I just received an email from K&L (if there's one around you, probably worth a trip) that has some very tempting deals. Quite a few wines under $10: (sorry it's so long)
2007 Perrin & Fils "Reserve" Côtes du Rhône ($7.99)
Many here will tell you this is the best deal we've got in all three stores, the warehouse, website, and every other corner where we've looked. It comes from the insanely good 2007 Rhône Valley vintage, and brings the noise like a wine five-times its price. Get in on this while it lasts. According to Robert Parker: "The 2007 Côtes du Rhône Reserve red (60% Grenache and the rest equal parts Syrah and Mourvedre) possesses beautiful crunchy, juicy, blackberry and cherry fruit as well as hints of underbrush, pepper, and black cherries. Medium-bodied and silky-textured, it is ideal for drinking over the next 3-4 years." (10/08) Named one of Wine & Spirits Top Values of the Year: "Richly ripe, this is thick with peach and almond flavors, the acidity keeping it lively. Chill it for roast fish." (06/09) 13% abv.
2007 Delas "St-Esprit" Côtes du Rhône ($9.99)
90 points Robert Parker. "The amazing 2007 Cotes du Rhone St.-Esprit (75% Syrah and 25% Grenache) reveals a northern Rhone orientation, but it is loaded with spice and black fruits, and displays a beautiful opulent texture as well as a gorgeous finish with impressive purity. Chateauneuf du Pape has also benefitted from the new attention to detail and upgraded quality. The good news is that there are about 1,500 cases of this cuvee. This great northern Rhone negociant, spearheaded by their brilliant oenologist and winemaker, Jacques Grange, has consistently made fabulous wines from the northern appellations, but only recently upgraded the quality of their southern Rhone selections. These are the finest southern Rhones they make, and their Cotes du Rhone St.-Esprit ranks alongside the offerings from Guigal and Chapoutier." (10/08). Robert Parker calls 2007 "...the vintage of a lifetime." According to Wine & Spirits: "Sweet, succulent black cherry and plum flavors meet spice and lily notes. A simple, gulpable Syrah for roast chicken." (02/09) 13.5% abv.
2008 Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand ($8.99)
90 points in the Wine Spectator: "Vivid, refreshing and brimming with lime-accented pear, star fruit and light vanilla flavors, lingering nicely on the expressive finish. Drink now. 2,000 cases imported" (April 2009) Meyer lemon, tangerine, lime zest, papaya and pineapple. A veritable cocktail of fruit flavors, but fortunately the Dashwood never tastes like fruit cocktail. Nor is it overwhelmed with the grassy, herbal flavors that sometimes plague the value wines of New Zealand. This wine has lovely delineation of flavors ranging from the citrus to the tropical, but it never becomes cloying or overbearing. The Kim Crawford SB may currently hold the crown as our best-selling Kiwi wine, but for less money (and, I feel, better quality) the Dashwood should easily knock it from its throne.. All this and a terrific review in the Wine Spectator and you have our best bargain in Sauvignon Blanc this year. (Keith Mabry, K&L Hollywood)
2008 Veramonte "Reserva" Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Valley, Chile ($8.99)
A Wine Enthusiast "Best Buy": Captures the pungent, alert character inherent to Sauvignon Blanc. This is a peppy wine with spiky tropical and green-fruit aromas and flavors. It's a mash up of citrus and nettles, with a controlled, farily long grapefruit-driven finish. Modest in price, but the real thing. (03/09) From Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Pale straw. Lively aromas of grapefruit, lime, white pepper and herbs. Fresh on the palate too, displaying vibrant citrus and orchard fruit qualities and good mineral snap. Finishes dry and delineated, with the lime element repeating." (Mar/Apr '09) Located alongside a creek that runs from high in the hills of El Mauco, Sauvignon Blanc vineyards at Veramonte are managed with air tunnels through the canopy, to preserve airflow and with specific canopy adjustments to manage sunlight all to retain freshness and aromatics. Carefully controlled fermentations in the winery also maintain the wine’s vibrant fruit and aromas. The wine is entirely fermented in stainless steel, never touching oak, so that it retains its freshness and lively aromas and flavors.
2007 Casa Castillo Monastrell Jumilla, Spain ($8.99)
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2007 Monastrell is even better than the 2006 which received 88 points in Issue 175. The wine is estate grown and bottled from old vines and low yields. It was aged for six months in seasoned French and American oak barrels. Dark ruby-colored, it exhibits a nose of spice box, black cherry, and blueberry. This leads to a medium to full-bodied wine with layered fruit, savory flavors, enough structure to evolve for 1-2 years, and a pure close. Drink it over the next four years." (08/08) 90 points from Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Ruby-red. Expressive, spicy aromas of black raspberry, gingerbread, dark chocolate and dried flowers. Supple red and dark berry flavors are firmed by dusty tannins and enlivened by zesty minerality. Very fresh wine, with no loose ends or rough edges and very good finishing sweetness. This was raised in three-year-old barrels, 80% French and 20% American. A remarkable value." (Sept/Oct '08) From the young vines on the property, 22 years of age, aged in neutral French oak. This is one of the best bargains in the store. With a nose packed full of blackberry, cola and peppered meats, this is very alluring juice. With a perfect level of ripeness this forgoes the general trend of the region to pruney, cooked qualities in the wines, instead substituting tangy acidity and vibrant flavors of bacon, black peppercorns, red currant, dried raspberry and fresh red plum. (Bryan Brick, K&L)
2007 Margarett's Vineyard California Chardonnay
2007 Margarett's Vineyard California Chardonnay ($7.99)
This is a wonderfully delicious wine bursting with juicy pear, green apple and citrus flavors. A touch of barrel fermentation adds a kiss of spice to the mix. By sourcing fruit from less expensive regions they have produced a quality wine at a bargain price. This is your perfect party chardonnay. Specially bottled for K&L by a Mendocino winery.
2007 Shenandoah Vineyards "Special Reserve" Amador Zinfandel
2007 Shenandoah Vineyards "Special Reserve" Amador Zinfandel ($9.99)
Another beautiful zinfandel from the folks at Shenandoah Vineyards in Amador County! There's plenty of fruit, moderate tannins and juicy acidity harmonizing like the Beach Boys. Lower in alcohol than many modern zins (14.2%), this is light enough to enjoy with a good burger at lunch, but complex enough for the evening's braised short ribs over parsnip puree.
2008 Pascual Toso Malbec Maipu Valley, Argentina
2008 Pascual Toso Malbec Maipu Valley, Argentina ($9.99)
Many of you have been loyally following this wine, our best selling wine in store history, since we first carried the 2006 vintage (which garnered an award for Wine Enthusiast's top wine of the year in 2007). Well, having just tasted the 2008 vintage, I'm happy to report that this wine continues to over-deliver in the quality to price ratio, or QPR department (please excuse the industry jargon). The '08 Toso leads with an enticing, foresty, blackberry and cherry fruited nose. With a bit of exposure to air, a characteristic whiff of wood smoke emerges, with just a hint of red fruits as well. On the palate, dark cherry, black plum and blueberry fruit flavors dominate the front and mid-palate. There is a smooth, fleshy texture, but with really bright acidity as well - a few fellow co-workers commented on the fact that this wine seems to only gain in value and structure with each vintage. (Joe Manekin, K&L) According to Wine Spectator: "Shows a mix of dark toast, currant and plum sauce notes, with fruitcake and blueberry hints on the rather toasty finish. Drink now." (06/09) Listed as a Good Value from Wine & Spirits: "Flavors of ripe cranberry and a hint of black pepper fill this round wine. It's light and simple, made for a burger."
2008 Maipe Malbec Mendoza, Argentina
2008 Maipe Malbec Mendoza, Argentina ($8.99)
90 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2008 Malbec is a glass-coating purple color with a striking perfume of violets, black cherry, and black raspberry. Exhibiting surprising complexity for its price category, the wine has gobs of fruit, savory flavors, and excellent depth and length. It is an outstanding value for drinking over the next 3-4 years. Alberto Antonini (think Altos Las Hormigas) is a consultant at Maipe which in and of itself is an indicator that the winery is focused on quality." (12/08) The largest selling wine in the history of K&L, in terms of bottles sold, was the 2006 Pascual Toso Malbec for $8.99. I'm sure many of you remember this spectacular value. Well, I think I've found the next Toso. For the same price here is another Malbec that you can afford by the case and drink on a nightly basis. With its big nose chock full of cacao, espresso, violet, bitter root and gobs of wild berry fruit, this is aromatically packed for a wine at this price point. With air the nose becomes brighter and more high-toned, expressing more of a raspberry and cinnamon note. Full weight and with a plush feel, this is full of ever-so-slightly jammy blackberry fruit laced with cedar, chocolate cream and coffee bean flavors. Bursting with flavor, the finish is packed with black pepper, tar and mocha. Inexpensive, full of character, ready to drink, what more can you ask for? (Bryan Brick, K&L)
2007 Patient Cottat Sauvignon Blanc
2007 Patient Cottat Sauvignon Blanc ($10.99)
This delicious wine comes from a combination of vineyard sites both in Verdigny in Sancerre and some parcels just outside the appellation to the west. The Fournier family, with roots as deep as their vines in this region seem to be related to just about everyone in some way and have for generations been farming and producing wines in Sancerre. We are pleased to have been offered this wine, yet again, at such a great price. Soft, subtle mineral notes are wrapped up in aromatics of melon and citrus. Clean, bright and refreshing - This is a perfect little Sauvignon Blanc to enjoy while having a lite lunch in the afternoon sun or getting your evening kicked off.
2007 Jean-Francois Merieau Touraine Sauvignon Blanc
2007 Burgans Albariño Rias Baixas, Spain ($11.99)
90 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Burgans is a custom cuvee made for importer Eric Solomon. While it’s not the best Albarino on the market, in terms of bang for the buck, it has no challenger. The 2007 Burgans Albarino is light gold-colored with a sprightly nose of mineral, spring flowers, and lemon peel. Ripe, balanced, and concentrated, this is an ideal match for flaky fish courses. Drink it over the next 1-2 years." (02/08) From Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Light yellow-gold. Exotically perfumed nose displays smoky peach, mango and papaya, plus a strong floral accent. Deep and chewy, with more power than I usually find in this wine. Tropical fruit flavors coat the palate and pick up a subtle herbal note on the back end. This could handle richer foods." (Sept/Oct '08) Dr. Jay Miller, the gentleman that reviews Spanish wines for Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, nailed it on this one. I agree with him that this is simply the best inexpensive Albariño made on a yearly basis. Notes of white peach mingle with wet stone and Meyer lemon on the nose. The freshness and vigor here is impressive with more of the notes of stone and layers of sprightly apricot and lime on the palate. This is a wine that instantly gets your stomach growling and your mouth watering. You want oysters, lightly fried white fish or even roast chicken and a glass that can somehow hold this whole bottle at once. (Bryan Brick, K&L)
Veuve du Vernay Brut
Veuve du Vernay Brut ($7.99)
The Veuve du Vernay Brut is the ultimate holiday party wine. A crisp, clean, and refreshing sparkler that brings the term "bang for your buck" to new levels. Rarely does such a tasty sparkling wine (or any wine for that matter) come in under the seven dollar mark. For a celebration, dinner with friends, or any festive occasion, there is absolutely nothing that can top this wine bargain-wise. The wine is bright and zesty with hints of apple and pear on the nose and a juicy yet dry finish. Buy it by the bottle, or by the case, but either way make sure that you get some before it's gone.
2007 Valle del Acate Poggio Bidini Nero d'Avola
2008 Elsa Malbec Mendoza, Argentina ($7.99)
The classic Malbec aromas of ripe plum and violets are evident in the nose, with hints of vanilla. The beauty of the Malbec in Argentina is its ability to combine a rich, weighty mouth feel with a soft silkiness normally associated with lighter wines. Elsa Malbec takes the promise of the nose through to the palate, with pleasing fruit that mimics the aroma. The soft, supple palate leads to a lingering finish.
2005 Seventy Five Wine Company "Amber Knolls" Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon
2006 Moobuzz Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (Was $17) ($9.99)
90 points Wine & Spirit Magazine (10/08). Named Moobuzz, referring to the land of milk and honey (get it? Cows=milk; bees=honey. Haha!) otherwise known as the Sonoma Coast, this chardonnay is like a warm, tropical breeze. Papaya and banana perfumes waft from the glass, framed by caramel and vanilla notes from sur lie barrel-aging in French oak. On the palate, the wine is like lemon crème brulee served with poached pears and local wildflower honey. Sealed with the unique "Zork" closure, it's also sure to be as fresh as the day it was bottled and easy to open--no additional tools required. (Leah Greenstein, K&L Wines) This wine comes from the "Other Guys"--the makers of Hey Mambo and Plungerhead wines--all quality, everyday wines at a great price. The 2006 Moobuzz is fresh and clean with a hinto of caramel and papaya. The mid-palate balances a hint of oak with the tropical fruit. This is the wine you take home for everyday drinking and parties on the weekend. A real crowd pleaser. And get this, just 13.5% alcohol! (Mike Jordan, K&L Wines)
2007 Undone Pinot Noir
2007 Undone Pinot Noir ($10.99)
Sometimes a great wine pops up when you least expect it. This bottle has a lot to overcome in the US market; the fact that people don't necessarily think of Germany for great value Pinot Noir, the fancy, hip, label depicting a woman's corset being "undone", and the fact that it is $10.99 AND imported. To be honest I had little hope but again here we are... Much like the Bernier Chardonnay we have been selling the heck out of this wine exceeds its humble beginnings. The Undone Pinot Noir is all about fun, easy drinking pleasure. Bottled with a screw cap, unoaked and unmanipulated this is the fresh, light and juicy wine for those of us who don't like our Pinot Noir to look and taste like Syrah. The wine is delicate and pure, medium bodied and full of wild strawberry, cherry and raspberry aromas with just a subtle hint of spice in the finish. "No sugar tonight" in this wine. Think of this for parties this holiday season or Tuesday night with grilled sausages or roast chicken with mushrooms.
2008 Elsa Torrontes Mendoza, Argentina
2008 Elsa Torrontes Mendoza, Argentina ($7.99)
Torrontes is a wine of pleasing fruit intensity both in the nose and on the palate. Clean refreshing aromas with hints of spice, fruit, and honey that lead to similar flavors on the palate, with good natural acidity and a clean refreshing finish. This variety is blessed with the ability to develop these nice aromas and flavors at relatively low sugars which translates into better balance for a light- medium bodied white wine.
2004 Amici Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
2008 Redtree California Pinot Noir ($6.99)
From Wine Spectator: "Offers baked cherry pie, with rhubarb and blueberry, showing a wonderful fruit profile that's spicy, elegant and easy to drink. Great balance. Drink now. 35,000 cases made." (Web only, 2009) When James Laube blogged about Redtree Pinot Noir, we were all left sitting with cartoon-y question marks floating above our heads. Redtree? But for once Wine Spectator actually put a wine on our radar before their score and review made it scarce. Usually it is exactly the opposite - by the time Spectator or Parker or any of the myriad of other pundits attaches a number over 90 to a wine, it is long sold out. Well, the good news is that Redtree is made in a fairly sizeable lot by Cecchetti Wine Company and winemaker Bob Broman. And while this is not a Pinot that will make you change your political affiliations, it will bring plenty of joy and affordability to your everyday existence. Full of cran-raspberry fruit, clove and a subtle note of white pepper on the nose, this may have the best aromatics I've ever experience in a Pinot under $10. Juicy red fruits - think Bing cherry - combine with fresh acidity and a tart plum note and cola spice on the palate. Focused and unmistakably Pinot throughout, this is something that we think you will be ordering by the case soon. (Bryan Brick, K&L Wine Merchants)
2006 Logan "Sleepy Hollow Vineyard" Monterey Chardonnay
2007 Poppy Monterey Pinot Noir ($10.99)
Even better than the 2006! The 2007 Poppy is made from a combination of Arroyo Seco, Santa Lucia Highlands and Monterey County pinot noir, but there were no notable heat spikes to throw off even ripening. Like its predecessor, though, there's tons of vibrant pure fruit on the nose and palate, with hints of spice for intrigue. An affordable, everyday drinker!
2006 Concha y Toro "Marques de Casa Concha" Chardonnay Maipo Valley, Chile (Was $17 Elsewhere)
2006 Concha y Toro "Marques de Casa Concha" Chardonnay Maipo Valley, Chile (Was $17 Elsewhere) ($9.99)
90 points in the Wine Spectator: "Well-defined, with a range of green and yellow apple, lime and floral notes supported by judicious toast, which allows a good minerally edge to emerge on the finish. Drink now through 2009. 16,000 cases made." (05/08) And, according to Wine Enthusiast: "A little sweet and floral, but friendly, clean and balanced as a whole. On the nose and palate the usual oak and toast is present and accounted for, yet the mouthfeel gets a boost from welcome acidity. Modern and easy to like, with tasty apple and citrus flavors." (03/08)
"If drinking is bitter, change yourself to wine." -Rainer Maria Rilke
"Champagne is a very kind and friendly thing on a rainy night." -Isak Dinesen