Staff Favorites - Joe Manekin

Joe Manekin
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Joe arrived at our doors in February 2007 from far away, Washington, DC to be exact. Just so no one gets the wrong idea, though, he was merely earning a living in DC; Joe’s cultural identity, as well as his professional sports allegiances and, when he has a few drinks in him, his accent, are all Baltimore through and through. After working on the wholesale side of the business for nearly 4 years, Joe decided that he wanted to work wine retail with the best, so he emailed Cindy Westby at K&L and the rest is history. While Joe is well versed in a number of wine regions, he most enjoys the wines of Europe, though he is growing increasingly interested in the great wines of the Santa Cruz mountains. When he is not at K&L, Joe enjoys cooking, traveling, catching up on The Wire, doing occasional PR, booking and recording work for reggae band JohnStone (www.johnstonemusic.com), and writing for his wine, food and music blog, Old world Old School (www.oldworldoldschool.blogspot.com)


Reviews

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2014 Celler Cal Pla "Black Slate" Porrera Priorat
Review Date: 09-18-2017
Black Slate continues to be as delicious a bottling of sub $20 Priorat as we've been able to find. Every year we taste several different "vi de vila," or village bottlings, of Black Slate and pick our favorite. The Porrera bottling often times leads the pack, and it once again does so for me in 2014. Loads of spicy dark cherry confit aromas, with hints of wild thyme and warm, parched earth, lead to savory flavors, with impressive mid palate intensity, minerality and freshness. And it's the freshness which to me continues to mark many of the best 2013 and 2014 vintage Priorats I have tasted. This is a great bottle of Priorat for the price! Load up, since we bought everything we could and it might well be all that's available of this tasty vintage.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2013 Seña Red Blend Valle de Aconcagua
Review Date: 09-18-2017
Imagine if the 1976 Judgement of Paris tasting - the event which proved the quality of California's finest Cabernet based wines was every bit the equal of its much better known and more expensive Bordeaux peers - was taken on the road over the course of a decade. That is exactly what happened with Sena, beginning in 2004 in Berlin and then taking place in London, Amsterdam, Hong Kong and other cities in most of the world's major wine markets. While the wine consistently placed 2nd or 3rd in these early tastings, when verticals were introduced in later tastings, Sena consistently swept the competition, finishing first nearly every time. Now that you have some context, I can tell you that this wine is the real deal, a fantastic expression of Chilean terroir and a very fine Bordeaux inspired blend to be sure. At under $100, I think it's one of our best higher end Cabernet blends, and certainly one of the most consistently praised amongst the world's wine critics.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart
JS 99 RP 96

2015 Taylor Fladgate "Quinta de Vargellas" Vintage Port
Review Date: 09-14-2017
This is fantastic, young port, a true representative of both the house style at Taylor as well as the special vineyard site that is the Quinta de Vargellas. This is a vineyard in the rugged, eastern Douro Superior, where incredibly hot days are tempered by cooler nights than in the rest of the /Douro, resulting in wines of great fragrance, freshness and intensity. While Vargellas definitely marks the finest of Taylor's wines in broad based declared vintages (most recently 2011), it is in the very fine, non declared years such as 2015 where you have something truly special in a single quinta Port bottling. Deeply vinous and floral on the nose, the palate of freshly plucked wild blackberries and schist/granite minerality, with a markedly less sweet impression than many other houses, is what makes this wine special. If you feel like you need to wait too long on your 2011's (or even your 2007's or '94 for that matter), then enjoy these now for their lovely fragrance and sheer power, or stash away for another decade for something really special to emerge.

2015 Chakana "Ayni" Malbec Paraje Altamira Uco Valley
Review Date: 09-11-2017
A serious Malbec from the Uco Valley paraje (sort of a designated area within a growing area, somewhere more specific, but not a single cru or vineyard) of Altamira, this wine shows serious dark fruit, elegant florals, balanced acidity and elegant, long tannins. One of our best Malbecs currently in stock.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2014 Anthill Farms Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-10-2017
True blue, coastal Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (nod nod, wink wink), Anthill Farm's SC bottling is really good: wild plums, bright mixed berry, really fresh fruit and wonderful balance. One for the cellar or to enjoy now following a quick decant.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 Evesham Wood Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-10-2017
As always, this is delicious, easily amongst my top three under $20 Pinot Noirs in the store. Supple and juicy, the wine is also very fresh and has the generous, palate coating texture that I have come to expect in Evesham Wood's wines. Highly recommended.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Stoller "Estate" Dundee Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 09-10-2017
This is fantastic, original, tasty Chardonnay, from one of the best places to grow Chardonnay in all North America: Williamette Valley, Oregon! Super crispy, very dry, tangy yellow fruit, some quince...delicious stuff!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Aba de Trasumia Albariño Rias Baixas
Review Date: 09-07-2017
A more weighty and richly styled Salnes Valley Albarino, this still is plenty fresh, with tasty stone fruit flavors and wonderful fruit/acid balance. Great Albarino for the price!
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

2015 Trivento Malbec Reserve Mendoza
Review Date: 09-07-2017
This Malbec was so good, that when we were told that some remaining stock of this vintage had landed with another distributor, we were very excited to check back in on it. It's showing great with aromas of fresh strawberries and lovely red plum, juicy bing cherry flavors, with a hint of cracked black pepper in the background. Super fun, impeccably well made and at under $10 it is a red that will hit a sweet spot for most red wine value seekers. One of our top Argentinean deals of the year.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
DC 95

2015 Alvar de Dios "Camino de los Arrieros"
Review Date: 09-05-2017
From the Arribes D.O., which is basically the far western extreme of the Spanish portion of the Duero River valley before you hit the border with Portugal and enter the Douro Superior sub-zone, comes this delicious new arrival from Alvar de Dios. Aromas are pungent, mineral, just slightly reductive and redolent of red fruits as well as (and I'm quoting two of my colleagues here because I think it's right on the money) jackfruit and peach. Intense flavors are driven in equal parts by minerality, fruit, acidity and tannins. A delicious wine to expand your Spanish wine range.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Olivier Riviere "Ganko" Rioja
Review Date: 09-05-2017
Original, category defying wines are difficult to place. This is definitely the case for the most distinctive Spanish red I have tasted year to date, the 2014 Olivier Riviere "Ganko." Unlike our other featured Riojas, this one has no tempranillo whatsoever, instead consisting of Garnacha and Mazuelo grown in high elevation vineyards, kind of way out in the sticks on the southern, Sierra de la Demanda side of Rioja Alta. Olivier brings his Beaune training and French sensibility to this wine, which comes across as incredibly bright and perfumed, fresh and high toned but structured and serious as well. In a wine world where Barbaresco meets a fresher style of southern Rhone wine, you will find this wholly original, subtly spicy, intense, freshly fruited Rioja. It is beautiful now, though likely to improve for at least another 7-8 years. For the Rioja completist or simply anyone who is curious, I think you will find a lot to like in this beauty. Highly recommended.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2013 Quinta do Popa Douro
Review Date: 08-30-2017
While you will not likely hear anyone extolling the virtues of the challenging, atypically cool 2013 Douro vintage, personally I love it. A few of my favorite wines from this year show fine aromatics, with more delicate floral notes, and a fresh, well delineated compliment of flavors perked up by slightly higher acidity and nicely toned by a combination of lower alcohol, more subtle fruit and firm grape tannins. Quinta do Popa made a wonderful Douro blend this year, focusing as usual on their Touriga Franca, a grape whose aromatics and freshness stand in contrast to the more common leading actor, Touriga Nacional (no doubt a fine talent but perhaps prone to overdoing it from time to time). 30% Tinta Roriz and some other varieties round things out for this blend. The wine is both red and dark fruited, mineral, tautly structured, and perfect for whatever you may decide to throw on the grill.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

2015 Quinta do Perdigao Encruzado Dao
Review Date: 08-30-2017
If there is a single Portuguese region that consistently brings great value to the table, and is unfortunately as consistently overlooked, it would have to be the Dao. There are great wines at a variety of price points, though this under $20 white is one of my current favorites. It features Encruzado, the region's star grape and a variety that can bring to mind Chablis, Muscadet, Godello for the Iberian inclined imbibers out there. Citrus - particularly ripe pink grapefruit - on the nose, leads to a palate of pure fruit, with nice extract and phenolic qualities as well. Organically farmed, raised in neutral oaked, further cultivated by a sound system streaming in live opera from the Met for crying out softly...this is a wine well worth experiencing!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Quinta do Regueiro Alvarinho Reserva
Review Date: 08-30-2017
A new bottling for me, Quinta do Regueiro's Alvarinho stands out as one of the best Portuguese white wines I have tasted so far this year. Based a short distance from Melgaço, Alvarinho from here can be every bit the equal of the best Spanish Albarinos from the other side of the Minho River. Showing bright, juicy tangerine flavors, perfectly balanced acidity and impressive length, there is a lot to like here....
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Quinta do Regueiro Alvarinho Trajadura Minho
Review Date: 08-30-2017
Love, love, love this producer's wines! Somehow we have made it through a large portion of the summer without the 2016 bottling of this fantastic Vinho Verde blend, but if it's any consolation, our real summer here in the SF Bay Area doesn't kick into high gear until September anyhow. Softly textured yellow fruited, slightly frothy as opposed to aggressively fizzy, this Alvarinho and Trajadura blend is delicious and really hits the spot. Highly recommended.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2013 Casarena "Naoki's Vineyard" Malbec Agrelo
Review Date: 08-30-2017
Agrelo is a village famous for the quality of its soils and vineyards. The Cabernet and Malbec from here, in particular, is delicious, often times with a nicely rounded, soft quality to the tannins, which makes for especially elegant wines. Naoki's vineyard contains calcified marine fossils, lending freshness to the wine. That said, perhaps more than anything else it is the sumptuous wild plum fruit and violet floral notes which really seem to define this delicious bottle of Malbec.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2010 La Rioja Alta "Viña Alberdi" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 08-28-2017
Upon first whiff, the 2010 Viña Alberdi is spicy, with the cedary oak notes nearly stealing the show. There are of course baking spices and pretty fruits as well, which both become more evident on the palate, where they combine with the oak for a nicely balanced, "bien clasico" expression of Rioja. This level of quality and traditional craftsmanship at under $20 makes this a must in your regular rotation!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 95 RP 91

2016 J. Bouchon "Canto Sur" Maule Valley
Review Date: 08-21-2017
Canto sur translates roughly as "Southern Song," and is both an ode to the more southerly Maule Valley as well as the grapes which have made it their home. A blend of Carignane, Pais (Mission) and Carmenere, I cannot think of a red blend that is more proudly Chilean than this! Fortunately these also happen to be highly compatible grapes for blending, which you can immediately tell from this charming and authentic wine. The nose offers something brightly fruited, with some slightly savory and scruffy wild herbs as well , and the palate shows everything I love about these grapes, particularly the juicy and mouthwatering Carignane fruit and the tense, focused, slightly tannic Pais. Any wine as delicious, honest, and expressive as this for under $12 is a big win!

2013 Concha y Toro Marqués de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto
Review Date: 08-21-2017
Sourced from some of Concha y Toro's top quality Puente Alto Cabernet vines, same as is the case for their iconic and long lived Don Melchor (SRP $99.99), this is solid Cabernet at $20 - certainly respectable compared to some of the better examples out there from anywhere in the world. At under $12 and nearly 50% off, however, this is a must have Cab. Please do not confuse this with Concha y Toro's cheaper bottlings and brands, as this wine is much more serious in execution (think used barrels and even a portion of large format botti imported from the Piemonte!) as well as in profile. Aromas of darker fruits, cedar, freshly ground black peppercorns and licorice lead to a juicy palate of ripe red and dark fruits, with elegant, long tannins which make this taste much more expensive than most any $12 red wine you will drink this year (remember this is conceived to be a $20 bottle). A great deal for anyone who wants to have great value Cabernet around the house.

2015 Viña Zorzal "Malayeto" Garnacha Navarra
Review Date: 08-10-2017
Great Garnacha is not too hard to find in Spain these days. At every price point and from various regions, there is great stuff out there, though perhaps the most impressive development is the sort of pretty, brightly fruited, light on its feet wines which to many drinkers who remember, bring to mind an earlier era of Chateauneuf du Pape. I love the new Spanish Garnacha, and Zorzal's single vineyard Malayeto bottling really hits the spot: lively mixed berry fruits, juicy acidity and gentle tannins to support the wine make this Grenache incredibly easy to drink. Here's to the new Spanish Garnacha!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2004 Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-08-2017
More '04, please! This cool vintage, described as "classic" among Champagne growers and negociants, will rarely disappoint, particularly for fans of acidity, ageability and wines that lead with finesse and balance as opposed to richness, toast and power. So Elegant, softly textured and well put together, this was easily my favorite of a small vertical of vintage LP we tasted earlier today (yes, I know, it's a tough job....)
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
VN 92 WS 91

Trudon "Emblematis" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-08-2017
During our recent Champagne tasting, we were discussing the Pinot Meunier grape - its unique personality, versatility, ability to make a delicious wine on its own and even its contribution of savory richness to the Krug house style. Well, we have a new Meunier based Champagne (70% PM, 30% PN) from Trudon, and it is delicious - a fantastic example of the power and tastiness of this grape variety. Juicy, subtly spicy and refreshing, Trudon Emblematis reminds me of Michel Loriot Brut Reserve, whose bottles I have nearly depleted in my cellar over the past couple years. I will surely be replacing them with Trudon. Delicious, and affordable, Champagne!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2012 Michel Arnould "Carte d'Or" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-08-2017
Arnould's Carte d'Or is fantastic stuff. While I realize I may be preaching to the choir if you are already on this product page, please allow me to tempt you/fill you in if this is a new name for you! The Montagne de Reims village of Verzenay, home base for Michel Arnould, is Pinot Noir country - grand cru Pinot Noir country at that. The wine from here is distinctive even in Arnould's NV bottlings, though in as strong a vintage as 2012 - a consensus pick for one of the best vintages of the last twenty among Champagne growers - the wine simply becomes a must have. Nutty aromas show fruit, though the nose to me is more savory than fruit forward. The palate is all about balance: complete, nicely dry, some golden fruits and still with years of development ahead of it. I could bore you about the virtues of ageing Champagne, far more effective however would be to purchase some of these and crack open a bottle or two every so often over the course of several years, or much, much longer!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Rose" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-08-2017
I'm a big fan of this relative newcomer to our stable of DI Champagnes, so I was excited to have the opportunity to taste their rose. Containing 67% Chard and 33% Pinot Noir, there is a bit less PN than in the Brut bottling; this wine's color actually comes from a 17% portion of Pinot vinified as red wine. A creamy nose of red cherries leads to delicious flavors and texture on the palate - as much a testament to 3.5 years on the lees and ageing on cork as it is to distinguished, chalky soils and an excellent terroir.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2013 Felsina "Rancia" Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 08-08-2017
When it comes to Chianti Classico, I am unabashedly a Felsina guy. I have always found these wines to be delicious and they have resonated with me for as long as I can remember. That said, the 2013 Rancia Riserva ramps up the deliciousness and ought to not only be enjoyed now, but cellared for a while as well. Aromas of macerated cherries, a suggestion of kirsch and walnut liqueur leads to a supple, rich, generous palate. Lots of fruit, sufficient acidity, tannins for structure...all the components are well balanced for both enjoying young and over the long haul. Highly recommended.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
VN 96 RP 95

1991 Martinez Lacuesta Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 08-08-2017
We are excited to have two fully mature, extremely affordable examples of Reserva Rioja from the esteemed Martinez Lacuesta in their 1987 and 1991 bottlings. I suspect that everyone will have their favorite, as this 1991 is quite tasty though distinct from the '87. Aromas initially were a combination of leateher and leather conditioner, though after opening up they became meatier, less leathery, and the palate rounded out and became less taut and tangy. While I maintain that this '91 shows more evolution than the older 1987, a co-worker just mentioned that they prefer it. Either way, a fully mature bottle of Rioja from a very good vintage is never a bad thing! Particularly if there happens to be a grilled ribeye served alongside it....
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

1987 Martinez Lacuesta Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 08-08-2017
A great year, one of the best of the 1980's, this 1987 Martinez Lacuesta Reserva is drinking wonderfully now. Cocoa powder, nut shells, eucalyptus and some underlying fruit aromas lead to a palate that shows more fruit, of a more intense and sweeter quality, than the nose would suggest. There is volume, persistence, minerality and poise, everything I want in a fully mature Rioja. At under $50, I highly recommend it.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2008 El Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 08-08-2017
An impressive, single vineyard (located in Oyon) gran reserva, from what is steadily becoming a favorite vintage of the aughts for me in 2008. El Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva initially takes some coaxing before it begins showing its stuff. While on day one, the wine showed a decidedly savory aromatic profile, slightly rustic and beefy, with tasty dark fruit leather on the palate, by day two the wine had opened up considerably. Somehow the fruit came into beltter focus, the savory development and earthiness receded into the background after a day of opening. I would therefore suggest at least a one hour decant, and then pair with whatever cut of lamb is available. Terrific gran reserva.
Price: Hidden View Price

2008 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 08-08-2017
One of the new Spanish releases I look most forward to tasting every year is La Rioja Alta's Vina Ardanza. The 2008, celebrating the 75th anniversary of this iconic bottling, is absolutely delicious. In this colder vintage, the red fruit not only seems to have more cut than usual, but more intensity as well. Focused and refined, this bottling is the first featuring Garnacha from La Rioja Alta's Pedriza vineyard, where vines are planted in a bed of pure stones - there is no visible topsoil here. As usual, when this wine is on, we are truly hard pressed to think of a more delicious - or more ageworthy - red in the store for under $50.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2008 Bodegas Puelles Rioja Reserva
Review Date: 08-03-2017
There is no under $20 Rioja in our stock that tows as fine a line between balanced fruit expression and savoriness, modernism and classicism, all while using 100% estate grown, mature vine fruit from the single Rioja Alta village of Abalos. 2008 was a relatively cooler vintage in Rioja Alta, one that allows the tannin structure and balanced acidity to shine. That said, Puelles' Reserva does have a consistent stylistic stamp that shines year after year: focused cherry fruit, a bit dusty perhaps, with well formed, rounded tannins and a gently earthy savor that makes this such an ideal wine at table: Tuesday night with a garlicky lentil stew, good bread and Manchego, or Saturday night with lamb loin chops. Puelles is undoubtedly one of our favorites - not simply because we know and love the family and import the wines, but because the wines are delicious and are wonderfully evocative Riojas.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2014 Valderiz Ribera del Duero
Review Date: 07-31-2017
Whoa ...there is a whole lot of wine here for the price. Valderiz' 2014 Ribera del Duero better illustrates the appeal of this region's Tempranillo-based wines than any other I have had this year. Sweetly spicy black fruit aromas combine with plum sauce and an earthy peanut quality. On the palate, the wine has rich black fruits, tempered by sweet baking spices, leather, balanced acidity and well framed tannin. For a grilled steak or lamb chops, I think we have found your wine. Awesome stuff for under $30 -- compare with a Napa Cab at 2-3x the price.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WS 94

2015 Domaine Bart "Les Saint Jacques" Marsannay Rouge
Review Date: 07-31-2017
I'm continuing to nerd out on Domaine Bart's nine different Marsannay bottlings. Having consumed five of the nine, I will say that each one has been delicious, and each one has its own unique profile, perhaps none quite as dramatically as the Les Saint Jacques. More deeply pitched dark fruits on the nose lead to a palate of tangy plum and blackberry - the acidity shines and truly frames this wine.There might be a bit more stem inclusion on this bottling, lending a tighter structure to the wine. Tense, mineral, a bit salty and savory as well, I sense that this wine will improve dramatically over the next decade or so.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
BH 89 - 91

2015 Borsao "Tres Picos" Garnacha Campo de Borja
Review Date: 07-31-2017
Perhaps more than any other wine in the section, Borsao has introduced so many drinkers to great value red wine, Spanish style. Translation: this wine has loads of ripe, mixed berry fruits, an underlying earthy/smoky savory quality, and an attractive veneer of spice and toast due to a short time spent in oak. As always, there is a lot to like, particularly for fans of richly fruited wines and/or those who are just starting to explore the diversity and value of Spain's wines. One of our most popular Grenache (Garnacha) based wines.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
VN 92 RP 91

2009 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 07-25-2017
A textbook Leoville-Barton, the fantastic '09 opens with pure crushed currant aromas and a lovely, leafy undercurrent of Cabernet complexity--just a beautiful nose. Black fruits on the palate are supported by elegant tannins. While the wine is still in its youth, the fruit expression and overall balance suggest a long life ahead.

2010 Contino Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 07-24-2017
One of my all time favorite Rioja estates, Contino Reserva is always delicious: a lovely balance of ripe, forward, rich fruit, baking spices, savory tones and bright acidity. As wonderfully consistent as Contino is, it really excels in certain vintages - typically cooler years and vintages where acidities and tannins tend to be a bit higher than normal. Due to their protected, slightly warmer site, it is these vintages where Contino often produces something truly special, and 2010 is the most recent example. Aromatically a rich confit of cherries and plums, along with baking spices, leads to a palate that in short order delivers waves of rich, intense fruit, followed by the balancing acidity which refreshes and should allow for long ageing in bottle. Perhaps there is no Rioja that will appeal to as wide a range of wine drinkers as Contino. For the price, this may be the best Spanish wines I've tasted this year.

2007 Langoa-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 07-23-2017
Many 2007 Bordeaux's are in a sweet spot right now, beginning to deliver all the elegance, flavor development and balance one would expect in maturing Bordeaux. Langoa is one of our favorites and this 2007 is spot on: savory, rich cherry fruits and a suggestion of braised meat on the nose lead to a palate of red fruit and appealing earthiness. A well put together and complete, utterly delicious Langoa.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 RP 90

2012 Reserve de Léoville-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 07-23-2017
This is yet another 2012 that is drinking beautifully now. The red fruits of the vintage seem to dominate over the more typical dark fruits of Leoville Barton's first wine. With sweet earthy and spicy notes on the nose as well, this is a delicous example of the vintage and of the inherent value in picking a well made second wine from a prestigious property such as Leoville Barton (always one of our favorites).
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2015 Domaine Bart "Les Longeroies" Marsannay Rouge
Review Date: 07-20-2017
Our favorite Marsannay specialists, Domaine Bart, are back in the house, with an impressive nine different Marsannay bottlings for you to play around with. In fact, in the name of thoroughness, I am in the process of doing just that! Les Longeroies is a clay and marl vineyard, and the plump, generous mixed berry fruit with round, elegant tannins reflects this soil type. It is always one of my favorite Marsannays, succulent and purely fruited, but with the structure to age a bit. Delicious, and as I previously mentioned a favorite bottling amongst one of my favorite producers in Domaine Bart.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
BH 88 - 91

2015 Domaine Bart "Les Finottes" Marsannay Rouge
Review Date: 07-20-2017
Domaine Bart makes no less than nine, count them nine, Marsannays! And I'm excited that in this great vintage, we have them all to show off the differences in site - a true Burgundian lesson in terroir without the need to shell out three digits per bottle. Les Finottes is actually a monopole vineyard - exclusively owned by Domaine Bart - featuring sandy soils and some really old vines (up to 90 years old). A step up in complexity from the straight Marsannay, the wine is big, spicy, woodsy, dark fruited, and structured, with tannins that grip but are ultimately well balanced. The scale and richness of fruit on the nose nearly reminds me of Central Otago, though on the palate, even in this ripe vintage, we are clearly in Burgundy. At under $25, this is a lot of wine, and it should cellar well for another 7-8 years.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

2013 Aleph Semillon Mendoza
Review Date: 07-20-2017
Argentina has around 900 remainining hectares of Semillon vines, many of them brought over in the first half of the 20th century. In this case, these 70 year-old vines yield a lovely wine with waxy white fruit and a soft texture. Roberto, whose family hails from Galicia, Spain, suggests serving this delicious white with octopus.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

2003 Aleph "Old Vines" Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 07-20-2017
This is terrific Malbec, with nearly 15 years bottle age, and therefore a real rarity. Great presence on the palate - dark fruits, graphite and some savory hickory smoke notes as well, but still fresh. The Malbec in this bottle comes from 90 year old vines in the La Consulta district of the Uco Valley. Maybe one of our best deals in serious Argentinian Malbecs.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2010 Aleph Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 07-20-2017
Aleph continues to make some of our favorite Malbecs - delicious and often with the added bonus of some extra bottle age. Fruit is sourced from Lujan de Cuyo, the traditional home base for Mendoza wine country's historic bodegas as well as the area containing the largest number of older vineyards. As usual, this bottling is bright and quite tasty, with excellent depth of flavor and texture.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Bart Marsannay Rouge
Review Date: 07-20-2017
Domaine Bart is not only one of my favorite K&L direct import Burgundy domaines, it is amongst my favorite reds of any type in our inventory. The 2015 Marsannay is a good example of the Bart house style in a great Burgundy vintage: succulent fruit, lively/juicy acidity, supple tannins, and an overall feel that is as reflective of place as it is easy to drink. Recently I opened a bottle at home, intending to enjoy it over a couple nights to track the development. After about 15 minutes and a few glasses in, it quickly became apparent that there would be no steady tracking of this wine's evolution. In another 30 minutes, the bottle was empty. I think my wife had a glass while I quickly took care of the rest. My highest recommendation on this wine.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine Samuel Billaud Petit Chablis
Review Date: 07-19-2017
There is absolutely nothing "petit" about this impressive, chalky, mineral driven Petit Chablis! Having recently tasted this, alongside a nice line-up of Chablis which featured some 1er Cru as well as several Grand Clos Les Clos which included 2015 Dauvissat, I am happy to report that this not only held its own ,but was one my favorites! Just a wonderful, over achieving bottle from this fantastic producer. Highly recommended.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

1984 Caol Ila "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength 33 Year Old Islay Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-19-2017
Wowee Zowee! This is as close to perfection in a single malt as I have tasted in a long time. There is something about good, older Caol Ila that, delicious as it is, I find nearly impossible to put into words. If you have not yet had the opportunity to taste older Caol Ila, to experience the interplay of honey, salt, and subtle smoke, that coat the palate and stick around for minutes, you really ought to splurge for this bottle. And if you are familiar with the magic that is older Caol Ila, then you don't need much convincing. This has my highest recommendation.
Price: $349.99 Add To Cart

2014 Mount Edward Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 07-19-2017
Compared to the Wanaka Rd bottling, you can sense the darker tones to the fruit, the more serious structure, and the fact that this Pinot Noir, while terrific now with a meal (quick suggestion: grilled lamb chateaubriand served with roasted fingerlings), is built to improve in bottle. Mount Edward continues to make the best value Pinot Noir in New Zealand, which in turn places them amongst the best value Pinot Noirs in our selection.

2015 Wanaka Road (Mount Edward) Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 07-19-2017
Produced from younger vines, this is spicy, fruit forward Pinot, with flavors of cranberry, juicy acidity, and a freshness that makes me want to drink a lot of it at one sitting! Delicious Pinot Noir for drinking now.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RC 91

2011 Mount Edward "Morrison Vineyard" Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 07-19-2017
Compared to the Muirkirk vineyard, this bottling shows more juicy aromas, with a bright and slightly pungent quality. Flavors of cranberry and pomegranate are high toned, and framed by mellowing (though still firm) tannins. This is delicious Pinot Noir that is beginning to open up and sing. I see why Duncan chooses to re-release these from time to time!

2011 Mount Edward Estate "Muirkirk Vineyard" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago
Review Date: 07-19-2017
Today we had the pleasure of tasting with winemaker/proprietor Duncan Forsyth, and this was one of the real surprises of the line-up: a recently re-released bottling of single vineyard Pinot Noir. Savory, with aromas of dark fruit and an appealing, gamey quality, the wine also has quite a bit of concentration, structure and savor on the palate, all in terrific balance.

2014 Laventura Viura Rioja
Review Date: 07-19-2017
Dollar for dollar, for my money, this is the best white wine we have. Old vine Viura, complemented with heirloom varieties such as Malvasia and Calagraño, fermented and aged in Stockinger foudres for 18+ months, mineral as all get out yet also rich in the mid-palate with the length of a (very good) $40 white Burgundy. This stuff is fantastic. Proprietor/vigneron Bryan MacDonald's star is on the rise, and I would suggest that now is the time to get acquainted with this spectacular white wine. Load up for drinking now and for your cellar if you've got the room; this wine will age.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

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