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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2008 Poggiarellino Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 7-15-2014
For me, the wine of the tasting in our recent Italian line-up. Very nicely perfumed, with macerated dark cherries dominating and multiple layers of fragrance and balanced flavors on the palate. As 2008 is not a press love fest of a vintage, nor is Baricci a household name for Brunello, this beauty can be had for under $30, which undoubtedly makes it one of the best red wine deals in the store right now.

2013 Corte Gardoni Bardolino Chiaretto Rosato
Review Date: 7-15-2014
Light, juicy, playful rosato, this is definitely one to gulp down this summer while working the grill, snacking on cheese, pruning your tomatoes, etc. A thirst quenching rosé that is priced for regular enjoyment.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Tintero "Grangia" Bianco
Review Date: 7-15-2014
Sort of a Vinho Verde by way of Italia, this is delicious, dry, citric, lightly fizzy white. Fresh and party ready....
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Baricci Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 7-15-2014
Year in, year out, Baricci is a staff favorite and go to recommendation for most of us. In a vintage like 2009, where the wines are relatively forward and supple, Baricci manages to thread the needle between immediate deliciousness and classic structure for mid-term cellaring. Given this wine's wonderful aromatics, with beautiful dark cherries and scruffy herbs, as well as its effortless balance, I think the 09 Baricci will drink well near term and perhaps surprise those who strictly adhere to vintage charts with its ability to improve in bottle.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart ST 91 BC 0

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Riesling "D" Marlborough
Review Date: 7-10-2014
As an unabashed fan of Riesling, and a very occasional drinker of Sauvignon Blanc (no disrespect to all you SB fans out there, it's just typically not my thing) I would like to encourage you to try something new. Step outside your comfort zone, and live dangerously! Well, not too dangerously, since you probably already know and love TWR's Sauvignon Blanc, possibly their Pinot Noir as well. Their Riesling "D" has beautifully focused citric flavors, with a soft texture and lots of length. Try this dry Riesling; you may find that you have a new favorite.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart JS 93 BC 0

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 7-10-2014
Most any Pinot Noir fan will find something to like in this extremely well crafted bottling: juicy yet crisp fruits that fall somewhere in the middle of the red to dark spectrum, lovely floral inner mouth aromas, and balanced tannins that frame the wine and should give it enough structure to handle lamb chops equally well as a healthy slab of grilled Alaskan salmon (it is July, after all!)
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Bodegas Castano "Solanera Vinas Viejas" Yecla
Review Date: 7-10-2014
I'm getting the sense that, the more I taste of 2012 vintage wines from the Mediterranean portion of Spain, the more there is to like: all the usual intensity in flavors, but with the added bonus of extra freshness and structure. Solanera, for example, is usually a well made wine, with generous dark fruit and a flavor profile that suggests a good value red. In 2012 it is that plus more transparent minerality, a chalky and saline character mark this wine as it would a Bandol, or a Faugeres. While you won't confuse this wine for a Pradeaux, Tempier, or Barral you will pay less than one-third the price, with the added bonus of being able to enjoy it young! Recommended.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart RP 94 BC 0

2011 Teutonic "Laurel Vineyard - Bergspitze Schwarz" Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir
Review Date: 6-28-2014
This is a barrel selection that is based upon aromatic intensity and textural delicacy; not surprisingly, we love it! Not trying to be Burgundy, and for that matter, nor is this very Willamette. It is very, well, Teutonic - light, beautifully cherry scented, and surprisingly complex and satisfying while being so light on its feet. Absolutely worth a try.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Valderiz Ribera del Duero
Review Date: 6-18-2014
Given this wine's fruit intensity, clear expression, persistence on the palate and impressive balance in youth, I would challenge fans of the fuller bodied, dark berry fruited wines of the world to find something as delicious for under $30. Yes, of course this stuff is subjective, but I've tasted enough similarly priced and styled wines this year to reach that conclusion - if you like bigger, spicy reds and enjoy some structural tannic grip, this wine is for you. Also, for those with a cellar, this wine should improve nicely. Begin checking in on it another 5 years from now to observe a classic Ribera del Duero rich darker fruit to savory, elegant, meaty, chalk tinged minerality transformation!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart RP 93 BC 0

2012 Losada "Pajaro Rojo" Mencía Bierzo
Review Date: 6-18-2014
This is as tasty a young Mencía as I have had from this region in quite some time. It is soft and approachable, with supple dark cherry fruit, and an overall balance that suggests something between medium weight, juicer Pinot Noir and mid-weight, fruit forward, gently spicy Syrah. There is a minerality and sense of balance, however, all its own, and something tells me that for those willing to experiment a bit, they will find in this wine great personality, individuality and value. Highly recommended!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart W&S 91 BC 0

Pierre Paillard Grand Cru Brut Champagne
Review Date: 5-7-2014
Phenomenal. I love these Champagnes. Very pure flavors, with clear Pinot Noir red fruit, and a juicy quality that belies how serious this wine is, and how seriously the Paillards take their vineyards (all massale selections) and their production. One of our favorites, and needless to say, very highly recommended.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart WS 92 BC 0

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 5-7-2014
Carte Blanche is always tasty, a Champagne with a soft bead, nice toast, crowd appeal and great value. This current batch, though, based on the very strong 2008 vintage, is impressive. Brighter than usual, with great purity and tasty fruit, easily the most impressive batch we have received. I'd be happy with this at $40, but for $28 it's one of our great values right now.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Renacer "Punto Final" Reserva Malbec
Review Date: 4-22-2014
Here is a wine which, for whatever reason, had fallen off my radar. Then a customer emailed me to let me know that he was looking for this wine; it is one of his favorite Malbecs and why didn't we carry it anymore? So, to that customer, I thank you for reminding me of the wine and once again proving the old adage: "The customer is always right." As usual, this is a wine featuring rich fruit and slightly toasty, high-quality oak, resulting in a spicy, fruit-forward wine that is crowd pleasing and should make plenty of folks happy.

2013 Bodegas Colomé Torrontes Valle Calchaquí Salta
Review Date: 4-16-2014
I don't think it gets more textbook for Torrontes than the always delicious version from Colomé. The country's best, most wonderfully fragrant, balanced and nervy Torrontes tends to come from Salta, where Colomé has been an innovator not only in the quality of its Torrontes but also its Malbecs. This wine has juicy yellow fruited flavors, with exotic aromas that suggest jasmine. A unique white to sip as an aperitif or to accompany seafood and vegetable dishes.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart ST 91 BC 0

2010 Cune Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 4-16-2014
This is a juicy, very quaffable Crianza from one of Rioja's most historic bodegas in Cune. With its red fruit flavors, supple tannins and balanced acidity, this is as comfortable at the table with roasted chicken, grilled salmon, lentils or pasta dishes as it is on its own or accompanied by cheese, tortilla española, grilled mushrooms and other tapas. Just a lovely, easy to like Tempranillo based red.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

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