Staff Favorites - Kirk Walker

Kirk Walker


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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 Blason Ribolla Gialla delle Venezie
Review Date: 01-13-2017
I love Blason wines! The are always true to their terroir and reasonably priced. So I was really happy to see this Ribolla Gialla. The often over looked local varietal to the region, Friulano is great but Ribolla Gialla has a textural and aromatic components that the former doesn't. While this is great year round this is a cool weather white. Roasted or braised poultry, bean soups, especially Jota... my mouth is watering just thinking about it!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

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

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.

2014 Domaine des Niales Rhedon-Marin Vieilles Vignes Mâcon-Villages
Review Date: 11-25-2016
This Domaine has always over delivered. Best Macon on the sales floor, better than most of the white Burgundies that we have at twice the price. Clean fruit, a hint of minerality, nice intensity and a lingering finish; this is more than just an everyday drinker.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

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 Block" 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

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

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
WS 92

2015 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Rosé Marlborough
Review Date: 07-30-2016
I hate to keep on comparing wines to Burgundy, but it is so easy! Think Marsannay Rose. Great, serious and delicious Rose. While this can be enjoyed as a summer sipper there is so much more going on here! Sour cherry, red berries, earth, a hint of forest floor, minerality, the more you look the more you find.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

2013 Trellis (Amelia Park) Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot Margaret River
Review Date: 07-30-2016
It is crazy that this wine is only $11. It is just another example of the great Cabernet that is being produced in the Margaret River, at all price points. Bright fruit, moderate tannins, good acid and a little intrigue, what else can you ask for?
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2014 Oakridge Estate "Willowlake Vineyard" Chardonnay Yarra Valley
Review Date: 07-29-2016
This wine is "Burgundian" but that is such a loaded and sometimes misleading term. I would rather say we have Chardonnay wines in the store, made in Burgundy, that are "Yarra Vallian". Better yet they wish they were more like this wine! Focus, purity, subtle richness, complexity and length you typically have to spend $40 or more to get a Burgundy that delivers all that wine wine does.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JH 97

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

2012 Keenan Napa Valley Merlot
Review Date: 06-20-2016
This is Merlot made by people who love Merlot, and it shows. Keenan is always my "go to" Napa Merlot. It is pure, complex, and structured. Dark red fruit leap from the glass, peppered with spice and earth. This is not fleshy and soft but rather poised and linear. While you can drink this as a cocktail you should serve it with steak.
Price: $35.99 Add To Cart
W&S 91

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

2012 Heitz Cellar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-17-2016
Pure dark cherry fruit with a touch or earth and sweet spice on the nose. On the palate it pops with bright cherry and slowly starts to darken, and deepen with dark cherry, spice and earth all on top of super fine tannins. Classic Heitz, long, elegant and subtle.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2014 Neyers "Placida Vineyard" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 06-17-2016
I knew I was going to love this wine at first sniff. Sappy, spicy, floral, wild strawberries, soft oak spice; all of which is very intense but delicate at the same time. How can you not like that? On the palate the wine has that same paradoxical nature bright delicate fruit, strawberries and rhubarb, that it lifted and jump right out at you. Then slowly the richness builds with dark fruit and oak spice appearing from the periphery. The wine mouth watering acidity gives it great length and the flavors seem to roll over and over again on and on.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2013 Brown Estate "Chaos Theory" Napa Valley Red Blend
Review Date: 06-16-2016
Built to thrill or a party in a glass, but nothing that you'll regret tomorrow. With Zin, Cab and a little Petite Sirah, this is rich, spicy and complex. It is busy but not loud and full but not heavy. It tastes a little too good and goes a little to fast. We need more wines like this.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2014 Amici Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-15-2016
A Sonoma beauty. Cool apple, pear fruit notes with a hint of pastry, vanilla and spice. Full on the palate with nice rounded texture that is balance with good acidity. With flavors that range from apple turnover to lemon bars, my mouth is watering just thinking about this wine.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 WE 90

2013 Green & Red "Chiles Mill Vineyard" Napa Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 06-15-2016
Old school Napa Zin. Hillside vineyards, high enough that you would think twice before not climbing them, you have to like where this is starting off point. This is a full and rich Zin with plenty of "mountain spice". For me what make this stand apart from the rest are the tannins. This is a wine with plenty of tannic structure, it carries and lifts the fruit and spice. This is a wine with plenty of character that moves with a slow deliberate grace. Old school.
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart

2014 White Rock Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-15-2016
A very refined Napa Chardonnay. A wine that has restrained richness and intensity that is driven by fresh acidity. Citrus, apple and stone fruit aromatics with a touch of oak. On the palate it is long and intense with cool fruits and a very subtle touch of oak. Like everything they do at white rock, it is an incredible old world interpretation of Napa.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart

2014 Brown Estate Napa Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 06-10-2016
A show-stopper of a Zin, with a deep nose with lots of brambly red fruits and dark berries and spice. Rich and full with a round mouthfeel, polished tannins, and good acidity. This wine deftly carries all of its intensity through to a very fine finish. It is hard not to drink it now, but having recently tried the '97, do yourself a favor and buy a few extra for later!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2012 Storybook Mountain Vineyards ''Antaeus" Napa Valley Red Blend
Review Date: 06-10-2016
If I were asked to give one wine to someone who wanted to know what Napa Valley red wine is all about, this would be it. It is the past present and future and it is affordable. The past is the beautiful dark berry Zin with its accompanying spice. The present is the Cab, Merlot and Petit Verdot with their structure, lift and richness. And the future is the marrying of of the two. A wine for all wine lovers, it is accessible, layered and deep, suitable for dinner or your cellar.
Price: $42.99 Add To Cart
CG 93

2014 Heitz Cellar Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-10-2016
Clean and elegant Chardonnay, as it should be, seeing where it is coming from. It smells of Honeycrisp apples, lemon and a subtle pastry note (lemon bars?!). It is medium bodied, and it is here where you pick up a light touch of oak and the fruit is just a little riper. Clean and persistent, this is a very nice aperitif or dinner wine.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

2014 Fromm "La Strada" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 06-10-2016
Holy Moly! This is great Pinot. It has everything, aromatics, texture, complexity and length. If you want to focus on one of these: texture. This wine, with some decanting, is seamless. Somewhere between crushed velvet and silk. It is the perfect medium for the dark berry, mineral and spice notes. This is luxury Pinot Noir that is very affordable.

2012 Terra Sancta "Estate" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago
Review Date: 06-10-2016
This is a slightly bigger more intense expression than the Mysterious Diggings. Brighter, snapper fruits veer more towards cherry. More polish, more length, and a little more breadth across the palate.

2009 Heitz Cellar "Martha's Vineyard" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-09-2016
Classic. This is everything that it should be and more, it's Martha's. Lifted dark red fruits, a touch of earth, and nice spice accents. It is full bodied with darker fruits than the nose would suggest. Nice richness that is supported by good dusty tannins. A great finish that just goes and goes. It is so good you wouldn't mind getting run over by a mini van after tasting it.
Price: $189.99 Add To Cart
VN 93

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