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 (


Page:  prev  1  2  3 4  5  next
2010 Bodega Eguren Tempranillo Vino de la Tierra de Castilla
Review Date: 3-5-2014
This is delicious, very easy to drink Tempranillo, or Cencibel as it is known in Castilla La Mancha. Juicy dark cherry and red fruit flavors have just the faintest hint of herbal savor. The wine is mainly about fruit, though, juicy, abundant fruit that makes it very easy to drink.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2008 Rippon Riesling Lake Wanaka Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 1-29-2014
Rippon, the iconic Central Otago estate best known for Pinot Noir, also happens to skillfully produce a range of whites. Their Riesling is just one of them, and to give you an idea how these age, how about giving this '08 a try? Candied citrus on the nose leads to a slightly creamy, exotically fruited palate that shows good development and a style more reminiscent of Alsace or even the Alto Adige than either Germany or Austria. Not surprisingly, this is a very balanced and elegant wine from the pros over at Rippon.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Jacques Bavard Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru "Les Embrazées"
Review Date: 1-29-2014
While I have huge respect for the many talented, multi-generational domaines working in historic terroirs, producing excellent wine year after year, it is interesting to me how an outsider, or at least one not long involved on the production side of the business, can make excellent wines due to their palate preferences, context for wine tasting, work ethic, and savoir faire. Bavard is a perfect example. The Chassagne Embrazees (part of Chassagne Morgeot) shows lovely white flower inner mouth aromas, as well as an intensity and purity one would expect at this level. Given the vintage it's drinking great now, but will certainly repay short to mid-term cellaring.
Price: $62.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Jacques Bavard Bourgogne Blanc
Review Date: 1-29-2014
While I have huge respect for the many talented, multi-generational domaines working in historic terroirs, producing excellent wine year after year, it is interesting to me how an outsider, or at least one not long involved on the production side of the business, can make excellent wines due to their palate preferences, context for wine tasting, work ethic, and savoir faire. Bavard is a perfect example. His Bourgogne Blanc is rich, with spicy yellow fruited flavors and good weight. A lot of Chard for the money.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Peñalolen Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley
Review Date: 1-28-2014
This is a big, brawny and richer style of Cabernet, but one that also shows solid tannin structure and balance for its heft. Aromas of dark and red fruits also show a hint of eucalyptus. On the palate, this Cab has intensity and rich fruit to spare, coupled with a savory, meaty quality. This would certainly work nicely with your favorite cut of steak. Bone in ribeye would work, though I'd personally go for a New York!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart WS 91 BC 0

2012 Carlos Diaz "Estrela" Ribeira Sacra
Review Date: 1-15-2014
Our first Galician DI is this delicious Ribeira Sacra. What I love about the better red wines from this region (and I would certainly place the Estrela amongst them!) is their freshness, their minerality, medium body and overall balance. While the treacherously steeply sited vineyards, the poor slate soil and the dramatic scenery is eye catching,the most important thing here is the quality of the wines, which is terrific and improving with every vintage.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Bodegas Muga "Selección Especial" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 11-1-2013
Keith Mabry and I tasted Muga's current releases on a blustery, mid-March morning, where large, wet snow flurries punctuated the sky and we were reminded of the cold, Atlantic climactic influence on the Rioja town of Haro! To me, this was the most impressive and Rioja affirming line-up of wines we had the opportunity to taste all trip. While a few staunch traditionalists may quibble over Muga's decreasing length of elevage and increasing use of newer oak barrels, we remaining traditionalists will likely recognize how complete, how delicious and reflective of Rioja Alta terroir these wines are. Fans of richer wines will find a lot to like with the plush, spicy blackberry and black cherry flavors, while those who prefer subtlety, nuance, acidity and minerality will also be able to enjoy these now - though probably opting to cellar for another decade or more. If you are a Rioja lover or simply looking for a great red wine to cellar, I would buy as much of this as you can afford.

2011 Beso de Vino Garnacha Cariñena
Review Date: 9-25-2013
The lip-smacking berry fruit of this Garnacha makes it as delicious for a pre-dinner copa de vino as it would be for a casual dinner of pasta with sauteed vegetables. Supple, roundly textured and very pure fruited, Beso de Vino is a "kiss of wine," indeed!
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart ST 90 BC 0

2010 Finca El Encinal Crianza Ribera del Duero
Review Date: 9-11-2013
Admittedly, it was Patricio Tapas' highly complimentary review that brought my attention to this wine. Once the wine was in the glass, though, I could tell that this wine had a clear sense of place. The dark fruits, subtle hints of licorice, lightly toasted bread and spice notes all spoke of a traditionally made Ribera del Duero. For anyone who is a fan of wines such as Pesquera, Condado de Haza, Federico, et al, this would be a wine well worth checking out! It should also make for a solid cellar candidate, with at least 7-8 years of positive development ahead of it. Not so bad for a $15 bottle!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart W&S 94 BC 0

1985 Viña Real Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 9-4-2013
My first older Viña Real experience was at Kaia Kaipe, an excellent restaurant (one of bizillions!) outside of San Sebastián. The maitre d'/sommelier, Igor, suggested a bottle of the '87 Viña Real Reserva to go alongside our '87 Muga Prado Enea. Both were tasty, but the humbler Viña Real was easily the better wine of the two; it was absolutely singing! The '85 Viña Real is also delicious. Aromatically one finds sous bois, cocoa powder, dried mushrooms and earthy notes on the bass end with some bright, lively red fruits and spices on the high end. On the palate, there is red bery confit, hints of baked brown sugar, and moderately high acid which will really provide a perfect foil to the right food. Beautiful, impeccably balanced, fully mature Rioja to drink now with leg of lamb or a nicely grilled Ribeye served Basque Asador style, with crisp fried potatoes and soft, roasted piquillo peppers on the side.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Campeòn K&L Exclusive Blanco Tequila 750ml
Review Date: 8-30-2013
I do not drink tequila often, but when I do, I prefer Campeon K&L Exclusive Blanco. Seriously, though, you don't need to be the most interesting man in the world to appreciate this tequila's spicy, agave character. It's crisp, very pure and clean tasting, and at under $30 this is definitely up there amongst the best values in the spirits department right now.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

La Guita Manzanilla Sanlucar de Barrameda
Review Date: 7-4-2013
This is not white wine. It's as refreshing, more complex, and has a far more storied past than nearly any white wine I can think of. The wine is Manzanilla, the lightly fortified white wine aged for several years in old oak casks in the seaside town of Sanlucar de Barrameda. Bright, appley, with notes of sea spray and subtle suggestions of almonds, Manzanilla offers quintessential summer drinking, whether it is as an aperitive with snacks, to accompany cheese and charcuterie, or to pair with your favorite grilled, fried or cured seafoods. Give this a try and see what all the renewed interest in Manzanilla and Fino Sherry is all about!

2010 Qupe "Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard" Edna Valley Grenache
Review Date: 3-29-2013
This young vineyard is producing very good quality grenache. Bright, savory, slightly peppery and wonderfully balanced. If you like Grenache that is not in the riper style, then this would be a good one to try.

2005 Bodegas Muga "Prado Enea" Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 1-22-2013
I have fond memories of a 1996 Prado Enea enjoyed around 2005, if memory serves. The wine was delicious, showing everything I love in authentic gran reserva Rioja: intense fruit, spice, fragrant leather, and perhaps most importantly, balanced acidity. This was a wine hitting on all cylinders, both on the nose and the palate, in a way that, to my tastes anyway, only great Burgundy, Barolo, northern Rhone wines -and yes, Rioja - manage. Though the wine was delicious, it clearly was a bit firm yet and had more to say. This 05 Prado Enea reminds me a great deal of that '96. I have no doubt that, tasty as it is now, it will repay patient cellaring.

Michel Loriot "Authentic" Brut Champagne (previously Cuvee Reserve)
Review Date: 8-7-2012
The Loriot cuvee reserve is showing just wonderfully right now. Aromatically, this is definitely on the spicy and appley side of Meunier based champagne, but with a crisp, bright quality (this wine does not go through malolactic). Soft bead, mouthwateringly delicious fruit, great style, what else could you ask for in a Champagne at this price? Without a doubt, this is one of my favorites in the store right now.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart ST 90 BC 0

Page:  prev  1  2  3 4  5  next