Staff Favorites - Joe Manekin

Joe Manekin
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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 Colonias de Galeon "Petit Ocnos" Blanco VdT Sierra Norte de Sevilla
Review Date: 1-28-2015
Beautiful Sevilla was my first exposure to Spain, and this Chardonnay was my introduction to the lovely, characterful wines produced up in the hills an hour outside of Sevilla by Elena Viguera and Julián Navarro. Like all their wines, this is so drinkable, all crisp and bright yellow fruits. Not quite New World Chardonnay, not Burgundy, not oaky but not at all a simple tank-fermented white, either. It's a new favorite direct import and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 BenMarco Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 1-28-2015
This is a ridiculous price on this bottling from the team at Dominio del Plata and Susana Balbo. A showcase for some of their best Malbec sites, primarily in the Uco Valley, this red has rounded, mixed berry fruits, with some red cherries and plums as well. Tasty fruit, very smooth tannins, some spicy sweet notes from oak aging all add up to a most drinkable red for under $10.

2012 Colonias de Galeon "Ocnos" Roble VdT Sierra Norte de Sevilla
Review Date: 1-28-2015
This red shows slightly darker fruits that their other, unoaked red, but the flavors still do not lack for energy, purity and freshness. A touch more spice and structure, but with really wonderful cut and persistence. If, like me, you were more than happy to enjoy Sherry but not familiar with the potential for white and red wine in Andalucía, Colonias de Galeon's wines should be a real eye opener.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Colonias de Galeon "Petit Ocnos" Tinto Vino de la Tierra de Sierra Norte de Sevilla
Review Date: 1-28-2015
Beautiful Sevilla was my first exposure to Spain, and this crisp, crunchy, fruit filled Beaujolais look alike was the first Spanish red I have had from Andalucía which combines the fresh fruit, bright acids and light to mid weight structure I so often crave in a red wine. If, like me, you were more than happy to enjoy Sherry but not familiar with the potential for white and red wine in Andalucía, Colonias de Galeon's wines should be a real eye opener!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Bodega Mendel "Estate" Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 12-9-2014
This is great Malbec. Typically a very solidly built, well structured wine, the 2012 Mendel is no exception, with loads of black cherry and blackberry fruit, hints of dark chocolate and well balanced tannin structure. This is a wine made from great quality, older vine (85 year-old qualifies as old, right?) fruit in Lujan de Cuyo, and it is always one of the very best Malbecs we carry. Highly recommended.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart JS 94 BC 0

2011 Bodegas Bilbainas "Viña Zaco" Rioja
Review Date: 10-30-2014
Once again, same as the tasty 2010 vintage, the Viña Zaco is a quintessential weeknight red--bright with plummy fruit, subtle tannins and enough sense of place and interest to hold your attention. For under $10, this is a very solid value and a great bottle to have as a go to red during the week.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2011 Clos des Fous "Grillos Cantores" Cabernet Sauvignon Alto Cachapoal
Review Date: 10-22-2014
This is as elegant an everyday-priced Cabernet Sauvignon as I've had from Chile in a while. It's not the most powerful, not the richest, but certainly the most nuanced, layered, and balanced, with classy red fruited aromas and flavors nicely melding with subtle savory goodness and very polished, fine tannins. If you appreciate Cabernet with subtlety and style (not two words I associate often with under $15 Cab!) then this may be a wine to load up on.

2009 Viña Santa Rita Syrah Reserva Maipo Valley
Review Date: 10-22-2014
With a a few years of bottle age, this Syrah is now officially open for business: dark plum, green peppercorns, blackberry fruit and Indian spices combine seamlessly and compete for your attention. For fans of Syrah or those who are curious about this grape variety, this is about as textbook a bottle of commercially produced Syrah as you're likely to find.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart WS 92 BC 0

2013 Sadie Family Old Vine Series "Soldaat" Grenache Noir Piekenierskloof
Review Date: 10-21-2014
This is the type of lightly hued, brightly fruited, transparent and delicious Grenache which I love to drink, whether it's Piekenierskloof, South Africa or Gredos, Spain. Delicious and highly recommended.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough
Review Date: 10-21-2014
Juicy. Stone fruit. Round and bright, with nary a tropical or pyrazine note to be found. When I think of Martinborough SB, this is pretty much exactly what comes to mind. Tasty and a solid value as well.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 93

2012 FRAM Pinotage Citrusdal Mountain
Review Date: 10-21-2014
Rare indeed is the Pinotage that not only holds our attention, but elicits gushing praise from the peanut gallery. As buyer Ryan W remarked, one can see the true PN (juicy, friendly fruit w/ a bit of structure) and Cinsault (light, floral, so quaffable) parentage of the Pinotage grape on full display with this wine. A revelation. And, damn tasty.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 FRAM Chardonnay Robertson
Review Date: 10-21-2014
Bright yellow fruits show real minerality as well as an eminently drinkable, effortless style. Is it the addition of Chenin Blanc? The limestone? I'm not sure but this wine right here is one for drinking (and I'm not much of a Chardonnay drinker....)
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Sadie Family "Old Vine Series--Treinspoor" Tinta Barroca Swartland
Review Date: 10-21-2014
Dark and mixed berry fruits show some florality and and real structure. And of course intensity and real persistence on the palate. Yes!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Quartz Reef "Zero Dosage" Sparkling Wine Central Otago
Review Date: 10-21-2014
A nicely textured bubbly, that has bright citric fruit, a nicely ripe yet dry style and very good overall balance that encourage expedient draining of the bottle! Very tasty, indeed.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Apaltagua "Envero" Carmenere Gran Reserva Colchagua Valley
Review Date: 10-21-2014
90% Carmenere and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, this is another delicious bottling of Envero. If you love fuller bodied, richer California cabs, then this would be a terrific introduction to the Carmenere grape. Deeply pitched dark fruits combine with aromas and flavors of roasted coffee, grilled bread and a hint of homemade caramel, a nicely darkened and deeply flavored batch. For under $14, there is very little else out there that provides this intensity of flavor in this bigger style of red wine.

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