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Staff Favorites - Mellyn Craig
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2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 7-14-2014
I am already a fan of the TWR wines, but this 2013 Pinot Noir elevated their quality to another level with the same great price! The 2013 was an amazing vintage for New Zealand, but I think what really made a difference this year is the addition of a second vineyard in this wine. The new addition is a vineyard from a steep, north facing slope (which is the sunny side in the Southern Hemisphere) with clay soils. The clay soil brings a silky mouth feel that I love! This wine has a great balance of red and dark currant, with a lot of spice, flint and earth. The complexity far exceeds the price. Enjoy!
2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 7-12-2014
The previous 2012 vintage of this wine was heavy on the green bell pepper, tomato leaf type characteristics. On the contrary, the warmer 2013 vintage has brought a rounder, more fruit forward style SB and I think it is delicious! Even though it has more fruit than it has in the past, this wine is far from being overly ripe. Apple, lime blossom, and white floral notes are paired with a crisp acidity and chalky minerality. Yum!
2012 Bodegas Castano "Solanera Vinas Viejas" Yecla
Review Date: 7-10-2014
This wine is a little too easy to drink! The 2012 Bodegas Castano Solenera Vinas Viejas Yecla is bursting with ripe blue and black fruits, balanced out with spice, herbs, anise and flowers. The tannins are well-integrated and have a light dusty quality that brings a hint of cocoa powder to the wine. If you bring this wine to your next BBQ party, you will be very popular!
2012 Michel Gassier "Cercius" Blanc Vin de France
Review Date: 5-29-2014
Hello summertime sipper! This wine is perfect for poolside, or relaxing in backyard. Zesty acidity balances out the ripe citrus and tropical fruits. There is a nice minerality throughout and a pretty floral note. Buy some before it is gone!
2011 Maison Ambroise Bourgogne Rouge
Review Date: 5-22-2014
This is a great value folks! The Ambroise is a very quaffable Bourgogne with a true sense of place, which is hard to come by under $20. This wine has lots of zesty acidity, spices, nice minerality and dark fruits. This will pair with many foods, but it will be a great choice with BBQ. Enjoy!
2013 Grey's Peak (Greystone) Sauvignon Blanc Waipara
Review Date: 5-20-2014
This Sauvignon Blanc has some structure! It was fermented in neutral oak, so this wine is more round and rich than your average SB. Opulent stone fruits, citrus zest, wild herbs, and minerality fill the palate. Because of the structure of the 2013 Grey’s Peak SB, this will pair well with lighter seafood fare.
Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Gin 375ml
Review Date: 5-2-2014
This gin is so amazing and complex that it is hard to put it all into words! It is so smooth and clean, yet the most complex gin I have ever had. Juniper, spice, berries, citrus peel, herbs are all there and so balanced. This gin is so gorgeous, that drinking it neat is the best way to enjoy this gin. Buy this now! It is selling fast with both customers and staff!
2013 Cep (Peay Vineyards) "Hopkins Ranch" Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 4-18-2014
I have been a fan of the Cep (Peay Vineyards) wines for a few years and this Sauvignon Blanc reaffirms my allegiance! There is so much to love about this wine as it is bursting with lots of acid, green apple, citrus, stone fruit and white flowers. There is a chalky mouthfeel that is a pleasant surprise coming from the Russian River Valley. This will be a good one to stock up on for summer!
2012 Kalinda "Cuvée Reserve" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 3-15-2014
This Pinot Noir is a great value! I love the wines from Trisaetum and this one is no exception. This zesty wine is bursting with tart cheery and cranberry, orange peel, spicy clove and herbs, with a wonderful earthiness which screams for food. I’m scheming up a BBQ with some pork and this wine as I write this!
Launois "Quartz" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 2-5-2014
Wow this is a fun Champagne! If you love Launois Champagnes like I do, please note that the “Quartz” is different than their traditional richer style, but equally well made. Zesty acidity with a touch of citrus and white peach livens up your taste buds. This Champagne is light and crisp, yet elegant with notes of soft creamy mousse to balance everything out.
Bruno Michel "Les Roses" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 10-17-2013
The Bruno Michel Les Roses will speak to red wine lovers. The characteristics are so similar to a Pinot Noir such as ripe cherry, orange peel, earth and spice. This has the stuffing to pair with many foods. While this is not a Champagne for every palate, it is a special treat for some of us!
2005 Launois "Spécial Club" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (ships as 1.5L)
Review Date: 10-17-2013
Wow this is decadent Champagne! I loved the 2004 Launois Special Club, but the 2005 is even better in my opinion. Confection flavors of vanilla cupcake frosting, gram cracker, hazelnut, peaches and cream. This is a great choice for the holidays, or any night you want a special treat.
2012 Au Bon Climat/K&L Wine Merchants "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-1-2013
If you love drinking Pinot Noirs, but have a hard time finding a delicious one that won’t break the bank, look no further! This wine is loaded with very bright, high toned red fruits, such as cherry and cranberry. There is also a lovely floral quality, with a touch of herbal qualities and spice. All of this combined with a nice medium acidity, and you’ve got an outstanding Pinot Noir! Tastes great now after decanting, but will definitely improve with some age. This is a great choice for your holiday parties. Buy it now before it’s gone!
Bruno Michel Premier Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 9-25-2013
The Bruno Michel Premier Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs is a Champagne that continues to stand out in our staff tastings. I’m in love with the crisp and bright citrus and apple notes. There is a note of toasted bread, but it is well balanced in focused and complex Champagne. Perhaps the best part of this Blanc de Blancs is that it tastes like it should be drank during a special occasion, but priced to drink on any occasion.
2010 NXNW Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 9-19-2013
This Cabernet has a lot of structure on for $20! Plentiful dark fruits, spice, mint, anise, and tobacco will entice your taste buds. This is one of those rare K&L treasures that you will be happy you took a chance on. Buy some before it’s gone!
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