Staff Favorites - Ryan Woodhouse

Ryan Woodhouse

Reviews

  
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2015 Andre Ostertag "Fronholz" Riesling Alsace (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 07-21-2017
A stunning wine that transcends boundaries of varietal and place. This wine has such ethereal power and shimmering energy on the palate. Stunning aromatics of spiced pear, alpine flowers, bursts of citrus, jasmine and white peach. The palate is tactile and concentrated but so elegant and pure; the pristine fruit inflected with fascinating minerality and infinite length. One of the finest Rieslings I have tasted from anywhere on the planet at any price.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 96 RP 93

2016 Tohu Sauvignon Blanc Awatere Valley Marlborough
Review Date: 07-19-2017
Tohu is a beautiful example of Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Many people don't realize that Marlborough is actually quite a large area composed of several quite distinct sub-regions. The Awatere Valley sub-region is cooler and more exposed than most parts;combined its deep river gravel soils this makes for highly aromatic wines, with bright acidity, white floral characters and plenty of zesty fruit. At their worst they can be downright vegetal...think canned asparagus...at their best (as in this instance) they represent an fantastically vibrant, dynamic, distinctive expression of Sauvignon Blanc that can be found no where else on earth. This wine has beautiful ripeness of fruit, juicy mouthwatering acidity and a stony mineral persistence that goes on and on. I'm so happy that folks at Decanter weren't scared to reward such an inexpensive wine with such a huge score (often reserved for much more "prestigious" wines) as I think it's a beautifully made wine that is a dazzling reflection of its place. This will be a staple for many, many people this summer and beyond.
Top Value!

2015 Te Mata "Coleraine" Bordeaux Blend Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 07-19-2017
They say things come in threes...well the 2013 and 2014 Coleraine both received perfect 100 point scores. The 2015 release now seeks to complete the trio and is definitely flirting with perfection once again. The wine has only been reviewed by a limited number of critics and has already racked up two 98 point scores and two 96s. Chatting with GM / Owner Nick Buck I couldn't resist asking him what was his preference among this trio of back-to-back-to-back magic vintages...he would only answer that many writers, Somms and wine industry folks had raved about the new 2015 release and commented that it probably has more immediate appeal than the two prior vintages. I thought the wine was a classic Coleraine delivering all of what I have come to expect from this iconic release. But in this vintage it seems to have an intensely inky color and a particularly concentrated mid-palate. There is deep, plummy, blackcurrant fruit here but there is also plenty of fine grained, powdery tannins that will assure a long life. The 2015 Coleraine can undoubtedly stand shoulder to shoulder with the best vintages of this prestigious wine and really only time will tell which vintage comes out on top.
Drink from 2020 to 2020

2015 Bernhardt Ott "Rosenberg" 1ÖTW Grüner Veltliner Wagram (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 07-17-2017
Simply one of the most profound wines I've come across in a long time. This is a truly special reflection of varietal and place. Bernhard Ott (known to many as Mr. Gruner Veltliner) selects only the oldest (60+yr) vines from the "Grand Cru" site of Rosenberg for this very limited bottling. Whilst some of the reviews featured in this offering correctly draw comparisons between this wines quality and those of the greatest, most revered wines of the Wachau, its style is very different to the Prager, Knoll and Pichler wines. Whilst having just as much intensity and power Bernhard's wines are more focused, bone dry, and have searing mineral acidity. They are long and drawn out on the palate versus the uber-ripe, round Smaragd style. Think of it like the contrast between and big, rich, creamy California Chardonnay (more typical of the Wachau Smaragd style) and a fine, mineral driven Grand Cru Chablis (Ott's Rosenberg style). The amazing thing here is that this prolific wine, gown on old vines, in one of Austria's most heralded vineyard sites, from perhaps the best vintage in decades...is under $50!?
Top Value!

2015 Rustenberg Chardonnay Stellenbosch South Africa
Review Date: 07-17-2017
*Best Chardonnay under $50 I've tasted all year.* Here at K&L we have always loved the Rustenberg wines but when I saw the 95 point Decanter score drop with comparisons to Corton-Charlemagne I immediately asked our supplier to send us a sample for review. They had the prior vintage in stock so we had to bring this new 2015 release all the way from the importer in Florida and are the first to receive it here in California. But boy was it worth the effort! This wine is simply stunning. It smells, feels and tastes like high-end 1er Cru or Grand Cru Burgundy. What do I mean by that? Well it has that spectacular balance of concentration, power and focus you come to expect from the greatest Chardonnays. The fruit is intricately interwoven with minerals, fine oak and textural lees elements. The ripeness is perfect, the acid line is laser like giving incredible length on the palate. You simply won't believe what a complete wine this is for the money. Hands down one of the best value wines we have in stock.
Top Value!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
DC 95 VN 91

2013 Tahbilk Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Nagambie Lakes Victoria
Review Date: 07-14-2017
What's not to like here!? This is a stunning bottle of Cabernet, ticking all the boxes for the varietal, made by a great producer with a heritage going back centuries and it has a price tag of under $15! Dark blue/black fruit, rich, med-full-bodied texture, refined tannins give the wine great shape and length on the palate. Some leafy tobacco notes add intrigue as does the perfectly judged oak. This is a seriously polished, classy wine for sub-$20...and at our current pricing this is just ridiculous.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JH 94 WS 90

2014 Dog Point Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 07-14-2017
Rather than repeat the superlatives about this wine that the critics have already put in ink I'll simply tell you that I secured every single case of this wine I could put my hands on. I tasted it about 12 months ago and have been tracking its progress from NZ ever since. It's a stunning wine on every level and confirms that: (A) Marlborough can make world-class Pinot Noir. And: (B) Dog Point are one of the benchmark producers in the entire southern hemisphere. This is meticulously crafted Pinot Noir from some of most perfectly situated vineyards in the country, farmed under certified organic methods. It combines the vibrancy and succulence of fruit that is New Zealand's trademark and intertwines it with some of the exotic, alluring, savory, earthy qualities that makes Pinot Noir so evocative and enthralling...guess I couldn't avoid the superlatives entirely!
Top Value!

2013 Greywacke Chardonnay Marlborough
Review Date: 07-11-2017
A powerful Chardonnay that checks all the boxes. Kevin Judd's wine making prowess is on full display here. This is positively packed with flavor, rich texture and vibrant acidity. Old-vine, low yielding, Mendoza clone Chardonnay is the base for this concentrated style of Chard. On the nose a beautifully flinty, mineral component and a whiff of struck match drifts above ripe orchard fruit, baked pears and yellow stone fruit. Quite Burgundian on the nose...Meursault-like maybe? The palate is dense and juicy with almond paste, peach cobbler and shortbread. A beautiful, savory, toasted nutty quality counterbalances the ripe fruit and then New Zealand's signature vibrant, mouthwatering acidity flashes across the finish leaving you refreshed and salivating for another gulp. The length and persistence of flavor on offer here is spectacular. Grand Cru like in it's combination of power, concentration, refinement and mineral underpinning. Just a stunning bottle of Chardonnay that will please both lovers of more powerful white Burgundy or more refined California Chard.
Top Value!

2015 Te Mata Estate Syrah Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 07-11-2017
Building directly on Te Mata's reputation as one of the premier Syrah producers in NZ with the monumental "Bullnose" bottling this Estate Syrah brings much of that class and character to the table for a fraction of the price! A juicy, fruit driven style with ripe red / black fruits, spice and freshly ground pepper, this is the perfect wine for grilling this summer. Easy drinking, mid-weight, tons of depth and character to stand up to hearty foods. Exceptional value - K&L direct import.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Baron Fuente "Galipettes" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 07-11-2017
My personal favorite of the Baron Fuente offerings at a recent Champagne tasting. Sourced from the estates organically farmed vineyards. I found this to be the most mineral intensive of the bottlings. A crisper, more chalky wine almost like it was more Chardonnay dominant (though I believe it is equal parts Chard, Pinot Noir and Meunier). Aromas and flavors of crunchy orchard fruit, dry bread, cracked wheat, chalk and flint. A nice savory, nutty component too. Dry and mouthwatering. Great value for Champagne of this quality.
Top Value!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2015 Te Mata Estate Merlot-Cabernets Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 07-11-2017
Awesome little Bordeaux blend from Te Mata. This is made from 100% estate fruit. (In fact Te Mata sell a good quantity of their fruit...so this actually comes from some of the best parcels on the estate they keep for themselves.) Despite being the "entry level" tier of wines this really shows it's pedigree. Dark fruit, earth, cigar box, a hint of charred oak; the nice tannin structure and balanced acidity means this will also keep for 5+ years no problem. Such a great value given the quality of the wine and iconic stature of the producer.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

1984 Caol Ila 33 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 06-30-2017
Wow - I've never been disappointed by an old Caol Ila and this one certainly continues that trend. There is (was) something truly magical about this distillery. The whisky seems to have a haunting elegance on the palate and yet so much intensity of flavor. Here the smoke is intertwined with sea foam, wood shavings and a very subtle iodine hint. The malt fills the palate with intense flavor and aroma and yet it's almost ethereal in texture. If some of the big, heavily sherry-influenced whiskys of the world can be compared to rich, ripe, highly extracted Napa Cabs; then this Caol Ila should be likened to a finely structured Burgundy; it possesses no less intensity or power but expresses it in a very different way.
Price: $349.99 Add To Cart

2013 Yalumba "Triangle Block" Shiraz-Viognier Eden Valley South Australia
Review Date: 06-30-2017
For those in the know Eden Valley is a very special place. Sitting adjacent to its more famous neighbor Barossa Valley (though often lumped in together) the higher elevation and cooler climate of Eden produces a very different breed of Aussie Shiraz. The wines from here, as exemplified by this fantastic release from Yalumba, have beautiful balance and finesse to go along with the powerful fruit and richness Aussie Shiraz is known for. The fruit is fragrant, juicy and vibrant (likely elevated by the dash of Viognier in the ferment). The wine has lovely exotic spice, some floral notes and savory elements like peppered bacon and hot stones. This is still a medium to full bodied wine with tons of concentration and power but it has a beautifully judged element of restraint that makes is such a pleasure to drink and very versatile with food. At this ludicrously low price point I'll certainly be breaking this guy out at plenty of BBQs this summer season - simply unbelievable value for money for a wine of this quality.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
W&S 93

2015 Birgit Eichinger Hasel Grüner Veltliner Kamptal
Review Date: 06-10-2017
Just a beautiful little wine. Pure, fresh-textured with great drive and presence on the palate. Yellow stone fruit, spice, some green gauge plum, sugar-snap peas and white floral hints. Elegant and mineral infused. The name "Hasel," meaning "Hazel," is to represent the way early vignerons in the region used thickets of native Hazel trees to identify areas with good, deep loess soils that also happened to be perfect for vines! Birgit is one of the THE up-and-coming winemakers in Austria--she is held in the highest regard by her peers.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WS 91

2013 Trinity Hill "The Gimblett" Bordeaux Blend Hawke's Bay (Black Label)
Review Date: 06-09-2017
One of the finest Bordeaux-style blends you will find anywhere on the planet at this price point. Oh...and it's from the best vintage this region has ever experienced. And from a winemaker regarded by his peers as one of the very best in the business having crafted multiple 100-point wines in the past few years. Need I go on? Did I mention that we have the best pricing in the country? This is a serious wine built with power and structure; packed full of dark fruit, briary notes, gravelly minerals, shaved cedar, pipe tobacco. Stylistically this sits somewhere between Napa Cab and Left Bank Bordeaux...but really it's pure Gimblett Gravels...a terroir that I believe commands just as much respect as either of the aforementioned regions. Drink now with a bone-in rib-eye or cellar for 10 years comfortably.
Top Value!

2015 Hirsch "Hirschvergnugen" Grüner Veltliner Kamptal (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 06-06-2017
One of my favorite expressions of Gruner from a great producer. This is certainly a more strict, racy, mineral driven style than many of the bigger, weighty versions from the Wachau...I love it's freshness, drive and lingering, mouthwatering finish. So versatile as a summer white. Refreshing, moderate alcohol and a stunning value for money.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Weingut Fürst Elbling Mosel (1L)
Review Date: 06-06-2017
THE ultimate summer sipper. The Elbling grape was once a staple of the German wine industry. Now the variety only accounts for 0.6% of the nation’s plantings. And yet this bottle is potentially the most crushable wine of 2017—so far. It clocks in at 10.5% alcohol—I mean, that’s practically like drinking a beer. This is just one of the most deliciously refreshing, quaffable white wines in the store, bar none…and luckily it comes in a one-liter bottle!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Momo (Seresin) Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 06-06-2017
One of the best deals out there in NZ Sauv Blanc. Momo (meaning "offspring") is the 2nd label of Seresin Estate; this is organic and biodynamically certified wine, from one of the top producers in the country at $15.99! The Momo SB has all the classic hallmarks of Marlborough Sauv Blanc but with extra mineral complexity and great textural presence on the palate. Hand-crafted, artisanal wine at a better price than most of the mass-produced generic stuff.
Top Value!
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2014 Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 05-16-2017
What I love about Limerick Lane's Zinfandel is that it captures the essence of great California Zin in it's bold, rich majesty but without any overt sweetness or overly confected characters. It's a big, dense, chewy wine that certainly isn't shy- but it's also authentic, balanced and faithful to the most quintessential of California flavors. Frequently international visitors to the Bay Area ask us at K&L for wine recommendations to take home; their tendency is often to gravitate toward Napa Cabernet and whilst there is no shortage of stellar Napa Cab, I'm love to give them Zinfandels such as Limerick Lane...this is truly the type of wine that most authentically conveys the states vinous history (and it's just darn delicious).

2008 Fallet-Dart Vintage Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-08-2017
Just one swirl and sniff of this wine and you realize how serious it is. Beautifully focused aromas of chalk, citrus peel, toasted barley and a hint of baked pear. On the palate this is a very linear, racy wine with mouth-watering acidity and boundless energy and drive. Right now it's a fantastic aperitif wine with its brightness and verve. I suspect it will settle in later life to become richer and broader like great vintage Champagne does. The youthful vivacity and exuberance of now will be replaced by complexity and depth that only time can bring. It's quite staggering to think you can buy age-worthy vintage Champagne of this quality for this price point.
Top Value!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2014 Jim Barry "Cover Drive" Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra South Australia
Review Date: 04-20-2017
Classic Coonawarra Cab for a song. Jim Barry is one of the best known wineries in South Australia's Clare Valley. Founded in the 1950's Jim Barry has produced some of Australia's most heralded wines, namely the "Armagh" with more than ten 95-99+ point Advocate scores in it's history. Whilst being recognized as one of the countries top producers, what I love about Jim Barry is the incredible value they can deliver with wines like Cover Drive! As an Englishman myself the name based around a shot one might use during a game of Cricket always makes me chuckle. The vines are planted where the village Cricket field once stood. Deep in this wine's rich red fruit and and exotic spices I think I can still pick up some leather and willow! Bad jokes aside, this is delicious Cabernet with real varietal character and freshness. A classic Coonawarra profile for probably less than half the price I would expect to pay for a wine of this quality. This is a bargain.
Top Value!
Price: $14.95 Add To Cart
W&S 91 WE 91

2014 John Duval "Entity" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 04-19-2017
I'm in danger of repeating myself once again here...but this wine is just a perennial favorite that year in, year out delivers simply phenomenal value for money and fantastic consistency of top-notch quality. For those of you that haven't heard to story before here's a brief outline: John Duval is one of the most heralded winemakers of the modern era. He made one of the world's most awarded and coveted wines (Penfold's Grange) for 15+ years as Head Winemaker at Penfold's. He knows the Barossa like the back of his hand and sources the best fruit the region has to offer from some of its oldest vines. After moving on from Penfold's, John set up his own, eponymous label and continues to produce wines that are nothing short of world-class at prices that continue to amaze me. Our continuing support of these wines year after year means that we can offer the very best pricing on these wines that are already significantly under-priced to begin with, in my opinion...but I'm certainly not complaining!
Top Value!

2014 Mount Edward Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 04-17-2017
I can't think of a better barometer for Central Otago Pinot Noir than this bottling from Mount Edward. This bottle selects fruit from both of Mount Edward's estate vineyards (Muirkirk and Morrison) plus grower's fruit from the esteemed Pisa Terrace Vineyard. All of thee sites are certified BioGro organic and each one is situated in a different sub-region of Central Otago. Therefore from this wine you get a fantastically panoramic vinous expression of the region encapsulating many of its intricate terroirs into one beautifully integrated package. The skill of the assemblage lies with Duncan Forsyth and his trusty right hand gal Anna Riederer. Here they forge a unity between the power and depth of Bannockburn, the silky textures and elegance of Lowburn and the youthfully vibrant aromatics and bright lift of Pisa. It's a fantastic bottle offering richness and intensity of fruit but also some beautifully subtleties and nuances driven by place. The wine is textural and complex; very giving now in its youth but has plenty of stuffing to last a decade in the cellar should you wish. The only flaw with my barometer analogy is that if you chose this wine as your gauge for quality you are likely to be seriously disappointed by the vast majority of other wines even close to this price. With our winery direct relationship this price is ludicrously low given the producer's pedigree, huge accolades and sheer deliciousness of what's in the bottle.
Top Value!

2014 Elephant Hill Hawke's Bay Syrah
Review Date: 04-14-2017
Back in early 2011 I visited Elephant Hill for the first time and was simply amazed by the quality of the Syrah they produced. The 2009 release I was tasting at the time was a revelation to me and cemented my suspicions that Hawke's Bay could, without exception, produce some of the best Syrah on the planet. 2014 was a warm vintage by New Zealand standards which is good news for varietals like Syrah when they're planted in a traditionally cool climate region. This wine strikes a perfect balance between traditional northern Rhone type characters of violets, spice, smoked meat and earth; combining them with a more modern purity of fruit, polished texture and brightness. Any review of this wine would be remiss without a mention of the wine's deliciously "umami" cracked black peppercorn notes. The consistent presence of this fresh ground pepper character is something that I believe sets Hawke's Bay Syrah apart and makes it truly unique. This is an exceptional wine, from a great vintage, direct from the winery at a ridiculously low price point.
Top Value!

2015 TWR (Te Whare Ra) "SV5182 - Single Block" Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 04-04-2017
A wine that was many years in the making. Talking with owners / winemakers Jason and Anna Flowerday about this wine was very revealing. For many years they have flirted with the idea of making a single block, barrel influenced Sauv Blanc from their home block of vines. They have repeatedly kept a small parcel separate and fermented it in a large 600L neutral French oak Puncheon barrel...but year after year they ended up blending it into the TWR "regular" Sauvignon Blanc bottling. However - in 2015 the wine quality, their confidence and the fruition of the "SV5182" program (a marker that distinguishes their BioGro organic certified estate wines from a couple wines that included growers fruit) meant that this experimental wine finally made it to bottle as a singular expression...and boy was it worth the wait! This is next level stuff. This wine was ultimately conceived in the vineyard; the rows selected for this endeavor are set up from the very beginning with this expression in mind. Super low yielding, hand tended vines mean concentrated fruit with depth and texture. The influence of the barrel is purely for lees contact and oxygen rather than any noticeable oak flavor. The wine has amazing purity, layers of texture, intense minerality and a persistence of flavor intensity that elevates it above it's multitude of Marlborough counterparts. I suspect it will age beautifully as well...certainly putting a case in my cellar to find out!

2016 Storm Point (Craven) Red Blend Western Cape South Africa
Review Date: 04-04-2017
Wow! How good are these Storm Point wines!? Such fantastic value; these totally over deliver on price point! Crafted by Mick Craven of CravenWines (one of the most sought after small producers in the region) this Red Blend is a classic Cote du Rhone style (Cinsault, Syrah and Carignan) and is super quaffable! Matured in neutral oak and tank the wines is softly fruited, accessible but with real poise and balance and very food friendly. Crushed summer berries, whiffs of baking spice and warm earth. Medium bodied, nice natural acidity and ultimately satisfying. I was truly bowled over by how good these wines are for the money.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2016 Storm Point (Craven) Chenin Blanc Western Cape South Africa
Review Date: 04-04-2017
Wow! How good are these Storm Point wines!? Such fantastic value; these totally over deliver on price point! Crafted by Mick Craven of CravenWines (one of the most sought after small producers in the region) this Chenin Blanc mostly comes from old bush vines grown on ancient decomposed granite soils in the Swartland. It's packed with yellow fruits, citrus peel, stony minerals and toasted grains...all my classic markers for top notch S.African Chenin that often come at a much higher price point!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2013 Xanadu Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 04-01-2017
Margaret River has been on an absolute tear with great vintages coming thick and fast. The wines often strike a stylistic balance somewhere between Napa Cabernet and Bordeaux but retain their own unique markers at the same time. The fruit is typically rich and concentrated like Oakville; the tannins and poise more reminiscent of Paulliac; the complex aromas of cedar, crushed mint and sandstone are uniquely Margaret River. The quality of these wines hasn’t gone unnoticed and huge point scores are amassing! The 2013 Xanadu Estate Cabernet is a slightly more generous, lush style of Cabernet from Margaret River. Saturated dark fruits, blackcurrant, ripe plum, dark chocolate, sweet oak spice and fine broad tannins. Incredible concentration; fantastic value! We bought every case that was available to us as it was just too good to miss at this price!
Top Value!

2015 Quartz Reef "Bendigo Single Vineyard" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 03-29-2017
Potentially the best-ever release of this wine. I have long admired Rudi's wines at Quartz Reef and elsewhere but this wine has the x-factor. Hailing from a single, steep, Biodynamic certified, hillside vineyard in the Bendigo sub-region of Central Otago, this wine shows the pedigree and structure would would expect from one of Rudi's wines. However its real allure is the purity of fruit and its exuberance both aromatically and on the palate. This sub-region is known for more masculine, structured wines with dark fruit and formidable tannins, but this wine is so accessible and expressive even as a youngster. The tannins are polished, the fruit is bold with perfectly judged ripeness; hints of mineral and wild thyme add a distinctive sense of place; some exotic spice notes from the French oak maturation add a final touch of class. This is a Pinot that you can WOW people with. It captures the classic elements of Central Otago Pinot (as you would expect from one of the region's founding fathers) but also has an international appeal and luxurious quality that way surpasses our stunningly low importer-direct price point.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
RP 95

2013 Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 03-20-2017
A wine of serious proportions. This has enough richness and power to appeal to Napa Cab drinkers but a structure and length more akin to great left bank Bordeaux. Deep saturated black and blue fruits abound; blackcurrant, cassis, damson plum wrapped up in shaved cedar, cigar box, toasted spices and subtle vanilla oak polish. The fruit is rich but ample tannins mean this will go the long haul. The best Vasse Felix Cab I've tasted in years. I'm just astounded we can offer it at this price. Given the quality, pedigree and ageing potential this is a steal.
Top Value!

2014 Powell & Son Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 03-10-2017
The magic of David Powell's wines is quite hard for me to put my finger on. Sure they're powerful, rich, highly concentrated wines with explosive aromas and flavors...but then many wines deliver that type of experience. I recently tasted his "entry level" Barossa Shiraz here alongside another very highly regarded Barossa shiraz producers comparable wine. Both delivered real quality and the type of fruit weight and purity I would expect but this Powell & Son wine just had something extra. A sense of place, another dimension of savory, soil driven quality underpinning all that decadence. Callum (the "& Son" part) is starting to make his mark on the wines too. After an extended vintage working with the legendary Jean Louis Chave, Callum has implemented the use of more large format oak instead of barriques and seeks more finesse in the wines. There's a bright energy to the wines lifting all that density and keeping it long and vibrant. Seriously good...and what a value given the quality and pedigree.
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2012 Leeuwin "Art Series" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 03-03-2017
My personal barometer for Margaret River Cabernet in any given vintage. This is a benchmark wine with immense pedigree and impeccable consistency. I can absolutely see why one might compare it to First Growth Bordeaux. Not just on the exceptional quality of this release, but on the merit of Leeuwin Estate's unwavering dedication to excellence year in and year out to produce authentic wines that faithfully reflect the season and magical terroir of Margaret River. I feel obliged to mention Leeuwin's entirely pragmatic choice of Stelvin closure. They believe (as do I) that this is the best and most consistent seal for the wine to effectively preserve all the hard work they put into crafting it. The silly myth about not being able to cellar wines under screwcap has been thoroughly debunked long ago and I will be enjoying this wine from my cellar for decades to come.
Top Value!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JS 97 JH 96

2015 Felton Road "Bannockburn" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 02-24-2017
As always this is the workhorse of Felton's stable. The team there are always keen to point out that this shouldn't be considered a "lesser" wine than the single vineyard bottlings despite it's lower price point. The fruit is grown in exactly the same way and the winemaking practices are identical. This wine is a benchmark for the region every year perfectly representing Bannockburn as a truly special place for Pinot Noir.
Top Value!

2013 John Duval "Plexus" SGM Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 01-20-2017
My notes on the wine are above so here I'll just tell a quick story about the man behind the wine. I was at a seminar in San Francisco a while back and a panel of Australian winemakers (including John Duval) were arguing about the use of Syrah Vs. Shiraz. Some said they used Syrah to denote that they were making a cooler climate style, with more restraint like one would typically associate with French expressions of Syrah. Duval interjected saying "we're from Australia, we make fu%&ing Shiraz"..."just because I call it Shiraz doesn't mean it has to be some over-ripe fruit bomb...Shiraz can be just as elegant and perfumed as Syrah...what name you use shouldn't dictate the style you make or vice versa." His comments really struck a chord with me and I see this attitude in his wines. They are authentic expressions of the land they come from but also prove that balance and poise can be found even in the warmer growing regions of the world.
Top Value!

2013 Trinity Hill "Gimblett Gravels" Syrah Hawke's Bay (Black Label)
Review Date: 11-15-2016
Seriously world-class Syrah that we are offering at the best price in the country. Don't miss this offer, with huge press and astounding quality this is sure to go fast.
Top Value!

2014 Te Mata "Cape Crest" Sauvignon Blanc Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 10-12-2016
Back again a perennial favorite at K&L the Te Mata "Cape Crest" Sauvignon Blanc. This is no typical NZ Savvy; this is white Bordeaux in disguise; think Dom. Chevalier Blanc. Here we have a fully barrel-fermented wine consisting of Sauvignon Blanc (85%) with contributions from Semillon and Sauvignon Gris. The composition is actually a reflection of Te Mata's mature vineyards (25-30yrs) that are actually inter-planted field blends of these varietals draped across the slopes of the Havelock Hills. The fruit here is concentrated and ripe expressing yellow tree fruits, nectarine, poach pear and lilikoi with a subtle citrus cut. The French oak fermentation adds spice, texture and a rich yeast / lees component elevating the wine to another level. The presence and length on the palate is astounding. Whilst drinking beautifully now prior experience tells me this is also a wine that will only continue to improve with mid-term cellaring...I have some 2011 Cape Crest that is just singing right now. This is a very serious wine for a very economical price point. We have sold out of this wine fast in all prior vintages at K&L and it has amassed quite a loyal following with our customers and staff alike. Don't miss it.
Top Value!

2014 Te Mata "Awatea" Bordeaux Blend Hawkes Bay
Review Date: 10-12-2016
The second wine to the great Te Mata "Coleraine." This wine is made from the same vineyards, made in the same cellars, with the same techniques as the mighty, multiple 100-point Coleraine. It is simply one of the best bargains around in Cab and Cab-based blends. The 2014 Awatea finds the perfect balance between power and restraint. There are rich Cabernet flavors of plum, cassis and blackcurrant but also whiffs of tobacco, cedar and pencil shavings (quite Pauillac like I think). The wine has lovely upfront fruit but also considerable structure and integrated tannins; that means it can stand up to a few years in the cellar or the heftiest cut of steak you can muster. If you enjoy more classic renditions of Napa Cab or Left Bank Bordeaux, you owe it to yourself to check out this wine—it will reset how some people perceive NZ wine...this is a game-changing bottle.
Top Value!

Baron Fuente "Esprit" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-07-2016
Another highlight of a recent Blanc De Blanc tasting...The Baron Fuente Esprit BdB doesn't come from where you typically find Chardonnay planted in Champagne (Cote de Blanc)...in fact this property actually lies so far west it's within the Paris district! Nevertheless it is loaded with all the freshness and minerality I expect from BdB plus Baron Fuente's signature richness of texture. Ummmm good stuff.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$34.99
WE 92

Boulard-Bauquaire "Trepail" Brut Blanc de Blancs Vieilles Vignes Champagne
Review Date: 10-06-2016
This was the highlight of a recent Blanc De Blanc tasting at K&L. This wine is so fine, aromatic and complex. I just loved the delicate floral aromas, lingering minerals and elegant texture this wine expressed. Just remarkable quality for a small grower Champagne of this pedigree and from an old vine parcel to boot. Awesome!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 Arboleda Chardonnay Aconcagua Costa
Review Date: 08-10-2016
There is really great value in this very complete little Chardonnay. I wasn't familiar with the producer or region when our South American buyer Joe showed me this wine but I was immediately impressed by its balance of richness and restraint and good persistence on the palate. The flavors are in the orchard fruit spectrum with nice cashew like lees personality. Lots of class and length at a bargain price.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
DC 95 JS 93

2014 Tongue in Groove "Cabal Vineyard" Pinot Noir Waipara Valley North Canterbury
Review Date: 08-10-2016
Fantastic Pinot yet again from Tongue in Groove. These guys are on a tear right now making some of the most compelling and delicious Pinot in NZ. Fruit is hand selected from a vineyard with limestone rich clay soils. This has wonderful aromatic lift, floral tones, musk, woodsy spices and wet clay. The fruit is deep, rich and succulent, a broad texture, perfect extract and whole bunch derived structure and length elongating the whole thing on the palate and adding a wild "sauvage" character. Mineral inflections linger in the long, powerful finish with a kiss of French oak. This is very serious Pinot and a step up from last years more pure fruited, easy drinking Cabal that was already a huge hit with our staff and customers. This edition has all the fruit and purity the 2013 had but adds another layer of complexity and structure on top. Just awesome.
Top Value!

2013 Olema Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-01-2016
Ripping good Cab for the money. Fresh blackcurrant, briary notes, some toasty oak. The palate has good weight, richness and texture. The tannins are ripe and fine but give nice presence on the finish. I like how the rich fruit plays well with some of the leafy, green tobacco notes and says: "hey - I'm a real bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon". This has genuine varietal character that is lost in so many CA Cabs these days.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2015 Radley & Finch Sauvignon Blanc Western Cape
Review Date: 07-29-2016
I'm stoked on these new wines from Radley & Finch! The labels are quirky and fun but the wine inside is way more serious than the sub-$10 price point suggests. Radley & Finch is a new project / partnership between young gun, rising star winemaker Thinus Krüger and boutique S. African wine importer Pascal Schildt. Basically they got sick of cheap, poorly made S. African wines flooding the market and decided to do something about it. Thinus makes the majestic FRAM wines that we also sell at K&L and has access to great fruit. Pascal has the know how to get the wines here economically so we can sell this premium juice at super sharp price points. The Sauv Blanc is a zesty citrus driven wine with clementine, mandarin and zippy acidity. Some subtle herbaceous edges are balanced out by a dash of Chenin Blanc in the blend that adds depth and texture. Porch pounder / summer sipper...have at it!
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2015 Radley & Finch Chenin Blanc Western Cape
Review Date: 07-29-2016
I'm stoked on these new wines from Radley & Finch! The labels are quirky and fun but the wine inside is way more serious than the sub-$10 price point suggests. Radley & Finch is a new project / partnership between young gun, rising star winemaker Thinus Krüger and boutique S. African wine importer Pascal Schildt. Basically they got sick of cheap, poorly made S. African wines flooding the market and decided to do something about it. Thinus makes the majestic FRAM wines that we also sell at K&L and has access to great fruit. Pascal has the know how to get the wines here economically so we can sell this premium juice at super sharp price points. The Chenin Blanc has all the varietal character you would expect in a more expensive bottle. Ripe yellow stone fruit, white peach, yellow plum and Graham Cracker / pie crust lees nuances; with a stoney granite mineral infused finish. Juicy, easy, quaffable and classy - a steal for every night drinking.
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2012 Seresin "Rachel" Pinot Noir Marlborough (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 07-29-2016
Very impressive Pinot from Seresin. This is serious, deep, structured Pinot made to age and develop in bottle. Tasting great right now but has a long life ahead still. From select parcels of fruit in all three of Seresin's estate vineyards but mostly from Raupo Creek vineyard in the southern valleys. Lots of saturated dark fruit, earth, truffle and leaf litter. Powerful but not in a brawny or over-extracted way. Certainly not a fruit bomb style, just one of depth, layers and concentration. A really engaging, complex bottle of Pinot.
Drink from 2016 to 2016

2014 Frankland Estate "Isolation Ridge" Riesling Frankland River Western Australia
Review Date: 07-27-2016
A perennial benchmark Aussie dry Riesling. As the critics' huge scores suggest this is one of Australia's most revered white wines. It represents a family's absolute dedication to viticulture and winemaking. This bright, zesty, mineral rich Riesling is pure liquid rock. Selected from one certified organic block of old vines growing in ironstone gravel soils. It spends 6 months on fine lees building texture and more savory complexity. The acidity is laser focused drawing out the wines phenomenally long finish. An absolute joy with shellfish. Enjoy now or cellar for decades.
Top Value!

2014 Oakridge Estate "Willowlake Vineyard" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley
Review Date: 07-25-2016
I love the delicacy of this Pinot Noir. If you are looking for a big "fruit bomb" Pinot...this isn't it. If you are curious about cool climate, elegant, balanced expressions of this majestic varietal...this is a pretty great place to look. Oakridge's wines are pure, restrained faithful expressions of vineyard site. This bottling shows the more feminine side of the varietal; the extraction is light, the fruit pure but not sappy or extracted. The wine expresses lots of the finer, more savory aspects of the grape with an array of fresh picked herbs, smoky spice, volcanic mineral tinges and leaf litter. For years now a bottle of Oakridge Pinot and a roast chicken has been a rite of passage at K&L in Redwood City...this great Willowlake bottling will no doubt continue that honored tradition.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JH 96

2014 Fromm "La Strada" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 07-19-2016
Quite forward and richly fruited on the nose and palate; bright red berries, with darker edges, lovely generosity of flavor and texture. Toasted spices, warm earth and wild herb notes gain momentum with decanting. Fantastic Pinot drawn from some of the Marlborough’s best Pinot Noir sites delivered at a bargain price. Fromm's pedigree on display here.
Top Value!

2015 The Blacksmith "Barebones" Cinsault Swartland
Review Date: 06-29-2016
Super cool wine from an inspired young winemaker. This is a unique expression of Cinsault made very naturally (wild yeast, no fining, no filtration). Starting with some carbonic maceration to give the wine it's bright, aromatic lift and textural delicacy. Minimal maturation keeps everything fresh and juicy. The stems in the ferment add a nice tannic backbone and make this super food friendly...this is certainly going to be a staple for me with grilled pork and chicken this Summer / Fall. Something deliciously different and very affordable.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 S.C. Pannell "Old McDonald Vineyard" Grenache McLaren Vale South Australia
Review Date: 06-28-2016
One of the purest most dynamic expressions of this varietal I have ever tasted. Steve's absolute dedication to championing this grape is fully evident in every swirl of the glass and sip of this vinous nectar. Effusive aromatics of liquored berries, sweet spices, dark rose petals, cured meat savory nuances. On the palate the wine is remarkably refined, polished and pure. Mid-weight fruit, with lovely "fruit sweetness" but without any actual residual sugar. The extraction is perfectly measured and oak very subtle so as not to detract from the delicacies of fruit. In the tail the wine has just a swipe of those "fine, gritty tannins" that Steve describes adding a lovely textural cut and extra definition to the wine. Simply stunning - world class.
Top Value!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JH 96 JS 96

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