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Staff Favorites - Gary Westby

Gary Westby
Gary Westby  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
I started at K&L in February of 2000, after 4 years of working down the street for another retailer, and although I take care of the Champagne buying here at K&L, I love to drink wine from all over the world. I prize authenticity in wine, and love representative examples of many different styles, whether it is a spicy dry creek zinfandel or a mineral driven Manzanilla. I almost always drink my wine with food, and am drawn to food wines rather than the softer styles that are good for drinking on their own. My wife Cinnamon and I cook a lot of Italian & French food at home, and my list of wines reflects those food choices. I also love value, at every price point, and can't stand "prestige" labels that under deliver in the bottle. I love honest wines for the table. If you love good wine to go with your good cooking too, I think that by joining my personal Sommelier list you will be treated to a wide variety of wines that represent a strong value for money at what ever price range you feel comfortable with. Give it a try!


Reviews

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2002 Billecart-Salmon "Le Clos Saint-Hilaire" Brut Blanc de Noirs Champagne
Review Date: 07-09-2019
This monumental blanc de noirs is made from a walled vineyard that is inside the grounds of Billecart-Salmon in Mareuil. They carry the baskets by hand from the vineyard to the press house, as it is only a few meters away! All though it is dosed at only 1g/l of sugar, it has on a scale of power rarely seen in Champagne. Loaded with Nutella, truffle like savor and still lifted by chalky cut, this wine expands on the finish like only the best wines in the world do. My words fail me. Don’t hesitate when this arrives- 3700 bottles is not enough for the world- and I already drank two of them!
Drink from 2019 to 2019
Price: $499.00 Add To Cart
RP 98

2008 Billecart-Salmon Vintage Champagne
Review Date: 07-09-2019
While the similarities between the 2008’s and the 1996’s are well known, this wine made me write 1996 with a big exclamation point because of the resemblance when I tasted it with Mathieu Roland-Billecart. The generous toasted brioche and cream of the aromatics jumped right out of the glass. On the palate, the wine was super refined, with a perfect bead, gentle texture and complex flavors of nuts and subtle Pinot fruit. The back end was pure, chalky, and driven. This is one of the top wines of this great vintage.
Drink from 2019 to 2019
Price: $94.99 Add To Cart

2018 Franck Millet Sancerre Blanc
Review Date: 06-28-2019
Nothing could be more perfect for an aperitif than this outstanding Sancerre from Franck and Bettie Millet. Not only does this have the clean refreshment that Sauvignon Blanc lovers flock to this region for, but it also has great medium bodied texture. The finish is lovely, acqueux pleasure with very nice minerality. It is a natural with goat cheese as well! Will one case be enough?
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

2016 Craggy Range "Te Kahu" Bordeaux Blend Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 06-27-2019
The old and the new world meet in this excellent, clean, gentle Bordeaux blend from the famous Gimblett Gravels in Hawkes Bay. It has dark, plummy fruit, very nice medium body, and best of all, round tannins and bright acidity. This is a long finishing, fine wine that will go great with a grilled steak or better yet, a piece of New Zealand lamb!
Drink from 2019 to 2019
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
DC 97 JS 93

2018 Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 06-27-2019
The Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough is a huge pleasure to drink. It not only has the grapefruit like, extroverted character that this region is famous for, but it also has very nice texture and body. This is still a very refreshing drink that would be at home on the porch on a hot summer day, but it has the concentration to pair with nice food, like a warm goat cheese salad or even a piece of grilled halibut.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
BC 95

Suntory Hakushu 12 Year Old Japanese Peated Single Malt Whisky (limit 12) (750ml)
Review Date: 06-27-2019
This expertly crafted single malt has extraordinary balance for a peaty style and a refreshing salty lightness that makes me come back for more. I love that this has the smoke and complexity of peat, but doesn't get bogged down with oily heaviness. To the contrary, this is a refreshing Whisky that is fantastic to enjoy after a big meal!
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart
WE 91
Limit of 12 per customer

2016 Clerc-Milon, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-20-2019
We tasted this at our Mouton staff seminar with Mr. Florent Fresse and it was an exceptional treat. This wine exuded classy, dark, concentrated fruit as well as charming leather and smooth tannin. The finish of this wine was very impressive, and it was expansive as well as long. This property faces the Gironde directly, and is bordered by Mouton and Lafite. One could not ask for a better address! Clerc-Milon is home to the biggest plot of Carménère in all of Bordeaux, an acre and a quarter parcel planted in 1947. The 2016 is composed of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Carménère. I think this is a great wine to buy for anyone who has children born in this year, as a bottle that I had of the 1990 recently was still completely fresh!
Drink from 2026 to 2026

2016 d'Armailhac, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-20-2019
This was the first wine we tasted with Mr Florent Fresse, export manager of Mouton Rothschild, during a staff training seminar. The 2016 Chateau d'Armailhac was a very high level to begin with, and I was very impressed by the streamlined cassis, great acidity and all-around high quality of this Bordeaux. It is composed of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. It is located between Pontet-Canet and Mouton in the northern part of Pauillac. Florent compared the 2016 vintage to 1986 and thinks that it is the best d’Armailhac that they have ever made. It is quite young, and I hope to try it again on its 10th birthday!
Drink from 2026 to 2026

2009 Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-20-2019
I tasted this with Florent Fresse, export manager from Chateau Mouton Rothschild when he came to do a staff seminar in Redwood City. The 2009 Chateau Mouton Rothschild lived up to its billing as a super star of a super vintage, and was extremely expressive at 10 years old for a first growth. This is a chocolaty, full blown Cabernet style with deep dark fruit and vanilla aromas and flavors. This wine has lots of body and texture but does not in any way feel ponderous or fat. In fact, it finishes dry, bright and long. It is composed of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12 % Merlot. It was an extraordinary treat.
Drink from 2019 to 2019

2009 Mouton-Rothschild, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-20-2019
I tasted this with Florent Fresse, export manager from Chateau Mouton Rothschild when he came to do a staff seminar in Redwood City. The 2009 Chateau Mouton Rothschild lived up to its billing as a super star of a super vintage, and was extremely expressive at 10 years old for a first growth. This is a chocolaty, full blown Cabernet style with deep dark fruit and vanilla aromas and flavors. This wine has lots of body and texture but does not in any way feel ponderous or fat. In fact, it finishes dry, bright and long. It is composed of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12 % Merlot. It was an extraordinary treat.
Drink from 2019 to 2019

2005 Mouton-Rothschild, Pauillac (1.5L) 3-Pack in OWC
Review Date: 06-20-2019
This was the highlight of the tasting we did with Mouton Rothschild export director Florent Fresse. I loved the pure cassis, subtle cola and saddle leather aromas and flavors and was very impressed with the rich, full body and silky texture. To have so much ripe Cabernet flavor and mouth feel without heat or overweight notes is a unique experience. The wine was so aromatic and giving, yet completely dry and fresh. The finish expanded and went on forever- a truly top-notch experience! This wine is composed of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc.
Drink from 2019 to 2019

2005 Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac (1.5L)
Review Date: 06-20-2019
This was the highlight of the tasting we did with Mouton Rothschild export director Florent Fresse. I loved the pure cassis, subtle cola and saddle leather aromas and flavors and was very impressed with the rich, full body and silky texture. To have so much ripe Cabernet flavor and mouth feel without heat or overweight notes is a unique experience. The wine was so aromatic and giving, yet completely dry and fresh. The finish expanded and went on forever- a truly top-notch experience! This wine is composed of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc.
Drink from 2019 to 2019

Jean-Jacques Lamoureux Pinot Blanc Champagne
Review Date: 06-19-2019
This is rare stuff! The Lamoureux Pinot Blanc is one of the very few Champagne's to be bottled exclusively with this grape variety, and the only one that we have ever carried here at K&L. I love the mango and kiwi exoticism that show on top of the baguette like aromatics, and the richer texture that this grape variety brings. This is broad, silky Champagne, but still has the bead, refrement and length of top quality Champagne. I love the hint of pumpkin on the finish, and think this would be excellent with any white fish.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

1999 La Closerie du Poujeaux, Moulis
Review Date: 06-14-2019
My evening with this wine was a finer experience than I would hope for with a bottle at double the price. Even though it had just arrived from its long container ship journey that same day, it was full of calm, confident authority. The wines main feature was great cassis fruit and plenty of it, all packaged with great acidity and 0 residual sugar. Even though the wine was only 12.5% it had great body, silky texture and some power. This wine was excellent with my well marbled market steak, and my wife had to tell me to slow down or she wouldn’t have had her half!
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Nicolas Maillart "Platine" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-06-2019
This is the most exciting new Champagne producer that we have added to our lineup of direct imports in a very long time. This entirely estate grown Champagne comes from plots in Ecuiel, Bouzy and Villers-Allerand from mostly old, massal selected plots. The four years of ageing on the lees have given this wine a lovely creamy texture and beautiful, toasty aromas. You can feel the power of the Pinot Noir, with some subtle dark cherry fruit and savor. The most incredible thing about the wine is its complexity, which I found kaleidoscopic, something I am not used to in such a fairly priced wine. Every sip is a discovery!
Top Value!

2013 Louis Roederer Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 06-05-2019
The 2013 vintage was a late one in Champagne, with some producers not finishing until the beginning of the second week of October. The great acidity of this cool vintage tempers the ripe power of the Cumières Pinot Noir in this Champagne. I love the coppery, pale rose color of the wine and the tart cherry flavor of the Pinot Noir. This wine has a very nice baguette toast frame, fine, compact streamers and a fabulous, long, mineral driven finish. It is on the back end that I really taste the Chardonnay, it is clean, dry and refreshing, with persistence that one would expect only from a famous vintage.
Drink from 2019 to 2019
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
WE 93 RP 92

2007 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 05-16-2019
I drank this with a medium rare skirt steak and frites- I was in heaven! This 2007 is drinking beautifully now but will easily cellar for another decade or more. The wine is dry and medium bodied yet packs an incredible amount of dark fruit power all at just 12.5% alcohol. I loved how it had classy polish with catnip like French oak but also had the vibrant gravelly finish that can only come from the best sites in Pessac-Léognan. This has everything from subtle baking spice and new leather to earth tinged cassis fruit. A week later, I am still thinking about it.
Drink from 2019 to 2019

2002 Dom Pérignon "P2" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-16-2019
This is not a shy Dom Pérignon- it is loaded with toasted brioche, melted beurre d’Issigny and ripe white peach fruit. It has developed deep complexity over the years with great oyster shell notes to contrast the fruit and toast. Most importantly, the finish is very fresh and still has the chalky minerality that we all look for in tête de cuvée Champagne. It is unmistakably Dom, and the kind of Champagne that I would love to meet in a blind tasting because of its strong signature.

2012 Alexandre Le Brun "Cuvée Revelation" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-10-2019
This Champagne comes from one special plot in the village of Monthelon, half of which was planted in 1950, and the other in 1902. These ancient, massal selected vines are in a super cold microclimate, giving the wine an incredible tension between old vine concentration, Meunier exoticism and nearly Salon like freshness. The tiny, super high quality 2012 vintage has served up a rarity in Champagne, something that has the power of Krug and the lift of Comtes de Champagne. After tasting 100's of bottles, this was my top Champagne of my 2018 spring trip to the region and our first allocation sold out in less than a week. We were lucky enough to get another 300 bottles. Only 1500 bottles were made!
Drink from 2019 to 2019
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Krug "Grande Cuvée" 167 Ème Édition Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-01-2019
The Krug team dug deep into their reserves for the 167th edition, using 42% reserve wines in the final blend, leaning on not only older Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but also some of their prized old vine Meunier. The final composition is 47% Pinot Noir, 36% Chardonnay and 17% Meunier from vintages spanning 1995-2011. This 167th edition of Krug is my favorite out of the gate since the 163rd, and I think might end up being a legend like the 157th, known internally at Krug as the savoir-faire, based on another difficult vintage, the 2001. The use of a lot of reserve wines really shined through in this bottle, with hazelnut complexity, brioche like depth and beguiling savory fruit. The texture, as usual for Krug, is perfect after 7 years of ageing on the lees, and the bead is tight and precise. The best feature is how all of these elements are brought into focus by the incredible minerality of the wine… This is not heavy, vinous stuff, but rather elegant, nuanced Champagne.
Drink from 2019 to 2019
Price: $169.99 Add To Cart
JG 96 RP 95

1995 Charles Heidsieck "Blanc des Millénaires" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 04-04-2019
The Blanc de Millenaires from Charles Heidsieck is not only a masterpiece of craft, but also of patience. To say that this Blanc de Blancs is made rarely is an understatement, it has only been made four more times since the original release in 1983! It is composed from the fruit of five cotes des blancs villages; Avize, Oger, Cramant, Mesnil and Vertus, and then aged for decades in the pure chalk crayeres of Charles Heidsieck, 90 feet below Reims. The results are spectacular, with toasted brioche aromas and flavors as well as fabulous freshness and minerality.
Drink from 2019 to 2019

Billecart-Salmon Bicentenary Cuvée (1.5L)
Review Date: 01-31-2019
This past year, I had the pleasure of visiting Champagne Billecart Salmon not once but twice. Located in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, in the very heart of Champagne, they produce Champagne here that is rightly famous for freshness and elegance. My first visit was during the snows of early March, to taste the vin clair with Chef de Cave Florent Nys. The second was in the heat of June to celebrate their 200th anniversary with the Billecart family. Not only did we get to drink the super rare Bicentenary Cuvée, but we talked them out of a few magnums for the stores. This Champagne combines complex, spicy, pastry-like elements with an airy ease that one can only find chez Billecart. Currently, we only have a few bottles!
Price: $1,699.00 Add To Cart
DC 96

2011 Egrot (formerly Elisabeth Goutorbe) Grand Cru Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-31-2019
This Champagne comes from the impossibly steep slopes of Ay Grand Cru in the heart of the Marne Valley. It is composed of 2/3 Pinot Noir and 1/3 Chardonnay from some of the chalkiest soil in all of Champagne. While this vintage proved challenging for many, some of the best plots in the Grand Crus did exceptionally well, producing wines of both power and finesse. This is one of those wines, and has plenty of richness for drinking on its own, but also the backbone of minerality to pair with the best salmon or tuna fillets. The wine is round and rich, with a pain grillé generosity that reminds me of old style Bollinger or Charles Heidsieck. The dark Pinot fruit has wonderful savor and complexity; like a red Burgundy of the same age. The texture, like all of the Egrot Champagne, is flawless, with tight streamers and nice creaminess. The back end is virile with great acidity and freshness, making this a pretty complete package.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Egrot (formerly Elisabeth Goutorbe) Extra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-31-2019
The Egrot Extra Brut is made for Champagne lovers who are looking for something extra crisp as an aperitif or to pair with oysters or other shellfish. This Champagne is composed of two-thirds Pinot Noir and one-third Chardonnay, entirely from the 2010 harvest. It is dosed at just 2 grams per liter, but with over six years of aging on the lees, it does not come across as overly austere. It actually shows more creamy notes on the nose than the brut, perhaps because of the addition of softer wines from Mutigny from the sunny 2010 harvest. The cherry fruit has a slight hint of exoticism, but it snaps back into laser focus on the finish, which is as dry as Champagne can be without having a mean spirit. I love this with the Kumamoto oysters that we get from Hog Island Oyster Co. up in Tomales Bay this time of year—this Extra Brut richens up with the shellfish, and gets me shucking the next one!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2012 Michel Arnould "Memoire de Vignes" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-31-2019
This Champagne is always sourced from one of three plots, and sometimes a combination of all three. This year it is made from the Perthois, near the lighthouse in Verzenay. It is a 100% Pinot Noir Blanc de Noirs, and the vines are 60 years old and massal selected. This wine is dry and tense, with kaleidoscopic complexity. The airy maraschino cherry fruit and lightning rod acidity play very well with the best pieces of sushi-grade tuna right now, but the best this wine has is yet to come. In another five years it will open up to reveal a warm, nut bread toast to rival the best Krug your cellar.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Dérot-Delugny "Cuvée Fondateurs" Brut
Review Date: 01-08-2019
The Derot-Delugny estate has been producing their own Champagne for four generations in the tiny village of Croutes-sur-Marne in the western part of the region. Everything they do is estate, and this all Pinot Gris Champagne is their smallest production. It is the only time I have ever tasted a single variety Pinot Gris from Champagne, and it is fantastic as well as exotic! With both effusive and tropical notes, this is still grounded in the world of dry Champagne with a dry (7g/l) finish and plenty of minerality. A must try with asian cuisine!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2002 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne Late Release (Direct from Roederer 2019)
Review Date: 12-14-2018
Last July, Cinnamon and I were invited to the Hotel Particular, a private residence at Champagne Louis Roederer, for a wonderful dinner with Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon, the chef de cave of Roederer. We enjoyed this Champagne with our main course, a duck and root vegetable dish. This 2002 was from the last disgorgement that was released years ago, but Jean-Baptiste held some back for extra ageing on the cork. It was disgorged in 2011, and has now had seven years on the cork. This was Cristal in its power age, full of Verzenay hazelnut concentration, leesy richness, and open-knit expressiveness. I feel honored that we received an allocation of 15 bottles to sell!
Drink from 2018 to 2018

Launois "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 12-05-2018
We are very fortunate to be the importer for this great cult producer of blanc de blancs in the famous village of Mesnil. Launois is the only Champagne that I have sold to someone from Champagne to bring back to Champagne with them! It is that sought after. All grand cru, estate grown Champagne doesn't get better than this, but it is almost always more expensive. This is a wine of depth, finesse and intrigue and yet is about as easy as it gets to drink without engaging the grey matter at all. When we get it, it is always snapped up in a hurry... Don't wait and get disappointed!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Thierry Thibault Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-27-2018
Thierry Thibault expanded doubled our allocation of this excellent Champagne this year... Maybe we will have it in stock for two days after the email this time! Thierry is the son of one of the giants of Champagne, the late great Daniel Thibault who was chef de cave for both Charles and Piper Heidsieck and pioneered the concept of transparency in non-vintage Champagne with his mis-en-cave bottlings. The estate spans two villages in heart of the western valley of the marne- Verneuil and Passy-Grigny. This Champagne is composed of 1/3 each Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier and is aged for three years on the lees. This is a very bright, fresh style with vibrant acidity, but also with wonderful Chablis like clean earth and complexity. It has a perfect, tight bead and a creamy texture, as well as a very dry and long finish. I was shocked at the price- this is the kind of value that will not last on our shelves!
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Jean de La Fontaine "La Flatteuse" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 11-08-2018
This rosé Champagne has the haunting, nearly strawberry like fruit set against a bright, dry finish that makes me thirsty for more and more. How do they make something so subtle, well balanced and intriguing for such a great price? I can't wait to visit them next year and find out!
Top Value!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

Jean de La Fontaine "L'Éloquente" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-08-2018
This well balanced brut is a spectacular bargain, due to a direct buy, straight from the producer. Not only does this have a fine pearl of spectacular bubbles and a wonderful natural toastiness from long ageing on the lees, it also has the crisp dry finish that I love in an aperitif Champagne. I promise you will be surprised by the quality that this delivers for the price. Get it before the K&L staff buys it all!
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

Laurent-Perrier "Cuvée Rosé" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 09-27-2018
If you haven't tasted the LP Rose lately, you should! This all Pinot Noir Champagne is entirely made from Grand Cru fruit and lighter than most that are made in this style- it is macerated with all of the skins in contact with all of the juice. The cellar master always judges the length of the maceration on the aromatics, and the result is a rose with character that is still completely elegant. The LP Rose has set the standard for rose Champagne for many years, and for good reason.

Trudon "Emblematis" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-27-2018
Our most exciting new value in Champagne is here, the Emblematis from Jerome Trudon. With more than three years of ageing on the lees, this all estate blend of 70% Meunier and 30% Pinot Noir should be more expensive... Luckily we buy direct and the dollar is strong! This wine has 50% reserves from older vintages and features subtle baguette toast and exotic yet elegant fruit on the nose and in the mouth. Since Jerome does not use malolactic, this wine has great focus and a finish that I would only expect from a wine costing 50% more!
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2008 Dom Pérignon Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-20-2018
For me, this is the best young Dom Perignon I have ever tasted, better than the 2002, 1996 and even the 1990. We were treated to a preview bottle, and what a treat it was. I found the wine to have the classic Dom Perignon yeasty nose, but found it to be as transparent and pure in the mouth as their ethereal 2004. On the back end, the wine has concentration to spare, and blooming, chalky finish that seems to still be with me two days later as I type this. This wine is made from 95% grand cru fruit, with the balance of 5% coming from the historic 1er cru of Hautvillers, where the monk Dom Perignon worked and lived. As usual, this is very close to 50/50 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, although the powers that be do not like to discuss the cepage.
Drink from 2018 to 2018

2015 Tapiz "Alta Collection" Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza
Review Date: 09-04-2018
If you enjoyed the 2014 Tapiz Cabernet, be prepared to be impressed. I found the 2015 to be far superior, with all of the dusty, dark cassis fruit of an old school Napa Cabernet, but this time with even better freshness. While the 2014 reminded me of old fashioned Caymus, this excellent 2015 reminds me more of a Heitz. Don't miss this deal!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 RP 90

Launois "Veuve Clemence" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 08-23-2018
This is the "insiders" Launois, and most of what we can get sells very quickly to people who have visited the property in Mesnil. This comes from the tops and bottoms of the slopes in the grand crus of Mesnil, Cramant and Oger, and is aged for an extra year compared to the reserve. This has classic chalky drive and length, with more than a little complexity. Don't get hooked- we never get much and it always goes fast!
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Launois "Quartz" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-23-2018
We can never get enough Launois Quartz at K&L. Unfortunately; the production is limited as Bernard Launois only has so many grapes each year in the great Mesnil plot of Les Chetillons. Having access to single vineyard, estate, grand cru Champagne from one of the best growers in the region at such a fair price makes me proud to be the Champagne guy at K&L. This wine has a fabulous white fruit quality that few Champagnes get at any price, and a chalky laser beam finish that is pure Mesnil. No Champagne we carry sells out faster.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Launois "Severine" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 08-23-2018
The Launois Severine is 100% Mesnil Grand Cru that is fermented in barrels. The barrels are made from oak timbered from their property right there in Mesnil. The wood has now been used a number of times, and although the first few batches were very oaky, the current release is super well balanced. This Champagne has the breadth and richness of a full on barrel fermented Champagne, but also the crisp precision of Mesnil Chardonnay. It is a fantastic Champagne, best suited to cuisine. I love it with grilled salmon -- especially done on a cedar plank!
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2012 Gilbert Jacquesson Vintage Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-14-2018
The great 2012 vintage only yielded one press load of this sensational Champagne- 4000 bottles! This old vine, pure Meunier Champagne comes from two massal selected plots in Troissy. One was planted in 1969, the other in 1970. The wine has exquisite balance, with not only the spicy, pear fruit of the meunier variety, but also warm bread aromas and flavors from long ageing, and very nice focus and acidity. This Champagne is drier than most Meunier at less than 7g/l dosage. This rarity is a knock out from one of our smallest grower producers.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2015 Cap St-George, St-Georges-St-Emilion
Review Date: 08-07-2018
This vanilla toast and wild fruit exotic St. Georges St. Emilion rang in a new era in Bordeaux for me! Now the big right bank wines have all of the oak and fruit that they have had for the modern era, but without the heat or the extra heaviness. This is a super full bodied Bordeaux, but it still stays fresh and lifted. The scale of the wine is hard to believe for the money, with great sweet tannin on the finish.

2015 Labadie, Médoc
Review Date: 08-07-2018
From the northernmost part of Bordeaux, the Labadie impressed me so much with its fabulous balance between toasty, modern oak, clean cassis and fresh, mineral infused acidity. This almost even blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc is a huge surprise for under $20. It is wines like this that show off what a truly great vintage 2015 is!
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$13.99
JS 90 RP 90

2014 Montrose, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 08-07-2018
I understand why so many of my colleagues are calling the 2014 Chateau Montrose the wine of the vintage. It is the best young Bordeaux I have tasted in many, many years. This tremendous, dark fruited wine is loaded with power, but also packaged perfectly elegantly. Is it tannic? Of course- it is Montrose! But the tannins are ripe, and lifted by graceful acidity. The only ingredient that is missing is a lot of time... I am afraid that the perfect balance will cause much of the production to be drunk far too young.
Drink from 2024 to 2024

2016 Joseph Phelps "Freestone Vineyards" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 08-07-2018
The very cool conditions out in the Freestone AVA have allowed the folks at Joseph Phelps to make a pretty amazing Chardonnay. Not only does this have the intense, full throttle flavors that our customers love in California Chardonnay, but it is also balanced out by the crispness of the coast. If you are looking for a Chardonnay with great texture and full flavor, but are tired of heaviness and residual sugar, this is a perfect choice!

Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-03-2018
Bollinger has a sterling reputation in Champagne for stalwart quality for a great reason. They do the hard work to make great Champagne, and there Special Cuvee is the standard barer for their range. Along with Krug, Bollinger is the only grand marque to refuse to give up their barrels, which they still ferment the wine in to this day. They are located in the village of Ay, famous for being the chalkiest terroir for Pinot Noir in all of Champagne, and Ay is the soul of this blend. It is one of the fullest, most powerful non-vintages from the grand marques, and also one of the driest. If you are a fan of Champagne and haven't tried this classic lately, you should!

2017 Domaine Vico Corse Rosé (Corsica)
Review Date: 07-31-2018
The rosé of Corsica has taken the staff of K&L by storm over the last few years. The Domaine Vico is a delicious example, with more dark fruit and presence than our provencal bottlings, but not the excess alcohol or weight of the Rhone or domestic offerings. We had this at our staff barbeque with a tomato tart that Cinnamon had made, and it was fantastic. It is also great for just sipping in the yard!
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price

2017 Domaine de la Ferme Blanche Cassis Rosé
Review Date: 07-31-2018
This is one of my favorite rosé wines that we have, regardless of price. Cassis rosé is very hard to find, and always very expensive, but Keith has found a great producer to bring in direct with Domaine De La Ferme Blanche. With a generous, fragrant nose of wild strawberries, this wine also has nice fruit in the mouth. The finish is what sets it apart- this is a long, dry, serious wine- but you don't have to take it too seriously! The balance stays fun and easy to drink, but the depth is there if you care to pay attention!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Cutty Sark "Prohibition Edition" Blended Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-31-2018
Whisky drinkers rejoice! The Prohibition Edition from Cutty Sark is here, and it tastes great. Unlike most blended scotch, even much more expensive bottles, this does not have the raw grain flavor that I don't care for. Instead, it has more than a hint of sherry cask and a solid, medium body. I also appreciate the higher proof- at 100, this is perfect for an ice cube.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WA 90 WE 90

2014 Cristom "Estate" Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-24-2018
This might be the best drinking current release that I have had from Oregon! I love the translucent ruby color, the complex nose of red cherry, bacon and vanilla as well as the developed, silky texture. While I was tasting it, all I could think about is Oregon plank salmon, and how well this purely Oregonian wine would go with the noble, grilled on the wood fish.
Drink from 2018 to 2018

Rieger's Midwestern Missouri Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 07-19-2018
The story of this gin is amazing- the master distiller of Tanqueray taking on a passion project in the midwest, but the spirit itself is even more so! This runs straight down the middle with firm juniper flavor married to a flawless, creamy texture. The quality is just higher than most in this style, and the price is considerably lower than most gins of this superlative quality. I never thought I would fall in love with a gin from Missouri!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

Piùcinque Gin 750ml
Review Date: 07-19-2018
What a stylish bottle of gin! I suppose we should expect as much from the Italians! With haunting citrus notes from the deft use of bergamot and a rich, creamy texture that never becomes heavy, this is worthy of being considered in the top tier of gin. The sage in the recipe gives this the right amount of green lift to balance out the exoticism, and I can't wait to get this home and make a G&T with it!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

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