Staff Favorites - Ryan Woodhouse

Ryan Woodhouse

Reviews

  
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2013 Oakridge Estate Single Vineyard Series "Guerin Vineyard" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley
Review Date: 04-30-2015
Another stellar Guerin vineyard Pinot Noir from Oakridge Estate. This once again this wine perfectly illustrates Yarra Valley's ability to produce fantastically elegant wines, with purity, vibrancy and a lovely combination of fresh berry fruits, leaf litter and spicy, earthy notes. This wine has a very moderate alcohol level and impeccable balance. I once poured an Oakridge Pinot Noir blind for a Master Sommelier (who shall remain nameless) and he was certain the wine was Premier Cru Santenay from Burgundy! If you love cool climate Pinot Noir, you have to check out Oakridge's wines.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 96

2012 Neudorf "Tom's Block" Pinot Noir Nelson
Review Date: 04-25-2015
I've long admired Neudorf's wines. A visit to the winery back in early 2011 was one of the best tastings I did that year. The purity, depth and consistent quality of the wines really impressed me then and continues to do so today. The 2012 "Tom's Block" represents an exceptional value in Pinot Noir. Coming mostly from Neudorf's heralded Moutere Hills vineyards where a mix of clay and gravel soil ushers forth wines with great intensity and silky texture. The wine is richly fruited and pure but not heavy or extracted. It's highly fragrant nose (red florals, cherry, clove, spiced orange peel) and lively, layered palate belie the wines $20 price point. Nice mid-palate acidity, some savory spices and damp earthy notes add a distinctly Burgundian tone and make the wine very food friendly. I am so pleased we can make this wine accessible to so many people by offering it in the sub-$20 price point, it is seriously impressive wine.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 93 RP 90

2012 Pierre Gelin Fixin 1er Cru "Clos Napoléon"
Review Date: 04-23-2015
Sharing a similar purity and vibrancy with Gelin's delicious Fixin village wine, the Clos Napoleon is more structured with fine chalky tannins and has more tension to the tart acidity and crunchy red fruits. Hard ground spices and bay leaf add complexity. Great intensity while remaining light footed. The is a minerality here that is quite profound. I can see why this site has been long admired in Burgundy. Gelin's current vines are 50 yrs of age and really convey a powerful sense of place.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $59.99 Add To Waiting List
Limit of 6 per customer

2013 Domaine Drouhin "Arthur" Dundee Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 04-23-2015
A nice bottle of Chard showing its Burgundian heritage. Dominated by ripe orchard fruits, spiced pear, a mealy, barley note and some softer, fleshier stone fruit nuances as the wine opens up in the glass. Good persistence with precise balance of richness and restraint.
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 94 W&S 93

2011 Nalle "Hopkins Ranch-Reserve" Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 04-23-2015
Complex, nutty, lees driven Chard. Almost a slight development character which I love. Apple pie crust, toast and almond butter. Interesting wine, rich but savory.
Price: $44.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Teutonic "Laurel Vineyard" Chehalem Mountains Rosé of Pinot Noir
Review Date: 04-23-2015
Cool wine. Fresh, zippy a nice lees component giving texture, some savory, wild Pinot notes...just a tiny dash of RS to balance the whole thing out. Very quaffable and super affordable.
Price: $16.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Chalone "Estate Grown" Chalone Chenin Blanc
Review Date: 04-23-2015
Really special Chenin Blanc...scratch that...really special white wine from any genre. This is from Chalone's legendary old vine Chenin plantings from 1919! The wine has a stunning combination of richness, texture, purity and intense minerality. This is a serious bottle of Chenin Blanc and deserves global recognition. A must try for lovers of the varietal.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $36.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Pewsey Vale Riesling Eden Valley South Australia
Review Date: 04-14-2015
The perfect intro to dry Riesling. That is how I see this wine. For people that already know the joys of this varietal I don't need to tell you any more than...this is a fantastic price on a wine that has become a benchmark for the region and style. For the rest of you that might be inquisitive about this wine...this is a super accessible, easy to love, juicy, dry, refreshing white wine that is very versatile and should be a part of your summer portfolio. The 2013 Pewsey is a little softer than previous editions. It doesn't have the pithy, racy character that can at times become quite austere...the texture and acidity here is rounder and broader on the palate. The wine still is driven by white blossom, citrus and crunchy orchard fruit, it is still dry, but just riper and less "sharp" on the palate. It has great persistence with some talcy, powdery tannins and wet stone mineral qualities. I think this is a real crowd pleaser and perfect for those looking for a house white alternative to heavy Chardonnay...pair this with shellfish, crab, salads and anything with citrus in the preparation...amazing value at under $14!
Top Value!
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 95 JH 91

2014 Waterkloof Circumstance "Cape Coral" Mourvedre Rosé Stellenbosch
Review Date: 04-14-2015
From the first sip I knew this wine would again challenge for rosé of the year! This wine has just gotten better and better every year...and that's saying something because it was pretty great the first time around! It has the perfect combination of soft expressive, floral notes, tight crunchy berry fruits, citrus peel, spices and granite minerality. Just a fantastically elegant, perfumed and fine wine that has lovely complexity and powerful presence on the palate without being heavy. The folks at Waterkloof got the extraction spot on and this rosé will be a huge hit again this summer. Top Staff Pick.
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Waiting List

Graham Beck Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine Western Cape
Review Date: 04-14-2015
Year after year this is a great value in sparkling wine. It has won over many faithful customers with its easy to drink nature, soft expressive fruit, juicy acidity and fine bubbles. Made in the traditional method of secondary bottle fermentation. A wonderful value and a great party selection!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 89

2014 Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 04-14-2015
Juicy and herbaceous. This is all about fresh cut herbs, lemon grass, cilantro and citrus rind. Lots of white flowers on the nose. The wine has some lovely savory tones, lees notes and bees wax. A denser texture than the nose might suggest with good palate weight and richness. Riper citrus notes come forward as the wine warms in the glass. Really serious wine for the money, lots going on here. We have a great price on this wine, don't miss it!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 94

2013 Boekenhoutskloof "The Wolftrap" Red Western Cape
Review Date: 04-14-2015
One of the best value reds in store. A spectacular sub-$10 bottle from this great estate in South Africa. This is made from grapes grown mostly in the Swartland on the west coast north of Capetown. Rhone varietals thrive here in the granite and iron rich soils. The wine has lots of concentrated dark fruits, toasty spices, cocoa nibs, smoked meat hints and stony minerals. The palate is med-full bodied, balanced and fine. Just ridiculous for this price.
Top Value!
Price: $8.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 Pian dell'Orino Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 04-09-2015
A unique Brunello...Very terroir driven, non-interventionist style. The wine starts out with crushed purple flowers and is quite blue fruited. Hard ground spices, and a touch of interesting, complex, subtle reduction (that does not detract from the wine in any way). The wine is silky on the palate, with long chain tannins, it has nice texture and pure fruit. Very graphite, stone, slate on the later part of the palate. Very complex and "intellectual" in style. A really authentic, expressive wine to savor and observe as it opens in the glass.

2010 Capanna Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 04-09-2015
Thus far one of the most open, expressive and forward of the 2010 Brunelli that I have tasted. The wine has a highly perfumed nose of sweet floral tones, Asian spices, ripe berries and raspberry coulis. Soft, ripe tannins, mouthfilling texture and good palate weight. There are still some terroir markers here, scorched earth, fresh leather...but they are overlain with a tad more primary fruit than most. Not a bad thing, this is showing the quality of the 2010 vintage without requiring too much patience!
Drink to 0
Price: $46.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 94

2009 Sesta di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 04-09-2015
A rare 5 star wine from me. This wine just has such incredible purity and precision. It's perfectly proportioned with crisp, polished fruit, lovely stoney mineral tones, earthy spices. It's poise and compact layers of flavor I believe come from the Galestro soils of the estate. This is not a broad rich wine, but rather one of fantastic linear intensity and drive. Super approachable now...but certain to age for a decade plus. I have tasted this many times now and many vintages before it, I truly believe Sesta Di Sopra is one of the best properties in Montalcino.
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 91 RP 90

2009 Proprieta Sperino Lessona
Review Date: 04-09-2015
Great wine. A wine with the ageing potential and DNA of great Barolo...but with a more elegant, restrained frame than much modern Barolo I have encountered. Dusty, tight red fruits, clean leather, fresh earth, complex spices. Supple, fine tannins that are not the least bit aggressive despite the wines obvious youth. This feels like one of those wines that will have a nice broad drinking window and age beautifully; not because of a massive hard structure, but simply because all of the elements are starting off in such great balance and alignment and they will probably stay that way for two decades plus.
Drink to 0
Price: $67.99 Add To Waiting List
AG 94 WE 92

Westland American Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 04-06-2015
I guess you would call this the "Flagship" of Westland...? Not necessarily because it's the best but because this is a blend of sherry and bourbon casks...it's the complete flavor profile of what they do. This does a seriously good impression of seriously good Scotch...and yet it is distinct also. It seems richer, more intense and "malty" than most Scotch. I love the intensity. It also has good nuance and balance...the wood doesn't dominate the purity and brightness of the spirit. Chewy textured and long on the palate, proof is just right. A must try.
Price: $69.99 Add To Waiting List

Westland Sherry Wood Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 04-04-2015
Same Westland intensity, balance and quality but wrapped up in decadent Christmas cake spices, dried fruit, lovely nutty rancio tones and with a softer edge of caramelized berries. Great texture and layers of flavor. The best American Single Malt that has passed my lips thus far.
Price: $69.99 Add To Waiting List

Amaury Coutelas "Cuvée Louis Victor" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 04-01-2015
A very interesting concept in Champagne and one that delivers quality and flavor-wise beyond the unique approach. This wine is basically a single vessel "solera" where each year 100 cases worth of wine are removed from the large oak barrel and then an equal amount of vin clair is added back. Current disgorgement is 2007-2012 base. The wine has tons of pure, juicy fruit, lovely floral high notes and great richness on the palate. The finish is defined by taught acidity and good chalky structure. A wine with real presence and persistence on the palate.
Price: $34.99 Add To Waiting List

Wine Club

$29.99

2006 Launois "Spécial Club" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (ships as 1.5L)
Review Date: 03-31-2015
Another great Special Club bottle from Launois. Quite unusually for Champagne this bottling is becoming a perennial stalwart! Rich, decadent...ripe for Chardonnay standards in Champagne but certainly no lack of freshness and vibrancy. A powerful wine with the mouthfeel you might associate with a bigger more Pinot based wine...but the flavor says this is all Chardonnay! Toasty orchard fruit, savory Croissant, chalk and spiced pear with more air. Lots of depth from these 60+ year old vines.
Price: $59.99 Add To Waiting List

2004 Fleury "Cuveé Robert Fleury" Extra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 03-31-2015
One of the most intriguing Champagnes we have in stock (and that's saying something!) I love this wine's counterbalance of broad, nutty, toasty richness balanced by it's racy acidity and mineral core. The Pinot Blanc adds great palate weight while the roasted orchard fruit and stony, flinty mineral flavors linger long on the finish. Great food wine.
Price: $54.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Elephant Hill Sauvignon Blanc Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 03-31-2015
An awesome expression of NZ savvy with a point of difference from the oceans of Marlborough Sauv Blanc that we are all familiar with. This is grown in Hawke's Bay on the north island. The climate is warmer than in Marlborough so the wine is not grassy and herbaceous but instead more focused on riper citrus, peach, papaya notes. The palate is rich and weighty with a soft, juicy texture. Elephant Hill's perfect coastal site just feet from the ocean preserves a nice acidity in the wine and gives a subtle salinity that makes it so mouth watering! Exceptional value thanks to our direct import.
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Waiting List
AG 90

2013 Clos Henri "Petit Clos" Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand
Review Date: 03-28-2015
I'll keep this very simple. This is one of the (if not THE) best value Pinot in the store. Pinot Noir is notoriously hard to grow and make, thus many inexpensive / mass produced versions are very lacking in depth, complexity and balance. This wine is not. It smells and tastes like classic Pinot of a much higher price point. It's grown on a small, organic, family owned estate. Hand-crafted in small open fermenters and matured in quality French oak. In addition, 2013 was an exceptional vintage in New Zealand elevating the quality even further than in previous renditions. If you are a Pinot fanatic searching for a great everyday bottle that delivers without breaking the bank you can't miss this!
Top Value!
Price: $15.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 92

Venus "El Ladron" Blue Agave Spirit 750ml
Review Date: 03-27-2015
Pure Agave encapsulated in a spirit. Fresh, spicy, peppery, Aloe juice, yellow florals. Incredible soft, viscous texture, supple and pure. I get salinity again here...I have found this a few Venus Distilling products...perhaps it relates to the address just a few hundred years from Santa Cruz's rugged coast? Great stuff!
Top Value!
Price: $42.99 Add To Waiting List

Venus Spirits Batch #1 Gin 750ml
Review Date: 03-27-2015
Best Gin I have tasted in a long while. Incredible floral nose, white blossom, freshly grated ginger, cardamon, hard spice, clove, meadow flowers and salty air. There is also subtle, savory, grassy, even earthy note that distiller Sean Venus attributed to the Angelica root. I found it very fresh, balanced and complex. Every sniff / sip found another botanical singing its own tune in perfect harmony with the rest.
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Kalex Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 03-27-2015
Really interesting wine. This is carefully and very deliberately made to be a true "Central Otago" Pinot. By this is mean winemaker Theo Coles selects fruit from top vineyard sites in various sub-regions of Central Otago (combining warm areas / cool areas, schist soil, clay soil, glacial deposits and different aspects). Therefore what you get here is not a snapshot of one site or a particular sites specific terroir, but rather a broader more inclusive flavor composition of the region as a whole. The hope is that the whole expression will be greater than the sum of it's parts, and I think Theo has done a great job synthesizing these elements together. The wine is very powerful and masculine in structure (60% whole cluster) with dark spicy berry fruits, plum, briary notes, clove and struck stone. The wine has considerable extract but is not sweet or too viscous, just powerful and brooding. With air the wine gains some nice floral high notes which help give lift and hint at the wines potential a few years along. This is very serious, ambitious and dense Cental Otago Pinot that is worth checking out.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: Hidden View Price

2011 Valli "Gibbston Vineyard" Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 03-26-2015
Winemaker Grant Taylor is a legend in Gibbston Valley and this wine shows why. He has skilfully and subtly crafted this wine to show the nuances of this very tricky terroir. The nose shows lifted ripe red fruits, bramble fruit and dried herbs. On the palate the wine is medium-bodied with silky tannins and a lovely balance of savory spice and earthy meaty aromas to balance the brightness of the clean red fruits. The spicebox notes expand with air and the wine takes on some lovely sandalwood tones. Pure and polished, a lovely reflection on Gibbston Pinot Noir. 900 case total production. 13.0% ABV.
Drink from 2015 to 2015

2012 Valli "Bannockburn Vineyard" Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 03-26-2015
Distinctive Bannockburn density and breadth on the palate from the heavier clay soils over schist gravel. A riper, more forward nose that the Gibbston and Waitaki bottlings. Perfectly ripe forest berries, raspberry coulis, wild thyme, lovely warm earth tones and exotic Asian spices. The wine has charming soft, supple fruit weight and mid-palate concentration but maintains its elegance and purity. A perfect sub-regional rendition of Bannockburn Pinot Noir and a great wine in its own right. 290 case total production. 13.5% alcohol.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List
BC 94 JS 94

2012 Valli "Bendigo Vineyard" Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 03-26-2015
A powerful, muscular wine. Deeper in color than the other Valli bottlings. The nose shows dark toasted spices, meat, dark cherry and wild herbs. The palate echos these descriptors with juicy, dense palate weight and perfectly ripe but persistent, fine tannins. A mouth-coating wine, but one that retains excellent brightness and balance and is not heavily extracted in any way. Simply a bold wine reflecting its powerful terroir. A wine of real purity and power. 250 case total production. 14.0% ABV.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List
BC 93 JS 93

2012 Valli "Waitaki Vineyard" Pinot Noir North Otago
Review Date: 03-26-2015
Super fresh aromas of violets, fragrant purple fruits, hard ground spices and dusty forest floor. A lovely interplay on the palate between the floral, fresh elements and the more savory, earthy notes and rubbing spices. The palate is taut, lithe and dynamic. The focused acidity from this cool, limestone dominated site speaks through loudly in the wine's brisk presence and mouthwatering finish. Focused and powerful in a very linear sense. Fascinating wine. 390 case total production. 13.0% ABV.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 96

2013 Lagoon Hill Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough
Review Date: 03-25-2015
Exceptional value thanks to our importer direct deal. Single vineyard, organically farmed, Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc. A super easy drinking style with juicy ripe citrus, passionfruit, fresh cut herbs and wet stone. Round juicy texture and refreshing ripe acidity. Such a great summer wine, stock up now while it lasts at this crazy good price!
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 90

2010 Chapoutier-Laughton (La Pleiade) "Cluster M45" Shiraz Heathcote Victoria
Review Date: 03-16-2015
An incredible story and a beautiful wine. It's seems cliched to say (given the concept of this wine) but this seems to strike the perfect balance between "Old World and New" just like the vine material from whence it came. There is power and richness here with plush dark fruit, tar, sweet floral notes...but there is also a nice underlying savory quality. Stony earth, meat, pepper and subtle leather. I still think this wine has more to give as it develops into its adolescence but the hallmarks of great Syrah/Shiraz are already in place.
Drink from 2015 to 2015

2010 Torbreck "The Steading" Grenache-Shiraz-Mataro Barossa Valley
Review Date: 03-13-2015
Super expressive wine, explosive nose of ripe red fruits, warm earth, toasted spices, and wild herbs. It has a soft saturated mid-palate with easy, fleshy fruit and super fine silky tannins the coat the mouth. The Steading is powerful and decadent but refined and balanced. Packed with fruit and sweet spice but also showing some lovely earthy, mineral undertones from the deep rooted ancient vines. A big, pure wine for sure but never seems over-the-top, there is good acidity to keep the ripeness in control. The finish goes on and on as the juicy fruit dissipates leaving the more subtle terroir-driven nuances for you to enjoy. This is going to be a serious contender for Best Grilling Wine of the year 2015.
Top Value!

Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 year old Blended Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-13-2015
Surprisingly good! I have sometimes thought that the cheaper Walker bottles weren't worth their salt. Sure the Johnnie Blue has always been a pretty serious bottle but it's hardly inexpensive. This Green Label release however is seriously good! Layers of flavor, excellent mouth-filling texture, touches of sherry, spice, savory grains and toasted wood notes all very well integrated and supple. This is seriously good malt at a very economical price point.
Top Value!
Price: $59.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 94

2012 Penley Estate "Phoenix" Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra
Review Date: 03-12-2015
An astounding bottle of Cab for the money. This wine is perfectly varietal and regionally correct...it balances Coonawarra's fresh, fragrant blue fruit, tobacco, and crushed mint with riper darker fruits and chocolate tones from the exceptional 2012 vintage. The tannins are smooth and polished from time in french oak (20% new). The wine has great length and presence on the finish that belies its $15 price point. This is an exceptional value!
Top Value!

2012 Yangarra Estate Shiraz McLaren Vale
Review Date: 03-11-2015
Yangarra's organically farmed estate is situated in a cool part of McLaren Vale and their winemaking style respects this more moderate climate. The wines, whilst still having plenty of power, also retain lovely restraint, freshness and minerality that extend beyond primary fruit driven flavors. The grapes are picked from 12 different block delineated by the complex soil composition of this fascinating property. The Shiraz is fermented whole berry, using only natural wild yeast, maceration is limited to only extract fine soft tannin and retain elegance. The finished wine is matured for 22 months in largely neutral French oak with about 20% seeing new oak. The wine receives no fining and only a light filtration. This is a real, authentic expression of McLaren Vale Shiraz.
Price: $21.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 95 RP 90

2014 Cognizant Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 03-10-2015
A fantastic first release for this new label (even if I do say so myself...I helped blend it!). What we were searching for here is a really great example of "quintessential" Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. We wanted to capture those bright, bold flavors that put New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc on the map but we wanted to do it with class and authenticity. This wine uses Awatere Valley fruit for its punchy, snappy, flavor profile of lime zest, ripe citrus, tomato leaf and fresh cut herbs. Then in combination with this we blend a portion of some richer, riper fruit from the warmer Wairau Valley. This adds some tropical tones to the fruit and fleshes out the palate. Finally the 20% barrel ferment gives great concentration and excellent texture to the wine. Feedback from our staff and customers has been excellent. The wine has really hit the mark as a crowd pleasing style but with enough complexity to appeal to the more serious NZ wine aficionado.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Pipeño Pais "Coronel de Maule" Maule Valley (1.0L)
Review Date: 03-06-2015
Super cool wine. Old Mission varietals from farmers in the Maule Valley. This wine is full of brambly fruit, spice, blacker fruit edges and notes of charred meat. Lovely soft, juicy palate and moderate acidity. A great option for drinking something out of the norm (read, interesting for wine geeks) but still very crowd-pleasing for just about any palate. Great value, especially in the liter bottle!
Price: $15.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Bodegas Chacra Pinot Noir "Cincuenta y Cinco" Rio Negro
Review Date: 03-06-2015
I applaud Joe's work (and confidence) to bring this wine in. Sure we don't have a huge market for $50 Chilean Pinot...but this wine is sure worth every penny. Lovely brooding, savory nose with damp earth, dark fruit...I thought quite Chambertin like. The wine has beautiful texture, ultra fine tannins and plenty of well proportioned texture on the palate. On the finish the vine age (planted 1955) really shows through with more savory earth / mineral tones. Very well executed Pinot Noir.
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 92

2011 Clos des Fous "Grillos Cantores" Cabernet Sauvignon Alto Cachapoal
Review Date: 03-06-2015
Serious Cabernet for the money. Packed full of dark fruit, blackcurrant, graphite and hints of new leather. The mid palate is plush and soft, but in the finish there are some nice grippy tannins that elongate the wine. Excellent value for money.
Top Value!

2013 Akitu "A2" Pinot Noir Central Otago (White Label)
Review Date: 03-05-2015
The Akitu "A2" Pinot Noir offers exception value and quality for money. It is very difficult for produce great Pinot Noir for close to $20...it is almost unheard of to produce noteworthy Central Otago Pinot Noir for this price. Thankfully our direct relationship with Hawkesbury Estate / Atiku has allowed K&L to bring you this wine for a very economical price point. This wine is bursting with ripe berry fruits, hard ground spices like nutmeg and clove from the whole bunch inclusion, crushed rocks and wild Thyme. The palate has plenty of soft accessible fruit up front, but it is also very long and drawn out on the palate by the wines lovely fresh acidity and fine powdery tannins. A delicate kiss of oak helps polish this gem but does not detract from its purity. Whilst this wine does not provide me the lucid insight into this terroir that is afforded by Akitu's remarkable "A1" Pinot Noir...it does provide the imbiber instant gratification and a fantastically expressive bottle of classy, slick Pinot Noir at a very reasonable price. From a small estate close to Lake Wanaka dedicated 100% to Pinot Noir. Winemaker PJ Charteris (Adelsheim, Flowers, Penfolds, Brokenwood).
Top Value!
Price: $21.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Akitu "A1" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Black Label)
Review Date: 03-05-2015
The Akitu “A1” Pinot is one of the most profound bottles I have tasted in quite some time. It is a wine that is defined by tension, precision, coiled power and speaks very strongly of its schist soil origins. The wine is incredibly pure and dynamic on the palate. Not fleshy or extracted but perfectly linear and poised. You can feel the terroir as much as taste it. This wine is about energy and vibrancy. Sure it delivers fantastic Pinot Noir varietal fruit flavors, spice, earth…but this wine is so much more than that, hard to describe, it is something that needs to be experienced. I also believe we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg with this wine and the best is yet to come as the tight, compact layers of flavor and texture unfold. I read about this vineyard “Hawkesbury Estate” and the brand new label “Akitu” (meaning “summit” or "apex" in Maori) in the UK press. I immediately reached out to owner Andrew Donaldson to explore working with his wines. What struck me the most was the uniqueness of the site. The vines are planted on a perfect north facing slope on the side of Mt. Barker just south of Lake Wanaka in Central Otago. In a place like Central Otago that is already quite remote…these vines are again defined by their loneliness, this is not an area bustling with vineyards like the hillsides of Bannockburn or along the shores of Lake Dunstan…this is just a few acres of vines perched on lone hill in a cool windswept valley close to the snowcapped mountains of the “central divide”. When I see someone toiling over a site like this, a tricky, labor intensive, on the edge of grape grape growing site...I have to try the wines, because there must be some reason why that person is persisting, they must truly believe they have something special. Andrew only started labeling his own wine in 2012 after selling off fruit for 10 years while he waited for his vines to mature and truly speak of their terroir (something we rarely see in this day and age). Another factor in my excitement was the winemaker brought in to help shape this expression of place, PJ Charteris (PJ's previous positions include: Aldelsheim, Flowers, Penfolds and a 12 year stint at Brokenwood in Hunter Valley where he was awarded Winemaker of the Year!) I am very excited to start working with these wines and I hope you will find them as compelling as I do.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
DC 95

2011 Fromm "La Strada" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 03-03-2015
This is a Pinot lovers Pinot...That might sound strange...but in this world of big, black, 15.5% ALC Pinot Noir...this Fromm bottling is a breath of fresh dirt! Much more concerned with dusty red fruits, forest floor, earth and savory tones than high octane, heavily extracted fruit and new oak. The nose sets the scene for the wines precision and focus. Tightly packed red berries, dry leaves and Chanterelles. The wine gains weight with some time in the glass taking time to unfold like all great Pinot should. Dusty dark red berries emerge, leaf litter, bark and river stone. A very Burgundian profile with some tell tale spiced orange peel and clove notes that give away it's Marlborough origins to the experienced observer. I truly believe this wine still has more to give and think it will flesh out further with a few more months / years in the cellar. However even now this wine is bright, fresh, pure Pinot Noir that is a really pleasing style for those looking for a more traditional, elegant expression of this fickle grape. Absolutely exceptional value thanks to our direct import.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 93

2012 Woodstock Estate "Octogenarian" Old Vine Grenache McLaren Vale South Australia
Review Date: 03-03-2015
Explosive nose of red florals, ripe berry fruits and sweet spices. On the palate the wine is packed full of briary, bramble fruits, exotic spice and macerated cherry. This wine has beautiful palate weight, purity of fruit and concentration of flavor. Underpinning all this exotic ripe fruit and spice is a deep and complex savory minerality from these 80+ yr old vines. I can't believe what a steal this wine is thanks to our importer direct pricing. Think really good vieilles vignes Châteauneuf-du-Pape...for a quarter of the price you would normally pay...and you arrive at Woodstock's Octogenarian.
Top Value!
Price: $18.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 96

2014 Lake Chalice "The Nest" Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand
Review Date: 03-03-2015
One of the best value whites in the store. We have sold literally thousands of bottles of this wine each vintage for the last few years. It has proven itself as one of the most loved and frequently re-purchased wines we stock at K&L. The Nest displays classic snappy, zesty fresh aromas to Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. The palate is juicy and easy drinking with lots of citrus, gooseberry some stony mineral qualities. Super refreshing and mouthwateringly moreish!
Top Value!
Price: $10.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 02-28-2015
As you would expect from the people that brought us the Prisoner...this wine is full throttle, full bodied, big bold Cabernet. But...it also has class. Sourced from some of the same sites as it's big brother Quintessa and with good chunk of fruit from Coombesville (cooler climate), this wine also has nice acidity and brightness to balance all that raw Napa Valley power. Faust seriously gives some of the big prestigious names in the valley something to think about especially given it's sub-$50 price point!
Price: $44.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 90

2014 Valentin Bianchi "Elsa Bianchi" Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 02-28-2015
A perennial value at K&L. Juicy, ripe, black and blue fruit, some chocolate notes. Fresh, soft and easy to enjoy. A classic party wine.
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List

2011 Tassi Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 02-28-2015
Sure there are cheaper Rossos to be found...but this is much more like a Brunello in disguise! The depth and power here is amazing. Lovely fruit weight, super fine but mouth coating tannins. The wine strikes a nice balance between a little more generosity of modern Brunello but retains the purity and elegance of more traditional techniques. Great wine.
Price: $26.99 Add To Waiting List
ST 90

2012 Elephant Hill Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 02-28-2015
Bright nose of crushed berries and dusty spices. The palate is perfectly weighted without to much extraction but ample concentration at the same time. Silky mouth-feel, great length on the palate. It finishes with just a hint of wild thyme and warm earth that takes me back to the hillsides of Central Otago. There is a lot of wine here for a very modest price point.
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Rickshaw Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 02-28-2015
One the the best value CA cabs in the store. This wine shows the skill of Banshee to deliver serious wines at value price points. Dark and rich but with good Cabernet varietal characters, fine tannins and a juicy hit of Malbec in the blend that just makes this so drinkable.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

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