Staff Favorites - Keith Wollenberg

Keith Wollenberg
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2012 Domaine Faiveley Corton-Clos des Cortons Faiveley Grand Cru (Monopole)
Review Date: 02-24-2015
This wine has become one of the flagships of the Faiveley portfolio the last few years. Singing with dark red fruit and boasting a truly impressive concentration, this is a wine to cellar, and to give time to mature. If you do, you will have an impressively balanced, truly Grand Cru experience. If you cannot wait, decant it for an hour or more to enjoy the opulent focused character of this wine.

The Durand Corkscrew for Removal of Old Corks with Confidence
Review Date: 02-16-2015
I thought I did not need a single additional wine gadget, but this one took me by surprise. It is the single best invention I have ever seen for opening old bottles of wine with long and fragile corks! It is a combination of an Ah-So style opener and a worm. Between them they reliably work together to grab the cork, and remove it intact. It is handmade in the U.S., from a design by Mark Taylor, and named to honor sommelier Yves Durand. It is not cheap. But if you are opening a priceless old bottle, it is well worth it to have an intact cork come out of that cherished wine bottle. I have one personally, and swear by it for old Bordeaux, Burgundy or California wines! Nothing is perfect, and no one bats 1000, but this device comes as close as I have encountered. There is a reason we have sold 100s of these, even at this price. If you open priceless old bottles, you can hardly afford to be without it.
Price: $124.99 Add To Cart

Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne "Perle d'Aurore" Brut Rosé
Review Date: 02-16-2015
This delightful sparkling rosé wine comes from Burgundy. It is made of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Gamay Noir. The charming eye of the swan color comes from the addition of Pinot Noir to the wine when the lees are disgorged, following the traditional fermentation in the individual bottle, in the Champagne method. On the palate it is very rich and fruity but just off-dry on the finish. The mousse is explosive, with a very creamy palate impression. It shows just a hint of the earthiness of a Pinot Noir from Burgundy. This charming rosé, has been a perennial best-seller for K&L, and if you taste it, you will see why.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Louise Brison "L'Impertinente" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 02-06-2015
This has a beautiful light hue. It was done by the maceration of the Pinot Noir grapes, which is always tricky. The color is a beautiful light-pink hue, clear and sparkling in hue. It presents the same way on the palate, with a lifted character and a lovely strawberry note. I would have to say that seems highly pertinent for spring and summer drinking, but the winery charmingly calls it "L'Impertinente". Try a bottle and perhaps you, too will be feeling a touch impertinent.
Top Value!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2010 Pyramid Valley Vineyards "Calvert" Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 02-04-2015
Lovely, concentrated, most elegant in character. This was a vintage where there were a lot of shot bunches (the Burgundians call it millerandage, the Americans Hen and Chicks). the result is a concentrated, focused and most delightful Pinot that could hold its head high in any quarters.

2012 Yangarra Estate "Old Vine" Grenache McLaren Vale
Review Date: 02-04-2015
Planted in 1946, so the vigor is low. Soils are a mixture of sandstone and decomposed sandstone (sand). Big, spicy and expressive on the palate, this nonetheless retains delicacy and focus, once you get past the rather steely structure. Decant this to drink now or wait some years.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart
JH 94

Fleury Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-06-2014
Very rich, very concentrated in style. Lovely champagne from a biodynamic grower. Just flat-out excellent and an amazing value.
Top Value!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 07-11-2014
This organically and biodynamically-grown Pinot Noir shows a bit more flesh than past vintages, as it comes from two vineyards. One has gravelly soil, the other is a steep slope with more clay. The result is a Pinot of both finesse and power, at a very reasonable price for the quality. Bravo!

2000 Krug Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-07-2014
This has a most attractive bouquet, with notes of pear, rose hips and seashells. On the palate it walks a beautiful line between richness and tension. Plenty of focus and acidity, but also lots of mid-palate weight. this is subtle champagne and beautifully balanced. And the finish, well that is truly something. It fans out on your palate and lingers for a long time. Bravo!

2009 Malmaison, Moulis-en-Médoc
Review Date: 01-23-2014
This was once an abandoned property, renovated and replanted by the Rothschild family over 35 years ago, which means their vines are now mature. This is from a terrific vintage, and shows it. It has both spice and balance, with rich fruit and very nice length for this price range. It is going to be in my Tuesday night mix for the next couple of years. Bravo!
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Lot 40 Single Pot Still Canadian Rye Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-15-2014
This is one of the best Ryes I have tasted in years. It starts with a slightly fruity nose, then moves to a note like a sourdough rye bread I used to bake. On the palate it is subtle and balanced, with a note of candied Kumquats on the finish. The only experience like it I have had was when tasting a bottle of Prohibition Canadian Rye Whisky I found in a secret cupboard at my Grandfather's house in San Francisco in the mid 1970's, with the notation on the bottle that it could be dispensed only for medicinal purposes. The combination of malted rye and rye yields a focused, delicious dram. Miss this and you will be sorry.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 97

1964 Faustino I Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 11-06-2013
Complex and layered, with surprisingly rich mid-palate for an almost 50 year old wine. A terrific value in fully mature wine, not available at thsi price from other parts of the world.
Price: $199.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

Thienot Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 11-06-2013
This champagne is that color that is often called "Oeil de Perdrix", or Eye of the Partridge. But Garance Thienot winced, and said "I prefer Salmon". By either name, it is a beautiful light color, not bright pink, but subtle and lovely, implying the champagne will be as soft and delicate as it actually is. Delightful cherry and strawberry notes, lovely chalky minerality and a long finish. What a find!

Charles Heidsieck "Brut Reserve" Champagne
Review Date: 11-16-2012
This is one of those occasions when you have to raise a toast to the champagne house. While the old Charles Heidseck was a solid bubbly, this is a huge step up. And the price increase is justifed by the increase in aged stocks and the higher quality overall. Delicious, rich and concentrated, with a fine mousse. Here's a toast to Champagne Charlie!

2001 Malescasse, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 09-29-2012
OK, let's think about it for just about one moment. Here is an 11 year old Bordeaux, with attractive plum fruit notes on the entry, poise, good balance, and nice maturity. It has good mid-palate richness and elegant fruit character. AND IT IS LESS THAN $20???? In the trade, we call a wine like this a no-brainer, and drink it ourselves.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

Pierre Ferrand 1840 Formula 90 proof Cognac (750ml)
Review Date: 09-19-2012
A favorite for mixing cocktails, made in a slightly old-fashoined style with a higher proof.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Quartz Reef "Methode Traditionelle" Sparkling Wine Brut Central Otago
Review Date: 02-26-2010
This terrific Methode Champenoise sparkling wine from Central Otago is made from 62% Pinot Noir and the rest Chardonnay. It has fine bubbles and is as close to Champagne as you will find, for about hlf the price. I drink it at home!
Top Value!

Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-26-2010
Balanced and elegant style. If you are looking for a delightful champagne that is so perfectly balanced that a bottle disappears in an instant, look no further.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart