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K&L Staff Recommendations
Just downriver from Germany's Rheingau region is the Mittelrhein, where the extremely steep slate terroir looks more like what you find in the Mosel than the neighboring Rhine regions. The Jost family has been cultivating vineyards in Bacharach for 180 years, and today Weingut Toni Jost is a 15 hectare estate under sixth-generation proprietor Cecilia. Grapes for this village-designated Riesling come from a plot just above the Grand Cru-classified Hahn vineyard. The wine is fresh and floral with fruit up front and always a mineral and acid-driven structur... Read More »
The story of Monkey 47 gin is romantic: in 1951, a British man named Montgomery Collins moved to Germany's Black Forest and opened a guesthouse named "Zum wilden Affen"--the wild monkey. Now considered a renowned gin drinker, Collins's taste for the spirit was unknown until renovation work at the country guesthouse led to the discovery of a weighty old wooden box containing a bottle and a letter. The dusty bottle had been labeled and decorated by hand, showing a sketch of a monkey and the words "Max the Monkey--Schwarzwald Dry Gin." The accompanying lett... Read More »
This bright, everyday beer is sparkling and fresh, and is expertly brewed using only the noble raw materials allowed by centuries-old German law. A showpiece of the brewing art in Bavaria, and a great treat for the beer expert or beer novice! 5.6% abv
We are very excited to present the Kalinda Rheingau Riesling. The wine comes from one of the top producers in the Rheingau that pays the utmost attention to detail in the vineyards and the winery. Aromas of honeysuckle, freshly zested lemons and stone fruits lead to a palate that is alive with yellow apples, nectarine and a hint of lanolin. This off-dry Riesling is balanced by loads of acidity and is the perfect pairing for spicy or fatty foods. (Olivia Ragni K&L Germany liaison)
The Wehlener Sonnenuhr is, without question, the most famous of vineyard sites within the Prüm Estate if not all of the Mosel Valley. With its south-southwest exposure, weathered grey slate and ridiculous steepness (up to 70%) it provides an optimal growing climate for Riesling. The wines from here show fantastic depth of stone fruit flavors accompanied by a fine line of minerality and length. From the cellar of J.J. Prüm, this is a perennially classic, collectible Riesling.
Jancis Robinson: "Smells just like guava! Much fuller and more generous and broader of shoulder than the Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Spätlese. A glimmer of charm under the Prüm stiffness, even a bit of glistening, jewelled tropical fruit, although all this un-Prüm-like frivolity comes not without a corset of palate-scrubbing acidity and a ramrod spine of minerality. So much freshness and quite staggering concentration. 18/20 points (TC)" (9/2016) K&L Notes: The Wehlener Sonnenuhr is, without question, the most famous of vineyard sites within the Prüm Estate if not all of the Mosel Valley. Wit... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "While initially a bit earthy and savory on the nose, this ethereal kabinett abounds in fruity, floral complexities. Cutting and spry, its sweet, tangy citrus and stone-fruit flavors seem to dance nervously on the palate. It's nuanced and minerally, with a deliciously salty finish. (AI)" 91 points Wine Spectator: "Racy and rich, with concentrated green peach and grapefruit flavors accented by notes of wet stone. Tropical details emerge on the minerally finish alongside hints of smoke. (KM)" (11/2016)
This happens to be the cousin and neighbor of Martin Kerpen of Heibert Kerpen - go figure right? Anyway, we were turned on to these wines by a friend who is now importing them in Berkeley, and we thank him for that. These are old style Mosel wines from vintages that were not shy on acid and they have not moved from the cellar where they were born until making their maiden voyage last month and landing here on our welcoming shelves. Hello acidity!!! Do you pine for the days when a zippy, and I mean zippy, Mosel wine would bring your palate and salivary gl... Read More »
The laws protecting the brewing of Kolsch are as strict as Germany's Purity Law of 1516. Kolsch Beer can only be brewed within the city of Cologne. As the best-known Kolsch brewery, Gaffel's flavor is derived from an ale yeast that is "lagered," or aged in cold cellars. Gaffel is pale and faintly fruity with a crisp hop finish. The city of Cologne (or Koln) is located on the Rhine River and north of Munich. In Koln, Germany's third largest city, Kolsch beer is nearly the only beer people drink. Gaffel Kolsch is the town favorite.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 10% alcohol 2015 Riesling Dragonstone (tasted from AP #16 16) is pretty smoky on the nose where ripe Riesling flavors are displayed. Lush and fruity on the palate, this is a light but pretty intense and charming Riesling with grip and raciness, but not much length. It is an enjoyable wine with a nice finesse, but a rather robust finish." (10/2016) K&L Notes: Extraordinarily aromatic, vigorous wines from a vintner who grows more commanding each vintage. This is the wine that once was called Rüdesheimer Drachenstein, and it’s the wine David Schildknecht said was th... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Rheingau Riesling trocken Eins Zwei Dry is very clear, fresh and stony on the nose, a classic Rheingau Riesling with bright, fine and citric fruit aromas intertwined with crushed stone flavors. The racy attack on the palate is followed by a pure and salty taste, and a pretty intense and aromatic finish with a very nice phenolic grip. This Rheingau Riesling is refreshingly pure, straight and dry, and its acidity is mercilessly Riesling-like." (10/2016) K&L Notes: A wonderfully dry, but not mouth-searing, style of Riesling for those who love the delicate attri... Read More »
Nothing refreshes more than this naturally cloudy wheat beer with its wonderful yeasty fragrance and taste. Goes especially well with that Bavarian speciality 'Weisswurst' or white sausage! Though hot dogs off the grill are not a bad substitute!
The world-classic Kulmbacher Reichelbräu Eisbock is the world’s first and most authentic ice beer, and it was given the highest rating by Michael Jackson. It's a heavyweight beauty. Not at all like those silly 'ice' beers that big American breweries are pushing, this one is actually made the original way: by freezing and then removing the ice to intensify the alcohol and the flavor. 9.2% abv
A bright, energetic style of rosé that shows wonderful fruit textures and flavors that carry on and on. Lots of strawberry, spicy rhubarb and elegant flower petals abound throughout. This an amazing value for the high quality this wine displays. As I’ve been drinking the 2014 until just recently, I suspect that this will also be drinking unbelievably well right up to and through the next vintage—good stuff! (Eric Story, K&L German wine buyer)
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Rüdesheimer Magdalenenkreuz Riesling Spätlese (AP #87 16) is pure and precise on the nose. Super ripe, but clear and healthy Riesling flavors, as well as some tropical fruit flavors (mainly pineapples), are displayed. On the palate, the wine is very lucid, piquant and intense, revealing a great precision and lovely concentration. The acidity is racy, but ripe and will perfectly integrate into the lush and fruity texture. Pure and salty in the finish, this is a Spätlese that can compete with the best from the Mosel. Great tension and finesse here ...Read More »
From the brewery: "A good beer takes its time. The long storage makes our yellow bright lager, 'Original', a flavourful beer enjoyed with fine poured, white foam. With a mild hoppy note and its pleasant fresh spicy taste, it goes very well with salads, poultry, stews or with a hearty snack. Brewed according to our centuries-old brewing tradition on the Weihenstephan hill."
Coming from one of the top producers of Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir) this "entry level" Pinot is a spicy treat. With the chalky soils in the area, Becker produces some of Germany's finest Pinot Noir. Full of spicy strawberry and bright cherry fruit, just a hint of tobacco and a dusty earthiness and layers of subtle textures tell you that you paid way too little for this offering. Delicious on its own, but also complements heavier seafood, poultry and fine cuts of beef or game.
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Perfumed and so pretty, this lively kabinett abounds with aromas and flavors of sweet citrus, pineapple and mango. Lavish lavender and potpourri notes persist from nose to finish, lending elegance to this otherwise juicy fruity wine. The sweet-tart tangerine finish is long and meandering. (AI)" (10/2016)
Jancis Robinson: "Subtle, powdery, creamy nose. Round and gorgeous with great precise ripe fruit balanced by tight acidity. Bravo!" (4/2016)
Inventory: San Francisco
This is a light, bright and very satisfying beer from one of Germany's oldest breweries. Lightly golden with a bubbly, medium white head that steadily shrinks to a thin foamy lace, the aroma is soft and sweet with grain and very flowery hops. The taste is full bodied grain with lots of green apple and light but persistent hints of pine and herbs, with a light bitterness that persists through to the finish.
The legendary Black Forest producer is finally at K&L. The cherry "schnapps" is class Kirschwasser in every way. The fruit is vibrant and clean with the alcohol in perfect balance to the concentration of cherry. Thank goodness someone is making sure this leaves Germany and makes it over to us!
From Imbibe Magazine: "A longtime favorite among German beer fans, this pils is brewed with two varieties of noble German hops and whole-grain Bavarian malts, and is bottled unpasteurized and unifiltered resulting in a summery quaffer that is as refreshing as it is nuanced. Expect crisp apple aromas, notes of bready, honey-sweetened malts and drying floral hop bitterness on the finish."
Now into the third generation of leadership, this winery has over one hundred years of winemaking tradition.
Founded in the small north-German town of Jever in 1848, the Friesian Brewery in Jever hasn't changed all that much since then, except that they use ultra-modern equipment. The Jever Pils is world-famous for its fresh, slightly herbaceous brew with a slight Friesian-bitter taste.
Amazing stuff here, and a taste of history! From Michael Jackson: "Mahr's Bräu Ungespundet hefetrub has an alcohol content of around 4.1 percent by weight, 5.2 by volume. It pours with a big, creamy, long-lasting, head; has a golden-bronze color; a wonderfully fresh, perfumy; hop aroma; a remarkably smooth, almost oily, malty, palate; very fresh flavours; and a spritzy finish. It is beautifully balanced, but leans to the dry side. This is a delicious, appetising beer and a true taste of Germany's fast-vanishing artisanal tradition."
Dry Riesling from the legendary Nahe producer's clay-slate soils, and vines aged 25-30 years.
If you like a more malty beer with a lovely pillowy head, a deep gold color and packed with malt, Edel is the one for you! A pale straw color with golden hints and a velvety white frothy head which reduces gently to some light lacing. To the nose, Edel is mostly hops mixed with a biscuit sweetness and a freshly baked bread aroma with a hint of some sweet apples and pears. On the tongue, you’ll notice the slightly toasted malts and light floral hops which start with light biscuit malts, before a sweetness, to form a buttery bitter finish.
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Rebholz's 2015 Riesling Trocken Ökonomierat offers a beautifully clear, pure, intense, mineral and herbal-flavored bouquet, which indicates a real Rebholz character. The wine is light, pure and bone dry, but intense and slightly creamy on the palate. It is also very mineral and salty, and well structured by fine tannins. This is a serious wine for Riesling freaks that do not want to spend too much money for a great wine. (SR)" (8/2016)
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Riesling Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese (White Capsule) displays ripe and intense yellow apple, as well as concentrated quince and apricot confiture on the nose. Rich and intense, concentrated, sweet and tart on the palate, this is a very elegant yet concentrated, round and fruity Spätlese that develops a stunning purity, finesse and elegance in the stimulatingly salty finish. This is a stunning Riesling with two faces at the moment: the one is ultra-ripe and reveals pink grapes and a bit of good botrytis, the other has the salinity, puri ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Citrus-colored, the 2015 Rüdesheimer Riesling Trocken opens with a somewhat creamy flavor before ripe seed fruit aromas intermix with notes of wet and milled stones. The attack on the palate is very racy, fresh and pure, and the wine reveals a lot of citric flavors intermixed with stone flavors. Medium-bodied and pure but intense, this is a very straight, fresh and grippy, dry Riesling. It has a mouthwatering astringency in the finish. Remarkably fresh and pure for a 2015. A very expressive cool-climate Riesling that gives me an almost Canadian feeling. ...Read More »
This is quintessential cool climate Pinot Noir. Lighter bodied with snappy aromatics, subtle spice and a mix of fresh red and blue fruits. A strong pick for an easy going sipper which also pairs well with an array of foods and will even math up nicely with the majority of fish dishes.
Since 1846, Europeans have known Underberg as a remarkably satisfying way to conclude a meal. But to define Underberg, you have to experience it. Underberg is a natural herb bitters taken for digestion. It is not a beverage and should be sipped or taken all at once because of its strong herbal taste. It can also be used as a flavoring. Sample Underberg after a good meal to feel bright and alert. Underberg is made from a selection of the finest aromatic herbs from 43 countries. The ingredients include alcohol and natural flavors from herbs and roots of th... Read More »
This is an extraordinarily unique blend of Portugeiser, Dornfelder and Pinot Noir. It has a bright, fragrant nose, super creamy mousse with pretty strawberry fruit flavors accented by a hint of lemon zest and a dry, refreshing finish. It is great on its own, but has the body to complement a variety of foods, making it an excellent and versatile choice for entertaining. Try it with grilled pork sausages!
A single-vineyard Pinot Noir from the Baden region in Germany. Earthy red cherry fruit on the nose. Lighter bodied with good lift through the finish. Rustic and old world in style. Back label typo: 2013. Should read 2012
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The white-golden 2014 Riesling Zeltlinger Sonnenuhr Spätlese (Golden Capsule) offers an intense and deep, yet still discreet bouquet of ripe and overripe, yellow-skinned apples, along with flinty and yeasty aromas, and just a hint of new oak. Lush and salty-piquant on the palate, this is a very elegant, relatively round, smooth-textured Spätlese with a delicate tannin structure and banana flavors in the finish. Still very young, this wine reveals good complexity and tension, and should be cellared for at least another five or seven years, but should age ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
93 points Wine Spectator: "A juicy style, with intense apricot, white currant and crunchy apple flavors, supported by supple acidity. Offers a complex mix of spice and fruit tart notes midpalate. The finish lingers with honeyed accents. Drink now through 2032. (KM, Insider-11/2016)"
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Felseneck Riesling Kabinett was picked at 86/87 Oechsle and opens with a very clear, precise and spicy/slatey Riesling bouquet. On the palate, the is a light, piquant, round and flinty wine that is similar to Rieslings from Graach (Mosel) with regard to its smokiness and piquancy." Jancis Robinson: "Very good for Kab. Racy, fruity, really quite refined and delicate. Lots of minerals. Tension. 17.5/20 points (JR)" (4/2016)
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The fresh and limey, the 11.5% alcohol 2013 Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling is a rather lean, elegant and very mineral-scented interpretation of this cru with almond cake aromas on the nose. Straight, juicy and salty-mineral on the palate, this firmly structured wine reveals a great purity and intensity and is a fascinating "dry“ (please accept 15 grams of residual sugar here as trocken) interpretation Goldtröpfchen and I almost can’t stop drinking it. (SR)" (2/2015)
Residual sugar: 45.8 g/l ABV: 9.5%
Paul and Rudolph Anheuser stand as the 14th generation proprietors of their family estate which dates back to the 1600s on the Nahe River in Bad Kreuznach. This Spatlese bottling of the Kreuznacher Kahlenberg vineyard represents an outstanding value from this classified terroir in a fine vintage.
As the oldest existing brewery in the world, the Weihenstephaner brewery occupies an exalted site atop Weihenstephan Hill in the Bavarian city of Freising. From the brewery: "Our Korbinian, the full-bodied, dark Doppelbock with light brown foam, wins beer-lovers over with a balance of fruity hints of plums and figs, a dark malt aroma - reminiscent of toffee, nuts and chocolate. Its roasted flavour goes well with smoked meat and fish as well as venison and poultry. Brewed according to our centuries-old brewing tradition on the Weihenstephan hill."
90 points Wine & Spirits: "Martin Kerpen marks his best Spätlese with a discreet asterisk on the label; more readily notable is the art that graces it, a fantastical bird reclining in a boat, dining on ripe grapes. The decadence it implies is reflected in the wine. Shy at first, once it’s drunk in some air the tart, limey fruit grows exuberant, peachy in its juicy richness and citrus-bright in its acidity—a virtual call for a party, with plenty of food." (12/2015) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Sourced from ungrafted vines, Kerpen's one-starred 2014 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese * (Artist Label) – AP #12 ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "While shades of slate and saffron lend complexity and nuance, this semisweet wine is more a showcase of sumptuous yellow peach and pear flavors. Its high-toned acidity and delicate, lacy mouthfeel make it irresistibly gulpable. (ALCI)" (6/2016) Jancis Robinson: "No producer likes to be labelled predictable, but over the years I have come to the conclusion that traditional Spätlese is the Gessingers’ true forte. I enjoy the combination of racy acidity, zesty citrus fruit, tasteful sweetness and slim-line figure, nothing over-elaborate, but a pure pleasure to drink. Not too s ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Liaison is 100% Pinot Noir with a fresh and very subtle, yet ripe and spicy nose with rose petal flavors. Low in sulfur, this is a nicely pure, fine and refreshing wine with ripe red fruit flavors, a good grip and mineral tension. (SR)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: No fining or filtration, and 40-50% whole cluster fermentation. Wine Advocate's Stephan Reinhardt enthused about the duo behind Enderle & Moll in his 2015 notes on the winery: "Sven Enderle and Florian Moll cultivate 2.4 hectares of vines on shell limestone and Buntsandstein soils in the village of Münchwe... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
92 points Wine Spectator: "Very open, with a gossamer texture, and a slightly petillant character still, with fine slate aromas and flavors augmented by peach and spice notes. Focused and sleek as 2003 goes, this needs time. (BS)" (2/2005) 90 points Wine & Spirits: "No tasting note given." (12/2004) Jancis Robinson: "Again, that marine quality plus some smokiness. Full and confident. 17.5/20 points" (6/2004) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Pear, lily, lichee and honey in the nose. Soft and creamy yet light in weight. Bittersweet, perfumed finish underlain by subtle wet stone. (DS)" (1/2005) K&L Notes: According to importer Rudi Wiest: "Peach, deep earth aromas in the nose. L... Read More »