Staff Favorites - Kirk Walker

Kirk Walker

Reviews

  
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2015 Birgit Eichinger Hasel Grüner Veltliner Kamptal
Review Date: 03-22-2017
This wine spring in a bottle. Cool, crisp, subtly green and hinting at sun-ripened goodness. Great Gruner aromatics, floral, spicy with a burst grapefruit tone that makes me so happy. The palate it cool stone fruit, cool pear, and sweet green pea notes. It is clean and mouth wateringly refreshing. Something that I want waiting for me in my fridge when I get home at night.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WS 91

2015 Quartz Reef "Bendigo Single Vineyard" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 03-22-2017
Made by the former winemaker at Rippon, really that is all that you need to know. This is the perfect entry point to the world of NZ Pinot for a California Pinot drinker. The wines made from this site in Bendigo always seem to be a touch richer and fleshier than other Central Otago wines. The nose is luxurious, sappy dark red fruits with a dusting of spice and earth. It is on the fuller side of Pinot on the palate with a lush round mouth feel. There is just enough tannin to pull everything back into a long finish.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
RP 95

2012 Rippon "Rippon" Mature Vine Pinot Noir Lake Wanaka Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 03-22-2017
If you love Pinot, click and buy this now. I'll wait. Do it. You will not regret it. If this is not the best Pinot in the store, than it is one of the top 5, regardless of price. This captures Pinot at its most beguiling. It is simply pure but complex. Subtle but intense. Delicate but powerfully structured. Open knit but concentrated. Immediate but reserved. And somehow all of these words fail. Buy some before the staff buys it all.

2014 Vasse Felix "Filius" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 03-22-2017
This is super serious Cabernet with both New World and Old World appeal. This is a wine that is big dark and rich, and seems to just get bigger and richer the longer that it is opened. Dark Cherry, Boysenberry, oak spice and a touch of eucalyptus. The fruit dominates this wine but it is so far from being a fruit bomb. There is plenty of big but super polished tannins and sneaky acidity which give the flavors a pop but not tang. This is a wine that needs at least 30mins decanting and should great for over a decade.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2014 Hess Collection Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 03-15-2017
This is not the Hess that I remembered. It delivers everything that you want from a Napa Chardonnay. Medium full bodied with a creamy rich mid palate, but not drowned in butter. A touch of oak spice, and a crisp stainless steel finish (only about 25% of the wine underwent malo). Ripe but cool fruit tie everything together. I was taken aback with how much I enjoyed this wine. Being under $20 makes it a little better.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2014 Château de la Negly "La Côte" La Clape
Review Date: 03-15-2017
This offers a lot of wine for $12. Bright fruit with red and blue tones. The are floral hints with a touch of spice and easy tannins. This is a great everyday red.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Long-Depaquit (Albert Bichot) Chablis
Review Date: 03-15-2017
Stone fruit, ripe apples and flinty mineral tones. Crisp but not austere. Can you ask for anything more from a $20 Chablis. No.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Haut-Vigneau, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 03-15-2017
Delicious. Delivers everything that I want from a wine from this region. Crunchy dark red fruit, stony gravelly tones, a hint of oak and fine polished tannins. This wine way over preforms for the price point.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2016 Tohu Sauvignon Blanc Awatere Valley Marlborough
Review Date: 03-15-2017
From one of the cooler sub-districts of Marlborough. This has a light, generous personality. Open knit with lots of citrus ranging from mandarin to ruby grapefruit and just a hint of Sauvignon grassiness. Crisp but not tart, the flavors echo the aromatics but minus the green component. Friendly, delicious and reasonably priced, I anticipate drinking quite a few bottles of this off in the next several months.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Argyle "Reserve" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-15-2017
This wine lives up to its Reserve designation. It has everything that you could want or expect from Willamette aromatics and fruit tones. Where it differentiates itself is texture. It has super polished tannins, giving the wine extra presence without being distracting. It fills your palate with deliciousness and then effortlessly glides onto a lengthy finish. Definitely worth a try.
Price: $28.99 Add To Cart
WS 93 JS 92

2014 Powell & Son G-S-M Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 02-24-2017
This wine forced me to reevaluate my take on this blend from Australia. I have always enjoyed the wines but more often than not they are good reds with some complexity and while I enjoyed them rarely have I found myself thinking about how all the varietal work together. This wine had me jumping from layers of fruit and left me asking, Syrah? Mataro? Is that spice Grenache? What starts the flavor party? I love that you can taste and perceive the transitions. Delicious and intriguing one of my favorite wines of the year so far.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2014 Powell & Son Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 02-24-2017
Barossa Shiraz is something that has to be tip toed around sometimes. There can be too much baggage for some people, understandable. This is a wine that is boisterous and exuberant but it is not over the top. It is that last part which has been the problem. Most people really like rich dark fruits. Most people like spice. Some people even like a little tapenade in their wine. This wine has plenty of the former and a respectable amount of the later two. Medium tannins and the secret ingredient, enough acidity to tie everything back together. This is the wine to reacquaint you with Australian Shiraz.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2015 Helen's Hill "Ingram's Road" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 02-24-2017
Cherries, wild strawberries, subtle spice with a lovely dusting of earth on the nose. Round ripe fruits greet you immediately on the palate, all ripe red berries. A dusting of oak and spice on a clean and easy finish. Way more expressive than any CA Pinot at the same price point.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JH 94

2014 Farnetella Lucilla Toscano Rosso
Review Date: 02-22-2017
A Tuscan charmer! Lots of the dark cherry Sangiovese fruit made a little darker with the help of Cab and Merlot. A touch of spice, a whiff of Tuscan dust and a dry but not classically assertive finish. This will be a go to pizza pasta red while it lasts!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2012 Voyager "Girt by the Sea" Bordeaux Blend Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 02-22-2017
Here is another great Cabernet blend from Margaret River. This has become one of my go to regions for Bordeaux varietal wines. This wine is a charmer. Rich fruit, supple tannins and enough acid to pull it all together, that is why I like this region so much!!! There is a nice touch of oak and spice and well. There are lots layers to this wine but is not a cork dork wine. Pour yourself a big glass and enjoy!
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart
JH 94 VN 90

2014 Domaine Drouhin "Arthur" Dundee Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-02-2017
If you want to know what a "classic" White Burgundy smells like, buy a bottle of this. Apple, citrus, banana, toast, nuts, mineral, baking spice, anise any of the aromas that you have seen on the images trying to illustrate Burgundy are here, Beyond that the palate is medium weight, it is clean and very persistent with good extract. This is great Chardonnay.

2015 Averaen (Banshee) Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 01-10-2017
This is a decadent little Pinot. The nose is dark red fruits with dusting of superfine mocha, list it we a wine chocolate truffle. The palate has that same feeling, super fine dusty tannins and a hint of spice and clean bright fruit. Hard to beat at this price.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
VN 91

2015 Charles Smith "Kung Fu Girl" Columbia Valley Riesling
Review Date: 01-10-2017
Dependable and reasonably priced, or I can also say cheap and good. Yellow fruit, stone fruit and a hint of citrus, an earthy element for intrigue, a kiss of sweetness to make it fun and a crisp finish. Buy a case and the only regret you will have is that you didn't buy enough.

2015 Tierhoek Sauvignon Blanc Piekenierskloof South Africa
Review Date: 01-03-2017
A delightful Sauvignon Blanc. Crisp and refreshing without being aggressive or tart. Ripe apple with hints of citrus and a whiff of grass. Pleasantly textured this is a great wine to have around the house. Perfect for poultry, fish or any assortment of vegetarian dishes.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2013 Domaine Eden Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-30-2016
A great Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernet. Made in the image of the Mount Eden but with a touch accessibility both structurally and with its price. Beautiful dark red fruits that is both ripe and reserved. Just the right amount of oak and backed with solid tannins. This will be one of my "go to" Cabs this holiday season.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
VN 92

2009 Bodegas Muga "Prado Enea" Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 11-30-2016
This is captivating Rioja. The nose tells you everything you want know about it. Subtly intense, with layers and layers of fruit, both dark and red, a crazy mélange of spice and dusty earthy tones. I'm content just to sit and nose the wine, kind of.... The palate delivers everything that it promises on the nose but with super fine tannins and a long lingering finish. This is a great wine that you will be hard pressed to hold on to, but please try, it will just get better and better.

2015 Kalinda Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-25-2016
For me this is one of the best Kalinda Pinots we have ever offered. Aromatic, with dark and bright fruits and berries, soft floral notes, earth and a touch of oak spice. The palte is balanced and fresh with more red fruit and berries jumping to the forefront. Easy tannins and fresh acidity make this wine dance on the palate.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2015 Boekenhoutskloof "The Wolftrap" Red Blend Western Cape
Review Date: 11-25-2016
Always one of the best deals in the store. This "cote du Rhone" inspired blend, delivers good fruit, a whisper of earth, a touch of spice ans just the right amount of tannin.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart

2014 Te Mata "Awatea" Bordeaux Blend Hawkes Bay
Review Date: 11-25-2016
This is one of the best Bordeaux blends that we have in stock. Te Mata always over delivers, on every wine that they produce. This is the "Second wine" to the Coleraine but it is the first wine that I want to buy from their portfolio. This wine has richness, great structure, beautiful fruit, subtle complexity; what more could you ask for.

2015 Te Mata "Estate" Gamay Hawkes Bay
Review Date: 10-01-2016
Ask almost any staff member in the San Francisco store for a bottle of Beaujolais and the first or second bottle that they will recommend will be this, all depending where they are on the actual floor! Dark fruit, a touch of spice, crunchy acidity and easy tannins. There is nothing not to like about this. Throw in the fridge for 15 minutes and enjoy.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
BC 90

2014 Valravn "Old Vine" Sonoma County Zinfandel
Review Date: 09-29-2016
A bright and spicy style of Zin. Full and rich on the palate but with pop and lift that you don't always see from the varietal.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) "SV5182 - Single Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 09-29-2016
For anyone who loves burgundy and does not like this wine, I will fight you! Holy Moly this is great Pinot Noir and a ridiculous price for what it delivers. Complex aromatics, a supple palate, lots of layers, great length. Beyond that it has that beguiling Pinot character where it has the flavor intensity of the fullest bodied wine but only lightest softest caress on your palate.

2014 Momento Chenin Blanc/Verdelho Bot River Western Cape
Review Date: 09-29-2016
I love the Chenin Blanc blends we have from South Africa. They are some of the most interesting and delicious white wines in the store, this is no exception. The nose is full of cool yellow fruits, mineral and mellow earthy Chenin Blanc tone. The palate is full and textured with great acidity and feels like is has been finely etched with layers and layers crystals. I know it doesn't make sense but try it you'll see what I'm taking about.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2013 Josef Chromy Pinot Noir Tasmania
Review Date: 09-29-2016
Wow! I have not had many Tasmanian Pinot Noirs but after this wine is sold out I will more actively seek them out. Cool, high toned fruit, savory herbs, subtle spice, fine polished tannins, great acidity without being tart and a long, long finish.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JS 96

2004 Lopez de Heredia "Viña Tondonia" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 08-24-2016
Always a favorite, just one sniff takes me to a happy place! It has a perfect blend of Fresh and dried cherry fruit balanced with spice, leather, earth and just a hint of funk. It keeps you coming back just to try to tease apart all of the aromatic layers. It is already seamless on the palate, with all of the complexity from the nose played out against a dusty fine tannins and juicy acidity. This is the friendliest Tondonia I have tried. It will be very hard not to drink it while it is young, but this wine has places it still needs to go. So go big, buy deep you will not regret it.

2013 Hendry "Block 24" Napa Valley Primitivo
Review Date: 08-24-2016
For a Zin lover but not Zinfandel, no matter what legend or history you have read. This is dark fruited and spicy, just like Zin but different, and not just it is speaking with a heavy accent different. It plays different on the palate, just a subtle difference in the spice. It is delicious regardless. All that fruit and spice are balanced with enough tannin to make it a little more interesting at the dinner table.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2012 Hendry "Blocks 7 & 22" Napa Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 08-24-2016
Spicy. Herbal and pepper spice with lots of facets to it. Rich and supple with a dark berry fruit and balanced with good acidity. This is not a simple Zinfandel, crush it at a BBQ or take your time with it, you'll be coming back for more.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart
W&S 90 WE 90

2013 Amici Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-24-2016
This is real deal Cabernet. What I love about this wine is that you absolutely get that beautiful Napa Valley Cabernet fruit but there is so much more going on with with. There is a judicious amount of oak, it rounds out and adds subtle chocolate and spice notes. There is also a savory almost olive like note to it that plays incredibly off the fruit. Full and rich this is a very satisfying Cabernet.
Price: $43.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 WE 92

2012 Amici Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-24-2016
While I have had very little experience with the Reserve line of wines from Amici, I have always enjoyed their Napa Cabernet. This is easily 3 times the wine. While it is not 3 times as massive it is more intense, more complex and has a way better finish, it should. Lots of dark red fruits with an aromtic twist. It is structured, I would ideally hold onto it for a while but it is not so big that a rich meal can put it into its place. This is a special occasion wine, it makes an impression and it stays with you.

2013 Cantina Valle Isarco Sylvaner "Sabiona"
Review Date: 08-18-2016
Grand Cru Sylvaner? but that's not Italian. Smaragd Sylvaner from the Alto Adige? that's not Italian. OK so it is neither of those legally but that is what it drinks like. This wine the has power, depth, concentration of the best of the best white wines in the world. Imagine, a medley citrus peels being sun dried in cool alpine air on an ancient alter of quartz! If you are a mineral junky, this is for you! You can almost feel crystals forming on your palate stalagmite stalactite style during the glacially long finish.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2013 Spottswoode "Lyndenhurst" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-17-2016
This might be a "second wine" but it is better than many "firsts"! It starts off with a dark cherry ans sweet spice nose with a core of bright red fruit. The palate if full with good tannins and restrained used of oak that rounds and polishes the wine. Concentrated red fruits, dusty Napa spiciness and great length. Drink or hold, the later will be hard to do.

2015 Treves Petite Arvine Val d'Aosta
Review Date: 08-11-2016
I was so excited to see this hit the shelves, it has been a wile since we had anything from the Val d'Aosta. This is a beautiful cork dork wine from a beautiful cork dork region. High tones fruit that is crystalline, with very subtle herbal notes and tons of minerality. There is so much extract that the stoniness almost turns salty, one of my favorite things in wine. It is not so weird and obscure that it is not delicious, it essential evaporates from your glass without you noticing!
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2005 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 08-11-2016
Over ten years old, with lots of potential and only $20, I love this wine! A very complex nose that you just keep going back to over and over. On the palate it is medium full with much more intensity than you would expect for any wine in this price point.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

2014 Neyers "Left Bank Red" Napa Valley Red Blend
Review Date: 08-03-2016
Like everything I have tasted from this winery recently this is good, really good. Clean, precise flavors, nicely textured, good length and more than reasonably priced.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 93 WS 92

2015 Neyers "304" Sonoma County Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-07-2016
This is a natural beauty of California Chardonnay. By that I mean that it is not hiding behind any toasty oak. Ripe clean fruit that backed with just the right amount of leesy richness.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2004 Heitz Cellar "Trailside" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-07-2016
Beautiful older Napa Cab, just what you would expect from Heitz. This wine dances on the palate, it seamlessly integrates bright red fruits with tobacco, spice and leather. It is full bodied but the tannins are polished and elegant. This has lots life left in it but it will be hard to keep you hands off of it.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

2013 Green & Red "Tip Top Vineyard" Napa Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 07-07-2016
This is the Green and Red Zin with the most intrigue, the most spice, the most texture and structure. Great old school Napa Zin. A mixture of dark berries and lifted red fruits, the play out with wild herbs and pepper spice on a long finish.
Price: Hidden View Price
W&S 94

2012 Keenan Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-07-2016
What a treat. The nose is rich with lots of dark red fruits and a wild spicy tone. On the palate it starts of with bright red fruits that slowly darken to a dusty berries. This wine is built, great tannins and structure with a long tobacco spice finish. Really good now, I's this will be even better in 5-10 years!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
VN 93 RP 90

2012 Storybook Mountain "Mayacamas Range" Napa Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 07-07-2016
This is the classic, the first wine that comes to mind when thinking about the winery and the exemplar of the house style, structured. I like to describe it as Zin made like Cabernet rather than fruit compote. Brambly dark fruit with snap, lots of spice that hangs of good tannic structure. It is full and bright with a long lingering finish.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
CG 90

2014 Neyers "Chuy's Vineyard" Sonoma Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-23-2016
White Burgundy from California. If I were served this wine blind, I would guess that it was white Burgundy. The aromatics of Golden delicious apple, delicate white flowers, mineral and soft vanilla tone. The palate is broad but not heavy. it has sneaky richness that is balanced with great acidity. It has a long mouthwatering finish. Really special CA Chardonnay. Let it breath, decant for at least 30 minutes.
Price: $41.99 Add To Cart

2014 Neyers "Evangelho Vineyard" Contra Costa County Carignane
Review Date: 06-21-2016
This wine pops. It is intensely colored and the fruit and spice aromatics leap out of the glass. On the palate it has lots of sappy red fruits, and berry flavors that are heavily spiced with herbal spice and pepper. This is a summertime in the back yard grilling and BBQing kind of wine. Or if you cannot do that, at least it will put you in that head space.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2014 Green & Red "Catacula Vineyard" Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 06-20-2016
Not your typical California SB. Yes it has plenty of citrus fruit, a faint whiff of grassiness, a hint of vanilla. It is light bodied, with a little extra texture from lees contact, but there is more extract. There is a darker, almost apricot-like note, with snap and texture. While this would be a great aperitif, this is an even better dinner wine.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

2013 Ladera Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-20-2016
One of the best values that you will find from the 2013 vintage. High-toned dark red fruit with layers of aromatic complexity: dark cherry, pomegranate?, dusty herbs, minerals and subtle oak spicing. On the palate it is darker, with plenty of structure to support the rich, brambly, spicy fruit. This will be a go-to Cab for as long as it is on the shelves.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2015 Heitz Cellar Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 06-18-2016
A perfect summer sipper! Citrus fruit backed with a more reserved tropical note. Light, bright and fresh.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Neyers "El Novillero" Carneros Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-17-2016
This wine has a dramatic range of flavors from delicate pear, to caramelized pineapple, delicate mineral to butterscotch. There is the right amount of creaminess that acts a lubricant taking your from fresh fruit to lush almost dessert tones. This a classic rich and full CA Chardonnay that handles it weight as if it were a professional dancer.
Price: $41.99 Add To Cart

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