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Staff Favorites - 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 (www.johnstonemusic.com), and writing for his wine, food and music blog, Old world Old School (www.oldworldoldschool.blogspot.com)
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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!
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.
2005 Heras Cordon Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 8-9-2013
This is a lovely, softly textured, classic, fruit forward Rioja that is beginning to show a hint of the savor which we love in this region. To benchmark it, we recently had it open alongside another 2005, the traditional stalwart and one of our favorites, La Rioja Alta Viña Arana. I think that this more than held its own, perhaps showing less spicy intrigue and classic American oak flavors, but definitely exhibiting a similar effortless balance and comparable length on the palate. Very good stuff for now or over the next several years.
2004 Bodegas Fernandez "Escudo de Plata" Gran Reserva Jumilla
Review Date: 4-24-2013
If you are a fan of old school, long aged Rioja, old school southern Rhone wines, old school, slightly more rustic 1990's era Spanish reds...then may I humbly suggest this 100% Monastrell (Mourvedre)? The Escudo de Plata is a delicious wine that offers an incredible balance of generous fruit, intensity of flavor without excessive heaviness,and nice developed complexity from long barrel and bottle ageing. This is true Monastrell, unmistakably Spanish and simply one of the better values in mature red wine we're likely to find this year. Don't miss out!
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.
2008 Bodegas Puelles Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 7-18-2012
I love this wine for its nervy, bright fruit and real sense of chalky minerality it unfailingly conveys. The best part about this juicy, lively red wine is how versatile it is at table. Seared steak with roasted potatoes, oven roasted chicken with herbs, garlic and lemon served over watercress, a fennel stuffed whole grilled arctic char...these are just a few quick and easy possibilities to cook up and serve with this delicious Rioja.
Franck Bonville Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 7-6-2009
Very easy to like - soft textured, citrus and cream flavors. Plump, round and delicious. For someone who usually goes for a bit lean and austere, I'm always surprised I like this as much as I do. It's just delicious stuff.
Michel Arnould Verzenay "Reserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 7-6-2009
Very, very good for the money. MIxed wild berry fruit show good richness with terrific cut and focus as well. Did I mention that this is a lot of wine for the money??
Glenrothes Select Reserve Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 3-4-2009
There is probably not a single better value single malt in our store. This would be the equivalent of a 10 year. Very classic Glenrothes, with a round texture, fairly rich, malty character on the mid-palate, and impeccable Glenrothes mellow, balanced character. Just a wonderful house single malt, and a terrific introduction to the joys of Speyside whisky!
Springbank 10 Year Old Campbeltown Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 3-4-2009
If I'm in the mood for a bit of peat, this is one of my favorites. Scottland's oldest independent, continually-operated distillery, Springbank's 10 year is a great balance of judicious peaty smoke, malty, nutty flavors, a hint of sweetness, and an amazing saline tang on the finish, which lingers a while and then seems to dissolve effortlessly. Powerful and elegant, Springbank is a true original, and every bit as elegant as people say it is.
Marguet Pere et Fils Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 11-19-2008
Light coppery pink color. The quality of Benoit Marguet's pinot noir really shows here; there is a real Burgundian pinot noir savor to this champagne. It's red berry fruited, but also brawny and masculine - not a simply fruity, cheerful rosé Champagne. I quite like it and plan on buying some soon.
Caveau du Mont July Bugey Cerdon
Review Date: 4-20-2008
If you love rosé champagne (and who doesn’t), if you enjoy adventurous wine pairings (you know you do) and if you love raspberries (mmm…rasbpberries), then this is your wine. This pink-colored, off-dry (read: slightly sweet) sparkling wine from the Savoie region of Eastern France is made by spontaneous fermentation, otherwise known as methode ancestrale using poulsard and gamay. Enjoy this delicious sparkler as an aperitif, with cheeses, jamon Serrano or even spicier Asian cuisine like Thai or Burmese
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