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K&L Staff Recommendations
I love the 2002 vintage in Germany - completely overshadowed by the 2001's and 2003's. For me, it was a perfect vintage with fresh aromatics, fruit textures and delicate acidities. This bottling is also drinking absolutely perfect. From the famed Treppchen vineyard this shows wonderful spice on the nose with notable spice and texture. Again, this wine is drinking much like its little Kabinett sibling, spot on. The color is absolutely perfect while the palate is alive and dancing. C.H. Berres: since 1510. 1510!!! This estate has been making fantastic Ries... Read More »
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 the best Riesling value in the world, which is because Johannes sells it to us for much less than it’s worth. For a large-production wine this receives the same care in the vineyards and cellar that every Leitz wine receives.
Brewed for the 500-year anniversary of the Bavarian Purity Law!
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 »
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
I love the 2002 vintage in Germany - completely overshadowed by the 2001's and 2003's. For me, it was a perfect vintage with fresh aromatics, fruit textures and delicate acidities. This bottling is drinking absolutely perfect. You will be shocked by the color of this nearly 16 year old Kabinett. Super fresh and lively with just a kiss of that petrol which comes with age. The palate is amazingly fresh, pretty and delicate. This wine is good not just because of the price but, because it is just plain good! C.H. Berres: since 1510. 1510!!! This estate has b... Read More »
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 »
Producer notes: "This hearty, vigorous rosé with a Pinot Noir base has a range of bouquet that recalls strawberries, violets, raspberries and rhubarb. There is also a hint of lovage and sandalwood. A melting, gentle residual sweetness accompanies every sip. Serve well cooled! It goes well with wild onions in olive oil, air-dried ham, salami, parmesan and naturally a barbecue."
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.
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."
In 1809, Napoleon and his troops identified Berliner Weisse as the Champagne of the North. He requested the beer be served w/syrup to cut its extreme level of acidity. This 1809 is a very traditional interpretation of the "Berliner Style" Weisse with an intense blend of lactic tartness and complex fruitiness. It is bottle-conditioned with lactobacillus delbrueckii, unfiltered and unpasteurized. "1809" will age beautifully in a dark and cool location. Its complex fruitiness and tartness will most likely develop in quite astonishing ways.
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.
A wonderfully dry, but not mouth-searing, style of Riesling for those who love the delicate attributes of the noble Riesling varietal but aren't keen on any residual sugar. Makes for a nice aperitif or to wash down grilled sausages, and even matches deliciously with smoked fish.
90 points Wine Spectator: "Taut and filled with dried apple and baked pear flavors that feature plenty of custard and lemon curd notes. Accents of dried sage and mint on the pure-tasting finish. Drink now through 2020. (Web Only—2016)" Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Estate Rheingau Riesling Trocken has a clear and quite intense white peach flavor on the nose. Piquant and very juicy, this medium-bodied wine has a good fruit intensity and ripeness. Well done. (SR)" (12/2015) Vinous: "Unusually for a dry Gutsriesling of its vintage, this bottling sourced from a range of Oestrich sites was not chaptalized, yet reached ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Riesling Kabinett Oberhäuser Leistenberg is cool, fresh and just ripe on the pure and elegant nose. Gentle and smooth, but also piquant and salty on the palate, this is a light and fruity, well balanced Kabinett with ripe acidity and a pure and salty, very stimulating finish. In a few words: round and juicy, but extremely stimulating and light. As father Hermann Dönnhoff once said, 'The Leistenberg is not the wine with the highest must weight, but it's always our finest wine.' (SR)" (12/2015) Vinous: "White peach, fresh fig and apple are signaled on the n ...Read More »
We are very excited to present the Kalinda Rheingau Riesling. The wine comes from one of the top producers in the Rheingau who pay 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, necterine and a hint of lanonlin. This off-dry riesling is balanced by loads of acidity and is the perfect pairing for spicy or fatty foods. (Olivia Ragni K&L Wines Germany liaison)
93 points Wine & Spirits: "This sandy loess–rich vineyard gave a 2014 that tastes like summer in all its juicy peach and sweet corn flavor. Its sunny disposition make it easy to gulp, but, given time in the glass, the structure becomes more apparent, a broad band of acidity couched in firm, earthy minerality. Enjoy it now, with a corn chowder, and lose a few bottles in the cellar for a few years, too." (12/2015) K&L Notes: The Magdalenenkreuz Vineyard is located on the hillside banks of the town of Rüdesheim. The vineyard starts at an elevation of 100 meters and rises to 165 meters in a relati... Read More »
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.
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 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!
Jancis Robinson: "RS 30 g/l or thereabouts. Light, bright limey citrus aroma, the fruit revealed by the higher sugar level compared with the QbA trocken. Pure and refined, great delicacy but not lacking in fruit and persistence. (JH)" (5/2015)
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Floral and with citrus flavors on the nose starts the 2014 Rüdesheimer Riesling Trocken. On the palate, this is a medium to full-bodied, very piquant and mineral/crystalline Riesling with a lingering salinity and lemon flavor. Very persistent finish. An excellent village wine with a lovely purity. Highly recommended. (SR)" (12/2015)
Vinous: "Rendered in stainless steel from a mixture of estate and purchased Bechtheim Riesling, this compares very favorably with its slightly bulkier and more severe 2013 counterpart. White peach and grapefruit are tinged with mint and tarragon on a silky, polished palate, leading to a satisfyingly and refreshingly persistent finish. What there is of pit and pip bitterness enhances the wine's invigorating character. (DS)" (5/2014) K&L Notes: This organically produced Riesling comes from the loess, loam and limestone vineyards in and around the village of Bechtheim. Don't let... 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 favorite of Koln. 5% ABV
Inventory: Redwood City
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.
In 2005, Tim Fröhlich was chosen as Newcomer of the Year by the Gault-Millau/German Wine Guide. By 2010, they'd dubbed him the youngest ever Winemaker of the Year. And it's no surprise--this wunderkind has consistently turned out elegant, precise wines since he took over the family estate in 1995--at the age of 21. He uses indigenous fermentation exclusively, as capturing the essence of the vintage is paramount to him. The Pinot Noir grapes in this sparkler come from a very steep, volcanic rock vineyard with 40-year old vines. Fresh strawberries, pink gr... Read More »
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 »
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. The estate wine from Dr. F. Weins-Prüm is feinherb in style. What does that mean? Basically, it is a wine that is dry, but with just a touch fruitiness to it that makes it an easygoing, quaffable wine for everyday use. This particular one is loaded with crisp apple and ripe peach, with rounded-out minerality and a juicy finish. Before you know it, the bottle will be empty. It's a good wine any time ... Read More »
With its amber-mahogany coloring and streaked with fine top-fermenting yeast, this beer has a fine, persistent head that adheres well to the glass. It is pleasantly spicy with a typical top-fermented smell. An arome of clove and nutmeg apple tantalizes the nose. On the tongue it is fresh, clean, full-bodied, harmonious and well-balanced. It finishes lightly sparkling with a light and fine bitterness.
Brewed according to the German Purity law of 1516, this is a combination of the perfect art of brewing and a centuries old tradition in beer making. Barley malts subjected to special processes give it its distinctive, delicate aroma and extraordinary coloration. Well rounded by a mild hop flavor, this is truly delicious. 4.8% alc.
One of the most shockingly-satisfying beers on our shelf is the rose beer from ABK. The ultimate summertime refreshment, Rose is a concoction of light ABK beer and organic lemonade (brewed on-site) with a 100% natural rose color added from beets!
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Picked with 81° Oechsle, and bottled with 19 grams of residual sugar and 9.36% alcohol, the 2014 Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett (AP #16) has a bright lemon color and offers raisiny flavors... The wine is nicely sweet and piquant on the palate, as well as light and mineral, and finishes with a stimulating salinity. Good length. (SR)" (3/2016)
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 »
According to the importer: "For purists, there is nothing like the Saar – it is arguably one of the greatest, most unique wine-growing regions on earth. The core of greatness in the Saar is intensity without weight, grandiosity without size. Frank Schoonmaker put it best in his 1956 tome The Wines of Germany: “In these great and exceedingly rare wines of the Saar, there is a combination of qualities which I can perhaps best describe as indescribable – austerity coupled with delicacy and extreme finesse, an incomparable bouquet, a clean, very attractive h... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
From importer Terry Theise: "Pure spice essence here. Garrigue, char, kiwi, even wasabi or ginger; the finish is positively drenched with extract, which joins with acidity to just sizzle away any sweetness. Perhaps the best wine I tasted from Uerzig vineyards."
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
Jancis Robinson: "Mineral, almost a little peppery. Delicate but definite. Fine, sour freshness, tight and steely on the finish, very crisp. (JH)" (5/2015) K&L Notes: Donnhoff's fresh, dry Riesling comes from 15- to 30-year-old vines in the middle Nahe that typify the Donnhoff estate. The soils are stony and volcanic and the resulting wine is fresh, filigreed and mineral. A lovely everyday Riesling.
Inventory: Redwood City
From Johannes Leitz, the creative winemaker behind Dragonstone Riesling and EINS-ZWEI-DRY. Now, mit bubbles. What more can we say, but, "Feierabend!"
90 points Wine Spectator: "Very fruity and open-textured, featuring red peach, apricot and ripe apple flavors that are well-spiced. Shows plenty of honeyed notes on the fat finish, with accents of sage. Drink now through 2028. 25 cases imported. (KM)" (4/2016)
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Green floral notes and lemon zest perfume this pristine, pretty kabinett. Zesty lemon-lime acidity lends a breathless elegance, brightened by sweet-tart streaks of mango and tangerine that pucker and delight. Drinks gorgeously now, but will continue to improve through at least 2020. (ALCI)" (8/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Harvested between October 20 to 25 the Schloss Vollrads Riesling Kabinett shows a very clear, pure and subtle nose and starts with a racy attack on the sweet palate. This is a very mineral, quite complex and firmly structured Kabinett with a good length and an ...Read More »