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Staff Favorites - Chris DePaoli

Chris DePaoli

Reviews

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2017 Gundlach Bundschu "Mountain Cuvée" Sonoma County Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 08-12-2019
This is a lot of wine for the price. Round and soft, the bottle really opens up with some time to breath, showcasing some serious character and dark, rich fruit that plays well with the light mocha and coffee notes. A great bottle to have around the house for a big meaty dish.
Price: $16.95 Add To Cart

Laurent-Perrier "Grand Siècle" Iteration #24 Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-06-2019
More brash and youthful than its non-vintage successor, this wine is built to hang with the great, editioned cuvees of the world, and it performs this role admirably. Tight brioche notes over an initially light frame that deepens and broadens farther back on the palate, this is sushi bait if there ever is.
Price: $149.00 Add To Cart
RP 94 VN 94

Laurent-Perrier "Grand Siècle" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-06-2019
If I'm asked for a special bottle of Champagne, this is what I go to. It tastes as rich as any tête de cuvée I've ever tried, with smashing notes of vanilla and toasted hazelnut, but it's the subtleties that make it truly exceptional. The touch of orange cream and herbal notes on the edge flit in and out of the palate and the softness in total almost demands you finish the bottle. One of the best.

Chateau de Bligny "Cuvée Six Cépages" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-06-2019
The "six grape cuvee" is incredibly interesting and exotic, but also incredibly fun and easy to drink. The palate is a mass of flavors, most notably green apple, light cream, and dried basil, but also lemongrass and rose petal. A great option for the Champagne nerd in your life, or for your next meeting with a top-end cheese board.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart
WE 93 WS 90

2007 Thiénot "Black Ball" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-06-2019
Hilariously easy to drink, the Black Ball is a quintessential crowd-pleaser, while still strutting premium quality. With a soft custard edge that melts away to soft citron, this is a top tier toast candidate, but also would bring out the best in shortbread cookie, or, if you're feeling especially decadent, Southern Fried Chicken.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2012 Franck Bonville "Pur Mesnil" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 08-06-2019
The cleanest, happiest of the Bonville amounts this village trio of Village offerings, this has got a great, lifting note of lemon peel and fresh basil that rockets out of the glass. A phenomenal candidate for aging, this will also be great with fatty foods here and now. I'm constantly blown away by this producer and this bottle keeps it going.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart
WE 94 RP 93

2012 Franck Bonville "Pur Avize" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 08-06-2019
Bonville is the best at taking expectations and beating them with flair, and this bottle is no exception. Round, but not as rich in the palette as the Oger offering, while offering some of the bracing acidity of the Mesnil offerings, this balanced approach creates possibly the most universally likable of Bonville's offerings.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart
WE 94 RP 92

2012 Franck Bonville "Pur Oger" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 08-06-2019
Orange peel umami wonder that is one of my favorite productions by one of my favorite producers. Rich and elegant, this is a food pairing champagne bar none. Even with it's depth and complexity, it leaves as cleanly as anything, refreshingly setting you up for the next sip.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart
RP 94 WE 93

2016 Xanadu Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 07-30-2019
Soft, supple, with hallmark Margret River herb notes, this is a heady contender for the workhorse Cabernet we all want (need?) in our lives. Pretty purple fruit notes, basil, mint, and light young tobacco notes all show up as the palate progresses; longer in the finish than you might expect from the price point. A crunchier style of Cab than the classic Californians we're used to in this neck of the woods, Xanadu is a fun, easy-drinking option that belongs in your repertoire.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2016 Grand Napa "Master Red" Napa Valley Red Blend
Review Date: 07-29-2019
The aptly named Grand Napa winery offering yet another classic Napa bottling here with their "Master" red blend. Heaps of dried red fruit, dominated by strawberry, on the nose matches up well with the same fruit on the palate, where it's joined by red velvet and faint herbal tones that wrap it up nicely through the incredibly long finish, pushed further and further by the fine acidity. Top example from a top vintage.
Price: Hidden View Price
RP 93

2018 Koyle "Costa La Flor" Sauvignon Blanc San Antonio Valley
Review Date: 07-29-2019
Big, juicy Sauvignon Blanc for good times, or at least good food. This is a fun bottle of juice from Vina Koyle. Kumquat and peach and green notes are found with aplomb on the nose and palate, which finishes dry and as long as any bottle comparable. A partner for sushi for sure.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Roserock (Drouhin Oregon) Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-29-2019
Bright, focused, and clean, this is a Pinot Noir bringing all the best Oregon has to offer along with a clear French sensibility to the wine making. Expected or not, the cultural marriage results in a phenomenal bottle of juice that's about as easy to drink as any wine on the shelf. Not a fruit bomb in the slightest, there is a touch of strawberry and cherry on the top diving down into a velvety-smooth spiced finish that wraps up and through the palate, refreshing in its youth. This wine will age better than most at the price point, not that I'll be able to stop myself from opening it soon and often.

2017 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc "Les Sétilles"
Review Date: 07-16-2019
A tropical, bright white Burgundy that shows how good Bourgogne Blancs can be when approached the right way, this is a fun option with great meringue notes, kiwi and peach overlapping a trace of the white stone in the region. A phenomenal value, and a good candidate for a house burg if you like a zesty option.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
JS 91 DC 90

2007 Don Q "Limited Edition" Single Barrel Rum 750ml
Review Date: 06-29-2019
I don't write a ton of spirit reviews, but this is a deserved exception. This rum is going to make a lot of folks happy, both "rum," and "not rum," people alike. With a silky, soft finish that goes forever, it's an excellent bridge option for the whiskey crowd, with strong oaking notes and vanilla sweetness that will be familiar, but a rummy, banana, marshmallow core that'll keep purist happy. Great at a much higher price point, but phenomenal at this one .
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Koyle "Cerro Basalto Cuartel G2" Colchagua Valley
Review Date: 06-25-2019
The spice and pepper on this belay the mass of Carmenere, the exotic spice note is really the only clue this is new world wine at all. Everything Koyle makes seems more direct and purposeful than I expect, with a finesse that's a great showcase for the region. A spicy wine for warm nights and BBQ.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
RP 95

2016 Celler de Capçanes "Mas Donis" Old Vines Montsant
Review Date: 06-25-2019
Back up the truck, this is the wine you've been saving the big space in you cellar for. Lighter than the Montsant labeling would have you think, there's still a smokiness, the same found in higher-end Southern Rhones, that layers over the pine needle and blue black fruit that shouldn't let this juice have the delicate structure it somehow still does - Lie about how much you spent, no one will believe you anyway.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
JD 94

2018 Los Bermejos Rosado Lanzarote
Review Date: 06-25-2019
Listán Negro maybe isn't the world's most popular grape, but it's definitely one of the most interesting. Grown in one of the least hospitable spots on the globe still capable of viticulture, the berries that make it into this bottle benefit from the hilariously low-yielding vines, and are chock full of character and flavor. This Rosado fills the glass with crazy mineral, young fruit and split stem aromas that bleed together, rolling into a matching palette only fortified by the steely back end and roaring acidity. It makes a good summer sipper, or a phenomenal partner to a spiced, meaty meal.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2017 Torbreck "Woodcutter's" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 06-04-2019
Dark, big and juicy; This is classic Barossa Shiraz. Cassis and blackberry and plum and pepper. Tobacco and eucalyptus bracing on the sides. A wine for backyards and summer time, classic Barossa Valley juice is a fine companion to classic California BBQ. Get some.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 WS 93

2018 Trians Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé
Review Date: 05-28-2019
This phenomenal rose from Provence is rich but clean, with a wonderful shoot of grapefruit through the middle of the palette that's framed elegantly by the firm acidity and currents on the end with a surprising lifted spice throughout. Promising to be a great companion to most meals, this is a BBQ rose if I've ever seen one.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2014 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 05-24-2019
This is an incredible Rioja. Dark Blue fruit somehow topped with bright red that fades in and out through a cover of classic oak and spicy notes. A steal at this price, this bottle can hold it's own against any Reserva out there. This is a phenomenal option for nice steak dinners, or roasted vegetables.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

1995 Charles Heidsieck "Blanc des Millénaires" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-10-2019
Woof. Rich and opulent, with mushrooms matched with lanolin and nectar and a broad, reaching unami that pushes out surprisingly long for a bottling of this age. Truly a treat to taste, this "Blanc des Millenaires," smoky and creamy and wrongfully good, is a phenomenal bottle of juice; and is going to make most food pairings better, but is going to change lives with a salty, fatty dish.

Dérot-Delugny "Cuvée Fondateurs" Brut
Review Date: 05-10-2019
This bottle hangs its hat on the Pinot Gris construction but its strength lies in it's champagne tendency more than anything else. A whiff of honeysuckle nods at the abnormal grape selection, but beyond that its totally acid and stone, with just small mentions of pom fruit and cream to the end.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-10-2019
Sur-Lee aged for 5 years, this is a ridiculous showcase of chardonnay minerality juxtaposed over a delicate background of red fruit and light white peach from the Pinot Noir. Not surprisingly a consistent favorite here, the "Authentique Assemblage" is a steal.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WS 90

Alexandre Le Brun "Tradition" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-10-2019
This is a great bottling of Champagne that is a go-to for a mixed group. It's big and rich enough to hold up to food and pretty enough to drink alone. The perfect split of one third each Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier offers a cool comparative option for people exploring champagne styles and the price point we secure by bringing in this producer ourselves allows it to outperform all expectation.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Franck Bonville Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 05-07-2019
One of the K&L staff's all-time favorite producers earned its place for a reason, and the non-vintage Franck Bonville Grand Cru is another phenomenal example of classic blanc de blanc champagne. Floral, and bright, this wine fills the glass with Asian pear notes and subtle cream and chalk that, when matched with bracing acid, make for an awesome drink by itself or with many foods....sushi anyone?
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2016 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir Martinborough
Review Date: 05-07-2019
Absolutely gorgeous. Pretty chocolate covered orange peel on the nose along with rosewater, tropical fruit and touches of citron. Amazing dark herbal note on the palate that goes back to the orange peel and sanguine finish. All this delivered with a faultless structure of somehow both supple and soft tannin giving way to a round, broad finish. One of the best New Zealand pinots I’ve ever had, even as it does it’s best to defy that limited designation.

2016 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-03-2019
For as much noise as is made about the "Estate" bottling's origins from the Monte Bello Vineyard and the relative accessibility of the juice, so little is said about just how good this cuvee is year in and year out. The 2016 edition is as good as you would expect from such a generous vintage and is still as easy to drink at release as it has always been, with cleaner lines and more focused notes than many California Cabs. A ridiculously dark purple, the nose is dominated by dark cassis and earl grey tea, both of which are found on the palate along with sage, white peppercorn, and salal. Such a good drink.
Price: $59.95 Add To Cart
JD 94 CG 90

2016 Robert Oatley "Signature" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River
Review Date: 04-27-2019
Another great Aussie Cabernet! The Margret River region is doing some great things with the grape, Robert Oakley is a consummate producer, and the combination inevitably yields fantastic results. Flavors of blackberry and currants are readily present over dark spice and cafe au lait. Velvety now and easy to drink, it'll grow and change for years to come, it's a wonderfully priced alternative for Napa lovers.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
JH 95 WE 91

2016 Rustenberg Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch
Review Date: 04-27-2019
Cabernet lovers looking for classic style at affordable prices really need to start looking at South Africa sooner rather than later. More and more incredible wine coming from the tip of the continent and at some point people will start to take notice. This bottling from Rustenberg is a great example of what the country's wines can be. Classically structured, with savory herb, tobacco and black fruit notes on the nose. The palate matches the nose with a touch of pink peppercorn emerging and the incredibly long finish belays the price point. The tannins are present but not strong, making this an easy drink now.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Inverroche Classic Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 04-27-2019
A fantastic bottle of gin, the "Classic" offering from Inverroche doesn't lean to heavily into its designation, with spectacular results. Bright, floral notes bracing in a clean citrus beam that goes in and around the background juniper makes this a super cool G&T candidate, but also something that a cocktail aficionado could really sink their teeth into. The limestone region the botanicals are sourced from isn't super prevalent, but does lend a curious finish that is one of my favorite components of this bottling.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 04-27-2019
A lighter bodied Cabernet, this wine has an elegance that gives way to an exceptional verve at the tail end of the palate. Subdued cassis notes layered way underneath the cooked bay leaf and black olives makes for a really great mid palette that transforms long after you might expect for a wine as fresh and lively as this is. Lower tannin, resulting in a freshness I don't normally associate with Cab but one I could definitely get used to.

2017 Jacky Blot Domaine de la Taille Aux Loups "Remus" Montlouis Sur Loire
Review Date: 03-22-2019
The limestone of Montlouis sur Loire is a wonderful tool for a talented winemaker, and Jacky Blot has a well-earned reputation as one of the best. This rich, dense bottling of Chenin is a stirring tribute to the complexity the varietal is capable of. Beeswax and orange oil cut with high acid tones and a cement backing. This bottle tasted fantastic (after a little time open) but will be good for years to come.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JG 90

2017 Florent Cosme "La Motte" Vouvray Sec
Review Date: 03-22-2019
This is for the friend who only drinks dry wines, who swears there's not a sweet wine they like in the world. Florent Cosme is an incredibly talented vineyard manager turned incredibly talented winemaker who understands grapes and land and makes wines that express both wonderfully. The marriage of sweetness and acid in this is what sweeter wines are all about, and the rich floral bouquet is a beauty of hibiscus and white pear. Drink now, drink often.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

2015 Leeuwin Estate "Art Series" Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 03-12-2019
Clean, Seashell minerality, classic nectarine, orange rind and ginger are abundant and clear in this always wonderful bottling out of Western Australia. Delightful now, but also eminently ageable with blossoming acidity and wonderfully integrated oak, the Art Series is one of the worlds favorite Southern Chardonnays for a reason.

2015 A.A. Badenhorst Family Wines Red Blend Swartland
Review Date: 03-02-2019
Here in the states we don't hear the tasting note "Fynbos" often but if you like wines that showcase their origin and are screaming with character you should definitely be trying more South African wines that carry the taste and smells of the Fynbos, or South African Cape Ecoregion. This wine's got the stereotypical rich floral aromatics mixed with mind and parsley, mixing with the fresh plowed soil and prune. On the palate is a pretty beam of raspberry compote over plum sauce and earth. Great wine from a great producer.
Price: Hidden View Price
WS 91 WE 90

2017 Château de L'Ou Côtes du Roussillon Rouge
Review Date: 03-01-2019
An absolutely delicious bottle of wine, I enjoyed this last night with a group of friends, only after telling them the price. They had all guessed multiples of the actual amount, and it's no wonder with how talented of winemakers they are at Chateau de L'Ou. Rich and supple, but not syrupy, this Cotes Du Roussillon is the answer for rotisserie chicken, or pot roast. Tons of fruit framed by smoke and vanilla, this is my new house wine and is definitely worth taking a chance on.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2016 Schiavenza Nebbiolo delle Langhe
Review Date: 02-26-2019
A wonderful introduction to the region and the producer’s style at a relatively affordable price point, this Nebbiolo has all the hallmarks of the Langhe in it. A salty, meaty main thrust is framed with bold tobacco notes and leather. A classically structured drink, this is the consummate food wine, really reveling in a great pairing, like Polenta or Salami. Definitely a candidate for short term aging, but made with the intention to drink now.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2016 Colombaio di Santa Chiara "Campo Pieve" Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Review Date: 02-26-2019
A classic Italian white we all should be making more time for, Vernaccia is a classic Tuscan variety that has power and structure to spare. With the elegance and finesse of much lighter grapes, Vernaccia is a standout, and this bottling from Colombaio di Santa Chiara is no exception. Awesome, refreshing acidity, braced up against the structured citrus notes and supported by light licorice and smoke, makes this a food wine par excellence, perfect for a special meal. One of my favorite dollar-for-dollar offerings.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2016 Foxen "Bien Nacido Vineyard - Block UU" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-22-2019
Fantastic Chardonnay from Bien Nacido is hard to describe, but this bottle of apple orchard and ocean spray notes is just another example of how good this vineyard can be. The folks at Foxen have enough vintages under their belt to know that letting the vineyard do the expressive work is the truest winemaking, and they let that show in this bottling. The subtle weight on the palette pushes the lemon bar from the back and the long finish opens up finally to the light, charcoally end that will be awesome with cranberry goat cheese or scallops.

Laurent-Perrier "Cuvée Rosé" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 02-08-2019
A fantastic wine, gorgeously presented by a house that was established before the industrial revolution will always have a place in this world, and Laurent-Perrier's "Cuvée Rosé" is no exception. Luxuriously rich, with strong fruit notes on the nose and a light spice wrapped in creme on the palate, this is a bubbly rose for the special occasion. Pairs wonderfully with food and is a great remedy for the early spring chill!

Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-08-2019
At the moment Bollinger is my favorite big house and the non-vintage "Special Cuvee" is a big part of that position. Ripe fruit underneath a wet stone wash gives way to a sweeter, almost flan like mid-palate that finishes in a mouth watering citrus zest. A classic for a reason.

Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 02-08-2019
Don't take my word for it. Don't take everyone else's word for it. Try Billecart-Salmon's Brut Rosé and see why it's consistently touted as the creme de la creme. It's subtly full of rosewater complexity and aromatics that dance out of the glass. It's instantly appreciable. It's consistent. This is a slightly bolder style than most rose champagne, due to the red wine added, but it's still pretty enough to be on its own, and merits the attention.

Billecart-Salmon "Brut Réserve" Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
This is a true staff favorite. Billecart Salmon Brut Reserve and Lay's potato chips is among my emeritus choices for best food pairing ever, and I'm not alone in that appraisal. Light honey coated pom fruit and refreshing acidity are the understated role players in this incredibly delicate, balanced cuvee. Drink now, drink often.

2011 Egrot (formerly Elisabeth Goutorbe) Grand Cru Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
It's well known that 2011 was not the best year in the appellation's great history, but if you're looking for a specific style, '11 can offer you some incredible champagne finds. This vintage cuvee has a moderate dosage of 8 grams per liter but still comes off as incredibly dry and steely, perfect for hard cheeses and briny, fatty snacks.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Egrot (formerly Elisabeth Goutorbe) Extra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
It's made to be crisp and clean, it should be crisp and clean, and it is crisp and clean, but it also is so much more than that. People ask about dosage all the time as a tell-all reference for sweetness and warmth of champagne, but even with the low dosage of 2 grams per liter, this extra brut has a nice evenness right up to the finish ,which is really where the austerity lies if anywhere. Oysters are the obvious choice here, but most seafood, particularly served cold, would work here. I'm looking forward to this and fish tacos, or even cerviche, if you try it first let me know how it is!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2012 Michel Arnould "Memoire de Vignes" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
This is what champagne is all about. Complex, candied, and nutty, on the second and third pass the big black fruit backing comes to the fore, a hallmark of the best Blanc de Noirs. This bottle is eminently ageable, but is fantastic right now too.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Michel Arnould "Reserve" Brut Verzenay Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
This Manhattan-soaked-cherry-dipped-in-hazelnut-creme-and-turned-into-a-drink is a good time bottle, and is an excellent food pairing offering from a region not given enough attention in that arena. Cleaner than one might expect from the 3-to-1 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay ratio, it is still full bodied and ripe, but with a lingering acidity that is pretty surprising the first go around.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

2017 Domaine du Petit Clocher Anjou Blanc
Review Date: 01-25-2019
I drink a lot of Chenin Blanc and this is one of the best bottles in the store, especially for the price. You really should drink as much as you can before people realize how good and undervalued the Anjou region is compared to the rest of the Loire. The greystone aromas are followed and an incredibly interesting honeysuckle, pear and citrus palate with a fleshy mouthfeel that awesome to drink by itself. It's not an acid freak, but its balanced enough against that weight in the mouth to do the job. I really can't say enough about this wine but I love it!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2016 Malmont Côtes du Rhône Villages Séguret
Review Date: 01-25-2019
This is a fantastic Cote Du Rhone. Incredibly to hard to beat at this price point, the Grenache gives it a wonderful red fruit lift, and with the incredible balanced lended by the Syrah it's become a favorite wine to pair with dinner for me. I like to give it a little time to open up, which lets it show off it's more subtle, earthy side.

2016 Domaine Baud "Ancestrale" Côtes du Jura Rouge
Review Date: 01-15-2019
This Trousseau-Pinot Noir blend from Jura is super cool. Incredibly refreshing, its got awesome cranberry followed by rosemary and sage wrapped up in this flirty, light body that belays the complexity. Let it sit a little longer than you would think for such a light bodied wine and enjoy with duck or even Chinese food!
Price: Hidden View Price

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