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Staff Favorites - Clyde Beffa Jr.

Clyde Beffa Jr.
Clyde Beffa Jr.  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
Had K&L co-owner and main wine buyer Clyde Beffa Jr. not read an article about the gentlemanly hobby of wine collecting in the February 1971 issue of Playboy, he might still be weighing the merits of Holsteins versus Jerseys instead of Château Margaux or Haut-Bailly. Beffa owned a dairy in Tracy, California, from 1967-1973, leaving the the business to co-found K&L Liquors, as it was known back then, in 1976. Clyde started traveling to Europe in 1982 and over the years, he has worked hard to build K&L into one of the nation's go-to sources for the world's diverse wines, developing relationships with winemakers and châteaux owners the world over. Clyde's passion is surely Bordeaux, especially the fabulous wines from Pauillac and St-Julien (like Pichon-Lalande and Léoville-Barton). When he's not drinking France's legendary reds, you'll likely find Clyde indulging in Sauvignon Blanc. A fan of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and white Bordeaux, he'll also tuck into a bottle of Kiwi Sauv Blanc if there's no corkscrew around. These days you'll likely find Clyde extolling the virtues of underrated Bordeaux vintages like 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004 and 2006, or playing with his German Shepherd Sadie. Or you may see him in his vegetable garden and, once in a great while, on the golf course.


Reviews

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2016 Accendo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-02-2020
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Bart Araujo has continued his fine wine production-he just moved south a bit in the valley. His great Araujo Eisele wines from 1991-til 2010 are legendary. They were all made in the Calistoga region of the Napa Valley-a soft spot in my heart because I have a house in Calistoga. :-) Since 2013 he has been producing fabulous Cabernets under the Accendo label. Now the winery is located on Zinfandel Lane (you should visit it) and the juice for the Cabernets comes mainly from the Oakville region of the Valley. This 2016 is stunning-Toasty oak and cassis aromas follow to the palate. Very elegant and refined with no hard edges-round tannins and lingering finish. Very Bordeaux like. Bravo!
Drink from 2021 to 2021

2018 Accendo Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 08-02-2020
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Everyone knows I love Sauvignon Blanc from most any country. This is one of the best I have tasted this year. Perfectly balanced wine and not clumsy like so many California SBs are. Fine acidity and tons of ripe citrus like flavors. Some richness on the palate with a long, lingering, refreshing finish. You just want to drink the whole bottle-especially on a warm summer evening. Should be perfect with some shellfish or even a barbecued chicken-heck its great alone by the pool also. A must try.
Drink from 2020 to 2020
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

2018 Franck Millet "Insolite" Sancerre
Review Date: 08-02-2020
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One of the finest Sancerres on the market today. I met Franck and Betty Millet in Beaune on Easter Sunday 1995 where they presented me with their first vintage. I loved the wine and the rest is history. K&L was their first customer in the USA. The Insolite is their top cuvee and is packaged in a wooden box of six with a couple of the stones from this famous vineyard. Though 2018 was a warm vintage in the Loire, this wine has retained its great minerality and it has fine acidity to balance the richness of the fruit. Some lime notes and white flowers-clean and crisp and delicious. A must buy for Sauvignon Blanc and Sancerre lovers.
Drink from 2020 to 2020
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2002 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 07-27-2020
VERY good. The usual "old-school" style of Coufran matches well with the fatness and sweetness of Merlot, and the wine is delicious right now. A great value for under $30. Plenty of blackberry and mineral aromas lead to a rather soft and elegant palate entry. Still alive and well (great storage at the property) and promising to cellar well for a few more years. A soft, smooth finish here and the wine is perfect for your Wednesday night hamburger or even your steak and claret Friday night. I like it as much as their awesome 2001.
Price: $20.99 Add To Cart

2001 Haut-Bergey, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 07-14-2020
This wine is amazingly good — 19 years old and going strong. We have sold many cases of this gem. Intense mineral aromas mixed with some blackberry undertones. Sweet and soft on the palate. Tannins are gone — just pure black fruit flavors and some bottle age. Lovely texture on the palate. Long fruity finish. These 2001s are so good right now!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

1998 Beauchene, Pomerol
Review Date: 05-31-2020
The wine is soft on the palate, very sweet, with a long, very un-tannic finish. The 1998 Pomerols were great — and this is a superb value.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2016 Gros Caillou, St. Émilion
Review Date: 05-09-2020
OK, I have been to St-Emilion about 50 times in the past 35 years, and I have never seen or been to this property. Heck, there are over 4,000 St-Emilion properties! Yet, while this is the first vintage we have carried from this property, it will probably not be the last. We tasted a sample of the wine in December and bought it on the spot. Classic, lively, vibrant 2016 Bordeaux for a very good price. Spicy and toasty oak aromas, and tons of black fruit aromas and flavors. Quite sweet right now, but if you decant it for an hour and it will be even better. We did not decant and still finished the bottle quickly—it tasted so good with our roast chicken dinner.
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart

2019 Kalinda Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 03-25-2020
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Just like our delicious 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, this 2019 was made by a very famous Oakville region winemaker. We can't tell you who made it or at which Oakville property it was made, but let it be known this winemaker was voted by Robert Parker (when he was active in the wine scoring scene) as the best winemaker in the world for the year 2xxx!! From 26 year old vines, this wine was aged in mainly stainless steel and tank, but 7% in clay amphorae and 3% in seasoned French oak barrels. Pleny of bright lime and citrus nuances here on the palate. Very floral on the nose. Lazar-like focus-crisp acidity and delicious finish. This wine is so good you will drink two bottles in a sitting. And the price is much lower than the flagship SBl from this property Due to arrive in stores on April 2nd..
Drink from 2020 to 2020
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2016 Clément-Pichon, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 03-23-2020
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A major sleeper of the vintage from major builder/contractor Clement Fayat's fabulous property-without a doubt, the most beautiful Chateau in Bordeaux. A Loire style property in the south of the Haut Medoc region of Bordeaux in the town of Parempuyre-this property is the furthest South of the fine properties of the Haut Medoc. We have been selling this wine since the great 1996 vintage. The beautiful nose leads to black cherry and coffee notes. There's plenty of fruit and nice balance, allowing this wine to age well for several years. A bit more tannic than the Beaumont, decanting now will help soften it out. A high % of Cabernet in this wine-the vines were planted in 1976-the year we started K&L. Drink or cellar a few years.
Drink from 2020 to 2020
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2017 Tour Leognan Blanc, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 03-20-2020
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We love the wines from the very old and famous Chateau Carbonnieux. I have a soft spot in my heart for this property as it was there in 2001 that I was inducted into the Commanderie du Bordeaux.-clyde beffa The wines from Château Tour Léognan are blended from the young Château Carbonnieux vines (under 12 years old) using the same vine-growing and winemaking methods. During their first years of production the replanted young vines produce delicious, full-flavored wines although a little less rich in aromas. They are decidedly very pleasant and easy to drink when young. This is a wine for pleasure, a blend characterized by the Sauvignon which confers on it a dynamic blend of citrus notes and a full and elegant palate, all well-balanced by the round, rich texture of the Semillon. 2017 was a great white wine vintage in Bordeaux and this wine shows exceptionally well. A touch of oak blends well with the citrus notes on the nose and palate. Perfect for a poolside sipper in the coming months.
Drink from 2020 to 2020
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 du Moulin Rouge, Haut-Medoc
Review Date: 03-20-2020
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Château du Moulin Rouge is located in the commune of Cussac-Fort-Médoc (Gironde). It has belonged to the same family for 13 generations and is now a well-reputed Cru Bourgeois in the Haut-Médoc appellation. Sandwiched between the famous Margaux and Saint Julien appellations, the château benefits from an outstanding terroir. In fact, many trade professionals and knowledgeable wine lovers compare the wines of Château du Moulin Rouge with those of Saint-Julien. We have driven past this property every year since 1985, but we have only bought the wine three times. The latest buy is this exceptionally good 2015. The elegance of the 2015 vintage especially in Margaux and St Julien shows through on this usually big and tannic wine. Red rose aromas and cassis flavors open up after decanting. Give it some air and enjoy with a pot roast or hambirger. This will cellar well for 10 years plus
Drink from 2020 to 2020
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2001 Lynch-Moussas, Pauillac
Review Date: 03-18-2020
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An exceptionally successful vintage for this property. Pretty, deep crimson. Rich nose redolent of treacle. Smooth, quite sumptuous texture. Very flattering and relatively subtle. I just drank a bottle of this beauty (3/15/20) and it was heavenly. So sweet and elegant. A bit toasty cassis on the nose. Lingering finish-delicious wine and top value for next few years.-clyde beffa
Drink from 2020 to 2020
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

1999 Meyney, St. Estephe
Review Date: 02-19-2020
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What a great value for over an over 20 year old wine. Meyney made a very good 1999 and an excellent 2000-one of ralph's favs. Plenty of cassis on the nose and palate of the 1999- lively and mature 21 yr old Bordeaux. Perfect with rack of lamb or even a hamburger
Drink from 2020 to 2020
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

2016 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 09-15-2019
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The 2016 Cantemerle has a fresh bouquet of airy, floral black fruit; light violet scents emerge with time.This wine is always one of the best values in Bordeaux and 2016 is no exception. Full and fine on the palate. Will cellar well for many yars.
Drink from 2021 to 2021

2018 Kalinda Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 09-13-2019
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A super value for everyday-drinking Chardonnay. Not too oaky or buttery, but has quite a nice balance on the palate. Plenty of apple and toast on the nose and palate. We can not tell you who made it, unfortunately.
Drink from 2019 to 2019
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2018 Léoville-Las Cases, St-Julien
Review Date: 06-02-2019
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This wine received the highest combined rating of all the wine raters ( except for latour and Lafleur). It is truly amazing. Blueberry and boysenberry aromas-so ripe and round. Seamless wine-elegant yet powerful. Like their 2009 with a bit more tannin. Better than most of the first growths.
Drink from 2025 to 2025

2018 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 06-02-2019
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COuld this be better than their magnificent 2014 or 2016? It is just as good. Lots of power here-like an iron fist in an iron glove. Structured for a long cellar life. Minty aormas and flavors. A collector's wine.
Drink from 2026 to 2026

2018 Réserve de la Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-02-2019
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To our group, this may be the best second wine of Bordeaux 2018! Toasty aromas, violets on the nose. Sweet and sexy. You want to drink it now. Just retasted in May-so good. A great value.
Drink from 2022 to 2022

2018 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-02-2019
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Tated five times and great notes everytime. This wine reminds me of the 1983 or the 1989 Pichon. That is saying a lot. Fabulous cassis and cedar aromas with some Asian spice thrown in. So elegant, yet with structure to go a long while. (Their 1983 and 1989 wines we just drank-perfection for 30+ year old wines). This wine is one of our favorites of the vintage. A must buy.
Drink from 2025 to 2025

2018 La Gaffelière, St. Emilion 6-pack in OWC
Review Date: 05-21-2019
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42% Cabernet Franc and 58% Merlot. FABULOUS wine-one of the top right bank wines we tasted. Rose petal aromas and sweet red berry fruit flavors. Pure, elegant, sweet and delicious. I could go on and on. Their new plan of only using their top vineyard for the first wine has paid off in spades. A must buy for Bordeaux collectors.
Drink from 2022 to 2022

2018 La Gaffelière, St. Emilion
Review Date: 05-21-2019
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42% Cabernet Franc and 58% Merlot. FABULOUS wine-one of the top right bank wines we tasted. Rose petal aromas and sweet red berry fruit flavors. Pure, elegant, sweet and delicious. I could go on and on. Their new plan of only using their top vineyard for the first wine has paid off in spades. A must buy for Bordeaux collectors.
Drink from 2022 to 2022

2018 Haut-Batailley, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-09-2019
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This is a property to watch these days as the brilliant team of Jean Charles and Jean Michel Cazes of Lynch Bages fame transforms the property and the wines into one of the best from Pauillac. 59% Cabernet and 41% Merlot. Black cherry aromas follow to the palate. Sweet, sexy, and lush on the palate with a lingering finish. Will cellar well. Normal production here and the Merlot did well. A must buy!
Drink from 2024 to 2024

2015 Fleur La Mothe, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 05-08-2019
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A clean, fresh, quite perfumed bouquet with blackberry and raspberry scents, The palate is well balanced with a fresh, sappy entry. There is good depth here, but there is plenty of freshness from start to finish and it will mature well over the next six to eight years. A great value, but I am not a fan of the label
Drink from 2020 to 2020
Price: Hidden View Price

2018 Lynch-Moussas, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-06-2019
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This property has been flying under the radar for many years. It has been making fine wines since the '90s (you should try the delicious 1996 and powerful 2000). Red fruits abound in this beauty that is priced correctly at $40. Spicy aromas and flavors and some tannins to resolve. This is a fine wine from one of the top regions in 2018.
Drink from 2025 to 2025

2018 Puy-Blanquet, St-Emilion
Review Date: 05-06-2019
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This property has been on a roll for the last three years. Very aromatic with blackberries and boysenberries on the nose. Some black licorice flavors and a fine lingering finish. A bit of tannin at the back. Fine value.
Drink from 2022 to 2022

2018 Hosanna, Pomerol
Review Date: 05-06-2019
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Wow-this wine is so exotic. Cabernet Franc sure shines through on this red berry flavored wine. A full mouthful here, but not jammy. Superb balance--delicious now!
Drink from 2025 to 2025

2018 Lafleur-Gazin, Pomerol
Review Date: 05-06-2019
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The poor house in the rich neighborhood of Petrus, La Fleur Petrus, Gazin, etc. This wine is lovely-quite soft and elegant. Lots of black cherry flavors. Fine on the finish.
Drink from 2022 to 2022

2018 Bourgneuf, Pomerol
Review Date: 05-06-2019
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I really like this wine in 2018. It is not as rustic as in recent past vintages. Menthol, mint aromas. Dense wine. Plenty of spicy, minty flavors. Almost new wve, but finely balanced. Sweet on the palate. Lovely.
Drink from 2025 to 2025

2018 Capbern, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 05-01-2019
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A favorite of ours ever since the 2009. Very spicy aromas that follow to the palate. Lots of red berry aromas and flavors. Northern Medoc 2018s are very fine in general.
Drink from 2022 to 2022

2018 Potensac, Médoc
Review Date: 05-01-2019
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-I really loved this 2018. Usually I have a difficult time tasting Potensac during premier week-but not this year. It was very fruity and sweet on the palate. No hard edges. 2018 saw outstanding wines made in the far north of the Medoc-much like 2016.
Drink from 2025 to 2025

2018 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien
Review Date: 05-01-2019
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Xavier Maroteaux has fashioned a delicious wine in 2018. Tasted three times- 58% CS, 33%M, and mix of PV and CF to finish. Elegant wine with ripe roses on the nose and palate. Lush wine with sweet, ripe tannins. Fresh and full with some tannin evident. Fabulous wine in 2018.
Drink from 2025 to 2025

2017 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien 6-pack in OWC
Review Date: 05-01-2019
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Xavier Maroteaux has fashioned a delicious wine in 2018. Tasted three times- 58% CS, 33%M, and mix of PV and CF to finish. Elegant wine with ripe roses on the nose and palate. Lush wine with sweet, ripe tannins. Fresh and full with some tannin evident. A beauty of a wine from a great property.
Drink from 2022 to 2022

2018 Langoa-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 05-01-2019
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We think St Julien may be the best region in Bordeaux for 2018 (what else is new?) and this is always a value in the region. Tasted four times with consistent notes, this wine is precise and pure with a black cherry cola aroma and long sweet palate impression. A steal for sure.
Drink from 2022 to 2022

2015 Gazin Rocquencourt Blanc, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 02-12-2019
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The 2015 Gazin Rocquencourt, which comes from the Bonnie family at Malartic-Lagravière, is pure Sauvignon Blanc and matured in 40% new oak. The 2015 has a tremendously fresh bouquet with Granny Smith apples, fresh pear, and hints of white peach. Lovely wine and perfect with a nice piece of salmon grilled.
Drink from 2019 to 2019

2017 Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 01-31-2019
Intriguing nose of allspice and savory undertones. Lots of mineral on the nose and palate. Medium weight with lots of spices as the wine warms up. Red currant flavors and nice balance; tons of spice at the back end, too.

2000 Clos du Marquis, St-Julien
Review Date: 11-24-2018
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OK-so it is not the second wine of Las Cases, but a separate clos on the property. This wine is vibrant, lively, sweet, and full-bodied. Perfect with your steak tonight.
Drink from 2018 to 2018

2017 Calon-Ségur, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 08-16-2018
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76%CS, 13% M, 9%CF, 2%PV. Lovely red fruit and rose petal aromas meshed with some soft, toasty oak. Very sweet palate entry and a forward ripe mid palate. So elegant and refined. Long, lingering finish with a touch of tannin. Superb wine and better than their 2015. Do not miss these northern medoc 2017s.
Drink from 2021 to 2021

2017 Figeac, St-Émilion
Review Date: 08-15-2018
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47% CS and 43%M with 10%CF. One of the best of the right bank 2017s. So minty and spicy on the nose. Red berries and boysenberries on the palate. Soft and forward. So sweet. Lovely.
Drink from 2020 to 2020

2017 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 08-15-2018
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This might be the best for the money in 2017. Of course I am prejudiced, but Léoville sings in 2017. 93% Cabernet Sauvignon tells the story here—Merlot did not do well in the region. Very spicy on the palate. Suprisingly easy to drink. Not a huge wine, but a seamless, totally enjoyable 2017. Can be enjoyed in the next five years. Bravo to the Barton team and my best to Anthony and Eva Barton.
Drink from 2021 to 2021

2017 La Gaffelière, St. Emilion
Review Date: 08-15-2018
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So lush and lovely. It frosted on their lower vineyards and so only their hillside grapes were used in the blend! Precise and focused wine. Reminds me of the 1953 and 1962 that I recently drank ! This wine IS MUCH better than their 2015 or 2016. A must buy
Drink from 2020 to 2020

2015 Bois-Malot, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 07-31-2018
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Wow-if you like Framboise you will adore this wine. Intense raspberry aromas that follow to the palate. Sweet and sexy-not as tannic as the 2010. A great party wine and ecpecially for those California Cabernet drinkers.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List

2017 Reserve de la Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-07-2018
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One of the better 2nd wines we tasted in the North Medoc. 60% CS and36% M. Great year for Petit Verdot and 4% in this wine. Very fruity and aromatic nose-great texture on the palate and fine length— a fine value!
Drink from 2020 to 2020

2017 Pichon-Baron, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-07-2018
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79%CS 21%M. Normal crop this year-no frost damage. Sweet, toasty oak aromas with cassis undertones. Red fruits dominate the palate. Lingering finish.
Drink from 2023 to 2023

2017 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-07-2018
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7% loss here. 70%CS. Spicy, cedary aromas and flavors. Good weight on the palate. Lovely, spicy, lush wine-like they made in the 80s I love this wine—they are doing great at Pichon Lalande these days. Better than their 2015 for sure.
Drink from 2022 to 2022

2017 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-23-2018
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70%CS, 24%M, 2%CF. In my top twenty wines from this vintage. Fantastic aromas of red roses and cassis. Sweet and long on the palate. Great rounded tannins. Very balanced on palate. They lowered their price 21% from the 2016. One of the less expensive Lynch bages on the market. I recommend buying some.
Drink from 2025 to 2025

2017 Siran, Margaux
Review Date: 05-18-2018
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Another fine effort and fine value from Our friends at Siran. Some violets on the nose and red fruits on the palate. 46% M and 43% CS. quite full flavored and nice texture.
Drink from 2021 to 2021

2017 Clinet, Pomerol
Review Date: 05-18-2018
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Bravo on a reasonable price. The 2015 is about $150! Black fruit aromas and flavors. Exotic and a bit modern on the palate. Needs several years cellaring.
Drink from 2021 to 2021

2017 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux
Review Date: 05-16-2018
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Here they lost 10% due to frost and 20% more with tropical rains and rot. 52%CS and 48%M. Deep blackish color. Great aromatics of red rose and cassis. Very sweet entry on the palate-lots of red fruited flavors. Lush and seamless-three in a row here for top quality. Almost $30 less than the 2015.
Drink from 2021 to 2021

2017 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 05-16-2018
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Another winner at Cantemerle. Philippe Dambrene can do no wrong. Tons of red berry aromas and flavors. Great texture and length on the palate-so lush, yet very structured. Superb bargain.
Drink from 2020 to 2020

2015 Lamouroux Rouge, Graves
Review Date: 05-08-2018
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We tasted the 2009 in Bordeaux just after our 2012 vintage tour. We loved it. And we have carried several vintages of this property. This 2015 is soft and elegant like the 2009.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

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