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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2013 Syrahmi "Demi" Syrah Heathcote
Review Date: 10-21-2014
From a cooler area in Heathcote (Victoria), this is real-deal Syrah, and not just "for Australia," or "given that it's New World," or anything like that. Without qualifiers, this is simply very good Syrah. Given its pure, bright mixed berry fruit, fine acid balance and drinkability, this brings St. Joseph to mind. Now open your mind, subtract $5-10 from that St. Joseph, and get to drinking!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart JH 95 BC 0

2012 Ad Lib (Larry Cherubino) "Hen & Chicken" Chardonnay Western Australia
Review Date: 10-21-2014
Mendoza clones, wild yeast, high solid debourbage according to my colleague Ryan W. With those data points I'm not surprised that this is really quite good! Bright, citric and tasty. The following is not hyperbole but the honest-to-god truth: there is no Chardonnay that can touch this for the price.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart JH 94 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.

2013 Pedro Martinez Alesanco Tempranillo Rioja
Review Date: 10-14-2014
Rounding out their trio of Riojas is this Tempranillo and Garnacha blend, a wine produced from mainly younger vine fruit in lower lying, iron heavy clay vineyards. This has everything I look for in young, unoaked Tempranillo from Rioja. Beautiful, pure mixed berry fruit, on the darker side, with fresh acidity and wonderful, crunchy freshness. Another winner from one of our new favorite producers of Spanish values.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Pedro Martinez Alesanco Rosado Rioja
Review Date: 10-2-2014
Unlike white shoes, rosé wine is most definitely OK after Labor Day! A good thing, because what was going to be the rosé I put in everyone's hands did not quite make it in time for the summer season. That said, this is a mouthwateringly delicious, tangy rosé, full of warm citrus and red fruits. Whether you enjoy as an aperitif, with a platter of charcuterie, alongside a perfectly grilled piece of salmon or with a take home rotisserie chicken, Martinez Alesanco's rosé is amongst the best in this category.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Pedro Martinez Alesanco Blanco Rioja
Review Date: 10-1-2014
For those of you who really enjoy a brisk, bright, bracing white wine, something nicely dry to enjoy while cooking or winding down after work, this is definitely one to add to the rotation. Martinez Alesanco's white Rioja is amongst the most lively and expressive I have yet to find, and for under $10!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Eyrie Vineyards "Estate Grown" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 8-26-2014
There is nothing better than tasting a great wine amongst the vines whose fruit produces that same wine. Several of us were fortunate enough to have this experience with the 2012 Eyrie Estate Grown Pinot Noir. But does the wine taste as memorably delicious within the confines of our roomy, comfortable, yet admittedly less romantic tasting bar in Redwood City? On Tuesday July 29th, during a staff tasting billed as a "Dog Day Afternoon," we confirmed that this wine is, not surprisingly, the real deal. This is supple and juicy Pinot Noir, with aromas of cherries, pretty florals and subtle savory tones. On the palate, more cherries, featuring a deeper pitch than the norm at Eyrie (particularly when compared to the light as a feather, red fruited, elegant beyond belief 2011 vintage.) That said, I do love the 2012 vintage of this wine as well. Wonderfully pure fruit, loads of drinkability, and beautiful texture - that illusive quality which certain wineries just tend to nail vintage after vintage. In case you could not tell, we all are big fans of Eyrie here and cannot recommend their wines highly enough!

2012 Pisa Range Estate "Black Poplar Block" Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 8-23-2014
This is a big, darker fruited, structured Pinot Noir. While it's certainly densely structured, there are also pretty floral notes, real fruit purity and an expression of place that even in an area as well regarded for PN as Central Otago, is not necessarily a given. Great Pinot Noir for a special occasion or for your cellar!

2013 Zudugarai "Amats" Getariako Txakolina
Review Date: 8-13-2014
Serious props are in order to Mikel and his crew at Zudugarai, for organically producing a delicious, thirst quenching, picture perfect Txakoli in a very challenging 2013 vintage. With production down significantly, and demand every bit as strong locally, Zudugarai still maintained their pricing, which means that we can do the same and once again offer to you one of the tastiest, most gulpable dry whites around for a price that is much lower than most other Txakoli. Buy it by the case, which now that I think of it is only 6 bottles so better make it two!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Bruno Michel "Les Roses" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 8-6-2014
This is not a casual sipping rosé! On various occasions, I have enjoyed this and have it come across as rich and satisfying, or brooding and spicy, on one occasion I think I recall my tasting notes saying "good 1er cru Nuit-St-Georges with bubbles." However you describe it, you cannot argue against this being an intensely flavored, highly original Champagne with real personality.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Churchill's "Estates" Douro
Review Date: 8-6-2014
While many of the top, legendary 2011 vintage ports are beginning to disappear, we are continuing to see a deluge of excellent, top quality dry Douro reds. Given the terrific quality of the 2011 Port vintage (literally a once in a generation type of vintage) in this region, there is no reason not to dip your toes into the dry red wines from the same year; you will not be disappointed. Tasting this wine next to the 2010 vintage was very instructive: while the 2010 is a solid wine, 2011 has so much more intensity, volume, and length. It's a textbook Douro red from a great vintage, a wine that is impressive now and should cellar well in the mid term as well. There is no better vintage than 2011 to check out the unique dry red wines from the Douro.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart WS 93 BC 0

2012 Tikal "Jubilo" Mendoza
Review Date: 8-6-2014
As with all things chez Tikal, this is a bigger, powerful wine. Smoky/savory oak aromas show mocha and some dark caramel, with the fruit lying in the background, but on the palate...different story. Chunky red and dark plum fruits show drier than what the nose suggests. Clearly there is good quality fruit used here, no surprise given that a Catena (Ernesto) is involved! Definitely a solid fuller bodied wine for your next cookout or grilled steak.

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