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Staff Favorites - Andrew Whiteley

Andrew Whiteley
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Reviews

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Evan Williams 1783 No 10 Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 01-17-2018
This is a perfect bourbon. It's super soft and mellow with a great supple sweetness on the front and mid palate. Then it kicks up on the back end with the fantastic spicy notes of cracked peppercorn and cinnamon. And it's really inexpensive. Cheap even. Bring me bottles booze that taste this good for this little money and I'll take that deal every time.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

Calwise Spiced Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 01-16-2018
Historically we don't really carry spiced rums here. You won't find Cap'n Mo' or any tattooed sailors on our shelves. Not that those aren't tasty, but they don't exactly capture the imagination. The spiced rum from Calwise has so much brightness to it. Made from molasses, not any caramel additives, it's dosed with a strong orange peel kick, nutmeg and ginger. The ginger in particular lights up your palate and leaves you feeling fresh and snappy. This is a slam dunk for casual cocktails or elevate your bartending game and find the perfect set of ingredients to really bring out the complexity in the rum.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Calwise Blonde Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 01-16-2018
It is so refreshing to taste something that is actually made by the people selling it, not just a label slapped on someone else's work. Better yet, it's great to drink something in the craft spirits world that I actually want to drink cause it tastes good. I was pumped when Calwise spirits found its way into my glass. The blonde rum is pot distilled rum from Louisiana sugar cane. This is a perfect starter rum if you're interested in the funky fruity esters that make rums like Hampden prized all over the world, but you're not ready to drive in deep into the world of funk. The blonde rum has just a hint of that funkiness. It's a little floral, it's loaded with pineapple, boasts an agave fruit sweetness and gets mellowed in California Chardonnay barrels to round it out with a creamy palate. Super fun for cocktails and sipping alike.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

George Dickel "K&L Exclusive" 9 Year Old Single Barrel #L7233K1007 Tennessee Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 01-11-2018
George Dickel is like your favorite musician. Any album they put out you just have to listen to because they're all so damn good. This new barrel is no exception. It might be because I've been drinking so much of it that the twists and turns a new barrel brings stand out in interesting ways, but I think this is the best barrel of the season (and I'm afraid our last for a while). There is a darker caramel note here - almost fudge like. The wood spice takes a back seat to the sweetness of the corn itself. Endlessly smooth and still peppy at 103 proof this is another home run.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Caledonia Spirits Barr Hill "Tom Cat" Barrel Aged Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 01-11-2018
Caledonia Spirits has done a wonderful job on this gin through intense focus. There is only one botanical - Juniper. The complexity comes from one added ingredient. The gin is finished with raw honey from the local Vermont bees. This special spirit is then aged in new virgin oak casks for a short period of time. The end result is spectacular. The nose is bursting with juniper, floral blossoms, and graceful oak spice. The mouth feel is rich and bright with the endless complexities of high quality honey highlighted through the sweet oak spices. Many gins see oak because it's the trendy thing to do. This gin see oak because it elevates the quality to a whole new level. This is far and away the best barrel aged gin I've had.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Baron-Fuenté "7" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-11-2018
Finally! I've been hearing about this project from Gary for some time now and it's finally arrived and is in my glass. 7 years on the lees and a little portion of barrel fermented Chardonnay imparts a spectacular brioche character to this wine and great richness. The 7 grams/liter dosage is the perfect balance for the focused acidity. The all estate fruit is full of apples, pears, and bits of dark cherry shine through from the Pinot. All this at the amazing prices we expect from Baron Fuente and our direct import relationship. There is no better wine on the shelf for 50 bucks.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Piùcinque Gin 750ml
Review Date: 01-09-2018
I was so impressed by how fresh and elegant this gin is. It feels brand new yet it hasn't moved too far from a classic London Dry style. The bergamot gives the gin a very delicate citrus note and the ginger a zippy cut, like a beautiful acid line in a great wine. This balances perfectly with the floral tones and rounder woody notes of wormwood and almond. All this comes together with the clean fragrance of juniper and a long dry finish. The balance is spectacular.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2007 Hampden 9 Year Old "Golden Devil" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Jamaican Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 01-08-2018
I wanted to finish my other tasting duties for the day before hitting this cask strength bad boy. I had poured a glass earlier in the day when the bottle was open and left the glass on my desk. I actually had to move it to another room while tasting other items. It's perfume will absolutely take over the room. There is a reason Hampden is being called the world's most complex spirit. The list of tasting notes is long and seemingly unconstrained. I taste banana's and cream, parfait, flowers, apples, fruit salad, a bready/yeasty quality, a nutty oxidative note, petrol, wet sidewalk, gumballs, raw sugar cane...and that's just the start of the list. If you love pot still rums and want to geek out on the world's finest or just want to make the best damn tiki drink you can come up with, this is the rum to take you there.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2008 Aultmore 9 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Sovereign" Single Sherry Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-08-2018
This is a big first fill sherry cask for those who like a dry and savory whisky. This is your Granddaddy's whisky. It's loaded up with cigar box, cedar woods, toffee, coffee, tobacco, rancio, and dark baking chocolate fudge. The finish is dry - like a finely aged Bordeaux, not your Napa red blend. There is a nod to the sweetness of the malt in a dry orange Curacao sort of way. At $50 I'm taking it home to make a proper Rob Roy right now. Dynamite and not to be underestimated.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

1977 Taylor Vintage Port
Review Date: 12-13-2017
Powerful and elegant. Just like it'd expect it to be. This is drinking supremely well as its 40th comes to a close. The nose has a great cocoa note to complement the fruit which carries all the way through to the finish. It's lively and still very fresh and the brandy is nicely integrated into the wine. It's a classic wine from a legendary house in a perfect vintage. What more could you ask for on top of the outstanding price?

1995 John McCrae 22 Year Old "K&L Exclusive - Sovereign" Single Barrel Cask Strength Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-12-2017
This struck me as my favorite of the 3 new Sovereign casks. It's lovely, rich, clean, and bright. There is an easy fruitiness full of apples and stone fruits. The spices lean towards the baking type, not peppery or savory. The palate is creamy and smooth, almost like a caramelized marshmallow. The finish is long and clean. All in all a special cask of whisky.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

1997 Hector Macbeth 20 Year Old "K&L Exclusive - Sovereign" Single Barrel Cask Strength Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-12-2017
If you're not excited by the value proposition of a teaspooned cask - read David's explanation and you will be. The Hector Macbeth is a home run. I found it surprisingly salty on the nose with a touch of pretty and fresh herbs. The mouth is rich and velvety, loaded with baked bread, cinnamon, and apples. It's basically an American Apple Pie in a scotch. There is a little sandalwood on the finish which is long and full. This is an absurdly good deal.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

2008 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 11-28-2017
There is a wonderful freshness to the 2008. The nose is full of ripe cherries, pungent herbs, a little tobacco and spice, but most of all, a clean bright fresh scent. It's almost floral, but I can't place what flowers it would be. There is a great balance of acidity on the palate. It meshes perfectly with the toasty American Oak and notes of baker's chocolate. The body is full, but silky smooth. The tannins are very refined. I'm pleased to drink this bottle now and put a few in the cellar for future aging. A splendid way to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Vina Ardanza!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
DC 95 RP 93

1977 Quarles Harris Vintage Port
Review Date: 11-14-2017
Today was my first time tasting Quarles Harris vintage port and I must say, I am extremely impressed. The 1977 is defined by elegance and grace. The first shock was in the color. It's delicate, a clean and bright garnet. It's almost like a Pinot Noir. The aromatics are equally graceful with bright florals and sweet spices. The brandy is perfectly integrated into the wine lending just enough power to carry through the black berries but never overwhelming the fruit notes. From the all-time great 1977 vintageat 40 years old the Quarles Harris does not disappoint.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart

Basil Hayden's 2017 Release "Dark Rye" Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 11-08-2017
I had the unusual experience of tasting this out of 5 different prototype whiskey glasses from Denver and Liely (makers of my favorite whiskey glass). I was flabbergasted by the results. Since this was my first glass trial, I was stunned by how much effect glassware shape has on how you perceive the contents of the glass. The glasses I tried were variations on two themes: smaller and tighter bowls and a more expansive bowl with a narrow, but flared opening. The Basil Hayden Dark Rye showed like two different sides to the same coin. In the tighter glass the spicy nature of rye really dominated. There was a distinctly grainy quality to the nose, and subsequently, the taste. The richness of those spices really made it feel like I was just drinking a high-quality rye. However, in the larger bowl with the narrowed opening to concentrate the aromas, the Dark component of this dram really shines through! The port addition (not port barrel aging, but actual port wine added) lends spectacular dark fruit aromas of cassis and blackberry. The anise of the wine plays perfectly with the peppery notes of the rye. The glass trial really highlighted for me the complexity of this spirit and how much drinking pleasure it will give, whether I want to pick it apart or just slam it back and enjoy.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2008 Talisker 8 Year Old "Old Particular - K&L Exclusive" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 10-23-2017
It is supposed to rain this week in Northern California. Not only is this great news for firefighters and farmers alike, this is great news for whisky fans. It's time to bring on the cozy confines of a peated glass of Scotch. The Talisker 8 year old has everything you might want to kick off the season. No baby, this dram is booming with power and fresh cut peat. Sea spray and cool moss control the nose but don't diminish the underlying barley. There is a finesse there. Balanced and in control the palate is sweet, the texture rich, and the proof high enough to cut. Almost like bright fresh acid in a bottle of Chablis there is a lift provided by the proof. The finish is long and mouth-coating. After you've swallowed there is a cool interplay between the cereal and ash notes of the peat that persists for a long time. This is the perfect transition from hot weather into cool autumn nights until winter truly sets in.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

1977 Graham's Vintage Port
Review Date: 10-10-2017
I've been lucky enough to be around when '77's get opened on several occasions. It really is a stunning vintage. Marked by rain the previous winter, cool and long growing conditions, hotter harvest months with just enough sprinkles to keep things fresh, these wines are beautiful and balanced. The richness of the Graham's is off the charts with tons of sweet red and black fruits, but it's marked by strong savory and herbal undertones. A lively thread of acidity runs through it so that every sip hits all your taste buds. This would be a very special way to celebrate your 40th.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 WS 91

1977 Dow's Vintage Port
Review Date: 10-10-2017
A once in a generation vintage. It's utterly superb across the board. The Dow shows remarkably savory with a wonderfully bright acidity and a core of dark fruits. For someone who doesn't drink an enormous amount of vintage port (not for lack of trying...), I was stunned at just how fresh and youthful this 40 year old wine feels. The perfect way to end a meal, not too sweet, but just sweet enough to scratch your itch for dessert.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 WS 92

1985 Taylor Vintage Port
Review Date: 10-05-2017
I had the lucky fortune to be a part of an incredible port tasting sampling 11 bottles ranging from 1963 to 2011 vintage ports from the major houses. While every wine showed remarkably well, the stand out wine of the night for me was the 1985 Taylor. It stuck me as a picture of elegance. It was concentrated and powerful yet lithe and almost zippy. Loaded with dark fruits, pepper spice, and complex cedar box aromas it was on the one hand hedonistic. On the other hand, the lift and freshness from the acid and the firm backbone of tannin lined everything up in a perfectly orderly fashion. This port shows focus and restraint, yet doesn't lack for the intensity and broad power that you'd expect. It's really a beautiful compilation and it was only heightenedby the perfectly paired and classic Neal's Yard Stilton.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart
WS 93

Four Pillars "Faultline" K&L Exclusive Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 10-01-2017
If you've shopped in the Redwood City store for gin in the last year you've definitely talked to me about the Four Pillars gins and heard about this bottling that is FINALLY here. A quick glance at my profile indicates my money is where my mouth is. I've purchased 7 bottles of Four Pillars gin since we started carrying them (among dozen of other gins purchased), all consumed in eager anticipation of our very own blend dropping from Four Pillars under the Faultline label. Now that I have an advance sample of the final product in my glass, I'm even more stoked. Since it's a limited run, I'm purchasing a 6 pack as soon as it lands later this week (I bought 6 of the limited St. George/Faultline #3 we did a few years back and I'm still savoring my last bottle, but never once regretted casing up). It's a spectacular blend of unique Australian botanicals—a real terroir-driven gin. And of course it smacks of the beautiful citrus that is the hallmark of Four Pillars. The most special thing about this gin is the combination of texture and liveliness. It has a sultry mouthfeel, but perks up feeling fresh and zippy at the same time. It's a fascinating combination that lends itself to savoring on its own, or in a martini (but the G&Ts and Negronis will go down real easy). Your wait, and mine, is finally over. Faultline Gin is back in a big way.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Bardstown Bourbon Company "Collabor&tion - Mistelle Barrel Finish" Cask Strength Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 09-29-2017
If you've ever walked into the store and asked the objectively silly question, "What rare bourbons do you have in stock at a good price?" This is your chance! These are extremely limited, ultra rare bourbons that taste absolutely delicious, unique, and are down right affordable when you consider the other criteria. Mistelle, if you're unfamiliar, is just fortified grape juice (and super tasty). Due to the mistelle cask finish, this bourbon screams out with sensational fruit, you can tell there is a sweetness and intensity to it from the nose, much like a PX-aged Scotch, but with more floral and stone fruit tones, less rancio. The texture is powerful, round and unctuous. And the bourbon itself...10 year old+ goodness bottled at 47%. That in itself is worth a fortune these days, add the most interesting and tasty cask finish I've seen this year and you've got a winner for those bold enough to actually ask, "what's rare and in stock?"
Price: $124.99 Add To Cart

Bardstown Bourbon Company "Collabor&tion - Brandy Barrel Finish" Cask Strength Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 09-29-2017
Don't you hate it when you're cruising along and your Sidecar gets stuck in a rut? Break free with this phenomenal collaboration between Kentucky's next big distillery and it's best brandy producer. This 10-year-old bourbon was aged for 18 months in Copper & Kings brandy barrels and then bottled at cask strength. It tastes just like you'd want it to given that pedigree. The high proof ups the intensity of the long brandy finish, the bourbon is sweet and decadent, the flavors complex and well integrated. If you're bold enough to mix your $100 plus hooch (and you should be, but we can get into that another time) this will make the most outstanding twist to your side car or Manhattan that you could hope for. If you want to just sip and savor, I won't judge you, because it is unequivocally delicious and unique on its own.
Price: $124.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$99.99

Real McCoy 12 Year Old Single Blended Barbados Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 09-27-2017
You don't even have to nose the glass to be hit by the wave of intense spice, vanilla, and molasses oozing into the air. This is big and rich rum from Foursquare any way you slice it. Touches of candied orange and almonds round out the bourbon cask profile. This rum is clean, big, and amazingly unadulterated with syrups and sugars. Whether you need something to sip on after dinner to satisfy a sweet tooth but don't want the cloying stickiness of many rums or are looking for your next house rum for tiki drinks, this should be a big hit.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Ardbeg "An Oa" Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 09-20-2017
I'm so thrilled this has arrived! I was fortunate enough to taste a sample 3 weeks ago and I've been hounding David about the release date ever since! Better yet, this isn't a flash in the pan. This is part of the new core lineup at Ardbeg and boy does it live up to my high expectations for Ardbeg flagship products. Beautifully married, this blend sings with sea salt brine, extinguished bonfire, malty goodness, and toasted brush. It's even better on the palate. The sweetness of the PX casks really livens up the mix. Cocoa notes and a bourbon spice profile play beautifully with a candied granola that is blanketed in the smooth smoky profile of Ardbeg you already love. Did I mention this is here to stay? I only have to buy one today, because after I finish it I can buy another next week. And the week after. Glorious.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
WA 93

2015 Hentley Farm "Old Legend" Grenache Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 09-11-2017
If you poured this blind the first thing you'd think is that it was a Pinot Noir. The color is astonishing, light and ethereal. The wine is equally beautiful and elegant,but not lacking for powerful structure, this wine feels fresh and very complex . There is spectacular sweet fruit, raspberries in particular and an elegant oak treatment. If you're looking to probe the upper echelon of quality Grenache, this wine must not be missed.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JH 95 WE 91

2014 Cliff Lede Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 09-11-2017
"Beautiful, full + elegant. Great oak influence and balance." These were the first thoughts I had and the start of copious notes upon tasting this wine for the first time. This Stags Leap District cab has incredible freshness and vibrancy. Lots of pretty purple flowers and deep dark fruits combined. The oak fits in with the fruit perfectly, never awkward or overpowering, but always contributing in proportion to the intensity of the grapes. The name of the game here is balance. Eminently enjoyable and well suited to food.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 VN 91

2016 Kalinda Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-11-2017
I'm so excited that we have another vintage of Kalinda Anderson Valley Pinot Noir back in stock! Even better than the last vintage, this wine comes to us from a North Coast legend. Loaded with fruit, the ripe cherries mesh with fresh cranberry and even a darker blackberry note. Cola shines through on the nose and palate. The tannins are very soft and polished and play beautifully with the pop and freshness of the wine. This screams Anderson Valley - the big diurnal shifts in temperature contribute to both ripeness and fresh acidity.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$24.99

2014 Olivier Riviere "Ganko" Rioja
Review Date: 09-06-2017
Truly a remarkable and unique Rioja that deserves your attention. Especially if you're up for trying something unexpected and wonderful. Ultra bright and fresh, this Rioja is made up of Granacha and Mazuelo, but not a drop of Tempranillo. It has incredible aromatics and a lively floral quality that you are more likely to find in Burgundy or the Willamette Valley. The acid is tremendously refreshing, but balanced perfectly with the ripe red fruits. The tannins are fine and the finish long. This is a special wine that is extremely versatile in food pairings from light fish to hearty chorizo paella and some of your favorite vegetable dishes to boot.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

Highland Park "Magnus" Isle of Orkney Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 09-05-2017
I have long been recommending the Highland Park 12 year for its incredible quality and supreme value. Coming in at the sub-50 range is hard to do for really great Scotch these days. Well my favorite Orcadian distillery has delivered a new dram for under 30 bucks that will blow you away. It's a bold statement that extraordinary doesn't have to mean extremely expensive. This whisky is peaty and intense with the light and airy demeanor that makes Highland Park so seductive. I don't have enough superlatives to describe how amazing the value is here. If half the $60 whiskys on the shelf tasted half this good, I'd be thrilled.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

1996 Tamdhu 20 Year Old K&L Exclusive Old Particular Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 09-05-2017
What a refreshing whisky. Classic, understated but hugely flavorful. It has a fresh and bright feel; it's sweetly honeyed with a spritz of citrus on the nose. Touch of spice on the palate up front with gobs of caramelized sugar on the back end. The finish is clean and pure vanilla and cinnamon sugar. Rocking good on its own or for a highball. And like nearly all of our cask selections, this clocks in at a full proof of 54.1% giving you tons of flexibility to drink as you please.
Price: $79.99 Add To Waiting List

Richland Single Estate Georgia Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 08-03-2017
This is my first exposure to Richland Rum, although they've been around since 1999. The entire process happens on the estate! Everything from growing the sugar cane, to pressing, to concentrating the juice into syrup, fermenting the syrup, distilling the syrup wine, and aging the rum in virgin oak barrels is accomplished right there. The results are excellent. The nose is a heady mixture of fresh cane juice, vanilla, caramel. The palate is rich and full, but never overwhelming or overpowering. It's a well balanced and honest rum that can easily fit on any bar as your new go to for cocktails or a nice clean and bright after dinner sipper.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

2010 Contino Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 07-27-2017
A superb example of the 2010 vintage. The cool vintage leaves this wine feeling super bright and fresh. The higher acidity balances out the intense dark cherry and purple fruit profile and highlights the tremendous minerality in the wine. The French and American oak regimen delivers a powder keg of spices, vanilla, cedar box, and refined tannin. It is extremely elegant and graceful, but never shy. I hope to drink this bottling for years to come because it will no doubt be a prized collectors item. Unfortunately for me, that will be a massive challenge since it's hard to not drink all of it now. I must concur with Joe's assessment that at this price, it is one of the best Rioja's I've had all year (and I just got back from a week in Rioja!).
Top Value!

2009 La Rioja Alta "Viña Arana" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 07-18-2017
Earthier and denser than the Vina Alberdi, the Vina Arana cries out from the forest floor. It has the wet earth tones of healthy soil blended beautifully with boysenberry and olallieberry sweetness. Fresh cut cedar adds a spicy intrigue on the long and vibrant finish. This is a textbook example of Rioja value.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JS 96

2010 La Rioja Alta "Viña Alberdi" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 07-18-2017
I tasted this bottle after it had been opened for our staff for 2 days (the good stuff always seems to get opened on my weekends...). It is still tasting great. The lovely nose is full of cedar box and deep dark blackberries. There is a strong mineral component to the lithe body. Somewhat unusual for being 100% Tempranillo, this is a perfect wine to explore the classic markers of the famous Spanish grape for those who wish to study. At under $20 bucks, its the perfect wine to enjoy any day you need a great bottle of red without fail.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 95 RP 91

2016 Domaine de Rimauresq Côtes de Provence Cru Classé Rosé
Review Date: 06-13-2017
This is one of the most exciting Provence rosés I've tasted this year. The nose is super clean and bright, full of cherry and lemon zest. The palate is refreshing and creamy at the same time. It just begs for food -- perhaps BBQ chicken and grilled veggies. The finish lingers pleasantly and is quite long. Big time win in the Provence category!
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
DC 97 VN 90

Highland Park "Valkyrie" Isle of Orkney Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 06-11-2017
The nose is reminiscent of the sea breeze blowing hard across the deck of a ship. A raging fire has burnt out on the distant shore. Tart, like the bite of a crisp apple; fresh, and yet sweetly rounded. Stone fruits and pears also blossom on the palate. It’s beautifully golden in color, mellow, and ever so easy to drink. Vanilla and spice abound and lingers for days stitched together seamlessly with a gentle peat. A remarkable feat in the NAS sub-$100 category. Top marks.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Rancho Tepua Bacanora (750ml)
Review Date: 05-11-2017
It seems everyday I get more interested in agave spirits. Long gone is my loathing of that terrible tequila experience early in my drinking career that so many of us are familiar with; I've embraced the agave distillates wholeheartedly. Nearly every region of Mexico makes its own agave spirit, with its own classification, character, and protected name. Tequila and mezcal just happen to be the most well known (regionally specific to Jalisco and Oaxaca, respectively). Thanks to David's nuanced selections, I'm finding that there are an extraordinary number of agave spirits that demonstrate a finesse and subtlety entirely lacking in the most well known tequila brands. This bacanora (one of the agave spirits of Sonora, Mexico) has finesse in spades. The nose is an interplay of citrus, earth, yerba buena, and savory woody herbs. The palate is a mix of sweet tea, baking spices, pure agave, lemon peel, and most notably, is ultra-smooth and rich. The finish is equally impressive: it's long, clean, and subtle. Not so much smoky as earthy. Bravo!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2014 Eisele Vineyards "Altagracia" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-10-2017
When "wow" is the first thing you write down upon tasting a wine, that is always a good sign. Deep and concentrated black and blue fruits show both on the nose and palate--plums in particular. Chocolate, mocha, tobacco and cedar offer a splendid combination of sweet and savory. The most notable things to me is the quality of the tannins. They are extremely fine and supple, especially for the vintage. A very impressive wine, and one of my favorite Napa 2014s so far.
Price: $124.99 Add To Cart
JS 96

2014 Argyle "Reserve" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-08-2017
I tasted this and didn't know the price until just before writing this. It's definitely WAY cheaper than I thought it would be. I was expecting a $35-$40 price tag for this reserve Pinot. The first thing that strikes you is that it looks like Pinot Noir and not Cabernet like so many Pinot's today. It's a rich ruby red, but still markedly translucent. The aromatics are powerful: loads of cherry and cranberry tangle with the earthier side of the spectrum. Like a forest full of dew, wild herbs, and fresh, savory mushrooms. The palate is friendly and inviting, but with a nice acid cut. The soft fruit is delicious and the velvety texture pleasing. The lengthy finish is clean and bright. All in all an excellent value for high quality Pinot Noir!
Top Value!

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-23-2017
Another stunner in the Champagne Direct Import quiver here at K&L. This blend of 60% Chardonnay/40% Pinot Noir shows the best of both varietals. The zip and freshness of the Chard shows beautiful crisp apples and some lovely and delicate floral notes while the Pinot Noir adds red fruited notes of cranberry and wild cherries. The really remarkable this about this bottle though is that it has been aged for 5 years on the lees - under a cork. This adds richness, a slightly nutty oxidative note, and typically a substantial amount to the price (compare to the also fabulous cork aged bottle of 2005 Bollinger "Grande Année" Brut Champagne for $100). At way less than half of that price this is a magnificent bottle with a unique story to tell.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WS 90

2014 Domaine Drouhin "Arthur" Dundee Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 01-10-2017
Wonderful Oregon Chardonnay from a classic producer. This bottling is whole cluster pressed Dijon clone Chard with a mix of oak and stainless steel aging. It goes through natural malo giving it a wonderful richness without feeling fat and heavy. It maintains a bright snap and vibrancy to go with the lovely baking spice and apple notes. Great wine, great vintage, great producer, AND a great price -- it is a must try!

2014 Louis M. Martini Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-16-2016
Holy Smokes! Great Sonoma Cabernet for under 15 bucks that I'm actually excited about putting in the cellar?! This is a triumph for the "high quality yet extremely affordable" category. It's loaded with dark cassis and blackberry fruit and balanced by the more savory and herbal tones of great Cab: tobacco, cedar and mocha. The spicy oak wraps everything together, and poof -- you have the perfect present for your holiday celebrations. Put an extra case in your cellar and you'll have the gift that keeps on giving for years to come.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

1991 Villa Zarri 24 Year Old "K&L Exclusive" Single Barrel Cask Strength Italian Brandy (750ml)
Review Date: 08-04-2016
While I often find "in between" spirits interesting, they don't always excite me. The Villa Zarri 24 yo Brandy from Italy is neither cognac nor scotch, but it is definitely both interesting and exciting! More powerful than cognac (especially at the full proof) it still displays the beautiful smoothness, richness, and fruit forward profile I want from France's fine spirits. Candied fruits and a slight nuttiness are apparent on the nose. Slightly less robust than most of today's scotch bottlings, the Zarri packs a punch and offers the slightly slick glycerol texture of many old and heavily sherried scotches. All this "inbetweenness" makes for the perfect dram if you're looking for a brown-water spirits that has your favorite characteristics both grape and grain. And the value is tremendous. When was the last time you had a 24 year old anything at that price? Especially at cask strength!
Top Value!
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

Don Amado Pechuga Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 07-07-2016
The only thing missing from this Pechuga is the meat. And that's not a bad thing. The fruits, nuts, and spices added instead of turkey breast make for one of the best Mezcal's I've ever tasted. The bouquet shows off the fruit, specifically the extra sweet and tender bit right near the pit. The earthiness that is present on the Largo Mezcal is definitely present here too, but with the marked addition of nuttiness and clove. The finish is tantalizingly sweet and clean. Absolutely fabulous!
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart
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Don Amado Largo Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 07-07-2016
100% Karwinskii (Cuishe) agave and a gentle steaming process load this Mezcal with sweet, wet earth. If you've ever been in the desert right after a much needed hard rain you'll know what I'm talking about. The smokiness so often associated with Mezcal is quietly sitting in the back of the class, if it shows up at all. The palate is creamy and smooth, but doesn't sacrifice the peppery bite I want from great agave spirits. This is a nuanced and thoughtful Mezcal capable of making a great cocktail or being enjoyed neat.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

2012 d'Issan, Margaux
Review Date: 07-05-2016
Routinely one of my favorite Chateau, d'Issan delivers again in 2012. The hallmark of d'Issan for me isn't the beautiful violets, dark plum, and sweet cassis that I find in almost every vintage, but the extreme elegance they have upon release and lasting long into old age. The great pricing, even for older vintages doesn't hurt either. It's part of the reason I love picking up every bottle of d'Issan I can. Enjoy one today!

2012 du Glana, St-Julien
Review Date: 07-05-2016
One of the many things I love about K&L is that I'm constantly being exposed to new-to-me Bordeaux Chateau that are a terrific value. Today's find: Chateau du Glana. The 2012 has a beautiful sweet fruit nose and palate with lots of cassis and raspberry well complimented by notes of cola nuts. The wines structure is defined by acidic lift and a well integrated spicy oak giving it an overall elegance not often found in a bottle of such modestly priced Bordeaux. I'll be adding several bottles of this great value to my cellar.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
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Launois "Severine" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 05-22-2016
This is perhaps one of the greatest and most unique examples of terrior in Champagne I've ever personally come across. A careful picking of mid-slope Mesnil Chardonnay is vinified and aged in oak barrels made from 100% Mesnil oak harvested from the forest at the top of the hill. Talk about precision of place. The results are spectacular. The rich and oily texture is the perfect foil to the robust quality of the Grand Cru fruit. It is bursting with green and yellow apple, but also spice, both sweet and savory. There is a thread of nutty sherry like flavors that walks you through the deep complexity of the wine. While the Mesnil Oak is a strong presence, it doesn't overwhelm. Just provides the substance to make this an exceptional wine with heartier food dishes or to be immensely enjoyed as an aperitif.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2014 Varner "El Camino Vineyard" Santa Barbara County Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-02-2016
Bob and Jim Varner make some of my favorite wines. Not only are they extremely local (just up the road from our Redwood City store) but they make Pinot and Chardonnay to rival the greats. They always manage to strike a balance between rich, textural Chardonnay and bright acid and freshness that keep things interesting. The El Camino Vineyard Chardonnay is no exception. With fruit grown in Santa Barbara County that goes through full malo-lactic fermentation, but no new oak treatment, this wine is bright and clean. It has notes of baked apples and pears and well as a sparkling clean lemon freshness. At a very modest price given it's quality, this is the perfect middle of the road Chardonnay that will surely pleas the crowd at your next party.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
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Baron-Fuenté "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-25-2015
"Value Champagne" doesn't begin to do this bottle of bubbly justice. Baron Fuente brings all of the class and elegance of the Grand Marque Champagne brands to your table for such a reasonable price (and with more flavor and finesse!). The aroma wafts out of the glass like freshly rising bread finished in a lemon and tangerine zest. The wine strolls gracefully balanced down your palate and finishes with a clean and friendly flourish that brings you right back to the glass wanting more. This is a remarkable bottle of Champagne, especially when you consider it's only 24 bucks.
Top Value!
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

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