K&L Email Alerts
Sign up to receive custom alerts, new arrivals and the latest happenings from K&L Wines
Staff Favorites - Bryan Brick
|Page: prev 1 2|
2010 Iron Horse Green Valley Estate Chardonnay
Review Date: 8-29-2012
Iron Horse has long been known for their classy and refined sparkling wines. Served all over the world, to some of the most famous people in the world these sparkling wines can compete with any out there. But did you know they make fantastic table wine as well? Well if you didn’t, they do! This cool climate Chard is bursting with snappy apple and pear flavors and a bright, sassy mouth feel. No Malolactic fermentation here keeps things fresh and lively rather than heavy and buttery and is perfect for late summer/early fall fare. Add the long earthen finish and high toned aromatics of tangerine and plantain and this is one thirst quenching Chard. Oh, and it is only a twomp!
2011 Banshee Sonoma County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 8-15-2012
Banshee…Can these guys make anything that isn’t just a completely insane value? We’ve touted these wines for years now so I won’t bore you again with the back story but I will tell you that the new 2011 Sonoma County Pinot Noir is as good, or better, as any of the wines that have come from them. One of the reasons is that not only did they use even more Sonoma Coast fruit this year but they also had a few of their high end single vineyard sources come on this year. The Tina Marie, Hurst and Sullivan Vineyards, amongst others, accounted for a nice chunk of what is in the bottle here. Plus they added another cog in an already well oiled machine; Ross Cobb of Cobb Vineyards helped them blend down this bottling and is going to stay on helping these young lads take their project even further than it has already gone. More aromatic early than vintages past this wine exudes pretty red fruits like currant and pomegranate with a darker edge on the palate that turns more to dusty, wild blackberry. The finish is much more complex as well with much more of a confectionary spice reminiscent of Mexican cocoa and grated nutmeg. Plain and simple: this has been and continues to be one of the best values in California Pinot Noir in the market place today.
Sherman & Hooker's Shebang (Bedrock Wine Co.) "Cuvée V" Sonoma Valley Red Blend
Review Date: 8-14-2012
Morgan Twain-Peterson may be the most talented young winemaker in United States. How could he not be really growing up in vineyards besides his well known father, winemaker Joel Peterson. Morgan has done exceptionally well in the eyes of the press, and us here at K&L, with his label Bedrock. His wines are thoughtfully crafted small production bottlings from old vines located in “Heritage” vineyards throughout California. Hard to come by, these Bedrock wines already have a loyal and rabid following. But where I think Morgan really shines is in his entry level bottling: the Sherman & Hooker’s Shebang! Many of you already know this wine well after we sold over 600 cases of it over the last 12 months but I’m here to tell you that I believe that this cuvee may be even better than last years. Again this cuvee is based in three vintages but this year it has a much higher percentage of Syrah than last which leads to a deeper set of flavors and an overall sense of darker fruit components. Like last bottling Morgan has put some fruit in this bottling from some of the most well known, and some not so well known, old vine, big name sites in California, sites that would not be happy if the word got out. So we’ll be hush-hush about that but we will sing the praises of Shebang and Morgan until the cows come home or we sell this out, whichever comes first.
2010 Chasseur Sonoma County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 5-23-2012
I can say without any hesitation that in the near ten years I've been in the wine business I have seen few producers of Domestic Chardonnay and Pinot Noir perform better than Chasseur. Bill Hunter, winemaker and owner, has made as consistently delicious, age-worthy and varietally correct wines as you can find over this period of time, yet he, and his wines, are still relatively unknown. Why? Well for one he is a bit of a curmudgeon, but in a totally endearing way. He is not the slick winery owner that came from Bio-Tech or internet roots, he is not a blatant self-promoter kissing up to the various wine pundits hoping to squeak out one more point for them to add to that "big" score. If you don't like his wines it is perfectly fine by him, he will not try to convince you otherwise. What he is, is a winemaker first and foremost, and he has never had a problem coaxing the best possible performance out of the grapes he makes wine from. Using some top notch fruit sources that people like Kistler, W.H. Smith, Marcassin and Landmark have made famous, Bill has come up with wines that are incredible, terroir driven interpretations rather than developing a house style regardless of vineyard site. My recommendation is to try his wines while you can, you'll thank me later and a perfect place to start is with his entry level Pinot Noir. This Sonoma County bottling is pure Bill: silky, textural, fruit driven and yet with a distinct lack of unnecessary heft and while this is a touch riper and more bass toned than usual it is still a classy, layered effort. Rhubarb, cherry compote, sandstone and sage flavors combine on the mid-palate and vastly over deliver in the world of $30 Pinot Noir.
2008 Bucklin "Old Hill Ranch" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 5-17-2012
I’ve told people numerous times that the “Old Hill Ranch” vineyard has to be one of the most interesting vineyards in all of the United States. First of all it is the oldest vineyard site in Sonoma County, originally planted in 1851, which is saying something given the high proportion of “old vine” vineyards in the area. Secondly is it dry-farmed and certified organic. But the really interesting thing about this vineyard is its actual make up having 26 distinct varieties planted, both white and red and even some of even more elusive red fleshed grape varietals. This wealth of raw material has always served Will Bucklin, the owner of “Old Hill Ranch” and vintner of Bucklin wines exceptionally well as it had done with others before him like Joel Peterson at Ravenswood. This wine is a true testament to what a vineyard can do what it can produce and what it can become when tended with love and listened to. The word “terroir” gets bounded around a lot in my business but I can think of very few, if any wines, coming out of the United States currently that more purely express that idea than this wine. I also believe this to be one of the best Zinfandel based wines in the market today with only the Ridge Geyserville and Lytton Springs bottling being as consistently good on a yearly basis. Deeply spiced, full of briary goodness and bursting with earth laden fruity flavors this is sure to please those on both sides of the Zinfandel fence. This wine is never sweet or jammy but it sure has plenty of heft and an incredible amount of richness. In my book this is a must try wine.
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales "Bam Biere" Farmhouse Ale, Michigan 750ml
Review Date: 5-25-2010
The Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales "Bam Biere" is one of the best work horse beers out there. Made in the style of a Saison this is one of the best interpretations coming out of the US right now. With its yeasty, fruity nose of peach, apricot, fresh bread dough, tangerine and a pinch of clove this is about as traditional as Saison gets. Lightweight on the palate but full of flavor the beer displays flavors of brewer’s yeast, fried plantains, wet earth, savory grassy tones and a bit of drying hoppiness in the finish. The sweet/bitter interplay here is perfect, keeping the beer from ever getting out of balance or cloying white the understated fruitiness builds complexity as it goes. Big time Boosh!
West County Cider "Redfield" Cider, Massachusetts 750ml
Review Date: 5-25-2010
A perfect summer beverage is the West County Cider "Redfield" Cider. This is far from your typical cider made from the apple varietal of Redfield which is red fleshed giving the cider its brilliant orange, ruby color. Aromas of raspberry, rose water, mango and warm clay are wonderfully alluring and really add a separate dimension that most will not expect from cider. The cheery, bright flavors of cherry, cinnamon and pear build on each other developing acidity and cut as they go until you reach the grainy bittersweet apple quality towards the center of the mid palate. Mildly tannic and totally serious this has the ability to change any negative opinions you may have had about cider in the past. Total Boosh!
|Page: prev 1 2|