite to achieve a seamless medium bodied wine with a silky texture. The Grenache softens the mid-palate exuberance of the Shiraz as well as providing great length. The finish is well structured with savoury gritty tannins.

  • 2012 S.C. Pannell "Tinto" Old Vine Grenache-Touriga National McLaren Vale South Australia ($14.99)
    93 points James Halliday: "**Special Value Selection** A blend of Garnacha Tinto (Grenache by any other name) and Touriga, part coming from McLaren Vale (Garnacha) and part from the Barossa. It is a joyously schizophrenic blend, half saying drink without any introspection or hesitation, the other inviting deconstruction of the very different spice influences, and also the differing appeal of the raspberry and cherry fruit flavours." (03/2014) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "This is our first Tinto that is made solely from Grenache and Touriga Nacional, two of my favourite red grape varieties. This 2012 vintage has the highest percentage of Touriga Nacional of any of the previous Tinto blends. These two varieties are both renown for their intense aromatic qualities. Grenache from McLaren Vale always has ripe raspberry, lifted musk stick and hints of fresh sage. The Touriga Nacional has a much riper dense fruit profile with aromas similar to fruit mince or plum pudding. It also has a nutmeg, clove spice element and hints of jasmine. The parcels were hand-harvested, crushed and vinified in 7 tonne wax lined, concrete, open fermenters. Fermentation was 12-15 days, during this time the cap was hand plunged and pumped over. Maturation was 10 months in 500 litre mature French oak puncheons, 7 to 8 years old to avoid any obstruction of the fruit by new wood aromas and flavours. The wine shows perfumed, seductive aromas of musk, red fruits, fruitcake spices and sage. On the palate it is medium bodied with a juicy, silky texture that is lively and long. The flavours are identical to the nose apart from a slate, mineral quality and lovely, subtle sandy tannins that dry the finish perfectly. This wine was made to be able to enjoy right away. If cellared properly, 5-7 years aging will allow development of earthy, secondary characters.

  • 2012 Trellis (Amelia Park) Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot Margaret River ($10.99)

France - 2014 Pre-Arrival Bordeaux

  • 2014 Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux (Pre-Arrival) ($54.99)
    92-93 points James Suckling: "Vibrant and fruity with currant, blueberry and spice character. Full yet tight with tension and brightness. Very velvety tannins. Sexy already. " (03/2015) 91-93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. This wine boasts great structure, with a dark color and vibrant aromatics from the high proportion of Petit Verdot. It offers dusty tannins partnered with ample acidity, providing great freshness through the finish." (03/2015) 90-93 points Wine Spectator: "Bursts with violet, plum and raspberry fruit, lined with silky tannins and backed by a tantalizing iron hint. Features lovely brisk energy and gorgeous purity. Tasted non-blind.—" (04/2015) 90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Alter Ego de Palmer 2014 is a blend of 52% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Petit Verdot. It has an opulent, glossy bouquet with layers of small dark cherries and plenty of glycerin. The palate is more reserved than the bouquet suggests: saturated tannins, a little chewiness on the entry but suppler towards the finish. It feels very linear in keeping with the style of the vintage, the finish a little sweet than its peers with a dab of licorice on the aftertaste. " (04/2015) 90-92 points Antonio Galloni: "A juicy, expressive wine, the 2014 Alter Ego is wonderfully open and expressive today, with radiant fruit, soft contours and gorgeous overall balance. Sweet red plum, raspberry, rose petal and French oak flow through to the soft, resonant finish. An exuberant floral note adds the last layer of complexity. The 2014 is 52% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Petit Verdot. Despite the relatively high percentage of Petit Verdot, that fruit comes from gravelly/sandy soils that confer perfume and aromatics, qualities winemaker Thomas Duroux brought out further with a short, gentle fermentation. This is a lovely second wine" (04/2015)

  • 2014 Angélus, St-Emilion (Pre-Arrival) ($249.99)
    96-98 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. This is a beautifully perfumed wine that shows style and elegance as well as rich, weighty blackberry fruit. The blend’s 50% Cabernet Franc gives tense, dark structure as well as aromatic character. It is a big wine, but with freshness and style. " (04/2015) 93-96 points Wine Spectator: "Features base notes of bittersweet ganache and smoldering tobacco, with dark plum, currant and fig fruit flavors. Despite the charcoal thread, this is lush and integrated, showing no aggressive edges at all. The tobacco accent chimes in at the end..." (04/2015) 93-96 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Angélus, equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Franc, boasts superb depth and textural richness. Firm tannins give the 2014 its explosive energy and overall tension. Mocha, espresso, new leather, French oak and licorice gradually open up in the glass, but with some reluctance. The 2014 will need quite a bit of time to find its more finessed side, but its there. " (04/2015) 93-94 points James Suckling: "This is dense and compacted with pretty fruits, ultra fine tannins and a pure and intense finish. The excellent quality of the Cabernet Franc really shows here. Lightly salty with Citrusy acidity. Chalky undertone. Half Cabernet Franc and half Merlot. So about 10% more Franc than normal. " (03/2015) 91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Angelus 2014, a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot was picked between 2 and 22 October over a 3-week period. It has a surprisingly bashful nose at first, not one that comes racing out of the blocks to greet you. But there is plenty of fruit here, beautifully defined, a little more introverted than usual possibly due to the higher percentage of Cabernet Franc. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, linear in style with a saline note complementing that lattice of black fruit. It gently builds towards the spicy, slightly compact finish but never fully let’s go, the Cabernet Franc lending a slight savory edge on the aftertaste. This will probably need three of four years in bottle as this is slightly harder compared to recent vintages with more backbone. Yet it still constitutes an admirable Saint Emilion even if it does not ignite the same pyrotechnics as say, Pavie or Ausone. (NM)" (04/2015)

  • 2014 Clerc-Milon, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival) ($48.99)
    93-95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. Continuing its progress to greater and greater quality, this estate has produced a concentrated wine with great structure. The old Merlot vines yield a darkly tannic background that lies over the brilliant black-currant fruits. " (04/2015) 91-94 points Wine Spectator: "A linear and fine Clerc with iodine, red clay and blueberry character. Full body and fine tannins. Tight and refined. Very straight and racy. " (04/2015) 91-94 points Antonio Galloni: "Dark red cherry, plum, smoke, tobacco, new leather and licorice flesh out in the 2014 Clerc Milon. Deep and pliant to the core, the 2014 boasts notable resonance from start to finish. Although not a huge wine, the 2014 is long on finesse and class, with silky tannins that balance some of the more overt elements. Hints of cedar, tobacco, earthiness and herbs add the final shades of dimension. Today, the 2014 is quite inward and not fully expressive, but it is nevertheless absolutely impeccable. The blend is 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenère." (04/2015) 91-92 points James Suckling: "A linear and fine Clerc with iodine, red clay and blueberry character. Full body and fine tannins. Tight and refined. Very straight and racy. " (03/2015) 90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Clerc-Milon 2014 contains less Merlot than usual as the old vines produced just 15 hectoliters per hectare. The blend consists of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Carmenère. Like the d’Armailhac '14, there is a sense of opulence on the nose, ripe blackberry intermingling with black olives. The palate is rich and quite tangy on the entry. This is a 'full-on' Clerc-Milon, quite extravagant in the context of the vintage, not a shy Pauillac, perhaps due to that expressive old vine Merlot? There is a pinch of soy on the finish that continues onto the aftertaste. Feisty Clerc-Milon for those who want a bit of va-va-va-voom in their Pauillac. (NM)" (04/2015)

  • 2014 d'Armailhac, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival) ($34.99)
    93-94 points James Suckling: "Very minerally, silky and refined with a full body, firm tannins and currants, stones and citrus. Racy and fine. This has a little more merlot in the blend but is mostly cabernet sauvignon as always. One of the best Armailhacs in a long time. " (03/2015) 90-93 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 d'Armailhac is absolutely delicious. Dark red cherry, plum, pomegranate, spice and floral notes are bold and exuberant in the glass. This is an especially extroverted, silky d'Armailhac long on class, finesse and resonance. All the elements are in the right place. Ripe, silky tannins add to an overall impression of creaminess, but there is also a terrific element of pure energy here. The 2014 has a bit more Merlot in the blend than usual and also clocks in around 13.8% in alcohol, which is high for the estate. More importantly, though, d'Armailhac is a real overachiever in this vintage. The blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. " (04/2015) 90-93 points Wine Spectator: "Bright, juicy and engaging, with a racy damson plum and red currant core striped with singed cedar and vanilla and backed by a good twinge of iron. This is brisk and pleasantly taut. Textbook Pauillac. Tasted non-blind.—" (04/2015) 88-90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château d’Armailhac 2014 is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot (slightly more Merlot than usual.) It will be matured in around one-third new oak. The opulence and richness is immediately apparent on the nose with hints of black olive infusing the black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly grainy tannin, quite dense black fruit with a spicy attack towards the saline finish. It feels a little abrasive at the moment but the rough edges should be rounded by the time. " (04/2015)

  • 2014 Echo de Lynch-Bages, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival) ($31.99)
    89-92 points Wine Spectator: "This packs solid dark currant, fig and blackberry fruit, with notes of charcoal and loam, but stays fleshy overall, revealing ample length and definition on the finish." (04/2015) 89-91 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Echo de Lynch-Bages is a juicy, forward wine that will deliver considerable pleasure pretty much upon release. Distinctly Cabernet-inflected notes take center stage, with savory/floral overtones that add nuance. The tannins are a bit rough around the edges today, even though the fruit is quite voluptuous. In 2014, the Echo is 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot, the highest percentage of Cabernet since 2001." (04/2015) 89-90 points James Suckling: "A structured and muscular red with blackberries, blackcurrants and minerals. Full-bodied, chewy and intense. Excellent second wine. Gripping. " (03/2015)

  • 2014 l'Evangile, Pomerol (1.5L) (Pre-Arrival) ($259.99)
    93-96 points Wine Spectator: "Tightly coiled for now, offering raspberry, bitter plum and dark currant fruit that should unwind slowly. Features charcoal and smoldering tobacco notes, with a hint of loam underscoring the finish. Always among the more muscular Pomerols, with a substantial percentage of Cabernet Franc, and 2014 is no different. Tasted non-blind." (04/2015) 92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château L’Evangile 2014 is a blend of 82% Merlot and 18% Cabernet Franc, the latter from re-planted vines that have come into the grand vin. It has a very refined bouquet, the Cabernet Franc lending a slight savory character. The palate is beautifully structured with a fine line of acidity. The black fruit is suffused with a hint of sweet coconut coming through on the finish from the oak. That will be subsumed with time. This is quite a powerful L’Evangile with fine tannins and an insistent grip. This is an impressive L'Evangile and it may warrant a higher score after bottling. " (04/2015) 91-92 points James Suckling: "Aromas of blackberries, oyster shell and black licorice. Full body and a firm and muscular backbone of tannins. Slightly austere. " (03/2015) Jancis Robinson: "82% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc. Harvested 22 September to 4 October. Some of the Cabernet Franc vines were planted in 2006 and are in this for the first time. (Blason is 100% Merlot.) pH 3.8, TA 3.3 g/l (= 5.05 g/l expressed as tartaric). Black lustrous crimson. Fresh, transparent nose. Round and seductive. Difficult to even see the tannins. Flattering and very vibrant. Long." (04/2015)

  • 2014 La Lagune, Haut-Médoc (1.5L) (Pre-Arrival) ($84.99)

  • 2014 Labégorce, Margaux (Pre-Arrival) ($22.99)
    91-94 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Labégorce is round, supple and nicely layered. Smoke, plums, black cherries and French oak meld together in a ripe, racy Margaux built on textured fruit. Sweet floral notes add lift on the layered, sensual finish. This voluptuous Margaux should drink well pretty much upon release. There is a lot to like, that much is clear. The blend is 58% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot. Michel Rolland is the Consultant for Labégorce, which is owned by the Perrodo family. Here, the winemaking style appears to be better suited to the intrinsic personality of the wine than it is at Marquis d'Alesme - Becker. This is a fabulous wine in its class." (04/2015) 91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Labégorce 2014 is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot and matured in 50% new oak. The nose is well defined and focused, tensile blackberry and boysenberry fruit embroidered with fine mineralité. Good start! The palate is medium-bodied with supple ripe tannin, saturated black cherry and raspberry fruit with a gentle, silky finish that just needs a little more backbone. That is a minor quibble for what could be an excellent wine from this fast-improving Margaux estate. Don't be surprised if it merits a higher score in bottle. " (04/2015) 90-92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. Smoke-driven on the nose, the palate brings flavors of dark coffee and bitter chocolate. The tannins are rough and could use some time to integrate. " (03/2015) 90-91 points James Suckling: "A very classy young red with super classy tannins. Medium to full body, fresh fruit and bright acidity. " (03/2015) 87-90 points Wine Spectator: "A touch airy, with damson plum, pomegranate and violet notes, backed by a light savory whiff on the finish. Fills in a bit on the back end." (04/2015)

  • 2014 Labégorce, Margaux (1.5L) (Pre-Arrival) ($49.99)
    91-94 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Labégorce is round, supple and nicely layered. Smoke, plums, black cherries and French oak meld together in a ripe, racy Margaux built on textured fruit. Sweet floral notes add lift on the layered, sensual finish. This voluptuous Margaux should drink well pretty much upon release. There is a lot to like, that much is clear. The blend is 58% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot. Michel Rolland is the Consultant for Labégorce, which is owned by the Perrodo family. Here, the winemaking style appears to be better suited to the intrinsic personality of the wine than it is at Marquis d'Alesme - Becker. This is a fabulous wine in its class." (04/2015) 91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Labégorce 2014 is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot and matured in 50% new oak. The nose is well defined and focused, tensile blackberry and boysenberry fruit embroidered with fine mineralité. Good start! The palate is medium-bodied with supple ripe tannin, saturated black cherry and raspberry fruit with a gentle, silky finish that just needs a little more backbone. That is a minor quibble for what could be an excellent wine from this fast-improving Margaux estate. Don't be surprised if it merits a higher score in bottle. " (04/2015) 90-92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. Smoke-driven on the nose, the palate brings flavors of dark coffee and bitter chocolate. The tannins are rough and could use some time to integrate. " (03/2015) 90-91 points James Suckling: "A very classy young red with super classy tannins. Medium to full body, fresh fruit and bright acidity. " (03/2015) 87-90 points Wine Spectator: "A touch airy, with damson plum, pomegranate and violet notes, backed by a light savory whiff on the finish. Fills in a bit on the back end." (04/2015)

  • 2014 Le Petit Mouton-Rothschild, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival) ($119.99)
    93-94 points James Suckling: "This is so typical of cabernet. Wow. Full body, round and velvety tannins and lots of earthy, spicy and berry character. Juicy and long. Gorgeous. 93% cabernet sauvignon and the rest is merlot. Not really a second wine of Mouton. Excellent. " (03/2015) 91-94 points Wine Spectator: "This has a lightly dusty frame, but is plump overall, with delightful plum, raspberry and red currant fruit at the core. Singed alder and vanilla notes are subtle and nicely integrated, with a very elegant feel through the finish. Tasted non-blind" (04/2015) 90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Le Petit Mouton 2014 is a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Merlot, a very high percentage of the former, partly due to the higher quality of Merlot that predicated “promotion” into the Grand Vin. It has an intense pencil shaving nose that does not hold back. If you don’t like Cabernet Sauvignon, don’t come near. The palate is medium-bodied with firm, grainy tannin on the entry. There is part of me wishing that there was some fleshy Merlot to alleviate some of the austerity coming through on the salty finish, though that dominance of Cabernet lends it a rather “old school” feel that I appreciate. Drink this not so small deuxième vin with a Cohiba! (N.B. Unlike the Grand Vin, in the second week the wine was showing a little more succulence on the finish and my scores takes account of this.) " (04/2015) 90-92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. This is a dark, impressively structured wine. Vivid black currant fruits explode on the palate and outshine the dense tannins. A great success for this second wine of Mouton Rothschild." (04/2015) 88-91 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Le Petit-Mouton reveals soft contours and an open-knit, supple personality that make it an excellent choice for near-term drinking. Plums, crushed flowers, cinnamon, sweet dark berries and tobacco add depth on the forward, racy finish. " (04/2015)

  • 2014 Lynch Bages Blanc, Bordeaux (Pre-Arrival) ($37.99)

  • 2014 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival) ($84.99)
    95-96 points James Suckling: "This has fascinating aromas already with blackcurrants and cassis. Hints of spices. It’s full-bodied with ultra-fine tannins and a long, focused finish. Muscular but toned and beautiful. " (03/2015) 94-96 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. Pure Cabernet flavors are right at the front of this wine. It has fragrant fruitiness, with layers of black currant and fresh, juicy acidity on the palate. It's a bright wine, with just a touch of smoky wood flavors at the end. " (04/2015) 93-96 points Wine Spectator: "Offers lovely weight and feel, with a big core of plum, blackberry and black currant fruit that manages to show refinement, while ample charcoal and warm stone notes flow underneath. This is displaying terrific depth and purity today." (04/2015) 92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Lynch Bages 2014 is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot matured in 75% new oak. Yields were a respectable 40 hectoliters per hectare, although that figure is less than Jean-Charles Cazes predicted earlier in the season. The nose is well defined with veins of graphite infusing the black fruit: quite strict for Lynch Bages, a little reserved at this early stage. The palate is medium-bodied with chalky tannin, racy acidity although the pH is around 3.7, linear and a little austere on the finish. This is tightly coiled at the moment, gritty in the mouth but I like the Pauillac typicité here – not a million miles away from Grand Puy Lacoste in style. This deserves respect and I suspect it will age with the style of Jean-Charles's father, who turned 80 on the day of my visit. (NM) " (04/2015) 90-93 points Antonio Galloni: "A huge, dense wine, the 2014 Lynch-Bages rips out of the glass with layers of intense fruit. Huge swaths of tannin provide the framework for a decidedly extroverted, boisterous Pauillac. Hints of dark red and purplish-hued fruit, spices, new leather and cedar gradually open up, but it is the wine's explosive personality that speaks most loudly at this stage. I don't quite see the finesse of the very best Pauillacs. It will be interesting to see if that develops in the coming years. The blend is 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. At present, the 2014 is aging in 75% new barrels." (04/2015)

  • 2014 Lynch Bages, Pauillac (1.5L) (Pre-Arrival) ($174.99)
    95-96 points James Suckling: "This has fascinating aromas already with blackcurrants and cassis. Hints of spices. It’s full-bodied with ultra-fine tannins and a long, focused finish. Muscular but toned and beautiful. " (03/2015) 94-96 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. Pure Cabernet flavors are right at the front of this wine. It has fragrant fruitiness, with layers of black currant and fresh, juicy acidity on the palate. It's a bright wine, with just a touch of smoky wood flavors at the end. " (04/2015) 93-96 points Wine Spectator: "Offers lovely weight and feel, with a big core of plum, blackberry and black currant fruit that manages to show refinement, while ample charcoal and warm stone notes flow underneath. This is displaying terrific depth and purity today.—" (04/2015) 92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Lynch Bages 2014 is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot matured in 75% new oak. Yields were a respectable 40 hectoliters per hectare, although that figure is less than Jean-Charles Cazes predicted earlier in the season. The nose is well defined with veins of graphite infusing the black fruit: quite strict for Lynch Bages, a little reserved at this early stage. The palate is medium-bodied with chalky tannin, racy acidity although the pH is around 3.7, linear and a little austere on the finish. This is tightly coiled at the moment, gritty in the mouth but I like the Pauillac typicité here – not a million miles away from Grand Puy Lacoste in style. This deserves respect and I suspect it will age with the style of Jean-Charles's father, who turned 80 on the day of my visit. " (04/2015) 90-93 points Antonio Galloni: "A huge, dense wine, the 2014 Lynch-Bages rips out of the glass with layers of intense fruit. Huge swaths of tannin provide the framework for a decidedly extroverted, boisterous Pauillac. Hints of dark red and purplish-hued fruit, spices, new leather and cedar gradually open up, but it is the wine's explosive personality that speaks most loudly at this stage. I don't quite see the finesse of the very best Pauillacs. It will be interesting to see if that develops in the coming years. The blend is 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. At present, the 2014 is aging in 75% new barrels." (04/2015)

  • 2014 Mouton Rothschild Aile d'Argent Bordeaux Blanc (Pre-Arrival) ($69.99)
    95-96 points James Suckling: "Incredible intensity of sea salt, sliced apple and dried pineapple character. Full and racy with beautiful acidity and a long, long finish. Lots of papaya, pears and pineapple. Racy. " (03/2015) 90-93 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Aile d'Argent shows a move to a slightly more reductive style that emphasizes a bit more freshness than has been the norm in the recent past for Mouton's Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend. Smoke, slate, lemon oil and sage are all very nicely focused in the glass. Saline notes are woven throughout, adding textural nuance to this impeccably balanced white." (04/2015) 90-92 points Wine Enthusiast: " Barrel Sample. This has plenty of freshness, with typical Sauvignon Blanc-based acidity and green fruit notes. It also has a strong streak of minerality and subtle richness that lends balance to the palate. " (04/2015)

  • 2014 Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival) ($329.99)
    96-98 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. This is a highly aromatic wine, with a superbly dense structure and firm, brooding tanning. On top of the drying tannins are finely polished fruit, followed by a fresh, vibrant finish. Overall, it boasts a great combination of structure and fruit." (04/2015) 95-98 points Wine Spectator: "This captures the pure, distilled essence of Cabernet Sauvignon, with a racy core of red and black currant fruit that almost struts alone, but there's ample roasted apple wood and iron deeply buried in the background, which should emerge with time. The finish has terrific delineation, with a mouthwatering edge despite clearly abundant tannins. The focus on purity in this wine is what's most impressive over the last several vintages. Tasted non-blind.—" (04/2015) 96-97 points James Suckling: "This is incredibly minerally with a maritime character as well as red iodine, algae, currants and great intensity. Some saltiness. Almost like a pearl in an oyster shell. This is a true wine of the soil for Mouton. Full body, racy tannins and lingering. Excellent. Unique. 81% cabernet sauvignon, 16% merlot and 4% cabernet franc. " (03/2015) 94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Mouton-Rothschild 2014 contains more tannin than the 2010 according to winemaker Philippe Dhalluin, although he stressed that this does not imply that they were finer tannin. The blend is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc and it will of course, be matured in 100% new oak. The alcohol level just tops 13%, the first time since 2010. It has a classic Mouton nose, the slightly higher percentage of Merlot lending a little flamboyance and flair with scents of blackberry, warm gravel and cigar box scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, armed with powerful core of quite rich black fruit interlaced with tobacco and allspice. There is very good structure here, a fine edginess towards the white pepper infused finish. There is almost a nuttiness to this wine, to wit, a fascinating maze-like Mouton in the making and perhaps a more cerebral Mouton compared to recent vintages. Tasted twice, almost two weeks apart, with consistent notes. " (04/2015) 93-96 points Antonio Galloni: "Dark and enveloping to the core, the 2014 Mouton Rothschild opens with beguiling scents of violet, new leather, dark spice and plum. There is plenty of tannin lurking beneath, but the overall impression is of fleshiness and seamlessness, with the 100% new oak also beautifully balanced for such a young wine. Layers of flavor build to the effortless, concentrated finish in a sexy Mouton that is likely to reward consumers with many years of fine drinking. I very much like the sense of balance here. (AG)" (04/2015)

  • 2014 Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac (1.5L) (Pre-Arrival) ($659.99)
    96-98 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. This is a highly aromatic wine, with a superbly dense structure and firm, brooding tanning. On top of the drying tannins are finely polished fruit, followed by a fresh, vibrant finish. Overall, it boasts a great combination of structure and fruit." (04/2015) 95-98 points Wine Spectator: "This captures the pure, distilled essence of Cabernet Sauvignon, with a racy core of red and black currant fruit that almost struts alone, but there's ample roasted apple wood and iron deeply buried in the background, which should emerge with time. The finish has terrific delineation, with a mouthwatering edge despite clearly abundant tannins. The focus on purity in this wine is what's most impressive over the last several vintages. Tasted non-blind.—" (04/2015) 96-97 points James Suckling: "This is incredibly minerally with a maritime character as well as red iodine, algae, currants and great intensity. Some saltiness. Almost like a pearl in an oyster shell. This is a true wine of the soil for Mouton. Full body, racy tannins and lingering. Excellent. Unique. 81% cabernet sauvignon, 16% merlot and 4% cabernet franc. " (03/2015) 94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Mouton-Rothschild 2014 contains more tannin than the 2010 according to winemaker Philippe Dhalluin, although he stressed that this does not imply that they were finer tannin. The blend is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc and it will of course, be matured in 100% new oak. The alcohol level just tops 13%, the first time since 2010. It has a classic Mouton nose, the slightly higher percentage of Merlot lending a little flamboyance and flair with scents of blackberry, warm gravel and cigar box scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, armed with powerful core of quite rich black fruit interlaced with tobacco and allspice. There is very good structure here, a fine edginess towards the white pepper infused finish. There is almost a nuttiness to this wine, to wit, a fascinating maze-like Mouton in the making and perhaps a more cerebral Mouton compared to recent vintages. Tasted twice, almost two weeks apart, with consistent notes. " (04/2015) 93-96 points Antonio Galloni: "Dark and enveloping to the core, the 2014 Mouton Rothschild opens with beguiling scents of violet, new leather, dark spice and plum. There is plenty of tannin lurking beneath, but the overall impression is of fleshiness and seamlessness, with the 100% new oak also beautifully balanced for such a young wine. Layers of flavor build to the effortless, concentrated finish in a sexy Mouton that is likely to reward consumers with many years of fine drinking. I very much like the sense of balance here." (04/2015)

  • 2014 Ormes de Pez, St-Estèphe (Pre-Arrival) ($24.99)
    92-94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. Ripe and structured, this has a fine combination of smoky tannins and rich black-fruit notes that mingle harmoniously. It is a balanced wine that will age well, but also be approachable at a younger age. " (04/2015) 90-93 points Wine Spectator: "Bright and pure, with a lovely beam of cassis, cherry and lilac notes racing through the focused finish. Good drive." (04/2015) 90-93 points Antonio Galloni: "A dark, sumptuous beauty, the 2014 Ormes de Pez offers up a compelling mélange of purplish and black fruit, smoke, grilled herbs and graphite, with quite a bit of density. Rich and voluptuous, the 2014 is a gorgeous Ormes de Pez that will drink well relatively early. Best of all, the 2014 may very well turn out to be one of the sleepers of this vintage. The blend is 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot " (03/2015) 92-93 points James Suckling: "This is really fabulous with weight and length. Fine and chewy tannins. Goes on for a minute or two. Tiny production due to hail storms in May and June. " (03/2015) 90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Ormes des Pez 2014 is a blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot picked from 24 September with the young Merlot and finishing around 12 October. It was cropped at 32 hectoliter per hectare. Small red cherries and kirsch form the bouquet, quite forward and perfumed with touches of lavender emerging with continued aeration. The palate is medium-bodied, the tannins succulent for Les Ormes de Pez and imparting a fleshier and more approachable texture. This is nicely balanced with a touch of graphite on the finish lending it an almost Pauillac-like personality. Don't under-estimate this Saint Estèphe. " (04/2015)

  • 2014 Palmer, Margaux (Pre-Arrival) ($224.99)
    95-97 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. This is a beautiful, structured wine, with great fruit. Blackberries and currants lie on a bed of structured tannins and firm wood. It is rich, while still presenting ample freshness and acidity. This will age very well." (03/2015) 93-96 points Wine Spectator: "This is reserved in profile now, with crushed red and black currant fruit and lightly singed alder notes. Yet the core is coiled, showing very energetic raspberry and plum coulis flavors, with a lilting violet edge and a long, iron-fueled finish. There’s a very refined backdrop of tobacco and singed juniper, and the finish is long and suave. Tasted non-blind." (04/2015) 94-95 points James Suckling: "This has a fabulous depth of fruit with dark berries, currants, blueberries and hints of licorice and spice. Full-bodied, chewy and rich with velvety tannins and a fruity finish. The tannin backbone comes through at the end, giving the wine tension and freshness. " (03/2015) 93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Palmer 2014 is a blend of 45% Merlot, 49% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot cropped at 33hl/ha between 22 September and 14 October. There is certainly more fruit intensity on the nose compared to the Alter Ego: more density, perhaps more opaqueness in tandem with more delineation. Dark plums, boysenberry jam and mineral abound. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, edgy tannin and crisp acidity (pH 3.6), a dash of cracked black pepper enlivening the back palate with a taut, quite grippy finish. This is a more masculine Palmer in prospect, one that will deserve five or six years in bottle. (NM)" (04/2015) 91-94 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Palmer is also quite silky and polished, especially for a young wine. Dense and concentrated, but with gorgeous textural finesse, the 2014 is already quite harmonious. Dark red cherry, plum, smoke, mocha, tobacco, menthol and licorice are all pushed forward in an opulent, forward Palmer that should offer a long window of very fine drinking. The blend is 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot. (AG)" (04/2015)

  • 2014 Talbot, St-Julien (Pre-Arrival) ($44.99)
    92-95 points Antonio Galloni: "Ample and broad on the palate, the 2014 Talbot captures the essence of the vintage with an enticing mélange of fresh blue and purplish-hued fruits. Graphite, lavender, mint and sweet spices waft from the glass as the 2014 gradually opens up. At times, Talbot is muscular and powerful, while at other moments it comes across as much more feminine. It is precisely those contrasts that make the 2014 so intriguing. Polished, silky tannins wrap around the super-inviting finish. The 2014 was vinified in cement and steel, with pump overs only. The blend is 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot, while new oak is around 50%. Tasted twice." (04/2015) 94-95 points James Suckling: "This is really powerful with excellent depth of fruit and richness. Spices, blueberries and lightly toasted oak now. But it shows really serious structure. Best Talbot in years, maybe decades. " (04/2015) 92-94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. This wine is structured with plenty of supple tannins as well as fruit notes that are both ripe and freshly juicy. The texture highlights the dusty tannins at their best. " (04/2015) 90-93 points Wine Spectator: "Tightly focused and ripe, with a lovely beam of blackberry, blueberry and plum fruit, lined with pastis hints and backed by brambly grip. Vivacious.—" (04/2015) 89-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Talbot 2014 has a simple bouquet that is missing the sophistication and nuance that is a consistent in Saint Julien wines this year. Aerating the glass for 5 minutes does seem to evolve more delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with chalky tannin. There is a nice line of acidity here, a little hardness towards the finish but an attractive spicy aftertaste that lingers in the mouth. I can envisage this to be a more austere Saint Julien but if it gains flesh during élevage it could be an interesting proposition. " (04/2015)

  • 2014 Troplong Mondot, St-Emilion (Pre-Arrival) ($79.99)
    92-95 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2014 Troplong Mondot is fabulous. Dark cherry, mocha, cloves, new leather and spices all blossom in the glass. Voluptuous and racy to the core, the 2014 captures all the Troplong Mondot signatures. A huge, explosive finish rounds things out in style. The 2014 is going to need time to fully come together, but it is a special wine, that much is clear. The blend is 90% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc. Tasted twice." (04/2015) 92-95 points Wine Spectator: "Solid, with plum, anise and blackberry notes allied to an ample but polished structure. Features prominent toast, but the fruit seems to be soaking it up. A lingering graphite hint adds positive vibes." (04/2015) 92-94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. This wine is rich and concentrated, with great weight and personality—every element seems larger than life. The ripe plum flavors are forward and juicy. The finish has a subtle warmth of alcohol. " (04/2015) 93-94 points James Suckling: "This is a big and juicy Troplong. Full-bodied, chewy and rich with fresh sliced plum, chocolate and berry character. Long finish. " (03/2015) 91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Château Troplong Mondot 2014 is a stylish wine this year. The nose is well defined and elegant with pure blackberry and red plum fruit, fine mineralité and poise here. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, grainy tannin and well-integrated oak. There is a touch of dark chocolate coming through on the finish, but it is lightly sprinkled over the fresh black fruit that possess less fatness than recent vintage, but in my opinion allow the terroir to be expressed. This is a fine Troplong Mondot that should drink well over 15 to 20 years. (Incidentally, another sample was showing not quite as well, but I have used my note taken from the UGC poured by someone at the property). " (04/2015)

France - 2014 Pre-Arrival Sauternes

  • 2014 Clos Haut Peyraguey, Sauternes (Pre-Arrival) ($34.99)
    95-96 points James Suckling: "This is really dense and powerful with loads of dried botrytis fruits and flavors. Full body, medium sweetness and a long finish. Impressive. " (03/2015) 93-95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Barrel Sample. Opulent honey notes dominate the flavor of this super-rich wine. A dry core of botrytis gives an almost mineral character to the wine. Full bodied, a blend of apricot and crisp pear notes are generous and concentrated. " (04/2015) 92-95 points Wine Spectator: "Unctuous pineapple, nectarine and mango flavors pump along, backed by good ginger and orange zest notes. Solidly built.—"