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K&L Staff Recommendations
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)
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
The romantic story of Monkey 47 gin is as follows: 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. A renowned gin drinker, Collins' taste for the spirit was not particularly renowned 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" in bla... Read More »
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.
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.
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 »
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 »
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.
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 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 »
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 »
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."
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.
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!
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)
98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Markus Molitor holds 2.5 hectares in the Bockstein and his 2014 Riesling Ockfener Bockstein Auslese *** (Golden Capsule) is probably the greatest of this cru in 2014. The wine has an intense yellow color and displays a delicately spicy new oak flavor, perfectly intertwined with bright and ripe fruit aromas, such as pineapples and yellow-skinned apples. This nose combines Burgundy with Mosel Riesling at this early stage. Full and rich but highly elegant on the palate, this is a fascinatingly lush and vital, finesse-full and seriously structured Riesling o ...Read More »
David Schildknecht of eRobertParker.com writes: "There is generally excellent value at this address and the wines have cellared consistently well, even from before the time when Stefan Justen took the reins from his father 20 years ago."
Weingut Willi Schaefer is a Mosel wine estate based in the village of Graach in Bereich Bernkastel. The winery is a member of the VDP (The Association of German Quality and Prädikat Wine Estates) and is solely devoted to the production of high-quality Riesling wines. Weingut Willi Schaefer is a small family winery with a history dating back to 1121. The estate as it stands today was a result of the work of Martha and Willibrord Schaefer in the post-World War Two era. Today Weingut Willi Schaefer is overseen in part by the couple's son Willi, who took res... Read More »
94 points Mosel Fine Wines: "Quite shy and even non-saying at first, this only gradually reveals gorgeously elegant and beautifully integrated scents of cassis, grapefruit, pear and flowery herbs on the nose. The wine proves finely spiced on the palate and oozes freshness and elegance as zesty acidity provides focus to the brilliant core of minerals running through the wine. The wine is still on the backward side, both flavor wise and in the finish but the balance and elegance are simply stunning. This will need time to develop aromatically but should th... Read More »
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: "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 lightly sparkling wine is meant to be the German answer to Prosecco. From the winery: "Light straw yellow with lovely green highlights. Fresh-fruity aromas of pear, apple and grapefruit. Mild and well balanced on the palate with exotic aromas and a delicate nutmeg tone. Sparklingly refreshing."
Inventory: San Francisco
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.
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)
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
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 »
Now into the third generation of leadership, this winery has over one hundred years of winemaking tradition.
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 »
Dry Riesling from the legendary Nahe producer's clay-slate soils, and vines aged 25-30 years.
From the brewery: "In the middle of the old part of Bamberg, directly beneath the mighty cathedral, one can find the historic smoked beer brewery Schlenkerla. First mentioned in 1405 and now run by the Trum family in the 6th generation, it is the fountain of Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer (in German language it's called "Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier"). The smoked beer is here at the brewery tavern still being tapped directly from the wooden barrel according to old tradition. Our dark, bottom fermented speciality, brewed with Original Schlenkerla Smokemalt... Read More »
The now-legendary wines of Dönnhoff are fermented on natural yeast, and some are aged in neutral, thick-staved large oak. This slightly off-dry Kabinett comes from a vineyard that, according to importer Skurnik, "is rich in quartzite and gravel for perfect drainage. Krötenpful means 'turtle pond' and is named for the water source in the vineyard."
Peter Lauer and his sons Peter and Florian are the proprietors of a tiny little hotel and restaurant in the village of Ayl, on the west side of the Saar River. Their winery is located next door to the hotel, and it seems as though many of the guests leave with a case or two of wine. This is how Weingut Peter Lauer subsisted for many generations. But now Lauer has garnered something of a cult following, and if you haven't tried one of their dry or off-dry Rieslings, you are truly missing out. The Barrel X is the winery's entry level offering, but it's so ... Read More »
The fruit was sustainably farmed and sourced from blue and gray quartz slate soils on steep slopes high above the Mosel River. "Alte Reben" means old vines, and the gnarled beauties that produced these grapes are between 40 and 60 years old. Tasting notes from the producer: "This close-to-dry wine displays the perfect balance between pure, rich fresh fruit and mineral flavors. It displays a flowery bouquet; very luscious and zesty with a powerful finish."
The Mönchhof estate dates at least as far back as the 12th century, as evidenced by a document still in the Eymael family's possession, signed by Pope Alexander III, showing the Cloister Himmerod--a Cistercian Abbey--having vineyard holdings in Urzig as early as 1177. And the wines have been popular for a long time, too. At the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, Mönchhof won medals for their wines. These days, the wines reflect the personality of the estate's proprietor Robert Eymael: easy to like, with a sense of style and simple sophistication.
From Johannes Leitz, the creative winemaker behind Dragonstone Riesling and EINS-ZWEI-DRY. Now, mit bubbles. What more can we say, but, "Feierabend!"
This refreshing German pink is made from 95% Pinot Meunier and 5% Portugieser, has just a minute touch of residual sugar, which makes is a stellar pairing for something spicy. Bright and aromatic red fruits carry all the way through to the core of this refreshing and quaffing rosé. Fantastic with spicy grilled sausages or even a watermelon, arugula and feta salad.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Riesling 101 is a medium-dry blend from the three single vineyards Lenchen, Doosberg and Hendelberg -- of which only the must of the Doosberg was fermented in oak. Clear, pure, fresh and with bright fruit aromas on the nose intermixed with some flinty/stony notes, this is a light-bodied, salty, pure and refreshing Riesling with a straight, juicy, but also mineral character with a gorgeous sweetness. This wine is more filigreed and lighter than the powerful Lenchen Alte Reben. (SR)" (12/2015)
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)
Very German--and very delicious! This beer is a pale yellow, with a thick white head and great lacing. Yeasty and malty, but still refreshing and laden with light, citrus notes. The Reissdorf is a malty beer that is light on body but not on flavor.
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors’ Choice* A tang of salty minerals extends throughout this sublime spätlese. Intensely fruity, its sweet white-peach and mango flavors seem to fall on the tongue in crystalline shards. Light-footed and vibrantly acidic, it’s a superbly balanced wine that drinks well now but should improve through 2024 and beyond. (AI)" (10/2016) 93 points Vinous: "Redcurrant, lime and mint waft alluringly from the glass. The luscious and delicate palate suggests jellied redcurrant and lime sorbet laced with green herbal extracts as well as mineral salts. The result is coolingly sooth ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
95 points Vinous: "An especially creamy-textured and richly ripe expression of its great site, this deploys poached apple, nectarine, quince jelly, vanilla and almond paste supported by perfectly judged sweetness. The luscious impression of a lime sorbet somehow harmoniously folds into vanilla and almond cream on a superbly sustained, sensationally savory and sustained finish that preserves just enough juiciness to refresh and incorporates a salinity that tugs at the salivary glands." (11/2016)
Inventory: Special Order
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Very clear and fine on the nose, with lemon, pineapple and some yeasty aromas, the 2014 Riesling Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett (Golden Capsule) opens pretty complex. This is a light, pure, mineral and very salty Kabinett from a top terroir that is expressed in the good and tension-filled finish. This is one of the bright Molitor Rieslings of the 2014 vintage, and it is absolutely delicate and filigreed. The sweetness gives nothing but fruit and balance, and is nothing but perfect." (3/2016) 91 points Vinous: "White peach, apple and almond are announced on the nose, then piquan ...Read More »
Inventory: Special Order
Domprobst is in the Graach in the heart of the Mittel Mosel. "If you haven't had the wines from this estate you should. They are classy, elegant and don't try to beat you into submission by being anything they are not." (Eric Story, K&L German Wine Buyer)
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "While feather light in stature, this semisweet Riesling stuns with intensity. From nose to finish, dark earth tones and luminous stone fruit and cherry flavors meld seamlessly. It’s intensely ripe, almost tropical in tone, but an electric tang of acidity and minerality keeps it rooted firmly in the Mosel. Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd. Editors’ Choice. —A.I." (12/2016) K&L Notes: 90+ points Mosel Fine Wines: "This offers a gorgeous nose of pear, cassis, melon and herbs. The wine is delicately rich and powerful but overall zesty. The finish is almost off-dry in taste ... Read More »
From Johannes Leitz, the creative winemaker behind Dragonstone Riesling and EINS-ZWEI-DRY, a bubbly take on one of our favorite German rosés.
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)"