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Staff Favorites - Chris DePaoli

Chris DePaoli


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2013 Miguel Merino Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 01-17-2020
Consistently one of K&L's best direct imports (and also one of the best dollar-for-dollar buys), Miguel Merino makes Rioja how Rioja should be made. Rich and bright, with solid lines connecting red fruit on the front end to the classic, dusty, sweet earth finish, and plenty exotic spice layered on throughout. This is a versatile pairing for food, with an incredibly long finish. Drinking it now is hedonism at its finest, but given some time it has the potential to do great things. Buy by the case to experience both.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2015 Dierberg Estate "Dierberg Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 01-13-2020
Wine should always be this good. The explosive, boysenberry nose is continued and answered with ginger and tea leaf on the palate, perfectly married by the short note of anise that bridges the two wonderfully. That classic Pinot spicy note is notable, but softened by the black rock minerality. Pinot is in a really great place right now and this is another fine addition to the field.

2016 Pedro Martinez Alesanco Garnacha Rioja
Review Date: 01-07-2020
I love serious Garnacha, and this bottle is doing nothing to dissuade me from that notion. Campfire smoke and blackberry compote and tropical flower and exotic spice and a touch of meaty pepper all explode across the palette with focused concentration. Decanting is optional, but highly recommended. The fully braced structure is softened by subtle acidity but this still would be unreal with a piece of game or board of smoked cheese.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2017 Losada Mencia Bierzo
Review Date: 01-07-2020
An incredibly friendly bottle of wine, this is – if anything- too easy to drink; with a perfumed, dark floral nose and black fruit core all tied together with a soft, river stone minerality. New World Pinot or Old World Gamay aficionados have got the Spanish wine they’ve been looking for, but also anyone else who just wants an easy, delicious bottle of wine that can pair with almost anything. The light tannic profile and long finish dress it up a great deal, but at the end of the day this is just a good time in a glass.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2017 Clos de Luz "Azuda" Syrah Rapel Valley
Review Date: 01-03-2020
Wow, this is good. This is solidly one of the best under-20 Syrah’s in the store but it’s hard to find a good parallel for how this wine shows. Dark fruit, gobs of it, but cut across and balanced by dark earth and mocha. New world but nuanced and restrained. The Nose is class with dark floral notes, just a hint of pepper and fleshy black cherry. This is such a complete bottle of wine you could pair it with any number of dishes, but this would be a fire burger pairing.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2017 Clos de Luz "Massal 1945" Cabernet Sauvignon Rapel Valley
Review Date: 01-03-2020
South American Cab doing it's thing here, with ripe black fruit and a fine oak note that pops out near the finish. Soft nosed, with a pretty white floral edge. This is a really solid Cabernet for more hedonistic dishes. There is a classic defined peppercorn note that in a perfect world will bring the best out of a steak
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2017 Clos de Luz "Massal 1945" Malbec Rapel Valley
Review Date: 01-03-2020
This is one of the most interesting wines I’ve tasted recently, and I’m still wrapping my head around the distinct nose and complex flavors. As classic as it comes on the nose, with plums all the way down and soft herb notes running alongside. The palette is clean, with both light red fruit and dark black fruit fighting to push to the front. It all ends with a black stone and mint leaf finish that’s fairly unique, and the difference between this and most of the Argentinean Malbecs. Drinking these Clos de Luz wines has me incredibly excited about this new Direct Import of ours.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2017 Clos de Luz "Massal 1945" Carménère Rapel Valley
Review Date: 01-03-2020
South American wine fans have a hit here, with a classic example of varietal and region all wrapped up in one bottle. The bold capsicum is balanced by dried red fruit notes with the offshooting flavors of mint and peppercorn and game meats providing a great background. The palette is gentle, far more delicate than the powerful nose, with medium tannic intensity. Pair with Lamb and mint sauce if you can, this bottles is begging for it.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2017 Clos de Luz "Arao" Carménère Blend Rapel Valley
Review Date: 01-03-2020
Carmenere! The grape you're not drinking enough of if you like soft, rich, balanced reds with ample fruit and baker’s chocolate finish (Think Right Bank Bordeaux). This is a classic example, with an elegant weight and texture, soft, integrated lines and an incredibly pleasant finish. Ceder wood, soft fresh Bay leaf, mocha and the afore mentioned Bakers chocolate all touch on the blackberry compote core. You should drink this.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2016 Acumen "Mountainside" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 12-03-2019
This is a killer wine, like it is every year, from way up on the slopes of Atlas Peak. High tone dark fruit with warm vanilla, cacao and coffee notes all wrapped up in an elegant, full-bodied structure. Acumen is a relatively new project that has been pumping out solid juice since its inception, this continues that tradition.
Price: $29.95 Add To Cart

2015 Terroir al Limit "Torroja" Priorat
Review Date: 11-26-2019
At their best, the wines of Priorat can blow you away with power even as they impress with a finesse and poise usually found in much smaller, delicate wines. At their, best the wines of Priorat are also usually found with a price tag that matches that level of routine excellence. The "Torroja" bottling from Terroir al Limit captures the character and verve of Priorat perfectly, with dark black fruit notes and lifted acidity which bodes well for the bottle's future. The licorice, saline finish is simply phenomenal, and the longer the bottle is open, the cassis, herbal mid-palate develops even more personality. Cold winter nights need warm hearty bottles; this should be a couple of yours.

Egrot (formerly Elisabeth Goutorbe) Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-26-2019
I'm a big fan of this producer, mostly for making classic champagne with just a touch of novelty. Much in the vein of Bollinger, this is a Pinot Noir heavy cuvee and shows it in a bing cherry nose and muted raspberry. The fun part is that oft-mentioned chalkiness though, uncharacteristic for Pinot vineyards in Champagne, shows up in a big way midway through the palate and doesn't leave through the long complex finish. Solid Juice.
Price: $36.99 Add To Cart

2015 Galia "Clos Santuy" Tierra de Castilla y León
Review Date: 11-22-2019
Bougnaud's "tete cuvee." This is the most pointed showcase of his pedigree, with a serious approach that will only get better with years. An exotic nose with both umami and sweet teriyaki over slight topical fruit is only a precursor to a spiced, dusty palate that carries soft raspberry and ceder plank tones. The juice is entirely pleasant now, but will evolve for a decade or even two, with tons of potential still in the glass.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

2015 Galia "Le Dean" Tierra de Castilla y León
Review Date: 11-22-2019
We tasted Galia's line-up all together and though I loved the "Village" blend, it's easy to see why Jerome Bougnaud has selected these single vineyards as prime bottlings. This has got years in the bottle before it will be where it wants to go, and many more before it loses that position. The tight fruit notes and bolder floral edges on the nose are still wrapped up but intriguing, and the palate is still coiled, even with the apparent notes of leather, dust, crushed blue fruit and the upturned dark earth providing a solid, exciting vision of what this beauty will become. Do yourself a favor and get a couple to try as they get on, it'll pay you back in the most wonderful of ways.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

2015 Galia "Villages" Tierra de Castilla y León
Review Date: 11-22-2019
A rich, complex wine that is showing beautifully well now, one imagines this is the bottle Jerome Bougnaud wants you to be uncorking while you wait for his single vineyards to come to their full potential. A vineyard set, producer, and process I was all entirely unfamiliar with, this is an incredibly delicious bottle of grape juice. The wild sage, dust, BBQ and floral nose is just a polite introduction to a phenomenally constructed palate of dark blue fruit and light oak notes that weave around the gamey core. The tannins are persistent but soft and pretty; with a higher acidity that provides a wonderful refreshment at the end of the pleasantly long finish.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2016 Bodegas Palacios Remondo "La Montesa" Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 11-22-2019
A difficult wine to review, this is a lot of juice for this price; with a serious pedigree that doesn't get in the way of it's incredibly crushable character. Deep red fruit, exotic spice, marzipan and freshness notes pop out of the glass and push into the palate. All of this lifted by a pretty structure that isn't kowtowed by the mouthwatering acidity. Great Party Wine.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2017 Susana Balbo "Brioso" Uco Valley White Blend
Review Date: 11-05-2019
An incredibly unique white, this is one of the coolest wines I've tasted in a long time. Rich, spiced, but still clean and zippy. Wild but still refined, this is an incredible expression of the Uco Valley using three grapes with successful histories there. The Torrontes and Sauvingon blanc leap out of the glass; braced against each other with floral and grass and tons of citrus notes, each trying to out do the other. On the palate the Sémillon bridges those wonderful notes beautifully, providing width and a long frame to push into the exotic, spiced, almost ginger finish. This is a ridiculously exciting wine that will be unworldly with a holiday meal, or just a cheese board. Don't miss.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2017 Oakridge "Original Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 11-05-2019
Classic New World Cabernet with gobs of fruit and drink now structure. The nose pours out of the glass with blackberry and fresh cut tobacco . Fans of Napa should be excited by how rich and powerful this is; punching way above its weight. The framing is equally impressive as the rest of the drink. I'm a huge fan and love how this showcases the potential of Cabernet is Australia.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2017 Résonance (Louis Jadot) Pinot Noir Willamette Valley
Review Date: 11-04-2019
The winemaking team at Louis Jadot know their way around a bottle of Pinot and here, in their first production outside of Burgundy, they employ their full talents as well as using the relative warmth of Oregon to full effect, creating a bottle that clearly references its Burgundy roots while offering a more fun, forward style than other Jadot productions. Friendly, ripe red fruit with white sage and tight minerality that could definitely open up with time, but doesn't unduly burden the palate now.
Price: Hidden View Price

2012 Nicolas Maillart "Franc de Pied" Champagne
Review Date: 10-21-2019
The backstory is fun, but the wine really sings in the glass. Incredibly clean, easy drinking champagne with a complexity underneath it all you can choose to pay attention to, or not depending on the moment. Top end saline quality with spiced pear and apples brushing against the baked, bready finish that is medium length but incredible satisfying.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

2012 Nicolas Maillart "Les Chaillots Gilles" 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 10-20-2019
An excellently made champagne, with a weight and cream that's frankly a little surprising given the complete lack of dosage. A solid background creme brulee note lets the minerality and herbal tones shine without coming off as too linear. Really, really solid.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2009 Alexandre Le Brun "Cuvée Dilection" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 10-19-2019
A little nerdy and a lot of cool, this is a zero-dosage vintage rose from a warm vintage, something (now that I've tasted it...) I think everyone should try at least once. Solid black-forest notes punch through on the nose and palate, but are balanced against a zippy citrus line that marks the edge. a great flavor profile with the medium weight mouthfeel and solid acidity.
Price: $58.99 Add To Cart

2007 Alexandre Le Brun "Cuvée Fascination" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 10-19-2019
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.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Trudon "Cuvée Magnificence" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-18-2019
Cream and strawberries and dough and lilac and apple pie all mixed together in a behemoth of a champagne. As rich of wine as I tasted that day, but with an incredibly interesting undercurrent of flavor that keeps developing long after you empty the glass. I'm a big fan of Trudon and this is another reason why.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2012 Trudon "Cuvée Instantannée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-18-2019
The more liner and focused of this producer's offerings, the "Cuvee Instantannee," is still as bright and fresh as Trudon's other offerings. The warm richness is always balanced in this catalog by a fun, open palate that is a little off-the-wall but a ton of fun. I like this a lot for an aperitif, or for the upcoming holiday toast.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Trudon "Emblematis" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-18-2019
I would have no idea that this bottle was mostly Meunier if I wasn't told, even after tasting it a second time; with so many fun, fruit-forward notes it's hard to pick out the subtle umami, mushroom give away. A deep, rich bottle of wine, with a good zip on the finish, this is tee-d up for a delicious food pairing.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Lanson Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 10-15-2019
A fuller, warmer wine than the exceptional "Black Label," Lanson it shares a blend with, this is a heaping offering of dried red fruit and macadamia nut with a beam of minearlity carried through the whole. An incredibly fun bottle of wine.

Lanson "Black Label" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-15-2019
A house that is just finding its groove again, The full Lanson lineup is full of killer juice and the "Black Label," cuvee is no exception. This is a clean, presise drink that's full of plusher doughy notes underneath the great acidity. An aperitivo extraordinaire, this is a great production from a historic house.

2018 Maritma "The 4 Old Guys" Sangiovese Toscana
Review Date: 10-08-2019
The best selling Italian wine in store doesn't keep that title without some serious quality and a commitment to improvement from its producer. The 2018 edition of "4 Old Guys" is great juice with a ton of character and expression for the money. A quintessentially Italian wine. The nose is popping with red cherry, brownstone, and toasted bay leaf. The palate is matching with Italian herb and darker fruit joining in. Readily apparent but pleasant tannins are matched by a nice acidity. I'm sending a couple to my friends; send some to yours.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2017 BOLD Wine Co. Monterey County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-30-2019
An exceptional offering from a new winemaker that is on track for major successes, this is the new store standard for American Pinots anywhere near this price point. I'm not trying to sound grandiose, this bottle simply over delivers on too many fronts to be seriously challenged. An exceptionally modern domestic offering with classic roots, this isn't your Dad's California Pinot. Cruchy, tight, light and refreshing, this is as crushable as Pinot gets. The airy structure belays its complexity, with a phenomenal meaty, red fruit nose transitioning to a palate that's loaded with springtime garigue and spicy fruits.
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart

2018 Adegas Valtea Albariño Rias Baixas
Review Date: 09-24-2019
This is a delightful little albarino that is fit for summer but going to sing when we get to crab season. With a green, floral tinged palete that finishes and the classic salty finish you expect from this grape, this is a great offering.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2018 Bedouet "Clos des Grands Primos" Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie
Review Date: 09-21-2019
A great bottle of Muscadet to see summer out with, this is as classic as it gets; with salinity, pom fruit and tight citrus mixed in with a myriad mineral note that sings along pleasantly. A great pairing with a cheese board or oysters.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Cune "Imperial" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 09-13-2019
Our Spanish buyer has been delivering on Rioja and the 2015 Cune "Imperial" is another exceptional entry to the list. A rich nose of vanilla, black cherry, toast and sweet spice. On the palate these are joined by black licorice, dark and grey stone with a light dust note framing the long finish. Bigger medium body and balanced acid, this is great Rioja anywhere near the price point.

2017 Domaine du Vissoux (Pierre-Marie Chermette) Moulin-à-Vent "Les Trois Roches"
Review Date: 09-10-2019
As good of a Gamay as you'll ever drink, this is an awesome bottle of wine. Fruit and black stone minerality dancing on the nose and palate with cassis muscling in throughout. The full-bodied approach and soft, round tannins will beg you to drink this juice now; but patience will definitely be rewarded with at least three to four years of development left in the bottle and a good decade of life all-in-all.

2016 Sidewood Estate Shiraz Adelaide Hills South Australia
Review Date: 09-10-2019
A different look at Australian Shiraz from the cooler region of the Adelaide Hills, this is a forward, full flavored bottling that pushes baker's chocolate and red dust notes up over salinity and green notes on the nose. With a medium body, the palate is a shift to incredibly dark fruit and licorice, finishing with coffee, cherry and dried herb.

2007 Bodegas Puelles Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 09-06-2019
This store's value Rioja selection seems to go from strength to strength, and this is another exceptional option for your "tapas night in." More fun and fruity than most Riojas of its age, it's loaded with red fruit and tight floral notes, with just a touch of the earthy spice you usually find in this section. Medium bodied, this is a great pairing for the classics like paella and patatas bravas.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2018 Bodega Chacra "Sin Azufre" Pinot Noir Rio Negro
Review Date: 09-03-2019
An incredibly interesting offering from us, this is a crunchy, cherry driven Pinot that has a awesome prune, dark earth and green noted mid palatte that pushes well past my expectations for such a light bodied wine. This is such a cool wine project coming out of Patagonia that has been producing some excellent bottlings in the last couple years and the trend continues here.
Price: $35.99 Add To Cart

2015 Loic Mahé "Les Fougeraies" Savennieres
Review Date: 08-27-2019
Loic Mahe's premier offering, this bottles showcases the serious side of Chenins possibilities, with a tight, linear core that will develop successive layers for years to come. The citrus and river stone present now will only get better, while the finish's length begs you to hold onto this for a couple years for a true reward.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2016 Trébiac, Graves
Review Date: 08-19-2019
A great drink for hearty food, this is an incredible value in Bordeaux that opens up wonderfully with some air time. Great dark earth notes with dark, fresh fruit and lighter herbal tones that come together through the palette and wrap nicely at the finish. A great option for meat and potatoes or other hearty fare.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2017 Gundlach Bundschu "Mountain Cuvée" Sonoma County Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 08-12-2019
This is a lot of wine for the price. Round and soft, the bottle really opens up with some time to breath, showcasing some serious character and dark, rich fruit that plays well with the light mocha and coffee notes. A great bottle to have around the house for a big meaty dish.
Price: $16.95 Add To Cart

2008 Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-09-2019
Quite simply the best Laurent Perrier I've ever tasted, this is exactly what collectors have been promised by the extraordinary 2008 vintage. Happy floral and pom fruit notes on the nose with an complex palete of dark fruit and bread pudding around tight pear and firm minerality. Grand Cru's deliver.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Laurent-Perrier "Grand Siècle" Iteration #24 Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-06-2019
More brash and youthful than its non-vintage successor, this wine is built to hang with the great, editioned cuvees of the world, and it performs this role admirably. Tight brioche notes over an initially light frame that deepens and broadens farther back on the palate, this is sushi bait if there ever is.

Laurent-Perrier "Grand Siècle" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-06-2019
If I'm asked for a special bottle of Champagne, this is what I go to. It tastes as rich as any tête de cuvée I've ever tried, with smashing notes of vanilla and toasted hazelnut, but it's the subtleties that make it truly exceptional. The touch of orange cream and herbal notes on the edge flit in and out of the palate and the softness in total almost demands you finish the bottle. One of the best.

2007 Thiénot "Black Ball" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-06-2019
Hilariously easy to drink, the Black Ball is a quintessential crowd-pleaser, while still strutting premium quality. With a soft custard edge that melts away to soft citron, this is a top tier toast candidate, but also would bring out the best in shortbread cookie, or, if you're feeling especially decadent, Southern Fried Chicken.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2008 Lanson "Gold Label" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-06-2019
Such a treat, this is the perfect champagne to lay down a case of and track throughout the years because it's just a great contender for long-term aging. Sharp citrus notes show now through solid acidity, ending up with a big mouthful now that'll continue to develop through the years.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

2012 Franck Bonville "Pur Avize" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 08-06-2019
Bonville is the best at taking expectations and beating them with flair, and this bottle is no exception. Round, but not as rich in the palette as the Oger offering, while offering some of the bracing acidity of the Mesnil offerings, this balanced approach creates possibly the most universally likable of Bonville's offerings.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

2012 Franck Bonville "Pur Oger" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 08-06-2019
Orange peel umami wonder that is one of my favorite productions by one of my favorite producers. Rich and elegant, this is a food pairing champagne bar none. Even with it's depth and complexity, it leaves as cleanly as anything, refreshingly setting you up for the next sip.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

2016 Xanadu Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 07-30-2019
Soft, supple, with hallmark Margret River herb notes, this is a heady contender for the workhorse Cabernet we all want (need?) in our lives. Pretty purple fruit notes, basil, mint, and light young tobacco notes all show up as the palate progresses; longer in the finish than you might expect from the price point. A crunchier style of Cab than the classic Californians we're used to in this neck of the woods, Xanadu is a fun, easy-drinking option that belongs in your repertoire.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2018 Koyle "Costa La Flor" Sauvignon Blanc San Antonio Valley
Review Date: 07-29-2019
Big, juicy Sauvignon Blanc for good times, or at least good food. This is a fun bottle of juice from Vina Koyle. Kumquat and peach and green notes are found with aplomb on the nose and palate, which finishes dry and as long as any bottle comparable. A partner for sushi for sure.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2017 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc "Les Sétilles"
Review Date: 07-16-2019
A tropical, bright white Burgundy that shows how good Bourgogne Blancs can be when approached the right way, this is a fun option with great meringue notes, kiwi and peach overlapping a trace of the white stone in the region. A phenomenal value, and a good candidate for a house burg if you like a zesty option.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

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