Reviewers


K&L Email Alerts

Sign up to receive custom alerts, new arrivals and the latest happenings from K&L Wines


Staff Favorites - Will Blakely

Will Blakely

Reviews

Page: 1 2 next
Chateau de la Grangerie K&L Exclusive Armagnac (1L)
Review Date: 02-21-2020
This bottle is consistently one of the best values in the store. Any customer in need of a versatile cocktail brandy, especially for batches, I point to La Grangerie. Delicate and oh-so drinkable but by no means simple, expect to find layers of flowers, stone fruit and almond with a pleasing texture and a honey-like finish. Whether using it as an ingredient or looking to end your day with a spirit that's not challenging, you cannot find a better, easier brandy for this price.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2017 Domaine Giraud "Tradition" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 02-20-2020
Another stunning example of Chateauneuf du Pape, the 2017 Giraud delivers on every level. Sticky black fruit, sumptuous and decadent, balanced by sufficient spice and river rock minerals. The oak is present without feeling overwhelming thanks to concrete aging on a sizable portion of the final blend. Though this could age for years to come, I would encourage anyone crack it open right now, make some cassoulet and go to town.

2017 Susana Balbo "Crios" Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 02-20-2020
Few things satisfy like a juicy, well-made Malbec. Susana Balbo has been one of the most celebrated winemakers in Argentina for some time, and bottles like this spread word of her legendary skills far and wide. How can something so cheap be so tasty?? With superb balance, it gracefully delivers dark, brambly fruits and just enough flowers and herbs to lift the profile. Unmistakable quality and an uncanny value, this is one you should pick up by the case.

2011 Chairman's Reserve 8 Year Old "Master's Selection" K&L Exclusive Barrel #151 John Dore Pot Coffey Column Blended Single Barrel St Lucia Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 02-20-2020
What a treasure this fiendish bottle is. Expect a hell of a lot of rum for the price, but keep in mind how volatile and oily these tropics-aged barrels can be. Exquisite vanilla, toasted almond, fleshy coconut and a touch of baker's chocolate waft across the sticky, funky molasses of the John Dore distillate. Combined with the column still juice that provides an almost crystalline sweetness, layers of complex fruit and spice rise and fall in waves. This sip shows baked banana dipped in sticky brown sugar; the next, caramel coated nuts crumbled atop charred banana leaves with a sprinkling of acetone. Remember also that air and water are best friends for these types of brooding, impossibly deep spirits. They prop him up, remind him of his best qualities, and let the rest of the world appreciate the beauty inside.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

Maker's Mark 46 K&L Exclusive "Equal Parts Baked American Pure 2 & Maker's 46 Barrel" Private Select Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 02-20-2020
Every day, I encounter folks looking for the big-name, low-volume bottles that cause all of us whiskey fans to salivate and shake in anticipation or anguish. So often those seeking one or two particular bottles that long since sold through our tiny allocation will leave empty-handed without giving a second glance to our freshly stocked shelves. Yet bottles like this Private Select continue to deliver the quality and endless drinkability of the coveted few, only with sufficient availability that you don't feel guilty when you find your bottle empty. This thing is so soft it's almost criminal. Caramel and baked apple tussle with tons of well-integrated vanilla, forming a rich, enticing palate. There's plenty of salted nuts, ripe banana and cinammon spice on the back to keep things interesting even after multiple glasses. Anyone can enjoy it, but wheat lovesr will absolutely devour this with abandon. What strikes me is how it seems so unpretentious and wholesome. Like slipping under a cozy blanket with a fire going, this makes me feel safe, warm and nurtured. Sure, it's no Pappy, but what else is? Do we really need Pappy? I'd rather have a 6-pack of this - just wake me up when it's all gone, because I will have slept through several alarms.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

5 Sentidos K&L Exclusive Ensamble De 6 Magueyes "Batch 6M-19" (Atenogenes and José Garcia) San Isidro Guishe Uncertified Oaxacan Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 02-20-2020
Cinco Sentidos continues to deliver unique "mezcal" experiences of singular and exceptional quality. This latest iteration knocks it out of the park, especially as there will never be another bottling quite like it. The ratio of the plants depends entirely on which magueys were mature and showing the greatest potential - a field blend in the truest sense, made just as nature intended, and one cannot argue with the profound results. A rush of fresh-tilled, fertile earth and dried herbs on the nose sets the stage for superbly balanced dried fruits - tamarind and mango - with ample spice and a mineral-laden finish. Definitely a must-have for any aficionado's collection, it is simultaneously approachable enough for those looking to break into the next echelon of agave-driven spirits.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart

2017 Domaine de Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 01-30-2020
Though made by the region's pioneer in the new-age style of wine making with Biodynamic farming practices and concrete tank fermentation, this is classic Chateauneuf du Pape and a fine example of the quality and drinkability of the 2017 vintage. Juicy blackberries and strawberries, fine but firm tannin and the unmistakable scrubland character we've come to love from the Rhone valley come together to create a beguiling bottle that anyone can enjoy. Whether it's your first foray into CdP or you're an avid collector, this wine should be on your short list.

2013 Markovitis Xinomavro Naoussa Greece
Review Date: 01-30-2020
A sophisticated wine, endlessly enjoyable, that comes in well under budget. If you want an aged Barolo that's drinking perfectly now but don't want to pay the excessive price, give Xinomavro a shot. Though the similarities are striking, this definitely has its own sense of place and a rustic, unpretentious sensibility. Dense cherry, wild underbrush and dried flowers, countered by charred herbs and savory but resolved tannins - what's not to love? If I had the space, I'd keep a case of this on hand at all times.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2017 Quinta Vale do Meao "Meandro" Douro
Review Date: 01-30-2020
This might be the best vintage of Meandro that I've tasted yet, a prime example once again of the quality and value in Portuguese reds. The quintessential Duoro razzleberry flavor is ever-present, but lifted this time by perfumed aromatics and vibrant acid. A touch of oak spice and gentle tannin make this extremely versatile for pairing with food. At this price point, you don't have to feel guilty about opening it at a party, but you may want to pour yourself a few hefty glasses before you share.

2017 Akitu "A2" Pinot Noir Central Otago (White Label)
Review Date: 01-30-2020
An impossibly pretty wine, this is one I would gladly smell all day. Aromas of rose, strawberry and thyme lead seamlessly into those same flavors on the palate. With a perfect counterpoint of earth and bitter herbs plus acid that just won't quit, this is a steal for the price. Since it's super approachable for most any wine drinker, you'll want to keep this stocked at all times. Whether opened in a wine emergency or just on a Tuesday night, it will never disappoint.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

1989 Chateau de Pellehaut 30 Year Old K&L Exclusive Tenareze Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 01-30-2020
An impressive addition to an already mind-blowing line-up from Pellehaut, this bottling makes a compelling case for fans of well-aged bourbon to switch to Armagnac. Dark, brooding and woody on the nose, it shows its intensity from the first pour, with a dense display of dried currant, maple and cocoa. The palate delivers even more concentration - vanilla bean, baker's chocolate, fig, spice box and toasted tobacco. The earthy finish lingers, letting all the powerful flavors settle before dissipating. Despite 30 years in barrel, it hovers just under 50% alcohol, so I would not fault you a drop of water. If you go that route, expect the brandy to unleash sticky sweet syrup and lush fruitcake, chock full of finely chopped nuts. Just a phenomenal bottle.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

1995 L'Encantada 24 Year Old "Lous Pibous #146" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 01-17-2020
Why spend hundreds, even thousands, of dollars on a 23 year-old bourbon, when this 24 year-old comes in under $200? Bottles from this estate continue to impress me, and this one might take the cake. There is a lot to love here, as that ultra-high-proof spirit only concentrated as it aged. Banana, dulce de leche, ample stone fruit and hearty toasted oak complete with allspice and vanilla come loud and fast like an ensemble band almost too big for the stage they're on. It holds a fine line, just this side of overwhelming; all its aggressive, hedonistic layers of flavor work perfectly. There's even an underlying current of shortbread, praline and lemon skin that round out the waxy, sumptuous body, showing it was built for more than just brute strength. With a couple of drops of water, apricot blossoms open up like the first bloom of spring. This bottle shows a gentler, more sophisticated side- another dimension to the party animal that I saw at first glance. In addition to the bourbon geeks, this style speaks to a lot of fans of cask strength spirits from brandy to whisky to the less funky rums. There's a little (or a lot of) something for everyone.
Price: Hidden View Price

2017 Baron de Montfaucon Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 01-16-2020
So stunningly delicious, especially considering the price, this shows the real strength of Montfaucon's winemaking. Sumptuously textured with tannins already showing like velvet, it strikes a brilliant balance between ripe fruit, roasted spices and firm structure. It provides everything I want out of a Chateauneuf-du-Pape with no added frills or distractions - just pure enjoyment. Though it drinks beautifully now, I eagerly await its development in bottle, as I know it will evolve exquisitely; I will, however, revisit it at many points on its long journey.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2017 Guy Farge "Reynarde" Cornas
Review Date: 01-16-2020
I hesitated before writing this review, because if more people buy this wine, there will be less of it for me to cellar. However, I must spread the gospel and share the joy of this beautiful bottle for the greater good. Sandwiched between two of Cornas' best-known and most accomplished producers, this parcel has yielded some tremendous fruit. It's frankly not fair how delicious this is even in its infancy. The smell of a whole meadow of flowers immediately transports you to windswept hills - by this point, you're already under its spell. From there, you only sink further into its inviting depths. Voluptuous blackberries, braised meat and acid that not only sings, but also dances, all culminate in a bottle that's simply too good to pass up. If you don't buy it, we will.

2017 Malmont Côtes du Rhône-Villages Seguret
Review Date: 01-16-2020
The 2017 Malmont offering from this underrated village is quite possibly their best version yet. A dry growing season led to low yields and tough conditions, but the resilient grapes that survived through ripening resulted in exquisite flavors and sublime structure. The ripe Grenache and Syrah truly shine here, with bright strawberry and lush blackberry, balanced beautifully by mocha and garrigue. I'd wager this gives Beaucastel's Côtes-du-Rhône a run for its money.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2017 Guy Farge "Harmonie" Cornas
Review Date: 01-16-2020
Every time a new vintage of this arrives in our stores is like a second Christmas. I am admittedly a huge fan of French Syrah, but this wine will appeal to most any palate. An enchanting nose of jasmine, lilac and freshly tilled earth leads to an equally pretty palate boasting ripe boysenberry, stewed meat, dried herbs and pristine acid. It's such a joy to taste that I could not resist the impulse to revisit this bottle several times over the course of the day. I highly recommend stocking multiple bottles to avoid the disappointment of running out.

1976 L'Encantada 42 Year Old "Domaine Le Sablé #19" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 01-16-2020
I love old, static-aged casks like this where, as they lose proof, their flavor concentrates toward a singular, focused expression. Herbaceous and complex, it still feels remarkably alive for a 40+ year-old brandy. A hint of old leather and wood furniture does give away its age, but otherwise this shows remarkable freshness and poise. Rosemary and thyme, baker's chocolate, rock salt and roasted nuts meld with subtle citrus peel and yellow fruit to create something unique yet approachable. Nowhere near as powerful as the younger bottlings, this instead possesses a certain nobility and self-assurance. It has nothing to prove; it's simply outstanding.
Price: Hidden View Price

1988 L'Encantada 30 Year Old "Domaine Le Frêche #17" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 01-16-2020
This is one of the most pretty and nuanced Armagnacs I have had the great pleasure to taste. It takes a deft hand to so perfectly combine power and grace, and I still have a hard time wrapping my head around it. Mandarin orange, berries & cream, exotic woods and fresh tobacco float out of the glass, and the palate delivers those same flavors on a bed of fresh red berries, cola nut and mocha. The finish here is insanely long and displays tremendous finesse, with coriander, cardamom and cinnamon gently reaching the far reaches of the palate. A touch of water creates an explosion of strawberries and cranberries, soft and bright, combined with peach and more spice. I just can't seem to get enough of this one.
Price: Hidden View Price

2018 Villa Poggio Salvi "Caspagnolo" Chianti Colli Senesi
Review Date: 01-05-2020
Proof that Colli Senesi deserves more attention and respect, this is a superb, classically-drinking Chianti. Generous strawberry and dark cherry fruit are balanced effortlessly with fragrant herbs and dry, woody tannins. This would pair perfectly with all manner of food — pizza, parmigiana, puttanesca — but I find myself craving a home-made meat sauce. This is a strong contender for the best value-for-money that Italian wine has to offer.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2007 Fine Pot Distilled Jamaican (Monymusk) 11 Year Old "Thompson Bros." K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Jamaican Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 12-08-2019
It is an increasingly rare treat these days to find properly aged pot still Jamaican rum, and this provides the perfect example of what that age can do. Like a fruit salad someone lit on fire, the aromas are intense, varied, and wild. It triggers an impulse in some primitive part of my brain that is at once terrified and enchanted. Waxy funk carries cherries jubilee, cinnamon stick, eucalyptus, and Thai basil across the palate, unabashed and unrepentant. It assaults all the senses and takes them prisoner, and I find myself succumbing to Stockholm Syndrome. A healthy dose of water reveals delicate citrus, banana and pineapple, as well as subtler sage and teak flavors, showing that this beast does have a tender side. No matter how you drink it, this a fantastic rum, and it won't last long.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

1998 Orkney (Highland Park) 20 Year Old "Thompson Bros." K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-08-2019
Perhaps I've grown jaded or entitled (or both) from so many high-proof cask-strength offerings of late, so when I saw this clocked in at only 50% ABV, I was less enthusiastic. This gorgeous whisky made quick work of showing me what a fool I'd been. Turns out that in the 20 years of barrel aging, its alcohol reduced to 50% naturally, packing all that exquisite flavor into every coveted drop. This isn't your hedonistic sherry bomb or caramel-sweet bourbon barrel like the distillery release 17 years - what tumbles elegantly out of this bottle is superbly refined. Sultana, baked apricot, sea spray, and windswept grain build on the palate with the perfect amount of heat and ashy smoke. The finish is long, but not rushed, lingering with that oily texture we've come to love from properly aged Highland Park. Considering the price, this should be on everyone's short list this season.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

Rock Rose Premium Scottish Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 12-08-2019
This is dangerously good. I would drink a full glass of this neat without hesitation. Though juniper-forward in the traditional English style, it is superbly balanced. Bittersweet citrus peel, fresh herbs, cinnamon, and a touch of cardamom complement the piquant juniper flavor perfectly. But perhaps most impressive is the quality of the base spirit. With an immaculate sweet grain note, it shows the expert craftsmanship at play here. Truly a masterpiece.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Old Forester K&L Exclusive Single Barrel "#4478 (Warehouse O, Floor 1)" Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-08-2019
These barrels always represent some of the best values in bourbon. Complex, full-flavored and endlessly drinkable, it makes for the perfect introduction to Old Forester's style as well as a great gift. Caramel corn, a touch of citrus and elevated spice form a strong first impression, but the finish smooths out with almond sandy and creamy vanilla. I just want to sink into a plush armchair and nurse a healthy pour of this all night. In a word: superb.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2003 Bruichladdich 15 Year Old "Valinch & Mallet" #18-1501 Singel Madeira Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch (750ml)
Review Date: 12-08-2019
Always exciting to find whisky aged in Madeira butts. Here the sweet wine imparts a warm, juicy profile of ripe red apple and baking spice to complement the woodsy smoke of the malt. Blood orange, banana, and creme brulee accompany a rich, smooth texture to form the base of this addictive dram. A tinge of flint and iodine give sufficient counterpoint to the decadent entry, culminating in a delightful resolve that brings me back to the glass for sip after sip.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

2017 Veronica Ortega "Quite" Bierzo
Review Date: 12-01-2019
Veronica Ortega has quickly become one of my favorite wine-makers in the region because of bottles like this. Pristine fruit, savory herb, and refreshing acidity achieve sublime balance. There's dark, fleshy berries and a touch of smoked meat reminiscent of Northern Rhone reds, but with far less weight on the palate. Instead, high tone floral aromatics and the aforementioned acid provide ample lift, culminating in a lasting, satisfying mineral impression. The whole way through, black and white pepper play in the background, leaving a tingling sensation on the tongue that enhances the flavors rather than taking focus from them. Altogether, this is superbly crafted wine, and I cannot wait to share it at gatherings going forward.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

2017 Domaine de Verquière Rasteau
Review Date: 11-13-2019
This wine is the sleeper of the season, and will definitely be the first bottle I think of for the upcoming holiday gatherings. Ripe yet refined, it exudes dried plum, juicy blueberry and raspberry, finishing with nutrient-rich earth and an edge of bitter cacao. Despite its big bold flavors, it remains remarkably light on its feet. The agility displayed here puts everything into stunning focus, allowing you to appreciate each facet individually as well as the full picture. This is one of those bargains you don't want to miss.

5 Sentidos K&L Exclusive Espadin "Batch ESALB01-19" (Alberto Martinez) Santa Catarina Albarradas Uncertified Oaxacan Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 11-13-2019
This exemplary mezcal shows how time, dedication and impeccable technique can acheive some of the highest quality spirit imagineable, certified or not. Careful cultivation and handling of this Espadin yields something altogether different from the overcooked and ruddy tastes of high-volume cocktail-only mezcal. The flavors are immaculate and fresh, snapping into focus from the moment the liquid leaves the bottle. Piquant lime zest and mellow roasted roots up front transition seamlessly into chamomille, fresh herbs and green agave. On the back end, a meaty char and the requisite savory smoke give the feeling of serious weight, but all of it is held in perfect balance by a lingering mineral character that leaves the finish just as dry and crisp as the start. Honestly, it's dangerous how easily this goes down; pace yourself, but don't be surprised if you have to buy several bottles before this batch is gone.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

Balcones "K&L Exclusive" Cask Strength Single Barrel #16003 Texas Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-03-2019
Make no mistake - this is a hell of a lot of whiskey for the price. High poof aside, rich, powerful malt delivers an intensity of flavors you don't normally find from under 3 years of barrel age. Dried fig, dark sugar, and dense chocolate wash across the palate with a prominent and pervasive spice. Something about the American oak in this reminds me a bit of bourbon, though the malt definitely delivers a more hearty, savory profile. With a healthy dose of water, the full breadth of flavors really shines, lifting vanilla and summer flowers and wild honey from the murky depths while retaining the full weight of the spirit. We are truly at the dawn of a new age of single malt spirits, and bottles like this are at the forefront, paving the way and battling our preconceptions with damn fine whiskey.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Palenqueros "Rey Arellanes" Santa Catarina Minas Pure Single Palenque Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 10-25-2019
Among these single distillery offerings, I found Rey Arellanes' blend to display the most distinctive terroir. Earthy and complex, boasting a backbone of pervasive acid, it reminds me in some ways of high-quality Burgundy. The wealth of mineral character may owe in part to the clay pot stills, but it only serves to strengthen the comparison. Mature Espadin flavors are lifted by hints of lime skin and saline. The finish here is long and dark, enhanced beautifully by the wild Tobaziche. Truly a masterfully crafted bottle of Mezcal.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Palenqueros "Onofre Ortiz" Bramaderos Pure Single Palenque Ensamble Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 10-25-2019
This Ensamble made for a very pleasant surprise. Exceedingly fresh and floral. My first thought was of a breeze through a meadow in summer. Sweet flowers and chamomile paint a charming picture, fleshed out by melon and white peach. Between a chalky mineral character and touch of cinchona bark on the finish, it whets the appetite like an aperitif wine — one that I could drink all day.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Palenqueros "Baltazar Cruz" San Juan Del Rio Pure Single Palenque Tobala Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 10-24-2019
As one might expect from Tobala, the aromas are delicate, pure and graceful. White flowers, vanilla and lanolin waft effortlessly from the glass, evoking an ethereal and elegant profile. What separates this is the finesse it displays. Rather than wildly tropical, the palate feels creamy and silky. With a whiff of cracked white pepper and a savory but fresh finish, it is easy to see why Tobala is so highly prized in Mezcal production. While displaying tremendous subtlety and restraint, this bottle by no means lacks flavor or intrigue. Truthfully, I find myself wishing I had more.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2017 Susana Balbo "Signature" Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 09-13-2019
If ever I need to explain why Susana Balbo is such a celebrated winemaker, I simply point to this wine. Dark, perfumed, and voluptuous, it might appear at first sniff to be a dense beast of a wine. Not so: silky tannin, exquisite fruit, and high-toned acid paint a perfect picture of Mendoza Malbec that is at once easily approachable yet remarkably refined. Endlessly drinkable, this is one you'll want to revisit again and again.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Foursquare Rum Distillery 14 Year Old "Empery" Exceptional Cask Selection Mark IX Single Blended Barbados Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 09-05-2019
An unexpected blend from one of the foremost experts in rum, this release is a godsend. One shudders to imagine what the stock aged in Oloroso barrels tasted like before it was married with the purely bourbon-aged batch. Even 4 years in the tropics caused the sherry cask to fill this bottling to the gills with a wealth of savory, nutty character. Impossibly dense, it features the same charred caramel we know and love from Foursquare, but with it stone fruits, a touch of waxy honey, and ample baking spice. But this is by no means sweet; all this flavor is balanced perfectly with a snappy, spicy, gloriously dry finish. My words do not begin to do this justice; you'll just have to try it to see for yourself what makes this so special.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

2007 Foursquare Rum Distillery 12 Year Old "Ex-Bourbon Cask" Exceptional Cask Selection Mark VI Single Blended Barbados Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 09-05-2019
Foursquare was the first rum that captivated me and led me down the lengthy rabbit hole that is sugarcane spirits. I used to say these static-aged ex-bourbon barrel releases drink like cask-strength bourbon made from molasses instead of corn. While there's an element of truth to that with flavors of caramel, toasted oak and woody spice, these rums show distinctly tropical qualities you don't find in Kentucky whiskey. Hints of ripe banana and papaya play off the dark sugar tones, though the finish remains perfectly dry. The concentration and density are unparalleled as well, a result of time spent ageing on the island.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

2018 Bodega Chacra "Sin Azufre" Pinot Noir Rio Negro
Review Date: 09-05-2019
Bodegas Chacra continues to amaze me with the quality and care displayed in their wines. Last year's Sin Azufre was a delightful surprise; I hadn't imagined finding modern pinot from Patagonia so expertly crafted and refined. This year does not disappoint, and once again I am floored by the elegance and finesse of these wines. Perhaps brighter in style, more red fruit than black, it features the same savory herb tones and perfectly integrated spice. The finish is long and clean, bringing with it the stony minerals I've come to love from the Rio Negro area wines. I would compare this favorably with Burgundy in the same price range; the styles and terroir differ, but there is no question that this wine is on the level.
Price: $35.99 Add To Cart

2010 La Rioja Alta "904" Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 09-05-2019
I could not contain my excitement when I saw the new vintage hit our inventory, and this bottling did not disappoint. Toasty American oak gives this heft and a bold structure, but by no means overwhelms. Layer upon layer of ripe fruit, sweet flowers, warm earth, aptly balanced spice and savory herbs seem to extend further and further down a deep well of flavor the bottom of which I cannot find. The wine just keeps giving. It's still in its infancy, so I revisited it several over the course of 36 hours, sampling at as many intervals as I could manage. Every time, without fail, more complexity built up in the glass. So much life in it yet, I cannot wait to see where it will be in 20 years.

2010 La Rioja Alta "904" Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 08-23-2019
I could not contain my excitement when I saw the new vintage hit our inventory, and this bottling did not disappoint. Toasty American oak gives this heft and a bold structure, but by no means overwhelms. Layer upon layer of ripe fruit, sweet flowers, warm earth, aptly balanced spice and savory herbs seem to extend further and further down a deep well of flavor the bottom of which I cannot find. The wine just keeps giving. It's still in its infancy, so I revisited it several over the course of 36 hours, sampling at as many intervals as I could manage. Every time, without fail, more complexity built up in the glass. So much life in it yet, I cannot wait to see where it will be in 20 years.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Leopold Bros. "Summer" Limited Edition Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 08-09-2019
Personally, I remain adamant that if you're going to use a gin in cocktails, it should be perfectly palatable without adulteration. Leopold's Summer Gin accomplishes that feat with aplomb. It smells like a summer breeze through a picturesque garden complete with citrus trees on the outskirts. The juniper here is ever-present, but by no means aggressive. Clean, fresh, and right on the mark in every respect, it carries its weight with poise and finesse, but there's nothing pretentious about it. This gin would do just as well with a single ice cube as in an extravagant cocktail that looks like a peacock in a Collins glass and costs you an arm and a leg in Hollywood. I highly recommend picking up a bottle before it hibernates for the winter.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2017 Sierra de Toloño Rioja
Review Date: 07-25-2019
Sandra Bravo is working with some top-notch fruit from high elevation sites in Rioja Alavesa. I am a huge fan of her winemaking philosophy, which is to highlight the natural acidity and purity of her grapes. This 100% tempranillo shows juicy cherry and blackberry, with pungent, fresh floral aromas. Aging in neutral oak allows the fruit to remain prominent against the backdrop subtly savory oak. This is the perfect Rioja to enjoy right now while you let your Gran Reservas mature.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Westward "Single Barrel #B-236-11" K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Barrel American Single Malt Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 07-25-2019
So often when we taste in a professional setting, we try our best to break things down into qualities that readers can identify, interpret and evaluate with relative ease. This, however, is one of those rare occasions where a spirit bucks conventional characterization, as it is so much greater than the sum of its parts. Truthfully, I tasted this four times before writing, and each time I got a different impression; there is so much going on here. Sweet, crunchy grain; savory dough and marzipan; plum and cherry; tons of spice; and sweet caramel with a touch of fudge, all wrapped up in a taut, fiery expression of young but astoundingly complex malt. Candied almonds and chamomile in the midpalate arrive suddenly at a snappy, savory, spicy finish that lingers with dark, brooding chocolate and toasted oak. With enough water to cut the proof, suddenly it feels like a much tamer beast: salty pralines, banana and peach cobbler purr softly, with some of the heat replaced by nutmeg and allspice. Either way you sample it, this is delicious, and definitely worthy of multiple revisits.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

Fukano 10 Year Old K&L Exclusive Single Cask Japanese Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-11-2019
Fukano once again proves that rice-based distillates can achieve flavors and concentration just as pronounced and delectable as their malted barley counterparts. The oak provides tremendous texture, but the flavors are balanced and sweet. Ample butterscotch, aromatic vanilla, candied citrus and summer flowers humbly but firmly vie for attention. The finish boasts honey and chamomile but with a spicy ginger element that offsets the sweetness perfectly. Whether a seasoned whisky afficionado or a casual newcomer, this bottle is sure to satisfy most anyone's palate.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

2018 Lucia Rosé "Lucy" Santa Lucia Highlands
Review Date: 07-11-2019
Fragrant peach and wild red berries balanced by gravelly minerals make this an easy choice for those looking to elevate their drinking this rosé season. Framed by a touch of savory character on the finish, the fruit feels poised and refined. Definitely a wine worthy of the acclaimed highlands from which it hails.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2018 Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 06-27-2019
Astrolabe arrives just in time to replace the breakout hit from Fromm and save your summer. Gorgeous tropical fruit flies out of the glass without a moment's hesitation. Tautly balanced and intensely aromatic, it defies logic with a wealth of passion fruit and guava but a firmly crunchy, dry finish. This wine is what caused us to fall in love with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which is something I have had more and more trouble finding in recent months. The enviable freshness and ease will have you coming back for more every time. Get it before it's gone.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Bodegas Muga "Selección Especial" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 04-11-2019
Truly an astounding expression of the 2014 vintage, it begins with aromas of fresh-baked four berry pie and potpourri. Flavors of marionberry, raspberry and plum meld effortlessly with silky tannin and cocoa nibs. There is an incredible umami about this wine, born of clean earthy tones and healthy salinity. The oak is ever-present, but it lifts the profile; adding volume and texture, it enhances the subtle flavors rather than overpowering them. With such sophisticated poise and balance, this wine is an easy choice for most any occasion. I find myself wishing I had picked up a second bottle already.

El Caballito Cerrero "Agave Chato" Blanco 46 Jalisco Destilado de Agave (750ml)
Review Date: 03-21-2019
This bottle is a must-try for agave aficionados - a perfect example of the complex, rustic flavors of a properly made agave-driven spirit. Earthy, vegetal aromas create a dramatic first impression that quickly develops secondary characteristics of bright acid and tropical fruits. The palate is marvelous, marrying grassy herbs, saline and roasted peppers in a voluptuous, mouthwatering texture. The finish is remarkably clean, carrying an impressive mineral quality and a more meaty flavor than "proper" blue weber tequila. The chato displays a wonderful umami that I rarely see in the other steam-cooked spirits coming out of Jalisco. I wish we could see more products like this, rather than the homogenized recipes created by some of the stricter regulations in the state.
Price: Hidden View Price

Mortlach 16 Year-Old "Distiller's Dram" Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (ships like a 1.5 L bottle due to shape)
Review Date: 03-10-2019
This is a much more serious bottling than the 12 Year Old, to be sure. The wood influence is ramped up considerably, leading to mature and complex flavors. Layers of dried fruit, cocoa, red berries, savory herbs -- thyme and fennel -- precede dense oak and ample spice, finishing with a meaty salinity and lingering notes of flaky pastry. The 16 Year packs a lot of sherry and malt character into a surprisingly affordable package.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

Mortlach 12 Year Old "The Wee Witchie" Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml (ships like a 1.5 L bottle due to shape)
Review Date: 03-06-2019
This makes for a fantastic introduction to the Mortlach line, showcasing vibrant fruit while retaining that savory, meaty character that fans of the distillery know and love. A youthful nose promises good, balanced acid while teasing orchard fruit. The palate delivers ripe apple, golden raisin, toasted oak and vanilla. There's a nuttiness here that rounds out the profile, providing umami throughout the whole experience. Overall, this is a fun and tasty dram for a great price.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

1991 Chateau de Vacquié 27 Year Old Unfiltered Haut-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 03-06-2019
When I heard the story of Vacquie from our buyer, I didn't know what to expect. Haut-Armagnac is seldom talked about in the domain of high-end spirits, so I braced myself for the first foray into this 100% ugni blanc juice. I was rewarded with one of the most impressive and mouthwatering Armagnacs I've ever had the pleasure of sampling. Extraordinarily rich and surprisingly youthful, this boasts a brilliantly floral and slightly tropical nose. The flavors are full and approachable yet refined and complex. Dried dates, sweet syrup and fruit cobbler play beautifully alongside tremendous spice and a firm but dynamic structure. I was shocked to find this comes in just under $100, fully expecting something in the $120-$150 range. The finish is extraordinarily long, leaving a sense of faceted flavors in a gem-like structure. I couldn't help but pour myself a little more to savor the taste a little longer. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
Price: Hidden View Price

2016 Viña Olartia Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 02-28-2019
I was struck immediately by the dense, beautiful color - almost like a polished gem. Whiffs of fresh-tilled earth, black olive and exquisite floral tones further delight the senses and entice you toward your first sip. On the palate, blackberries and dark cherries ride a plush, velvety texture through a charming midpalate complete with vibrant acidity and subtle cocoa nibs. Toasted oak and pleasant earth create a firm backbone that holds this wine together beautifully. You would be hard-pressed to find a better bottle for this price.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2017 Bishop's Peak San Luis Obispo County Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-21-2019
The folks at Talley have been making some of our favorite Chardonnay in the area for quite a while. While their Bishop's Peak line sees less oak, it undoubtedly delivers the same quality and value of their main brand. This wine brims with tropical fruit - guava, passion fruit and melon - and finishes brisk and clean. The subtle oak adds texture and a longer finish, but sits more in the background, letting the fruit and acid shine. At this price, it may become your go-to everyday Chardonnay.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Page: 1 2 next