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Staff Favorites - Ryan Woodhouse

Ryan Woodhouse

Reviews

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2015 Leeuwin Estate "Prelude" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 08-08-2019
Leeuwin's Prelude is always a great value even at its typical $25-30 price point...but at this price it's a total no-brainer. Classic Margaret River Cab with cassis, red currant, hints of eucalyptus and cedar. Medium plus bodied, fine tannins, fresh, lifted acidity complementing the soft, fluid fruit. Accessible and complete, a great bottle of wine and one that demonstrates fantastic value for money.
Top Value!

2015 Elio Grasso "Ginestra Casa Matè" Barolo
Review Date: 08-08-2019
What I liked about this bottling is the broad drinking window. No doubt this is a big, powerful, hugely structured wine...but it also has lovely pure fruit, well refined tannins and most importantly - immaculate balance from start to finish. Sure it needs a good decant if you're drinking it young (I actually tasted this wine on day two) but there's plenty to enjoy now if you get thirsty!

2015 Carmel Road "South Crest" Panorama Vineyard Monterey Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-08-2019
Rocking value here. A wine that is drinking beautifully. Still holding its bold, up-front fruit (cherry, raspberry compote, subtle licorice) but also some more complex flavors starting to take shape (dried herbs, rubbing spices, brambly notes). From an interesting vineyard in Arroyo Seco, a region I think is often over looked and puts out some stellar quality wines. Nice work, Kaj on securing a crazy good price on this one!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2015 Kir-Yianni "Ramnista" Naoussa Greece
Review Date: 08-08-2019
I'll second one of my colleagues below - this wine reminded me of a Nebbiolo based wine...that combination of floral tones, savory allure, grippy tannins, linear feel on the palate. Great little food wine for grilled meats and anything oily / fatty. Black and blue forest berries, dried herbs / flower petals, scorched early and shaved oak. Medium bodied, nice firm structure. Pretty serious little wine.

2015 Farella Estate Coombsville Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-08-2019
This is dynamite Cabernet by any measure. A perfectly struck balance of power and precision. This beautiful wine from Farella combines the richness and concentration of Napa Valley with the freshness, structure and length of great Paulliac. Coming from the oldest Cabernet vines in the area (planted in the late 1970s) and from one of the cooler sub-regions of Napa, this is highly aromatic wine with crushed violets, blue fruit, cassis, pencil shavings, graphite and sandalwood. Medium plus bodied but long and linear rather than thick and broad. No excessive extraction or jamminess here; the mouthfeel is akin to polished, modern Bordeaux. A powerful, structured wine with great ageing potential, purity and poise. Very serious wine...one I hope others in the valley can emulate...this is Napa Cab done very well - bravo!
Top Value!

2016 Cantina Terlano "Vorberg" Pinot Bianco Riserva Alto Adige
Review Date: 08-06-2019
I've probably tasted half a dozen or so vintages of this wine from Terlano now and it has never once failed to impress me. The 2016 might just be the strongest release I've had yet. With stunning purity and textural presence on the palate, this wine captures the highly aromatic nature of the grape, without losing any focus or freshness. Round and supple but with precise acidity, endless verve, and persistent minerality. A captivating white wine that is truly world-class.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JS 95 RP 95

2014 Jonata "Todos" Ballard Canyon Santa Ynez Valley Red Blend
Review Date: 07-31-2019
Another killer release from Matt Dees and Jonata. I love the concept of "Todos" that encapsulates all the varieties grown on this stunning Ballard Canyon estate. It truly captures this rocky, sandy, sparse, chaparral dotted landscape. Briary red fruits, spiced plum, warm dust, smoked meat and leather. Cigar box notes emerge with time in the glass. It really unfurls and becomes complex with a little decant. Medium bodied, lovely balance of restrained fruit and layered savory aspects. The structure of the wine makes it a great accompaniment to grilled meat or hearty roasted mushrooms. If you can imagine it, it's kinda like northern Rhone Syrah meets left bank Bordeaux...with just a dash of California ripeness thrown. Fascinating stuff all around!
Price: Hidden View Price
RP 94 JD 93

2016 DeLille "Chaleur Blanc" Columbia Valley White Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 07-26-2019
Year after year I love this wine. Delille have perfected the style and it's a faithful rendition of classical White Bordeaux. Working at K&L we have the privilege to taste a lot of the finest wines Bordeaux has to offer. I truly believe Delille's Chaleur Blanc can stand shoulder to shoulder with the white wines of Domaine de Chevalier, Château Smith-Haut Lafitte and Château Carbonnieux. The aromas are complex and beguiling - citrus peel, preserved lemon, jasmine, golden plum. It is barrel fermented but not dominated by oak flavor. The texture is stunning, the persistence seemingly endless. Intense stony minerals are infused through out. Clearly this will age but it's already drinking beautifully and the oak is perfectly integrated. A very special white wine that I hope you will check out - it just may become your favorite too!
Drink from 2019 to 2019

2016 Beckon "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-26-2019
I've been told this is a one time deal that will not be coming back. We snagged a parcel of this wine at a huge discount so don't miss it! Bien Nacido is one of the most highly regarded Pinot Noir vineyards in California with a pedigree going back 40 years. A who's who of Californian winemakers source fruit from this hallowed site year in an year out. Here's a chance to grab some at a price that is unheard of for vineyard designates from this site. The Beckon Bien Nacido Pinot Noir captures the wild and complex flavors that define Santa Maria Valley. This cool climate area with lots of coastal influence issues forth brambly, earthy, layered flavors in this wine. Brooding, deep red berries intermingle with dried rose petal notes, herbs de Provence, forest floor and subtle wood smoke. A stony mineral, iron like note adds a certain umami quality to the wine. A complex and serious wine...not just simple fruit. Medium bodied, plenty of concentration and texture on the palate. Well balanced and complete.
Price: Hidden View Price
W&S 92 WE 92

2017 Château de L'Ou "Compartir" Cotes du Roussillon Villages Rouge
Review Date: 07-26-2019
I love Grenache and a wine like this is exactly why. Effortless power and deliciously ripe fruit. Smooth, suave mouth-filing texture. Great Grenache like this can have both the exotic, lifted aromatics Pinot Noir, plus the power and density of Napa Cab without any need for patience. It's a pop and pour hedonistic experience and one that fans of rich, explosive wines will come back to time and time again.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JD 96

2018 Villa Maria "Taylor's Pass" Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 07-25-2019
So just about everyone in the wine world knows that New Zealand makes some downright delicious Sauvignon Blanc (among many other things). However this brilliant bottling from Villa Maria is compelling evidence that they make world-class Sauv Blanc that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the very best of Sancerre and alike. The 2018 Taylor's Pass combines NZ's unrivaled ability to produce explosively aromatic, fresh, zesty expressions of this grape with intense minerality, palate presence, length and complexity. This is not just a simple fruity wine, it has layers of citrus, feijoa, kumquat, key lime, bread crust, stony minerals, salt, cilantro. It's fascinating, electric, dynamic wine that people need to taste.
Top Value!

2014 Leeuwin "Art Series" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 07-25-2019
Another ripper from Leeuwin. This has to be one of the most consistent producers on the planet. Their Cab is always a benchmark expression of Margaret River Cabernet complete with aromatic red / black fruits, mint, subtle eucalyptus notes, warm earth, sandstone, and cigar box complexities. Medium weight with appropriate varietal tannins but remaining highly accessible even as a young wine. Tasted again on day two and three - the wine continues to drink beautifully with no signs of deterioration suggesting it will hold up very well in the cellar. A bargain for such quality and pedigree.
Drink from 2019 to 2019

2017 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-24-2019
Hiding in plain sight, Freemark Abbey continues to put out simply delicious wines at very reasonable prices and never seems to get caught up in the rapidly spiraling price increases of modern day Napa Valley. This benchmark Chard, coming in at under $23 with a huge 94+ score from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, is the most recent example. Capturing classic aromas and flavors of yellow stone fruit, toffee apple, baking spices, and almond paste, this is soft and well rounded on the palate, but has bright, refreshing acidity to balance the creaminess. This is a crowd-pleaser from a super-dependable producer that continues to over-deliver year after year. Top Value!
Price: $22.95 Add To Cart
RP 94

2016 Domaine Lafage "Fundacio" Cotes du Roussillon Villages
Review Date: 07-18-2019
This has a lovely combination of big rich fruit and more subtle savory aspects. The nose has ripe, powerful fruit and dried flowers, it's explosive and inviting. The palate delivers on that promise of big saturated fruit but also gives some nice earthy / stony qualities from the granitic soils of the region. Full bodied but well balanced and not sweet. This is classic Lafage wine making - pedal to the metal but always maintaining complete control.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart
JD 96

2015 Sixto "Frenchman Hills Vineyard" Columbia Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-17-2019
Glossy, smooth, creamy Chardonnay with perfectly ripe stone fruits and tingling mineral underpinnings. This classy wine from K Vintners shows just how, in the right hands, Chardonnay can be both rich and restrained. Grown at 1,700ft on pure basalt volcanic soils this wine is very expressive and flavorful but not over-oaked and weights in at just 13.5% alc. Deeply discounted and decidedly delicious.

2017 Seabold Cellars "Olson Vineyard" Monterey Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-10-2019
A lovely example of contemporary California Chardonnay. A piercing acid line and saline minerality drive flavors of crisp orchard fruit and pie crust across the palate. Some nutty almost Meursault like flavors linger in the back. I love the focus and precision of this wine. A million miles away from the largely defunct stereotypes of oaky / buttery CA Chard. This will stand toe-to-toe with Premier Cru Chablis no problem.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2016 Craggy Range "Te Kahu" Bordeaux Blend Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 07-10-2019
I'm so delighted this wine got the huge score it deserves! Te Kahu has been a long time favorite here at K&L...we've been raving on about the Gimblett Gravels region in New Zealand for quite some time now. Indeed in previous years the big brother of this wine - Craggy's $70 "Sophia" bottling has enjoyed huge critical acclaim (even a 100pt score), while Te Kahu has slipped under the radar, known only to those clued in it's ridiculous value and consistency. But now the cat is out of the bag as it were, and we had to fight to get a good allocation of this highly pointed vintage of Te Kahu. For those unfamiliar with the Gimblett Gravels growing region the best European equivalent is Pessac-Léognan in Bordeaux (home to Chateaux such as Haut-Brion, Smith Haut-Lafitte, Pape Clement, Domaine de Chevalier). The soils are extremely rocky, 30 feet of pure riverbed gravel for the vine roots to penetrate. The resulting wines have powerful fruit and structure, with distinctive mineral undertones. Try this wine with grilled rack of NZ lamb and you'll be in your happy place!
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
DC 97 JS 93

2016 Marietta "Game Trail" Estate Yorkville Highlands Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-10-2019
Tasted blind this wine could pass for a $100+ bottle of Howell Mountain Cab. And I say that in all sincerity and admiration. The wine has formidable concentration and power. Black and blue fruit, cassis, liquored blackberry, graphite, pencil shaving and singed cedar. The fruit is bold and delicious, it has mouth-coating texture, fine, long-chain tannins and wonderful purity of varietal expression. The quality here so far out-performs the modest price point it's ridiculous. A very special wine I implore you to try, you won't regret it. A Cab lovers delight.
Top Value!
Price: $29.95 Add To Cart
VN 94

2015 Beaulieu Vineyard Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-09-2019
A screaming deal on a longtime Napa stalwart! This famed bottling from BV nails the classic regional profile of "Rutherford Dust." The wine is packed with deep, rich, dark fruit, smokey plum, blackcurrant, cassis, dusty loamy red earth, leather and subtle cigar box notes. It's the real deal and at a price that is simply unheard of in the modern era of Rutherford Cab. Get it while you can, this was a one time deal from this Napa Valley icon.
Top Value!

2015 Keller Estate "La Cruz Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-09-2019
Probably the best value California Chardonnay in the store right now. This stunning bottle from Keller Estate is just singing. Full of ripe, golden stone fruits, baked pears and brioche. The vineyard's position in the Petaluma wind gap means that cooling sea breezes turn on like clockwork and preserve a lovely freshness and vibrancy in the wine that balances the ripe fruit. La Cruz vineyard's ancient seabed, clay rich soils impart a lingering mineral component that add complexity and persistence to the finish. Our one-time, super low pricing makes this a top pick that is sure to blow out fast.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 94

2016 Rafael Palacios "As Sortes" Godello Valdeorras, Spain
Review Date: 06-21-2019
This is a wine that will make you sit up and pay attention. It somehow reminds me of some of the finest Chenin Blancs I have tasted from South Africa...maybe it's the decomposed granite soils and pronounced minerality the regions both express...Golden, ripe stone fruit, stone ground flour, freshly baked bread. Tingling acidity laced with stony minerals. A finish that goes on and on...real sneaky persistence on the palate. A complex and layered white wine that I found quite compelling.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
RP 95

2016 Rafael Palacios "Louro" Godello Valdeorras
Review Date: 06-21-2019
I love Godello for its natural ability to convey sense of place. This wine is full of sandy, granitic minerality and an almost saline element. Its crystaline acidity is very refreshing but the wine has a lovely textural softness on the palate. Super versatile with food and equally quaffable without. What a dynamite little wine this is.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2017 Three Sticks "Price Family Estates" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 06-21-2019
A powerful, serious, structured Pinot Noir with dark, intense forest berry fruit with real depth and brooding, layered character. Some briary, stemmy components add complexity and texture. More floral, high-toned elements emerge with air. On the finish - spiced citrus peel and dried herbs kick in as the wine resonates long and assertive on the palate. A great candidate for mid-term cellaring but also delicious now with and good decant. Serious stuff from Three Sticks.
Drink from 2020 to 2020

2017 Hartford Court Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 06-21-2019
Wow! This new release from Hartford Court is just off the hook. It tastes just like one of their high-end single vineyard releases but at less than half the price! Explosive aromatics of bing cherry, sandalwood, clove and warm earth. For me a perfect, benchmark expression of the Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. The palate is highly polished, pure fruited and silky soft. Waves of ripe lush fruit ebb across the palate. The finish is lifted with exotic Asian spices, judicious French oak and heightened bright acidity. So pure and well well made. It's stunning that Hartford Court can put out wines of this caliber at this price point.
Top Value!
Price: $29.95 Add To Cart
JD 95

2016 Alexana "Terroir Series" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 06-21-2019
Upon opening the bottle the wine's brilliant aromatics were immediately apparent with ripe berry fruits, maraschino cherry, baking spices and bramble leaf. The wine's palate is soft and fruitful. A juicy, mid-weight texture with plenty of fruit and vibrant acidity. Dusty spices return on the finish that is elegant and lifted with perfectly judged acidity. A very complete wine that has a high "drinkability" factor due to its purity of fruit and moreish, mouthwatering finish! I really enjoyed a visit to Alexana's estate last year and it's great to see the wines getting the huge critical recognition they most certainly deserve!
Price: $29.95 Add To Cart
WS 94 WE 91

2015 Wines of Substance "Klein Vineyard - Bx" Walla Walla Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 06-13-2019
Striking a deft balance between exotic, ripe, flamboyant modern Cabernet and gravelly, structured, savory old school Bordeaux. Tasted in a lineup of top notch Cabernet from Napa, this wine stood up very well showing beautiful layers of flavor: cassis, blackcurrant, loganberry, hot stones, pencil shaving, oak spices. Full bodied but not jammy in the least. Well defined, varietal tannins give great structure and length. We took one final parcel of this wine before it's gone for good, and with the huge and well deserved score from Jeb it's gonna move fast. 98 points from under $60!
Price: $59.95 Add To Cart
JD 98

2015 Casa Castillo "Las Gravas" Jumilla
Review Date: 06-04-2019
Rich and explosive but has the stuffing and structure to go the long haul. This is a wine of two halves. It has big, boisterous, upfront fruit...but also significant underlying structure and acidity. Seriously concentrated and formidable on the palate but not jammy or over-blown. Lovely authentic feel to the palate and beautifully unimpeded by wine making artifact. This just showcases the natural power and richness Monastrell can achieve here.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 94 VN 93

2017 Domaine Lafage "Cuvée Centenaire" Côtes du Roussillon Blanc
Review Date: 06-04-2019
Year after year Domaine Lafage is a top seller for us and it's easy to understand why. The wines deliver real class and quality at super inexpensive price points. The wines are dependably delicious and don't break the bank. In this cuvée the old vine Grenache Blanc / Gris gives wonderfully pure fruit and deep rooted minerality. Some phenolic structure and density from the Roussanne completes the wine. Lovely weight and richness but a fine acid line and brightness to boot. Hard to beat at this price.

2016 Purlieu "Le Pich" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-04-2019
The pedigree and wine making prowess behind this wine is very obvious from the first sniff to the last sip. Purlieu winemaker, Julien Fayard was born in Provence but earned his stripes in the hallowed cellars of Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Smith Haut Lafitte. After moving to the USA with his California native wife, Élan, he landed a job at Quintessa and then began working for cult super star winemaker Philippe Melka. Eventually becoming Director of Winemaking for Atelier Melka, Julien got to work with the very best vineyards in the valley and groomed his style to perfection. How crazy is it then that you can enjoy the fruit of his labors in a wine priced under $50? A guy who trained at Château Lafite and Dalle Valle (to name just a few)...getting access to THE best fruit in Napa Valley...with 94+ points from Wine Advocate...for under $50! If you like the idea of drinking cult level Napa Cab on a regular basis (without dissolving the kid's college fund) Purlieu's "Le Pich" Cab should be on your radar. It checks all the boxes and is incredibly delicious and satisfying. Showcasing an amazing purity of fruit, perfectly measured ripeness and polished structure. A very precise and exacting wine making style. It's a real gem.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2016 Liparita Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-04-2019
I'm not sure what magic our SoCal Domestic Buyer, Kaj worked to get this Oakville Cab on our shelves for this ridiculously low price...but who cares!? Rich, fruit forward, powerful Oakville Cab for a song. Lush black fruit, ripe tannins, spicy oak and gravel undertones. Finding Oakville designate Cab for under $50 is hard enough...and this one is less than $20! Crazy!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Rodney Strong "Reserve" Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-03-2019
This walks a beautiful line between classic and modern. There's an old school feel about the moderate extraction and savory aspects of this delicious Cab. But there's also generous ripe fruit and plenty of flashy, smoky oak. It's perfectly proportioned and refined with resonating flavors of smoked plum, red currant, cocoa nib, scorched cedar, pipe tobacco and new leather. Approachable now but with plenty of power for a long life in the cellar. A great showing from Rodney Strong and a perfect example of how top Sonoma Cabs can hang with the big guns from Napa at a fraction of the price!
Top Value!
Price: $39.95 Add To Cart
DC 97

2017 Four Graces Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 05-31-2019
Willamette Valley is a great place to look for stunning value in Pinot Noir. The grape thrives there and the wines typically have great balance and purity. However to find a wine of this caliber, at this price point is still pretty rare! Wine Spectator recognized that with their glowing 93 point review, and here at K&L we think they're right on the mark with this one. The wine shows a nice combination of dark cherry fruit, bramble, dried leaves, subtle fennel and savory spice. Bright and juicy on the palate with ample acidity to carry the flavors and make this wine very versatile with food. It's the real deal and at this price it's hard to beat.
Top Value!
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart
WS 93

2018 Skyline (Thomas Fogarty) Lodi Carignan Rosé
Review Date: 05-31-2019
A crisp, dry, Provencal style rosé made from 100+ year old Carignane vines in Lodi! Crunchy red berries, dried herbs, cherry blossom. Nice concentration of flavor and a bone dry, lip-smacking on the finish. Yummm...needs nothing more than sunshine. Top Pick from me!
Top Value!
Price: $14.95 Add To Cart

2016 Skyline (Thomas Fogarty) California Red Blend
Review Date: 05-31-2019
A fantastic little "bistro" style, everyday drinker. I have long admired the "Skyline" label they make at Thomas Fogarty and the quality just keeps getting better and better. Winemaker, Nathan Kandler, puts top notch fruit and a lot of care into these wines and it really shows. The blend is centered around Tempranillo and Zinfandel with a dash of Petite Sirah and Carignane. As you might expect its medium to full bodied, dark red fruited, some nice earthy elements. Nicely refined tannins mean its approachable from the get-go but also has enough structure to pair with heartier foods. A great wine for when you're firing up the grill this summer...killer burger wine. Serious value given the quality in the bottle!
Top Value!
Price: $14.95 Add To Cart

2017 Stags' Leap Winery Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 05-31-2019
95 point Napa Valley Chard for under $20 is pretty much unheard of...yet here we are! A great bottling from longtime Napa stalwart, Stags Leap Winery. What a great example of: if it ain't broken, don't fix it...this label remains almost entirely unchanged since 1893! But this historic property isn't resting on it's laurels, they continue to put out great wines at fantastic values as evidenced here. A well proportioned, balanced style of Chardonnay. Stone fruit charters with some baked orchard fruit too. Subtle oak, mid-weight on the palate with a soft texture but vibrant acidity. Very nicely made wine that isn't trying anything too radical...just executing a classic style and doing it very well. This is the perfect all-rounder, there's enough weight, texture and oak to please those that like a richer style, but it's not at all overdone and has plenty of freshness and drive too. Very well done...this is sure to be a huge seller this summer.
Top Value!
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart
JS 95

2016 The Paring (The Hilt) Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 05-31-2019
If you're looking for an under the radar label that delivers killer value at a modest price point look no further than The Paring. This label is essentially de-classified wine from Jonata / The Hilt...two brands under the same ownership as Screaming Eagle in Napa! "Jonata" is a stunning single estate in Ballard Canyon with wines achieving 100 point perfection from top critics. Sister label "The Hilt,"is focused on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Sta. Rita Hills. Again the wines have been achieving massive scores with fruit from some of the best vineyards in the region. 2016 The Paring Pinot Noir is entirely fruit from Radian, Bentrock and Sanford & Benedict...all vineyards typically reserved for high-end ($50-$75) single vineyard designate bottlings. However Winemaker, Matt Dees, is such a perfectionist he declassifies fruit that others most certainly would not! Hence why we at K&L think this bottle is one of the best values out there.
Price: $24.95 Add To Cart
WE 93 JD 91

2017 Drew "Mid-Elevation" Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir
Review Date: 05-31-2019
A big-time staff favorite here at K&L. This is very much on the elegant end of California Pinot Noir spectrum. It shows a lovely balance of bright fruit with savory forest nuances and umami character. Gentle extraction in the cellar keeps the wine delicate and vibrant on the palate. Super fine, satiny tannin, slate like minerals and dusty spices linger on the finish with more morel mushroom and leaf litter elements. Very complex and refined for a relatively inexpensive Pinot. Real class here.
Price: $29.95 Add To Cart
VN 94

2015 Matias Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay
Review Date: 05-30-2019
Firstly this is a screaming deal at this one-time, deeply discounted price. But perhaps more importantly - the wine is flat out delicious! I personally don't think California Chardonnay has ever been in a better place than it is right now. By and large the "oaky / buttery" monstrosities of yesteryear are gone. Most producers have realized that richness, ripeness and new oak are not the end game for this varietal. This bottling from Matias is a great example vibrant, fresh, even racy, modern Chardonnay, with lovely cut and verve on the palate. It still has the texture and weight that most Chardonnay drinkers are looking for, but the minimal oak influence and refreshing acid line allows the wine the surge across the palate with sublime flavors and surprising length. Sourced from two of the most highly regarded vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands: Sierra Mar and Soberanes. Both vineyards were planted and are farmed by the Pisoni and Franscioni families, the most highly regarded growers in the region. This is top notch SLH Chardonnay for an absolute steal of a price. Time to stock up!
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 93

2016 Taken Wine Co. "Complicated" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 05-29-2019
A simply stunning value in Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. Bright, fresh, pure berry fruits, pomegranate, alpine strawberry, baking spice. Very clean and polished on the palate. Nice concentration, silky tannins and a vibrant, resonating finish. Drinks WAY above its price point. Hard to beat under $20...let alone under $15!
Top Value!
Price: $14.95 Add To Cart
DC 92

2014 Mayacamas Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-24-2019
A perennial winner in the world of timeless Cabernet. Never the biggest, boldest Cab at the table...but certainly one of the most complex, layered and age-worthy. These fabled vines toiling in the rocky Veeder soils have given forth some of the most storied wines of Napa. Perhaps more akin to some left bank Bordeaux wines than its modern cult Cab counterparts that elegantly proportioned wine faithfully speaks of varietal and place. Briary fruits laced with cedar, bay leaf, dry tobacco and ferrous notes. medium bodied and linear in form with long, fine tannins and beautiful acidity. This wine will have a long and glorious drinking window so enjoy one now and lay some away for the future.
Drink from 2019 to 2019

2016 Dominus "Napanook" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend 6pk in OWC
Review Date: 05-24-2019
I'm at risk of sounding like a broken record...but for several years in a row I've preferred the Napanook bottling over Dominus' premier label on first impressions! Sure Dominus has the edge in sheer power and impressive structure, but the last few releases of Napanook have had supreme drinkability and have been very expressive, open knit wines right out of the gate. The 2016 is vibrant, and full of life. Bright red currants, fresh plum, bay laurel, hints of pipe smoke, red earth. Medium bodied, very supple, soft, satiny mouthfeel, not at all austere. If you're looking for something from Napa, made in a more traditional style but with great accessibility for drinking right now, this is your wine. Also given the wine's quality and pedigree the price point of is still very reasonable compared to modern day costs in Napa!

2016 Dominus "Napanook" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 05-24-2019
I'm at risk of sounding like a broken record...but for several years in a row I've preferred the Napanook bottling over Dominus' premier label on first impressions! Sure Dominus has the edge in sheer power and impressive structure, but the last few releases of Napanook have had supreme drinkability and have been very expressive, open knit wines right out of the gate. The 2016 is vibrant, and full of life. Bright red currants, fresh plum, bay laurel, hints of pipe smoke, red earth. Medium bodied, very supple, soft, satiny mouthfeel, not at all austere. If you're looking for something from Napa, made in a more traditional style but with great accessibility for drinking right now, this is your wine. Also given the wine's quality and pedigree the price point of is still very reasonable compared to modern day costs in Napa!

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-14-2019
I'm a fan of this cork aged style of Champagne and this is a particularly good example for a particularly good price point! As you can see by the 26 staff reviews that precede my own...this is a big time favorite here at K&L. Consistent from one release to the next, always on point and crowd pleasing. Fresh enough to drink as an aperitif; layered and rich enough to stand up to food. Just a great all-rounder. Cheers.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WS 90

2016 Stolpman "Estate" Ballard Canyon Syrah
Review Date: 05-11-2019
Such a perfumed, expressive, delicious wine. A great example of why this small sub-region of Santa Barbara County is quickly becoming known for some of the most highly regarded Rhone varietal wines in all of California. Stolpman is the founding winery of Ballard Canyon and in my opinion their wines are still absolute benchmarks despite being much more reasonably priced than many of their neighbors (Jonata, Larner). They have the oldest vines in the region and their farming is top notch. This Syrah has lovely high-toned floral notes leading the way, lilacs, violets, ground spices. Then brambly fruit, loganberry, and redcurrants. Powerful but fresh and vibrant. Great structure and acidity give this wine a lovely frame and length on the palate. Drinking well in its youth, but I think the best is still yet to come and have no doubt it will age for 10 years in the cellar without issue. A very serious wine that belies its modest price point.
Top Value!

2016 Grand Napa "Master Red" Napa Valley Red Blend
Review Date: 05-10-2019
The blend is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller amounts of Merlot and Cab Franc. This is a beautifully polished wine. It's brimming with ripe red fruits, exotic spices, raspberry liquor, summer berry compote. Medium - full bodied but very pure and elegant, long and fresh on the palate rather than thick or jammy. Very well judged with great energy and personality. I like this style very much; it showcases the clarity of fruit one can achieve in Napa without being overly ripe or heavy.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
RP 93

2015 K Vintners "The Deal - Sundance Vineyard" Wahluke Slope Syrah
Review Date: 05-10-2019
Wow, what wine! This is like an amped-up version of something out of the Northern Rhone! It's got all the power and rich fruit you expect from K Vintners but also has some wonderful savory, smokey, meaty things going on too. Dried rose petals, smoked brisket, dried herbs, cracked pepper, sage. Medium plus bodied with ample acidity and structure to carry the weight of the fruit. A very impressive wine striking a lovely balance between old world and new. And what a price we can offer this for! What's not to love!

2015 Substance (K Vintners) "Jack's Vineyard" Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-10-2019
Although they're probably better known for their blockbuster Syrahs, I think the guys at K Vintners are making their best wines under the "Substance" label dedicated to Bordeaux varietals. This benchmark Walla Walla Cab is bursting with ripe blackcurrant, cassis, plum, mocha tinges, cigar box, gravelly minerals and fine mouth coating tannins. It's a rockstar rendition of the varietal hitting all the right notes. Packed with flavor and richness but not overdone on the extraction side of things, and with lovely length and structure. At our super sharp price this is not to be missed!
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
JD 94 RP 94

2016 Bishop's Peak San Luis Obispo Pinot Noir
Review Date: 05-10-2019
Compelling Pinot Noir is almost never under $20. Talley's "Bishop's Peak" Pinot is one of those rare wines that delivers an authentic, complex, layered, expression of the variety that barely puts a dent in your pocket book! The Bishop's Peak wines have long been staples for us here at K&L; we've promoted them as "Staff Picks" for many many years, and if you shop in one of our stores I'm sure you've had them recommended to you. We'll for good or bad these wines have recently been attracting the attention of the wine critics...This 2016 release was just given 93 points from James Suckling to go with an existing 91 points from Vinous Media. These types of scores are simply unheard of for a wine of this price point and truly reflect the way this wine over delivers in quality and pedigree. We purchased every case we could of this delicious wine so what we have in stock is the last of this vintage...get it while you can. Cheers!
Top Value!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 VN 91

2016 Titus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-08-2019
A big, bold, powerful Napa Cab from legendary, longtime Chappellet winemaker, Phillip Titus. As winemaker at Chappellet since 1990, Philip has crafted some of the most highly touted wines in the region's history including multiple perfect 100 point scores from Wine Advocate! Back in 1968 his family purchased a 50 acre estate in St. Helena and re-planted it to Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varietals. The same year Philip took over as winemaker at Chappellet (1990) he also assume that role at his family's eponymous winery and he has been making the wines side by side ever since. The 2016 Titus Cab shows the concentration and structure of the blockbuster vintage. The warm climate of St. Helena fleshes out the palate and wraps the tannins in luxurious, ripe, dark fruit and notes of scorched earth and exotic oak. This tastes expensive and could easily blend in with a line up of cult Napa Cabs that cost 3-5 times as much.
Top Value!

2001 York Creek Estate "Meritage" Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-07-2019
I have long loved 2001 as a vintage in Napa Valley. It was a vintage that produced classically styled, long lived wines. Slow and steady ripening throughout the summer and into fall, allowed for great flavor and tannin development without losing that crucial acidity needed for graceful development in bottle. For mountain sites like York Creek this allowed for potential ageing in excess of 20 years. The 2001 Meritage is in a perfect spot for drinking. The fruit is now perfectly interwoven with the more secondary flavors coming to the forefront. Leather, cedar, tobacco and briary notes mingle with dusty red fruit and earth. The tannins are still present but beautifully resolved and elegant nicely elongating the wine on the palate and begging for a lamb chop. More fruit emerges with air before melding back into the tide of savory umami flavors lovers of aged Cabernet and Bordeaux style wines crave. This wine was purchased direct from the property and has been kept in a commercial wine storage its entire life - perfect provenance. And the price - $29.99 - too good...but true!
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

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