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The K&L Holiday Buying Guide - 11/25/2019 - Monthly Newsletter

Here at K&L Wines, we're gearing up for the holidays, a celebratory time that gives us the excuse to imbibe some special bottles of wine and spirits. We're excited to share these special selections with you as our definitive holiday picks for this special season. This super-sized newsletter is jam-packed with recommendations from an array of our wine and spirits experts. We've pulled out all the stops to ensure you can celebrate with the very best from our extensive selection.

With prices ranging from $10.99 to $3999.99, we're offering wines for any budget, all of which are guaranteed to impress. Maybe you're looking for bubbly to kick off the party? Our Direct Import Champagnes will make you the MVP of any gathering. Want some Cabernet Sauvignon to make your best impression? Our domestic lineup makes it easy to bring the very best. From France to New Zealand, Oregon to Italy (with some spirits thrown in to really liven things up), you can't go wrong with the offerings we've highlighted below.

Vintage Item Name Score Retail Link
2017 Cantina Andrian Trentino-Alto Adige Pinot Grigio 93 $13.99 View
2018 Helen's Hill "Ingram Road" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley Victoria 94 $14.99 View
2017 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica $17.99 View
2006 Arnauld, Haut-Médoc $19.99 View
2016 La Fortuna "Magnus" Sant'Antimo Rosso 92 $19.99 View
2017 Liparita Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon (Previously $60) $19.99 View
2018 Domaine Gerard Tremblay Chablis Vieilles Vignes $22.99 View
2017 Wheeler Farms Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc (Elsewhere $38) Price: Hidden View
2016 Byron "Nielson Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Elsewhere $40) 95 $29.99 View
Franck Bonville Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne 90 $34.99 View
2016 Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 94 $49.95 View
Fleury Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne 95 $49.99 View
2008 Pierre Paillard Grand Cru "La Grand Récolte" Extra Brut Champagne $54.99 View
2010 La Rioja Alta "904" Gran Reserva Rioja 98 $59.99 View
2007 Alexandre Le Brun "Cuvée Fascination" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne $69.99 View
2016 Leeuwin Estate "Art Series" Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia 99 $69.99 View
2017 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape 95 $74.99 View
2017 Caymus Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon $79.95 View
2007 Glenlivet 12 Year Old "Signatory Unchillfiltered Collection" 1st Fill Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) $99.99 View
2014 Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 92 $119.95 View
2014 Mayacamas Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 97 $124.95 View
1998 Orkney (Highland Park) 20 Year Old "Thompson Bros." K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) $149.99 View
2005 Laphroaig 13 Year Old "Chieftain's" K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Unchill-filtered Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) $159.99 View
2008 Dom Pérignon Brut Champagne 98 $169.99 View
Clynelish 23 Year Old "Signatory Vintage Black Label" K&L Exclusive Single 2nd Fill Sherry Butt #11239 Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) $249.99 View
2016 Dominus Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend 100 $299.00 View
1979 North British 40 Year Old "Old Particular" Single Refill Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml) $299.99 View
2016 Opus One Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend 99 $369.99 View
2001 d'Yquem, Sauternes (375ml) 100 $379.99 View
2016 Kapcsándy "Grand Vin - State Lane Vineyard" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 100 $465.00 View

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2017 Cantina Andrian Trentino-Alto Adige Pinot Grigio ($13.99)

93 points James Suckling: "This is a stunning Pinot Grigio for the difficult vintage with a ton of ripe melon, candied orange and just a hint of raisin bread. Ripe, concentrated and mouth-filling, but beautifully balanced with a very long finish thats deep and lively." (11/2018)

Staff ImageIllya Haase | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 23, 2019

I am always on the look out for a new summertime white. Cantina Andrian Pinot Grigio fits that bill to a tee! Alto Adige makes some of the best Pinot Grigio around. I always find great elegance, mineral crispness and a pop of freshness. Pure citrus fruits, pears, apples and white flowers on the nose. Good richness on the palate which is balanced by that pop acidity, that makes for a truly well-structured wine. This would be great for any outdoor event or make your first course of the meal really sing!

Staff ImageThomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 08, 2019

A lovely nose thats soft and inviting. Very aromatic, the notes of melon and honeysuckle simply pour out of the glass. On the palate, there is a generous amount of fruit--this wine is so friendly and welcoming. Offering way more than its price point, this is a delicious Pinot Grigio that everyone will love.

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 08, 2019

Seekers of clean and crisp whites should become intimately familiar with the Andrian Pinot Grigio. The wine is all things Grigio with its fresh aromas of pear and apple with its medium bodied texture. Where this goes above and beyond is in the finish. Where some can feel a bit watery, this one has length. Usually you would need to spend in the $20+ range for this quality, but you have it all here in a nice package for less than $15. This is a case buy for spring and summer sipping.

Staff ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 07, 2019

I love this wines nose, it is a complex blend of apple blossoms and nutmeg, some stone fruits and wisps of crushed stone. On the palate shows richness but not without a superb central acidity. Slowly the flavors grow more complex cooked apple and nutmeg are the predominant flavors. The finish really seems to show size and depth with a truly persistent character. Generally, and it might seem strange coming from the Italian Buyer, Im rarely impressed by Pinot Grigio and rarely ever buy one personally, but this wine is an eye opener, you should let it open your eyes as well!

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 07, 2019

Wow! Pinot Grigio isnt always the flashiest of varietals, but this lovely Alto Adige version really sings. The 2017 Cantina Andrian smells of river rock and white floral; the palate is brimming with crisp minerality and citrusy fruit, which carries through to a surprisingly lush but of course dry finish. If youve eschewed Pinot Grigio in the past, let this little stunner be your gateway back to the grape.

Staff ImageKaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 01, 2019

Summer time just landed in your glass. The entire staff paused while tasting this amazing little wine. This is the kind of Pinot Grigio that gives the grape a good name. The wine is flavorful, interesting, refreshing, and makes you want to come back for more after each sip. Theres plenty of pretty white flowers on the nose from jasmine to gardenia. It smells like a spring garden with just a hint of verbena and citrus. You better have a case of this in your pantry for your upcoming summer parties.

Staff ImageMike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 20, 2019

This outstanding Pinot Grigio offers aromas of ripe honeydew melon with a soft and full palate. An ideal white to have by itself as a very classy aperitif.

2018 Helen's Hill "Ingram Road" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley Victoria ($14.99)

94 points James Halliday: "Selective-harvested, a mix of new and old clones destemmed and co-fermented, 10 days on skins, then pressed to French barriques (10% new) for mlf and 11 months maturation. Bright, clear crimson-purple-hue; Helen's Hill nailed this wine in a hectic vintage, the fragrant, high-toned flavours of red cherries and berries make oak a vehicle, not an end in itself." (08/2019)

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 08, 2019

This wine begs the question, why is Yarra Valley Pinot not a thing? It is in Australia but not in the States. This is Pinot for anyone who enjoys drinking coastal California Pinot but wants to spend 50% less. The wine sings. Bright red fruits, lots of strawberries and cherries, with dark red fruit backed with a hint of dustiness. The palate is soft and easy, so easy, the wine will almost be gone before dinner is served. This is a perfect entry point to a great Pinot Noir region.

Staff ImageThomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 02, 2019

Australias Yarra Valley is one of the best places in the world to find outstanding value in Pinot Noir. This cool climate region just to the east of Melbourne is known as Australias Burgundy producing exceptional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Helens Hill is one of the producers's we have found that makes great Pinot Noir that dramatically out-performs its price. The Ingram Road Pinot Noir is a great example: bright, lifted aromas of maraschino cherries and strawberries on the nose follow through to soft, red-fruited palate that is fresh and incredibly smooth, with an acid line that strikes right down the palate. This pristine, beautiful Pinot Noir is one of those incredible $15 bottles that drinks like its $30.

Miles Philippe | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 25, 2019

Crunchy cranberry is the name of the game here! With bright and fresh red fruits, this is a wine best enjoyed with some food. Anything that you would use a tarter and lighter style of Pinot Noir for, this will be a slam dunk wine to use for that pairing!

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 25, 2019

Bright, crunchy, and red fruited, this is better than the vast majority of $15 Pinots you will find from any country in the store. With silky tannin, strawberries, and cherry character, you can get a strong sense of this cool-climate site. Easy to drink, affordable, and simply delicious, I can see why this is a hit with our customers year after year.

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 25, 2019

I was skeptical. I usually do not care much for the mass produced value Pinots of the world. Which is why I was stunned when I took a whiff of this one. So bright, expressive, rich, and delicate all at once! Strawberry compote, raspberry, mint with a touch of basil, a touch of toast from the oak. This is a superbly made, single-vineyard Pinot Noir for an astoundingly reasonable $14.99. I'll be keeping a case of this at home for myself.

Staff ImageLilia McIntosh | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 24, 2019

This Pinot Noir can definitely rival many Bourgogne Rouge wines! Bright, crunchy flavors of red cherries, cranberries, juicy red plums and red currants burst on the palate. It's fresh and vibrant Pinot Noir with lots of lively and zesty personality.

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2017 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica ($17.99)

The Matelica region of the Marche is one of the most unique growing zones in all of Italy; it is a north-south valley in the middle of the Apennine mountain range that once was a salt lake. The orientation of the valley closes it off from the warm coastal waters (the opposite of the west coast of the US) and gives it a more continental climate of cold winters, hot summers but cool nights, the perfect balance to make vibrant wines.

Staff ImageJohn Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 02, 2019

Owner Aldo Cifola produces some of the very finest Verdicchio that possesses impressive concentration and depth. This serious wine has developed quite a following of late and the 2017 is really delicious. Subtle flavors of citrus, yellow fruit, anise and mineral make this especially good with seafood, mild cheese and lighter fare. It will continue to evolve over the next few years.

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2006 Arnauld, Haut-Médoc ($19.99)

Chateau Arnauld is located between Margaux and Moulis, on a large gravel outcropping on the edge of the Gironde, neighboring Chasse-Spleen and Poujeaux. The oceanic breezes off the Gironde estuary keep vines cool, promoting long, even ripening for the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot planted to these mineral-rich, high-draining soils. The blend is typically about half Cabernet and half Merlot, often with a bit more Cabernet. The wines are made in a traditional style made to withstand the cellar: black-fruited with spicy complexity from barrel, a rich midpalate, and fine tannin structure balanced by natural acidity.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 29, 2019

At 13 years old, this classy, medium-bodied Haut-Médoc is drinking perfectly. It still has nice, lively, black currant fruit, but the tannins are completely resolved, and the texture fully developed. This subtle, intricate wine has much more complexity and interest than I would expect given the cost, and I am used to Clyde finding great deals. This wine is the exact opposite of the modern, high alcohol, inky, thick style that one finds often in the New World and from time to time in Bordeaux. I love the wine as much for its grace notes, which allow it to play so well with food, as I do for its surprising length and silky mouthfeel.

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 21, 2019

This little gem of a Bordeaux is very accessible, with dark cherry fruit and softer (though not flabby) tannins. It also has some lively spice, earth and tobacco notes that add complexity and nuance. We have had very good luck here with this producer and this release is no exception to the overall balance of quality and value.

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2016 La Fortuna "Magnus" Sant'Antimo Rosso ($19.99)

92 points James Suckling: "Attractive currants and berries with hints of walnuts and cedar. Medium body, firm and silky tannins and a flavorful finish." (06/2019)

K&L Notes: 40% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Petit Verdot.

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 12, 2019

A truer, if such a thing exists, Super Tuscan from one of my favorite Brunello producers. We know that La Fortuna is remarkable with Sangiovese, and this blend with Cab and Petit Verdot is just fun. This is an every-night Italian red with a softer accent. There is lots of dark fruit that is supported with soft easy tannins and just enough acid to make the fruit pop.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 12, 2019

This beautiful Super Tuscan has a wonderful combination of body, color, and power from Bordeaux varieties, but at the same time lovely elegance from the Sangiovese. Cinnamon and I drank this with some pasta, with a sauce made from Clyde's garden tomatoes as well as broccolini with anchovy dish that set the wine off perfectly. I was very impressed by the racy finish on this wineI am not used to getting both texture on the mid-palate, and such liveliness, for under $20. If you love Super Tuscans, and want something priced for drinking more often than Tignanello, this is one to case up on!

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 06, 2019

The La Fortuna wines are a perennial favorite here at K&L and the "Magnus" addition to the line-up is very exciting for us. Fans of the Fortunello will find a lot to like here as it brings even more richness of texture and depth of flavor from the additions of Cab Sauv and Petit Verdot. Soft and supple, but with bright, fresh acid, this is a delicious super-Tuscan like wine for a fraction of the price.

Staff ImageThomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 05, 2019

I sincerely love the wines from La Fortuna. From their little Fotunello Toscano all the way up to their Riserva, they make some of the most consistently excellent wines on the Italian shelf. The Magnus was a new one for me that certainly didn't disappoint. Nice Full fruit expression with plenty of soft cherry fruit and tobacco leave. Supple and full, but still bright and racy, for any fans of La Fortuna this is a do-not-miss.

Staff ImageKaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 03, 2019

I love the cool cherry nose of Sangiovese followed by darker notes of black cherries and wood spice. Surprisingly, even with the addition of 60% Cab Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, its the Sangiovese that carries this wine. Improbable yet there it is. This is a wonderful Italian house red that highlights the red fruit spectrum but has enough robustness to support even heartier fare. Another great value.

Dejah Overby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 03, 2019

La Fortuna's Magus is extraordinary! There is a pleasurable intensity about this wine that is just fantastic. On the palate, there's ripe figs, raspberries, and dark cherries. In the finish, spices like cinnamon and nutmeg linger, but the tannins are firm and velvety. There's vigor, length, and freshness in this version.

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 03, 2019

La Fortuna nails it with this Super Tuscan inspired blend. Staying well within the lines of classic Italian red, the addition of Cabernet and Petit Verdot add a lot of texture and weight to this wine. Brimming with lush red fruit of raspberries and cherries, it unwinds to show notes of sage intermingled with savory spices all while finishing nicely with smooth and supple tannins. This is a superb mid-week red for enhancing that marinated skirt steak or herb-crusted pork tenderloin.

Staff ImageJohn Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 29, 2019

While "Magnus" weds vibrant Sangiovese with Bordeaux varietals, it's unmistakably Tuscan. This charming blend highlights delicious earthy cassis, berry fruits and hints of chocolate and spicy oak. I think it's an ideal introduction to Italian reds for those who enjoy California Cabernet (and blends) and are looking to venture out to other regions. It's also a great everyday drinker.

Staff ImageMike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 16, 2019

This Rosso reveals a gorgeous core of perfumed ripe fruit, plum, cassis and kirsch, some leather and cola mid- pallet and earthiness that meld into bitter coco powder, spices and minerals on the finish. Lush, ripe and flows across your palate, Wow, thats a lot of wine for under Twenty bucks!

Staff ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 24, 2019

The nose of this wine is powerful, and extraordinarily inviting, its full of a wild cherry brightness that progresses into a broad curranty boldness. The wine is 40% Sangiovese and you can feel the focus and linear character it gives to the wine on your palate, layering a central point with vibrant acidity and wild cherry intrigue. This is followed by a deeply textured, plumy density that shows the 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Petit Verdot portion of the blend. The Bordeaux varieties add a robust density and weight to the wine but all balance on that linear Sangiovese framework. Add to that it is from the incredible 2016 vintage in Montalcino, youll hear about that soon enough, and a superb value. This wine drinks very well right now but will age for a decade easily.

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2017 Liparita Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon (Previously $60) ($19.99)

The historic Liparita label traces its origin all the way back to the late 1800s. The founder, William Keyes, was an early pioneer in the history of California winemaking, having been among the first to designate an appellation wine with his Howell Mountain Claret. Unfortunately, the combination of Prohibition and then phylloxera took its toll on many wineries early on, including Liparita. The label was revived several times over the past century, but it was Napa Valley grower Spencer Hoopes who finally resurrected the historic name in 2006 by bringing Liparita back to the luster of its glory days. He's been producing stylish appellation designated Cabernets since. Anne Vawter began as the winemaker with the 2012 vintage.

Staff ImageSean Reilly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 29, 2019

Liparita has been one of our best-sellers over the past year. It provides an exceptional example of cab characteristics for the money. When I first tried this 2017, it was a tad tight and tannic. Those attributes have departed and there's a wonderful harmony to this wine. Full-bodied with classic black cherry nuances, this is a must buy.

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 13, 2019

Maybe the most charming of the three wines we have offered to date, the Rutherford is the most elegant by far. It has wonderful red currant, cherry and spice tones. It has more of that old-school Napa charm that feels like a much more restrained wine. A few minutes in the glass and the wine opens with even more fruit on the palate. This is a bit more medium- to full-bodied than its predecessors but should fit beautifully on the table with a whole host of Holiday Meals, from richer fowl dishes to pork and even that standing rib roast.

Staff ImageKaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 12, 2019

Few wine offers in K&L history have been as hugely successful as our Liparita string of victories. This historical brand was resurrected by long time Napa native Spencer Hoopes as a way to produce sub-appellation designated, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from some of his best sources. This time around, were offering a $20 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford; land of the famed Rutherford dust. The appellation is in the center of Napa Valley and has been home to some of the regions most historic and world-renowned wineries such as Beaulieu Vineyards, Rutherford Hill, Raymond Vineyards, and the Inglenook Winery. The wine is fruit forward and generous displaying all the tell-tale Cabernet characteristics of black currants (cassis), blackberry, black cherry, dried herbs and a touch of cedar. This may be our last chance to go to the well for these amazing Cabernet Sauvignon values. Buy early and buy often. Come back for more before the party ends.

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 12, 2019

The latest wine in an unprecedented run of discounted Liparita Cabs found by our SoCal Domestic Buyer, Kaj. Again this delivers a rich, fruit forward, easy to like Cab for a serious value. Rutherford AVA for less than $20!? This crowd pleaser is sure to be another top seller heading into the holidays.

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2018 Domaine Gerard Tremblay Chablis Vieilles Vignes ($22.99)

Gerard Tremblay is officially en retrait, although his retirement is like that of many growers in that he continues to work, both in the vineyards and the cellar. His son Vincent Tremblay has now taken over the reins. They farm an impressive 35 hectares (about 90 acres) of vines, in appellations from Petite Chablis to Grand Cru Vaudesirs. The wines are terrific and extremely well-priced. Tremblay’s style is to press very carefully and slowly, to avoid extracting harsh or green tannins from the seeds. Then after a 24-hour settling, the wine is racked gently off the gross lees into temperature controlled tanks for a slow fermentation. He uses a small amount of old oak on some of his better wines, for texture rather than for flavor.

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2017 Wheeler Farms Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc (Elsewhere $38) Price: Hidden

Vinous: "Wheeler Farms' 2017 Sauvignon Blanc is laced with attractive green apple, sage, mint and floral notes. The interplay of vibrant flavors and textural depth make for a tasty, versatile Sauvignon that can be enjoyed on its own or alongside a wide range of foods. (AG)" (12/2018)

K&L Notes: Wheeler Farms is the new winery of Bart and Daphne Araujo, so we were extremely lucky to get this wine. Indeed, this bottle normally retails for $34.99, but thanks to our domestic buyer Ryan Woodhouse, we’ve managed to snag this superb Sauvignon Blanc at a bargain for our customers. Not only is the price right, the wine is excellent. It opens with aromas of verbena, grapefruit and lemon curd. On the palate, surprisingly soft honeydew melon fruit dominates, with a continued citrus overtone and a lingering finish.

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2016 Byron "Nielson Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Elsewhere $40) ($29.99)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Chardonnay vines in the Nielson vineyard were originally planted in 1964; this wine comes from those cuttings used to replant. Youthfully shy on the nose, the 2016 Chardonnay Nielson Vineyard opens very minerally with aromas of saline, crushed shell, gunflint and toast with ripe Golden Delicious apple, baked quince, warm Meyer lemon, pie crust and peach. The palate is medium to full-bodied, rounded and silky, oozing layer after layer of ripe, savory, spicy fruits, framed with tangy acidity and finishing very long and very flavorful. About 43% new oak was used, and 100 cases were made. (EB)" (09/2019)

K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "The Chardonnay vines in our Nielson Vineyard feature cuttings from the original "Wente" clone planted on our estate in 1964. The clusters we select contain an optimal mix of berry sizes: the larger, riper berries provide the wine’s rich stone fruit flavors while the smaller ones contribute to the wine’s firm acidity and underlying minerality. Just 195 cases were produced."

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 03, 2019

Wow. This is a really good CA Chardonnay. This hits all the classic notes one would expect from it but it is cool and effortless. Effortless the perfect word for this wine. Creamy and cool yellow fruits with mineral undertones. The wine rolls on the palate and remains fresh. This will impress all white wine drinkers.

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 02, 2019

Having tasted this wine on a few occasions over the last couple weeks, it's hard to think of a better example of classically rich, powerful California Chard than this right now. It's brimming with ripe fruit, baked apple, brioche, poached pear, and pie crust. It is rich and textural on the palate, with some toasty oak and spice. But at the same time, Santa Maria's very cool, ocean-influenced growing conditions, and Wente clone's naturally high malic acid, keep the whole thing in balance and reverberating across the length of the palate. Richness and power meet great verve and energy. Crowd pleasing in so many ways, it's an expression of Chardonnay that is impeccably well crafted and beautifully judged. With this HUGE score and not so huge price tag...we took everything we could get direct from the winery...when it's gone it's gone.

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Franck Bonville Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($34.99)

90 points Wine Spectator: "Lightly floral, this creamy crowd-pleasing Champagne shows good balance, with a lively mix of Honeycrisp apple, passion fruit and smoked almond. (AN)" (12/2015)

Jancis Robinson: "100% Chardonnay from Oger, Cramant, and Avize. From a 50-ha estate. Olivier Bonville is the third generation to make wine here. Super-clean fresh nose, smells like a health scrub. Vigorous mousse. Crisp edges and a creamy middle, streaked with verbena. More green than lemon, and just slightly sour. Quite weighty and substantial yet with a cutting edge, like prow of a ship. *Good Value* (TC)" (12/2014)

K&L Notes: All Champagne producers should be judged on their entry-level wine, and Olivier's is as good as they get. This is always the fastest non-vintage Champagne to sell out--so get it while we have it! The nose is effusive, with baguette, white flowers, and a nice salinity, while the flavors have a fine balance of white fruit, cream, and precise Avize chalk. Don't miss this. The Underground Wine Letter also rates this wine Outstanding Plus: "This is a terrific Champagne with great balance, flavor, and style, and it is a real value. Pale yellow in color, the wine has a lovely perfume with hints of peach and citrus and faint floral nuances accented by a kiss of vanilla. Creamy and very flavorful, this is a Champagne that is very harmonious showing subtle hints of peach, citrus, and spice. Elegant and long on the finish this is gorgeous to drink now or keep for many years."

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 15, 2019

Olivier Bonville carries on the tradition of his grandfather, Franck, producing wines of incredible richness and complexity from his estate vines in the Grand Cru villages of Avize and Mesnil on the picaresque Cote de Blancs. It has the rich flavors of Anjou pear, Meyer lemon, white apricots and a touch of delicate spice. The real magic is in the chalky minerality and zippy acidity that the Cote de Blancs is famous for. When you consider that similar offerings from the Big Houses cost three to four times more, this becomes a must-buy for anyone who loves Champagne.

Staff ImageNeal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 13, 2019

This delectable all-Chardonnay Champagne has a wonderful little secret: 50% of what's in the bottle is reserve wines. So even though it's non vintage, Bonville is utilizing a lot of its premium older wine for this Grand Cru. This Champagne comes at you with bracing minerality and acidity. There are notes of green apple, lemon tart, and enough chalk to get stuck in your teeth. That pucker factor along with a velvety soft mouthfeel makes this one of my favorite Champagnes right now.

Staff ImageMuriel Sarik | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 08, 2019

Another great Grand Cru bottle at such a reasonable price, especially with 50% reserve wines which is almost never heard of. This is fresh and tart like grapefruit but has a roundness that softens that acidity. There is lots of minerals swirling in this bottle too. This champagne will hook you right at the very 1st sip!

Miles Philippe | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 08, 2019

I couldnt ask for anything more from this champagneI always have a few bottles tucked away somewhere in my stash! On the nose its clean and elegant with a slight white-floral aspect; on the palate the fruits are pure, lean, and beautiful, with the classic chalky texture that you find in all of the best champagnes; on the finish, its like an old friend that leaves 45 minutes after the first, Good-bye, is said.

Staff ImageJackson Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 07, 2019

Franck Bonville constantly tops the staff picks charts and this blanc de blanc is no exception. The nose is clean, with a nice minerality and subtle floralness that opens up the palate with its balanced acidity with a peach blossom note. The finish is what takes the cake for me amongst other wines at this price point. Long and mouthwatering, this is a must for parties and celebrations.

Staff ImageAndrew Tobin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 07, 2019

I am a sucker for a good Blanc de Blanc. Something about the rich, round, honeyed quality that chardonnay based champagne can bring always puts a smile on my face. Franck Bonville is an exceptional producer, and when you can get your hands on a bottle of 100% Grand Cru fruit at a price this low, it's a no brainer in my mind. The nose is fot, with notes of cherry, vanilla, and white flowers. The Palate is laden with cashew, marzipan, and a long toasty finish. This is a beautiful wine made from exceptional fruit that for the the price, is going to be hard to beat!

Staff ImageChris DePaoli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 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?

Staff ImageJordan Stone | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 08, 2018

Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Champagne for just $ 34.99! Lively and rich with flavors of apples some bready notes with a touch of saline and vanilla. Crisp and clean with persistent bubbles. This is a favorite at my house

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 20, 2017

This is one of K&L's best selling Champagnes for a very good reason. The Bonville family has some of the best terroir imaginable for growing Chardonnay--every acre that they own is super chalky, east-facing Grand Cru on the Cote des Blancs. They have been making their own Champagne here since the 1920s, and growing here for many generations before that. This is their entry level bottling, and what a way to start! It is made of at least half reserve wines, giving it not only the dry, chalky drive that makes this area famous, but also giving the wine toasty, creamy, delicious drinkability. A must-try for any Champagne lover.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 27, 2016

This is basically the non-vintage champagne that everybody wants, everybody needs, and everybody can have! It checks every box. It suits any occasion. It fits nearly any budget. It delivers in every single way. Perfect blanc de blancs nose, vibrant soft white fruit, fresh crisp apples and citrus, slight saline, and that grand cru chalkiness that you can't miss. Lively, pointed and open - it slips from the glass like a slithering snake, just disappears. Where did it go? I don't know. Buy another.

Staff ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 07, 2011

When it comes to Champagne this is probably our all time staff favorite. The fact that it is a direct import and sells for less than half what it would if it went through the same distribution system as the big name brands doesn't hurt either. Fresh and ripe Chardonnay flavors, intense mineral notes and hints of earth leap from this vibrant and full-textured bubbly.

Staff ImageJason Marwedel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 26, 2010

Made from all estate fruit from Bonvilles Grand Cru vineyards in Avize, this champagne displays ripe citrus and apple fruit on the nose, followed by a rich mid palate and a snappy mineral finish. The Bonville Prestige has everything I am looking for in a Blanc De Blancs at an extremely reasonable price!

Staff ImageIllya Haase | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 29, 2010

For me, one of the best finds at our recent Champagne tasting! It's off-dry, with beautiful fruit and a nice toasty nose. All this from third generation winemaking family whose holdings consist of 15 hectares of Grand Cru vineyards. The winemaking here is all about elegance and finesse and allowing the terroir to speak for itself and it shows.

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 02, 2009

What a great producer Franck Bonville is! This excellence shows in the Brut Selection Blanc de Blanc. When one opens the bottle and pours some of this Champagne into a glass, beautiful aromas are the first teasing impression. The Champagne is dry and crisp with clean delicate flavors. Great alone or with lighter foods.

Staff ImageJacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 20, 2009

If there is such a thing as a Champagne for everyday use, well this has to be it. Not because of the price, but for its quality and poise. Very crispy, citrousy end elegant. Perfect for hors d'oeuvres, seafood, egg dishes, guacamole, goat cheeses, and "fantastic" with caviar!

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 27, 2008

There is simply no better Blanc de Blanc in the store at this price! Classic Avize minerality with crisp apple-y fruit, lemons, limes and wet stone aspects. A wonderful Chamnpagne with caviar or baked Brie. Too good of a value to pass up. We can also go for months without having this sparkler in stock. Also available in 375ml and magnum. It also comes in a gorgeous 2002 vintage as well!

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2016 Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($49.95)

94 points Jeb Dunnuck: "A smoking value, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley offers classic notes of blackcurrant and blackberry fruits intermixed with more earthy, tapenade, and olive-like aromas and flavors. It too is full-bodied, has remarkable purity, a seamless texture, and a beautiful finish. It tastes like it cost 2-3 times the price." (01/2019)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon delivers open-knit notions of Black Forest cake, crème de cassis and black raspberries with hints of tar, smoked meats and menthol plus a hint of tree bark. Full-bodied, the palate has a firm frame of grainy tannins and soft acidity supporting the savory black fruits, finishing earthy. (LPB)" (09/2019)

92 points Vinous: "Hall's 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is a terrific introduction to the vintage. Pliant, supple and racy, the 2016 has a lot to offer. Macerated cherry, red plum, flowers, cinnamon and a kiss of new French oak all run through this succulent, plush Cabernet Sauvignon. Readers who want to understand why the 2016 vintage is so compelling would do well to start with this superb appellation-level Cabernet from Hall. (AG)" (12/2018)

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Fleury Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne ($49.99)

95 points Decanter: "The original 'green' Champagne producer, organic since 1970 and biodynamic since 1989. I picked the Brut Sonate 2011 to include in my book, which is a little more expensive, but this blanc de noirs is also brilliant, rich and creamy but dancing with a salty minerality. (JA)" (12/2017)

92 points James Suckling: "Beautiful florals with light and bright red fruit and brioche pastry. The palate has a crisp, silky feel with fine, red-fruit flavors. From organically grown grapes." (07/2018)

91 points Wine Spectator: "This balanced version is lightly mouthwatering and open-knit, an accessible Champagne with a fine range of crushed black raspberry, blood orange granita, toast and spice flavors. (AN, Web-2017)"

K&L Notes: This is a real-deal Champagne from Courteron, a village in the Aube department of Champagne, closer to Chablis than the city of Reims! Their methods are as Burgundian as their location. They practice biodynamic farming, which is the strictest form of organic viticulture. The assemblage of several Pinot Noir vines from different years results in a very expressive and intense Champagne. Fruity and delicate, this elegant and long-lasting Champagne is classic, smooth and quite rich in style. Mr. Fleury's obsession with quality shows through in the wine; it is the most exciting all-Pinot Noir blanc de noirs in our stock. The dosage is very low--one of the driest Champagnes we have--with a wonderful black-cherry-fruit quality that reminds us that it is all Pinot! It is long and refreshing and very well balanced. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer)

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 23, 2017

I was all ready a Fleury freak before I tasted the new BdN, but this just solidified what we already new. Fleury is a world class producer of Champagne and should recognized as one of the very best. A beautiful honeyed hue. A stupendous nose of bright candied cherries, honeysuckle, and zesty citrus. Very racy on the palate, ultra clean and precise. The style is so drinkable here, but I would love to see what would happen in the cellar for a few years. Stock up while you can.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 18, 2015

This bottle has the best texture of any non-vintage wine in this price range, with perfect streamers and elegant creaminess. The brioche, custard and meyer lemon aromatics carry through on the palate, yet the finish is all about freshness. If you havent tried this in a while, you should. It is one of the most impressive wines they make, and a great flagship This is not entry level stuff!

Staff ImageSarah Covey | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 08, 2012

Every time I try this wine, I wonder why I don't drink more of it! Apple, toast and mineral make this champagne from our friends at Fleury perfectly balanced and well-suited to food. Grown organically and biodynamically, the care that is taken with each bottle will shine through. Perfect gift or party bubbly for the holidays!

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 14, 2012

This is one of my flavorite Champagnes now in stock. The Fleury Carte Rouge is full bodied, juicy and round, yet dry. It is clean and elegant and pure joy in a glass.It will taste good alone but will also go well with lighter foods.

Staff ImageJohn Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 03, 2011

In his unwavering maxim that "we leave the earth to our children," Jean-Pierre Fleury was the very first winegrower in Champagne to adapt strict biodynamic principles and techniques in his steeply-sloping, calcareous vineyards near the northern village of Courteron. His exquisite Blanc de Noirs is an homage to the perfectability of Pinot Noir under his meticulous stewardship, and certainly one of the finest, long-lasting champagnes we carry at any price. Hand-crafted from select vintages, the Carte Rouge is emblematic, dry and complex, with a well-developed gamut of flavors from brioche and beeswax to cherry and acacia. Hard to say what 'not' to drink this with, but I guarantee you will be reaching for another glass after tasting this redolent, rewarding sparkler.

Staff ImageJacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 23, 2011

Fascinating nose of caramel, toffee, some cocoa powder and a surprising whiff of pain-au-chocolat and cherries that brought back memories of a breakfast on a back street cafe around the Champs Elysées. A great wine not only for a very elegant apéritif, but also to enjoy with omelets, eggs Benedict, anything salmon, truffles (black and white), lobster and prawns, or even blue or goat cheeses.

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 28, 2010

A great bottle of bubbles. Rich and very dry this Blanc de Noirs is perfect dinner Champagne.

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2008 Pierre Paillard Grand Cru "La Grand Récolte" Extra Brut Champagne ($54.99)

This wine is composed of 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay from two sites that are now being used to make single vineyard wines by Antoine and Quentin Paillard. Both are from their estate in the grand cru of Bouzy on the south facing slope of the mountain of Reims. The Pinot Noir comes from a plot called Les Maillerettes, which was planted in 1970 and the Chardonnay comes from Les Mottelettes, planted in 1961. Both are the mother vines for the massal selections made in-house at Champagne Pierre Paillard and both vineyards are just .8 acres. Old vines like these, in a terroir as special as the Grand Cru of Bouzy, produce great wines even in less special years. But in the vintage of a generation they have given something truly remarkable—a concentrated, streamlined vintage Champagne that will last for generations to come. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 29, 2019

Wow. Razor-sharp acidity, gorgeous berry fruit, and a long, chalky finish, the 2008 Pierre Paillard "La Grand Récolte" Grand Cru Extra Brut Champagne hits it out of the park. Paillard wines are always excellent - with balance and complexity, and a bit racier than most, thanks to super low dosage - but this release takes a celebrated vintage and elevates it. Layered yet focused, this release showcases all the character and quality of Grand Cru village Bouzy and makes it a stellar cellar-worthy investment. But you wont want to wait to drink it.

Staff ImageStephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 19, 2019

Fans of Pierre Paillard will undoubtedly love this Champagne. It has energy and focus, and is a great representation of the stunning 2008 vintage. It's layered with apple, pear, brioche, a touch of nutty character and long dry finish. This Champagne has a long life ahead of it, so it's a true winner for collectors, but don't be afraid to enjoy it now with your favorite seafood dishes!

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 19, 2019

What do you get when you combine the critically acclaimed 2008 vintage with one of the most innovative and focused families in Champagne? The best sparkling wine I've tasted this year, that's what. Unmistakable in its quality, I bought several bottles of this as soon as it came in before I even tasted it. Best decision ever. The high acid nature of 2008 combined with the low dosage means this wine will continue to age without fault for another couple decades. I hope I can hang onto a bottle or two for a while to see how it evolves, but that seems pretty unlikely given how incredibly tasty it is now. It would be impossible to overstate how good this wine truly is.

Staff ImageCindy Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 15, 2019

I'm lucky to have tasted this wine on two separate occasions this week, and therefore am DOUBLY sure this champagne is firing on all possible cylinders. While we are on to the 2012 and 2014 vintages at some champagne houses, it is especially exciting to see a 2008 vintage in ample quantity for the holiday season. The Paillards have done much of the aging for you - and now there is nothing more to do than enjoy it.

Staff ImageMuriel Sarik | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 14, 2019

All I can say is YUM! This is a lively champagne with lots of complexity. It's intense but subtle about showing it. The layers keep changing. On the nose, I get some yeast mixed with dusty hazelnut with there skins. On the palette come a tingling mineral blast that opens up to pear, almond and brioche. The acid is always present to the very end. Like I said YUM!

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 14, 2019

Like the 2008 Cristal and the 2008 Launois Special Club, this wine has amperage not usually found in any wine. I served this as the aperitif at birthday party, and it was over the top fantastic. This is an extremely long, laser like experience, ideal for shellfish, or with salmon pate, which is how I tried it. That power will in time broaden out and turn into a prized cuvée even in the most star-studded of cellars. This is the quintessential 2008, driven, chalky, and super long. The dosage is just 1.8 grams per liter, making this the driest yet that we have offered from this vintage. A super star for the ages!

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 14, 2019

This is my Champagne of the year. Is it any surprise? Vintage Grand Cru Bouzy from one of the best years on record. It has a rich bouquet of fruit and minerals, with laser-like precision on the palate and no signs of tiredness despite the 11 years since the fruit was picked. The balance is superb with richness, elegance, distinct fruit and brisk minerals, all while staying focused and fresh. This is a Champagne I plan to experience many times in the years to come.

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2010 La Rioja Alta "904" Gran Reserva Rioja ($59.99)

98 points James Suckling: "Fresh blueberries and brambleberries take center stage, which is striking for a wine of this age. There are also lots of roasted herbs, such as sage, not to mention floral elements, including lavender and dried violets. Then come cedar, sandalwood and tar. The tannins are incredibly round and soft, without the slightest hint of anything dry. This is among the most elegant of Riojas, where the acidity is wonderfully pronounced and cuts right through any touch of dried fruit. Long and powerful, yet subtle on the finish. Drink now, or hold for a very long time." (07/2019)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "It seems like yesterday when the superb 2001 was released, and now I already have the 2010 Gran Reserva 904 in my glass. It has to be among the greatest modern time vintages of this mythical bottling, where they aim for a wine that has a long aging potential. This is mostly Tempranillo with 10% Graciano and 13.5% alcohol, and it matured in fourth-used American oak barrels for four years, during which time the wine was racked every six months. It has the combination of elegance and power only the best vintages are capable of, with the classical aromas, great detail and nuance, very good balance and persistence. They consider 2010 among the best years of this century, and maybe future generations will talk about 2010 like we talk about the great classical vintages of yesterday today. The palate is polished but shows plenty of energy and tension, the tannins are very fine and elegant, and the flavors are focused and clean. This has to be one of the greatest wines from the vintage. A legend in the making. 150,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in July 2015. Drink through 2035. (LG) 96+" (06/2019)

K&L Notes: Founded in 1890, La Rioja Alta is arguably the traditional Rioja bodega whose entire range of wines is the most consistent, the most readily available, and the most delicious. Their "904" bottling contains Tempranillo and Graciano (no Garnacha) and is every bit as traditional. It sees aging in used American oak barrels for 48 months, racking twice a year, and then further aging in bottle. The wine always has a sumptuous, velvety texture, with more bass notes in place of Ardanza's higher toned, red-fruited profile. Does Gran Reserva Rioja get any better than this?

Staff ImageWill Blakely | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 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.

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 09, 2019

Complex on the nose. Effortless on the palate. This is a special wine. My first reaction to this was, "this is really *#@!ing good!" which I said aloud and it drew a few looks from my colleagues but when I told them what I tried, they nodded in agreement. This is great Rioja. There are layers and layers to the nose kind of like looking into a mirror with a mirror behind you, but for your nose, not your eyes! Effortless is perfect for this wine, every component is there, fruit, tannin, acid, oak, spice, earth, herbs nothing standing out, everything working together and what a finish. Way too much effort went into this review, thankfully there is a glass of this wine for me to enjoy now.

Staff ImageGary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 09, 2019

This is traditional Rioja through and through. Offering gorgeous aromas of dried blackberries, dark cherries, and vanilla, underpinned by a savory plumminess that begs your nose to go back for another whiff. The palate is silky and round, with sweet dark fruits, strawberries, pipe tobacco, and a splash of cola. You can pull the cork tonight or let it run for another two decades. This is a singular red for any occasion.

Staff ImageJames Bradshaw | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 09, 2019

Believe the hype. This 2010 is every bit as good as the critics say. A classic Rioja from top to bottom, it greets the nose with aromas of Bing cherry, dust, lavender, and sage. The palate continues on this theme, further revealing notes of cedar, black raspberry, and herb de Provence. Strikingly youthful and with excellent zip and energy, it glides effortlessly across the palate. I have said it before, and it bears repeating, Rioja offers some of the very best value in terms of collectible, old-world reds. The 904 will be a great wine to follow over the years, as it's sure to gain and range, depth, and complexity. That said, it is such a joy to drink now; it'll be hard to resist popping the cork now.

Staff ImageRyan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 09, 2019

This is one of the most highly anticipated releases of the year, and for me on a shortlist for one of the best buys in fine wine from anywhere. Copious aromas of dusty red cherry, leather, bay leaf, and crushed red flowers leads to a stunningly bright and fresh palate full strawberry coulis, burnt orange, and red raspberry. The mouthwatering finish carries on easily for a minute. There is so much in reserve, but I wouldn't blame anybody who gets a taste of this gem and decides to start opening bottles now. Enjoy anytime over the next two decades or more.

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2007 Alexandre Le Brun "Cuvée Fascination" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($69.99)

Alexandre le Brun is a young, ninth generation winemaker in Monthelon in the Ardenne (Marne) region of Champagne. His family established themselves in Champagne in 1750 and their cellars were built in 1822. We were very pleased to meet him and are very excited to carry his wines.

Staff ImageChris DePaoli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 19, 2019

Mr. Le Brun has a reputation among the staff here at K&L of consistent production that hits way above it's price point. He puts that rep on the line here with a high-end, no-expense sparred offering and delivers, with a serious, mouth watering attack and a clean, forever finish. The oaking is subtle enough for the latent elegance to shine through and a nutty, cheesy bouquet is a great framework for the entirety.

Staff ImageNeal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 18, 2019

This Champagne is all Chardonnay and comes from a single plot in the Monts Aigu parcel of the Grand Cru of Chouilly. The nose floods with rich brioche, cream, crushed autumn leaves, and Bartlett pears. The palate offers the same richness but matched with a grapefruit acidity. This is a great food Champagne.

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 15, 2019

This is a unique take on Blanc de Blanc and one of the more complex and intriguing ones on our shelves. Grown in very pure chalk, this wine retains a natural freshness and high acidity. The winemakers does a great job of balancing that by aging his Chardonnay in barrel, to round it out and lend some lovely toasty quality. When Bollinger buys he majority of your fruit, it must mean you are going something right as a growers. He is doing something very right as a winemaker as well.

Miles Philippe | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 17, 2018

The name does not lie; this is a Fascination! Its a powerful, slightly saline beast that you can smell rather than see striding upon five legs across a landscape of orchards planted in chalk and seashells, perfuming and air with pleasantries and memories gone by... Poetics aside, this is a very unique and beautiful champagne. If you want something to ponder over, marvel at, and maybe write some poetry with, I cannot recommend this enough.

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 12, 2018

This is one of the great vintage Blanc de Blancs on our shelf right now, with the richness of a great vintage thats been barrel aged and the beautiful craftsmanship of the one-man-show Alexandre Le Brun. Creme brulée comes to mind on the bouquet, and on the palate flavors of creamy brioche, baked apples with herbs and a subtle underlying toast. The finish is so long and crisp and display the great minerals of the Sezanne where it is sourced.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 11, 2018

The only problem with this great Champagne is the production- it is only one press load so we can't get very much! This Champagne is all Chardonnay from two long rows in the Monts Aigu parcel of the Grand Cru of Chouilly- right across a small path from Cramant. If you love the high class toast of Taittingers Comte de Champagne, this is a bottling that you dont want to miss. The Chardonnay in this bottle has top notch concentration and texture as well as a complex array of flavors; baguette, succulent nectarine and bright chalk. This wine is labeled as Extra Brut since the dosage is very low, but while it is quite dry, it is not overly austere. It has one of the longest finishes of any type of wine that we carry- truly top notch!

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 10, 2017

The perfect celebratory Champagne! A special 2007 release from staff favorite producer Alexandre Le Brun, the "Cuvée Fascination" Blanc de Blancs is an investment well worth it, especially as a gift for more sophisticated palates. Sharp nectarine fruit and chalky minerality sing together through the palate, and the super low dosage makes for a dry yet lingering finish. This is high-quality Chardonnay, taut and linear but still approachable, with electric acid and biscuity leesiness. Were down to just a few bottles, so get it while you can.

Staff ImageLilia McIntosh | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 03, 2016

One of the loveliest Champagnes I have tasted recently. Precise and exquisite. Blanc de Blancs is my favorite type of Champagne and "Fascination" has everything I love: fresh and bright aromas with hints of brioche and white flowers. Dry, very focused palate with deep, rich flavors of citrus fruit and little bit of toastiness, beautifully balanced with a long mineral finish.

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 21, 2016

This 100% Chardonnay is organic and has an excellent, clean character. There is some richness mid-palate for complexity and elegance. One of my favorite Champagnes at present!

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 07, 2016

Young Alexandre Le Brun has to be one of the most exciting winemakers in Champagne right now. His wines have wowed staff and customers alike here at K&L. This wine is hand selected from just two individual rows of Grand Cru Chardonnay vines. The fruit is pressed in one single press load and received 8 long years resting on the lees. As with all of Le Brun's wines there is a knife edge balance of power and delicacy. The textures are fine, the clarity and precision of this wine is simply breathtaking. Compared to some big house, advertising driven, "luxury product" Champagnes the quality here is embarrassingly good for the modest price point.

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2016 Leeuwin Estate "Art Series" Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia ($69.99)

99 points James Halliday: "The perfumed perfection of the bouquet and the wonders of the palate, with its ever-shifting mosaic of white stone fruit, rock melon, grapefruit, Granny Smith apple and custard apple reign supreme. Oak? Yes, it's there, although subtle. Acidity? Yes, the giver of life now and into the future." (11/2019)

98 points Bob Campbell: "Very light colour for its age and the bouquet is likewise fresh and young and unevolved. There are subtle grapefruit, spice and nougat aromas and the oak is taking a back-seat. The wine is still tight and reserved, and really needs to be cellared. It's concentrated and will reveal much more if given time. It has outstanding length and finesse. Great potential. - Huon Hooke, The Real Review" (05/2019)

97 points Decanter: "2016 was an outstanding year, with an early, fine summer with daily sea breezes. Slightly above-average January and February temperatures were offset by a welcome 90mm of January rain. Markedly floral, there's a white blossom character to both nose and back-palate. It's a concentrated wine with gently granular fresh and dried pear notes, accompanied by silkier white peach. Succulent, ripe lemony acidity is well integrated and gently sheathed by nougat-inflected creamy lees. Lovely lithe mouthfeel and beautiful harmony. (SA)" (11/2018)

96 points Wine Spectator: "Refined and elegant, this white is supple, yet intense and precise, with lemon curd, apricot, honeycomb and mandarin orange flavors, accented by floral and mineral details. The secret weapon here is the sleek acidity, which weaves in and out, giving the flavors definition and verve. (MW)" (10/2019)

K&L Notes: #28 on Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2019

Staff ImageThomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 18, 2019

The Leeuwin Art Series Chardonnay is one of the global benchmarks for top of the line Chardonnay. Year after year this is one of the best Chardonnays available anywhere, but every so often vintage conditions in Margaret River take this wine from exceptional to incredible. 2016 was absolutely one of those vintages. It balances a luxurious element of weight, detailed oak, and depth of flavor. I found notes of scorched pear, pie crust and Meyer lemon among nuances of vanilla and fresh pineapple. Its cool climate drive is apparent from the powerful, focused acidity that drives through the palate, and testifying to its quality is a long, resonating finish. It may be some time before we see another Art Series with this level of breadth, grace, and exposition of place.

Staff ImageMuriel Sarik | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 14, 2019

This is one of my favorite Chardonnay from Australia. It's intense but not powerful. It has focus and layers of everything we love about Margaret River whites. It lingers in your mouth long after the bottle sis empty. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing! I'd like to revisit in a year or two. I bet it will be stunning!

Miles Philippe | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 14, 2019

This Chardonnay exudes the elegance of Burgundy, has the tenseness of Chablis, yet combines all of that with the purity of gorgeous orchard fruits of the New World. The usage of oak is masterfully integrated, and on this note I do not invoke "Burgundy" in a New World Chardonnay review lightly; the oak presents itself like it would in a wine from Montrachet. The fruit elevates the structure of the acidity, terroir, and oak to a class all of its own.

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2017 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($74.99)

95 points Decanter: "At Beaucastel the Grenache and Cinsault are fermented in cement while the Syrah and Mourvèdre are fermented in foudre. The result features finely pixellated fruits of the forest on the nose, with a full-bodied but mightily fresh and lively palate. The Mourvèdre element is strong this year, bringing vibrancy and power. It's firmly savoury, very dry and dramatic. A very tannic year has produced a seriously structured Beaucastel for the long term. (MW)" (10/2018)

95 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape is another sunny, beautifully Provençal effort that has a huge nose of garrigue, raw steak, leather, truffle, and peppery spice. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and balanced, its not a massive Beaucastel yet it has a classic, Provençal, incredibly satisfying style that will benefit from 4-6 years of bottle age and keep for two decades." (08/2019)

93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The full-bodied, dense 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape seems a bit closed at the moment, but Asian five spice powder still brings plenty of complexity and nuance to the rich, dark fruit aromas and flavors. (JC)" (08/2019)

95 points Wine Spectator: "A dark and winey style, offering a mix of plum, black currant and black cherry notes, infused with black tea, fruitcake and anise accents. Solidly built, vibrant and energetic from start to finish, this carries copious fruit easily through the lengthy finish. (JM)" (11/2019)

93-94 points Vinous: "Dark bright-rimmed ruby. Ripe black and blue fruit liqueur, incense, smoked meat and candied lavender qualities on the deeply perfumed, spice-accented nose. Broad and fleshy in the mouth, offering intense black raspberry, bitter cherry and fruitcake flavors that tighten up and turn livelier with air. Shows plenty of energy for a hot-vintage wine and finishes impressively long and chewy, with mounting tannins and repeating smoke and floral notes. (JR)" (12/2019)

Jancis Robinson: "Rich, succulent black fruit with wonderful clarity and effortless depth. A real masterclass of the appellation, with meaty complexity on the palate as well as persistent fragrant spices. Spot-on balance to finish, even though the tannins are still very brash and furry. Certainly needs age, and should be a really wonderful investment. 18/20 points (RH)" (10/2018)

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2017 Caymus Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($79.95)

One of the standard-bearers of the modern Napa Valley style, Caymus always produces a big, rich, and flamboyant Cabernet Sauvignon. This consistency in stylistic achievement year after year is what makes Caymus a household name among fans decadent Napa Cabs. From the winery: "Caymus Napa Valley is more representative of a standard Cabernet of Napa Valley, as it is a bit less precocious than the Special Selection, but still delivers big. Caymus prides itself on producing wines that are as approachable in youth as well at maturity."

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2007 Glenlivet 12 Year Old "Signatory Unchillfiltered Collection" 1st Fill Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($99.99)

For those who've been paying attention for the last decade or so, you'll know that we've had some pretty incredible success with Signatory. Likely the most requested and reminisced about product from them was a series of heavily sherried Glenlivets we bottled nearly four years ago. Those stupendous casks from this blue chip distillery were really quite rare, and have become legends. But the quality of those incredible offerings and their scarcity resulted in an absolute explosion in their price. What we once stocked for under $100, now were pushing $300. So, we waited. And waited. Finally, nearly four years after our last cask was bottled, we stumbled upon this set of wonderful Glenlivets in the Signatory warehouse. Distilled on April 10th of 2007, this malt was filled into the highest quality sherry casks. Despite the availability of the standard releases, single casks of Glenlivet are a rarity on the market today. Because the distillery needs almost every drop they produce, there's no need for them to trade or divest stocks to their competitors, as so many other distillers in Scotland do. But what's shocking is that they'd ever let go of these stupendous casks at all. We are extremely lucky to have access to this incredibly high-quality malt, and this little 12-year-old might turn out to be the cask of the whisky season. Yes, you pay a little premium for Signatory, but it's damn worth it every time.

Staff ImageAndrew Tobin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 02, 2019

What an outstanding Sherry Cask Scotch! Rich and lush on the nose with notes of plum and dates, hazelnut chocolate, and a hint of caramel. The palate does not feel like 125.8 proof at all, definitely warm but very balanced the fruit lingers, the malt is well integrated with the sweeter notes, and the finish is long and intense. This has to be one of the best single casks we have gotten in recently and I can't imagine it will last very long!

Staff ImageJackson Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 01, 2019

I immediately checked the pricing on this bottle once I got it into my glass and began to explore. I was hit, unmistakably by Buttered Rum Raisin ice cream drizzled with chocolate syrup. After that, white sage and candied plum became apparent with the influence of the Sherry Butt. A single droplet hit my tongue and there was a sudden explosion of flavor and texture that emanated to every corner of my mouth. Golden raisins and dried cherries combined with salted toffee rode atop of soft, silky wave that seemed to break for miles. The finish saw notes of marzipan and raspberry jolly rancher and five minutes later, it was still changing; I cant say enough good things about this bottling and at this price point, Ill be picking up a bottle or two myself.

Staff ImageNeal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 29, 2019

Butter. Scotch. Butterscotch. The sherry influence is powerful here, but not in the same way as our last Glenlivet single cask. The nose drips with butterscotch, honey, dark caramel, saltiness, and dried fruits. Red fruit flavors come out more on the palate with a little tobacco and spice box, too. With a few drops of water, the sherry flavors come out even more, if you can believe it. This Scotch is a totes sherry bomb, made for lovers of that style.

Tim Telli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 26, 2019

This whisky has an extremely dark color from the first-fill sherry cask aging. There are all kinds of complex flavors, and a nose of honey and dried citrus fruits. Lovely and intense with a long lingering caramel finish. Roasted coffee beans and toffee round it out. Tastes older than 12 years. Only 561 bottles filled.

Staff ImageAndrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 23, 2019

Sister cask to the 2006 Glenlivet that we sold out of almost instantly just a few weeks ago. I'd have to say this is the big sister despite being just a touch younger. Not big and brash like it's sibling, but much more mature and refined (I'm basing this assumption on my relationship with my older sister). Intensely sherried, but just another example of how varied sherry casks can truly be. This is more butter cream and candy corn than chocolate and toffee. Fresh orange peel rather than burnt, zippy even. Rich malt forms the core of the whisky, but is wrapped in layer after layer of creamy nut butter, figs, and desert fruits. It's basically a scent journey to the market in Marrakesh where baskets upon baskets of dried figs, dates, and oranges mingle with saffron, turmeric, teas and other exotic spices. If you liked the first barrel you owe it to yourself to get a bottle of this one, it's the perfect foil. Same same, but different. And different in all the right ways.

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 22, 2019

Sherry aged single malts are very popular at k&L and this bottling should please fans of this style of whiskey. The sherry influence is pronounced, helping make this a juicy and rich offering. The sherry aging comes through in the nose giving dried fruit and sherry aromas. In the mouth this Glenlivet is full bodied and lusty with the dried fruit and nut flavors dominating. There is a long finish. If you are thinking about buying this product I suggest that you do is sooner than later because in the past similar offerings have sold out quickly.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 21, 2019

Another absolutely spot on cask of Glenlivet aged for 12 perfect years in 1st fill sherry. Here we have a relatively different style than the last cask which had much more coffee, toffee and astringent oak. The nose on this pristine barrel is pure buttery oloroso, vanilla extract, nutty dried plums and apricots. Again on the palate it's big but sweeter and rounder than the last cask. It still absolutely loves water. With water now we're approaching the absolute limits of finesse. Aromas of exotic teas, candied sultanas, expensive spices, cigar box, roasted dark malt and a bold spice that perks up in the back end. While this one loves water like its sibling, here we only need a tiny splash and ten minutes with air to achieve full potential. An absolutely dreamy cask of 'Livet that's acts as a lovely counterpoint to the previous barrel.

Staff ImageWill Blakely | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 20, 2019

I didn't know it was possible, but this bottling is actually slightly better than the last. For starters, the nose is more complex with persimmon skin, sultana, mandarin zest and beatiful roasted barley. Rather than just fudge and coffee, the palate also shows signs creme brulee, toasted wheat, marzipan and marmalade. The sherry, ever-present, adds candied nuts and a hint of salinity, but all perfectly balanced. Then I added a splash of water, and everything changed; the aromas tended even more sweet - wild honey, sticky toffee, almond rocca - but the savory character of the malt and sherry really came alive on the palate. The espresso tone came to the forefront, coupled with walnuts and dark, burnt sugar. With such intense and dynamic flavors, any fan of single malt should be looking to pick up a bottle, let alone the sherry lovers.

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2014 Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($119.95)

92 points Wine Spectator: "Distinctive, with lots of singed sage, sassafras, black tea and bay leaf notes out front, giving this aromatic distinction while the core of gently mulled plum, black cherry and raspberry fruit is carried by lightly dusty tannins. Shows a lingering perfume of singed alder at the very end. (JM)" (08/2019)

K&L Notes: Silver Oak Cellars is a Californian wine producer known for its wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon. It was founded to focus on that grape variety in 1972 by entrepreneur Raymond Twomey Duncan and winemaker Justin Meyer. Winery notes: "Sourced primarily from two estate vineyards in the southeast foothills of Napa Valley, Soda Canyon Ranch and the Jump Rock Vineyard, this Bordeaux blend is composed of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. It was blended in early 2015 and aged for two years in 85% new American oak barrels, infusing subtle and creamy aromatics of vanilla and coconut into the wine. This wine is drinkable upon release but, given proper cellaring conditions it can be enjoyed through 2040."

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2014 Mayacamas Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon ($124.95)

97 points James Suckling: "Aromas of blackcurrant, mushroom, wet earth and bark follow through to a full body, chewy tannins and a stone, berry, chili and spice aftertaste. Muscular and chunky. Very serious. Almost no new oak. This shows the Mayacamas DNA." (01/2018)

96 points Vinous: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is savory, fresh and super-inviting, as so many wines are in this vintage, Bright red cherry, iron, smoke, mint, wild flowers and anise all lift from the glass. Medium in body, taut and wonderfully focused, the 2014 is going to reward readers lucky enough to own it for many, many years. I especially like the pure energy and vibrancy that runs through the 2014. (AG)" (12/2018)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck: "An incredible wine that reminds me of a great vintage of Lafite, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is a step up over the 2012, with more depth, richness, and elegance as well as texture. Stunning notes of red and blackcurrants, lead pencil shavings, cigar tobacco, and cedar all emerge from this incredibly elegant, ethereal, yet layered 2014 that has present yet polished tannin, impeccable balance, and sensational purity of fruit. It certainly offers pleasure today (more than the 2012) yet will benefit from 5-7 years of bottle age and keep for 2-3 decades. Its a brilliant, classic, old-school styled Napa Cabernet done perfectly!" (01/2019)

95 points Wine Spectator: "This packs in a lot of juicy black currant and blackberry paste notes, with lively licorice snap and bramble accents filling the available space. A roasted apple wood accent lends a mouthwatering edge while a tarry echo at the very end adds range and length. Should cruise in the cellar. *Collectibles* (JM, Web Only-2018)" (02/2019)

92 points Wine & Spirits: "After transitioning from Bob Traverss long reign at this 465-acre mountain estate, Mayacamas comes to its 125th vintage under the organic viticultural practices of Phil Coturri and the winemaking skills of Andy Erickson. They continue to present the wine as a muscular, youthfully impenetrable cabernet, harvested on the early side of ripeness, requiring long development in the cellar. Its built like a marathon runner, austere in the power of its mountain-grown tannins, formidable in its foresty red-berry fruit." (06/2019)

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 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.

1998 Orkney (Highland Park) 20 Year Old "Thompson Bros." K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($149.99)

The wonderful Dornoch Distillery sits hidden on the main drag in the tiny town of Dornoch. Behind the majestic Dornoch Castle Hotel and its famous whisky bar sits one of Scotland's tiniest and most exciting distilleries. Founded by brothers Simon and Phil, the distillery is completely contained in one tiny stone shed. While the brothers might not have the resources and capital of many of Scotland's new distilleries, they do have an incredible vision and the unwavering support of the single malt-loving community. In that little shed a truly unique experiment is underway. The Thompsons are trying to make whisky the old way. The distillery was funded without any outside investment and pre-sales of the first casks were crowd sourced online. The contrast between extreme forward thinking and commitment to tradition makes the Dornoch Distillery one of Scotland's most exciting new distillers bar none. We've got years before their malt is ready to go and in the meantime the brothers are distilling and selling an incredible malted gin and trafficking in some seriously delicious single casks. This HP is part of the great wave of unnamed Orkney that's hit the market recently. They nabbed some of the very best and somehow offer it up at a reasonable price. Other bottlers offer versions of the same whisky for twice this price and none we've had taste as good as this. It's got everything, balanced excellently. Delicate Orkney peat, bold malt, gorgeous maritime quality—a real island dream.

Staff ImageJackson Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 13, 2019

I cant tell if the stick figure on the bottle is going into battle or partying but either way, its capturing what Im getting from this unique Orkney single malt. I dig the label and I dig the juice. The nose gives off a pretty perfume of baked Bartlett pear, cinnamon, vanilla, toasted marshmallow, and sassafras. The palate provides that same baked pear profile combined with chocolate covered toffee with a full-bodied texture. The finish leaves you with a nice, spicy tingling sensation on the tip of the tongue with spicy cinnamon notes and as I begin to regain feeling a subtle juicy pear jelly belly note clings as the breath escapes. This is the kind of scotch I could see myself drinking all day in a ski lodge surrounded by friends.

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 13, 2019

This single malt is elegant and pretty. It is very complex and this comes out when one first smells it. There are aromas of sea,bees wax and sweet malt . In the mouth it is again complex with malt and sea notes and a hint of savory. On the light side, this selection is about finesse and layered flavors. With a touch of water it becomes a little sweeter but it was very good without an addition of water.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 10, 2019

We've had some up and downs with Highland Park recently. We've secured some incredible old stock with the distillery name on it, but also had offers for no named stuff at ridiculously high prices. Needless to say we're always game from some HP. It's really one of the very best distilleries out there and these incredible 'no name' bottlings have been some of the very best values on the market today. Yet some of our suppliers feel comfortable charging well above what another no name might cost from another distillery. Of course, they're looking at this like a business opportunity. They have high quality juice, that can be implied to be from one of Scotland's great distilleries, and most people are probably willing to pay it, but we've mostly avoided these offerings since we've been securing 'named' versions in the $250-300 range consistently for the last two seasons. It wouldn't make any sense for us to sell a similar product no name for the same price. These products must offer value. So we've generally passed on several casks due to the very high prices. But now it seems our supply of distillery bottlings is becoming more and more scarce. We had to say no to a 21 year old Hogshead this year from Old Particular due to the incredibly high price. And at the same time, our friends in Dornoch came knocking with this stunner. The fun labels poke fun at the new aggressive viking style of the distillery bottlings, but do nothing

Staff ImageWill Blakely | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 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.

Staff ImageAndrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 23, 2019

HP20 is going to be delicious no matter what. At 150 bucks, it's all the sweeter. This number is particularly interesting as it is a hogshead filled from same day vattings before it was sold off onto the independent market - a number of these casks have come up as Edrington has divested stocks, rumor has it, to pay for the budget sucking massive new Macallan distillery. It's classically salty and has that beautiful medium intensity heather driven peat that the distillery is known for, although it shows most on the finish and not up front. Apricots and other stone fruits in varying levels of dehydration play across the entire experience from nose to palate and intermix beautifully with the floral smoke on the finish. Coming in at an even 50% ABV at cask strength, it's a very sippable whisky neat. With a touch of water the oils come crashing out of solution as do the grain notes. The aromas suddenly explode with honeyed barley and a whole new drinking experience begins. An extremely good first showing from our new partners in Sutherland, the Thompson Brothers.

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 21, 2019

I was just calling our Bunnahabhain 30 single cask our best whisky when Andrew plopped a bottle of this in front of me. Now I'm reconsidering. A single cask of 20-year-old Orkney Highland Park that is smooth as milk at 50% abv, with a very bright and distinct apricot, honey & apple core with a very subtle gravelly smokiness enveloping the fruit. I just can't stop nosing it. The Thompson Bros. label is big bonus, too.

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2005 Laphroaig 13 Year Old "Chieftain's" K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Unchill-filtered Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($159.99)

The magical distillery on the south shore of Islay, like all south shore distillers, is quite unlike any other. But Laphroaig has a certain place in the hearts of the hardest core peat lovers. They're the last distiller down there to malt a portion of their barley on site. Their complex system of tiny stills create the most peculiar and enticing peated spirit in the world. The quality and consistency of their casks is second to none. But over the last decade, what was once a staple in the independent bottling repertoire has completely disappeared. Laphroaig is simply not selling casks any longer. And when we do find casks they're usually in very inactive hogsheads and declassified to their trade name, "Williamson." Now that's not a huge problem because Laphroaig always tastes good, but bottlers can't replace even those few casks the prices have gone absolutely bonkers. Signatory recently bottled a sister cask those we sold here just three years ago for $200, Laphroaig from the Fall of 1997, for $700. And by God those bottles sell. But a beautiful butt for a not completely abhorrent price, we jumped all over it. Thank the Lord of the Isles that we did, as it's a complete and utter masterpiece. Some purists askew the idea of Laphroaig in active sherry, but much of the experience is limited to low proof distillery bottlings and finishes. It's truly a stupendous find and going to be one of those casks that people remember for years to come. Collectors and drinkers alike take note

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 23, 2019

Laphroaig very infrequently releases anything new, let alone a single cask of something new. Fans of the classic Laphroaig style will not be disappointed here, but will also be pleased to find new tastes and expressions. Rich texture and creamy peat notes get a kick from a slight jalapeno pepper spice in the back. This extremely limited and special release could retail for much higher given its scarcity. Lucky for us it doesn't.

Staff ImageAndrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 23, 2019

Every so often time stops, a dizzying array of pieces fall into place, and you're left with one special moment. Such is drinking this masterpiece. Tragically, Chieftain's is going away. One of the most storied and high quality bottlers in Scotland has pulled out all of the stops for it's swan song. Aged to perfection this cask toes the line perfectly between every facet of Laphroaig. It's equally salty, malty, fruity, floral, and smoky in that amazing way that only Laphroaig can be. In addition there is a splendid cigar box spice provided by an amazing barrel of the highest quality and perfectly matched to the whisky. Not overpowering, it is just robust enough to blend seamlessly with everything on offer from the spirit. My best Laphroaig drinking experience was having John Campbell, Distillery Manager, walk me through the classic 10 year, a single cask bourbon barrel roughly 14 years old, and the legendary 30 year. The insights those 3 carefully chosen whiskies provided into the soul of Laphroaig is something I will never forget. It set off a personal and more indepth study of the whisky behind the smoke and iodine that the distillery is so famous for. This one cask highlights the traits that makes the the malt from this special place so complete and such a rarity in the flavor spectrum without giving up that core profile. Tasting this malt and then going back to Laphraoig 10 will forever unlock for the drinker the often overlooked and underappreciated glory

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 18, 2019

Since barrels of single malt age differently and produce a range of flavors it is always a treat to taste something and see the variation on a theme from the regular releases.This tasty barrel is very interesting and fantastic. The nose has a burst of smoke that is almost pretty ( a word not usually associated with Laphroaig) with toasty undertones. In the mouth it is classic Laprhoaig with smoke , iodine, salt and malt. With water it opens up and becomes softer. There is a long finish with an interesting touch of spice.This single barrel is unique and interesting.

Staff ImageJackson Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 15, 2019

If my family drank, this is a bottle Id take with me to our holiday dinners. This bottle screams autumn with notes of ume plum, burnt caramel, oak spice, and cinnamon graham crackers on the nose. The palate is fatty, savory, and sweet and I can imagine it going perfectly with turkey and stuffing. Its warm and inviting, I just want to cuddle up with it next to a fire and look longingly at the glass.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 07, 2019

Laphroaig is one of those incredible things that is both polarizing and unifying, sometimes between the same people at the same exact time. I personally adore almost everything I taste from this special distillery. Yes there are some underwhelming distillery bottlings that might feel a bit over manipulated, but the whisky is never ever bad. The great heights that can be achieved by Laphroaig are truly unbelievable. And uniquely, some of the very best from this special distillery are not even very old. The very best Laphroaig I've ever had the great pleasure of tasting are no more than 10 years old, given they'd have been distilled 40 or 50 years ago, but the fact remains that Laphroaig is often more special in its youth. For years Laphroaig has felt like a bit of a secret that you weren't sure you wanted to share with everyone you know. Particularly that was true of the special single casks that we'd come across in warehouses and whisky shops throughout Scotland. But in the current climate, where the distillery itself has no need or use for trading or brokering excess production, what was once a special secret to find and share is now an endangered species completely. So when we get offered casks like this we expect them to be unfathomably expensive. But even if this were twice the price I'd still have bought it. This is that perfectly idiosyncratic Laphroaig, apt to have you disagreeing with yourself. Deep wafting peat, a mix of bitter herbs, salty ocean

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2008 Dom Pérignon Brut Champagne ($169.99)

98 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2008 Dom Pérignon is the first time the estate has released a wine out of order (the 2009 was released before the 2008) but the estate loved the wine so much they felt it warranted additional aging. This is a rich, powerful wine that still shows incredible purity and elegance, with a stacked, concentrated feel on the palate. Its rare to find such a mix of ripe, pure, concentrated fruit paired with this level of purity, focus, and precision. This is a legendary Dom that surpasses all the great vintages of Dom I have experience with, including the 1990, 1996, and 2002." (12/2018)

98 points James Suckling: "The best Dom since 2002. A vintage with very restrained, powerful style that has been released non-sequentially after the 2009. This has a lighter stamp of highly curated, autolytic, toasty aromas than many recent releases. Instead, this delivers super fresh and intense aromas of lemons, grapefruit and blood-orange peel. Incredible freshness here. The palate has a very smoothly delivered, berry-pastry thread with light, sweet spices, stone fruit and fine citrus fruit. This really delivers. Drink now or hold." (09/2018)

98 points Vinous: "The 2008 Dom Pérignon is once again stunning. More than anything else, I am surprised by how well the 2008 drinks given all the tension and energy it holds. Then again, that is precisely what makes 2008 such a unique vintage namely that the best wines are so chiseled and yet not at all austere. Lemon peel, almond, mint, smoke and crushed rocks are all finely sculpted, but it is the wines textural feel, drive and persistence that elevate it into the realm of the sublime. The 2008 will be even better with time in the cellar, but it is absolutely phenomenal even today, in the early going. Three recent bottles have all been nothing short of magnificent. (AG)" (07/2019)

97 points John Gilman: "I had not crossed paths with a bottle of the 2008 vintage of Dom Pérignon since my visit with Richard Geoffroy last spring at the Abbé de Hautvillers and was very happy to see a bottle pop up at a recent Right Bank Bordeaux tasting to get us out of the blocks in proper style. This is one of the very best young vintages of Dom Pérignon that I have had the pleasure to taste and this is a legend in the making. While the wine is properly tight on the palate today, as most top vintages of this cuvée are for the first couple of decades out from the vintage there is a sense of creaminess in the mid-palate that augurs very, very well for its future development. The youthful bouquet offers up scents of lemon, quince, a touch of menthol, beautifully complex, salty minerality, lime peel, incipient smokiness and a bit of bread dough in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and nascently complex, with a superb core, excellent focus and grip, refined mousse and a very long, energetic and promising finish. 97+." (07/2019)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The finest release of this iconic cuvée since the 1996 vintage, the 2008 Dom Pérignon wafts from the glass with an incipiently complex bouquet of Meyer lemon, green apple, dried white flowers and oyster shell, with only subtle hints of the smoky, autolytic aromas that have been such a prominent signature of recent releases. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, deep and complete, its notable flesh and amplitude controlled by incisive acids, with a youthfully exuberant but elegant mousse and a long, beautifully delineated finish. Considering the sheer size of this cuvée, it's a remarkable achievement and a fitting release with which to conclude Richard Geoffroy's tenure as chef de cave. Given the 2008's intensity and balance, I suspect purists will be anticipating later disgorgements with lower dosage and more time on the lees with particular enthusiasm. Tasted three times, with consistent results. (WK) 96+" (01/2019)

96 points Wine Spectator: "Theres power to this graceful Champagne, with the vivid acidity swathed in a fine, creamy mousse and flavors of toasted brioche, kumquat, pastry cream, candied ginger and poached plum that dance across the palate. An underpinning of smoky mineral gains momentum on the lasting finish. *No. 5 Top 100 Wines of 2018, Collectibles* (AN)" (09/2018)

96 points Decanter: "Departing chef de caves Richard Geoffroy says that 2008 is his best DP vintage since 1990. The first half of the growing season was dull and sunless, but good weather returned in mid-September and led to one of the longest harvests, running into October. The summer provided ideal conditions for a classic, cool, maritime vintage of exceptional, subtle aromas with minerality and freshness. This has a vibrant but controlled acidity, and is above all a memorable symbiosis of mature fruit and salinity derived from top terroirs. The poised mouthfeel makes this a perfect gastronomic wine, strong enough for spicy Asian cuisine from the Pacific rim, but still compatible with classics such as roast turbot and lobster. (ME)" (06/2018)

Jancis Robinson: "Very fresh and lively and creamy, lovely undertow. Long and tense. Really refreshing. 19/20 points (JR)" (04/2019)

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 20, 2018

This has a very aromatic, supple nose of bristling minerals, meyer lemon, apricots, acacia honey, and toasted pastry with just a touch of smoke. On the palate, it has classic 2008 intensity and concentration of fruit, with a dense core of white fruits, apricots and lemons, subtle autolytics, and amped up acidity that perfectly balances the richness, making this beautiful complex wine dance effortlessly across the palate. DP has knocked it out of the park with the 2008 vintage.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 20, 2018

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

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 19, 2018

Yes, this one is ways off (for coming into stock) but, this week, I had the extreme good fortune to taste it. Initially, it has a classic, clean, 2008 mineral driven nose but, the yellow apple fruit peeks through to give us a "heads up" of what's to come. Hints of creme brulee and lemon curd. On the palate, again, the citrus fruit and clean, clear, acidity is at the forefront. After that, the golden apple fruit comes forth (again), this time joined by (subtle) toasted nuts. Long finish with the right amount of acidity and cleanliness. Another classic 2008!

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 13, 2018

What a beauty this Champagne is: exciting and elegant right out of the gate! Raw honey on the nose, with a hint of white floral alongside coveted yeasty notes, the 2008 vintage Dom Pérignon shines from the very first sip. Heady aromatics give way to sparkling minerality and bright lemon fruit on the palate, with surprisingly nimble richness. While the hallmarks of the racy 2008 vintage come through with laser precision, there is a roundness present as well, making this feel opulent yet vivid, all the way through the long, chalky finish. I can only imagine how incredible this will be with age. Plus, its 95% grand cru fruit, with the remaining 5% 1er cru from Hautvillers included as an homage to village of Dom Pérignon's abbey. Historic and celebrated, this 2008 is a stellar release and an experience not to be missed.

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Clynelish 23 Year Old "Signatory Vintage Black Label" K&L Exclusive Single 2nd Fill Sherry Butt #11239 Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($249.99)

Over the years, Signatory has bottled some of K&L's most profound casks. We've been afforded unprecedented access to some of Scotland's rarest malts by our friends in Pitlochry. Often, we fall in love with a cask and are willing to pay a premium to work with Signatory Vintage because their offerings are so superlative. That means they might not be able to offer the same outrageous "value" on paper that our other direct bottlings do, but the premium is always worth it. Under rare circumstances, that paradigm is flipped upside down, they'll offer an unbelievably special malt at below market prices (thinking Ladyburn 36?). This Clynelish fits perfectly into that category. Of course, it's not inexpensive, but considering the rarity and quality of the spirit and what we've happily paid for younger Clynelish NOT aged in sherry, this is truly one of the best deals we've ever offered. We loved this cask so much we thought it deserved a special label. But it was not by chance that we located this wonderful whisky in the Signatory warehouse. We initially tasted a 20-year-old version bottled in 2016 at the Highlander Inn in Craigellachie bottled by the venerated Japanese Whisky Society, Whisky Hoop. After falling in love, we ferreted out one of the final casks from this batch at Signatory. As an homage to the venerable society in Japan, we've used the same iconic black label we saw that night. The striking package fits this delectable whisky perfectly. A true legend in our midst.

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 29, 2019

Forget discounted TVs, Clynelish 23 Year Old "Signatory Vintage Black Label" K&L Exclusive is what I'd be willing to fight for on Black Friday. Rounded apple fruit and butterscotch notes sing, and the sherry influence is apparent. An incredible drinking experience, and well worth the price.

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 21, 2019

What a superb offering from our talented K&L Spirits Department. This Highland malt is deeply colored in the glass and rich on the palate. A sumptuous bottling that delivers layers of toasted spelt, sultanas, candied dates, and dulce de leche. It is long, and I mean "long" on the finish. This is the kind of glass-stainer you don't want to rinse out of your glass, because a day or two later, you'll want to nose the dried, lingering essence. Not just a glass-stainer but a brain-stainer. My pick for our "Whisky of the Year."

Staff ImageAndrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 21, 2019

This is the one people will ask about for years to come. It's bound to enter the rarefied air of "legendary cask." Frankly, it's one of the greatest whiskies we've ever had the pleasure of tasting, let alone choosing to buy. 23 long years in a sherry butt of superlative quality has proved to be exactly the thing Clynelish needs to draw every facet out into the open. The nose is balanced between orange zest, roasted and candied nuts, succulent orchard fruit, a bit of pipe tobacco, a dusting of crushed stone, spice, and everything nice. The palate is dark and chewy, brooding almost. It matches the maple syrup color and sweet profile. There is a savory thread from the tip of the tongue all the way to the back of your throat that adds complexity and counterpoint to all of the sweet cask and malt notes. The finish is expansive. Every nerve on your palate is alive and buzzing after you finish a sip. It's simply a perfect whisky. Fortunately, sherry butts are huge and this one provided 516 bottles of liquid gold. Sadly, it won't be nearly enough. Once you've tasted this number and looked at its sexy vintage black label, you will simply need to fill the safe with as many bottles as you can stuff in there, because this is a once in a lifetime dram.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 21, 2019

There's little dispute that Clynelish is one of Scotland's best distillers. There's something ethereal and otherworldly about this spirit, even in their most pedestrian offerings. But unless you're a real hunter, searching for the great independently bottled casks that dot the shelves of world's finest bars and retail shops, you've likely had limited experience with this amazing malt. We've only been offered Clynelish a few times in our history and we've never passed up an opportunity to bottle it. It's hard to remember a cask coming anywhere close to the superlative quality of this second fill sherry butt. Even the magical 21 year old Sovereign wax top, which perhaps highlights the quality of the spirit more obviously, doesn't achieve the incredible intensity and depth of this unprecedented butt. Clynelish is a powerful malt. It can sometimes feel overwhelming or too loud. Especially when paired with something as overt as a sherry butt. But when we found this barrel, one of the final available in the Signatory warehouses, we were prepared to pay whatever it took to get these bottles here. What's most incredible about this special whisky is that the distinct distillery character still shines through behind the obvious sherry influence. The butt in question was objectively one of the most impressive we've ever seen. Deep dark mahogany, very thick and obviously very very old. And the whisky is significantly dark in bottle than I&#

Staff ImageWill Blakely | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 20, 2019

Without question, this is nectar from the gods. For those who do not know Clynelish is famous among aficionados for a unique waxy character in its distillate. Combined with the sherry in this barrel, it forms a rich, buttery structure on which layers and layers intense flavor build up and coalesce into a magical elixir. The wood and spice tones remind me in some ways of old, vintage Madeira. Instead of the syrupy sweetness, though, you get juicy golden apple, honeyed biscuits and a heavenly, ethereal malt profile. With just a hint of iodine and that trademark paraffin, it achieves an impossible balance between sweet and savory - power and grace. The flavor seems to last for days, and I want to savor every second of it.

Tim Telli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 19, 2019

With the very finest wines and whiskies I find I can almost get as much pleasure from smelling them as opposed to drinking them. This is one of those times. The nose on this old whisky is incredible. It draws you in with hints of toffee and molasses. Despite being bottled at 56% ABV I prefer it neat since there is enough sherry cask richness and complexity to it. An awesome bottle of whisky, plus I love the old school label on it.

Staff ImageNeal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 19, 2019

There is SOOOO much going on in this Scotch. Looking at the deep mahogany color, I was worried that the Sherry barrel would have too much of an affect on the spirit. Luckily, this was a refill Sherry but and my fears were unfounded, because this is a damn beautiful whisky. Dark honey and nougat aromas start the lips smacking in anticipation. Then more austere and savory aromas emerge and meld with the sweeter components. Earl Grey tea, cedar shavings, espresso, and some umami meatiness. There's nuttiness that combines roasted almonds and pecan pralines. There is also some of the signature spiciness that Clynelish often has with dusty black pepper, cayenne, clove, and some menthol too. This is easily one of the best drams I've had all year.

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2016 Dominus Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend ($299.00)

100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and 8% Cabernet Franc aged in 40% new oak, the 2016 Proprietary Red Wine is deep purple-black in color and quite reticent at this youthful stage to begin, offering up subtle notions of potpourri, Indian spices, cigar box and iron ore over a core of crushed blackberries and black cherries with intermittent wafts of black and red currants, new leather and smoked meats. The palate is medium to full-bodied with a densely packed mid-palate and oodles of freshness framed by very ripe, finely grained tannins and laced with compelling earthy accents. It offers incredible vibrancy with tons of black and red fruit sparkle in the mid-palate leading to a provocative mineral element on the very long finish. If I could give more than 100 for this one, I would. (LPB)" (10/2018)

98 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Another possible legend in the making is the 2016 Dominus, a classic blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and the rest Cabernet Franc brought up in 40% new French oak. Pure, pristine notes of charcoal, cold fireplace, smoke tobacco, and both blue and black fruits all flow to a full-bodied 2016 that has incredible elegance and finesse, yet also depth and density. Its more backward and reserved than the 2015 and needs 4-5 years of cellaring. It will unquestionably live for 25-30 years. 98+" (01/2019)

98 points James Suckling: "The opulence of fresh flowers and dark fruit is so impressive. Theres so much going on, from flowers to currants. The palate is full and powerful, but what impresses most are the ripe tannins and the amazing poise at the finish. Tightens down at the end. A blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and 8% Cabernet Franc." (12/2018)

97 points Vinous: "The 2016 Dominus is a dark, somber wine. I don't quite see the explosive energy of the 2013 or 2010, not the seductiveness of the 2012, but the 2016 has a distinct charm that is all its own. Quite frankly, I can't remember a young Dominus with this combination of fruit density, freshness and polished tannins. A huge center of fruit emerge with time in the glass in a big, large-scaled Dominus that should provide readers with a long drinking window of pure pleasure once some of the baby fat wears off. (AG)" (12/2018)

95 points Wine Spectator: "This marries a range of old-school savory, tobacco, chestnut and bay leaf notes with a dense and muscular core of dark currant and blackberry fruit, all backed by a loam-swaddled finish. Long and dense, but defined, with the fruit steadily emerging to win out in the end. Patience is required. (JM)" (10/2019)

Staff ImageBlake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 31, 2019

Dominus slays once again in this outstanding 2016 vintage. However, if you do plan to drink this wine sooner than within the next 4-5 years, I would recommend some serious decanting. The tannins are definitely there, it's earthy, and packed with brilliant notes of dark chocolate, lavender, leather, and smoked meats! to name a few. After having this bottle open for a good 4+ hours, it became simply outstanding.

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1979 North British 40 Year Old "Old Particular" Single Refill Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($299.99)

This year we were more picky than usual in our grain selections. Perhaps the cream of the crop is the 40 year old North British. Though this cask is a bit younger than the 58 year old official distillery bottling released last year, it is still definitely no spring chicken. As single grain whiskey ages past the 20 year mark it often takes on tropical fruit notes, as it progresses even further, rich cream and honey often layer on top. At 40 years old as long as the cask doesn't overwhelm the spirit, this all comes together in a glorious mesh as a sweet and decadent dessert. For whisky lovers it rarely gets better than this. A massive age statement, a bomb of sweet flavors, a creamy mouth coating palate, and an extraordinary price. Consider that the distillery's official bottling will set you back over $2,000, if you can even find a bottle, and the modest $300 price tag here is placed into the broader context. Just a screaming good deal for one of the best whiskies of the year.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 10, 2019

A true expression of the potential that Single Grain has to transcend the category on quality terms. While most grain has some distinct characteristics, usually the fact that the aromatics are restrained, woodsy and driven by sweet coconut or cereal, this one is like nosing some ungodly elixir in terms of complexity. On first nosing we're in the realm of the very best natural cognacs, supple and soft dried stone fruits, exotic spice, toasted vanilla and deep roasted coffee bean. The palate is ultra sweet up front with a kind velvety texture. As the whisky travels the palate, rich oak spice and legendary tropical fruit take over from the sweet grain. This is the sort of spirit that will make anyone a lover of single grain. D'you love old bourbon? Try this. Are you a brandy nut? Try this? Do you love ultra aged single malt? Why not this? It doesn't replace either of the category, but it's got a finger in each and will seduce any lover of great spirits.

Staff ImageJackson Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 29, 2019

I always get a bit giddy when I have a chance to try a dram older than I am, and this offering did not let down. The initial whiff reminded me of Fernet Branca Menta herbal, anise, and mint; but as that faded, pine wood shavings, caramel chews, tar, and roasted cacao nibs found their way out of the glass. It reminded me of a funky, well-done Jamaican rum giving an excuse to really geek out on the aromas. The palate returned to the Scotch path as I got kettle corn, blondies, oak barrel (like, the actual barrel), and sassafras. The texture was also quite compelling, not quite velvety but soft and full-bodied. As the finish approached, caramel corn, sweetgrass, green apple peel, oak wood, and Saigon cinnamon all got a chance to make a cameo during the long fade. A fun and complex Scotch that is sure to impress a crowd.

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 24, 2019

North British distillery is just outside of Edinburgh ,and from what I have so far tasted, produces tasty and elegant grain whiskeys. This forty year old is lively and full of finesse and flavor. The nose is sweet brown sugar. In the mouth it is mouth coating brown sugar but it not heavy and has a kiss of elegance. There is a long finish. With a little water the nose is the same as above but there are a subtle undertones of christmas spice. The mouth is the same as above but more elegant and delicate.

Tim Telli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 23, 2019

Only 257 bottles of this single cask 40-year-old whisky were filled. This reminds me of a British custard cream biscuit. Honey and floral aromatics give way to a warming finish. This would be a perfect dram to drink by the fireplace on a cold winter's night. A single malt with this much age would cost a heck of a lot more than this.

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 23, 2019

People often disregard the single grains in favor of single malts for their prestige, but there is no way you will find a whisky of this quality and age statement at this price for a single malt. We are lucky to have such devoted and fastidious spirits buyers who take the time to bring the best products back to our customer at K&L and this bottling is one of their best finds. Bottled by one of the most trusted names in Scotch whisky, Douglas Laing, the North British is pure decadence, with definite custard notes and a long, slightly spicy finish. I was a huge fan of our last release of North British and didn't think it could better, but was proven quite wrong after tasting this release.

Staff ImageNeal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 23, 2019

Brandy-like on the nose at first, this bottling from North British is quite delicate given its 40 years of age. Crisp green apples, light apricot, cherry, and cream drift to the nose. More florality develops with continued swirling and sniffing. The palate is even more intensely fruity with an apple medley and red berries. There's a little sugar cookie sweetness with soft vanillas melding with the fruits then becoming more leathery, oaky, and bold into a long finish.

Staff ImageAndrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 23, 2019

Gummy peach rings, creamy custard, strawberries, sticky syrup, caramels, brown sugar topped creme brulee, sweet afternoon biscuits, the list goes on and on. We were extremely picky when it comes to grain whisky this year. Rather than build a selection with a broad spectrum of what grain has to offer, we selected only the most opulent, over the top casks that still met our strict value proposition requirements. At 300 bucks, this 40 year old is bluntly put, a slam dunk. If you need a perfect gift for a whisky lover (even if that is just a gift to yourself) you cannot mess this up. Succulent, sweet, candied notes, gobs of fruit and cream, and a lively Christmas spice finish, this cask is everything you can ask for in a 40 year old whisky and then some. "Glorious" comes to mind.

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2016 Opus One Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend ($369.99)

99 points James Suckling: "Fantastic aromas that are complex and complete with blackcurrants, blueberries and herbs, such as basil and bay leaf. But always subtle. Full-bodied yet linear and very refined with a very persistent finish. It shows drive and brightness. So refined at the end. Needs at least three to five years to come together." (02/2019)

98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Opus One offers up bold, expressive black and blue fruits: warm black plums, black cherries, blackcurrants and wild blueberries with a beautiful undercurrent of lilacs, roses, fertile loam, underbrush and Indian spices. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is a tightly coiled spring ready to explode, with fantastic tension and wonderfully ripe, very fine-grained tannins, finishing very long with a mineral lift. (LPB)" (10/2019)

98 points Decanter: "Love the juiciness of this, right off the bat, rich deep black cherry rippling with menthol and eucalyptus notes, and these beautiful floral aromatics that Opus gets in the best years. A very classic style, touches of baked vanilla, rosemary and olive. Harvest 9th September to 12th October (starting off slowly then speeding up as the heat rose). 1% Malbec, 8% Petit Verdot completes the blend, 17 days skin contact. (JA)" (09/2019)

96 points Vinous: "The 2016 Opus One is a wine of real breadth and power. Black cherry, plum, leather and spice flesh out effortlessly, but what stands out most is the wine's textural intensity and sheer power. Readers will have to wait a number of years until the 2016 is at its best, but it is clearly another in a line of gorgeous recent Opus Ones from Michael Silacci and his team. (AG) 96+" (01/2020)

94 points Wine Spectator: "A focused, restrained style, with a steady beam of fresh red and black currant preserve flavors, laced with bay leaf, cedar and tobacco notes. An iron edge pierces the finish, while the fruit keeps pace. A bit more classically backward than its Oakville peers, so tuck this away in the cellar. (JM)" (10/2019)

Jancis Robinson: "Moderate year. Sufficient rain in winter and then one inch of rain in April. Normal budbreak, a heat spike late June followed by a cooler July and normal August. There was a mild heat spike in early September. So, all in all a pretty good year. Gal next door vintage. 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 8% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec. Bottled in July/August 2018. Still quite crimson. Tense nose promises much. Very polished and suave. Very fresh and racy. (JR) 18.5/20 points" (03/2019)

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2001 d'Yquem, Sauternes (375ml) ($379.99)

100 points James Suckling: "This is so layered and intense on the palate with lemons and dried pineapple, mango and honey. Full body, very sweet, but it remains tangy and vibrant. Shows such amazing balance and intensity. Crazy finish. Hints of vanilla and apple purée. One of the greatest Yquems ever. All about purity here." (09/2013)

100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I have had the very good fortune to taste the 2001 d'Yquem perhaps a dozen times since its release and have never been less than absolutely floored by its combination of poise, purity, precision and layer upon intricate, jaw-dropping layer of flavor nuances. It is among a very small clutch of incredible wines that crash through the 100-point ceiling and rocket beyond the stratosphere! A testament to that magic that can be created when an uncommonly great vintage for Sauternes brings out the best of an extraordinary vineyard and is skillfully, sensitively crafted, the 2001 is a true wine rarity that must be tried to be believed. (LPB)" (08/2019)

100 points Wine Spectator: "The greatest young Yquem I have ever tasted from bottle. Yellow, with a golden hue and an almost green tint. Intense aromas of botrytis, spices and blanched almonds follow through to honey, maple syrup, dried apricot and pineapple. Full-bodied, sweet, thick and powerful, with layers of fruit and a bright, lively finish. Coats the palate yet remains exciting. So balanced and refined, showing the pedigree that only this Sauternes estate can deliver. *Ranked #10 on Top 100 of 2005, Collectibles* (JS)" (11/2005)

Jancis Robinson: "Berry Bros' cellars seem to be awash with this great wine, to judge from the number of times I have been lucky enough to taste, nay drink, it chez eux. Sumptuous, glorious with richness, concentration yet no heaviness and quite enough freshness to see it through for decades. Thank you. (JR) 19/20" (06/2017)

K&L Notes: 100 points, Robert Parker: "There are 10,000 cases of this perfect sweet white Bordeaux. The 2001 Yquem reveals a hint of green in its light gold color. While somewhat reticent aromatically, with airing, it offers up honeyed tropical fruit, orange marmalade, pineapple, sweet creme brulee, and buttered nut-like scents. In the mouth, it is full-bodied with gorgeously refreshing acidity as well as massive concentration and unctuosity. Everything is uplifted and given laser-like focus by refreshing acidity. This large-scaled, youthful Yquem appears set to take its place among the most legendary vintages of the past, and will age effortlessly for 75+ years." (Wine Advocate, 4/2005)

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2016 Kapcsándy "Grand Vin - State Lane Vineyard" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($465.00)

100 points Jeb Dunnuck: "A perfect wine and a legend in the making, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Vin from theKapcsandy family is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc (no Merlot, which israre for this cuvée) that was brought up in 90% new barrels. Reminding me of a great vintageof Château Latour with its straight-up awesome bouquet of blackcurrants, lead pencil, crushedrocks, tobacco, and graphite, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a multi-dimensional,layered, seamless texture, perfect balance, and building structure. Made in an incrediblyclassic style, with one foot in Bordeaux with its elegance and class and another firmly in Napa with its layered richness, it can be drunk today with incredible pleasure yet will be a 40- to 50-year wine. Hats off to this estate for such an incredible wine!" (01/2019)

100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Vin State Lane Vineyard is deep garnet-purple coloredwith a lovely crème de cassis core backed-up by the most amazing perfume of lilacs, oolongtea, camphor and dark chocolate plus gentle wafts of aniseed and red currants. Mediumbodied with fantastic vibrancy and intensity, the palate practically rings with spine-tinglingenergy. It slowly builds in the mouth to reveal layers of red and black fruits supported by avery finely grained frame and seamless freshness, leading to a drop dead gorgeous, perfumed lift on the long finish. Sex in a glass. (LPB)" (10/2018)

97 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright, full ruby. A brooding black hole of a nose, hinting at black fruits, licorice, lavender, menthol and bitter chocolate; conveys a strong impression of medicinal reserve. Bigger, richer and deeper than the Roberta's Reserve but ultimately silky and seamless, conveying uncommon sweetness and an extract-rich mouthfeel. This, too, is utterly unevolved, even youthfully unformed today, but it should evolve in bottle for decades. Finishes extremely tactile and long, with a repeating note of chocolate and lingering subtle sweetness. (ST) 97+" (06/2019)

97 points Vinous: "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Vin is incredibly aromatic, nuanced and layered.Exquisitely elegant and finessed, the 2016 is super-expressive today. Sage, mint, lavender,plum and earthy notes all run through this supremely refined, expressive Cabernet Sauvignon. Translucent and nuanced, with an almost old school sense of feel, the 2016 is positively stellar. (AG)" (12/2018)