Staff Favorites - Alex Schroeder

Alex Schroeder

Reviews

  
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2015 Noemia de Patagonia "A Lisa" Malbec Rio Negro
Review Date: 05-24-2017
On the nose, dark cherries, blackberries, ripe strawberries, crushed gravel, cocoa and a hint of toast. On the palate, great balance between the rich fruit, plush, silky tannins and acid that provides lift and a crisp, long finish. This is a delicious Malbec that would raise any meal a culinary notch or three.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 JS 92

2011 Proprietà Sperino Lessona
Review Date: 05-24-2017
At its base, easily recognizable Nebbiolo traits like silky, savory dark fruit and grippy tannins are at the helm. The Vespolina blended in quickly makes itself known, however, adding expressive red-fruited acidity and minty herbal notes that make the Lessuna an immediate pleasure to enjoy and contemplate.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
WE 96

2015 Felton Road "Bannockburn" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 05-12-2017
In the realm of Pinot Noir, Felton Road has established itself as one of the world’s best producers, largely due to efforts like the 2015 Bannockburn Pinot. It is loaded with bright red fruit, i.e. wild cherries, strawberries, cranberries with great mid-palate silky weight that is hoisted up effortlessly by vibrant acidity on the back end. There are plenty of wild herbs like thyme, bay leaf and fennel to frame and add complexity to the fruit. Absolutely delicious.

Glenmorangie "Bacalta" Private Edition Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 05-10-2017
The latest in Scotch innovation from Glenmorangie is Madeira-cask aged, in casks that they sourced which were filled with Malmsey Madeira and then seasoned in the sun for two years themselves. Talk about quality control! This is beautiful whisky, both in appearance and flavor profile. At the base, there is a viscous creamy maltiness with dried apricots, almonds and honeycomb flavors in the background. The finish is fresh and fruity, and rounds out the richness perfectly. Very fun bottle of whisky!
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

Fallet-Dart "Clos du Mont" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-09-2017
This is a wine for true Champagne lovers. The fruit comes from a site distinguished for its quality by clergy members back in the 8th Century (much like the vastly more expensive Clos du Mesnil). Aged on the lees for over 12 years, the juice comes from two great, and by now beautifully-aged, vintages: 1999 and 2002, both barrel fermented. This is very vibrant yet precise, with stone fruit, lemon and tropical notes, a creamy butteriness and rich honey notes. The finish is incredibly long, with tantalizing minerality. Unbelievable quality at what amounts to a bargain price.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2008 Fallet-Dart Vintage Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-09-2017
This latest champagne drop has our staff and customers loudly buzzing. From one of our top grower imports and from easily the best vintage of the last couple decades, the ’08 Millesime from Fallet Dart is 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir from the estate’s best parcels, aged 8 years on the lees! Lemon meringue, nectarine, and pear fruit flavors are intense and amplified by the vintage’s hallmark acidity, while beautiful and fully integrated toasty lees add depth and complexity. At sub-$40, it seems too good to be true, which means it will probably disappear pretty fast.. Grab yours!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 Delas "Saint Esprit" Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 05-05-2017
The stunning quality and structure for this sub-$10 red is evidence of the strength of the vintage in the Rhone Valley. The fruit is, as expected, ripe and rich, but it is perfectly framed by signature Rhone dried herbs and spice and perfectly smooth and integrated tannins. Very impressive for its price-point.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

2015 Mas Karolina Côtes Catalanes
Review Date: 05-05-2017
Beautifully crafted southwest French blend! The Grenache lends very clean and fresh blue and black fruit: plums, blackberry, and blueberries; while the acid from Syrah rounds out the richness and also lends a touch of elegance reminiscent of more expensive wines. Great direct import value for your everyday enjoyment!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Mas Karolina Côtes Catalanes Blanc
Review Date: 05-05-2017
If you enjoy the great white wines of the Rhone Valley and other southern French regions, then put this direct import on your shopping list. It is full of beautiful tropical and stone fruits: pineapple, nectarines, lemon and mango with a great, rich texture from very limited aging in huge oak foudres and a nice, long finish.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Lafage "Arqueta" Collioure
Review Date: 05-05-2017
This is one of the finest cuvees I’ve had from Domaine Lafage (who makes a lot of great cuvees). This Grenache dominant Roussillon is aged only 15% in Burgundy barrels, making the fruit the star of this wine! Bright plum, blackberry bramble and pomegranate flavors are rich and fresh with just a touch of toast and a small bit of those southern French dried herbs. The integration and balance are impeccable. This is one value wine to make sure not to miss!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 - 95

2005 Three Dog Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-03-2017
This was by far the most exciting wine at our last domestic staff tasting. Wearing its age very well, it showcases mostly vibrant red fruit like savory raspberries, ripe strawberries and dark cherries with leathery undertones and just a hint of earthy spice. At this price and with several years of ageing potential left, I’m going to case up on this one.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2011 Sesta di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 04-27-2017
This is one of my favorite Brunellos of the vintage so far. It has bright, fresh raspberry, cherry and orange peel notes with grippy tannins and a minty herbal undertone. The finish just goes on and on. It will age well, but it tastes awfully good right now.

2011 Poggiarellino Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 04-27-2017
This is a bold and complex Brunello, one that I suspect will age for quite some time. It is full bodied with big and layered plum, raspberry, wild herbs, mocha and tea leaf flavors, with an impressive acidity that craftily adds freshness to this big, bold Brunello. Its savoriness and herbal character make it a beautiful and powerful representation of Sangiovese.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

Laurent-Perrier "Grand Siècle" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 04-26-2017
The Grand Siècle (literally “Great Century”), is named after the age of King Louis XIV of France, and represents the awe and splendor that was known under his reign, during which Versailles was built. One of my absolute favorite prestige cuvées, it is composed entirely from Grand Cru sites, blended from three great vintages, then aged on its lees for the entirety of a decade. Wow. Made from 55% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir, it has quince, green apple and citrus fruit with honey, almond and biscuit notes from the long aging. It has delicious toasty yeasty character and vibrancy from the great acid. This should be in every Champagne lovers cellar, ready for that perfect, or any, Champagne moment!

2015 Domaine Les Pins "Les Rochettes" Bourgueil
Review Date: 04-19-2017
I’ve been drinking “Les Rochettes” for awhile. It’s such a great representation of Bourgueil at a killer price, but this vintage is something special. 2015 is by now well known for its warmth and ripeness across France, and it has imparted “Les Rochettes” with structure and personality like never before. The riper phenolics highlight flavors of violets, cranberry, stewed bell peppers and herbs while the tannins provide more grip and structure, giving the impression of a wine at a much higher price-point. If you enjoy Cab Franc, this is one value wine not to pass up.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2005 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 04-12-2017
Legend has it that one of the previous generations of the Miailhe family was so frustrated by three successive under ripe vintages that he ripped out the estate’s Cabernet vines and planted the easier-ripening Merlot instead. If the 2005 is any indication, he solved the problem. It has great density of fruit, smooth pronounced tannins and just the perfect amount of that earthy savoriness that I love in my old Bordeaux. The years have been good to this wine, and you won’t break the bank trying it. It would make a great case to have lying around the house.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 - 93

2015 Crystallum "Peter Max" Pinot Noir Hemel-en-Aarde Walker Bay
Review Date: 04-11-2017
The “Peter Max” Pinot Noir is fermented over an unusually long four weeks using minimum extraction methods. The result is a wine with power, concentration and elegance. It’s full of savory fruit flavors like cherry, raspberry and strawberry with strong herbs and tea leaves. It’s sexy and luscious while retaining great acid structure from the cooler climate of Walker Bay. A wonderful wine for the money.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
ST 91 RP 90

2015 Crystallum "The Agnes" Chardonnay Hemel-en-Aarde / Overberg
Review Date: 04-11-2017
This great Chardonnay is entirely barrel fermented, but its richness (and it is rich) is mostly lees based since they only use 10% new oak. There are vibrant tropical flavors of melon and citrus, a rich creamy texture from the lees and time in barrel, and a well balanced cool climate acid to keep it fresh. Great example of Walker Bay Chardonnay from South Africa.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
ST 92

2015 Baron de Montfaucon Côtes du Rhône Blanc
Review Date: 04-11-2017
Another knock-out from one of my favorite direct imports. Wine has been made at the Chateau de Montfaucon since 1520, and that kind of legacy results in superbly crafted blends year after year. This Cotes du Rhone blanc is no exception. The mostly Clairette blend has a viscous tropical fruitiness with a nice floral undertone from the Viognier. Great acid and mineral keep it fresh on the finish which is precise and lingering. One of the very best deals in white in the store. ​
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Fonreaud, Listrac
Review Date: 03-31-2017
Beautiful dark fruit, blueberries and blackberries with cedar, earth and nice gritty tannin. This is great Bordeaux, and at this price it makes a great house red to keep on hand!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Potensac, Médoc
Review Date: 03-31-2017
Great red fruit like black cherry, red currant and strawberry with some graphite minerality, anise, herbs, and leather. The tannins are silky soft, making this great to drink right now, but it definitely has the acidity to age for several years!

2015 Pessac-Léognan de Haut Bailly, Pessac-Leognan
Review Date: 03-31-2017
The ‘15s are trickling in and Haut Bailly’s third label from the vintage is one of the best deals in the store right now! The wonderful ripeness is on display with rich red fruit like black cherries, ripe strawberries and cranberries, with nuanced flavors of violets, aged leather and licorice as well. It has great tannins for structure and the perfect level of acidity to contrast the fruit. This is the best you can do for red wine under $20!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Franck Millet "K&L Cuvee" Sancerre Blanc Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 03-29-2017
Very robust flavors of citrus, lemongrass, pineapple and melon are at the core of this Sancerre Blanc made from the old vines of our good friends Franck and Betty Millet. The density from the old vine fruit is balanced out by focused acidity and chalky minerality. Once again this Millet Sancerre well outperforms its price-point.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2009 Bois-Malot, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 03-29-2017
If you enjoy steak & claret regularly like I do, an affordable Bordeaux from a great vintage and producer like this is a godsend! It is classic Bordeaux in structure, with supple red fruit with a touch of savoriness, and the soft ample tannins typical of the vintage. Claret drinkers could definitely benefit from having a case of this quality everyday Bordeaux around.
Top Value!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2009 Franck Bonville "Millesime" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 03-08-2017
It really made my day when our buyer Gary Westby informed us we had a special batch of the 2009 vintage from my favorite Grand Cru Avize producer, and that it had been aged on the lees an extra two years! The fruit is broad and rich on the palate, with lemon, honey and marzipan, with a creamy toastiness and impressive levels of crisp acid and chalk. Great richness and depth while retaining remarkable freshness and drinkability. A true feat of craftsmanship!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2014 Fonplégade, St-Émilion
Review Date: 03-02-2017
The first word I wrote down in my notebook for the 2014 Fonplegade was “Elegance”. Beautiful blue and black fruit is well-balanced by excellent oak integration and silky smooth tannins. One of my favorite of the vintage from the right-bank so far.

2014 Domaine Andre Moingeon & Fils St-Aubin "Alain Corcia"
Review Date: 03-01-2017
This St. Aubin is a stunner for the price. It features rich lemon citrus, apple, and floral elements with a touch of smoke and toasty undertones. The ripe phenolics give a lovely waxy texture and the legendary Burgundy minerality comes out to add to the focus and complexity. Do yourself a favor and skip the $50 St. Aubins for this less expensive delight.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine Louis Moreau Chablis 1er Cru "Vaulignot"
Review Date: 03-01-2017
This is at the top of my list of current white Burgundy values. Sourced entirely from a cool, single vineyard located in a valley off of the main Serein River, the 2014 vintage is on beautiful display here. Notable kimmeridgian minerality pairs seamlessly with vibrant tropical notes, banana, apple, citrus and flowers, with a touch of smoke. Vibrant acidity reigns in the rich fruit and really keeps the wine elegant and precise. An overall fantastic find, priced well below its market value thanks to our direct import program.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 BH 90

2016 Kalinda Reserve North Coast Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 03-01-2017
Great Sauvignon Blanc sourced from the California North Coast and made by a high caliber, well known Napa producer. The fruit is rich and poised, with lemon, melon, tangerine and gooseberry flavors, a refreshing acid zip and great balance. This can be used either an elegant poolside sipper or the perfect accompaniment to a seafood feast but at this price you’ll probably want to grab a case to keep on hand this summer.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$14.99

2014 La Jasse Castel "El Abanico" Pays l'Herault Blanc
Review Date: 02-22-2017
The Languedoc region is so good at offering great values in table wine that people are sometimes taken aback at the prices of the Herault Blancs. But if you enjoy the rich, complex and refreshing white wines of the Rhone and other southern French regions, this is worth every penny. It has rich, almost (but not) sweet flavors of green grapes and Gala apples with a small touch of nuttiness and toast. It has a full bodied waxiness and great acid to keep it fresh and balanced. This is a beautiful addition to our Direct Import portfolio, and white lovers should not miss it.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Boulard-Bauquaire "Carte Noire" Brut Blanc de Noirs Champagne
Review Date: 02-22-2017
Power and depth are the hallmarks of Boulaird Bouquaire’s Carte Noir, a Blanc de Noir made from 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Pinot Meunier. The texture on the palate is round and lush, with deep rich flavors of honey, baked wheat, clove, hibiscus, lemon zest, apricots and ripe red fruit. The finish is long and supple and lends itself to making the bottle disappear a lot quicker than expected. Another phenomenal value from the K&L Direct Import Champagne program!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

A.D. Coutelas "Cuvée Louis Victor" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2017
This Champagne, made using a sort of solera-style fractional blending, deserves a good amount of contemplation. It is incredibly precise and delicate with light citrus, apple, exotic fruits, and a hint of herbs with chalky minerality. But its method of production adds notes that are new to me in the realm of Champagne. It has almost a fine indigenous-yeast sherry note to it that I love! I now understand why this Champagne sells out so quickly every time we get it in stock.​
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

A.D. Coutelas "Cuvée Eloge" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2017
When I tried this the other night, I knew I was in for a good bottle of bubbly with Coutelas on the label, but my company and I were genuinely stunned by just how good it was. This Premier Cru blanc de blanc pours a deep golden color, has rich fruit with honey, acacia blossom, candied apricots, and a beautiful leesy toastiness. The texture is velvety and creamy, with fine bubbles and a nearly eternal finish. The only problem was that we ran out too soon—should have gotten another bottle!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$34.99

2014 Pencarrow Pinot Noir (Palliser) Martinborough
Review Date: 02-05-2017
This bottle of wine tastes awfully Burgundian to cost so little! It has cooler-climate freshness with great fruit and just a touch of earth and baking spice. I am loving these Kiwi Pinots, their value is just unmatched!

2015 Pencarrow Sauvignon Blanc (Palliser) Martinborough
Review Date: 02-05-2017
It almost feels too good to be true. How can such a clean, aromatic and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc cost so little? More magic out of New Zealand, my favorite area for the varietal. Classic gooseberry and grapefruit with a touch of herbal flavors. It’s very balanced and easy-drinking. At this price, this could easily become your new summer house white.

2015 Stony Bank Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 02-05-2017
This is a stellar Sauvignon Blanc! Rich, exotic fruits, lime citrus and orange, with stoney minerality and a long finish. It’s a good thing it costs so little, because I can’t get enough.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2010 L'Argenteyre, Medoc
Review Date: 02-05-2017
Great fruit depth and concentration. It’s showing darker fruit, soft leather, a hint of mint, herbs and licorice. It’s got the solid 2010 structure with great tannins and acid. If you love a good Bordeaux, don’t pass this one up at this price.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2010 La Dauphine, Fronsac
Review Date: 02-05-2017
This is an elegant and powerful right-bank claret. At 90% Merlot, 10% Cab Franc it has great blue and black fruit, some mocha, worn leather and licorice. The tannins, while still displaying the 2010 power, are remarkably approachable. I’d love to revisit in a couple of years.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 91 WS 90

2001 Labégorce, Margaux
Review Date: 02-05-2017
Drinking great right now, this aged gem is my pick for great-value, read-to-enjoy Bordeaux. It has intense, ripe red fruit and puts on a real show of terroir: minerals, smoke, and a bit of earth. The tannins are grippy and you can still feel that acidity. It has really aged beautifully.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2012 Marqués de Murrieta Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 01-25-2017
This reserva rioja is really starting to hit its stride. It is showing an explosion of well integrated flavors like cherries, redcurrant, cola berry, ripe strawberries, licorice and violets. The body is full and rounded by thick, silky tannins with a solid acid to reign everything in. 5 years in and great potential for further aging, this has edged its way to the top of my sub-$20 bang-for-my-buck category.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 95 RP 92

2014 Clos Bellane Côtes du Rhône-Villages Valréas
Review Date: 01-23-2017
I love this Cotes du Rhone Villages because it has a vibrancy and freshness to it that you might not expect from a Southern Rhone appellation. It leans a little more toward the Syrah side of things with wild raspberry fruit, black pepper, and spices with a silky texture and a nice acidic edge. Great structure, rich fruit and a fresh lift make it a fun food wine with great drinkability now. ​
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 - 92

2015 Clos Bellane "Petite Bellane" Côtes du Rhône-Villages
Review Date: 01-16-2017
This is brimming with the aromas of freshly crushed raspberry confiture…very rich fruit and the acid to back it up. This is likely due to its unusually high Syrah content for a southern Rhone wine. There’s a nice toastiness from the oak and its light-bodied nature makes it especially “mid-week quaffable.” The strong acid makes it a great food wine and a fantastic value.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Averaen (Banshee) Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 01-11-2017
Banshee has been blowing minds with its quality-to-price ratios in Sonoma County, and now they are redefining what $20 gets you in the Willamette Valley, too. The Averaen Pinot Noir is a beautiful one. Fresh, ripe blueberry, raspberry and strawberry flavors with a great acid backbone and a light, silky texture. By far the best money you can spend in the appellation at the moment.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
VN 91

2014 Gary Farrell "Russian River Selection" Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 01-11-2017
This stood out at a recent staff Chardonnay tasting. The fruit, sourced from a lot of the top-billed vineyards in the Russian River area, was notable for its freshness and focused acid, while still offering the classic Russian River richness and depth…the best of both worlds at a price far below its stature.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 95 WS 90

2014 Baccinetti "La Saporoia" Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 01-11-2017
Beautiful wine made in the classic Montalcino tradition! 100% Sangiovese aged a year in barrel. Although lighter in body than bigger Brunellos, it still showcases incredibly rich savory red fruit flavors with a silky mouthfeel and great acid to balance it out. I’m not always in the mood for a big, rich (expensive) Brunello, and this more than satisfies the red-wine drinker in me at an everyday price!​
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Laurent-Perrier "Cuvée Rosé" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 01-05-2017
Everything about the Cuvée Rosé is rich and seductive: the deep pink hue, the lush Pinot Noir fruit flavor, the silky texture. The fruit, entirely Grand Cru Pinot Noir, is destemmed, crushed and left in contact with the skins for an unusually long 72 hours, before being vinified and aged on the lees for four years. The result is a wine rich in the pure flavors of ripe strawberries, raspberries and black cherries and hazelnuts with a creamy texture, crisp bubbles, and incredible length. This is a very delicious — and unique—rosé Champagne.

2010 La Rioja Alta "Viña Alberdi" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 12-15-2016
Pours a beautiful deep brick red color, and offers dense aromas of raspberries, ripe strawberries, and aged leather with a hint of salinity. On the palate, robust but fully integrated and silky tannins combine with a vibrant acidity for overall outstanding structure, underlined by the slight influence of vanilla and spice notes from the oak. A powerful and well-balanced Rioja from an outstanding vintage.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
JS 95 RP 91

Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-07-2016
I tried this at K&L Champagne buyer Gary Westby’s suggestion and I’m glad I did. It’s not every day a wine gives you a veritable “Wow” moment, but this one took me aback. Bruno Michel has been a pioneer in organic, biodynamic vine growing since the 1980s, and apparently putting prodigious amounts of tender love and care into them makes a stunningly good bottle of bubbly. Roughly half Meunier, half Chardonnay, the aroma profile is unique and complex: sweet flaky pastry, lemon zest and a hint of cocoa melded together by a rich lees quality. The acidity doesn’t necessarily stick out, but rather gives the wine the perfect sense of balance, tying together all the rich and complex flavors of quince, toasted pie crust, cloves and baked apples perfectly. They may not have the marketing power of the “Grand Marques” but Bruno Michel’s champagnes would stand up to the very best of them in any tasting panel.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2012 Villa Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 12-07-2016
This wine is for me the embodiment of Old World elegance. It captures the savory Sangiovese flavors of cherries, raspberries and plum with subtle notes of spices and herbs. It has a soft earthy texture underlying rich, concentrated fruit and just a touch of acidity. Very well balanced, structured and, in a word, elegant.

Franck Bonville Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 12-07-2016
Every year, the K&L staff finishes each incredibly busy day of December over a bottle of champagne. We kicked it off this year with this gem, and it was a sight to behold. Every member of the team took a quiet moment to contemplate and appreciate the beauty and elegance of this rosé with closed eyes and furrowed brows, followed by a “whoa…” Rich, creamy red fruit flavors…black cherry, strawberry, raspberry…a soft and rounded texture and just a tiny hint of toast. At this price, I’m tempted to finish all my busy days with Bonville Rosé. ​
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WS 92

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