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K&L Staff Recommendations
Wine Spectator: "*** Best Value *** Ripe and focused, with dark plum and boysenberry fruit lined with licorice snap notes. Shows modest toast through the juicy finish. Syrah, Mourvèdre and Viognier. Drink now. (JM)" (9/2016) K&L Notes: The Wolftrap is a robust, lively blend of Syrah, Mourvedre, and Viognier. From Neal Martin at erobertparker.com: "Robert Parker recently tasted Mark Kent's (a.k.a. Mr Boekenhoetskloof) Wolftrap red and white and came to the same conclusion as I in recent years: these are just wonderful bang for bucks wines that are thoughtfully crafted at this price po... Read More »
92 points Wine Spectator: "*Best Values* This is refined, with a steely spine that lets gooseberry, verbena and white peach flavors streak through. A hint of shortbread adds range and mouthfeel along the edges. The long finish has lovely cut. An amazing value. Drink now through 2019. (JM)" (2/2017)
Too soon? Not for rosé from the Southern Hemisphere, and not for this perennial staff and customer favorite at K&L. This is one of our best-selling and most-raved-about rosés every year. Hand-picked from biodynamically farmed, old Mourvèdre vines in a cool coastal sub-region of Stellenbosch, it's a fresh, elegant wine that does a fantastic impression of Bandol (which is also predominantly made from Mourvèdre), but at a fraction of the cost! Waterkloof is a stunning property working with very natural, non-interventionist methods. The wines are pure, expre... Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "A fresh white, with a quinine edge giving the core of green fig, yellow apple and white peach flavors extra zip through the floral-edged finish." K&L Notes: Another fantastic value from this K&L perennial pick. Juicy, rich, fruit forward but un-oaked Chard with subtle mineral tinges and clean bright acidity. Just so easy to drink and a crowd pleaser for sure. Has the richness and texture that many Chardonnay drinkers love but without the heavy oak flavors that can be so off putting. De Wetshof has been making high-quality wines in South Africa since the 1970s and the... Read More »
Winery Notes: "A classic Cape Blend of 57% Cinsault - 28% Syrah - 15% Carignan from vineyards in the Swartland. Ranging from 15-25 years in age, the vines are now hitting their straps and providing great flavors and full maturity. Mainly grown on granitic soils as well as some shale soils. Grapes were hand harvested towards the end of February and destemmed to tank. Gentle extraction through light pumpovers occurred for a little more than a week with ML occurring naturally in the Spring. The wine was matured in both tank and neutral barrels. The result i... Read More »
Winery Notes: "The grapes for this are 100% from the Swartland region. Grown on predominately granitic and shale soils that are common in the region. The vines are predominately between 20-30 years old and are a mix of bush vines and vertically trained vines. 2016 was a very early year and these grapes were harvested in the first week of February. A cool, controlled fermentation occurred in stainless steel and was left on it's lees for 5 months. Malolactic fermentation was blocked to maintain the freshness and acidity. Chenin Blanc has proven to be very ... Read More »
92 points Wine Spectator: "Solid, offering a big core of yellow apple, anise, white peach and mirabelle plum flavors, backed by enticing honeysuckle and jasmine notes. Has weight and cut, with a minerally underpinning on the finish. Roussanne, Chardonnay, Grenache Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Viognier. (Web Only—2016)" 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Maestro White, now in bottle of course, has a lively, slightly grassy bouquet with touches of gunflint developing in the glass. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity, and there is good fruit intensity with fresh pear and citrus lemon combining nicely with ...Read More »
Sourced from across the broad Western Cape region of South Africa, Radley & Finch offers this Chenin Blanc at an attractive entry-level price. Grapes were sourced from both bush vines and trellised vines primarily in the Agter Paarl and Swartland regions. Winemaker Thinus Kruger primarily utilized indigenous yeasts in a particularly slow fermentation to develop complexity. The result is a citrusy and yellow fruited profile with hints of spice and grain. It is ready to drink right now, but will fill out and add complexity for a couple of years.
Grapes were sourced from six distinctive vineyards in Wellington, creating a blend with complexity and verve. From the winemaker: "On the nose distinct coffee, rich dark chocolate and baked plums. The ripe subtle tannins create a wine to be drunk very young. This unique style of Pinotage is a perfect accompaniment to salmon, roast venison and even chocolate mousse."
Jancis Robinson: "30% Syrah, 28% Carignan, 17% Cinsaut, 14% Grenache, 11% Pinotage, on granite and schist. Aged in old oak for 22 months. Pale to mid ruby. This really does smell like the cocktail promised on the back label. Very complex and composed. Still quite a bit of structure - a firm line through all that fruit - but the tannins seem well in balance with all that opulent yet reined-in-by-terroir fruit. Spice and masses of depth. Such a light touch! Long, toasty on the finish, and rich - but with great energy too. Well done! Really very smart indeed, but beautifully ...Read More »
This crisp, refreshing rosé was made by winemaker Thinus Krüger and sourced from the Swartland and Paarl areas of South Africa. The 2016 vintage was warm and robust with an early harvest, producing a wine, according to the Krüger, with "aromas and flavors all focused on the red spectrum, embracing the natural sweeter notes of Cinsault combined with a fine firmness on the palate and juicy fruit at the centre of it all."
Located just 10 miles from Stellenbosch, Meerlust finds itself at the core of South Africa's winemaking history. "Long recognized for producing world-class wines, Meerlust Estate has been the pride of the Myburgh family since 1756. Today, the traditional dedication to the art of winemaking continues under the guidance of Hannes Myburgh, eighth generation custodian of this seventeenth-century national monument."
Inventory: San Francisco
Sourced from across the broad Western Cape region of South Africa, Radley & Finch offers this Sauvignon Blanc at an attractive entry-level price. The 2015 vintage offered a dry and early-ripening season with low yields and high quality fruit. Fruit from the Stellenbosch, Swartland and Paarl areas offer the ripe and juicy fruit character while grapes from the Olifants river area lend a streak of green invigoration. This Sauvignon Blanc is an excellent warm weather sipper, or a companion to fresh seafood and Mediterranean fare.
Wine Spectator: "This has an alluring, honeyed feel, with heather, ginger and warm hazelnut notes leading the way for creamed yellow apple and quince flavors. Toasted finish, with a lingering hazelnut husk hint. For fans of the style. (JM, Web-2016)" K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "The Patatsfontein Chenin Blanc was pressed in a wooden hand press, allowed to settle in tank and taken straight to used oak barrel where the wine was naturally fermented and nothing added. This natural and minimalist winemaking approach allows Patatsfontein Chenin Blanc to be a true representation of the te... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Sirkel Pinotage is fermented 50% in used barrels. It has a simple strawberry winegum-scented nose. The palate is rounded with bulbous strawberry and red cherry fruit and an easy drinking, smooth finish that is clearly designed to appeal to the masses, which it probably will. (NM)" (11/2015) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "Expressive fresh, ripe raspberry and red fruit with a hint of sweet herbs. Youthful and elegant, this wine is ready to be enjoyed now. Sirkel encapsulates our dream of fulfilling our mission to be custodians of earth and guardians of man, ca... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Jancis Robinson: "Perdeberg and Kasteelberg. Spring herbs on the nose. Off-dry impression but with enough acidity. Good tang, this would be a fab house wine. (GV)" (9/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Only recently bottled, the 2015 Kloof Street Chenin Blanc comes from 40-year-old vines. Part of the fruit was matured in stainless steel, as it was done in 2014 for the first time. It has a perfumed pine cone and fennel-tinged bouquet that gently unfurls from the glass. The palate is well balanced, perhaps a little fatter than previous vintages with a fine line of acidity, direct pear, peach skin, and f ...Read More »
91 points Vinous: "Bright yellow. Clove, botanical herbs, honey, fennel and aniseed (the latter note very typical of Paardeberg, says Sadie) on the nose. Juicy, intense and energetic, with yellow fruit and honey flavors framed and lifted by a pungent wild herb character that runs through the wine. Finishes quite firm but not at all dry-edged. Sadie recommends pairing this wine with mild curries. (ST)" (6/2015) K&L Notes: The David wines are made by up and coming star David Sadie in South Africa's Swartland region. As part of the Swartland Independent group, David is committed to making... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Chenin Blanc is matured in used barrels for around ten months, undergoes a little SO2 and bottled. It comes from two vineyards. It has a phenolic bouquet, a little resinous with honeysuckle and jasmine, a touch of warm gravel. The palate is medium-bodied with a fine line of acidity, but this is more about texture than fruit with hints of ginger and lemongrass towards the finish. Drink over the next 5-8 years. (NM)" (11/2015) K&L Notes: Thinus Krüger, CEO / President / Winemaker / Grape crusher / Sole employee of FRAM, brings us these remarkable "wines of exp... Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Easy and mouthfilling. Tangy and definitely Chenin. A great introduction to New Wave South African wine!" (9/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Secateurs Chenin Blanc has a slightly waxy, toffee apple-scented bouquet that perhaps lacks the complexity of some of the other vintages that I have tasted in the past. The palate is nicely balanced, quite primal in the mouth at first but settling down later on with lime cordial and peachy notes that deliver plenty of flavor. (NM)" (11/2015)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Sauvignon Blanc has a pleasant cut grass and bruised apple-scented bouquet. The palate is clean and fresh with good acidity, plenty of gooseberry and green apple flavors to enjoy, with a well balanced and quite sustained finish. (NM)" (11/2015)
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Old Vine White is just a peach of a wine. It is fairly innocuous at first, saunters around for bit, minding its own business. Perhaps your attention is lowered. Then it evolves these wonderful aromas of almond, beeswax and just a hint of creme brulée. The palate is very well balanced with fine acidity, perhaps not quite as complex as the nose at full flight, but it delivers impressive, almost disarming persistence on the ginger-tinged finish. You will polish off a bottle quicker than you wish. (NM)" (11/2015) 91 points Wine Spectator: "Lovely, with white peach, chamomile an ...Read More »
Kloof Street is an offshoot of Mullineaux Family Wines, which Neal Martin of the Wine Advocate says: "Mullineux epitomize elegant, terroir-driven, traditionally tailored wines that deliver nuanced scents and flavors while rarely treading over 13.5% alcohol. They do not shortchange wine-lovers on flavor, yet at the heart of their best blends there is an intellectual aspect that leaves you wanting more. If you have not discovered Mullineux yet what are you waiting for?"
Jancis Robinson: "Pale - very pale - ruby. Very sweet, almost strawberry jam, on the nose, yet with sufficient refreshment. Great liveliness, poise and real minerally chew - granite-derived? Really distinguished - a southern hemisphere answer to Gredos Garnacha? Such a lovely take on this variety. 17.5/20 points (JR)" (8/2016) K&L Notes: This is seriously outstanding wine; one of my favorite expressions of the varietal that I have ever tasted. Pure, elegant, refined. Silk like texture, vibrant acidity and distinctive mineral tones. Not a big wine but one that will leave an impression... Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Clonal Selection Elgin Chardonnay is a wonderful wine and perhaps better than the 2012. It has a very subtle bouquet with apple blossom, lemon zest and coconut scents that are wonderfully delineated. The palate is still showing a little new oak, though that will be absorbed with time. It is pure and balanced, very refined with an almost Burgundy-like finish. This is pure class - and a United States importer should pick this up soon. (NM)" (8/2015) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Offers crystalized ginger and lemon peel notes mixed with bright quinine and honeysuckle accents, car ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Jancis Robinson: "Mid crimson. Lots of interest and drive on the nose . Very satisfying and complete. Succulent. Great balance. Dry finish. Open but not facile. Long, firm finish. (JR)" (11/2016) K&L Notes: Crystallum is a boutique winery owned by Andrew and Peter-Allan Finlayson, sons of South African wine legend Peter Finlayson.
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Andrea Mullineux, 2016 Winemaker of the Year, Editors' Choice* This ripe selection conveys a superb sense of balance and refinement, with forward aromas and flavors of black cherry and brambly berry framed by notes of wood spice, mocha and pressed violet. Velvety in feel, the texture is plush and seductive, with fine yet structured tannins and ample acidity to keep the palate fresh through the close. It’s certainly delicious now, but this should age well through 2022. (LB)" 91 points Wine Spectator: "Black cherry and raspberry fruit streams through, lined with subtle pepper, violet ...Read More »
The magnificent Grande Quinquina flavored with cinchona bark and 35 ingredients sourced from the Cape of South Africa. The Badenhorst family starts with Chenin Blanc fortified with grape spirit, lightly sweetened with sugar of the same grapes, bitter with bark from the cinchona tree and flavored with rare Cape botanicals like fynbos, kalmoes, and naartjies. This revival of the famous aperitif wine from centuries past is now upon us with this collaboration between Adi Badenhorst and Danish bar master Lars Lyndgaard. The resulting product is an ever evolvi... Read More »
From a shallow rocky vineyard on the east facing slopes of the Voor-Paardeberg. The soils are ancient decomposed granite gravels. This rugged rocky outcrop is on the boarder of the Paarl and Swartland regions. The clusters are hand-picked, mostly de-stemmed but a small component left whole cluster. As with all The Three Foxes wines, the wine is fermented using solely wild yeast. The wine stays on the skins for around three weeks for slow gentle extraction. It is then transferred to older 600L French oak Puncheons for 18 months maturation. A natural malo ... Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Light ruby. Dusty nose. Real whole-bunch influence with lots of freshness. Bone-dry end. Drink 2016-2020." (9/2015) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "Grapes are meticulously sourced from a number of altitude and maritime vineyards around the Western Cape farmed by passionate South Africans. The small hand selected parcels of fruit receive much love and attention through the growing season with each vineyard’s unique terroir contributing in its own special way to the blend. In the cellar, minimal intervention and old large format French Oak is combined to ensure that the... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
93 points Wine Spectator: "High-pitched, with bright savory and shiso leaf notes out front, giving this a piercing feel as blood orange, damson plum and bitter cherry fruit races in behind. The long, mineral-edged finish has lovely tension. (JM)" (3/2017)
Incredible olive oil from Francisce Dreyer in South Africa's Paarl Valley. A blend of Italian varietals: Favalosa (30%), Frantoio (30%), Delicata (20%), Coratina (10%), Leccino (10%). A beautifully fragrant oil, with a nice delicate spice and vibrant freshness. A K&L Staff favorite!
Inventory: San Francisco
Crystallum is an awesome project from “young gun” winemaker and “Zoo Biscuits Wine Gang” member Peter-Allan Finlayson. His father, Peter Finlayson, is pretty much South African winemaking royalty. Peter-Allan is part of a younger generation of winemakers really putting modern South African wines on the map for all the right reasons. This “crew” makes great wines, surfs, Braais and generally has fun. It’s fine wine without any pretentious snobbery—and I love it. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate has this to say about Peter-Allan: “Sometimes you meet a young w... Read More »
Super fun little wine. Old vine Cinsualt, fermented using partial carbonic techniques. Bright, fresh, only 12.5% alc. Crunchy berry fruits, bramble and dusty minerals. Fantastic wine for white meat, charcuterie or pork tenderloin.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin, good depth in the mouth, and a little muscular at the moment with a saline touch to the finish. (NM)" (11/2015) K&L Notes: This wine comes from Ginny Poval's farm located in the Devon Valley just minutes from the heart of Stellenbosch. Big Flower is designed to be an easy drinking wine that really over-delivers for the price point ... and boy it does just that!
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Clonal Selection Elgin Syrah is matured in around 40% new oak. It has a subtle red berry, bergamot and violet-scented bouquet that is very defined and sophisticated. The palate is beautifully balanced, smooth and seductive in the mouth, with the acidity very well judged; there is plenty of lush red cherry, wild strawberry and white pepper notes on the finish. This is is very fine, though I personally have a wild crush on the Chardonnay. (NM)" (8/2015) Wine Spectator: "Focused, with a sanguine thread weaving through the core of lightly steeped plum and cherry fruit, giv ...Read More »
John and Tasha Seccombe started Thorne & Daughters in 2012 to celebrate the winemaking heritage of Western Cape. The 2015 was a challenging, but immensely satisfying vintage for them, producing incredible fruit. Praise for the producer from Wine Advocate: "During my time in South Africa, if there was one name on everyone’s lips, one bubbling-under, brand spanking new producer on the scene that you had to have tasted, then it was Thorne & Daughters. It reminded me of the simmering anticipation that preempted the debut release from Chris Alheit, a close fr... Read More »
Neal Martin gives the scoop on all that's going on at De Morgenzon according to Carl van der Merwe: "The cost of farming is high, given the terrace slopes,” he explained. “We have always had quite a strong DMZ base as a value for money line, but I knew we had to work on premium products to justify the cost of farming. In 2011, I made a sparkling wine from a younger block of Chenin Blanc and in 2013 I found a few outstanding barrels that we made into the first Reserve Chardonnay. In terms of planting, we have established a further six hectares of Chardonn... Read More »
The Blacksmith is a small project by Tremayne Smith, who trained as a chef before following his passion and becoming a winemaker. The Vin Noir blend is 42% Carignan, 29% Cinsault and 29% Grenache. It's made with natural yeasts and is not filtered or fined.
91 points Vinous: "Bright yellow. Subtle aromas of stone fruits and toasty oak. Rich and broad but lively and precise too, showing good density and lift to the flavors of white peach, licorice and spices. Finishes with a slightly phenolic firmness and excellent length. These vines were planted in 2002 and 1998. (JR)" (6/2015)
92 points Wine Spectator: "Solidly built, with a core of succulent raspberry and blackberry puree flavors, lined with anise, singed alder and black tea details. A streak of iron races through the finish. (JM)" (3/2017) K&L Notes: Grown on 17-year-old vines in the stony shale and schist soils of Roundstone Farm on the Kasteelberg.
Inventory: Redwood City
Sourced from across the broad Western Cape region of South Africa, Radley & Finch offers this Cabernet Sauvignon at an attractive entry-level price. The 2014 vintage saw a high quality crop with an appropriate amount of rainfall, especially for unirrigated vineyards. From winemaker Thinus Kruger: "Balanced entry reflects classical Cabernet Sauvignon flavours, dark berries, country herbs and a hint of fresh red cherries. Medium weight palate displays an elegant and very approachable tannin."
Inventory: San Francisco
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The dark ruby 2013 Kloof Street Swartland Rouge is 85% Syrah, 9% Carignan and the rest Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Grenache. Their tribute to the Southern Rhône of France, the wine possesses more of a St.-Joseph than Côtes du Rhône-like style. It displays cool, peppery, smoky, meaty notes, good acidity, strawberry and cherry. (RP)" (3/2016)
Inventory: Redwood City