Staff Favorites - Elisabeth Schriber

Elisabeth Schriber
Elisabeth discovered wine (more specifically Frascati) at age 19 while studying in Rome, Italy. It was cheaper than mineral water and went better with penne all’arrabiata. This was the only dish she ate in Italy, which would seem to be a terrible waste, only it was always excellent and could be relied upon to never contain pancetta, guanciale or any other members of the exhaustive pork fat family. While living in San Francisco in her twenties, Elisabeth’s taste in wine and food broadened. As a frequenter of the Wine House, the Wine Club and K&L Wine Merchants, as well as tasting rooms throughout Sonoma and Napa valleys, she learned to love Alsatian whites, Rhone reds, California Zin and embarked on what was to become her life’s great work—to develop a truly encyclopedic knowledge of and appreciation for rosé. Joining K&L’s San Francisco team in 2004 (brian, is this correct?) was, to quote Dr. Phil, a changing day in her life. Brilliant co-workers and engaged customers, not to mention a wicked discount on already low-priced wine, quickly turned a hobby into a career. As K&L has yet to promote Elisabeth to the head rosé buyer position for which she is so obviously deserving, she currently bides her time working from home as web editor/writer, compiling tasting notes and scores for the thousands of wines currently available at K&L. On her off hours, Elisabeth enjoys feeding and dressing her twin baby boys, August and Leo, and sneaking her carnivorous golden-retriever-Tasmanian-devil mix, Marlowe, onto Long Beach’s eponymous shoreline.

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2013 Mas de Daumas Gassac VDP de l'Herault Blanc  
Review Date: 3-5-2015
This is one of the most intriguing whites I have tasted in a year. The wild varietal blend leads to a wine greater than the sum of its parts. Viognier and Chardonnay provide body and aromatics, the Petit Manseng adds texture and acidity, the Chenin adds volume and depth. Aromas of bruised apple, lime skin, white flowers and crushed rocks permeate the nose. The palate is full with layers of flavors and an exceptionally long finish. This is awesome stuff!
Price: $41.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Mas de Daumas Gassac VDP de l'Herault Rouge  
Review Date: 3-5-2015
From one of the great estates of the Languedoc, this is the equivalent of a Grand Cru Classe Bordeaux. It was even decried as such by wine writer Michael Broadbent. Think of a great Bordeaux, polish the tannins, soften the oak influence and here you land. A bold nose of currants, lilacs and sage unfold into a palate of rich blackberry and blueberry. The tannins are supple and the wine is accessible right now but worthy of the cellar for many years.
Price: $41.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Domaine Maestracci "E Prove" Corse Calvi Rouge  
Review Date: 3-5-2015
The Maestracci has that quality that you find in a lot of wines from Corsica. Italian flavors with French sensibilities. There is copious amounts of black fruit alongside tobacco and spice box notes. On the palate the wine has sweet fruit with a brightness that keeps it lifted and never heavy. A little grip on the finish leads you towards food but not entirely necessary. If you have never tried a wine from Corsica this is one of the best to get started with.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 La Cabotte "Colline" Côtes du Rhône  
Review Date: 3-5-2015
Loaded with red fruits like cherry and pomegranite, there is also a hint of crushed herbs like thyme and bay leaf. Polished tannins lead to a zesty well priced wine that suits any budget.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône  
Review Date: 3-5-2015
Guigal once again delivers a lovely old school, friendly rendition of Cotes du Rhone. Notes of raspberry, potpourri, Asian spices and dried herbs. It is medium bodied with well delineated flavors on the palate. Definitely over delivers for the price.

2013 Akitu "A2" Pinot Noir Central Otago (White Label)   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 3-5-2015
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The Akitu "A2" Pinot Noir offers exception value and quality for money. It is very difficult for produce great Pinot Noir for close to $20...it is almost unheard of to produce noteworthy Central Otago Pinot Noir for this price. Thankfully our direct relationship with Hawkesbury Estate / Atiku has allowed K&L to bring you this wine for a very economical price point. This wine is bursting with ripe berry fruits, hard ground spices like nutmeg and clove from the whole bunch inclusion, crushed rocks and wild Thyme. The palate has plenty of soft accessible fruit up front, but it is also very long and drawn out on the palate by the wines lovely fresh acidity and fine powdery tannins. A delicate kiss of oak helps polish this gem but does not detract from its purity. Whilst this wine does not provide me the lucid insight into this terroir that is afforded by Akitu's remarkable "A1" Pinot Noir...it does provide the imbiber instant gratification and a fantastically expressive bottle of classy, slick Pinot Noir at a very reasonable price. From a small estate close to Lake Wanaka dedicated 100% to Pinot Noir. Winemaker PJ Charteris (Adelsheim, Flowers, Penfolds, Brokenwood).
Top Value! Drink from 2015 to 2020
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Akitu "A1" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Black Label)   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 3-5-2015
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The Akitu “A1” Pinot is one of the most profound bottles I have tasted in quite some time. It is a wine that is defined by tension, precision, coiled power and speaks very strongly of its schist soil origins. The wine is incredibly pure and dynamic on the palate. Not fleshy or extracted but perfectly linear and poised. You can feel the terroir as much as taste it. This wine is about energy and vibrancy. Sure it delivers fantastic Pinot Noir varietal fruit flavors, spice, earth…but this wine is so much more than that, hard to describe, it is something that needs to be experienced. I also believe we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg with this wine and the best is yet to come as the tight, compact layers of flavor and texture unfold. I read about this vineyard “Hawkesbury Estate” and the brand new label “Akitu” (meaning “summit” or "apex" in Maori) in the UK press. I immediately reached out to owner Andrew Donaldson to explore working with his wines. What struck me the most was the uniqueness of the site. The vines are planted on a perfect north facing slope on the side of Mt. Barker just south of Lake Wanaka in Central Otago. In a place like Central Otago that is already quite remote…these vines are again defined by their loneliness, this is not an area bustling with vineyards like the hillsides of Bannockburn or along the shores of Lake Dunstan…this is just a few acres of vines perched on lone hill in a cool windswept valley close to the snowcapped mountains of the “central divide”. When I see someone toiling over a site like this, a tricky, labor intensive, on the edge of grape grape growing site...I have to try the wines, because there must be some reason why that person is persisting, they must truly believe they have something special. Andrew only started labeling his own wine in 2012 after selling off fruit for 10 years while he waited for his vines to mature and truly speak of their terroir (something we rarely see in this day and age). Another factor in my excitement was the winemaker brought in to help shape this expression of place, PJ Charteris (PJ's previous positions include: Aldelsheim, Flowers, Penfolds and a 12 year stint at Brokenwood in Hunter Valley where he was awarded Winemaker of the Year!) I am very excited to start working with these wines and I hope you will find them as compelling as I do.
Drink from 2015 to 2025
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Shafer "Red Shoulder Ranch" Carneros Chardonnay  
Review Date: 3-4-2015
A California legend, the Red Shoulder Ranch has been wowing Chardonnay fans since 1994. No malolactic fermentation but the lees help add depth and creaminess. Stone fruit, citrus and a cornucopia of other flavors nicely integrated together with a touch of acid and cedar.

Faultline Blended Scotch Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 3-4-2015
Perhaps our greatest triumph to date because making good whisky cheap (or should that read “cheap whisky good”) is DANG hard work. I don't know if there is a product that we sell that I've spent more time or energy on getting right. We literally went through hundreds of samples of blended whisky from multiple suppliers. I worked meticulously with the artist to create the perfect label to exemplify this special blend. Ultimately, what we chose to blend wasn't necessarily the most powerful or intense option, but instead the goddamned most drinkable thing we could find at any price. We insisted it not be colored and bottled at 100 proof because while it was tasty at 80 proof, a whole lot of this stuff was going to go into long drinks and over rocks. Nothing else on the market stands up so well in a drink -long, short, classic whatever! The added proof does wonders to improve the flavor not to mention add texture. The inclusion of the beautiful bevy of Islay, Island, and Highland single malt give it depth, but the lack of caramel coloring might be the real reason this worked so well. The color will undoubtedly scare some old school whisky drinkers–it’s really really light in color. We’ve been conditioned by the industry to think, darker is better. Producers believe (and not without reason) that consumers will taste with their eyes first and therefore the negative flavor effects of the chemical coloring are vastly outweighed by the psychological effects of the dark color – it should be noted that some believe the addition of caramel color might enhance flavor of blended whisky, I am not one of those people. It is indeed true that consumers prefer darker colored whisky even if it’s the exact same stuff. Conditioning is a powerful thing. If the light color is a problem for you, please close your eyes (figuratively) because we are indeed incredibly influenced by our visual perceptions and this whisky deserves a fair shake. Needless to say, I was personally very happy with the final product before it shipped, but we knew the true test would always be when the real whisky geeks got hold of it. You know the guys who NEVER hold their tongue, no matter how obviously important or irritating something might be to you. Love those guys. While some diehards thought it was "pretty darn good for the price,” as expected, other whisky heads just about fell out of their chairs when they tasted it. "How much of this stuff do you have? I'm gonna bunker at least 2 cases…no 3 cases. Do you have enough?" Music to my ears. For now, yes we have enough, for now…
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Raymond Fabre Crozes-Hermitage  
Review Date: 3-4-2015
It's Wednesday night, right, so maybe you're in the mood for a big juicy bacon, mushroom and swiss burger to go along with that latest big juicy action flick, Spiderman vs. Speedoman or Ironman Finally Rusts 7, but what wine do you pour? Something with rich, mouthwatering flavor and just enough sinew to compete with the endless earth-shattering explosions onscreen. Since I track the Northern Rhone like an insect and just opened this Crozes-Hermitage, well....it's a medium-built, savory Syrah with impressive aromas and notes of bright cherry-red fruit, garrigue and licorice, with a welcome tinge of pepper and minerality on the solid finish. So bring on the monster cheeseburger and silly spandex superheroes, this supertasty red wine can handle 'em, and with no special effects needed.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Fattoria dei Barbi Brunello di Montalcino Pre-Arrival  
Review Date: 3-4-2015
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I absolutely love this wine, the best thing they've done... that I can remember. The nose is full of earth, spice, leather, dried wild cherries and is a powerful statement from the nose. On the palate a classic, long, slightly leathery character is in the middle of a broad, rich and luxurious follow through. Layers of spice, plum, wild cherry, wild herbs in a long procession of flavors marching to the finish. In the finish a long, persistent and so satisfying end, Super wine.
Drink from 2015 to 2035

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne  
Review Date: 3-4-2015
The Aspasie Blanc de Blancs is a bottle I reach for time and time again. Perfect for almost any occasion that I can think of, from parties to picnics there is something here for everyone. From the immediate aesthetics of the clear glass holding in the beautiful straw gold elixir, to the beautiful breadth and depth that comes from single vineyard Chardonnay. Sun ripe stone fruits greet you, followed by lemon curd and a hit of toasty baguette. The textures is opulent, a kiss of minerality, and a long beautiful finish.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne  
Review Date: 3-4-2015
There is not another bottle of Pink Champagne that offers this value in the store, end of story. This perfectly crafted bottle of bubbles is sensational wine, and at a price that I can afford to drink more than just one special occasions. A pretty coral pink greets you in the glass, alongside a nose vibrant cherry, sweetened dried cranberry, and anise spice. Elegant red fruits burst on the scene out of the glass, kissing your palate with lifted notes rose petal and wild cherry. So good!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Meli Carignane Maule Valley  
Review Date: 3-4-2015
Our Chilean wine buyer Joe smashed so many of my prejudices yesterday that I woke up confused this morning. His biggest triumph over my closed mindedness was this triumphant selection... A Carignane that is a contender for the best red wine in the store at under $15. This is a perfect BBQ wine, spicy, smoky, black fruited. Think of it like Zin, but with more structure and less heat and find some brisket to have with it!
Top Value!

Alexandre Le Brun "Tradition" Brut Champagne  
Review Date: 3-4-2015
Alex Le Brun is one of our newest and most exciting producers we are lucky enough to import here at K&L. Getting to know the style of a new producer means some painstaking, grueling work, having to taste Champagne is pretty tough after all. It was a joy to discover his wines, made in a style that is serious, but not fussy, and absolutely delicious. The Tradition is a joy, toasty on the nose, baked core fruit, with intriguing spice. Bubbly and fresh on the palate with a pleasantly round mouth feel and texture, ending up lengthy and clean.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

Club Price: $34.99
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