Staff Favorites - Ryan Woodhouse

Ryan Woodhouse
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Reviews

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2013 Clos Henri "Petit Clos" Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand
Review Date: 3-28-2015
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I'll keep this very simple. This is one of the (if not THE) best value Pinot in the store. Pinot Noir is notoriously hard to grow and make, thus many inexpensive / mass produced versions are very lacking in depth, complexity and balance. This wine is not. It smells and tastes like classic Pinot of a much higher price point. It's grown on a small, organic, family owned estate. Hand-crafted in small open fermenters and matured in quality French oak. In addition, 2013 was an exceptional vintage in New Zealand elevating the quality even further than in previous renditions. If you are a Pinot fanatic searching for a great everyday bottle that delivers without breaking the bank you can't miss this!
Top Value! Drink from 2015 to 2018
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart JS 92 BC 0

Venus "El Ladron" Blue Agave Spirit 750ml
Review Date: 3-27-2015
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Pure Agave encapsulated in a spirit. Fresh, spicy, peppery, Aloe juice, yellow florals. Incredible soft, viscous texture, supple and pure. I get salinity again here...I have found this a few Venus Distilling products...perhaps it relates to the address just a few hundred years from Santa Cruz's rugged coast? Great stuff!
Top Value!
Price: $42.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Venus Spirits Batch #1 Gin 750ml
Review Date: 3-27-2015
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Best Gin I have tasted in a long while. Incredible floral nose, white blossom, freshly grated ginger, cardamon, hard spice, clove, meadow flowers and salty air. There is also subtle, savory, grassy, even earthy note that distiller Sean Venus attributed to the Angelica root. I found it very fresh, balanced and complex. Every sniff / sip found another botanical singing its own tune in perfect harmony with the rest.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Kalex Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 3-27-2015
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Really interesting wine. This is carefully and very deliberately made to be a true "Central Otago" Pinot. By this is mean winemaker Theo Coles selects fruit from top vineyard sites in various sub-regions of Central Otago (combining warm areas / cool areas, schist soil, clay soil, glacial deposits and different aspects). Therefore what you get here is not a snapshot of one site or a particular sites specific terroir, but rather a broader more inclusive flavor composition of the region as a whole. The hope is that the whole expression will be greater than the sum of it's parts, and I think Theo has done a great job synthesizing these elements together. The wine is very powerful and masculine in structure (60% whole cluster) with dark spicy berry fruits, plum, briary notes, clove and struck stone. The wine has considerable extract but is not sweet or too viscous, just powerful and brooding. With air the wine gains some nice floral high notes which help give lift and hint at the wines potential a few years along. This is very serious, ambitious and dense Cental Otago Pinot that is worth checking out.
Drink from 2016 to 2025
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Lagoon Hill Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough
Review Date: 3-25-2015
Exceptional value thanks to our importer direct deal. Single vineyard, organically farmed, Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc. A super easy drinking style with juicy ripe citrus, passionfruit, fresh cut herbs and wet stone. Round juicy texture and refreshing ripe acidity. Such a great summer wine, stock up now while it lasts at this crazy good price!
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price WE 90 BC 0

2010 Chapoutier-Laughton (La Pleiade) "Cluster M45" Shiraz Heathcote Victoria
Review Date: 3-16-2015
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An incredible story and a beautiful wine. It's seems cliched to say (given the concept of this wine) but this seems to strike the perfect balance between "Old World and New" just like the vine material from whence it came. There is power and richness here with plush dark fruit, tar, sweet floral notes...but there is also a nice underlying savory quality. Stony earth, meat, pepper and subtle leather. I still think this wine has more to give as it develops into its adolescence but the hallmarks of great Syrah/Shiraz are already in place.
Drink from 2015 to 2025

2010 Torbreck "The Steading" Grenache-Shiraz-Mataro Barossa Valley
Review Date: 3-13-2015
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Super expressive wine, explosive nose of ripe red fruits, warm earth, toasted spices, and wild herbs. It has a soft saturated mid-palate with easy, fleshy fruit and super fine silky tannins the coat the mouth. The Steading is powerful and decadent but refined and balanced. Packed with fruit and sweet spice but also showing some lovely earthy, mineral undertones from the deep rooted ancient vines. A big, pure wine for sure but never seems over-the-top, there is good acidity to keep the ripeness in control. The finish goes on and on as the juicy fruit dissipates leaving the more subtle terroir-driven nuances for you to enjoy. This is going to be a serious contender for Best Grilling Wine of the year 2015.
Top Value! Drink from 2015 to 2022

Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 year old Blended Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 3-13-2015
Surprisingly good! I have sometimes thought that the cheaper Walker bottles weren't worth their salt. Sure the Johnnie Blue has always been a pretty serious bottle but it's hardly inexpensive. This Green Label release however is seriously good! Layers of flavor, excellent mouth-filling texture, touches of sherry, spice, savory grains and toasted wood notes all very well integrated and supple. This is seriously good malt at a very economical price point.
Top Value!

2012 Penley Estate "Phoenix" Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra
Review Date: 3-12-2015
An astounding bottle of Cab for the money. This wine is perfectly varietal and regionally correct...it balances Coonawarra's fresh, fragrant blue fruit, tobacco, and crushed mint with riper darker fruits and chocolate tones from the exceptional 2012 vintage. The tannins are smooth and polished from time in french oak (20% new). The wine has great length and presence on the finish that belies its $15 price point. This is an exceptional value!
Top Value!

2012 Yangarra Estate Shiraz McLaren Vale
Review Date: 3-11-2015
Yangarra's organically farmed estate is situated in a cool part of McLaren Vale and their winemaking style respects this more moderate climate. The wines, whilst still having plenty of power, also retain lovely restraint, freshness and minerality that extend beyond primary fruit driven flavors. The grapes are picked from 12 different block delineated by the complex soil composition of this fascinating property. The Shiraz is fermented whole berry, using only natural wild yeast, maceration is limited to only extract fine soft tannin and retain elegance. The finished wine is matured for 22 months in largely neutral French oak with about 20% seeing new oak. The wine receives no fining and only a light filtration. This is a real, authentic expression of McLaren Vale Shiraz.

2014 Cognizant Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 3-10-2015
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A fantastic first release for this new label (even if I do say so myself...I helped blend it!). What we were searching for here is a really great example of "quintessential" Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. We wanted to capture those bright, bold flavors that put New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc on the map but we wanted to do it with class and authenticity. This wine uses Awatere Valley fruit for its punchy, snappy, flavor profile of lime zest, ripe citrus, tomato leaf and fresh cut herbs. Then in combination with this we blend a portion of some richer, riper fruit from the warmer Wairau Valley. This adds some tropical tones to the fruit and fleshes out the palate. Finally the 20% barrel ferment gives great concentration and excellent texture to the wine. Feedback from our staff and customers has been excellent. The wine has really hit the mark as a crowd pleasing style but with enough complexity to appeal to the more serious NZ wine aficionado.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2014 PipeŮo Pais "Coronel de Maule" Maule Valley (1.0L)
Review Date: 3-6-2015
Super cool wine. Old Mission varietals from farmers in the Maule Valley. This wine is full of brambly fruit, spice, blacker fruit edges and notes of charred meat. Lovely soft, juicy palate and moderate acidity. A great option for drinking something out of the norm (read, interesting for wine geeks) but still very crowd-pleasing for just about any palate. Great value, especially in the liter bottle!
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Bodegas Chacra Pinot Noir "Cincuenta y Cinco" Rio Negro
Review Date: 3-6-2015
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I applaud Joe's work (and confidence) to bring this wine in. Sure we don't have a huge market for $50 Chilean Pinot...but this wine is sure worth every penny. Lovely brooding, savory nose with damp earth, dark fruit...I thought quite Chambertin like. The wine has beautiful texture, ultra fine tannins and plenty of well proportioned texture on the palate. On the finish the vine age (planted 1955) really shows through with more savory earth / mineral tones. Very well executed Pinot Noir.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart JS 92 BC 0

2011 Clos des Fous "Grillos Cantores" Cabernet Sauvignon Alto Cachapoal
Review Date: 3-6-2015
Serious Cabernet for the money. Packed full of dark fruit, blackcurrant, graphite and hints of new leather. The mid palate is plush and soft, but in the finish there are some nice grippy tannins that elongate the wine. Excellent value for money.
Top Value!

2013 Akitu "A2" Pinot Noir Central Otago (White Label)
Review Date: 3-5-2015
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The Akitu "A2" Pinot Noir offers exception value and quality for money. It is very difficult for produce great Pinot Noir for close to $20...it is almost unheard of to produce noteworthy Central Otago Pinot Noir for this price. Thankfully our direct relationship with Hawkesbury Estate / Atiku has allowed K&L to bring you this wine for a very economical price point. This wine is bursting with ripe berry fruits, hard ground spices like nutmeg and clove from the whole bunch inclusion, crushed rocks and wild Thyme. The palate has plenty of soft accessible fruit up front, but it is also very long and drawn out on the palate by the wines lovely fresh acidity and fine powdery tannins. A delicate kiss of oak helps polish this gem but does not detract from its purity. Whilst this wine does not provide me the lucid insight into this terroir that is afforded by Akitu's remarkable "A1" Pinot Noir...it does provide the imbiber instant gratification and a fantastically expressive bottle of classy, slick Pinot Noir at a very reasonable price. From a small estate close to Lake Wanaka dedicated 100% to Pinot Noir. Winemaker PJ Charteris (Adelsheim, Flowers, Penfolds, Brokenwood).
Top Value! Drink from 2015 to 2020
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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