Staff Favorites - Ryan Woodhouse

Ryan Woodhouse

Reviews

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

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

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

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

2014 Tapiz "Alta Collection" Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza
Review Date: 04-14-2017
96 points! $14.99...Wow...I was skeptical as you might be...but this bottle actually delivers. It's very pure fruited, has true varietal character and has excellent balance and poise. It's not over-ripe (13.9% Alc), over-extracted or over-oaked. A quaffable Cab that is sure to be a winner with this combination of points, price and quality to boot.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 96

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2014 Powell & Son G-S-M Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 03-01-2017
Speaking with Dave he mentioned the some of the fruit sources for this wine had gone into MUCH more expensive wines at his former home (that shall not be named here...but you'll figure it out). I think the wine is a beautiful example of how this centuries old blend still delivers today and that the old vines of the Barossa can stand toe-to-toe with anything from the southern Rhone. Exotic spice notes, dark, saturated fruits, scorched earth, bramble, savory spices, gamey tones and leather. The tannins are ripe but have enough grip to give adequate form and structure. Again Powell & Son delivers power and decadence without losing poise and balance.
Top Value!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2015 Felton Road "Calvert" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 02-24-2017
Another deep, dense, brooding Calvert bottling. This wine never really show it's true predigre on release but it's already looking pretty good. Like many great wines of the world as the minutes, hours, days, years tick on by the wine evolves, shape-shifts and continues to amaze. Whilst not having the immediate appeal the Cornish Point always seems to have...if you're in this for the long haul it's often a case of the Tortoise and the Hare.
Drink from 2020 to 2020
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
BC 96 WS 94

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

2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir North Canterbury
Review Date: 12-15-2016
This is just pure, silky, seductive Pinot Noir delivered at an incredible price point. Mt. Beautiful have put out some great wines over the last few years but this one beats the lot of them. Really fragrant, floral, fruit forward nose with rose petals, asian spices and ripe berry compote. On the palate the texture is soft, silky and medium bodied. Very quaffable, easy drinking stuff that delivers lovely varietal characters and suave mouthfeel at a price point you have to see to believe! Even if you've blown your budget on Holiday shipping you can still drink classy Pinot tonight!
Top Value!
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List
DC 92 SK 91

2014 Elephant Hill Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 12-01-2016
Tough to find a better Central Otago Pinot at this price! From a single vineyard in the Bendigo sub-region called Maori Point. Robust dark fruits, toasted spice, warm earthy tones, briary elements, wild thyme and minerals. Subtle power. Quite Burgundian in a way but with an unmistakable "wild" Central Otago core.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RC 92 - 93

2014 Giant Steps "Applejack Vineyard" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 10-19-2016
A wonderfully wild and aromatic Pinot Noir. There is a deliciously intriguing underbrush or briary note to this wine that transports it to realms of complexity and depth uncommon for this price point. Every swirl of the glass bring out new characters: bramble, sandalwood, sage, forest berries, some savory smoky notes and a hint of gaminess. Then come toasted spices, riper red fruit and some lifted whole cluster ferment notes. Really complex, fascinating wine. On the palate it's energetic, lithe and polished; an elegant wine with lovely natural acidity and refined structure. This is delicious now but I think it will only get better with time and I wouldn't mind betting this will be a top-notch 10-year wine. Not a blockbuster fruit bomb style; rather a wine that really evokes the true nature of Pinot Noir with all of its complex facets and dimensions.
Top Value!

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

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

Baron Fuente "Esprit" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-07-2016
Another highlight of a recent Blanc De Blanc tasting...The Baron Fuente Esprit BdB doesn't come from where you typically find Chardonnay planted in Champagne (Cote de Blanc)...in fact this property actually lies so far west it's within the Paris district! Nevertheless it is loaded with all the freshness and minerality I expect from BdB plus Baron Fuente's signature richness of texture. Ummmm good stuff.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

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

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

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

2014 Radley & Finch Cabernet Sauvignon Western Cape
Review Date: 07-29-2016
I'm stoked on these new wines from Radley & Finch! The labels are quirky and fun but the wine inside is way more serious than the sub-$10 price point suggests. Radley & Finch is a new project / partnership between young gun, rising star winemaker Thinus Krüger and boutique S. African wine importer Pascal Schildt. Basically they got sick of cheap, poorly made S. African wines flooding the market and decided to do something about it. Thinus makes the majestic FRAM wines that we also sell at K&L and has access to great fruit. Pascal has the know how to get the wines here economically so we can sell this premium juice at super sharp price points. The Cabernet is fruit forward and juicy with soft tannins and some nice varietal tobacco, wintergreen, charred oak characters alongside the primary fruit. Perfect for burgers fresh off the grill or carne asada tacos.
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

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

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

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

2015 Rogers and Rufus Grenache Rosé Barossa (Dry)
Review Date: 07-27-2016
Inspired by the great Grenache-based rosés of southern France, the Rogers & Rufus takes the fruit purity and mineral intensity these old vines give and sharpens it into a wonderfully precise and dry rosé. One of the more complex rosé wines I have tasted from the 2015 vintage. Exceptional value.
Price: Hidden View Price

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

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

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

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

2014 Corofin "Carter Ashmore Vineyard - North Corner" Chardonnay Marlborough
Review Date: 06-29-2016
Really classy Chardonnay from an intriguing old block of vines farmed (organically) by Dog Point. The Mendoza clone of Chardonnay that features here is famous for its ability to convey rich, complex, exotic flavors whilst maintaining precise and vibrant acidity. The clusters have a mixture and large and small berries, the latter being very concentrated with high acidity. The delicate winemaking of Corofin has simply allowed the detail of this site and this magnificent clone to shine. Rich but focused, subtle and refined. Nice savory lees notes complement the ripe orchard and golden stone fruit profile, nice toasty, pie crust like elements but without any excess fat or weight. The old vines bring Marlborough's deep alluvial stony soils into play in the mineral infused finish. Great stuff - but they only made two barrels!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
RC 92 RP 90

2015 S.C. Pannell "Arido" Rosé Adelaide Hills
Review Date: 06-29-2016
Juicy ripe berries abound in this snappy little Rose. Perfect fresh picked Raspberries, bramble leaf, clove, spiced citrus peel and some softer Alpine Strawberry notes as it warms slightly in the glass. A lovely gentle texture on the palate, dry but not overly austere, celebrating the purity of fruit. The addition of the Pinot Meunier seems to add an extra dimension of complexity. Delish!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JH 93

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

2012 Paolo Caciorgna "N'Anticchia" Sicily Rosso
Review Date: 06-07-2016
Serious wine that deserves a place in anyone's cellar. Amazing purity as evidenced in all of Paolo's wines. Here there are just extra layers to the fruit and robust structure. This wine has immaculate balance; easily possesses the stuffing to age gracefully for 20 years...maybe more. You could almost treat this like a classic Nebbiolo-based wine, but it may even have a little more approachability in its youth. Top-notch stuff.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 06-02-2016
The number one thing that impresses me about these Four Pillars gins is the textural richness they have. As gin is typically an un-aged spirit it can often be bursting with bright flavors but lacking any real softness or texture on the palate. Four Pillars has serious flavor and mouthfeel. The use of small copper pot stills instead of larger column stills has allowed this spirit to retain a rich round texture and the use of "whole" botanicals, right in the still means the flavors and super vibrant too. The last gin that got me this fired up was the Monkey 47...that gin was more than twice the price of this bottling...I'm loading up for summer!
Top Value!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin 750ml
Review Date: 06-02-2016
The big boy of the two Gins we have right now from Four Pillars is this "navy strength" number. As it says on the label: "stronger gin requires stronger flavors" and this certainly delivers on that! A huge burst of citrus flavor, eucalyptus hints, a sage(ish) savory element and big robust texture. I love that this gin not only has the flavor but also the textural mouth feel to balance the high 118 proof. Serious stuff that is taking our spirits world by storm.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2011 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 06-02-2016
Once again a great value for money from Lesmos. Classic combination of earthiness and fruit. Medium bodied, super versatile; a work horse wine that turns every night value into a much more engaging experience than you might think!
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2014 Corofin "Settlement Vineyard - East Slope" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 06-02-2016
The miniscule production Corofin wines are dedicated to producing bright, elegant representations of single block parcels through Marlborough's intricate patchwork of sub-regional terroirs. This tiny parcel is from one of Dog Point's vineyards. Farmed organically, this hillside parcel produces highly aromatic Pinot bursting with exotic red fruits, bramble, baking spice and warm earth tones. The palate has the concentration one would expect from this steep, exposed site. The quality of the viticulture is apparent by the purity of fruit to be found here and beautiful balance of natural acidity. A succulent, deep Pinot with tons of varietal character and charm.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
RC 92 RP 91

2014 Corofin "Cowley Vineyard - Main Slopes" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 06-02-2016
A lovely expression of this great site in Marlborough's southern valleys. The miniscule production Corofin wines are dedicated to producing bright, elegant representations of single block parcels through Marlborough's intricate patchwork of sub-regional terroirs. The Cowley Vineyard is one such unique parcel. Set against the mountain range dividing the Wairau Valley from the Awatere Valley this south facing slope is perfect for utilising the pure sunlight NZ has to offer while the clay soils give the wines great malleability and mid-palate breadth. As with all the Corofin wines the perfume is haunting. Lots of violets, sweet spice and agar wood. On the palate there is a cacophony of soft summer berries, clove and spiced orange peel. The texture is soft and acidity vibrant. This wine has a lovely generosity of fruit but without any excessive extraction or weight. It finishes with drive, precision and a lovely floral lift from the whole cluster component. This is dynamic and expressive Pinot of top quality...shame there isn't much to go around!
Top Value!

2014 Jacques Bavard Santenay Rouge
Review Date: 06-02-2016
Just an instantly likable wine from Bavard. Highly perfumed, expressive and open knit. Floral notes of sweet rose petal, ripe Raspberry and baking spice. Silky, supple texture with fine tannins and plenty of juicy mid-palate fruit. While staying in the red fruit spectrum, this wine has a nice ripeness to its expression giving it great early appeal. Very quaffable.
Top Value!
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2014 Jacques Bavard St-Romain Blanc "Sous le Château"
Review Date: 06-02-2016
One of my faves from this year's Bavard line up but you have to appreciate its finer boned structure. This parcel high on the slope in St-Romain always seems to give a more elegant, mineral driven style with a more linear mouthfeel and delicate floral top notes. The oak fills in nicely on the finish giving great persistence and just subtly taking the edge of this wines piercing acidity. Good stuff!
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2014 Jacques Bavard Bourgogne Blanc
Review Date: 06-02-2016
Another great Bourgogne Blanc from Bavard. This shows his signature style...medium fruit weight, great drive and purity, a nice cut of acid (the 2014s aren't short on natural acidity). Mostly showing dry / baked apple, spiced pie crust and hazelnut. Hints of citrus cut from the lingering acidity. Pretty serious wine for the price.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2012 Terra Sancta "Estate" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago
Review Date: 05-22-2016
What a smoking deal we have to offer on these Terra Sancta wines from Central Otago! The "Estate" bottling comes from the properties central Bannockburn blocks right in the heart of the village. These blocks contain some of the oldest vines in Central Otago, planted in very high density and still on their original roots. The "estate" bottling has more density and mid-palate flesh than the lighter, brighter "Mysterious Diggings" bottling. There is darker, sweeter fruit here, very soft velvet tannin structure, mountain thyme, baking spices, sandalwood and truffle. A fine precision in the finish and lingering minerals showcase Central Otago's schist and clay soils. Simply stunning at this one time direct price.
Top Value!

2014 Wines Of Substance Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-18-2016
Just as it says in the title..."substance". This wine has way more substance, authenticity and depth than one might expect for Cabernet in this price point. It's a faithful rendition of the varietal, has a great balance of opulence and structure and checks all the boxes for one of the best values in the category. This will make a lot of people very happy for a very modest price.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
RP 91 WE 90

2014 Bedrock Wine Company "Old Vine" California Zinfandel
Review Date: 05-10-2016
Probably the wine I recommend the most often out of all the CA wines we carry. This to me is the one wine that I would pick to typify California's vinous heritage. Not Napa Cab, not Carneros Chardonnay...Old Vine Zin...from a variety sources. This wine illustrates CA's historic relationship with the varietal, strength in depth of old vines and celebrates the fact that we are blessed with some of the finest weather on the planet. All these factors combined with Morgan's (often under appreciated ability) to get out of the way of a great wine..i.e. he doesn't over make them...letting the vines do the talking, makes this an easy wine for me to put in the hands of many. Exceptional value given the fruit sources and pedigree.
Top Value!

2015 A.A. Badenhorst "Secateurs" Chenin Blanc Swartland
Review Date: 04-07-2016
Fantastic rich texture and body. Amazing how much textural power this wine delivers at such a value price point (without relying on oak). Flavors of yellow plum, apricot, golden pear, toasted honeyed grains, a nice lees note brings some savory flavor back in. Phenomenally easy to drink…no really…
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

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