Staff Favorites - Ryan Woodhouse

Ryan Woodhouse

Reviews

  
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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: Hidden View Price
DC 92 SK 91

2013 Josef Chromy Pinot Noir Tasmania
Review Date: 12-13-2016
Next level Pinot here, showing Tasmania's potential to produce world-class examples of this fickle varietal. The wine has explosive aromatics of spicy, exotic dark fruit, sandalwood, macerated ripe berries, raspberry liqueur. Then come more savory tones of bramble, undergrowth, sweet sage and stony minerals. The palate is just as expressive as the nose, bursting with ripe fruit, spice and briary tones. Super plush and velvety on the palate, with freshness and energy driving the wine across the taste buds. A magical combination of ripeness and fruit purity with lovely savory varietal aspects and a mellifluous texture to die for. This is an out-n-out crowd-pleaser almost certain to excite lovers of this seductive grape.
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JS 96

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 Kaiken "Ultra" Cabernet Sauvignon Sauvignon Mendoza
Review Date: 11-17-2016
You have to excuse the multiple lame puns here but this is Ultra good Cabernet at an Ultra good price point! This wine has a lot of power and richness but also true varietal structure and grip on the palate. It's not a generic, full bodied red, it's true Cabernet Sauvignon and I love that about it. Smoky dark fruit, cedar, graphite, gravely tones with a nice firm tannin structure to hold all the fruit in place long on the palate. A remarkably well put together wine for a very economical price point.
Top Value!

1995 Imperial 20 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Signatory" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-11-2016
Perhaps the most complex of the recent Signatory bottlings but requiring more "study" than the more quaffable, instantly lovable Linkwood. Here I get subtle iodine hints, salt, dry malt, baked bread then some floral, honeyed, richer notes come through as it warms in the glass. At 20 years of age the vessel is more evident here than the primary malty characters. The evolution of this whisky is beautiful and captivating. Enjoy.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart

1995 Glenburgie 21 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Signatory" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-11-2016
Darker edged than the other Speyside bottlings in this recent flock of Signatory casks. Toasted oak, more brooding, savory, almost rancio tones although I'm told there is no sherry influence here. It's a complex whisky; burnt caramel, char, baking spice and pie crust. A good warming "winter malt".
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

1997 Dufftown 18 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Signatory" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-11-2016
Tasted alongside the other new Signatory bottlings this Dufftown is distinctively "malty"...almost rye bread like savory qualities are complemented by baked orchard fruit, spicy oak nuances and a stiff cut of slightly briney tones on the finish. Interesting stuff from a distillery I'm not so familiar with and what a steal for an 18 year old single malt?!
Top Value!
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

1997 Linkwood 19 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Signatory" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-11-2016
Just so soft supple and creamy. Even at its cask strength 56% alc this is sipple straight up. Golden fruit, toasted grains, vanilla oak; this has almost a Sauterne like honeyed richness to it. Delicious and a great value.
Top Value!
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

2015 Giesen Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 11-09-2016
One of the best value Marlborough sauvignon blancs out there. Real family winery, real estate vineyards, a dedicated winemaking team and just exceptional value for money delivering quintessential NZ Savvy flavors. You won't get anything else this serious or this good for ten bucks.
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
DC 95 BC 90

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 Giant Steps "Sexton Vineyard" Chardonnay Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 10-18-2016
I have long been a fan of the Giant Steps wines but this 2014 Sexton Vineyard Chard might be the best yet I have seen from them. It combines the typical flinty mineral tones I expect from the wine but also seems to have an extra textural element and concentration to the fruit. There is a real drive and persistence to the wine's flavors of golden tree fruits, baked pear, toasted barley, tangerine peel and wet stone minerals. Fluid and assertive on the palate with real presence and verve; it goes on and on. Seriously good stuff.
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

2013 Plantagenet Chardonnay Mount Barker Western Australia
Review Date: 09-15-2016
This would be very impressive Chardonnay at twice the price! I can't believe the deal we got on this 95 point Chard. This bottling comes from Plantagenet's oldest blocks of vines planted in the late 1960s — early 1970s. This is a wine of great concentration and power yet it retains bright, fresh, energetic acidity as the best Chardonnays do. Toasty, nutty aromas lead into baked orchard fruit, nougat, buttered toast and pie crust. The initial and mid-palate are quite rich and broad but as the wine flows across the palate some more citric elements lift the wine to a juicy, mouthwatering finish. Serious, complex and balanced Chardonnay at ridiculously low pricing thanks to our special end of vintage deal.
Top Value!

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

2013 Olema Sonoma County Chardonnay
Review Date: 08-01-2016
Miraculous CA Chard for the price. The guys at Amici really over deliver with the Olema wines. This is easy drinking, fruit forward, subtly oaked Chardonnay with nice purity and restraint. An all rounder that will suit many occasions and palates.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

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 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

2015 Riposte "The Dagger" Pinot Noir Adelaide Hills South Australia
Review Date: 07-22-2016
The nose on this wine lets you know exactly what's in store on the palate. It's literally bursting with vibrant, ripe berries, Christmas cake spice and raspberry compote. You can smell the bouquet inches from the glass. On the palate the wine has beautiful "pinosity" combining the sweet red fruits from the nose with some darker tinges and lovely soft, mellifluous texture. My favorite attribute of this wine (and it seems like a perennial achievement of Tim Knappstein) is how it combines ripeness of fruit profile without excessive extract or alcohol. The wine is pure and fruit forward but without being heavy; and the alcohol checks in at a balanced 13.5%. This is such an easy drinking wine that will surely be a serious crowd-pleaser once again.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JH 94

2014 Fromm Winery Riesling Spätlese Marlborough (Medium)
Review Date: 07-19-2016
A cult wine in NZ. Wonderfully pure citrus flavors, spiced ginger, jasmine and preserved lemon. Knife edge precision balancing sweetness with a focused beam of mineral-infused acidity. Infinitely quaffable…thankfully it’s only 7% alcohol. One of my favorite Rieslings from anywhere in the world.
Top Value!

2014 Fromm "La Strada" Syrah Marlborough
Review Date: 07-19-2016
This wine is all violets and peppered bacon. A wonderfully complex juxtaposition of floral tones and savory meaty aspects. Bright and vibrant on the palate. A must try for those who appreciate cool climate renditions of this varietal. Fromm is one of a few producers that make Syrah in the region (neighbors TWR a notable other) but once again with this wine they prove that not only is it possible to produce Syrah here...they can make GREAT Syrah here!
Top Value!
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart
SK 94 BC 93

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!

2012 Peyrabon, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 07-06-2016
A perfect example of how good some of the 2012s can be even at the low end of the price spectrum. This has great concentration and structure; classic left bank gravelly flavors, firm acidity and subtle barrel influence. Top value.
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2014 S.C. Pannell Syrah Adelaide Hills South Australia
Review Date: 06-29-2016
It's always scary when a wine wins a huge award--how will it be judged in future vintages...? Will it ever be able to live up to that reputation? The 2013 of this wine won Australia's most coveted award - the "Jimmy." In a testament to Steve's integrity, the 10cs of the wine I had ordered just prior to the wine winning the award was still delivered to us and the price remained the same. When the award was announced the wine pretty much sold out overnight...the 120 bottles making their halfway around the world might have been the last unpurchased bottles in existence! That didn't last long...when they hit our shelves that sold in an instant. This follow up from Steve is at least the equal of its much revered predecessor. As another commentator notes here - "this could be a nose in front in terms of quality." The basics are the same, this is quintessential cool climate Syrah. Elegant, floral, packed with violets, spice, savory, smoky fruits and pipe tobacco. A lithe mid-weight palate with vibrant acidity and a beautiful openness / drinkability. The price has yet again remained the same and thanks to our direct import relationship this is a serious deal in world class Syrah.
Top Value!

2014 Oakridge Estate "Willowlake Vineyard" Chardonnay Yarra Valley
Review Date: 06-29-2016
Without straying too far from the classic Oakridge style we have come to know and love, this bottling from Willowlake is just a whisker more generous that some previous single vineyard expressions. While remaining at just over 13% abv, the flavors are slightly riper here, with less citric cut and a dash more roundness to the palate. Still focused, with bright acidity and wonderful drive on the palate...I think this is one of the more "crowd friendly" Oakridge Chards we have had to date and it's got the score to prove it! Insane value from our direct relationship.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JH 97

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

2013 Wakefield (Taylor's) "Jaraman" Cabernet Sauvignon Clare Valley South Australia
Review Date: 06-22-2016
Just a screaming deal in Cabernet. Wakefield (known as (Taylor's in Australia) is one of THE go-to Cab producers in the country. They are famous for knocking out delicious Cab at insane prices. We are now working direct with their USA importer to make these values even more astounding. This is big, rich, bold Cabernet that has lashings of black and blue fruit, dark chocolate, fresh picked mint and tobacco. The palate is juicy and rich with nice fine mouth coating tannins that bring real length and presence to the finish. Cab lovers rejoice...this quality costs you at least twice the price normally.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
JH 94 RP 90

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

2015 GeorgeTown Pinot Noir Rosé Central Otago
Review Date: 06-02-2016
Specially selected from one block of the vineyard and given a short soak on the skins to pick up this subtle salmon pink hue. This wine isn't your typical strawberries and cream rose; it's a bit more serious. Ripe stone fruit characters, bramble fruit, Raspberry, clove and nutmeg nuances. Lots of savory minerals and citrus bursts. Quite a presence on the palate. Lovely rose taken quite seriously.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
BC 94

2015 Fromm "La Strada" Rosé Marlborough
Review Date: 06-02-2016
Very classic strawberry and melon nose. Bramble fruit character and mulling spice. Lovely texture and presence on the palate. Dry, crisp, lip-smacking finish with moreish acidity. Great wine for the heat this summer...drink this now right through until Turkey Day! Yummm!
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
BC 93 SK 93

2015 Elephant Hill Tempranillo Rosé Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 06-02-2016
Complex rose. Lots of ground spice and peppercorn on the nose. Spiced orange peel, watermelon, strawberry leaf. Dry, very mineral and long on the palate. Super intriguing wine that keeps you going back for another taste.
Price: $14.99 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 Fromm "Fromm Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 06-02-2016
While only being a few miles away - Fromm's home block (Fromm Vineyard) is quite different in character to the Clayvin Vineyard bottling. The soil here is more defined by layers of graduated silt and alluvial deposits and has less clay than up in the southern valleys proper. To me this allows the wine to express itself in a more layered, detailed, compact fashion. Where Clayvin Vyd is broad and soft Fromm Vyd is more linear, faceted and has a more defined "grain". It's almost as if the wines' textures mimic the soil profile with Clayvin echoing the smooth, supple, fine clays and Fromm representing the more grainy texture of the gravelly deposits. Both are refined and elegant Pinots faithfully and accurately representing their terroir. The fruit here is less exotic, more mineral, savory and coiled. The aromas are less of fruit and flowers and more of earth, bracken and bark. A stony mineral undercurrent is undeniable. Darker, dusty berries emerge with air; there is a wild sauvage character here that is fascinating. No more structured than Clayvin, but perhaps less flesh over the skeleton. A very fine and thought provoking wine.
Drink from 2016 to 2016

2013 Domaine Parent Pommard 1er Cru "Les Chanlins"
Review Date: 06-02-2016
Bold, almost sappy red fruits. Quite big and brash by Burgundian standards. Lots of concentration, spice, richness. Dense and round on the palate. Admirable weight and power for the vintage.
Price: $67.99 Add To Cart
BH 89 - 92

2014 Château Vitallis Pouilly-Fuissé Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 06-02-2016
Serious Pouilly Fuisse...truly speaking of the terroir. Dominated by the distinctive limestone characters; this is fascinating. Very focused with tons of drive and linear clarity. A must try for fans of this intensely mineral driven style.
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
DC 91 WE 91

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

2015 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Rosé Marlborough
Review Date: 05-27-2016
A very complete and delicious Rose. I asked Jase and Anna at TWR if they would make a Rose for us and as per usual they totally knocked it out of the park with this number! The fruit is from selected from blocks pruned and managed specifically for making Rose. The destemmed Pinot Noir is given a short, gentle maceration on skins before spending some time on fine lees for added texture. As with all the TWR wines there is so much aromatic intensity here; stunning purity of fruit and energy. Summer berries, strawberries and cream some toasted barley notes, spiced citrus peel and bramble leaf. Great texture and presence on the palate; it finishes soft and dry. I can't think of a wine that I plan on drinking more of this summer - period.
Top Value!
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

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!

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