Staff Favorites - Joe Manekin

Joe Manekin
Joe Manekin  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
Joe arrived at our doors in February 2007 from far away, Washington, DC to be exact. Just so no one gets the wrong idea, though, he was merely earning a living in DC; Joe’s cultural identity, as well as his professional sports allegiances and, when he has a few drinks in him, his accent, are all Baltimore through and through. After working on the wholesale side of the business for nearly 4 years, Joe decided that he wanted to work wine retail with the best, so he emailed Cindy Westby at K&L and the rest is history. While Joe is well versed in a number of wine regions, he most enjoys the wines of Europe, though he is growing increasingly interested in the great wines of the Santa Cruz mountains. When he is not at K&L, Joe enjoys cooking, traveling, catching up on The Wire, doing occasional PR, booking and recording work for reggae band JohnStone (, and writing for his wine, food and music blog, Old world Old School (


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2012 Banshee "Rice-Spivak Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 3-19-2015
This is one racy, tangy Pinot Noir, sourced from the Rice Spivak vineyard in Sebastopol. Plenty of acidity and sufficient cut. California Pinot for fans of a lighter, brighter, firmer style. Delicious.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart AG 90 BC 0

2013 Akitu "A1" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Black Label)
Review Date: 3-19-2015
Serious, very brightly fruited Pinot Noir, with a core of minerality that lends real structure, but also requires time to open up. I would suggest that you decant for an hour or so. Then you will have a chance to see just how impressive this Central Otago Pinot Noir really is.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Akitu "A2" Pinot Noir Central Otago (White Label)
Review Date: 3-19-2015
Akitu is definitely one of, if not the, Central Otago find of the year. Juicy, spicy, red and dark fruits make this very drinkable, while the acidity keeps it balanced and food friendly. Tough to do better than this in under $25 Pinot Noir.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Bucklin "Old Hill Ranch - Bambino" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 3-19-2015
This is one great Bambino - juicy, but structured as well, it's not as much of a mouthful as the Old Hill Ranch, but definitely is a great intro to Bucklin, one of the more underrated Zinfandel producers if you ask us.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Unti Dry Creek Valley Grenache
Review Date: 3-19-2015
As usual, this is very well made, dark fruited, structured, yet fresh Grenache from the folks at Unti. Mick and crew continue to do a great job with the Rhone varieties, making wines that are honest, balanced, and great at table.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Nalle Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 3-19-2015
The flagship, old vine Nalle Dry Creek Zin also has a bit of Petite Syrah and Carignane blended in. Delicious berries, balance, this is so drinkable and ageworthy as well for those enlightened few who prefer to stash some Zinfandel away in their cellars.
Price: $37.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Nalle "Vinum Clarum" Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 3-19-2015
Classic! This puts the "dry" in Dry Creek, with very fresh fruit, low alcohol (12.8%!) and a crisp drinkable style that many certainly do not equate with Zinfandel. I'll take another glass of Zinfandel, please!
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Porter Creek Mendocino County Old Vine Carignane
Review Date: 3-19-2015
Juicy, with just enough of Carignane's trademark, edgy/raspy quality, this is fresh and tasty, with satisfyingly grippy tannins. Very good.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2007 Joseph Swan "Trenton Estate" Russian River Valley Syrah
Review Date: 3-19-2015
Purple fruited, with a lovely combination of softening fruit and secondary flavor development, this is serious Syrah that is surprisingly easy to drink as well. For me, this was possibly the single most surprising (in a good way!) wine of our recent 40 wine domestic staff tasting.

2012 Joseph Swan "Trenton Estate" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 3-19-2015
Very good vintage, awesome wine. This is the flagship Swan Pinot Noir,which you will likely be able to tell the moment you lift the glass and taste. Layered berry fruit, with a great mouth feel, bright acidity, and seamless balance. It's delicious now and should age very well for quite a while.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart ST 92 BC 0

2012 Fort Ross "Sea Slopes-Fort Ross Vineyard" Fort Ross-Seaview Pinot Noir
Review Date: 3-19-2015
A great value Pinot Noir that should appeal to a wide range of palates, this is all juicy plums, with lovely spice notes and structure. As a fan of higher acid and lighter Pinot Noir, I can still appreciate this wine for its fresh, supple qualities. A very tasty wine from this beautiful Sonoma Coast winery.

2012 Banshee "Marine Layer" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 3-19-2015
Marine layer, a blend of single vineyard sites on the Sonoma Coast, is showing wonderfully right now: juicy, pure red fruits and mixed berry flavors are structured and fresh, but surprisingly generous as well. So much to like here....

2013 Do Ferreiro "Cepas Vellas" Albariño Rias Baixas
Review Date: 3-18-2015
Proprietor and long-time grape grower Gerardo Mendez is rightfully proud of his 2013 Cepas Vellas. As usually is the case for this bottling from his home vineyard, featuring 200+ year old (yes you read correctly, 200!) pie franco, pre-phyloxera vines, this is intensely mineral and high in acid, but also high in fruit intensity and dry extract as well. 2013 was a tricky vintage in Rias Baixas, featuring a cooler and damper summer than usual in the north of Spain, but as usual this wine is delicious and a real treat. Incredible as it is now, try to stash away a few bottles to open in another few years, or longer. This is one of those sneaky agers that will absolutely impress with 8-10 years in bottle.
Price: $42.99 Add To Cart RP 93 BC 0

2010 Bodegas Muga Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 3-18-2015
Muga's entry level wine is always delicious, but in a very good to great vintage like 2010, expect a bit better than delicious! It has mixed berry and darker cherry fruit flavors, a bit more on the darker side in most years, but with a mouth feel and tannin structure that nod towards modern day Rioja, while its spice, minerality and soul speak to traditional Rioja. A solid choice for Rioja fans and newbies alike, Muga's 2010 Reserva bottling is drinking well now and should age nicely over the next 5-7 years as well.

2012 Borsao "Tres Picos" Garnacha Campo de Borja
Review Date: 3-18-2015
Tres Picos is its usual, richly red fruited self in 2012. Borsao's Tres Picos has a loyal following, and if you like a lot of fruit framed by generous, sweet/spicy barrel notes, you will see why this is consistently one of our more popular Grenache based wines.

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