Staff Favorites - Kirk Walker

Kirk Walker

Reviews

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2015 Mount Edward Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 06-06-2018
Classic Central Otago nose; dark cherry dusted with wild thyme polished with just a whisper of oak spice. Texturally this does what only Pinot can do, it is broad, soft round yet taught and focused with the right amount of tannin and acid to support but not intrude. A rich and dry Pinot with lots of lingering berry and spice notes. It is charming now and I think will just get better and better.

2015 Albatreti Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 05-30-2018
Old school Tucan goodness. This wine captures that dusty, savoriness of Sangiovese without the edginess. Dark cherry and brighter berries backed by that sotto bosco. Best deal in Tuscany by far.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine des Niales Rhedon-Marin Mâcon-Villages Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 05-30-2018
The best ABC deal that is still a C in the store! This Domaine has overperformed for us for over a decade! Ripe but coolly defined yellow fruits, good aromatics and a nice hint of minerality on the finish. Good for almost all occasions.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Best's "Bin No.1" Great Western Victoria Shiraz
Review Date: 05-29-2018
This Shiraz is almost the best of both worlds, old and new. The nose is almost new world, it is dark and rich with deep dark fruits spiked with spice and eucalyptus note, but it is not heavy. The palate is almost old world, balanced with brighter fruit, lots of spice and soft tannins but it is not austere or hard. It finishes quite long with plenty of spice and dark fruit. It is really well made with a lot going on.
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart
JS 96 JH 95

2017 Bodegas Chacra "Sin Azufre" Pinot Noir Rio Negro (Natural Wine)
Review Date: 05-29-2018
This has been one of my favorite bottlings of Pinot in the store for the last several years. There is always something very captivating about this wine. The wine tickles my palate, the method of production a vineyard work tickle my brain. Let's get to the later first. It is old vine Pinot, from the same vineyard as the Cincuenta y Cinco bottling from the producer. It is harvested a few days earlier than the traditional bottling and makes it without sulfur "sin azufre". Piero Incisa della Rocchetta meticulous winemaking crafts a "natural" wine that is clean and precise while simultaneously being earthy and savory. For me it is like drinking an untranslated version of Patagonian Pinot. You didn't know you wanted one until you try this. The nose is broad, with equal parts fruit and savory notes. Mixed fruit and berries with an earthy/mineral thing that is equal parts Sancerre blanc and Graves rouge that has been sitting in the sun all afternoon. I know, run with it, there is a little magical realism with this one. On the palate it is that same mix of fruits and berries with a dash fruit skin bite and more of that earthy savoriness. The wine glides across the palate then start to take on more weight, the tannins that you thought that were not there, slowly reveal themselves and the best part is the finish. It goes and goes but it starts and stays on the tip of your tongue. That sun-soaked earthy, mineral, Patagonian stoniness does something that I have never experienced from any Burgundy. Even more fun is to have this wine with the Cincuenta y Cinco, what a difference and few days and sulfur makes. It is beautiful but totally different. That is the kind of experience that will reinvigorate your love for the mysteries of wine, or at least it does for me.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JS 97

2016 Hugel "Gentil" Alsace
Review Date: 05-18-2018
Spring in a glass. This is a cool and refreshing white with soft floral, cool tropical, lychee and stone fruit on the nose. Medium light on the palate, it is crisp but not lean there is surprising texture to this wine. This is a wine that will brighten any occasion.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
VN 90

2014 D'Arce, Côtes de Castillon
Review Date: 04-29-2018
Soft and approachable with lots of bright fruit backed with tobacco and earth. Medium-full with just enough tannic grip. This wine will charm you with its lifted aromatics and its surprising complexity.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
JS 91 RP 90

2013 Fratelli Barale Barolo
Review Date: 04-29-2018
Beautiful Nebbiolo. High-toned, red fruited, earthy, tobacco-y, cedar-y, snappy acidity and the tannins to focus all the goodness on your palate. This is a wine that delivers all that you want from the appellation and at an incredibly reasonable price.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2014 Amici Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-28-2018
Classic Napa cab with the wonderful openness of the '14 vintage. Rich berry fruit backed with restrained use of oak and polished tannins. Drink or hold, but it will be hard to do the later.
Price: $43.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 WE 91

2014 Schlumberger Saering Riesling Grand Cru Alsace
Review Date: 04-19-2018
This wine is paradoxical in the best way. It smells sweet, honied tropical cool yellow fruit accents, yet it is very dry. The aromas and flavor prime you for a heavy unctuous wine yet texturally it light and lively. This wine is complex, long and demands your attention yet it is simply enjoyable. A very, very good wine.

2013 Marqués de Murrieta Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 04-19-2018
This is almost as good as the 2010, do you remember how freaking good that was? While it might not be as intense as that wine it has a savory complexity in its youth that the 2010 didn't and more importantly it is more open knit. This wine drinks as if it were at least three years older. It is rich without being heavy, has good length and very polished tannins. There is plenty of ripe cherry fruit, it just accented with chocolate and savory spices.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2015 Viños de Encostas "Mais Ala" Godello Valdeorras
Review Date: 04-03-2018
One of the finest white wines in the store. This is one of the most intriguing Godellos that I have ever tried. A wine with complexity, depth, texture, and length. Hailing from one of the most evocatively named wine regions in the world "valley of the ores". What cork dork does not want to drink white wine that comes from a valley with that name?! This is a wine that will appeal to not only white Burgundy drinkers but Riesling drinkers as well. Fruit and minerals on the nose lead to one of the most amazing palates for a white wine that I can remember. It enters full with almost a sweetness to it but it is the texture that grabs you. It is almost satiny, which is surprising seeing that it is also very intensely flavored, there is not an edge to this wine, it effortless glides across your palate. It is very crisp but not tart and has a long, mouth-watering finish. You immediately have to go back and try it again, it reveals more flavors but the texture remains. This is a show stopper of a wine and as much as I am gushing over it I have failed to capture this wine. I can't wait to try it again.
Price: Hidden View Price

2014 Tormaresca "Neprica" Super Puglia
Review Date: 03-31-2018
A "super" Salice Salento? This is one of the best bangs for the buck in the store. An every night red with good fruit, a little spice and intrigue and enough tannin to stand up to almost anything, yet doesn't need anything to be enjoyed.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2016 Broadley Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-31-2018
Always a favorite at K&L, and why wouldn't it? Delicious Willamette Pinot for a song. Bright red fruits a little dusty earth and fresh acidity. This a a wonderful any occasion wine.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2014 Leeuwin Estate "Art Series" Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 03-29-2018
This is one of the benchmark Chardonnays of the world. There is not a Chardonnay lover nor, I will assume winemaker, who will not be impressed with this wine. This is a wine purity balance and dances effortlessly on the palate. It makes most of the white Burgundy that I have had recently look like they are dancing with two left feet.

2014 Ritual Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Valley
Review Date: 03-29-2018
¿Un Pequeno Chileno Dagueneau? I know that is a big assertion. I think this wine rises to the occasion. This is serious Sauvignon Blanc. Aged in a combination of stainless, concrete egg and old oak the wine has a texture that is captivating.It is neither broad nor sleek and is supple and taught. The aromatics and flavors are cool but ripe there is not a green component. Just chilled peach, ruby red grapefruit and apricot pit. This is not as intense, monumental nor profound as the wine that I am comparing it to but it is at 1/8th the price... the one certain thing is that it is seriously good wine.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 RP 90

2014 Franz Keller "Franz Anton" Spätburgunder Baden
Review Date: 03-28-2018
Let me tell you a secret, "the best value Burgundies at K&L are found in the German section". I know that this is a very controversial thing to say but there is a lot of truth to it. While there are good many good red Burgundy's to be had at this or lower prices those wines do not have lift, charm, poise, complexity, nor purity that this wine does. This wine lives up to the expectations that the appellation "Burgundy" classically has. The one thing that this wine does not have, is a library of books examining the uniqueness of the regions "Terroir". There will be, we just have to wait for them. Think I am crazy? You might be right, but you'll have to try a bottle to confirm it. You will not regret it.

2013 Giacomo Ascheri Barolo
Review Date: 03-28-2018
This is the best vintage that I have tried of this wine, granted there has only been three, but this stands heads and shoulders over those two wines. This wine not only smells of Nebbiolo, it smells of Barolo, not something that usually happens at this price point. You are immediately greeted with complex red fruits, spice and mushroomy earthiness (almost truffle-y). I am sold. Everything after that is gravy. The palate has freshness and a roundness with more fruit and less earth than the nose and plenty of layers. What a deal.

2013 Fable Mountain "Night Sky" GSM Coastal Region
Review Date: 03-23-2018
A delightfully textural wine. There are no edges here, but it is not flabby. Dark fruits with a spice and a touch of South African spice. If you like rich wines from the South of France, this is something that you must try.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 90 VN 90

2016 Ermacora Schioppettino Colli Orientali del Friuli
Review Date: 03-22-2018
Schioppettino is one of the reasons why I fell in love with Italian wines. The grape itself and the fact that you can go to any region and find unique local varietals. It was Friuli and Schioppettino that opened my eyes to this. There is just something about the brambly, spicy, crunchy dark fruit that speaks to me. It being medium bodied with modest tannins and good acidity also makes me happy. It is Italian but it is also Friulan.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2016 Jean-Claude Boisset Bourgogne Rouge "Les Ursulines"
Review Date: 03-22-2018
Classic Bourgogne Rouge. A nose of dark cherries and fine earthiness. The palate is light polished and bright with more snappy red fruit playing against fine earthy notes.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
JS 91 WS 90

2016 Gabrielskloof "Rosebud" Syrah - Viognier Rosé Bot River
Review Date: 03-16-2018
This is more than just a simple rose at a great price. It delivers everything that you would expect, it is crisp and refreshing with muted citrus, stone fruits, berries and hint of mineral. But this is something else going on here, it is on the nose and you cannot quite pin it down, it is fantastic. A delicious refreshing everyday wine that invites you to come back again and again while your trying to put your finger on what that on thing is. A willow o' the wisp wine.
Price: Hidden View Price

2013 Fable Mountain "Tulbagh Estate" Syrah Western Cape
Review Date: 03-16-2018
Wow! That is what you can expect with your first sniff of this wine. The nose is heavy it is so rich. Dark macerated cherry and pomegrante backed with sweet woodsy notes, whiffs of tar and then laden with lots of pepper. The wine is big but polished with an almost creamy roundness, just no cream. More blue fruits come to play on the palate and again big spice. This is an intense wine, that doesn't require an intense meal. A perfect bridge for anyone who loves Rhone wines and wants to try some of the best wine coming from South Africa at a crazy reasonable price.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
VN 92 JS 90

2015 Corofin "Cowley Vineyard - Main Slopes" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 03-16-2018
The Cowley vineyard is in the Southern Valleys region of Marlborough, specifically Ben Morvan. These Valleys are where the some of the most interesting Pinots of Marlborough come from. The mix of Greywacke, Loess and clays and the cooler, drier climate give the varietal more depth, texture and complexity. Just one sniff and you can see how special it is; blueberries, strawberries with a floral lift and the most delicate spice and mineral tones. It is a structured wine, think Burgundian, high acid with framing tannins, there is a suppleness but it has a firm hand this is dinner wine or something to put in your cellar for a few years. The long finish plays out with darker red berries and black fruits that dance along with fine dusting minerals and crushed herbs. This is a wine that requires a little more effort on the drinkers side, several hours of decanting, medium term cellaring and appropriate food pairing it is well worth it and the rewards exceed that of and comparably price French wine.
Price: Hidden View Price
JS 91 WS 91

2016 Carrick "Unravelled" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 03-16-2018
This is a single vineyard wine, not labeled as such, that is over 20 years old. This could be one of the best introductions to this region that I have had in several years. The nose is classic Central Otago, dark cherry and that wild thyme herbal note. It is seamless yet does not lack focus. It glides all to easily across the palate, an open bottle will soon be an empty bottle. Easily best QPR pinot at K and L.
Price: Hidden View Price

2015 Jax "Y3 Taureau" Napa Valley Red Blend
Review Date: 02-28-2018
A full bodied, but mellow tannined red from Napa. Ripe and rich fruit with intrigue and a nice touch of spice. A red you can reach for for almost any occaision.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2015 Buehler Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-28-2018
Rich, creamy CA Chard with a bright pop of Russian River Fruit. hard to beat, especially at this price.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$14.99

2016 Cicada by Chante Cigale Méditerranée
Review Date: 02-28-2018
A Cotes-du-Rhone by any other name would not taste as delicious and this, well this might be better. Bright Grenache fruit with garrigue and spice..
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$9.99

2015 D'Arce, Côtes de Castillon
Review Date: 02-28-2018
Very accessible young Bordeaux and a perfect example of the much acclaimed '15 vintage. Ripe red fruits backed by moderate tannins, a savory note and a touch of fine oak.

Deligeroy "La Petite Marquise" Cremant de Loire Brut
Review Date: 02-28-2018
Classic Cremant de Loire, and on of the best sparkling wine values we have had at K&L for long, long time. Cool yellow fruits, rich yeast notes and a crisp finish. It drinks well above it's price point.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Aquitania Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley
Review Date: 02-28-2018
Alto Maipo might be the bridge that connects the structure, presence and poise of left bank of Bordeaux to the ripe and pure fruit of the West coast of the Americas. I can smell and taste that connection, I will let the physcist try to explain how this particular is made and maintained, (and don't cop out with Bordeaux train French enologist and that the vineyards are in Chile, that is not fun and too easy!) This has ripe high-toned red Cabernet fruit, think Pauillac or Spring Mountain, and a savory mountain scrub/herbal note. The wine is dry, French dry not CA dry with a slight edginess to the tannins but with a nice finish for red fruit and dusty earthy tannins. This is dinner wine, not a cocktail wine, and it requires 30 mins or more in a decanter to really open up and show you what it is all about. A good wine, a great bridge from the new world to the old.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 91 RP 90

2014 Benmarco Malbec Uco Valley
Review Date: 02-21-2018
This is more than just a great value red. It is an affordable introduction to mountain fruit wine. Now, we can say that about most Mendoza wine, but this behaves like mountain wine from other regions in the world for a 5th of the price. From the heights of Los Chacayes in the Uco Valley at 3300 feet with alluvial soils are made up of rocks, sand, silt, and limestone. Its elevation and soils are definitely translated into this wine, I wish that could be said about wines from other mountainous regions, but I digress. This wine has lifted aromatics; focused berry, floral tones, and minerality. The palate is structured but not oppressive, this is a wine for tonight, not a decade from now. The flavors are more complex than the nose and enhanced with soft tannins and fresh acidity. A wine that was made to be drunk with gusto but also has a story to tell.

2016 Amalaya Malbec Salta
Review Date: 02-14-2018
This wine is ready to unseat all of K&L's traditional best buy Malbecs, any regular in store customers will known which ones I am talking about. This is more than just a simple everyday red. There is depth of flavor here; dark fruits, a subtle savory note, a touch of that Malbec spice/earth all backed by rounded easy tannins. This is a great everyday red.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
DC 90 WS 90

2016 Jules Taylor Chardonnay Marlborough
Review Date: 02-06-2018
Having fallen in love with the Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blancs that we have carried I should not have been surprised with how good this Chardonnay is. Cool apple with a hint of something tropical, a touch of spice and something else that I cannot pin down. It is medium bodied with really good mouthfeel backed by crisp acidity and nice length. A chardonnay for all occasions, and all drinker old world and new.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
DC 93

2016 Roberto Henriquez "Pipeño" Pais Bio Bio
Review Date: 01-31-2018
Pipeño is a traditional style of wine, winemaking and wine drinking from Chile, especially from Southern Chile. Just to look at the raw material before digging into anything else about this wine should pique most people’s curiosity; 200+ year old Pias vines! Most commercial vineyards are old at 20 years! Most wines made from 100 year old vines are 4 times the price of this wine. For those whom this is important to, the vineyards are more than organically farmed. Additionally the wine is made with minimal intervention. Fermentation is partial carbonic, done in traditional Rauli barrels with native yeasts. This qualifies it for most “natural wine” consumers. Meaning this wine has a little of that funk, but in the best way, I’ll get back to that later. As mentioned, Pipeño also refers to a style of drinking. Taking young fresh wines, and mixing them with non alcoholic beverages, just to be enjoyed with food and good company. While this is not something to be mixed, it is light and refreshing and can go down as quickly and as enjoyably as any “spritzer”. Here is where I want to talk about that funk, it presents itself like a hint of vinegar, think like a shrub, a strawberry rosemary shrub! This wine has soft dusty fruits, with slightly tangy acid, and just enough framing tannins. It is fresh and savory and mouth watering, you cannot help yourself from going back and taking another sip. Being less than 12% alcohol abv, you will not feel bad about how fast the wine disappears. While this may not be for everyone, this is not only a cork dork wine. Simply, this is an unusual wine that begs to be shared with good friends and good food.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2014 Moss Wood "Wilyabrup" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 01-31-2018
This is a wine that should make most winemakers in California and Bordeaux jealous. This is a wine of richness and restraint. A wine with immediate impact and subtlety. It is extremely generous yet not completely forthcoming. It is a wine for tonight and a wine for the cellar. It is the best of both worlds, Napa and the Medoc, it is just what we have come to expect from Margaret River and especially Moss Wood. A wine for all drinkers to pay attention to.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
JH 97 JS 96

2016 Trellis (Amelia Park) Bordeaux Blend Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 01-31-2018
They did it again. This is the best Cab value in the store. Medium to full bodied, rich dark fruits, a touch of spice for intrigue and moderate tannins. An any occasion wine.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2013 Leeuwin "Art Series" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 01-11-2018
This wine is consistently great, there is a reason Leeuwin has the reputation that they do. This is the boldest, richest wine that I have had from them. It still has that classic red fruit but it is heavier and darker, it is almost dank, in the best possible way. The fruit is accentuated with a savory earthy, spice notes, you cannot keep yourself from going back to nose it again and again. The heaviness of the nose is not echoed on the palate. It is full and intense but structured and delineated. Rich, complex, great fruit foiled by savory complexity, bold but not heavy. This is great Cab from a Great producer and the best thing about it is drinking great now. That was a lot of greats, and it deserves every one of them.

2015 Chateau Los Boldos "Grande Reserve" Cachapoal Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 01-02-2018
A charming bright Cabernet nose with lifted red berries and a wisp of leather and earth. It is medium bodied with slightly darker fruits than the nose would suggest. It has sneaky tannins that are polished and is lightly oaked. This is an everyday cab that is not simple and very charming.

2012 Clairault "Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River (Black Label)
Review Date: 12-30-2017
A very elegant and focused Cabernet, with the poise of a St. Julien and the cool ripeness that you would expect from Margaret River. The nose is all red fruits backed with cedar-y spicey oak. There is nothing over done with this wine, everything works together seamlessly. The fruit and spice continue on the palate back by ripe dusty tannins. This is a wine for every Cabernet lover, new world and old/.
Price: Hidden View Price
DC 95 JH 95

2014 Clairault Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River (White Label)
Review Date: 12-29-2017
Intense nose with concentrated dark fruits, tapenade, bay leaf and a hint of eucalyptus. The nose is impressive, inviting and complex. Ripe and rich entry with round mouth filling polished tannins with just a hint of oak. The dark fruits are back with a brighter berry nose as well as tapenade and muted herbal notes. What a deal!

2016 Cascina Alberta Langhe Nebbiolo
Review Date: 12-06-2017
This is something that anyone who loves Piemontese wine needs, a charming everyday Nebbiolo. Red fruits with high-toned spice components and subtle herbs. The nose is very pretty and intriguing. It is medium- to light-bodied, and the fruit is darker than the nose suggests. Easy tannins make their presence known but are not intrusive. Grab some now — unfortunately we didn't get a lot of this.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2013 Rustenberg Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch
Review Date: 08-02-2017
This wine is rich, complex and a great value. The nose is spicy, tart cherries and Chinese five spice, minus the star anise, dusty earth and a touch of sweet oak. It is full bodied with medium tannins. The fresh is brighter and fresher than on the nose and the earth takes on a fine mineral quality. This wine calls out for lamb!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Te Mata "Coleraine" Bordeaux Blend Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 07-21-2017
Coleraine is the answer to the request, "I want a New World wine" (that is implied because this request occurs while standing in the Domestic Cabernet section) with richness and fruit but with restraint and complexity (they are looking at the Bordeaux section). This wine has it all. It is a great wine. Never mind that it is priced at the entry level for high-end wine from both of those regions. Hawkes Bay is the great Cabernet family terroir that most people do not know. They should, especially if they Cabernet based wines from K&L. This will not disappoint, in fact, it will encourage more excursions to this often-overlooked region.

2015 Chateau de la Charriere Santenay 1er Cru "Gravieres"
Review Date: 07-05-2017
Wines from this site always appeal to me. Broad, high-toned, sappy and sauvage; one of my favorite expressions of Pinot Noir. This is no exception but we can add on a lusciousness of the '15 vintage. This wine has immediate appeal but medium term aging potential; once you try it you will understand the dilemma.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2016 Josef Ehmoser Zweigelt Rosé Wagram
Review Date: 06-28-2017
Clean delicate red fruits and citrus tones with a savory, mineral note and delicate Zweigelt spiciness. Light and crisp, it is that savory notes that makes me want to go back for more!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Wild Turkey "Master's Keep - Decades" Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 06-15-2017
This has a complex yet humble nose. It is warm, generous and inviting with a mellow sweetness backed with just the rights amounts of spice on the nose. For being 104 proof it doesn't need any water. That extra hint of heat drives the long finish on this extra fine Bourbon.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart
WA 94

2015 Pike Road Willamette Valley Pinot Gris
Review Date: 05-17-2017
Early summer in a glass! Cool Peach and melon notes with a subtle spice notes and a crisp citrusy finish. This is a delightful everyday white that can be paired with both simple and exotic foods or simply as an aperitif with friends.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2010 Bois-Malot, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 04-28-2017
Great everyday Bordeaux. It shows off the vintage with it's dark rich fruit and moderate tannins. A touch of earth and juicy freshness make this a go to weeknight red.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2015 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 04-12-2017
Very enticing Pinot. The aromatics Range from bright berries to dark cherries with spice, earth and herbal nuances. It is medium light bodied but with substance, round mouthfeel, sizable but soft tannins pull everything together and let you know that patience will be rewarded, but that dark fruit and rich texture temp you into drinking it all now.

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