Staff Favorites - Ryan Woodhouse

Ryan Woodhouse

Reviews

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2015 Domaine Drouhin "Arthur" Dundee Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 04-09-2018
A lovely new release from Domaine Drouhin - “Arthur” is named for Dominque Drouhin’s son and comes from mature (30 year old) vines on the estate. The wine was fermented partly in French oak and partly in stainless steel. The two resulting wines were then married together to create what Dominique likens to a Meursault meeting a Chablis. There’s ripe orchard fruit, honeysuckle and pear blossom floral notes; warm pie crust and stone ground flour. The palate has great texture and weight without being overly heavy or creamy. The wine has fantastic length and purity on the palate.
Top Value!

2015 Dominus "Napanook" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 04-05-2018
I first tasted this wine at the Yountville Appellation tasting at Premiere Napa Valley and it made a lasting impression on me. In a room positively packed with super high-end Napa Cabs and poured along side of its "Big Brother" the 2015 Dominus; I was thoroughly impressed how this wine held up and even surpassed many of its much more expensive competitors. Hailing from the exact some vines that produce Dominus' "1st wine" - the pedigree is clear to see. Parcels of Napanook destined fruit are selected for their fresher, more approachable flavor profile. I love this wines very classic take on the varietal. This isn't a ripe, over the top wine by any stretch of the imagination. In fact it stood out as one of the more balanced, pure, traditional wines in the room. There is plenty of powerful black and blue fruit, plum, cassis, briary notes, loamy earth, but also freshly picked mint, dry leaves, cigar box and bay laurel. The wine is concentrated but quite linear and bright; drinking beautifully upon release but seems like a wine that will also age quite effortlessly for a decade or so. One of the last true values out there...especially in a great (but low yielding) vintage like 2015.
Price: $79.95 Add To Cart
RP 93 VN 92

2015 Mount Veeder Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 03-28-2018
Mt. Veeder Cab at this price point is almost unheard of. Add the fact that 2015 produced wines of powerful concentration but low, low yields and this price seems even more ludicrous. The wine shows the classic brambly, tobacco laced Cabernet fruit the appellation is known for but with a little more richness, softness and accessibility then one might expect from mountain fruit. This is a killer value for drinking now or in 5-10 years - don't miss it.
Price: $28.99 Add To Cart
VN 93 JD 90

2014 Galerie "Latro" Knight's Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 03-23-2018
A powerful wine that beautifully reflects it's Knight's Valley origins. Blackcurrant, cassis, plum, shaved dark chocolate, charcoal and spice box. Full bodied, with robust structure and seemingly endless length on the palate. Walks a beautiful line between modern, fruit-driven Cab but retains some more classic savory aspects of the varietal plus line, length and balanced acidity. A fantastic partner to grilled red meat and sure to lay down well in the cellar if you're so inclined. What a deal at this sub-$50 price point!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2015 Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 03-19-2018
A serious contender for best sub-$50 Napa Cabernet in the store. For those of you that don't know this is part of the Quintessa stable. Made from Rutherford and Coombsville estate fruit plus select parcels of mountain fruit to bolster the structure beneath layer upon layer of rich, dark fruit. This wine massively over delivers in every way. Best release yet from Faust.
Price: $49.95 Add To Cart
RP 92 - 94

2013 Mayacamas Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 03-14-2018
An absolute classic. A benchmark. When I think of old school California Cabernet this defines it perfectly. There's a boldness and richness to the fruit that sets it apart from Bordeaux but also a very traditional, timeless expression of varietal character; cedar, pipe tobacco and mint interwoven with plum, cassis and red/black currant. The structure is defined by long-chain, firm but refined tannin. The acidity of this cool mountain fruit gives a freshness and drive not often found in valley floor wines. The poor, rocky soils and old vines also impart a distinctive dusty mineral component. A compelling and complete expression of California Cabernet and one that long ago cemented its place in the realms of world-class wines. This is a very fine release for Mayacamas as this historical property strides positively into a new era.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart
JS 97 VN 97

2014 Villa Creek "Willow Creek Cuvée" Paso Robles Rhône Blend
Review Date: 03-11-2018
Villa Creek's "Willow Creek" Cuvee is a resounding example of just how good Paso Rhone Blends can be. The warm, dry climate of California's central coast has plenty of similarities to the southern Rhone Valley meaning Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre etc tend to thrive here. This particular bottling come from some of the finest vineyard sites in the region including Saxum's legendary James Berry Vineyard, celebrated by many as the absolute pinnacle of Rhone varietals in California. The blend is dominated by Grenache with its lush, exotic, brambly red fruit. Syrah provides some darker edges, smoke, and more robust structure. Mourvedre and Carignan add extra dimensions adding wild, savory, dried herb and earth nuances. This is the complete package - bursting with up front fruit but following it up with powerful structure, bright acidity and beautiful umami salted meat and earthy elements. Great now but I can't wait to check in on this in 3-5 years...I just need to "lose" a few bottles in the back of the cellar.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 VN 92

2013 Villa Creek "Damas Noir" Paso Robles Mourvèdre
Review Date: 03-11-2018
Mourvedre is such a mysterious varietal and this wine perfectly encapsulates its typically deep, brooding, dark fruit with gamey, savory earthy tones that are present in spades. The fruit (all of which was fermented whole cluster) is sourced from Villa Creek's organic home estate Luna Matta vineyard as well as the world famous James Berry and neighboring Denner vineyards. The wine is saturated and powerful with lashings of plummy, briary, dark fruit, smoke, cured meat and underbrush. Rich and full bodied but also possessing formidable tannin structure that will ensure a long life. Compelling wine.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
RP 94 VN 92

2015 Villa Creek Paso Robles Garnacha
Review Date: 03-11-2018
Sourced from the highly regarded Denner vineyard in the far western reaches of Paso Robles. A highly perfumed, aromatic wine of juicy red fruit, scorched earth, and dark rose petal. A beautifully rich, ripe style with fantastic fruit purity and fine grained texture. The fruit forward nature of the wine is balanced beautifully by the savory edge and subtle tannin grip given by whole cluster fermentation and the perfectly judged extraction that gives the wine a fresh drinkability. Accessible now but sure to last 8-10 years in the cellar.

2015 Brewer-Clifton Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-28-2018
A beautifully focused, precise, powerful Chardonnay from Brewer Clifton. Hailing from the cool, ocean influenced Sta. Rita Hills, this wine shows a more linear style of CA Chardonnay. This doesn't have "butter" and I certainly wouldn't describe it as "oaky" however it is positively packed with crunchy orchard fruit, green apple, pear skin, blossom, quince. It's taught and racy rather than round and fat. The cool, coastal fruit energy dances on the palate with vivacity to spare. Chalky minerals make themselves known on the finish, this non-malo style tipping its hat to Chablis. Length for days, mouthwatering and refreshing. Perfect for white fish, scallops or crab. Awesome value.
Top Value!

2015 Foxen "Bien Nacido Vineyard - Block UU" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-28-2018
A fantastically complex, mineral intense Chardonnay from one of my absolute favorite vineyards in California, Bien Nacido. The "UU" block at Bien Nacido was once planted to Riesling. The vines are now "top grafted" over to Chardonnay (i.e. these old, deep roots once grew Riesling, the top of the vine was then removed and Chardonnay grafted onto the old existing root system). The resulting wine has pronounced saline, mineral, wet stone characters with golden stone fruit, citrus blossom, yeasty tones and flint. Layers of fruit intertwine with the complex soil driven elements revealing more and more complexity as the wine unfurls in the glass. A very intricate wine with so much intrigue and nuance. Exceptional pricing given the quality of the wine and pedigree of the site.
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 VN 93

2015 Roserock (Drouhin Oregon) "Zéphirine" Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 02-28-2018
A strikingly aromatic wine with exotic spices, bramble fruit, crushed raspberry, sandalwood, dried Porcini, wild thyme and freshly turned earth. On the palate the texture is luxurious and silky; it possesses considerable weight and has stunning clarity of fruit. The ultra-strict fruit selection and best that money can buy French oak has given this wine a very pure and polished expression and yet the more savory "umami" characters that make Pinot Noir so seductive linger beneath the lush, silky fruit. Accessible now with a decant but sure to go 10 years or more in the cellar if you're so inclined.

2015 La Honda Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-21-2018
A complex nose dancing between toasted hazelnut and saline oyster shell notes; spiced pear, autumn barley and crushed rock. A very mineral driven style, very Chablis like. It has a keen acid line and verve to it; great for Dungeness crab I imagine (I'll have to test it out)! Such a stunning value for Santa Cruz Mountain Chardonnay. Hand-selected from a patchwork of small, local vineyards around the appellation skillfully and seamlessly woven together by winemaker Colin McNany.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2014 Amapola Creek "Monte Rosso Vineyard" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 02-20-2018
Given this vineyard's age, pedigree and quality...plus the winemakers, age, pedigree and quality...you'd be forgiven if you thought this price was a typo...but no...we're selling Amapola Monte Rosso Zin for $29.99...125 years old vines...expertly crafted by Rick Arrowood (50+ years making wine)...for less than $30. This wine is packed with ripe, succulent, plush red fruits, sandalwood, Asian spice, sweet bramble fruit. A piece of California's vinous heritage, crafted by one of the industry's masters, all yours for such an insignificant price it makes modern day Napa Cab producers blush. This is rock star, ancient vine zin for a song.
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2015 The Opportunist Shiraz Langhorne Creek South Australia
Review Date: 02-19-2018
A dynamite value in Aussie Shiraz. None of the stereotypical over the top ripeness here - Langhorne Creek's ocean influenced climate and the limestone rich soils have given this wine beautiful freshness and balance to go with the juicy black and blue fruit, spice and bramble. The wine is med-full bodied with a succulent texture and lovely purity. Really a stunning value to get this wine for under $10!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
W&S 91

2013 Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 02-18-2018
A Napa icon in fine form. Everything people have come to know Silver Oak for is on full display with their 2013 Napa Cab release. Big, deep fruit (blackcurrant, cassis, plum) loamy earth, polished toasty oak, ripe, fine tannins, and beautiful length. A rich style but not over the top; the oak profile is classic Silver Oak but not distracting from the quality of fruit from this fine vintage. The legend continues.
Price: $114.95 Add To Cart

2014 Roserock (Drouhin Oregon) Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 02-11-2018
Drouhin's "Roserock" project has the motto - "French Soul, Oregon Soil." To my mind this phrase sums up this wine perfectly. It truly does have elements of it's Burgundian heritage from being crafted by Véronique Drouhin, and yet the fruit speaks of Oregon through and through. Dark cherry notes, sage, briary, brambly elements. Deep and brooding but not in a heavy or ripe way. It has a super fine structure of silky tannins and beautiful balance. A dusting of earth and leaf litter in the finish with a lick of bright acidity harks back to Burgundy and adds a lovely layer of complexity. A very serious, expansive Pinot Noir for a stunningly affordable price point.

2013 Louis M. Martini "Monte Rosso Vineyard" Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 02-09-2018
A huge monolithic wine with immense dark fruit saturation, graphite, obsidian like minerality and structure to last a lifetime. This wine really highlights the sheer power and intensity that the ancient Monte Rosso vineyard can impart. Having highlighted the wine's powerful stature I should also note that it has impeccable balance and is very well proportioned. For what this wine represents and the quality in the bottle the value is just unfathomable...but we'll take it!

2015 Roserock (Drouhin Oregon) Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-09-2018
Fantastic, elegant, mineral intense, perfectly balanced Chardonnay. This feels like Premier Cru Chablis on the palate. Stone fruit, baked pear, and lemon barley meld into saline characters, flint and very subtle framing oak. A wine that is intense and precise but also expressive, soft and giving. Exceptional value given its Burgundian pedigree and maturity of the vines. Tasted on multiple occasions, each time as impressive as the last.

2013 Silverado Vineyards Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 01-24-2018
A classic Napa Cabernet in a style and price point that has become all too rare these days! It's built on deep, earthy, powerful fruit, loamy notes, cedar and cigar box. The palate is rich and full but not confected or over extracted. The oak gives a framework and exotic spice but doesn't over power the varietal nuances. There's a freshness to the fruit and a line and length that is really well done. Real pedigree on display here. In the realms of modern Napa Cab this is a very impressive and complete wine for such a modest price point.

2015 Chappellet "Signature" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 01-12-2018
This wine possesses power, concentration and refinement that would not be out of place in a $500 bottling from one of Chappellet's neighbors. The 2015 Signature, comprised of exclusively Pritchard Hill estate fruit, might be one of the best deals ever in modern Napa Cabernet. Bold, brassy saturated fruit, cassis, red and black currant, plum conserve, graphite, charred oak, cigar box and exotic spice. A rich, decadent mid-palate is balanced by classic varietal tannin and acidity that gives vitality and freshness to a concentrated and complex wine. Generosity of fruit to drink now but the stuffing to last a couple decades in the cellar. This is the real deal in Napa Cab.

2015 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 01-10-2018
This wine continues to be a benchmark for Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. This regional bottling comes from a shortlist of some of the best vineyards in the area including: Dutton Ranch, Martinelli and Gap's Crown. The wine is perfectly polished, bursting with bright expressive fruit, a supple, silky texture, exotic oak spice and a vibrant lift of coastal acidity and energy. Nothing is forced or over-done, the wine making shows a calm confidence in the quality and purity of fruit, expertly crafted into a wine that's easy to love and sure to impress.
Price: $36.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2015 Carrick Sauvignon Blanc Bannockburn Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 01-08-2018
A rare and unusual beast - Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc. In a region known for its premium Pinot Noir very few people plant precious acres to Sauv Blanc that grows so abundantly and successfully elsewhere. Yields, farming and and extreme climate in this mountainous region make it hard to justify planting a grape that rarely commands even half the price of its much revered competitor Pinot Noir. Therefore when I see people working with the grape in this region it generally peaks my interest. This is a beautifully flinty, mineral driven style. Grapefruit, jasmine, feijoa fruit mingle with struck match and savory lees qualities. Organically grown estate fruit, wild fermented in neutral French oak for texture and complexity.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$9.99

2014 Clairault Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River (White Label)
Review Date: 01-03-2018
The baby brother to Clairault's (Black Label) Estate Cab this sibling won't easily be outdone. Sharing many of the flagship's traits - juicy dark fruit, bay leaf, tobacco, mint, fine tannin and notable length - this is serious Cabernet for the money. Sourced from Clairault's estate holdings and some neighboring vineyards, this little guy packs some serious bang for the buck. If you like Cabernet from a more moderate to cool climate (think Bordeaux / Santa Cruz Mountains) this wine is more than worthy of your attention. Clairault is a new direct import for us at K&L and you can see the staff are already raving about them. Top value.
Drink from 2018 to 2018

2012 Clairault "Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River (Black Label)
Review Date: 01-03-2018
In a stacked line up of top notch Margaret River Cabernet this wine from Clairault took out the top honors in Decanter's panel tasting. One sip of this beauty and you'll see why. Selected exclusively from the estate's oldest vines from the original plantings in 1976, this is a perfect rendition of why Margaret River has become synonymous with classic Cabernet the world over. Dark brooding fruits, plum and cassis mingle with subtle camphor and cigar box notes, graphite, sandalwood and mint. Medium-full bodied with super fine but present tannins and elongating acidity drive the wine across the palate. Stylistically dissecting powerful, modern Cabernet and classic, refined Bordeaux - this wine has it all. Drink now with an hours decant or keep in the cellar for anytime over the next 15 years. Exceptional vale.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
DC 95 JH 95

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-22-2017
***Update: One of the best Champagnes in the store just got even better! Many years ago the Ariston family made significant investments in their family winery including a new press and temp controlled fermentation tanks. As with many things in life good things take time and so finally after 5 years resting on the lees, the latest batch of Aspasie Carte Blanche contains base wines crafted after the winery made these improvements. All this means a wine that was always one of the best QPRs in the store is now even more pure and polished than ever.***
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-22-2017
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Lovely wine. Bright, fresh, excellent combination of chalky, zestiness and nutty, toasty lees quality. The texture is fine and really drawn out on the palate. I am a fan of Aspasie's "entry level" Carte Blanche...but this is a cut above and worth the small increase in outlay.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2013 Ramey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 12-18-2017
Exceptional value in Napa Cab from a big name producer and a top vintage. Not often these elements all come together! Our lowest-in-the-nation price on this highly prized Cab makes it a sure-fire winner this holiday season. Ramey's 2013 Cab delivers exactly what people have come to expect from this longtime Napa (and Sonoma) stalwart. Deep, powerful dark fruits, crushed blackcurrant, loamy earth, cedar, dried herbs and cocoa powder. Underlying the abundant fruit are fine tannins, dusty/soil-driven notes and a lick of toasty oak. Accessible now but also sure to keep for another 5-10 years.
Top Value!

2015 Vasse Felix Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 12-14-2017
An icon in Australian Chardonnay. The 2015 Vasse Felix "Premier" Chardonnay (not to be confused with the lower tier "Filius" Chardonnay) is the culmination of many decades of vineyard development, vine age and rock star winemaker Virginia Willcock's endless pursuit of Chardonnay perfection. This wine is both beautifully representative of classic Margaret River chardonnay but also a stunningly refined example of Virginia's inimitable wine making style. Baked pear, toasted barley, some slightly tart peach notes and plenty of signature stony minerals. Whisps of struck match, and split white oak. Such a complex wine but so quaffable and refreshing at the same time. Concentrated and flavorful but brisk and lively. Exceptionally good Chardonnay especially at our too low to show pricing.

2014 Kumeu River "Coddington Vineyard" Chardonnay Kumeu
Review Date: 12-14-2017
A classic rendition of one of New Zealand's best Chardonnays. All the hallmarks of what makes Kumeu River so special. Tension, texture, packed with flavor but lithe and energized at the same time. Crunchy quince, greengage plum, citrus rind, flint, almond skin, freshly baked bread. The wine has a broad and rich texture but also line, length and mouthwatering acidity. This wouldn't look out of place in a high-end Meursault tasting. Tons of class at a sharp price.

2015 La Honda "Sequence" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
Review Date: 12-08-2017
Highly perfumed crushed red berries. Brambly fruit, orange peel, Christmas cake spice. Lifted aromas of Redwood grove and fresh rain. Pure, long, elegant on the palate, weighing in at 13.7% alc. A lovely combination of fresh fruit and savory forest floor notes. It finishes clean, supple and bright with moreish acidity.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2014 Substance (K Vintners) "Powerline Estate" Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 12-08-2017
Wow — serious Cabernet here. Brooding and deep on the nose, smoky, dark fruit; plum, blackcurrant, pencil lead, dusty rocks; a hint of tobacco and leather. On the palate the wine shows some redder fruit notes and toasted spice. It has lovely ripeness but is not sweet or overly extracted. Medium-full bodied with great line and length. The tannin levels are perfectly measured with the wines fruit and there is great vibrancy that suggests a long life ahead but without being hard or closed in its youth. I'm really impressed with this wine, it strikes a lovely balance delivering powerful fruit but in doing so does not obscure the varietal expression or mask Walla Walla's dusty, stony minerality.

2016 Torbreck "Woodcutter's" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 11-29-2017
The much anticipated 2016 Torbreck "Woodcutter's" Shiraz is finally here. After hearing the hype surrounding this wine and seeing James Suckling's huge score we couldn't wait to get our hands on it. Now finally in my glass I must admit I'm thoroughly impressed. The wine is bursting with the typical spectrum of Barossa Shiraz aromas and flavors - dark red / black fruit, scorched earth, Asian spice, smoked meat...but the thing I really like about this wine is that it's not OTT at all. In fact I was delighted by the lack of any sweetness, the tannins have a nice firmness that gives good shape and focus to the wines abundant fruit, and the acidity is perfectly placed to keep the wine juicy and quaffable. This has all the richness and decadence that has made Torbreck so revered but there's a sense of refinement and balance here that I really like especially in this inexpensive bottling.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
JS 95

2013 Farella Estate Coombsville Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-29-2017
I was super impressed by the combination of power and poise in this beautiful 2013 Cab from Farella. The wine is bristling with black / blue fruit, briary notes, sweet tobacco, graphite and subtle oak spice. The palate is dense and concentrated but not at all confected or jammy. This has all the power one expects from Napa Cab plus the balance and structure that makes the cooler Coombsville AVA so special. You will see "Farella Vineyard" on the labels of many super high-end Napa bottlings...Realm and Lail to name but a few...but this estate, namesake bottling from Farella comes at a fraction of those prices and you can bet they kept their very best fruit for themselves! This is an absolute steal in the world of boutique Napa Cabernet for the highly regarded 2013 vintage.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
VN 95 JS 94

2014 Mindego Ridge "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-16-2017
I love how both of the 2014 offerings from Mindego Ridge offer up a perfect synthesis of varietal and place. The Pinot Noir immediately communicates is terroir of coastal mountains, coniferous forests and pacific ocean breezes. The wine has such a delicate yet distinctive perfume: crunchy black and red berries, mulling spices, pine needles, fruitcake. One the palate the wine is concentrated but focused, it has feeling of small, tight, clusters of fruit and a perfect balance of ripeness and acidity. Whilst the fruit expression is pure Pinot Noir, I also love that this wine embraces just a dash of the varietals savory side; there's bramble, forest floor and slatey minerals. Such a complete, complex and compelling wine that continues evolving with every sip.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
VN 95 RP 92

2014 Mindego Ridge "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay
Review Date: 11-16-2017
I love how both of the 2014 offerings from Mindego Ridge offer up a perfect synthesis of varietal and place. This wine is hand-picked from the estate's tiny 1.3 acre planting of Chardonnay. The wine expresses beautiful ripeness with golden orchard and stone fruit charters. A supple, soft texture on the palate, the wine is rich and mouth-filling. Into the finish the wines' cool climate Santa Cruz Mountain aspect shines through with beautiful focus, glistening saline minerality and lovely line and length. The oak handling is very subtle and alcohol perfect balanced at 13.7%. A stunning, pristine wine that perfect illustrates how special the Santa Cruz Mountains are.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
VN 94 RP 93

2013 Kay Brothers "Hillside" Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia
Review Date: 11-13-2017
Kay Brothers continue to deliver the very essence of McLaren Vale. This is absolutely a regional classic that optimizes varietal and place. The perfume sways back and forth from dark fruit, to earth, to floral tones and back to savory smoked meat tones. Deep plummy fruit invades the palate with briary / garrigue notes, toasted spice, cured meat and liquored cherry. The palate is lush and concentrated, with fine, supple tannin and beautifully sustained length thanks to the wines natural acidity. This is an absolute joy to drink now and assured to go another decade in the cellar if you wish.

2016 Stargazer Pinot Noir Coal River Tasmania
Review Date: 11-07-2017
One of the most fascinating Pinot Noirs of the year for me. It took Sam and I several years to finally get these wines here! But it was seriously worth the wait. Stargazer is a tiny passion project of winemaker Samantha Connew. With a storied history of making wine across Australia, Oregon, Italy, Spain - Sam brings a wealth of knowledge to the table and her vinous prowess is known to all that have met her. She is also the Chair of Judges at the Royal Sydney Wine Show...on of the most prestigious wine awards in the country. This minuscule production Pinot Noir of just 240 cases is wonderfully aromatic and pure. It's light, transparent color in the glass belies it's concentration of flavor but hints at the wines ethereal elegance on the palate. The nose is filled with rose petals, crunchy red berries, saffron, dusty, dry spice and singed agar wood. The palate is light, fresh, taught and full of drive and precision...but it's not super lean or tart, the mid-palate has a nice softness but with minimal extraction. On the finish again acidity and cool fruit take precedence over tannin but there is nothing aggressive about the acidity, the wine is so fresh and vibrant but soft and silky at the same time. Beautifully crafted Pinot Noir.
Price: Hidden View Price

2014 Burn Cottage "Moonlight Race" Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 11-07-2017
Such an impressive wine (especially at our EXTRA special pricing). This is brimming with mulling spices: clove, citrus peel, cinnamon, nutmeg. Lush dark fruits, sandalwood and some raspberry puree join the mix with a swirl or two and carry through on to the palate. In the mouth the wine is generous with ample fruit and texture. Fine tannins give nice shape to the medium plus body. This is a beautiful release from Burn Cottage / Ted Lemon (Littorai). This wine expertly captures the exotic and extrovert expression of Central Otago Pinot Noir but manages to keep it elegantly restrained in a wine with perfect natural balance and a very moderate 13.5% abv.

2015 Malat Pinot Noir Kremstal
Review Date: 11-07-2017
Maybe the Kremstal region of Austria isn't at the front of your mind when shopping for a bottle of Pinot Noir...yet this wine might change that! A beautifully composed wine with a brooding earthy nose, deep dusty berry fruits, cocoa nib, dried herbs. The palate is lush with wild hints of loganberry, dark cherry and spice. The nose keeps evolving showing forest floor, bramble, freshly forage mushrooms. It's like a flavor wheel for Pinot Noir showing of the varieties complexity and savory nuances. The whole this is wrapped up with some nice toasty oak tones to add a little polish to the wine. What a value! What a compelling wine from a producer trying to put Austrian Pinot Noir on the map...and with this wine he very well might succeed.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 93

2015 Helen's Hill "Ingram Road" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 11-07-2017
Back in stock and even more delicious than before! This is a rockin' deal in Yarra Pinot Noir. The second label of our Direct Import partner Helen's Hill - this estate grown wine delivers more at $15 than many Pinots at twice that price. Juicy, dark red fruits, warm earth, truffle, a lick of exotic spice. It has such a silky texture on the palate from the exceptional growing conditions of the 2015 vintage. This wine is super quaffable on its own but also has great natural acidity that makes it very versatile and food friendly. This wine sold out very fast on our previous Helen's Hill offering...luckily the winery held us back some cases so we can now offer it again.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JH 94 BC 90

2016 TWR (Te Whare Ra) "Toru" White Field Blend Marlborough
Review Date: 11-07-2017
A fantastic Thanksgiving wine. This delicious and versatile white field blend combines the wonderful aromatics of Gewurtz, the textural qualities of Pinot Gris and the acidic backbone and minerality of Riesling. All fruit is from the organically farmed home block at Te Whare Ra with the Riesling coming from 38 year old vines. This is super quaffable and refreshing but still has detail and complexity. Another cracker from TWR.
Price: Hidden View Price
RC 93 SK 92

2014 Barde-Haut, St-Emilion
Review Date: 11-01-2017
Dark red fruit mingles with dried mushroom, sage and saddle leather. Quite a brooding wine with a core of sweet fruit but plenty of savory umami qualities to boot. Exotic spicy oak adds another dimension and helps reinforce structure. Beautiful fine, chalky tannin gives length and promise for a long future (if you don't drink it tonight).

Kaiyo Mizunara Oak Japanese Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 10-24-2017
Quite an exotic expression with lots of spice, shaved ginger, clove and sandalwood. Light and delicate in texture on the palate but certainly not lacking in flavor and intrigue. Supple, easy and pure. A Japanese whisky that we actually got more than a few bottles of!!?? Yes! Aged in very expensive Mizunara Oak!!?? Yep! Likely to cause quite a frenzy!!?? Yes!
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2015 Ridge Vineyards "Pagani Ranch" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 10-12-2017
The 2015 Pagani Zin has an explosive nose of sweet, ripe fruit, macerated liquored cherries, exotic spices and scorched earth. The palate is packed with similar flavors, full-bodied and very fruit forward but with beautifully judged extraction. Sure the flavors are ripe (it's from one of the warmest, earliest harvests in living memory) but there is delicious freshness and vibrancy to the wine. Nothing about it's fruit profile stewed or roasted. People are going to love this wine from the get go...it's the perfect essence of Zinfandel.

2015 Fromm "Quarters Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 10-06-2017
Single Barrel, cask strength Pinot Noir! Not sure if I've ever started a wine review like that before...but yes this is a single barrel wine that we (K&L) bought every available bottle of (234 bottles were left for us after Fromm's own wine making team took some for their own cellars)! Quarters vineyard is an organically farmed block up in the famed Brancott Valley. The soils consist of clay and fine silt giving a softness and generosity to the wines grown here. Bramble fruit, ripe raspberry, sweet wood spice. The palate is medium bodied with beautifully soft silky tannin. The fruit profile is quite exotic, with plenty of energy and flow. Warm earth notes mingle with macerated berries and sandalwood. Eminently drinkable right now with some air but an easy one to lay down for 5-10 should you desire. I'm so happy the folks at Fromm entrusted us with this tiny production, single vineyard wine - Cheers to them!

Four Pillars "Faultline" K&L Exclusive Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 10-03-2017
A pretty awesome collaboration between our very own Spirits Buyer David Driscoll and the folks at Four Pillars in Australia. It seems pretty crazy to travel literally half way around the world to make a single batch of Gin...but if you know how talented the guys at Four Pillars are and how much relentless energy and passion David has for finding / making great booze, then you'll understand how it made perfect sense. The result is pretty epic - exotic botanicals, balanced flavors, a texture more like an aged spirit than a brand new one; this is soft enough to sip straight but potent and unique enough to bring some new flair to your go-to drinks. If any of our previous Faultline Gins are anything to go by this will be a huge hit...and I think this one is the best yet.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2014 Trinity Hill "The Trinity" Red Blend Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 09-25-2017
This wine is simply unbelievable for this price point. 2014 was one of the best (if not the best) vintage in Hawke's Bay for 20 years. Stable Autumn weather and warm vintage conditions gave rise to wines of deep, concentrated fruit, with powerful structure and length. This wine is predominantly a right bank Bordeaux style blend with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon taking the lead with dashes of Tempranillo, Syrah and Malbec adding complexity and character. The fruit was picked from Trinity Hill's incredible estate holdings in Hawke's Bay and showcases the regions stony, gravelly soils that are so perfect for these varieties. Dark plummy fruit, charred spices, coco nib and stony minerals. The wine is medium bodied with a nice tannin structure that drinks far more seriously than the wines modest price point might suggest. This wine can easily stand up to hearty stews and grilled meats or be cellar for 5-8 even 10 years. Quite remarkable for a wine we're offering for under $10!

2014 Shaw + Smith Shiraz Adelaide Hills South Australia
Review Date: 09-15-2017
As esteemed Australian wine writer James Halliday notes Shaw + Smith have a strong reputation as one of the best cool climate Shiraz producers in Australia. What I love about this wine is that it's not funky, under-ripe and savory just for the sake of proving a point. It's driven by juicy dark red fruit, lush ripe tannins; it stands with a medium-full bodied physique and is certainly not shy. What you won't find in this wine are big gobs of stewed black fruit, a burning sensation from 16% alcohol or charred new oak leaving slithers in your mouth. It's a sleek, pure, balanced style of Shiraz that gives you up front fruit, exotic spices and hints of gaminess but without any of the pit falls that beset wines on either end of the ripeness spectrum. This will be a big hit for lots of people especially at this price point.

2015 Shaw + Smith Pinot Noir Adelaide Hills South Australia
Review Date: 09-15-2017
The aromatics of this Pinot will have you falling in love long before the wine even hits you lips. Such a beautiful perfume of alpine strawberries, rose petals, fresh raspberry, sweet baking spices, bramble leaf, agar wood. The nose is pronounced and fruit focused but there is so much more than just simple fruit. One the palate a similarly complex cacophony of flavors intermingle. The wine is elegant and medium bodied; a cool, crunchiness of fresh berries pervades every corner of the palate. This is a very pure, polished wine with super fine tannins, perfectly integrated acidity, expertly judged ripeness and extraction. It really is a beautiful wine shows the exotic, aromatic side of Pinot Noir but without even a suggestion of over ripeness or heaviness. Stunning value too.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JH 95 JS 95

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