Staff Favorites - Ryan Woodhouse

Ryan Woodhouse
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Reviews

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2013 Lagoon Hill Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough
Review Date: 3-25-2015
Exceptional value thanks to our importer direct deal. Single vineyard, organically farmed, Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc. A super easy drinking style with juicy ripe citrus, passionfruit, fresh cut herbs and wet stone. Round juicy texture and refreshing ripe acidity. Such a great summer wine, stock up now while it lasts at this crazy good price!
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price WE 90 BC 0

2010 Chapoutier-Laughton (La Pleiade) "Cluster M45" Shiraz Heathcote Victoria
Review Date: 3-16-2015
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An incredible story and a beautiful wine. It's seems cliched to say (given the concept of this wine) but this seems to strike the perfect balance between "Old World and New" just like the vine material from whence it came. There is power and richness here with plush dark fruit, tar, sweet floral notes...but there is also a nice underlying savory quality. Stony earth, meat, pepper and subtle leather. I still think this wine has more to give as it develops into its adolescence but the hallmarks of great Syrah/Shiraz are already in place.
Drink from 2015 to 2025

2010 Torbreck "The Steading" Grenache-Shiraz-Mataro Barossa Valley
Review Date: 3-13-2015
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Super expressive wine, explosive nose of ripe red fruits, warm earth, toasted spices, and wild herbs. It has a soft saturated mid-palate with easy, fleshy fruit and super fine silky tannins the coat the mouth. The Steading is powerful and decadent but refined and balanced. Packed with fruit and sweet spice but also showing some lovely earthy, mineral undertones from the deep rooted ancient vines. A big, pure wine for sure but never seems over-the-top, there is good acidity to keep the ripeness in control. The finish goes on and on as the juicy fruit dissipates leaving the more subtle terroir-driven nuances for you to enjoy. This is going to be a serious contender for Best Grilling Wine of the year 2015.
Top Value! Drink from 2015 to 2022

Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 year old Blended Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 3-13-2015
Surprisingly good! I have sometimes thought that the cheaper Walker bottles weren't worth their salt. Sure the Johnnie Blue has always been a pretty serious bottle but it's hardly inexpensive. This Green Label release however is seriously good! Layers of flavor, excellent mouth-filling texture, touches of sherry, spice, savory grains and toasted wood notes all very well integrated and supple. This is seriously good malt at a very economical price point.
Top Value!

2012 Penley Estate "Phoenix" Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra
Review Date: 3-12-2015
An astounding bottle of Cab for the money. This wine is perfectly varietal and regionally correct...it balances Coonawarra's fresh, fragrant blue fruit, tobacco, and crushed mint with riper darker fruits and chocolate tones from the exceptional 2012 vintage. The tannins are smooth and polished from time in french oak (20% new). The wine has great length and presence on the finish that belies its $15 price point. This is an exceptional value!
Top Value!

2012 Yangarra Estate Shiraz McLaren Vale
Review Date: 3-11-2015
Yangarra's organically farmed estate is situated in a cool part of McLaren Vale and their winemaking style respects this more moderate climate. The wines, whilst still having plenty of power, also retain lovely restraint, freshness and minerality that extend beyond primary fruit driven flavors. The grapes are picked from 12 different block delineated by the complex soil composition of this fascinating property. The Shiraz is fermented whole berry, using only natural wild yeast, maceration is limited to only extract fine soft tannin and retain elegance. The finished wine is matured for 22 months in largely neutral French oak with about 20% seeing new oak. The wine receives no fining and only a light filtration. This is a real, authentic expression of McLaren Vale Shiraz.

2014 Cognizant Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 3-10-2015
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A fantastic first release for this new label (even if I do say so myself...I helped blend it!). What we were searching for here is a really great example of "quintessential" Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. We wanted to capture those bright, bold flavors that put New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc on the map but we wanted to do it with class and authenticity. This wine uses Awatere Valley fruit for its punchy, snappy, flavor profile of lime zest, ripe citrus, tomato leaf and fresh cut herbs. Then in combination with this we blend a portion of some richer, riper fruit from the warmer Wairau Valley. This adds some tropical tones to the fruit and fleshes out the palate. Finally the 20% barrel ferment gives great concentration and excellent texture to the wine. Feedback from our staff and customers has been excellent. The wine has really hit the mark as a crowd pleasing style but with enough complexity to appeal to the more serious NZ wine aficionado.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2014 Pipeño Pais "Coronel de Maule" Maule Valley (1.0L)
Review Date: 3-6-2015
Super cool wine. Old Mission varietals from farmers in the Maule Valley. This wine is full of brambly fruit, spice, blacker fruit edges and notes of charred meat. Lovely soft, juicy palate and moderate acidity. A great option for drinking something out of the norm (read, interesting for wine geeks) but still very crowd-pleasing for just about any palate. Great value, especially in the liter bottle!
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Bodegas Chacra Pinot Noir "Cincuenta y Cinco" Rio Negro
Review Date: 3-6-2015
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I applaud Joe's work (and confidence) to bring this wine in. Sure we don't have a huge market for $50 Chilean Pinot...but this wine is sure worth every penny. Lovely brooding, savory nose with damp earth, dark fruit...I thought quite Chambertin like. The wine has beautiful texture, ultra fine tannins and plenty of well proportioned texture on the palate. On the finish the vine age (planted 1955) really shows through with more savory earth / mineral tones. Very well executed Pinot Noir.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart JS 92 BC 0

2011 Clos des Fous "Grillos Cantores" Cabernet Sauvignon Alto Cachapoal
Review Date: 3-6-2015
Serious Cabernet for the money. Packed full of dark fruit, blackcurrant, graphite and hints of new leather. The mid palate is plush and soft, but in the finish there are some nice grippy tannins that elongate the wine. Excellent value for money.
Top Value!

2013 Akitu "A2" Pinot Noir Central Otago (White Label)
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)
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

2011 Fromm "La Strada" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 3-3-2015
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This is a Pinot lovers Pinot...That might sound strange...but in this world of big, black, 15.5% ALC Pinot Noir...this Fromm bottling is a breath of fresh dirt! Much more concerned with dusty red fruits, forest floor, earth and savory tones than high octane, heavily extracted fruit and new oak. The nose sets the scene for the wines precision and focus. Tightly packed red berries, dry leaves and Chanterelles. The wine gains weight with some time in the glass taking time to unfold like all great Pinot should. Dusty dark red berries emerge, leaf litter, bark and river stone. A very Burgundian profile with some tell tale spiced orange peel and clove notes that give away it's Marlborough origins to the experienced observer. I truly believe this wine still has more to give and think it will flesh out further with a few more months / years in the cellar. However even now this wine is bright, fresh, pure Pinot Noir that is a really pleasing style for those looking for a more traditional, elegant expression of this fickle grape. Absolutely exceptional value thanks to our direct import.
Top Value! Drink from 2013 to 2020
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart JS 93 BC 0

2012 Woodstock Estate "Octogenarian" Old Vine Grenache McLaren Vale South Australia
Review Date: 3-3-2015
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Explosive nose of red florals, ripe berry fruits and sweet spices. On the palate the wine is packed full of briary, bramble fruits, exotic spice and macerated cherry. This wine has beautiful palate weight, purity of fruit and concentration of flavor. Underpinning all this exotic ripe fruit and spice is a deep and complex savory minerality from these 80+ yr old vines. I can't believe what a steal this wine is thanks to our importer direct pricing. Think really good vieilles vignes Châteauneuf-du-Pape...for a quarter of the price you would normally pay...and you arrive at Woodstock's Octogenarian.
Top Value! Drink from 2015 to 2025
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart JH 96 BC 0

2014 Lake Chalice "The Nest" Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand
Review Date: 3-3-2015
One of the best value whites in the store. We have sold literally thousands of bottles of this wine each vintage for the last few years. It has proven itself as one of the most loved and frequently re-purchased wines we stock at K&L. The Nest displays classic snappy, zesty fresh aromas to Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. The palate is juicy and easy drinking with lots of citrus, gooseberry some stony mineral qualities. Super refreshing and mouthwateringly moreish!
Top Value!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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